Friday I’m in love… (well, every day, but I like that song).
This is my sweet baby Gatsby and his beautiful eyes of gold.
Friday I’m in love… (well, every day, but I like that song).
This is my sweet baby Gatsby and his beautiful eyes of gold.
Today I read that one of the seven deadly blogging sins was jabbering on too much about oneself without giving something to the reader, so before I indulge in more navel-glazery tonight I will give back. Yes indeed. Here is a lovely link to my books you can buy. Now, please don’t say I never gave anything to my blogfans!
The otter day I commented somewhere (can’t remember where) that I’m a chatty introvert. I meant to talk more about this because it’s interesting to me, since it’s about myself, and honestly what could be more interesting than meeee?
I enjoy my own company and am happy in solitude ~ reading, writing, organizing stuff, watching a movie, chilling with the cat, etc. I’m fine going the whole weekend without talking to another person as long as I know my kids are okay. My office is quiet too, and I like that; I don’t chat much with people usually nor do I go to lunch with anyone. I think I’m probably more of a loner than the average introvert. My friends call themselves introverts too, but they seem to need much more social time than I do.
However! Speaking of friends, and being social generally, when I’m with people, I’m on. I talk. I talk a lot. I’m an open book. I’m warm and friendly, not shy, not quiet, not reserved at all. You really can’t shut me up, basically. I’ve even done open-mic stand-up comedy!
But after a few hours or so, my energy level will sink like a phone battery with a million apps open. I’ll become noticeably drained to the point that peeps might comment on it. My head feels too heavy for my neck… it’s overloaded with all the peopleness in the room. So much sensory input. Eventually I can’t process one bit more. Must escape!
I recharge again by being alone.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met a man named Ozzy. We’re calling him this because he’s originally from Australia, or so he said. You never know with guys from dating sites, since they tend to lie about everything. He lived in NorCal and was working here, in SoCal, and was (allegedly) separated from his wife. I didn’t care at the time that he wasn’t divorced yet because I wasn’t either. He was very sympathetic regarding the recent death of my mom, which drew me to him.
For our first meeting/date, he took me to a very nice Japanese restarant, where we had a long, leisurely sushi and sake lunch. (Back then, I loved sushi and also drank alcohol.) It sure beat the boring Starbucks meets favored by the majority of men on dating sites. We kissed afterward and it was very fireworky. He also enjoyed writing and sent me a sexy story starring us and included a special pasta dish similar to spaghetti carbonara but named for me.
Ozzy and I began dating/sleeping together. He was fun and cute and had a nice place provided by his employer (I had a child at home and didn’t bring dates over). We had agreed at the start to be monogamous and deactivate our dating profiles, but for whatever reason I didn’t trust him. And I wasn’t even that cynical yet, but I simply didn’t.
So, I reurned to the same site where we met, but instead of reactivating my profile to spy on Ozzy (which he would see and then deny doing anything, except accuse me of still being active too… stalemate), I created a new, spoof profile. I named her BarbaraDD and stole a photo of a blurry blonde off the web. I made her profile very different from mine: outgoing saleswoman with implants, loves to travel, likes watching football, wants to keep things casual. I made deliberate spelling errors, though that was difficult. Barbara viewed Ozzy’s profile and said “hey how are u” ~ something I’d never do in a million years. Of course he responded because he hadn’t deactivated.
Naturally, Barbara also received 90 kajillion messages from other men, pretty much every man on the site. She ignored all of them and focused only on chatting with Ozzy. She said outrageous things, like she wanted to come to him right after she had unprotected sex with another man, and he said that would be great. Ughhh. Then he sent Barbara the sexy story, changing the names, including the recipe to Pasta Barbara.
I was so mad! Obviously Ozzy sent that stupid story to all his women.
Barbara told him the story was incredible and made her want to meet him right away, but she’d lost her phone. Could he just meet her tonight at this bar in Newport Beach at 8:00? Of course he agreed.
At 8:00, BarbaraDD deleted her account. I blocked Ozzy and never spoke to him again. Dunno if he figured it out.
Anything is not possible; everything is not possible. We can begin there. If you disagree with those premises, I think you would be part of another conversation, Childhood Myths 101. Just down the hall.
I’ve always enjoyed fantasy though. It doesn’t seem incompatible to me, to disbelieve in the supernatural and also to entertain the possibility of impossible things. Maybe once, a long time ago, more things seemed possible to me. I think that must be true.
Fiction has to be more “believable” now to me in some ways however for me to escape into it. Forex, I’ll go along with time travel, but I won’t accept a character with a posh apartment overlooking Central Park on a waiter’s salary and no other means of support. Nope. I’m hyper-aware of economics in movies now. It really irritates me when writers give their characters homes and cars way out of their apparent budget sans explanation. But it’s fine if they stick a ghost in that same house. No problem.
It’s very trendy now, ever since Gone Girl perhaps, to give us unreliable narrator/s. One of the first times I can recall digging into such a story was as a teenager with Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing. It didn’t hold up as well on a much later re-read, but regardless it set the concept for me that an unreliably told story was something I enjoyed. The reader has to do more work and I don’t mind that at all. A friend mentioned that Hereditary could be viewed in this light, as a story told completely through the eyes of the schizophrenic son with no supernatural elements involved at all. Interesting idea!
One of the criticisms of romance novels is that they’re “formulaic,” but to the romance reader that’s not a bug but a feature. We want to know going in that no matter how bad the odds look for the future of this couple, no matter how much they appear to “hate” each other when they first meet, and no matter how many miles separate them, they will end up together at the end. The pleasure is in watching them navigate all the obstacles set in their path, knowing they will overcome them because they love each other, simple as that (as opposed to real life where people break up over the dumbest things). I don’t enjoy romances when the protags aren’t struggling to be with each other and it’s only a twist of fate which throws them together at the last mo. Unsatisfying!
I think the Jennifer Crusie romance novel Faking It about art forgery/fraud would make a good movie. Someone should get on that.
I sometimes enjoy an action/adventure movie where the protag (or anti-hero) takes crazy risks when I know he’ll prevail. It’s funny how these films aren’t usually dismissed as “formulaic” while romcoms are, maybe because they’re marketed more to men. It’s fine to be formulaic if we’re talking car chases and gunfights! I never hear 007 flicks disparaged like that. Anyway, I like these on occasion, even though we never get to see the ones where a hero takes a risk, fails, and ends up on disability for the rest of his life. There’s a lot of various suspension of disbeliefs necessary in many of the action movies too, such as why the hero never misses with one shot while managing to dodge a hail of bullets from professional assassins, etc.
I’m ready for some good dramas ~ I was telling peeps this last night. The Seagull was good and I want to see a few more on that level or better. Complex, character-driven stories that stick with me for a while. But I don’t know if any of those are coming up in my area. On my list now: Distorted, The Cakemaker, Mamma Mia, Puzzle, The Spy Who Dumped Me. Assuming any of these end up playing conveniently near me, that is. So tired of seeing my local theaters all overloaded with blockbusters on every screen. BORING. Do not want to see dinos, migraine triggery cartoons, or Star Wars #857. Changed my mind on The King, since it’s not actually about him but the 2016 election. Gahhhhhhhh! Talk about a horror movie.
I go to the movies to ESCAPE from that.
They’re out there somewhere…
Not a hoax—
I catch glimpses of their lives
Floating through mine
Via misdirected emails:
The other Paula Lights.
One of them has DISH TV–
That might be nice,
All those channels.
I could watch anything
Well, I do have trouble with choice:
This is known.
Another one, married,
Bought homeowners insurance;
They seem like a solid couple,
Smart financial planning.
I was like that once,
With a house and a husband,
Doing all the things
I was supposed to do.
One of the Paulas has a tribute page
Posted for a deceased relative.
The confirmation came to me.
(Please do not reply.)
I probably should have done
Something like that
For my parents.
One shops at Wal*Mart
And I get her alerts,
No way to unsubscribe.
She bought a granite-topped cart,
Which looks pretty cool.
I had a cart once,
In that house with the husband.
They’re convenient, at times:
Carts and husbands.
Fun! One of them just visited
In Bossier City (Bossier!),
The casino asked me
If I enjoyed my stay–
I’m sure I did.
These other Paula Lights
Are in the Midwest,
Where I once lived too
Among the blizzards and ‘nadoes.
For all I know,
They’re the same person,
Or maybe they’re reflections of me,
Living my parallel life.
Haven’t poasted one of these in a while, eh? Don’t worry, there are more. That’s a threat and a promise. Better keep checking in. 😉
As always, names are changed to protect the guilty.
This particular story is an example, as if one is necessary, that people don’t change. My vast amount of experience haz taught me very little, but I finally glommed onto that nugget. It’s not 100%, but it’s damned close. If someone does a thing once, chances are good that is who they are. There are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, but they’re rare enough that we can feel safe using this rule of thumb. Well, I can. Do what you will.
Early into my dating adventures I met a man on OKCupid I clicked with. Let’s call him Bob (for Bob Seger’s song “Still the Same“). Bob was handsome and intelligent. He lived in Los Angeles, but unlike every other man in L.A., he didn’t freak out about the distance and driving on the 405 to meet me. In fact, he approached me on the site. Also, unlike most guys, Bob enjoyed texting and emailing. We exchanged loads of messages without him bugging me for the first phone call. Finally, we did chat on the phone and it went really well. But he confessed something: he wasn’t actually divorced, not even legally separated (though “emotionally” he had been for ages, natch), and he hadn’t even moved out of the house he owned with his wife cuz their finances were “complicated” bla de bla. If I had a dollar for every one of these guys, I could buy a house. Well, maybe a condo. Okay a steak dinner for two. At Morton’s!
I told Bob that I was legally divorced and not interested in dating a married man (BTDT, didn’t get a tee shirt). He understood, but said we should meet anyway “just to see.” I didn’t want to see. What was there to see? I didn’t care how much chemistry we might have over lunch ~ why did that matter? He was still married; he hadn’t even filed papers yet. He said that was imminent, as soon as his wife would cooperate on the money things. Sure. I got that. I said when this happened, and he had his own place, we could haz lunch. We kept interacting online and via text because we had built up a good rapport. But finally he faded away, as they do.
Jump to a year and half later. I was back on OKC. And… so was Bob! At first, I was happy to see him. He had a new screen name and photo. I thought maybe he had divorced and all was cool ~ I remembered our great rapport in writing and got my hopes up for a mo. We began to chat. And… guess what? He had become entangled in an almost identical situation! He was divorced. He had bought a new place. And now he had a new girlfriend living with him, they weren’t happy, and he was already on dating sites behind her back. Ughhh! WTF? Why would he do such a stupid thing to himself?
Because people do what they do. They can’t help it. They don’t change. Except for me: I gave up dating sites and am an exception to my own rule. You can take that to the casino.
I had a sad this morning to read that the Daily Post is going to disappear after this month. No more prompt words for poasts or photo bloggery, boohoo. I was late to the game, but I really enjoyed it when I participated, and I found lots of cool new blogs via the links. The site won’t go down, so we can still poke around and grab old prompts (which I’ve done on occasion anyway), but it’s not the same.
Disappear makes me think of ghosting, the trendy new word for dumping someone sans explanation. I have a novel in progress titled Ghosted, which is a complicated version of this concept, and it takes place over a few decades, involving the mafia, DNA testing, and a trip to Aruba (ear worm alert!). If you think I can’t conjure up a trip to Aruba out of my imagination, complete with a rock & roll band and mafia hit men, when I know nothing about any of that, then you don’t really know me at all, do ya? DO YA?
Of course it’s not totally out of my imagination ~ I do a whole lot of googling. They use me, I use them. We have a very symbiotic relationship.
But in order to get to that novel, I first have to finish my book of connected long short stories that I’ve been working on forever and a day. Got distracted with stuff and things. Life happens when you’re making otter plans.
Point is, I will miss the Daily Post. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
The Daily Prompt: Disappear
He’s got soft furs from a baby lamb–
Some white as snow from northern lands–
While the rest are grey like a thundercloud,
And his meow is really really LOUD!
His claws are sharp as thorns on a rose,
But his paws are pink and so’s his nose;
He has sweet gold eyes in a cute lil face,
And his brain floated in from outer space.
He’s kind of a nutball, which suits me fine:
Craziness swims in both our bloodlines.
But I love him and he loves me,
Which makes the purrfect pet-agree!
The Daily Prompt: Pedigree