Dita Parker

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Repeat offender

[With profuse apologies to my dearest denizens, another season's rerun.]

I want to pass on the best cleaning tip for the holidays I've ever received: Don't bother scrubbing every corner and arranging every closet unless you intend to spend the holidays in one. Amen to that.

Fuss-free celebrations, everyone!

Be good, have fun, call on loved ones, be kind, be it mundane Monday or Christmastime, for I do believe in a certain rhyme: Love, love is a verb, love is a doing word.

Dear Santa,
If justice for all is too much to ask, please bring me a line true and pure as that, for it isn't by me, it's from that hypnotizing song by Massive Attack. 

See you in 2011! Or at the end of 2010. I may have to escape to my den every once in a while to get away from all the fuss...others are making. Not me. Never me. Far be it from me.

Now go love someone and shine on. That's an order. (Be advised: Disobeying this order will result in more mushiness than your holiday-addled self could possibly stomach unless you have learned to muscle your way through the gagging reflex. You stand warned.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A ghost from a Christmas past

[With apologies from the proprietor, a season's rerun.]

I submit to you
That love and peace are verbs,
They are doing words,
Compassion is the marriage between heart and intellect,
Reason a bully when not a thing of beauty,
That being of service has been sadly mistaken for servitude,
That pessimism, loneliness and hatred are mass murderers,
We do teach our children the value of money but not the indispensability of a warm heart,
Constant instant gratification equals serial dismay,
No one is born evil, only disadvantaged,
Multitasking is looking busy while getting nothing done,
Those who choose not to believe in Santa are not eligible for gifts,
And Groucho was right: If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Utter nutter

That pretty much sums up my year, dearest denizens. It's been a real roller coaster one, and I'm not talking about the junior variety. It's been more like a monster of a complete-circuit ride where the ups had me going "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" and the downs, well, the downs simply had me screaming for her.

And I have cried, sweetie darlings, more in one year than the last ten years combined. Of immense joy and happiness, of utter sorrow and misery. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't in dire need of a breather, a chance of maybe not thinking of anything much, of not feeling twelve ways at once. No such luck in the immediate future, but there is hope on the horizon.

I have some two hundred and thirty-four things I have to wrap up before X-mas, seventy-six and a half more to see to before the 16th of January, but that 16th... That's my doughnut, dearest denizens, and everything else... The hole? And what do we focus on, hmmm? Anybody? Ze doughnut, not ze hole, yes?

I have learned some interesting things about myself during the past thirty something years. For instance, in moments of measly meltdowns, colossal catastrophes and every degree of calamity in between, I act. I don't freeze, I don't panic, I get busy, and let me tell you, that has come handy many, many times. Need to get me to do something? Bring out the cattle prod, aggravate me some and see Dita run.

So keeping my sights on that doughnut, horrendously pissed off at the driver who ran into me on Monday, smashed my door in and gave me the gift of one more thing to take care of, seriously contemplating having the car painted neon pink and purchasing a mile-long feather boa, the driving gloves and some head accessory the Mad Hatter would be proud of to accompany said glowing, glaring automobile so that no idiot ever again can claim that "I didn't see you...", and, let's face it, what woman wants to be inconspicuous to the point of invisibility, it doesn't feel like 234 and 76 plus one things to do, sweetie darlings, it's a... Junior roller coaster ride?

Aren't I the Queen of Stupid Analogies... The three of you are giving up on me now, aren't you? Before you go, do swing by my Facebook profile for some final insults to your intelligence in the form of 25 things you probably didn't need or want to know about yours truly madly deeply but Adele Dubois asked and who am I to decline such a lovely lady

What happens on January 16th, you ask? If you're still there. If I didn't lose you when the feather boa came out. Or the whole business with the cattle prod. I usher my family out the door, leave winter apparel and worries alike behind, and board a flying machine to Salvador, Brazil, where my biggest headache will be the pool or the beach? A caipirinha or a diet Coke? Oh dear. Decisions, decisions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Are we there yet?

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. [...]

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. [...]

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Are we clear on this? I said, are we clear on this? G o o d. As you were. Or as you wish things would be.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Living on the edge

You know when something has to be good? When the topic itself doesn't interest you one bit but the presentation is such a delight you wouldn't miss it for the world. What am I talking about? Top Gear, sweetie darlings, one of the few TV shows I try not to miss. No, seriously. It's a screwball sitcom and talk show. With va-va-voom. Brilliant! The BBC version. Accept no substitute.

I'm not enthusiastic about cars per se. It's a necessity, not a baby I nurse in the free hours I don't have anyway. I do love driving, though. One of my guilty pleasures. Coupled with all those miles spent in the skies regretting a carbon footprint the Titans would be proud of... Gu-hil-ty!

Can't help it, still love it, especially now that it's winter and I really get to drive that thing instead of just sitting there steering while taking calls, eating lunch and putting on some Gigantic Titanic Absolutely Out of This World Volume mascara. Of course I don't. I have children. But the things I've seen on the roads of this tiny speck of compressed stardust of ours... Talk about living dangerously.

It is an extreme sport going out, even for a walk, now that the Big Chill has descended upon us. Ice falling off roofs, the ever-present possibility of limbs akimbo on those slippery pavements, and people driving as if they hadn't noticed the road conditions have drastically changed. I don't care what kind of acronyms your car came equipped with, it will not drive itself and it will still act like a car. Okay? Okay.

I took a winter driving course, which is actually mandatory up here, rightly so, and highly recommendable. It clearly demonstrated in a safe environment how a car handles or rather doesn't in extreme weather conditions. There are tricks and there are secrets to keep going where you were headed if you suddenly lose traction. Still, you can't control everything, especially other drivers. 

Picture little ol' me in my nifty motor vehicle approaching an intersection when along glides a 4WD, and I do mean along glides a 4WD after cutting the corner going way too fast and losing traction. It's coming right at me in as graceful pirouettes as a monster of a car can manage. With no time to back up and nowhere to go because I don't know where it'll end up, hoping it's not on top of me, I watch the guy's hands first spin like crazy then freeze and squeeze because he doesn't know either and because he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. 

His car ends up spinning on its axis right before a collision that never comes with little ol' me staring at the shaken putz and the stunned fool staring right back at me before backing up and taking off as if we hadn't just been an inch of a Monster Jam all our own.

Picture little ol' me driving home, walking in, going straight for the good stuff and downing a shot with Hubby looking on then saying, "Happy to see you, hon." The feeling was, as they say, mutual. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Break it down again

Here I sit, sweetie darlings, face-to-face with everything that is wrong with my writing. Luckily, if luck has anything to do with it, the story I was asked to revise had enough merit, promise and originality to it to buy me a Definitely-Maybe, which is always better than Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-No-Way-No-How-No-Kidding.

But no story stands on creativity alone so here I am, strengthening here, simplifying there, and learning how to walk after hitting the ground running. Technique can be taught and learned, but without ideas and imagination... No, you can always feed those, too, can't you? We're optimists here at Casa Dita. Things can only get better, including you. But who was it that said that nothing will work unless you do? Maya Angelou? We know what to do then, don't we, dearest denizens? Get busy learning, improving, honing, researching... My favorite game.

All this taking apart and putting back together business got me thinking. There's no mystery to writing, just sit down and type, they say. But but but. How do you tell the fictional lies from the fabricated truth when dealing with characters and circumstances that are imaginary from first word to the last? How do we choose what we choose? Why do some details and grand schemes alike seem more true than others? No, I'm asking you because it's all a mystery to me. I make those choices with confidence, but how do I know I'm right, I have no idea...