Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's...still snowing.

What? I thought I lived in central Va. Odd.

My TESL class was canceled today and tomorrow, which is fine except that it probably means they'll reschedule for the weekend after the class was supposed to be finished--you know, Valentine's day weekend, when I was supposed to be out of town, hanging out with my boyfriend and godmother and family. No good. Hopefully there'll be some other option, but none really come to mind at the moment.

The snow is beautiful, even if it is sort of unhelpful. I guess the beauty makes it worth it. I slept in, took my turn shoveling the walkways, walked the dogs with Chloe. Our neighbors were out too, so they walked with us a while. Chloe and I made rolls while listening to Out Of The Blue Radio Review; Chloe made chocolate sauce for the ice cream we all ate after dinner while we played Apples to Apples. My father at first insisted that he didn't want to play, because he is quadriplegic and can't use his hands. But we set up a tray to hold his cards so that he could point to the one he wanted to put down, and he ended up really liking the game. Neither he nor my mother had ever played, and they both loved it. Small victories like that, I don't know, make me want to cry. Like the card-tray being a success, I mean. It's come to a point now (as my father's condition is a degenerative one) where there isn't much that he can do beyond talk and read and watch television, and talking can only last so long, because his voice has become very weak. Finding that he can play a game nearly unassisted is a really great thing.

After dinner I read some poems to my mom and Chloe, and after the first two (The Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter--not all were Lewis Carroll though, I promise) my dad went to read his book. Chloe and my mom have both passed out on the couches in the living room in front of the fire, as they sometimes do. Miley and Little Bit (both dogs, neither of which we named) are asleep in here as well, and the rolls have just come out of the oven.

Snow: what to wear.

I was out shoveling snow in my sister's Ugg boots (which, by the way, fit me better than they fit her) and no socks, and I need some Ugg boots. My feet were so unbelievably not cold that it didn't even occur to me that they might get cold until I came inside and remembered that I hadn't even been wearing socks, and my feet were completely 100% toasty warm the entire time I was out shoveling snow that came up nearly to my knees.


Breakfast at noontime on a snow day of spaghetti and graham cracker ice cream, and watching puffy little song birds and grey bluejays and gigantic grackals and cardinals like flame hop over and peck into the marriage of seeds we've left for them under our snow-buried lawn furniture, and on our front porch.


Wednesday it was in the 60's. Today we're having a major snowstorm. Again. We already have, at noon, at least as much snow as we got in the last snowstorm, and the snow doesn't show any signs of letting up before 1 am.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a mostly unedited brief freewrite. (notepad is oh so my friend.)

I just want to write. I don't have a story to tell. I just want to write bec ause I love the act of writing. I love words, I love moving my fingers over a keyboard. I love words. Where I get stuck is when I feel like I have to write something good, something worth reading. when I step underneath all this pressure and try to shoulder it. "Oh! that was so beautiful! I must write something equally beautiful about it!"

and that's all wrong. that's not the right way, the right thing, not the way to think. and certainly not the right way to write something good.

ALSO, when I think of something good, the thing to do is not to think further (I mean that part is, but this next part is not) and then...nothing. and then not go write it down. forget all the graceful phrasing about haloes and love makes beauty and god and the sun and energy and beauty are all the same but not the same. forget the words about the smell of the tree and the rough ivy clinging to the bark. about the tree's acceptance. go play on facebook instead, and forget the things you love. ugh.

100th post zomg!

Did I ever mention that I love Penny Arcade?

Also, overheard in my text message inbox:

me: I just stepped on my own foot and nearly fell down the stairs.
Jack: You have to watch those feet. They can be tricky little devils.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quotes thieved from nateshorb, and other things.

Denison Witmer sings, "Today I feel a part of something bigger than myself, a raindrop in the sea, a book between books on the shelf."

Jesus Christ says, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

Aaron Weiss writes, "Six of my closest friends dig up the ground, all of my accomplishments gently lowered down...Grape on the vine, why not be crushed to make wine?"

James 4:14 says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

Nateshorb blogs,
"No snowflake is perfect. Each one seems to have a blemish of some sort. All a bit flawed.

"Snowflakes don't live a very long life.

"And they don't do much good on their own.

"Yes, this is where my mind started wandering. Because what snowflake has ever canceled school all by itself? What good is just one snowflake? Nice to look at in a microscopic photograph, sure, but how many snowflakes does it take to coat the trees in a serene landscape? What snowflake has ever caused a blizzard on its own? As unique and special as a snowflake is, if it wants to amount to anything, it must give itself up to the greater cause. We can give everyone warm fuzzies by telling kids over and over how unique and special they are, but the fact of the matter is, if we want to amount to anything, we must do the same."

Today wasn't the best for me, but as sometimes happens, my family made it better. Work ended on a not-so-great note, and I've been feeling pretty fragile. David's been feeling like shit and that's hard for me as well. I am tired in every sense of the word that comes to mind at the moment. Tired, tired. Today I wrote that I felt like my brain was caving in, like the air was thinning out. That I knew I should fight it but I just wanted to let my knees buckle. But I know I have to stay afloat, and I have to keep breathing.
By the time I walked in the door of my house, I just wanted to cry. I still do, a little. But here is why I am thankful for living with my parents: my family saves me. Chloe saves me. My mother and father, they save me. Sometimes Jack stops by and he saves me, too. It's love, I guess. It's definitely laughter and it's every smile, and every loving acceptance. And laughter. And love. They make the world warmer.


Just a few notes:

This top-secret craft project I am working on--it is a masterpiece. I think it's going to end up like Roger the papier-mache dinosaur--i.e., it will be so awesome that I won't want to give it away to its intended recipient. Hopefully I'll be able to let go of it though, eventually.

Last night I took Miley and Little Bit for a walk around 9, and it was gorgeous out. Miley was mostly behaving (that is, pulling like a maniac most of the time but not barking much) and Little Bit (whose leash we lost a few weeks ago) was feeling very spry and was frolicking around happily. The night was clear and the air was clear and the moon was almost full, and the light shining through the bare branches left very little doubt in my mind as to the inspiration for mithril. I mean, seriously, I was walking and trying to describe the color and the light in my mind, and I thought, "Silver? No. The color is too dull and the metal isn't quite right. Oh! Mithril! It is exactly like Mithril!" Which makes sense of course, since mithril "mirrors only starlight, and moonlight."

Lastly, here is an exchange that took place between my mother and father and myself last night at dinner. I have to say that my part in the silliness was completely accidental.
Mom: [something about frankincense].
Dad: That's myrrh-der!
Me: Really?
Dad: What? That was gold!
Me: Dad, that last one was the straw that broke the camel's back.
har har.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sorry; updates.

Okay, so I'm sorry I haven't been writing at all or responding to emails. And I missed Friday, so I guess I owe the universe a poem.

I started my TESL class yesterday. Good, but intense. 9 hours a day, Saturday and Sunday, for this weekend and the next two. Gracious.

Still selling seafood for what nearly passes as a living these days.

Feeling pretty distant, but so far still keeping my head above water.

Also: I have discovered (aka seen but not tasted) the wonder that is the Ellwood Thompson's hot bar. I'm going to have to go back.

Today my mom met me for lunch, and we went to the college cafeteria to eat, as we didn't have a lot of time and there aren't a lot of options nearby. I definitely had my doubts, but it was so nice. It made me feel super nostalgic for Seacobeck hall--something I honestly never thought would be possible.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am test-running Chrome! And I must say, I am not vastly impressed. I suppose it might be slightly faster. Sometimes. And they say that it's crash-proof, or whatever. That is, if one tab fails, the whole browser doesn't have to shut down. And I mean, that's great. But at what cost? It doesn't have the drop-down search engine menu! Plus, I feel like a traitor. Firefox and I have been together for a long time. It's just that Ffx has been freezing up and shutting down on me lately, and even though I know that it saves my (15) tabs so that they'll show up when I reopen, it still stresses me out and wastes time. I still feel like a faithless wretch. Sigh.

Monday, January 18, 2010


As Taylor so astutely pointed out, I've not written yet today. Not a lot happened. Went to work, came home, ate salad with Mom and Chloe. I tried to walk Miley and she pulled out of her harness and ran away, and I had to resist the urge to scream filthy words through my neighborhood. Had I been able to catch her there would've been other things to resist. I texted Jack though, and he came and got her. I took my paycheck to the bank and went to the used bookstore in search of Breaking Dawn for Sara and Onion Girl for me and Sara, and found neither. They did, however, have the most recent Wheel of Time (is italics correct there? whatever.) book, and the first not written by Robert Jordan. :o(
I bought it against my better judgment. For $12! Oh well.
Next I went to Taylor's house and she and her mom fed me! Delicious chicken and salad. Zomg. I actually ended up talking more to her mom than to Taylor (no hard feelings!) about relationship stuff. Lots of crossroads popping up, it seems. Hard decisions to be made for everyone.
Chloe had a concert tonight so Taylo and I went, listened, whispered and made faces, talked to some people after, drove home in very close proximity to a giggly Chloe. I was all hyper for some reason, too.
She lent me some cds to burn! I want them but feel guilty. So we shall see. And she painted my nails. Yum.

The end(ish).

Not exactly a poem.

Molasses is slow.
Honey is slow.
A day with canceled plans is slow.
Today oozes along
the fire dies down
the dishwasher gurgles
the cat sleeps
I wish you'd call.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rules for being a fashionista: a top-seven list.

7. Possess the ability to wear awful looking clothes and somehow still look attractive.
6. Possess the ability to wear unattractive clothing but convince others that it is "fashionable."
5. Own several hundred of everything.
4. "Read" lots of magazines that consist of nothing but advertisements and pictures.
3. Know about and discuss "the new __________ line," constantly.
2. Possess the ability to walk strut in eight-inch heels
1. Refer to anything that can arguably be worn as or with clothing as a "piece."

Friday, January 15, 2010


So my mother made a venison roast for dinner and I'm not sure what she put on it (rosemary and red wine vinegar, maybe?) and it was really good. And then I made some toast (honey wheat) and put a little bit of butter on it and soaked up the juice from the roast, and oh sweet lord, I kid you not, it was heartbreakingly delicious.

Also Katy should be in town in about an hour, and we were discussing margaritas so I got strawberry margarita mix and tequila and also some peach schnapps, and now she feels ill and probably won't drink it. what on earth am I going to do with all of this alcohol? Ideas, anyone?

I don't feel like writing at the moment

About everything going on in the past 24 or so hours, anyway. But they've been good, for the most part! Just posting because I remembered that it's Friday and I am trying to un-abandon the Friday poems thing. So here's a rough first draft of a poem which I have no idea what to name. That felt grammatically incorrect, but you know what I mean. Comments? Or not?

silver sunlight spills
through windowpanes and across
the worn wood floor.
classical piano wafts through
empty rooms of the quiet house
down the hallway and under the just-cracked door
to caress the bright, dancing dreams
of the new mind
sleeping within.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friends, movies, books

I felt a little distant yesterday, but the day was still alright. Victoria came over after I got off work, and I was so glad to see her. So glad she wanted to come over! I mean, we are friends and we have been for a while--but mainly we're friends at Camp. And sometimes it's difficult to tell with friends from wherever whether they're people who actually want to be actual friends, minus the location. Am I making sense? I'm guilty of it too. For instance, there's a girl with whom I went to college who is a bit odd, very sweet, very joyful and funny. I do like her, but for some reason when she tried to become closer friends with me around graduation time, I balked a little bit. I don't know why. I felt bad about it, but I just wasn't interested. We've talked a bit lately though, and I hope I can undo any damage I might have caused with my coldness.
Back to Victoria. She's pretty fantastic, but she has, you know, other friends and social engagements. In other words, she had a life before we were friends, and here I am trying to squeeze my way in. As someone who has had (for the most part) the same group of close friends since early elementary school, that always makes me a little self-conscious. I am always looking for telltale signs of whether whatever friendship I'm feeling nervous about is a friendship of convenience, rather than one that matters more in the long run. So my point in all of this is that when I texted* Victoria the other day to tell her I hadn't realized she was still in town, the fact that she immediately responded with "yes...why yes I am. would you care to get together on wednesday?" did a lot for, I dunno, my positive feelings about our friendship. It's hard to write about relationship insecurity without feeling like a complete loser, despite having no shortage of friends. It seems like no one talks (openly, at least) about that sort of thing, so it's hard to tell for sure whether other people have the same worries. But I do sometimes, so there it is.

Back to task. Recording the day: both Victoria and I pretty much suck at coming up with things to do, so we went to see The Princess and the Frog**, which I had seen (with Ami!) but she had not. The verdict: still good. Especially the soundtrack, which is really no surprise considering that it was written by Randy Newman***.
She went home after the movie, and shortly thereafter my mom came home, and then my sister and dad. Have I mentioned that my mom is a wizard in the kitchen? Just before Chloe walked in the was saying how she didn't have any idea what we were going to do for dinner. Maybe 20 minutes later we were eating vegetables, beer-boiled shrimp with garlic butter, fresh salad, homemade (oven-baked) fries, and a few leftover extras.
I was tired and went to bed (if not sleep) early--a feat in itself--and started Widdershins! (Sara lent me this book months ago, when we were all in PA for Susannah's bridal party weekend thing.) I am proud to say that although it was good, I did not read it for hours and hours. I was greatly aided by the fact that it's written in sections, rather than just chapters. If it's just chapters I'll finish one, then look at the clock. "Oh, it's only 1:25 am?" Then I'll count the pages in the next chapter. "Only 20 pages? No problem. I'll just read a few more minutes."
It can be a bit of an issue.

*Ok seriously Firefox, is "texted" still not in the dictionary?

**And we got popcorn, and my tongue and lower lip are STILL feeling weird from the salt. That is intense. And disgusting. Possibly this is all exacerbated by the fact that I had some smoked whitefish salad yesterday, which is also very salty. I've probably about covered my sodium intake for the next week and a half. Disgusting. I am disgusted.

***Poor David is so patient. Last night on the phone I said, "did I tell you that the soundtrack was by Randy Newman?" He responded, ever so gently, with "Yeah, I mentioned that several times. I said I wanted to see it because Randy Newman did the soundtrack. I mean, it also looks good..."
This happens all the time. He is so nice about it. My goal is to someday find a way to remember more than 50% of what I hear.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who ever thought I'd look back fondly?

I miss that boy.

Work today was decent. Jr stopped by on his way to an interview nearby--I hope he gets the job. He came by again when I got off work and came over for a little while. Kelly was still at my house cleaning up, so we all hung out for a bit. Ate some ramen. I was so tired (though not as tired as Kelly, who hasn't been able to sleep more than a few hours a night lately) that I eventually just went and took a nap while they were downstairs. They finished up and said goodbye and went home. I hope Kelly can get some sleep tonight.

No one in my family was home until 7 or 7:30, so I napped a while, checked email and did sit-ups in the living room, then went and put together a bed frame that's been sitting in Jack's old room for a week or so now. We don't have a mattress to put on it yet, but still, pretty cool.

Dinner was chili/split pea soup (mixed leftovers and surprisingly good) over steamed kale. Delicious. We finished eating around 9:50, which I found pretty funny.

Clearly I don't have much to say--just wanted to write something I guess. I'm still working at maintaining a positive attitude/outlook, which is easier some moments than others. It's still hard for me to handle having a job where I don't feel like I'm doing anything that matters. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. Maybe it's just hard for me to handle having a job that I have to shape my life around. I've never been very enthusiastic about time commitments. Lately I've woken up angry or annoyed every day, which stinks, obviously. It's just a hurdle to jump, first thing in the morning. It helps a little though when I know that David's up too, and I can text him good morning. Part of me wishes (the completely insane part?) that I were back at R-MA in the mornings, dragging myself out of bed, hugging David, waking the kids up, going to breakfast, turning in the dorm report, going back to sleep. I mean, I definitely miss the going back to sleep part, but it's just weird for me to be missing the dorm all of the sudden. Didn't I hate it? Wasn't I miserable? I guess there were a lot of moments that I wasn't; but the unhappiness stood out so strongly that it was all I saw, and still all I could see until just a few days ago. Now I'm remembering the sweet moments--moments with David, time spent cleaning my apartment, the laughter and silliness of children, the kind faces I saw every morning in the cafeteria. Even just the general peace or satisfaction or whatever it is that I feel when I can work with or be around children. I hadn't thought that it was present there, but now that I'm gone and missing it I see that it was. I miss being around kids so much that I'm nearly tearing up just writing it.

David: move here. (June: hurry up and arrive so David can move here!)

*Edit: do my sentences seem incredibly choppy to anyone else, or is it just me? Reading back over what I just wrote feels like trying to drive home in 5:00 traffic, but when I went back to fix it I didn't see much that I can do. Is this because I'm tired or something? (Humor me and say yes.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Basketball weekend pt 2.

Little Women always makes me cry.

Did I mention the VCU game already? It was alright. I didn't actually pay attention to the game at all. We all got there, and then Tim got there! I had forgotten he was back in the country! And then Jesse came too! It was so great to see them. Then I was hungry and, though there was no re-entry allowed, Jenny had extra tickets. So China and Arnita and I went to Subway, and met Taylor (another camper) there. The game ended later and I got home later than I had expected, but I finally got out of town around 8.

Drove to Front Royal (known affectionately by those with addictions to nicknames as "Froro") Saturday night, and we didn't get off to a great start. I had been sort of fighting off negativity for a few days, and David was struck with it all at once, so we found ourselves both suddenly rather low and negative.

We made it through though, and Sunday we got up at 9 and drove to Alexandria to catch the metro into DC and watch the Wizards game. We had planned to get there an hour early and get some autographs, but it didn't work out. We thought that leaving at 10 would get us there by 12, but it didn't. We barely made it to the game. The game was really a good one (though the Wizards lost by 5), but David was very disappointed over the autographs. I hope he gets a chance to get them someday.

From the game we went go the Winchester Red Lobster for dinner, and that was alright. I mean, going to the game and riding the metro and having dinner with David were great. It's just that the "2 people for $30" menu at Red Lobster leaves something to be desired.

Little Women is making me cry again. The night wind blew, and Beth passed gently away.

Sunday night we watched "Happy Texas," which Suzanne lent me a week or two ago, and it was really good. Much better than I expected. In fact, I may have to buy a few copies to give to people.
David was still feeling sad though, and had kind of a rough evening. We talked a lot and played with the cats some and went to bed. This morning he woke me but I didn't get up for breakfast; I slept until the urchins were in classes, then got up and went over to nap until 10:30. It was nice. It was hard to leave for work in Richmond. I don't like leaving him.

Little Women: again making me emotional. Such a good movie.

Noticed while watching Little Women: there is something very...luscious? Romantic? Ah. Very sensual about eating fruit. Particularly orange sections.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Things I Need:

Jimmy Buffet music.

Focus and shine.

I've spent part of the morning watching dust motes float through the sunlight that's falling beneath the dining room table. They're beautiful. They're like infinitesimal sparks or sparkles. I couldn't even see them; I could only see the reflection, the glow. And then I lost sight of them. I know they're still there, but I can't find the focus again.

That's interesting--that the motes can only be seen by their glowing; that they float so easily with the air, up, down, and around through both sun and shade; that I can lose sight of them so quickly and completely.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Out of Order; Basketball Weekend

Car fixed! (Well not mine, but one that I can drive. With heat!)
Pride & Prejudice (movie, 2005).
Dinner: venison sandwiches, broiled asparagus.
Work: she-crab soup, tax paperwork.

This weekend: a bunch of basketball, and going to visit David!

Also, just found this on pretty much the best website ever, Graphjam.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Okay, FINE.

I've been obsessing a little bit lately over poetry, as you may have noticed if you read my post-before-last. Like I said, I'm rather aching for a poetry workshop group. I want to be writing. I have been, a very little bit, and as I don't have a workshop group, I guess the next best thing I can do is post them here. I'd use o.d., but I'm afraid I'd end up with one of those legions of people who tell not-that-great poets how wonderful and beautiful and touching their poetry is. (Or possibly worse, that I wouldn't.) I have no idea really whether I have any poetic talent, but I want to be writing either way. So here we go. Here are two that I started earlier in the fall and have worked on once or twice since then. I was really not very happy with them in the beginning, but I think they're a little better now. If anyone has opinions (particularly specific, constructive opinions), feel free to share.

This first one was written because I wrote as my facebook status one day, "I wish I was [were? I'm never sure about this] the heir to some beautiful, sprawling country estate somewhere." I later discovered that my sister, hearing the status message read aloud, had thought that I had written "I wish I was[/were] the air" to some estate, and that I was being poetic. So I decided to be poetic, in a slightly annoying, punny sort of way. Here's the result thus far.

The Air To A Country Estate

I'd breeze in through the French doors
and down the wide, open hallways,
spreading late afternoon sun like
sweet cream butter. I'd lie around lightly
and lazy on cotton bedspreads, light pink
and worn thin and soft. I'd roll through
the dust and dirt like scuffed suede boots,
drink the dew from the lawn, and breathe
out across the ruffled brown-blue bay.

Here are my issues with this poem at this moment: "I'd I'd I'd..." It practically sounds like a stutter to me. The sentences all begin the same way, and they're almost all choppy. Also, the poem doesn't really say anything. It's just a couple of images that I kind of like, strung together. So I like the language and the imagery okay, but I find the poem as a whole rather irritating.

Second poem, inspired by my lamentably short visit to the Farley family beach week this year. It was fantastic in a lot of ways. For instance: my mom and I arrived at the beach just in time to walk into a huge crab-picking free-for-all. A house full of excellent food, excellent wine, plenty of beer, and a lot of people who loved each other. After the party she and I went and stayed in a house with three of her brothers, and one sister-in-law (my favorite one), and I got peer pressured into a shot of vodka and an impromptu music appreciation lesson. (The main thrust of which was that Ry Cooder was the best guitarist of all time, and Little Feat was the best album.) Anyway, the point of this is that at some point my mom and my uncle Bobby and I went for a walk on the beach, and it was one of those rare nights where patches of the sand are filled with...magic, essentially...dinoflagellates, and phosphoresce when you walk across them. I've only seen that one other time, on a pretty great weekend kayaking trip out to the Outer Banks with some friends in high school. So here's this one.


Sea birds cry the hours as they pass,
and the sun grows heavy
and sinks wearily below the hoizon,
nodding softly
and pressing west.

Behind the hidden moon, stars stretch
and sigh. Sparks flutter awake
as the day fades, and wash the dim sea
in faint,
sliding drops.

Endless waves crash
and drag down the beach,
dropping dinoflagellates from the foam
and whispering of brief,
green jewels
buried in the sand.

My issues with this poem: again, it doesn't really say anything at all. There's some nice imagery I guess, but even that is awkward, and there's not much of a point to it. I guess what it comes down to is that both poems amount to "I saw this pretty thing one time, and I haven't bothered to find anything in any way symbolic or meaningful about it, but it was pretty." They're irrelevant.

I wrote this one yesterday at work, on a paper napkin.

There are so many different kinds of love.
In this room, the love of the young man for his pen.
The love of the pen for the paper.
The love of the paper for the hand.

Of the fish-seller's knowing hands
for the knife, for the tray,
for the soft fish flesh that he prunes
and carefully smooths with water.

The water too bears love for the fish, for the sinks,
for the soap, the soap for the dishes
and hands. The display case bears up the ice;
the ice gives itself up for the food it cradles.

Love of floor for feet, feet for hands,
hands for food for body. There is love upon love
upon love, mixed with love. All different.
All the same.

(Edit: the sign-off on the last entry was supposed to say peace out. But I think maybe I kind of like peach, too. Hm.)

Today: pretty good.

Side note: (can it count as a side note if it's the first thing I write?) I think/am pretty sure that I'm actually afraid to say that I've had a good or really good or awesome (or whatever) day. I mean, I have an extremely strong aversion to it--strong enough that I think it must be fear. Maybe I'm afraid I'll jinx it. Anyway.

Accomplishments today, aside from/related to/in addition to? having a--dare I say it?--really good* day!Oh, it was. I mean, I woke up a little early (I don't know how early--I decided that checking my clock would only piss me off) to my brother's little dog barking outside. She sleeps over rather often, and evidently she'd forced my poor mother to take her out. Generally I have a difficult time recovering from a "how was your day" setback like an unnecessarily early wakeup, but I did it! I was having a little bit of an attitude problem, but I decided to text "good morning!" to David anyway. And he texted back in Spanish, which I pretty much always love for some reason, and suddenly I was smiling again. (Crisis averted!)

Went to work, helped set up display cases and so on, then got to go to 7-11 for hot chocolate/coffee (with hazelnut creamer--so delicious) and to the grocery store for some veggies to put out front. And hand lotion! I think, for some reason, my boss doesn't want to argue with me even when I'm not really trying to argue for things. So I mentioned that he'd said we used to have lotion and that we don't now, and that maybe we could use some, and he didn't seem enthusiastic about it and I started to say it wasn't a big deal, and then he said something like, "Fine, get whatever you want." Anyway, Gold Bond lotion seems pretty great so far.

There wasn't much going on today at our little seafood store--not usually a lot of customers in the morning (and today was no exception), and not much cooking to do. So I made some crab dip and put it in the fridge, and then read my book ("Salt: A World History"**) for a while. When I'm reading I tend to force those around me to listen to interesting snippets from the text, so somehow I ended up talking to my co-worker, Colin, about salt I guess, and then about theoretical physics, cigarettes, guy/girl relationships ("why do guys/girls do [thing]?"), theology, books, and then beer. He's actually a pretty cool kid, and this makes me even more irritated that other people (or at least some others, maybe not all) at work tend to treat him like he's an idiot. I think it's an example of one person deciding that another is stupid, and then finding instances that support their beliefs. And then getting other people to agree with those beliefs. Not really ok when what you're supporting is your habit of belittling a perfectly nice and perfectly normal and reasonably intelligent 19 year old kid. Anyway, I like him. Like I said, he's nice and he's interested in theoretical physics, which is a fairly rare find. So. Accomplishment: socializing at work. And I ended up staying an hour late, making up for the time I lost yesterday leaving a half-hour early***.

After work I finally remembered to call my uncle Bud about the radiator in my car (did I mention how I had probably cracked it on Sunday?), and he didn't even chew me out about it, which was pretty fabulous. He said he hadn't been able to get out to look at it (as it is abandoned at a church near us but nowhere near him, really), but that I should go check it out and see if I could figure out where the water (that was the problem right there: the contents of my radiator consisted almost entirely of water, which, you may have noticed, tends to freeze when the temperature drops to 17 Fahrenheit.) had actually been leaking (read: pouring) out.
Sometimes I am a little embarrassed by my affection toward parenthesis.
I told Uncle Bud, ok, I have to stop at home first, but then I will go check on the engine and give you a call to let you know what I find out. I went home to find the number I needed to call to order new contacts (oh my goodness, finally), and lo and behold, there was Jack! His eyes looked a little red--I can't really see him crying, though I'm sure it's possible--and he was on the couch watching Man vs. Wild. I had never seen Man vs. Wild, and I feel like a whole new chapter in my life has opened up. I talked to Jack a little, watched a few episodes, collected packages and addresses so that I could ACTUALLY GET SOME THINGS MAILED (in case you're not aware, this is a really big deal for me), and then, wait for it, called Cynthia and asked her for new contacts. She is our backdoor neighbor, whom I used to see all the time, but whom I never see anymore. I've been meaning to call her for ages (I've been wearing this pair of contacts since September, and they've been seriously irritating my eyes all week--obviously this is a bad idea), but I haven't because, among other things, I was embarrassed to ask her for contacts when I hadn't been seeing her on a regular basis. Never mind the fact that her daughter and my sister, and her sister and my mom, are close friends, and I've known her for about 18 years. Ugh. So yeah, I finally called and it was great to talk to her, and my eye prescription is in her mailbox, and I'll have contacts shortly. Thank goodness. I'm wearing my glasses right now (a last resort) and I'm not a big fan.
^^^ Look at all those accomplishments today! And I'm not even finished!

AFTER that, my mom came home and we...watched some Man vs. Wild and ate some delicious delicious homemade black bean and turkey chili with cheddar cheese and arugula. Mmm. THEN I went to the post office and mailed a book (The Just-So Stories!) to a former camper (hopefully counselor this coming year) of mine--a kid named Sean who I've known since he was nine. He is such a sweet kid, and he's grown up so much. It's amazing to see. I bought this book for him in the summer and have been repeatedly forgetting to bring it to him when I see him, so finally I just wrapped it up and mailed it. Also mailed a cd of that one woman from American Idol (why can't I remember her name??) who sang "I Dreamed A Dream," from Les Miserables, so beautifully. My sister and I each bought my mom a copy for Christmas, so we decided to send the second to our friend Lorraine on Long Island. Mom and Chloe put it in an envelope and addressed it, and then it started kicking around the house, so I took it with me today.

Oh! Also! Today I discovered (via my boss) that they do make lahmacun in the United States! I mean, I guess it was obvious that someone made it somewhere on this side of the Atlantic, but I hadn't been able to find it. He says there's a place in Massachusetts (ok apparently I've never tried to spell that before. It was impossible. I gave up and used Firefox [Blogger?] spellcheck. And I'm not even a bad speller, usually!) that makes it. Not that helpful, and I'm not sure I buy it anyway because the places I've been in DC and NYC that make "lahmacun" made a pretty sorry excuse for it, if you ask me. But still maybe worth a try someday. He said though that lahmacun isn't actually of Turkish origin (I was a little offended by that, which I find sort of funny)--that it's actually Armenian (or something). There's a Mediterranean bakery near where I work, and he said that I should try there, though their version (the Armenian, or possibly Lebanese...or something...) version is a little different (plus cinnamon, for example, and minus tomatoes, which is a shame) and is called "fatayer," which would be spelled "fatayi" in Turkish I think. (Fuh-tie-yuh.) I hope they have it. And I hope it's good.

Back to the timeline: after the post office, Mom went with me to check in my car, and she brought Miley. I'm not sure why, as she seemed pretty aggravated with Miley at the time. That dog is pretty entertaining in the car. Anyway we went, and there didn't seem to be an actual crack in my radiator from what I could tell, which is of course a plus. We'd been hoping that the leak would have come from the place where we'd linked two hoses to bypass the heater core earlier in the fall, but it wasn't. Not as much of a plus. I put some radiator fluid in and turned on the car (okay, vice versa, really), and we looked to see where things leaked out. Here, as I said, things didn't leak out. They poured out, from somewhere underneath the engine casing, near where the air filter hose joined with the casing. Uncle Bud said (I think) that I might have blown a freeze (fuse?)...something. Box? Joint? And I don't know what that means exactly. (Come to think of it, I don't know what that means at all.) I asked, and he said that it would be a little more complicated to fix. I guess though that it's still less complicated (or at least cheaper) than a new radiator, so that's definitely good.

Tonight I looked up Action For Change, which my mom mentioned last night, and which seems pretty great. Unfortunately they want you to have prior experience with Initiatives of Change (their parent organization) programs, and I don't. I've heard of them because my godmother (not the one who had the party David couldn't attend; a different one. Don't ask me how I have two godmothers, because I have no idea.) is involved with them, but I don't have any actual experience with them. I emailed to see whether this could be remedied quickly, as the application deadline is March 1st. Guess I'll just cross my fingers, and then maybe write a letter about how they should accept me anyway. I think I'd really like to do it, because it's all about leadership training, and learning to find yourself and discipline yourself and learn to understand and interact with people of different faiths and cultures (the program is made up fo people from all over the world), and learn how to make a difference in the world and in your own community, and all of these are things I'd like to learn. I have tended to be pretty directionless of the the past several years--all I really know is that I want to be helpful in some way--and it would be fantastic to learn strategies and grow in confidence and experience. I guess we'll see whether that's where I'm meant to be next winter.

So a decent day, no? Tomorrow maybe I'll tackle the IRS. (Or maybe even tonight! Why not?)

Peach out, brothas.

*Another part of my issue with applying superlatives to my feelings: sometimes it feels a little dishonest, or something. Isn't that silly? But I feel like I need to mention that it wasn't only good--that there were not-that-great things that happened as well. I wouldn't want people thinking my day full of unadulterated pleasure when, in actuality, my eyes hurt a lot of the time, and I still owe a bunch of people/organizations money, and I'm not sure yet what the deal is with my car. Why are those things necessary to mention? Or I feel like I should point out that my moods, good or bad, usually last a few days. Sometimes longer. I think. Who knows? I don't judge time well. But dammit, today I feel good! And yesterday was pretty decent too, and the day before that was also downright good. Also: I am working on positive thinking, but obviously (can't you tell?) I've got some old habits I'm working on kicking to the curb.

**There's some really cool stuff in there! I mean, some pieces are pretty repetitive (for instance, the chapters and chapters, and chapters and chapters on salted fish and different processes for producing salt), but there's a lot on history and etymology and even ancient/old recipes, and on the whole it's pretty interesting. Today I read about the salt mine in Wieliczka, Poland where ancient miners carved everything out of salt. I know what you're thinking: duh, it's a salt mine. Of course everything is carved from salt. You don't understand. They've carved a ballroom, and an underground lake, and a chapel, and now (I think) even a spa down there, and everything in them is carved from rock salt. As in, the crystal chandelier in the ballroom is made of salt.

***For the funeral of my friend Johnny's grandfather. Luckily I found out about it just in time--the morning of. I hadn't seen Johnny in a while, and a few other classmates of ours were there too, and it was really nice to see them. Also, Johnny and Andrew (another classmate) have evidently just gone in on a boat together (don't ask me where the got the money; I have no idea. Parents, maybe? Not sure why they'd fund that, but whatever), and I have been vaguely offered a future ride on it, and they're talking about having a "Rejects" high school reunion party on the boat. Not that "rejects" would be a fitting title at all, particularly considering that the other two girls present for the conversation were pretty popular in high school, and Johnny was decently popular himself I think, but whatever. I'm pretty sure he's just referring to the fact that he tends to really dislike being around most of the people we went to school with.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Things I want, both serious and otherwise.

I want a workshop poetry class. I want the closeness of a tight-knit friend network, like I had in college and in high school and on the dive team in middle school, or even on the internet a time or two. I want to be writing. I want the relationship I'm in to be closer, and I want him to be happier.

In addition, I would appreciate not having to shower so much. I mean, I like being clean, and I like showers. But the mental energy expenditure it takes to convince myself to just get up and go take one is kind of a pain. Same goes for laundry, except that I don't much enjoy doing laundry. I do, however, enjoy having clean clothes.

Did I mention that I want someone to write poetry with? I really do. This is an issue.

(Sometimes I worry about writing overly personal/embarrassing things here, but then I remember that no one reads it except Sara, on occasion. What a relief...)

A giveaway!

Iva Messy is hosting an eco-friendly giveaway! Check it out.

Also: I am $200 away from having paid my TEFL class tuition in full. Good times.

3 Janvier

Today started out...not that great. Actually, I cracked my radiator pretty much first thing: a classic case of "too little, too late." I planned to drain the thing and put in more radiator fluid (it was filled almost entirely with water, and it was really cold last night) as soon as I got back from church. But I pulled into the church parking lot, drove about 100 yards, and then heard a pop and watched rather unhappily as a whole lot of steam began to pour out from underneath my hood.

Got a ride home with mom and slid under this heavy blanket of loneliness. Kelly's at the beach, Jr's at the beach, David nearly broke up with me yesterday, Sara's in L.A. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about it without sounding like I was trying to make them feel guilty. I cried some, from general stress I guess. But it passed after a while. I helped make lunch, and later dinner, and spent some time with my family. Talked to Taylor on the phone (very briefly), talked to her mother later (who, finally having met David, was full of praise for him), talked to David a while, texted and talked to Chris (Christina), with whom I have not spoken since Zach and Beth's wedding in June. That was really nice. Cleaned my room! I mean, compared to a truly clean room it's still a mess, but by my horribly low standards, it's kind of great. Far better than it was. For instance, I now have all of my sweatshirts (I hope) in one container, rather than two plus the floor. And all of my clothes (excepting those I haven't brought up from the laundry room) are hung up or put away, or in the dirty laundry basket. And... my books are in lots of piles, instead of strewn all across my room.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010: first reflections.

David visited for a few days somewhat before and then a few days after Christmas, around New Year's. Dammit, I'd marry him today if he would have me. But now that I have finally just, just given myself permission to fall in love with him (I mean, let's not rush things--we've only been together two and a half years), he doesn't want to get married anymore. I don't really understand why. He says he's not been the person he wants to be, and I know that when he's feeling bad, low on psychological energy I guess, thinking about this tears him apart. And he's uncertain of everything. He has been thinking about breaking up and if that's what he needs to do then so be it, but why? I don't understand. I feel like this is karmic payback for all the time/times he wanted to get married, and I was too busy being angsty and depressed to commit to even staying with him through the end of the week. We went for a walk today, and I was sure I'd be single by the time we got back to the house. I wasn't, and I'm not, but I've spent a lot of time today fighting off tears. I am ok, but sad.

The fact that I am ok though is an honest-to-God miracle*. My new strategy this new year for dealing with depression is, I guess, not to take it so seriously. I'll still feel sometimes, I am sure, as though life isn't worth the trouble, and everything is too heavy to carry. There will still be days when the air is so thick with despair that I can't breathe. But I am going to try not believing it. Not buying it. Deciding that despair is a lie.
(Resolutions: Be honest. Give yourself permission to be in love, to be angry, afraid, joyful, depressed... to feel, without embarrassment or despair. Do not live out of obligation.)

Tonight we went to my Godmother Susan's** annual Christmas party, and it was really nice. I talked some with my cousin (first cousin once removed, actually) Will, and he wants me to email him some poems. He is going to consider participating in the Friday-poems project I abandoned earlier in the fall. I talked with his kids too, Meghan (Chloe's age--18) and Tyler (15), and that was nice. And another cousin, Lee, was there with her husband Randy and their daughter Bella, who is four and adorable. She is sweet and seems homely at first (to me, anyway), but grows on you quickly. And she has such a forceful personality! I spent a good chunk of the evening reading and singing Christmas carols to her. She's a fun little girl. Not a lot happened. but it was really nice to be there. Nice to see people I haven't seen lately and don't see much. Fast away the old year passes. Happy new year.

*Yeah, no, for real. I am not-quite-continually shocked at the fact that I am not crumpling under the weight of the stress that would/should/could come from saying "no, but really, I want to marry you" to someone that doesn't want the same thing; someone who in point of fact is seriously considering leaving you. Holy crap, how am I still even breathing? But I am. I am still breathing. 

**She is so wonderful. And her husband (who I always called "Big Bill" as a child and now do not call anything, because saying "Big Bill" at the age of 23 just seems weird) is so sweet. There are pictures in their house of them when they were in their twenties. There is one taken at the river I think, where everyone is looking at the camera, but Bill is looking at Susan. I think he's looking at her in almost every picture. They were both so beautiful.
But the point of this footnote originally was to mention that she found some pictures today of us together when I was maybe four, on a day when we broke up stale bread and put it into a basket, and went and fed the ducks at Byrd park, and then went to Maymont and pet the goats. They are such a treasure. She gave some of them to me!

And I am still breathing. (!)