Daffodil

Here’s a flower, so straight and still.
Without power, upon a hill.
I call it gently, “Daffodil,
Are you lonely on that hill?”

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Boogeyman

Fear-Demise
Mininimalize
Tell no lies
Ignore-Denies

Tell the truth
Alas, no use
Where is proof
Still, I lose

Running from the boogeyman
He’s much stronger than I am.
Twisting reality in knots,
Making stories, firing shots.

Don’t Stop to Ask: Work Out!

Yesterday, I did something rather outside my wheelhouse. I joined a gym. If someone had asked me a year ago, a month ago, or even last week, if I would ever join a gym, I would have laughed at the absurdity of the mere suggestion. I have always attributed gym membership to a different kind of woman than me. You know the stereotype: super skinny women, eats like a bird, doesn’t really go to the gym to work out because: “Sweat, eeew!” The stereotypical gym membership owning woman is in her mid-twenties to early thirties, and goes to the gym to shop for a man. She likes money, manicures, and mimosas. And she’s perky. Before anyone points out how unfair my stereotype is, as I was signing up for my gym membership, a tall twenty-something walked into the gym in ankle-breakers (heels meant to torture the average woman), sports bra, and a size extra small (aka, I don’t eat) pair of workout pants. She was so much the opposite of me, my gut sagged a little more in defeat.

There is a reason I swallowed my gym hating, sarcastic, gut bulging pride and purchased a gym membership. Recently, I appeared on television to promote a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I was so proud of myself for this amazing accomplishment that I went home and immediately found a recording of the broadcast online. I was appalled. That couldn’t be me! I didn’t look like that! Sure, I had put on a few pounds, but….and then my virtual itunes list started to play “You better watch out for the eggplant that ate Chicago…” I had worn my favorite dress, gotten my hair and makeup done. It was all eclipsed-ECLIPSED-by my size. I had a choice to make: I could start selling out space on my gut as prime advertising realty or I could start going to the gym.

To point out the extent of my aversion to gym membership, I have to explain the tour. The man who was enthusiastically selling me his gym’s services insisted on showing me the facilities. I dutifully walked a full steps behind so he couldn’t see the look of abject horror on my face. Three steps into the facility my body rejected the atmosphere like it had been hit by a force-field. I fell, rolling my left ankle and putting all of my weight on my right thigh muscle to try not to face plant. “Mr. Physically Fit” as we shall refer to my tour guide who was 5 feet 8 inches of perfectly sculpted muscle must have heard my “oomph” because he turned around just as I hit the floor. He asked if I was ok. I replied “Oh, yeah. I do this all the time! No big deal.” I picked my self up off the floor, brushed off my dignity, and told him to continue. By the time we finished exploring the upstairs, downstairs, locker rooms, and pool, I was grateful to sit down and fill out the paperwork. Maybe I wouldn’t need gym membership after all. I could just gym hop and get tours of the facilities. It seemed like a pretty good work out in its own right.

One day later, I have to say I am still committed to changing my lifestyle to become a healthier me. I did wake up a bit sore, but I have a feeling I will have more sore days in the future. One fall will not deter me. Having little experience in use of gym equipment, I am sure I will make more than a few mistakes. I am counting on the personal trainer to keep me from serious harm.

Thor Doesn’t Know His Own Strength

About a year ago my precious baby, a husky named Sitka, injured her back and was beyond recovery. Her pain was my pain and her death felt like losing a little piece of my soul. I didn’t think I would ever recover, and I was sure I could never love another dog as much as I had loved her. Six month’s later, I was at PetSmart buying supplies for the cat, when I walked through an adoption fair the local animal shelters were having inside the store. Sitting in a cage off by himself was a large, light red husky with light brown eyes. Other than his coat, he appeared nothing like my Sitka. Where she was dainty and had a narrow waist, he was full through hips and chest and very muscular. Where she was a pushy alpha dog, he seemed calm and unexcitable by the other animals in the room.

Before I realized what I was doing, I had abandoned my pursuit of cat supplies and found myself standing in front of this large, light red husky’s cage. I placed my hand to the door and he licked my palm 3 or 4 times. A volunteer came over and asked if I was interested in the dog; his name, I learned, was Thor and he was good with cats and other animals. I told the volunteer about Sitka and said I wasn’t sure if I was ready. She told me that I was welcome to take her card and call her if I changed my mind or to come back. I thanked her and tickled Thor on the head through the bars before returning to my shopping.

The next weekend, I returned to the PetSmart just, certain that Thor would have been snatched up by an eager adopter. To my surprise, Thor was still there. I went to his cage and he sat up when he saw me. His tongue lolled out of his mouth in a wolfish grin that is at once both endearing and a little goofy. Another female volunteer came to my side and asked if I was interested in adopting Thor, and I told her that I was. I filled out the paper work and went to buy a harness and leash for Thor. When I came back, it took four of us to put the harness on Thor. He was so excited, he would not keep still. He jumped up on me multiple times and licked my face and neck. I quickly realized that Thor was a lot stronger thank Sitka.

I loaded Thor in my pickup truck, the passenger side, not the truck bed. I could never let my dog ride in the back of a truck bed. It seems so unsafe, even with a harness or tied down crate! Once home, I gave Thor water and food and took him for his first introduction to the neighborhood. As we were walking, a neighbor’s little, teacup Yorkshire Terrier came running up to us on the sidewalk. I immediately grabbed hold of the leash and braced myself, expecting Thor to go on the defense and teach the little pup a lesson. Thor just stood by my side and didn’t move. It was almost as if he couldn’t be bothered to respond to such an insignificant nuisance. I pushed my heart back into my chest and we continued our walk.

Once we came home, I sat on my recliner and gave Thor a new toy. It was a green elephant with floppy ears. Thor took the elephant by the tip of one ear and began to toss it into the air. On his third toss, he caught it in his mouth and elicited a high pitched noise from the squeaker in its middle. This delighted Thor so much that he jumped up and down with the toy in his mouth several times, then threw it up into the air as high as he could, resulting in it landing in the kitchen sink. No problem for Thor. He looked at me and then at the sink and barked as if to say: “Mommy, get my toy out of the sink, please.” Of course, I did.

Thor tired of his game and decided it was time for him to sit down. He did not sit on the couch or lay at my feet. He walked up to the chair where I was sitting, took a leap, and landed all 70 pounds in my lap. He turned a circle and then attempted to sit down. No matter how hard I tried (and I tried very hard) I could not get Thor off my lap. His thick canine nails were well equipped to grip ice and snow while pulling a sled in the wilds of Alaska. They left claw shaped bruises on my thighs. As painful as this was, I couldn’t yell at Thor. It was clear that someone had carried him around as a puppy and, given his circumstances, had abandoned him as soon as he outgrew his puppy cuteness. This was something I was going to have to work in with Thor through positive reinforcement. The first thing I did was give him a cookie when he got off my lap.

It didn’t take long for Thor to learn not to jump on laps. Much like most Huskies, he’s very smart. Unlike my previous dog, he’s not a stubborn alpha dog. It was easy to establish dominance and train him through rewards of desired behaviors. He still gets a little carried away when playing because he is a 70 pound snow dog. I wouldn’t want that to change. It would mean I had broken him. What would be the point of having a Husky that acts like a meek spirited terrier?

A Few Basic Principles

There are many things that I do well. That’s not bragging. That’s just a personal reminder amidst the chaos that can sometimes be my life. You see, some of the things that I do well, other’s might consider the opposite of doing well. My life is not complete unless I have attempted to, am about to experiment with, or am considering, defying the laws of physics. In so doing, I have found that I am incredibly good at proving the laws of physics are still valid. I have learned that if I aim for the floor with body or object, I am likely to hit it. (I have also learned that, when aiming elsewhere, I will invariably hit the floor anyway, so it’s a bit of a moot point). I have proven that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and that in attempting to do so, will repel each other with the same force that they entered the shared space. (A painful lesson, indeed!) And although I am uncertain if this is a law of physics, it is true that what goes up must come down, be it a patron on a barstool, a painter on a ladder, or a hapless cyclist on a Schwinn.

Much like the laws of physics, I have discovered a series of impenetrable psych-tenets. For instance, if you’re inner voice tells you not to do something, you’re going to do it (i.e., laugh, cry, fart in a crowded elevator). You’re inner voice is kind of like the jerk in the kitchen that says “Careful! It’s hot” 5 seconds after you burned your hand on the stove.  Also, if you’re extremely focused on what you are doing, that is when your coworker, classmate, or family member will silently begin talking behind you. Two Xanax and a defibrillator later, you’ll have no clue what they wanted and have forgotten what you were doing.  Tenet #3, somewhere in your home you’ve stuffed a $20 bill in a pocket, purse, sock and forgotten about it. If you look for it, you will NEVER find it. Tenet #4, it’s funny when other people’s children do stupid things in public…(This is where you’re inner voice will invariably be NO help whatsoever!) Tenet #5, “It’s just as scared of you as you are of it” is the worst de-escalation technique in the world! Fear is a great motivator. When I’m terrified of a spider, I KILL IT.

 

Ticking Clocks
Comfy Socks
Coffee Cups
and writer’s Block

A character dies
Another lies
One goes home
And someone cries

The plot’s a twist
Narration’s mixed
It can’t get worse
Oh, yes it is!

The hero isn’t good at all.
The prince doesn’t throw a grand old ball.
No one’s there to save the lass.
She’s forced to save her own sweet ass.

The fairy godmother’s drunk.
She disrobed and took a dunk.
Step mom’s really not that bad,
Stepsisters make the story sad.

It all ends in a grand façade-
An ill begotten promenade
Across the country to the spot
Where the story first begot.

 

Wonderful Adventures in Allisonland

The other day I had to visit my company’s corporate office. They got a new device to make clocking in easier (because some of us just can’t remember 4 little numbers). I had my dad with me because I had just finished taking him to the doctor’s office. I left the keys in the ignition so my dad could sit in the heated truck. (I also left my purse on the seat next to him.)

The new device required me to place my index finger into a reader and type in the last 6 digits of my social security. I was stumped. I could only remember my dad’s social security number! When I remembered my number, I only entered in the last 4 and we had to start over. Then, the machine did not recognize my finger print. I had to go through the process about 7 times before we finally got my finger print into the system.

Once I was done with the new clock in device, my friend offered to show me around the corporate office. I was in the process of telling him that I left my father in the truck, when my father walked into the building. He was soaking wet because it was pouring outside. He stated he needed to use the bathroom. I asked if he had my car keys. He said he didn’t know where they were. I informed him that they were in the ignition when I left. He said that they were “probably still in the ignition.” I asked if the truck was still running and where my purse was. He did not know. I ran out into the rain to find the doors to my pretty red truck unlocked, the engine running, and my purse sitting out in plain view. I turned off the truck, grabbed my purse and keys, and went back inside.

Inside the building, now soaking wet myself, my friend offered again to give me a tour of the offices. He showed me where he and various other people I knew worked. At one point, he showed me the office of a woman that is in charge or orientation and training. He asked if I knew/remembered her. I replied: “Sure, I know her. She’s the one that’s always late!” My friend shushed me and said “She’s in there!” Following his warning, a disembodied voice called out “I’m in here.”

Not only was the trainer in her office, but she was also conducting a training session with a small group at the time. I apologized profusely, but it was hard to get my apology across with everyone laughing. A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to talk to the trainer again and apologize more humbly. She accepted my apology and admitted that it was hard to be mad at someone for speaking the truth. She stated she was only embarrassed because she felt guilty about being late all the time.

Me? I feel guilty about being too transparent. My mouth and actions always come back to haunt me. On the other hand, life would be boring. There would be no Wonderful Adventures in Allisonland without my abundant missteps and lessons learned. If I never made a single mistake, I would be like an infant still-never having learned a thing about the world.