Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dream Soul

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you away from this world
So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time
You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...
But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.
Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.
Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.
Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

Well, you know me, I had to go see what was up after finding the link posted at Lisa's every so tauntingly giving me come hither look that says, "Click me, Click me, you know you want to...just one little click." So like Alice falling down the rabbit's hole I clicked for all I was worth. And I came up with Dreamer Soul. I did it again, changing the answers and still I got a Dreamer Soul. hmmmmm. Was Alice this frustrated or did she just chew on the mushroom?

They say we don't see our selves like others do, I don't see my self this way at all. Well half way maybe. But I don't tend to wear rose coloured glasses. So come on you know you want to click the little link. So what are you?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ask Me If I Need Help

My pet peeve is women (er people) who can’t do for themselves. You know the ones, the stereo typical female who cries at the drop of a hanky when something goes wrong that is totally fixable, a mere bump in the road of life, but they turn to tears and mush. Oh, they grate me to my very core. Yes, everyone has hers or his strengths, and of course the flipside are those darn weaknesses.

Fully equipped, I totally suffer the superwoman complex, the Baby Boomer woman who has a full time career and a full time household (okay truth, now that the girls are on their own a part time household.) I make dinner, keep a clean house, help with the outside chores, and still have time to write. I’m pretty independent, and I’m willing to try most anything that doesn’t involve snakes. I’ve been through two and a half husbands (Ducky is intending to hold on) so that independence has served me well. This trait of mine drives my Bestest Friend insane.

Earlier this week my mom, now into her 70s, called and asked if Ducky could come and take her hot-water heater to the dump. Not a problem, we packed it in the truck and hauled it to recycling yesterday afternoon. Just a few short years ago my folks would have done this themselves, but my dad now is in the advance stages of emphysema and while he still does A LOT for himself, this was something my dad and mom shouldn’t have even attempted. In retrospect last night I realized just how far my parents have come. They have limitations, they realize those limitations, and now can ask for help without shame. This struck me with a full frontal force blow that should have popped my shoes right off my feet. Not only that, they did it with laugher and happiness to see us (not that they shouldn’t I AM the joy of their lives, ahhh huh! You’re buying all this right?)

Back History….My parents come from polar opposite backgrounds. My mother was born with the tarnished silver spoon in her mouth (a fast fading fortune, it’s the other side of the family that has all the investments fortune, but that is another story.) My father was born in the back hills of West Virginia, one pair of socks, made it through the 10th grade (because that is all they offered) and became a self made man. They are both self-doers, both self starters, both self reliant, both strong willed, and they are both very intelligent. They are both my heroes.

They passed these wonderful traits on to me (along with a love of arguing) and I have used them well. In the past when two husband’s walked out, after the prerequisite tears of anguish, self flagellation for being unworthy, I came the realization that life and I must go on, and I did. Then came Ducky. When our house needed a new roof, Ducky and I looked at each other, talked with a brother in law, and said, “We can do this.” And we did. There is a spot in our front yard that never grows anything so we decided to put in flagstone, we talked with my dad about it, and we said, “We can do this.” And we did. When we decided the house needed new flooring we said, “We can do this.” And we did. Then we looked and saw that we needed a whole new room, and damn, why not a covered deck? We said (after the foundation and framing were done by someone else), "We can do this" and We did. Kind of Godly don’t cha think?

Epilog: Through these accomplishments came the realization that I am allergic to baby sun block, not tar paper. I am allergic to cement, ate the skin right off my fingertips (and please don’t notice the hump in my flag stone.) Note, pay someone else to sand the mud.

Someday I won’t be able to do these things. Heck, I may not want to do these things for myself. But I am stubborn and my daughters will make me wear the Sandra Bullock sign that reads, “Ask me if I need help.” I’m hoping before that comes to pass I will learn to accept help gracefully, learn to ask for help gracefully when I need it. It won’t be an easy admission and will be a weighty burden to bear when the appointed time arrives. I’ve being doing for myself since right after the earth cooled. I don’t’ want to be a burden, I don’t want to give up early in life (when is early and how do you recognize the right time?) Lord, please grant me the grace to recognize, in time, my limitations without being a bitch about it. I have time, (what about forty years, I figure I should being asking, hmmm around 90 or so.)

So tell me, what is your strength? What is your weakness?


Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Dig Rock 'n Roll Music

I Dig Rock n’ Roll Music

When I was a kid, I was in Girl Scouts. Even when most kids were really embarrassed to be in scouting, I loved it. I proudly told people I was a scout for nine years. I still tell people I was a scout for nine years. Tonight that appreciation was underscored in an unusual way. I am the fire maker in our house; in fact, just yesterday Ducky said I build a much better fire than he does. My reply, “I learned in Girl Scouts.”

The fifth annual Winter Folk Festival offered two days of Americana, Celtic, and Folk music; two folk classics headlined festival’s concerts. I really wanted to go see the Highwaymen last night and really I should have bought tickets. As a festival underwriter the station received tickets to the concert and a pair for the Sunday concert fell to me; the group headlining the day’s music, The Brothers Four. Wow.

I have always loved folk music and I thought that love came from learning the songs in school. I, naively, believed everyone knew those songs, having learned them in grade school. But I think I was wrong. As we sat in the Florence Events Center excitement began growing inside me. At the opening cords of the first song, my heart started beating faster, and I turned to Ducky and questioned, ”Yellow Bird?”

The look on his face was classic, “You’re asking me?” Sure enough the Brothers Four opened the concert with their rendition of Yellow Bird. Now I’ll admit the reason I know all the words to the song is because we sang it in Junior High chorus as part of our competition repertoire, Ducky on the other hand gave me a look as I sang that loudly spoke, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

Then the group blended in to Sloop John B. and Ducky was singing too. An awesome beginning to a concert that had most quietly sitting in their seats, applauding with gusto at the end of each song. Then they delved deeper in to the folk bag and drug out Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, Pete Seegers’ Where Have All The Flowers Gone, If I Had A Hammer, and Arlo Gutherie’s City of New Orleans I was joyous. Singing low I realized, that except for the man seated behind me with the WONDERFUL voice, no one else was singing. I looked around watching silent lips, wondering how could this be? We learned these songs in school.

Afterwards, standing in the foyer waiting for them to come autograph my CD a lady asked to see my disk because she didn’t know if she wanted to buy it. She’d been to the concert the night before and was surprised she didn’t know many of the songs. Tonight she knew more, but she wasn’t sure the disk was for her. Heretic. Even without my glasses on I could tell the LP was full of great music. She bought a copy for herself. Now, I’m not an autograph hound and as the crowd to see them grew in size and clamor I decided to leave. I had the CD and that was the important part, along with that heady feeling you get after a great concert.

As we walked to the truck I asked Ducky what he thought, what his impressions were, and commented that I was happy he’d sung along on a few songs. His reply startled me as much as the lady’s comments in the foyer. He hadn’t known too many of the songs. With Ducky’s comment came my epiphany, I knew these songs and I had a love of these songs, a love of this music that brought tears to my eyes with the first cords of The Greenleaves Of Summer. I HAVE AN UNDYING LOVE OF FOLK MUSIC because of Girl Scouts. Folk music led to my love of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, The Mamas and the Papas, to Cat Stevens, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Loggins and Messina, and Bob Dylan. Thank God for Girl Scouts and all the lessons it taught me.

Okay, so I have to ask, if you love folk music too, do you love folk dancing? If you love folk music are you a head banger too? Because I really love Led Zepplin, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, and Clannad. Thank God I’m a DJ. And if you love music, do you know why? Does it speak to your heart? Is it the sound track of your life? Does each person you love come with a song attached?

You will be asked to put your pencils down in 10 minutes. The clock starts now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I love my computer

I've been on the internet for about eight years now, which is pretty funny when you consider it took my boss about a year to drag me kicking and screaming to even use my computer at work.
Now you can't get me off of it. Rose sent me this cartoon in a forwarded, forwarded, forward (you know the ones) and it just so spoke of me that I had to share - because I know it speaks to you, too.

It doesn't bother me that all my friends are online. No it doesn't, not at all. My friends are caring and loving. My friends are talented and versed. My friends will offer up their arguements, share their laughter, and shed their tears over crimes, the sublime and the humorous. My friends are in Utah, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Colorado, California, Arizona, Montana, Minnesota, Kansas, England, Demark, Canada, and where you are.

With my friends I spread my wings. Learn things I'd have never known.

In cyberspace I am wize. And sometimes I am downright dumb. I have a sense of humor (despite what exhubby number two said.) In cyberspace I have a personality (now that number two is history that is true.) In cyberspace I can be me. I can wax poetic, even if I don't recognize iambic pentameter. In cyberspace I can laugh about my double zipcode, menopausal butt.

So who are you in cyberspace?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Honor His Legacy

I was raised in a diverse household. My dad complained loudly about Mexicans and had his token black friend, but never considered himself racist. It must have been Oscar (a great guy,) his token black friend and the fact he didn’t feud with our next door Mexican neighbors or the Cubans across the street that led him to this belief. I’ve no clue. He said he picked up his opinions in the army.

My mom, on the other hand, believes in equality and diversity. She taught us to question values and action, not skin colour or birthright. Which is pretty good when you consider my mother comes from a formerly aristocratic, upper crust family of lost wealth and position. She is the reason I believe, so strongly, in equality. My father is the basis as to why I stand firm on those beliefs.

So you can see, I saw first hand a battle of wills and beliefs right at home. My mother urged us to make friends of all based on themselves; my dad had a VERY loud cow when a black friend of mine asked me to the prom. We moved six months later to Oregon, I can honestly say it had nothing to do with David.

I remember the day Kennedy was shot, both of them. I remember the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. I remember the day Anwar Sadat was shot. I have (to this day) no understanding of how someone could hate so much, they would kill for it, I now know it was fear, ignorant, hateful fear, but I still don’t understand it. These men who worked to make the world a better place, whether it was in just their own corner of the world or on a larger platform, paid for their beliefs, and today most of them are honored for their groundbreaking vision.

I know my position won't be accepted by most in a positive nature, but I have to ask, how would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. view affirmative action? Isn’t it a principal that stands in direct opposition of everything this great visionary stood for? And what is so affirmative about that action? Doesn’t affirmative action promote racial discord? Doesn’t affirmative action promote a division of races? Doesn’t affirmative action promote segregation to an extent? True, not all programs that are promoted place black students in black only schools, but doesn’t it tell those students that they couldn’t have gotten there without affirmative action? What is so affirmative about that?

r. King said it so poignantly in his “I have a Dream” speech on that hot August afternoon in 1963,

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

We cannot walk alone. Wow. He noted that the black community was rising up, but that brothers all must link hands and as one walk to our free destiny together. Whites can not do that chained by hate. Blacks cannot do that chained by hate. Our destinies are entwined, and we can not move forward through the actions of hatred, fear, or segregation.

Honor diversity, all. God, thank you for the memory, vision, and wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus Christ (the first non-violent revolutionary – to quote Stephen Stills,) and those who have gone before and after to unite a nation (their nations) as one, not divided by race, sex, or religion, but by the brotherhood of man.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

It’s Just Too Big A Risk Factor

Ducky and I were driving down I-105 the other day and noticed that the Oregon Lottery was up to $131 million. Wow, that’s a lot of bird feed. Now you might have noticed, I didn’t say it was Megabucks nor did I say it was Powerball. Why? Because I don’t play the lottery, and really never have (really never have equates, rarely in Celespeak.) My mom buys tickets every week, I’m not really sure why. My dad never forgets to remind my mom to buy THE tickets, I think it’s just to have something to bug her about. Ducky buys tickets just a wee bit more often than I do.

As we were driving home from our kindly friend’s wake we had that great hypothetical question discussion, What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery? Of course it’s hypothetical, when was the last time YOU won the lottery? Okay, when was the last time you knew someone who won the lottery? Not close? When was the last time you heard of someone, you knew, who knew someone who’d won the lottery? See it can get unwieldy; playing six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon would be easier. In our hypothetical Q&A session Ducky and I always conclude we wouldn’t buy a bigger house. (Thank God we’re on the same page, because this could be a deal breaker.) Buying a new house is what everyone does when they win the lottery.

It comes down to this: there is Ducky, there is me, and there is Arlo. Two people and a Bassett that weighs more than an average teen, we don’t require a lot of space. The only time our little 1,044 square foot house feels small is at the holidays. And then it feels wonderful. I love having the family for Christmas. But that is only one day a year. If I’m lucky it’s a weekend and they stay overnight – well Psam and Ben do anyway if she doesn’t have to work. But for the rest of the year our house is perfection. So why would I want a bigger house? It is just more space to accumulate junk. There would be just more surface to grab dust. And there would be more corners to collect cobwebs. I mean really it is cleaning waiting to happen. I ask you, who would do that to themselves?

Plus, when you win the lottery suddenly “friends” and “long lost family” crawl out of the woodwork. My dad has a saying, “If you can’t come see me when I’m alive, don’t come see me when I’m dead.” (actually that’s my saying, too) My dad is talking about not having a funeral and being cremated, but doesn’t it pertain to winning the lottery? Sheesh, when was the last time the government did something for you besides licensing and taxation? And yet, they will be the first with their hand out, wanting their fair share.

The lottery is just to big a risk. A government backed pyramid scheme. Who needs the stress, excess family, and cleaning? See it just causes more cleaning to prepare for the family that is going to show up (uninvited) offering to help you with your tax audit by the government when they didn’t get a big enough share the first time around. It’s insanity I tell you, who thought this through?

Of course, you know, I could buy Arlo a new collar. Pay off the girl’s college loans, and replace the heater in Ducky’s car, and pay someone to clean my flowerbeds once a year.

So what about you? Bigger house?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

If I am the moon, am I a verified Lunatic?

I got this from Lisa, who got it from Sid, who.... I love blogs.

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

And Along Came Blogging

And Then Came of Blogging

Over the years on the net (ooh all eight of them Cele) I’ve been involved with three writing groups. And over those eight years I’ve resisted joining others. Why? Because being involved in one writing group, and a weekly workshop is enough for me.

My daughter, a poet of quality work in my esteem, introduced me to Red Rose’s Workshop back in the days of Live Universe. I loved the group from the first night. It challenged me, got me back into writing, and lead me to a fulfilling hobby of continuity critiquing for some incredible authors. Then Live Universe, folded. Drats! I built my website for the group and we moved to our current location. The main core has never changed, but people have come and gone and more are welcomed. Through the workshop I joined Writerspad. When two of my friends left to build their own group they invited me along as a moderator. I’ve been happy with The Write List (TWL) now since gosh, 2000 or so.

And then came blogging. Wow, what a concept, the promotional and networking dream of a tool for writers and readers. Writers have the opportunity to hone their skill, draw in potential readers, and build a community. Readers have the opportunity to test drive new authors.

Remember that comment about one workshop and one writing group being enough for me? Oh my friend that does not hold true for blogs. I am a blogging slut of the highest degree. I will blog anywhere I find fit. With anyone who turns my head with their enticing words, come-ons, and contests. Hi, my name is Cele and I’m a blog-a-holic. (nods to Lisa in the corner, good donuts girlfriend.)

An ongoing discussion on the merits of blogging at TWL recently included the following statement by a publisher of all people.

"Blogs about writing are great, but they won't sell books."

I won’t name names, she’s a delightful and successful woman with her own publishing company. But I feel she is operating under a false impression. Or, as strong as I feel about this, maybe I’m operating under a false impression. I feel blogs by writers, and blogs about writing, sell books. Why? Sheesh, well because I buy a lot of books based on what I read and who I read at blogs. Aren’t I the model that all sales calculations are based on? Me, Jane Doh! American consumer.

So my questions today (for the whole 4 people who read my blog) for either reader or writer are theses:
1) How many blogs do you read and why?
2) What attracts you to specific blogs and keeps you coming back?
And 3) Would you or do you buy books because of blogs you frequent? Hmmm, maybe that is three and two half questions. I’m a product of new math so it’s hard to tell.

© 7 January 2007 Calista Cates

Friday, January 05, 2007

gods of Tomorrow

gods of Tomorrow

I am Queen Procrastinator. No way you say! It can’t be! Well I am here to tell you all it is true with a capital QP.

For me there is always tomorrow. And tomorrow does not always bode well when I’ve put off doing something at work. Now I’ve been lucky, providence has helped me out of a bind several times when tomorrow turned into today. But how often can you tempt the gods of Tomorrow? I’m not about to flaunt my procrastination, tempt fate, or failure so I’ve learn to make myself DO IT NOW.

I’ve long learned to admit my procrastinating ways, to let others know. Hey, this is me procrastinating Cele, what do you mean you want it tomorrow? Do you really know when tomorrow will arrive? I do, so don’t stop me, because I’m doing it now. That’s right, now. I’ve long learned that the best way for me to get around my procrastinating ways, is to address the problem now. And it seems to work.

Except when it comes to writing…er and taking down the Christmas Tree I have long learned to not put off jotting down that thought for a poem. And yet for all that knowing I still put off jotting down that kewl little line that comes to mind. You know, the one that the entire poem will hang on and shows up just when I’m falling asleep. I mean shit, how hard is it to get up for a nano second, run to the computer, and type in to my edit file a line? And yet friends and neighbors, I will procrastinate and say manĂ£na.

No longer. My poem for the week is done. Remember this week’s topic is Beginnings I spent three days pawing and fawning over my 24 lines, and I’m happy with the result. My rhythmic voice seemed to show up. Thank you Lord, it’d been on hiatus for a while now. I’ve now blogged twice for the week, some kind of record I’m sure. Procrastination cured, hardly. It’s just on hiatus.

I am a realist you know.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

Happy 2007

I’m not one for making New Years’ Resolutions. Why? Because I’ve always (like most Americans) failed miserably at even the teeniest of self set goal. But this year I thought to set two for myself, well a third one is whispered in the deepest, most unreachable depth of my soul and is known only to me. The other two mentioned are public.

First, I want to write more poetry; 2006 was abysmal for me. I have years where I have written at least a poem a week. In 2006 I was lucky if I wrote one poem month. How could I possibly consider myself a poet on that sort of diet? Oh yes, I’ve lots, truckloads, and tons of excuses, but they are now in the past. And towards the end of the year I began blogging more. That is a positive, but I need more self–action. This week’s Writer’s Workshop topic is Beginnings, kind of apropos don’t cha think? Well okay, I set the topic each week myself so that I shouldn’t play on such a coincidence. But it is the start of a new year, a new attitude.

Second, I’m going to blog more. So I thought I’d start with January 1st, okay I meant it to be the morning, not evening of the first day of a new year, but well at least I hit the first 24 hours. See excuses already and new parameters already. I don’t plan on blogging daily, but more often. I plan on being inspired by the world and bloggers around me. Whether it’s a MeMe, or world altering events I want to blog, and get a poem in.

Speaking of MeMe’s I read a really good one already today. From Joshilyn Jackson over at Faster Than Kudzu, here’s the Booky Goodness MeMe

1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 -- first sentence
3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph:

Here is mine:

I was six years old the first time I had an inkling God would not always protect me. “Do you see her in the Sala showing her legs and listening to the radio?” I was torn between an ugly urge to throw them all out and glee at the idea of new clients.

“I guess we better go on in and say hey,” I said. And anguished after all that had been left undone.

My five books were…
1) Wives and Sisters – Natalie Collins (she writes a killer first sentence.)
2) Thrilled to Death – Jennifer Apodaca
3) Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
4) gods in Alabama – Joshilyn Jackson
5) Rumors of War – Peggy Tibbets (didn't you think Peggy and Joss went together well?)

So join in if you dare, it wasn’t as easy as it looks (I’d originally picked Jane Austen, then another, then another looking for a second line – wow, now I’m cheating in blogdom.) So watch out for me in outer blogness, because you all know I’m a joyful blog slut.