Flotsam and Jetsam at The Green Study

canstockphoto3436262It’s hard to write a blog post these days. I seem to have lost my sense of humor over the last few months and am writing serious missives about the promulgation of incompetence and grand larceny. I used a lot of words like promulgation and malfeasance and hackery, which is apparently not even a word. I finally deleted them from the draft file. You’re welcome.

My life is more organized and productive than it’s ever been. Staying organized, working out and being busy with volunteering and projects every day – these are the things I’m NOT supposed to be doing, so I’m doing them extraordinarily well. I’m supposed to be writing, sanding off the rough edges of my novel, so that I can panic-pitch it to agents at a conference in a couple of weeks. It turns out I can be just as focused in my avoidance techniques as I am when I write and so far, to-do lists are winning.

I’ve rewritten my elevator speech 60 times and I still sound like a babbling idiot. Likely anxiety will fix it all and it will come out Here. Me wrote book. Read it. Like it. Give me money.

I had to go to the mall for a biannual visit. I discovered that ordering professional clothes online automatically spits out a polyester 70s outfit intended for someone the size of a small child. So I trekked to an actual store, which didn’t have the sizes I needed in stock. The helpful assistant ordered them online for me. It’s as if the internet is the house and the house always wins.

canstockphoto24048860Tutoring is going well. I’ve started learning some offensive Spanish from students, as well as witnessing the addictive behaviors of teenagers and their cell phones. I’m grateful to be old and belligerent. By the time the brain-implant phones show up, I’ll be too gaga to be a candidate for one.

We visited an outdoor nighttime art installation at a local arboretum and my daughter had to hear me point out stars over and over again. I was tempted to get her attention by telling her that the star below Orion’s belt was called the Penis Star. It’s not and I didn’t, but the idea made me laugh the rest of the night.

canstockphoto25368007I’m in week 4 of my 8 week 5K runner training program. Since the wind carries an icy chill and/or rain these days (March is being intransigent), I’ve been running on treadmills at the Y. I’m starting to become one of those people who waits for a specific treadmill, because it doesn’t creak, or the buttons are more responsive or the fan blows directly where I run. I used to mock those people, so I can appreciate the turnabout of becoming a fussy old broad.

I took my daughter to see “Hidden Figures”, because of math, science and girls – and a free community showing. I liked the movie, but felt bothered by it as well. I requested Margot Lee Shetterly’s  Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, upon which the movie is based, from the local library. The true story is more nuanced and interesting than the movie, without wasting time assuaging white guilt. So yay for math heroes, not so much for this film director’s decision to add Costner’s fictional white savior scenes.

Blogging has fallen to the bottom of the list and I haven’t been reading much, although I have found a couple new blogs that I like. Tim Miller writes at word and silence about culture and literature. He approaches his subjects with conversational curiosity.

Amid a cultural crap storm where lies are treated with the same veracity as facts, I like the brain stuff these days. The Last Word on Nothing is a collection of writers writing about all things science. Science – it does the gray matter good.

I saw an old friend last weekend. After 17 years, 1600 dye jobs, and many pounds later, I was a little self-conscious about the reunion. She was always one of those people who seemed like she had her shit together. I am one of those people who, no matter what the circumstances, will never feel like my shit is together. I tend to be a bridge burner and I don’t care much for reminiscing.  I knew her when I was struggling through jobs and college and bad boyfriends. All of that evaporated at the first laugh. Humor and friendship are what I consider a high form of grace.

canstockphoto2072938My brain is like a junk yard these days. Amid the detritus there might be something worth salvaging, but it’s mostly junk. There’s not much to be done about it, except to wander about and not get too distracted by the shiny stuff.

19 thoughts on “Flotsam and Jetsam at The Green Study

  1. I noticed you used the word “seem” ahead of “to have lost my sense of humor.” Good choice. Thanks for making me laugh–twice!

    Good luck on your pitch. You’ll do fine, I’m sure.


  2. I just read this out loud to my husband, and it gave us some great laughs. Wonderful post! I admire the working out. I am on workout number 63, having started in September, so about 3x/week with some lapses.


    1. Glad you and your husband got some laughs out of this. It was a goofy jaunt on my part. Congrats on your workout success! I’ve been running three times a week for the last 4 weeks without injury, which is pretty exciting for me. Just have to keep powering through!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Could it be that the world is getting less funny? I also find completing blogposts hard. I find one’s perfectionism increases the worse everything gets. You’ve written your way out of this hole with considerable elan, however!


    1. The world does indeed seem less funny, but the US election did a lot of us in for a bit. I’m trying to readjust, gain perspective, but every time I do, something else awful happens in the world. Still, being serious all the time isn’t going to be what saves us – laughing, friends, family, good art – these are the things that make us more determined to stay upright and make life worth living.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Lately I’ve been sucked into Netflix. I justify it because it’s The Office, and the writing is clever and there’s no laugh track, thank God. But it just kills productivity. Dear Michelle, how do I stop?
    No Schrute Bucks For Me


    1. I came up with a plan. I spent a vast wasteland of winter watching Buffy, The Office, Leverage – all my old favorites. Then I cancelled Netflix. I think I’ve developed a severe neurological twitch during the detox phase. Now I just wander about the house aimlessly. No impact on productivity whatsoever.
      So comfort yourself with that. Our rates of productivity are roughly equal, except you’re enjoying yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well written! for not having blogged for a while, but clearly you are a writer. Those habits have taught you how to automatically iron out the wrinkles–in editing if not before it hits the page. I can relate to the tutoring and the lack of reading and lots of other things at the moment, too. Nice to see someone else figuring out at least some of the time management stuff! I’ve become worse and worse at it, I fear, not having started off that well in the first place. There is something to getting busier in order to be more productive, or at least more efficient, even on the top priorities. And there’s something to ensuring that a few of the things making you busier are pure enjoyment. Keep being busy while you chip away at that novel. (I MUST follow my own darn advice, darnit!) And good luck with the pitch! Best wishes.


    1. That time management stuff is a beast! Especially with so many alternatives to choose from. I’m not there yet. Writing seems to fall lower on the priority list than it should, but I’m working my way there. I’m also trying to force myself into more moments of NOT doing something – it feels like trying to slow life down a bit to catch my breath and figure out what it is I’d really like to get done.
      Gardening time is here, though, so I’ll have lots of time to meditate while turning soil and prepping garden beds! Thanks for the good wishes about the pitch conference. One more week to go…panic starts in 3,2,1…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve become enamored with the classics – reading Tolstoy now – for the first time in my life. It’s a curious change in genre for me, and I think you’ve just explained to me the reason: “Amid a cultural crap storm where lies are treated with the same veracity as facts, I like the brain stuff these days.”


    1. I found that getting caught up in the news cycles had the effect of shortening idea and thought development. Like a battery that never fully discharges before getting charged again, my thought processes were looping shorter and shorter. The only cure is challenging the brain with longer form writing and ideas. Tolstoy as curative only makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

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