A Guinness Every Day at Ten, Then?

When I was little, banks used to give out special edition, collectible coins as incentives to open up an account. My grandmother used to give me these coins because I collected wheat pennies and the odd Canadian penny, and handing over a coin would keep me occupied for a while. There was one in particular that would keep me occupied for longer, because it had a saying on it (a common one, nothing obscure) that made my head go in circles.

If you smile until ten in the morning, then the rest of the day will take care of itself.

This boggled my little five year old brain. Even then, I wondered, “What if you pick the coin up at night? Is that day taken care of, too? Do they mean when you just get up in the morning, or whenever you read the coin?” Oh, I would just ponder that forever. And I would try it, too, grinning until my grandmother or aunt grew suspicious and wondered what I was smiling about– because I’m sure it was an oddly false smile.

Every morning for the past few years, I’ve been teaching English classes, starting at 7am. That’s kind of early to be up and cogent. It’s really early to talk about writing, especially if you haven’t been trained to talk about writing. Most of the time, I’m sure I’m the only one who knows or cares what I am talking about. I am highly caffeinated by the time I get to school, and my nightlife during the semester is practically nil. Who can go out clubbing when you have to be up at 5:30am? Not to mention, there’s a little squeasel who could potentially get up in the middle of the night and want Mommy, not I’ve-been-downing-Guinness-like-there’s-no-tomorrow-Mommy. I’m never going to be the latter, so I’d better do the former, full stop.

It's always time for Guinness. Bread in a bottle!

What I’m trying to say, though, is that I’ve been living the saying on the coin. It works. No matter what is going on at home, or in my head (which can be a veritable cesspool!), I am smiling until 10 o’clock. Cheerful and happy and ready to look over an essay or lecture a bunch of relative strangers about logical fallacies. Ugh, that’s my least favorite lecture, too. But I am smiling while I give it, dammit! And I feel better having done my best in the morning.

In other news, I am trying not to throw the written-baby out with the bathwater. I was all ready to jump into a brand new notebook, regardless of the fact that I was fully aware that I was repeating a stupidstupidstupid pattern that causes me to NOT FINISH ANYTHING. So, I calmed down, took a deep breath, and put on Hr. Simpson’s latest, which I managed to extricate from another file so that I could listen to it all on its own. Seriously, I am too young to be confused about files on an ipod, yet I still can’t access half the music files Luke’s put on the separate drive. I think I’m a hopeless case when it comes to technology. I have missed my calling as a milkmaid. In a former life, I was up before dawn, milking cows and slogging through mud in a field, I just know it.

C'est moi. And I don't look too happy about it, either.

Anyway, I reread the thing, and you know, it wasn’t half bad. I’m going to stick with it after all. It does have tension– even more with a few minor tweaks done while I was rereading– and I was so positive it hadn’t before. This is a prime example of why sometimes you do just have to step back, take a few days and breathe, or work on something else. So back I go to Wodehouse, Waugh, and Christie to brush up on my 1920’s lingo. I read them so that while I am writing my own dialogue, I’m less likely to put down something that is totally anachronistic. As it is, I’ve got some phrases marked in pink highlighter, waiting to get etymologized (I know that’s not a word. Get off my back. [Oh, it is! I just looked it up! I am smarter than I thought, which is always a pleasant surprise.]).

In other news, after a few days of absolute hell  tumult, my daughter has regained her faculties. Her new teacher really wigs her out, poor kid, and she was taking it out on me. Finally, we had a talk. I told her that I knew she was having a hard time at school and that her teacher was stressing her out, but that it wasn’t fair to take it out on me. She told me she wanted a new Mommy, why wasn’t I comforting her, and why couldn’t I be nice like I used to be?

I went through a few days where I was really thankful we did not have more children, because I was sure to have made them miserable, too. After some moping, I went to a friend’s house, and we talked a little about how we had grown up as only children (or close to it) with single moms, and how kids with larger support networks are just a little different. This was SO helpful, because my husband comes from a large, supportive family and doesn’t really understand dysfunction, even though he does try. It’s nice to have her perspective, because she is so practical, and not judgmental (if she reads this, she will laugh, because I don’t think she sees herself that way. Nobody is the same all the time, but when push comes to shove, she is practical and accepting. She should know that!). Everybody should have a friend like that.

Yesterday, I made Shredded Tweets again. This time, though, I did not have dates, so I used some homemade fig and apricot jam instead. Instead of looking like little haystacks like last time, they melted flat and are a little cakier. They taste the same, though! Iso looked in the bowl as I was making them and declared me The Best Cookier In The World. I’m not including a picture, though, because while they are sinfully tasty, they do look like crap. Literally.

And just because:

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