harold_maude's journal

Duck Straightening time

# 45515

This morning I realized that I need to start getting my ducks in a row, as it were.
There are way too many things I have wanted to do and haven't done them.
And along with that, I realized that I am having a really difficult time remembering my past, before I left everything I had known for 40 some years. It's another life time.

I was doing some writing about my favorite things, and I had a horrible time remembering things.
It was a really bad struggle. I don't know what that means.
Mabye it's because I spend most of my life now trying to go forward, trying to make getting from one paycheck to the next as smooth as possible and as peaceable as possible.
That seems to pre-empt everything else all the time now.

Ok. Enough of getting side tracked.
I'm trying hard to be focused today so that I can start getting some of this stuff done that I want to.

One of my many projects that is in a construction stage is something called "Brown Paper Comix".
The history of brown paper comix starts down in Missoury where we spent 4 months house sitting without getting paid for it.
It sucked in a lot of ways, no electricty for 3 and a half months, we did have running water, mutant mice that I'm sure were plotting our demise, and lots and lots of time with no work and lots and lots of time spent making candles so that when it got dark we could still see.
Anyway, the guy I'm still with grew up in that area southern Iowa and Northern Missouri.
It's economy is really crappy, and the towns that exist there are small.
The one he spent several years in is 320 people total.

Small towns have more down sides to living there than up sides.
The kids in the town have nothing to do.
There isn't even a library there, you have to travel a ways to get to the nearest town that has one.
The country side is beatiful and very much like the pictures I've seen of the English country side.
The feel of the area is horrible, very life distroying and life sucking.
Lots and lots of back roads.

So there we are, and I've been watching him with his friends who are still all living in that area too, and I'm thinking as I'm watching these guys be guys that they are all in different stages of going crazy and in the mist of all of that, this immage comes into my head, this kid with all kinds of neurotic stuff going on. I knew instantly his name was stanley.
He is the first charater of Brown Paper comix.

The names that come remind me of the kids in school that every body picked on because they were not cool or not this or not that, didn't really fit in, had a few friends, Rupert, Wolfgang, Donald , Herman, Stanley, and so on.

The immages I started drawing are single frame cartoons. There is an explaination underneath, the same kind of thing as the far side cartoons.

I've got several done. And then there is the fine art division that sprank up somewhere along the line. All done in ball point pen.
I have several of thoes.
So what I ended up deciding to do with all of this is start my own newspaper called Brown Paper Comix.
I've got the first page of the first issue underway, but am having trouble deciding how to proceed.
I'm thinking that if I can get a copier and a printer then I can just print up a bunch of copies and give them away just to get them out there, sort of like a trial issue, and if there is interest, then take it further.

The other thing I've been thinking about is just putting up a website, I have no clue as to how to do that, I'm pretty unschooled in the art of web type stuff and limited knowledg of computer stuff, so that means that I either have to find someone who is really good at this stuff and work out some kind of deal with them, or figure this stuff out myself.
I'd rather do the latter as I am a firm believer the more you learn how to do for your self the more you can do for yourself without having to wait on anyone and their schedual.
It's about being free.

Then there is all this art that I have. I've sold alot and given away alot and I just keep making more.
I'm doing paper mache now because I have this thing going on with this need to sculpt. It's making me crazy.
So, I'm trying to answer that thing with paper mache.
I've done three so far, and I'm not sure what I'm really doing.
I'm studing how things dry now and what mixtures that I can make myself make the most solid finished peice.

The first one I did is now a very elaborate insense and clock holder.
It's pretty big and looks abstract.
I realized that I don't know how to be an artist, I just am one because I can't help making art all the time.
I don't know how much actually is that good, but from the continued reaction to what I've done, I'm guessing that I'm doing something right.
People see lots of things in my paintings, and funny thing about that is that it changes for each person who looks at it.
I've watched people stare at the stuff for a very long time while they tell me what they are seeing.

I've been looking for an agent, because I really suck at marketing my own work.
I've gone door to door literally trying to sell the stuff I've done and I did sell some stuff that way.
My work never seems to work in galleries, so the one woman shows I have done have been in non gallery settings, an empty room/gallery in an art store, out at the farm, and at a university for three nights.
All of thoes were sucessful, I sold several peices of work at the second and third.
I've been looking for another place to host another show,as people keep bugging me about when I'm going to do another show.

I've thought about self publishing, but once again, my mind feels fried from all the stuff that has gone on in rapid sucession over the last couple of years....I really do need a vacation.

A nice long vacation with a personal massuse at my beck and call...that's the day after I win the lottery. :)

Back to the duck thing.

Then there is all the writing and research that I have done on communication and the chemistry of language, yes I said chemistry. I've been doing research on letters and numbers and names and the energy frequencies and time and all kind of other things, and I need to gather it all together and decide what to do with it.
I'm learning alot, and trying to answer questions that come up.
I've tried reading A brief history of time a couple of times, but I'm over whelmed by it.
I've been reading food of the gods for a couple of months, but he has so much to say, and I need to read some and then ponder it and let it really register to where I'm pretty sure I understand what he is saying.

Somedays I feel completely brain dead.

That's another problem with trying to get my ducks to behave and get their little feathery asses in a nice neat row and then maybe I can teach them to quack in musical order and I can be the first duck band leader, we'll do pink floyds comfortably numb followed by the 1812 overture....
I'm getting side tracked again....
Some one please slap me for me...no, don't do that, I'm not into pain.

Then there are the walls of this place.
The walls are covered in part with mossaic work.
There is art by a friend who just reciently died.
There is art by a friend who is still alive.
Kevin's got a section he's been working on here and there now and again.
I just started on the kitchen cupbords.
I've painted the refrigerator, and one of the windows too.
I'm artifing the bathroom.
I will end up doing the ceiling as well.
Everything in this house, the floor too, will be artified when I'm done.
The house that art built.

My human storage unit that keeps me dry in wet weather. It's not a pleasnt place to be in either summer or winter.
I have to weatherize this place, and I want to do something with it other than just keep it here in this trailer park until I have to leave because the sojourn is telling me it's time to hit the road again.

I really want to find a peice of land and move this place there.
Build on to it, and make the kind of house where it's a place that people gravitate to because it's so weird, and so cool and so peaceful that it's becomes their sanctuary from the insanity of the world that is eating them alive.

The peaceful sanctuary exists already. Where ever I go that happens. That's not because I'm special at all, it's the gifts that I'm caretaker of that does that.
It makes me giggle when I see it happening to the people who come here.
We will be talking about stuff and after a bit they start yawning and yawning.
They come here stressed out and aparently it's so relaxing here that it's like they've taken valum, and they have to go home and go to bed.
One of the guys that comes here, just stretches out on the couch and crashes here.
He said he has trouble leaving this place.

Sometimes, here lately, I've been getting the distinct feeling he's becomming addicted to what is here.
He's been here almost every night for a about a month now.
I've had to stop taking his phone calls for a while because I know what he wants and I need some time here with out people showing up and wanting to talk.

I do feel like an unpaid therapist alot. They come and unload, the gifts do their thing and all I want to do is more art.

A peice of land would solve alot. I want to build little mud type huts with a bed area and a fire pit outside that is away from the main house.
That way if someone comes who needs to do some soul searching there is a place for them to go that's safe and they are close enough to the house, with in walking distance that if something happens that they need help, it can be done.

I want to build a large green house, or several and raise organic vegies, and show people what good food actually tastes like.
The raw food in the store is pretty tasteless unless you buy the expensive stuff, and who actually has that kind of money that they can keep a really good stocked kitchen?
It sure isn't my house.

I want to build a little store on the place so that I and others like me can make and grow stuff to sell and make our living that way and live a life that is not controlled by corporations and mad rules that are impossible to follow because although they look great on paper, that's not the real world.

I want to be able to have bonfires and drum circles again.
And go outside and look at the stars and talk about how beautiful the sky is and stuff like that.
I want to play in the dirt and make mud balls with people who need to touch something simplier so that they can stop for a while and at least catch their breath.

I don't want much do I? Geeze, I want alot and it seems that if I'm going to see these things happen I have no choice but to figure out the how's to get from point a to point b.

...oh yeah, and then there is all the sewing I want to do. And more Beadwork jewerly.
And I want to learn how to blow glass.
And work with the new metal clay, so that I can do glass and metal art.

I wish I was smarter so that I could brain storm my way to some answers that had substance to them.
I still haven't found an agent, so I just keep looking.

No wonder I'm so exausted. Too many unfinished things in my life. And the thing that is happening now and has been for a few months is that my energy is next to nothing and it takes determination just to get through each day now.
I feel the need so strong that I have trouble sleeping most nights, except this last week.
I crashed every night after work.

All I want to do is sleep.

but there is way too much to do, and I can't bring myself to give myself permission to sleep in on my days off or even sleep the whole weekend away, which is what I really do need to do.
But again, there is way too much to do.

So what's a body to do?

Just keep on keeping on I guess.
Until I win the lottery...:)

Friday night

?% | 1

# 45511

Well, I made it through another week. Long, hard and fast moving. Seems that this year is going like a freight train now and there is wrecked stuff in it's wake.

Yesterday we got slammed for lunch, or a better though might be, we got our asses handed to us.
That happens. You move as fast as you can and they still keep comming. But what was strange was that everyone who walked through the door looked pissed off completely.
A very scary view when your the first person they deal with.

Everything went fine with each one of them, but I kept waiting for that one who would snap and go sideways and start doing really crazy stuff.
I was wiped out when things slowed down.

I've seen pissed off people who walk through the door and nothing we do on the other side of the counter helps that mood and it takes alot somedays to just smile and be polite when someone comes in like that.

When our regulars come in and I'm at the top of the line, they will throw orders at me, one after another.
That's not too bad, I can generally keep about 3 orders straight at a time, but it's the one's who keep changing their mind from the minuet they start till they get through the line.
That makes me crazy.
The people behind them have different reactions, usually they stand their giggling at the person and how I'm rolling with all of it and just keep going.
I'm glad they have a sense of humor.

Somedays I would love to just not go in, but that would be a bad thing because so many people who have come to work there since I started about a year and half ago have flaked out completely and then they are gone.
I refer to thoes people as the corn flakes.

Now when someone comes to apply, both I and the manager who is awesome about everything, will look at each other and say the same thing, "we'll see how it goes."
Makes me wonder how many we will have to go through before we meet the next person who is willing to be reliable and willing to actually work instead of just standing around doing nothing.
We have thoes on the crew.
They seem to just be interested in collecting a paycheck.

That makes the work harder all the way around. Alot of highschool kids have come through, and what I've noticed about most of them is that they have no clue as to what it means to actually work.
Their idea of work, from asking them, is about a half hour of homework and maybe cleaning their room now and again.
It baffles the mind really.

I wonder about the parents of these kids. What are they teaching them at home, or even are they home or busy working two or more jobs because of what ever it is that makes two or more jobs nessiary.
When the kids come to us to work, they keep proving how lazy they truely are.
The job isn't rocket science, just food.

It's scary to think that in a few short years these same people will be running the show in business and politics.

There was this one kid who was 15 when he got hired on and didn't know how to use a can opener.
This same kid liked to get the other workers stired up with bulshit so that there was always this stupid drama crap on display.
I was so happy when he got fired.
Little shit. We all wanted to take him out back and re-adjust his attitude.

Then we had this one girl who convinced that she was the hottest thing on the planet. What a moron. Truely. It took her a half and hour, I'm not kidding, I timmed her one day, to make up tuna fish salad, it's mayo and tuna is all.
Then she says "I just don't know how I do it."
I stood there in complete amazement that she was that, um, what ever...

We have had other people come through, not high school kids, and some of them have been real winners...cough, cough.
Like the woman who is the poster child for the stero type of "fat and lazy."
This woman shuffled her feet everywhere, never picked up a broom, and never did much except eat and bitch about everything.
She talked the manager into hireing her mom.
What a peice of work.

No brains to speak of. And what really blew my mind about this woman is that she had gone through nursing school and got her nursing licence and when she cut her self at work had no idea what to do.
This was crazy, she is trying to open a bag of bacon with this knife and holding it the wrong way so that she ended up cutting her hand, there are customers in line and she comes out of the back kitchen blood running down her hand, she holds it up and says this: "I cut myself, what do I do?"
Simply unbelieveable.

She aparently had worked several other food service jobs and couldn't figure out why she kept getting fired.

I found out she is now working for "Wendys". For thoes of you who arn't familar with it, it's a burger chain here in the US.
I'm not sure which one she is working at, but until I hear she's been fired from there, I'm not eating there.

The people who are willing to work are few and far between.
They stay for a while and then move on.

I'm staying until the manager leaves, which I'm thinking will be before the year is out. Too much stuff since the new owners bought out the last one's roughly a year ago.

When she goes, I'll go too. She is the best manager I have ever worked for, bar none. She works hard and by her example shows everyone who works there what it means to work.
I have told her that I keep chasing her, but she would have to take a year off for me to catch her.
But I keep trying.
When she says "game on" it's time to rock and roll and fly as fast as I can. And I do. Every single day.

I now could get a job in a butcher shop. I slice meat every single day and cheese too.
The cheese takes the longest. Gotta stack the slices and then cut the stack diagonally.
My least favorite meat to slice is prime rib. It looks like cow turds when it is in body form.
The turkey the company switched to looks like white baloney when you take the wrapper off and put it through the slicer.
I've been doing slicing for over a year now and I can pick up a peice of meat and guess the weight and be right on when I put it on the scale.

Anyway, I hadn't planned on talking about work. But oh well, there it is.

I think I'm going to go play with some bubbles now and let maggie, my crazy cat that loves putting her nose in my ear, chase them.
In truth I think she is a dog in a cat body. She loves going for car rides and sits behind me on the top of the seat and watches out the window. She is a strange one.
She is the one who picked the app for the place I work now and pushed it to the side and pissed on the rest of the pile I was in the process of filling out.
She knew where I needed to be.
Smart and crazy like me.
She's my monkey butt kitty. She wrapps her tail around my arm like a monkey, hence the monkey butt part.

Anyway, it's bubble time. :)

Poetry and the like

?% | 1

# 45485

There once was a..fill in the blank. Say something that works
so that it rolls right off the tounge.

I used to go to this interactive poetry site. I used to go to write and get help from other writers.
I found that it still exists after this long.

One or two things have changed. But it's still the same in a lot of ways.
There are still decient poems being written. And the hecklers are still there, saying things that don't mean anything.

And the writers who continue to write there respond often in kind.
For a while, back there somewhere, there was this one person who spent several hours going through all the salons as they are refered to on the site and closed everyone's poem.
I often wondered how bankrup a person's life had to be to spend all that time just doing that.

Seems a silly way to spend any time at all.

There are general salons where anyone can try their hand at either writing something solo, or writing a line or two and then anyone who wants to can add their own words.
A collaborate effort with anyone who will.

Then there are the hiku salons and the goth salons, and then there are two salons for thoes who have been banned for one reason or another from all the other salons.

I used to frequent the two banned salons. It was crazy most of the time.
Kind of like going into a bar on any given saturday night and fights just keep breaking out.
I think I went there just to see what people were capable of trying to pass of as poetry.
What ever else it was, it was always an interesting place to visit.

I wrote mostly in the general while I could still write decient poetry. The it stopped one day, just like someone turned the facet off.
I went looking the other day and found some of the poems that I wrote and re-read them.
A mix of good stuff and crap. But I think anyone who does anything creative will produce both.
But producing crap isn't always a bad thing, you can learn what works and what doesn't by studing the stuff that you create that doesn't work so good.

I'm kind of sad that someone turned the facet off. I would love to write the way I used to.
Words that painted pictures, the good poetry did.
My favorite kind of poem to write was the story kind.

I did one about this couple who fell in love. He worked at the local hardwear store and she was a waitress at the local greasy spoon.
The charter who is telling the story is an old woman who claims her only source of romance is when she writes about it.
It got really long.

I guess somethings carry over. I write long thoughts here too.

Then there was the one about Esmarelda and the cheese that she kept and dressed as a breakfast companion.
The cat ate the cheese and ended up tied up to a chair being Esmarelda's new breakfast companion.

It was fun for a very long time. I like writing about things that just came to mind and went their own way.

I would love to write that way again. Problem is now I'm not sure I could write about perfect summer days that taste just like perfect strawberries without sounding cheesy or flaky.

Problem is that I find most times when I sit down to write now, the sweet dreams that made words have been replaced by hard realities and things that have to be dealt with.
So much for sugar plums...now they have become pages of somewhere else.

Monday morning

# 45482

Well, here it is monday again. Insert daylight, and we are good to go.

Spring is on it's way. The weather is going into it's erratic routine now, that's natures way of telling us who live in this land of extreem weather, that winter is almost done.
I'm happy this morning about that.

This weekend went fast, just like every other weekend for the last, I donno, long time. I'm still not quite awake here.
But I'm up! Yea! My brain is getting into work mode so it's working....that's good.

A light somewhere

# 45478

Today, being saturday, is filled to over flowing with details of things that are screaming at me to be done.
This happens every time I have a day off and when I get off work as well.
The list is longer than I wish it was and as I get things crossed off the list it seems that there is something else waiting to fill the spot.

Some day I'm hoping that there won't be a list of waiting things, and I can take a vacation.
Some place I've never been before.
Some place that I've thought would be nice to get lost in for a week or so and have an entire life in that time.

It would be wonderful. That's the light I keep looking for in the sea of stuff that I'm drowning in daily.
Oh well, gotta get back to it.


# 45475

In search of personal excellence.

That was and still is the goal that I keep reaching for.
That's what happens when a person embarks on a personal search for who they are.
People can say anything about you and to you and convince you that they know you better than you could ever possiblly know yourself.

People can believe anything about you and convince you that they know what they are talking about.

But unless you set out to find out who you are, you will find out things about yourself durring very difficult circumstances.

You may believe what you've been told, but the truth will show up and show you, you.
It's very dependable that way.

It seems to go easier on a person when they purpose to set out to find out the truth about themselves. Who they really are deep down inside.
Somethings we know, but pretend we don't around other people.
Our reaction to someone having a problem with us gives us some clues.

Most people take great offense to confrontation concering someone else's opinion of them.
The more truth you know about you, the less angry it seems to make you.
If you are hungry for truth, it will light your way.
You might want to run from what you see, but you will stay because you want the truth.

In the eyes through which we see our journey, everything becomes something we are noticing, simply because we are searching for clues.

Clues are alot like puzzle peices. We have no definable picture
to work from, only the notion that the truth is in there somewhere and we won't stop until we see the whole picture.

That's what sojorning has taught me.

I have learned to love truth no matter how much pain it brings to the surface.
Pain has it's own lessons. And they are part of the process as well.
Sometimes truth brings death to things that delay the process.
That takes acceptance that it is for the best.

To be the best, to be the strongest, to be who you are ment to be. All of these things take breaking everything about you.
So that out of the broken places, the light of truth will shine through.
I call that the grinder. Because that's what it feels like somedays.

Some places are more like brick walls. You are stopped dead in your tracks. And the same lesson comes again. If you make the same choice, you end up slamming into the brick wall again.
This process keeps repeating until you figure out that making a different choice is a better idea. It doesn't hurt so much.

I was thinking about the job I go to monday through friday.
A food service job. It's somewhere down on the food chain near the bottom of things.
It's not a job that you would look for when planning your life out.
But it's still ok if your going to college and need some money when you go back to school.
Most of our asperations have more to do with money than who we are ment to be.

It does have the bennefit to it that if you move somewhere new you can always find a job in food service to get you started.

Other than that it has no bennefits to it. At least on the surface it doesn't.
But what if you start thinking about it this way:
This is an opportunity for self discipline.
This is an opportunity to see how good you can be,or how fast you can move.
Something very similar to the diciplines that surround martial arts.

It's a place where you can learn to rise above the expectations and the gossip and the attitudes and lack of dependablity that is a common plague in food service jobs.

Doing this doesn't mean that you have to think of this lowly place as a life time thing.
It's just a different approach to doing something that very few people want to do, but end up doing over and over.
When you look at things this way, maybe the reason that some people never do anything but food service or any other lowly job again and again is because they keep hitting the brick wall, because what they are suppose to be learning they arn't.
So they have to keep doing it, no other doors ever seem to open for them.

Something to think about the next time you think about going to work and start complaining.
Why not choose to have the best day you've had in a while and see how the day goes.
You may have so many things thrown at you the first few times you decide to do this, and what this is doing is showing you things that need to be delt with inside you.

I'm finding the more times I make the decision to have a good day, the less exausted I am at the end of the day.
No matter what gets slammed my way, my purpose is to have a good day, so I have to just relax and let it slide past me.

There alot more good days now than difficult ones now.
Funny thing is about this, there has been so much stuff happen for the last few months that I now need to make the decision to have the best day I can just to get through stuff in one peice.

The truth that I have found in choosing to discipline myself in an area of my life is that it makes it alot easier to wake up with me in the morning.
And that's worth it.
If nothing else good comes from it, that alone is worth everything.
To be able to wake up not wishing I could unzip my skin so I could get away from me because I don't like what I'm being like or living like.

I still have a long road to go. But it gets easier to want the truth to do what it does. The end results are awesome.
That's what makes it worth all you go through too.

I hope someday when all is said and done that it will be said of my life, that I lived it well.

This post was edited by harold_maude on Mar 01, 2008.

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