Duck Soap

I can’t remember what I said, but I remember the gesture that accompanied it. I didn’t understand the extent of my mother’s anger. I was standing with my back to her, rolling my eyes, mumbling something. The crowning of the moment was a jerky thumb point over my shoulder, a cock of my head and the implied “can you believe this idiot” hand motion. Like an angry, squinty-eyed Fonz using his trademark thumb as a way to say, “Get out of my sight.”

I don’t remember how I got there: ushered or dragged. I can remember being boxed into the tiny half-bath, meeting my mother’s eyes in the mirror. I remember the beige pedestal sink, the golden-toned soap, the taste, the tears and the gagging, the towel and the rinsing. And, unfortunately, I can remember this happening more than once.

I never had a dirty mouth. The problem was emphasis and tone, and a consistent failure at feigning innocence. Cursing, though, has never been my thing. My clever young-teen friends and I developed the opposite of an acronym. Not at all antonyms – but rather elongation of words we weren’t allowed to say. I don’t think the words would even make it onto a list of preferential parental no-no words for the last quarter century.

Sugar-Honey-Iced-Tea. Somehow, we even managed to justify dragging it through an ignorant impression of a southern draw; exaggerated, quite uncharming and probably fooling no one. Carp-Eggs was another; a tad more obscure. Flip around the two between the C and P. ‘Eggs’ was just added as camouflage; weak camouflage. Skating and twirling around the real phrases, I chose to go with close-ers: Son of a Monkey’s Butt.  Door knob.

Somewhere between there and here, I acquired comfortableness for playful cursing, for restricted use only in emphatically appropriate situations. A phrase involving a sexual act and ending in “a Duck” slipped out one day, in the presence of someone who should have never heard that, especially not from me. Despite our agreeable amusement, I insisted we be sworn to secrecy.

Somewhere in my recent timeline, the real McCoys have taken over. I’ve absorbed these words my whole, sponge life. Even saturated, I never intended to use them often and commonly. Behind the wheel, in the living room, alone, in private and public conversations, the nastiness rolls out as easily as the next breath rolls in. I enjoy the volume and shock. It feels good. It feels angry, and I’ve been very angry lately, mindlessly injecting inappropriate adjectives, repetitively

This reminds me of a story my father would tell, ending in a subtle menacing point. Having returned home from a teenage testosterone filled Boy Scout Camp summer, where boys do and say what coming of age boys do and say, he matter-of-factly requested that his father pass him the fucking salt. He didn’t get the salt. He did get a strong backhand. I got the message.

I have been emotionally caught myself up in my own net. Thrashing and shouting, getting meaner and meaner, and I’ve finally figured out that isn’t going to help and that it doesn’t feel as good as it did when I first allowed it. I don’t need to cut and slash myself loose. I just need to stop, sit still and wait for the moment to pass.

Going cold turkey isn’t on the schedule, yet. Maybe at the end of the Condo Chronicles I will revert back to the lady-like impression I strive to project. Until then, I’ve coined a few playfully offensive you-know-what-I’m-getting-at words to hopefully be used less frequently and more sparingly than I have been the real ones. Bumblefluck. Fidiot.  Maybe later on down the line, for lesser situations, I’ll tone it down to a more commonly feminine Ratsafrass or Dilligaf.

In the meantime, I have no intention of sucking on soap, and I’ll do my best not to disparage any more ducks.

Quote for the Week:

If you can’t find an appropriate word for the occasion 02 10 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Science Supports Swearing: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-swear/

History of Soapy Mouths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_out_mouth_with_soap

Bad Jokes (some about ducks): http://www.recreationtherapy.com/tx/trajokes.htm

Confettiism

There are times you just cannot influence change.

I’ve been considering whether or not it’s time to remove the contingent cardboard kitty litter box enclosure. The plan was to employ just until the kitten that was H. Blu grew up a little and calmed down. I was counting this move as the opportune time.

I no longer believe that’s likely, though. He’s three. I obviously need to accept this quirk as a permanent part of his being. Blu’s a flinger.

No amount of loud hand clapping, shooing or physical removal has stopped him, yet. As soon as he’s unstartled, or lifted and placed down, he’s back at it: launching litter into the air like confetti, celebrating his every success. Every success. I’m not sure if it’s the deposit or the burial, but either way he’s off loading and damn happy about it.

Confetti. We could all use some.

Metaphorically.

Detail to the super-conscious environmentalists – I’m not suggesting we pollute the world.

Just as sharing how a hot-cocoa’ed peep looks without its sugar-skin doesn’t support animal abuse.

Stop harassing me for having a sense of humor. Stop paying attention to my drivel if it drives you bonkers.

 

Andy Warhol advised, “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”

 

Start paying more attention to the amazing things in your own life.

Throw a little mental confetti.

When you tie your shoes. When you wash your lunch bucket.

When you solve a problem.

When you see someone you love.

Better yet, when you see someone you don’t. That’ll make ’em wonder.

Envision sparkly, multicolored, floaties celebrating every success.

Envision viciously leering, flotsam knick-knacks pelting your nemesistic issues.

Dare you, and dare you again.

Try not to smile too widely when thrill overrides containment.

 

Pardon me, now.

Acceptance commands: the time has come.

Commence construction of the next litter-catching cardboard castle!

Moats are pretty amazing.

#imakemyselflaugh

Quote for the Week:

Every Day should be a confetti day Feb 3 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Awesome Things: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/25-awesome-things-we-take-for-granted-most-days/

One Month Challenge: http://zenhabits.net/the-mindfulness-guide-for-the-super-busy-how-to-live-life-to-the-fullest/

The Mindful Difference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/habits-mindful-people_n_5186510.html

Dissolution of a Down

Forcing the issue isn’t working. The ‘Don’t Resolution’ is perhaps the swiftest failure of a New Year’s plan: to date, qualifyingly leaving space for possible worse scenarios.

I’ve been in-the-making of collages since I entered the social cyber world. Storing away tidbits of uplift for encouragement, aimed at providing a gentle environment to embolden and nurture with an occasional reflective cutting remark, allowing for some fun. I’ve plenty of fodder for those in trouble, in need, down-cast, insecure or out-cast, but none of them seem for me.

It’s hard to be inspirational when you’re feeling semi-permanently uninspired, labeled ‘semi’ for the sincere hope that someday the down-talk will cease. I call myself out, which isn’t much of a solution; like a carousel with no brass ring, just endless, relentless strips of self-assessing log. Mentally beating myself up hurts just as badly, if not worse, than anyone else’s ‘helpful’ fault-points. My call-downs are not vague. Specificity is sharp, slicing cleanly, making it that much harder to heal.

Soul stitching, like wound stitching, can be self-endured. Minor reachable fixes in cases of emergency, where we grab the needle without even thinking and try to put our lives back together again, not realizing there may be damages we cannot reach, and wounds we don’t even know are there.

Put-downs are easily learned, and difficult to unlearn. The highest muster of self-praise comes down to a check-box: I got the mail. I moved a box. I did something that needed to be done under micro-self-management, and two-seconds after acknowledging a ‘win,’ my heart hears the shake of my head as “really?” Wind-swiftly, whatever the opposite of a pat-on-the-back may be, swoops in ~ brushing contentment right off my shoulders.

Rooting the negativity spot, dust-piles of former praise, formerly minor bumps – have somehow turned into mountains covered in annoying scraps of optimism. The only way to break through is to tear them off, one-at-a-time, chewing slowly, digesting thoroughly before ever moving on. One-a-day, or one-for-two days, or one-for-a-week or month, if it’s particularly hard to swallow; but not a year. There will be no room to stand if standing still is the plan.

Push is as different from drive as self-motivation is from force-feeding. Push requires someone to move you; drive requires you to move yourself. Forward, then, I cannot promise 52, or Mondays or Saturday or any other day. I will not play catch-up, and will not regret it.

I will pick one. Carefully consider. Pass it on.

Encourage dissolution of downs.

Quote for the Week:

Standing Still 01 13 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Don’t worry: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-reasons-to-stop-worrying-about-your-negative-thoughts/

Just Stop: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=614

Defined: http://www.themms.com/corporate-education?id=110

Abandon Intentions

Intentions. I always have them. They’re my “but…” sort of clause to everything.

They’re my “I meant,’” “I should;” my excuse for misuse, of term and promise.

I forgot my drop at PF Changs. Lunch was interesting and fabulous, grouped and longer than planned, and I completely forgot to bring my abandonment with me. I adjusted disappointment with the rationale that I would have had to wait until the restroom was empty, which wouldn’t have been likely with the full house of diners.

My next intended target was the pet store. After considering the melee likelihood of right-before-Christmas work and shopping traffic, I never even tried. I thought I’d come up with a better idea, anyway.

Christmas Eve Day at the Chiropractor, someone would find my starry pin. I was leaning toward the bathroom again, but this bathroom is just a one-person, regular door lock bathroom; there’s be no in-out traffic. I excitedly placed it prominently on top of the paper towel dispenser, and took a picture for posterity. I immediately reconsidered for perceived cleanliness concerns, wondering if I would pick up a “gift” in a restroom. I might, but I also didn’t want it to be found while I was still there. I tagged my pin, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to figure out where it came from. That would be embarrassing.

I re-pocketed my prize. Even though I hadn’t used it, I ceremoniously flushed the toilet. I figured it might seem assumedly gross to anyone who had watched me go in, or would see me come out, if that sound was missing. Then, I washed my hands, because I’d touched the toilet handle.

There was no chance for hallway stealth, either. Every chair was unusually filled with Christmas Eve day drop-ins. At the risk of causing concerns for my health, I would revisit the restroom on my way out, reclaim my drop spot, and be done with it. No one passed by on their way to the exit while I was waiting for a room to open, but a staff member pointed to a doorway and told me I could go in. The occupied sign was flipped, but it wasn’t really empty. As a patient was still gathering her belongings, I saw another, easier, possibility!

I would simply leave my abandonment in the table-room after my adjustment. It would be much more appealing to find a random present there than any random lavatory. I’ll be a little slow putting on my coat. I’ll hesitate a moment, and when left alone, quickly set it on a waiting chair, and stealthily slip out. I couldn’t help but wonder which one of the waiters would be gifted. They all looked like pleasant people, albeit in a bit of pain. Glancing over my shoulder gave me a glimpse of whom it would be traveling home with, and a satisfied internal glow. It was done! Abandoned, to surely be found, and I was happy.

With one hand on the exit door, seconds away from complete and true success, wishing all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I was flagged down.

A cheerful staff member stood waving a recognizable little packet in my direction. “Is this yours?” she asked, adding, “It was on a chair in the room you were in.”

I felt my jaw drop and managed to mumble, “It was supposed to be there.” “Was it a gift for the Doctor?” she asked. “No,” I replied dejectedly, “No.” I probably should have brought one as a gift for her, or at least a holiday card, or something. “It was supposed to be there,” I explained again without much conviction, followed by the compelling need to explain the details of these supposedly anonymous random art drops, which mine was no longer.

“Should I give it back to the lady who found it?” she asked. “Yes,” I said, “unless she doesn’t want it, then feel free to keep it, or pass it on, or whatever….”

And that was that. I don’t know if the finder kept it, or if someone else might have loved it. It might come up at my next adjustment appointment, but I hope not. I wish I’d thought fast enough to respond differently. Perhaps, if I had said, “Yes,” I could have reclaimed it, re-headed for the restroom and re-ended the abandonment fiasco in exactly the same spot it had begun twenty-five minutes earlier.

Instead, I abandoned the situation, thinking what I’ve been thinking about every little thing since my early October luck-slide began. Every attempt to attempt anything in a reasonable way in a reasonable amount of time has been met with the Universe’s loudest protest, to which I have repeatedly shouted back, “Really?! It shouldn’t be this hard!!”

Lessons for me: Good intentions can be miresome, and even happy-ending stealth can make you feel guilty of something.

I’ve been scrolling for “mail call” two weeks now. The find hasn’t been reported. I know for a fact it was found, so I’m a little bogged down by the disappointment that comes from a craving for gratification. I’ve since learned that it’s not cool to tag items for recognition, or, for that matter, pumping for sales.

I’m sure I’ll do it, again, hopefully more anonymously. Hoping it will become easier with knowledge and repeat, because “intention” should never be followed by “was.”

Quote for the Week:

My intention is best followed by is 01 05 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

 

Links:

Buddhist Solutions – How To Give Without Return:  (watch until at least 20:00)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Krhmz-dau0s

Paulo Coehlo – Give Love, Seek No Reward:

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/12/08/give-love-and-seek-no-reward/

Not Only at Christmas:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/acts-of-kindness

Stression

The Season of Stress Sessions and Shoulder Tension has arrived. As if a late Thanksgiving followed by a quick-moving Christmas and a must-squeeze-the-last-minute-out-of-this-year pre-New Year’s resolution weren’t going to prove challenging enough, just for fun, I’ve thrown a condo, repairs, renovations and moving into the mix.

I’ll be sitting still most of the day a week from now monitoring contractors. Although, I’m still self-arguing that block could be used for bathroom demolishment, I’m also thinking it would be prime  for addressing Thanksgiving and New Address cards. Just so you won’t be disappointed, fair-warning there will be no individually assembled masterpieces this year. I have photographically employed my signature artistic creation, though, so I’ve at least that satisfied a modicum of individuality and a little of my buck-the-norm sensibilities.

By default, my previous no-idea-where-to-begin list from h e double hockey-sticks, has been trashed. I still may grant privy, just to show where my thought wandering comes from.

I may also need to live with the powder blue, sun-bleached, salt-stained, mud-run 35-year-old carpet for a bit in favor of a new electric panel from a company without a class-action lawsuit, re-replace copper or pvc piping replaced with polybutylene, and procure a more efficient furnace than the 1978 needs-so-much-work I should just ease my mind and get a new one which also means re-piping due to previous gas leaks.

There’s an interesting story from The Condo Chronicles. On the second tour, accompanied by and agent and an inspector, I thought I smelled gas. No one else did, but (the story goes) the property had been closed up for a while, it’s not unusual, blah blah blah. An hour and twenty minutes later, we trio-ed the basement. Another thirty-five or so minutes checked out the electric panel, the hack plumbing and for the final assessment, the furnace. There’s this nifty little wand thing that gets waved around the furnace and water heater. It detects gas leaks and sounds an alarm. I really loud alarm, experience has shown. Off with the gas, out with us, utilities notification and that was that.

On my way to researching the cost of a magic peace-of-mind wand, I reviewed the inspection details and realized, replacement was the recommendation.  That worst-case-scenario mentality and I probably wouldn’t have slept well wondering if it was leaking now, or leaking now, or leaking now?

I’ll sign off this week announcing my intention to spend every free moment moving something, unpacking something, possibly painting something, while hosting contractors. I should also probably announce the already creeping overwhelm. Yup; Stression.

Quote for the Week:

magic peace of mind wand

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Bob Vila, Where to Begin: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/2232-home-additions-and-renovation-projects-where-to-begin/#.VGKnLfnF-RE

Don’t Worry: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2014/02/19/stop-worrying/

Be Happy:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo4OnQpwjkc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mACqcZZwG0k