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May 31, 2018 / Meredith

Writer’s Block

I know, the topic of writer’s block has been covered up and down and to the Seven Circles of Hell.  Everyone experiences it.  Writers, at least.

Who is a writer, after all?  Someone who writes, right?  One doesn’t need to be on the New York Times best seller list, or even published to be a “writer.”  They say those who write are writers.  Yeah, well, that ain’t making me feel much better.

I have a personal blog/journal (online but unseen by the public) where I write frequently.  It’s nothing to publish, even as a blog post.  Or is it?  Even as I write this (and dare to publish) I wonder if anyone will be interested in my ramblings and complainy nature.

The reason I’m writing this is because of the dang TV and movies.  I see things like Julie and Julia, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Sex and the City, and it looks like it can be so easy to just…write.  Those stories about writers make me feel like a schmuck.  Really, how hard can it be to just write down your feelings, thoughts, and opinions?

Except it’s not just about writing those things.  As I write this I’m already thinking about how to edit it.  Grammar, timing, and worst of all, content.  What do other people want to read?  What do I want to read?  It’s about telling stories, and I feel like I have no stories to tell.

I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a long time.  I have another blog representing my business and I haven’t written on that either.  I’m not writing.  I’m blocked.

And then there’s the novel I have in progress.  Oh, how long has it been since I’ve worked on that?

So what is it about writer’s block?   Does writing about writer’s block cure writer’s block?

The End

August 3, 2017 / Meredith

Solve For X

The ever-popular blogger Ross Murray, author of Drinking Tips for Teens, recently posted a delightful essay on Canada’s summer of 2017.  Did I say “delightful?”  Change that to…a delightful spin on what is proving to be the personification of everything disastrous in my lifetime.

I don’t talk about politics much, at least not outside my own home.  Suffice it to say disgust and shame filters into my life with every passing day our Lord Cheeto and his minions are all puffed up over their ridiculous antics.

Like Ross, I can save myself only by finding some kind of entertainment or humor in the situation.  It’s hard to do these days.

One saving grace is a song that creeps into my mind every time Lord Cheeto rejects scientific facts.  The rejection of said facts is a disgrace, but the song is a great earworm and has visited me on an almost daily basis for the past seven months.  A slight silver lining around a stupid, fat, cloud.

Now, for the equation: X = Lord Cheeto + Science

The answer is so clear.  X = Blinded. 

Lord help us all.

The End

June 3, 2017 / Meredith


Remember those times when we walked in and the thunder made our hearts pound?

Remember that song I screamed at?  And you took my hand and led me to the floor?

Remember how I used to buy cheap beers until someone else bought me Heinekens?

Remember when you asked me “how tall are you anyway?”

Remember how you tried to be the guy who would turn me on?

Remember how you called me “doll?”

Remember seeing that guy leaning against the bar on a random weekday?  They called him Prince.

Remember when we were in that video of The Wallets’ song “Totally Nude?”

Remember when we couldn’t figure out if Boy George was a guy or girl?

Remember giving me amy on the dance floor?

Remember slamming to The Suburbs?

Remember my spike heels sinking into the hot, summer tar?

Remember when we drove through the intersection of 1st and 7th and you grabbed my thigh as I straddled your machine?

Remember when I was young?


This piece was written about a place, time, and people long gone.  While the place is still standing, it’s nothing like it is in my memory.  Likewise, the people remain in my mind as they were so many years ago.  Those memories are brought back by nothing more than notes on a scale, a voice, and a beat that will shake me to my very core.  Music gathers up the years and brings the past to life.  Those times are gone, but I still can’t help dancing to the music, remembering the times and people of my youth.

The End

April 8, 2017 / Meredith

Those Old And/Or Dead Parents

Today marked the five-year anniversary of my father-in-law’s death.  Knick took me out to lunch at Flameburger, the go-to place for a fast meal when we visited his dad at “the home.”  Most notably we, Knick and I, took a quick Easter breakfast at Flameburger in the midst of standing vigil at Faux Pa’s side; it took the guy thirty-six hours to drift off into the big sleep.  Fortunately we didn’t miss his passing while we shoveled down greasy eggs and flat pancakes with all the patrons who had nowhere else to go on Easter morning.

We toasted Faux Pa with our big glasses of pop but didn’t talk about him at all during our lunch.  I thought Knick would have more to say in the memories of his dad, but no.  That seemed kind of strange and a little sad to me, but Knick and his parents were strange and sad in general as far as families go.  That’s only my opinion, and I’m sure plenty of people say the same about me and my family.  What I miss the most is the stories I could tell about Knick’s parents, how completely absurd they were.

I wasn’t my mother-in-law’s first choice of wives for her only boy, her only child.  On the other hand, she never treated him with any more respect than she would treat a dog, and she didn’t like dogs much.  I didn’t care much what Faux Ma thought of me because deep down I know she knew I was a good fit for Knicky.  She just had to be annoyed at something and I was a pretty clear target.

Faux Pa, on the other hand, well, I think he liked me and was glad to see his son happy in marriage.  For as long as I knew Knick’s parents Faux Pa was pretty subdued and succumbed to his wife’s fancies.  After studying the dynamic of the family of three I suspected Faux Pa wasn’t as easy-going in his younger days, and through the years my suspicions were confirmed.

The whole family was a frustrated bunch, and they frustrated me.  The best thing was, they provided endless blog fodder.  The paranoia, the mind games, the passive-aggressiveness, and the food.  Oh, the food!  Faux Ma was probably one of the worst cooks of any mother I’d ever known.

Knick doesn’t recognize the anniversary of his mother’s death because, sadly, he’s glad she’s dead.  Even though his dad ruled a bit more forcefully in Knicky’s youth, Knick has a soft spot in his heart for him.  I’ll never pretend to know completely what went on during Knick’s years with his parents, but I’m fairly certain it wasn’t great.  If he wants to piss on his mother’s grave, I’ll give him support.  If he wants to honor his father on the anniversary of his death, I’ll support that too.

Today’s thoughts reinforce the relationship I have with my parents.  Yes, they’re still alive, but besides being very loving and considerate people they’re the most frustrating, aggravating, stubborn people I know.  They gave me a good childhood, opportunities at their expense, and support and encouragement throughout my entire life.  They’re old now.  The least I can do is provide to my parents the patience and encouragement they gave me for so many years.  Because for me, being an orphan would suck.  Will suck.  And the time with them grows shorter with every day.

The End

March 28, 2017 / Meredith

Runnin’ Blind

Honey, you really tempt me

You know the way you look so kind

I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind

You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find

Running into the sun but I’m running behind

                                        ~ Jackson Browne


March 10, 2017 / Meredith

Happy Birthday

What was it about that guy.  He was good for you, but so bad for you in the end.

One thing I wish for all women (but for some it may be too late) is that they have that guy.  The guy who made a huge impact.  The guy you never dreamed you’d ever be with but there you are, with him.  The guy who always came back, even years later.  Even when you thought you were through with him forever.  He caught you again, even though you knew it was wrong.

He challenged you.  He did things to you no one else ever did or will ever do again.  He made you think, he made you feel.  He made a difference.  He set a standard, high or low.

I know some women who never had that guy, who never felt such a passion.  I feel sorry for the women who only had tender and safe love.  Oh yes, tender and safe is a good thing in the long run, but to have that one, angsty, abandoned, turbulent romance…ahh, such are the things real memories can be made.

Those memories last forever.  And ever.  And you dream about that guy even though you sleep next to the love of your life.  He’s the epitome of the zest of your youth.  He taught you the meanings of exhilaration and despair.

That guy holds your heart for a lifetime.  You’ll love him until the day you die, but he’s not what life is about.  He doesn’t give security, he’s too volatile, he isn’t the guy you want to grow old with.  You can’t be with him forever, but he’ll never leave your heart.  He’s become part of you.  You’ll never forget him, and you’ll never want to.

But now he’s gone.  He’s moved on, married, has had children, perhaps divorced and moved to the next one.  You don’t care, because you’ve move on too, having a life of your own, and a very satisfying one at that.  You’re happy with the path you’ve chosen.  And yet, just once in a while, you think about him, and the time you spent together.  He never goes away.

I wish a very happy birthday to two of those guys.  Two friends with the same birthday and who dated two sisters, forever affecting their lives.  A toast to the men who made us who we are today.  We think of you fondly, and will see you in our dreams.

The End

February 11, 2017 / Meredith

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 02/11/17

Where have I been?  Hiding under the blankets I presume.  Hiding from lots of things – politics, aging parents*, and I’ll never delete myself from the list.  Yes, I’ve been hiding from myself.

This week I had two lunch dates with two different friends.  One of those friends I’ve known since 7th grade.  The other I’ve known for a much shorter time, which friendship was developed in a professional atmosphere.  The first friend and I retired within months of each other, last year.  The second friend is still working in the same place I used to work.  I discovered some interesting things about myself with these two lunches.

Talking to the first friend, I’ll call her Linda, was a little depressing.  We retired within months of each other taking advantage of the very antiquated Rule of 90, the yardstick to retirement in government employment.  The Rule of 90 doesn’t exist anymore, as far as I know, and in fact used to be known as the Rule of 80.  The “rule” is a formula which adds the employee’s age with the number of years of service; if the sum equals the “rule,” one can retire with full benefits.  Nice for those who want(ed) to retire before Social Security age.  Luckily for me and Linda we were able to sneak into government service before the Rule of 90 went out of fashion, so we were able to retire before reaching the very ancient age of 62,65, 67, or whatever the proper retirement age is these days.   People envied us to the point of hating us.  We wouldn’t have had to retire, but we couldn’t stand it anymore so just took the leap.

As Linda and I ate our stir fry, egg rolls and rice noodles, Linda and I compared notes about how our retirement lives are going.  We both admitted that so far we haven’t pursued any of the things we said we’d do when we retired.  Strangely enough we aren’t even bothered by it.  That bothered us.  Are we living the dream?  I left that lunch feeling stuffed with MSG but empty of dreams.

Three days later I had lunch with the second friend, I’ll call her Heather.  She’s working in a place I’m still familiar with.  It’s hard to get the people and images and situations out of my mind even after a year of being removed.  She can’t even relate to being retired because 1) she’s a bit younger than I am and 2) no Rule of 90.  Toward the end of our lunch she told me that on her birthday this year she reflected on her life and decided she has the life she wants.  She recently married a man she loves and who loves her, she has a nice home, is surrounded by her beloved dogs, and has a good relationship with her parents.  “It’s a good life,” she said.  And then she asked me how I felt about my life…

I’d already told her that the retirement life was a big adjustment and I’m still not completely adjusted.  I also told her about the conversation I’d had with Linda just days before.  But thinking about it for a moment I told Heather, yes, I have a good life and I’m happy with it.  Knicky and I love each other and are very good to each other.  I have freedom to do whatever I want, or neglect anything I want.  I can still spend time with my parents, which a lot of people my age can’t do anymore.

So much can be said for these two lunch dates.  One left me depleted, the other uplifted.  This is no reflection on the women I had lunch with, but the perspective I had after each lunch date.  I’m glad I had lunch with both of them, but am doubly glad I had lunch with Heather after the lunch with Linda.  I’m feeling more positive and more inspired now, and am certain I’ll act upon that inspiration.  Better yet, I’ll share that inspiration with Linda, my life-long friend, so we both can go forward in our retirement lives with vigor.

I wonder how other people have entered into the retirement years.

*Note – I don’t really hide from my aging parents.  They take priority.  But sometimes I relish time under the blankets when they don’t need me.

See what others are talking about over coffee by clicking on the linky thing. 

The End


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