Friday, April 29, 2016

Traction attraction

So I’ve been receiving traction at my chiropractic appointments and I love it!!! Even my unlovely baby hump seems to be diminishing! Can one become addicted to chiropractic traction? Heh.

I find it extremely relaxing… now if only the office didn’t insist upon playing country music...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Measuring time in boyfriends

Does anyone else regularly measure time this way?

“Hey, what year did Ace of Base come out with “The Sign”?” “Hmm, let’s see, I was with Ev. M at that time until I wasn’t and *sings ‘and I was happy then, living without him, I’ve left him, oh oh oh!’* so it must have been late 1993 or early 94.”

Or, “Do you know what year the Hometown Buffet in Danvers closed?” Well no, but I can narrow it down –  I wouldn’t have gone there by myself, but I did go there with someone, which meant I went with Ex-H at the time because he liked the place, which means it was definitely after 2001.

It’s like, I can remember who I “was”, or my persona, by remembering who I was dating at the time.

It’s like measuring time in fashion, or living arrangements, or weight. What year did I wear those sexy dark blue jeans that showed off my booty so well? Let’s see… I wore them on dates with M of PGH, so that must have been 2008. Or hey, that terrific sage striped t-shirt dress that fit me like a dream? I was with Pokey at the time, which means I was living in my first apartment (a 4th floor walk-up in Astoria) which means it was 1995.

So I realized something. When we do this, we are performing a disservice to ourselves. We must remember to think of time in terms of us, not in terms of other people, hairstyles, clothing, homes, meds we were taking, or the jobs we held. Instead, let's consider who we are on the inside, our actions, our reactions, and our thoughts, and be able to communicate who we are using those descriptors and facts. 

All that other stuff is just window dressing, and it needs to stay in the freaking window where it belongs.

Wall of Paper

Much like the Wall of Sound, my collection of out-of-date wallpaper books was overwhelming. So in the spirit of de-cluttering (and who am I kidding, to vent a bit) I decided to free the sheets from the books.

rip! RIP! RRIIIIIP! So satisfying! And I made good use of my utility knife too, even having to change the blade. Working out aggression by destroying something was surprisingly fun. I found myself just pulling the books apart, screws and all, with tools and muscles. Huh! Who knew it would be that great? (Not to mention the amount of space I freed up in The Clever Cat’s Closet of Crafts!)

Anyway, halfway through my debauch it turns out I had not been choosy in my pick of the papers. Appealing as they were, I did NOT need all the paper. So by the end of the ripandsortfest, I was left with about eight or nine inches of what I considered beautiful papers… and about six inches of other pretty papers, just not exactly my style.

I posted to see if anyone could use it, and discovered that one friend will be able to use them to create covers for personal books! I’m so glad someone else can use them.

Hmm? What’s that? What will CC use it for, you ask? Well, Barbie backgrounds, for one… one book I had gotten was of large-size pages of gorgeous photographic murals; covering items such as wall switch plates – yes, decoupage; general craft and art projects; and some are even suitable as art pieces on their own. One page was so gorgeous I’m going to frame it. Teehee!

In addition, I also took apart eight or so outdated upholstery sample books, for Barbie rugs and one special hanging art project that I've had in mind ever since I got the books (however many years ago). I can't wait to do that one, but it requires thought, backing strength, and some engineering so I'll need to really figure it out. I'm excited!

Google, you schmaltzy asshole

Google really needs to stop taking pre-breakup pictures and videos and forming them into collages and events. I innocently opened the gallery on my phone to post a fun update on Facebook only to discover new creations featuring items from a month ago!

Auto Awesome, my sweet A. More like Auto Asshole, amirite?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A heat pack helps

So I never know what to expect with this whole Failed Love Affair thing.

Sometimes I’m ok. I apply makeup, go to work, make jokes, cook dinner, hang out with friends, the same regular shit.

Sometimes I’m overcome with sadness (I turned on the radio yesterday I the car and the next thing I knew my cheeks were wet).

Sometimes I’m great! Clarity! Cleaning! And clutter? Adios!

But occasionally I am overwhelmed with a rage so cold that it burns. It burns its way from my heart to my neck and hangs out there for a while. A heat pack helps, sometimes.

‘Scuse me. Gotta go heat one up…

Mad Lib Tuesday

It’s Mad Lib Tuesday!

Well, I missed last week, so I'll try to make it a biweekly feature instead, through Project Labyrinth. Today's is How to De-Clutter, and here's the link. Post your result in the comments!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You know what's humbling?

Continuing to clean out and throw away stuff, and come across an oooold CD, containing (among other things) your marital (read: divorce) settlement agreement from 2002 and a personal mission statement from 1999, and realize they were both reasonable, and that the mission statement could have been written yesterday.

My Personal Mission Statement,  5/21/99

To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living –

I, [theclevercat] will –
  • Lead a life centered on the principles of honesty, integrity, fairness, and quality.
  • Remember what's important in life is productivity, generosity, learning, and personal growth. I will also remember the importance of family and my happiness.
  • Respect the admirable characteristics in others, such as being enthusiastic, ethical, and organized; and attempt to implement similar characteristics like being proactive, sensitive, and truthful into my own life.
  • Recognize my strengths and develop my talents as an intelligent person who is resourceful, open-minded, creative, hardworking, and a good writer.
  • Humble myself my acknowledging that I can be sarcastic, impulsive, and often late and by constantly striving to transform my weaknesses into strengths.
Envision myself becoming a person who:
  • [Ex-husband] thinks is fun, truthful and loving.
  • Mom thinks is ethical, creative, and sensitive.
  • [Friend] thinks is self-reliant, loyal, and giving.
  • [Ex-boss, a great boss!] thinks is hardworking and responsible.  

My Personal Goals
Sharpen the Saw: To fight for what is right. To never "settle". To learn something new every day and apply that knowledge to my days. To tell others what I need and want to function as best I can. 
Wife: To love [ex-husband] and be affectionate with him. To keep him happy and satisfied and with a full stomach. To be someone he always wants to come home to. To be supportive and never to push or stifle him. To nurture his growth. To show him that books can be fun. 
Daughter: To keep Mom and Dad proud of me. To be ethical, patient, and strong. 
Sister: To be supportive when asked for direction. To give helpful answers to questions. To guide her through any rough mental or emotional times. 
Friend: To be supportive and helpful. To show my friends that beauty is what you believe it to be. 
Cook: To continuously try new things but to keep old recipes at the front of the cookbook. To get [ex-husband] to accept and enjoy vegetarian protein. To use the items we received as gifts. 
Craftsperson: To not push this aside and to keep items easily accessible. To try a new thing every month. To not go overboard buying new items. 
Assistant: To be organized. To not accept more work than I can complete in a reasonable amount of time.

Ouch. Well, at least I'm consistent.

On a humorous note, the mission statement was written in my (still favorite) font. *smile*

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's good to have friends

For they:
  • Tell you dirty jokes when you feel low
  • Laugh with you when you aren’t
  • Remind you why you are valuable
  • Don’t “yes” you
  • Let you lean on them when you feel frail
  • Allow you to help them when it’s their turn
  • Support your choices
  • Are non-judgmental
  • Give you another perspective
  • Let you borrow their heat packs
  • Love you wholly, flaws and all

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Autopilot vs. dimmer switch

It must be freeing to only think in terms of twos: black and white; all or none; on and off; binary opposition. Nothing in the middle, no grays, no sometimeses, not a dimmer switch in sight. It confounds me, it really does. Decisions must be so uncomplicated… they already made them, a long time ago! Autopilot, anyone? Sigh.

Thoughtlessness would provide such clarity, yes? Part of me envies their decision making with the easy button: their disregard for others, vainglorious strutting, and all their extra hours free of worry, reflection, constant inspiration and not enough time to do it all.

But the other part of me reminds me how unevolved they are, how often they reject reason, and how they live a life without philosophy. How unintelligent! How boorish! How… empty.

Me? It’s all on a dimmer switch. I’m the person who when confronted with an “All…” statement, disagrees and reminds them of the “exception to the rule”.* Except the exception isn’t always an exception. Maybe the “exception” IS the rule, and the “All”-ers are the exceptions. The difference between us and them is that their speaking voice may be louder.

And hey, their speaking voice may be louder, but our cup? It’s always more full.

*(Whatever that is. Are there exceptions? Are there rules?)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pulling stitches

What’s that saying by Louis C.K.? "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't."

I’m moody today. Partly from the breakup, partly pre-menstrual, partly feeling like I’m spinning my wheels now and I detest that… this has not been the best of weeks.

As my heart begins its process of healing, I can effortlessly remember scads of good times – his treatment of me (although not always of others… why didn’t I warn myself?!) had been outstanding – which is maybe why his inaction was so hurtful and confusing. I find myself still using his sound bites (hey, they’re funny! and generally accurate) and noticing things that would make him laugh (although not always me).

His stuff sits in a lumpy pile out of sight for the moment of return, a time I don’t look forward to but also somehow do. Above all, I will keep my self-possession. I do not need to raise my voice to be heard. I’m just hurting right now, is all. Stitches sure pull, don’t they?

And speaking of stitches, I’m going to begin another (simple) blankie. I know spring isn’t the right season for blanket-making, but it will help me feel cozy and I’ll enjoy making something I can use. Maybe I’ll even post a pic when finished.

So as time knits a wound, I will crochet a blanket. And also, get a haircut… the unequivocal action of breakups! Booyah!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New feature, [exclamation]!

It’s Mad Lib Tuesday!

I will feature a weekly mad lib beginning today, through Project Labyrinth. Today's is entitled The Breakup, and here's the link. Why not make your own?

Post your result in the comments so we can all have a giggle.