Friday, March 22, 2013

It's not you... It's me.

Dearest Darling Blogette,

It is with a heavy-heart that I type these words onto your illuminated face.  You, always so eager to see me;  so anxious, so curious to see what words I would splash upon you; what colorful pictures you and I would create together!  You were often as surprised as I by the finished portrait.  You reflected back the indelible letters, words and sentences that possessed my heart, like some literal Dorian Gray.

At times, how you cringed as the words I'd painted on your screen were used against me.  How you stood rigid in your black and white defense, reluctant to give up the letters and erase the self expression that was so lampooned by those who didn't understand us.

Yes, Blogette, you stood by me!  When the world came tumbling down around me, you were there!  You were there for me, beguiling, always tempting forth another image from the darkest recess of my walnut brain. What sanctuary you gave my addled mind; what outlet to vent the words that corroded my heart and burned through my vocal chords; what opportunity to let those who mattered know how much I cared--if they chose to look beyond the glossy tales screen-deep and saw the meaning submerged under the pixels.  Ugh!  Maybe I used you, Blogette!

Yes, damn it all!  Do you not see?  To be heard, a British whisper in the swirling tornado of noise, one must be flamboyant, one must utilize figurative flares.  "Look at me!  Read me!  Love me, you delicious Word Nerd!  You know you want to!"

Oh, it's true.  I treated you like a trophy date, I dressed you in finery with your silky sibilants, your mohair metaphors and your cashmere characters.  I wanted you to be noticed.  Can you blame a writer for that?  How else are we supposed to be heard when other initialed writers simply slap-dash words of tongues and lips and whips, that scream like a literal red-lipsticked hooker?  That trashy broad appeal was never you, my love.  You were not cheap, repetitive, or monosyllabic.  Okay, so maybe a bit repetitive on the subject of relationship effort--but wearing effort on your sleeve was never a bad thing.  You, you had imagery woven through your words like the finest gossamer thread.  You could be bold and brassy, but that was in fun.  Truly, at your core, I know I painted you to be of value, and truth, and honour.  Even if people did not interpret you that way.

And I'm sorry, Blogette, my darling, my love, my weekly amour, for this tryst must end.  My fingers seize, as if in rigor.  How can I give you up?  How?  But I must.  Those words I so lavishly threw upon you like robes of the finest silk, I must rob you of now.  I must take them back, I must undress you and wipe those cosmetic characters from the screen.

My darling, no!  Think not that you bore me!  How could you bore me?  Sometimes you frustrate me, you get me into trouble with those wanton words, but no!  Dressing you up in polysyllables and flaunting you over Facebook and Twitter, would never bore me.

And no.  I have not been cheating.  I look into your beautiful screen, that inspires me, that makes the cogs in my walnut churn and how could I ever cheat?  How?  Your white innocence, that I get to take on this journey and experience everything anew through, is a joy to me.  And yet... Oh B!  Forgive me!  It's not you, it's me!  There is something else.  It's... Another Novel.

Please don't, Blogette!  Spare me your recriminations!  I would that I could have you both, spoil you and lavish strings of pearlised words around you both, but it wouldn't be fair to you.  I cannot split my love, my time, my words equally.  So I will, I must, ask you to be brave, my Sweet.

I can't expect you to appreciate this now, but I do this for you; I do this for us!  Because I will be back!  I know that this must be hard to read: that I need to give the Other Novel attention, but you, Blogette, will always have a place in my heart.  And after I have given the Other Novel the love she needs, I will return, a better writer than before.  Don't think of this as some ghastly literary swinging; let's not cheapen our beautiful relationship.

I will return to you my darling.  I will return with adventures!  Tales of daring-do, of romance, of chaps with bronzed torsos, swarthy faces, and capable arms to sweep one up in--even though one does not need rescuing!  Tales of Caribbean seas, tropical fruits and frolicking mammals!  Tales of fun and hope and redemption!  You will allow me that freedom, I hope.  You will let me go for now and wish me well?  Say that I may go with your blessing, with your support?

I know I can't expect you to be waiting here when I return-- how arrogant of me to think your screen would stay a blank, without the words of others dressing you up and taking you a spin around the blogosphere--but please Blogette, remember what we had.  What we still have!  This is not the end.  Far from it.  It will be a brand new start for us and we will create word-pictures like never before!

Yours, literally and figuratively,

Eleanor Elizabeth Rhiannon Gwyn-Jones.
*Cue the dancers, the lip gloss, the wind machine.*

 And, for those of you who don't speak Italian:
There is no light in a room where there is no sun,
And there is no sun if you're not here with me...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Welcome to The D.M.V! Behold, the Circus of Sadness!

It was my unenviable displeasure to have to visit and malinger at two D.M.V Centres in the last fortnight.  I had some easy but painfully-protracted paperwork to do re. address changing, and some paternal bureaucracy to oversee.  And as I waited, and waited, and waited I realized that the D.M.V was a Circus of Sadness.

Holy Hand Sanitizer, protect me Jesus!  Have you ever been to the D.M.V?  Spent time there?  Actually watched life, or life forms?  “It is life Jim, but not as we know it.”

Now, I like to be positive.  I generally consider myself to be Tigger, not an Eeyore, but egads!  The mind boggles.  What happened?  Where did all the normal people go?  Was there an apocalypse and I, with my strange British DNA, survived and made it through along with all the mutants?   Does each D.M.V emit some kind of radioactive nuclear ugly ray that sudden makes all people who enter toothless, bald and overweight?  And that’s just the women!   Sorry, I’m not being mean.  Really.  But crikey, I saw some sights even I couldn’t work Mary Kay magic on. 

But—here comes the Tigger bit—it made me realize how incredibly lucky the accident of my birth to parents who value and preach dental hygiene is.  I don’t have children, admittedly, but isn’t it just commonsense and far less expensive to teach them to brush their teeth and floss, and gurgle, than to have to drill and fill whatever ungodly disaster has been left unattended?  I had new appreciation of the fact my parents did not inflate me to blimp portions with soda and crisps, but ‘deprived’ me of sugary drinks and enforced water and frozen peas—my strange choice, for lack of any other snack.  I blessed my back-seamed stockings that I had a mother who dressed nicely and taught young Eleanor, that thongs and bra straps showing were just not done; that yoga pants, Uggs and knickers cranked high up your bum and showcased for the delight of the D.M.V was not meant for public display; that dirty jeans and shapeless androgynous lumberjack shirt with some—forsenic teams would surely concur—egg globbed down the front, was not seemly.  I mean, PEOPLE!  It’s not a class thing, or a money thing, it’s self respect!  

And you know, I realize, once again that all of this, starts with parental example.  In my blog: Love is like riding, or speaking French Love and so many other things are templated by us as children: how to behave, how to dress, how to treat people, speak; all is caught and taught as you grow up.  C'est vrai!  As I marveled at the circus, parading in front of me, often there was an older version, lined and worn--probably far younger than their leathered skin portrayed--similarly unwashed, unbrushed and untailored.   There is no class at elementary or middle school on how and why one should brush their teeth, is there?  If not, maybe there should be.  In fact, a hygiene class should be mandatory.  Deodorant companies and toothpaste manufacturers should hand out free samples to school, get kids addicted to cleanliness rather than glue.

No, I didn't see a man in a thong at the DMV, but I wanted to be equal  opportunities. Enjoy.
I’m not typing this in a holier-than-thou glass house.  Yes, I have worn a shell suit.  Affirmative, I wore my brother’s hand-me-down baggy jeans with a transfer of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble on the thighs.  I have made and continue to make many fashion faux pas.  I like individuality; I embrace quirky style.  Crikey, I can often be found as a stunt double for a "blue cockatoo," or so I have been told.  I think as an advocate for W.A.V.P.L. (Women Against Visible Pant Lines) thongs, or 'G' strings as we musical Brits call 'em, are brilliant!  But I do think there is a place for them--below a waistband--and--don't hate--sex and body type, that they are intended for.  And I am absolutely sure no one could mistake the cold, grey Dunmore D.M.V for South Beach, Miami.

I also do not include globs of breakfast Jackson Pollocked on my ‘T’ shirt as style.  I classify it as gross, and lazy, and lacking in effort. 

And I think that is what pisses me off in this line-up of slumped, oblivious, finger-up-nose, hand-creeping-down-pants, aforementioned wedgy-removal, not-listening-for-their-own-name-so-it-must-be-yelled-five-times-before-someone-elbows-them; it is effortlessness.  I hate it in relationships, and I loathe it in life. 

I probably sound like a pompous arsehole.  Does putting effort into your appearance really mean anything?  Is a well-dressed and groomed person any more intelligent or deserving than the ill-kempt man who stands so close to me that I can smell his halitosis and his general eau de vomit?  No.  But, you know what, bullshit baffles brains, and the first thing people see coming is the appearance, then the smell, and frankly it is difficult not to judge on a first impression.  If you look and reek like an old sock, I am going to think that you have just rolled out of bed.  And that you don't launder your sheets often.  You may not have.  You might have been up since 5 am doing virtuous things, but that's not what I'll be thinking.  I try to keep an open mind.  I try to like everyone, but if you are jamming yourself close to me that I can see your straggly nose hairs, or count your pimples, and I can guess what you had for breakfast, then it’s pretty hard not to form an opinion. Or maybe I just have an issue with people invading my personal space.  Jesus, the amount of times I silently screamed "Spaghetti arms!  This is my dance space!" are too many to count.

And as I watched the parade amass and nudge passed me like some weird game of sardines that no one told me I was playing, and I counted the moments of my life waiting in the D.M.V that I could never get back, I looked at the grey bewildered faces behind the counters and wondered if it were anyone’s childhood dream to work stamping documents and taking money orders for the 'noble' cause that is PennDot.  No, thought I.  These are merely people trying to earn a crust.  And, let's face it, they are probably not that well paid.  It's just a job.  They have given up on dreams, they merely need to pay the bills and keep the wolf from the door.  And that is noble.  It is honorable.  But boy must they go through hand sanitizer and wine and Diazepam.

Ultimately, the whole soul-corroding and then galvanizing experience made me bewildered, disgusted, then grateful for my own upbringing, and recommitted to my goals.  May you always put in effort.  May you never spill egg or whatever down your shirt, or, if you do, I wish you a Tide pen.  May you strive and thrive, and never work a job just for a paycheck, but because it ignites your being, it fills your eyes with vision and heart with hunger, because then, then an effort isn’t such an effort, it’s a pleasure.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

My! My Darling! What Mighty Mitochondria You Have! I want to get into your Genes!

So!  I promised a delayed but technologically advanced bells-whistles-cute-fluffy-animals-driving-cars-kinda-hullabaloo of a blog, didn't I?

Err... truth is, I wanted to upload the video from the Oscarpalooza Party to share the japes and jollies that can only be two women in gowns wearing faux Lincoln beards and over-sized Argo glasses singing about Zero Dark Thirty et al., rhyming Osama with "llamas," "bananas" and "pyjamas"!  But my Techie-tardness kicked in, and I realize now, in my return to what my co-host and I call normality, that might have been an... EGO BLOG!  I would have been one 'g' short of frozen-waffle indulgence!  And, you know, I like to make a point with this here mincing of words.  I don't want this to be flat and microwaveable, or saccharine sweet, drizzled in sticky sap!  I want to be sharp and spiky and lodge in you throat.  Or brain.  Or... whatever.

Silver (actress and Beeb Presenter, Tara) loves her kale.

So, apology accepted?  Huh, huh?  Can we be friends again?  Huh?  Because, dear Reader, I do think of you as my friend, and so the ego blog has been elbowed, balled up and thrown away in the rubbish along with all the other frozen and fake consumables.  Because I ack-shually want to share something of importance with you today.  YES!  Importance!  Brace yourself!

My fabulous stunt woman actress friend, Heidi, lives in LA and is all about health and physical conditioning.  Yesterday, she shared a video.  Now, I don't know what made me do it.  Usually, I do not indulge in 17 minute videos during work hours--which for a writer and self-employed Britty-in-the-City, is really ALL hours--but something struck.  Perhaps her wording, "Mom, watch this!  This is how I strive to eat and live to be healthy and disease free."

Now, you know sometimes in life when you keep getting the same signals, and you think, "Hmm, maybe the Universe, or God, or the little Pink Fairy in the Sky, are trying to tell me something?"  You know what I mean, right?  Like, say,  for instance, maybe when it dawns on you that you keep being sent chaps from above (or below, as is probably more appropriate) and they play the same half-arsed, effortless, phoning-it-in tune, and yet you still don't get the message that maybe, just maybe, you ought to break free from the quagmire of douchbaggery and date someone who actually makes an effort!  You know, repetitive signals?  Not saying that I've experienced that!  No Sireee!

Seriously, Tara, it was bloody yummy!
But sometimes, I do see signals!  Signs!  Messages!  No Jesus on my toast, or Moses in my cereal, but definitive "Hey, Eleanor, look at me!  Look at me," flares.  There's the clean-eating Empress impressing upon me that ten hours between lunch and dinner was a bad thing; the example and FB recipe posting of my Yogi Wonder Women who champion nutrition without being nutso; my dear actress friend Tara bringing a raw kale salad to my dinner party and leaving it for me to polish off at some ridiculous hour of the morning--which proved to be a palate and mind-broadening experience; and then--the five bell alarm--waking up at 4 am, rolling over to my phone for entertainment and finding it frozen on a nutrition guide about how to avoid cancer; all of these flashing, arresting flares have caught my attention.  I am becoming more and more aware.  Now, I did study biology.  I am hardly a cretin, but there was/is much I don't know, much I am always learning!  Am delighted to be learning.  So when this 4th of July firework display flash of information flickered up on my Facebook feed, I was laser-beamed in.  My finger hovered over the cursor and, for some inexplicable reason, I followed the signs and, I played it, dear Reader.

I am no doctor or dietitian.  Am not going to be all preachy, holier-than-thou, because shit, I adore State St Grill's sweet potato fries, cheese--oh God, the things I would do to make cheese a super food--angel hair pasta, sushi, sushi, sushi, Coldstone Creamery's Founder's Favourite, creme brulee, cheesecake... STOP!  No, I am clearly riddled with foody weakness, but I'm just a gal blessed with great genes, trying to keep in her jeans and be a good example and a fit and able role model should I ever have mini-genies.  I worry that I forget things.  I worry that this will get worse.  I worry that one in three Americans are diagnosed with cancer.  But one can't live in fear, can one?  However, if there is a path that one can journey and lessen the chance of illness, wouldn't you take it?  Wouldn't you choose to?  As my Yogi says, "Life is all about choices."  I hope you choose to watch this. (And then chomp on some kale, seaweed, grass-feed meat and omega-3 rich fish.)
Namaste, you Mighty Mitochondrion-harbouring Souls!