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It was brave, it was bold and it was totally spontaneous.  Last night, I attempted to meditate at 7pm.

Normally a crazy busy time (sorry Carla) around our house, on this night all the needy men-children were occupied.  The boys were enthralled with a new movie and Jim was enthralled with a new attempt at cooking steak.  I came to the computer to look at a recommended website for the kids and my guided meditation reminder popped up.  Why  not?

It mostly worked, but I had to continue to refocus and work to drown out the distractions.   It wasn’t the giggling from “Ice Age Continental Drift” – I’m already pretty good at tuning out animation music and sound effects already.  And I’ve been around Jim’s muttering while puttering long enough to serve as his ventriloquist.  (He’s going to read this and have a little hiccup that I used the word “serve” in relation to him.)

Nope, the distractions that caused meditatus interruptus were my own thoughts.  Of course.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who meditates.  I can finally say I am in this category instead of the “attempting to meditate” classification I struggled to get past for so long.

As I was settling in, I thought, if this works, I should write about it – it’s brave, it’s bold, it’s spontaneous!  And that was it.  Everything I’ve been planning to write about came slinging on through, words, phrases, metaphors, similes.  The yoga class I finally took this week.  How happy my body was to be doing it, I started crying.  Body image.  Women’s walking groups, the kids cute sayings, the generator across the street, the yoga instructor.  On and on, each image had to be sandblasted away.  That’s my current method – a swirling sandstorm that turns my brain’s images into pixels and they rise up into the sky.  Gently, of course, dear meditators.

So, a classic meditation experience in a non-meditative environment.  My experiments to fit in the things that I need instead of waiting for the perfect time continue.

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First post from the Neighborhood Story Project Write-A-Thon is about Jim, my husband of 5 years, best friend for 8.  I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile, but the good things about people just aren’t nearly as fun to write as the irritating things!

This is not the most logical place to start, but it’s where my mind went that morning, sooo.  One of the best things Jim ever said to me was that he thought I was well endowed.  Seriously.  I called Sharla that night, and told her that I was definitely marrying Jim.  She said I thought you were already marrying him.  I told her what he said, and she completely understood.  When all your life you are referred to and joked about as flat-chested, and the man you love says otherwise (without mentioning the other xx pounds that came with ’em), well, that’s the one you marry.

He also told me that I was the first person he ever thought about having kids with; unfortunately, we had only been dating about 4 months at the time and I kind of laid into him.  You know, my whole decades-long-in-the-making speech about why I was not birthin no babies.  We were at the Red Shoe Pub in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and as I went on and on about biology and overpopulation and the subjugation of women, he just stopped eating.  For Jim, that’s a big deal.

He knew early on, I guess I did too.  I remember telling Kelli before she moved out of town that I thought I would be dating him for a long time, and this was before the Red Shoe incident.

Here are just a few of my favorite things about Jim:

1.  He knows how to make me laugh in stressful situations.  We watched Peter Sellers in “The Party” on the airplane to Russia and for the rest of that trip, Jim just kept saying “Birdie num num” during any lengthy pause.  It’s a regular part of our family vocabulary now.

2.  I no longer make midnight runs to the convenience store to get Fluffy McNasty brand dog food because I’ve run out again.  Jim just brings home bags of food for Bucky, who annoys him endlessly, when it’s time. (same goes for paper goods, milk, diapers, cleaning products and headlamps.)

3.  He will dance whenever and wherever I ask (or the boys ask).  Not all that well.  But whenever.  And wherever.

4.  One of my favorite things to watch is Jim tying a canoe onto the top of a car.  I don’t know why, maybe because I had a bad canoe/wind/car experience on my own.  But there is something about the way he does it that is so assuring.  And hot.

5.  He has a total comfort with who is is most of the time.  It was what attracted me to him the most.  He once commented about some of the things that I was tweaking (glasses,  dressy shirts etc.)  He said you must have seen a lot of potential in me.  I corrected that immediately and told him that these things were merely cosmetic.  Women in their 40s don’t do potential.  He already had everything I was looking for.

So, I will post the Jimgems (“on ebay”) from time to time, because they’re funny and because most people think Jim is a quiet, unassuming, gentle soul.  I’m here to set the record straight.  Jim is an incredibly smart, funny, obsessive, hard-working,  and humble soul.  As Betsy says – Jim rocks!  (he’s also a geologist, get it!)

Now for a little cute and humble pie.

Rachel, You were…. right from rachel nicolosi on Vimeo.

There is smoke in the air and I’m wondering who I am.  The marsh is on fire and I’m thinking, who did Daddy mean when he said two of his kids were introverts and two were extroverts?

I should be getting into the restaurant so I don’t breathe this in, but it’s 10 minutes till the doors unlock.  Should I be writing my epitaph now just in case?

No can’t die from this inhalation.  But I could lose my breath, slip into an iron lung.  (Isn’t that a terror stricken thought from the black and white television days?)  What do you write when you’re about to be unable to write but not dead yet?

Wait, I do have something started already.  “She fell asleep in death.”  Read this in an obit of my friend’s elderly aunt.  We had to search the paper for the listing as nobody knew for sure the aunt’s last name.  She had married briefly many years ago, and that’s just what you did then.  You kept the shared identity with the man who fucked you over, cleaned out your parents’ savings account, or who unfortunately turned out to be way more boring than you had anticipated.

There is smoke in the air and I’m starting to cough again.  Or was I already coughing before and it just seems viscous now that I can’t see the clouds in the sky from the marsh clouds.

My friend’s aunt actually didn’t fall asleep in death, more like fell on the floor and bled to death.  But you can’t put that in an obit.  I wish you could.  Instead of  “he ascended into the heavenly kingdom to be with his holy and peaceful father…”  Couldn’t you say he choked on a slab of brisket that he shouldn’t have been eating in the first place?