demanding, cadence

It’s been a long time since anyone told me what to do in a fall-in-line school-sense. Referring to tasks for education: write an essay on, create a theme poem, and that horror of horrors – edit.

Edit wasn’t well loved or even liked in my elementary, high or college schooling. (Or now, honestly.)

I loved to write and was under the impression that writing loved me. Otherwise, how could it have been so easy? Words came to me and I dispensed them exactly as channeled through my psyche.

Any type of art, once emerged and recorded, immerged to the deep. Catalystic inspiration filed, it was perfect as it was. Whatever the medium, it came out of me divined and that’s how it would stay. I learned the phrase ‘Artistic License,’ and adopted it, fully.

Young ego. I didn’t understand the art of finessing. Observing, tweaking, seeing it from another point of view – there just wasn’t room in my head. I was always on to the next creative.

April was National Poetry Month. University of Michigan LSA Institute for Humanities popped up with a program and challenge called Poetry Blast. 22 days of noon-time poetry reading by and daily prompts.

Prompts are demands. Uncomfortable commands to self- challenge. When it is no longer about urgent feelings or excited insight, it’s a struggle to combat insincerity with what may not be talent, after all.

So, 22 chances. 22 struggles. Limited outcomes, due to topic, timing. Some just straight-up, staring blanks of ‘I don’t get it.

My total participation attempts yielded 6 submissions. Three of which, I think, are ridiculously weak, obviously forced.  To my credit, I analyzed the situation and accepted the call-to summons as an opportunity. An uncomfortable opportunity to struggle, but that was the point of trying.

Interestingly, I have found my ‘natural’ cadence to be obvious and boring. Admittedly, at times, outright contrived and imitatingly trite. I’ve been working tweaks. One line in particular irked me as being too children’s picture book rhymey. Another, I fear for its honesty.

Some fall into failure, considering way-off prompt tangled-up tangents of skipping from topic to … an anomalytic abyss of deep click diving, one thing leads to another, but doesn’t fulfill the requirement.

In the same way that dusting a 15-year-old multiply-moved, semi-busted lampshade interrupts cleaning mode in favor of shopping for a new one and you end up with shoes.

Quote for the Week:

Background & Links:

Take a few minutes to listen to a poem! April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. This year, the Institute for the Humanities is joining the tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, in marking poetry’s important place in our lives. Every weekday at noon in April, our Youtube channel will feature a U-M faculty member reading one of their poems. See below for today’s featured poet.

2021 Poetry Blast: Read. Write. Hear

Street Poems: Ann Arbor 2021 Poetry Blast Walking Tour

YouTube: Noon Readings 

Read Reduction

Used to be I had a reading pile. A to-be-read stack of whole magazines or just torn pages, books I picked up for free, printed online articles I didn’t have time to sit down and devote to immediately and knew I’d never find them again. Links can die, you know. Especially after a few years.

Well, I stopped all that physical periodical hoarding. Inspired by an accidental find years ago. 2014; while perusing positive topics for what used to be an email and US Mail based Midweek Encouragement Newsletter. ME News existed in an era otherwise known as ‘pre-blog.’

In the basest form of self-trickery for knowledge seekers, I canceled nearly all of the clutter subscriptions that lead to clutter. Nearly.

Costco and AAA send me monthly periodicals whether I want them or not. I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer monthly rag. I could stop them simply, but then, how would I know where all the good stuff is happening in Michigan, or discover why a certain product is better than another? Without endless key-word internet surfing for hours, I mean.

Plus, I’d also lose out on letters and phrases. Grade school, I’ve always loved collage. Went through an interesting and a bit obsessive, huge, collage cut-and-paste phase in college. Began as sorority-sister aimed birthday cards on budget. Ala kindergartener-ish: find a pretty picture, add some happy, descriptive 1500 level words and voila!

I also went through a band-love phase where I would use every print version of the band name I could find and pauperize it into wall hanging. I had a double 8”x14” pair-themed set of Duran Duran fonts proudly displayed in my first dorm room. Hmm. Who am I kidding?

So, maybe both of those things weren’t phases. I’m obviously still in a band-loving stage. And, I still cut out words and phrases. Anyway, the point is, now even just those three founts of info tend to heap on my coffee table. Not a real problem. I break them down, take what I need as I read through, recycle the bulk and end up with smaller piles.

My digital stash is overwhelming, though. I leave large articles unread until I have the time. I gold-star articles that may be of use in the future. I subscribe to a few special interest daily/weekly emails for things I am truly interested in. I’d really like to engage with these lurking lessons. I’m really a little stressed out that I will never catch up and, yet, I continue to pull and hold.

826, 180, 11, 109 emails awaiting my attention. Some are new. About 600 are marked for future, do not delete articles, updates, initiatives. Surprisingly the 826 is not my junk box. It also dates from 2010 forward. Pictures, scratch writing, thoughts – these aren’t a concern to me. I’ll get to them. When? Well, when I do.

There’s def a need to tackle. Do I start with one source and read straight through? Oldest to newest in unrelated order? Sort and scour by topic? By informative value or creative enjoyment? Ugh.

This all sounds way too much like a lot of pre-work to manage my actual desire.

The Minimalists, Podcast 286: Enoughism

Free-Unscaped, Yet

Password? I need a password?

Do I have a password? If I was me, what would my password be?

Dagnabit. One try and I bailed on my brain. Just went straight to re-set.

It’s now a minute or so after midnight, and I’m refreshing every 2 seconds waiting for email prompt.

New password secured. Log back in? For the Love of Pete, just let me into the club!

In. Finally. Fully expecting to be ‘sorry’d’ as in, “You’re too late. Supply is gone.”

Data-entry detailed entered. To my surprise, I when I hit the sign-me-up, it actually went through.

My reservation was confirmed at 12:06 AM. Seemed like a long six minutes, to me.

Here are your reservation details: MYSTERY GARDEN PIÑATA KIT, filled with mystery seed bombs and growfetti.
Date: April 15, 2021, Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm with curbside pickup.

What kinds of gardenly delights did I get? I have no idea, yet.

Here’s why.

Super cute flower box to be smashed. Neighbors. And super iffy Michigan weather.

Mystery had me stymied as to where I should, when I should. My first thought was to whack at it in the empty bed that gets late afternoon/early evening sun at the height of summer. I wondered what kind of disorderly garden would result from a random seed drop. I envisioned the beating, and realized, I couldn’t.

Too many complications. Could I hold the piñata in one hand and whack with the other? That’d required some extra coordination on my part. How much strength is needed to break it? Suppose I missed and thumped the arm holding it? Supposed they’d get a laugh down at urgent-care about that considering my first two closely occurring visits likely put me on the Jeff-kinda-accidents you’re-never-gonna-believe-this list of odd injuries.

Could I put it on the ground and pummel it there? Standing and leaning down or kneeling next to it? Also, not optimal. Dirty knees or butt in the air? And that’s when it occurred to me. “Oh! Neighbors!” Yeah, they’d get an interesting show for sure. So, nixed.

You know, if you inspect packages, you can find directions and suggestions and stuff. The tag touted a web address that would tell you what you were getting. Ok, then, here we go.

Except, nope. Nowhere could I find a description of what would be random-planted when breakage was achieved.

There were very helpful, detailed instructions. But, wouldn’t have been if you just went along with the vague suggestion of destruction. Never would I have conjured any of them on my own. Maybe, it’s the not-a-gardener thing. Maybe, it’s intuitive to folks who don’t need to intuition because they already know what they’re doing.

Anyway, to summarize:

1. Plant outside in early spring. Or start the seeds inside and transplant later. (head tilt)

2. Soak the seed balls and seed paper in water. Overnight. (head tilt the other way)

3. Place the wet seed paper in a planter. (not the ground? what about the seed balls? shoulder hunch)

4. Water well, especially during the first 4 – 6 weeks. (oh, dear. inside, with two cats… head drop)

All right, time to switch gears.

I supposed I could successfully start ’em in the waterless aquarium where I currently grow cat grass. The set-up keeps it safely out of greenery over-eating, paw-sweeping, this would look better on the floor, kitty fur ball reach.

Curiosity was still with me. As I recalled, piñatas have to be filled, right? So, somewhere on the exactly-as-advertised lovely looking novelty, by reason, there’s gotta be a secret latch or patch or something.

Turns out, it was two pieces, easy to press apart. As promised, there were colorful seed balls and fun growfetti. The 4 round orbs were good-sized, and the pile of fluttery stuff was shredded well.

I haven’t soaked or planted, yet. It was 70 degrees on Saturday, and it snowing on Tuesday. Michigan’s sneaky like that. They call it, ‘false spring’ or ‘second winter.’ I don’t fall for that, anymore.

May Day is coming up. I’ll celebrate appropriately.

I’ll let you know what comes up in 6 weeks, if I can figure that out.

Quote for the Week:

ps. Thank you, Lowe’s!

Knabbler Shop 30% off Phone Cases through April 30th!

Add the Ibotta extension for an additional 4% cash back!

To download the Ibotta Extension, click here: Ibotta Desktop Extension

Shop here: Knabbler Shop | Redbubble

Free-scape

So, here’s what happened.

I got a email. About gardening. In my very unknown, incoming-only, address.

It’s another account I keep to keep clutter from my real email.

You know, the one that people I actually know have and where the important stuff goes.

Anyway, the beauty of this junk box is that it fills up nicely with coupons and offers and a lotta ‘free.’ I love freebies. Even if I don’t need it, or won’t use it, if it’s free – I snag it and pass it along.

Samples are a great way to experiment, especially for less money. It’s a win-win. For me, experimenting for less is a happy mind expansion thing. Plus, deals and coupons save me money on stuff I know I’m going to buy, anyway. Same sort of mindset as Fetch and Ibotta. I just love layering.

I get a few newsy-type dailies that let me know when and where to find good stuff. I was particularly excited to learn Lowe’s was having a series of garden give-aways. Hypocritical, I know considering how hard I take the ‘annual that which I despise’ obligation.

I shared this with my gardening friend who had already heard about and tried to get into it.

Registration for the first event opened at midnight and her experience was that the site was overloaded and she didn’t get anywhere.

That was a bummer to hear. I’m not that driven to stay up until midnight battling it out with other batty internet users. Strangely, enough, though…

By the time I’d finished my weekly blog, sent it out into the social-universes of FB me, FB Knabble, WordPress, IG and Twitter it was 11:20 PM. I still thought it might be a little over the top to be hovering over my keyboard for 40 more minutes.

I puttered around prepping for the next-day work-day by re-filing blog fodder, and just generally straightening and restoring my desk back to the ‘real job’ configuration. At 11:47 the idea was still free-floating around in my head. I still had a bit of time on my non-gardening, don’t-like-to-get-too-dirty hands.

I turned up Spotify and tuned into Grandson. It’s not the kind of music you can tune-out to. Hence, the love. The first time I heard Grandson was through an IG video reaction site; totally recommend a follow. Besides the music/reaction, dude’s got an oddly sense of humor. (Links’ll be below.)

11:58, I thought I’d just try and slip into the site. Get queued up. No dice. Just a bit of a reprimand that it wasn’t time, yet.

So, I outed. Then, I inned. And outed and inned. Mmm hmm. Turned into an online version of the day after Christmas at Wal*mart at 4:00 AM in Tennessee. That’s a story by itself. Never again, folks. Never, again. Although, I did end up at a Michigan Kohl’s one black Friday. 5:00 AM. Easy in, easy find. Horrible two and a half hours of standing in line to check out. Never, again, to that, too. At least Kohl’s, handed out candy canes.

Stroke of midnight at Lowe’s online, I got it right! I got right in.

But, of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Quote for the Week:

Grandson: (do you have enough love in your heart to go and get your hands) Dirty

Recommended reactionary: @fablefil