Giving a finger to two-thumb typing

Tiiiiny phone screens … only place where even delicate girl thumbs become bear paws.

My exact words in a dialogue with a blogger after a typo I’d made at his site. Funny thing was I knew immediately after posting that I had! Yet opted not to post a correction, why?

Two words: Phone screen.

My phone’s tiny. The smallest that Apple makes — rather, USED to make before recently discontinuing it. A crying shame for folks like me who WANT small. Who WANT a device, approximately flip-phone-size, that snuggles easily into a back pocket of jeans, front pocket of a work shirt and a palm. That topic’s neither here nor there for today.

Moreover, I’m not a texter. I’m simply not.

Neither do I do social media (beyond occasional scrollings on Twitter on the laptop). I haven’t much reason or cause to type on a tiny screen.

Times I do need to, I don’t enjoy it. I do not.

I’m not a speedy two-thumber. Neither do I aspire to become one. I’d go as far as to say that my interest in two-thumb typing is zip.

In a sense, I give a finger to two-thumb typing.

It’s not for me.

Seat me in front of a standard keyboard, however, and I am rarin’ to go! Like Secretariat chompin’ at his bit at the starting gate!

I love to type. Repeat. LOVE. TO TYPE.

Always have. From the second I sat at a typewriter as a little girl — a manual. A Smith-Corona, I think. Funny, I don’t remember where or whose but very probably my mother’s, which is why I’ve completely blocked it out.

I’ll let that go.

What I DO remember, VERY vividly, is learning to type properly … on an ELECTRIC! Whooo-hooo those were the big new deals back then. Summer school 7th grade.

That singular class was a defining moment in my lifetime — on so many levels.

I learned the keyboard, its feel — its speedy responsiveness so very different from a manual’s.  Was, well, electrifying.

I learned, most importantly, touch-typing.

Decades ago and I still profoundly remember that class, the touch-typing exercise sheets (in a book?) resting against the stand to my left. Forcing myself away from the natural inclination to type by searching for letters instead of by touch  — which in fact is far more productive and efficient despite the initial brain response.

Training and teaching myself by focusing on random collections of letters and numbers and sentences in the exercises amid the clackclackclacking echoing in the room with some 20 students … all of us engaged in the sole purpose.

Funny thing, none of that noise bothered or distracted me. Not a bit. Funny ’cause I’m EXTREMELY sensitive to sound. Have highly-developed aural capacities and abilities. I have human dog ears and alien ears. Yet anything to do with the written word, be it writing or reading, noise fades into the background. Or merges holistically with the scenery in the case of clackclackclacking.

I had my home at a typewriter.

Little’s changed.

A deft typist am I. I won’t lie. Learning was challenging at first. Like driving. (Which, with typing, is my other huuuuuuuuuge passion.) It took work, commitment, patience, dedication and an underlying passion.

With letters, my fingers and mind fly. If typing numbers, however, I have to look, I admit. I’ve not needed to master numerical touch-typing at workplaces or felt a burning desire to do so.

When I come across a manual at a yard sale or thrift store, the wattage of that inner bulb ramps way up. Fingers, heart, soul, memory, mind gravitate.

Fingertips demand to touch, to rest upon the keys, to caress the curves of a Smith-Corona. To run the ribbon between thumb and forefinger — gently — to test for ink. To prod the lever. To tap the space bar and CAPS key. To toy with the paper guide. To breathe in the scent of a half-ring of metal letters.

It all comes racing back in cellular memory, like riding a bicycle.

None of those actions above are required on a computer keyboard. And most certainly not a cell phone.

Kids these days haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. Carriage return? Ribbon spool? Type bars? Say “platen” — one of the most beautiful, nee glorious!, words in the English language  — and they register muteness, “huh?”

Their blank expression … worse than the blank page that’s the bane of writers.


In short, I’m no texter.

No two-thumber either.

Tiny phone screens … only place where even delicate girl thumbs become bear paws. Seriously.

I’m prone to making typos that wouldn’t occur at a standard keyboard where 10 fingers have space for flight.

I’m also far less likely to post a correction (particularly for a single typo) via phone than laptop. Believe it or not, I’ve actually produced a NEW typo rectifying one or minimally editing a comment. Ain’t worth the two-thumbing time.

You pick your battles. Especially when the battlefield is measured not in feet but fractions of an inch!

End of post. Period.



The slave peeks through a crack in the door

I have work issues. Slavery issues. Slave-labor issues. Deep-rooted stuff.

Which makes this tidbit … this factoid … all the more compelling.

I requested to be moved off Friday evenings at one of my jobs for one purpose:

so that I can have one night of fun, of pleasure, above all else music a week.


{faint onto floor}

(swish smelling salts under fainter’s nose}

For the record: I did not bail on that job! — though lord knows I want off so bad.

And I did not leave my boss high ‘n’ dry.

It’s a stupid job. That’s what I call it. “My stupid job.” I don’t tell people what it is. It’s so off path off purpose and far beneath who I am, my calling, etc. etc. etc. and etc.

Just let the record show:

I did not request less work.

I merely requested to be moved off Friday evening shifts and ONTO another evening of her need.

Unbeknownst to her, I did this so I can have one evening a week that’s enriching.

{shoot me now for just saying that!} {see, right there’s an example of that deep-rooted work-slavery complex}

See, here’s the thing {whispering so the brutal slavery gods don’t hear}

There’s this guy in town. A musician. And his team. This guy — and his musician team — is phenomenal. I mean truly talented. Gifted. Beyond the pale. Born to play music. It’s his life, his passion, his purpose, his path.

You go into the brewery with troubles, watch him play and all those cares n’s troubles just slip away. They evaporate. {poof} He’s just that good. That born to play. You can’t help but feel good. His joy’s infectious.

He plays at the brewery every Friday night.

And because I work at a job {“my stupid job”that I’d dump in a heartbeat if I could}, I don’t get to hear him/their music.

I miss it. I crave it. I love music and I love his/their music.

I know I shouldn’t.

I know I shouldn’t love anything. Shouldn’t seek pleasures. Shouldn’t feel anything but the pride of enduring shitty/slavish jobs.

Shouldn’t feel anything but the pride of Enduring whatever brutalities and cruelties are tossed upon me through life.

I know this.

I know that by even by wanting more than enslaved drudgery — never mind seeking relief from it for one evening! — I’m betraying … well, fuck it, too complex to explain.

Just sayin’. Pleasure is not an option.

An evening of music: not an option.

Except I made it so.

The gumption it took, the balls, the cajones, the defiance of that deep slave labor-work complex to request a slight alteration in work schedule … this is remarkable! To be celebrated!

And my boss, btw, whom I like, btw: totally agreeable. She didn’t scowl, refuse, argue, deny, write me up or punish me directly or subversively.

And believe you me, authorities have been doing that all my life when I seek a sliver of freedom or pleasure!!

She accommodated.

“Which nights do you need help?” I asked.

“Tuesday or Thursday,” she said.

“Let’s do Tuesdays.”

It was that simple. I like my boss. She’s a refreshing change from cruel dictators.

I’m beginning to ramble. It’s a hazard when trying to write about a very deep subject yet not write about it.

Come Friday nights, I may or may not beat myself for the pleasure of fantastic live music. I hope I don’t but that slave-labor-master complex is embedded.


I may realize: “Hey, I just loosened the link of my shackle!”

“Maybe there’s something good to be experienced outside of the slave camp.”

“Maybe life wants us to be bigger than what we were given as children and/or by karma.”

“Maybe music truly does heal the soul, even one as battered and beaten and wrecked as mine.”

“Maybe my dad {whom I love to death} is on the other side having to work on these very issues that he imposed upon me, upon others. Maybe his karma’s getting worked on over there as mine is here.”

Dunno.  It’s complicated. It’s a fucking mess.

I just know that a teensy part of me pushed through the wall of drudgery and slavery through the power of music.

My love of music.

This particular musician’s music.

Is that so wrong? Does reaching toward life deserve the firing squad?

Or is it possible that this whole Slave Labor – Work Complex is an illusion … a deep-seated construct designed to oppress and suppress and imprison and control others for ego gratification?


God bless Parker and his boys for their incredible music!

I can’t help thinking that music was gifted to mankind to raise us from our own self-created prisons and darknesses, to uplift and heal.



Mercury & Miscellanea on Monday

We pause our regular programming for this announcement:

Mercury turns direct this week! Thursday, September 22 at 1:30 in the morning East Coast time (so 10:30 Wednesday Pacific Coast time).

Resumes direct motion at 14 degrees Libra.

So whatever’s have wonky … delayed … out of sorts … out of sync … frustrating  … needing adjustments then more adjustments to fix those adjustments! … those heightened annoyances, oversights, errors, miscommunications … that sense of trudging through mud uphill will abate!

The brakes will be lifted and the car can move forward again — as of around Saturday.

Takes a few days to shake off the retrograde dust and be in the clear to initiate action, sign contracts, say what you mean and be heard for what you mean, generally progress or get things moving forward again.

End of September’s stacked with notable astrological shiftings on the heels of Merc turning direct on the 22nd (or 21st depending on location):

The equinox, in Libra, on Sept. 22.

Pluto turns direct on Sept. 26, after 5 months of retrograde. Distant Pluto  moves like molasses so extended retrogrades are normal, unlike quicksilver Mercury.

Mars enters Capricorn on Sept. 27, finally moving past its own retrograde cycles through summer basically. (Mars rarely retrogrades so its effects are noticeable.)

Last but not least: The new moon Sept. 30. In Libra, at 8 degrees so it’ll pass over the spot — at 14 Libra — where Mercury turned direct.

My take on all this is that these past 6 months, or from about April, have been Movers and Shakers. Shakeups. Shakedowns. Really big moves thwarted, frustrated, incomplete or if completed only with arduousness, effort and muscle — physical, mental or both!

Like, say, a series of earthquakes and tremors that keep on comin’!

Perhaps all that change, upheaval, chaos has been welcomed. Perhaps not. One thing’s for certain: It’s been confusing! Taxing even. Scary – probably. Because of the Pluto, Mars and Merc retrogrades and other planetary alignments.

Come October, things’ll begin to settle some. New realities will begin to take hold, stabilize. Fresh or altered situations and alliances will find their groove and/or you within them.

In short, everything or anything that got tossed up into the air in a seeming free-for-all-fall since spring’ll begin to make sense.

If earthquakes haven’t shaken your life, count yourself lucky!! haha, kidding. Everyone’s natal chart is unique, thereby enhancing or mitigating these universal shiftings.

Nonetheless, no one can escape ’em entirely! Unless you happen to live in a cave or atop a mountain maybe. 🙂

Anyhow, enough astro ramblings for today. Just wanted to note Mercury turning direct anon and other newsworthy shifts as September rolls into closure.

Reckon October’ll bring a flowy-ness that’s been in short supply for a while. I’m looking forward to it! And to Halloween, just around the corner. It’ll be here before you can say BOO!

Love that Labor! But Ohhh the Beauty of a Burger …

Everything has a place and everything in its place* — and the dust of the move is settling as those things find their place.

*the singular truth I’d have contributed to humankind had someone not beat me to it.

My Genius Mind at Work

I’m impressed that I made it work. That I took a buncha incongruent parts and constructed within a tiny confined space a whole that flows. If it could be humanly done — as opposed to alien-done, their superpowers at bending, transforming, reshaping, shapeshifting exceed our own — I’m the one to do it.

In this 3-D world, always comes down to spatial reasoning and conceptual thought / intelligence / genius.

My little bedroom, though tight with furnishings, is functional. Doable. Livable. Yey to my brain for being so darn smart in figuring out the solutions to this space puzzle!

Labor Day. More Like Play Day!

Today is Labor Day. Accordingly, I shall be laboring away while most Americans shall be playing, kicking back with BBQs, holidaying, chilling, doing nothing, enjoying these dog-day summer days on the precipice of autumn.

I love labor! But oh what I’d give for a burger. A good burger. A work of art. The quintessential joy of a true American / Westerner.

Early in the year, there was a staff change at the station. I took on the shifts of the retiring member. Only one hour a day added to my normal weekend night shifts. I did it willingly, gladly. The station needed the help and I needed the extra hours (even if only 4 a week).

The result: I work 7 days a week. An hour here. An hour there. 8 hours here. 6 hours there. For a PT sum of 23 hours a week.

I’ve not had a day off since early this year.

Handcuffed. No Relation to Jail.

It’s wearing me out. I can’t go anywhere. Can’t travel. Not even a day trip. So my contemplative musing this Labor Day isn’t appreciating the value of labor and work ethics. Got that wisdom in spades! I wrote the book on work!

Well, maybe I didn’t write it. That might’ve been my dad, haha. But I sure as hell co-authored it!

Learning to work is NEVER my issue. Mine is: how do I work less! Rather, restructure my work life so that there’s space for me. For fun. For travel. Exploration. Adventure. A change of environment. Fundamental needs for my soul.

There’ve been shifts at the station recently that trouble, distress me tremendously and deeply. Give me pause. Give me reason to reconsider my heretofore solid commitment to that workplace.

It’s Mercury retrograde now (until Sept. 22), hence not the time for decisions or actions! It’s the time for the REs:







So that’s how I’m celebrating my Labor Day! Reflecting on where I’m at, where the workplace is at and becoming, where I’d really like to go.

In the words of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld, NO SOUP FOR ME! Or grilled burgers and potato salad at the Labor Day picnic as the case may be. 🙂

May your Labor Day be one of productivity and gratitude for those fortunate to have jobs they love.

For those who don’t — either for unemployment or underemployment or jobs they hate — may your Labor Day reconnect you to your dreams and true self.

Wise Words

To close in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

I mourn the loss of work ethics in America. That man, I know, shares the sentiment and on this day dedicated to the value of work is rolling over in his grave.


Muscling Up for the Move

Now 24 hours away on the button.

The U-Haul rental. Two guy helpers. The move.

Most of what I have gets moved tomorrow, followed by little moves and cleanup for 5 days until the Aug. 31 final departure.

Insomnia struck again. I slept too little to know how I feel today – except tired. Frayed. Worn out. Tired of moving preparations. Worried about what’ll fit in my (little) rental bedroom.

Grateful for the space. To have been offered it and to George (roommate) to offer it. Fatigued and stressed though I be, knowing I have shelter cuts the worser stress of the potential alternative of homelessness. So I’m grateful in my fatigue. Soldiering onward as I do.

In the Home Stretch

Today, like every day for quite a while, is chockfull of Things to Do. Getting signed on with the storage unit. Carting a stack of pallets — they’re heavy — into storage to protect my things. Rearranging and tidying up stuff strewn around the house to clear the path for furniture moving mañana.

It’s a small mobile home so not a lot of places for stuff to go! Shove stuff to one wall to clear a path for X. Now restack same stuff  to that corner to clear a path for Y. The Dance of Stuff!

Stuff. Boy do I have stuff! Compared to most folks, I have very little. But to me who likes to travel light — ideally with only what my Subbie can hold — the minute I need a truck to move things, I’m overwhelmed and burdened on some level.

Not to suggest I don’t love my things! I do. All the more after a 15-year absence/separation. Furniture crafted by my dad is priceless. Photos of my life in Japan, including the love of my life. High school annuals and bound editions of the high school newspaper that I was on for 3 years. A coupla old laptops with tons of writing. Childhood photos.

I’m no packrat. Neither am I  sentimental for sentimentality’s sake, a common affliction among most Americans.

I am deeply selectively sentimental, however.

Every item I own gets scrutinized with every move — and there have been many! Like I said, this is around Move #55 but who’s counting?!? At 59, recollecting every place I’ve lived would be challenging!

Point is, meticulously sifting and scrutinizing and REALLY weighing the value of every item — it’s who I am, it’s what I do. I’ve also honed the skill through experience. I could teach people how to downsize. Or assist them.

Say It: Short

BTW, I’ll say it upfront: This move is temporary. For the short term. How long I’ll be in this room share and where I’ll go after it, who knows?!

I just know: Don’t get too settled. Stay light on your feet. Change is afoot! No word play intended.

Yeah, a truck and two dudes and lots of lifting … 24 hours away. No stopping this move now!

Feel like this space is vomiting me out. Or I’m vomiting it. What weird words to write!  Food for thought. Again, no word play intended.

Write On! In the Whirlwind {whoosh}

When the going gets tough, the tough shut up. 

Who said that? I did!

When I’m struggling, I don’t talk. Worse, I don’t write! Not even in my journal. A writer who stops writing is a distress signal. A red flag.

Where HAVE I been?! Not here, that’s for certain! Some place deep in isolation.

It’d sound more poetic if I could write “some place deep in contemplative silence. Like a monk.” There’s an aspect of that, true. But really, when I stop talking, writing, when I disappear, it’s not good. Or healthy.

I’m not here to wax reflective on essentially “going mute and why.” I’m here to share! To write. To speak. Yahoo! Shall I get to it?!

Wow of a Whirlwind!

How fast things can change! Might be changing!

August 11. In 20 days, I must be out of my space (a rental mobile home).

Fast backstory: the landlord and I had an argument. She didn’t renew my lease, up on Aug. 31. I appealed. She said no.

I must be out in three weeks. And I don’t know where I’m going!

Don’t know whether I’m staying in Prescott or leaving for Phoenix.

I don’t know whether I’m adding probably a dishwashing or food-service job — another menial low-pay Lame Crap Job (LCJ) to my life and resume — interviews today and tomorrow.

Or to be writing features full-time for a giant media company in metro Phoenix — 25 steps up in life, work, income, purposeful direction, self-esteem!

How do I, a person of scant faith — and working on it! — remain this calm? Zen in the eye of the storm?

Answer: Been there* done that before. Many many many times before. Since infancy.

*there = here … that = this

I’ve always lived in chaos, courtesy of mom and dad! On the verge of life collapse. In upheaval. Guttural upheaval. I don’t know security. Have never had it. Don’t know what it feels like.

What I do know is the world collapsing. Crumbling down into dust. And surviving.

Eye of the storm.

Tickticktick (Not that Insect)

Tickticktick sounds the clock. 20 days. No idea where I’m going! If I think about it, I might freak out! Is this Zen in the storm a self-defense? Denial?

Or is it my form of faith? That trust in Been There (Here) Done That (This) before — many MANY times before. Okay, all-my-life before! 🙂

I could easily put an astrological spin on this. And I might. I should. In another post. Even an article for an astrology magazine.

Not today though. Not now.

Needed today are two things:

  • Packing. To include a major whittling down of things.

The things you own own you.

Who said that (originally)? Not I! Still Oh. So. True!

  • Interview. Must take care not to get so focused and engrossed in packing — badly-needed task it be — to forget that I’m to be at a campus at 1 o’clock to meet a lady about a dishwashing job.

Be still my heart!

Maybe not.

In a Nutshell

The truth, the gist of this overall situation:

I must move. Must be out precisely three weeks from now.

I must change homes whether I want to or not.

I am absolutely open to leaving Prescott, town that I love, that is “home.”

I’m more than open to a radical change in my life — in work, income, self-esteem! I’m desiring it!

I want to move because I want to grow.

I want to grow because my old ways — old habits, thinking, certain ways of living even — have become tiresome. Even to me! Who for better or worse — usually worse — likes to stubbornly cling to old ways for familiarity and a sense of security. A false sense of security.

Still, I like my comfort zones too much and to my detriment. Even when my comfort zones don’t like me! Even when they themselves want to be shed!

Now’s the time and here’s the place.

Who said that?! Why, I did!

Ain’t no Hallmark card for THESE mothers.

Mother’s Day.

THE most ignorance-saturated holiday of all.

People think mothers are good. Loving. Protecting. Unconditional. Supportive.

They are not.

People think mothers would give up their lives so that their child could live.

They will not.

People think mothers are snips and snails and puppy dog tails … ribbons and bows and oh how love grows.

No no no no no no no no and no.

I dislike ignorance. But truly hate stupidity.

And that’s what it amounts to. People who think mothers are good. It’s stupidity.

Because mothers AREN’T good.

They will swallow you whole.

They will destroy you if given a chance. And even if not given a chance.

Mothers are hell.

So don’t feed me this fuzzy-wuzzy lovey-dovey warm “ilovemychildsomuch” crap.


Some are downright poisonous. Poisoning. TOXIC. They want you OUT OF EXISTENCE. Simply because you exist and interfere with their own selfishness.

Mother’s Day. Puke.

Puke out the poison.

End of post.


Hibernation ain’t just for bears.

Hibernation or depression. It’s a fine line.

While I can’t discount depression elements, hibernation seems in full force. All I want to do these days is sleep long hours … 12 hours a day s’il vows plaît! … stay in the jammies all day and leave the bedroom only to brew coffee or prepare a simple meal.

Yep, the line between hibernation is a fine one indeed. I suspect the key difference is state of mind. Hibernation: This feels good, wholesome, ultimately restorative and rejuvenating. Depression: I can’t move. I wish I were de-d.

Admittedly I feel some of each.

Anyways, I’m on Day Two of a hibernation I can’t seem to shake. The bed is my home. I’m very good at entertaining myself. Always have been. It’s an outcome of a very abusive mother who wanted nothing to do with me or even raising a child. Neglect has its “positive reward” I guess.

Blast from the (Not Distant) Past

So a strange thing happened on the way outta Walmart the other night.

I bumped into the neighbor (aka the “good neighbor”) at my former digs, site of the living nightmare with the upstairs Click and Clomp Couple. Horribly noisy place it was! She was nice albeit mousy, he was a real dick. No love lost there in that move!

Anyhow, I did know that the two moved out by virtue of the vacancy ad. After ongoing issues with noise that included police visits, I can’t but suspect that their lease was not renewed.

The “good neighbor” informed me that the owner just installed soundproofing! NOW they do it after months of my bringing the noise problems to the landlord’s attention and then moving out! haha

Anyways, I can’t imagine what sort of soundproofing they installed. It’s an old building circa 1958. Thin wood floors upstairs with ZERO insulation.

They wouldn’t gone to the trouble or expense of tearing up the floors and didn’t, the “good neighbor” confirmed that. Which leaves me picturing something like this:

convulated foam on ceiling

ceiling soundproofing with egg-crate foam


hahah. Regardless, whatever “soundproofing” was install, it’s at best a Band-Aid fix to a very real noise issue. The soundest (haha, no pun intended) solution to eliminating the incredible serious noise problem there: Moving!

Voila! Was nice to bump into the “good neighbor” and his friend. And get the update on the old place. I miss the location smack by downtown but not the Thunder from Above. No relation to Zeus.

Speaking of Neighbors …

The neighboring man with mental impairment issues again had his TV on all night. He falls asleep in front of it. As a result, what sounds like a buncha people standing beneath my window having a loud conversation through the night occurred. I’m NOT gonna go knocking on his door at 2 in the morning to ask him to turn it down!

The TV shouldn’t be on all night as it is. He’s not watching it, it’s very annoying and disruptive and the lease states “quiet time after 10 p.m.”

Maybe in the other mobile homes but not his!

This ongoing issue needs to be addressed and resolved. I lay awake ’til 5 a.m. thinking of how to talk to him and what to say. His mental issues make it somewhat challenging.

Back to the Beginning

It is part depression and part hibernation that’s got me holed up. Can’t do much about the lassitude (it’s a longtime issue); the hibernation, on the other hand … I can make better creative use of it.

So on that note and inspired by blogger longeyesamurai’s enjoyable draws of single tarot cards in his posts, gonna pull a card from the beloved (and ever-resonating) Mermaids and Dolphins deck (by Doreen Virtue) … to illuminate this strange and palpable state of hibernation/self-imposed retreat/(unhealthy) isolation in which I find myself:


Contemplation Time. {kid you not!} “Spend time alone, meditating upon what you truly desire.”

“You need some alone time. Make a firm appointment to be by yourself in a quiet place (ideally in nature or near plants) without delay. Make sure that you’ll be uninterrupted for at least one hour. Take a pad of paper and pen with you.

“{Relax, breathe} … then write down this question: ‘What do I want to do next?’ Write whatever comes to you in response, without worrying whether it’s ‘correct’ or not.

“Then ask your subconscious: ‘What’s my heart’s true desire right now?’ Write down the answer.

“Spend time noting your true priorities so that you’ll know how to structure your free time to match what’s important to you.”

Spot-on guidance from a mermaid to a (humanized) bear in hibernation!

There’s no paper & ribbon for this gift

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” croons Frank Sinatra, possibly, over the cafe’s sound system.

I’ve no idea what Christmas, a mere week away, will look like this year!

I may be at the radio station working that afternoon if it’s needed — and I’m happy to do so.

If not, I may be lending a volunteering hand at the big free community meal at a church. Like 500+-people big! I don’t attend that or any church. I’m spiritual and not at all religious. I very much like the idea of serving others Christmas Day.

Or I may go as a guest to mingle with the community.

Or I may go to a movie.

Or visit a favorite saloon on Whiskey Row.

Or spend time on the road with my Subbie, weather permitting.

Or stay home and paint or play with clay or write and drink mulled wine, a seasonal favorite, and listen to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas on Pandora.

Whatever I end up doing, it won’t involve family; whether buddies will be involved remains to be seen.

I’m not worried. I’ve survived much worse Christmases. Christmases alone with no friend or casual acquaintance or connection in sight. In geographical places that were very dark, lonely and depressing (the Pacific Northwest categorically the worst, of course).

Have also spent plenty of Christmases at jobs I detest or loathe or at the very least want out of, please God, get me outta here!

It’s because I’ve survived so many rotten and unconventional Christmases over some 20 years that I’ve cultivated more than a thick survivor’s skin.

I’ve developed gratitude.

Gratitude for being where I am today. In a state (Arizona) and town that I love and that resonates, mutually.

Even if I’m with complete strangers — as I may well be this Christmas — I like this community. It’s quirky yet solid and highly conservative with a sub-population of oddballs, artists, creative sorts and mainstream misfits.

Don’t misunderstand. It ain’t Berkeley or San Francisco or New York or even Austin — all places overtaken (hence ruined) by the libs/socialists. Not. At. All. It’s conservative but quirky, my town — in a nutshell.

Moving along …

It’s BECAUSE I’ve been in such dark places many times and years over that I sit here with such gratitude for where I am today. And with zero concern or worry about what I may or may not do on the so-called biggest holiday in America.

Reckon some folks might trade places with me for a day. Because the sad truth about Christmas in America is: It lost its meaning long ago.

For most, it’s all about presents — gross commercialism — and rushing around and beaucoup stress and even more credit-card debt and time with relatives they don’t want to see, obligations they wish they didn’t have to fulfill, controlled chaos and … did I miss anything?

Oh, and screaming whining crying ungrateful brats. I don’t mean exclusively the tots.

I don’t see it happening but on Christmas, I could sit in my new-ish (4 months) lovely space staring out the window and be centered and calm in gratitude. For all that I have and how much better my life has become — and continues to become.

The simplest things are the most meaningful, to me.

I’ll probably have one gift to open, perhaps a few cards. It’ll be a gift and cards from people who mean a lot to me, individuals I truly care about and love.

I’d trade that for, say, a slew of sweaters I don’t need or wouldn’t wear from people who feel obligated to give me gifts any day.

But that’s just me, un-American freak that I am; freak because I’ve no interest whatsoever in the BuyBuyBuy SpendSpendSpend version of the American Christmas. So sad.

Whether I be at work (gratefully at a job I love) or a community feast, a saloon or at home alone singing along to Mannheim Steamroller — only after several glasses of mulled wine! — this is sure:

I shall be in my heart in gratitude.

And that is a gift, of and to the self, that could never be put on a credit card or wrapped with paper.

The lotto ‘n’ a whole lotta light

“Buy a lottery ticket,” he said, the older gentleman manning the Costco gas station.

You know ’em. Those days when no matter what you do, nuthin’ goes right.

Then there’s the flip side. Those good days when everything flows.

People are nice. A driver lets you in.

You find exactly what you’ve been shopping for. Or discover something even better!

You get an unexpected call-back from a job that excites you. Or get more hours at one you love.

You engage with strangers with a smile as if you’ve known ’em for a month. You bump into someone you’ve not seen for a while.

The list is endless. And it’s all good.

A day of magic. A day of mojo.

Such was my day today.

Dunno why and I can’t explain it, neither do I want or need to. Deep down I suspect it’s got sumthin’ to do with a PT job that I’m preparing to release. Or it may release me.

Either way, I’m not working that job this week (requested time-off). Consequently, a spark’s been ignited. Something within’s come alive! Sprung back to life!

As if a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.

As if I’ve a chance to breathe for a week.

Plus get some important projects and tasks back-burnered due to the draining effects of that job completed!

This coming week’s a mini-vacation. Yet a vacation all the same.

Unpaid but that’s not the point. Point is, my life force just burst through the door. Simply as a result of … not being where I’d rather not be very much longer.

Today was flow flow flow. Flow and mojo. Mojo and flow.

‘Twas beauty to behold. No earth-shattering event or anything. ‘Twas just one of those days when all the little things, the so-called mundane daily occurrences, collectively jived in harmony and positivity, uplifting my spirit and mind, cleansing my worries, releasing me from (job) tasks that genuinely don’t fulfill so that I could just enjoy life again.

So I mentioned that to the Costco gas man. How luck and timing seemed with me today.

“Buy a lottery ticket,” he suggested.

I thought about it. I did. Even though lottery tickets interest me zilch. Figured if I’m gonna get lucky with a scratch ticket, today’s the day.

Then something happened.

While thinking where to go to get that ticket, I stopped at a Starbucks for a seasonal beverage and free pastry — today only for Starbucks card members.

Lo and behold, I bumped into a fella not seen in months! We got to yakking. By the time I got home, ’twas late. Reckoned that as the day’s close drew nigh, so might by flow and luck.

So never did get that lottery ticket. Will never know whether I gave up $500 in winnings in exchange for a chat with that fella.

Even if that’s the case, truth is, that’s OK.

Today was solid, uplifting. A day of mojo. Fruitful. Blessed. Joyful. Relaxed. Centered. Calming. Creative. Lighted.

Lottery ticket or no, is there a better winning?!