Mary Beth Writes

Over here at the Lucky Dog Chalet (our house) we are at Day #5 of being above-average happy about Life in General.

I’ve always been more curious about success than failure. It’s easy to be miserable; just eat a sleeve of store-bought cookies, blame it on someone else, then watch the news. Right? How to be miserable in 3 simple steps without getting off the sofa

But happy? Content? Pleased?

What happened? What brought on this Cloud of Mild Cheer?

Here’s what happened.

Less.

The past few months were by no means miserable. We have friends, things to do, good health, tasty things to eat and bikes to ride. Life was fine. But we were also pretty busy. I just deleted my list of the stuff we’ve been doing. You don’t need to read it; you have your own list.

We kept saying to each other that now that we were past this event or that thing, it was going to be easier. We could get back to days of being home, writing, learning Drupal (that would be Len), taking care of ourselves, and having time for walks and bike rides. And then another week would fly by that felt like that moment when you are just about to bite into the lovely s’more you just made – and an out-of-nowhere wind puffs ashes and grit all over your melted marshmallow. You stare at it as your heart fills with ridiculous disappointment. There are people on earth suffering. What is it with safe, healthy, whiny adults who can’t seem to ever be quite happy??

So we decided to cut back on activities - and we’re four-going-on-five days into mostly writing and computer-language-learning. Well, to be clear, don’t think we dived into some super organized schedule of productivity. The nature of what we do when we invent what we want to do- is to procrastinate with chores, walks, bike rides, and meandering conversations over coffee in the morning and wine at night. Being focused, at least around here, is surrounded by a lot of flim-flam time.

Nevertheless it’s working. We are calmer. We are concentrating. Stuff is getting learned and written. Sooner or later you will see my new website. At some point Len will create a professional website for his professional self. We will be here, working on all this, over the coming weeks and months.

I remember being a kid at the county fair. My two favorite parts of carnival rides were 1.) Imagining how awesome they were going to be, and 2.) When I got off them.

It’s like that.

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Where are the Movies that don't Blither and Lie?

Last night we watched last year’s “Happytime Murders” with Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and a bunch of puppets who look like Muppets. Yes, the director is Brian Henson.

The plot? A former kids’ puppet show is making a comeback, and someone is machine-gunning down alumni puppets in order to get a bigger cut of potential franchise income. Phil Philips, puppet detective, partners with Melissa McCarthy to find the culprit. Along the way we see various episodes of puppet porn.

I laughed a lot and then the movie was over.

Went to bed. Woke up this morning irritated.

Sandhill Cranes of Kearny at Dawn

We were on vacation and now we are home:

First thing to report: we only had one fight.

Why is it so hard to keep a poor Black man who has committed NO crime out of jail?

(Our Brother’s back story is here:  https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/what-happens-personal-finances-when-one-grows-poor-and-black-america )

.....

Our Brother is not in jail. This has been a challenge for him, for the people he loves, and for those of us who try to help and support him. Keeping O.B. out of jail is a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Oh,” you ask. “Did he commit a crime?”

Love, two days later.

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

#UTLAStrong!

My niece Susan is a speech therapist educator in the Los Angeles public schools. She is on strike and I am proud to be in her family. Teachers are the foundation of everything else we all do. For most of the skills most of us depend on to live our lives - If no one teaches you, you don’t know.   

Some Unrelated Observations 12/31/18

I'm working on some big projects lately, so here are some small thoughts along the way. 

...

Mansfield Park is Jane Austen’s weirdest novel. Jane-Readers love Jane because her best characters are bright women stuck in situations too small for them. Their observations are bitingly perceptive; you see their inner spirit and you identify, identify, identify.

I’m amazed at critics who think that those of us who love Jane Austen are not-quite-evolved humans; how can we love a book about a girl in a big dress catching her man?

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