Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I am weary...

Today I am weary. Weary of attempting to feign that elusive panacea known as "joy." Weary of the shallow platitudes of fair weather friends. Weary of the social media pseudo-intellectual slug fest. I am tired at my core of so many things.

I ponder my very existence and find myself unworthy. Perhaps it is true, that whisper in the back of my brain that reminds me my parents should never have reproduced. What am I anyway but the summation of generations of self centered hominids who were at best "casual with their offspring" and at worst predators of unsuspecting souls. Its not about the metaphor or the drama. The simple truth is: I don't have much to offer and I know it. While we feed our stunted consciences with Dove girl commercials and pre Holiday kitschy feelgoodness the spoils still go to the beautiful, the financially wealthy, the strong, the talented and the shocking. Those of us grizzled, paunchy, paycheck to paycheck bottom feeders are left to roil and whimper in the sludge of "humanity" And that's where I am today.

Life is cruel. It is never about fairness or equitable treatment. It is conquest at its most brutal. Age is a disease and wisdom without muscle or money is a laughable affliction. I am dead center mediocrity and for all my pretty little dreams there is no sustenance without suffering. I am a limited creature with limited influence and a limited span of time in which to eek out my existence on this rock.

So what do I do with this epiphany? What happens every morning when my husband kisses me good bye and sets off to a day of physical labor that was never his hope for a life and I face the breaking daylight with that aching dread, knowing I am on repeat, repeat, repeat...Perhaps the resident feline found a new place to leave her stomach contents in whatever process of digestion they exited from her small furry body. Perhaps something else will break, the phone will ring, my mouth will open in a feeble attempt to regain order in my world and I will harm, offend or simply dismiss another soul from my diminishing circle. I am beyond that day dream of "Deus ex machina." At this point, my only option is to continue. To move forward, picking my way through the broken, the lack, and to pray that at some point my Creator will validate me because I am so useless to those I love the most.

I understand why so many of my predecessors chose to dismiss each other. Cruelty is innate. Love is learned. Disdain for your own species can be raised to an art that compels your fellow creatures to flock to you like flies to a corpse. Love terrifies because it offers no merit for selfishness. No justification for bad behavior. Because I crave the very thing I cannot have, because I try to offer it to those who will not return it, I am shunned. Like every other fiber in my body - the love I offer is imperfect.

Its not my nature to sit back on my haunches and give up and I truly no longer have the instinct or the stomach to do anyone real harm. I'm just weary of my own ineptitude and I desperately want real, human comfort from someone who doesn't have an agenda. I know there are humans on the planet capable of carrying the light of God within themselves. I only hope I meet one someday. I am only worthless because the selective myopia of those who set their eyes on me cannot see the light of God within me - because if someone, anyone put a hand in the circle of it to warm themselves for even a moment - I know I could go supernova instead of freezing in the sputter of this itty bitty spark...

Stop treating those around you like they are disposable. If you continue do be so casual with your "offspring" - they will come to believe that they are indeed the throw away kids you have encouraged them to be.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

half baked idea

The afternoon drifts somber outside my window. Weary leaves scutter fervent on the western wind echoing a similar sentiment within my bones. I've accomplished my sojourn of obligatory domesticity. Pots of lentil soup and quinoa cool on the stove. The dishes and laundry done and the progeny are running errands. For a moment I am alone with my thoughts and my thoughts ramble around like frightened livestock in a too small corral. I am beyond unsettled.
The simple truth is that I am heartsick.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coming out and saying IT

A few years before my father passed away, his older sister invested in my fractured soul by enlightening me regarding the inner workings of my paternal family. Apparently, the Hughes clan were "casual with their offspring" and while I've no doubt romancised them to a high luster; the patina wears thin in many places. My father descends from successive men of violence, abusive and addictive tendencies and questionable moral practices. Bluntly put, my father was the center of his own universe - undone only by a force greater and more disturbed emotionally than he was. That being my mother.

My mom's maternal line carries its own blend of perpetual crazy - peppered with the occasional kind soul embodied in my maternal grandmother. When her husband returned from WWII with notions of running off to marry an English sweetie, my grandma placed her not so dainty feet squarely in his boney hide and refused to divorce him. My mother was born into this union, a month past term, via c-section and with multiple birth defects. She is an amputee, her right hand is deformed, and her cervix is incompetent. Had my grandmother been given the opportunity for an ultrasound - it is possible that my mother would have been aborted. My grandfather railed at my mom's birth and refused to claim her as his own. Because of this, and her challenges as a child who was "incomplete", my mother became something of a monster. Although she has rationalized her father's denial of her as his own as due to his own parents possibly being siblings (unproven but interesting) she still bears the scars of herchildhood both in her physical appearance and in her soul at a core level.

It is my opinion that my parents should never have reproduced. The mixing of their DNA had the potential for creating the perfect storm of a child. I am still convinced - even as an adult that my mother is incapable of truly loving another human and my father, when I truly needed him to stand up for my very identity - caved. As a result, my parentage will always be in question. I will never know if my father who raised me is my father or if my mother's first boyfriend and current husband is my father. Say what you will about "your father is the man who raised you", in my case the only thing that matters is the truth I cannot have.

As a young woman, I did not want to have a husband or children. I had deep trust issues and no desire to invest in someone who would do me harm. I was 22 before I started dating seriously and when I finally fell. I fell hard. My lack of self discipline resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. I was still living at home and my mother wasted no time in telling me all the torment I might face if I happened to carry whatever genetic anomalies she carried. I didn't trust the father to stay in my life should I choose to be a mother, and simply put, I did not want a child. And so I made the decision afforded me by legal right.

Fast forward a couple of decades. As the politics of the day swirl around me like so much powdered creamer congealing in a cup of tepid brew - I am reminded of that "Choice" I made. I've been married for over 20 years to that man I thought would leave me. We have two beautiful - whole children. And I have an ache in my soul in the shape of a baby I will NEVER hold. While my Creator assures me that I am forgiven and loved - and I see that forgiveness in my two healthy kids and my solid marriage, I am still not released from the consequences of my own free will.

I hear the arguments. What if you're raped? What if its incest? What if there's a health risk? Well let me see. Great Granny and Grandpa were possibly brother and sister - check incest. Grandma carried mom ten months - and mom had me early and miscarried two after me due to her own physical issues - check - there are many people in my family who have contributed to me who themselves were the result of unsolicited sex. Its rampant in my family history. Its a different story when looking at your own existence based on the "Choices" your predecessors made.

I'm not here to dissuade anyone from his or her current position. I'm not here to advise you of your political correctness, duty or lack thereof. I am only here to define my own point of view. I know in my heart what it means to bring life into this world and to stop it before it is born. In my heart - I now know that even if I were carrying a child due to rape, even if I were in danger of losing my own life by allowing a child to be born - I could not take another life. You see, even in the most horrific of circumstances, half of that baby's DNA is from its mothers - and the whole responsibility of providing that baby an opportunity to BECOME - rests with the mother. There is a moment when I came to terms with both my own mortality - and my immortality. These two things meet in my offspring.

I could have been the perfect storm. I could have beaten and abused my kids. I could have cheated on my husband. It was what I was taught. It was all I knew. But I didn't and even I am not sure why. I just registered somewhere that life is precious, sacred and so far beyond what I feel in my skin. I know that unconditional love - in its true form is completely selfless. It gives entirely and expects nothing in return. While I know my mother was incapable of loving me - I deeply love my children. If I had another - no matter what the circumstance - love does not harm. That is the kind of love I desire and that is the kind of love I would give.

If you are pro choice, that's fine. I have no quarrel with you. I was pro choice. I get the position. It is not foreign to me. It isn't who I am now, but it is who I was. While I would not abort a child who was a product of a rape, I would damn sure castrate the rapist without the benefit of painkillers even if he was a sibling, - so my humanity is still very much in tact. I also believe that the federal tax should be abolished, all elected officials should work for salaries not to exceed 75k per year, the drinking age should be lowered to 18, we should start completely over with the whole "Wellfare program" the death penalty should be reinstated in all fifty states, corporal punishment should be brought back into schools and our teachers should make more than our government officials. I am actually pretty ornery in my view points which is why I usually refrain from any comment. I like you. I don't want to offend you.

Where Pro Life and Pro Choice are concerned though - its wrenchingly real for me. It is the reminder of the biggest mistake of my life, personally. It is the one do over I wish I had. It will be in my heart always. And so, I choose to tell you my story. Now you know. We all come from somewhere. It is my hope that you will be gentle with those who have points of view in opposition to your own. They may just be carrying something within their hearts that is deeply personal - and completely colors who they are. This is who I am.


I've been meaning to...but....

eah, whatevs. Its been over a week since I visited this place and wrote anything of merit. I have my reasons. Whether they be sufficient fodder for a lame post is anyone's guess but if you're a betting person - don't bet on it.

For those of you new to me - I'm a church goer. In my opinion to deride the assembling of believers for assembling is tantamount to booing the bride at a wedding. (My pastor said something like that. I thought it was smartly put) This isn't a church blog or a christianity blog (its a rambling brain dump lead in. Just bear with a chick ok?) but part of my belief system is that as a Christian I am better served and I serve others better if I put myself under the regular tutelage of a Bible based Pastor with like minded people. I neither seek nor expect perfection but regular participation makes me better equipped as a human dealing with others of my species. (keeps me from offing some of God's lesser critters too, so its all good) Any way. I go every Sunday but not normally anymore for midweek service; however, I did last night as we are starting up our semester of small groups and I finally took the ego crunching plunge and steeled myself to do a writers' workshop. I came home and my younger spawn asked me how many had signed up for my class. I said, "about nine." to which he responded "So you're officially in over your head, huh.?" Yeah, well. About that.

Truth is, in my little doggy heart I believe that even the most socially stunted of us need contact with others of our species and if we are of the "writer" variety - its even more difficult for us to fill that space. We write because we are simply better on paper than in person so we trip over ourselves when it comes to networking and getting the support we need to move forward in our goals for our writing projects. Yes, there are a lot of groups out there but often those of us who have a desire to write "light" struggle finding enclaves of writers who won't pigeon hole us into the "Amish Romance" or the "Max Lucado devotional" bin. Nothing wrong with either type - but like secular writing - Christian writers write about all kinds of things - the possibilities are endless. I myself am working on a historical fiction novel, a fiction work with "dark" overtones - not a horror novel per se but it deals with possession and abuse. I have a comedic work, a contemporary fiction work andasci fant trilogy. My first novel was YA fiction. I also write poetry and short stories. (I don't do Amish Romance.)

So the plan is to get these people together and put some resources in reach so that they can take their projects to the next level - be that publishing, editing, a beta group, kicking writers' block to the curb whatever.

I am sure I am in over my head but that's ok. Sometimes the only way to get what you need is to give it to someone else who needs it. nowutImean? And so in my limited spare time I've been pondering the possibilities of developing a successful face to face writers' group. I'm stoked. I hope I don't blather on insanely like a kid after too many snacks and spinny carnival rides. I am prone to semi automatic mouth fire when under pressure.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Rewrite Me

So I've picked up my novelist hat and placed it on my head. Admittedly, its a bit tight. And it smells funny.

Since my dad died in 2009 I've made multiple attempts to get comfy in my writer's hat with limited success. Coupling the tragedy of losing my Dad to the monster of emphysema, my first born graduated the same week Dad died, and my key coworker walked off the job right before a massive audit where I work. The audit process lasted over a year and at the time, my first novel had only been in print for less than six months. I basically lost my groove and to be brutally honest - I've been fearful of the 'regroovenation' process.

In 2009 for Nanowrimo I wrote a rough draft of a novel entitled Condor. For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, Nanowrimo is "National Novel Writing Month" wherein every November people determine themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm not sure how I completed Nano in 2009. For at least a week of November my entire home was torn apart while we had new windows installed and our home releveled, but I did it. And then I tabled the first draft mess and only visit it once in a while to see if its still on my hard drive.

The truth is, my soul was shredded by so many things while I was grieving for dad, and attempting to manage stressors at my place of employment. It is possible that Ava, the protagonist in my writhing mess of a draft has been infused with that sludge. Its possible that I allowed myself to emotionally regurgitate all my pain and angst and personify it. Or maybe I just wrote blind for thirty days. Whatever the case, I have a rough draft on my hands now and a complex main character that is begging to have her story told. Not neccessarily for the shock value of her life in the span from child to young woman but because of the last line I typed in the draft "My name is Freedom." If the protag, with all her quirks and flaws were just another salient bottom feeder with no resolution - she'd remain in my hard drive. But she isn't. Ava carries the resolution we all seek. She comes up for air. And that - if nothing else is a powerful lesson for all. My issue therefore is with certain stopsalong her journey. Some are implausible and will be rewritten or cut completely. Some are offensive and will have to be weighed for impact. And a few are solid, relatable situations.

When I wrote my first book, I was quite fond of my main character. She was the little girl I never had and I wrote her and her friends close to my heart. Ava is different. She came as she was. She is who she is. She is multiracial. She is a seeker. She has some deep emotional scars. She has seen the worst in people and her choices are not always healthy for her, or those around her. She is socially inept. To put it simply. Ava is "broken" - I wouldn't hazard a guess at her specific diagnosis - but she is definitely damaged and its obvious to me by her behavior throughout the book.

Ava often dreams she is a condor - engaging in behaviors that are natural to condors but not to humans and this is only one area where the disturbing will probably remain.

The story line also touches on other incendiary topics like rape, abortion, child abuse, wichcraft, racism, women as "property" demonic influences on a person, death, human sacrifice and resurrection, and bullying. All in 50,000 words.

I firmly believe that if you're going to write "Good" you can't be afraid of writing "bad" and there are entire pages in Condor that are just plain bad. There's this car crash, its just bad. It may need to go. But then there are other moments where Ava gets a glimpse of who she really is - that are poignant and beautiful. Its not a love story by any stretch. But its not a horror story either and is my current focus. Ava's life is brutal, but a lot of us have experienced the things that she experiences.

Three years ago there was so much going on in my life that reading through Condor after the first draft just made my heart sick. Now? I have enough distance between me and my tragedies that I can work to bring order to the chaos. I hope. I have deep empathy for Ava, but she is not "me" and that will be important I think during the editing process, perhaps to let her do what she does without attempting to whitewash her to fit MY values.

So that's a bit of rambling backstory for you. I am not yet sure if I will post much of the actual story or if I will simply send the manuscript to some friends when its closer to completion. I hope to have the rough draft through its first edit by first of November but I'm not going to pressure myself. First perhaps, I'll take my musty little writers hat and air it out.


Monday, August 20, 2012

New Day, New Do

Or is that "doo" - Probably the latter.

So after a week long multiply induced sabbatical from blogging wherein I moved two years of my virtual life into other site storage I think I am caught up, refocused and recommitted to spilling my entrails along the sparkly bandwidth. I suppose the pending shutdown should be seen in a positive light as it forced me to clean my virtual home and consider what my priorities were. Am I a blogger, writer, or just a frazzled drone wannabe looking for a place to dump my toxic waste of the day? Probably I am a mix of all those things and a few more unsavory bits.

For those of you new to me - last year I was dealing with some obnoxious anxiety/anger type symptoms and try as I might, my doctor did not agree that my "issues" were hormone based and told me to consider counseling. I did so as a last resort, being the Viking that I am I usually don't "do" cuddly feely time and I just wanted the raging headaches, and the heart thumping out of my chest to go away. I figured the deep desire to throttle coworkers, poopin' cats and wayward family members would abate with the right mix of nacho cheese and hoppy brew - but the heart palpitations and migraines were cramping my style.

I've been seeing a counselor for a year now and so far she's actually surprised that with the level of chaos in my life over the past several years - coupled with my upbringing that I am as well adjusted as I am. I take no medication and after losing a few pounds the palpitations are easing. She thinks that perhaps my doctor is a bit off in testing as my symptoms do sound hormonal or at least hormones are giving them a nice frosty topping.

I remember early on telling her that it sucked that I had to pay 25.00 an hour for someone to say nice things to me. (Again, I don't "do" people, sigh) but she actually is committed to assisting me deal with those things in my life that are both long term and difficult. So I decided to bring in an excerpt from a novel I am writing. When I spoke with her on Friday she looked at me and said. "Now I get it. I understand you. How can you go to that day job and do that line of work all day with all this going on in your head. You have a whole world created. It must be so difficult."


Truth is. I have always been a responsible person. I've been in the workforce since I was about 16 and I have always tried to do a "Good job." I've never been fired for cause. (Been laid off a few times) and I've been at the same company for 10 years. But at my squishy core - I am a writer. I have eight different novels in various stages of completion and at the end of a 50 hour work week, and a family - there isn't much time for the novels that are bursting out of my brain. And if I think about things like - we all should be doing what we are designed to do - I know I am a writer before I am an accountant.

So yeah. Sometimes I get a toxic ball of phlegm in my craw. It happens. But my dad used to tell me when I was stopped in the middle of my tracks like a turned over turtle - "DO SOMETHING. EVEN IF ITS WRONG" - so - I'm a blogger. I enjoy blogging. It is a valid form of writing. I just think its appropriate for the blog to serve more purpose than a virtual raw sewage containment receptacle. So I'm going to work on that. My last blog was full of "excremental posts" and there's only so much fertilizer a garden can accomodate before you start to burn the tender leaves. Capiche?

I think I'm happy about a new start. Change is a good thing. Yes. Peace.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Why? Because it HURTS! Seriously, though even I of the land of spreadsheets and reconciliations cannot be serious all the time. Even I must find respite, recreation and time to allow my brain to cool lest it overheat and become extra crispy.
And so I've been dipping the brain pain in that cryogenic brew known as "my genealogy diversion" or as my family dubs it "cataloguing the deceased." Some people play Sudoku. I plot family groups. At least I'm not out spending my hard earned dollars on Jimmy Choos. I digress.
For those of you who know me and admit it - you also are aware that my aforementioned hobby is just that. A hobby. I have no vendettas, no motives and I am usually motivated to ferret out the dusty leavin's of a family simply because of the rich history lesson I acquire when I google that deceased person's name, country or timeline of existence. I have learned that the hours spent carefully sifting through the familial bones will turn up familial treasure of the type I savor.
Case in point. For the past few days I've been flipping between the Hudspeth/Watson families in the 1600's to 1300's , and the Davis's and the Hughes lines which are now back to the 800's and earlier. I've been on the trail of some ancient Viking types when suddenly my little brain was blown away. There it was - on multiple sites, multiple reputable sources - historical evidence that dovetails with my Ancestry DNA test and my theory about berserker blood. Yup. Odin is my grandpa. Thor is my uncle. Really Really.
Now before you assume that I've taken a hard hit to my noggin whilst plummeting from said genealogical tree, I shall pummel you with theory and evidence. Whilst my Nordic, pillagin' peeps would barrel roll in their earthen burial mounds to consider it, it appears that Odin was actually a real person. Many of the ancient texts, mythologies etc speak of Odin's people coming from what is now Turkey (the place, not the poultry - I know what you're thinking.) and that Odin in fact died. It is a common cultural practice to deify a culture's earliest rulers and this is apparently what happened with Odin. So as I attempted to prove or disprove the theory I found both the "mythological ancestry" of Odin going back to the elemental Alfadur - the substance of life, and the theoretical ancestry based on oral history and genetic evidence that indicates Odin was possibly - wait for it - a Hun. (one moment please. My mind just got blown again) Central Asia Roots of Scandinavia - skim down to around page five if you're a skimmer. This is just one of the articles I found.
I find this information fascinating for multiple reasons. I've always been enthralled by mythologies and specifically Norse mythology since I was a child. Not because I "believed it as a religion" but because I and my ancestors are story tellers. We love fiction. We love to spin a tale. And I have learned over the past decade or so that the best stories are based on a truth. So when studying mythology as it relates to the actual history of a family or a civilization - I start looking for that center point of truth. And the truth is what makes the story fascinating.
For those of you who do not know - I mentioned an Ancestry DNA test which plotted my genetic ethnicity as 69% British Isle, 17% Scandinavian, 7% Finnish/Volga/Ural and 7%, Persian, Turkish, Caucasus. To stumble upon both mythology and history that matches scientific data - oh. There goes my mind again.
I caveat all this of course with the admonition that genealogical study - the farther back you travel in time will become speculative. While I can look at my berserker tendencies, and my pale skin as the culmination of thousands of years of genetic programming - I still have that thing called a frontal lobe. I still have free will. Its not about the acquisition of knowledge that one can then use as an excuse for poor behavior that drives me. Oh. I can't help losing my temper and throttling my offspring. Its in my DNA to do so. Nope. This kid is no victim. Its all about what you DO with the knowledge. Knowledge is a slave master. Wisdom frees a soul.
So at the end of the day when I come home to brawling kinsmen and all the bjorr is gone, I have a choice. I can summon the residual sludge of my possible Hunnic tribesman and go berserker on my family - or I can exercise my free will given me by a benevolent Creator and thank God that I am not a victim but a victor. Of course, hulking out with a hammer swinging over my head while shouting "I'm Thor!" might go a long way in encouraging said brawling kinsmen to cease and go procure me more bjorr. Tam Odinsdatter - of the Huns. Has a certain ring to it. Perhaps as a pen name?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Points Well Taken

So I've had a day off to wallow in my misery, to cry like a baby in the shower and to dsconnect for a moment from the "accountant matrix"
So. Here's the rest of it. I took a bit of time this morning and revisited one of my unborn babies called "Ephesus Offense." For those of you who are interested, and or bored - I have this one up - the first three chapters on my moss covered website - You're welcome to read it at your leisure. I did and I got all lathered up over it. I got excited. I thought of some scenes and dialogue and situations and plot lines. It was pretty much instant. Like I'd never tabled it. The passion and joy is still there. That is a given.
However. I can't take my left lobe and forcibly expel it from my cranium. For 40 years I have been the organizer. The planner. The caretaker. The responsible one. The designated driver. It, much like the writer is part of my core identity. Even when I started writing - it wasn't for myself. It was always for others. Its one of the reasons I blog instead of just keeping a journal. Writing simply for myself makes the writing irrelevant, quickly. The writing itself must have a purpose outside of my own brain or its not worth the investment of time. If I need to please myself - a hot shower does it. Writing is for others. It can be simple - the writing can be simply to help someone else escape their own reality for five minutes or have a belly laugh or a good cry. But the writing is something from with in me that has to flow out to others.
That being said. I have to temper it. It can be read without being purchased. I don't have to make a million or even break even. Not every written project is a money making business. (Blogging is good for that. I blog because I can and its free...right?) And yes, it may take years and years to see a book break even - if one ever breaks even. At my core, I would love to be financially solvent as a writer, but more than that, I just want to be read.
The impatience definitely comes from knowing that once I complete a book - there is the entire business aspect to it - even if one plans to self publish to get it into the hands of readers - there is that investment of money and I am unable to do that right now. And that is where my left brain shorts my right brain and says - So you're gonna do what? Expend all this electricity building a world in here, spew it out on paper and then - nothing? Oh HELL no. We need that energy to support the "real" job and the "parental obligations" - write a book, my amygdala! Seriously? You spent a thousand dollars and a couple of years on BC and you have a crate in your closet. Absolutely no way this left lobe is allowing you to run roughshod over the brain pan like that again."
So I have to come to terms with both sides of my brain. The goal needs to be - completion of novels in x amount of time. Let the left brain manage the mechanics. And the right brain needs to just write and not worry about what happens when its done - because that's the goal. Just getting it done. Once the novels are done and I have my whole check coming to me - then I can map out things like publication.
You see. I've been trained to see things from start to finish, sequentially and to organize the processes to get to completion. I just have to move that finish line back. In this case. Publication is unattainable. But writing a novel isn't. So that's the purpose. That's the ribbon to cross. Write the freaking book. Get it done. (All of them.) Its not ideal - but its not an exercise in potential failure. I can write the freaking books - you know? Worst case scenario? I buy a ream of paper and print out a few copies on my own and send it to unsuspecting victims/friends..yeah. That's the ticket.
Yes, I am obstinate, thick skulled and ornery - but I do listen to what you have to say. And I appreciate you. Always.
On a lighter note. I found out yesterday that my maternal family and my stepsibling's paternal family share lineage. (my mom is related to the father of my stepsisters - mu wuh?) And - my "second dad" (the one mom says is my real father.) is related to - wait for it ATTILA THE HUN! (falls of chair in paroxysms of maniacal laughter!) I find it truly humorous. I'm sick that way.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm at an Impasse

What if you woke up tomorrow knowing exactly what your purpose was in life - and you were completely passionate about it? How would your life change?
I was informed by someone I deem important in my life that my "purpose" is "Still worth pursuing. Its very unique. Very special. You get it. Most people don't, but you do." Great words, yes? From someone who would have my best interests at heart or at least who would bear me no malice. Now...if only I knew what "It" is. And that is my dilemma today.
Perhaps my predecessors had it easier, so absorbed in ferreting out food and shelter they weren't afforded time to sit in that individually molded couch divet and ponder their "purpose" in life. They survived by the work of their hands, the weight of their decisions and sometimes, the law of averages. Yet here I am with my frontal lobe and my opposable thumbs and I expect some sort of validity to my life. What's my deal anyway?
Truth is, I'm a middle aged, corpulent cubicle drone with more debt than one lifespan can absorb. I'm not especially talented, my face is forgettable and my children bear more mediocre DNA than I would have wanted to give them. I am saturated in my banality as a life form. If I were to have had a purpose - I should have picked it out when I was still fresh and young and able to expend twenty years pursuing it.
I thought at one point that I would be a rock star and then I thought I might be a novelist. We're all allowed our moments of complete stupidity but the rest of my life has been somewhat accidental. I die a little inside considering that perhaps my tenure as a bean countin' desk jockey just may be my purpose but it has become my existence. I am not so deluded as to consider my current distraction with genealogy to be a "purpose" - its a diversion. It keeps me from thinking about how truly dissatisfied I am with almost every aspect of my life. Since I don't have to go out and plow fields to survive - it absorbs the time modern conventions afford me. And its more interesting than prime time TV. At least IT has a purpose if nothing more than to distract a middle aged, corpulent, cubicle drone.
So what do you think it is? What is my purpose in life? Beyond those things we all share - being a good parent, spouse, partner, minion, what is it about me that gives me validity? Why get up every morning and consume air, light...sustenance? I'm just asking the room. And to personalize it? What is YOUR purpose?
I told my son last weekend "let me be your horrible warning for a moment" and I meant it. I hope he got it, but he is still young and bedazzled by his future (and besotted with the love of a beautiful girl) He is casual with his gifts - too casual for my tastes but at this moment my post isn't about him. Its about ME. My blog. My angst. My disappointment.
Not trying to be a major downer today - I'm just looking for feedback - a bit of dialogue. And yeah, I I totally asked my Creator for clarification but since oh 2008 I've been praying to my ceiling. Either there are no answers - or I'm a bean countin' desk jockey. Lobotomized by my own free will.
So, rooms open. I'm off today. I hope to clear out several hints on ancestry. Been trolling in the deep south for a tad. My outlaw step family is related to Robert E Lee. I suppose in Viking terms - that's similar to finding THOR in your happy tree. Yup.
Peace. And seriously. What is YOUR purpose? I'm curious. I believe we're much more contented if we serve some sort of purpose. And where purpose and passion intersect? Ah. Nirvana...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Geek Factor: 17 "I Have No Life" Level 7

So after flunking my first Ancestry Dot Com DNA test, I got the results of the second one yesterday. Yes, I'm geekin' out about it. What else do I have to do?

And the survey SAID!

British Isles: 69%
Scandinavia: 17%
Finnish-Volga/Ural 7%
Turkish/Persian/Caucasus 7%

What does it mean? YOU tell ME.

Most of you know, I have "daddy issues" as my mom decided to tell me when I was 27 or so that the man who raised me was not my dad, and my dad was a High School sweetheart she was divorcing the man I thought was daddy for. The man who raised me passed away in 2009. Both of his parents are gone and of the surviving brothers, the brothers aren't sure if they are full or half brothers - and they live in different states which makes DNA testing difficult. My mom is a "storyteller of epic proportions" who will only randomly confirm a simple truth so that complicates the stew.So. You'd think perhaps a DNA test from Ancestry would calm my little girl brain. But it doesn't. You see, while I know a lot about some of my family - depending on which dad is dad, I know nothing about some of my family so the above test is pretty much "Inconclusive" in proving whether I am truly a Hughes or a Davis or some byproduct of the family dog and cat. Reason being: On the Davis side - I am missing all information on the potential father's mother. And on my mom's side I am missing all information on my mom's grandfather - who could be Swede but may be Irish/Scot. My dad who raised me was Norwegian/English - but there was a great great great grandparent who was presumably Native American. That didn't show up in this test - but say Mr Davis's mom was Greek - well - its possible that the test would have proven my mom spun a daytime serial plot. See my conundrum?
Anyway. The test is 98% accurate over 700,000 genomes in evidencing genetic ancestry for up to a 1000 years back. So that means my peeps probably originated in the area of Persia/Turkey/The Caucasus - moved up into the Ural Mountains and Finland (did you know Finns are not considered Scandinavians? I did not know that) then over into Scandinavia and down into the British Islands. So far - I see on all sides of my family that the bulk of my peeps came from Norway down to either the British Isles or Normandy then over to the states settling on the east coast or around the Great Lakes area and the Dakotas. I do have a great great Grandpa born in Denmark who was supposedly Finn - but he is a dead end. (no pun intended, unless you found it clever, then I meant to say it) My Norwegian paternal family stated on my birth certificat dead ends in the 1700's in Norway. The Britons go way back (I'm working in the 1100 to 900's with multiple family lines) but the Persian/Turkish connection....don't see it yet in the paper work.
So my expected 25% Norwegian can be explained by a couple of things. First would be a few point variance in the %s and the second is explained as "Genetic Shuffling" - in other words - just because the Orakers and Axness clans were in Nord Aurdal in the 1700's - doesn't mean that they were true Viking - and just like red hair - the marker for "Scandinavian" may have been trumped in the sequencing by some bog jumping, kilted ruffian with bad teeth and a serious brogue.
What I found amazing is - the lack of Southern European DNA.. Apparently the Persian/Turkish/Caucasus didn't migrate across the continent and up into the British Isles - but they hugged the Ural mountains and areas of Russia. Also - any evidence of Roman influence in the British DNA (because you know the Romans were toads and invaded everyone) is not evident.
It also goes to show that no matter how you slice me - I'm pretty darn paste-y. I'm a veritable glow stick. Except for that Persian part which may go to explain my taste for lentils and that chin hair I deal with (and I thought it was hormones)
None of it really matters in the scheme of things I suppose - unless you're inclined to be interested in human migrations. I find some validation in it. It makes me curious to learn more.
And that's my ramble for the day.

Bella Donna Requiem

This peace you offer
Pinioned prayers and platitudes
Scry in the mercury shattered
Your brittle whispers snap in the rarified air

This madness is thunder at the back of my throat
Ragged and storm weary
I tread water in your wake
Spin my tahrihim and trim the fringe
I am the terminus of fragile breath
Falling away from you

*Benedicimus Deum meum adventum et egrediente
There is solace in the blind blue moments
Let me surrender
To the baptism of despair
The upwelling catechism of *deliquescence

Souls fall clutching the flesh
Gasping for one more shredding dream
Fill the spinnaker and set sail

I am no longer a seaworthy vessel
This tethered hope you offer
Stinging nettles in my mouth
On flitting wings
Is the drone of hornets in my hair

I crave
And you are bound to your promise
It is my free will

To let go...

*God bless my coming in and my going out
*melt away/decay

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prose and Pyrite

Another day grinds to a dull end and I find myself prepping for the inevitable scourge of rush hour traffic and if I am fortunate – some prepackaged sustenance of the please don’t squirt out on my blouse kind. Home is still a few hours away and there is simply no time to ponder the complexities of my life. As usual I steal this moment, that ache in the back my throat reminding me of the beauty locked in my spirit that will never quite reach the page. I am forced to expel bits of pyrite and tinsel, cheap words easily forgotten in the blur of the cyber world.

Life is frantic, messy and painful on so many levels. I’ve killed a lot of monsters but I am bloodstained and weary from the effort. And some of them bred like bunnies, leaving scurrying furtive offspring to bite my ankle and trip me in the middle of my upswing – propelling me into that awkward face-planting downward spiral. I’m a fighter. Rough, raucous and earthy. My wings are only for stability and not flight. I am at this moment in time – ground bound.

I am not without the random aspiration slash obsessive compulsive slash ridiculously unattainable dream. That’s why I’m here. There is a writer in me somewhere. She is a prolific, tenacious creature. Asurvivor. She is not beautiful but she is loyal. She has never left me – even when I have begged her to do so. She simply amends her personality to fit the current situation – taps on my skull and says – “Let me out….please.”

And so I relent. Once again I’m on the train, hurtling at the speed of light to God knows what derailment. I’ve survived so many personal pile ups – I am no longer afraid of the careening course. I’m on it for the duration and if you read me. So are you. The difference this time? I’m in the engine room. That little girl with the freckles and the #2 pencil? She’s at the controls. Writing will come first because I want it to be so.

Peace. You know what this means. It means poetry. It means rants. It means novels. It means I’ll be giving up sleep. It means….I’m setting myself free.

The Maid of the Hesperus - From the Archives – follow link to read the original poem by Longfellow

The Maid of the Hesperus

On wintry nights the mariners sing

Of tales such as these

The sound of a fair maid crying

Carried on November's breeze

On moonless nights along the shore

Where plaintive surf does sigh

A chill will set in the bones of those

Who hear her mournful cry

Beware good men who ride the waves

Should you hear young maiden fair

Set a new course for the open sea

Lest frigid death find you there

She drifts alone on storm frothed waves

Icicle tears form round her eyes

Her frigid embrace a sailors' death

When winter's wrath fills the skies

Alas, fair maid of the Hesperus

Her spirit a slave to the wretched sea

The deep no kind of resting place

For beauty such as thee

Beware good men who ride the waves

Should you hear young maiden fair

Set a new course for open sea

Lest frigid death find you there


dedicated to Longfellow

Ten Things Tuesday

1. I stepped on the scale this morning. Any nummy who sez “Stress fat is a scam” – I bequeath you the additional tonage reflected by my scale. 2. For all those who would patronize me – offering platitudes and pollyanna mantras – I’m 47. My finances are on lock down for at least three years and I’ve already dealt with the drama that is my life situation since 2006 – doing everything possible to make a change. Doesn’t matter if the flames are green or blue – hell is hell and I’m in it for the duration. I have to weather it but I absolutely don’t have to like it. And at 47 – I’m done faking it. I either need a chunk o’change dumped on my doorstep or I need several suits in corner offices forget my name and address before August 17th. Otherwise – is it getting hot in here? 3. Some ingrate with a diminished frontal lobe couldn’t figure out how to appropriately leash his idiot canine – and on Saturday my husband who was ON THE SIDEWALK got bum rushed and nommed by a mutt with big teeth and a bad disposition. The dog put puncture marks in my hub’s hand and left six teeth gashes in my hubs calf. The owner responded to my bleeding husband with “Oh he likes you.” SERIOUSLY? My hub missed two days of work because he couldn’t hold a knife in the bitten hand. If’ I had been there – there would have been a serious altercation. I love dogs. I have always owned dogs. I do not let them draw blood on other people. 4. The field work for the great audit of 2012 is done but we won’t have numbers for a couple weeks yet. Meanwhile I’m scrounging through the entrails of the last audit looking for salvagable leavin’s, some things just refuse to die 5. Bigspawn will be twenty one in less than two months. Big spawn eats like a locust and has no source of income. Bigspawn needs a job. Considering selling Bigspawn by the pound. Any takers? 6. I got a wild stone in my gizzard and power reviewed something like 250 read requests at my old haunt – Writers Cafe. I finally started deleting some requests. I just can’t read the same vampornems (vampire/porn/poetry) or gloomy angst ridden introspection – or shlock poppy lyric ish ad nauseum. I love you – but send me something worth reading – oh and BT DUB – I like reviews too. Sigh. I should be nicer. I still have the crap I wrote when I was twenty. It sucked. Takes practice. 7. Why did I watch the Road again last night? Its such a SAD movie. As if I need my guts ripped out and stomped on. 8. The cat is not my friend. The cat does not know boundaries. The cat had her entire face in my water glass night. I know where her tongue goes. I don’t want it in my water glass. 9. I rejoined choir last month. They were getting desperate if they had to ask me. But I was singing last Sunday – in the choir – next to the guitarist and something happened. Just for a moment I felt like I was where I truly belonged. Its weird. There are three girls in my past that I deeply admire and I sang with each one and I always saw them as better – and figured that they would continue in music successfully. And here I am – on a stage under lights singing. It is for worship – not entertainment – but in an odd way – it fits. And I never expected it to fit. I love to sing even more than I love to write. I’ll never be a microphoned singer again – but I am in the choir. I miss my girls though. Terry, Evonne and Laurie. I miss singing with them and writing stupid songs. 10. The “future daughter in law in training” (I want grandkids. No pressure, right?) has gone vegan. Good thing she’s cute, sweet and good to my son. Seriously. I don’t know if I could give up munching on things that have eyes. I’ve cut down on my meat intake but to cut it completely? Naw dawg. I did make some lentil soup and quinoa – just so she doesn’t go hungry when she comes over…Could you do it? Go vegan? Just curious. Peace.

God Testing For Dummies

Yup, I'm still ruminating the whole Mack Wolford thing. Can ya tell? Dudes and Dudettes, I have a Bible and a brain and I can usually use both in tandem, provided its still early enough in the day and I'm not battling rush hour traffic, a cranky teen or an empty gullet. (Tam can't cogitate on an empty gullet) So here's my ish of the day. First and foremost, I am not a "Charismatic or Pentacostal", capiche? My church of choice is a non-denominational family church. We do pray in tongues. We do pray "hands on" - but we are never disorderly. There's no yelling and screaming and flopping around in the aisles. Our worship is ordered. We have music - led by a band - everyone sings (no hymnal, the words are on a screen.) the music is contemporary. We have offering. We have a message - with Bible verses - from our pastor. We have a Sunday school and nursery for kids. We have Tuesday night service - with a separate service that is amped up for teens. We have yearly conferences - one for teens, one for women and one for men. We have small groups that meet. We are orderly enough and Bible based enough that I still feel comfort when I step into a Lutheran or a Baptist or a Methodist church. We are very "normal" AND WE ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT KISS A SNAKE! I guess it just sticks in my craw when the Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church) and the Mack Wolford's of the world get all the attention. Seriously, the man had about 25 peeps with him for his snake fiasco service. On any given Sunday we see about a thousand to 1500 at our services. And none of us would lead you astray by telling you to "test God" by handling something that could kill you." That whole testing God thing is grossly misinterpreted and most Christians are savvy enough to know that "test" is equivalent to "prove" as in - if you have faith in God and you obey what you know to be God's will for you - you will be blessed. You disobey - and you and your free will can put you in a place where you will face consequences. BTW - don't latch on to the whole Malachi issue - again, that's only part of it and usually the test/tithe/bless thing is taken out of context. You can't tithe and expect massive money when you go out and sodomize your grandkids. (I'm just saying that for effect.) Christianity is not an a la carte buffet. Its a combo plate and you can't substitute one thing for another. I'm not gonna get preachy. As always - I have no conversion agenda. If you're Christian, pagan or stripey cat worshipper, its fine with me. I'm a Christian because I choose to be one but I am definitely not perfect and not in the position to pass judgement on others. I can only speak for myself on most things and exhort as I am able. And I seriously encourage you - don't kiss a snake. If you are seeking the appearance of God in your life, just ask. Its a whole lot simpler and won't require an injection of anti-venom is His response time isn't in your predefined schedule. Mack Wolford disappoints me with his display of flawed humanity. But I'm also disappointed by the people who are cashing in on his tragedy by making disgusting jokes about it over the airwaves. If you're gonna pick on a peep - pick a peep that can pick back. That's all I'm saying. peace. Its early in the day and I'm thinkin' I could probably make a dent in my genealogy hints. Yup. For all of you who commented on my Examiner article - THANK YOU SO MUCH. Even if you don't agree - your comments help me grow as a writer, so I appreciate your candor and input. Have a wonderful weekend. If you are a stripey cat worshipper - it may be ok to kiss the stripey cat - provided its really a domestic variety cat and not a 300 tiger...Perspective, people. perspective.

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Praise God and Pass The Rattlesnakes?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why I'm Never Uberdomestic

Before I launch my latest spate of inane blather I must preface my rant with the following bit of random information: Whilst I did enjoy the three day weekend afforded my by Federal Law in 1967 - it must be noted that Friday SHOULD have been my usual day off, which if it had been given would have resultedi in a four day weekend. BUT NO! We had auditors in house so I lost half my scheduled day off on Friday. Furthermore, as I am "salaried" I don't get any compensation for working on a day off. So yeah. I'm a tad cranky. So after a Saturday spent with the potential inlaws and a Sunday at church and then dinner and Apples to Apples with the potential daughter in law - I FINALLY eeked out a true day off yesterday. I'd like to tell you that I did my toes, took a bubble bath and coiffed my hair in several styles at my leisure whilst sipping cognac but that would be outright fiction. (I've never sipped cognac and I don't coif my hair. I'm doing well to comb the mess daily.) The truth is, I popped out of bed at 6:00 and began to furiously multitask. I cooked two types of beans and chicken Vera Cruz. I did laundry and multiple sinks of dishes. I reposted some old writing (waste of time, there. I've lost my edge, my audience or maybe my mind. Not sure which but its probably a combo meal) I worked on genealogy and did a review of one accounting CD. AND - I decided to tackle my bathroom tub and bowl. Seriously - we have four rumps on one small porcelain device. It gets, "earthy" OK. Its downright disgusting and THEY don't care. I'm actually afraid to put my cheeks on the thing. God knows what might be EVOLVING in the bowl. The bath tub is only a bit better. (a lighter shade of "eewww!" perhaps, which is disconcerting considering that we're on our THIRD bowl in twenty years but the tub has probably been in the house twice that long.) So I got out the welding helmet, the hazmat gear and my robotic arm and attempted to scare the crap (uh...word choice, Tam. word choice) out of the porcelain items in my powder room. I scrubbed and cussed till my eyes watered. Then I gave the toilet and tub a "time out" drenched in cleaning solutions so that they could think about the disgusting messes they had become. Enter BIPED. I had the blue clingy gel in in a nice coat for about FIVE minutes before IT stumbles to life and promptly pees in my project. Ten minutes later - IT takes a shower, undoing my lime munching brew of foaming death. Sigh. The kitchen sink was almost passable - and then THEY ravaged the fridge - leaving a trail of plates and utensils in their wake. And the cleaning project disintegrated from there. This morning, there are dishes in the sink, coffee rings on the counter, socks on the floor and once again I am staring down the barrel of a busy week. The toilet still sports a black rim and there is still soap henge in the tub, but its the EFFORT, right? Yeah. Right. And so I'm back to my ornery self. I guess it was only a matter of time. Peace.