I really would like to delete these drawings. The eye is all wrong on one and the other is dim and upside down. However, my delete function is not functioning.
The girl is a long-lost friend, to whom I promised a drawing. Here and now, I vow to work on her left eye. She really is the prettiest person ever; It’s so hard to draw a pretty person.

Here are some blatherings from the snowy weekend. Something about clever stockbrokers?


Yup. Snow. Lots of it. It fell quick and heavy, a blanket laid with beautiful efficiency all afternoon, all night.

The children are stuck in Riceville, east Asheville. I will not discuss that here. Nope.

The thing is, I am identifying the major time sucks in my life. I don’t consider this a time suck, as it helps me to live more intentionally somehow. The map proceeds the territory in this case.

Plus, it helps me to keep my mind off of the bigger more wrenching time sucks I have been identifying.

So, maybe this is a self-help blog today.

Here is a five-paragraph essay written by a highschool dropout with a verbal I.Q. of wsz. Intelligence Quotient – or whatever it stands for – doesn’t mean much, but how well we ask our brains to function does determine a lot. Like for instance that I made the numeric value of my brain’s function as assessed in a highly-compromised, subjectivity-laden test setting…into a small simple puzzle. Ha!
I’m clever enough to know I am clever, and also to know that in realms that really matter, clever doesn’t mean shit unless you are saving yourself or saving the world or some combination thereof.

Too many clever people waste their lives or destroy other lives because they’re smart enough to know how to. Our humanity, our culture, can rape our cleverness, turn it into something we are darkly beholden to, the sad denial of our individual potential. The collective cleverness of the nation is an amazing resource that is too often subjugated by the demands on our attention. Whether you are the crowded stockhouse floor enraptured by numbers and seeing why the numbers matter. Your nails are buffed. Your cuffs are linked. Your brain is accustomed to noise – footsteps, cell phones, flapping of papers, beepbeepbeep. And all it’s doing is translating code and applying meaning and cross-referencing that meaning with about a million other meanings and the talking to people about those meanings in a decisive way that somehow affects an actual change in the economic infrastructure, which – because we live in a country where culture is intrinsically linked with economics – and in a culture where culture is everything…
You and your very clever brain affect everything! Eek.

Stockbrokers who go into those rooms with all those screens are some of the most clever people ever. Not only are they able to negotiate their sensory perception in such a way that they don’t go completely freaking-out crazy with all the input. (Which by the way, I would. I am getting better at dealing with crowded noisy places, but generally I am a low-frequency sort of person. If there is adequately low extraneous input, I can become a bit intense, because I can focusfocusfocus. General rule the louder the room, the quieter I am. In fact, I become so quiet that I seem to be invisible. And then I become very nervous, because I don’t know how to be invisible and yet it’s as if I were to disappear at that moment, no one would even notice. And then I feel very small and sad and a little ripped-off because why should I be spending my time in a way that doesn’t even require my attendance. I can’t stand Bele Chere, by the way. I love the Mountain State Fair. Can’t stand Bele Chere. I will chant this if I am ever called to choose between the two.) (More on popular amusements in the summertime later.)

Drawing is often helpful in situations of partial attendance. Places where I need to be present and want to be present, but being wholly present is exhausting me and so I pick the important parts and draw through the parts that feel fluffish. My brain has enough fluff cluttering up the already.

So, back to the clever stockbrokers. How can they be additionally clever enough to figure out that they might be so much happier if they used their clever in a way that is less entrenched in some of the very worst forces in our modern culture: 9+3@+3*(-+,4.25-*/+?23,.2,(4

That’s another code to crack.

And so your brain is busy. But is it so busy that you haven’t notice how f*ckin’ miserable people seem lately? Really, next time you get a chance, sit down at an intersection and look at people as the drive by. Calmly and anonymously observe how tired and distracted people appear to be, how even pretty people look ugly when they drive. People in cars break my heart. I’m a driver. I have driven a lot. Tens of thousands of miles – back and forth, one coast to the other. And sometimes the weight of my driving realizations makes the seatbelt feel like it’s made of lead. I am driving less these days. Not using alternative transportation, just going fewer places.

I wish the children would get un-snowed in. But I won’t talk about that here. Nope.

Wasn’t this supposed to be an essay? I am calmcalmcalm, the pellet stove is sucking less, or sucking more – which is the case as it is now drawing adequate air to sustain a good burn. I solved the problem myself – told the technician the likely issue and…problem solved. After a lot of clean-up work on their behalf. The stovepipe has a 90 degree L linked the another 90 degree L and I suggested that perhaps the problem was a simple as a clogged chimney. It was. They were great though, those guys from Wright’s – they really encourage their customers to know how their appliances work. Pellet stoves can be a little ticky. Particularly the more “advanced” models, like mine. Which has been a real prissy piece of flame-sputtering crap this coldcoldcold winter. It is actually working now and the heat gave me a wicked headache last night. I went to sleep with an icepack on my head, my brain hurt so bad – actually not my brain, but the blood vessels traveling to my brain. The icepack helped immensely.

Wasn’t I talking about stockbrokers?


show details Jan 30 (1 day ago)

The hilarious thing is that the previous essay didn’t even have a topic. Ha!


show details 6:33 PM (10 hours ago)

My brain feels like a slush pile. Both of the ice and manuscript sort.
This winter is such a…winter. No doubt about it this year. The daffodils are still well underground.
The days, however, are getting a little longer. And today was full of sunlight and glare. I walked the children downtown. Stomped our way through ice-crusted snow. The poor boy was exhausted, cooked by the now-functioning pellet stove, limp and whining…
The girl was resplendently stomping, a trainwreck of color, her feet gigantic in pink boots. Her face however is still so much a baby’s face. Funny how the boy has always looked so old and how I suspect the girl will always look round-eyed and new. It is their facial features that give them these looks. The stern square-ness that we equate with rigid old age and the apple-cheeked clouds of the eternally young.
I wonder sometimes, just how much we ascribe to the innocence of bone structure and to what extent we make our children into what we see in them.
I have been shocked by how different the children are and how they each differ so much from me. The boy and I share a definite likeness in perception and ideas, in visual memory and the capture of irrelevant details that, in their capture, become relevant.
The girl and I seem less different now. She was hard to get to know. Her first couple years were a hard row to hoe. Moving and houses, and always outoutout, a brother who screamed “Bad Baby!” almost constantly.
She is finally coming into her own. Showing a tough no-nonsense that I wish I had more of.
I am full of nonsense.

It was her idea to walk downtown and it was a good one.


show details 7:20 PM (11 hours ago)

I’ve clearly been thinking about smarts lately. What they are and where they come from. Part of this is in response to being called stupid one to many time and getting tired of playing dumb. Long story.
Another part is this awesome exhibit – Mindbender Mansion, that came to the museum. IT’S ALL PUZZLES! Ha!
But, so cleverly and beautifully presented. It is one of the best travelling exhibits I’ve seen. And I’ve seen a few. Not a million, but a few. It seems to me this travelling exhibit thing has really taken off in the past decade or so — it’s upped the attraction value of otherwise nerdy museums in ways that only syndicated and licensed character’s can. A lot of these exhibits are developed in cooperation with…well, PBS. I think well over fifty percent of the exhibits being marketed to museums with a younger clientele (i.e. The Science Museum/Children’s Museum) feature and are themed around some book-to-tv character. George, Arthur, Clifford, Sesame Street, Magic Schoolbus…I’m sure there are more, these are just the ones I’ve seen. Really, what’s better than going to a science museum to see the smarter side of your child’s morning sitter. It’s appealing on so many levels.

(Current) However, there is something to be said for exhibits that are just plain smart and just plain fun. With no big plastic smiling faces, no obvious links to television programming. This OMSI exhibit is top-notch, straight-up…very, very clever.

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