It’s Such a Small World, and I Don’t Have Much Time


First off, I have to say that someone put that earworm “It’s a Small World” into my head, and now all I can think of is the Disney music which goes with that infernal ride. Whoever dreamed that one up should be executed by hanging, lethal injection or firing squad, and all reminders of the “small world” should be thrown into a bonfire. For those of us suffering the post traumatic stress syndrome – earworm effects, we should all be given unlimited psychiatric services provided by DisneyCorp.

I am reminded of how small the world is when learning MIB and I like the same Subway sandwiches. I’m also reminded when my baby sister tells me her best friend moved here and works at a computer place where one of my ex-employees and ex-tenants works, and they know each other. I don’t need Disney to blast that mantra to me.

Ah, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…

I forgot that I spent Thanksgiving putting up my Christmas tree. It’s an artificial one that I’ve had for fifteen years. (If you want to, you can read about it here:

Fifteen years is a long time in Christmas tree years. I believe it’s a long time in dog years and human years. During assembly, I noticed my tree was getting a little worn. Some of its limbs have lost their snap. Some have twisted off completely. It’s a magnificent tree, but I may have to retire it next year, hopefully to a shelter or school where it will get a couple more years of use.

This morning, I walked through the living room where the tree was, on the way to giving my bird some water. In tripping over boxes, I realized I haven’t finished putting it up yet! I was waylaid by the Thanksgiving turkey. Now I will have to find the time to finish putting up the ornaments, and I’m not sure when that will be. Last year, the same problem existed. I didn’t take it down until the end of January.

My dilemma is that I have too many commitments and not enough time. This is a huge problem. I started rewriting my novel for NaNoWriMo and became stalled by sickness and travel. In a way, I feel like like a loser for not keeping my head on task. I do feel good in that now I believe I have developed the story and the characters; it’s just a matter of getting everything down perfectly.

I’ve also not done much Christmas shopping yet. Christmas will be a low-key event this year. I don’t want anything, really. My son and his girlfriend will be here two weeks, and that’s present enough for me. My son, likewise, doesn’t want anything. He’s happy for the plane tickets. My husband, I’m not sure. He’s extremely difficult to buy for. Now, my daughter, she will come up with a catalog-styled booklet of her wish list. I told her that since times are not as flush as the last two years, she will not be receiving all that’s on her list.

I can’t believe it’s the end of November. Where does the time go?

The Forks in the Road Part II

My daughter and I had our discussion at breakfast about the previous night’s debauchery. I told her in all seriousness that if she continued to binge drink as she had, this was a sign of alcoholism. She disagreed and informed me that she liked to push the boundaries and see how far she could go. We had a discussion about alcohol poisoning, and that there’s a very thin line between being drunk and being poisoned. I again reiterated my concern over the amount she would be drinking and the time frame, and also whether or not she had eaten anything. (She hadn’t eaten much at my father’s party. It was heavy on the red meat and carbs, and she’s rather fussy about what she eats.) I also said that at college next year, I would not be around to pull  her sorry ass out of a similar situation.

We left the restaurant and continued to drive to past familiar haunts. It was such a beautiful day, very warm, and the sun shining. I was still quite upset about the night before, but glad that she hadn’t felt any lasting bad effects. My mission with her continues to be that of showing her if she does something, anything, there are consequences. It’s hard to tell if she’s listening. At this age, kids think their parents are stupid. We don’t know anything. We lived in a different time.

Driving up the mountain pass, my rental car decided to die. It didn’t just sputter and slowed down, it was dead. This was very dangerous, as we were in an area of sharp twisting roads where people drove over the 55 mile an hour speed limit, and there were no shoulders with which to pull over. I rolled over to a little spot where my tiny KIA could fit and attempted to call the rental car agency. There was no cell phone signal in this pass. So we sat for a few minutes and waited, hazard light on. Cars were whizzing around us, and honking, as if I could do anything. They were no doubt on their way to weekend fun, and we were  in the way.

I tried the ignition once, and the engine would not turn over. We waited a few more minutes. Finally, the thing came to life, and we started moving again, slowly. Several much faster vehicles blew by as I tried to maintain the flow of traffic.

Not a half mile later, the traffic had come to another dead stop. Just a couple of cars ahead, I could see debris on the road. One of the four motorcycles which had just passed us ten seconds before was a crumpled mass of metal, its rider several feet beyond. People from the first couple of cars ran out to offer assistance. Some were on cell phones. The other motorcyclists gently placed the rider on the side of the road. Someone kicked the debris to one side to get traffic going again.

My daughter asked if we should get out and help. I thought the situation was being taken care of, so when traffic resumed, we slowly made our way past, where we could see the rider was at least moving, although he looked quite dazed.

We continued on in silence. Then she asked if someone had run into him, or if it was his own fault. I thought about it. What difference did it make, if someone had tapped him? His bike could have just as easily slid on gravel on the road. He made a choice to go out for a run on this beautiful day, and this was the outcome. I’m sure he didn’t think his afternoon would end up with him lying on the side of the road.

I’m not a firm believer in Fate, because I think you can pilot your own ship in your own way. But sometimes no matter which fork in the road you take, there will be trouble at the end of it.

The Forks in the Road Part I

Thursday night, I did something a little crazy. It’s not something I am particularly proud of, or something I do on a regular basis. This situation did, however, end up illustrating the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It made me think hard about the fleeting results of our choices. It also shows that choosing the wrong fork in the road could have disastrous consequences.

Thursday was my dad’s 75th birthday, and all the siblings decided to surprise him by showing up at his door for an impromptu party. The six of us live in various locations in the country, far from the childhood home. I dragged my daughter with me; my son is in the process of trying to find a new place to live as well as dealing with college. In my daughter’s case, I say “dragged” because she was an unwilling participant. The previous Sunday, she hurt my feelings by announcing that in no uncertain terms, and also let me know my family was a bunch of kooks. (Okay, so we are, but heck, we’re family!)

On the plane ride and subsequent car trip to my hometown, we had a discussion on why when you’re an adult, you must do things for other people even if the actions or the persons are distasteful. For example, I don’t get along with one of my sisters and haven’t spoken more than a half dozen words to her in five years. If you must know why, it’s because of my father’s 70th birthday. (I should write this stuff down!) However, my mantra is to be pleasant and cheerful and act stupid. Fighting is the thing I’d least like to do.

At this point, my daughter asked me if she could drink during the party. At first, I told her “no” because she’s only 17, and added there would only be lite beer and wine, not what she likes to drink. She then brought up the fact that she was a captive, and a drink or two would make her mood more amenable to dealing with a family situation. I thought about it, and agreed. After all, she wasn’t driving, and we wouldn’t be there long. On the way to my dad’s, I stopped and bought a small flask of vodka and orange juice.

Before you think “what a horrible mom!” and report me to the local Department of Human Services, I must say this: I have allowed my children to drink under certain controlled circumstances. Both of them spent extended periods in Europe at 16 and drank. I’m sure both have been to parties and drank. I’ve told both, if you are stuck somewhere and drunk and can’t get a ride, CALL ME. I would rather come and pick them up than have them drive home under the influence.

The amount of alcohol I purchased for her wasn’t enough to get her drunk as a skunk. No. But then her 21 year old cousin decided to slip her some extra alcohol without my knowledge. When I went to leave to stay with one of my sisters, I found my daughter on the bed downstairs lying in a large pool of her own vomit. It wasn’t pretty. Some of my sibs were staying there with my dad. I tried to get her up, and couldn’t, so I tried to my best to clean up the mess before anyone came downstairs. Then I moved her to the couch.

All night, I was upset. I didn’t think I had given her enough to get that wasted, and then I felt bad. What if she had alcohol poisoning? I couldn’t exactly call my dad and say, hey, could you look at your granddaughter and tell me she’s still breathing? Because, heh, heh, she was drunk last night. And what if she did have alcohol poisoning? How could I ever live that one down?

At four a.m., I woke up in a start. I heard my daughter call my name, but she was three miles from me. Then I rubbed my eyes and went to the bathroom. I came back to bed, my skin burning as if I were on fire. “I’m going to hell,” I thought. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I went online and wrote my previous post.

At a decent hour, I called my daughter and she amazingly answered her cell phone. The level of relief felt was indescribable. I collected her a few minutes later, and we went to breakfast. This is where she confessed that her cousin had given her even more to drink.

The weird thing is that as she was describing her night, she said she awoke right at 4 a.m. and went to the bathroom. After that, she went back to the couch, where she felt so hot, she thought she was on fire.

The rest of the story later.

Back to Business

Because my work takes me to many locations, there are a few days a week where I do not return home until after 7 p.m. Because of this, I am really not in the mood to make a wholesome and nutritious dinner. It is more likely that we will get take out from our local seafood restaurant, or go to the local seafood restaurant, than it is me actually making a meal.

I don’t particularly like this. I love to cook! I fancy myself a gastronome, and love to taste different wines and come up with wine/food combinations that are pleasing yet adventurous. Did you know certain whites can stand up to steak? Many reds are complimentary to chocolate cake. Oh, but I digress…

The last couple of weeks have been enormously brutal. Even though this is the time of year where business should be dying down, I seem to have several projects on the back burner. It’s become hard for me to remember where I am and what I am doing.

At my age, I like to compartmentalize my life. I like to play music at certain times of the day; this way I know I will practice. I also started working out at certain times of the day. Writing is the same, and I love writing during the late afternoon. If I don’t set up some sort of a schedule, then my life tends to careen out of control. (Of course, eating and drinking are not on a schedule, and perhaps they should be.)

Well, obviously the lack of control has happened yet again. I have managed to stay true to my writing and musical schedule, but somehow my working out schedule has suffered. I know this, because after two weeks, I can barely fasten my pants.

So, today after writing, it will be back to business. Back to working out. I will turn up the frequency as punishment, and hope I don’t pass out from exhaustion.