black typewriter keysOne of the many reasons I seem to have difficulty in writing something every day is that I just can’t decide what to write about. There are so many things that interest me that my mind flits from topic to topic all day. Yes, okay, so maybe I’m a bit A.D.D…Hell, A.D.H.D. even…but come ON. It shouldn’t be that hard, you know? Throughout the day I will find something that catches my ear or eye and go “Yeah! THAT’s what I’m going to write about tonight!” Then, I get home and I’m screwed…because there were at least a hundred moments like that from the time I got up to the time I got home and they are all shiny at first…and kind of dull by the time I get home.

I’ve tried keeping a list of everything as they pop into my head, augmented with little notes as to where I want to go with it, that way I can review and research them after I leave the office. I listen to a lot of NPR with earbuds while slaving away in the Cubicle of Doom…keeps me from being distracted by others in the office, helps me “get in the zone”, as it were. So, I’ll be listening to Talk of the Nation or The World or Fresh Air with Terry Gross…or any number of other programs…and there will be a blip about something that I want to check up on when I get home. Yes…when I get home.

*sigh*

See, I can’t just stop work and research it right then and there. Oh, no…and not just because I’m supposed to be filing, amending, inquiring, researching any number of the tasks I actually get paid a pittance for. No, more than that it’s the dreaded BARRACUDA… the SlaveBox’s Nazi Web-Filter. This security filter makes just surfing the web very problematic. It seems that everything you actually want to look at is “restricted” and so we get the “access denied” screen of doom for all sorts of things you wouldn’t even think it would apply to. I’m not talking just of the understandable and usual no-YouTube/no-Twitter/no-Facebook and no access to your personal web-based email like Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail. If there is any possibility of streaming media of any kind on a site the whole site is blocked. That’s it. No can do. Do not pass “Go!” Do not collect $200.00. This means no going to the NPR website at all because, at that website, there is the mere hint of the possibility that you might-could listen to one of their podcasts. Even if all you want to do to just READ the damn story or check out a photo they were talking about on Science Friday…nope, no can do. Yeah, it’s not so fun.

Not being able to do even the most rudimentary of research such as this makes it very hard to keep your topic of choice in mind all day. For me, doing a bit of investigation helps to lock the idea in place, keeps the plate warm, reminds me to check back on it and where to check back in on it. So, try as I might to keep notes that pop into my head…I put them in a little on-going open email to myself and send it off to my personal web-based email at the end of the day so I can refer to it when I get home…it just doesn’t work. It’s very hard to keep the momentum going on any of this if you have to break away from it repeatedly. And then…the moment is gone. I imagine this is what it is like for a musician that has a hook in their head and then, if they wait too long to get it down, to try it out, to record a rudimentary riff on their voice memo app on their iPhone…it’s on the wind and gone. It’s the Mist of the Muse. *sigh*

Yeah…and it’s a problem.

So, here I sit at home now with an email full of notes that barely make sense even to me, on a hundred different topics, and now I’m like, “Uh…where do I start?”

I want to write about all of them. I want to write about none of them. I want to write about something else that grabs me…that way it will grab you. I want…

Damn it. I just want a glass of wine and a True Blood episode. Screw this.

And so…that’s my continual Dilemma…of Death.

© 2011 D. Kessler

I know I’m all over the place here lately. New Year’s Resolutions, a rant about winter and the retail nightmare, a blurb about lesser headlines and a near-choked-up tribute to a recently dead-and-gone musician doesn’t really live up to my previous life as a post-every-day ranting lunatic, a political-and-entertainment-news op-ed wanna-be somewhat serious writer. But at least I’m writing/posting SOMETHING. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.

Yes, getting back in the groove of posting something meaningful every day, or at least somewhat entertaining, is proving to be harder than I’d like. Thank the ever-glorious SlaveBox aka Cubicle of Doom for zapping the light & life out of me by the time time I set foot on the bus home. Add to that a tiny (read 650 sq ft) apartment with three adults and two cats…and at least three-to-five large egos…all living, breathing, fighting and whatever else you can imagine and holy crap you’ve got a pickle of a situation. Where the hell am I supposed to squeeze in the time and mind-set to focus on a single topic let alone actually form an opinion about it? Um…yeah. *sigh* We’re working on that part, but bear with me for a while longer, okay? 

Here’s the plan…or at least a foggy semblance of an outline of a plan.

Since we be a nine-to-fiver (or thereabouts) during the week, expect some fluff dandelion_puffon the weekdays. Might be a gem that emerges here and there, but then it might just be some fluffy stuff floating between my ears.

Weekends are my time…all day in pajamas time…so that’s the time we hope to focus on getting some actual writing done. Think of Dy’s Mind’s Eye more like a weekly zine…in one or two installments. Hopefully part one on Saturday, part two on Sunday. Anyway…that’s the idea I’m runnin’ with. To be clear, we’ll be here everyday (hopefully) keeping the space warm, feeding the fire, handing out tid-bits to the masses…sides to the Main Entree, as it were. The supporting roles to the Saturday/Sunday Sit-Down.

That said, for today’s tid-bit I thought I’d share my Morning Coffee SlaveBox Playlist for today. Yes it’s fluff…but it’s nice fluff.  I’ve added links to various versions of most of the tunes via YouTube etc where available. Enjoy. 🙂

Morning Coffee SlaveBox Playlist

Massive Attack – Karmacoma
Stegasaurus Rex – Premumbra
Royksopp – Triumphant
Maia Krasnaia – On Ledianoi
Massive Attack – A Prayer For England 
Jel – Sweet Cream In It
Frederico Aubele – Postales 
Tricky – Overcome
Moby – Natural Blues
Massive Attack – Paradise Circus 
General Fuzz – Comfort Zone
Gotan Project – Tango Cancion 
PANTyRAID – Get the Money
Trance Fury – Guilt 
Mono – Silicone 
All India Radio – Lo Fi Groovy
Gotan Project – Vuelvo Al Sur
DJ Shadow- Midnight in a Perfect World
The Last Atlant – Anima Mundi
The Crystal Method – London

© 2011 D. Kessler

So you see, there’s been no action over here for quite a while…like months. Part of that was due to some weirdness with my ‘puter (see previous post), part was because I no longer have wi-fi access anywhere in my apartment, and part (most?) was because I was Just Plain Lazy. Tired and Uninspired. Had a serious case of Writer’s Block. Ok ok…I Just Plain Suck.

HOWEVER…as part of the Jump On The Bandwagon Program (also known as the New Year’s Resolution Brainstorm, version 20.10), I plan to…I endeavor to…I’m gonna TRY to…?  Whatever. Let’s just say there’s going to be a flurry of activity over here…well, at least compared to what’s been going on here in the past few (many!) months. It’ll be starting out as a small flurry…an occasional dust devil, if you will…nothing big enough to lift a farmhouse out of Kansas over the rainbow…but it will be SOMETHING.  And that’s the important part.  Writing SOMETHING…anything…getting back in the swing of things.   

Ya’ll should bear with me, though…I might have forgotten how to ride this bike just like I forgot how to drive a car.  We won’t be poppin’ wheelies or yellin’ “Look, Ma! No hands!” right away. And we may even be a bit all over the place, wobbling back and forth from one side of the road to the other, sampling a plethora of topics as they flit though my mind (like they always do. Focus? What’s focus? I swear sometimes I…Oh! Wow, look at that! SHINEY!! Wheeee!)

Uh…Where was I?  Oh yeah. Topics. Bunches of them. Some fun, some we’ll have to try to make fun, some angry, some just there…but then again, this IS Dy’s Mind’s Eye.  It’s just observations from my reality. So, welcome back to my reality, Everyone.  And welcome back to Me!  It will feel good to breathe again, I think.  Because that’s what writing is in my world: Life’s Breath.  And I’m back from the grave, Baybee!  Oh yeah!

As I apparently blew off my writing/blogging for the month of January…with the exception of two posts…it was with trepidation that I meandered over to the NaBloPoMo site in search of a new badge for February for the right-side column of my blog’s front page.  Does it make a mockery of the whole idea if I, with my happy little badge declaring that “I write every day!”, don’t fulfill the task?  I mean, you all see that little thing in the corner and go, ‘Yeah, right, Dy.  Sure you’re going to post everyday.  Uh-huh. Ok. Whatever you say.  You know we came by here a number of days last month and you were nowhere to be found.  Totally incognito, kaput, vaporized…just plain GONE.”

*sigh*

Yes, that’s true.  But then there’s the idea that if I stick that badge in the corner that maybe it’ll help nudge me in that direction, sort of a way to guilt me into it, as it were.  Not that I don’t want to write something everyday, it’s just that it seems so hard lately to do so.  I don’t have the helpful external prodding from the media blitz that preceded the election, I don’t have the hours of nothing to do that I did before I re-joined the workforce, I don’t have the brain energy to get wrapped up in some trivial thing and make it a big thing and I certainly don’t seem to have the words free-flowing out my fingertips. 

Not to say that I don’t have the words still stewing and swirling around my brain…they just seem to be having a hard time finding the correct corridor to the exit. 

See, the words that are romping around my head seem be different than the previous ones.  Additionally, they have stifled the cool creative words, the words that really want to/need to get out and about, the words that are interesting and create stories and opinions and observations worth reading.  The non-cool words…aka the Bully Words…sprout from things like financial concerns and getting my living space livable and PMS and general non-happenings that bug me in Real Life…things that are best left in a private journal or hashed out with one’s psychiatrist.  These Bully Words loiter around the hallways of my brain, blocking the exits for the Creative Words…and they apparently think this is a riot.  I imagine them calling out in their best Nelson voice, “Haw-haw!  Look at the freaky-artsy-fartsies trying to get out!  Haw-haw! What a bunch of idiots!  Haw-haw!”  Which, of course, makes the neurotic Creative Words forget all their Coolness and they mill about trying to look cool and pretend that they’re waiting for other Cool Creative Words to hang out with…which means that they never really get out, do they?

Well. We’re. Not. Having. Any of it!  Apparently the geekiest of the Creative Words made it out somehow…or else how do you explain this bizarre metaphor of a story?

So.  February’s topic at NaBloPoMo is WANT…and I WANT to beat those Bully Words to a pulp and get those Cool Creative Words flowing again.  If ya’ll have any ideas on how to get that done, by all means, toss ’em my way!  In the meantime, it is my full intention to plop some shit on this shingle everyday this month…hopefully some of it will be worth reading.

See ya tomorrow…one way or the other…

© 2009 D. Kessler

So, I was scouring around the blogosphere, trying to come up with some ideas about what I am thankful for…you know, for the NaBlo topic this month.  Well, there are a lot of things out there to blather about, let me tell you. Oh, but you already know that, I’m sure.  I mean, if you’re like me and read other blogs and the news and the gossip and the…well, everything that is sustenance for the Cyber-Crack Addict…then it’s not a matter of finding something to write about, but rather to decide on the one thing to write about today, this very minute.  Maybe I’m just too ADHD to settle down to one topic, but it can be very hard for me sometimes to just tune out all the other things, or stop in the middle of a paragraph too look something up and quickly return to the task at hand, only to find out half an hour later that I am now reading something totally different than intended or logging on to one of my many favorite time-wasting sites that are the bane of my authoring existence.

Like just now.  Here I am, just typing away nothing in a probably transparent attempt at stalling.  I have to write, I even have an “assignment” of sorts (if you want to consider the NaBlo topic an assignment), but gosh darn it if I didn’t get up to reheat a slice of pizza and came back to my ‘puter to wait for it and here we go again.  I just pulled up Margaret and Helen to get caught up on the haps over there  (there was a troll invasion the other day…very disturbing, yet entertaining how it played out…) and…well, you can’t write anything really when you know that in two and a half minutes the toaster oven is going to pop and then you’re going to have to use your fingers for daintily shoving crusty carbs and gooey cheesey heaven between your lips and opening a coke and…well, not typing, right?  So, here it is half and hour later and I realize that I forgot all about my dinner and my unfinished blatherings and the open window with the rain outside (it is December in Seattle, after all) and  the meowling boy-cat outside and…well, just about everything. 

So, there I have it. My answer on what to write about today, this minute.  It isn’t a grand old thing such as world peace or a roof over my head or any “ta-dah!” epiphany .  Nope.  It’s just this:  I am thankful for Margaret and Helen, for Helen Philpot of Austin Texas, for her almost 83 years, her self-described “sailor mouth”, her breath of fresh air, her humor and her outrage.  She’s earned the right to say whatever she wants and boy am I glad she does!  And lately she’s gotten Margaret to post along with her, giving a kind of big-picture/home-front-picture format to the blog.  Margaret is incognito for a few days due to holiday travel, but I look forward to her return.  I gotta get my Gramma Helen and Aunt Margaret fix as often a they’ll post!

There.  That’s that.  And now I have slice of pizza and a coke to attend to, if you don’t mind…

© 2008 D. Kessler

You know, I really didn’t intend to start a blog that has become so mostly focused on the politics flying around right now.  I really didn’t.  I actually just wanted an outlet to formulate ideas and descriptions and be creative and generally just…I dunno.  Write.   About stupid stuff.  About the old man on the corner and how he gets through his day.  About the little dog peeing in the neighbors grass (we don’t really have lawns in this part of the city…it’s a population density thing…).  About how hung over I was/am this weekend and how much fun it was getting that way but, damn, what the hell was I thinking and how the hell do I make it STOP!

But this whole Election thing…the obsession, the excitement, the hopefulness, the fury…happens to me every friggin’ four years…since forever.  Okay, okay…not since forEVER exactly, but it’s been happening for a very long time.

I end up telling a certain story a lot lately, because it IS an election year and people you run into DO start talking about their hopes and fears, both for this time around and for other elections in the past.  The story I tell is about how when I was six years old, living in my home-town California-beach-town,  and I found out that I couldn’t vote that year.  It was 1972…(do the math if you want.  No, wait, please don’t)…do you remember who ran?  I do, that’s not the point.  The point is that I remember how upset, how downright devastated, I was…with my little-girl hopes dashed to bitty-bits on jagged rocks, because, well, hell!  Waiting until you’re 18 years old to vote was literally almost incomprehensible!  It was like saying, “in your next life”!  I have to wait HOW LONG?!?  I’ll never make it!  No WAY!

Not one to accept being told I “can’t”, at least not with a really good reason why not and age was not a really good reason to me at the time, I started really paying attention during big election years.  In hind-sight, I think doing so made me feel like I was proving to those that previously told me I “can’t” vote, that damn, straight!…I was qualified, up-to-speed, and not your usual “little-girl”.  Although I will admit the 1976 Election was a bit eclipsed for me by the whole media hoopla of the Bi-Centennial celebration and the fact that there was one or two (or three) really cute boys in my field of awareness, I have tried each time to self-educate myself on the issues to a higher level than the average bear (Hi-ya Yogi!), and I think I have done pretty well.  (Although,  I don’t think that I even now, by any means, have this 13-year old beat!  Forget FHA and FFA…this is one Future Political Analyst of America (FPAA?) in the making, for sure).  Consequently, with every election, I have gotten more vocal about it, more obsessed about it and, depending on how I see the candidates and how they are doing, I will get elated or angry in turns.  Case in point:  my blog.

Even so, I really wish I could get myself to pull my head out of the mish-mash flow of trash traffic that is everywhere!  Can’t I just turn myself away, just ONCE, from the Bandwagon Against Sarah Palin?  I know the issues, I know the candidates.  I know what I believe in and what America needs to realize (and finally is, I think) in order to save itself.   I also know, however, that all the world loves a parade…and you can’t turn away from something as awful as a train wreak.  Yep…even me, although it makes me tired for sure.

What do you think?  Eight days to go and almost home…but that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit down and shut up, right?  I mean…my mom always said “Do what you do well”, though she may not have realized exactly what she was telling me!  And for cryin’ out loud…it’s too late now for Dad to  “Turn this car right around now!”, so why sit in the back seat nice and quite?

Whatever you think, whatever you say here or elsewhere, just make sure you get out and VOTE.  I’ve done that already as much as they’ll let me (once, bah!), so I’ll just keep the watch and run my mouth and generally make a spectacle of myself (again…I think it gets easier every four years.  Just wait ’til I’m Helen’s age!  You won’t ever be able to shut me up!)

© 2008 D. Kessler

Ever look at the Tag cloud and your eyes go all out-of-focus…then, just for a minute, you think you see something that looks like it almost makes sense…almost?  Blips and glops of words that become something entirely different than they are/were on their own…like:

Bible Software Dogs:  Is this a band?  Or a geek club?
Government Marketing Ramblings:  This definitely sounds like where McCain’s speeches come from.  I wonder if they give a discount to bulk orders of Bullshit and Double-Talk?
Theology Republicans Blog:  A blog for the Religious and Political Right…or just a bunch of Wednesday-night church goers keeping in touch?
Economics Faith Democrats:  Um, I’m not sure who or what this would be exactly, but it sounded good.
Social Media Energy Daily:  This is the publication you get when People Magazine merges with Shape…sponsored and sustained by Redbull, so it’s delivered every morning to your doorstep.
Sports History Friends:  Kinda like Super Friends, but more educational and inspiring.
Family Photography Culture:  That’s that vastly popular club that won’t quit posting photo after photo after photo of their children doing the same damn thing in every single shot…just on different days, weeks, even years. *sigh*  Always followed, of course, by some gushy caption…I think they have a course or periodic seminar on how to most annoy those not part of this club.

I dunno what makes me see this shit.  Boredom?  Misfiring brain cylinder?  Lack of Sleep?

Whatever…I just thought it was interesting.

© 2008 D. Kessler