Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm a jerk.

Clearly I was up late last night, and far later than the time stamp on my last post would suggest, because after posting I stayed online for a while, and after closing the computer I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart around 1:30 am. We've needed groceries for days, but I kept running out of time or putting it off. I turned off my light shortly after 3 am. So this morning, when my door was pushed open at 8:30 am with an announcement of "Miley escaped" and a request for aid, my thought was pretty much "whatever. She'll get bored and come back soon." And that's usually the case. However, this morning she got into a fight with a cat underneath our neighbor's shed, and with increasing anger on both sides, I (in my defense, unaware of the fight) sleepily ignored another request or two to get up, get dressed and assist. My brother (Miley's actual owner, I'd like to point out) was called in. I heard none of this, but apparently she got pretty scratched up, and she is feeling quite subdued this afternoon. I am currently letting her snuggle in my lap for moral support, which makes her stop shaking and makes me feel a little bit less like a horrible human being.

I'm having a moment.

I'm having a "this is me! This is what I love!" sort of moment. I have these periodically--where I want to be around people who are great, where I feel like I am pretty great and I want people to know who I am. Not in an "I want to be famous" sort of way, but more that I want the people I meet to know what makes me "me," and what unique gifts I have to offer. Everyone has their own gifts. I want mine to be known to you. And I want yours to be known to me. Possibly this has to do with the fact that I spent a lot of time with my good and wonderful friend Anna yesterday evening, and possibly it also has to do with the fact that I have been watching the "Jessica's Daily Affirmations" video today.

My whole house is great. I can do anything good. I like my school, I like anything, I like my dad, I like my cousins, I like my aunts, I like my Allisons, I like my mom, I like my sister, I like my dads, I like my hair, I like my haircuts, I like my pajamas, I like my stuff! I like my room! I LIKE MY WHOLE HOUSE! My whole house is great, I can do anything good, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, *dance, dance* I can do anything good, better than anyone..."

It's pretty much the best. It's the best. It's the best ever. I'm going to go watch it again now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And this is why I love my facebook news feed.

Murder in the Time of Cholera pro bono investigation:
This is historically fascinating, and I don't have a problem with the author putting the "paranormal investigation" stuff into the article--but to end with it, as though that's the whole point and this is a glorified ad for "Ghost Hunters," seems a little extreme. And stupid.

The care and keeping of your introvert:
I am, as usual, interested to read an article on "how introverts are" vs "how extroverts are," and find that I fit into neither category. People make me tired, so I consider myself to be an introvert. But people sometimes make me feel energized in the short term, so I can appear to be an extrovert. I do not feel that I am shy, but I am often reserved upon meeting strangers, particularly groups of strangers. However, around people I know well, I can sometimes be gregarious to the point of obnoxiousness. I do tend to "think by talking (or writing)," which the author cites as an extroverted tendency, but I value my time alone, and I'll almost literally collapse if I try to go too long without it. Yes. Interesting.

Scientists create the first [stable] artificial leaf:
SCIENCE FTW. I am even more impressed with the fact that PopSci has (evidently) published an article on a scientific advance that has actually happened. The comments thus far on this article are pretty amusing, by the way.

Teen girl pistol-whips misguided mother for used sports car:
I just want to say, WTF. Not only that some girl actually pistol-whipped her mother for a used car, but that her mother did not press charges because she wanted to make sure that her sociopath of a daughter could still go to YALE. Or whatever other Ivy-League school. Has she even heard of priorities? What is WRONG with people?

"Safer Birth in a Barn" (speaking of mothers):
Obviously there are things that can go wrong with a birth, and I agree that it's good to have a doctor nearby in case of an emergency. In this article, which is about a horse, hence the barn setting, there is a vet nearby. The difference is in perspective, in motivation, in trust, and in respect. And, if you ask me, in idiocy. Thoughts?

Lastly, this. Jessica's Daily Affirmation:

Monday, March 28, 2011


First, I ought not to complain about cold weather. It was a nice good-bye walk with my winter walk gear--pea coat, soft wool scarf, red leather gloves and blue knitted cap--before I put it all away for the season. The last frost. The last night of misted breath beneath a perfectly clear, moonless sky.

Sara sent me a video of a band singing to a live, outdoor audience in a language I can neither identify nor understand. It was a sweet video though, which was why she shared it. There was a section in which people were hugging each other goodbye, and I thought, "I love hugs." In the Chrome search bar I typed " hug" and hit enter before taking Miley for a walk. Here is what I watched, and what I think I was semi-subconsciously looking for:

I love the whole "free hugs" movement. Is it a movement? If not, it should be. When we were sixteen, Kelly and I went to World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada, with a church group from somewhere in Virginia or Maryland. It was actually more like a week, and one afternoon we saw some Aussies cheerfully walking around with "free hugs" signs*, and soon decided to make our own. We loudly advertised our hugs to the passing crowd. I started keeping track, and I think we hugged something like 1400 people in an hour. Now I have the idea that I'd like to make another "FREE HUGS" sign and take it to the mall or the park, and either walk around with it or set it next to me on a bench while I read, and see what happens. Maybe I could make a free hugs t-shirt. There should be more hugging in the world.

Free Hugs Homepage. Hugs are good for your health, people!

*And thus began my love affair with all things Australian. Technically this is untrue, as I first heard of and wanted to visit the Australian continent whenI attended first grade in a "down under" themed classroom as a child. But WYD 2002 helped.

UNTITLED. Because I do what I want.

In what world is it acceptable for the outside temperature right now to be 28 degrees? Miley and Faith and I are all curled up warmly in front of the wood stove, and that's great. but very soon I am going to have to take Miley outside. I'm not looking forward to it.

On another note, here ( is a really awesome program that I bookmared yages ago and then completely forgot about. It is awesome. I think I might buy it, if only to support sheer awesomeness on principle.

Speaking of buying, I did not buy any Leona Lewis albums after all. I did buy a couple (a few?) of her songs.

Also, I'vce realized that (I think) that yesterday's reference to Marcus was the first I'd posted here, and it was negative. That's not really the impression I want to give. Marcus is super cool. I just, you know, suck at communicating with people I haven't known since infancy. It's an issue.

LASTLY, I just want to say that almost all of the above was typed without looking at the screen, because I am comfortable and don't feel like picking my head up off my arm. This would make more sense if you realized that I am literally lying on my stomach on the floor in front of the wood stove. Anyway, this is why I put the "write or die" link in parenthesis instead of as a hyperlink, and this is also why there are typos--because I am proud of there not being many, and I have therefore decided to leave the typos that I couldn't correct without looking because, you konw, there aren't that many.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oh, right.

It's been a while since I've dealt with my habit of emotional subduction. Or rather, I deal with it all the time, but I generally deal with it in solitude. It's been a very long time since I considered the addition of another variable--another person. And when I am just floating along in my solitary state I sit around and daydream about connecting with other people--but then when I try to let other people get closer, I begin to remember the difficulties, and the hoops I put everyone through, including myself.

I wish it were warm enough to go swimming in the river, or to drive up to the mountains and jump off redneck rock in Goshen Pass, or dive into the lake at Douthat. I'd even settle for a chlorinated pool right now. I just crave the feeling of slicing through the water, holding my breath and diving down deep, and being held and borne up by that viscous cool blueness.

For a while now I've loved Leona Lewis's song "Better In Time," and I just went to watch the video on Youtube before buying the song on Itunes. And then I went to watch another of her videos. And then another. I think I may buy her album in a moment. Or one of her albums? I don't know how many she has--I just really like her.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I'm surprisingly tired tonight, and I'm babysitting so I can't sleep and can't do much of anything else either, and it seems like I've been jumping from one topic to another in my mind. Being bored. Being upset about Marcus. Being upset with Marcus. Missing David. Missing R-MA. And now, missing Camp. So much. I miss the greenness and the water. The tall trees standing so close together, and the dusty gravel on cabin row, and the cool stream running straight through the middle of Camp, always ready and waiting to cool feet, to rinse caving clothes, to facilitate a swimming lesson, to host an Alkulana Challenge, to act as a meditation garden for a midnight swim. And the sound of the creek is omnipresent, and the green of the trees is everywhere. At lunch in the dining hall, you can look up at the ceiling and see the sunlight reflected off of the creek below. And the water is so clear that you can stand on the bridge and look down and watch the fish swimming over the rocks, and the crayfish moving cautiously through the pebbles. I miss the blackberries that grow in the patches of sunlight that fall onto the path back toward little lodge, and I miss the rope swings and the bullfrogs calling and the canoe trips more than I can say. I love sleeping every night with nothing more than a screen between me and the night air, with the moon shining down onto my face, and the water music floating up the hillside, and the night breeze blowing through the trees above the roof, and the sweet sounds of children sleeping a few feet away. I miss the slamming of screen doors, and I miss pulling on muddy jeans and tennis shoes for caving, and I miss rushing to get the kids ready for their next adventure. I miss the bats in the night sky, and the sun setting over Jenny's little garden. I miss the rocking chair on Beth's porch, and I miss being able to walk down to the water with a bathing suit and a floatable bar of Ivory soap and just take a bath, if the showers were full.  I miss morning and evening staff meetings--I miss working with such wonderful people, and planning such great things for the kids. I miss paddling a canoe and singing Disney songs with Ryan at Lake Moomaw, and I miss swimming in the lake. I miss swimming in any lake--now Ouachita.

This past summer was so hot that the water in that lake felt like a bath, so we'd take deep breaths and drop down as deep as we could stand, just savoring the only taste of coolness we'd be able to find for hours. I miss the nights we stayed up for hours and hours playing Texas Hold'em, whether in the cabin or at a concrete picnic table by the water. I miss lying in my hammock in the hot summer shade. I miss the night I spent on the air mattress next to Chloe, and us next to Lenny and Larry and Ryan and Zyrone and Zorrell and Kim and Meghan, all sleeping quietly but me. Once I gave up on the idea of sleep it was beautiful to just lie back and listen to the thunder from across the lake, and watch the lightning flash. It was the only dawn I've ever watched all the way through. I've said before that dawns are not like sunsets, and it's true. We all know sunsets, I hope, but dawn seems so much slower. The moon sets, and midnight's bright stars begin to go out, one by one. Soon the darkness seems less complete. The tree shapes blur, then sharpen against the sky, and color slowly seeps back into the world. Then you blink, and realize that the sky is bluer, and that the East is lightening slowly. Once this happens, regardless of whether the sun has actually risen above the horizon, it's soon bright enough to be called day. On that morning, Pup came out and looked over his field of sleeping grandchildren with pride and satisfaction, and took a picture with a disposable camera. I heard the click and crank of the plastic. I love that man.
And after I got up, I walked down to the water for a goodbye swim, and a high, complete rainbow arced over the lake, delicate and perfect.

I miss the green and blue and brightness of it all. I miss the warmth and the wetness. I am ready for summertime.

Not much here.

I'm wearing red: red shirt, red nails, red bag, red roses on my hoodie. And sometimes lately it feels like I can't speak or write without drawing blood. Without messing something up. It isn't the best feeling I've ever had.

Brian, my boss via the tutoring company for which I work, still does not know whether this program of seven week math tutoring is going to make. I will, therefore, go ahead and sign up for WSI (water safety instructor) training. The WSI is for Camp--evidently there's a new ACA requirement that there be a person with a WSI certification present at all times. And Beth says that I am in as head counselor, but she isn't sure exactly when. A few friends of mine also applied who would do a great job, so she's figuring out who she needs to use for what sessions, etc. And apparently I'll be the token WSI person, for part of the summer at least.

Joy to the world, all the boys and girls. Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I love the way this little dog's big black eyes shine at me out of the gloom of the darkened living room. She says that it's really past time for a walk. She is correct, but she'll be okay for a few more minutes.

I've been substitute tutoring this week at an elementary school across town, and it's been great. Really great. I've never tutored in math before at all, but these kids--two in fourth grade and one in fifth--were working on multiplication tables and elapsed time/algebraic expressions, respectively. I've discovered this week that work sheets are really not helpful, and can actually be a hindrance. I've discovered this week that encouragement and a smile can go a long, long way. I've also discovered that there are a lot of uses for Phase 10 dice and cards. One boy had worksheets left over from previous tutoring sessions, and he mainly worked on those. He made some progress, but not a huge amount. The other fourth grader came in knowing almost no multiplication at all--she had been described to me as having the most trouble with it--and spent most of each of our two sessions playing multiplication games with the dice and cards, and left today being able to give me quite a few answers to questions. She knows 6 x 6. She knows 8 x 8 and 9 x 9 and 6 x 5 and many others. She knows how to multiply tens now, and elevens, and she's starting to learn the logic of multiplication. The third girl, in fifth grade, never really had very much trouble that I could see with algebraic expressions, and she made progress in her understanding of elapsed time. She was the best worker in the group though, and as such probably received the least attention: and that right there is the biggest reason I prefer one-on-one tutoring, and one-on-one interactions in general. I absolutely loved working with these three children this week, but I would have loved even more the opportunity to work with each individually. There is an energy in small groups, though, that is hard to find elsewhere. I guess there are advantages and disadvantages to everything. It was a wonderful experience.

Pro tip from today: small children love balloons. I mean, they really love them. Do you remember that? I'm not sure I do, but I love seeing it. The magic of those soft, floaty, brightly colored orbs isn't easy to describe. The three kids I was sub tutoring this week mentioned on Tuesday that their usual tutor had talked about bringing cupcakes on their last day--today. I didn't really want to bring cupcakes and ran out of time anyway, but I remembered that I had some balloons in my bag-o-tutoring-supplies, left over from the days that the only way to get Layla to write letters was to let her write them in sharpie on a balloon. I thought that they'd be disappointed by this trade, but I figured that it would be better than nothing.

But no--they were so excited about the balloons. And then some of the kids from other groups wanted balloons. And then some kids in the hallway saw me walking with one, and asked if they could have balloons. And there is just something really wonderful about making kids happy in such a simple, easy way. And then one little boy asked me whether I was a balloon fairy, and suddenly the whole world sparkled.

Just an observation

This whole "having a social life" venture might be fun, but it's rather exhausting thus far. And that's all I have time to type right now. Going to be late to my aunt's if I'm not careful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Firefox, for a change.

I had forgotten about the storms forecast for tonight, and Miley and I stepped out into a drizzle and walked through the gently growing rain. We went down to the creek, and it sounded like summertime. The water was swollen with the beginnings of its wet season wealth, and I could hear a frog calling a little up the way. Miley splashed through the stream and I remembered again how much I love the sound of feet walking through water.

We left the woods after a few minutes and walked on up the street, and I loved the rainy midnight shine of porch light on slate walk. I loved the cool-not-coldness of the air and the raindrops. And now I'm exhausted, and still have not done laundry. And won't. Goodnight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The city is blooming. Everything is green and white and pink, and the streets are blowing with flower petals. Spring is great.

Another pet peeve regarding spelling and vocabulary.

Peak: the summit; highest point.

Peek: to sneak a glance.

Pique: to wound, to excite, to provoke to action.


Take a "sneak peak." I really don't care if you like the symmetry. You can't spell and you just lost some of my respect.

Have your interest "peeked" or "peaked."

I can't say that I've seen many misuses of "pique," because people just seem to be entirely unaware of its existence. The smell of your favorite food piques your interest, people. You climb to the peak of a mountain, or reach the peak of activity. You take a sneak peek, for God's sake.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sara sent me knitted slipper bootie things! And they are purple. And I love them.


I had my first giddy glimpse of new green foliage as I crossed my favorite bridge this afternoon, and as I parked, a spring breeze blew pink flower petals into my open window.

Playing catch-up.

I need a haircut. I have split ends, but I don't think that's ever made me go get a cut. The issue now is that my hair is long enough that it's beginning to get on my nerves.

I thought Food Lion was supposed to be 24 hours, and I was counting on it being 24 hours last night when I suddenly got a crazy apple juice jones at Kelly's house around 11. I can't really explain that. We were watching The Big Bang theory, and Sheldon poured himself some juice, and suddenly I just had to have some. I knew the Wal-Mart near where I'm house sitting would close at midnight, and the one near my house was further out of the way than I wanted to drive, so I went to Food Lion. And it was closed. Luckily, Walgreens was still there for me, and only a little bit farther* up the road. They only had the small individual bottles, but that was okay. I got two of A.J. and one of apple cran raspberry, the existence of which I had never suspected. I haven't tried it yet. I'm a little worried about it.

This is only about a 50-50 chance right now, but Sara might be able to come with me to Festival International. I don't think it's possible for me to explain how awesome that would be.

This one I've been forgetting for a week: Layla wrote a book! She had an assignment for school to write a five-page book with a sentence and a drawing on each page--but she'd never written a sentence before. She and I started and she finished with her mom and grandmother. She sounded out and wrote (and illustrated, of course) "Princess Jasmine walked home. The prince went to meet her. She stopped to look at the birds. They met and lived happily ever after. Then they had a beautiful baby girl." The story is called "Anastasia's Life." In case you don't know or don't remember, Layla is just barely six.

I'll miss the stark drama of the bright moon and bare trees, but the full and lush branches of the summer months have their own magic. Right now it's easy to tell by looking up through the sharp silhouettes of the midnight trees which ones gauge seasons by daylight, and which by temperature. The tips of so many tree branches are swelling with new growth or buds or even flowers, but there are still a few holdouts standing dormant among the fallen petals, knowing that this freakishly warm weather isn't necessarily the equivalent of spring. They will wisely wait until the days have actually lengthened enough to justify using their stores of energy to put out leaf buds.

As much as I love the flowering trees, it seems a little odd to me that there are so many that are flowering right now. I would have thought that natural selection over the years would have at least shifted the balance in favor of those that wait for more daylight. Maybe this is because (sometimes) getting a head-start on the other trees gives the flowering trees enough of an advantage in terms of reproduction to keep the balance (apparently) in their favor. Or maybe there just isn't as much of a difference in survival rates as I feel like there should be.

*No, I have not learned the difference between farther/further. I should, and I've considered it, but usually when I've looked for it I've found "it's complicated and nobody pays attention to that stuff anymore, so you shouldn't worry about it." I'm not sure whether I've ever actually seen the information laid out, but I guess if I have, I didn't spend enough energy to memorize it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From both sides of the border.

Written in the early afternoon:

The things I have evidently not been allowing myself to remember to talk about are building. I'm in such a terrible mood today. I'm so disappointed in myself--in my actions, in my thoughts, in who I am.

Don't worry, I'll probably stop being so emo soon.

But I miss David today, which, to be frank, is awful. Off and on I've been missing being-in-a-relationship, obviously, but today my brain jumped to him without permission, and I started yelling profanities in the car.

I am considering the idea of listing things with which I am running out of patience.

Written in the early evening:

As I had hoped, the bad mood has lessened with the progression of the day, with work, with the eating of thin mints and the enjoyment of NPR. The level of deliciousness present in the common thin mint cookie simply defies reason. It doesn't even make sense how tasty they are.

It occurred to me as I walked down those exterior stairs into the basement where I've been painting that, although an argument could be made that this was just a "bad day," such an argument should not be made. Yes, Augie threw up some small pieces of plastic this morning. Yes, I was late to church for no reason. Yes, my brain jumped to David and yes I've been sinking energy into this one obnoxious-as-hell Godforsaken website (not blogger, of course) for a week or two and I'm getting sick of it, but those things should not be allowed to dictate my mood. And they don't. I dictate it. I am in charge. It's a good thing to remember.

Currently I'm waiting for Augie to digest his dinner for a little while before taking him for a walk, then I'll be heading to Kelly's. I've been unintentionally flaky and obnoxious toward her this weekend, and she is so forgiving. I don't deserve it. Why does she like me, again?

Also, please, for the love of God, do not ever let me get a dog. I do not want a dog. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever, f-ing ever. They're sweet and everything, but for me, the walking and the feeding and the poop-scooping and vomit-cleaning and the inability to leave them for any length of time and the vet's bills and the training and so on are so not worth it. Not even close to worth it. Also, I loathe puppy eyes. The dominance of this part of me varies depending on my mood and level of fatigue and so on, but it is always there.

Lastly, and unrelatedly, I love poetry. Some of you people who are theoretically reading this probably already know that. Apparently April is National Poetry Month here in the states, which I've probably realized before but never bothered to try to remember. It's awesome though. Awesome. This information courtesy of nateshorb.

In honor of all this and also because I just now remembered, here's a poem that this morning I was thinking of posting. It is by John Donne. You may recognize it. It's been my anthem off and on for a long time now.

Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for, you
as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
that I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurped town, to another due,
labor to admit you, but oh, to no end,
reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
but is captived, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly "I love you," and would be loved fain,
but am betrothed unto your enemy:
divorce me, untie, or break that knot again;
take me to you, imprison me, for I

except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

(Sonnets FTW. Traditional paragraph breaks inserted by me for ease of reading/decoding.)

Okay and lastly for real this time, whilst typing the above and deciding on a case-by-case basis whether to preserve or update archaic spelling and punctuation, I was reminded of this most excellent song by a band known as Vampire Weekend:

Aside from the excellence of the music, I would like you to note the fact that this entire video is one continuous shot.

There should be more introspection.

I mean, isn't that the point of all this?

Things (not introspection) :

As I took a break from my painting and consumed a grilled cheese sandwich this afternoon on the steps, I watched a sweet, scrawny little spring robin scoot around the yard. He looked a little scruffy, and he reminded me of a meerkat the way he'd run forward a little way, stand up straight, look around suspiciously, then make a few furtive pecks at the ground before scooting off in another direction.

Here is what I was taking a break from:

Do you know how hard I worked to not screw up that manicure today? Really hard. 

Before painting, I met my family (that is, my mother and almost all of her siblings and their spouses/significant others) at a local coffee shop for breakfast. I was informed of this gathering only last night, but it's my youngest uncle's birthday, so I stopped by for a few minutes before work. I wasn't thinking and I left my camera in the car, but took this with my phone:

It didn't come out extremely well, but this is balanced by the fact that if it were a good picture, i.e. a picture taken with a real camera, you wouldn't be seeing it. You know I never upload photos from my actual camera. That is way too much work.

I love the birthday gatherings my aunts and uncles hold for one another. I love that I have a mother who tells me about these things and includes me in them.

Hey, apparently, now that it's past midnight, today is the first day of spring. Isn't that exciting? It is. It is exciting.

Introspection just seems to slip my mind lately. It wanders in, but by the time I sit down here, the train has left the station.

Somebody date me. I say this as though I just gladly jump into relationships when they're offered. SIGH.

I have been noticing lately that in my writing there are words that just don't seem to stand out enough. I'm trying to think of a way to make this make sense, but maybe it's not even a real issue anyway. Maybe I just don't notice them because when I read back over something I've written, I skim a little bit. It's just that I've noticed that there have been important words that seemed to disappear between those around them, and get lost in the confusion. Maybe I'll work on this.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Once again, my train of thought has left the station without me.

So in lieu of whatever it was that I was going to say, here's a link to my profile on that terrible website on which I recently made a profile. I am getting so sick of this site, but I just deleted my "about me" and replaced it with insect trivia, which amuses me.

I spent over seven hours today painting. Did I mention that? Not even with paint. With block filler. Like, on cinder blocks, which were largely covered with cobwebs despite our recent power washing adventures. Seven hours. Awesome.

And now, Mexican food, sucka.


I mentioned extraordinarily early spring flowers the other day, yes? Well today the temperature (on my car thermometer, anyway) hit 91. On March 18th. It was odd to drive with the windows down and not feel any lessening of the temperature inside the car. It was odder still to be doing so with a winter coat on the floorboard of the passenger seat, and to know that I'd probably be wearing the coat again within a week.

Chloe and I went back to Carytown--

Oh yes, I never posted that did I? Thursday Chloe and my mom and I used our massage-and-manicure vouchers from Christmas. Now my nails are red and awesome. While waiting for our turns to be rubbed down and painted, Chloe and I went to Ten Thousand Villages and commenced drooling over scarves and such. So today we went back with (on my part, at least) scarf purchases in mind. I dissuaded myself though, and bought a messenger bag and a change purse/wallet that looks like an owl. It is rather adorable.

My mother sang in a concert performance tonight of John Rutter's "Requiem," so we all (except my brother, who was working) went. Relatedly, I have made a mental addition to Dream House Extraordinaire: a singing room. Or a music room, whatever. This doesn't necessarily mean a room to play musical instruments in so much as it means a room with COMPLETELY AWESOME acoustics. I'm such a sucker for them. When I was exploring ruins alone in Scotland I found myself in a domed stone room and I couldn't help but sing. And then (tonight) I remembered the acoustic "echo spots" at Mary Wash and decided that maybe, in addition to the singing room, there should be sweet acoustics hidden all over the house. Yes. Yes, there should.

I have forgotten what else I meant to write, as usual, and also as usual I don't really feel like uploading pictures. (Don't be too disappointed, dearies--just cell phone pictures of things I bought and considered buying at the store.)

It's nearly 1 am again, so goodnight.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What the F

Why the crap am I still awake? Somebody please explain to me why the hell I'm still awake. I'm a moron.

Still feeding my addiction to that stupid POF website. I'm a sucker for low-pressure email friends. And it's like Lays. No, not that you can't eat just one--more that (generally speaking) they were never very good, but you just can't stop eating them anyway, because they're crunchy and greasy and give you something to do. It's an issue. Somebody smack me. I should just go hit on guys at the gas station instead. I considered doing this, the other day, but drove off before the plan was fully formed in my mind. (Read: wimped out.)

My Bon Ami du Festival stuff came in the mail today: shirt, sticker, handwritten note, and membership discount card. FTW. I'm too tired though to be all that enthused about it. How strange.

There's more to write, but dammit, it's 3:15. Forget it. Goodnight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The treeflowers are blooming. And it's beautiful. But it's March. I find this a little bit worrisome.

I don't have anything deep on introspective coming to mind to write, but here's what I'm up to:

Tutoring, as usual. I may be dropping (/being dropped by) one client at the end of the month, though. I guess the chemistry just isn't there, and the expectations are not clear. Or, possibly, she just expects her son to suddenly be an excellent writer and speller, despite the fact that he's ten (eleven?), has ADD, only works with me two hours a week, and doesn't spend even all of those two hours focused on writing. I can work with him on homework, or I can work with him on writing. It's difficult to effectively do both. Anyway, I hope he gets or has gotten something out of it.

I'm pet sitting for my aunt--taking care of her big, demanding, energetic dog. He's sweet, but he's definitely a handful.

This morning I went to work for Rick and learned to use a pressure washer. I always claim to have "learned" to do things that require absolutely no skill whatsoever. ("I learned to use a chainsaw, guys! You have to hold down the trigger and then put the spinning blade of death against some wood. Highly technical stuff.") I moved a whole bunch of plywood and pallets and lawn care equipment and several cabinets and such away from the basement walls, then we hooked up one end of the hose to the utility sink and another to the pressure washer, and plugged it in, and went. We massacred a lot of spiders and cave crickets today. I felt sort of bad for them. While I was moving everything away from the walls, it occurred to me to ask Rick whether he had any plans for covering the electrical outlets and, you know, fuse boxes, while we sprayed the walls. No, this had not come up during the planning. I asked whether we could duct tape some plastic around this stuff, but there was neither duct tape nor plastic on hand. So we held a small plastic tub over whatever outlet was nearest to the spray at any given time, and I, at least, kept my fingers crossed. We did have one outlet that needed to be reset, but there were no casualties. Thank God.

And now, dog walking time. I can tell because he just barked for ten minutes without stopping. (Don't judge me. He was outside all morning until 1:30.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Junior came to the movies too, which was awesome, but did not see Red Riding Hood with us. He said that it would be just like Twilight. We said it would not. He was correct, which was kind of a shame. 

None of us (except Kelly and Jr, anyway) had seen each other in what felt like ages, so we hung out in the theater parking lot for a while before going home. I missed them. I missed seeing them and being with them. Taylor makes me so happy, especially. And I missed Junior's hugs. He gives the best hugs of pretty much anybody ever.

Of course, there was that time while Jr and I were playing foot-stomp that a car full of teenage morons drove away and then yelled racial slurs back at Junior. He shrugged it off, because that's how he does things, but I really wished I had a javelin to throw into their car. Or, you know, a grenade. What the F is wrong with people? Seriously? I can't even express how angry and upset this makes me. He's one of my best friends and he's so much fun and he's a truly great guy--but you're going to say the most insulting thing you can think of to him--not even say it to him, but yell it from your car window as you drive away--just because he's black? Fuck you. You're a fucking moron.

Um, but other than the remembering of that, it's been a pretty good weekend. Seeing everybody really was great. And Chloe's home from school for a little while. And I finally caught up on my sleep. And the weather today is wonderful, even if I didn't go enjoy it properly at the river or in the woods or at a park. I'll have time later in the spring, and later this summer. AND IN LAFAYETTE. (I finally bought my tickets. Did I mention that? I'm going, suckas. Going alone again, but it'll still be good. I feel like it would be difficult for Festival International to not be good. I'll just have to be more careful this time about removing my contacts after a crawfish boil. For reals. I'll bring my glasses this time, just in case.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This is a problem for the temporal lobe.

I love V8. Not unrelatedly, we are out of V8.

I keep just sort of not feeling like eating this week, and then not noticing until the end of the day that I've hardly consumed anything besides water. Probably I should cut that out. For example, today: 3 slices of pizza at Chuck E Cheese; the end of the bottle of V8. I am considering some ramen. Or a sandwich. One, of course, requires more steps than the other. HMMM.


I would like it to be known that, despite the number of steps involved, I make a really killer ham and turkey and cheddar and lettuce and onion and tomato and sliced pickle sub sandwich. It probably could have used a little more pickle though. Every sandwich needs some crunch.

And now: on to see Red Riding Hood with Taylor and Kelly and Maggie. I am into conjunctions today, okay?

Life Lesson.

Actions really do speak louder than words. Be careful, baby. Sometimes things get broken.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It rained all night and has rained all of today, and it is wonderful. It is a beautiful, soft, gentle rain. I've been house sitting for Sara's parents this week, and not much of interest has happened that I wanted to talk about here, so if anyone has been frustrated with the lack of communication (doubtful), then that's why. But this rain--I've left the sliding door in the kitchen open all day to let the fresh air in, and gone wandering barefoot in the back yard a few times. There's a pretty excellent puddle down at the other end of the house. And the small fishless fish pond at the corner of the patio is filled right up to the brim, with the water gently lapping against the moss that grows around the edge. It is lovely. I can't even tell you how much I love the sound of my feet stepping into the water, by the way--the excellent puddle or the little pond. It is a gorgeous sound, and it sounds like summer evenings at the swim hole in the mountains. This one:

Vague and Unhelpful.

It does sometimes seem really to be an inevitable law of the universe: what goes up must come down. And not just float gently back down, but often crash, and for no easily discernible reason. Probably it's a week's worth of fatigue and a day of low blood sugar ganging up on me. Possibly I should go to bed. WE SHALL SEE.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And now, a few messages from Buttercup Festival.

Poor little vacuum! They didn't mean you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday near migrainey

House sitting has begun! All of a sudden it's 18x more difficult (once again) to convince myself to go paint. With rollers. I hate rollers. Also my head hurts. NEGATIVITY.

Online dating friend-making... oh I'm such a loser. It hurts me even to type references to this out loud. Also there are a surprising (not surprising maybe, but in order to shield my faith in the human race from annihilation I will endeavor to convince myself that I am surprised) number of people who can't write, spell, punctuate*, or carry on a conversation via text. Who expects to make friends with email exchanges like "hey" "How was your weekend?" "bad" "Oh, I'm sorry, that sucks. What was so bad?" "I had to work all weekend"

Yeah I totally want to hang out with you now. I'm not saying lie, I'm just saying converse. I mean, how old are you? Jeez.

Also: I didn't quite mention yesterday, and feel the need to mention today, that I did not intend to make this profile. I intended to just sort of wander around for a few minutes whilst I waited for my babysitting job to end and convince myself that there were, indeed, a handful of people worth talking to in Richmond. Sort of a mental pep-talk. But then I wasn't allowed to see more than three or so profiles without making my own. So I made my own. This is exactly what happened with xanga and facebook and blogger and plants vs zombies. If that's not foreboding, I don't know what is.

I wish I had something to say that was interesting and mostly, extremely wish there were something unrelated to it-which-must-not-be-named, but though my Sunday was relatively enjoyable, it didn't consist of much that would be fun or interesting to write about. The rain was nice, though. The rain was lovely actually. I spent some time wandering around the backyard and dancing in it and standing barefoot in puddles. The rain picked up though in the evening. And it's sort of incredible how quickly wind can transform the world from mud-luscious and puddle wonderful to just cold and wet and nasty. There was a certain charm though to the cold windy wetness, once I adjusted to the temperature. It began to feel less like cold nastiness and more like raw swirling wind-whipped energy.

Now, though, aside from telling myself that I should be painting with rollers, I am drinking water in an attempt to dissipate this headache, watching lovely spring birds play outside the window, and whittling away my self-respect online. (It happens.)

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little lame baloonman 

whistles       far       and wee 

and eddyandbill come 
running from marbles and 
piracies and it's 

when the world is puddle-wonderful 

the queer 
old baloonman whistles 
far       and       wee 
and bettyandisbel come dancing 

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and 


baloonMan       whistles 

*Seriously--it is really bad. Does a space count as punctuation? Because there are spaces in the middle of words, and there is an obscene amount of punctuation that is just entirely MIA. It... it hurts me a little.

**Evidence of a headache: " wish I had something interesting to say that was interesting." Let me know if there are any other ridiculous typos that I've missed.

More evidence:

I just realized that my shirt is on inside out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy independence day.

This, the sixth day of March, marks one year from the day that we hugged and then said goodbye. I am not sure how I feel about this. It varies.

It was suggested by my grown-and-married friend Lael that I do something to celebrate this day--something that I can do because I'm single. I couldn't really think of anything other than random hookups, and I don't really do random hookups. (Incidentally, she did suggest going to pick up some random guy at a bar. I don't even go to bars, much less pick up strange men. I think I was in a bar once in college, and my five-year reunion was at a bar, but I'm not sure that counts.)

So I've decided that I will celebrate/mark this day by enjoying it and feeling good about myself. Possibly this will involve taking myself to a nice restaurant. I'm sort of in the mood for Italian ice, but I'm not sure we have a good Italian ice place in Richmond. Anyway, hopefully I'll figure something out. However! Even if I don't go eat nice food, I am set on enjoying March sixth and feeling good about myself. I have decided that I will wear my favorite underwear, which, in case you were wondering, are not that interesting except that they have stars. I planned to wear my favorite skirt as well, but then I realized that I don't have one. It was going to be a day of favorite clothes until I realized that I don't have favorite clothes, except for the stars thing. So. Yes.

Tonight, as it was/is after midnight and so I am obligated to enjoy today and feel good about me (darn) I ate a Hershey's special dark chocolate bar with Lael and worked on my dream home description* and The List (which I have made because people keep telling me to, though I can't ever remember what's on it), then came home and finished the last few sips of somebody's sweet white wine and ran out the door with Miley. Luke had been texting, but texting ruins my night vision and I haven't walk-talked for a long time, so I called him and we talked for 25 minutes or so, until I got home. I tried to find the rest of the wine, but I suspect that the bottle may have been finished. I disapprove of this. I guess I might just have to go get another bottle of whatever it was. And now I am writing this. Also, I am making a profile on one of those crappy free dating sites because a) I am bored and b) it has occurred to me lately that I have no idea what kind of people are in this town, because I never talk to anyone. I don't want to find some random person to date online, but I would like to look at a cross-section of the community. And apparently you can only look at four profiles before having to make your own. Lame. So there that is. Someday I should figure out how many profiles I have created and abandoned on various websites. Quite a few. It would be interesting to do a study and figure out how much server space is wasted by such ghost profiles. I mean, on the one hand, it's sort of nice that the blog I made in seventh grade is still there, and I can go look at it even if I've long since forgotten the password and lost the attached email account--but on the other hand, collectively, these things are a huge waste of resources. I wonder at what point it will become a big enough issue that companies will start clearing them out. Think how much money could be saved, and how much space could be freed up! Man.

*New additions: pool room and pool room; laundry chute; dumbwaiter (strong enough to hold people); possible secret passages/tunnels; pulley-operated message system to the tree house; cupola and/or tower(s); angry room (which I've described before but don't feel like describing now, esp since it makes me sound even more insane than usual), and a "making cool shit" room.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I love V8 juice. I love the taste, I love the texture, and I love that I feel good about myself when I drink it--because it's made of vegetables and fruit. I used to have a near-obsession with orange juice, but since my body had decided that it isn't okay with things that are as acidic as orange juice, V8 has gained favor. The fact that it's made with tomatoes helps. I am crazy about tomatoes.

Other things I love, in descending order:

My cousin Sara. We hardly ever hang out, but she is fabulous. We hung out tonight--I was going to go over there to watch a movie, but I stayed for six hours, just talking. We're much more similar than I had realized. Hopefully this mutual realization will lead to us actually spending real time together outside of family gatherings.

Easy A. We watched it tonight. It's kind of stupid in a lot of ways, and I definitely wouldn't want to watch it with certain people, but I loved the wit. And I loved the girl's family in the movie, particularly the father.

And now, at this ridiculously late hour, I am finally going to sleep. Adieu, internet! Until we meet again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


because I always forget what I want for my birthday and my birthday is coming up (sort of in the way it's always "almost" a little kid's birthday) in a couple of months, here is the beginning of a running list. Iwant:

-This dress. Is it flattering? Almost certainly not. Ask me if I care.

-This scent. (In whatever incarnation.) And the other tomato scent they sell on the site. (One is leaves; one is seeds.) Yes, tomato. That is what I want to smell like. Few things make me happier than a good tomato in the sunshine, and smelling a tomato is about as close as you can get when it's January outside. Don't even talk to me about those pasty, mealy January tomatoes. Those are not even worthy of the name.

Some of those elastic belts. I like those. Also, sparkly clothing, esp. leggings or tank tops. Not so much jackets. Not so much jackets at all. Nor socks, neither.

I really need to shut up and go to bed.

Moods and cloud cover

I think things out in mental prose when I'm emotional or thoughtful, and then, if I remember and get around to it, I write them here. And then, if I deem them to be too emotional (usually read: embarrassing), I go back and qualify everything. Or if I get angry or annoyed with myself over what a sappy, soppy mess I've become, which happens with some regularity, I go back and qualify everything. (Perhaps it's utterly obvious that I am hugely uncomfortable with emotion, and that writing for me is an exercise in allowing and processing emotion, and so I don't need to say this. I don't know. Anyway.) I don't lie, per se, but I cover. Like the unsent, unflattering (to me) letter to David. It's not that it isn't true. Any of it--the letter or the added qualifications. But I would feel horrible, I think, if he read what I wrote the other day, because I so minimized the depth of it.
The letter: I do feel that way. I don't usually think about it. Those embers are still there. I do sometimes get teary when particularly-close-to-home songs come on the radio. And when they come on, and I realize halfway through that I didn't immediately get emotional, I start feeling all proud of myself. The brokenness thing is true, and I hate it. Having grown a little past that fit in the last twelve months, I now become uncomfortable and irritated when we're together, and I don't like it. Don't like being together. But I still miss being together. I guess it, this mess, might be a little like putting on a shirt that used to fit, that I used to love. (So much.) I remember it looking and feeling great. But it doesn't fit anymore, and its colors have faded while my skin has darkened in the sun. And when I put it on, it's uncomfortable and unflattering. The shirt has changed a little, and I have changed a lot.

And I write things like "and I'm never attracted to anyone anymore," which is generally, but not utterly, true--and then I feel like it will screw up any shot I might have with any guy who reads it. So I qualify. And that sickens me a little. On the one hand, I'm not generally attracted, even when I expect to be, and it is often (or seems to be) largely due to a not-like-David factor. That sickens me a bit as well. But rarely doesn't mean never. And so on the other hand, well, one, I don't want to seem like a complete psycho, even if I guess sometimes a case could be made that maybe I am. And two, being emotionally retarded (no, literally--not in an offensive slangy way) doesn't mean that I'll never grow out of it or that I want to stay in this stupid stuck-in-the-past state forever. I mean, PLEASE, SOMEBODY, PLEASE convince me that my shot at love isn't over. The very idea is ridiculous--it's not like our relationship was all sunshine and flowers and declarations of love; more like pretty good times punctuated by piercing, breathtaking doubt--but I still find it incredibly difficult to let go.

Plus, dammit, I'm lonely. Not for a social life. For such a close friend and companion. I really miss that.

Why, and how, do things turn into such a mess sometimes?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hey, maybe there's something to all that fuzziness.

Apparently there is a "new wave" of research saying that, oh my gosh, it helps if we are nice to ourselves. Read on:

"Go Easy On Yourself."

I am Alice.

1. I learned to use a chainsaw yesterday. I used said chainsaw again today. My back aches.

2. I am moody this past weekend, through today.

3. I dislike having disagreements with the woman who processes my tutoring invoices. I got an email back saying that $29 had been removed from my total invoiced, because "the last payment processed included a session...on 12/7 that had already been paid." This is despite the fact that I "showed my work" (as it were) as requested, and made a note on my invoice that there were a few dates from December on the scans (with "x"s next to them!) that had already been invoiced, and that those should be ignored. I listed the dates I was invoicing. I added up the hours. I multiplied the hours times the rate and showed the total. Even so, $29 was subtracted from my invoice. I feel like she thinks I'm trying to cheat the company or something. I'm sure she has a lot of invoices to go through, but it's still irritating. Hopefully she will read my [more politely worded than this] "um no, I did not invoice you for that date, here is an excerpt from my invoice which shows you the dates for which I invoiced you" email and give me back my money, and then I can stop being annoyed.

4. The chainsaw thing was pretty cool. I'm pretty excited about that. While I have opened up to other power tools, I have been holding off on chainsaws because they are, in my estimation, about the least safe power tool ever. But whatever. I helped cut down and cut up a tree. It's because I'm a badass. (Ha.) It's been nice to work outside for the past few days though, even if the unseasonably warm weather is kind of weird. The crocuses have been up for at least a week now, and I heard frogs tonight when I walked Miley. As I said the other day, I really hope they don't freeze. The low again the night after tomorrow is projected to be 31 degrees.

It rained today, though it was supposed to thunderstorm. While I was working this afternoon, painting and clearing brush in the yard, I could feel the air thicken with the coming rain. The first fat drops splattered onto my windshield just after I got into the car. I have been waiting for a sky-splitting, tree-cracking thunderstorm all night. Come on, weather!

I thought I had more to say, but I guess not--or not at this moment. There have been some things about David floating around in my head though, lately. Sunday it will have been a year since we broke up. I considered writing him an extremely dramatic letter, and I guess I'll probably consider it again. Something along these fairly predictable lines:

I think I'll always love you, though I've put out the flames. The embers are banked in my pocket. I'm not asking for anything, because I know that the ways in which we fit together are broken ways. The broken pieces of me fit alongside the broken pieces of you and that keeps us each broken. Then maybe something else about how I never ("never") find other people attractive anymore* unless I convince myself to. And then about how, (hand to brow,) this will be the last letter I ever send to you. Goodbye [and have a nice life].

As though I could ever send or stick to or even consistently fit the description of such a thing. It only seems like a good idea when I'm feeling emotional and then "How's It Gonna Be" comes on the radio, or "Two Coins" gets stuck in my head.

In my defense, I've loved Third Eye Blind (the 3EB album, anyway) since sometime in middle school, and Dispatch since 2004, which was before I even knew David. So me loving those songs far predates me being stupidly-broken-up-emo.

Excuse me. Apparently it's "How's It Going To Be," and he simply mispronounces his own lyrics throughout the song:

On another note, my brother Jack has a Netflix subscription on the tv downstairs, and I watched Alice In Wonderland tonight. I had low expectations, which is, in my opinion, the best way to approach movies. (High expectations are nearly always dashed, even by good movies. This is possibly because I set my standards extremely high or extremely low--I'm not good at middle ground.)

I loved it. I loved it. I loved that it made sense of a story I've never understood; not that I gave it much effort or even read all the way through, but it had always been a bit of a puzzle. So much nonsense. Seeing the story gave it shape for me. And then, even more, I loved the idea of Alice becoming Alice. "You've lost your muchness," the Mad Hatter said. And she found it again. She grew back into herself. "I sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast," said Alice. "Count them, Alice. One: there's a potion that can make you shrink. Two: and a  cake that can make you grow. Three: animals can talk. Four, Alice! Cats can disappear. Five: there's a place called Wonderland. Six: I can slay the Jabberwocky."

*I seriously have had this thought lately. A lot. The part I failed to remember every time though was that I tend to have long periods of singleness between relationships. This is not because no one ever wants to date me. This is because I never want to date anyone. Or, more accurately, I nearly always want to date someone, but hardly ever want to date anyone in particular. And I'm a big believer in not latching on to just any old person and starting a relationship. Partly this is because I'm kind of a closet misanthropist. But! I can slay the Jabberwocky. FTW.