Sunday, July 31, 2011

The hot weather; the debt ceiling.

The heat, the debt ceiling.
Here in the GKC, anticipating temperatures of 102 later on this week...ugh.

But here's a local voice of centrist reason, Henry Bloch, the founder of H & R Block urges Congress to balance increased revenue with lowered spending.

Compare that with the anything-but-centered rants of Tom McClannahan. Should I wish a lack of "entitlement programs" for him when his safety net fails? When, for instance, the Kansas City Star decides to downsize again?

Naaaah...I pay my taxes and I don't mind paying a little more to help my fellow Americans. Even stingy bastards like McClannahan.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Brokenhearted over The New Yorker Magazine...

I am brokenhearted and furious. Right now I am furious with The New Yorker.
Mostly I am furious that some old, famous poet, still alive and probably still able to write beautiful verse had something so second-rate published in the July 11th edition of the New Yorker Magazine.

This is Frederick Seidel, born in 1936 in St. Louis and now living in NYC, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. I'm not thinking of the content of his poems. This article in the currently available New York Times shows you the power of his writing. And it illuminates some of the controversy surrounding his work.

It's just that the selection in that issue of the New Yorker...is so pathetic. Ah...here's a blog that posts the poem: Before Air-Conditioning.

What don't I like about it? It seems unpolished. Maybe the author was going for a kind of child-like rhythm and rhyme. I just feel it seems like something half-worked on. If I sent something like that in to The New Yorker, do you think they would publish it? No way. It would be rejected out of hand.

So it's not Frederick Seidel that I have a beef with. It's the New Yorker. I no longer consider the New Yorker to be an arbiter of literary taste.

Now this is almost as bad as becoming disillusioned about my parents, the end of innocence, so to speak. I love the New Yorker. When Hendrik Hertzberg defended the magazine's editorial choices against conservative critics, my heart swelled with pride. This is what it meant to be thoughtful and liberal and intellectual. This is what freedom of the press was all about. This was a magazine I had been reading my whole life: from my childhood, paging through the cartoons whose meaning I barely understood, to my adulthood: reading for instruction, pleasure and a sense that people of like mind were reading along with me. I had the sense that editors who understood me and my fellows carefully selected articles, stories and poetry for us...with only occasional missteps. And these missteps I took to be--oh it's just not my style or taste--and therefore excusable every once in a while.

But now I just think...why bother even thinking about the magazine as a venue for the young and talented, when its poetry selections are just aimed at mid-level mediocrity. Thus I am left disillusioned and brokenhearted. I will quote Shakespeare, his 87th Sonnet:
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate,
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing:
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thy self thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking,
So thy great gift upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Library? Know Peace!

It was a little over a year ago that I quit my hyper-responsible job at a public library.
I had been a manager, thinking I was supposed to do that and suffered greatly because I did not do it right.
And I couldn't figure out how to get from there to somewhere where I would be one of those epic, cool, bloggerific librarians.

Well the truth of the matter is, I liked being a librarian. I hated being a manager. I think ultimately it's sad that public libraries have to cull from their MLS/MLIS personnel to staff managerial positions -- as if being a manager is a reward!

I guess it's a reward only to those managerial types. Like most of the administration.

I did not like supervising, writing performance appraisals, having to be so freaking careful about everything I said. And I hated being micromanaged by my supervisor and her supervisor.

I am nowhere near librarianship now and honestly, today I don't care.
Really. The skill set transfers, you know.
I have more time to be my bloggerific own self.
How do I spend my days? I work part-time as a receptionist at my community center. I manage my household and I figure I'm my son's case manager.

And I write. I write poetry and prose. Life is pretty good.

Sylvia Comics

Do you remember Nicole Hollander's Sylvia Comics? My favorite character was The Woman Who Does [Everything More Beautifully Than You].

Anyway, I subscribe to Hollander's Bad Girl Chats and life is so much better!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Custardy Agreement

I always thought the word "custody" sounded like "custardy," so if you got custody, well, what kind? Chocolate? Coconut?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to succeed...

So, I think about what success means.
I used to think it meant: a confident woman in business attire. And not just you know, a knit pantsuit, but something tasteful and tailored.
And carrying a leather briefcase.
Maybe this woman had leather lingerie too. I don't know. It was never me.

Nevertheless, I think about success: aiming for a goal and achieving it. And thus I find this article from the Harvard Business Review blog. I especially like what Halvorson writes here:
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.




It's nice to think that we can develop new skills in life. I'm going to assume I can apply this to my just-blossoming writing career. And you know I'm a writer because I don't want to wear that business suit!

Monday, July 25, 2011

2 Haiku

1) Dinner Haiku


Empty stomach growls

So weak with inanition

Hollering for food!


2) MetaHaiku


How I love haiku!

Compact verse, pointed few words

voicing large stories.

Pure awesome

Sunday, July 24, 2011

No Hormones? Know Peace

One of the most significant events for me has been menopause.
Before the Pause, I went through the Peri...wondering: do I get a signal, some official sign that it’s all going to stop? What are hot flashes like?

Little did I know the Peri is the signal. And it can last for years.

I won't bore you with how much I suffered with hot flashes or mood swings or memory problems. If you're a woman and you're reading this, and you're in good health, you'll get there sister. Oh yes!

I will however tell you what awaits on the other side:
No more cramps. No more monthly bleeding. Hardly any hormonal headaches. That's because you have hardly any of those handy hormones left. No more estrogen! None. Zip. Zero.

And that's where the peace comes in. I look at how much I was tormented by my libido: the crushes, the affairs (uh-oh, you didn't read this!), the inappropriate anger and jealousy over what?

Well, all those sex hormones are gone, gone, gone. I have to work to spark my libido and with my aging memory, I'll be getting into some sort of fantasy and all of a sudden...pop! the thoughts disappear and I'm thinking of the groceries...or the debt ceiling and then I'm looking at the ceiling and thinking, "We really need to get rid of those cobwebs...'

Without precious estrogen I can get brittle bones and lose protection for my circulatory system--because your cholesterol levels and blood pressure go up when estrogen goes away.

It's as if Nature is saying, "No more egg production? What good are you? Die, crone, die!!!"
And there are days when I think, "Yeah. I've had it. Goodbye cruel world in which I'm never going to be as hot and sexy as I once was!" (as if!)

But then, a friend of mine, who's been on the other side for many years now and is still alive, reminds me of all the good things and about living each day as it comes.

Ah the hell with it. I'm going to talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy.* I want my body back!

*hormone therapy is not without risks, though...

Who? How?

A blog post a day. I almost wrote "blob." Because that's the way I feel.