So, I quit my job. Yep, my Good Job.
And one of the things it's enabled me to do, is take a mid-day walk with my dogs. On the way back, my old Dane flopped into the long grass along the side of the road, rolling and groaning and generally enjoying himself. Once done, he made no immediate effort to get back on his feet. I stood there for a while, waiting, then decided to join him. First I sat beside him, on grass that was still slightly wet from all the rain. I read my book for a bit. It just got so quiet. The other two dogs had continued on, exploring. I laid down beside Frank, my back pressed up against his. Ahhhh. So THIS is why he's a grass roller. His big rib cage slowly rose and fell. I read my book, and didn't think about what time it was, or anything on my To Do list. It was bliss.
Until the 4 month old Dane realized we were missing, and galumped back to find us. Once he had, he proceeded to joyfully pounce on me, big muddy paw right on my chest. Which is the equivalent of a small street walker stomping on your tit with a high heel wedge boot. As I gasped in pain and tried to roll, all of his legs decided to buckle (he's still figuring them out), and I lay on the side of the road, with a small wet penis inches from my face. All in all, pretty much a reenactment of my worst blind date. And quite possibly, one of the best afternoons ever.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I'm sitting here, tweaking the website for the University department I work for, and I'm blind with boredom. No inspiration, no motivation, no satisfaction. Life is TICKING AWAY. Is this what middle-aged men feel, when they acquire the convertible, the toupee, the 20-something secretary?
I am SO sick of being afraid to do what I really want: Sick of my fear, and really sick of others' fears. The minute that I even voice what I want to do with my life, I see the eye-widening, doubtful fears in my audience's face. I'm not saying I want to join Cirque de Soleil, FFS, I just want to work for myself, from my home, preferably by making a difference in children's lives. If that starts off as a simple daycare, and develops into fostering or group home work, so be it. But I am met with fearful questions: WHY would you contemplate leaving Such A Good Job? Why would you give up your pension contributions, benefits, dental, not to mention the prestige of working for such an illustrious learning institution?
I have difficulty answering without my rage spilling over. Why? Why would I give up the 2 and a half hours daily commute, give up paying almost $700 a month in gas and parking, just to park a 15 minute walk away from my shoebox office, located, admittedly, on a gorgeous, highly respected University campus, but which is surrounded by obnoxious, entitled, rude, cell-phone texting, Hunter rubber boot-wearing children, because yes, even though they are well on their way to becoming our future doctors, they act like spoiled, clueless children. They will literally body check you into a hedge, given half a chance. To arrive at my shoebox office, where they whisper of real and imagined betrayals, of nastiness, oh, pessimism. Where they tell you that having pets is an awful drain of energy and money. Where they talk about The Bachelor on a daily basis. How it drags my heart down. Then I drive over an hour to get home, and have barely the energy to feed the animals, feed myself, before going to bed and beginning again.
Is the ultimate goal in life to grind away every day, socking a bit away for my retirement, so that I can sit and look back and think, what the hell did I do THAT for? Is this it? Now, THAT'S something to fear.
I grew up with dreamers, wishers, liars, magic bean buyers. Story-tellers. Hippies. I grew up being told stories like this, by adults who wholeheartedly believed in them. I intend...to get on my way.
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
*** The above text was copyrighted in 1990 .
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
(click on any photo to enlarge...)
I love my barn. Not only did it provide the most amazing wedding facility, it has been the venue for so many fun, goofy parties. Aside from hosting a movie barn once a month all summer, we like to close the season with a big Halloween Movie Barn - complete with haunted walks, treats, scary movies and bonfires. Last year was a great time, and this year was twice the fun (literally - we had over 80 guests!)
This year Rich wanted to be the Mad Hatter, so we conjured up costumes hopefully reminiscent of other Alice in Wonderland characters, and loosely decorated the barn party as a Mad Tea Party (red wine in the glass teapot, white in the silver one...)
The forecast called for rain, so we set up the treat table in the front of the movie barn, just to be safe:
Lady fingers, anyone?
Dining room table held a lot of props during the weeks leading up to Halloween (and yes, The Shining was the feature film...Red Rum plates for the haunted car, below...)
Rich and my brother Matt worked hard at these artistic pumpkins (including one with the Buckmark - Rich puts that *#@& on everything)
My attempts I like to call, 'Retro'. Matt calls them 'lame'.
Francesca, our resident skeleton, gets out once a year, so she always dresses to kill.
So to speak.
The haunted walk included a hay bale maze inside, and a cemetery, haunted forest, giant spider lair, and a 1950's possessed car, outside..
Rich's homemade Halloween preserves...
Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, and Tweedle Dumer...along with the amour-clad Alice and the White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat:
Frank and Johnny were the King and Jack of Hearts:
This gorilla brought her own giant banana...
Another set of Tweedle Dee and Dum...
My Mum and my boy:
This giant spider was dropped on unsuspecting trick or treaters from the garage roof during the haunted walk...
Matt: last year a priest, this year a Rabbi...I sense a trend...
Here's my Lucy, wondering where her treats are: