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Whatever rings Mel's bells

Archive for August, 2012

It’s not about me

I’m really excited about the song I finished yesterday.  Why?  Because for once it has nothing to do with me.

Yup, I was inspired by the feel of a different song, and the first lyrics I came up with led to the second lyrics I came up with, and that set the tone for the whole shebang.  It didn’t exactly write itself, but it definitely didn’t come from my own life.

So now I need to polish and finish it up, and then I can play something that doesn’t make me feel like Taylor Swift.  😀


If Mike were still alive, he’d be turning 42 today.  42 is, of course, a magical number that is in fact “The answer to life, the universe, and everything.”  If I had a favorite number, 42 would probably be it.  Or maybe 13.  But probably 42.  When I’m asked to pick a number between 1 and 100, I generally pick 42.  (So now I will probably lose all pick-a-number games to Al, who is the only person I know for sure reads my blog!  😉  Small price to pay.)

Still trying to figure out where his place will be in my life.  But I feel like I’ve found the problem now, and settling on a solution will be less of a battle than finding the problem in the first place.  So I’m feeling really good about it.

I know you can’t hear me, love, so I guess I’m saying this more for myself than for you:  happy birthday.


Last night, on the way home from Union, my dash lights decided they didn’t want to work.  *sigh*  All the other lights are fine headlamps, dome, brake and turn signals) as are the dummy lights on the dash.  But the lights behind the gauges aren’t coming on.

Today I checked all the easy fixes – fuses, grounding wires, etc. and have come to the conclusion that it’s probably the knob itself – or in particular, the part of the knob that works as a dimmer switch.  Thus we have today’s vocabulary lesson – a rheostat is a type of resistor that has variable settings rather than just on and off.  Apparently.

So I need a new one, at any rate.  Which will be just awesome, since I love learning how to do new things!

Oh, and PS from last night’s post – sure enough, things are much better today!  😀

Ed. 8/28:
The rheostat was fine; turned out to be a bad fuse, which I somehow missed when I checked them.  :-\  So the fuse was replaced, and then a couple days later it promptly blew again – TWICE.  Al noticed that the wires on my front driver’s running light were exposed (long story that involves a post and a dude in a wheelchair)  and deduced that since the running lights are on the same circuit, that might be the source of the short and the cause of my repeated fuse blowings.  Or however that should be phrased.  Can’t say I really care right now.  😉  Day one: no blown fuse.  I am cautiously optimistic that I will not have to replace my wiring harness or involve myself in any such other ridiculously difficult and expensive and time-consuming project.

Just so you know

I get asked a lot how I can stay positive all the time.  Tonight I will tell you all (again) that it’s simply a matter of deciding to think this way.

Case in point: this evening.

I feel like crap this evening.  I feel miserable.  I feel useless and I feel like I’ve failed.  I feel a lot of things, and they’re pretty much all bad.  And I’m not going to go into them because I don’t want to.

So as I get ready for bed, and as I do all the things that functionally I know will make me feel better (even though I don’t want to do a damned one of them), I tell myself that tomorrow will be better.  And if tomorrow isn’t actually better, then the day after that will be.  And if not, then the day after that.  And so on, and so forth.  Basically, sooner or later things will get better, and I’ll feel good again.  So just ignore the bad feeling now and know that it will pass.

I’ve told myself this often enough, and I’ve been right often enough, that I believe it.  And even though I still feel like crap tonight, I have hope that I won’t feel like crap for much longer.  It’s unpleasant, but it is effective.

So there you go: How to Not Feel Like Crap For Very Long 101.

Healing, perhaps

I guess it’s more than perhaps, it’s more like “apparently.”

Five years, seven months, three days, one hour, and forty-nine minutes ago, the first man I truly adored was killed.  He’d come into my lonely, desperate, incomplete life, and he filled all the empty spaces that bothered me.

Then suddenly he was gone.

Being the type of person I am, I of course pulled myself up by the bootstraps and went on with life.  *sigh*  I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know how to grieve.  I don’t know how to lose.  I don’t know how to be hurt.  I just have no idea how to do any of that.  My default reaction is to take a deep breath, consider all the good things that still exist in my life, and move the hell on.

End of story.

After all, no matter what happens in my life, no matter how awful things seem, at least I’m still breathing, right?  At least I still have my health, and my sanity (or as much of it as I ever had!), and my ability to support myself, and my loving and wonderful family and friends.  So why should I dwell on what I’ve lost?  Why should I live in the past?  Why should I cling to something or someone that’s gone?

Unfortunately, my analytic mental processes don’t actually control everything that goes on inside.  So of course, recovering from The Loss Of My Entire Life was not (shall we say) a quick or easy process.  In fact, it’s still not finished.  Not even close.

But a few weeks ago I turned a corner, and tonight I turned another one.  (Does that mean I’m headed back the way I came?  *shudder*)

I spent 28 years wishing for someone who would make me feel wanted, and loved, and worthy, and wonderful.   I didn’t have him for very long, but he was instrumental in building me up to the (apparently) confident person I am today.

I’ve spent the past 5 years knowing that I’ll never find another person like him, and I’ve been not only grieving his loss, but the loss of that love and the loss of the way the love made me feel and the hope that I’d ever feel that loved again.

Oooh, there it is.  There’s the first epiphany.  I finally came to see that what I miss most about Mike Lucas is the way I felt when we were together.  Maya Angelou said it best, you know.  I will always remember the way he made me feel.  And I know I’m not the only one – anytime he walked into a room, the whole place would light up.  Everybody knew him, everybody loved him, everybody wanted to be around him.  He was just that kind of person.  Can you blame me for wanting to feel that again?

So a few weeks ago I realized that, and I realized that – wait for it – there might be someone, somewhere out there, who someday might make me feel that good again.  Who might make me feel that wanted again.  Who might make me feel like I belong again.

It could happen.  I believe it could.

So voila, there’s some hope.  And for me, hope is like air, in that I cannot live without it.  (I almost didn’t, in fact, but that’s another story.)  I now have hope that the thirteen months and thirteen days I spent with my First Mate don’t have to be the sum total of my belonging.


Tonight I came to another confusion, as we like to say in my family.  You see, this Saturday would have been Mike’s 44th birthday, and we were talking about how to celebrate it.  I’m thinking a family dinner and maybe a toast…  Mom suggested releasing paper lanterns with messages written on them, which I really like.

But that got me thinking about how to remember him.  And how I can keep him in my life, even though he isn’t exactly in my life any more.  I acted the ass so thoroughly when I lost him (grief makes us do stupid things) that none of his friends or family talk to me any more.  His murderer is also his widow, so she gets to keep his name till she dies, she even got a frikkin’ television show.  Yeah, what do I get?  I get to feel like I’m nothing and nobody.  Which I am not, not by a long shot!  But it does feel that way.

Tonight I realized that I can, and should, find a constructive way to remember Mike.  Maybe find a cause to help in his name, maybe create something, maybe make a new tradition.  I don’t know what, I’m still working that out.  But I realized tonight that I’ve been looking for a place to put him in my life.  And because I haven’t had a place for him, he’s been floating all over and getting in the way, so to speak.

I think I’m finally getting started with this “moving on” and “healing” stuff that people have been talking about.  Sure has taken a while…  But I guess I’m a pretty tough nut to crack on some things.

Five years, seven months, three days, two hours, and twenty-one minutes.  And counting.

I killed a bunny last night

No, really.  I was heading out to BFE Middle of Nowhere to watch the meteors, and I saw something small run across the road in front of me.  Slowed down for safety’s sake, ID’d it by the upright ears, and smiled as it continued all the way across the road.  Then I stopped smiling as the dumb critter RAN BACK ONTO THE ROAD AND RIGHT UNDER THE TIRES OF MY JEEP.


There was the tiniest bump as I went over it, so I stopped and turned around to see if I had really hit it, and if so if it was dead.  Not sure how I’d have put it out of its misery if it was still suffering…  But I was at least going to find out one way or the other.

Sure enough, there’s a very flat, unmoving, lump of light grey fur on the road.  It was gone by morning, of course, so perhaps I provided a coyote his dinner.

I just can’t fathom why the poor little dumb thing would run BACK onto the road, directly AT the large and noisy machine of death that it could so easily have avoided!


This is going to be a VERY brief recap of my weekend at the Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge.  Let me begin by saying that I’ve never camped in a trailer before, and it was a really strange mix of primitive and everything-at-your-fingertips convenience.  For example, we had a very finite water supply, but we had air conditioning.  Kinda strange.  But I digress (already).

I don’t generally sleep well in strange places, and also I’m used to white noise and having all the lights out.  But I was pretty tuckered by 4 or so when it was time to hit the hay every night, so I did sleep pretty well while I was there.  Woke up with half the morning gone (normal for me) and decided that what with it being vacation and all, I definitely wasn’t going to feel guilty about sleeping late all weekend.  😀

One of the first things we noticed on arrival was that the people across the path from us had a giant inflatable pirate ship bouncy house set up.  Yes, you read that right, a pirate ship bouncy house.  So on Friday we went over to satisfy our curiosity and made some new friends, including this big corn-fed fella named Root.  Yes, Root.  (I know, I could hear the banjos too!)  He was really nice and invited us to come join them whenever.  He asked that we bring our own beer, since they’d be happy to share but would eventually run out themselves.  And when I refer to “they,” I mean Root and the 20 or so others who came with him and had their trailers and tents all circled around a central gathering area.  One of them had hauled his trailer with a Peterbuilt.  Oh, and about that bouncy house?  Apparently they’d looked into renting it, but since it would have been $600 to rent and was “only” $1200 to buy…  That’s right, they bought it.  I guess it lives in somebody’s back yard.

Friday we played volleyball for a bit, then we decided to head into the festival and check things out.  They have very strict limitations on what you can bring into the festival – no weapons (duh), or alcohol, or food, and only one SEALED bottle of water per person.  One of our sealed bottles of water was flavored (“That’s not water.”  **confused look**) so we were actually forced to chug the bottle before we went inside.  But shortly after entering we won weekend passes for free alcohol AND WATER in Margaritaville, so it turned out okay!  (We also won “backstage passes” to meet Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn, but that was less than impressive.  “Hi, nice to meet you.”  **shakes hands**  “Smile for the photo!”  **click**  “Bye!”  The end.)

Now, I’ve never been to the Gorge before, but I’ve wanted to for a long time.  Let me tell you…  it was amazing.  The sight of 20,000 people (a good number of them half-naked with nice bodies, might I add) and the majesty of the Colombia River laid out down below us in the gorge, put together with the amazing talent we saw…  Damn.  Just…  Damn.  I’ve always said that I’d like to play the Gorge.  In fact, it’s one of those dream/benchmark gigs for me – if I ever get to headline the Gorge, I’ll be utterly satisfied with my success level.  (Not that I’ll stop then, but it will be enough, if you know what I mean.)  And laying under the stars while watching Dierks Bentey on a big screen, standing elbow-to-elbow in a huge crowd of people in the pit singing along with Miranda Lambert, dancing to Dwight Yoakam in the twilight, hearing new artists like Thomas Rhett, all came together to make an incredibly sweet and special memory that I’ll never forget.

So every day we wandered around the festival, catching the musical acts on both stages, baking like a couple of lizards in the heat and the sun, hanging with friends, and just generally having an absolute blast.  Every night we sat around Ron and Brian’s campsite with the guitars making music for them and each other and whatever random passers-by wanted to stop.  (And for the security guys too, who laughed their asses off – and stopped telling us to keep it down – when they heard me sing the extra verse to Before He Cheats!)

In a word, it was fantastic.  I could go on and on and on about all the funny things that happened, but I’d probably bore you and I don’t want to do that.  (I’d also probably get in trouble for telling tales 😉 and I definitely don’t want to do that!)  So I will end by saying that I will move heaven and earth to go back next year, even if I have to pack a tent, park in general parking, and sneak in to camp with the Canadians!  The whole experience was incredible, and I hope it will become an annual tradition.

Tho next year we gotta remember to bring a can opener.