Time to Rant!

There are moments when stuff comes spilling out.  Maybe it’s late at night.  Maybe it’s when you’re punchy or stressed.  Maybe it’s when something bad has happened or even something good.  Your heart is full.  The words come pouring out, and for once, you don’t really care whether they’re any good.  You just want to rant. 

Here’s my rant.  I’d sure like to hear one of yours.


I need to write.

I need to write!! I need to write!! Damn!  The Oscars are on, the dishes aren’t done, tomorrow is Monday again, and all I can think of is, “Let me back to the blank page.  That’s where I find what I need.”

Maybe this is craziness.  Maybe.  But it’s my craziness.  My space.  My deliverance.  I need this space.  To let the stuff talk to me, to see what meaning lurks, to trust that fingers moving on keys will spell out something that I can latch onto, oh damn, will they?

Why am I back here?  Stupid question.  I’m back here because I love it so, because somehow this is home, because I have hope, and this is where hope leads me.

So many ideas lurk.  So many thoughts fester.  So much wants OUT, and all those limitations of life while welcome (hey, it’s stuff I picked, after all), condense it into a yearning so strong that I cannot resist.

I wish for time.  I wish for more words.  I wish to finish some of the pieces I’ve started.  Jeepers, I don’t even care much if anyone reads it; I just want to write.  I just want to write.

A rant. 



40 responses to “Time to Rant!

  1. I got a mad on today. Un-rainy days are few and far between this time of year and there was so much to do in the yard. Just a little help was all I was asking for – teamwork to get the job done more quickly.

    But, NO, that was not what he planned to do today, so I went about it alone. He put the plywood sides on the pickup bed to allow it to contain more debris and parked it at the end of the driveway for me, closer to where I was working. I guess that’s something.

    So, I started out mad. It made me feel like a martyr, especially when it started raining and I continued to work. Then my clippers kept locking up, I lost the marking pen I had to label the plant stakes (it was in my pocket when I started), I forgot to pull up the knee pad I was wearing and sunk my knee into the mud, and I couldn’t reach over the plywood sides on the pickup so had to find a ladder to be able to toss the clippings over the side.

    It was one thing after another. And the madder I got, the more difficult the job became.

    But then, my body got in to the motion of it all and I finally found my rhythm. I clipped, hauled, heaved and cleaned and surprisingly got done in record time.

    Guess that spurt of anger worked to my advantage today; the yard is ready for spring.

    Anger can work for you in short spurts as long as you keep it all in perspective and don’t voice it before you work it through for yourself.

    After all, he was cleaning out the gutters and did put the last load into the truck for me.

    • Good for you. You did your ranting internally and worked through it physically without getting into a heated discussion with “Him.”

      High five me, girl!

  2. Dust.

    Dust to the left of me.
    Dust to the right.
    Dust upon my pad and pen.
    Dust upon my writing might.

    Dust in the air.
    Dust begatting dust.
    Dust filling the wrinkled creases
    Dust covering the minds rust.

    Dust on a unused Muse
    Dust on a unsaid word
    Dust on a idea sought.
    Dust on a story unheard.


  3. Is this where you post? In the comments section?

  4. Yes, Vicki! Glad to see you here!

  5. The Rant

    I recently drove downtown for an appointment and while I was exiting the freeway ramp, there was a highway patrol car stopped, blocking traffic on the ramp because he was writing a ticket for a homeless man who was begging at the end of this ramp. I watched in amazement; first and foremost in my mind, the man is homeless, so his ability to pay the fine assessed is a pipedream. In fact, most of the homeless in this general area are suffering from some type of mental illness and a ticket is certainly not going to help them to be a better citizen or improve their mental or living condition.

    Second and a little selfishly, I was, as usual in a rush to get to an appointment. So blocking traffic in a futile attempt to assess a fine from a person begging for food, seemed almost to be a personal affront to me.

    Then my humanity kicked back in and I regrouped. “Why, are you giving a ticket to a person that obviously has no where to go, is begging for food, is not going to pay the fine being assessed and probably doesn’t even have valid ID? So, instead of stopping traffic in a busy city, giving a useless ticket, how about another approach? Take the person to a nearby shelter, bring him to a place that is safer than a freeway off ramp, and maybe even give him some food or money to buy some food.” I shouted through my shut window.

    I know many people are quick to accuse the homeless; they rant that, “If I give them money they will just buy booze.” Well, considering what life on the streets must be like, I am not sure that wouldn’t be my choice for spare change. I have no problem ending a tough day with a glass of wine. Considering life on the streets must be more trying than my life on a day-to-day basis, or for that matter, any basis, I will reserve judgment on how they spend their money.

    However, I won’t reserve judgment on the Highway Patrol, really guys, “can’t you worry about the idiot driving 90 miles an hour after a few drinks rather than ticketing a person that will be lost in the system and on the streets within five minutes of your ticketing.” – and “making me late for my lunch appointment!”

  6. Barbara Burris

    Number one on my list of rants is cell phone usage.

    How can people take something so wonderfully useful and ruin it for everyone? Is this simply one more example of American greed and overindulgence?

    I grew up when people had one telephone in their homes. It was black and had a rotary dial and was usually either in the kitchen or, in our case, the living room. We had what was called a ‘party line’. That meant the telephone connection was shared among several homes. If one person was talking on the telephone, the others could not use it. The only way you knew this was happening was if you picked up the receiver to listen. In those days, it was considered impolite to listen to the conversations of others, so if you picked up while someone was talking, manners called for you to quickly and gently place the receiver back into the cradle so as not to disturb the other callers.

    Now, however, people could care less what other people hear. They freely and openly talk about their marital problems and the marital problems of their friends while waiting in line at the grocery store, while sitting on the benches provided for carwash customers, even in movie theatres.

    And why have our manners so lapsed that it is necessary to have to place signs in stores and doctors’ offices that say you cannot talk on your cell phone in those places? When I commented on the sign in the exam room at my gynecologist’s office, his nurse told me that it had become commonplace for women to take calls DURING EXAMINATIONS!
    We’ve come to a time when people apparently do not desire privacy, even in the most delicate of situations.

    Even when signs are present, I’ve found that most people don’t even think they should apply to them. They have absolutely no respect for anyone else. I honestly don’t care to hear the minute details of someone’s gall bladder surgery while I’m eating dinner.

    And while we’re on the subject, why do children need their own telephones? I’m sure there are always special circumstances, but by and large, children do not need telephones. Why should teachers have to confiscate them and be in charge of who gets which one back when the punishment ends? Again, I go back to thinking of manners here. Why aren’t children taught how rude it is to use a telephone in school? What is wrong with parents who think it’s okay to disrupt the classroom with these types of devices?

    The pendulum has swung wa-a-a-y too far. Communication is necessary in an emergency and to convey a change of plans. Nice to let someone know you’ll be late for a meeting, or to pick your kids up from school. But isn’t that what the school secretary is for? If a parent had a problem in the past, they’d simply tell the secretary and she’d see to it the child was informed of the change. This cradle to grave connection we’ve established creates obsessive dependency. It’s unhealthy.

  7. Here’s my rant: I composed a really swell complaint, than when I clicked submit my computer completely kicked me off, not only disconnecting, but losing everything I had written! Blah!

    • Barbara Burris

      Oh Maureen, you have my sincere sympathy! I can’t begin to tell you how many times similar situations have happned to me and I know how frustrated you must feel.

  8. Maureen,

    No auto-save? No help from CNTRL+Z? I didn’t know about CNTRL+Z when a cat walked across my keyboard and deleted a whole piece. It just wasn’t as cogent the second time around. But CNTRL+Z has saved me many times since.

  9. My Rant – Dang blog!

    So here I sit. Surfing the web and posting things to my blog when I should be writing.

    If only you could see my laptop. Currently I have open three word files where I have started one essay, one poem and one string of thoughts that I have no idea where it is going to lead. You would think I’d be a little more conservative with my time. You would think I’d be working on something more important than expressing my discovery of the week on my blog, but NO!

    It’s a wonder I ever get anything actual writing done.

    IF ONLY the WWW would crash for a week. Just maybe I’d finish a short story, or revise a poem, heck maybe even get started on the revision I have planned for my novel. Oh well, a girl can dream.

  10. First of all, I’d like to know exactly where you’ve been, young lady! Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been about you? Don’t you think of anyone but yourself? Just what do you think you’re doing, coming in at this hour of the night?

    I have a life, too, you know. Or did you? You seem to think of no one but yourself, out traipsing around at all hours, doing god-only-knows-what.

    Just give me one good reason why I shouldn’t ground you for the rest of your life! Just one! Go ahead, name one.

    Nothing to say for yourself, huh? You usually run off at the mouth, a regular little motor mouth. Now you stand there with your hand on your hip daring me to ground you. I can, you know. Just try me.

    You think I’m at YOUR beck and call? YOUR beck and call? It works the other was around, Miss High-and-Mighty. You’re the one who’s supposed to answer to me.

    Who says??? I SAY. You’re pretty darn useless without me, you know. You couldn’t accomplish anything on your own. IF I didn’t take dictation from you, you insubstantial thing, your words never would get down on paper. Understand? Got it now? You’re grounded.

    (And that’s what I’d say to her, that little rascal. That’s exactly what I’d tell her, if I could catch her. I’ll tell you what, you just can’t trust a muse to stick around. No, sireebob. You just can’t trust ‘em.)


    Okay, for starters, one of the little wheels in my dishwasher is broken, so the top rack doesn’t work properly. I have to wrestle with it every time. The brake pads on my van should have been replaced weeks ago. It will cost nearly my husband’s whole unemployment check. I think we may be able to do it next week, or the week after… Yeah, he was laid off a year and a half ago. Thank goodness for unemployment, food stamps, state health insurance, fuel assistance… but we still can’t pay for everything. We are behind on our electric bill (oh, yeah, thank goodness they can’t shut us off till April!), phone bill, town water, taxes, orthodontist, and so on. Last week I got angry when the storm door bonked me on the head on the way out, so I slammed it shut. A little too hard. Now, besides having a front door that doesn’t close properly, I have to be reminded every time I walk through just what an ass I am for breaking the door. The electronic control pad on my oven is not working. Well, it works, sort of, but someone has to stand guard and watch whenever we bake. It will suddenly turn off the oven, or the timer, and may or may not sound a warning alarm. We have had several meals delayed when we didn’t quite notice, and had to cook things a half hour longer. On my husband’s old car it is the transmission that’s going. It tends to pop into neutral unexpectedly. Topping things off, this morning I awoke, after two very rainy, very windy days, to a water stain on my bedroom ceiling. No dripping, just seepage. The attic is extremely difficult to get into. Extra insulation we had installed a few years ago makes it impossible to see the boards I could walk on and not fall through. I might be able to look from the access door, but there are these shelves in the closet that would have to be moved first, shelves loaded with stuff… Not as if we have the money for repairs anyway…

    All I can say is it is a darn good thing that state insurance covers my antidepressants.

    • OMG! OMG! I think I need some of your anti-depressants after reading this. I hope you can escape into your writing occasionally. Is all this true?

      • Yes, it is. In a few years maybe I can read this and have a good laugh. I continue to be grateful for health and good friends, all that jazz, but it has been a difficult year.

      • I hope you are at least journaling your way through these times. It has a way of helping, you know, even if writing about your troubles is the last thing you feel like doing. Rather than making them even more true if they are committed to paper, it helps to sort them out and cut them down to a size that can be dealt with. My best to you, Maureen, and please don’t stop visiting with us.

      • You indeed have the right to rant. As Gully said, our best to you.

  12. Well, here’s one good thing. The leak is not bad. It is seeping in around a vent pipe. A friend came over today, so after I had cleared a path through the closet, I was able to take a little nap while HE crawled up into the attic instead of me, Yay! The weather is supposed to be dry later in the week, so he’ll take care of it then.He is actually the guy who installed all the insulation, and in fact put the roof on a few years ago. We are not fixers, in case you didn’t figure that out! Especially my husband! Don’t worry. He has his good qualities.

  13. Hang in there, Maureen. You’re right that in a few years you’ll find some humor in your current state of affairs. In the meanwhile, why not put some of your frustrations into an essay and try to get it published? Couldn’t hurt.

  14. P.S. You might try Skirt! magazine. (skirt.com) They have different themes for each month. 1200 words can get you $200. I’m sure you could find something to write that fits one.

  15. Gee, I’ve tried to think of something personal to rant about, but as usual, I’ve failed. I’m scraping by okay financially as long as I don’t spend too much; I’m as healthy as I deserve to be after this many years of living the way I have; I’d like to resent or regret some of the crappy stuff that happened along the way but I know it can’t be changed so I can’t be bothered; I don’t seem to have any enemies (unless they’re sneaking up behind me); and by living as I do on a small island, I can ignore the crassness of most of my fellow humans.

    So the only rant contribution I can make to this thread is yet another grab from my writing, in which a PR guy who’s been hired by hippies to help them save a rainforest from development is being berated by one of his clients about a lack of media interest…

    . . . . .

    She flung another newspaper across the room. Or more ominously, maybe even at him. “I told you, didn’t I, hotshot?” she snarled. “You just didn’t capture the magic of the place. I told you you should’ve gone out and seen it for yourself.”

    That’s right, he thought, phase two of every PR exercise – shoot the messenger, even after you’ve practically re-written every word of the message. “Hey, you can crap on all you like about how ‘magic’ the place is supposed to be, but I’ve got news for you, lady,” he snapped. “The simple fact is – see one tree, you’ve seen the forest. My job is to turn what’s really, believe it or not, a huge non-event out there, into some kind of political issue. Do you even remotely understand the principle?”

    “Principle?” She was yelling now. “I thought the other day you said that was a word only losers used?”

    “That was integrity, as I recall.”

    “Oh yeah, that’s right. Principle’s the word winners use to justify why there has to be losers in the first place. As in ‘Sure, we could make the world a better place for everyone in seconds, but there’s a principle involved’.”

    “Uhuh,” he sighed. “So, what – now it’s also my fault there’s people starving in Africa, I suppose?”

    Her eyes flared dangerously, but then she suddenly seemed to calm down. When she spoke, there was a quiet intensity in her voice that somehow felt more threatening than her anger might have. “Actually, seeing that you asked – yeah. Third-worlders have to die every day just so you, and people like you, can live the way you do,” she said accusingly. “Think about that, next time you consume so damn conspicuously. Most western countries, one way or another, are actually limiting food production and exploiting under-developed countries and manipulating third-world debt – just to keep their economies ticking over so their own fraction of the world’s population can buy new TV sets to watch documentaries about starving kids, or spend a fortune on sneakers made by women and kids working eighteen-hour shifts in Asian sweatshops for less than the price of three halfway-decent meals a day.”

    He squirmed, but succeeded in not looking down at his Nikes – not that it made any difference.

    “Yeah, them,” she said. “Explain it to me, hotshot – how exactly do you and your trendoid friends manage to see status in something made by slave-labour, huh?” She shrugged bitterly. “But you don’t really wanna know any of this stuff.”

    “Yeah?” he scowled. “And hey, what about all of you guys? You’re somehow not part of this loop, I suppose?”

    “As little as possible, if you really care. We grow our own food; we use solar energy; we recycle as much as we can – this entire house was built from demolition materials rather than cause more trees to be chopped down; we get by with virtually no consumer products, and then only bio-degradable ones. We even run the van on low-emission home-made ethanol that the guys at Phreaky Pharm can cook-up but big oil companies apparently can’t. We do all we can to keep out of the ‘loop’, as you so casually call it.” She paused, and shook her head helplessly. “Look, I’m not saying we’re making the world a better place – but at least we’re trying not to make it any worse.”

    He didn’t know what to say – partly because he didn’t want to set her off again, but also because some of the things she’d said had maybe made some sense in a completely impractical hippie-trippy kind of way. Eventually, he shrugged. “I’m just trying to get by, like everybody else,” he mumbled.

    She sighed deeply. “Yeah, I know. It’s not your fault, really. It’s just some kinda horrible one-way dead-end the human journey’s got itself side-tracked into. Except that in your case you’re smart enough to understand this stuff if you really wanted to. But do me a favour anyway, huh?”

    She stared at him for a long moment, then almost whispered. “Just occasionally think about your life, okay? And perhaps try to make it something even remotely worth other people dying for.”

    She shrugged sadly. “Coz the fact is, hotshot – they are.”

    • By the way, if anyone cares, I’m blogging again at figmince.blogspot.com.

      • Yes, I care, even if the link led me to some outlandish site that didn’t have anything at all to do with Le Grand Cynique. “Outlandish?” Come to think of it….

    • Now, this is a rant that had guilt enough for everyone, regardless of their persuasion. Good work, Fignatz.

  16. I’d write a rant about healthcare reform, the enlightened ones in Washington, etc, etc, but it would be way too long for Ann’s blog. Who pulished “War and Peace”? They seem to like epics.

    • Crikey, Walk, by the time you finished ranting about “health care reform” the Internet will be obsolete and our species will have evolved to using ESP to communicate.

  17. I sincerely apologize to all who use the sentence structure in question. This rant is not meant to criticize or judge. Instead, my tirade is merely the chance to vent about a long-standing issue I myself have. You could call my issue a pet peeve, but it is more like a *bête noire*.

    Whenever I hear this ubiquitous locution, my muscles involuntarily wince, my right eye squints, and my face squinches up as though protein-fortified fingernails just scratched across a chalk board.

    My *bête noire* is equal opportunity. It emerges from every kind of mouth in every kind of context one is likely to encounter. Recently, I have heard this structure in the offices of an acute stroke intensive care unit, in the halls of buildings on a university campus, on a television news broadcast, in a neighborhood restaurant, on the radio, in a movie, in the elevator of a downtown office building, and in a multitude of Doppler effect-ed segments of passing cell phone conversations.

    Get ready.

    Here it is.


    Where are you at?

    Some informal derivatives:

    Let’s examine where we’re at.
    Tell me where she’s at.
    Where is my cell phone at?
    Wh’er yu at?
    Wh’ahr ya been at?
    Wh’er y’at?

    Ending a sentence or question with a preposition is not the issue. Grammarians, style pundits, and their rules have relaxed over the years. Ending sentences with a preposition is now perfectly acceptable, especially if the speaker is avoiding an unnecessarily confusing structure. For example, “This is the structure I am talking about” is much more clear and much less formally stuffy than “This is the structure about which I am talking.”

    Besides, the inquiry “Where are you at?” is not an example of avoiding the confusion of a seemingly backwards structure. “You are at where?” makes no sense, really. Okay, I can imagine a context where it might reasonably occur: “Can you repeat it? You are at *where*? *what*? I cannot hear what you said!” But in typical everyday conversation…

    If I may wax grammatical for a moment, prepositions are designed to relate objects in space and time. In “Where are you at?” the “at” does not have enough information or adequate materials to do its job. So why gratuitously append a disempowered “at” to the end of the perfectly complete “Where are you?”

    Generally, I do not see the dangling “at” in written pieces outside of discussion boards, blogs and other conversational formats. The glued-on “at” appears to be an oral phenomenon, which makes it all the more curious. Casual, spoken language usually develops out of laziness, efficiency, the need for speed, or all three. As a result, words are dropped, shortened, or elided. For example, “I do not know” –> “I don’t know” –> “I dunno.” So why make life more difficult for yourself by adding the “at”? That takes more work, more words, and more time.

    Now I may sound like the biggest grammar curmudgeon to emerge from the musty one-room schoolhouse in a long time. Even though I confess to being somewhat persnickety about grammar and language, I am not a rigid grammar zealot. I make my fair share of language blunders; in fact, this post probably contains its fair share of egregious errors. Plus, I do adopt many elements of current vernacular.

    Still, no matter how hard I try, I cannot abide by “Where are you at?” Even if I were to learn a logical explanation for adding the “at,” I doubt my ear could ever get used to “Where are you at?”. Regarding this topic, all I can say is that this is simply where I’m at.

    • I dig where you’re coming from.

    • Hi, Lassie. The above comment was just me being a clown as too oftenly usual. But when I thought about your post, I realised you’d actually made a fairly good case against yourself in one respect. Your last sentence (albeit intended as irony), “Regarding this topic … this is simply where I’m at.” wouldn’t convey the same meaning if it finished with “where I am”. Used that way, “where I’m at” says something that works perfectly. The real problem is people using the “at” in a physical positional sense (which, I agree, is ugly) instead of only in an abstract (but still ‘positional’) sense. In its own way, “where ( ) is at” is a rather elegant development in a language that has always whelped mongrels faster than pedants can keep its pedigree pure. So chill, okay?

      • Hi, Fignatz.

        You are the first person who has offered a workable context for my bête noire. By no stretch of the imagination am I a member of the language police. Railing against a dangling “at” was just an amusing exercise.

    • Lassie, I’m afraid you wouldn’t last long in Okieland. There is a wide range of language types here, from formal to redneck, from the King’s English to Mexiokie. Yip, if you live here you naturally speak several languages inside the language of English.

      • Hi, Walk.

        Gosh, one little ole post sure gave me a bad reputation!

        I am the first to agree that language is living, breathing, evolving, and ever-changing, and mixing elements makes it more colorfully interesting.

        Maybe it is a case of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

  18. Fresh home from vacation after a day back on the job, my husband was across the table from me when I let loose with enough ranting and raving to last the normal person for a good year.

    Thank God, you couldn’t hear what was coming out of my mouth. It weren’t nice. And I’m too exhausted from my rampage to even begin to remember what I said.

    Fear not. My rant will go no further.

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