1.5 Steps at a time

Yes, yes I know. The saying goes “1 step at a time”. But if you’re old(er) like me or if you’re a scott, then 1 step isn’t going to cut it. My daily words always contain this ditty: “Today is both the first and last day of my life. What the fuck am I going to do about it.” I vary it sometimes. I’ll leave out the profanity and simply write “Today is the only day“.

(“Yeah,yeah. We get it. Carpe diem and all that“). The real trick to this kind of shit is obtaining and maintaining a level of emotional content sufficient enough to actually live each day with the kind of intensity these words imply. Yes, I know. As soon as you walk out whatever front door is in front of you, Blam! you get hit with the same old same old. (quick side note to self: write a post comprised only of cliches).

Everyone has a smartphone, tablet, i-thing. Everyone seems to be holding it, listening and looking at it more than they don’t. I say, utlilize modern technology to remind yourself that tomorrow is an illusion. If you think you can put off a thing until tomorrow, well guess what? You’re placing a wager. You’re leveraging life. So what? If you’re dead it won’t matter anyway, right?

It’s Monday. Hopefully, the beginning of a full week. I for one will go out into the world today with the intent of living the day as if it were my last. No huge plans, accomplishments or goals to get done by 5. I just want to know that whatever it is I do, I act without reservation. don Juan Matus tells me to walk a path with heart. This I will always do.

Feeling all gushy and mushy today. Don’t know why. Well, actually I do. But I’m not going to share the details. Only this. It’s someone’s birthday today. I sent him a message of birthday wishes an hour ago. Mine. (no, in my mind it was not selfish). I happen to be pretty smart some of the time especially when it comes to dispensing “helpful hints” to other people.

Birthday wishes Baby. Birthday wishes….

James Brown played baseball…briefly on the Edge

Believe it.  The “godfather of soul” played semi-professional baseball.  His life was hard, his determination fierce.  He was a man with a mission.  James Brown a scott?  Well, we will leave that to the folks over at the Wakefield Doctrine to comment on that one. LOL. 

I don’t know that it was all that common for performers at the time of Mr. Brown’s up and coming to have 2 of  every type of musician/performer in their band – 2 or 3 guitar players, 2 bass players, 2 drummers and that’s in addition to percussion!  Let us not forget the horn section and the everpresent, ubiquitous “backup” singers.  Poppa did have a brand new bag…and I for one, carry it on occaision.

Mr. Brown is my companion today.  Not the “Mr. Brown” from one of my all time favorite movies.  Not today.  Today we’re dancing to the beat of soul searching funk, we are down and dirty with the Godfather of Soul.  No morass of a Monday bogging me down!  Anyone can dance on a Monday, you just have to know who to tune into.  Who is it you want on the soundtrack of your first day of the new week? 

Be careful people.  Be careful.  There’s power in music stronger and more potent than anything known to man.   Use it wisely.  For your own benefit and the good of others.  Dance when you have to, sing if so moved and above all share when you feel good….

It’s your Q & A time at the Edge. About?

…about the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers).  About clarks, scotts and rogers.  About a simple (and fun) tool anyone can utilize to navigate life’s sometimes murky waters.  A tool that explains simply (yes, simply) why people behave in the manner in which they do.  If you can think “outside the box” you can understand and use the Wakefield Doctrine.  And, once you have “used” the Wakefield Doctrine, well, there’s just no going back**.  Who would want to? 

I have 7 questions today about the Doctrine.  I answered 6 of them.  That is correct.  You see only 6.  The last question I leave to you, any of you who would care to step over to the Edge today.

1) What is the Wakefield Doctrine?  My way of trying to get through life.

2) Is it (the Wakefield Doctrine) working?  Yes.

3) How do I know?  Just read the Doctrine.

4) How can I be sure?  You can’t.

5) Do other people use the Wakefield Doctrine?   As far as I know, people are trying to. That’s what the Doctrine is about… offering it’s “insights” to other people… to use.

6) Was it worth it?  Yes, unequivocably, without reservation. 

7)

What is your 7th question?  Afterall, everyone at some point in life walks on the Edge.  Some of us more than others, some of us by choice, some not even knowing how close they are to it and still others who wish they could…walk the Edge (the place where anything and everything is possible).  When all’s said and done, who couldn’t use a little help along the way. 

**inside joke – once you start seeing the clarks, scotts and rogers in life you can’t unsee them! lol

Hey Ma! Never knew you were so Edgewise…thank you.

My mother was a clark.  She died unexpectantly in September of 1979, 2 weeks before I was to start my sophomore year of college. (Bummer.  Grades weren’t great that semester.)  Sitting on a rather plump couch of retrospect, it becomes more clear to me just how clarklike she was.  She had many a story to tell. (no, this does not qualify her as a roger.  she was a clarklike female through and through).

Growing up I especially enjoyed the stories of her years teaching school on New York’s lower east side.  You know, before the LES got “cool”.  Traditionally a working class, immigrant  community, it was not exactly the place you’d picture a young woman teaching in the early 1940’s.  Already, a standout. (can you say “outsider” lol)   Already not following the cultural “formula”  of the day for women, she graduated from Fordham University at the age of 20.  You go girl!    

She liked to tell how she taught Ben Gazzara (the old time movie actor) back when Ben was “Benny”.  Even then, she said he was kind of obnoxious, just a little full of himself.  But there you go.  Maybe that’s what got him out of the “hood” and into Hollywood.  But there was someone else she spoke of rather fondly.  His name was “Nibsie”.  He was her Protector.  My youthful imagination cast him as a young Sal Mineo.

Before I tell the story of Nibsie I need to reference an old movie entitled “Up The Down Staircase”.   It was based on the 1965 novel by Bel Kaufman.   Both my Mom and I decided she could have written a similar story.  Only better. LOL  While the movie takes place in high school, my Mom taught 6th grade.  Which is what makes her stories all the more poignant.  Kids back then seemed older and to hear her tell it, they were.  Childhood was promise to no one.       

Story?  Since Mom lived across the river in Jersey City, she took the ferry and then the subway into the city.  As you can imagine, she had to leave quite early in the mornings to arrive before the start of school.  Conversely, as the life of a dedicated teacher would warrent, she often stayed late after school.  During the winter, that meant she would often leave school at dusk.  

Mom taught in a school where the students were tough, poor and of varying ethnicities.  That part of the city was a major melting pot if ever there was one.  Similar to a scene in the movie, Mom found herself packing up late one night and heading down the staircase.  I have trouble remembering exactly why there was a group of boys still hanging around school but there was.  And they were about to give Mom a bit of a hard time.  Don’t get me wrong, my mother was one tough cookie.  Her gaze alone could remove the clear coat from your car, but there are times when numbers matter.

As the situation escalated and she was prevented from leaving, she heard a voice from behind her.  As if not far behind and perhaps in the shadows all along, Nibsie was suddenly and silently at her side.  “Step aside Ms. Dowd and leave. Now. I’ll take care of this.  You’ll be alright.”  Mom looked at her 6th grade student standing beside her, blade in hand.  Guided now only by instinct, she did as she was told.  Angered and amazed, impressed and saddened, she lost something that day.  But she also gained something.  From that day forward, right or wrong, she had Nibsie.  She had her Protector.

P.S.  I’m guessing Nibsie was…a scott.  You can read all about clarks, scotts and rogers and the theory of the same over at the Wakefield Doctrine.

An Edgey makeover, Girlie style?

Makeover?  Really?!  Ladies? (and some men) You know what kind of makeover I’m talkin’ about.  Cosmetics.  Makeup.  We’ve all had the fantasy of putting ourselves (well, our faces anyway) into the talented hands of someone like Kevin Aucoin, (may he rest in peace), once.  At least once in our lives.  

I understand that most men don’t get it.  The makeup thing.  They will fuss at us to “hurry up! what’s taking so long?!”  if we can’t quite get the right shade of blush on our cheeks, but there’s no doubt those very men like the results of all our hard work:)   And yes, devoted boyfriends, husbands and SO’s will always tell us that we don’t “need” makeup but is that really their preference?  No makeup whatsoever?!!  Keep telling us we’re beautiful without makeup, guys.  Don’t ruin a good thing. LOL

As this blog has to do with the “eclectic musings of a clarklike female”, then it goes without saying I should tell you how we like females view makeup.  You know, as opposed to rogerian and scottian women.  (“psst, Girlie.  Again with the Wakefield Doctrine? Really?”…. It is my blog isn’t it? Huh? Huh?”)

Alright.  My producer is telling me to lighten up on the clarklike female stuff today.  So I’ll keep it short and at the base level (whatever that is).  Speaking of bases, we are not into the whole foundation thing.  Yes, there are still women who use foundation although today’s versions are not what they used to be.  Foundation can now be purchased like whipped cream in a can.  Not quite like the stuff in the red, white and blue cans but close enough, if only in texture.  

It’s true that clarklike females view the face as a palette, hell, clarks view their entire body as a palette.  An artist’s canvas upon which they can create any image.  Whatever their mood dictates at any given time.  For the most part, we like to keep it simple – mascara (a must), a little blush (not absolute) and lipstick (any form of lip coloration).  Despite popular belief, clarklike females like Uma T. and Kristen S.  often will go with more subtle accents as opposed to a full blown Christina Aguilera (scott) kind of look.  

Get to the point of today’s post?  Image.  Projected image.  One of the methods by which we can alter an individual’s perception of us is a simple,  yet proper, use of makeup (look at that word – it is the combination of 2 words:  “make” and “up”) When you make up a story you create something.  There are instances when makeup alone is not enough. When it is a matter of “walking” somewhere not typical for us, a job interview perhaps, we go for the ensemble makeover.  The whole enchilada.  Then the question becomes what is it we want people to see?  Can we project/replicate an image as well as the real thing?   

Was on Reverbnation the other day and clicked on a bass player looking for a new band.  The guy was good.  He had a few showcase clips of  himself with his former band.  They were good, pretty tight. (lead vocals could have used some tweaking but overall, good) But……their look. They needed someone…. to dress them.  No, they didn’t need makeup but they sure could have used some help in the clothing department.  Move over makeup artists, there is a demand for image consultants!  I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe their career may have taken a different path if they looked, you know, cooler.  I was immediately dressing the band  more appropriately, which is to say, cool and consistent with their age and musical bent.  Why is it so many middle aged men in bands need help in the clothing department.  LOL 

Back to the question: “what image do I/we want to project” ?  It’s just as much about what we don’t want people to see as much as what we want them to see.  Dress-up can be fun and it can be functional.  In fact, it can be a very valuable tool.  Whether it’s dressing differently or putting on a different face, it goes to creativity.  It goes to  exploring different aspects of our own selves and trying them on.  You know what they say….if you look good, you feel good.  If you feel good, you look good.  And if all’s good, all is good! (“yo! gafferboy! is Girlie on drugs today?! get her off the…shut her down…”)

“Hey!! Give me that keyboard!  Just one more paragraph.  I promise!”

For readers who are familiar with the Wakefield Doctrine, the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers, I am NOT saying that applying more or a certain type of makeup will make you more scottian.  I am NOT saying that achieving a perfect balance of color(s) will help you blend in as a roger nor am I saying the proper shade of red on your lips will give you a clarklike edge.  What I am saying is that we have more control than we think about how we are percieved by others.  Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile, a tone of voice or a well timed look. 

[Later in the studio –
“Alright missy, what was that shit?”
“I don’t know what you mean?”
“Like hell you don’t.  Where was the substance, the meat of it?”
“I got lost.  Thought I had something….did have something.  And then it went away.  Too many distractions”
“You know your contract’s almost up, right?  And you know I love you, but ya better fix things pronto or we’re pullin the plug!”

Resources at the Edge. Renewable or Sustainable?

“Nothing is scarier than the truth”….  “Would it tear you apart…would you scream it from the rooftops down until it’s over and you’re older…” 

Alright.  Today was a bad day.  No, no.  This is not one of those.  I don’t have those “gee, I had a bad day today – my boss yelled at me, I had 3 people quit on me, my husband/wife wrecked the car, my ipad got stolen…,”.  At least in my mind I don’t.  I don’t have “a bad day”  like that because I don’t measure it against the backdrop of a typical ok, moving along at a pleasant pace, life.  Life for this Girlie has taken a detour -a rather wide gaping turn to the left at that.  Stopping  just this side of ,well, you know where.  So how do I qualify a “bad day”?

In case I don’t mention it elsewhere, include this post in the “bad day” as already I’m off to a not so good start.  The rogers who are reading have already pointed their cursors (in unison) to the back button or, at the very least, are now giving their computers a verbal cue to “abort present page and go to…” 

I know!!  The writing is stodgy, the flow not so flowy and the context…is there any?!  (“What the hell is she talking about” is what you’re really saying)  I mean, where’s the feeling, man?  Where’s the special k of an enjoyable GirlieOnTheEdge post?    Damn.  I know what you’re thinking and I agree. (the post stinks. get it outta here!)  What constitutes a bad day is extremely subjective.  For me, a bad day is one in which I do not feel as if I have been productive.  And I’m not talking silly shit like cleaning the house, walking the dog or anything like that.  I’m talking about the kind of bad day where I flounder about like the proverbial fish out of water.  How awful is that?  Have you seen a fish flail around on the hard, dry ground gasping for air, trying to find it’s way back to it’s watery habitat where only minutes ago it was happy and carefree?!

The one thing I realize at the end of this non-productive day is that I sort of redeemed myself and the day (if  just a teeny tiny bit. no? really?) by sitting down at the computer and coming here.  To the Edge.  One more time.   One more time to throw some words up on the giant (only in my mind) screen in hopes that one day I will get better at doing this thing and that one day I may know that others enjoy it as much as I do. 

Note to the clarks out there
:  1) Yes, lists are good; 2)  Prioritized lists are better and realistic ones more so; 3) Ya better have a backup plan* to the original because without it, there’s a chance you may feel a fish out of water; 4) Never take your eye off of Distraction.
* The word “plan”, especially if capitalized, should be tossed from your vocabulary.  Hint: subsitute the word “option”.  Sounds more relevant and feels a tad less odious.  LOL

Also, to my friend Lunchbox Lenny  – “it’s OK Lenn, to be this way.  To write this way, ya know, as a clark to clarks, every once in a while.  Because I know they’ll get something, somehow out of this jumbltron ‘o words:)”      

Monday tape(d) to the edge….

Hey! Why not open up today with a scott.  How fun, how funny, how spontaneous and utterly obnoxious is Jack Black?!  This scene perfectly illustrates the poster boy for scottian males. LOL   His character is full of life, energy and an instinct to immediately cause conflict and commotion; sucking the life and air out of everyone and everything within 10 feet.  Damn!  To be a scott for a day….

Honestly, putting on a scottian suit and going all day like that?  I can tell you from experience, it’s exhausting!  Maybe I could sit back and line up dozens of movie clips of scottian people doing scottian things and live that carefree,  carnivorous life virtually.  Guess you’re right.  Not the same.

It’s Monday.  Don’t have a Monday tape this morning.  In fact, earlier I was deep in thought as to what would happen if Monday’s were eliminated.  Remove Monday from the weekly calender.  It sure would mess things up…  The Monday morning commute?  What would happen if people didn’t oversleep because there was no first day (Monday) after the weekend (of partying, staying up and out too late).  There would be no traffic jams.  No people on the road when they shouldn’t be because it’s not Monday.

The whole social interaction thing is also affected.  I mean there’s the dilemma of the first conversation(s) upon arriving at work.  “How was your weekend Bob? You said it!  Tough to get going this morning.  Mondays suck man.”  And what about all the songs written like Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down, Monday, Monday or one of my all time favs Stormy Monday

Eliminate Mondays and think of the possibilities…