Dec 03 2015
It’s a custom: I fall once a year. It’s still coming for 2015, and time is getting short. It will be caused by a stair that is too high or a somersault on ice or a drunken lurch through the nearest casino. The older I get, the more I dread it.
Much like farting or burping unexpectedly, we are embarrassed when we fall. It invariably happens in public when you are with, oh say, the Press Corp. And you, of course, deny that anything is hurt even if your right leg is on the opposite curb from your left.
I had a client in the deep South where they use pine needles instead of cedar chips as mulch. It’s a very slippery way to throw Yankees off balance. On a hill just outside the windows of their conference room, I pitched straight forward. Down, down, down. Head lower than my feet. Knocked so breathless that I could only smack my lips like a dying trout. Through the whole thing, I did not spill a drop of the Diet Coke I was carrying.
Another time, walking the streets of Chicago with the rep from a Public Relations agency, I suddenly executed a near perfect triple gainer and splatted down onto the broken concrete. I didn’t die, but I wanted to. Torn hamstring, the works. The PR specialist with me, adept at putting a positive spin on things, cried, “Oh, look! You didn’t even get your pants dirty!”
We are embarrassed when we fall, and we hate to admit that we actually hurt ourselves when we do. From now on, I am going to change that. I am going to lie there, thrashing and flailing as much as the various body parts will allow. I’ll sue the bastards who paved the whatever. I will pull down any goodie-two-shoes who so much at hints at, “Did you hurt yourself?”
Take this as a warning.
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Nov 25 2015
It was late in the nineteenth century. No woman or child was allowed on that godforsaken rock. Or maybe no woman or child was fool enough to go. But give a certain kind of man a chance to be a jackass, and he is bound to try.
The Oregon coast south of the Columbia was a danger to sailing ships at sea. A lighthouse was out of the question because the Tillamook Cliff was so high it was shrouded in fog much of the time. This is, after all, the Pacific coast we’re talking about, where early explorers were so miserable in the weather, they left behind names such as include Dismal Nitch and Desolation Point.
Nonetheless, ships were flailing against the cliff and seamen were perishing. Something must be done. If the cliff was inaccessible for a lighthouse, what about basalt rock at its base?
“That would work,” said government engineers who were landlubbers from far, far away.
The locals knew better. In fact, the first surveyor dropped on the rock in 1879, took a look around, slipped, plunged into the waves and was never seen again.
“Told you so,” said the locals. From then on, crews brought in from elsewhere were sequestered from the Oregonians and their tales of doom.
We can only assume it was a surprise to these poor souls when they found themselves strung on a line between a tiny ship and an enormous rock. To make the transfer, one after another climbed into a contraption made from a life ring attached to an old pair of cut off pants. As the ship bobbed, the line whipped high and low, plunging the woebegone workers deep under the swells on the downswings. When the first of them arrived, soaked and terrified, their nightmare was not yet done. They had to fight off the thousand pound sea lion bulls who thought of the rock as their familial pile. Krakens or sea serpents could hardly have been less welcoming.
In time, after appalling deprivation and desperation, the Tillamook lighthouse did get built. Just days before it was lit, the crew heard another ship throw itself against the cliff. They listened to the cries of sixteen seamen until all were lost. Only the ship’s dog survived. It is said you can still hear its mournful howl on nights when the sea is calm.
From that night ’til now, the light has been known as Terrible Tilly. You can see it as you drive south along the coast although It was decommissioned decades ago. But the story doesn’t end here.
The cremains of some thirty dead souls are out there because for a limited time, the lighthouse became a columbarium for families who thought Uncle Fred might like to spend eternity at sea. But Terrible Tilly rejected that idea, proving humans were as unwanted dead as alive. The place has been damaged by violent wind and wave … and now all those Uncle Freds are spending eternity covered in tons of murre and cormorant guano. It’s now off limits most of the year as part of the National Wildlife Refuge. So the columbarium idea has pretty much gone to shit.
Give a certain kind of man a chance to be a jackass, and he is bound to try. Terrible Tilly is waiting there for the next one with a bright idea to happen along..
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Nov 19 2015
Remember when Halloween was out there all on its own, a long time before the rest of the year end festivities? You made a costume out of three paper plates and called yourself Speedy Alka-Seltzer. Done. Total cost three cents.
One of my first clients was Leewards. It was a chain of craft stores gobbled up by Michael’s. I was a consultant to them when – much to even their surprise – the money/time people spent on Halloween made it the Number Two holiday behind Christmas. That’s right. Hand-beaded goblins and macramé brooms and embroidered witches displaced the bunny kit cakes and paint-by-number praying hands of Easter (this may be close to a devastating political observation, but I’m not stepping in that cow pie).
Now, as we all know, Halloween is a kick-off for Turkey Day. No time elapses between the two. Pumpkins rotting at the door are discarded and immediately replaced with oak leaf wreaths. The last handful of fun-size Zagnuts is dumped from the candy dish to make way for chocolate marshmallow turkeys. The salt and pepper ghosts fly back to the china cabinet while the pilgrims with holes in their heads migrate to the tabletop.
Of course, Thanksgiving bumps smack into Christmas when the Black Friday chutes open. And the New Year Sales begin about the middle of Christmas Eve.
October through January is now one mega festivity. And if retailers can make Groundhog day just a little bigger deal, then Halloween and Easter may one day actually merge. Boy oh boy, I hope I’m around to see it.
Permanent link to this article: http://lindabmyers.com/happy-bewitching-bunny-day/
Nov 11 2015
Whether widowed or divorced, it takes time to become single again. It was several years after the Mister died before I – not unlike Punxsutawney Phil – stuck my head out to look around at how much dark weather was still ahead. I learned a fair amount about grieving in those years.
We had done everything together for three decades, including home decorating. About the first thing I did when he was gone was get rid of the dishes we had chosen together years before. I bought a very girly, very flowery set that he would have disliked very much. They didn’t remind me of him every time I set the table. They were MY dishes, not OUR dishes. It was a different mindset, and I found that it helped me to deal with aloneness as a positive. MY sheets and MY television shows and MY paint colors began replacing the things we had chosen together.
I started doing things WE wouldn’t have enjoyed as a couple. Binge watching The Walking Dead. Owning a parrot. Eating meatless pizza. Writing books. MY things, not OUR things.
Grieving is a natural function of life, one of the unpleasant ones like nausea or constipation. You feel awful, but you WILL live through it. I discovered that it is also a very selfish business. It’s easy to use a friend who you wouldn’t help through some future depression of his/her own. You could hurt someone in the process … and it will haunt you.
At some point along the grief timeline, I finally admitted I was deeply angry. It felt disloyal. But I was furious that I cared for him so long and lost so much when he did so little to help himself. It was years before I could actually say that to myself, much less to you.
Facing it was my final step in Becoming an Unmarried Woman. And I now like that status a lot.
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Nov 08 2015
My cheeks are as red as a giant bowl of juicy pomodoro sauce. I am totally embarrassed by the amount of bullshit you subscribers have taken from me in the past couple weeks. Apparently, I’ve been sending out book excerpts in random sequences. This is not a marketing trick. Not that I’m above that, but this has been a WordPress malfunction. Or a Myers meltdown. Take your pick.
Anyway. Apologies. Maybe you’d like to know that HARD TO BEAR is on sale this week for .99 on Kindle here. Maybe not. Maybe you’d rather I just send you a photo of really cute kittens. Or a giant bowl of juicy pomodoro sauce.
Whatever, I sure as hell hope you only receive one notice about this post. Then I can just go back to posting like it was the good old days. You know … one post, one notice. Otherwise, it’s curtains for the Myers blog.
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Nov 02 2015
I’ve been revising a novella I wrote ages ago. It is far better now that I know what the hell I’m doing. It fits somewhere on the fantasy continuum … you know the one with Dune-realistic sci fi at one end and hookah smoking caterpillars at the other.
I’ve just received the cover for it. What do you think? Hopefully, you will notice right away this is not a tale for grade schoolers. When it comes to the lust part, I didn’t write what I know … I wrote what I knew.
BTW, many of you know I suffered the loss of my subscriber list, a dreadful malady not covered by Obamacare. If you haven’t re-subscribed, please do so now, up there at the top of the right column. If you don’t? In the interest of full disclosure, you should be aware I am something of a voodoo queen. I’m just saying.
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Oct 31 2015
- Old people take along earplugs so our heads won’t explode during the previews. We forget to take them out when the featured attraction begins. So when we lean over to whisper to our movie buddies, it is voce forte. Don’t sit near us.
- If you somehow ignored the first hint, particularly don’t sit behind an old couple. One or the other is hearing or visually impaired. The other will explain every scene, again voce forte.
- We were raised eating in theatres and throwing the trash on the floor. I don’t know why; we used to throw trash out car windows, too. Anyway, our favorite foodstuffs involve a great deal of crinkly unwrapping which takes a long time because of the arthritis in our hands. Chances are we don’t hear it. But you will.
- We go to matinees. Yes, they’re cheaper. But they’re also early enough for us to stay awake. Theatres should pass out cpap machines for evening performances. But they don’t. So snoring is not an usual interruption during those tense creepy scenes.
- If you need to go to the restroom during the show, it won’t be fast. The line of seniors ahead of you will be long. Many of us can’t even make it through the previews without our first trip. If you are lucky, we will keep following the exhausting routine throughout the show. If you are unlucky, you may be near someone who just pees in the theatre seat.
- If a movie is good, old people applaud. I don’t get that, either. It’s not like Tom Hanks or Matt Damon knows. I think it may be giving thanks not for the movie but for the fact that we’ve lived all the way through it to the end.
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Oct 30 2015
My friend Beth calls Bear Claus, my holiday novella, ‘Bear Lite’ since it is not quite as dark as my full length novels … even a seasonally depressed grinch like me doesn’t want to rain on your Christmas.
There are a lot of characters in the PI Bear Jacobs series. I suppose this is because it actually started with Fun House Chronicles. Many of the folks who appeared there have just moved along with me.
With each new story, I learn more about them. For instance, I didn’t know until Bear Claus that Lily had once been a dealer in Vegas. The biggest expansion of character in this novella is in Bear’s roommate, Charlie Barker (who was named for my dearly departed dachshund). I already knew Charlie fancies himself a lady’s man. And that he has sores in a very private place. But in Bear Claus, I discovered he is a pretty good handyman, a decent cook, and a woeful failure at holding his booze.
BTW, Bear Claus is $2.99 on Amazon. But if you wait til November 14 or 15, you can get it free. Consider me Mrs. Claus if you must, but never say it to my face.
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Oct 07 2015
As per usual, we arrived at the ship in a state of exhaustion from the task of getting to the ship. I looked out the stateroom window and, when turning back, fell onto the bed having inexplicably rolled myself in the window drape. It fell, too. Sis may have helped me unwind, but she was in the bathroom trying to take a shower. She had nearly unscrewed the hardware before she realized those particular bits of metal weren’t the handles.
Coming home wasn’t a great deal easier. It involved a red eye and a transfer on Delta. Remember when you could be up all night and still function the next day? Not so much anymore. So I am feeling excessively snarky. Which may be why a Delta promo has irritated me.
They are coupling with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, seeking donations for the month. This strikes me as odd on the part of the BCRF people. Don’t they know that there is no other category of business (with the possible exception of medical facilities) that anger people as much as airlines? Do they really want an irritating partner? I mean, in theory any partner. But on the first flight, which left an hour late, those of us with connections had to bully past everyone else to gallop through the terminal. And who held us up at the door? A flight attendant seeking donations. On the second flight, they had the audacity to go seat to seat tin cupping, embarrassing those of us who choose to donate in other ways. Bad job, Delta. And while I’m at it, make your charity announcement once on the plane, not repeatedly.
Okay, I’m stepping off the soap box and onto the bathroom scales. I think there may have been one too many pu pu platters for the road.
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