When Art Imitates Life

15 AUG

RE: Store Organization

As the longstanding CEO of this company, it has come to my attention that our merchandise displays could use a bit of tweaking. During a recent store visit, I noticed that all of our expensive jewelry is locked up under glass, while the plated items are available for the customers to handle unsupervised. Aren’t we going about this the wrong way? I’m sure they’d much rather touch all over the real stuff, and we can keep the cheap stuff in the cases so it doesn’t tarnish so quickly. Let’s put this in motion immediately.


17 AUG

RE: RE: Store Organization

So I’ve been thinking about this a little bit more, and I’ve come up with another fabulous idea. We keep all the highly breakable items at adult eye level. Wouldn’t it be just great if we put them down lower so the kids could see them too?  Get this done.


18 AUG

RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

When I said put the breakables a little bit lower, I mean a lot lower, actually. Like the bottom shelf, where the toddlers can grab ’em right off and smash ’em on the floor. That’ll get some attention!


19 AUG

RE: RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

I just thought of this: when we’re putting the jewelry out on the counter, let’s don’t lock up the back stock. Bulk those displays so we have thousands of dollars worth of product ready to walk out the door!


22 AUG

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

Hey, guys, while I was enjoying my long, hard weekend off, I was drinking a nice glass of wine and thought, what about the soap bubble thin wine glasses? Why do we keep those safely on shelves where nothing behind them with an uneven bottom surface can topple over and knock them to the floor? Move the wine glasses to a less secure location pronto.


24 AUG

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

Remember how we lowered that breakable stuff? Let’s put a whole bunch of it right where the customers like to throw their purses and other shopping bags so it’s fun for the whole family and not just the kids! Leave the low stuff, of course. And then we can put some more glass stuff where they can kick it! This is gonna be so great.


25 AUG

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

ONE MORE THING!! FILL THAT WALL WITH CHRISTMAS STUFF BUT DON’T PUT THE TREE UP UNTIL NEXT MONTH. It’s way too early for Christmas trees.


26 AUG

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Store Organization

Be sure to tell the stores that this all needs to be done by Monday, but don’t bother sending the schematics out until at least the following week. Maybe even the week after. That’ll keep ’em on their toes!


2 SEP

RE: Announcement

While this company has always prided itself on innovation and being receptive to new ideas, the recent changes to store organization have been put on hold indefinitely while our CEO goes on a well-deserved vacation. Internal applications for temporary CEO will be taken for the next four business days, after which interviews will commence.

We hope to have nipped any extreme changes in the bud with our proactive response. Thank you for your patience during this strenuous time.

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Hiking Withdrawals

So my hiking tag the other day may be what attracted the attention of my newest follower, Lindsey. I blog stalked for a bit today and now I’m dying for some good hiking. 

Just argh. It’s been a bad fall for hiking here, between work and weather. It’s been too hot or too flooded or too busy. 

Maybe Thursday.


Quote Challenge Day 1

Susie is a friendly neighborhood blogger who named me to participate in a quote challenge she was given yesterday. Thanks, Susie! I’m always up for some good quotes, so here goes:

Day 1: “There is another life I might have had, but I am having this one.” –Kazuo Ishiguro

I first read this at my quote hub, Dancing My Way Through Life, Loss, and Books. Stasy always shares amazing quotes! Spoiler alert: all of my quotes will probably  be from her.

Here are the rules of the challenge:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days in your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
  3. Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavour.

Everyone is of course welcome to participate, once, twice, or all three days–even forever, if you can do that. But I’ll actually pick some people here:

  1. Cheryl
  2. Abbi
  3. Karmen

Life As I Know It, or It’s a Good Day Today

I had the strangest thought the other day. I thought to myself, I have a good life.

Is that crazy or what? I mean, I’ve put up with some serious crap over the years.

But think of the adventures.

I climbed glacial rocks in Yellowknife, the Land of the Midnight Sun. I’ve mentioned this before, but I promise you, it was a fantastic trip!

I spent a month on a sheep farm in rural Alberta. Also an incredible trip. I saw the Northern Lights. And I shook the bucket.

I went on a school trip to Washington, D.C. when I was ten. On said trip, I chipped a tooth on my umbrella.

I took a road trip to California with a guy I met on the internet days before. On the way home, his car died and we walked for miles in the middle of the night before a truck driver stopped to give us a ride. With a machete in my pants. Just in case, you know?

I show me something, sister‘d on Bourbon Street.

I published a novel, for crying out loud!

I have a good marriage!

You may now writhe in envy.

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A Lemony Life

Out of curiosity, I just had a look through my stats to see what has been my most-viewed post–it’s Birth Stories, from nearly two years ago. Of course, I promptly reread it.

The corners of my mouth began to twitch as I read. I’m so me! Isn’t that funny? I was initially merely tickled, then grew more and more pleased with myself. I’d found my voice before the day I wrote those words, the same voice I hear inside my head as I write these words.

But the good cheer faded as I began to mourn that me-who-was. Today-me would be frightening to her. Two years isn’t very long at all, but two weeks can be an eternity.

Ha! Did you see, just there? I made a TTC joke. Kind of.

The past two weeks have taken more of a toll on me and Ian than the past two years. Hell, the past ten years. It has been horrible. And we have at least one more week to go.

I can’t tell you anything because we don’t know anything. At first, no one had any information to give us; now, they’ve simply stopped returning calls. And–just–FUCK!! In some ways, no news is good news, but in others, not so much.

But I’ve digressed myself right on away from the destination I had in mind when I began.

My most viewed post ever, aside from my home page and my about pages, has no comments. Not a single one. I even asked for a hell yeah; no hell yeahs were offered.

It’s not that I value my words any less because they’re missing someone else’s; it just seems odd. I have to wonder: was it something I said? Was it everything I said? Maybe that’s it. I said it all; nothing was left to add.

Or maybe everyone was in a purgatory, like we are right now. It’s hard to pretend that all is well, everything’s fine, perfectly normal when it’s so obviously not. It’s been hard for me to comment, or even like anything. It feels false.

And yet.

Grief and stress and worry are not full time jobs. They’re not clinical depression. There is always a moment to snatch here and there, a moment of something else. It feels wrong when I notice it, as those interludes always do while I’m grieving, but they’re inescapable.

Earlier I read a recipe for some kind of lemon pie or cake or something; it called for ‘lemon rind.’ I considered commenting that they probably mean lemon zest, as the pithy part included in the rind is not so tasty, but I refrained.

I refrained because I had that moment of something else. I was distracted by the word ‘lemon’ itself–it’s so lemony. It’s a good word. It feels silky smooth when you say it, like a perfectly sweetened lemonade. I repeated ‘lemon’ to myself a few times, savoring the taste of the sound. It flows. It’s soft and round and homey. A good word. Solid, but ephemeral.

I caught myself enjoying an imaginary lemon I the midst of our crisis, and it felt wrong. But it felt right. They say to make lemonade. Sometimes all you have is a word.

And yet.

The more things that happen, the less credible I feel. We have two fireproof lockboxes of legal documents and reports and records, and still we obtain more and more and more. We need another lockbox.

When it’s all strewn out across the bed as we search for one particular document, it’s absolutely astounding. The sheer volume of crap we have dealt with in the past five years is unbelievable. I have been here, and I can’t believe it.

I can’t possibly expect anyone else to believe it. No one but us is aware of all of this. As a writer, I would never throw this much at a reader and expect a suspension of disbelief.

I’ll stack our personal headlines up against the state of Florida’s any day, y’all. And Florida is crazy with the headlines.

It’s enough to make me try to remember every wish I made as a child. Birthday candles, wishing wells, shooting stars. What could I possibly have wished for to warrant this? How can this possibly lead to a granted wish?

I don’t really want to know. I don’t ever want to know what other terrible things I have to look forward to. I’ll kick back, secure in the knowledge that I’ll never know the things I do truly want to know. There is a certain kind of bland, tasteless security in knowing this.

I’ll relax, and dream about lemons.


Radio Silence

Life is hard. Ah, that old prosaism. It’s true, though no one will ever understand its extent. How can we? Every event, every action, every happening; we think that wasn’t so bad or at least I survived or it can’t get any worse.

Sometimes it can. Sometimes it does.

People are unfathomable. Why do we do the things we do? Why has “integrity” become a hot buzzword in businessland instead of an honest-to-goodness value that we teach our children? What happened to the concept of honor?

I know, I know that good people exist in this world. I know that good things happen. I believe in the power of random acts of kindness. I know firsthand the feeling of warmth that comes from simply being nice.

And yet.

I also know the dreamlike feeling of metaphorically running in quicksand. I know the pain and confusion and emptiness of broken trust. I know the staticky sound of radio silence in my head when it seems that the whole world is against me.

I know that the depths of madness into which life can spiral are infinite.

Still, I am grateful. I am thankful not to know the next bump in the road, not to know when it’s a cliff instead of a pothole. Not to know when my world is ending.

I have never felt such empathy for poor Cassandra, burdened with her foreknowledge, as trusted as the boy who cried wolf. In comparison, Sisyphus had it easy. Oh, those ancient Greeks. Such an understanding of the human condition.

How bad can it get?

Never ask. Never. Life will take your question as a challenge. You do not have the patience of Job.

We all have a point of despair. Every time that point is reached, we cry, we break, we die a little inside. Every time the wound heals, that point is pushed a little farther back. And like a bone is stronger in the place it once was broken, we can take a little more. We made it through the last one, we can make it through this one. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Until that strength becomes the burden. Life is hard, but surviving the tragedies can bring that pervasive pill of bitterness, the black hole that sucks the joy from everyday living.

Why bother to trust again? Why bother to love again? Why bother to try again? It will all end badly; it always does.

But it doesn’t. Everything does not turn to ashes, and even from ashes, a phoenix may rise.

Life is hard.

There is no shame in despair. There is no shame in surrender. But one decision is not the right decision for us all.

There is no shame in fighting for truth and honor and justice. There is no shame in trying to be strong.

There is no shame in surviving.

The shame lies in the heart of the liar.