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Mandibular Trauma

2 Dec

Though my last post was long winded, and I’m sure only those who take the time to read my blog from their place of employment could justify the long haul to the end of my story (except for one lady I know, but she is queen of the Woodglen thus time just spills from her plate–wink, wink), I could re-use my title, from that post, again and again and again.  “Unintentionally Imperfect”…I am pretty sure that is my crowning achievement as well as my pain in the ass!  Now the title, mandibular trauma, is just a beautiful grouping of words which have a syncopated and rhythmic effect when placed next to each other.  And because of that, I needed to investigate their connection further.

When I first read the words, mandibular trauma, they were written from a man who was describing Randy Newman.  Odd, right?  Well I think it an odd description, but then again, I have not been in the company of Randy Newman.  The man of many talents, Van Dyke Parks, was being interviewed about his work with various artists.  When it came to him describing Mr. Newman his response was less than favorable about Randy as a person, while keeping the genius of Newman’s writing intact.  To paraphrase and get to the point of my title, Mr. Parks sentiment went like this, “He suffers fools not wisely.  He has a tendency to mandibular trauma.  He comes out slugging” (Uncut July 2010, pg. 89).  I confess, I read and re-read that statement several times.  The description of, tendency to mandibular trauma, hooked me.  All of a sudden I found myself investing my personal ‘thought time’ (personal thought time=opportunities for following various trains of thought i.e while doing the dishes, applying makeup, folding clothes, etc.) into the contemplation of the description while trying to figure out what that means in a practical sense.  Did Van Dyke intend to say that Randy literally began throwing punches toward the jaw, either that of Park’s or himself?  Or, was the terminology used as a metaphor with no literal connection at all?  Meaning, did Mr. Newman spew out such hurtful words that Van Dyke Parks likened the verbal regurgitation to being traumatic to the mandibles?

Am I alone in this area of word scrutinization?  Am I the only ‘nut’ who reads, pretty much everything?  Yes, I actually do read everything.  You can find me investing good time perusing the manual of a new cell phone.  Or the warning label which is adhered to an electrical appliance cord.  Even the label on a mattress and/or pillow.  I read, read, and read…and sometimes it is just a bunch of junk.  Cereal boxes, hair care products, ingredients, fine print, etc.  Then I have the audacity to evaluate the meaning of said junk.  But on the flip side, I am a lover of language…its intentions, its construction, its etymology, its music.  And when certain words are used which, for one reason or another, catch my interest and hang out in the contemplations of my mind, I get excited to traipse down the road of clues toward unraveling the mystery of the verbiage.  Another example: Last year my daughter gave me a sample packet of a skin scrub from a company who call themselves, Skin Food.

Skin Food body scrub

Coffee Body Scrub…shall I eat it, or wear it?!

And just this past week I spied the packet hanging out next to my face lotion (ok, ok, anti-wrinkle cream) as it has been there every day since she gave it to me.  I asked myself, “What are you waiting for?  Just use the damn stuff already!  Then I corrected my brash tone to, “darned stuff”, and pulled it off of the shelf.  Being I am who I am, I turned the packet over to make sure I understood the intention of the maker…in case theirs was a supernaturally different body scrub and scrubbing it on the skin and then rinsing it off was not the proper modus operandi.  Well sure enough their instructions differ from that of my previous knowledge.  Though their variation is due only to lack of proper editing and attention to detail.  Here I type the instructions verbatim, “After liberally in the shower or bath, using gentle circular motion.”

Now really, what is a girl to do?  At least this girl, who is a fanatic about the cohesive use of language (and to this end, I apologize for subjecting you to my past written faux pas, as they are due to my laziness.  When I am tired, I turn from taking the time to properly edit a post and choose to “publish” with errors intact.  Bad form, bad form–though I am not marketing my prose for money…at this point!).  Well me being Bent Rivka and all, I conversed with the packet as if I were standing in front of the entire marketing team.  Once finished berating them their error, I had to get my head around the erroneous directions.  I played with word substitution for a bit, and then decided a complete re-write was in order.  At one point (and I admit I should have begun here), I said to myself, “Oh hell, Rivka, you know how to use stupid body scrub.  Now get in the shower and shut up!”  And so I did.  I used the product but could not bring myself to throw away the packet because the directions were haunting me.  I have been looking at that packet for a solid week.  I periodically pick it up and double check that the error doesn’t lie within my interpretation.  And now, I am utilizing this beautiful blog forum to lay to rest the confusion of the issue.  RIP, Skin Food…r.i.p.

Ok, the truth of this post is this, my son has been suffering to a significant degree this past week and a half.  As he struggles with severe pain, medication withdrawal, and the emotional stress of processing his prognosis, his dad and I shoulder his reality in different ways.  For me, to discuss the irrelevant and absurd, such as the word choice of the Van Dyke Parks article from 2010 and the beauty product from a year ago (though freshly opened last week), helps me release the pressure which comes from not being able to “fix” the hurts of my son.  After all, a mother is the one who comforts her children and who by doing so, makes all the wrongs right again.  In Cole’s case, I cannot touch that which ails him.  Additionally, as I shared in my previous blog story, this week has been filled with other circumstances of stress which are burdensome in and of themselves.  So skin food, Randy Newman, and Van Dyke Parks it is.  And thankfully, because I have this forum in which to deflate the ‘ol brain a bit, I can now throw out the packet of gelatinous goop which holds a smidgen of salt, sugar, and coffee grounds.  I can also assure you my jaw is doing just fine!   Once again, thanks for listening with your eyes. 🙂

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Mid Life Crisis-sing

4 Oct

Just so you know, right off the cuff, I am not near my mid life, therefore I cannot be crisis-ing about it!  It so happens that the women in my line live forever.  Therefore at a mere, 42 years of age, I am not even close to the mid-line.  I am, however, in a mid-of-something cri-song.  No, I have not been studying Dr. Suess in preparation for this post.  I am, I suppose, a natural devotee, of sorts, to the great doctor and my method of thinking probably reflects my “Hop on Pop” view of things.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Not “Hop on Pop”, but worthy material just the same!

Now back to my Cri-song…  Within my not-so-mid-crisong is a new state of poverty (not an actual state, merely a line on a governmental census).  It is the happy reliance upon a benefit check which tides the family budget over, “just enough.”  This is not so bad, the state of “just enough.”  For I find, actually just discovered this morning, that my silver jewelry is shinier within the present state.  I even think I have MORE jewelry now that we qualify for assistance (not really, it is just that I have opened my jewelry box to investigate its contents).  In fact, I have re-discovered jewels that were previously considered, by me, not worthy of my standard.  However, they now present themselves within a new light.  And with this new perspective comes sparkly goodness upon my fingers, my ears, my neck, and my wrists.  Oh La Lah!

Silver and Crystal Necklace

I do believe this was a gift I received for my Bat Mitzvah, a sliver and crystal pendant.

In my previous jewelry wearing persona, I carefully and simply would only congregate like metals.  Thus, yellow gold with yellow gold, and silver matched only to other silver–or white gold with white gold only.  NO MORE…  The new Cri-song demands all sorts of metal be mixed and interwoven (or twined) with other metal.  And what I considered, beforehand, to be gaudy and overbearing, is now placed upon my appendages and worn with triumphant fervor.  I am resurrecting jewelry from my Bat Mitzvah days, and wearing it with the gargantuan Granny rings that have somehow made it into our repertoire after loosing Brian’s mom and Granny to the call of Heaven (through Brian’s mom we inherited a few Granny pieces).  I have even rediscovered a Cartier bracelet I was given “way back when”, which might boost me into a more affluent social class should I have it on.  You know, it might help the nouveau riche overlook the fact I carry around a vintage, patent leather purse which I recently purchased for $12.oo from the Discovery Thrift shop.

Vintage 1950's Purse

Nice and Shiny

Yes, the Cartier I must begin to wear again.  Which means I need to find the golden, flat head screwdriver which came with it (Heaven forbid I utilize anything other than the golden screw!).  Wow,  I did a Google search, just now, for a bracelet like I described, and I learned that the bracelet has “been seen on all the hottest celebrities”.  Oh no…and now I just looked up the value of said bracelet and my husband and I looked at each other and said, “MY oh MY, we must sell it!”  And then we laughed, for which is more important, to follow the example of “all the hottest celebrities”, or to have cash in hand to buy some fresh milk…  Decisions, decisions, decisions! 🙂  Ok, now that I’ve taken you (and me) for a ride, the truth of the Cartier, as I remember it, is it is a “knock off”, not the real thing.  Which means I would probably have to pay to have someone even look at it!  Aaaahhh more Cris-songing.

“So what is the point of all of this rhetoric?”, you may ask.  Well you might not ask, but as I write I am most certainly asking myself, “Rivka, what is the point of this post?”  The point of this post is to illuminate my best intent on blooming where I am planted.  It is merely one in a series.  For example, the post about my Raleigh bicycle and me, is to showcase my utilization of what I have, where I have it, and the fulfillment which comes from investing in my imagination.  As opposed to bemoaning the loss of travel opportunity I am currently enduring (used loosely, enduring is a bit too heavy handed an adjective).  Blooming where I am planted means waking up thankful.  It means my little world of Southern California can fulfill my hearts desires, if my heart and mind are in the right focus.

For instance, Brian and I went sailing about a month ago.  Out at sea, I turned toward our shoreline and the area south of us looked just like the photos of a little town in Greece I have always longed to visit.  And in the spring, when the hills are green and the air still crisp, I take a ride in our 1927 Oakland, alongside my beloved, and the picturesque beauty of nature is reminiscent of the green hills in Ireland I have admired from photographs featured in my favorite Atlas.  So you see, the jewelry bit is merely my funny way of having fun…not to be confused with “having funds!” 🙂  It is blooming where I am planted.  And the blooming part equates to:

  • an attitude of thanksgiving
  • utilization of current possessions
  • resourceful inclinations
  • perspective alterations
  • imagination expression

So practically speaking…

Today I will utilize the above formula and transform a “shit load” of ground beef, which was given to me by a dear friend (by way of a charitable food organization), into several, and I might add, very palatable, meal choices.  In all honesty, I have never…let me restate that…NEVER, purchased so much ground beef in one sitting, as I have awaiting my, “good attitude,” on my kitchen counter.  For it, I am most grateful.  And who knows, I might even have a moment to spare to head over to the Pacific Ocean, which if I do have time to do, will double as the Carribean Sea (this time).  Enjoying life, where I am…today.

1927 Oakland Racer P.s. I must give credit to Kana Tyler who, by way of her own blogging style, has inspired me to insert photographs into my posts.  Her blog, http://www.kanatyler.com, frequently has “eye candy” in between her prose.  And I find, for an ADD type girl like me, the photos help guide my way through the words.  “Thank you, Kana.”

Living with “No”

20 Sep

It wasn’t too long ago that my husband and I were living with, “Yes.”  And with, Yes, came some fun opportunities.  Hollywood parties, cavorting with celebrities.  Travel possibilities.  In fact, Yes is quite fun to be around.  She is very pleasing on the eyes.  Her scent is fresh throughout the day.  Yes is never tired, she is never boring.  She is a grand adventure!  The morning was exciting to wake up to, while she made our life her home.  But then slowly, one packed suitcase at a time, she began her move away from our world.  Oh she was kind about her departure.  Never once did she utter an unkind word.  She left no abrasive lesions upon us, and even her scent lingered for a while–long after her goodbye was said.  I miss her as our house guest.  Her presence brought sunshine when the sky provided none.  She, was a friend I like to have.  “Yes” is good company.

…now we are living with “No.”

No, is not so bad.  He, too, is not unkind.  Nor is he selfish.  But No, is blase.  He bears no scent.  He shines no light.  Being with him provides no adventure.  And travel does not seem to be to his liking.  And while he is a part of our life, our chores seem more abundant.  The spring in our step not so springy.  The gray of the day permeates, and sleep does not bring sufficient rest.  Though I would prefer to exchange his presence for his predecessor, it seems the good Lord has it in His will for us to entertain the present house guest a while longer (another aspect to No is the end of his stay is occluded, thus leaving us in the dark as to when he departs).

I honestly wouldn’t mind his living with us so much, but while having him here I have picked up certain habits that I’m not too fond of.  For instance, while living with Yes, I was motivated to care for myself and invest in activities that provoked excitement.  Waking up to No every day, I am struggling to even remember what those things were that used to motivate me.  Funny thing is, No doesn’t take up too much space but his stature hovers over much of our life.  So much so that I find myself pulling in ear marks of Yes, such as in my clothing, to help offset the drudgery of No.  For instance, I have resurrected my 1970’s floral print pants and am wearing them in circumstances of monotony (such as to the Long Beach VA).  Vintage Floral Pants

I have also taken to wearing a dress while walking the dogs.  Who needs exercise clothing when one can sweat in style!  I admit, the Nike’s are not the best accessory to my Leon Max creations, nor my Brian Bent’s for that matter.  But I am finding a glimmer of joy within the sheer absurdity of how I look as I ambulate, perspire, and shine while ‘Mutt and Jeff’ tag along on leash. 🙂

Fashion by Brian Bent

A Brian Bent original

I even thought I would fool my freeloading boarder by deciding to grow out my hair.  That’s right, my hair grows whether No wants it to or not.  However,  yesterday as I was readying myself to leave the house my daughter shyly asked, “Do you like your hair like that?”  To which I answered, “NO.”  With a sigh of relief she said, “Oh good.”  ‘Oh good’ was all she gave me…obviously the influence of Yes had worn off of even her.

So here I am, living with No.  He is a tough guy to be around.  And to help offset the heaviness of his presence, I am learning how to use new tools.  You know, the ones in the toolbox that are there but one hopes to not have to use.  One such tool is the “art of redirecting.”  That is right, I am redirecting my thoughts to the time of Yes, when I am faced with another No answer.  Another such tool is the “reminder wrench.”  The reminder wrench is used when thoughts of abandonment try to ease their way into my soul.  I take the wrench and use it to remember the word of encouragement from the Holy Word that says, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut 31:6).  And, from the 55th chapter of the book of Isaiah:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”

The ‘reminder wrench’…a good tool!  I know there are other tools still in the box, untouched.  It could be that I will have to peruse the contents and learn, yet another, instrument of peace, motivation, excitement, and elation before the year is through.  But for now, the ‘redirector’ and the ‘reminder wrench’ are doing the trick.  I have even borrowed a necessary item from my neighbor…the tire pump.  Yep, the tire pump is a good tool to have on hand for when No takes a nap.  Oh the places to go with just a few pumps of air.  More on that next time…

Raleigh bicycle

My Raleigh and Me

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