Current Events

I got this idea from Darin at The Life of a Conflicted Teacher. I’m still overtired and bottomlessly sad and angry about Atlanta. I’m going to compartmentalize a bit, however, and set that aside. Those feelings are the constant under anything else I am feeling at the moment, but where else am I currently? Well …

Currently annoyed by

  • My upstairs neighbor who might actually be the heaviest walker in the known world and who has twice woken me up when they’ve decided to move furniture in the middle of the night.
  • My insurance company, which has randomly decided that a medication I’ve been taking for years will now have a copay that is almost 10 times higher than it used to be. My doctor and I are …

Currently trying

  • … to figure out what medication I can swap in for the newly over-priced one. Feh.
  • To decide if I want or need to get a new phone. Mine has hit its 2-year mark. The battery isn’t great these days, and there are some bells and whistles I might want in the new model. It works perfectly well, however, so maybe I push it out to 3 years?

Currently reading

  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert — I’ve read this book twice already. I recommended it to a friend the other day and decided I had to read it again.
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Currently loving

  • My new cozy-cozy pajamas with their ridiculous leopard print.
  • That both my tax returns have already landed in my bank account.
  • The color of the yarn I’m using in my latest gift project. At first I thought it wasn’t quite right, but now that I have a good chunk knitted, I’ve really fallen for it.

Currently wishing

  • For everyone who can to be vaccinated.
  • For the chance to see my family again sooner rather than later.
  • For my first sighting of forsythia, always my “welcome to spring!” harbinger. It’s still a little early, but I keep watching for it!

And that’s where I currently am. What about you?


It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

What I Didn’t Do

Content warning: Atlanta shootings

I had a crap day today. I’m overtired and cranky. I discovered a huge error in the big project we’re slogging through at work. There was a worsening of a pain in my right arm that feels distressingly similar to how my rotator cuff tear started four years ago. I left work too late to make it to the UPS store, which likely means it’s too late to return a nonsense purchase I made a while ago.

I had a crap day on Monday when I hurt my hip and smushed my finger in a door and had a snarky interaction with a neighbor who refuses to wear masks or respect socially-distant space.

I could have an entire blog dedicated to writing about the crap days I have. The days when I come home feeling defeated. The days when it’s hard to get out of bed because what’s the point when everything sucks. The days when I’m more sad, angry, lonely, tired, fed up than I am anything nicer. I generally have pretty good days, but I have quite a number of super-bad ones, too.

I don’t imagine I’m all that unusual. Don’t we all have crap days sometimes?

I had a lousy day. What I didn’t do was pretend that my unfortunate day was a reasonable catalyst for terrorism. What I didn’t do was go on a killing spree and explain my actions by saying I was in a bad mood. What I didn’t do was make my victims out to be villains who left me with no choice but to end their lives. Somehow I managed not to do any of that.

I had a crap day and this is what I did: some impulse grocery shopping when I was finally on my way home and got back here with watermelon, tortilla chips, and ice cream (hey, my binge doesn’t look like everybody’s binge). What I didn’t do, it bears repeating, was kill anyone and then blame them for my violence.

I’m not surprised that a police officer (one who has been revealed to be — surprise! — a racist) would talk about Robert Aaron Long’s act of domestic terrorism in a way that offered up excuses for the murder of eight innocent people. I’m not surprised that this racist police officer told the killer’s story and erased the victims from the narrative as easily as Long did with his racist, misogynistic violence. I’m not surprised. But I am, too.

I had a bad day. And it was made worse by the reverberations of this latest act of white male violence against people of color. Robert Aaron Long isn’t some lone wolf, some individual crazy guy who had a bad day, some unfathomable mad man. Long is one more in a line of violent white men we are asked to ignore over and over again. This morning I wrote on FB that he looks like all of his brothers — like Dylan Roof, like Tim McVeigh, like Biggo with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, like every murdering incel. They all look alike, because they are all alike. And we are asked to ignore everything that is plainly similar about all of them, asked to pretend that each of them is a stand-alone case of mental illness rather than force the conversation about the violence of angry white men, rather than act.

I had a bad day, but I’m still here. I wish I could say the same for the eight innocents who were gunned down yesterday.


It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

Rinse and Repeat

I seem particularly vulnerable to earworms these days. And they bubble up from every age and stage of my life. They drive me crazy sometimes, but I also don’t so much mind because I love to sing, so singing through the day isn’t too bad (although my neighbors might disagree … ). So, I thought I’d make a list post of all the earworms I can remember from the last week. This isn’t all of them, mind you, but it’s some. And I really do love to sing, but this … it might be excessive.

  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Yesterday
  • Guns and Ships
  • My Shot
  • It’s Quiet Uptown
  • Wichita Lineman
  • Smoke on the Water
  • In Your Eyes
  • WAP
  • Dancing Queen
  • Still Crazy After All These Years (thanks, Raivenne!)
  • Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves
  • That’s the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia
  • Hold Up
  • Soldier of Love
  • Victim of Love
  • Black Parade
  • Radioactive
  • Creep (Stone Temple Pilots and Radiohead)

(And I have to point you to this excellent video of this excellent little one performing “Creep” at school. I love everything about this.)


It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

Who knows where the time goes …

I am stretched too thin. I’m always busy, that’s not new. I’ve been busier during lockdown, which surprised me but which also makes some sense. I am busy right now because I have a huge and hugely important project at work and I’ve jumped into this annual challenge to post daily. I’m too busy because I add things in without letting other things go. It’s untenable. I can’t keep adding things to my plate … and yet I keep adding things to my plate. I can’t give up sleep so that I can get things done … and yet I am getting less and less sleep so that I can try to get more things done.

Sigh.

Of course, even that description of how I’m so busy isn’t quite accurate. I do let things fall off my plate. I wrote about how seven folks from my job emailed me after my post the other night. I haven’t given myself the brain space to respond to any of them. They’ll get moved to tomorrow’s to-do list … but I just looked at tomorrow’s to-do list, and I don’t know how I’ll get to those emails tomorrow, either.

Yes, this is a super whiny post. We’ll hope tomorrow will be better.

So, plate too full. And it’s going to stay full for at least another 6 weeks. And then it will ease up a little, at least a little. But until then, I need to keep all these plates spinning — get my work done, get my writing done, find time to read excellent posts from other slicers, find time to sleep, find time, find time, find time.


It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

When life was slow and oh so mellow …

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no-one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow

Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow

I was talking with a friend this morning. She was telling me about a party she’d been to in the Before Times. We were laughing about the situation she described when she said how much she missed parties like that, how much she was looking forward to being able to go out like that again. And I agreed … but then I realized that I couldn’t actually remember what it was like, going out to parties, getting dressed up to go out, seeing my friends in small and large groups without a second thought, laughing and drinking and dancing and flirting. This afternoon, another friend texted me to ask what things I miss because of Covid. She was missing, among other things, travel. I miss travel, too. When I read her text, I thought about travel and going to the movies and not having to use hand sanitizer and … everything.

And still I am struck by how completely I can’t remember how to do any of the things I miss doing. I can’t imagine planning a trip. Can’t imagine getting on a train or plane. Can’t imagine dancing with a stranger (I mean, okay: I didn’t do a whole lot of that pre-Covid). Can’t imagine sitting in a crowded bar laughing and talking with a bunch of friends. Can’t imagine sitting in a crowded theater and leaning over to whisper snarky asides in my friend’s ear. Can’t imagine holding hands. Can’t imagine kissing.

I’m approaching the time when I’ll be able to slowly try anew some of the things I’ve had to go without for the last year. And that feels both long overdue and impossible. It’s certain that I can’t “go back” to anything. There is no “back.” We’ve left “back” so far in the past, isn’t it pretty much in another world at this point? Isn’t there only whatever’s next? Yes, I will start to find a way to do things I used to do, but will I ever do them in the same way? Will it ever be casual and easy to stand next to another person? Will I ever shake hands again?

I keep hearing “Try to Remember” from The Fantastiks. That song makes the past sound like a soft-focus, satin-smooth dream. My life pre-Covid was hardly dreamy, but the cruel space of this pandemic year makes that life feel ever out of reach. So what does that mean? We can’t go back, so what do we make of the future? How do we shape what comes next?

… it’s nice to remember
Without a hurt, the heart is hollow

No danger there, right? Plenty of hurt, so my heart is anything but hollow? Is that a lesson I’m supposed to be taking from the last year? That’s … frustrating at best. No, my heart isn’t hollow, but it wasn’t hollow before Covid, either. Is it all of our hearts, our hearts as a human race, that I should be thinking of? Has the world had to find its way through this horror show so that we can (finally) learn that every single life is “wild and precious,” that we have to fight for everyone in order to save our individual selves?

Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow
Follow

It’s all of it, of course. I (we) need to start figuring out how to live among people again. And I (we) need to find a way to stretch out into my (our) whole self again. And I (we) need to keep fighting for everyone, for every single wild and precious life. It’s the only way.

I still can’t imagine holding hands, still can’t imagine kissing. But I have to figure it out, find a way forward that includes all of that and more because our closeness, in all the ways that we should and need to be close, is what will save us.

__________

* Also, I swear I’m not always trying to put ear worms in your heads, dear reader. I can’t seem to avoid thinking of songs that fit in some way with whatever I’m posting, however. Sometimes I manage not to include the song in the post, but other times …

And more also? It’s Pi Day. Hope you had some. ❤


It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot