Saturday, July 28, 2012

And They're Off and

Running their blog . . .

This is about the Olympics, which started yesterday. You'll just have to wait a minute for it to get here.
I think I've finally realized that writing a blog is a way for a writer, who appears to be completely dead when you poke her with a stick, to continue writing. Not a bad deal, actually. Botox for the brain. A quickie "see, I'm still here!" brainlift. A quick trip to the Keyboard Clinic of Restorative Beauty.

Speaking of cosmetic surgery, I find I can barely look at older women on American TV anymore. Other than the brave women appearing on a few "nonfiction" shows like "Washington Week" on PBS, most older TV women have faces so distorted by wretched cosmetic efforts to not look wretched and distorted, that, well, as a viewer I instantly reject them. I don't feel good about this--I know what they are up against. But if I watch a British show, the older women just look like the older women I encounter daily in ordinary life (including the face that for some reason I see in the mirror every morning when I wake up.) I just relax and enjoy the show and don't think OMG what did they DO to their face?

Just saying.

I think one of the great things about the Olympics is that none of the female competitors has had any work done to her face. Yet. Of course, I might be wrong, though I imagine hitting the water at a hundred miles an hour (or however fast a high diver hits the water) might render a cosmetic job moot. I can't vouch for boob lifts, but it seems to me that most of the Olympic women don't tend to have big ones. The beach volley ball women seem to be more about magnificent fannies. Anyway, the virgin skin of the Olympic women is refreshing. Though it's also true that none of them has yet seen fifty. Which I suppose renders my entire point moot, and yet I still make it.

And speaking of the Opening Ceremonies, I loved the way the pastoral scenes transformed so dramatically into the forbidding factories of the industrial age. Very effective, and very determined in making the point that the sweat of the common man and woman, i.e., the workers, made the industrial age possible. Something people tend to forget, at least in the good ole USof A.

Oh, and did I mention that in my non-writing life I'm a public employee? Who knew I would grow up to be public enemy #1? Although it is also true that I am not an Olympic competitor and have not used Botox. I leave the rest to your imagination. And to mine.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


It is a little disconcerting to click on this blog after not having visited since my previous post of a couple of weeks ago to discover I never logged off. So apparently my blog has been waiting patiently in cyberspace for me all this time, longing for my return. I hate it when I disappoint my digitals. They love me so much. Or so they claim. Sometimes it is mutual, but not always. I do not fall easily for flash and shine. This is a personal trait that some consider deeply boring, which is probably why I don't have a lot of friends.

But this post isn't about lovelorn digitals. It's about online solitaire, a mighty weapon in the fight against anxiety. Online solitaire doesn't love me, it fact it disdains me. And yet I return to its cold embrace and like a black hole it sucks up my fears. For a while.
I should first state that I was born with my anxiety level shot straight through the roof. It might have been an inheritable family thing. In fact, I believe it was. But however it got here, it's got me and I've got it and it clings to me to like a baby trying to eat its mother.

And of late it's been clinging hard. It's been a rough six weeks--the death of very good family friend ; a family member's serious medical issues reaching a crisis point (though hence mostly resolved, thankfully); the death of my wonderful former agent (not the secret kind, the literary kind) as mentioned in my last post; an inability to just write my damn books already!; and a corner of my world turned deceptive and sneaky. (A vague reference to protect the innocent. The guilty don't have a clue, which is part of the problem. It's always part of the problem, isn't it? I think so.)

Anyway, to manage my anxiety level I have been playing online solitaire instead of writing. Not playing obsessively, but probably more than is healthy. And I don't trust it. As already stated, it doesn't pretend to love me. In fact, I am pretty sure it cheats  without guilt, repeatedly turning up weird card combinations that you would certainly find occasionally in offline solitaire (the kind played with actual cards) but not all the freaking time like online. As in, when you first start, all black cards, again? As in, when you first start, three freaking threes all at once, again? As in, when you first start, every single card under the number six? I have to tell you, certain card combinations are just plain depressing. Depressing to look at, depressing to contemplate having even a brief fling with.

And the sly distrust what arises whenever you turn over a new card. Has that card been set in stone for that game, or does the game make up the card on the spot, the better to play you? Am I playing the game or is the game playing me? The mind spins.
And yet, the game calms my anxiety. So I guess you could say we're having an unlove affair, each getting what the other needs: the game gets another sucker, I get a distraction.

A win-win situation. And I sense occasional small improvements in my overall level of anxiety. I opened my novel today and wrote seventy-seven words. Such a paltry sum is definitely disconcerting. And yet I wrote them after not writing anything for weeks, so that is definitely concerting. Maybe I should rename this post.