Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quote of the Day:

"Oh! I forgot to say she was an acidic Jew!"

-Chloe, referring to a woman, a Hasidic Jew, who died yesterday at 93. She has an estimated 2,000 descendants.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Big News!

I'm gonna be a godmother to baby Ian Hurlock!
I had a dream that my best friend called and said, not that she didn't want to be friends anymore, but that she didn't think we were friends anymore--and it was clear that she didn't mind. What a terrible way to wake up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

King of the hill, head of the list, cream of the crop at the top of the heap

A-number one absolute best iced cream treat ever:

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Friday, February 19, 2010

Best news ever: I don't have to work tomorrow! God, I love Fridays.

Today at work I began Under the Tuscan Sun again, and realized again how wonderful it is. There is something luscious and alive about Frances Mayes' writing, subject matter, voice. It made me feel more alive after reading it. It made me remember how much I love fruit. I know it's probably difficult to see a connection there, but evidently there is one.

Today also the ice that has been building between myself and Brian (ice of which he was probably completely unaware) was broken. The cracking began, actually, when I accidentally dropped a bucket on his head. Sometimes I get defensive, and then I get obsessive, and then I become ice woman. I'm glad it's melted a bit.

Today I went to an art opening with my mom, and some of the paintings were just stunning. I hope I can paint like that, someday. I guess I'll have to get over my fear of oil paints first, though, as most of the paintings I loved were oil paintings.

On the way home tonight I watched the moon, imagining different shapes around it. Usually the crescent moon looks like a swing to me, attached by an invisible string to the star that's always near it. Tonight though it looked like a thumbnail, like a luminescent cat's nose, like a sleepy eye, like an aircraft, like a wide grin. The last made me grin back.

I realized, too, that it's the same moon that's always been there. I mean, the same one that has always, always been there. Einstein watched that same moon. Galileo, Chief Powhatan, Copernicus, and Isaac Newton watched it. Caesar, Pilate, and Jesus watched it. Mohammad watched it. Rameses. Homer. Eve. It's kind of difficult for me to grasp.

In other news, my friend Aby posted a link to this super awesome (but unfortunately, still just conceptual as far as I can tell) stove of the future.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday(s) with Marie, which sounds very similar to Morrie.

The only thing I've eaten from my house today is an ice cream sandwich, just now. This morning Jack and Mom and I went out to breakfast/brunch at the Paradise Diner, and I got something other than steak and eggs! I am so proud of myself.* Then I worked through lunch time, came home and ate my breakfast leftovers, and then met Emily for dinner at Champp's. (Champps?) The spelling and the name are stupid, but the food was pretty good. I got a salad**--I am proud of myself again!

At breakfast, I was reading the Land O' Lakes single-serving butter package, and it said that the product within consisted of 44% vegetable oil spread, and 4% sweet cream butter. If anyone has any idea what makes up the other 52%, please speak up. All I know is that it's not trans-fats ("zero trans-fats!"), so I guess that narrows it down a little.

I hadn't realized it at first, but evidently before Jack's party someone put up the solar yard lights that my dad and I got for my mom last mother's day. They look alright, though they aren't very bright. They're sort of dim and orangey, but they show where the walkways are and such. My mom calls them "the Narnia lights," and she loves them, which makes me happy.

Also, we have the cars back! All of them! Hopefully we'll get a good seven days or so before one of them breaks down again--hopefully that'll be enough time to pay my uncle back for fixing them.

*I have a very hard time ordering breakfast food anywhere without ordering steak (medium) and eggs (over easy) with hash browns. So the three egg special with bacon and home fries this morning was a big step for me.

**It was a cobb salad. I have never had one of those before, but it was pretty good. Also, it reminded me of the famous line from Talladega Nights--"I found a whole rat in my cobb salad! Applebee's has rats!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Fabruary Day*

Yesterday I saw dirt in our yard for the first time in weeks. Close to a month, maybe.

Today was Jack's 21st birthday, and, of course, Fat Tuesday--better known as Mardi Gras. We had a family party, and decorated the house with streamers and balloons and Mardi Gras masks, and it was pretty great. Chloe and I have been painting, I painted a card for Jack, and then worked a little on the calendar for David. Most of these aren't finished, but here are some pictures of what I've done so far.







And Jack's card:

Also, here is a picture of one of my cousin Holly's adorable children, Lilly:

Lilly's next older brother, Zachary:

And the oldest brother, Sparks:

*title credit to Chloe

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend

I always have the urge to talk about issues I have with people here, rather than face-to-face with the person concerned. It's a fine line in a lot of ways. I'm trying to resist. Relatedly,

This past weekend had some really great moments and some really, really bad ones. Also some okay ones. Here's what I've realized upon reflection: I want to be romanced. I don't want to be obnoxious or high maintenance or anything like that, but every once in a while it would be nice to get some kind of surprise "I care about you so much I put this thing together to surprise you" type thing. Even surprise flowers.
I mean, I know that if I want that, I should be doing the same thing. And I do try, though I'm not great at it. A lot of the time if I do think of something of that nature, I'm so bad at keeping my mouth shut that I just have to tell the person (in this case, David) about it, and ruin the surprise. And then it's a lot less special. But I do try.

I still need to call somebody and set up counseling. How much does that kind of thing cost?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A slight cop-out.

Well I've clearly not been writing Friday Poems lately due to a recent severe lack of the ability to use words in a pleasing manner, but here's one I wrote in the spring of 2008, and just now reworked a little bit. Still applies. (Sigh.)

Desperate Measures

You can make a compass with a needle,
with some electricity, with a fork,
with a magnet.
I’ve even heard of a compass
made of a banana and some string.
A piece of fruit can find True North,
in a pinch.
If I were lost, and in need of assistance,
I could consult a snack food.
I am lost, and I’m too upset to eat anyway,
so here I stand
alone on the plane, banana in hand
and half-eaten sandwich on the ground,
pinning down its paper.
Standing here, completely unlaced,
I am squinting into the sun and waiting
for the wind to die down long enough
for me to ask a shoestring
and half my lunch
for directions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In honor of the previous post, number 111:

Alas, eleventy-one posts is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits.

I'd like to give the quote from the book, but I don't have that one memorized, Fellowship of the Ring isn't in the public domain (read: isn't searchable on google books), and I am far too fatigued to go find my copy/ies and dig out the quote. So.


I guess I've said this before, and I'll probably say it again. But when I get tired, it's a pretty short step down. I've been doing pretty well this past month keeping it together. A month without crashing seems like a pretty good stretch, though it's certainly not all been sunshine. For a while I've been able to just sort of snap myself out of it, but I am getting tired. I can't put my finger on what's different, but "snapping out of it" seems less possible lately. I guess it's probably getting to be time to make the call and go see somebody about it. I don't know. It just bothers me how short the step is between feeling tired but ok, and then feeling like my life is hopeless and I'll probably never live out my natural lifespan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things I wish I could get paid for vs. things I hope to get paid for.

Haven't felt much like writing lately--I'm sure you couldn't tell. Things are/have been alright, I suppose.

Just finished The Gathering Storm, which was omgamazing. And when I say that, I mean that I was giddy when I finished. I mean that I had to stop several times during the reading (usually I plow through like... a plow... and process everything as I go) to bask in the sheer joy of the moment. I mean that it was so good, I'm considering just starting it again from the beginning right now. My other option is re-reading another book in the series, and putting to use a few revelations I've had with regard to a few specific characters.

Also, I just interviewed for the swim coach position at the gym formerly known as Robius Sports & Fitness, and the guy said he'd let me know by early next week. That's irritating, and I'm used to being hired on the spot when I interview, but obviously the world doesn't usually work that way. So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for some extra income and a free membership to a gym that has everything.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Why is everything better when we're moving? Humans were made to move. We think better, breathe better, function better when we're in motion...but we resist it. Everything in our world is designed to keep us still. We travel by sitting in cars or boats or trains or planes. We entertain ourselves by sitting still and watching pictures move, or by sitting still and reading, or by sitting and talking.

I have noticed over the years and when I am moving as I talk, the conversation moves. It has a purpose, a point, a goal. It gets somewhere. When I move my body takes over and my mind takes as much of a backseat as it will stand. And that's great, because when it comes down to the basics of living, my mind has no clue as to what it's doing. My body understands, my body knows. My mind screws everything up. And that makes sense, because out of three brains, two are concerned with survival. From one (reptilian) to two (mammalian) to three (neocortex), the sections are increasingly superfluous. Ego, id, superego. Three's a crowd, right? Let's trash the superego. It screws everything up. I want to move, but superego (illogically, because everything in humanity is perverted somehow) says no, sit, stew, mull, contemplate. ROT. Body says move, and move I should. Superego says no. It's nice to dream neocortex, but I'd rather be sane.

I know this probably makes no sense. I probably won't be able to understand it when I read it later. But I need to move! I want to move! I feel so much better when I move! But something in me keeps me still. I throw up walls all around myself until I can't move at all, can't breathe, can't function. Even walking destabilizes them a little, and that is GOOD. So maybe the thing in me that keeps me still is another wall. Is protecting all the protections I've built up to entomb myself inside my own mind. Awesome. I want a sledgehammer for my birthday.

Other: I was babysitting for Hartley and Lael (both of whom I love) tonight, and Chloe came at 8:30 to take over, but I stayed to hang out with her. And I guess I'm glad I did, because even though we were reading our own books, we were sitting together, being together and talking occasionally. And I got to spend some time with H and L when they got home. And after we left their house I decided to walk home, and then to walk around the neighborhood a little while before coming inside. I just needed the motion. I needed the air. I needed the stars, but they are hidden tonight, behind a mask of clouds, which are illuminated by the pink-orange lights of the city. My mom always says the color is pretty, but it looks like vomit to me. I can't bring myself to appreciate the light pollution, and with the sky overcast it makes me claustrophobic. Sometimes it's hard to stand living in a place where you can't see the stars. It makes me ache for Jimmy and Missy's pond at night.

My point though was that I missed my chance to call David, about which I am feeling a little disappointed and a little guilty. I am just sorry, because he texted earlier and asked if I wanted to talk, and I did! But I asked if he would wait a while because I was spending time with Chloe. But then Lael and Hartley came back later than I thought, and I had forgotten that we always talk so long, and then I couldn't stand the thought of going inside or talking to anyone before I had walked a little, breathed a little, been alone with the air and winter and God a little. And then he texted me again, and said he needed to go to sleep, and I felt like the worst kind of self-centered little girl. It isn't okay for me to put him (or anyone) off like that. I am so sorry.

I wish things were simpler. It's so easy to romanticize nature, though I know it is often a cruel, eat-or-be-eaten world. Still, that's a simple rule. Sometimes I think I'd gladly sacrifice this weak and problem-riddled swiss cheese homo sapien brain for one that made more sense. For one that made any sense.

To quote "O Brother, Where Art Thou?,"
It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today, continued! (!!!)

Physical feelings of not-that-awesomeness have continued not-quite unabated throughout the day, but it's been handle-able. (Plethora of hyphens! I love the hyphenation phenomenon. The beautifully infinite possibilities of hyphenation.)

Sort of the way I love the (maybe?) social acceptability of my fastandloose interpretations of punctuation and spelling and, sometimes, grammar. (This is not to say that I will not almost unabashedly judge a habitually offending misuser of punctuation and grammar and spelling--one who misuses just because, rather than for any sort of effect. These abusers earn my righteous ire.)

I forgot my book when I went to work today, which made the day take a lot longer. But it also took longer because I was busy having a four and a half hour text message battle with some camper (?) who evidently has no life and too many snow days, and claimed to be named Beth (though there are no campers named Beth) and to be "a little older" than myself, and to know me, no, not to know me, no, to know "Chole," no, to be a stranger secretly using her friend's phone, etc. For a while it was entertaining, but by the end I just wanted to curse at her/him?/wtf ever.

ALSO, I'm not sure I mentioned this earlier--I'm interviewing for a second job on Monday, teaching swim lessons (and/or possibly life guarding)! Very exciting. PLUS, I have discovered that this job is at the very same gym ("jim," as John, who I ohsomissverymuch, would say) that is close to my house and which I have lately wished to join. (They have massages!) So hopefully I'll get hired and I'll get a free membership and I'll get discounts on things. (Read: discounts on massages.)
They also have an outdoor water park. Zomg.

Chloe came home tonight, as she does sometimes, upset about things that seem complicated. The gist of it is generally that she doesn't understand that she is awesome--she instead thinks that she is decidedly not-awesome, and she apologizes for things, and she worries that at any moment she may say something unintentionally revealing, and people will realize that she is insane, and the jig will be up, and no one will like her anymore or ever again.

Don't you miss highschool?

Anyway it makes me very sad, particularly considering how she is, objectively speaking, rather amazing, talented, smart, and wonderful. Not to mention good at stuff.

So if you pray or send positive thoughts/energy/what have you, please do so toward/for my lovely little sister Chole/Chloe/Cleo/[thousands of other alternate spellings/nicknames].
(Plethora of slashes! How I love the simple one-stroke conjunction/option-type thing.)

Have I ever mentioned how unhelpful it is for me to become mentally hyperactive right around bedtime? Also, how strange (I want to say disheartening, because it's so much more mellifluous and dramatic, but it isn't actually true. Or maybe it is a little) it is that this is now occurring at 11 pm, rather than 2 am, as it used?
What is happening to my youth???

Today thus far.

Found a rotten...piece of apple? In my room. It's about unrecognizable by now. The best part is that it wasn't even buried underneath anything--it's been sitting wrapped up in a grocery bag on my bedside table. But there's so much stuff on there that I guess that almost counts as being buried.

Went for a walk with mom before she went to work. Goal for the day accomplished! It was nice, though I wasn't feeling that great.

Got a call back about a swim instructor job I applied for yesterday! I'm going in on Monday to interview and oh my God, so exciting. I mean, if I take it (which I almost certainly will, if it's offered and workable), I'll probably end up being very angry and complaining a lot about how awful chlorine is again and how terrible the parents are and why in the world did I ever forget how much I did not want to ever work in a pool again, but you know what? I miss water, I miss moving, and I  miss kids. So from where I stand at the moment, I think I can handle a little chlorine. But my skin and hair will hate me.

Am eating leftover "Brazilian Chicken" that I made for dinner the other night almost all by myself. (My mother demonstrated how to cut a whole chicken into pieces.) My family was very complimentary, but it's just okay, in my opinion. The biggest issue is that the flavor is missing a kick. I mean there's a sort of spicy undertone/aftertaste (the cayenne, I guess?), but there isn't anything overt. Possibly it just needed more pepper.

I tried to pay a little toward college loans and the stupid website said the service was unavailable. How many times have I heard that? I think it's a conspiracy.

Okay! Time to go to work and cook some shrimp or something. Yesss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lack of productivity, rain, passive aggression, volte!

Okay, so today has been almost utterly worthless. Work was fine. Uneventful. Hung out with Colin for a little while after my shift ended and before going home, because what else was there to do? And he, my only friend at work, is moving to Oregon this month. Brian hired a new guy today. I researched (I use the term loosely) new jobs today. On CL, as always. I feel guilty about that. Why? I guess I don't want to leave Brian short, but he doesn't own me, and I never pretended to love fish.
Anyway, I came home after work and checked email and such, got off the computer with the intention of taking a nap, and my mom came home. We talked some, I put some groceries away, she asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I said "is later ok?" She said yes. I took a nap. She walked the dogs. This is not an attack on her--they needed to go out. This is annoyance with myself. Why do I never want to go outside? I almost always enjoy walks. Sometimes I love them. It is very rare that I regret having taken one. But still, I never want to go. I nearly always have to be dragged, threatened, provoked, or begged. What the hell is my problem? Am I ever going to get over this? So I napped, I got up, called Oxford Seminars to talk about rescheduling options for the TESL class (there are some, thank goodness), Chloe and Dad came home, we ate dinner, I got on the computer. I fucking STAYED on the computer. For hours. And now it's 9:34, and I am and have been bored as hell, and have done almost nothing today, much less gone outside or exercised. I am helping my dad grade papers, so that's something. I'm just very frustrated about it all. Someone take the internet away from me.

Possibly I should point out (to the detriment of the tmi meter) that this is probably at least partly due to PMS. Fml.

But, more positive things:

I called the Oxford Seminars people, and I don't have to cancel my v-day weekend plans. Yay!
I'm spending time with my Dad.
I am writing here*
I remembered to write David today and yesterday!**
I have a super duper sweet new jacket. My mom went to Sears Scratch-and-Dent yesterday (never having seen this place, I have no idea whether I spelled/punctuated that correctly) looking for a mattress, and she got us jackets! I honestly do not remember the last time I had a new, warm, non-hand-me-down jacket of my very own--so this is very exciting. Also, it is purple.
I am eating an orange.
I am going to take a hot shower and--hopefully--not run out of hot water 3/4 of the way through. 
           I will probably run out of hot water 3/4 of the way through, though. This seems to happen just about every time, despite my best efforts.
There was other stuff, I'm pretty sure, but I forgot it.

*sometimes, when no one leaves me notes, I decide that it would be a good idea for me to passive-aggressively (as though it impacts anyone other than myself) not write for a while. Actually, I decide that I should not write until someone leaves me a note, goddammit, but then eventually I give in.
**I decided that we should start up the writing-every-day thing again, because otherwise (imho) we don't communicate well. At all. I don't, anyway.