Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stasis

I should do a little research and see if this lassitude, this almost dormancy is cyclical.  I have lost the will to write anything longer than a comment or tweet.  Has Twitter ruined me?  Perhaps.  But I was cranking out posts at a rate of two a day for much of my first year on Twitter, so I can't really put this all off on Twitter.  And truth be told, I'm even neglecting Twitter.

I don't feel well.  It's just the same old stuff. My platelet count is down again.  I'll bet my cholesterol is up again.  My colon is fine for now, but knowing me and how little water I'm naturally inclined to drink, it won't be fine for long.  The only time in my life as an adult I didn't eat healthy was during the worst of the time of caring for my heinous and demented mother.  There came a point I just didn't have the energy for cooking, so I lived on cereal and Budget Gourmet.  But those days are long past.  And I've been eating healthy for five years now.  I don't walk far enough or long enough, but I'm working on it.  There, so much for my health.

I suspect my lassitude has more to do with political fatigue and the too fast ending of long days.  I'm sensitive to short days.  I need sunlight and time.  Winter is coming and now I have work to do outside.  I've neglected the yard this year.  I haven't finished enlarging the path and patio here from the little house to the front house.  I didn't realize how much Ms M did to make the front of the house look good.  I hardly ever venture out front except to pick up mail or coming and going with Marley when we walk.  I have set water several times to find it turned off by one of the young men in the front house.  They think half an hour is plenty.  Not for trees, it isn't.  I haven't felt well enough to mow, but then when you hardly ever water, the lawn doesn't grow much.

I have cut the Iris, pulled vines out of trees, raked the pine needles, trimmed the mint.  I will cut the Vinca from the paved paths, pull the bulbs from the beds too close to the house.  I will re pot house plants getting ready to bring them inside.  But what I cannot do is write.  Not for the time being.  I will wait for the leaves to turn and fall and then I will rake.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Because of You, Christine O'Donnell...

I'd given up masturbation because of a lack of desire, but I'm now pledging to masturbate at least once a day as a protest of sorts.  Christine O'Donnell, it's all because of you!  If only you'd have claimed ice cream was the sweet sweet way to win your hoped for Senate seat, I'd be giving up ice cream instead of taking up masturbation.  Maybe the calories burned during masturbation will offset the calories consumed eating ice cream.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Suffer From A Lack of Passion...


It feels like battle fatigue.  I had a form of that growing up and it never quite ran away. 

I look back at that sentence and my first impulse is to fix it, but that Freudian quality is just what I'm talking about.  I thought it would be easier after I recovered from being my mother's caregiver, but the financial disaster her illness created for me is still (six years later) rippling out into the rest of my life. And it makes me feel like selling my jewels to keep the farm.  Instead I sold the farm to keep the farm.  This is the magic of the Reverse Mortgage.  Next, if I can find that top hat, I might try a rabbit trick.

The book I wrote, The Narcissist,  is about my nightmarish relationship with my strange mother.  I thought when I finished it things would change.  I now wonder if I can't write a query letter because I'm not done with the book yet.  Does it need a rewrite?  Why can't I write a synopsis?  What's the book about again?

I felt a few moments jubilation when I thought I finally figured out the device to bring the narrative into the first person present tense, to hold the story together, to give it a focus, to keep it in the moment, to give it life.  I did that last rewrite and thought I was finished.  But then the next step would have been to write a query letter and a synopsis.  I'd have had to pick a genre, and sell it like cereal.  Is it my desire to be discovered and thus forgo all the grubby work of finding an agent and getting published?  Oh fiddle de de.  Am I just a dabbler?

I did have a Scarlett O'Hara moment, thinking "I'll think about that tomorrow" the last time I pondered the Query quandary and then promptly followed my bliss into a flirtation with a man I've never met (nor ever will) which temporarily revived my libido and was cause for some slightly reckless solitary celebration and that turned into the first six chapters of a new book.

Then someone talked me into joining Facebook.  I wish I knew which one of you to blame for this time-sucking obsession but it's the reason I can't writing anything except the occasional comment.  It isn't Twitter's fault this time.  Facebook has me stalking the great news story and friending my favorite reporters.  It's Facebook's fault. 

At about the time I joined up, Fairlane (a man who used to scare me) asked me to contribute to a new blog, Black Magpie Theory.  I kind of worshipped Fairlane from afar, years ago (how sick is that to worship a man who scares you) so my ego made me say "yes" without giving much real thought to it.  (I think some version of this is what was wrong with all my relationships with men.)  And then insecurity set in.  And then the invitation became a meeting, and then the deadline became a reality.  I couldn't meet my deadlines.  Other writers (like Lisa and Tengrain) said it better, and I wasn't posting much on my blog either.  You know the rest.  I'm not writing. 

When will the dry spell end?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Orange Man Lies

I'm upset about the political gamesmanship going on, worried we might have that orange faced jackass, Boehner as the new Speaker of the House.  For god's sake people, do you expect a two year fix on a financial crisis that took eight years in the making?  Are we like toddlers who throw a tantrum when we don't get our Popsicle now, this instant?  Barack Obama is not a magician and the economy isn't a rabbit to be pulled out of a hat.  The party of No is still saying No, no matter what John Boehner claims he's now "willing to compromise" on.  And if you believe Boehner is willing to compromise on taxes, you're very very gullible.  Boehner's constituency is the top 2% of taxpayers. The Republicans represent those who can afford to pay a very high priced tax accountant to find ways to avoid any taxes at all and the big corporations who donate to their campaign coffers.  They don't give a rats ass about the middle class or small businesses.  When you hear Boehner talk about the tax breaks for the rich (set to expire soon, since they are not, nor ever were, deficit neutral) he frames it as a tax hike for "middle class businesses" and this is double speak.  Letting a tax cut for the rich that was scheduled to run out due to the fact that it was never deficit neutral and so had (by law) to expire in 10 years run out is now being called a tax increase by the GOPers.

Give lower income families jobs and a tax break and they'll spend the money on goods and services that stimulate the economy.  Give the rich a tax break and they'll save the money.  They don't need it so why spend it.  If you have the slightest doubt about this watch this clip.  It breaks down the income brackets and how they fare under Republicans versus Democrats:



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glade

Golden dimpling light, the short green spikes of Iris dead remain
Cut to please the neighbors before the freezing rain, October comes
And in this moment’s gesture, arm outstretched, remember longing, for it’s pain
I love my life if only for this momentary fire in the brain, a flash, and that’s enough


Can’t say I ever loved myself.  I felt defective from the start.
Not good enough for anybody’s love, it was my shame.
I have been told, “You’re pretty.”  What does it mean in any way that matters?
Why not the ecstasy of adolescent longing? Why not the waiting by the phone?
I hate the whipsaw of control and need.  I’d rather die alone


A leap into the void without the faith that anything will hold
Crossing on the Michelangelo. Accompanied by a charming thief
I climbed the winding, narrowing streets of Rome.  Accosted naked in a baking
Windblown room, I ran and never loved a man who loved me too
I spent my life retreating from desire.  What makes me think that words will save me now?


A picture of a naked child, she sit and stirs the dirt, her smile just barely there, sublime.
The dog attends ears pricked and staring at the camera, he keeps them all away
The danger of the man who disappears.   I look away and find a rapture
In the glade, a patch of dirt, the dog, the memory of the man, and that's enough.
 


©2008 Peggy Pendleton

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The News Is Making Me Sick

So many things are going on simultaneously that I can't focus my outrage enough to write anything but a screaming tweet now and then.

It isn't just the batshit crazy cracker "pastor" in Gainsville, Florida with a "congregation of fifty and the scheme to burn Qurans to make some kind of statement (though no one has yet been able to quite decipher it).  I think I heard on one of the news programs that this snake oil salesman turned "pastor" has written a book of his own, so simple publicity is most likely his motivation.   But the insanity of one church burning the sacred book of another church is as irreligious as anything I've ever heard of and I'm an old atheist. No matter that General David Patreus, the favorite General of the GOP has made a plea that this act of sacrilege should not go forward, still no GOPers have stepped forward to speak out against this moron and tell him to knock it off.

It isn't just Newt Gengrich and others on the RWNJ side of the aisle who are demagoguing the Park 51 Community Center and Mosque by calling it the "Ground Zero Mosque," which is bull shit, since there are many businesses closer to "Ground Zero" (that gaping hole in the ground) some nine years after the attacks, that are far less sacred than a church and far more insulting to the whole concept of sacredness, like a strip joint and a smattering of fast food places.  The whining from the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world about how hurt we all are makes us seem like "The Land of the Emotionally Delicate, and the Home of the Xenophobic." What a bunch of ninnies!

The Brits carried on during the Blitz, which lasted a very long time and with a stiff upper lip as they fought World War II, a war far closer to home than Saudi Arabia (where our attackers came from) and the rest of the Middle East is to us.  But that Saudi Arabian reality wasn't convenient for the Bush family who have business dealings with the Saudi royal family that goes back a long time, so, we went to war with Iraq instead while pretending we were serious about chasing Osama bin Ladan in Afghanistan and bankrupted our country in the process.  There is much to say about this but it's only one of the many things pissing me off and putting me off writing.  It's also making me physically ill.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Crazy Mother, Death and Property Taxes: My First Economic Meltdown

There was a perfect storm of catastrophes ten years ago in my life.  I was living alone in my house, modeling, acting, and doing a bit of production work as a stylist.  My biggest client was ZCMI or Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institute (owned by the Mormon Church) a large and successful department store that ran multiple daily ads in the two Salt Lake newspapers, the occasional ad in the big glossy fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and ads on television as well as the inserts in the statements they sent out. They also provided a lot of runway work for models.  They put on some of the biggest fashion shows around and I had been for several years one of their favorites.  They accounted for 80% of my income.  I had a great agent and was doing well enough to begin investing in the stock market.  I'd been making enough money in the five years preceding 2000 to have a nice little stock portfolio.  I had five credit cards with very generous limits and very low interest rates.  I traveled (for work and for play). The Clinton years had been exceptionally good for me.  I, like many investors, was fond of tech stocks.  Then it all came crashing down.

The first catastrophic thing that happened to my happy life was the closing of ZCMI. There was no prior warning.  It happened quickly, like a beheading.  And it changed the opportunities for tens of thousands of people in so many different businesses in Salt Lake.  It was devastating for photographers and the people working with them, the TV production people who worked on those commercial shoots.  It was hard on agents and all the talent working on the shows, print ads, and TV commercials.  The people who did lights and music for shows lost major accounts.  Since I was a model in print, TV, and fashion shows as well as getting booked as a make-up artist and stylist, I was devastated.
A lot of the people who worked in the stores as buyers, department managers, sales staff, and custodial staff were in their forties and fifties, not yet old enough to retire but too old and too experienced to easily transition to other retail outlets without taking huge cuts in pay and jobs that didn't reflect their decades of work in the fashion industry. 

Then the tech bubble burst and I began to lose money in the Stock Market.  I hadn't been taking dividends out of the market but rolling them back into my investments.  At first I lost that money I'd been leaving in my accounts that could have been income.  Then I started losing capital and finally I pulled out of the Stock Market.  Work slowed to a trickle.  Bush was handed the Presidency by the Supreme Court and from that moment on my life became hell.

My mother, Maggy, went spectacularly crazy in Santa Barbara in 2000.  As her only child, I was informed she was my legal responsibility.  Part of her craziness was giving all her money to the guys running the scam called The Canadian Lottery.  The Feds and Mounties were investigating these crimes and asked for my help in finding out the name of the person Maggy was sending her money to.  I could account for only $100,000 that was taken out of her bank accounts in $25,000 chunks as cashier's checks wired to a mail drop in Canada.  But at least we had documentation that her identity had been stolen along with her life savings.  She'd started cashing checks from various secret bank accounts and hiding hundred dollar bills in books or behind photos or tucked in seemingly unrelated files in a file cabinet in her apartment in Santa Barbara. I only know this because after bringing my crazy, incontinent, mean mother to Salt Lake, I had to fly back to Santa Barbara, empty and clean her apartment and storage unit.  I had three days to do it without lights or heat or hot water in cold and rainy weather.  The utilities had been turned off before I managed to get her to Salt Lake.  I spent thousands of dollars on plane tickets between here and there, as well as car rentals and all of this was done while I hobbled on a painful freshly broken ankle and foot.  And during this time of getting her and most of her stuff from there to here, I lost thousands of dollars in bookings. My agent was frantic to get me working again.

Once I had her here, I had to be her full time caregiver because I couldn't afford to hire a skilled baby sitter to replace me,  or a nursing home.  My mother kept trying to run away, usually wearing only a skimpy sweater and not  another stitch of clothing with shit dribbling down the backs of her shriveled legs.  I changed all the locks, locked the gate, and held us both prisoner.  I had her in my care until I was bankrupt. I was so depressed and exhausted I could no longer get out of bed. I had to lock her in my room with me, since I couldn't let her out of my sight. After four years of caring for her, I was hospitalized for two and a half weeks and she went into a nursing home.

She died almost five years ago.  I'm still recovering from the financial ravages of that shit storm of misfortunes.  Taking care of my mother

Now I'm taking care of the house she left me and which I can't afford to live in.  And I'm not alone in this predicament given the current financial meltdown.

(the link is to my novella called: The End Of Life As We Know It)