God Loves a Hot Mess, and the Devil Is in the Details

hot_mess_shirt-

 

All I can think is that God must love a hot mess, which is good news for me.  The past two weeks have been rather crazy.  I’ve had to make some difficult decisions, two of them in saying no to things and situations that would have been desirable- except that the devil is in the details.

I did get to say yes to the car, which I had been mulling about for awhile, and the pieces came together fortuitously on that one.

But I had to turn down taking in a beautiful black Malinois (still a bit despondent over that one) because Jerry insisted on taking in Lucy last October.  I couldn’t say no to that, especially since we had lost Sheena last May.

Lucy, while she is a sweet dog, is definitely not a Malinois.  Lucy is a hot mess of a willful, disobedient and destructive Beagle mixed with English Bulldog (why, oh why would someone interbreed that combo on purpose?)  Clara, my (1/2 Malinois) sweet pleaser, obeys hand commands and head nods (she’s that intuitive) and Lilo, just knows and follows the routine.  I am still carrying Lucy to her crate in the mornings. She does not go to the crate of her own volition even though she knows she is going to end up there one way or another.

Lucy sleeping

In the words of the philosopher/theologian Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want/You can try sometimes/You just might find/You get what you need.”

Sometimes what I want and what I need are two completely different things.

I discovered last week that even though I’ve been away from the automotive dealer scene for almost fifteen years, just how easy it would be for me to go right back to where I was before (different place, same type of job.)  I was given the opportunity to do that.  I really, really wanted to, but again, the devil is in the details.  Thankfully I came to my senses and realized that 1. working straight commission is no way to live, because you end up living at work, and 2. it would be so easy to go back to that work-as-a-drug power trip euphoria.

The problem with that is when I live that way my entire identity becomes what (and how well) I’m doing versus who I am being.  And that is some scary shit.  That’s what landed me in my doctor’s office with ischemic attacks, bleeds in the scleras of both eyes and uncontrolled high blood pressure. That’s what got me the lecture from my doctor (when I was 30) that I wouldn’t live to see 35 unless I changed my lifestyle.

I made it to 45, so I must be doing something right, but in a rather unexpected and unsolicited job offer I learned something about myself that I don’t particularly like.

I like being in control. I really like it, and if I’m honest with myself I find that’s what’s been pissing me off for so long.  I don’t like being talked down to.  I don’t like having to work within inefficient processes and inane policies that I don’t have the authority to change.  I don’t like being held responsible for bad outcomes that I had no hand in creating- and that I don’t have the authority to fix.  I don’t like being controlled by people who shouldn’t be in the positions they’re in.  I don’t like being in a position where challenging the status quo is an exercise in futility.

The bad thing is that in any environment where one has to deal with people, all of the noxious roadblocks to harmonious living, good business, and successful outcomes listed above are right there, wherever one may go.  So it’s better to deal with the devil you know than to buy into a whole ‘nother demon who may be even worse.

Red_Guy_1

I remember reading somewhere that the devil can be in all the things you really, really want.  It sort of reminds me of when Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world- that somehow selling your soul is worth all the stuff you get in exchange.

I really don’t want to make deals with the devil.

While it’s not good for me to be the one in charge, it’s also not good for me to play the whipping post.  If only I could avoid either extreme.  I’ve been doing “whipping post” for way too long, which is what made my out of the blue offer look so attractive.

whipping post

Maybe somewhere along the line I went from brash hard ass to completely losing my voice (in a figurative way) and that’s another vexing place to be.

A Clockwork Heart, Burned Out, and Possibly Quite Nuts

clockwork heart

I’ve always admired the art of clockwork.

I was a holdout on analog watches (watches with actual moving pieces inside them- and imagine it- hands!) for a long time.  I wore an old windy-type analog watch (and that old Timex from 1970-whatever still works) for many years even when digital watches were easy to get.  I still have a nice Fossil analog watch I wear on occasion, although it has a quartz battery movement which has fewer moving pieces and is more accurate than traditional clockwork, and doesn’t need winding.

There’s something to be said for the representation of time as movement, because time does move.  A metronome moves (at least the traditional ones do) back and forth keeping time as it moves, and as the rhythm of music moves it keeps time.  There’s something about that tick-tick-tick of a conventional metronome that is comforting and maddening at the same time.

Metronome

Even with my bad coordination I could play music.  As a bass player – and this has been a very long time ago- it was infinitely important to feel the rhythm and play along with the drummer.  Drummers are generally sort of weird people- but perhaps that’s because they are in tune with natural rhythm more than most.  I don’t claim to understand it, but regardless of the instrument, the rhythm has to be there first, a skeleton to clothe with the melodies and harmonies and chords.

Although I did enjoy playing bass, it got to be too painful for my hands and wrists and shoulders with the joint damage I have.  I am a singer- the voice is still there- though I don’t use it much anymore.  I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter if a woman has a good voice if she doesn’t have the body or the stage presence to go along with it.  I might enjoy singing, but there’s no way in hell I could ever make a living doing it.  There’s no visual to go along with the auditory.  I gave up on that a long time ago too.  I can sing in church.  That’s good enough, and it keeps me out of trouble.

metallica

Dudes do metal better than chicks anyway.

The coolness of Metallica aside, right now I’m fried.  Fried in so very many ways that I can’t see daylight.

burnout1

I don’t like admitting weakness, but it’s harder and harder to keep up that “iron guts” faςade these days.

I’ve been reading a book (The Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins) that gives some commentary and encourages one to memorize a Bible verse per week in each of its 52 chapters.  This week’s verse is John 11:35, which is the shortest verse in the Bible-  “Jesus wept.”

There are times that for the love of God I wish I could weep.  Sometimes I think the reason why I find it so incredibly difficult to cry is that I’m afraid once I get started that the tears won’t stop.  I may be an emotional desert, but when it does rain it pours.  Worse yet for me, the tears come largely unbidden, without any kind of reason, and  are virtually impossible to control.

As if control were everything?  As if I have control over anything?

It’s curious that in my own personal economy, showing emotion=weakness.  I don’t like to be seen as fragile, human or vulnerable even though I know good and damned well I am all of the above.

Maybe that’s why I’d rather sing.  It’s sort of a stealthy way of showing emotion, after all- unless I’m singing something that for some reason sets off the tears- and that happens too.

corolla

Oh, and my new ride just came in.  2014 Corolla S Plus.  Black metallic, black interior…

I wasn’t going to do it.  Until I discovered just how feasible it is.  It helps not having a credit rating that’s in the toilet. I’m going tonight to drive it and hopefully get paperwork, etc. done.  There’s nothing wrong with my Yaris (and getting a new car wasn’t entirely my idea) but having pretty much the same drivetrain I had in my Celica (which was a 1.8L 5 speed manual) in a sedan is going to be fun.  Especially because this is a VVTi 1.8L 6 speed manual, which to the non-techie means I gain about 40 HP over what I have in the Yaris (Cliff’s notes- more power!).  With every possible toy known to man, except for the automatic, which I absolutely don’t want anyway.  From what I see on the build sheet this car was custom built for the 13%.

* 13% of American drivers prefer manual transmissions, which means we generally don’t get many options when compared with the 87% who for some whacked out reason don’t like to shift when they drive.

I’m only going to live once, and it’s not like it’s a Porsche.  It’s a Corolla…as in mom sedan, but with a bit of a twist.  If I’d really wanted to go over the edge I’d have gone for the Scion FR-S.  But I need the 4 doors, have a hard time seeing out of something that sits that low to the ground, and I don’t want to be cop bait.

fr-s

Tempting, but not very practical.

More on the new ride later- the Corolla- after I get to drive it.