Thursday, August 24, 2006


I walk every morning. As I bow, everyone applaud. Thank you very much. (I hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back.)

Since I take the same route each day, I look around to keep myself occupied because exercise just doesn’t thrill me and make me all gooey like it does other people. I do it for my health. I do it for my sanity. I do it to keep the oxygen flowing to the little gray cells.

I noticed lately that there are an abundance of gray pigeon feathers on the ground. They are on both sides of the street, on the sidewalks, in the grass and stuck in bushes. This is not normal.

I picked one up to examine it more closely and heard my mother’s voice tell me not to play with the dirty, disease ridden thing. Being the brat that I have always been, I stroked it from point to tip then wiped my face. I have not died, mom.

The feather reminded me of a morning winter sky, bluish gray but soft and tranquil, promising a downy drift of snow. The shaft supported barbs that fit together so perfectly that the vanes felt like cashmere. I held the small wonder in my left hand as I thought about the possible meanings of this plethora of pinions.

Then Cody interrupted my reverie by taking a dump. Being the good neighbor that I am, I scooped the poop into a plastic grocery bag (I reuse and recycle, more applause, please.) After concentrating on not getting any stuff on me, I realized I totally mangled the plume. I threw it to the ground in disgust.

Feathers mean flight, freedom and fancy, maybe not to the birds that lost them, but to me that’s what they mean. In American Indian lore and dream interpretation, feathers mean prosperity and success. An era of lightheartedness, ease and comfort fast approaches.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Boom, Not.

I heard the world ended yesterday.

Imagine my astonishment when I woke up this morning and found we were all still here. And I was so counting on not having to deal with things.

I think it's time for everyone to stop predicting the end of our existance. Nothing is going to happen while we are looking for it. I don't care what your religion is, it just ain't gonna happen because you say it will.

It is time to start playing nice together and sharing our toys.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yuck Alert!

I am depressed. I have been depressed for about a week and a half. I am depressed because of the reasons that I am depressed because I shouldn’t be depressed. I feel like crying.

I am such a control freak that when things don’t go the way I want them to go, I can’t deal with life.

Let me tell you how pathetic I am:

I have two houses. I don’t want two houses. I keep trying to sell one. But of course the market slows down right now. I gave an opportunity to a young person who swore they really wanted to buy a house and then she proceeded to screw up the process, not once, not twice, but three times and now she refuses to sign the release for the escrow she put down. So I’m out two months worth of payments for a house no one is living in.

I have a job that pays me lots of money, but I hate it. It is making my brain hurt, I am so bored. Do I even have a right to bitch because I’m bored? What kind of person does that? Why don’t I change jobs, you ask? Because I’m paying for two damn houses.

I am so tired of the emotional rollercoaster I have been on since March. I am exhausted.

I do know how lucky I am, which is why I hate feeling this way. But I want to move on in some sort of orderly way, damn it. (Can you see me on the floor throwing a temper tantrum?)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Blue Moon

For those of you who have given up hope (it has been over a month and a half, so I don’t blame you) Andy from Sublimely Mundane IS BACK and with a good one. For those of you who haven’t read his stuff, go check him out, he’s witty. And Andy, don’t let us dispair by writing only once every blue moon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sleepless in Somnia, USA

A very nice man, The Grunt, has insomnia. I’m sure he is cringing right now because I called him nice, you know how men are. I happen to think nice people are cool. Not fake nice people. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that smile and say excuse me as they run you over with their shopping carts. Or the ones that ask you how you are but never wait for an answer. I digress, as usual. Moving on.

The Grunt is also funny, edgy and odd. I think he has insomnia because funny people have a keen sense of the absurd and are really good at spotting the idiocies of the human condition. Plus, edgy and nice often clash with each other. I bet he has a red devil on one shoulder and a white angel on the other and he gets cauliflower ears from them duking it out around his head.

I’m here to offer my hard earned kernels of wisdom. I can’t get to sleep many times, too and I also wake up a lot at two in the morning. I usually have insomnia because I forgot to put away the dishes or take out the recycling or I’m still annoyed at the person who walked in the street instead of using the perfectly good side walk the township provided: never anything as exciting as wondering about the motivations of the idiot who doused five kittens in cooking oil and placed them, live, in a fry pan.

I have developed a long list of techniques and strategies since the age of ten, when I first presented with my sleep disorders (that’s medical terminology.) This list does not include sleeping pills because I can’t take them. Whether over the counter or prescribed, I am afraid of sleeping pills. They make me nuts, but that’s just me (that’s not medical terminology.)

All of the following have worked for me in the past and they continue to work sporadically. I have found my sleep problems to be like disciplining children; what works this time may not work again or during the same circumstances. Also, remember that these are suggestions only and they are not meant to diagnose or cure. Please see your family doctor if symptoms persist as they may be signs of serious mental illness.

Stop the excessive use of caffeine (like ten cups of coffee a day is too much) and never have any form of caffeine after twelve noon. While I find it interesting that in Austria they give caffeine to psychotics to help them sleep, it doesn’t work for me. Look for caffeine in pain medicines and watch the consumption of chocolate, and non-cola beverages. I understand some personal lubricants may contain caffeine, too.

Alcohol is an evil bane on our world. You don’t need more than five beers and/or two shots to get to sleep. More than this will only cause you to wake during the night to pee.

Counting is a very useful tool. Not counting sheep, just counting. Start at one and continue to count until you find your mind wandering then start over again. It is an excellent way to whip that unruly beast into shape. I count all of the time to distract myself from the things I know I should be doing. If your conscience can’t intrude, then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Often, insomnia is due to a chemical imbalance. The key chemicals that cause insomnia are a lack of calcium, potassium and tryptophan. These naturally occurring chemicals affect the pleasure center of the brain, the same area affected by anti-depressants. They increase your serotonin and melatonin levels. Big Brother took tyrptophan off of the market some years ago because a measly few people died from it, but tyrptophan was the best thing to help you get to sleep. All of these chemicals are contained in carbohydrates, the sedatives of the gods. About an hour before bed have a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk and banana slices or warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream. You’ll be snoozing in no time. Don’t eat meat in any form; you’ll get a tummy ache.

Turn the TV on, put on a movie you’ve seen a million times and like, but dim the brightness so there is no light in the room. Light keeps your brain awake, so turn your alarm clock’s brightness down, too. The sound from the TV is necessary as the movie will occupy your brain and keep it away from other thoughts. Since you know the movie by heart, your mind can get bored and drift off. Listening to ocean waves and thunderstorm tapes can do the same thing, but don’t play Bjork, she’s just weird.

Tell yourself a story. Think of your favorite fantasy and start telling it to yourself in great detail. I often tell myself the story about when the reporters come to my work in droves to do a surprise interview with me for my multi-bazillion copy best seller and my boss stands by with his jaw hanging open. After the interview, I take all of my co-workers to the local pub and we drink the day away in celebration and then I quit in a hail of applause because I have a ten book publishing deal signed and paid. But that’s just my fantasy.

So, these are the some of the sleep strategies I use. Other times, I just like wallowing in my misery and feeling all pathetic, so I just stay up all night watching bad infomercials.

Disclaimer: As with all things I say, don’t believe me, as I am full of shit and rarely know what I’m talking about.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Harp Songs - A Winter Renga

I had the entire weekend to myself. This is what I did with it. Based on the winter renga form found here.

Title – Harp Songs
Author: VVK

Snow on the mountain,
Angels flutter above us
Exchanging harp songs

Cold wind raises pale feathers
Of the dove cushioned in clouds

Peace be upon us -
Rest for the weary heartbeats,
Lullabies are hummed

Soft downy blankets wrap up
Children asleep for a night

October moon shines
Down on gently closed eyelids,
Flight to far off lands

Dreams float over crimson leaves
Golden nature enriches…

Heaven crying out
Against the decay of time,
Understanding change

Longing for one another
Two heartbeats joining as one

Forever yearning
Straining to be together
Only for awhile

Apart in their humanness
But loving each none the less

Drifting in oceans
Alive with teaming mermaids,
Heaped in nets of fish

Gills shut off from oxygen
Fins and flippers treading water

Hidden extensions
Waving in desperation,
Strawberry moon smiles

Watermelon fragrance
Warm breezes caressing us

Sending light tripping
Over bells in a tower,
Tingling the taste buds

Cutting blades of crab grass
Sharp pinpoints on soulless feet

Inches from the end,
Cushioned by cherry blossoms
Swelling fresh again

Sweet clean earth turning over
By the force of sprouting seeds

Gentle rains falling -
Thirsty childhood life calling
To be understood

Growing pains apparently
Aching in every teardrop

Deadly thoughts surface
Around bubbling emotions,
Drowning out silence

Lambs, lions, lay in stillness
Peace unlikely bed fellows

Hibernating now –
Flakes of white alabaster
As frozen dew drops

Sculpting the sleeping terrain
Into silvery pillows

Heads cradled softly,
Rapture of comforting grace
Tense adoration

Ardent appreciation
Genuine adulation

Dented by many,
No one may put asunder
Upon steadfast rule

Cracks open in earthen cores
Masks fall away from closed faces

Innocence reborn,
Mother Earth births abundance
‘Neath a Hunters’ moon

Jack-o-lanterns of pumpkins
Costumes of golden yellows

Leaves dancing on trees,
Shadows and sunlight throughout
Rainbow canopies

Fairies play hide and go seek
Stealing unwary gypsies

Locked in crystal balls,
Wisps of future happiness
Mists of Avalon

A king hidden under spells
Budding of new promises

Perennial blooms,
Gardenias awaken in
Heaven’s arousal

Seraphim sing of April
Showers of string harmony.

Started: 20060812
Finished: 20060813

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Liars' Club

I first met Quilldancer on a blue cheese collecting expedition on the moon. As this was a top-secret trip organized by the CIA, you can imagine my surprise when I saw a woman tripping the light fantastic across my private field.

She took care not to trample my harvest, while she bounded around in pure delight. While we both were wearing space suits, I could tell that she was laughing and giggling and having a grand old time.

She seemed to know something special and I wanted to know it, too. I racked my brain for a way to communicate with her. I know Sign Language but my hands were in mittens. The ink in my pen ran up instead of down on this gravity-less orb, plus I had no paper. Just when I ran out of ideas, she turned, showing me the message emblazoned on her back, “Kitties Rock.”

Notions of Sarcasm

Justin Kahn authors a blog that contains many notions of sarcasm. This chap cops many proclamations on account of his wit and his adoption of artificial humans, such as his old lady and his old man. Macho man hangs out in an accommodation high atop a building, baby sits his womanly sibling’s cats and has humungous artistic skills. Justin is also paramount in his usability of Anglican born lingo and his amazing ability to form words. His olifant companion, Sparky, poops allot. If you don’t cotton to his posts, shroud your BBQ grill. Sir thought up a java straining and cooking apparatus, making him justifiably proud. His Kahnship is now having a concours finishing tonight and I want to win a non-trophy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Pig, A Monkey, A Dress

Problem-solving Skills

I have been picked on a many times in my life. Let me give you some examples.

I’ve sat through numerous dumb blond jokes, despite the fact that my IQ was a good 90 points higher than anyone telling the jokes.

I was never offered pot when the joints were being passed around because everyone thought I was too lily-white.

Girls (boys, too) didn’t want to play with me because I couldn’t do splits.

At every family gathering, I am made fun of just because that one Father’s Day when I drank too much and went to bed before I served coffee and dessert.

People call me Harry Pothead when I wear my glasses.

But I have never been as hurt as when Quilldancer disqualified me from her contest for not being able to count. I am cut to the quick. Let’s see: how do we solve problems in the world today? Oh, yeah, let me don my mask and get my shampoo.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Writer's Block

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me and played along with the caption contest at Sar’s place. While we didn’t win (we came in third) you helped us achieve a very respectable showing and I am impressed at the numbers because I only voted once. But those of you who voted more than once kick ass.

I’ve been walking my dog every morning now since the beginning of July and it has done me a world of good. I feel better, I sleep a little better, and I have more strength and energy. And I write some really cool things while I’m walking. Well, I tell myself really good things while I’m walking. I never actually get to write anything down. By the time I get home, sweat all over the place, get undressed, gulp water, shower, get dressed, give The Codes a cookie, pack my lunch, put away the clean dishes, shut off the TV, make sure I have my keys, my reading glasses, my sunglasses, give the pup a fresh bowl of water, try to remember if I forgot to brush my teeth, and look around the house with a dazed look in my eye, I’ve completely forgotten that dazzling story I was going to tell you or that incredible new addition to that sorely neglected Storytime saga.

So, I thought since I already have a tape recorder, I’d bring that along and dictate what I’m thinking into that wonderful contraption of the 20th century. It is voice activated and it’s not too big. But how would I carry it? I have Codel’s leash in one hand and his full poopy bag in the other. It (the recorder not the crap sack) must have a loopy thing. I could hang it from a lanyard around my neck. I don’t care much what I look like while I’m walking. I don’t care about the neighbors seeing me talk to myself.

The few times I’ve used a recorder, it worked out well.

So, I asked myself, “Why can’t I seem to get into the hang of using it?”

And then, another breakthrough (jeez, I’m just evolving like crazy): I don’t like the sound of my own voice. It really annoys me when I listen to myself. I wonder how other people can stand listening to that weak, little girl voice. It doesn’t sound anything like that powerful, intelligent person I hear in my head.

Monday, August 07, 2006


VOTE FOR ME Look on the side bar.

And read Sar's post for today. It is very appropriate.

And to quote Logo

It is the last day to vote for my caption,
and yes, you can vote multiple times.
I hope you'll take a moment and"

And just so I don't seem so self-centered, here's my dutifully done tag from Pink

I am thinking about…getting out of work in 41 minutes. The air conditioner broke at one.

I said...I would stop on the way home and get my hubby some beer. Aren’t I a good and dutiful wifey>

I want to...retire, now. No not retire, just not work for someone else.

I wish...I could write for a living.

I hear...I hear everyone saying, “Then do something about it.”

I wonder...if they are also saying, “Quit your whining and get off your ass.”

I regret...not persuing my dreams when I was in my twenties, instead of wasting my time debauching.

I am...pretty sure it’s not too late to try.

I dance...the jig in my mind when I see my first book published.

I sing...a lullaby, eeeee…..

I cry...whenever I hear Amazing Grace.

I am not touch with reality. At least, not the shared reality of those around me. Usually, I am lost in one of my own making. Reality is after all, relative.

I make with my hands...a cup in which I pray for the cessation of wars around the world, if only for one minute.
I write...all of the time, but now it may be time to be productive (my World Peace speech.)

I confuse...up and down, in and out, black and white. It’s all in the way you look at them.

I need…a drink. Not really, but I don’t need much, so that’s as good an answer as any. I want a great many things. Now, whether any of them would be good for me, who knows?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

COI Limerick

There once was a man named Justin
Words of wisdom were his custom
He wrote Concept Of Irony
To keep us all free
But mostly he was just a bustin’.

Friday, August 04, 2006

01001010 01110101 01110011 01110100 01101001 01101110

01001010 01110101 01110011 01110100 01101001 01101110 00100111 01110011 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101110 01100011 01100101 01110000 01110100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01001001 01110010 01101111 01101110 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101111 01110000 01110011 00101110

01000111 01001111

My caption was nominated at Belle of the Brawl. I am lagging behind by only a few votes. Help tip the scales in my favor.


Justin is witty and charming and sensitive and has a penthouse and he’s spells good. Check him out.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Dorky Things About Me

Thirteen Things about Vanessa

1. I like Neil Diamond songs.
2. I don’t do drugs, recreational or prescribed. I think they should be used as a last resort.
3. I don’t watch reality TV.
4. I am not a celebrity junkie. I can go to my local bar and see people who change sexual partners every week, get so intoxicated they can’t control their mouths and lie to others and themselves. I don’t need to pay someone to see this mess.
5. I don’t stop to look at car accidents.
6. I don’t think people should take children into bars.
7. I would never follow my husband to see what he’s doing. If I felt the need to do this, I would know it was over and I’d leave him.
8. I can’t dance but I love to dance.
9. I can’t sing but I love to sing.
10. Vanilla is my favorite flavor.
11. I don’t think Howard Stern is funny, just outrageous, which I don’t find entertaining.
12. While I read almost anything I can get my hands on, I don’t read the newspaper.
13. I’m funny in my head.

P.S. My caption was nominated at Belle of the Brawl. Help a girl out by voting for me so my one vote (me) is not so lonely.

P.P.S. I thought I saw on someone’s blog how the Thursday Thirteen links are updated automatically. Does anyone know how to do that or was I hallucinating?
Links to Commentors
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
1. Quilldancer
2. Logophile
3. Lisa
5. Jenn
6. Güggenflürgen

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

White Rabbit


I ran some errands on my lunch hour today. Dumb idea as it was so hot I could smell the burning rubber from the other cars’ tires and that hot rust smell from the other cars’ hoses through my car’s air conditioner. As I waited for the chill to increase, I turned on the radio to take my mind off of the queasiness. Heat and humidity make me sick to my stomach.

I listened to a Stones song; I don’t remember which one because I really don’t like them. When that was over, a commercial came on.

The announcer asked, “Do you feel uncomfortable in crowds or at large parties. Are you afraid of public speaking? Do you get uncomfortable when someone watches you read or write?”

I answered, “Yes,” to all of these in-depth and penetrating questions.

The man said, “If you answered yes to these questions, then you may have Social Anxiety Disorder.”

He said, “You can participate in a study in which you will be given a new anxiety drug to alleviate these debilitating symptoms.”

Gosh, I just thought I was a little shy. But, he made it sound really bad. Do you think I should do it?