For you, the dress code is casual.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Plants and Podcasts

I'm cleaning up my place and suddenly I'm hit with the desire to progress no further. There is an unbelievably thick coat of dirt -- not dust, heavier than that -- on most things in my place. It turns out the rumbling of men on the roof earlier this week was the beginning of a complete re-roofing of my apartment building, in which I live on the third floor.

Tearing all the old tar and grime off the roof has resulted in far more "dust" covering everything than I have ever seen here. I've noticed it affecting my asthma, too, which is bad since I was behaving badly and smoking dope for about ten days as I descended into my depressive hell that seems to slowly be fading away (a good thing). Even cleaning up is making my asthma worse. Bah! I guess I have to continue.

Anyhow, I wanted to write though about the state of my plants. I have two houseplants, a virtually indestructible jade plant that means the world to me, and another plant that I don't know the name of. (The jade plant has been grown from a shoot taken off the one that was my mother's pride and joy, one that grew to more than 8 feet across and now resides on the Sunshine Coast in a real estate office -- fitting, as she loved that area and sold real estate. My plant is the second generation, at least, and is 3 feet wide on its own now, and still going strong.)

Earlier this year, they both thrived. Now, one's near dead, the hanging plant.

I remember when my mother was in and out of the hospital in the six months before her death, particularly when she was getting radiation treatment, and I was caring for all the plants in the house. One plant, her African violet, began flowering right around the time that her treatments were coming to an end. She was thrilled. The plant had been her mother's and had never, ever bloomed since the death of her mother eight years before. She was thrilled to see it blooming.

She commented to me that anyone who could take care of flowers could take care of life. All you needed to do was pay attention and do what needed doing, and things would be fine.

It was on Wednesday morning that I noticed my plant being nearly dead -- a plant I've had for eight years now. I'm going to see if I can bring it back to life, and I hope I can.

The African violet was weird, though. It was like the movie E.T. The plant thrived as she was getting slowly better, and then suddenly the plant took a turn for the worse, as did my mother. The last flower on that plant shriveled and died, and fell off, within three days of her death. I threw the plant out after she passed, because it just weirded me out way too harshly.

I've been thinking about her comments a lot as I keep catching this virtually dead plant in my gaze, wondering if maybe she's right. All it takes is attention and doing what needs doing when it needs doing. Perhaps the secret to a happy life really is as simple as how to take care of a plant.

I'm going to hope so.

The main thing I'm doing to fight this is to make sure I'm productive first thing in the morning; tidy up a little, get a few things done. Then I get to start my day knowing I've at least accomplished something. This has made a bit of an improvement in my mood in the last couple of days. Last night I came home all depressed after my bike ride -- which took me majorly by surprise, as I thought I'd be cocky and the queen of the hill -- and spent a few minutes tidying and such, called a couple people, and that helped me shift slightly, but then I went back into the world and just enjoyed my errands I was running and came home in a good mood.

Which is good, as I did some recording for the podcasting.

I have a friend coming over tonight, and I guess I'm barbecuing to stuff his belly. I was thinking steaks, but since I killed and devoured all of Fat Boy -- a BIG fucking steak -- last night, I think Big-Ass Burgers are on order for tonight, and possibly corn and other things.

My friend's coming, though, to help me play with editing features in this program I'm using for the podcasts. I don't think he's used it before but I know he's an audiogeek and edits bootleg MP3s all the time, so he should be able to figure something out, as should I.

Once I start learning the editing, then I can begin piecing together a show. I need to contact the guy I'm doing it in part for and let him know that I think the first week of September is Go Time. Specifically, September 7th.

I'm considering doing a rant about the anniversary of September 11th. I need to think carefully about it and really consider the potential fall-out, but I think what I'm feeling / thinking in regards to the anniversary might be more universal than I suspect. I might write a test-run of my rant and post that to see what the response is, but since I'm loathe to expose my hand before I need to, well...

I don't know if I'll have my site up and running by then. I've downloaded Wordpress and I can't get the fucking thing installed because I'm apparently too stupid to live. I need to look into other blogging software (recommendations, people?) or else I'm just going to stick with my trusty Blogger and publish to my feed... Which might make more sense in the short-term, because "easy way out" isn't a cop-out, not for me, not right now. It's called efficiency.

There's still the online store I need to restart, and because I flattened my images I'd designed for my t-shirts, I might now be able to edit them as easily as I want to... I need to switch out the URLs for my new site's URL, since all the marketing will be revolving around my podcast.

My god, have I been procrastinating, but I've also been exhausted. At least I'm getting there. This week will begin being much more productive. Also, before the podcast I'll have a three-day weekend for all the tweaking and shit I need to do. Cool. Tonight, I learn editing.

And incidentally, I did manage to record a couple promising bits that do need editing down last night, so that's also a good start. I probably have 15 minutes of potential material, but I'm betting now that I come up with better shit over the next couple of weeks. I think getting off the pill is allowing me a better bit of equilibrium already -- I'm more logical about this fight now, instead of being so emotional. That's a plus. Thank fucking god, yeah?

(Hmm... I'd forgotten about the Blogger "publish-to" feature until just now, and think I'd be a fool to not go that way in the short term. I can always change templates and improve it down the line, when life isn't so overwhelming, and I have a better idea of my audience. There are more important things on which my time can be spent at present. Yay. This is a good idea. A little less stress, then.)