Monday, March 19, 2018

injaynesworld we've "Gone Visiting..."

If you're looking for me here, I'm actually over here today being interviewed by the lovely Nancy Stohlman.

Drop by and learn my secret for getting a tough stain out.  ;)  Oh, yeah. And I talk about writing, too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

injaynesworld we are "Bitter -- Party of One..."

Valentine’s Day… Ah, yes.  A day to celebrate love.  A day for lovers to snuggle in that candle-lit corner booth, gaze into each other’s eyes and proclaim their undying affections. A day retailers everywhere go out of their way to make you feel special because you are a twosome. 

Yes, today is your day. As for me and singles everywhere?  Not so much… Here’s what we get:

Happy No Candy For You Day

Happy You Can Forget About Flowers Too Day

Happy Don’t Even Think About A Card -- It Ain’t Gonna Happen Day

Happy You Get To Order From The Regular Menu Day

Happy Mercy Call From Mom Day

Happy Yes That Is Pity In Their Eyes You See Day

Happy Double-Occupancy-Only Day

Now lest you think I’m complaining about being single, let me assure you otherwise. I could have married if I’d wanted. I had suitors. I’m not exactly leper material. And I have nothing against those who choose to pair up. Mazel tov. All I ask is that as a single I, too, get a day dedicated to recognizing, celebrating, and rewarding my awesomeness.  

According to the last census, there were 92 million of us single types here in the old U. S. of A.  

In the 1980s, the Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio started “National Singles Week” to be celebrated each September 21st through the 27th.  So how come I didn’t get the memo? Huh? Ninety-two million of us and Hallmark can’t even come out with a damn card? Obviously, this is a vast right-wing conspiracy to keep us down.  

So go ahead, couples. Have your lousy, one-day, pitiful, over-commercialized love fest. Come September, I’m going to be flaunting my single ass with pride.  

Happy Thank You For Using Less Resources, You Get A Tax Break Week

Happy The Toilet Seat Stays In The Position Of Your Choosing Week

Happy Buy What You Want It’s Your Money Week

Happy Only Put Up With Your Own Family’s Bullshit Week

Happy Ice Cream For Dinner?  No Problem Week

Happy No Endlessly Stroking Someone Else’s Ego Week

Happy That Remote Has Your Name On It Week

Happy No Explanations To Anyone For Anything Week

Happy You Made It On Your Own Good For You Week

Oh, yeah… and I’ll be expecting gifts.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

injaynesworld "Santa Is A Scary Bastard..."

My face burns red from my yowls of terror. Tears and snot run down my cheeks onto your shirt. Still you move me closer and closer to the fat, bearded monster. That others go to him willingly does nothing to reassure me. I kick and scream as you hand me over to the creature. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” booms into my tender ears. Your betrayal will haunt me for years to come. One day, I will walk into a place just like this and extract my revenge.

Am I the only one feeling a little less jolly this year?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

injaynesworld we "Remember Kent State..."

                                       May 4th, 1970

Black and white images repeat the horror over and over
    Linger behind eyelids tightly clenched
        The shots, the screams, the anguish

Allison, Sandra, Jeffrey, William
    Bullets rip through lives barely begun
         "Four dead in O-hi-o"*

Words find no escape, lungs labor for breath
     A wave of tears and shock bring us to our knees
          A nation's shame plays out before the world

We hold candles, we hold each other, we march
    We sing "Give peace a chance"
          We mourn, we cry, we rage

We march, we march, we march

*From "Ohio" by Neil Young

Sunday, April 16, 2017

injaynesworld it's "A Giraffe Named 'Joe Cocker'..."

For months, millions of folks have been obsessing about the pregnancy of April the giraffe. It makes sense that with so much grief in the world we would yearn for some reason to look forward with hope. The story of April and her baby got me thinking about my own mother and another Easter many years ago. 

The Oddest Easter Gift

Five feet tall, bright orange with yellow spots and balanced somewhat precariously on four furry legs, its long neck drooped forward to reveal a facial expression as perplexed my own. 
Every Easter, right up to the year I moved out at the age of 19, my mother would make up an Easter basket filled with my favorite See’s Candies chocolates and buy me a stuffed animal. That year, it was a giraffe. 
I took “Joe Cocker” with me to every home I lived in up to the age of 42, where he would always take up an entire corner of my bedroom – something my boyfriends over the years must have wondered about and possibly a reason why I’m still single. It wasn’t that I was so enamored with the large, fuzzy beast. It certainly never went with any of my décor. Truth be told, I wish she’d chosen something more traditional – and smaller. Perhaps something that had some symbolic connection to the holiday. But then, that would have been ordinary and my mother, who for my high school graduation in 1967 gifted me with my first birth control prescription, was never ordinary. Still, I always wondered what her thinking was behind such an odd choice or mine in carting it around all those years.  I do recall that the thought of throwing it away filled me with guilt.  Of course, as a Catholic, however lapsed, just about anything can fill me with guilt, but still such a decision would not have been unreasonable as time went by.
I believe now that it may have been my mother’s way of saying “Remember that my love for you is enormous,” as I was about to leave her life and start my own. I wonder what that must have been like for her, living alone for the first time at the age 51, her main purpose – raising me – now over.  She died only three years later.  Each Easter, I still smile at the memory of walking into the living room that morning so many decades ago and seeing my mother sitting on the couch in her robe, a cup of coffee in her hand, and an expression of excitement on her face as she anticipated my reaction to her surprise.   
When I finally decided that the giraffe really did need to move on, I carefully sewed up the torn seams where various cats had used its legs as scratching posts, and donated it to a thrift shop that benefited the local animal shelter where I felt it had the best chance of finding a good home. It’s been several years now and I’d like to believe that on another Easter morning some other child woke up to find this huge expression of their own mother’s love, however odd they may have found it at the time.  And that they are still carting it around.  


Monday, December 19, 2016

injaynesworld it's "A Christmas Story..."

Spirit of the Season

The line wound all the way out the post office door.  Bundled against the winter chill and laden with last-minute packages to be sent to her family, Dawn tried to ignore the chatter all around her.

“We’re going to my daughter’s house for Christmas…” 

She would be alone this year.  She couldn’t face the pitying looks from her sisters; the whispers.  She never has finished anything she started.

“…Molly and all the kids will be with us…”

Just her and Bruno, the Rottie they’d adopted as a puppy.  She’d agreed to allow Sam visitation in order to get custody.  For once she was grateful he’d be with his new girlfriend in the coming week.

“… My parents are flying in on Tuesday…”

Her mother cried when she said she wasn’t coming.  More guilt.  The postal line edged forward. 

“… We’re having an open house on Christmas Eve.  I hope you’ll come…”

Dawn had turned down all her friends’ invitations.  She was going to take her days off from work to stay in her pajamas, eat junk food and binge-watch sad movies: “Love Story,” “Terms of Endearment,” and “The Notebook” were already in her queue. All she’d felt since the divorce was anger. Her therapist had told her she needed to cry, mourn, get it all out.

“Merry Christmas... Happy Holidays!”

Damn. This really sucked. Oh, hell…

She took out her phone.  Maybe she could still book a flight.

May this holiday season find you all surrounded by those you love most.  


Sunday, June 12, 2016

injaynesworld we "Shelter in Place..."

I awoke this morning to gentle cloud cover over the peaceful landscape of my rural valley.  I breathed in the cool air, gazed out at the beauty that surrounds and nourishes me and gave thanks to God for such blessings. Coffee was brewed, dogs fed, I planned my day: Some writing this morning, a ride on my horse mid-day, plants to water and trim this afternoon, and tonight “The Tonys.”  I cursed CBS for not broadcasting them live on the West Coast and that was my biggest concern of the morning.

Then I turn on the Internet.  I do this with some trepidation because yesterday morning I did so only to find that some mad man had gunned down 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie; a beautiful, young girl whose life held such promise, now gone. Although, not a day goes by without news of a killing somewhere, it often passes my attention like background noise, a steady hum that one learns to tune out, for to focus on each senseless death would plummet us into a state of constant grief. 

My Internet opens to Google news.  I expect some additional details on Grimmie’s killer.  I expect to still feel anger.  I expect to still feel sorrow for the Grimmie family.  I do not expect:

 - ‎51 minutes ago‎

Orlando, Florida (CNN) A gay nightclub here was the scene early Sunday of the worst terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11. * 50 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 people were injured, police say.

My mind explodes, thoughts shooting off in all directions like a rack of pool balls, its whole shattered, its parts seeking escape, much like what I imagine the inside of that nightclub to have been:  The terror, the shock, the complete horror that this could be happening – again. 

I can’t watch the news.  I can’t absorb such carnage anymore.  My mind struggles to comprehend the incomprehensible.  What was it I was going to write about today?  Any attempt at words now seems foolish and self-serving, yet I yearn for some order. 

Raised in an age where murder was mostly the stuff of cops-and-robbers shows, where nobody carried around guns unless they were hunting, where a TV news story of a killing was still considered aberrant, the world I see now so rampant with disregard for human life is unrecognizable.  When did this mass madness infect us?  How did we get here?  How do we cope?

Outside my window, my personal world remains untouched.  The hillsides the color of wheat dotted with oak trees; deer graze, a spring-born fawn at their sides, birds continue their song.  The contrast is surreal.  I turn off the Internet, turn off the television, shut out everything but that directly in my view.  I pull this cloak of serenity around me, huddle in its comfort, tell myself I’m safe.  I shelter in place.  

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