THERE COMES A time when you just have to park your cheeks in a comfy chair and do the work you’ve been putting off for years. That day recently creeped up on me, pulled my ear, and shouted, “Wake up! It’s now or never, you big dummy!”
I’m talking about putting together a proper introduction by way of an about page. You’re going to go all buggy-eyed on me when I tell you this, but I’ve literally been poking around at that page forever, and I mean going way back to the dinosaur days when WordPress wasn’t even a thing and code wasn’t poetry yet.
That’s a long, long, crazy LONG time. But as it turns out, I had to do some more living to be able to share what I ended up sharing, and now it’s finally done.
So there you go: an about page unlike any other, embedded right here in an essay for easy reading — and as always, I’d be super grateful if you would please share this with your pals.
Thanks bunches and heaps!!
ELCOME AND GLAD tidings, folks!
There’s just so much awesome stuff to share, I’m all choked up and snuggling a dog against my bosom parts for some comfort. Haha, just kidding. The dog is on the floor, grooming his end zone with his eyes closed.
Someday I’m going to compose and perform a rap song about myself, but meanwhile here’s me in a dingleberry shell, also known as an extended social media “flaunt your wares” version, where I get more space to share than the usual allotment:
Hola! Hola!! My name is Carla DeLauder!
I was born on September 22, 1970, also known as Hobbit Day and quite often known as the autumn equinox!! I love chocolate, chai, moose, cats, dogs (chihuahuas, not so much), my faith, and life deep in the woods!
There hasn’t ever been a single dang moose in California, and this troubles me!! So I’m hankering to relocate north of here, buy some raw land, and build my forever teeny cabin, where I intend to homestead and be totally off grid and write bestselling books!
Oh, and follow me and I’ll follow you right back!! Peace and apples, friends!! Cheers!!!
Anyway, I’m kind of quaintly different and canned my social media accounts a while back, except for Twitter. It’s now an archive of almost 7,000 pontifications that will keep you busy for a very long time.
I also don’t own a cell phone, wear makeup, use electricity to dry my clothing, or own a television. And almost everything in my home was rescued from thrift shops, including my fabulous Dansko clogs and my husband. That’s literally where we met.
IN 1989, THE year I graduated from high school and Taylor Swift was born (I’m still trying to shake that one off), I left home for college. When I was sexually harassed and bullied as a federal student investigator, I lost my footing and dropped out of school and moved to Alaska, where I worked in a used bookstore and only just barely survived a winter alone in a log cabin.
And then I did some traveling and crewed on luxury yachts and sailboats, got lost in a banana plantation in Honduras and under a castle in Budapest, and was a hostage on a hijacked chicken bus in Guatemala — and I almost died on the Flatirons in Boulder, and almost died for good when I ate kimchi in South Korea and sea urchin in Japan.
More bookstores followed, and then one sunny day, when I was feeling capable and inspired, I enrolled as an undergrad at Southern Oregon University — and just a few years later, I wrapped things up with a degree that requires a separate paragraph and blockquotes:
I have a bachelor of science in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a primary emphasis in criminology and minor emphases in art history, French and media studies.
And I was awarded a math scholarship along the way and graduated just shy of summa cum laude. The CIA should have recruited this brain, I’m telling you.
This is me reclaiming a little bit of my lost paradise.
I know this is hard to understand, but when I graduated in 2003, I tucked my diploma in a folder, rather ashamed of my degree, and then spent the next three years cleaning houses. You can read a bit about it in this essay.
But I’m doing a reset on that thinking, some thirteen years later, and plan on framing my diploma nice and pretty and hanging it near my desk, and I’m going to buy a set of SOU license plate frames for the truck.
And you know what else? I’m also doing a reset on my entire dang life. It’s never too late to say it’s never too late, folks.
I DON’T SHAVE my legs anymore, but I do shave my luscious, thick red locks and seven cowlicks to a whopping quarter-inch long.
When my mom saw my freshly shaved hair for the first time a few years ago, she morphed into a fire-breathing lizard person and flared her nostrils and arched her right eyebrow so high I knew I was a goner. But I can do that trick, too. It’s genetic. So I arched mine right back at her and then went home and grew an eight-inch mohawk.
Naw, not really. But that would have been awesome.
As for my dad, he wrote a poem called My Daughter the It to commemorate the occasion and, ever the peacemaker, to diffuse some of the tension. We’re a family of writers, so I found that to be touching.
And now for my diagnoses, and this right here is why I’ve never managed to pull together an actual career, despite my college education: ADHD, anxiety disorder, autism (Asperger’s if you want to get fancy, but I think that’s kind of dumb), OCD, and panic disorder.
But freakshow I am not, and I want you to take that little wisdom nugget and embed it deep inside your noggin.
Okay, then. There’s more to read, folks. Just keep those eyeballs moving and you’ll be done in a spiffy, I promise.
ONE DAY NOT too long ago, something grabbed me by the pipes and breathed some rather sudden inspiration into my life, and before I could pummel it with a good dose of reason, I was in the truck and on my way to meet an old dame of a piano.
That humble but lovely gal now resides in my home.
Her underside was tunneled by termites, children terrorized the keys with purple sparkle paint, an eyeball was found under the fallboard, and some of the hammers in the upper register jumped ship for a tropical destination and never came back.
Not a big deal, I suppose. Just imagine Joan Sutherland holding a high note a tad too long, with a creeping echo.
But 1948 was a good year for America, and despite her crunchy appearance and shortcomings — and honestly, I didn’t even know those hammers were missing — this was the piano for me, haunted factory and all.
And then Johann Sebastian Bach got involved, and just like that I became a piano essayist. It won’t take you too long to discover that I tend to write more about cats and frogs — I’ll bet you read that as dogs — and creatures of the night than I do piano.
But the underlying theme is indeed piano.
THIS NEEDS TO be said, so here we go.
Please be prepared to not just browse but actually read, because that’s what this essays shebang is all about: assembling words into personal narratives and presenting them to you without the usual fluffersnackle found on every darn website anymore.
In other words, you won’t find photos here, aside from an author mugshot at the bottom of this page (coming soon). No sidebars, either, for that matter, and not even a teeny glimmer of an advertisement (pronounced ad-VERT-iz-ment, please).
Anyhoo, these essays are a good place to start:
And here are two more that will give you a more encompassing snapshot of me as a writer and how I use words to help me make sense of the things I care about:
Those last two essays were written before the piano and Bach came into my life, and I’ve scavenged together a few more pre-piano ramblers for you to browse and shoved them in an archive called the Wine Cellar.
Alas, they don’t seem to be getting any better with age, but that’s just how the dingleberry rolls.
If you’re looking for the complete roundup of my Moose Notes essays, just swing by the Moose Chalet and you’ll find enough verbosity to keep you busy for a good long while.
IN THE TRADITION of some of my favorite long-standing shows, a new essay will be posted on Sunday mornings.
I’m not sure which Sunday morning — this coming Sunday, the following Sunday, the Sunday that coincides with a supermoon, blood moon, lunar eclipse combo and falls on my birthday. But Sunday for sure.
Moose and piano jazz: two very different animals, but both focused on piano and both airing on Sundays.
And on that hairy furball of a note, I’ll see you soon, folks!