RSS Feed

Category Archives: Middle-aged Musings

Musings on Mood

Yes, it is another late post.  I was too sad to write one last night.  I know, I know, that is no excuse. “One must be pitiless in the matter of mood.”  That is a quote, but I cannot remember who said it. In my defense, I am not saying, “I wasn’t in the MOOD to write.”  Hmm… What, then, was I saying? I guess I don’t know.

I feel I should go on to tell why I was (full disclosure: and still am) so sad. I am disinclined to do so, however.  For one reason, it isn’t my own stuff I am sad about, it is other people’s tragedies.  I do not want to usurp someone else’s story for my own petty purposes.

Come to think about it,  I have said too much already, just by telling you I am sad.  What is that but a whiny bid for sympathy?  I ought to feel ashamed.  I do feel ashamed.

On the other hand, there is little point in judging myself.  I was only trying to make one of my stream of consciousness late posts.  Being honest about one’s feelings is not necessarily asking for sympathy, despite appearances to those looking for the least flattering interpretation.

Under the heading Cutting Myself a Break, I am going to call this a Mid-Week Middle-Aged Musings and drive on.


Mid-week Moniker?

As I was writing one of my articles for Mohawk Valley Living magazine, I referred to myself as “Mohawk Valley Girl, lover of local.”  I think that is a fine moniker.  Additionally, I think “moniker” is a good word.

Are you sensing a Wuss-out Wednesday here?  I was thinking more along the lines of Mid-week Middle-aged Musings, which I have not had in a while.  The point is, I’m not feeling well.  I’m afraid it is that stomach bug I hear is going around.  Well, I won’t gross you out with my symptoms (unless you piss me off, but you wouldn’t do that, would you?).

Thinking of my love of local, though, I am making a few plans for the weekend.  Friday, Steven and I hope to go to Heidelberg Bakery for breakfast.  We will purchase a couple of loaves of their bread to bring to Easter dinner at my parents’ house.  It is our usual contribution to the feast.  Later on, we may get together with my sister, Cheryl, for further adventures.  She recently discovered a new antique shop.  Of course I mean new to us.  I did not mean to be oxymoronic with “new antique”  (my computer is underlining “oxymoronic,” but if “moronic” is a word and “oxymoron” is a word, why not “oxymoronic”?  I ask you).

I plan to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, having, you guessed it, taken yesterday, today and tomorrow off (too busy AND flu bug, but I’m sure I’ll feel better by Friday).  Perhaps it will be the start of a streak.  I’ll see how many days in a row I can run.  I am, of course, preparing for the Utica Boilermaker 15K, a premier road race and marvelous local event.  I may do some other community runs this summer.

I will also attempt to write more blog posts of interest.  More interesting than my abdominal ills and what I like to call myself?  We can hope!  Happy Wednesday, everyone.


Maybe in my 60s?

It happened again. I worked on two different blog posts while at work today (on a break OF COURSE) (I always have to say that), and I find I can’t use either one right now. I’m just too tired to finish them properly. So I guess this will be a Middle-aged Musings Monday on why I keep wanting to act like it’s Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

And let us consider Wrist to Forehead Sunday for a moment. It would be nice if we could designate one day of the week to get all melodrama heroine, woe is me. We could swoon onto the sofa, wrist properly to forehead, and wait for somebody to administer the smelling salts. And for the other six days of the week we could have out act together.

And by “we” of course I mean “me.”

Quite frankly, I thought I would have my act together well before I reached middle age. I had it penciled in for my 30s. I was almost 40 by the time I realized it hadn’t happened yet. Then I conceived great hope for 50. Almost four months into my 50s, I’m beginning to wonder.

There are compensations if one takes time to look for them. I am still the same bundle of ridiculousness I was in my teens and twenties — with grey hair and a considerably larger waistline. Oh, there are other differences, I’m sure. I know a few more things, I can do a few more things, I have a husband, I have a dog. However, I thing my overall level of ridiculousness has remained steady.

Only now I think it’s kind of funny. I can sit back, look at my own ridiculousness, and at least get a good laugh out of it. And perhaps a blog post.

Don’t Ask Me Why

I felt so pleased with myself for not having Wrist to Forehead Sunday. Let that be a lesson to me: don’t feel pleased with myself! Then again, how can I help my feelings? What am I beating myself up for?

As you may have guessed, I am once again writing a post about Why I Can’t Write a Post Today, sometimes known as Wrist to Forehead Whatever Day It Is (today is Monday). In my defense, it is Monday. And it has been another cold Monday. And I have a few things on my mind.

Oh, stop playing those miniature violins! I’m not whining; I am telling you WHY. But why is not really the important thing, or even a particularly interesting thing. In fact, I would submit that in many instances, “Why?” is a fairly useless question. Ooh, watch me segue into a Monday Middle-aged Musing here.

Mommy tells Junior not to touch the cookie jar. Of course he does, and the jar comes crashing down, smashing to smithereens and ruining two dozen cookies.

“Why did you do that when I told you not to?” Mommy can’t help but ask. You see, I’m not blaming her for asking, I am merely arguing that it is not a helpful question. A more pertinent question might be, “Do you know where the broom and dustpan are and how to use them?” Oh, I’m also not saying Junior shouldn’t have some comeuppance for his misdeed. That’s a whole other question I’m not even going to deal with today.

I suppose a pertinent question for me is not “Why aren’t you writing a real blog post today?” but perhaps, “What do you intend to write tomorrow?” I’ll start planning that right away. As soon as I get my wrist surgically removed from my forehead.

Lighthearted Musings

Oh dear.

It is Monday. I only need to do a Middle-aged Musings Monday. How hard can it be? I’m middle-aged. Almost any thought can masquerade as a muse. Um, this is “muse” the verb, as in to think about or ponder, not “Muse” the mythical creature who inspires art. I don’t know if I’ve ever made that clear.

Be that as it may, I did have some rather important thoughts today. I feel they are too important to write about off the cuff, as I am doing. I must think some more, write, think, edit, etc. Or leave it right alone. After all, this is a lighthearted blog.

Ah, here’s a thought I can muse about: just because I write a lighthearted blog, am I a lighthearted person? Or am I merely masquerading as one, because it’s fun to write a lighthearted blog? Is it better to be lighthearted than serious? Am I straying into half-baked philosophy, which more properly belongs on Lame Post Friday?

Because I’ve read that in writing you should answer any questions you ask, I will attempt to reply to the above paragraph. No, yes, yes, yes. Just kidding; the answers are more complicated than that.

I am not always a lighthearted person. I suffer from depression, which is a heavy hearted malady. However, I have lighthearted moments and I appreciate lightheartedness. Therefore, I am not masquerading necessarily but merely emphasizing one aspect of my personality more than another. Whether it is better to be lighthearted than serious depends upon the situation.

OK, the last question is not complicated: yes, half-baked philosophy belongs on Lame Post Friday. It often intrudes on other days, because it is my favorite kind.

And now I have written over 250 words and I call that respectable for a Monday. Let’s get on with the week.

I’m Not a Basket Case

For this week’s Middle-aged Musings Monday, I would like to dissect a ditty I learned in elementary school. I still sing it on occasion, because it has kind of a catchy tune. Luckily for you, dear reader, this is not an audio blog. Without my awful singing voice, then, here is the first part:

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Fifteen times as high as the moon.
And where she was going, I couldn’t but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

Excuse me, what? Of course, I’m no expert on astronomy, but considering how small the moon looks from here, how in the world is this guy seeing this old woman, never mind the basket and the broom (I say “this guy,” because there was a picture of a guy next to this song in my fourth grade music book) (although it might not have been fourth grade; I just thought the sentence would sound better if I was specific) (but I digress).

Who tossed her, the Incredible Hulk?

OK, let’s assume the guy has the Hubble Space Telescope, how does he manage to carry on a conversation with her, which he does, because the song continues:

“Old Woman, Old Woman, Old Woman,” quoth I,
“Oh whither, or whither so high?”
“To swee-eep the co-obwebs out of the sky-y-y!”

I guess that was how people talked back then, “quoth I.” In my younger days, it would have been, “So I sez to her…” These days, it might be, “So I’m like, ‘What up, Lady?’ and she’s all, ‘Sweeping the cobwebs, dude.'”

Do people still call other people “dude”? It was “man” in the ’60s and ’70s, “dude” in the ’80s and ’90s, and then I completely lost touch. I did mention that these were middle-aged musings, didn’t I?

Come to think of it, these days, he could have texted her. This probably would include “lol” and “fml,” but I really don’t know a lot about texting.

It just goes to show, though, how I took everything at face value when I was a little kid. You taught me a song about a lady in a basket, and I sang it. It isn’t till YEARS later that I finally say, “Waaait a minute!”

On further reflection, that basket may have been sixteen times as high as the moon.

Curse You, Vincent Price!

What is it about Vincent Price? I start to write a perfectly straightforward post about one of his movies and I get all bogged down and confused and it takes me days to get it right.

At least, the one I started today hasn’t taken me days yet, but I can see which way the wind is blowing. First it was The Tingler. Now it’s The Mad Magician. What’s a blogger to do but write about the problems she’s having writing. (I didn’t end that last sentence with a question mark, because it is rhetorical. I don’t need any smart answers from the peanut gallery.)

After all, I avoided Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I think I’m entitled to a Middle-aged Musings Monday. I shall muse about my trials and tribulations as a writer.

The problem I had with The Tingler and am having with The Mad Magician is neither Writer’s Block nor Writer’s Blank. It’s quite the opposite. I have too much to say (some people think I have too much to say at all times, but I daresay they don’t read my blog, so we need not consider them).

Usually, having too much to say is not a problem. I just write and write till it’s all said. I find that fun. In this case, however, my thoughts do not flow in a logical fashion. I start out talking about pre-movie commentary, jump to the plot, jump back and add in the spoiler alert, remember something I forgot from the commentary, go off on a whole other tangent.

Some may say that’s still no problem. Just write it all down they say, perhaps in a condescending, overly patient voice (you know who you are). Sort it out later. Well, that is what I’m doing. However, these things take time and effort and a good deal more oomph that I can generally muster on a Monday.

I repeat, what’s a blogger to do?

More Lighthearted than Literary

I’m having a Middle-aged Musings Monday and I’m not apologizing for it (I say a little defensively).

I actually had very little to muse about. However, I have the habit of picking up a book while I wait for my computer to boot up. Right now it’s A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, New York, 1953). Today I came across the following: “Writing is not in the least an easy art. Thinking what to write, it seems easy; but the thought evaporates, runs hither and thither.”

And here we come to the ugly truth about me. For me thinking about what to write is never easy. My mind runs hither and thither or else seems to have evaporated. However, once I manage to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, words come out. It’s easy!

OK, all together now: Cindy, you’re no Virginia Woolf.

I actually say it with no feelings of shame or inferiority. I adore Virginia Woolf, admire her writing intensely, don’t know why I don’t read more of it. Could I write like Virginia Woolf? Or rather, could I write more betterly than what I do? Could I be admired by the snobby intellectuals? Would my stuff eventually be read by students of literature with varying degrees of loathing, envy or mystification?

I’m thinking not. I’m thinking I am more lighthearted than literary, and I don’t mind that a bit. We all write what we can. If I could only write more than what I do, publish and get paid for some of it, well, I would be exactly the kind of writer I aspire to be.

Don’t Quote Me

Thank heavens it’s Middle-aged Musings Monday. Now all I have to do is pry my wrist off my forehead and think of something to muse about.

This raises a number of things I have talked about before: first, that even on the “nothing” days, I still have to think of something to write; second, that even though I have attained middle age (if I live to be a hundred), I have very few words of wisdom to impart. In fact, I have a few, but they’re mostly quotes.

Oh, that gives me something. Have you noticed how many people spend a lot of time on Facebook sharing these little cartoons or pictures or just big old squares with quotes? They can be inspirational or funny or profound or political or rude, or any combination of the above. I’ve done it myself. It’s almost a guilty pleasure, hitting that “Share” button. Maybe I didn’t think of it out of my own head, but I can take credit for being clever enough to recognize its worth.

Was that more of a random observation? And there is no Seinfeld-style punch line, so sorry about that. Incidentally, my best quotes have not been gleaned from the internet. I have had some of them for years. I found them in books.

My musing today is, do we really try to live by these words of wisdom? I’m talking now about the profound, inspirational ones, not the ones that give us good excuses to drink wine and eat chocolate, or extoll your good friend who will help you hide the body (I KNOW people live by those).

My contention has always been that “Do as I say, not as I do,” is really not bad advice. Most of us talk a good game. I may have voiced this opinion in this space before, but I shall not apologize, because I think it’s a good one. My more didactic readers may feel free to lecture me on repeating myself. I will nod wisely, knowing that they are probably repeating themselves. I will attempt to do as they say, not as they do.

And I will try not to share that sentiment on Facebook.

Musings on Murderers

Hmmm… Kind of a gruesome headline. My Wrist to Forehead mood continues.

It’s not that I’m too lazy to write a blog post; I wrote quite a bit of one at work today. But it’s not ready yet, and I can’t possibly finish it now. I worked on my novel too, but I’d just like to mention that it is not going very well right now. That could be one reason why my wrist is on my forehead, but we’re not being analytical here.

Then again, why not be analytical on Middle-aged Musings Monday?

I did have one musing. It came to me while I worked. I was thinking about my novel and some of the true crime documentary-style shows we like to watch and a book I’ve been re-reading about Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America (Writer’s Digest Books, 1992). And it occurred to me: murderers do not have a great deal of imagination. If they had more imagination, they could think of better ways to solve their problems than by murdering somebody.

I feel sure I am right about this.

I believe most murderers believe they have a great imagination. Many of them think they are as clever as an analogy by that guy on Lizard Lick Towing (I never watch that show, but on the ads for it this redneck guy is full of “he’s as something as a something-something,” very down-home and distinctive. I wish I could think of things like that). In books murderers are pretty clever. In movies they are usually clever and lucky. So naturally, some of the real-life kind feel they must be the same.

Or does it happen the other way around? Because these people think they are so clever and imaginative (but are not), they think they can get away with murder (which they would not have to commit if they really were so clever and imaginative). I like that.

And that’s over 300 words. Happy Monday, everybody.