10/24/14

My Daughter

Beth is seeing the traveling adult clinic for CF, still UIHC, but coming to Ames, about 2 or 3 times a year. At yesterday's appointment, her weight was good, and PFT's were good, but the doctor decided to take her off of the 2400mg of Ibuprofen completely thinking it was doing damage to her kidneys. She probably has been taking that for 10 years now, and I do remember when they wanted to start it, it was a very hard decision for me, but they convinced me it would be an anti-flammatory that would cut down the recurring infections, so we did it. From what Beth told me, I don't think he has suggested an alternative, but many others do pulmazyme or saline through the neb.

Beth told us recently, and I'm telling everyone, that she has a camp opportunity in Brazil this coming spring. It would be from March until June, and she would go with another young woman from her camp in Boone. Beth has been living at the camp in Boone this fall, volunteering to pay for her room, and also working for pay in the office. She would be helping the area in that country that wants to model their camp after the Y camps in the states. More details later.

Beth will be receiving her bachelors in Child, Adult and Family Services from Iowa State in May of next year. All she has to complete for spring term is her internship. She is still dating Alex, and they are very happy.

10/23/14

Flying To You (a 10-minute sketch)

Flying To You

By Sheri Grutz

Flying To You (A 10-minute sketch)

Characters

SERGIO (older, dressed in black, with beard)
PAUL (younger, dressed in hunting gear, clean-shaven)

Lights up on a living room that is old and worn, but well-lit, and clean. Sergio stands in middle of stage looking out at audience. Enter Paul from side of stage.

PAUL
What are you doing Sergio?

SERGIO
Watching the books. I heard they were flying off the shelves down at Barnes and Noble, and I want to see if mine will fly.

PAUL
That doesn't really fly man, no way books can fly.

SERGIO
But they fly to my heart, don't they? They fly through an afternoon. They set sights on higher pursuits, certainly they do fly. (pause) Maybe they would fly if I called them.

PAUL
Called them?

SERGIO
You know, call them out of their tight spaces.

PAUL
Give it a try.

SERGIO
(loud, deep voice) Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bronte, Marquez, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, The Holy Bible! (front row throws out books to the stage)

PAUL
that's not flying, that's falling apart at the seams. that's dropping names. that's booking a party for one. that's showing off your character. that's reading into something against pretense. that's digging into the plot. that's closing this chapter. that's using words like tools for an electric feeling.

SERGIO
And that's enough Paul.

PAUL
it was enough too, it was just enough to win me over, make me a fan, a believer, an avid reader, I confess, and if you want I can confess to almighty God!

SERGIO
You know what has happened don't you?

PAUL
No what?

SERGIO
You have become an open book. You have become the books we were calling.

PAUL
Sure, I've got a hard cover, I've got a long life, I've got a good typeface that is easy to look at, sure, I'm a book! (he walks backward off stage. Lights dimmed, stagehand picks up books quickly, Sergio assumes position in middle stage with a camera staring out into the audience, enter Paul) What are you doing Sergio?

SERGIO
I'm watching the birds, the same way they watch over me like a hawk waiting to dive down and snatch up whatever has been eating me.

PAUL
You don't strike me as being easy prey.

SERGIO
Well, I'm not cold-blooded if that's what you mean, but I can give an icy stare if pressed. (gives him an icy stare)

PAUL
Huh, and what do you got against birds?

SERGIO
Actually I'm studying fight or flight. Ah, it escapes me now, oh, but that's it, yes, an escape! I can't seem to get away from what's bugging me.

PAUL
And the birds eat the bugs right? Get the bugs out, you know, break in the day til it starts to run smoothly.

SERGIO
I like to study them to take my mind off of things. Take pictures, a new frame of mind, develop them into slides, letting it all slide.

PAUL
Nice. (he looks out into the audience) I don't see many birds. They don't fit the training manual, that's for sure, how to flock together.

SERGIO
Yes, I know. Maybe it would help if I called them.

PAUL
Called them?

SERGIO
You know, called them, and I don't mean called them my children, my associates, my comrades.

PAUL
Sure, give it a try.

SERGIO
(loud and deep) Caw, caw. (pause) Caw, caw, cawww. (pause) (makes whistle sound like calling a sexy woman. Front row throws stuffed birds up onto the stage)

PAUL
that's not flying, that's dying for a drink. That's dropping clues of their mystery. That's the cat's meow. That's child's play. That's the stuff. That's going south.

SERGIO
And that's enough, Paul.

PAUL
I think I get it, actually. To be a part of the big picture. It's coming into focus now. It's not a cheap shot. It's zooming in on what matters. You do this to lose your cares, you really are flying high.

SERGIO
That's it! By calling them, I have become like the birds! (Paul walks backward off of stage, lights dimmed, stagehand picks up stuffed birds, Sergio assumes middle center of stage staring out into the audience. Enter Paul)

PAUL
What are you doing Sergio?

SERGIO
I'm looking out for love. (he raises eyebrows, nods, seem enlightened, then collapses into a sigh)

PAUL
Yeah, let me know when you find it, man. Maybe you're looking in all the wrong places.

SERGIO
Wrong, my friend. (bold voice) I am looking out for higher love.

PAUL
You might have to move then, this is prairie land, rather flat, you tend to fall on your face than face the maker.

SERGIO
(looks shocked, says Oh,, breathes in, then says ho, ho, yes) I'm going to be seeing the light very soon.

PAUL
That's because it's almost day, Sergio. The pinks and yellows in the sky, do you think that is the face of God?

SERGIO
I see art, and beauty, and majesty.

PAUL
(looks out into audience) It's just going to be another boring day, man. I don't mean to burst your bubble, Serg, but heaven is but a kiss from a pretty girl.

SERGIO
(looks confused) I never kiss and tell. I can't tell you what I've seen. I can't tell where this life ends and where the next life begins. It's like a watercolor painting.

PAUL
Yeah, and her kiss is like the tip of that brush, man. Even though she might lay it on thick, even though you can barely make out, it's lasting and worth a lot.

SERGIO
(smiles, suddenly looks frightened, says oh, my, oh, no) Really?

PAUL
What is it, man? Do you see the books? Do you see the birds? What do you see?

SERGIO
Something fierce, stunning, noble and supreme.

PAUL
Is it God, man? Do you see God?

SERGIO
Yes! (front row throws out long-stem flowers onto the stage)

PAUL
Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. Don't forget to lay down that pretty girl on a bed of roses. Don't forget to bloom where you are planted.

SERGIO
Yes, yes.

PAUL
And you remember, all your watching is their watching.

SERGIO
On who's watch?

PAUL
The big band's watch. (cue background music of big band style. Paul walks off backward off of stage. Sergio assumes position middle center of stage staring out into audience looking entertained. Song plays out. Lights out. The end.)








10/22/14

Hype

Lots of people in media and radio patronize me for lack of a better apology for how they can't seem to look away, and it does bother me sometimes, since I know that my works are not all that great, especially compared to others who are breaking boundaries and freeing the mind, soul and spirit in their works. I know my works are somewhat interesting, and can be entertaining, I hope, but they are lacking in critical mass. Still, some very smart people at times will patronize me, and I guess that feels both good and bad, but it's just part of the territory I guess.

10/21/14

This Week

Last night Alec and I saw a reenactment of Laura Ingalls at the Eldridge library which was informing and inspiring to think maybe my works will be passed down someday. Tonight alec and I will go to music club, sound reach and a local high school choir concert. Tomorrow night I'm meeting friends for Experimental Shorts at Rozz-Tox, short films from around the world. Thursday is my busy day to volunteer, then I'm meeting friends for an evening with poet laureates from Iowa. Friday night and Saturday day I'm doing canvassing. Sunday Alec and I are seeing Snow White adaption at junior theater in Davenport, then going to sled hockey. All of these events are free or nearly free.

10/20/14

Crafts

A couple of fun, easy craft ideas for you and your daughter, or young girl in your life:

wooden spoon dolls: you paint on a face and buttons with each color representing a different type of character, they can be anything you want them to be, like yellow could be happy, green could be growing, blue could be smart, red could be brave. You can also glue on some things on your spoon, but if you want her to cook with it, just use acrylic paint, it won't come off when baking.

her name: cut out the letters of her name out of old greeting cards, I use Christmas greeting cards, and then I will punch one hole through the middle of each, and string (with yarn) fruit loops and painted pasta. You can hang it on the tree, or pin it to her ceiling.

ornaments: use your old stickers and old ornaments to make a personalized gift for grandmas, just cover the old ornaments with your stickers.

Pasta letters: use first initial of your families names, boiling thick fetticini pasta and rinse it with cold water, form the pasta into letters, and then cover it with glue and glitter.

Some of these things I used to do when I was a Girl Scouts leader.

Last Minute (a slam poem)

Last Minute by Sheri Grutz As if there was a breaking point, and we suddenly fell off from our plans like twigs from the pressure, broke off from another day into another way that released all that
was kept bending, bending, and finally now, breaking away, last minute, a decision to change course,
shocking and sudden as if to throw them off course, make them think differently,
last minute we ended up in bed instead,
or turning left instead of right,
or going for coffee instead of the meeting,
or reading all day instead of going to class,
anything to make the weight of the decision
drop off the shoulders like lead wings,
no strings, no burden of things
making the day uncommon and needing
explaining, but there is no reason, there
is no excuse, just a last minute fly away
into the wild blue yonder, sorry, but it
seems to happen like that, last minute
turnabout, knowing I will pay for this,
but not caring, just daring the completion
of an act to stand on its head, to fall from
grace the way day flips over night, bleeding
through the sky slowly soaking up all
the light, I must kiss you last minute,
I must tell you last minute
leaving something that will last,
but the last minute comes like
a gust of air, it comes like a
shooting star that won't make
anything brighter, faster, clearer
than this one moment, in the last
minute I turned around and went
somewhere I had always wanted,
wanting it like a craving that needs
to be put away into the box of my
mind and sent to you on this fine day,
another way of reaching you through
doing the unheard of, the unexpected,
the unaccounted for, me, nobody
making nobody's decisions and
living in a nobody world, going
and going suddenly last minute
not going, not completing, not
following through because it was
pressing on me to be free, to be
unhitched, out of control and into
the blue, eyes watching, I know,
I know, nothing stopping me but
the butterflies that haven't died yet,
this thought of you, floating, I am
floating and so scared to land.

10/19/14

Comments on me

I must be the hyper-confessional 'other' that Andrew Ridker is talking about, and it seems to be conjuring up a bad vibe all over again, the style of my writing, the content, this blog, the approach, that word confessional is as bad as liberal. I used to think all of it was done because I must give, give of myself, and my experiences, but it's not being received very well in certain circles, and its taboo by today's standards. I don't know what I'll do, continue on like it doesn't matter what they think, or give it up, or slowly fade off to nothing.

10/18/14

Candy Land (a board game poem)

Candy Land

by sheri grutz


King Kandy lost his key
and he couldn't get back
into Candy Castle,
and the searchers went
through Candy Cane Forest,
Gum Drop Mountain, even
got stuck in the Molasses Swamp,
but the searchers knew their colors
and they were on the trail,
and one of them said,
“I think I've found the key!”
And the other said,
“You have, where is it?”
But he just replied,
“The key is, limit your
sweets and eat lots of veggies.”
They found out that it was
the way to unlock the
secret to health and happiness.
And King Kandy changed his
name to King Karrot,
and all the searchers
changed into rabbits,
and the game ended
with a crunchy lunch.

10/17/14

Update

By the first week of December I will have earned a certificate in Food, Health and Nutrition. That will be added to my two other certificates in Medication Manager, and Peer to Peer. These are accredited certificates that I can use on my resume.

I am still canvassing for the Democrats, and hope to make it up until the election. It also looks pretty good on a resume as well, and does introduce me to a level of sales jobs. After that, I would still like to get on with UPS, even though they did turn me down once already, but I may also apply at Bridgeview for a Peer Support specialist in my area going into the new year.

Sunday Alec and I are meeting Beth in Iowa City for Dance Gala, and I hope Alec does ok at this event. We will then get a quick bite to eat or shop somewhere, likely Ragstock.

Sled hockey is also going on right now through about mid-November. I am signed up to the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and help out the night before handing out packets. I think I am signed up to do the 4 mile run, but I would like to change it to the One-Mile run, hopefully I can. I am looking forward to using my automatic apple-peeler and corer this season that I got as a gift last year.

I am thankful for new friends I am making, and I am glad as always to get followers on my blog, thank you.

10/14/14

Wild (A 3 Piece Comparison) by Sheri Grutz

Wild Things in Captivity
by D.H. Lawrence

Wild things in captivity
while they keep their own wild purity
won't breed, they mope, they die.

All men are in captivity,
active with captive activity,
and the best won't breed, though they don't know why.

The great cage of our domesticity
kills sex in a man, the simplicity
of desire is distorted and twisted awry.

And so, with bitter perversity,
gritting against the great adversity,
they young ones copulate, hate it, and want to cry.

Sex is a state of grace.
In a cage it can't take place.
Break the cage then, start in and try.

In this poem, to be wild is to be free, and not feel the nagging persistence of being forced, coerced, watched or impeded upon. There is a hope at the end that a person can break the cage, but the mindset seems to find other ways of trapping itself, still good to try though. Compare this poem to a passage from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison:

"You're botherin' me!" Hagar was shouting and digging her fingers in her hair. It was an ordinary gesture of frustration, but its awkwardness made Ruth know know that there was something truly askew in this girl. That here was the wilderness of Southside. Not the poverty or dirt or noise, not just extreme unregulated passion where even love found its way with an ice pick, but the absence of control. Here one lived knowing that at any time, anybody might do anything. Not wilderness where there was system, or the logic of lions, trees, toads, and birds, but wild wilderness where there was none.


It becomes essential for this wilderness to not have any control mechanisms, but for all to be in flux, with a kind of energy and sensation that only not knowing or not granting or not predicting can do for you and those around you, and it is most like this freedom that D.H. is talking about, a real kind of animal instinct. Compare his poem and her passage to another passage in the novel Wild by Cheryl Strayed:

I lay back and closed my eyes and let my head sink into the water until it covered my face. I got the feeling I used to get as a child when I'd done this very thing: as if the known world of the bathroom had disappeared and become, through the simple act of submersion, a foreign and mysterious place. Its ordinary sounds and sensations turned muted, distant, abstract, while other sounds and sensations not normally heard or registered emerged.

With this passage, wilderness is within, and the sounds and sensations you experience take you away from your actual setting, and put in a different place, and it is not like the poem above where the place you are in matters the most, or to be caged is to be nearly dead, but Cheryl's passage is similar to Toni's where there is no reasoning or no realism about your sudden experience of things, but to be wild is to not be certain.

10/13/14

Knack

One of the abilities sometimes good, sometimes bad from having schizophrenia is this way of reading into things that others don't have, assuming an inside knowledge of a situation that others can't. It can sometimes be wrong, directly or indirectly, but it becomes a truth for awhile that I may try to convince others of seeing and knowing. I have written poems about this knack, but really it appears to be much more of a curse than anything else, and it's hard to know when to act and when to overlook what appears to me. I appreciate that you follow my blog, whether you are totally convinced of what I have to say or not.