Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009

I re-read last year's blog from about this time today. I talked a lot about growth in that one and, like 2008, 2009 is a year in which I feel I've grown. Every week, just about, I'm asked to reflect on the progress I've made. Sometimes it's difficult to see or describe. And, as I said in the post I made last night, there are still really big things that I want to see improve. But, as tough as things like managing anxiety/worry are, I can objectively say that I have gotten even stronger over the past year, become more comfortable with honesty and trust, and become better able to consider my needs as a priority. And, as proud as I am of those things, I'm just as proud of the fact that I have some more tangible things to point to as progress. A year ago, I didn't have a permanent job, health insurance, or an apartment of my own. I'm thankful, of course, for all the people that have helped me along the way with these goals. Some of you were here, pushing me to see the most basic things that needed to change and helping me through the very darkest days and some of you missed out on that but still encourage and inspire me. But, at the risk of bragging, I've just plain worked hard (harder than I would've imagined sometimes) to be at the point I've reached. It's interesting, I think, what clarity comes along with this kind of work and growth. I used to have so many things crowding my mind, wanting to be accomplished that I didn't know where to begin or how. Financial and emotional stability are obviously big pieces that I didn't have for years. Having those things makes it possible to see dreams stop being ephemeral. I can see the steps I need to take toward them more clearly now. It's easier to prioritize and keep in mind the realities that time forces on me.

In some ways, I feel like the year has flown so quickly past. Alex and Emma's new school pictures surprised me, making me see just how far from babyhood they've gotten. And, of course, Parker will be here in just a few short months and we'll all be watching him go through the same thing. It's such a gift to get to watch and participate in their lives, to see them gradually becoming the adults they're going to be before we know it. I feel wistful and yet, again, so very proud and honored by it all.

I was listening to music in the car yesterday, playing my eclectic little mix of tunes on the mp3 player Angie and Amy got me for my birthday. And, in the midst of some recent faves, a song from Annie came on. (Okay, I'll wait until you stop smirking/chuckling) I have adored that musical since I was younger than the main character and, as I listened to it yet again, I realized that, even with all the growth and change I've undergone, the little girl who first fell in love with that musical is still here. I kind of like her, frankly, and hope I can always say that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trying to keep a lid on things

There are things I don't talk about much (even on here) cause I assume other people can pick up on them via osmosis or telepathy or something. But, in the interests of following certain orders, I'll share one. (I bear no blame if it is, in fact, wholly redundant to some of you) I worry almost all the time. I think I might have picked the tendency up from Grandma McGuire who used to say she HAD to have something to worry about. Most of the time, it's focused on one person or other who seems to be going through something. Other times, though, I can feel it creeping up like the temperature in July. I think the holidays don't help for lots of reasons. Whatever contributes to it, I feel it surging lately, making me jump to conclusions, assume negative things about people around me and their thoughts. I HATE THIS. But, it has been pointed out that I'm doing well in recognizing it and, in my opinion, I'm doing much better at keeping it at bay rather than letting it push me into acting rashly as I've done in the past. And, yet, it still is at a level that I simply abhor and don't really know what to do with.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Melty brain cells

This week has been godawful long. And, it's only Wednesday! The holiday party at work was Monday and it just took so much out of me. A little background: I was on the committee for the annual departmental retreat a couple of months ago. The coworker who was in charge of that didn't micromanage and make sure everything flowed together and, instead, let gaps between activities build to the point that everyone's boss, the head of the department, came to my boss, Tracey, to ask why nothing was happening and to ask her to step in. Not good. So, when I got handed the holiday party, I already knew it needed to go well. So, I held committee meetings every week to ensure that each person (who I had hand-picked for their willingness to get in there and work) knew exactly what they were doing and when and to make damned sure that nothing unexpected was going to fuck this up. Monday, as I said, was the day of the event. I got to work a bit after 7 just to corral things and people and get the decorating started. I didn't actually mind the early hour so much. It was the authority I had to take on that got to me. I had to not only direct everyone on the committee, telling them/reminding them what their parts where and keeping one eye on the time all day so that things went according to my very strict itinerary, but to keep all the other people who were just there for the fun stuff going as well. Long story short (too late!) by four pm, I was absolutely exhausted. I mean tired like I hadn't been since the almost-hurricane in Corpus that kept me up, getting the house hurricane-proofed, for about 48 hours. I still don't feel like I've fully caught up. It was just physically taxing as well as mentally. I will say, though, that facing some things that make me very nervous (public speaking, giving orders, etc.) and getting through them without being laughed at or facing outright refusals does make me a bit less hesitant about tackling something like that again. Next year, though, they better not try and make us do this on a budget of $0 again. I'm not going there again.

All of that, btw, is the reason I have no real knitting/reading news for you guys. I've been coming home and staring at something on the tv every evening for the past week or two, trying to fit in basic cleaning when I remember. The resulting lack of ability to piece two thoughts together for very long has led me to: A) Forget a doctor's appointment today that I made three months ago until about an hour before it started. I had to haul ass to that since they couldn't reschedule until February. B) Repeatedly misplace my keys at work, locking myself out of my office at one point. C)Blatantly misspell a word on my weekly 'Words of the day' fb status (only one person noticed, btw). Beyond those examples, it gets REALLY embarrassing so, I'll share in person if you ask but not on here. Melty brain cells.

Oh, but, Abby and Costello did get adopted like five minutes after I brought them home. It's great for them but made me a bit sad which is probably why I was so happy to foster another kitty, Frannie. She was here for about two days before Sable and Daisy completely accepted her but I knew about 10 minutes in that she wasn't going anywhere. She's a magic cat, this one. I had to re-name her, though, since I won't have a pet sharing a name with a family member (my aunt). After some thought, I decided that her quirky way of winning people and other cats over reminded me most of Luna Lovegood from HP. So, Luna, it is. Expect pics soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of Kittens and holidays

I used to be more of a holiday person. Not so much these days-the winter months tend to take a lot more effort than I usually 'fess up to. The cold, the fact that it's dark by 5pm, the way one of my favorite local radio stations plays NOTHING but xmas carols for at least 5 weeks... It's all a bit much for me. But, I do like giving gifts and that provides me the opportunity for shopping that I actually enjoy. This year, oddly enough, most of my family has requested gift cards. So, I'm probably going to ignore that for the self-indulgent pleasure I get out of choosing and giving them something more than a piece of plastic. And, of course, the holidays mean all kinds of work parties. I skipped out on the Secret Santa thing this year but tomorrow starts my office's annual 'Week of Food.' What's that, you ask? Well, every year, the folks I work with divide the week up and three or four people bring in food for everyone each day of the week. It's pretty cool but, having gone vegetarian does sort of take me out of it this year. And, of course, I'll be moving offices sometime (hopefully soon before I actually snap and hurt a certain coworker). I still don't know when that's all going to occur but I will (obviously) keep you all posted. I'll probably be heading to Mom's and Angie's for the actual days around xmas but may keep it a shorter visit to come home and check on the menagerie of cats here.

Now for the kittens! I'm fostering what must be the two most adorable examples around at the moment. Abby and Costello-such great names-are my shadows around the apartment now. They only pause at the bedroom where Daisy has holed up in protest. I think she'll come around since she's definitely got the advantage of size over these two. Abby (second picture) is a bit more outgoing than Costello but they are both total lap cats and very, very, cuddly. I think they'll have no trouble getting adopted right away. Not sure if that makes me happy, lol.



Lines

They taught us not to step on the cracks in the sidewalk
A rule we disregarded after daring it resulted in nothing
Later years found you even taking pleasure in it
As if daring the gods to make good on that vague threat
And, were I bolder, I might do the same
Might stretch myself to reach past that line between us
Just to see what would come of it
Just to find out who I'd be on the other side
Its austerity immobilizes me and, for the moment,
Neither moving forward nor backing away, I simply stand.

Covered

After all this time of quiet,
I hear it
The sound akin to gunshot
In the distance
As the warmth begins to reach through
And reveal the ice-covered depths

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ohh, such a good weekend!

Today is the last bit of my first vacation in well over a year and, I'm almost certain, the first paid vacation I've had in as long as I can remember. Nothing like some time off to just relax and hang out with friends.

Friday night I went to see one of my favorite bands, The Swell Season. Oh, how I adore this duo. I think there's little I wouldn't do for either Glen Hansard or Market Irglova if they'd sing even a few bars of their music. *sighs* And, of course, they put on a fabulous show, covering all my favorites and singing the hell out of their new cd. Hansard, as usual, shared great stories from the road between songs making all those susceptible to his charm fall even deeper into lust for him. I ended up not getting home and to sleep until after 12 but it was soooo worth it.
Watch! Or, watch this!


Saturday, I got up early and took off for Fort Knox, KY to see my friend Christina and her husband for a few days. The drive through Illinois and Indiana was great-such beautiful scenery. I do love road trips (and, surprisingly, even a four hour one undertaken by myself was quite enjoyable). Made it down there a little after 11 and got to the visitor's gate only to realize I forgot to put my registration in the glovebox and, therefore, couldn't drive on base. Luckily, Stina was able to pick me up and we found a safe place for me to leave the Civic. After that, she took me all over the base. I was amazed at the amount of amenities they had on there! Everything from a golf course to a water park and movie theater and I doubt there's much you couldn't find, shop-wise, in one of their stores. (Side note: Stina-go back and get that Ken Doll sign!) After dinner, we just relaxed and watched some movies and had some German spiced holiday wine. I'm sure it has a real name but I'm damned if I can remember it. Good stuff, though, and I'm on the lookout for it up here somewhere. I went to bed with the chickens since I was so wiped from getting up at five and slept like a baby.

On Sunday, Stina and I met up with her friend and classmate, Carly and we went to the Speed Museum in Louisville. It's on the campus of the university and they had a remarkable collection of Flemish and French tapestries from the 15th century as well as two Picassos and a beautiful Chagall painting. I was so impressed at the extensive collection being housed in a college gallery and totally recommend anyone in the area pay them a visit. It's not often you see small galleries with so many diverse artworks that also offer free admission. After that, Stina and I went out for sushi and girl talk. Ah, girl talk... Can't have too much of that, imo.

So, by the time I headed home yesterday, I felt like all the stress of the last few months had been wiped out. It's an awesome feeling but it does make me less than eager to head in tomorrow morning. Also, it was so great to see one of my favorite people so happy. Lots of married couples claim that they're each other's best friend but it's rarely as clearly true as it is for Stina and Tor. Lucky bastards... :) Hopefully, they'll visit sometime soon so I can repay their hospitality.

Oh yeah, I also managed to finish a prettylicious hat for one of the few holiday gifts I'm making. Now I can just focus on Parker's blanket. It probably won't be done for xmas but, then, it was a very ambitious goal anyway. I am, however, going to cast on for Emma's Red Riding Hood-I've been looking at the yarn longingly for too long now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What Stays With Me

I've lost your laugh now
No idea what'll go next

What still clutches at me is the feel of your hand
Cold within mine, the knuckles knotted under the skin

The pillow I brought you forgotten behind you
As I forced myself to speak

The way your eyes stayed on the blanket
The shadows the blinds threw on the floor

The surreality of someone else's voice from your lips
Understanding the darkness that drew nearer still

No one wants the hospital pictures.
They want you hale and hearty, smiling up at them

I want that, too.
But this is what stays.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Totally Random Again

1) I've read (or re-read) three books that I will proudly push on all and sundry. Anne of Green Gables which I estimate I've read at least 20 times in my life. A true classic which does seem dated in some ways but still honest about what it's like to be a girl growing up in a world that she doesn't quite fall in step with. I love how Anne grows in confidence as the novel progresses and how she subtly thaws the love-starved heart of her adopted family just as they feed hers. I also re-read Pride and Prejudice which never ceases to amuse me. Austen's wit and way of depicting the foibles of the Bennets as they try to find love and marriage in a world that primarily views the state of marriage as one equivalent with financial worth... It's just got no equal. And, finally, I read a modern novel that I'm itching to buy but resisting (just barely) called The Magicians. Anyone who loved Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and LOTR would adore this. It's absolutely enchanting despite (because of?) its modern spin on a magical world. Lev Grossman's young characters study, grow, and fall in love in a real world-one replete with sex, drugs and all the downsides of being privileged and powerful with almost no restraints. After all, what restraints could there be for the brilliant and magically educated?
2) Lots of knitting but it doesn't look like to the untrained eye. Hopefully, the three things I'm trying to finish for the holidays will be done soon.
3) Mmm...macaroni and cheese.
4) Thanksgiving was interesting. I had fun talking to my brother-in-law's grandma who has reached the age where she no longer gives a shit who hears what she says and has a biting abandon with which she offers her opinions on everything. Also had a brief conversation about marriage and babies with Emma. She was fine with the idea of unmarried women having babies as long as she gets a vote on the names of the future babies and as long as the women would prefer girls to boys. Emma is also learning sign language at school and kept trying to teach us all what may or may not be the correct signs for things like sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc. Alex's version of sign language? Waving his arms over his head in what most closely resembled headbanging to Metallica.
5) The whole mess at work (which is too much for anything but a post of its own or a real, live conversation) is resolving itself. My status change takes place tomorrow but I have no idea how long it will be before they get someone in to take over my old job let alone how long it will take to train him or her. I'm thinking it will be at least after the first of the year.
6) I'm utterly stressed out, though, from the work situation and a few other things (more real, live conversation topics) and I'm getting the hell out of town to visit Stina and her hubby, Tor, in Kentucky over the weekend and the first part of next week. Here's to a change of scene and, if I'm lucky, a few days of sleeping past six! I can't wait!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

33

Yep, one more year! I've tried to plan a birthday get-together a couple times before only to have to scale down or cancel the plans for various reasons. But, this year, I got exactly what I wanted-dinner with as many friends as could make it and a really fun time afterwards having drinks and singing karaoke. I've noticed that lots of people are taking this month to list things that they're grateful for on a daily basis. I try to make note of that myself, just as the day goes by (and my counselor sort of pushes me to come up with something each week anyway). Sometimes it's tougher than others but, reflecting on the past year and last night, I find today's 'thing I'm grateful for' an easy pick. I am utterly, incredibly, grateful for my friends: the people who listen to me bitch, make me laugh, convince me to go ahead and try the dress on, share their desserts, offer blunt advice or a shoulder to lean on, encourage me to dream and remind me when to face reality. I couldn't ask for a better birthday gift and, despite my usual birthday habit of taking stock of where I am in life (aka noticing what needs improvement), I find myself feeling solidly content today and loving this place I find myself in. You all are a big reason for that contentment and I don't know what I'd do without you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Plans!

Okay, folks, I know it's a month away but, this way you have time to plan. So far, the plans are as follows:
11/13/09, dinner at King and I on Grand about 7:30. After that, I'd like to go for karaoke somewhere. I hear Novak's has good karaoke but I'm not sure if they have it on Fridays. I know Syberg's does, though. Either way, we'll figure out where to go that night. I just need a headcount for the restaurant. I'm not looking for gifts, just as many of you guys as can make it. Should be fun!

So, let me know, folks! Hope to see you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In which I rant even more

(No one is allowed to take anything in here personally. If you're inclined to do that, reread an older blog and skip this one)

Okay, folks, the funk is winning at the moment. It doesn't look like it because I have rarely (can't quite say never) been one of those people who could take a break from everything just to feel something. Sometimes I even envy those who can. Me, I keep getting up and going to work and making sure the cats are fed. Doesn't mean I don't recognize that feeling of lassitude mingled with panic that marks depression for me. It starts with the recognition that I am in fact forcing myself to do the things that make up my life rather than anticipating them with joy. I feel like I'm surrounded by people who are constantly quarrelling either with each other or with me. At the moment, the response to the question, "Where do you want to be" is "Somewhere far away from here with only my instincts to listen to." I spent a long time uncovering that instinctual voice only to suddenly find it buried again. my plan to squirrel away money to go to Ireland in May is looking less feasible as I consider another 6+ months without anything resembling a vacation. I haven't written anything (with the exception of one poem) in months. I'm not working on Amy's baby blanket for a vague fear of putting this nasty energy into it. The thought of taking four days in December and heading to NYC is looking really good at the moment. Yes, I know NYC is cold as hell in December. I don't really care at this point. I haven't been in years and I love it there. I think the strange peace I feel when visiting there is worth the potential of putting Ireland off a bit longer. Right now, I have just about enough saved to cover something like that. At the very least, I feel the need to cut off most of my social activities at the moment until I can get my feet back under me for good again. I'm snapping at people and resenting just about everything anyone says to me that isn't bland and impersonal. Acting that way doesn't represent the me I want to be. It's been pointed out that I have to take care of myself, that there's a balance issue there just like with anything else in life. The baby steps I took toward that over the past year felt, even at the time, like extreme decadence. Why does pushing myself to this point feel so normal? I'm tired, I'm not sleeping, I have little appetite most days. Yesterday, Peeves and Daisy hissing at each other made me cry. I've resisted for as long as I can-time to call in reinforcements. It may not (probably won't) still the overthinking I'm so prone to but maybe it will make it easier to start determining when 'no' is, in fact, the correct and kindest answer to all involved. Apologies in advance, I just have to step back again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I didn't read this as a child and, in some ways, I think that's a good thing. I think there are elements of it that would lack the poignancy and depth that they have for an adult reader. I shared this one, a few years ago, with my aunts, Edna and Frances, and they both adored it, too. I don't want to give a synopsis but it concerns the Nolan family (Johnny, Katie and their children, Francie and Neeley) and their lives in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. One of the things that strikes me every time I revisit it is the skill with which Smith not only recreates a very specific time and place but, also, the dynamics of what we would probably label a dysfunctional family today. Yet, the Nolans not only survive poverty but manage to surmount it with love and ingenuity. There's a recognition that their deprivations and the sacrifices they have to make contribute to, rather than detract from, their lives and their strength as a family. Near the end of the book, when the mother is going to remarry and Francie and Neeley realize they won't be poor any longer, that their infant sister will grow up in a very different home than they had:
" 'Laurie's going to have a mighty easy life all right.'
'Annie Laurie McShane! She'll never have the hard times
we had, will she?' 'No. And she'll never have the fun
we had, either.'"
Re-reading it this time, I also found a great deal of truth in the relationship between Katie and Francie. There's a very real, very sad quality to their inability to move beyond what is, really, a deep similarity in their characters as well as Katie's favoritism for her son. Both recognize this fundamental alikeness at different points in the novel as well as Katie's preferential treatment of Neeley yet, in the way of we humans, both also acknowledge their inability to change who they are and how they feel. Katie does offer Francie love to the best of her ability and doesn't attempt to hide the harshness of life from her, feeling that Francie's strength and survival instinct will see her through.

There's simply so much beauty in this book. It'd take me forever to go through all the wisdom it holds. And, each time I read it, I pick out a different favorite part. This time, the prize goes to advice Francie gets from her grandmother.
"What had granma Mary Rommely said? 'To look at
everything always as though you were seeing it
either for the first or last time: Thus is your
time on earth filled with glory.' "

And now for something completely different.

Pardon the Monty Python reference (perhaps I should put the little registered trademark symbol up there?). Anyway, still feeling pretty bogged down at the moment despite my recognition of the fact that I am in this spot because of my inability (unwillingness?) to let go of the past completely. I did see Melissa the psychic last Saturday who pissed me off a tad with her accuracy and perception of what's going on with me at the moment and, undoubtedly, accurate view of what's at stake if I don't. So, I'm working on that. I really am tired of the whole dating thing since it just feels like a fruitless pursuit tantamount to having to convince someone else of your personal worth.

ANYWAY...

I decided that, in the interests of keeping up blogging and also offering you who read this something more interesting and hopefully more upbeat, I'd start re-reading books that I find significant and sharing them on here. I have a list and might throw in some new reads from time to time but, mostly, I think I'll focus on those books that really shaped me or that I can label 'Great Books.' You can still expect periodic updates, what's going on with my knitting, pictures of the Munchkins. I'm just going to try not to focus so much on this funk that seems to want to stay or at least pop in with more regularity than I care for.

Oh, yeah, if you want the specifics on Melissa/the last reading, I'll share. Just don't want to get into it on here right now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three Day weekend

Went down to my mom's for the weekend and had a grand time with the munchkins. We rode go-karts and the kids played on these inner-tube boats that allowed them to spray water on me, each other, pretty much anyone with ten feet of them.






That was Saturday which was wrapped up by lots of Emma helping me knit on Amy's baby's blanket and me trying to get at least one decent picture of Alex.









Sunday, the whole company went off to church except for the heathen who went off to the cemetery to visit with Grandma and Grandpa a bit. After that a bunch of us had lasagna and then pitched in on Amy's house. It's coming along, faster all the time it seems.







We painted and swept, hauled the waste drywall around so it could be used for fill, roasted some marshmallows over brush that needed burned.


It wasn't too bad of a weekend, all told. Well, it was punctuated with a brief argument with Angie (who actually apologized, taking me completely off guard) and going back and forth with some of my facebook friends who insist on denigrating anyone who views the world differently than them. I knew that our differences, politically, were fairly great but I thought that debate could go back and forth without stooping to personal attacks and insults (at least I tried not to engage in that). But, it didn't work and I ended up having to delete people. I hate doing that shit. I'd almost rather not be on a social networking site than have to take that step but, it's done now and I do feel a bit better knowing I won't have to deal with that bs everytime I change my status or want to post some article or cartoon that catches my attention. Yes, I'm a liberal with socialist leanings. I don't think that gives someone more conservative the right to act like a disgruntled parent who's determined that I learn the 'way the real world works.' Anyway, I'm still struggling with feeling like I just don't fit in anywhere these days. That didn't help. Feeling like I'm ever further on the outside of the clique down home didn't either. I just feel a certain level of resignation over it and, recognizing that, well, it made me feel another layer of sadness. I'm not changing, they're not changing and the level of acceptance I feel when visiting just doesn't seem to be changing, either. Aw, hell, just go look at the pictures of Emma and Alex again. That's a much more cheerful activity than this, lol.






Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Horse Race

Once upon a time there was a race between five pairs of horses. Each pair was to be hitched to a cart laden with an equal number of rocks. The team that reached the finish line first would be declared the winner and, as prize, would receive a lifetime's supply of grain. The rules were simple.

On the day of the race, the five owners of five pairs of horses presented themselves for the contest. The first pair of horses was one belonging to a man of renown who prided himself on how he cared for his animals. The pair was well-groomed, well-fed and the observers of the race oohed and aahed at them, declaring them fine specimens, looking forward to seeing how they ran the race.

The second pair had been mistreated and malnourished by their owner, a cruel man who many among the community feared. Yet many of the people gathered there that day looked forward to seeing how well they could perform and were, quietly, rooting for them to win.

The third pair of horses belonged to a man who was known to be quite ill and, therefore, unable to care for them as much as he wished. The two horses looked rather frail themselves but many were confident that they could, at least, complete the race and believed that these horses still had a chance to win.

The fourth team was owned by a man who, for various reasons, had a second job that wouldn't allow him to stay with his horses and watch the race. He hadn't trained his animals himself but had entrusted them to a stranger and, on this day as on so many others, couldn't stay to see the fruits of his labor and the results of his effort. He deposited his team at the starting line and left promptly so that he could continue to earn the grain that they already needed to survive.

The fifth pair of horses wasn't so much a pair. One of them had died on the way to the race. Yet, their owner was confident that one of his horses, alone, could compete as well as the other, paired, horses and insisted on being allowed to enter them. Under the rules and conditions, he argued, his one horse stood just as great a chance of winning as those paired around them. The judges of the race, swayed by his argument, agreed that his horse could compete that day.

All the teams lined up and the race began. When the dust had cleared, the winner was obvious. The first, most beautiful, pair of horses had won the race handily, leaving the others behind. The third and fifth pair of horses hadn't even come close to the finish line, though they struggled with their loads even after the race was won, trying to at least complete their task. The second team, startled by the noise of the other horses and the crowd had frozen, stock still and refused to move beyond the first few steps. The fourth team, who, being horses, didn't quite understand the point of the race, meandered a bit but did, eventually, reach the finish line after everyone else had gone home.

After the fuss over the winners died down a bit, a child who had come up with the rest of the crowd stood petting the be-ribboned winning team and asked the owner of them, "A lifetime's supply of grain is an awful lot, isn't it? Could you share some of what you've won with the other horses and their owners?" The crowd roared at this, the owner of the winning team loudest of all. He patted the child on the head and cried, "Why, of course not, young man!" He pointed at the departing owners, saying, "They ran the race same as my horses! The track was even, the day fine, the carts and loads the same, weren't they?" The boy nodded, noticing all this to be true. "Why," the man continued, feeling bolder as he saw the prize being driven toward him, "everything in this race was done on a fair and equal basis! I (and my horses) earned that prize! Why should others prosper off our labor? Where's the fairness in that? Share? I think not. This grain belongs to me and mine, rightfully."

The boy, who was, after all, young and impressionable, couldn't help but agree with the man. After all, in a child's eyes, an adult is generally right unless proven by someone else to be wrong. Yet, some in the crowd had a vague feeling that things hadn't, actually, been quite equal. A few of them muttered together about making the next race, or the one after that, a bit more fair and objecting if it wasn't. Most of them, however, didn't want to challenge such a prominent and successful member of the community. And, so, they stayed quiet, assuring themselves that things would change over time and the race would become a fair one eventually. Because, after all, surely one who had as much as the winning man couldn't go on forever thinking that his advantage over the others in the town was truly fair. Could he?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ick

I feel crappy today. Sorry, folks, but 'tis true. And, I try to be honest on here, I really do. And, at the moment, I feel like I'm leading a life that is viewed as naive and foolish. I probably won't tomorrow-by then, I'll probably be all shrouded in the defenses I usually keep up to keep the crap at bay. But, at the moment, I feel like that's deserted me. So, if you read this before that kicks in (and I just might remove this when that happens), you're going to read a blog written by the Anita who's medicating herself with ice cream. Think I'll let her get a few things out.

1) Why isn't there more love in the world? Real, unconditional love. Lennon said all we needed was love. I think that's true, starting with love for ourselves first. Why don't we work on that instead of worrying that we're not tough enough or strong enough?
2) I really really don't like humiliation masquerading as entertainment. It's ugly to me. All the weight loss shows/reality shows that provide people with yet more ways of pointing out how people don't fit the 'norm' and push the idea that, if only they'd change, the rest of their lives would fall magically into place upset me.
3) Am I the only person who doesn't think money, breast size and the circumference of one's thighs are adequate measures of success? Doesn't honor and kindness count in that column anymore?
4) I miss having a center to my life.
5) I never got to say this to the person who should've heard it but, no, in fact, I don't enjoy being the center of attention. The one-on-one is hard as fuck for me. All I ever wanted was to be included, to be one of a group that got along and liked each other. I wanted to be among the crowd, belonging. The center of attention? Please. That's the most uncomfortable place for me.
6) I really want a birthday party. I know it's kind of silly at this age but I want one.
7) Fuck you, Alan.
8) I wish I had a job I felt good about doing. I like having enough money to support myself and benefits and all that but I really wish I got to come home at night and be proud of what I do.
9) I would like all the papers and homework I helped various people complete (or did for them) back. Or, at least I'd like to be able to take credit for some of the really good writing I did for them for free.
10) Penelope Cruz, Rod Stewart, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino-you're really really overrated. Please go away for a while.

That's it-I really am done now. Sorry for the rant.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Thieves

They steal in
Barely ruffling my hair
Transcendent days.

Leaving me far from you,
Hollowed out,
Emptied.

The strangeness of it pleases me
I crave it as, on other days, I crave you
To seek more is to feel them fading,
To feel that need for you rising in my veins.

Unable to do more
(Or less)
I wait, caution persuading my heart's rhythm
To still until it echoes nothing more
Than the leaves' whispering.


*I'm not wholly happy with the title but haven't found another I like yet.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smoke and mirrors

I called in sick today, a thing I haven't done in a while for lots of reasons. The atmosphere at work has been getting to me, though, and I needed a day where I could just do what I felt like. A day where I didn't have to get up before seven, answer the phone, respond to emails, etc. It's been great. I've gotten almost an entire repeat on Monica's stole done and feel more relaxed than I have in a good while. Thoughts about what my purpose on this planet is have been plaguing me (still) and today was also a nice respite from them which, surprisingly, makes the issue feel just a bit more clear. I'll speak to that more another time, as the fledgling ideas are probably going to need a bit longer to develop before I throw 'em out into the light of day, so to speak. But, to return to the nice, peaceful feeling I've got from my 'day of rest,' I'm actually surprised that it's turned out to be so calming given the further insanity that crops up in my family from time to time. I tried three times to discuss it here but found that it isn't going to come out right and still leave my day unsullied. So, that, too, will have to wait for another blog. Probably Monday-those days usually suck anyway. So, yeah, I guess this blog doesn't have much behind it after all. I'll make it up to you guys, I promise.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Moving Forward

Summer has to be my least favorite season. One of the biggest reasons (as anyone who knows me has heard before, I'm sure) is that there's only so much you can take off. Winter, a close second for the title, at least offers one the opportunity to add layers of clothing for warmth. I realize this probably appears a strange opening for this blog given the title. But, the detestable heat and humidity of this season is helping me get back to a place where I can feel some peace again. Weird, I know. But, it has started to become clearer to me that even the seasons I hate have their place in nature. Even what I think of as the worst part of the year-it has meaning and a purpose even if that purpose isn't wholly clear to me. And, despite the fact that my susceptibility to the sun means I can spend far less time than I'd like outdoors, I find myself more aware of the beauty the season holds than I can recall being in the past. Sometimes, it even feels silly to have questioned whether there was balance. Of course I don't like it when it's harsh and unyielding and it takes someone I cared for. But, not to get too touchy-feely here, I can't help feeling that we all do truly go on somehow. Maybe it's only as a memory. Still counts, in my opinion. There's a harshness to nature, to life, the world and even at its ugliest, I still have to recognize the immutable truth that it all (beauty, pain, joy, brutality) comes from the same place somehow. The comments I got on here after my last post along with the conversations I've had with people on and offline are helping. Trying to focus on achieving the things that I want and need in this life is helping as well. I'm trying to keep looking up, so to speak and it does seem to be getting easier. Last week flew by so quickly that it hardly seems possible that tomorrow is Monday again but, wishing for Second Sunday ain't gonna make it so.

On lighter notes, I've reread the Harry Potter series again and was blown away by the power of Rowling's last book. So much beauty in that book and, yet, it was so, so sad, too. I picked up the book club read for next month and, gods willing, will actually be able to participate in the discussion this time. I've been lax on that front for the last two months and I fear my book club friends have been neglected. Still knitting, knitting, knitting. I think I have eight projects on the needles now and will have to finish something before I can go any further on some of them. Limited needles, limited budget to buy more.

Oh, and I got Daisy spayed this week. Here's hoping it doesn't radically alter her temperament.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sort of blank

So, I got back last night from a trip to Kentucky that was far harder than I thought it would be. When my cousin, Wayne, got cancer about ten years ago, it seemed like an awful thing but, his mother had cancer and got through it. And, Wayne, in his late 20's, seemed like he'd follow the same path. Grueling, intensive surgeries and follow-up radiation were awful but the thinking in our family seemed that he'd get through it and go on. So much for thinking. It came back and came back and, even after Wayne had found love and a family of his own, the cancer took him. He was 39.

It's beautiful in Kentucky this time of year, green and wild and, as I drove there and back over the course of two days, it struck me as incredibly bizarre that I was surrounded by so much life and beauty at a time like this. The incongruity seemed even more striking as I got to see Holly (Wayne's niece and my younger cousin)'s newborn son. Is this balance? The death of one so well-loved amidst so much life and happiness? Since this happened, I've been thinking and thinking and questioning so much. I believe that there is something higher, something divine at work in the universe, in us, in all of nature. And, one of the things that seems true about that higher power is that it seeks balance. Within us, within the wheel of the year, etc., the gods and goddesses are working for and striving to maintain a balance. So, where do I fit this thing that's happened? How do I account for the death of someone so young, who had so much good happening for him and so much potential good that he could contribute to the world? And, of course, the fact that we were so close in age makes me think about my own mortality. What am I doing with the life I have? Is it hollow and meaningless in the grand scheme of things or am I actually creating a life that has an impact?

There's a line in The Shawshank Redemption that keeps running through my head. "Get busy living or get busy dying." I think I'm doing pretty well, facing the things that scare me and going along anyway, trying to make the most of each day. But, if I only had six more years on this planet, I know I'd try even harder. Is that the point of this? I don't know.

I do know, though, that I have to put down somewhere what kind of memorial service I'd like so that some minister who barely knows me doesn't stand up and read the 23rd Psalm badly. Someone who knows me, the real me, should talk. And, it'd be nice if it wasn't a complete sobfest. Someone, please, tell a story that elicits a laugh. I know there are plenty of them. That's it for now, I'm going to watch Friends, eat chocolate and knit a little.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting my balance back

That's what I've been trying to do since Wednesday and I think I'm getting there. Still can't quite get the muse to return. I sat down to try and write a bit before knitting group today and didn't get more than a couple lines down. Although, the story I was tossing around in my head is taking a bit more shape. It's primarily concerned with three very different sisters and their perceptions of each other over lunch one day. And, I think I'm closer to getting the second sister's voice down-a tough one for me since I picture this character as a very strong voice, very different from me. We'll see how it goes.

I'm knitting up a storm, trying to get several different things going. I'm not sure why but I have this impulse to start about 10 different things at once lately. Which means I'm not reading as much but I am trying to re-read HP and tackle last month's book club read. I know, I know. The point was to have it read last month. What can I say, I'm negligent at a lot of things these days. I did get my apartment nice and clean this morning. Also blocked the baby blanket for Holly's son (who should be born any day now).

I hopefully will start guitar lessons this week and am really looking forward to that. Also, I'm going to force myself to get the pictures hung up this week. If nothing else is accomplished by Saturday, that will be done.

That's it for now. I'm off to read a bit more of Harry's adventures and eat something.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mediocre

It occurred to me that I've become a mediocre, even negligent, blogger lately. Here it is almost a month after my last blog and this one is still going to be sadly brief. Cause I'm tired and feel like life's pretty dull these days. Actually, that's not entirely accurate but, you know, there's only so many ways I can describe the slime pit that my dating life looks like lately. I think I'm gonna have to give up on the idea, at least for awhile. This last one... *shudders* So, unless someone knows someone nice, available, sane and with basic social skills they'd like to send my way, I'm off dating. I think I'll concentrate (again) on my writing and keep working on my knitting projects-those things at least, I can see improvement in over time. Also going to start learning to play the guitar soon so that should be interesting. In terms of writing, especially, I feel like my muse has left me but I have to acknowledge that I'm not really feeding her anything (she likes to have lots of quiet time, and attention) and I suppose her abandonment is understandable given that.

I'm also trying to get my head around the idea that Amy is having a baby and finding that rather tough at times. It just seems like her life is so easy and that whatever she sets her sights on falls right into place. I'm going to love having another niece or nephew-it's just difficult to watch someone else (yet again) get the things I dream of having, the things I'm working and working for and not seeing get any closer to fruition.

Anyway, I'm adjusting to the idea and it's getting easier to be happy for her. I have a couple baby gifts planned out and am looking up info on hospitals for her when I get time here and there.

I did finish my sweater and Holly's baby blanket finally. Here's some pictures of them!

Work is work. They're pushing us into lots of 'team-building' stuff which I kind of cringe at. It just feels fake; you can't force people to become friends just because they're working in the same department. And, when they're promoting people that it's hard to respect (as they have the worst work ethic in the place) it's even harder to buddy up with them. And, of course, Mondays suck. Especially when preceded by the gruesome excuse for a date I had last night and followed by getting off Metrolink only to find she-who-shall-remain-nameless working the ticket booth at the station where I park my car everyday. Ghastly, ghastly Monday.

That's it for the moment. If I get a good night's sleep, maybe things will seem a bit better and I can actually get some reading done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Emma-isms update (+1 Alex-ism)

So, after what wasn't exactly my favorite week (3 meetings and a dentist visit), I got to hang out with my favorite kids yesterday and this morning. So, I have a few Emma-isms to share.

#1-"I just churched my hand!" (No idea what it means but, I figure it's not good)

#2-"I'll hold you down and spit in your face!" (To my brother-in-law after he accidentally got water on her face)

#3-"I'm not a packing monster! I'm just a regular one!" (When Mom was trying to get her to help load the car this morning)

#4-"Maverick is my aunt, too cause he's Bobby's dog and Bobby's my uncle. That makes him my aunt!" (I have no words for that one.)

#5-"Anita wouldn't stop needling in the car and Mem said not to." (Needling=knitting, I swear)

And, finally, an introductory Alex-ism:
When I gasped at a really intense scene in Up, "Your mouth's open. It's okay, you can close it now."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fiber madness

I swear that's a real thing. Really! I bought more yarn today despite my pledge not to until I finished more of the projects I have going/queued. But, it wasn't my fault. It was pretty. And laceweight. And purple! And 20% off! So, if you add all that up, I think you'll agree that I am wholly blameless in the further development of what appears to be an addiction. I keep thinking that a group of the A.A. variety should be available for those of us with this disease but, really, all we would do is knit at them and, obviously, that would just contribute to the purchase of more yarn. Vicious circle.

Pagan Picnic was awesome again this year. Picked up some good stuff-salt scrub(made by another Anita so I was obligated to buy it), a book by River and Joyce Higginbotham that seems like another good addition to my collection (so far it's providing some food for thought but, more on that another day) and a goddess bracelet that caught my eye and has got me looking at Athena more closely. Never really gave much thought to the Greco-roman pantheon but, in keeping with what has worked in the past, going with what feels right or that I feel an unexplained pull toward, this seems like an interesting turn in my path.

Also got a nice little sunburn from the picnic and a tarot reading by Melissa (the psychic I saw last year and again in Feb.). I still don't know what to say about that; her readings are always so accurate and, this time, she again echoed what I was feeling lately-that things are okay, moving in the right direction. I'm just supposed to keep doing what I've been doing. Sounds about right cause, life has been so great and drama-free lately. I do know that I still have to work on fitting 'me' time in there but, I've been making progress there, too. Lately, I have been thinking about re-organizing my schedule to get at least two non-weekend evenings just for me time/working out. We'll see if I manage that better in the coming weeks.

I finished reading all of Riordan's Olympian series and am really pleased with the series as a whole. Good, witty YA writing that doesn't talk down to the reader or opt for sensationalism/violence/questionable messages but celebrates individuality and creative thinking. A very refreshing change of pace. And, the fifth book was a nice break from Middlemarch which I am determined to finish despite the fact that I still can't believe just how dumb Dorothea Brooke is behaving. (said the pot to the kettle)

I've decided that I am definitely going to have a party around the 18th of July. Still haven't made any firm decisions on the food/drink front. If someone has ideas, please throw them at me cause I could use the suggestions.

Also finished a sleeve for my sweater and started on the back of it this week. Still love it.

I've now watched the entire first season of Pushing Daisies. I want that and the second season when available. So cute and witty and quirky-I love shows like that. In the sea of crap that seems to be tv these days, I can't understand why more people don't flock to a show that's actually both intelligent and fun. Ah well, being part of the minority seems to be my lot in life.

That's it for now. I'm going to try and sleep without aggravating my sunburned neck and back.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stina's scarf

Okay, so I finally finished it and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Stina, this will be in the mail to you very soon! (Chiquita at work took the pics)



I don't know why I moved at the last minute.

Look how pretty! Not the file cabinets...


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Super fast week

It seems like the past week has flown by. Work is going well, if a bit dull some days . I'm being taught everything I never wanted to know about radiation and how 'harmless' it actually is, at least in the amounts our department handles. So, that's supposed to eliminate any concerns I have about getting anywhere near the stuff. I can't say I understand everything they're throwing at me, information-wise, but I did pick up some chemistry over the years and at least get some of it. I got my health insurance cards at the end of the week and should be able to get set up with a doctor and a dentist soon which will be a huge relief after all these years of going without.

I finished the front of my sweater and started on the first sleeve. I also am probably going to finish Stina's scarf this week as I'm starting on the last skein for it and I've gotten more yarn to finish that baby blanket for Holly although it's almost certainly going to take a couple more weeks. I'm itching to start something lace-oriented but don't have any ideas, really.

Saturday was great this week, really busy. I worked at the farmers market, had book club and then got to go see Merry Wives of Windsor with Jimmy. I wish I'd had my video camera with me cause the guy who was doing the roaming pre-show comedy basically pounced on him and they rolled around in the grass, cuddling, for a good bit, much to my amusement. I think Shakespeare will never be the same. Gotta love live theater.

Oh, what else... I'm tentatively planning a party for sometime in July. Don't really have a reason, just want to get some people together and watch movies, have pizza, etc. It's going to have to be a 'bring a pillow or something to sit on' party. Probably BYOB, too but, I'll let you all know as it gets closer and I hammer out the details more.

That's it for now-I'm going to go watch Pushing Daisies again and work on my sweater.

The Hunter

Droplets of water flash upward
as your toes land in the almost puddles.
They'll do for the moment.
I watch as you hunt for more,
your blonde hair peeking from the
edges of the sideways-slipping, too-big cap.
You spy another and, tiptoeing over
the asphalt, you patter toward its edges,
tentative until, on its very brim, you pounce.

Manifesto

I am resolved to continue to be the girl
who laughs too loudly; dreams
too big; gives foolishly; reads and
walks and drives too fast; leaps without
looking; pushes chocolate and books and
yarn; dances when drunk; scorns shoes
when she can; cries when happy;
spoils your children; radicalizes;
scandalizes; tilts at windmills.

I will make you cringe. Or laugh.
Or frown. Or scold. Or smile. I
will be quiet at the wrong time,
leaving questions unanswered or
unasked.

I will speak when you least expect it,
insist on my own way and inconvenience you.
I'll get lost and find something I
didn't know was there. I'll stay up
too late and get up too early.
I will offer my heart and take back
the pieces as often as necessary. I
will be angry. Delighted. Morose.

All this and then some. Even that
for which I have yet to invent words.

I come by it honestly. And I seek
no other way. Heart-led, I'll
continue to follow in my own
stumbling, shambling, wonderfilled,
wandering way.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exhaustion

is not pretty. I feel like I haven't slept in days despite getting a good eight hours last night. So, I'm gonna ramble here briefly, eat something and go to bed.

I babysat my cousin Krista's kids yesterday instead of getting time with Alex and Emma. My cousin Wayne, who's had cancer for years that has been kept fairly under control through radiation treatments, is not doing well and Mom, Aunt Edna and Kim (Krista's mom and grandma for those who don't know) all headed to Kentucky to be with him. So, Angie didn't make the trip from IL and I filled in at the last minute as babysitter to Kade, Gracie and Faith. This was after a morning at the Farmer's Market. I think Kateri's tea business is really going to take off and it was another very busy morning there. The intermittent downpours made things interesting there as well.

Anyway, three kids under seven years old are a handful no matter how you slice it. And, despite planning on taking it easy today, I couldn't turn off the internal "You Must Clean on Sunday" directive that persists in making me actually do something around this apartment.

But, I did go knit for the afternoon and have made a fair bit of progress on my increasingly beautiful sweater. Seriously. I plan on wearing the hell out of this thing when I finish it if it even comes close to fitting me. I have also gotten Holly's baby gift as far as I can go with it until I get more yarn. And, that's not happening until after I get paid sometime this week.

I sent off Green, No, and the untitled poem inspired by she who shall remain nameless to River Styx this week and, despite that being a tough thing to do, I feel really good about it. Whatever happens, I'm sure I'll blog about it, good or bad.

That's it for now-food and bed are calling me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why California is wrong

1) They've upheld a ban on gay marriage yet are agreeing to recognize those marriages that have already taken place. This represents a complete contradiction. Either something is constitutional or it is not. There can be no middle ground-you either respect and recognize the civil rights of all the citizens of your state or you don't.
2) The choice to yield to a public vote on a constitutional matter represents a horribly flawed notion of the law. Someone's rights are not/should not be determined by a populace. Either they are entitled to the rights or they aren't. It's not a matter of popularity or public opinion: someone is either allowed their full civil rights under the law or they're not.
3) And, that, frankly is what the bottom line is. Millions of people are being denied basic civil rights in this country because of their sexual orientation, a stance that is specious at best. And, it seems to me, that is also a stance that is rooted in a fundamentalist Christian belief system. It was this same belief system that advocated laws against interracial marriage for far too long-even after recognizing Black citizens as equal members of this society. (Don't believe me? Look it up. Jim Crow laws and the like made it a crime well into the 1960's for a interracial couples to marry with many of the same 'destruction of society' arguments that we're hearing today about gay marriage.) And, for the record, civil unions are nothing more than an attempt to reinstitute a 'separate but equal' policy. I have no problem with the idea that a gay couple cannot walk into a Baptist church and get married. That's a religious ceremony and, as such, is governed by the bylaws of the synod that leads the denomination. What I'm talking about is that any citizen who has reached the age of majority in this country should, by virtue of his or her citizenship be able to marry any other citizen who has reached the same benchmark and call it what it is: a marriage. All citizens are equal under the law and the idea of separate but equal was struck down by the Supreme Court of this COUNTRY (not an individual state, mind you) in order to integrate schools when the justices finally realized that separate cannot, by definition, be equal. It simply can't. And, to deny a great portion of our citizens the right to commit themselves to one another because they happen to love someone of the same sex is nothing more than a repeat of that idiocy. We discarded that policy for a reason. It's a bullshit policy based on an attempt to appease those who would mark people different than them as deviant or wrong simply because they are different. It wasn't right when we did it to African-Americans, refusing to recognize their basic humanity, their intelligence and their potential contributions to this country. It wasn't right when we did it to women, refusing to allow them a voice in the way they were governed or to hold property in their own names. It wasn't right when we did it, in various forms to Asian Americans, Irish Americans, Native Americans, etc. It was wrong then and it's wrong now. More so, perhaps, because we should have learned these lessons in the last century even if we were late to them, even if we went kicking and screaming (some of us, anyway). What's happening in California represents a step backward for far too many people. Gay men and women in this country are citizens and, if for no other reason than that we are supposed to be a bastion of freedom and individuality, they deserve and have earned the right to have it recognized. To ask them to take anything other than the full rights of American citizens-to love whomever they choose and to be able to declare that love by marrying freely and having that marriage recognized in all fifty states is abhorrent, wrong, and anti-American.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No

Emily dear,
No, I am not nobody-
And it saddens me so
That you were.

Yes, it's true, I applied for membership
In that select society
Imagining, perhaps, that it would bring
An afterlife with you and Anne,
Sylvia and, sometimes, Adrienne.

What a party we would make.
Fine porcelain cups of rough whiskey
That scalds throats and tears eyes.
Honesty, I suppose, we could label it
And deliver it unflinchingly to all who dared approach.

It seems a pretty prospect.

But still I must decline
To be nobody with you.
For even in my solitude
The knowledge of my unshrinking self remains.
And in that knowledge, strength to let the cup pass me by.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, also

I finished the first four books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. They're awesome! I highly recommend them. I also finished this month's book club read, City of Thieves by David Benioff which was very good. Started Julia Glass's latest novel today and like it so far.

I now have about five projects going and it's getting out of control. Stina's scarf was supposed to be done nearly six months ago and I think she's starting to think I'm just making it up. The baby blanket of doom is going to take twice as long and twice as much yarn as I thought it would. Meanwhile, I'm in love with the sweater I'm working on and can't spend time on it like I want since it actually requires concentration.

I have a three day weekend coming up and am nearly desperate to go do something fun. Fun. Just thoughtless, silly, unadulterated (how apt!) fun. Anyone have any suggestions?

I'm all jumbled lately

And it sucks. To live a life with no regrets-that's what you hear people say they want to do. As if that's realistic. You're going to regret something because you have to choose one path or another at some point. There's probably going to be a part of you somewhere that wonders just what was all along the journey you could've taken. Well, unless you win the lottery and get to live all your wildest dreams. And, that ain't happening, it seems. So, how do you decide what to put off (possibly forever)?

*sighs*

Maybe I just need a vacation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So tired

Woke up this morning sore all over again. This mattress has got to go! Also, it'd be nice if I could never again have a dream about Alan. Especially one in which I beg, plead and cry for him to take me back while feeling terrible (in that all-consuming, panicky, dream way) about having slept with other men. Ugh. Aside from that, I wanted to go work out this morning and, having logged on to find the location of a campus gym near my office, have now realized that the WUSTL website isn't conducive to actually finding anything. *chants to self to think positive* Okay, thinking positive thoughts, happy thoughts. I'll look for it after work cause I have a bit of extra time there now. PMS being in overdrive, btw, doesn't make it so easy to shut negative thoughts up. Neither does the fact that Sable responded to the cheaper cat food by puking it up all over the floor. Iams it is, then, from now on. Hope there's nothing really wrong with her. Okay, time to get dressed and head off to work.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who needs chronological order?

I've just moved my blogs for most of this year from myspace and, for some reason, it's put them in reverse chronological order. So, if you're reading this, start at the bottom of today's posts for the most recent one.

I am oh-so-happy!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Current mood: content
I spent yesterday evening lying in the floor in my pj's, eating a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich and playing with Daisy, who has learned to fetch her little pink rubber ball now, while watching Lost. Then, I did a couple Sudoku puzzles, cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed.
The significance of this? I have all the utilities on in my apartment and am annoyingly comfortable there. I love it. Anyone who wants to can come over for dinner whenever-just let me know what you want for said dinner and don't fault me for not having much furniture yet.

Why it may not be advisable for me to have kids after all

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I found a reason last night. And, yes, right now I only have the one reason. Let me wander into a medium length story and see if you all can figure out why. A cookie will be the reward of any who can discern the correct answer!

So, yesterday, I ran errands and enjoyed my apartment. It was a peach of a day despite the cold. That is, until about 9 pm when I went to the kitchen for a snack. I hear this noise that sounds vaguely like Daisy's fighting with something. Usually it's food or her little pink ball. However, when I turned around I see my kitten chewing on her own paws and drawing blood while doing so.

From this point on, I hereby declare temporary insanity.

I grab her and try and get her to stop while simultaneously getting clawed and frantically calling a late night animal hospital. (Yes, they have those.) They said to bring her in so, while continuing to struggle with her, I grab my coat and jump in the car.

So, then, I'm in the car, trying to at least keep an eye on her to make sure she's not devouring her own feet. I have no idea how but I manage to hit the car in front of me. Hard. So hard, in fact, that my glasses and the glasses of the person driving said car flew off our faces. (Side note: Toyota Corollas can take a hit. Honda Civics apparently have bumpers made of plastic and cannot.) At this point, I'm trying to give the guy my insurance info, keep from freezing, help him find his glasses, wonder what exactly hit me in the eye during the crash and somehow make sure Daisy is still okay. We complete all that, I get back in my car and manage to keep from crying while finding the animal hospital and coaxing Daisy from under the front seat.

So, I finally, finally make it to the animal hospital and they see us right away. Turns out, as the vet puts it, that they didn't have a clue what was wrong with her. Couldn't find any wounds on her paws or determine where the blood was coming from. The verdict ended up being that she is teething and must've been in so much pain from it that she was using her claws to pry at the loose tooth, something that no one there had ever seen or heard of a kitten doing. Bottom line: she was fine. I, however, was not so fine.

Car accident+$95 vet bill+near anxiety attack over cat/car wreck=unpleasant conclusions about one's ability to handle parenthood.

Remembering

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As this would be my grandma's birthday, I thought I'd share a bit about her. Those of you who were privileged enough to know her, feel free to tack on your thoughts/memories.
Her name was Gladys and she was the greatest hugger ever. Nobody could top her there. She also made the best cinnamon rolls, fried chicken, biscuits-well, frankly, if she cooked it, it was the best of its kind. She was the oldest of five and, after her mother died during her childhood, she and her brothers and sisters were raised by their father who always, when asked why he didn't remarry, said that he'd be mother and father both to them.
She married young, not quite sixteen, and had six children of her own. Although I can't speak to her abilities as a mom, I know that she always emphasized the importance of school as well as being one of the most loving women to walk the earth. I don't recall ever seeing her lose her temper although she wasn't shy about correcting us when we went wrong. I'm sure my sister and cousins on here can attest to the power she wielded with a very thin switch plucked from a nearby tree. When angry or tested, she would turn to music and I can still hear her voice as she'd sing hymns over the dishes or as she would escape to another room so no one would see her cry.
She was intelligent and had an innate ability to get just about anything to grow as well as being able to see through issues that befuddled me at times. Ever an optimist, even when her heart was failing her she still managed to have a smile for everyone that visited her and to insist that she was 'doing just fine.'
Through a life that saw many ups and downs, she remained a bright spot for all who knew her. I, who was lucky enough to be her granddaughter, can claim her as my personal hero. I miss her smiles and laughter and often find myself wishing I could sit down across her battered formica table from her and share a cup of tea with her just once more.

Hmmm...

Sunday, February 22, 2009



What HAVE I been up to? Well, I didn't run off to Ireland or Europe just yet. But, as I've been remiss in my blogging of late, I thought I'd fill you all in on what I have managed to do.

Work is still good. I'm managing to stay put at Wash. U. for the time being although I've got no idea if they'll ever actually hire me. It's a weird situation, being a temp for this long. They keep talking about trimming the budget which is almost enough to make me twitch although my supervisor assured me the other day that my job was no less secure than anyone else's who is on staff. I think I'm supposed to feel better based on that. We'll see what happens. I like the job and the staff there so I'm doing my damnedest to think positively.

I'm still settling in at the apartment. I need to hang up pictures and get some more furniture. As I write this, I'm lying in the floor next to my only chair. Of course, finding furniture hasn't been a problem as much as actually getting what I can find moved here and up the stairs. A co-worker gave me a coffee table but it's too large for my car and is currently still in her basement. I do, however, have internet access at home now and that's a big plus. Also, Daisy still hasn't quite gotten used to the size of the place and often wakes me up at night running at top speed from one end to the other. But, I have plenty of privacy, can cook a decent non-microwaved, meal and can do my laundry without it being a major operation.

Oh, and, of course, there are the questions of what's happening in my social life, I suppose. To that I have to say, not much that's significant in terms of romance although I've still got the greatest set of friends ever. I've gone out with a couple different people but it never seems to go where I'd like for it to. Actually, I'm not really sure where I want things to 'go' these days anyway. I'm puzzling that one out and will have to get back to you on it. I keep holding the idea of adopting on my own in reserve and, a lot of the time, that feels like all I want anyway. I did the marriage thing-not too successfully for those who haven't been following along at home. I'm doing pretty well on my own and, given what I see in relationships around me a lot of the time, it might just be better to keep focusing on that.

What else...I've been spending a lot of my free time reading up on Paganism again and getting certain aspects of it straight in my head. It fits in an undefinable way that no other belief system has in the past. (Side note: those inclined to condemn or judge this should feel free to simply move along) I'm learning and growing more and more, becoming more myself, it seems, as time goes on. I like that feeling. And, no, I'm not sure where the path of my life is leading me. This is one part of it. I feel good and at peace with it so far, I'm just going to keep going and see where it takes me.

In all honesty, that last sentence pretty much sums up what I've been doing lately. I'm working on giving up that illusion that I have control over the bends and twists my life is taking and, instead, taking life as it comes and finding the positives, the little hidden gems, in it. It's surprising just how many there are to be found. There are a few things lately that I've really struggled with, mostly to do with the choices I see people I care about making but I can't control that either. All I can do is to continue to try and act according to the best that is in me. Can any of us really do any more than that, when you come right down to it?

3 days of quiet, tea and not much else

Sunday, March 01, 2009


So, I finally got a chance to see the psychic who made such an impression on me at last year's Pagan Picnic and have just gotten home. After the events of the last couple weeks, it was exactly what I needed and, despite not liking some of what she told me, I have to acknowledge that she was (again) dead on the money. Well, I can't say I didn't like what she said so much as I feel a tad uncomfortable with the clarity with which she dissected my current state of mind. First words out of her mouth? "Wow, are you ever feeling stuck lately!" I had honestly lacked words for the what I'd been feeling lately but 'stuck' pretty much covers it. The crisis with Stacy just brought it home even further-I've been spending time doing all this listening and not even bothering to tune in to what I needed and that's been stalling the progress I'd been making. I kind of started getting back to working on me last week but, getting the verbal bashing I got Thursday and Friday just further drove home the point as well as showing me that I really needed some sort of guidance here. As Melissa (the psychic) put it, I've been spending so much of the strength and energy I hold in reserve on trying to repair things for other people that I'm not leaving any for me. Hell, I've been so depleted this past week that I hardly have the energy to knit or read. I keep noticing (something else Melissa picked up on) that there are people in my life that keep repeating patterns of toxic behavior . If I step away from one, it seems like there's someone else ready to repeat the same thing or a slight variation on the theme almost immediately. (No, Monica, you're not one of them.) I have to start nipping that kind of thing in the bud before it gets to this point. And, oh, ye gods, is that going to be hard to do. It makes me feel cold and cruel just to think about it. But, that doesn't mean I won't manage to do it somehow. I'm tired of taking care of people only to have them turn on me, tired of trying to always be there for someone else only to be alone when I need a friend.

THEREFORE

I am taking the advice I have been given and will be spending the next three days as 'me' days. I'm supposed to work (cause I have to) and spend the rest of my time relaxing and doing things to take care of myself. Hopefully, that helps and I'll find myself moving again instead of feeling like I'm swimming in molasses. I'll let you know how it goes.

Chalk up another week

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's been a week of all kinds of accomplishments! I got some pictures hung up (well, a couple of 'em anyway), finally finished the shawl I've been working on since SEPTEMBER, got my federal refund and filed the state taxes, picked up a table (a gift from a book club friend), saw Slumdog Millionaire, reupped my Knitters Guild membership, and organized my filing system again (it had been in disarray since the move).

Now that I've patted myself on the back a bit... I still have to find time to get my license changed back to Fitzwater, get the light bulbs changed in my bedroom (high ass ceilings) and continue trying to get some furniture in this place. I'm leaning toward getting a couch first since I have a table now (without chairs to go around it).

Got to go have sushi at Drunken Fish with Chiquita from work which was all kinds of fun and gave both of us a chance to vent and enjoy some girl talk. Also hung out with Monica a couple times which is such a gift these days. I think there are so many holidays that celebrate family we don't choose, religious holidays, holidays in honor of public figures and holidays that honor the concept of romantic love-where are the days we get to just celebrate the friends who hang in there with us? Something to think about, maybe.

Emma should be getting her appointment with another specialist soon (probably at Children's Hospital) and, hopefully, this one will go better than the earlier one. Still pissed at the dumbass doctor in Marion over that.

I'm totally loving the weather lately. It's been so gorgeous out. Time to get the Birkenstocks resoled! I must say, also, that I just love Tower Grove Park. It's so close now and it's a great place to sit and read or take a walk when the weather permits.

Been reading A Game of Thrones during lunches and between knitting marathons (to finish the shawl) this week and, for fantasy, this is a great book! Huge cast of characters (which reminds me of Dickens) and great development of them as well as beautiful description of the landscape (which reminds me of Tolkien). I hear they're making a movie of it for HBO-if somebody happens to catch it, I'd like to know what you think of it.

I'm feeling a bit itchy to start finding some sort of academic pursuit lately. Not sure what that means or what to do with it. The options that come to mind are to start tackling some more ambitious reading, to finally go ahead and get some violin lessons set up or to take that photography class I've been thinking about for ages. (Are the last two really that academic, though?) I'm still sure that not pursuing the Ph.D. is the right choice for now but, I think I need a new challenge in that general realm.

And, that is it for the moment. Life is still good and, the rain's stopped and the sun is shining again. Might just get outside and go enjoy that for a while.

A Rant

Suspend disbelief if you will. I'm remaking the world according to
my specifications.

In this new world:

People who punish their children by hitting and/or humiliating them will
face a punishment of equivalent measure. Breaking a child's spirit and/or
destroying their self-confidence will result in your right to parent said child
either being revoked or subject to permanent supervision depending on the
severity of the offense.

Those who attempt to censor or critique literature they have not read will
immediately be required to read all available works by the author in question
AND the collected works of William Faulkner.

It is now a punishable offense to allow children younger than the driving age in
your state to wear clothing that is revealing or inappropriate on anyone other
than Britney Spears. (Whether such clothing is appropriate for Ms. Spears is
another question) Example: A 5 year old child is not permitted to wear midriff-
baring tops and low-riding jeans. And, while I'm at it-the fact that it may or may
not be fashionable is not only not an excuse but will be viewed as further evidence
of the offense.

In addition to the foregoing regulations, all McDonald's Playplaces are hereby to
be closed and destroyed. Signs shall be posted directing children and their parents
to the nearest park, public playground and, in the event of inclement weather, library.

Further review of all businesses directly marketing to children under the age of 10
and using toys to lure them to eat food that is not only unhealthy but also potentially addictive will be pending this declaration as will the marketing of cosmetics to young
girls and military-themed toys and/or toy weapons to young boys.

____________________________________________________________
Okay, enough of the legalese. What I'd really like is a world where compassion is the
guiding principle. One where we let kids be kids for longer than it takes to get them
out of diapers. One where we allow their personal characteristics and traits to determine who they become and not just their gender. One where we let words like 'normal' go
by the wayside and honestly embrace diversity and all that it entails. One where
people actually attempt to put themselves in another person's shoes and consider how
what they are about to say/do might impact the people around them.

Current mood: irritated


Sort of the same old song

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I actually meant to blog on Sunday and totally forgot. Not that anything much is going on (hence the subject line on this one if you don't count my wicked love of the alliteration going on there). My days and evenings have begun to develop a pattern of late. Nearly every evening is spoken for in one way or another and weekends tend to be filled up cleaning, doing laundry and, about half the time, visiting the family. Went to see Angie and the kids at my aunt's on Saturday and managed to have an enjoyable time. My cousin Travis' daughter is so cute it seems unfair to other babies. I admit, however, that I'm in no small way biased by the fact that she seems to adore me and loves to let me hold her for as long as I'm willing to or until someone else demands a turn.

Work's still good and, oddly enough, one of my many supervisors told me she just loves the job I'm doing there. They are, in my opinion, easily impressed but I'm certainly not going to try and disabuse them of such ideas.

And, as usual, I'm reading and knitting all the damn time. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is the book of the moment and I would love it if I could get someone else to read it and tell me what they think. (Monica, you are obviously off the hook) And, speaking of Monica-she's kindly read and not torn to shreds some of my poetry and Wednesdays are now our evening for writing-type endeavors. It's been interesting and is forcing me to work on my confidence in my writing. Not just the act of sharing it (which was a big step for me) but also changing the way I approach it and beginning to see it as more than just an outlet for whatever emotions I can't get rid of any other way. It's a change and definitely a positive one. Can't say enough about positive change these days-plenty of that happening and, hopefully, more to come.

Just a brief update

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Current mood: hopeful
So, apparently Emma's got an appointment with another specialist at one of the children's hospitals here (no idea which one at the moment) for Monday. Hopefully, these doctors will know better how to handle a 5 year old. Angie says they've assured her that they'll give Em something to relax her before this test (if they think the test is necessary). So, fingers are crossed that something might actually happen to help them get to the bottom of this thing.

As requested...

Saturday, March 28, 2009



I'll take any and all opinions with just this caveat-don't jump to conclusions about the content.



Funhouse


The dark void

still

vast

Now suddenly fills with vague familiars, comforting faces with their gleaming razor sharp edges

I stumble blindly
again and again

Offering my veins in exchange
for a map back through this

funhouse.

An exit suggests itself as the jagged lines form, bright against my skin.

The thinks I think

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I have had a week, let me tell you. I spent a large part of it getting smacked again by things that inspired the rant and gave me even more things to add to the edicts that would shape the world were it mine. Despite the fact that I'm working on not getting emotionally invested in things I have no control over and thinking I'm responsible for saving the kids horribly stupid relatives of mine insist on populating the planet with, I found myself sucked in, angry/sad/sickened for several days. Well, if I'm wholly honest, I still am but all I can really do is shake my head and hope for the best. Why certain members of my family even have children is a question I'd like answered at some point. And, as several of you have already lent their ears to this issue and I like to avoid redundancy....

*leaves it there and moves on to more pleasant topics*

This week at work, I apparently came one step closer to being indispensable as my supervisor tells me she had thoughts of getting me a pager so she can reach me wherever I am as I go about my job. I also got asked to start sitting in on three more meetings per month, bringing the total I attend to 5. And, I'm supposed to keep notes at at least one of them so the boss doesn't have to attend. June, however, is closer all the time with not a hint of how the budget's going to shake out. I just keep saving away and hope for the best.

Finished Ishmael this week (please, someone else read it and talk about it with me!) and the third of the Twilight series. That series definitely improved in my opinion with that book. One chapter, in particular, was very well written and almost enough to make me recommend them (close but no cigar). Still don't think they're good, thematically, for teenage girls. As if they need another example telling them they need a male hero to save them from themselves?

This weather is pissing me off. One day it's gorgeous, the next it's snowing. I want spring...

I went to see Javier Mendoza with Wendy from book club Friday. If you haven't heard his music, I really suggest checking him out. He performs at a lot of small venues around here and that marked the second time I've caught him for free. Went shopping finally and got some new work clothes that fit. Spent too much but I do keep clothes an absurdly long time. Oh, and I tied up some loose ends on Saturday. So relieved to have gotten at least one toxic person out of my life.

That's about it for now. Stay tuned for an update on Emma's doctor visit if you're interested.