This is me today

This morning I walked into a store to buy a coffee.  I smelled you.  I looked everywhere but you were not there.  14 years and it hit me like a punch in the gut.  I saw a man in a car today.  I thought it was you.  It was not.  I think I’m going to see you soon.  I feel it.  And it doesn’t really matter.  I’m OK.  You’re not OK.  My version of the book.

I'm_OK-_You're_OK

NOT.

I am moving soon.  It is a difficult thing to do.  The packing and selling and organizing.  Selling some of the stuff in my parents’ house so I can get my stuff out of here and in there.  Log jam!  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed.  And other times I feel like – I’ve got this.  I’m a frigging production manager.

moving

My father had his shoulder replaced last week.  He looked so awful afterward in the hospital, he scared me.  And I don’t scare easily.  He will be 81 on March 30.  He has been in rehab since Friday.  He is himself again.  If he wasn’t sitting around in jammies and wearing a sling, you’d never know.  Yay!

shoulder_reverse_intro01

I have a new job.  Driving an escort car for oversize loads.  I love love love love love it.  If I have my way, I will never ever sit in an office again.  Unless it is volunteer work of some kind.

hazards-for-oversize-loads-on-the-road

The other day I was escorting a guy whose handle was Big Daddy.  I kid you not.  But I did kid him about it; oh yes I did.  So we’re coming over 691 and I said, “Big Daddy.  See that tower up there?”  He said yes.  I said, “When I was in high school, I used to go up there with my friends and smoke the wacky.”  He laughed and said, “Me too.”  Turns out, Big Daddy went to high school in Connecticut, as did I.  We graduated in the same year.  I met Big Daddy in person at the end of the run.  He looked like my ex.  A little taller and his Buddha was a little smaller.  He had a shaved head complete with baseball cap, bright blue eyes and the same hands.  I said, “Big Daddy.  You look like my ex.  Hey!  You could be my next ex.”  He rolled his eyes.  I get a lot of that.

meriden tower 2

I have this dog Dante.  He is some kind of freaky critter.  He is not my Mikey.  This doesn’t mean I don’t love him.  Maybe I feel about Dante how mothers feel about their kids.  You love them all but you love them different?  First I had Dave and he was my baby.  No doubt about it.  Then I had Mike and he was my BFF.  I loved him with my heart.  I still do.  We got each other.  Now I have Dante.  A rescue.  I had the others from puppy stage.  Dante has issues.  He is needy.  He cries and barks.  But he is sweet.  He stares at me all the time.  And he loves me.  And he is playful.  He worries.  I can tell.  He paws at me if I don’t touch him enough, which for him is most of the time.  He throws himself at me.  He tries to sit or lie on my lap.  He weighs 55 pounds.  He hogs the bed.  I have to fight for space.  But I’m a dog person/poodle mama.  I love his screwed-up little self.  But I think I might miss Mike every day for the rest of my life.

1010930_667624779921475_227944564_n

Never heard of Pharrell Williams till the song “Happy” came out.  I freaking love it.  I wish I had written it.  But I never would have worn shorts to the Academy Awards.

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

pharell-williams-oscar-fashion-2014-lead

Today, I am happy too.

happy day

Advertisements

A New Chapter

On February 7, 2014, I celebrated an anniversary.  On that day, I had not had a full-time job for two years.

holy cow

Those who know me already know this about me – I like not working every day.  I don’t like thinking about from where my next dollar will come, but I no longer place any value on myself in reference to my work status.  I used to.  After I was fired from Mintz & Hoke in 2003, I learned not to.  I figured if they could fire me after all I had done while working there, I needed to rethink who I was.  There is a party game.  It goes like this.  What are you?  Name three things.  The most true thing first.  For years and years, I was

1.  A production manager

2.  A wife

3.  A friend

production managerWife-t-shirt friend1

Two and three varied, but for 20 years, I was a production manager first and always.  A cruel lesson I had to learn, but like many tough experiences in life – I am so much better for it.  Cancer – better for it.  Battered woman – better for it.  Infertile – better for it.  All true.

Now this sound like it could be a depressing blog but I tell you, it is not and will not end up that way.

smile face

I am selling my condo that I have owned for the last 10 years.  I can no longer afford to live here.  It is my favorite place I have ever lived.   I suppose I could find two lousy-paying full-time jobs but I don’t want to.  And lucky for me, I have another option.  I am moving in with my parents. (Plus a huge shout-out to the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare.)

condocondo1

And this is what this blog is really about.  Me, moving back to my childhood home.

home

You read about this all the time.  You are reading about this now.  We are living in a strange world.  This economy is in an uproar.  I always did the right thing.  I saved money.  I supported myself.  I owned my own home.  Three times I bought a home.  I started at the bottom and made my way up to a spot where I could do what I wanted.  Within reason.  I remember buying my first house in 1985 and when we came out of the closing, we had about $100 left.  But we made a comeback.  We were careful and frugal.  And later on we, and then I, went on nice vacations.  I drove a relatively new car.  I picked up the tab.  If I wanted something new, I bought it.  New Nikes.  A prime rib to feed my friends at dinner.  Sushi once a week.  A mani/pedi.  A book.  Flowers for the dining room table.  A pizza delivered.  A massage.  Just regular stuff.  Nothing too extravagant.  What everyone wants to make life nice.  I don’t buy any of these things now.

nike sushimani

When I was a kid, I moved to Florida.  It was 1977.  I answered an ad for a job with “Kelly Girls” to work at a printer as a secretary/receptionist.  Voila!  The rest is history – I went into printing – remember drinks around the table – what are you – I am a production manager.  I was made for that job.  I had never heard of a production manager when I was growing up and all at once, I was one.  And I was good at it.  But print is dying a slow and painful death.  It won’t die all the way.  It will reincarnate as a smaller type of business.  PDF and the internet took care of that.  And I’m OK with progress.  I love the internet.  I was a library freak when I was a kid and I’m an internet freak now.  I love looking stuff up.  I used to keep a dictionary by my bed.  I read in bed.  Every night.  I liked to open an encyclopedia to any page and read about what I landed on.  Encyclopedias are gone.  Now we have Wikipedia.  And I like Wikipedia too.  And Google.

librarycomputerencyclopedia

So I was laid off two years ago and I looked for a job.  But I had been working in printing since 1977.  This is 2014.  I am 58 years old.  It is hard enough to get a job at my age, but I’m a one-trick pony to employers.  I know what I am.  I know I am not a one-trick pony.  I’m smart and funny and patient and passionate and flexible and fast and a very good student.  But I have given up on convincing anyone new of that.  And I no longer worry about it.

I have done some volunteer work at the daycare at the Y.  That led to a job as a sub Pre-K teacher.  I helped a friend with an older relative.  That led to respite care.  And work through Care.com.  I’ve done some editing for a university alumni magazine.  Now I’m driving escort cars.  With the oversize load sign on top?  And the flashing lights?  And a CB radio and orange flags?  And I have to say, I love it.  And it pays quite well.  Not much going on in the winter but it’s good.  No politics.  No crap.  No fighting.  And if there is, I pay no attention.  I go where they tell me.  I do what they tell me.  Then I go home.  I am going to try to support myself for a long time doing this.  My “friends” say I am a paid escort.  I love them too.

pre-koversize loadcb

So back to moving.  I like my parents.  They like me.  Dare I say, it might be love?

C&V

At the end of last summer and early fall, I let a friend stay in my condo.  I spent most of that time with my parents, in both Maine and Connecticut.  I had been considering moving in with them and in the back of my mind, I was afraid we might drive each other nuts and I wanted to test the waters.  And you know what?  I dove right in and the water was fine.  I kept asking my mother, “Am I driving you nuts?”  And she kept saying, “No.  Are we driving you nuts?”  And the answer was no from my end too.  When I finally came back to my condo, my mother called me and said, “Come back.  I don’t want to do my own laundry.”

maine laundry

Another thing to know about me.  In addition to being Self-Appointed Hair Critic to the World, I am the Queen of Laundry.  Believe it.  I separate.  I do the hot, warm, cold loads.  Every single time.  I use bleach as needed.  Every single time.  Yes.  No short cuts.  I’m a good production manager.  Probably why I was able to stay in my condo for two years without a real job.  I sold my Wii, my grandmothers crocks and kitchen antiques, my china and crystal, my jewelry, my jewelry armoire, designer clothes, and many more things that I cannot recall right now.  And I will sell lots more before I am through.  Because I am moving.

old country roseswaterford j3

I am heading toward a new chapter in my life.  I will live with my parents.  It will be good for me.  It will be good for them.  I won’t have to work ever again in a full-time job about which I do not care. I will do for them the things that become more difficult as they age.  And they will make my life easier.  We will take turns cooking.  My father and I want a big garden.  I love yard work.  I will do dishes and laundry.  I will run up and down the stairs.  I can watch their dog if they want to go somewhere and they can watch Dante for me.  I will drive my escort vehicles.  I will be busy in the nice seasons and slow in the winter.

breadgardenmushrooms

I will enter a new phase of my life.  I will peel down another layer and explore the person who is there – someone different yet the same in many ways.   As I have done many times before.  I look forward to it.  I embrace it.  My life is good.  It was good and will continue to be.

I am at a party. I am playing the game.  I am

1.  A daughter

2.  A dog mother

3.  A friend

daughters dante friend

I another few years, I may be someone else.

But for now – with my family, my friends and my dog, I’m happy.

Happy

My life in Haiku

I do hate housework
I try to make myself clean
Vacuuming is awful

vacuum

I miss him a lot
My dog Mike with his brown eyes
I will not forget

Mike

Once I lost a job
A man who had small fingers
Were other things small

Was crazy in love
He said I’ll never leave you
Who tells lies like that

Ann Coulter faking
But people believe in her
She laughs all the time

ann-coulter

Looking at hairdo’s
I have been struck blind often
Need a mirror, Girl

bad hair

Thinking in Haiku
It’s funny and makes me laugh
You should try it too

haiku

Stop licking my pit
My dog loves deodorant
Dante’s a weirdo

D05252013

Candy Crush Saga
I am so addicted now
Candy Crack Saga

candy crack

I am fucking broke
Twenty two months not full time
But love not working

no_money

Love NCIS
Isn’t Gibbs really handsome
Why did Ziva leave

ziva

I am getting old
Arthritis hurts my poor toes
And the rest of me

toe

I’m a love cynic
Now I protect my poor heart
It is easier

heart

Not superstitious
Only a dummy would be
Knock knock knock knock wood

knock wood

Word I never heard
Disambiguation – huh?
Love dictionaries

dictionary

I called you Pumpkin
You called me your Pussy Cat
You were full of shit

pumpkinpussy cat

My heat isn’t on
I’m waiting for Thanksgiving
Colleen needs the warmth

fire

The end. For now.

Thinking

As many of you may know, I love thinking.  Pondering.  I love reading.  I like looking at situations from every side.  And I have spent a lot of time thinking about intelligence.  This blog was born from a Facebook link a friend of mine posted.  And it tells those of us who love animals and spend good, quality time with them what we already know.  That animals are smart.  Really smart.  And their smarts are different from ours.

mike

There are many various types of intelligence.  I’m a really good student.  I can read, comprehend, learn a language, write a story, take a test.

I cannot fix my car.  I don’t understand when something is wrong with it.  I glaze over when someone talks to me about the mechanics of my car.

But I can sew.  I can cut out a pattern and follow the directions and make clothing.  And something I learned from living with a carpenter for several years, is that sewing and building are very similar.  Different raw materials and different tools, but alike in many ways all the same.  Prepare your pieces carefully, assemble them precisely – let them know who is the boss – and Voila!  A new dress.  A deck outside the slider.

patterndeck

And those math problems about Joe on a train going east and Sally on a train going west and riding to school on a bus or packing your lunch in a paper bag and the answer is blue and green?  What?  Huh?  Je ne comprend pas.  I don’t understand.  I learned that in my French class.  Where I excelled.

je ne

And I can cook.  I know this because I made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon.  Reading, and again – the right raw materials, following directions.  I can do that.  Take a look at the recipe. I can definitely cook.

http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/julia-childs-beef-bourguignon-recipe/1/

julia-childs-beef-bourguignon-lg-150455

I spent many years as an advertising print production manager working with art directors, designers, printing press operators.  All with very different kinds of intelligence.  Me, the creative problem solver, the executor if you will.  The art director/designer – the one with the idea and the vision.  The press operator – the mechanic with ink-stained hands and an artist’s finesse.

light boothCMYKpress1pressman

I write all this to try to sell you on reading this fabulous essay I just read about intelligence.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Go ahead.  It will only take you a couple of minutes.

 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323869604578370574285382756.html?KEYWORDS=the+brains+of

chimp

Susan Glennis, Susan Isaacs and Glennis Maguire

So I went to a writing class with my friend April last Saturday.  I don’t think I learned anything new – it was a beginner class – but I did enjoy myself.  Loved the women leading the class.  If you want to know more about them – http://easthillwriters.com and http://www.annsheybani.com.

So anyhow – two hour class – our assignment was to write about a person, place or event from our childhood.  Just write anything about a subject for 10 minutes.  Don’t stop.  Free flow – stream of consciousness.  So I picked my maternal grandmother – Glennis Maguire.  My blog name – susanglennis.wordpress.com – my middle name – that’s where I got it.  I didn’t want to use my last name at the time I set up that blog – I would now but the susanglennis has grown on me.

We wrote for 10 minutes.  Then we went back and picked out our favorite parts – things that struck us, things that maybe we had not thought of before.

Here is some of what I wrote.

My grandmother made fabulous chocolate cake.

She was not what any of us would call a nice person.  She was mean.  When my mother was a child, my grandmother wanted her to cut her long hair.  My mother didn’t want to so under the guise of giving her a trim – my grandmother grabbed a huge hunk of her hair and hacked it off.  My mother ended up with a short haircut to even it up.  For my mother – just one in a long line of betrayals.  One of life’s cardinal rules broken – You should be able to trust your mother.

My grandmother made the same supper every night.  Fried hamburgers, boiled potatoes, canned peas – shriveled and gray and mushy.  Once in a great while on Sunday, she made oyster stew.  This “stew” consisted basically of milk, melted butter, canned oysters and pepper.

During one of my grandparents’ Christmas visits in Connecticut, someone they knew came to see them and said they would be stopping at my grandparents’ house in Maine for an overnight on their way north the following summer.  My grandmother went upstairs and got in bed and stayed there all the next day.  When I finally got her to tell me what was wrong, she said she didn’t want company to stop because she didn’t know what to cook.

My grandmother took naps.  These naps were a religious experience, like a priest and communion.  No one could make noise, no one could wake her up.  Dire consequences.  As a child, my mother was not allowed to go outside when a nap was going on.  She had to stay in and be very quiet.  I come from a long line of readers.  My mother went and got her book.  My grandmother made her stop reading while she was napping because the sound of the pages turning woke her up.  My mother sat there – a small child – not moving – not making a sound.

My grandfather was a kind man who teased his wife often, trying to cajole her into a good mood.  She didn’t like it.  She stood and screamed “I’m gonna get a knife and stab you right in the heart!”.  She said it like hot – she was from Maine.

The grandmother stories are endless.  At the writing class, one person wanted to know everything about her.  April didn’t want to hear anymore.  And I do have lots but I can truly say they don’t bother me anymore.  And also, although my grandmother was mean to most everyone, she was not mean to me.  I don’t know why.  Sun rising and setting in her first-born grandchild?  The old story about grandchildren and grandparents getting along so well because they share a common enemy?  The family dynamic.  But I was a pretty bright kid.  I was aware of the crap she was pulling, especially as it concerned my mother and grandfather.

My mother had no idea how to deal with her.  She spent a lot of time trying to please her mother, so she wouldn’t be unhappy or mean.  But this was not ever, ever going to happen.  And my mother was so confused by the whole thing, she never really figured out she couldn’t make her happy.  Some clarity has come to her over the last 20 years or so since her mother passed.  But she is scarred and in turn her children are scarred.  And are my grandmother’s great-grandchildren carrying some of the marks too?  I’m sure they are.

And I will take this opportunity to say I love my mother.  And my father.  I’m glad they are still here with me.  I believe they did the best job they could.  I’m way beyond blaming my parents for any of my shortcomings.  But people didn’t dissect their screwed-up childhoods back in the day.  They didn’t go to shrinks or take Prozac.  My grandparents were born in 1916 and 1917.  My parents were born in the 30’s and started reproducing at a very young age.  That is part of the reason they are still in my life, being 19 and 22 when I was born.

So on to Susan Isaacs.  I love her books.  She wrote one of my very favorites – Compromising Postions – link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Compromising-Positions-Susan-Isaacs/dp/B002PJ4HFI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361400478&sr=1-1&keywords=compromising+positions+by+susan+isaacs

There is a line in this novel – I can’t remember it perfectly and although I searched for it, I apparently cannot find it right now without rereading the whole thing.  But it is one of the reasons why I love this book, and Ms. Isaac‘s writing.  It is a mystery about a murdered Lothario who took pictures of his conquests in flagrante delicto, and the main characters – Judith and Nancy – see pictures of a woman with cylindrical produce protruding from her most special of orefices.  And one says to the other something like this – If we ever do meet her, you must remind me not to try her coleslaw.  Compromising Positions was Susan Isaac’s debut novel published in 1978.  I’ve read them all.  I have well-loved copy of this book.  All banged up.  Bent and held together with clear wide packing tape.

Another reason for my love of CP, Nancy refers to a mutual acquaintance as a “subanthropoidal horse’s ass“.  I had forgotten about that – used to use it often and will now start saying it again.

So Susan Isaac’s latest which I took out of the library last Thursday is titled Goldberg Variations.

http://www.amazon.com/Goldberg-Variations-Novel-Susan-Isaacs/dp/1451605919/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361556833&sr=1-1&keywords=goldberg+variations

This is the first of her books that is not very funny.  Not to me, anyway.  It is about a miserable grandmother and how she treats her family.  But I amused that these events came together – the writing topic and the book.  I’m sure I subconsciously chose to write about my grandmother in that class because I knew this book was in my library pile.

So toward the end of Goldberg Variations (page 246), Gloria’s grandson Matt thinks this and I quote –

“Gloria was definitely curious to hear what they were saying.  But there was something more with her, too. I didn’t know how I intuited this, and I could have been wrong.  Sometimes you got an insight into someone and you thought, Hey, I am so fucking perceptive.  And maybe it was true, you were.  Except wasn’t it equally possible that your observation was totally made up either to fulfill some need or because you really weren’t perceptive?  In fact, you were an ass and, like any ass, were too dumb to comprehend what you were.”

Perhaps a subanthropoidal horse’s ass.

Loved this quote. Something else for me to worry about.

Those of you who know me and/or have read very many of my blogs, are aware that I often immerse myself in introspection followed by self-flagellation.  So as a woman who spent six years in therapy, I am always searching for my weak spots.  What of Glennis Maguire has made it into her namesake, Susan Glennis?  Worry.  Worry.  Worry.  Laughing at self here.  Sort of.

When my grandmother died, as is customary, the minister sat and talked with us – my mother, my uncle Michael, my sister Katie and me.  We couldn’t think of anything really nice to say about my grandmother. The silence was, as they say, deafening.  We squirmed.  My uncle finally took him aside and told him the truth – our truth – what we all felt.  During her service, the minister said she was a woman who made her feelings known – something like that?  Then he said she made good chocolate cake.  That was it.  Nothing else.