AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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speak less, do less

Sometimes I feel like I just temporarily lose my words. I can’t write, can’t blog, can’t evenr eally talk to people about anything important. I try, but it feels forced and bizarre to me. I doubt other people notice, other than I seem quieter than usual. I’m not sure it’s part of my hormonal cycle, or if I’ve been too social, spoken too much and I need to gather everything up before I start again.

Mercury is in Retrograde which seems to be manifesting for me by defeating my projects in tiny ways. Int he last few days I’ve unable to find the thread and other pieces I need to finish projects, I’ve broken needles, discovered I have no replacements. I had my work schedule ramped back up. I feel like I am losing time. Fall is rushing in too quickly and I can’t get everything I want done.

Song for the day: The V-Roys – No Regrets (click to download)


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swing time

The song for today is “Kiss Me” by the Joiners (you can dl the whole album for free on their site).

The last couple days put me entirely into the fall mindset, however the weather still says late summer. I feel alternately unhinged and out of sorts, and even, normal and steady. It’s like swinging on an insanity pendulum. I do keep having these flashes, quick moments, when I can see my life from outside and it is the life I want. I mean having enough money to do more than just pay bills would be great. But overall it is clearly moving in the direction I want it too. I feel good about it. And wildly anxious. It’s uneven ’round here right now.

It is 222 days until my birthday.  Last night I dreamt I was with some people who were celebrating the day of my conception.  I think that was in Late August though.  Huh.

Is there some sort imaginary universe I can move to where I get paid to procrastinate? Because I’d be GREAT at that.


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“I was just nowhere near your neighborhood”

I should have gone to bed two hours ago. Instead of sleeping I am drinking red wine and watching Singles. It’s making me incredibly homesick for a Seattle that doesn’t even exist anymore. For some reason this makes me want to pack a small bag, put an add on Craigslist Spain, offering to marry any guy in Barcelona to get citizenship, and disappear in the middle of the night. Or maybe it’s the good Spanish wine (and overdose of political blogs) that is making me want to do that.

Seriously though, the Seattle of Singles was kind of a fairytale to begin with, but even the Seattle it was based on is long gone. I’d say no one could understand what I mean, but I know for sure Boots does, and the other night I ended up in a long conversation with a friend’s sister who was lamenting the years she lived in Seattle in the 90s going to the Cha Cha and Linda’s. The apartment building in the movie is across the street from my middle school, a few blocks from where Boots and I grew up. Every filming location is instantly recognizable. It’s making me kind of teary.

The movie does almost entirely miss the point of the social movement in Seattle at that time. The characters aren’t even caricatures of anyone really living in that time at that age. But damn, the music is also making me, uh, not homesick, but, um, nostalgic, I guess. Though I always imagine nostalgia containing some sort of concept of wishing you could return to that time. I certainly don’t want that, but I do feel oddly heartsick for the loss of it. For the fact that only a few of my friends remember it. For the fact that my little sister will never know it. For it being strangely lost to my history in a way I could never completely share with a lover or a future partner. And of course my sister will have a version of Seattle that I will never really experience. And any potential partner doesn’t need to share my past because we’ll build a future and blah blah blah. Gah, I’m at risk of becoming maudlin here.

Tomorrow I will wear bright colors and walk in the Tennessee sun. There will be no unseasonable black tights, no North Face rain jackets (why do extras in this movie have umbrellas? No one in Seattle would carry an umbrella), no lamenting the loss of the SuperSonics. Look to the future in the clear light of day!

Say look, it’s my horoscope for tomorrow/today:

There are so many reasons for you to think positively about your life, so try not to focus on just the bad stuff! If you can just stop and let yourself see your life with clear eyes, you should be able to sense a new beginning coming. One that, in turn, that will give you the confidence you need to move into a new direction. Why not take a chance on someone who’s new to the scene? Add a bit of risk to your life right now, and you will embark upon a very exciting path. You’re feeling great about some new project or plan you’ve been putting into action, but you need to slow down just a bit, lest you overdo it somewhat. Just try to find a balance in your life.

Balance. Yes. As necessary and as hard to find as love.

Song for today: Labor Day – Goodness (click to download)


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rainy everything

It’s sort of stormy here.  Though in more gentle way than I’ve come to expect from Tennessee.  It’s grey, windy and probably going to rain some more, but even with the heavy rains it’s oddly mild feeling. People keep saying it feels like fall, and I guess, because it’s grey and cool.  Still the light hasn’t hit that just noticeable difference that really means fall, and the air does not yet have the sweet scent of decaying leaves.  So I’m going to stick with late summer and storms.

However I did buy new jeans and a sweater the other day.  I’ve been talking about corduroy skirts and tights and fall shoes.  The true indicator of season change: when I start thinking about the clothes for the next season.

I spent a bunch of time changing all my auto-pay stuff for my bills (even though I got my cards back after the robbery, I’d already canceled them, so I had to wait for the new ones).  Only discover that I had most the important stuff set up directly from my bank account, rather than on my card number, so that change was unnecessary.  Go me for having the forethought to set things up like that, boo me for not remembering that I’d done it and stressing myself out.

Song for the day: Dolly Parton – Somebody’s Everything (click to download)


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I’ve got a song in my heart and it is over-caffeinated and not in charge

Today’s songs are:

Bruce Springsteen – Long Walk Home (click to download)

Blue Rodeo – 3 Hours (click to download)

Sometimes I pick a day’s song because I can’t stop listening to it (for instance the recent “Angel of the Morning”).  Other times, like today, I pick them because they came up on my iPod while I was working and something about them struck me.  Today’s specific choices came up back to back and both struck me as particularly meaningful at this day/hour/moment in my life.

When I first started doing this, three or so years ago, I used to post lyrics and try to explain why this particular song.  Now I just post, as I assume any song’s meaning will change with the listener.  So I simply put them out there, because I got something from them emotionally, and maybe you will too.  Also I suspect that only Rhiannonhero is downloading them, and I probably don’t have to explain to her (even though she’d love it if I did). 🙂

I am now sitting here listening to Bruce Springsteen, lamenting that I don’t get to go to the concert tonight.  Boss Daddy and Chef Daddy are going.  I asked Boss Daddy if that meant I was in charge of the restaurant tonight.  In a classic parent move, he told me that both PranavaGirl and I were jointly in charge.  Heh.

This morning I went to the new coffee shop next door where I got a lovely, effusive, friendly greeting from the owners.  They’ve only been open a week or two and I’ve only been in maybe 4 times, but they always thank me and say glad to see me, in a very genuine way.  I mean, yes, new business, so they are glad for my patronage, but seriously, I live 15 yards away, they serve the best coffee ever, so yes, of course I’m gonna be there if means not having to make my own coffee.  Still it’s nice to have people seem so happy to see me first thing in the morning.

Also last night I dreamt I was opening a museum with the cast of Scrubs.  It was going to be an amazing museum which would magically educate everyone in the world to ‘right’ (my way of) thinking.  As you left the museum you’d be routed through a huge book store and after seeing the exhibits everyone would be compelled to buy many books and read.  Hmmm.