Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Yes, I'd love some bacon for Xmas, Santa!
Why yes, I've been woefully inept at updating my blog this past month, despite all of my best intentions to put up a post each week. Of course, I doubt that the five of you who have ever read this blog really care, but just in case, my apologies. I don't really have a whole lot of time right now to post much, and in case I don't get up another post until next Christmas, I just wanted to tell the five of you, in the famous Texan vernacular, "Merry Christmas, Y'all." 

 If you're an atheist or someone from another religion who gets easily offended by any vague mentions of Christianity, get over it. I'm an ex-fundamentalist Christian who now has relatively Eastern ideas about spirituality that don't include white European old guy concepts about God, so I can say that. If you're a fundamentalist Christian who is easily offended that I just said that about God, get over it, too.  Really, all of y'all just need to get a sense of humor. And that includes vegan-types who are probably incensed about my caption for the photo above. No, I really don't want Santa to give me the huge pig that he's using to deliver gifts this year since he had to lay off all the reindeer because of the economy. Oh great, now I hear small children wailing in the distance. Really, kids, just because Santa had to lay off the reindeer and use a fat hog who won't get off his ass doesn't mean Christmas is ruined. Really. Probably.

Well, now that I have offended all five of you, all the small children in the world, and the few other folks who have strayed upon this blog, I guess I'd better stop before I get too carried away. Again, my apologies. I really don't know what came over me, really. I'm not usually like this. I blame God, the economy, and the lack of bacon I've experienced lately, especially the lack of bacon. Santa, you'd better hurry up with the damn bacon before I go off the deep end and offend somebody else, like the Pope or Ricky Perry, who thinks he's the Pope, I mean, the President, I mean, the Dictator of Texas. Oh shit, there I go again. Hopefully Perry's press folks don't monitor social media. At least I'm not using Twitter or Facebook. Yet.

I need to just shut up now and go find my own damn bacon.

Merry Christmas, Y'all.

PS: To be honest, I actually have a Twitter account, but I don't think I've posted on it in about a zillion years. I really don't know how to use it very well, and I think if you don't know how to use something very well, you shouldn't use it around other people, at least until you actually learn to use it. Sort of like using a gun if you've never had a lesson in how to use it. I'm afraid I'll shoot my foot off, or someone else's, so to speak. And as for Facebook, my alterego (ie, the so-called "real me") actually has one under her own real name. But she doesn't know how to use it very well either, and she's not terribly funny or witty when she does. Maybe someday I as Zippy the Poet will have my own Facebook account, I have no idea. Neither I nor my alterego/real self understands what the hell the fuss is about with either Twitter or Facebook anyway. Guess that means we're old foggies. And in case you suspect me of having multiple personality disorder, well, yer damn right. I told you I'm a Gemini, didn't I?

PPS: I just realized I violated my own policy of not slagging people. But I only vaguely slagged Ricky Perry, and as a politician he gets slagged so much I figure he's immune to it. Telling atheists, religious people and vegans to get a sense of humor isn't slagging them - some of them (not all of them) are frightening humorless and need to get a grip. Also, I still need bacon, so I'm not responsible for my actions right now. I'll try not to slag anymore politicians as soon as I get my hands on some bacon. Promise.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Bacon Addiction

A word of warning: if you are kosher, don't read this post. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, don't read this post. If you hate bacon (WTF??), don't read this post. If you hate fat, or fatty meat, don't read this post. If you're afraid of getting fat by just thinking about fat, don't read this post. This post contains some graphic descriptions of bacon, and might even be described as food porn, although god knows I don't know exactly what the definition of food porn is, and I'm afraid to Google it. Anyway, consider yourself warned.

I really love bacon. I  adore bacon. I'm not really even sure I can live without bacon. Maybe I should marry it, I love it so much. I've been eating it three times a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes I think about having it for a snack, but I restrain myself. Sometimes I fantasize about eating bacon, and I can hardly wait until my next meal when I can eat some more bacon.

My favorite part of the bacon is the crisped fatty part - it just melts so wonderfully in my mouth. If bacon could just be comprised of the fat, I'd love it even more. And it's so great that bacon has that terrific sweet, smoky flavor. Applewood smoked bacon is one of my favorites, but hell, even Oscar Meyer bacon is good. I am a little picky about the thickness of my bacon, however - not too thin, and not too thick, although, of course if that's all you have, I'll eat it with pleasure.

I like bacon with my eggs, bacon with pancakes, bacon on my salad, bacon in my sandwich, in a baked potato, or when I'm low carbing it, in my mashed cauliflower with cheese. I love a good BLT (especially if there's also A - avocado). My boyfriend makes black eyed peas to die for, probably most of all because he puts a TON of bacon in them (which makes me adore my boyfriend all the more). Baked beans with bacon are wonderful too.

Now, these are all pretty pedestrian ways of eating bacon. Then there are some less typical, but not unusal ways of eating bacon. Some of them might be kind of weird, depending on your perspective. For instance, recently at work we had pizza and somebody ordered the supreme meat pizza, with you guessed it, bacon. At first even I thought this was weird, and I hesitated eating it. Then everyone said, "but Zippy, it's bacon!" (they all know how much I adore bacon) and I said, "well, of course." So I ate a slice, and it was wonderful.

Many, many years ago, when I was visiting my dad and stepmother, my stepmother invited her priest to come over to the house so he could make us his famous spaghetti carbonara (don't ask why. I don't really remember why a priest would come over to make us spaghetti carbonara). I'd never had spaghetti carbonara before, but the idea of bacon and pasta and cheese and butter and eggs at first seemed disgustingly overkill. My god, the fat! Then I ate it, and I saw that it was very good. That priest made a damn good spaghetti carbonara. God himself couldn't have made it any better.

But let's get a little weirder, shall we? Last year my mom and I were shopping at one of the local fru-fru grocery stores in Austin, and came across a dark chocolate with bacon bar. Now my mom and I both love bacon. My mom even calls bacon the sixth major food group. When she's really excited about it, she calls it a superfood, you know, like green tea, gogi berries and pomegranate. And we both love dark chocolate (which really is a superfood - so why not bacon?).

However, the thought of the dark chocolate-bacon combo made our brains frizzle - we couldn't decide if this was really awful, or really terrific. Then the lady standing next to us in the chocolate aisle said, "I have tried that before. It sounds disgusting, but believe me, it is delicious."

So we bought a bar. We took it home. Mom had a piece, I had a piece, and we were both like, Oh. Mah. Gawd. It was an incredible experience. For me, it quickly supplanted dark chocolate raspberry as something non-sexual that could almost give me an orgasm. The only problem is that it costs $7 a bar at the fru-fru grocery store - that's right, seven dollars. Well to be technical, $6.99, but it's still seven dollars. So you have to eat it a little bit at a time, rather than the whole bar at once. But however you eat it, it is indeed worth every damn dollar. Even in this economy.

Then there are recipes that I haven't tried yet that include bacon as a featured ingredient, but they actually sound good to me. Like bacon ice cream (baking bacon with brown sugar sounds yummy in and of itself), bacon balls and bacon bread, and bacon desserts.  Then there's erm, bacon (or rather bakon) vodka, but even I might have to say "nyet" to that, especially since I can't stand vodka - even bacon can't improve that.

Now, believe it or not, I was a vegetarian for 10 years. Well, really I was a strict vegetarian (no meat at all) for about six of those years, and for the other four I ate fish from time to time. My reasons for becoming a vegetarian, then an occasional pescatarian, then back to a full-fledged meat eater are complicated, so I won't go into it here. Maybe another post. Or not. We'll see.

Even though I came into this world loving meat, my transition to vegetarianism was surprisingly and relatively pain-free. I actually didn't really miss meat that much, not even steak which I had loved. Occasionally I craved roasted chicken for some strange reason, but not very often. I did kind of miss fish, which is part of the reason I went to being an occasional pescatarian.

But you know what I really missed? Yes, that's right - BACON. Every frickin' time I smelled it, my mouth watered so much some people thought I was rabid. And then I'd see those lovely, crispy, fatty strips, and I'd just have to turn away. It just hurt so much, because I could not eat it and still be true to my vegetarianism (or mostly vegetarianism/occasional pescatarianism).

I did try the processed veggie bacon substitutes, but they tasted like warmed over Bacos - yuck! The only thing that was something of a reasonable substitute was smoked tempeh strips, and that probably only tasted good to me because it had been so long since I'd eaten real bacon that I'd forgotten what bacon was supposed to taste like (although I knew it wasn't supposed to taste like warmed over Bacos).

Finally a couple of years ago, I went back to eating meat. And of course, I ate some real bacon, and I liked it. It tasted even better than it did before. At first I'd eat bacon occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Then maybe once a week, usually with breakfast on the weekend. Eventually I went to having it every day with breakfast. Then I decided, hey, this would make my salads even more tasty. Since I eat a salad almost every day at lunch, I started eating bacon twice a day. I've been doing this all summer.

Then a couple of weeks before my vacation to Seattle I decided I didn't want to cook much, so I started eating a turkey-avocado-bacon sandwiches with sweet potato fries for dinner almost every night. I've continued to do so almost since the time I got back. So for almost the past two months or so I've been eating bacon two-three times a day, ever single freakin' day. And I can't seem to stop myself.

I think what's going on is that I'm trying to make up for all those years when I had no real bacon. But you'd think I'd be absolutely sick of it by now. When I first started eating meat again, I binged on the roasted chicken I occasionally craved as a vegetarian, and now, though I'll still eat it, I'm kinda meh about it. I got sick of it. Not so with bacon. The more I eat it, the more I crave it. And no, I haven't gained any weight because of my bacon binge. In fact I've LOST weight, if you can believe that. Maybe it really is a superfood, like my mom says.

Sadly, however, I may have to cut down on my bacon eatage. Just the other day I read that eating bacon might contribute to having a stroke. I guess this means bacon is NOT a superfood, after all. I've also read that the nitrates in bacon can cause cancer, but there is some controversy about whether that's true or not. But since I don't want to have a stroke or cancer, I probably should cut down on bacon. I mean three times a day is a bit extreme, isn't it?

However, I consider having to do this an outright tragedy. I am certain that I am going to go into bacon withdrawal. Probably because I will no longer have nitrates coursing through my veins. But the psychological withdrawal will just about do me in. After eating bacon three times a day, what will I do? How will I replace it? Eating celery (which has naturally occurring nitrates) just isn't gonna cut it. I suppose I could go back to eating smoked tempeh, but really y'all - there is no crispy fat in smoked tempeh. And you can't really put crumbled smoked tempeh on top of salad or a baked potato unless you burn it to a crisp. I guess you could dice it up, but it just isn't the same.

Plus smoked tempeh is really, really expensive. It cost nearly $4 for a package with just three servings. Compare that to a regular package of bacon - I can get almost 5 servings of precooked bacon for $3.19 at my local HEB. Uncooked is probably even less, but I'm lazy and while I love bacon, I hate the greasy mess of cooking it from its uncooked form, so I use the precooked. And I can get 50 slices of HEB-brand precooked bacon for $9.29, which means I get, um, a lot more slices per serving for a lot less money (you do the math - I hate math). Now who can justify $4 for 3 servings of fake bacon in these difficult times? Not moi.

I guess I'll slowly taper off. I had intended to taper off a lot more this week. I was going to just have bacon for breakfast, and then go to very occasional usage. I was going to just buy the 14-slice package of precooked bacon, but then I thought, hey, the 50 slice package really is cheaper in the long run, right? And I'll just freeze the rest, right? Um, well, since I bought that package, I still have been eating it 2-3 times a day. Geez. Maybe I should just go down to twice a day this week, once a day next week, then once every other day until I get it down to once on the weekend.

Sigh, this is going to be hard. I wonder if there is a Baconholics Anonymous?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP, Steve Jobs

Right now the quote I posted from George Passmore of the Gilbert & George art duo on Sept. 26 resonates even more with the passing of Steve Jobs today. I'll post the quote again:

“We just want to devote ourselves to art.
We’re all dragged at increasing speed towards the grave.
Any picture we don’t make will be not made by somebody else."

Steve Jobs made art. Yes, he was a great inventor and technologist, but above all, the man made art. Tremendous art. Art we may not see again in this lifetime (though I'm hopeful we will). And think of how much art he could have made had he lived to the old four score and ten - wow!

Still, the man crammed a lot into his relatively short 56 years. He made the most of it, that's for sure. Tonight, when I was reading various obits on different news sites, I came across a quote from a commencement address he gave in 2005 at Stanford University (after he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer):

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I was frickin' inspired by this quote. I am frickin' inspired by Steve Jobs. What an amazing, brilliant, creative life.

All this so dovetails with everything that has been going on with me in the last couple of months, how I'm sick of not living the life my heart wants me to live. Life is fuckin' short y'all, and we all have dreams in our hearts that have been placed there for a reason, we have words we need to say, ideas to form into shapes, art that needs to be spread across a canvass, chiseled into stone, molded into great technology. As George Passmore said, no one else will be able to create what you or I as individuals can create - not with the same vision, the same shading, the same spirit.

No one could create what Steve Jobs did. And think of how much poorer we would be if he'd gotten scared and never ventured out to create all the things he created. Not that we're all going to be Steve Jobs, but we all have our unique voice that can speak to at least one other person, inspire them and get them to live life as fully and richly as they can. If you could inspire just one person like that, just from following your heart, wouldn't that be fabulous? And you know what, you'd probably inspire not just one person, but a whole group of people and maybe even change the world for the better in your own little way, just by expressing your heart.

I'm taking steps to express my own heart. Last night, I sat and drew a picture of my cat. And while this picture isn't going to be the next Van Gogh, when I finished I was amazed. It was the best picture I'd ever drawn. Not only did it look like a cat (!), it even looked like my cat! What was even more amazing was that all the stuff I've been learning about drawing and all the stuff I've been practicing in drawing came together just beautifully, and I began to understand something about how to draw. This was a major victory for me, and I was so excited! Scared a little too, because I wondered, "Will the next picture I draw be as good?" But overall I was so excited, and for the first time I began to think "I might be able to do this art thang."

And I'm working on my writing as well, on this blog, yes, but I've also written a couple of poems that I loved, and I decided to try my hand at writing for web sites that pay writers to compose short web articles. I'm almost done with my first sample to submit with my application to these sites, and I'm pleased with the result. We'll see what happens with that.

The important thing is, I'm taking steps towards my dreams, small steps, yes, but I am taking steps. I'm tired of bitching and moaning about how I'm not getting to live the life I want, and I'm making that life, and living that life, even in small bits.

Yes, tonight I am saddened by Steve Jobs' death, and I'm saddened that he won't be around to create any more great art like the Mac, the IPod, the IPhone, and the IPad. I'm also inspired by his life - in what he created in his life as well the brevity of his life - to create my own art and share it with the world, and do this NOW rather than later. And I'm certain that a whole host of people the world over have been and will continue to be inspired by Steve Jobs and will create their own art that changes the world.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Well, OK, F It

I just posted a comment on The Bloggess’ latest post and this time decided to put a link to my blog, but I forgot her comments thang puts up the name of the commenter’s latest post, so Fuck It is right there in bright neon pink for everyone to see. I’ve calmed down a little since my F It post, and I’ll admit to being a little embarrassed about my expletive-filled rant when I’d made it a policy not to use the full F-word on my blog, but, well, fuck it, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

But maybe I’ll dial it down a little. Or not. See, that’s the great thing about being a Gemini, because then you have a built-in excuse for having split-personality disorder without having to go on medication or see a shrink. And you get to change your mind a lot. Consistency has never really been my thing, you know?

However, we can blame my flagrant use of the F-word on a lovely little book I recently came across called, appropriately enough, Fuck It, or F**k It (when it’s being posted on polite web sites, bleeped out in podcasts and discussed in mixed company). It’s basically an irreverent take on Buddhism’s maxim to let go, accept and detach from the stuff that’s driving us batsh*t crazy. I’ve read a lot spiritual stuff in my life, including stuff on Buddhism, but this is quite unlike anything I’ve ever read.

British author John C. Parkin deliberately choose the title because “Fuck It” is so in your face and really grabs your attention. I mean, who the hell would expect a frickin’ spiritual book to be called Fuck It and have the term "Fuck It" liberally sprinkled throughout it? Despite my supposed policy not use the f-word on this blog, I’m not really that offended by the term, and often use it liberally myself. However, I know that some people, even people who use the term, can be offended by its use (so I guess people who use it and are offended by it are offending themselves), so I try to be a little calmer in my use of it on a blog, but I’ve already crossed my own line, so fuck it.

Anyhow, here’s a brief summary of the Fuck It book, as described on Parkin’s web site,

“Saying 'Fuck It' is like massage for the mind - relaxing you, releasing tension, giving up on things that aren't working.

John C. Parkin argues that saying Fuck It is a spiritual act:

That it is the perfect western expression of the eastern ideas of letting go, giving up and finding real freedom by realising that things don't matter so much (if at all).

This is The Fuck It Way.

It works very simply: if you're feeling stressed about something, say 'Fuck It'… you feel instantly better.”

Since I’ve been so pissy lately, this cheeky little book has really resonated with me. I mean I have tried frackin’ everything in the spiritual canon: repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus into my heart, praying, talking to my angels and my spirit guides, being mindful, meditating, healing my chakras, putting white light around people who annoy me, feeling my feelings fully, invoking Law of Attraction, and seemingly everything in the Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Hinduist, New Ageist, advaidaist philosophical gobbledygook. And it seems to just be the same old me trying various techniques to be enlightened and more loving, peaceful, and kind, and more successful at living and finding I’m still the same old grumpy, pissy, frustrated, scared, inconsistent, disorganized, wacky me. So I finally said "Fuck It," and suddenly I really do feel a lot better.

And now I’m saying "Fuck It" everywhere, including on my blog, when I said I wouldn’t say it here. So, if you’ve come here from my Zippy’s Garden blog or one of my comments on Itty Bitty Kitty Committee or Cute Overload, or The Bloggess (but saying "Fuck It" there is something of an art form) I sincerely apologize, but this is where I am at the moment. And that may be where I remain, or not, we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll be happily saying “Fuck It” to everything that tries to put its little slimy tentacles into me, whether it’s some rule I’ve been told all my life to follow that makes no sense, a fear that rears its ugly, multiple heads, or my job (although, I’ll admittedly say it low enough not to get myself fired).

If you like the sound of Fuck It and the Fuck It Way, go check out the book (and I promise I’m not getting a dime from plugging it). Soon you’ll be saying “Fuck It” like a real pro.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fuck It.

“We just want to devote ourselves to art.
We’re all dragged at increasing speed towards the grave.
Any picture we don’t make will be not made by somebody else."

--George Passmore, half of the Gilbert & George art duo

Fuck It. Yes, I'm violating my own rule on using the F word here, but it's my blog and I can change the rules. This is also my life, and I can change the rules here as well. Fuck the rules - all the rules I've listened to all my life, all the rules I made for my own life, consciously or unconsciously. Fuck It.

This afternoon, right after lunch, I opened up my personal email (yes, at work, fuck it), and read the above quote in an email from John Williams, author of the book, Screw Work, Let's Play and it hit me over the head like a g-damn 20-ton steel mallet.

Life is short y'all, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit around any more and wait for "my time" - my time to do what I want, live how I want, my time to make art, my time to write and publish, my time to make music, my time to live like the joyful, creative, loving being that I am. Fuck It. Fuck the rules that say I have to wait until I'm more experienced, that I have to wait until I have enough money, that I have to wait until enough people like my work, that I have wait until even anyone likes my work, that say I need more time, that I have to wait until I'm old and retired, that I have to wait until I have certain people's approval, Fuck it. I'm doing this NOW.

No more fighting against my self-made obstacles. No more making excuses. No more wasting productive time on surfing the internet at work and at home because I'm all angsty about whether I can actually accomplish my dreams so I'm procrastinating. No more feeling like I can't steal some time at work to do some of the things I love - I'm stealing that time anyway on angsty internet-surfing anyway, so it might as well be stolen for things I really want to do.

I've had it with wasting my life - wasting it on fear about what others might think or do or say, wasting it on fear about whether I'm being "selfish," wasting it on other people's rules and concepts, wasting it on what others think I should or should not do. I'm ready to break out.

I'm ready to live the creative life I've always wanted to live and to as fully as I can dedicate it to the creative avenues I want to pursue - art, writing, music, and more. I'm ready to get unstuck and really live this life. I have no idea if it's god's design for my life, has the seal of approval of my parents or society or the government, if anyone will think I'm talented or find any value in what I have to say -- all I know is that I have always had a burning desire to express myself, to be creative, and that it is killing me to deny it any further because I am so fucking afraid to fail.

But now, the pain of not doing this is stronger than my fear of failure. If I fail at my creative efforts, I fail, but at least I will have gotten them out there instead of sitting on them. And even if I fail, I'll keep doing them, because this is too important to me. I don't care if the world recognizes or values what I have to say and express, what's important is that I get it out there, because no one can say what I say in the way I have to say it, and if I don't ever say it and say it the way I do, no one ever will.

So fuck it. This is my life and not anyone else's, and I've spent 47 years trying to live a life that others have said I should live, and I'm not going to do that any more. It is time to live my life, and not waste another drop of it.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Where I Want To Be, Don't Know Who the Hell I Am

Geez, y'all, after my first post, I just sorta went downhill from there, didn't I? Really, my every intention was to post something right after that, and I must have started three posts with the intention of posting at least one of them, but that didn't happen -- why?

Well, truth be told, I've been in sort of a funk, an existential dilemma, a mid-life crisis of sorts. I realized here I am, 47 years old, and I'm not anywhere where I want to be. I also went on a lovely one-week vacation with my boyfriend to Washington, which should have refreshed me, but only made me more irritable with the life I have here in Texas when I got back. I mean, geez-louise, who wants to come back to a hot, dry, firey hell-hole after being in a place that's green, cool and has plenty of water?

But it's not just the climate here that's bugging the s**t out of me; it's that I'm just not happy with my life, damnit. I never married, never had children, won't have any grandchildren, haven't had much career success, can't seem to manage my money or make more money than just enough, can't seem to become enlightened, or organized, or clear-headed, or able to even pull my head out of my fat ass.

I've tried being a born-again Christian, a semi-Buddhist, a mystic, a new agey healer, a counselor, an enlightened being, and I still don't know who the hell God is, and I find that most of the time I act as if I'm agnostic, cuz I can't seem to trust that God will help me, cuz I'm not even sure if God is there, though I believe that God is. I'm told God and I are One, and while I've had those brief moments of transcendental bliss, of course it never sticks, and I'm left alone again. I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm stuck, I'm not where I want to be, I'm not who I want to be, I'm scared s**tless, I'm angry. And I'm tired. No much seems to have worked according to plan.

Last night I watched a clip on the Huffington Post of an ad George Clooney did for a bank in Norway where a woman wakes up from what is probably an alcoholic blackout and finds she's gotten married to George Clooney, of all people. To me she has a look of horror on her face. I'm sure most people think it's more a look of a shocked, OMG I'm married to George Clooney, how fabulously lucky I am!!! But to me it's a look of horror - like, I don't even know George Clooney and now I'm not going to be a private person, everybody's going to try to find out everything about me, I'll have the paparazzi following me everywhere -WTF!!! At least I think that's how I'd feel, even though I was married to gorgeous, hunky, fabulously wealthy George Clooney.

And I started to imagine about what this would be like. I think if I woke up and found I was married to George Clooney, I'd just tell him that whatever happened that made me decide to marry him, that I didn't remember meeting him or agreeing to this, and could he just quietly divorce me please, and maybe just give me a couple of million dollars in alimony so I could quit my job and live the modest, quiet life I want to live doing what I want - have my tiny house in the country, paint, write, garden, raise goats. A couple of mill would be a bargain for old George, right?

But then I had a stranger fantasy: what if I woke up in a parallel universe as me, the soul I am now, but in the body of a Zippy who had accomplished all she'd ever dreamed of and more, who'd met George Clooney on the set of a movie based on a famous book she'd written, fell in love with him and then married him? But I would wake up the morning after the wedding with the soul of the Zippy I am now because I'd traded souls with the other, more accomplished Zippy, so I had no memory of this, only of my life in this particular universe I inhabit now.

Yet I'd wake up and find out that in this alternate universe I'd become this famous novelist who was also an accomplished poet, singer-songwriter, artist, and successful businesswoman. AND I had naturally red hair (instead of having to dye it from my natural mousey brown hair), a great toned body, and naturally perfect skin (because I'd also discovered a natural secret to maintaining a wrinkle-free complexion). And George Clooney fell in love with me, even though we are close to the same age, because I was different than any other woman he'd met, and I was the one woman (besides his first wife) that he realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and apparently I felt the same way. But I had no freakin' memory of any of this, whatsoever, and in the life I've been used to inhabiting (this one), even though I thought George Clooney was a handsome man, I've never had the least inkling of wanting to date or even marry the guy, nor have I even fantasized about having sex with him (and yes, I know most heterosexual women are now thinking either I'm a lesbian or asexual, but I am assuredly hetero).

Anyway, so I woke up to this dream that many women long and lust for, and I didn't want it, even if it meant breaking poor George's heart. Since I had accomplished a lot on my own, I didn't need his money whatsoever. But I find that I'm supposed to be this incredibly busy, in demand woman who is in charge of a multimillion publishing, health and beauty empire, far more than I ever dreamed of, and I'd find that I didn't want it. I didn't have the stamina to deal with it. I'd find that even though this me in this alternate universe had accomplished all that she'd ever dreamed and way beyond that, and I didn't want that. I'd still want my quiet little life in the country.

So, in the meantime I've broken George Clooney's heart, caused a big scandal by deciding to sell all of my empire, give away all but a few million dollars (I'm not a total saintly ascetic here) and get my tiny house in the country and live like a hermit, except I'd want to track down my boyfriend and see if he could still fall for me and if so then we'd live together in the country - well, maybe he'd have his own tiny house - and we'd live happily ever after.

Meanwhile, the alternate Zippy has entered my body in this particular universe, horrified and disgusted with where she's ended up, but she's gonna fix it up, by god! She sets off, finding a novel I started and totally rewriting it, making plans for her empire and to get back to George. She's very unhappy at where she landed, but she's going to make it right!

And then, suddenly after some big event, like a tornado or earthquake or something, she comes back into her own universe in my body, where I am currently inhabiting in her body, pissed that she had to come to my chubby, gray-mousey-haired body that hadn't accomplished a damn thing, and now pissed that she's come back to her world to discover I'd divorced George, given away her empire and was shacking up in a little place in the country with my boyfriend who'd she'd broken up with in the previous universe because he wasn't George. (And this is not to say that there is anything wrong with my boyfriend - remember I divorced George in the alternate universe to be with my boyfriend, who is worth a thousand George Clooneys, but he seems not to be the other Zippy's cup of tea, thank god - and he wouldn't be happy with her either).

And she'd point her finger at me and tell me what a sorry-assed loser I was, and how she had to try and salvage my life and make it into something. ("I found a half-assed attempt at a novel you'd started about some pathetic poor soul like you trying to get it on with some young geeky guy after her husband left her, and I was just cleaning it up and making it soooo much better when I came back to see what a freakin' wreck you've made of my life, you lazy bitch). And I'd just look at her and say, "Meh."

Anyway, it'd make a great movie, so maybe I should write a screenplay and maybe I'll sell it and make a zillion dollars and they'll make the movie with George Clooney and I'll finally get to meet him (but I still won't want to marry him). Anywho, I am seriously getting off point here. The point is, even if I landed in the life of my wildest dreams and was successful far beyond what I could ever imagine, I'm not sure that I would be happy there, either. It would be too damn stressful.

Today the Bloggess wrote a great post about her shrink telling her she needed to figure out who she was and what she wanted, maybe try that old 5-year plan thing. This to a woman who has a successful blog, several succesful online columns and a book coming out next year! Not to mention a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper and Fred Armison photographically approving of her "Put a Bird on It" merchandise after the Portlandia legal department got all carried away with her using a line from their show! Anyway, I and about 5 bazillion of her closest friends could definitely relate to the dilemma this request threw her in. I mean, who but only 1/10th of a percent of type A people manage to make a 5-year plan, AND STICK TO IT??? WTH, people?

Nothing I've ever tried has come to plan. I was going to go to Washington, DC, become a famous journalist and write the Great American Novel by 30, get married at 25 and have kids by 28, and NONE of that happened. Then I went to grad school to become a famous counselor who became gloriously enlightened, figured out a way to save the world, wrote best selling self-help books that changed everyone's lives and led the way to World Peace by the time I was 50, or maybe 60 at the latest. That isn't happening either. I do exaggerate a bit - I wasn't trying to become a world famous counselor who saves the world, but I did have the intention of becoming a counselor, and that hasn't panned out either, and I'm not sure it should (more on this at another time). (And well, maybe in the back of my mind I was hoping I'd become a world-famous counselor who saves the world).

Instead I'm sitting here in a soul-sucking job, writing in this blog when I really should be working, but it's so damn BORING that I can't bear to do the work, and for the life of me I can't seem to get my employers to lay me off. Yes, I'm grateful to have a job, especially in this economy and I feel bad that I have such a sucky attitude, but that's sort of the way it is right now. No, I'm not where I want to be, no sir.

Don't really know who I am either. Some might say a loser, but I don't want to dwell on that. Confused, perhaps. Wacky, yes. Half-Baked, of course! I did name myself the Half-Baked Gardener, didn't I? Well, then this posting is perfectly in line with my blog theme! Who knew? Maybe I should just revel in that!

The Bloggess also posted this fabulous video of a song by Amanda Palmer (below). I never heard of Amanda Palmer, or this song, but it pretty well describes how I'm feeling right now, and I just love it, particularly near the end when she says, "Fuck yes! I am who I want to be!" Basically it's about thinking that you want to be one thing, feeling bad that you're something completely different, and you come to the realization that you've been who you wanted to be all along, and that's fabulous. This is a damn revelation for me, people. I'm gonna have to meditate on this for a while.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Work in Progress

It's about time I started writing my first post on this blog, don't ya think? Even though I set this blog up a month ago, and finally got an About page up a couple of weeks ago, I've been really hesitant to start writing an actual blog post. Why, you may ask?

Well, that's a dang good question. Mostly I've been agonizing about what the focus of this blog needed to be. Zippy's Garden (my previous blog) was ostensibly about my experiment in self-sustainability, which I was anxious to go great guns with when I finally moved into a house with actual yardage so I could create a vegetable and fruit garden and do other stuff (get a solar oven, can, mill flour by hand, etc.). I got as far as the garden (which was not a small feat unto itself) and then RLS took over (ya know, Real Life Syndrome). And the hot, dry Texas weather has not been too kind towards the ol' gardening effort either.

Don't worry, I still have a garden, but I'm doing good to water it and give it a weekly foliar feed and occasionally pick off pests. But I have scaled back, and it's been more of a small supplement to the food I buy at the grocery store rather than a replacement for it, which was my original intention (and still a goal).

That's not to say that I no longer have self-sustainability goals, it's just that I'm rethinking how to go about it. I am also indulging in a decades-long interest in learning to draw and paint, and that has been consuming a lot of my free time lately. I've always by nature been a somewhat creative person, writing poems and stories since I was a kid, drawing (though I only got to a certain skill level and dropped off), making beaded jewelry, etc. In the past year I have developed a real craving to nourish my creative side, particularly with art, regardless of the skill level I get to as an artist. And yes, being Zippy The Poet, I still write poems - mostly poems on the fly that accompany sketches I make at lunch. In addition, for the last year and a half I have been embarking on a great relationship with a fabulous man, and that also kinda takes up a little bit of time ;-). So between all this and having to work for a living (aka RLS), the garden has not been the priority that it once was.

I've actually been thinking about doing this .com blog for quite a while, and it was originally intended to be a more commercialized site where I could blog about gardening and self sustainability and have advertising, maybe be an affiliate for other sites and sell my own informational ebooks. That may still happen, I don't know. But I've also been greatly inspired by The Bloggess with her absolutely insane humor. Zippy's Garden had a lot of humor, though nothing nearly of the caliber of The Bloggess, and I'd really like to get back to that and develop that further, so I may just let my freak flag fly and let 'er rip. I think of a bunch of goofy posts to write about all the time, and I'd really like to get back into that. So I think at least I'm gonna do that, and maybe it'll evolve back towards the gardening/self-sustainability thang, we'll see.

But I'm still not sure exactly how this blog will go. Humor, fer sure, but I also have this serious, meditative Zen/Taoist/vaguely Christian/mystical side and I can get off on some deep riffs with that. Then I have this wacky, kinda New Agey side that I don't talk about very much, but it's there in all its irrational glory, so that will probably come out too. And then I went to grad school for four years to become a counselor and wound up not doing that, so there's THAT aspect (long story I might bore you with later). So I'm kind of a multi-faceted gal, but ya know, I am a Gemini.

So, I haven't written a post up until now cuz I didn't know where to go with this blog, but I just felt like God was poking me and saying, "Just go ahead and start writing and see where it goes." And ya know, the beauty of a blog (unlike a book), is that you can go back and edit it, even delete posts. So if I suddenly get a direction for this blog, I can just start writing in this direction. I could also go ahead and delete previous posts, but since most people new to a blog probably don't dig down and read a blog from the first post anyway, it's probably not even that necessary.

If I write a bunch of posts, then decide to change the slant of this blog and you somehow do find yourself at this first post, well, then you'll know how confused I am/was. But hey, I am the Half-Baked Gardener after all, with all that name implies (as I said in my About page) - half-cocked, wacky, not done yet, a work in progress. That's it - this blog is currently a nice, half-baked work in progress, and that's just fine with me.