A HERO'S SPARK: the final book in the Wicked Women series!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I envy Jack Torrance

Good afternoon everyone!

This is a rarity for me.  Usually I don't copy my writing blog from my humor blog.  Somehow, though, it made sense this time.

The rumors of my demise have been exaggerated. The rumors of the snow dumpage on my home state, have not. Here's a picture of my front door:

The pile you see there is a drift as it sat before we started shoveling. I wish I had a picture of the garage door before we shoveled, but we had to dig out of the garage just to get this shot. Waukesha got something like 12-15 inches of snow. Other communities around us got almost 2 feet. It was the drifting after the snowfall that nearly got us though. And yet, here we are, 24 hours later, back to work!

Last night Peaches and I celebrated the end of a long snow day by watching that winter classic "The Shining." Peaches loves scary movies, and, while she's really not old enough to be watching Rated R flicks, I justified it with the fact that I was watching along with her and saying, "If I ever hear you use that word, I'll ground you until Nick Jonas grows facial hair."

Anyway, for those of you not familiar with the Stephen King classic, I'll summarize.

Jack Torrance, former school teacher, present writer, full time nut, takes a job as the winter caretaker for the Overlook Inn in a remote part of the Colorado Mountains. It's a 6 month stretch that involves complete isolation from the outside world due to the the narrow mountain roads and snow volumes. Jack loves the idea of the isolation, since he's writing a novel. (And all writers love this idea...complete silence, no outside bothers, no children yelping at the doors for food, homework help, juice boxes....

So Jack moves his wife and kid and his kid's imaginary friend into this huge and, ultimately haunted (or cursed, so of depends on how you look at it,) hotel. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

Sitting there with my daughter, I tried to explain to her why the isolation was so complete, and therefore why the movie was so scary. "This was before email, before the Internet, before cell phones, before Face book, before video games, and before...GASP...movies on DVD." I always feel like such an ancient when I talk about things I didn't have as a kid that my kids have now. And then when I tell them about the time there was a blizzard and my mom tied ropes around my cousins and me because the adults in the house were SICK TO DEATH of us kids and frankly, we needed to go outside...well, then I just sound like I lived next door to Laura Ingalls Wilder.

"Well mom, this must be a very old movie."

1980...yep, a very, very old movie. I was her only a touch younger than she is right now when it came out. Egads.

Watching the movie, however, I did find myself so of envying Jack Torrance. Oh no, not for the whole, chasing the wife around the hotel with an ax and getting bashed in the head with a baseball bat by said wife. And no, I don't envy him his ultimate demise....wait, you're yelling "spoiler alert?" Please, this movie is 31 years old! Sorry...didn't mean to ruin the plot for you!

What I do envy, which was shocking to me as I pondered it further, was the isolation!

Think about it, from a mom standpoint: No phones! (I have a love/hate relationship with the telephone. I love my ring tone. I hate to answer my phone. My children will tell you, I spend the first three rings of every call yelling, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" at my phone. Unfortunately, I do that at work, too.)

No phones, no texts, no one calling you or expecting a call from you. Just thinking about eases my desire to shriek.

Emails sort of fall under that same category. Oh I definitely prefer email to phone calls. (I almost prefer texting to phone calls. Almost.) And yet there are emails I could definitely do without. For example: I don't need to enlarge my penis, I don't need to refinance my home. I don't need a car insurance quote. I have never played the Irish lottery, so it's doubtful I've truly won. And, really, I'm honored that some prince in a far away land needs my help, but no thank you, I'm not giving anyone my bank number.

And then there are the emails I'm supposed to read and don't...I won't go into that.

Then there are the emails I'm supposed to read and I do...and it just aggravates me. Emails from my kids' schools. Really, wouldn't a phone call be easier? (Oh, wait....) Emails from my church, which are fine, except I get the emails so I don't have to have the printed version of anything in my mailbox at church. Then it turns out I miss having something to read during the sermon...oh, wait, I mean during the offering, DURING THE OFFERING, so I pick up the printed version anyway.

Then there are the political emails I get. How on earth did I get on some of these mailings lists? Seriously, I know I lean to the right a bit, but frankly, I'm not quite ready to join forces with the groups that keep sending me these urgent emails about the evil those on the left are trying to do. (I file those emails right next to the ones from the Nigeria prince who needs my bank account number.) I don't believe I'm going to save the world by reading angry political emails any more than I believe I've won the Swedish lottery.

And then there are the emails from my mother. These generally consist of reminders to send cards to various relatives, which I would do on my own thanks, I'm not a child! (Oops, I did miss a birthday recently) but my favorite ones from my mom are the forwards. She forwards first of all, all the political emails I've already deleted. So I have to delete them twice. Then she forwards all the emails that have been making the rounds for about ten years. (Bill Gates has NEVER given me a dime for forwarding emails, I've never gotten a thing from Walt Disney's kids, and Apple bee's owes me roughly 200 dinners.)

Basically, I read emails from my close friends, and I love those survey things that ask you if you like bacon bits or croutons on your salads. (Of course, that would imply I actually eat salad...)

So phone and email...out! NICE!

Kids...well, I'd have to take them along, I suppose. then again, maybe not. I mean, they're pretty old. I could just...leave them at home. What harm could befall a 14 year old girl and her 17 year old brother if left to themselves for 6 months? Really. What harm? cats.


Husband...well I MIGHT take him along.

I should note that since I started writing this blog yesterday, the following has happened:

1) My cats set their whiskers on fire. (I'd feel sorry for them, but all three of them did it in the span of about three minutes. I had a candle going, they jumped up stuck their noses in it, scorched the whiskers. You'd think the first one would warn the other two.)

2) I helped shovel 24 inches of junky snow from my driveway

3) I came to work.

4) I solved four website related issues, two boss related issues, answered five phone calls and just now had a text conversation with Dee.

5) I called two teachers, texted both kids.

6) Just got a phone call from my boss telling me, in ten minutes or more, that he was going to shovel his driveway.

It's taken me 36 hours to write this blog! (Which is almost fine, since I've changed the topic at least twice.)

Still, I watched "The Shining" last night and a big part of me envied the wide open writing time he had. How could a writer go insane when your biggest job is to WRITE?

It's what we all dream about! You know, minus the ax murder thing and all that!

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