Blogtober #26: The Home Stretch. Somewhat.

Readers, we’ve been together for 26 straight autumn days. Blogtober has T-5 days left. I don’t know what to do with myself. Or…do I?

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Ha! We’re not even done yet. But I wanted to do that. And you get one, too, for sticking with me and reading and liking and commenting and following. The real MVPs? You.

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Happy Fall Friday, bon weekend, and see ya tomorrow.

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Blogtober #19: do your Fall Friday dance.

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Even with endless rainy days (it’s been raining here for a full two weeks, reader) and minor disappointments in life (I’ll spare the details and provide them for another post, but let’s give you one clue: men), you’ll find This Square Peg moving in some fashion during the day. Even if it’s chair dancing at the office, a little jig in the ladies’ loo, full out imitations of Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle video in the gym–I’m always moving.

Little joys that come from responding to the songs in my ear and/or the songs in my head. Can’t beat that. At some point today, dance if you can.

Happy Fall Friday, just keep swimming (which we’re doing here in Texas), and bon weekend.

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Blogtober #12: Flashback Friday to Summer.

No, this post isn’t necessarily about fall, although the last day of my trip occurred in September. But we’re flashbacking today, so it’s all good. Anywho, this past Labor Day weekend, I left on a jet plane to visit a good friend of mine who lives in Orange County, CA. Despite the fact that it was a short trip/brief vacation, it was also the respite I needed and thoroughly welcomed. We haven’t had an in depth discussion of my enduring love of California, have we? Well, if I had all the dollar dollar bills in the world, your Square Peg would hightail it to San Diego faster than you could say high cost of living. (Which is why I chose Texas instead of my beloved blue sky San Diego.) See below for a slide show of my fun trip.

Happy Fall Friday, y’all. See ya on the weekend.

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Blogvember #24 and #25: Thursday and Friday.

#24: It was lovely being off work on Thursday. This is what I did, rather than blog. Sorry. Well, not really.


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#25: Since it’s Black Friday, here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago, entitled, naturally, Black Friday

and so she believed the hype.
she tipped her head toward the heavens and waited for the stars to descend into her eyes, and she waited, so quietly, to hear a skip, a jump, a tiny hop within her heartbeat, and she gazed at him and waited for an infiltration of memory to imprint his every nuance and niche…
they didn’t tell you, did they, honey?
you may leave with a shiny new gadget after that doorbuster sale, my dear, but hype isn’t the heart, and the feeling of his hand in yours will never not feel like a bag of nails tapping at the soft flesh of your confused palm.
behind silly platitudes and empty love songs is nothing but air and the truth and you.
and so you believed the hype.
and you were duped, conned, swindled, sandbagged, hoodwinked, and yes, so sadly bamboozled.
but didn’t you know? 
when did love ever need a sale?

Geneviève.

That’s the name I’ve given my wig.

SN: wigs are like sliced bread when it comes to my eternal love and devotion. I can slap a wig cap over my two-strand twists that I didn’t feel like taking out–which is exactly what’s going on as we e-speak–and transform my entire look for the day. Pretty cool, no?

Anyway, this morning, I decided that my new wig needed a name. And why not? I name all the other inanimate objects in my life. Cars (Kelly Kapowski Corolla for my first car and um, Idris for my current vehicle), pens, etc. After mulling it over and realized that this particular wig is classy and smooth, I named her Geneviève. Yep, with the French spelling and pronunciation. The name Genevieve (American style) has always slayed me; I went to school with a Genevieve and was struck with wonder by her interesting name. Years later, when I wrote The Cruelty Papers, a short story that kind of transformed things for me as a writer, the protagonist was named–you guessed it–Genevieve. But the story doesn’t end there. When I first went to Europe in 2004, my lovely hostess and friend Clara and I were talking about baby names one afternoon, as we sat in a park in Geneva, Switzerland. (Sounds like a dream, no? Looking back, sometimes it seems like it was.) It was a random conversation for sure; at the time, she and her hubby didn’t have children and weren’t planning on having them (that changed some years later) and I loved discussing creative baby names but had no plans on birthing any (that hasn’t changed lol). Anyway, I told her about my love for the name Genevieve.

Clara: Ah, Geneviève. (Gen-e-vee-ève)
Me (gaping at her and drooling): I love the way you say it.
Clara (smiling): Yes, it’s the French way.

Indeed.

Bid a bonjour to Geneviève, won’t you?

The last pic on the far right is from today, as we e-speak.

Happy Friyay, y’all, and bon weekend.

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20 (Maybe) Weird Things.

I’ve said it before: we’re all weirdos. See the following.

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Right, Idris?
  1. I read over people’s shoulders on the train, especially when they have hefty, voluminous books in their hands. I mean, how can I be a legitimate bookworm if I don’t hoard what you’re reading?
  2. If you stand too close to me anywhere, this is clear evidence that you want my kidneys.
  3. I don’t necessarily mind the scent of gasoline. (Stop raising your eyebrows. Doesn’t that acrid aroma take you back to the days of school buses and running to get to class on time? No? Fine, it’s just me then. Le sigh.)
  4. Speaking of school, I get a little sad when September comes. Reminds me of the return of school and losing summertime, air-conditioned basements, and leisurely family time/trips to the local library. Poor kiddos.
  5. When I hear this song, I weep. I don’t know why.
  6. Speaking of inexplicably sad songs, I crave them sometimes. The melancholy can be oddly uplifting.
  7. In elementary school, I was in class with a girl named Marni Levy. One of my Dad’s friends owned an auto shop which was next to another shop named Levy’s. In my mind, I believed that Marni’s father owned that shop. Because of the last name. It never dawned on me that the world is undoubtedly filled with millions of Levy’s.
  8. Can you believe I still remember Marni’s name? I just Googled her. And found her. Oh, the Google. We were in 4th grade together.
  9. By now, you understand that I’m a low-key private investigator. Let us give thanks for Columbo, Jessica Fletcher, and Hercule Poirot. I really believe in my skills, y’all.
  10. To this day, I can’t check my pulse. Because I have no idea what I’m counting. And really, does it matter? As long as we all know how fast or slow it’s going?
  11. I have safe songs. Songs that prevent me from throwing myself to the ground and bawling during stressful and/or anxious times. When I hear these songs, I calm down. It’s amazing. I’m sure there’s a psychological link to a relaxing memory somewhere. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, Drive by the Cars, and Dancing in the Dark by my boyfriend Bruce Springsteen are a few. (By the way, the term “safe song” came from an episode of Ally McBeal. I latched on to the term immediately.)
  12. If I must drink a green smoothie (like being forced by a kidnapper or a bank robber), I don’t want to taste the green part. I better not taste that green part.
  13. My actual shoe size is 8 1/2. But I wear 9, 9 1/2, and even 10 sometimes. Because my toes are alive and sometimes cannot physically take being in certain shoes. Like they need room to breathe. It’s the weirdest thing.
  14. I inherently associate smells with memory. See #3. It’s not weird, per se, but it’s tough to explain to people why you’re backing away slowly from them because their perfume reminds you of terrifying kindergarten teachers.
  15. “Conspiracy theorist” is an appropriate description of yours truly. They’re watching you. All of them.
  16. I read the ending of books first before I buy them.
  17. For a long time during my adolescence, I truly believed that I was adopted. Like, really. Actual mother: Diana Ross. Or a queen from a faraway land. Same thing.
  18. See #15. There are at least two people in history that I believed faked their deaths. But we won’t get into it now, folks. Not trying to scare you this early in the morning.
  19. I’m a sassy, swinging, modern girl. But I may or may not be clueless about the lyrical content of most songs.
  20. When “LOL” became a thing, it took me a while to not use it as a verb in my mind when reading it. (“Wow, she’s doing a lot of LOLing.”) I also perhaps maybe Googled it at first to see what in the world it meant. Add “SMH” to that list, as well.

There is it, folks. A few quirks and oddities that I contentedly call my own. For the record, I certainly believe that “weirdness” is all relative; life would be quite shapeless and gray without the downright different ways we all perceive things. So take a deep breath, install Google on your smartphone, and enjoy your life.

Bon weekend, mes amis.

how dare you guess my actual age?

Thanks to the African juices/genetics (thanks, Daddy and Ma), I have somewhat youthful features. When I was a teenager, I looked younger. When I was in my mid-20s, a woman at a hair salon once asked me if I was excited about Homecoming. Her shock when I explained that I was 26 years old–and not 15, like the girls getting their hair done–was memorable. Even in this later-third decade of life, when I meet new people, I frequently get a prolonged, quizzical stare before the onlooker leans forward and asks, “how old are you?” At a dance party last year, my dance partner asked me if I’d ever heard the song playing on the loudspeaker. It was “Motownphilly” by Boyz 2 Men. I replied that of course I knew it and that I grew up listening to it. I couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction. All that said, a lady gets used to questions like this, at the raised eyebrows of surprise, at the declarations that they would have never guessed my age. By the way, any woman who claims to find these questions/comments to be a nuisance and complains about them is trying to pull a bit of wool over your eyes, dear reader. Sure, there’s a difference between questioning age and questioning maturity (an entirely different animal), but who doesn’t like a bit of surprise when you explain that you’re older than you look? Come on.

Anywho, keeping all of that in mind, imagine my reaction when someone guessed my actual age. About a year ago, while in Alabama to visit the bestie, a bunch of us were chatting.

Lady: Do you mind if I ask how old you are?
Me (with muted pride and a mischievous, tiny smile in expectation of the impending guess): How old do you think I am?
Lady: I’d say…36?
Me (muted pride and mischievous, tiny smile vanish): You’re right.

The sheer audacity of that woman, I later raged to my bestie, who was laughing so hard and hysterically that tears brimmed in her eyes. How dare she accurately guess how old I am? carriefisherI was well aware of how foolish I sounded, y’all. But that didn’t stop me from waving my arms in the air and pontificating on how she was certainly in the minority, that several people believed me to be younger than I looked. Later, after I finally came out of my age-related fugue, I joined my best friend in loud, raucous laughter. “Welcome to the real world,” she pronounced. “Indeed,” I replied.

Ah, vanity.

When I was 14 years old, I couldn’t wait to be 16. When I was 23 years old, I couldn’t wait to be 25. When 30 came and many of my (mostly toxic) views about myself, my beauty, my worth, my body, and other things changed for the better, I embraced this wondrous start to a new, epiphany-laden decade. For me, I can honestly say that aging has always been about exciting transitions, new realizations and understandings, growing further into adulthood…

But it’s nice when you don’t look like you’re aging. *wink*

Happy Friday, everyone. Because I adore you and because my 15 year-old self danced to this song in my bedroom, here you go.