Plus ça change...

AKA serendipity unfulfilled.

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It's still play for pay this year. But worth looking for. This picture links to the article it's taken from:


Amusingly serendipitous, or not, tonight I could trade my desire for this film for a fresh episode of Grantchester, which is a TV show based on the Sydney Chambers books such as the one I was reading a year ago today.

30 in 31: day 30: me, myself and I

Today I moved a lot of poetry and short stories to the adjacent space to this one, which I haven't used in ages. And I made a new banner, chose new colors, etc. I'm going to update the look of this page, as well, and the domestic arts one. A new start for 2016.

In honor of crowding all that stuff together, here are five very short fictional pieces which are not, in fact, wholly fiction, or much fiction at all. Click on the previews to read them. It'll be the 2015 send-off, or send toward, as the case very well might be.

Oh, New York

Oh, Bill

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Oh, teenagers
This is the middle section of a very silly story I started as a joke. And this section is pretty much from a memory. The rest of it isn't. And you don't actually need to read the prologue unless you plan to also read chapter two.
Oh, you know
Only about 425 words...


30 in 31: day 29: best intentions

First, here are the remaining items on the list I composed at the beginning of the month to use for this project. But actually, I was fairly busy most days, and most of these things would require more effort than I felt I could give them at this time.

    1.    compilations
    2.    fake movie titles
√ 3.    movies I enjoyed this year TV/theater
    4.    important things I learned this year
    5.    best garnishes
    6.    beauty products
    7.    best garden photos
    8.    best G+ posts this year
    9.    favorite YouTube videos currently
    10.  nicest news stories I saw this year
    11.   actors the internet has at various times paired me with
 √12.   favorite screenshots this year
    13.   agent coulson
    14.   things I plan to learn next year
    15.   movies I plan to watch next year
    16.    books I plan to read next year
 √17.    nice places I visited this year 

Next, I think it was a good move to restart this blog in an adjacent space to the old one. But I'm dissatisfied with the style and layout. I ended up with it because the ones I prefer didn't allow me to show plusses and likes as I think they should be. I might look again, though, for a better view. I plan to do more writing because I plan to have more about which to write. It's still always going to be seasonal or cyclical; sometimes more focused on gardening, sometimes more on music or cooking or dead guys in suits. This list thing was an experiment that only partially succeeded. I can establish a regimen. But if it's too rigid, it won't be dynamic or interesting all of the time.


These posts are always honest, always really me, but as ever, not always as open as they could be, not as much me as they might be. This is partially because of the mild need to play to an audience. And partially because, while it's still in style to champion "weird" on the internet, actual eccentricity tends to make people pull down the shades.

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Finally (for the moment,) I have noticed that when I share a link to a post here, it will have some number of page views from a pleasant to pleasing number, but few people come back to it later, or look around, or click on more than one thing. This is mostly, I am aware, related to how people use the web these days. A miscellaneous personal blog is very passé. It's the reason there are rarely comments anymore, although no sign-in is required. There's an "other" nature to it, when at a social media site which is continually interactive, everyone is part of everything. A blog like this is no one's daily destination unless it is a consistent daily source of inspiration or amusement, and even then, only if it isn't a bother to get to. (Cue the "I miss Vox" music.)

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It is still a journal, though; an archive of me through my share of the 21st century, and as such, will have some kind of value, even if ultimately ephemeral, for whomever wants to come along later and rediscover Mother or Grandmother, or The Woman Whose Eyebrows Never Quite Matched. I'd say "girl in school whose," however, nearly twenty years of being almost anonymous on the web has put paid to my being rediscovered as someone who turned out to be interesting or at least not so very off-putting after all.

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Now to go back and insert images to keep the eye moving down the page.

resonating encounter

I’ve been mulling over the nature of attraction, and therefore also the nature of repulsion. Mostly attraction, but why are we sometimes drawn to a stranger or a picture and other times repelled by one? However, I'm not going to talk about repulsion, as that is unpleasant, and instead focus on the desire for the train to slow down a little before it reaches your stop. Setting aside generally objective standards of beauty, as well as what we find personally physically appealing, what causes us to seek out an encounter or delay ending one with someone we might not otherwise notice in a crowd, or a waiting room, or mowing a lawn, perhaps? DSC_4051

It’s not scent; it occurs online sometimes, as well, though this can create a false narrative. Over the years I’ve met a couple dozen people I spoke with online, male and female, mostly female, and the ones with whom I settled in and really connected to weren’t always the ones I’d have predicted.

Sometimes I’m at a Target on the other side of town where the cashier available at that time of day is a fairly stereotypical gay man about my age. He wears a divine scent and we always have a bit of good conversation. I’m drawn to his scent, and I like our brief talks, but I don’t feel drawn to him in any way other than by a notion we probably have some commonalities based on age. He might would probably bore me at dinner. But recently at the symphony, I made a polite remark to a woman sitting near me, and this caused her to strike up a conversation during intermission. She was clearly one of those people with a thousand stories, able to hold court wherever she is, surrounded by listeners. I’m often drawn to that archetype, at least, the female version, and will politely listen, nod, and smile in turn. A man who holds court in that fashion is rarely interesting to me, and I wonder what the difference is, but I suppose that’s another topic.

That’s all another kind of attraction, anyway, not the “I might like to touch your arm as we speak” variety.

I might be mulling this over because as I age, the bits of attractiveness I relied on to ease myself through the extroverted world are mostly all faded, and I feel sometimes like quite a different person than the one I see in the mirror, especially since I began wearing glasses all the time. I never felt like my insides and outsides quite matched anyway, but they do even less so now. It vainly occurred to me that other people have probably been confronting this all along. And as I never regarded their beauty or the lack of it as a paramount characteristic, why should I assume other people ever regarded me only as something to view or avoid viewing? I’m not really so awful as to think I am the only person in the room with a measure of depth…

We should definitely all smell nice and make our hair and clothes neat when we go out. Is it old-fashioned of me to think so? I don’t care.

A few days ago, I was watching a TV show, and saw a young actor who struck me with his beauty. (Yes, like a smack on the back of the head.) I looked him up to see what else he appeared in and learned he is about 30 years old. Yikes. I was drawn to him on screen, nonetheless, but would I have been in real life? It’s doubtful, as I’m generally drawn to people, in this way or the other way, who are about my same age or just a little older. There’s a data equation for it with incrementally shifting variables, I think. But as I grow older, one thing never changes, and it’s that thing I seemed to start out talking about at the beginning of this wandering typefest.

For me, that “I want to touch your arm as we speak” sensation occurs only with men, but it’s reasonable to assume both males and females might experience it with either gender. It’s physical attraction, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into “I want to touch you beneath your clothing.” People are sometimes confused on that point, and would breathe a lot easier if they’d stop to consider the matter for what it is and isn't. Did you ever have a “work spouse,” which I understand to be a thing, and actually try to take that next step with him or her, only to have it end in awkwardness and the sense that you can never go back to your previous groovy “we might, but we don’t” status? Sometimes, anticipation is the reward. You pin that person to your internal “I probably would” board, but don’t actually follow through.

When I was younger, I was really no good at that. If I wanted someone, he’d absolutely learn about it. But I was a little mixed up and would get in over my head. My switch was stuck halfway on, which isn’t nice for other people. I wanted it badly sometimes, yet not quite enough to follow through (that is inaccurate; it was the protective mechanism of fear, not lack of desire, that took over.) Well, I loved that “we could if only we could” sensation, and would happily sustain it for a long time, but then switch off if the response was too close to reality. I wasn’t this way on purpose; I just didn’t know how to take anyone as seriously as they take themselves, which can be terribly hurtful. To be honest, I’m still no good at that, but eventually I learned to avoid any appearance of interest, which is a kinder path to take, though it became too stringent. I used to laugh and say if I were a man I’d have been…much more physically impulsive. Certain gender-defining properties being what they are, it’s possible. But I can’t think about that more than very abstractly. I cannot for the life of me imagine what sort of woman I’d find attractive were I a man. Perhaps if I were a man, I’d still just prefer other men.

So, where was I? On a train ride, perhaps, stuck on that one bridge between Penn Station and Seacaucus for no reason anyone ever could see. Or in a waiting room or a bookstore. Very little is said, there’s just some palpable nature to the air that brings a smile when thought of later on.

Is it always reciprocal? Is that particular (from chemical or electrical particles? neat thought) sensation only possible when it goes both ways? It’s awfully nice to think so, even though it usually doesn’t and generally shouldn’t lead anywhere further. I think we should, with our better natures, remain open to these little moments in time, appreciate our connectivity, allow it to energize our thoughts and moods and improve our view of humanity. I allowed that to happen pretty often when I was younger, not only in the more focused manner I referred to above, but just out and about in the world. I’ve probably been overlooking that opportunity for years now, knowing there’ll never be another boy with a bouzouki looking back at a girl seemingly made entirely of contrasts. That girl wasted some measurable energy mourning the loss of something that could never, ever be real, though. This woman knows there is no loss in appreciating energy without seeking to manipulate it.


The View From 50

My various attempts at blogging from January 17, 2003—September 11, 2015 are now stored here. There are 1371 posts. I estimate at least 1250 are readable, though many of the images from the first few years are not available, as I moved a lot and was forever changing storage locations until we no longer had to do it that way. I had very little reliable backup in those days. 

Then at one point I followed the host’s directions for transferring them to a new page, and lost some material, so only previews of a number of posts from 2009 were retained. Or do I mean 2007? Anyway. From September 2010 forward, it’s all been up to date in Kansas City, as somebody or other used to say, and most of the old stuff is still there, laughing at me from the silly young age of 37. I won’t laugh back. I pat 37 on the head and smile
People like colors and movement! So apropos of almost nothing...