18 January 2011

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles

I am going to introduce Yandie to you the same way I found her. She left a comment on this post, in which I questioned what I was doing and why after trying to write about impressions of the film The Mindscape of Alan Moore.

yandie-flipped-sm.jpg

I had at that time started to move past the film and into Alan's other work. I was new to blogging—still am, so I wasn't sure where I was going or why, but I had a theme of social criticism, and Alan's work, being fresh in my mind, gave me a starting point. I had already seen some other blogs and had begun to question what I was doing, and I decided that what I was doing sucked.

So I wanted to engage the help of other more experienced bloggers, and one of the ways Yandie helped me was first, leaving a comment that showed understanding, and second, doing me the honor of "following" me.

(For those of you who might not know what that is, in blog terminology it basically means you get notified whenever someone you followed has put up new post. It is a convenience, is all.)

That meant she thought that what I had written was good enough that she wanted to see what I might write in the future. Super!

Not one to miss out, I immediately went to her blog. The links in the comments make it easy to find someone else's blog, if they have one, and the first post I came across was Do Two Half Assed Posts Equal a Whole Ass?

(The subject of "half-assing" a weekend post is another matter. I have my Saturday post reserved for that subject.)

What I found out was that Yandie was sick. I immediately ascertained that she had girls, in the plural, how many, I did not know yet. I also saw she was a good writer. In addition to expressing my sympathies, I commented on this sentence:

The girls had stayed the night at their grandmother's so I got up, begrudgingly put the living room back together after yesterday's elephant stampede, while whimpering every time I unconsciously swallowed, which when I have a sore throat, I tend to to every 30 seconds or so.
I told her I thought that sentence was a "jewel." She probably thought I was a little over the top. But I wasn't. I have this superb grammar checker on my Mac. It's called "Grammarian." It has, among other things, this neat analysis tool. Here's what Grammarian says about that sentence.
  • Total Words: 47
  • Average Syllables Per Word: 1.53
  • Passive sentences: 0%
  • Reading age: 25 yrs.
  • Reading Ease: Extremely Difficult
  • Readability for adults 29%
  • Readable Grade Level: 20
  • Human Interest: Highly Dramatic 77%

This is a sophisticated sentence. It is highly literate, but it is also funny, and, as the analysis suggests, dramatic. It has an interesting rhythm, one thing building on the next, until it reaches a crescendo before it resolves. She wrote it while she was sick. She probably just tossed it off.

My instant thought was, "This girl can write!"

So then, Yandie, when in my comment to you, I said it was a "jewel," I meant it, and I think I just proved it.

I have a little trick I do when I'm browsing books in the bookstore. I will open the book in the middle to get a sense of the writer's style. Writers put a lot of work into beginnings and endings, but in the middle you see how they are when they are just moving along. It's a tough muster to pass, this "middle style," as I call it.

Yandie passes.

Of course I read on. I learned that she lives in a little house and she has two girls. The oldest is nine, but I have not yet encountered the youngest in her writings. The nine year old is already a little teenager with highly developed tastes and dreams of her own, and her mother is not always pleased with her choices, for example the child idolizes someone Yandie calls "Ke$ha." I have no idea who Ke$ha is. I am forever 2,000 years behind the times when it comes to pop culture, but I can tell she's just another here today gone tomorrow bopper star; that is, if Yandie is representing her fairly.

I will take her word for it about this Lady Gaga wannabe (I have no idea who that is either). She says it like this:

Speaking of cheesy music, I feel I am failing as a mother. Yesterday my nine-year-old asked me to mail a letter for her. It was a fan letter.

To Ke$ha...

From Yandie, I learned about The Tragically Hip. I was embarrassed to confess in a comment that I had never heard of them. She told me that was not a surprise because while they are huge in Canada, they are not so well known in the U.S.

Oh yes, she's a Canadian.

One thing I am happy about. She does not ever seem to bother with trying to get in insults about the U.S. She's cool that way. So far, I have not even encountered a whisper of that. I know our imperialistic policies are scary. I know we are mindfucked by our media, but aside from that? The difference between a Minnesotan or Wisconsonian from a Canadian? About 50 feet.

But never mind all that stupid stuff. I know Yandie is a single mom. A good part of her voice is about that, and she speaks to single mothers everywhere. That, as they say, is tough row to how. I do not know the details. I am only just getting to know her. I'll bet there is a lot more information in her blog about that, but I have not read it yet; really, I am just scratching the surface.

She is a musician and a lover of music. We have that in common. I'll bet she's a better singer and guitarist than me, but I'll also bet she likes a lot of the same bards I do. Like—wasn't that recording where Lennon has this cute conversation with little Sean on "Working Class Hero" one of the sweetest things that ever, ever. was?

But Yandie is struggling. As in her most recent post Slip slidin' away or Winter Driving in Canada, she talks about getting in an accident in her car!

I have not even commented on that on her blog. I'm devoted to the task of getting my own post out, but it is illustrative. Life is tough!

She is dealing with it. She's smart. She's funny, and she's tough.

Yet I am concerned now. This last post about the near disaster with the car has got me bothered. Really, I would say this, "OK. You have been sick, and now, now you have just had a close call with your car?"

There's something going on. Things are not right. You are too bright a spark to be having these troubles. Call it an instinct, but my reading of your situation suggests that someone in your life is fucking with your head. Who is it? Is there someone you need to kill?

Don't answer. Think about it.

You have two choices. You will have to handle that person, or you will have to kill him (or her). Obviously, you are not going to kill him (or her), so what's it gonna be?

OK.

We got really serious there, but I have no apology to make.

If anyone out there thinks blogging is some trivial pastime, a sport fuck, mental masturbation, or a self indulgent, gratuitous introspection, they are wrong.

It is the real deal. These are real human beings talking about real things.

Yandie, when you set about the task of talking about your life, and you demonstrated the skill it takes to do so, you should not have been surprised when someone out there "got it."

Praise yourself for having what it takes to express yourself honestly. Consider yourself a model for others to follow.

You have touched my life.

Don't take this the wrong way. I might, maybe, be just barely old enough to be your father, yet I adore you. Already, I just cannot stand the idea that everything is not excellent in your life.

And why?

Why have you evoked these feelings in a stranger? Because you had the courage to reach out and communicate.

So thank you.

Now then, I am already pushing 1,500 words. I have not even talked about several things I had planned, like "Schrodinger's Rapist" and the whole arena of links and thoughts connected with the problems and struggles of a woman, alone. Yet the fact is, I do not need to. My awesome friend Yandie can tell you. Read her. She says it far, far better than me.

To her, I would say, "Tell me more about your daughters. Are they beautiful? I know you must respect their privacy, but I want to know more. I would love to see pictures of them. At the same time, I know, you have to protect their images from the eyes of the world. But most people, like 98%, just love children, and they are so important to your life, so it would be nice to hear their voice and see their faces. It's your call. You are the mom, but..."

Probably, in the rush to press, I have missed so much. If if so, let me have links. Correct my omissions and misconceptions.

5 comments:

bruce said...

insightful and inspired!

oh and yandie rocks!

but i might not ever have found her had you not found me or i found Simple Dude or i found you...or however it actually came to be finding the other BIA in my circle of influence..

the world is round as is the bloggersphere or blog-o-sphere. or mebee it is a everexpandingcircle of relationships that are more than just a few sentences...

it is complicated, but simple, really...and therein lies the contradiction of life...

good thoughts!

Richard G. Crockett said...

Glad you liked it, Bruce.

Yes, it is a magic circle, and like you said, more than a few sentences.

Still have not heard from Yandie, but yeah, she rocks.

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

Ahhh.. dammit. I borked my comment. It was a nice long one too. Just responding now as I was at work all day. I may parlay it into a post anyway, I'll be sure to link back here when I'm done my response.

The short version though, this was neat to read, to get an impression of what I'm putting out there to someone who's never had opportunity to communicate with me outside of blogging.

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

Okay I've posted a more in-depth response here

Thanks again for letting me guinea-pig for ya.

Richard G. Crockett said...

I'm writing this a few moments after commenting on your site, Yandie. There, I expressed my own misgivings about being perhaps too forward and perhaps too provocative (as in provoke an response). So here it is here, again.

If you knew my sisters—I have three—they would tell you, "Aw, that's just Rick taking a stab in the dark just to see what happens. Just tell him to fuck off if he's out of line. He'll get it."

Thanks for braving the fire.

I should mention that this post has been a hit magnet, but the comments have been inversely proportionate. Interesting? Huh?

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