Playing Hooky – Incredibles 2

The_Incredibles_2So yesterday, I played hooky with a friend of mine who lives in my apartment complex. We had found out through other seniors that the Regal Theater had a senior Wednesday.

Now that I am on a fixed income, I am more interested in “senior discounts.” The thing is there are not set “senior age” for most of these discounts. Sometimes it is 55 and sometimes it is 62. So I called Fiesta Casino that housed the Regal theater near my home and asked.

To my surprised “50” was the age for the senior discount. Since I am few years north of fifty, I was all set.

So yesterday, we braved the musty smell and tinkling noise of the casino floor. The light was dimmed to a twilight setting, which is normal in those environments. Men and women in their twilight years were smoking and pulling the slot handles. We kept looking up at the signs and going the wrong way. We circled around and around. I swear that the casinos are built in a different dimension. No matter how blocky the casinos look on the outside, in the inside everything looks about the same.

I was glad that I found the Regal theater. We had to walk right through the entire casino to find it. I will admit that I was disoriented by that time.

At the theater, I expected to wait for the tickets. I mean, the tickets were four dollars a piece. I haven’t spent that amount in years. I think there were only ten people who came to this showing.

If it was just the casino… I wouldn’t come here again. The place assaulted all of my five senses. However, the movie— I was really glad I came.

Possible Plotpoints:

In Incredibles 2, super-heroes are illegal. The family get arrested when they try to save the city from a villain who was bombing and undermining the city. So this is the set up for the real story.

Even though the mother’s job is to show that super-heroes are more helpful and less destructive, my favorite plot twist was when she left the Mr. Incredible home to raise the three children– one of whom is a demon multi-talented child.

I seriously laughed through the entire movie. Dah-ling

 

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A Summer’s Dream

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Last night I dreamed.

It is not like I don’t dream. I have dreamed most of my life. Sometimes the dreams have been so clear that I’ve written about them. I wonder sometimes if my dream life is more interesting than this reality.

But last night was different. Lately I have had a reoccurring dream of losing my purse. I wasn’t upset about the money. I think in my dream, I carried about one hundred dollars. I was mostly upset about the driver’s license and the keys to my house. The thought that any one could get into my house with my keys made me panic. Plus I was upset that I would have to re-assert my identity. Who would believe me without my purse and keys?

It might be one of my worst fears that my personality would be lost. I have experienced this loss before. I think that I should give this some context. When I was on high dosages of prednisone coupled with cytoxan, my mind was filled with hallucinations and my emotions were not stable.

People who didn’t know me counseled my late-hubby to put me in a care center for mentally disrupted people. He refused. He told me later that not one of the doctors or nurses had known me before the medications and the disease. So when he died, my worst fear was realized. Without him, there is no one in my life who knows me well enough to be in my corner when the medications warp my personality.

It doesn’t help that I am an introvert. According to the new findings, I would be classified as a social introvert. I can only bear to be around a few people at a time. When I am in a social situation for too long I get tired and shut down. It also doesn’t help that my immune system shuts down as well. Even when I am having fun, I don’t gain energy from too many people.

I took one of those tests. I found that I have qualities of all the “new” types of introversion. I laughed because life has never been easy for me. It is much easier to dream and to write.

I bless the invention of the internet and blogs. I can actually show the well that is so deep in me. Most people have no idea the depths I plumb when they meet me in person. They think I’m athletic or something else. It never occurs to them that I am a thinker and a worrier.

I learned something when I was very young and very shy. If I wanted to do something, I would square my shoulders, take a deep breath, and face it. I had to do it to join the Navy. I had to do it to go to college. I have had to do it on every new thing I have tried.

I don’t want to be the one with regrets. I don’t want to be the one hidden in shadows. I don’t want to be the bitter one. I could be all of these.

So like a leaf in the stream of time, I am sending out these thoughts. I hope it will help someone else. And maybe someone else will see me… instead of my outer persona.

Hildaebookcover2015finishedAs a sidenote– in honor of Liberty Con and the 4th of July– Hilda’s Inn for Retired Heroes will be free from July 3-5.

In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.

Here comes the sun

agriculture barley field beautiful close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yesterday the temperature neared 108 degrees. The dry breeze sucked up all the moisture from my body and then blow-dried my hair.

The news anchors reported that the temperature would drop to the 90s in the next few days. The relief from heat would be more heat.

My blonde hair glittered as the rays bounced off of it. I have to admit that I have always loved summer until I came to this place where heat bounced off the asphalt, turning the city into a brick oven. Even the taupe and brown painted apartments can’t push away the heat without the air conditioning going on constantly.

I had braved the heat to spend lunch with my nephew. Family and blood is the only reason I need to walk out into the crushing heat. I listen to my nephew talk about work, family, and social life. I know he is missing the mountain forests, cold clear streams, and throwing his line into the water as he listens to the sounds around him.

I used to love the mountains. My family would pack seven children into a small car with bread, mayo, tuna, and crackers. My father brought his fly fishing rods and bait. When we were freed from the confines of the car, we would run down the small path next to the stream. We would dig for worms and look for the big fat trout that sunned next to a huge rock. Mom would give us a hook and fishing line. We would try to trick the fish into eating the bait.

The fish was smarter than us because we never caught him. We would lie on the rock and sun ourselves and fall asleep. When dusk began to settle on us we would wake to our mother calling us to come back so we could drive home.

It was the only freedom I remembered then. The next day I would be in charge of diapers, food, canning, and cleaning.

So I listen to my nephew and remember what it felt like to work so hard and see nothing for it. I tell him to take some time off and go back to the mountains.

Lethargy and slothfulness

img_0345 The last few weeks I have been in the middle of a few doctor experiments. I was pretty stable until my endocrinologist introduced me to Zetia.

Normally when you have high cholesterol, you are offered a Statin drug. About fifteen years ago, I was put on a Statin and my liver proteins went high in 30 days. Since I also have kidney problems, the doctor backed off on “how good” a Statin would be for my health.

So I am in the 1 percent of the population that can’t use Statins. The Zetia was supposed to help. It did drop my cholesterol quickly, but it also caused some digestive problems– i.e. diarrhea with constant severe stomach pain. It appears I am also in the 1 percent when it comes to Zetia.

I think– and can’t prove– but losing that much cholesterol so quickly, my blood pressure dropped. I was on two blood pressure medications that had been keeping me stable. With this change in my body structure I dropped low enough that my nephrologist, kidney doctor, was concerned. She asked if I was dizzy. I don’t get dizzy normally– but I do get headaches and brain fog.

With the low blood pressure, I was thirsty, hurt, and cramped a lot in my legs and feet. Also I was losing interesting in everything including my writing. I just couldn’t concentrate on the screen without needing to lie down.

I knew there was something wrong with my attention span. I thought it was because I was bored and wanted to do something different.

Today, I learned an important lesson. When I am losing my interest in writing or reading, then there is something very wrong with my health. In this case, I am in the process with my doctors in adjusting my blood pressure medication.

My blood pressure was still too low when I woke up this morning. However it was higher than it has been in a few days. My dog and I took our morning walk and I was singing just a little.

In the diner – an excerpt

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The bright chatter from nearby tables, the clanking of pans, and the sometimes crash of a plate swirled around me as I sank into a red-faux upholstered seat in the retro fifties diner.

The red and chrome jukebox in the corner playing, “Shar-reee, Shar-ar-ar-ree ba-aa-by. Sherry, baby” evoked my memories of sitting in this same seat and listening to this same song. I settled into the booth, my elbows on the table, as I breathed in the smells of sizzling bacon, eggs, and ham.

If I closed my eyes I would be home with my mother swaying in front of the stove to this very song. Her eyes bright and her lips curled into a smile as she flipped golden-brown pancakes onto a chipped china plate.

I’d hand it over to my greedy man, who would stuff cold butter between the pancakes and slather the tops with thick maple syrup. He would hum as he ate them.

One sniff and I was home.

A waitress swayed down aisle, tapping her feet to the beat of the music on the linoleum floor. A distinct chink and the music changed. The noise level surged and I drowned in it. I almost stood up and bolted from my seat, forgetting why I came here. There were too much noise and too many memories here for me.

The waitress in a ruffled apron was too young to read my panic. Her lip might have curled a bit at my torn jeans, too-large flannel shirt, and unbrushed dishwater hair.

“What are you ordering?” Her pen was posed over the order pad. The menu was next to my elbow. “Or should I come back?” Her voice was neutral as if she’d asked this question a hundred times that day.

“Give me a few,” I said after taking a deep breath. I hadn’t noticed until now that my hands were clamped onto the table and I was so, so cold. My knuckles went from white to light pink as I carefully relaxed my hands.

The waitress swayed to the next table. She asked the same questions of the small family sitting behind me.

My greedy man. I placed my phone on the metal table in front of me so that I looked busy. Then I closed my eyes and extended my awareness outward. The build-up of the energy of so many lives in this diner surged through me.

The images in my mind swirled and eddied until I could focus on one memory. It was of my greedy man when he pulled me into his arms and held me tightly at my mother’s funeral. I cried that day.

I sank into his memory once more, and smelled the fresh bread scent that seemed to come from him and only him. I needed no comfort food when he was here.

The noise, the smells, and the people faded from my awareness. I heard the deep rolling sounds of his voice, “Betty. Betty.”

I scrunched my eyes as tightly as I could. On the backs of my eyelids I saw his deep dark eyes, the same eyes that could see into my very essence. His brown silvered hair was longer than he used to wear it. I could smell him.

I opened my eyes hoping against hope that he would be sitting in front of me. Just one more time. The pain was as fresh as the day he left me, three years ago.

“Why?” I said aloud. My eyes were red and dry. The empty upholstered seat in front of me gave no answers.

He was gone. He would never come back.

He could never come back.

The sounds of words

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From Pixabay

My first love is sound.

My second love is poetry.

If I sit in the square of any city in any world and allow my ears to unfocus I can hear rhythms and music. I have done this in Johannesburg and Misawa. I have listened to the sounds of Ramstein. Each have their own rhythms and sounds.

So to me language is just sound. When I have to put sound to meaning then there can be a problem, especially when I have to be attentive. That takes energy.

To me, poetry is one step from sound. My English professor would tell me that poetry was the essence of meaning and that every word should be distilled for maximum impact. It is true that poetry must be pared down until the meaning is clear, but it is not poetry if the sound is not right.

I have written formal poetry with formal rhythms and I have also written free verse. In my experience, even free verse has its own consistent internal rhythm. So poetry needs sound and rhythm.

If it sounds like a music, then you would be right. In my small world every poem is a small sound. It might be why I like to write sonnets, which means a little poem or if you go to the Latin root it means a little sound.

When I switched to stories, I had to learn how to write again. Those little pieces of poetry that I loved so much sometimes had to be cut because they were not a part of the story. I had to learn characters and how those characters interacted with others.

Other people would sit in the squares and make up stories about the people around them. I was listening to sound. I had to switch my thinking. I admit that I told stories to my brothers at bedtime. They were stories I had read and sometimes I would change the story just a bit so that young boys would enjoy them. But until fifteen years ago, I had not written stories. I had written poetry, memoirs, and essays.

It has been a challenge. Sometimes I wonder if I am writing interesting stories. Then I talk to other writers and authors and find out that deep dark secret. Most of us think we are frauds.

We don’t know if we are writing well. In my case, I write and hope someone else will enjoy my books. If not, I would write anyway because even though I believe I can quit anytime like an addict, I can’t. If I didn’t write stories, I would write poetry. If I didn’t write, I would dream.

This is my manifesto. I have lived adventure. I have explored Northern Japan, Panama, and Germany. If I could still travel, then I would. I would probably not write though and would feel emptiness and restlessness.

I was born to be a poet. I have made myself a writer.

Living in the high desert

Willow Creek Cyn 1975

Shot by Stan Anderson in 1975. I’m on the mustang and I was 14 that year.

This weekend my nephew and my brother were cooking buffalo meat and I was invited for Sunday dinner. My nephew is half-Ute so he has connections with the Ute Tribe in northeastern Utah. It was a surprise when he told me that the area I lived in in the mid 70s was where they had seeded a herd of mountain buffalo.

Even more interesting, that dirt road you see in the picture is now paved. When I lived there we were sixty miles from the nearest town. We grew all of our vegetables and fought the raccoons and coyotes from our plants and animals.

We brought our drinking water in because the wells in the area bubbled up sulfur and smelled like rotten eggs. The place had been hunted so much that the only predators were black bears. We even had hunters come in several times a year to clear the place from bears too. There hadn’t been a wolf seen in decades by that time.

Now they have buffalo, mountain goats, and wolves. They even have wild turkeys. We brought in the turkeys when we moved there. When we left, we left them there.

The reason we were there is that my father had gotten a job as a foreman to run the ranch for the Ute Tribe. We left when they decided to hire one of their own. So yes, I have lived on the reservation even though I am a white woman.

At the time I was there, we washed our clothes in ditches. We boiled our water to take bathes in tubs. We didn’t have electricity although we did haul in propane for our stoves. When the summer days got to hot we would go into the basement to cool off. We slept down there. We didn’t have AC or a lot of the modern conveniences of our neighbors.

I do remember those days with some fondness. Still I won’t do that again. It was too much work and too hard. I had a lot of responsibility for the care and tending of my brothers and sisters. I wanted to be free and run wild.

Still I am quite amused that someone decided to turn that place into a buffalo refuge. Then they paved the road. I can’t get my mind around how someplace so isolated has a paved road. Every spring the road still washes out even with the pavement. I remember times in the spring where I could collect 4-6 inches of mud on my boots when I went out to do the chores.

So I know the reason why farm families have so many kids. I also know why many farm kids want to escape this life. It is tough–tougher than you can imagine.

When I write about the “high desert” I am writing of what I know. The people who come from that environment are hardy and able because they can’t depend on anyone else to save them. It is an unforgiving environment. It is a deadly beauty.