Monday, July 28, 2008

Hail Mary Mornings

Hail Mary, full of taste.
The caffeine is with thee.
Blessed art thou among coffee drinks,
And blessed is the effect of your chemistry, Joy.
Hail Mary, Mother of Mochas,
Add chai for we sleepy,
Now and at the hour of our commute.
Soy, please.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Apple Pants

I am an apple. I could have been a pear or a banana (some would say a chili pepper), but I am an apple. Back in the day, I would have been a beach ball (not a string bean or a pear, which is pretty universal). At my local Lane Giant, I’m a 20. Or a 2XL, or the second smallest size in the store. Let's not think about what I was 5 years ago, before marriage and kids (hint: a lot thinner).

So, I was thinking the other day, after buying and washing and wearing several pairs of shorts and capris from LG, how interesting it was (to me at least) that I had never unbuttoned any of my new pants. Here's the one advantage to being an apple - sucking in your gut allows your pants to just slip right on. Relax, and they are temporarily anchored. The flip side of that, of course, is that if you are already in the pants and accidentally suck it in, or walk around for too long with your arms full, or God forbid, try to run anywhere, your pants will drop to the floor without notice. Not an advantage.

Back before the kids and the fat arrived on the scene, this was never a problem. Sure, my pants would slip lower on occasion, but fall off? Never. Now, if I’m not wearing a belt (mental picture of beach ball bisected by belt), I can’t carry things 2-handed over long distances without danger of exposing my lovely, but expansive, derriere. No one would call me modest, but that’s taking things a little too far.

How have men done it all these centuries? Yes, plumber’s butt is definitely an issue here. Maybe that’s what suspenders are all about. Lord knows, over the last two years I’ve invented (in my head) plenty of contraptions to hold up my pants: my favorite is the mini-suspenders that clips to the front of the pants and the bottom of the bra. Undercover suspenders for the Dilbert or Binkley in all of us! So pretty. If any of you all feel like following through with that one, just cut me 30% for the concept and we’re all good.

The gut is a pretty common site these days. Thanks to women’s fashion, the term “muffin top” has been coined to describe the pudge that gets squeezed up and over the top of a woman’s jeans because she’s wearing them too tight and too low. Where have all the best friends gone? Who lets a friend walk out of a dressing room, let alone a store, wearing a pair of pants that makes a thin girl look pillowy? Since when did back fat become sexy? I’m seeing it all over the place and it ain't pretty.

And guys, just because you can’t see your belly peeking out from under your t-shirt doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t. It’s like upside-down, hairy butt crack. Tuck it in! I'd rather see a big belly straining against the fabric of a tucked-in shirt than that wobbly, hairy, scrotal peek.

Tucking your shirt in doesn’t work for you? How about tiny, little suspenders that attach to the front of your undies (yes, you must wear underwear) and the bottom of your shirt? Or let’s revive the unitard (the instrument of constant wedgification for those of us who were in school in the 80’s), but instead of struggling with snaps on your crotch, let’s make a big flap that snaps in front (yes, like a diaper). But let’s make them for men, too! A nice smooth line, no butt crack and no belly cleavage peeking out? Why, that’s brilliant! Thank you.

My point? Oh, something about being fat and frustrated that my pants fall down.

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my blog. I’m not sure where I’ll be going here, but I do know it will cover the topics of my kids, depression, writing, marriage, friendship, art, books, animals, plants, Japanese maple trees, hydrangeas, blueberries, horses, cleaning and not cleaning, joy, sadness, laughter, family, and a bunch of others.

I’m an editor, of everything from fiction short stories, novels and screenplays to non-fiction magazine articles, municipal code, and web content. I write, too, but not as easily. Editing is a matter of making everything right, like walking through a gallery and straightening all the frames, tilting the lights just so, and presenting everything at its best angle and it its best light for best viewing and understanding.

Editing is interpreting. Taking a collection of words and tailoring them to say what they need to say, in the voice of the speaker, without confusion. Writing, on the other hand, is generating the original thought for others to interpret.

As we wander the gallery of art, of writing, of taste, gazing at each piece, we take away an interpretation that is solely our own. What the artist intends, what the editor hopes to help the artist convey, is the outer story of art. The inner story, the true take-away, is a construct of the viewer, as an individual’s experiences color every new experience, creating something wholly original from the artist’s creation hanging before us. Walking away from art, we take the vision of the piece, the artist’s intent, the narrator’s interpretation, and our own schema, layered over and under it all, causing the piece of art to become a personal, intimate experience, never to be duplicated by another.

The artist, whether of visual, written, or cooked content, lays before the world a layer to be incorporated into the greater schema and interpreted by a million different eyes, mouths, hands. This is the great fear and the great feat. To lay a piece of oneself aside, to leave it for others to find and devour. Art is terrifying and exhilarating. We love to react and to be reacted to. We love to be surprised and to find connection. We love to hate and to love a thing, a concept, a dish. Contrast drives us to continue looking. Contrasts keep us hooked on experience.

Roller coasters, the anticipation, fear, thrill, relief cycle, run over and over, hooks us in and brings us back to stand in the longest line in the park. Those few orgasmic moments are worth the boredom and discomfort of waiting among others, watching the few go up and around, jealously vicarious, wanting to be there and not here.

Well, that is life, isn’t it? We are either in the moment or waiting to be in the moment. Looking for the end of the line that will bring us to the moment takes us along many paths to many moments. Some paths loop back to a repetitive, predictable validation, like the rollercoaster.

Other paths, like the house of mirrors and glass, bring us through pain, or disorientation, to ecstatic relief and joy. Whichever path we take, looking for the moment draws us along, the movement itself sustaining the search for joy. Don’t stop too long or you will lose the momentum.

Lose the momentum and you lose the path, lose the path and you lose the opportunity to get on the ride.