Monday, September 10, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We're moving!

Hey you! I know you! You've been reading my blog!

Okay, maybe you haven't been reading, maybe you just happened to drop by. Or maybe you've stumbled here by accident.

Regardless, if you're looking for me, I'm not here anymore. I'm upgrading to the world of the dot-com. Come visit me! (Oh, and on the off chance that you've linked me on your sidebar, I'd love you to make the change there, too!)

http://brightyellowworld.com

See you there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

All that glitters...

I've been at my "new job" for a month, and I love it. I feel a bit like I've scammed the universe into giving me a job that is beyond perfect for me, and I'm just waiting to get caught in the act. Sure, like any job, there are things I don't like, but they are few and far between. Overall, my job is an absurd amount of fun.

We're talking, there is a byline in my budget for glitter. Glitter, people. This is not reality.

I'm designing Outreach programs for a small non-profit music festival in San Fran. Basically, that just means that I'm coming up with new ways to show people how to relate to the arts. I like to hope that my programs will put the performing and fine arts back into the vernacular language of our culture, but that might be a bit far-fetched. Regardless, I'm starting out with a small-ish kids' program. I'm putting on ten events in conjunction with our concerts, and every one of them makes me smile. There's a day when we're having a professional muralist come in and work with the kids. We're having a "rock band petting zoo," where the kids can try out the different instruments and hear how they sound up close. We're making Mardi Gras masks, Batik flags, and maracas out of mailing tubes and pinto beans.

I can honestly say that I've never done work that makes me feel this happy. Perhaps it's a bit early in the process to make a judgment call like this, but I really feel like I could build an amazing program, one that will make me proud of what I do. I arrive to work (and leave, as well) feeling hopeful about my world. It's a new feeling for me in recent years, the feeling that life is all going to work out for the best. It's a feeling that I'm growing accustomed to, and one that I would love to snuggle into like a fluffy blanket. This might sound ridiculous, but this job makes me feel, oddly, "safe." It's refreshing to feel like my world doesn't revolve around myself every single moment. And yes, the blog is an odd forum to be making that statement, I realize, being entirely self-motivated and me-centered. What I mean, I suppose, is that this job makes me feel like my identity isn't tied so much to who likes me (or doesn't), my single-ness, my appearance, whatever. My identity also isn't tied to my playing, the amount of time I spent practicing, or what I'm capable of learning to play tomorrow.

Does that sound crazy? I guess it probably is, particularly for those of you who've been in the "real world" for longer than I have. Maybe it's just getting out of school, or maybe my job really is the reason behind it. I just finally feel at home in my life.

And the glitter doesn't hurt!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Boys drool

Two weeks ago, Mushroom Man stood me up. I should elaborate, I suppose, by saying that, on Saturday, we made plans for Thursday. When I called on Thursday to find out what time he'd like to come over for dinner, he called me back to say that "something came up." He then suggested that perhaps we get together the following Sunday or Monday, and promised he'd call back the next day (Friday) to make plans.

He has never called.

Now, normally I'd just cut my losses and move on. There are two problems, however, that leave me wondering at my next course of action.

1. He is my friend (and has been, for almost two years), and his place of work is one of my favorite places on Earth. So I can't/won't stop going by just to avoid him.
2. We dated/whatevered for over four months.

I realize that there's nothing I can do to change his behavior. And I really have no desire to pursue dating him after this debacle. Yes, there was more drama involved than I'm divulging, but really... you don't need to know all the idiot-girl moments of "Why isn't he calling me?," or "What does it all mean???" And, though many people don't believe me, I have no intention of "trying to teach him a lesson." The reality is that if he's insensitive and careless enough to do this, he won't give a rat's ass what I think of him or his behavior. And expressing my aggravation will only stress me out. I'm all about keeping myself comfortable at the moment. In light of all this, I think I've earned that little bit of selfishness.

The question remains, however: What do I do? I'm annoyed that he is proving to be such an infant. Really, just saying to me, "Abs, I'm not really feeling it, thanks but no thanks," would have been sufficient. And I've basically asked him several times if that's how he's feeling. I'm frustrated that his actions (or lack thereof) are now creating a situation that requires resolving, when plain honesty would have alleviated any need for that. And I'm embarrassed, because now I feel like a jackass for spending four months on someone who clearly didn't give a shit about me.

(Is it possible that this is the cause of the recent crankiness? Hmmmmmm... Jury says yes.)

So, blogosphere, how do you handle this? Or, more accurately, how do I handle this?

In other news, I have a date with someone new and nice tomorrow, so I'm not giving up hope. Just irritated.

Friday, April 06, 2007

ACK!

Okay, folks. I do not like my template. And I do not like my blogger template options. And I just checked out wordpress (whose templates are waaaaay prettier), and I immediately became SERIOUSLY STRESSED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Honestly, I can't believe that this is bothering me so much. I mean, I really didn't think that blogging and I were such close pals that the notion of switching things would cause me anxiety.

I am thinking of doing the dot-com thing, but I frankly wouldn't even know how to begin with that.

So. Here's the question: what do you all use, how do you create your templates, and SHOULD I REALLY BE FEELING LIKE SUCH A FREAK OF NATURE RIGHT NOW?????????????

I need an Easter miracle. And some advice.

Knock on wood

My dad used to tell me that I was born under a lucky star. Perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I've always felt like a remarkably lucky person. And no, I don't mean "I feel so blessed to live the life I live" and blah blah blah. I don't mean anything deep or meaningful. I mean that small, insignificant, and stupidly lucky things tend to happen. For instance, I tend to drive up to a destination just as the person parked out front is leaving. I win raffles, which I enter on a whim and completely forget about. I've never broken a bone, despite inherent clumsiness and an inability to stand upright for an entire day.

Once, when I was a kid, we were at an amusement park. I think I was maybe five or six years old. I was an awkward kid, chubby, with bad hair and worse clothes. I was thoroughly uncoordinated, and I cringe when I think of myself walking, running, or (sweet lord!) throwing things. Despite this, I entered one of those impossible carnival games. You know, the one with the zillions of glass coke bottles, and you throw a ring from far-ish away and try to get it over one of the bottles? Well, on the first try, I got the ring over the bottle. And, given my choice of prize, I selected a GIGANTIC, white stuffed buffalo. And by "gigantic," I mean six feet long, four feet tall, three feet wide. I should mention that it was the beginning of our long day at the park, meaning that my mother had to carry this thing around on her back for another eight hours.

Apparently, my mother is not an inherently lucky person. But god, is she incredibly patient!

What made me remember all of this, however, was that yesterday someone mentioned a cakewalk. I don't remember who, and my apologies for not linking to you. At any rate, I had this really funny, vague memory of my first-ever cakewalk, when I was really young.

I remember the music, I remember that I was wearing a yellow dress. I remember that my mom made Sis and I stick together, and I kept trying to separate from her and get my own spot (yeah... sorry about that...) and she started crying. Finally, the cakewalk lady just told my mom to let us each have a spot. I remember each kid got a cupcake when they were out. And I remember, vividly, the disappointment of discovering that I was the last one left, and the realization that they were out of cupcakes. And the utter delight of discovering that, instead, I alone was to receive a full-sized chocolate cake.

I never said I was a particularly bright child. Just lucky.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In Birmingham they love the guv'ner...

Something that you already knew about me: in many ways, I am still a Southerner, despite calling San Fran my home. I like my tea sweet, my chicken fried, and my bread in the form of biscuits. I have a weakness for gigantic, hot-rollered hair. My liquor of choice is bourbon (seriously), and college football season inspires in me some kind of near-religious fervor. And, if I know you well enough and trust you not to judge me, I have an accent.

And when I'm in a bad mood, there is one thing that I know, without question, will soothe the savage beast:

Southern Rock music.

Which is why, last night, I found myself in my living room, rocking out to Free Bird in my underwear. There was air guitar. There was major ass-shaking and a few high-kicks. I may or may not have twisted my ankle. And I won't even tell you how many times I played the song on repeat. Nor will I tell you how many times it was followed by both Sweet Home Alabama AND Black Water, by the Doobie Brothers.

You can take the girl out of the South, but...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pout

My crankypants are pulled up HIGH today.

Not only did I achieve very few hours of sleep last night, but now I'm waiting for my boss to have a meeting that was scheduled for two hours ago. And I can't do anything at all until we've met.

The two main signs that I need to just start today all over again? I snapped, verbally, at three of my coworkers. Now, those of you who actually know me personally will probably understand the ramifications of this. I don't snap at people. I certainly don't say to people, "You are being really freaking rude." And why, you ask, did I feel the need to share my bad-humored state with the world? Oh, wait for it. They criticized my lunch. Yup. They told me my lunch was gross. And I got mad.

sigh. I need more important things to worry about!

And then I nearly kicked a child's ass at the restaurant, while picking up said lunch. I walked through the door, and this little girl (perhaps seven years old?) glares at me and says, "There's a line, and you better not cut in front of me!!!"

WHAT. THE. CRAP????????????????????????????

Whose mother allows them to talk that way to strangers? And yes, her mother was standing right next to her. I literally had to close my eyes and take a deep breath.

Intellectually, I know that this is lack of sleep talking. I know that I will wake up in the morning (provided the *%$#ing cats leave me alone) in a different world, a world of unicorns and rainbows and bluebirds. Right now, though, I just feel like whining as I wallow in my self-pity.

Good work, me!

Hell, thy name is cats

It's 6:30 a.m. and I've been awake for an hour. At 5:20 my cats decided that it was high time I got up, and they began to be complete assholes. Seriously, every single annoying thing they could have done, they did. When I locked them out of my room, Puck ran at the door and threw his body against it, and Pierre sang opera at top volume. When I opened the door, Pierre welcomed himself inside and began to bang on the closet door for admission. When I opened the closet door? He found the one roll of paper inside and began to poke it with his paw, creating an amazing amount of noise. When I kicked Pierre out and tried to go back to sleep with Puck, he began to chase his tail on top of me. Finally, I gave up. So. Here I am. Awake and showered at 6:40 a.m., drinking tea and listening to my second Nick Drake album of the morning. And grumpy as all hell!

Yes, I know. There are worse things. But I'm already exhausted from the past several months of being crazy busy, and... blah. Whining about it will do no good, I realize. I need to figure out how to entertain my cats. Clearly they are bored, but I have very little space and few resources to solve that problem. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Like a feather pillow

That's how stuffed I am. Wündergirl and I ate tonight at The Last Supper Club at 23rd and Valencia. And sweet lord, was it delicious! I had a cocktail, an awesome glass of wine, crostini with tomatoes and basil, risotto balls stuffed with mozzerella, pork tenderloin with balsamic vinegar sauce, and tiramisu. I feel like it's Thanksgiving. I feel like I could enter a coma at any moment. I feel like hell. And yet, it was soooooooooo worth it.

Mushroom Man has officially disappeared. The weirdest part about this is that I'm not terribly sad. I'm mad, and my feelings are hurt, but sad? Not exactly. I feel deflated, to a certain extent. I have a hard time with the fact that someone I've considered a friend for so long has managed to discount my feelings so completely. But this is not the end of the world. And I'm not feeling damaged. Realistically, the past four months with him have been mostly fun, mostly a great time. So I'd consider the overall situation to have been successful. This is a first for me: walking away from something that's not "bad" simply because it isn't what I want. It feels good to raise my standards, to feel okay with that decision.

According to my friend, Bittersweet Bob, I'm "soft." I'm "sappy." I'm equal parts wonderful and weak, sweet and saccharine. Now, first of all, I have a really hard time with someone criticizing a fundamental aspect of my personality. I find it infuriating when someone who can't handle criticism tells me what's on their list of "what's wrong with Abbersnail." Secondly, when is it ever acceptable to say that to someone??? There's something about me that seems to scream, "Hey, you can say anything to me! Come on! Hit me with the inappropriate comments! Say the disgusting thing to me! Tell me about your revolting medical condition, the time you cheated on your current girlfriend, or the biggest zit you've ever had. I'd LUH-HOOOVE to hear all about it." Come on, world! Give me a break!!!

Another monumentally bad post, but whatever. Goodnight, all!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Awkward Teens

You travel in packs, hungry as wolves, starving for identity. You share sticks of gum, ipod earbuds, and tragically romantic secrets. You still look, wide-eyed, at the world around you, yearning to seem wise, anxious about your own vulnerability.

I envy you your sense of immortality. You approach the world relatively undamaged, yet certain of your own dramatic history. You haven't yet learned to question the importance of your wounds. Instead, you declare them proudly to the world, penned in black Sharpie on your jeans, your backpack, your Converse All-Stars. You walk the world with your strange and beautiful fashion disasters, the rebellious nose-piercing paired with the 1940's Maryjanes so akin to your great-grandmother's. You pin political insignias and smart-assed slogans on your hat or your backpack. You sneer in derision at the commonplace world around you, the commonplace people (like me, someone who creates the events that you proudly tout as being "anti-establishment" or "alternative"). You know, without question, that you are destined for extraordinary things. You know, without question, that the it's only a matter of time until the rest of the world realizes how exceptional you are, too.

You struggle for breath, your individuality like oxygen in space: so simultaneously elusive and critical. You are so certain of each love in your life, loving for all you're worth, without hesitation or remorse. And, when it ends, you wallow unabashedly in your exquisite pain.

You are distinct without standing apart. You are alike without pandering to the desires of others. You are waiting for life to strike you as you turn the next bend in the river. And you are ready to strike back.

You are desperation.

And you make me smile, you make me remember, you make me thankful for who and where and what I am.

Moi


Abbersnail
Originally uploaded by maliavale.
Courtesy of Malia.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Effing $%#&!!!

My damn cat. I love my cats. And, admittedly, I especially love Pierre. I love that he snuggles up to me for days upon end. I love that he sleeps every night curled up against my stomach. I love that he purrs at the slightest touch, at eye contact. I love that he lets me hold him like a baby, pushing his front paws against my right cheek while I rub his belly.

I do not, however, love that he just butted his head against my hand as I was about to take a sip of wine, spilling the entire glass over my favorite t-shirt (and default bra), as well as my sofa and throw pillow.

Does anyone know if that Oxyclean shit actually works? I have my clothing soaking in the bathroom sink, but it doesn't look like much is happening.

Add to that the fact that I was stood up tonight, and ended up making my beautiful risotto for myself alone, and you have the makings of a great hangover tomorrow.

grrrrrrrrrr

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A mixed bag

Tonight I feel utterly decadent. I skipped a concert that I'd been planning to attend since October, organized a photo album, drank wine, and watched a movie. And today I learned that we get a week of vacation "off the books" at the end of August. So... any suggestions for a great solo vacation? I'm thinking of renting a cabin in Big Sur, or perhaps Yosemite. Any other ideas? I'd prefer that it not involve an airplane, though I'm not absolutely nixing the idea.

Last night, I had one of the strangest conversations with J that I've ever imagined. We talked not only about the new people we're seeing, but also gave one another advice on how to treat our new "people." And, oddly, I didn't end the conversation feeling hurt. I felt a bit sad that I can't ascertain Mushroom Man's intentions. I'm feeling competitive that J's in a more stabile position with his new girlfriend than I am with the quasi-boyfriend. But I'm overwhelmingly okay with the whole thing. Is that odd? I think it probably is. But I think it's a good thing.

Oh God.

Anyhoo...

My downstairs neighbors have been banging on my floor (their ceiling) for the past three weeks. It's beginning to irritate the living shit out of me. I'm annoyed enough that I'm beginning to consider moving. Or shooting them. One of the two.

I refuse to believe how truly abysmal this post is. Eh. Such is life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happiness!

It was a great weekend. Malia arrived on Thursday, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were nothing but fun. I finally met the gorgeous and wonderful-in-every-way Stacy, along with Jurgen and Matt! And let's not forget about great times spent with Don Q, camping, eating, and Golden-Gate-Bridge...ing. All three of them took gorgeous pictures, to which I will add links as soon as I figure out how best to do that. Ahem. And, as always, the weekend provided myriad Golden Nuggets Of The Spoken Word. A few highlights, you beg? Why, certainly!

I think a fox died in my mouth.

Would you care for a trypleberry muffin?

My hair looks like the apocalypse.

There are more, but those are the only ones I'm remembering at the moment. Because I rock like that. sigh.

In other news, my office has finally reopened after Fire Break 2007. It ended up being a delightful week off. Interestingly, we have now discovered that the fire was set intentionally by a crazy man who thought there were evil spirits in his bedroom. Awesome! Luckily, no one was hurt, and he's getting professional help now. And hey, I got a week off! So... HA! I was actually pretty anxious to get back to work all week, and now I feel like I've lost some major momentum. Yesterday I stared at my computer screen a bunch, and then read a lot of education materials. I think it'll take me a few days to get back in the groove. Eh. Such is life.

Lastly, have y'all seen this? Because... wow. That's really the only way to put it. Wow.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Recommended reading!

Go here! Seriously. This chica is one hell of a smart cookie, and I loved this post.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fortune cookie wisdom

The sock sack: We promote safe socks!

While not necessarily what I'm about to discuss, the above appeared on my gmail screen tonight. I don't know whether to laugh, or poke my eye out with a spoon. Anyhoo...

As most of you know, I am the princess of one-liners. The kind of crap that spews forth from my mouth when drunk is truly and utterly appalling, in the "hysterical and embarrassing" category. I was discussing this today with one of my superhero friends, Wünderfrau (dude, I can't come up with a better name for you at the moment... we'll reconvene and get you something good, I promise), and she suggested that I blog the following list. Because I only remember some of them, I'm inviting you to share. Go ahead, reveal to me what crazy thing I said to you. Or, if you're brave, share some of your own fortune cookie wisdom. (Note: I am not necessarily claiming to have originated all of the following sayings. But they have crossed my lips. Those are the only rules here, folks. Oh, and no. They don't have to make sense.)

Here are the ones I can remember. I'll add to the list as I recall them.

1. "Love" is a verb.
2. Such-and-such-coworker won't give you the keys to the kingdom, but you sure as hell better do your own landscaping.
3. There's a difference between thoughtlessness and carelessness. Thoughtlessness, or the absence of thought, is forgivable. Carelessness means you've chosen not to care. And that's just not okay.
4. I'm making the same mistake over and over! That's the definition of insanity: doing the same exact thing repeatedly, and expecting different results!
5. People don't change. Behaviors change, but people stay the same.
6. I'll get it done tomorrow, good Lord willing and the crick don't rise.
7. It's bridge over the troubled water. I mean, water under the bridge.
8. You can lead a horse to water, but he'll probably want the grass on the other side.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sound the trumpets

Here's my official seal!

Very little to say...

Today my place of work caught on fire. The building next door burned to the ground. We evacuated with no alarm, only because my boss happened to see flames shooting past his window. Ten seconds after we passed the front door, the windows blew out in the building next to ours.

You never think that this happens, not in our era. You don't think that a building will burn to the ground in under an hour, as you watch from across the street. You don't think that the smoke alarm in your building will simply never go off.

I am not a religious person. But whatever or whoever is up there, I'm thankful for my life, and for the lives of my friends.

I don't have anything deep or meaningful to say. I'm shaken to my core at the moment, even after three hours and as many glasses of wine. Okay, that's it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Blogiversary!!!

Holy crap! After I just posted, it occurred to me that I started the blog around a year ago. So I checked, and I started the blog

A YEAR AGO

TODAY!!!!

Don't you love moments like that?

Goodbye Houston, Hello San Fran!

The last piece of my life that remained local to somewhere other than San Francisco is no more.

I have changed my phone number.

I know, I know, seemingly unnecessary. And I might regret it. Particularly since my new number is almost entirely odd numbers. Which kind of bothers me.

I'm weird like that.

Ready for "I'm weirder like that?": the first and last numbers are square numbers, and all the other numbers are prime.

Regardless of this instant analysis of the new number, I have not a clue what it actually is.

Here's to me, Internets. Here's to me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Descriptions of Point Reyes

Yesterday I spent the day in Point Reyes with one of my all-time best friends, Biodude. We drove up to hopefully catch a glimpse of the migrating gray whales, and to enjoy the beautiful weather and the extra hour of daylight. I've spent 24 hours trying to construct a narrative that would accurately depict my impression of Point Reyes as my new Favorite Place On Earth, but to no avail. All I can come up with are these scattered impressions, which will probably make me sound like a pretentious lunatic, but whatever. It's my blog!

There's something about the air in Point Reyes. It's the scent of the Pacific mingling with dust and the indescribable aroma of sunshine. To inhale is like diving into a cool lake, a lake that is so clear that you can see the stones at the bottom. With each breath, I could feel my heartbeat slowing, my muscles loosening.

Sea lions! Nearly a hundred females and babies, their smooth, oblong bodies like so many gray and brown stones spread on the beach. And one gigantic male, like a slab of earth lying, immense, in the middle of his harem. Seen from far away, their movements were barely discernible, the occasional flip of a limb the only sign of life.

We hoped all day to see a whale, scanning the horizon as we hiked the coast trail, searching for a telltale puff of mist to signal a moving pod. On the rare instance that we passed other hikers, they would invariably tell us of the whale they'd just spotted, "closer than you'd think." As we sat on a cliff, silently staring at the endless spot where the ocean and the sky collide, we were both ready to go home. As we leaned down to pack our belongings, something made us both look up at a spot only about 50 feet away. At the burst of mist, we both shouted, standing completely still until the hulking dark shadow in the water was completely out of sight.

I sometimes think that I am the luckiest person in the universe. Not only because of my habit of finding the greatest-ever parking spot, nor because of the odd carnival games that I seem to win despite my lack of games-and-sports prowess, but also because I have some of the most amazing friends in the world. I think the definition of a great friendship is the ability to see one another for the first time in eight months, and then immediately spend a solid two hours staring at waves crashing on cliffs in complete and companionable silence. To trust someone enough that words are rendered unnecessary: that, to me, is love.

Is there anything as divine as the feeling of wet sand and icy ocean water on trail-worn feet? If there is, I dare you to find it.

We were at Point Reyes for six hours, maybe eight. And as we were walking back to the car, after an hour of climbing rocks on the beach, I looked at Biodude and said, "I feel like I've been on vacation for a week." He nodded. Then he said, "Next time, you should probably wear even more sunscreen."

Friday, March 09, 2007

A new truth

When it comes to emotions, I am not a cautious person. Despite my typical "look before you leap" approach to life, I have never learned how to check my feelings at the door and not take life personally. This is one of the things I like most and least about myself. I like that I am experiencing my own life, that I can look back one day and say that I truly felt the impact of every moment. I hate that I cry at the drop of a hat, that a memory can bring with it a rush of anger that has aged three years, that I cannot wipe the proverbial slate clean when it comes to my feelings towards people.

To tumble into a friendship is one of my favorite feelings in the world. I love the rush of falling into another person, discovering a familiar soul in the crushing race through the universe. And, historically, I have always approached love with the same haphazard recklessness, hurtling myself towards potential disaster.

Something has changed.

I currently find myself in a situation that begs clarifying. It has hit the point where it is, frankly, just absurd. It has hit a point where I should have asked the question two months ago, ripped the bandaid off, and let the chips fall where they may. (I'm apparently the master of mixed metaphors today...) And now I'm not sure I want to know the answer, despite knowing that any answer will at least eliminate the overwhelming uncertainty. The problem is simple: I like this person. I like this person a dangerous amount. And, despite the knowledge that I am utterly fantastic, I don't have faith that this person could ever like me back.

I know, I know, it's a cliché older than any other. It's the sort of thing that makes me feel crazy for having nothing more critical, more meaningful to care about. It also makes me furious with myself for being an ostrich, pushing my head into the sand to avoid getting hurt. This is not who I am. I've always lived by the adage, "Better to have loved and lost than to never love at all." Yet, somehow I cannot bring myself to trust in the general goodness of the universe on this one. And I cannot bring myself to face the possibility that my pessimistic side could be right.

Basically, I need to just suck it up and grow a pair.

sigh

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Something old, something new

Today I started my new job. The oddest part about this "first day" was that it wasn't really a first day. I spent five months working with this same small organization last summer, so it was more like trading desks. I am beyond excited to be starting work. The days ahead are laden with possibility (a word I feel I overuse in the blog, but... eh), and the overwhelming list of tasks to be accomplished is, overall, exciting to me. Hoorah for change!

More on my mind, however, is the absolutely beautiful "farewell party" my wonderful former coworkers threw for me last night. It's odd, realizing that I'm saying goodbye to the Ballet. I think, for me, goodbyes are much more epic. The last few times I've said goodbye to a large group of friends, I've been moving 1,000+ miles away, with the full knowledge that I would be unlikely to see them for a while. This time, the "move" is a mere three blocks, the distance traversable within five minutes. This time, the "goodbye" is more like "see you this weekend."

Bearing that in mind, however, I want to share some of the beautiful (and increasingly out-of-focus as the cocktails went on...) photos from my party. This is the first party that I can think of that anyone has ever thrown for me, and I can't thank my friends enough. So... here you go!















Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tolstoy Lied, by Rachel Kadish

I've been looking for a new book for a while. Several people have loaned me their recent favorites, and I've started a few. I've always been a fast reader, a devourer of the written word. Recently, however, I find myself getting stuck. It isn't that I'm disinterested. Far from it. I just hadn't found anything that suited my mood, and my current state of perpetual transition.

When I read this ringing endorsement from Stefanie, I knew I'd found my new book. The fact that she'd discovered it courtesy of Malia, one of my most trusted sources of... um... basically anything, and I was desperate to start reading it. I ordered it online, it arrived at work yesterday, and I read it last night. I suggest you read Stefanie's blog entry on the subject, as she does a magnificent job of pulling out some of the most interesting quotes. I also suggest that you pick up a copy and read it.

As you may have noticed (cough), I've been thinking a lot about the nature of happiness. Ironically, I took my one reading break last night to watch Heroes, and at one point there was a line about the difference between living a happy life and a life of meaning. I can't remember the exact quote, which was quite lengthy, but the basic idea was that the two cannot exist together. Either you are happy with your lot, content to live entirely in the present, or you are tormented by your past, present and future, desperate to make the most of each moment.

It's an interesting argument, but I don't buy it. I refuse to believe that one has to choose between their own happiness and the betterment of the world. And I agree with Rachel Kadish, that we are a culture obsessed with our own tragedy. My junior year of college, a year fraught with drama, transition, and heartache, I made a decision to respond each time to the question, "How are you?" with the answer, "I'm great!" At first, I was delighted with the way it disarmed people, surprised them and made them smile. I was floored by the fact that I actually started to believe it, too! And then I went home for Christmas. And every time someone asked, I gave them my new standard answer. Until one day, while celebrating with my extended family, my mom interrupted loudly, squelching my two-word answer with an acid "You know, we're all really glad that you're so 'great,' but could you please stop rubbing all our noses in it?" The speech went on for a solid ten minutes, but I just remember being shell-shocked. Why was my happiness such a burden to my mother? Why, when I was truly making an effort to be happy, was my outlook on the world so horribly offensive?

While I may be inviting the ridicule of others, I still choose to look at the world this way. Sure, there are days when I am blown away by distrust, sadness, self-pity, or anger. But whenever possible, I choose to believe, fully, that "I'm great." I choose to believe that Tolstoy lied when he insisted that only our inner turmoil makes us unique and interesting. Because, frankly, if it's true that misery loves company, I choose to be lonely in my enjoyment of the world. Maybe the comment someone made to me recently, that I am the last un-cynical person in the world, is a Great Truth, but I will take niavete over disenchantment any day of the week.

Call me foolish, but I have to believe that I can make the world better by smiling at it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I feel the Earth move under my feet!

Okay, maybe this makes me weird. Feel free to share if you think I'm weird. But it totally makes my day when I feel an earthquake. I feel like a member of some exclusive club. I'd never felt one until right after Christmas. I was at a fancy dinner with Mushroom Man, and suddenly the house felt like it was sliding. Then I felt one a few days ago, at the Ballet building. And then tonight.

Tonight was definitely the best one. It was a solid five-ten seconds of shaking, subtle, but enough to notice.

I don't know why I enjoy the earthquakes so much. "Natural disasters" generally freak me out. I am terrified of tornadoes, to the point where a tornado warning in Houston would cause hyperventilation. Earthquakes, however, have always fascinated me. Not that I'm encouraging the San Andreas to party like there's no tomorrow. I cannot conceive of an earthquake that results in disaster. But the little ones? Yeah, I think they're cool.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thank you, and goodnight

Today marks the end of my six-month match.com subscription. I know many of you have done the internet dating thing, and let me tell you, it's... an experience. This past summer, the Summer Of Weddings, about one out of every three of the couples I played for met online. In my current office, the woman in the happiest (from the outside) relationship met her boyfriend online. So I know it can be done. And I met several very nice people. But folks, I also met some real... characters. And I cannot
cannot
deny you the pleasure of a little pained laughter at my expense. Because we've all been there. So, without further ado, the top ten

WORST THINGS I WAS TOLD ON A MATCH.COM DATE
1. I'd give you a six out of ten.
2. I'm an art photographer. I'm really good. How would you feel about posing nude sometime?
3. So, when you say you haven't been in a relationship for a while, does that mean you're looking for a relationship now? Because, to be honest, I'm just looking to get laid.
4. I can tell that you're the kind of person who has a great personality, but you'll never stop traffic. You're just too short.
5. You know, I really like you, and we have great chemistry, but I can just tell that you're never going to want to have my children.
6. So, this one time my ex and I got high, and...
7. I was really drawn to your picture. You remind me of this cousin of mine...
8. You're a flutist? I used to play the tuba in high school. Actually, you're pretty tiny. I bet you'd fit inside my tuba case!!!
9. I'm getting a master's degree. Here's my resume. You should read it. I'd be a really great catch for a girl like you.

And last, but certainly not least:

10. You know, you're a really, really beautiful woman. I mean, you have a great body. But I can just tell that, once you get a rock on your finger, your ass is just going to start getting bigger...

Monday, February 26, 2007

The butterfly effect

Yesterday morning, while changing my sheets, I noticed that the corners were essentially just four big holes. I thought to myself, "How can this be? These sheets aren't that old! Why, I've only had them since... uh... oh. Right." And so, off I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

People. I hate these kinds of stores. They suck me in, with their fancy-kitchen-appliance sections, their beautiful knife displays, and their mountains and mountains of fluffy, fancy, wonderful pillows. These stores make me feel like my home could be an oasis, draped in chenille throw blankets and filled with the scent of fresh-baked gourmet scones and designer coffee. I escaped relatively unscathed, with a set of (um, hi. expensive!) sheets and a "bargain pack" of wooden coathangers. I hopped in my car and drove home.

But visions of my ideal apartment still danced in my head. And, while the new, fancy, hole-free (and did I mention expensive?) sheets washed and dried, I began to ponder my options. I vaccuumed. I scrubbed. I moved some pictures and rehung others. I threw unnecessary things away, and put usable ones on Craigslist. And by 10pm, my apartment looked better. Not amazing, but better. Almost like I live there.

I've lived in this apartment for a year and a half, and as I began to create a living space that really feels beautiful to me, I realized that my apartment has really embodied my life over the past 18 months. It saw the hope that J and I would be okay, followed by the immediate demise of our relationship. It was a safe haven for Sis, a summer home for Shelly. I moved in with two cats, and when one moved out I acquired another. It's seen three sofas, each an improvement over the last, and a change in almost every other piece of furniture. And through all of it, it has been a transient place, a place I was planning on moving out of. And now, suddenly, it is where I live. It's not the most beautiful apartment. There's a wall of old-school paneling that I do not love, a very pink bathroom with frosted shower doors, and myriad other quirks. But for good or bad, it's mine. And it's about time that I started living there.

So it started with new sheets. And it's still not finished. But I can almost walk through the door and see myself staying for a while.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Reason #249.7 That I Need A Social Network

I had two free tickets to a really cool show tonight. The show is a band whose members are from other bands that I like. (Does that sentence make sense? I've re-read it about six times, and I can't decide.) The show started 45 minutes ago, and I am at home. Why? Because after three days of asking everyone and their mother, no one could go. This is due, mostly, to the fact that I only have about five people living locally who would be interested in going to a show like this.

I need friends. I need local friends. If there were a match.com-type thing for friends, I would totally sign up for it. I'd be all over that website, I'd pay whatever exorbitant fee they were asking, because I need friends. How do you meet people after college? I know it'll happen, that it's only going to get better, but really... I'm lonely. Which sounds pathetic, because I am constantly busy. But this is the first time that I can think of when I haven't had a trusted group of people I could call for impromptu fun. This is the first time that I've eaten dinner alone night after night. This is the first time that I've reverted to eating cereal for dinner, because cooking for one just seems sad.

Does anyone have any suggestions here? I can't even believe that I have to ask this question, because friends have never been an issue for me. But I am at a loss. So, folks, what do you think? Suggestions would be most appreciated!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The cool kids

Here's the thing: I make no pretense of being "cool." I feel pretty socially awkward a lot of the time, which is something that surprises other people. I honestly think most of us feel this way, like we are imposters just waiting to get called out. I don't know. Maybe I'm full of crap. Feel free to tell me, if you think I'm wrong.

I will never be the it girl in the room, the one everyone wants to meet. I'm comfortable with that. Despite my love of performing on stage, I hate being the center of attention in a big group. I love making a big group laugh, I love contributing to the conversation, but I don't like realizing that people have been staring at me for the past ten minutes. That just makes me feel squirmy and awful.

And I've never felt like I'm in competition with the "popular" kids. I use that word in quotes, because I think the label of popularity has nothing to do with how many people like you in the world. "Popular," to me, connotes a personality trait, an extrinsic air of superiority that conceals an intrinsic need to be accepted. Even in high school, at an age when acceptance seems to be the number one desire, I was never a kid who wore cool clothes, striving for inclusion. Frankly, my outfits were tragic. I look back on the men's XXL t-shirts, the oversized jeans, the birkenstocks with thick socks, and I throw up a little bit in my mouth. (Particularly upon considering that I weighed 98 pounds, and my proportions were 36-23-34. sigh What a missed opportunity. I will never look that hot again. But I digress.) I was lucky in high school, with a large group of friends who shared my lack of sameness, and who all had friends in different circles. I still count many of my high school friends as my nearest and dearest. Being "cool" was simply never important.

The point is, I suddenly feel thrust into a situation where I am competing with a stereotypically "cool kid." I am comfortable enough in my own skin that I feel no urge to be more like this person in order to curry favor. The choice between us is simply going to be a matter of personal preference. But it is making me feel insane, because there is nothing I can do about it.

I am not demanding, I am not the kind of person who gets in your face and screams "choose me!" I feel like this person is of that ilk, and I am at a loss as to how I am supposed to assert myself. I can hope that I'll make the cut, simply because of my general niceness, my enthusiasm for life, or any other thing that makes me... me. But I've had enough experience to the contrary that I'm concerned.

I know that I shouldn't care so much. But there's always that underlying desire to beat the competition, to score higher despite the odds. Intellectually, I get that eventually someone will wake up and realize that I'm fantastic, even without all the flash. I know that I shouldn't have to be in competition with anyone, because I'm worth undivided attention all on my own. But again, it's all about this feeling that I think we all have, waiting to be called out as an imposter.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Killing time

I have a half hour to burn before I can leave work. I feel like my current job (the one I'm leaving in T-minus 14 days) is either so busy that I can't breathe (e.g. Gala), or drop-dead boring. The good news is that this gives me plenty of time to research all kinds of new and exciting things for my NEW JOB. I think about the possibilities all the time, about the limitless opportunities to grow this near-nonexistent Outreach program into something remarkable. It is such a refreshing change, to feel excited about my job again. I am really looking forward to getting started!

Another perk of the new job? The raise. Yes, there will be a raise. Enough of a raise that my current diet of black beans and rice will become substantially more varied. At least, that's the hope. The new job also comes with much more structured hours, and the promise of genuine FREE TIME. Time that I will hopefully use to cultivate friendships with people who live in the same time zone as I do. Not to say that everyone I love isn't enough. That's not it at all. But it would be delightful if I had enough local numbers programmed into my cell phone that I could meet someone for a drink occasionally. I'm just saying.

Other things? I might start taking yoga classes. Anything to de-stress, and the knee is preventing running at the moment. (Aside: This is the first time ever that I've felt my body getting older. This injury, which should have been minor, has been plaguing me for nearly two months. TWO MONTHS. I tore all the ligaments in my left ankle ten years ago, and six weeks later it barely hurt. What the crap, man?) And, as many people have pointed out to me, I may or may not need to learn how to calm down.

crickets

So I'm counting down the days. And I'll definitely miss all of my friends at the Ballet. But the promise of finally doing something that I love again is intoxicating.

Ho hum, 15 more minutes. Is it sad that it took me a whole 15 minutes to write the above? Maybe. It might be a little bit sadder that I expect someone to actually read it.

So. Let's make a list.

Ten Things I'd Like To Make For Dinner
(I should state, for the record, that these are items that I really could make for dinner, not just a list of fantasy dinners. That's a different animal, entirely.)

1. Chicken with morels in tarragon cream sauce
2. Barbeque-spiced peel and eat shrimp
3. Roasted chicken and veggies
4. Southwest pork chops with vegetable hash
5. Brunswick stew
6. Macaroni and cheese with chicken and broccoli
7. Acorn squash shepherd's pie
8. Salmon with orange-mushroom sauce
9. Gingersnap pork with apple brandy sauce
10. Gumbo Ya-Ya

Actually, I just realized that I might have all the ingredients for #8 already, so HOORAH!

Alrighty, I'm out of time, at last. Happy Wednesday, blogosphere!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Words

The most heartbreaking thing in the world is to tell someone to stop loving you. To say those words to someone who you've loved, cherished, dreamed and planned with, feels like taking a sledgehammer to your own chest. Knowing the gravity of your words on them, knowing how it would hurt, even now, to hear them say those words to you, you say them anyway. You say them, knowing that you still love this person, that you will always love this person, and knowing without question that he will never make you happy. That this person will never be your "soul mate." That this person is only your friend because of a shared history of a quarter of your life. You say these words, knowing that this person is right when he says that it's possible that no one will ever love you so completely again. You say them, knowing that you will cry and he will not. You say them, and then you send him off to his life, and then you go home to your tv and your cats, to a bowl of cereal and a sweatshirt and an empty night stretching before you like a black hole.

You say these words, and you hope for the best. You hope that you'll stop feeling so lonely, so empty, so lost. You hope that you'll relearn how to love someone, that you'll rediscover how to trust someone with all of you. You hope that you'll stop being this sad, sad girl who still feels the loss of a limb that was cut off nearly a year ago. You hope that you'll never feel a loss like this again, knowing full well that you undoubtedly will. You hope that you can soon make eye contact with him and feel warmth instead of anger, calm instead of anxiety.

You say these words, and you cry, and you hope, and you go home to your cereal and sweatshirt and cats. You take your shoes off, and you breathe, and in your heart you wish him well. And then you remind yourself that tomorrow is, again, the first day of the rest of your life, and that every moment brings a chance to change your universe.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hi, I'm a girl.

So here's the thing. Most members of my reading audience are men. At least, most of the people who I know are reading the blog are men. And boys, you may want to bypass this one. I'm about to share a lot of information about girl stuff that you probably never wanted to know about me. And it will probably horrify you to your core, because we don't talk about this stuff. EVER.

1. I've finally found a birth control pill that doesn't seem to be turning me into a crazy person or a blimp. Hoorah! Sure, I've gained the obligatory two pounds, and my boobs look fairly gigantic (at least, to me...), but I seem to still be able to wear all of my usual clothes, and I haven't cried every freaking five minutes since starting this pill. I can only stress to you how unusual this is for me. I believe that this is pill brand number 9 or 10, and I really was about to give up. Needless to say, I am a happy camper about this.

2. Having read from several of you (whose entries on the subject I can no longer find... GAH) about the wonders of the bikini wax, I have to say that I'm curious. I may go and do some research today. The unique thing about my neighborhood in San Francisco is that there's a chinese salon on every single corner that offers this service for next to nothing. We're talking ten bucks, here. But do I really want a bargain-basement bikini waxing? I'm not sure. I think the answer is no.

3. Stacy's assessment of Victoria's Secret versus the small lingerie boutique has rocked my world, and I am sooooo excited for my first paycheck at the new job. Dare I say it? I'm waiting to meet the bra that is going to change my life. Vicky has been good to me over the years, but I've recently become thoroughly disenchanted with her. It makes me ill to spend $40+ on a bra that itches after two washings and still shows under every damn t-shirt that I own. I'm also annoyed by the fact that I cannot seem to shop there without getting mowed down by 16-year-olds and their moms buying sexier lingerie than I have ever owned. I find that more than a little bit disturbing. I think my mom would pass out if she knew that I even owned a thong at the tender, virginal age of 26.

That's all.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Carpe Diem, baby

If there is such a thing as a perfect day, I lived it today. A whole day with no obligations presents so many options, so many possible ways of filling the time, that each moment seems like a lifetime. Add to that the fact that today was insanely beautiful, warm, and sunny, and you have the makings of the most outstanding day I've had in years. I slept in, had lunch at the Ferry Building, hung out at the mushroom store, went to the Museum of Modern Art, ate a fresh chocolate eclair, walked all over my city in the sunshine, took myself to a movie that no one would ever want to see with me, and sat in the grass of Yerba Buena gardens listening to the sound of the world. I breathed. I thought. I let the world pass without looking at the clock.

I honestly can't remember the last time I let myself just take up space. I know that doesn't make much sense, but I feel like we all spend so much time validating our own existence. Days like today make me feel like it's enough to just exist and be happy, to own the space that I occupy in this world and be okay with that. I feel like today existed in a vaccuum. Tomorrow will bring its own set of problems, stressers, and spectacle. I hope that there are more days like today in my near future, though I think the rarity of such a day makes it all the more special.

There is no point to this posting. I haven't posted in so long that I'm not even sure where to begin catching you up on all the news, so this is all I can give you at the moment, this love letter to a perfect day.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So today...

1. So today one of my bosses (the one I DO NOT LIKE) made me spend an hour counting 37-cent stamps, and then went out and bought a corresponding number of 2-cent stamps. Thank GOD I have a masters degree.

2. So today one of my coworkers walked into my office with five mini-boxes of chocolates, a roll of ribbon, and a handfull of tissue paper, and told me he needed me to wrap the chocolates for several donors. Thank GOD I have a masters degree.

3. So today I found out that the $500 bonus I was supposed to receive from the Ballet as a "thank you" for giving up three weeks of my life to Gala was actually only $287.75 in my bank account because of taxes. Thank GOD my ass is large enough to provide sustenance for an army. That's all I have to say.

4. So today I rocked an interview for a job that would pay me a living wage and allow me creative autonomy over my life. I am perfect for this job. And I think they know that. And I am terrified of the possibility that it presents. So terrified that I have cried three times today. Thank GOD for wine.

5. So today I have no idea what life is about. I managed to change the cat litter and clean my apartment for the first time in a few weeks, sure. But I feel more clueless than ever.

Why is it that unexpected, and seemingly undeserved, opportunity brings with it such anguish? Why? And why, after three glasses of mediocre red wine, am I listening to Damien Rice's 9 Crimes on repeat? Can we say "bad idea?" Um, hi.

UGH.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Something like it

Life is a funny thing. Just when I think I've figured out what I want, just as soon as I feel content to just be, suddenly a whirlwind sweeps in and knocks me off balance. Not in a bad way, mind you. More in a way that shakes me up and makes me question who I am and what I want out of this ride called Life. And the only answer that comes to my mind is, "I don't know." I want to be secure in myself. I want to be happy. I want to love and be loved for all I'm worth. I want to make someone's life better, and I want to die feeling like I'm leaving the world a better place than when I entered it.

I suppose the crux of the matter, and what I'm loving about having a regular "day job," is that I don't feel defined right now by what I do. I'm learning to appreciate smaller accomplishments, and realizing that they mean more to me than the accolades and the honors, than the performances that defined my mood for the subsequent three weeks. I feel greater happiness from the loaf of bread that I made, for the time I spent this weekend with a friend, than I feel sadness for the lack of flute playing that I am doing.

The oddest part about this phenomenon is that, for the longest time, I thought that doing something other than performing would be a cop-out. The idea of being someone who didn't spend my life onstage seemed like a watercolor version of life. And yet, my life now is more opaque, more rich than it ever has been. I'm clearly not where (or who) I want to be entirely, but there's hope that I'm getting closer, that I might be on the right road at last.

So, when someone calls you up with a fantastic opportunity, an opportunity that could knock your socks off, what do you do? There are pros and cons, of course, and I've been weighing them carefully. For the first time in my life, I have no gut instinct on this one. I trust gut instincts, and the lack of an immediate opinion on what my own fate should be is distinctly unnerving. And, frankly, it's not something I feel ready to discuss with people, at least not in anything more than these vague terms. I'm just rolling it around in my brain, sampling the different options like items on a buffet. I'll keep you updated. For now, it's just nice to get the thoughts out.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The cherry on top!

What could possibly add a little bit of extra sparkle to a January like this? I'd frankly already reached a point where it was just too ridiculous to care anymore. Once I discovered the degree to which someone has been using my bank account, all bets were off. The past month simply became funny.

So what, you ask, could possibly have just topped it off?

How about getting stuck in my extremely creepy, ancient elevator for over an hour? Yeah. That would probably do it. The good news? I was coming home from the grocery store, so at least I had cold beer in there with me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Stick a fork in me...

'cuz I'm done. Gala is over. So is my adrenaline-induced awakedness. I'll talk to y'all mañana. Until then...

Either you are in, or you are out. I am out. Auf Wiedersehen.

(This is clearly my most intelligent, insighful post to date. I realize. Thanks.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A rant, and then a bunch of other stuff

It's 10:56, and I just got home about ten minutes ago. We've all been working our asses off to make the Gala happen tomorrow. Today was a 14-hour day for me, and a longer one for my boss. We've talked about my boss. She is smart, funny, warm, a great leader, and a better friend. (And no, she doesn't know about the blog, so this isn't just brown-nosing. I actually do really like her. I kind of want to be her.) I'm pretty sure she's been at the office for 12+ hours every day for the past three weeks in preparation for tomorrow. She has sacrificed an incredible amount of her time and energy in order to pull this off, and has tried her absolute hardest to make everyone happy. Needless to say, there are always people in the world who are determined to make life difficult, however, and one of our guests is the epitome of this fact. As we were leaving the office at 10:30 tonight, my boss received an email from this horrendous human being, accusing her of being racist because of her table assignment. It made my boss/friend/hero cry in her office as we all stood awkwardly outside the door, unsure of what to do. And now I really want to kick some ass. Why do some people feel so entitled that they think it's absolutely acceptable to say whatever they want in the hopes of getting a rise out of someone? Why do some people think that it is okay to be mean? And why is it that some of us, myself included with a gold star, are so hurt by the insensitivity and cruelty of these rare and strange people? And, most importantly, why is it still illegal to kick the ever-loving crap out of them?

My tiny kitten, which Sis and I adopted in April, has now achieved a whopping 15 pounds. This is slightly horrifying, as he is still growing. Also, the fact that he still acts like a kitten, complete with the biting and pouncing on one's feet, is dramatically enhanced by the sheer magnitude of his being. It is highly overrated, and ridiculously cute.

Despite eating almost nothing for the past two weeks, I have still managed to gain five pounds. I find this to be horridly unfair. At the same time, however, I feel vindicated. I was explaining to a doctor recently that my weight plummets when I am happy and skyrockets when I am stressed, and he told me that this was "abnormal and highly unlikely." Take that, Doctor IknownothingaboutSnail.

There are tiny, shiny bits of myself (my soul) that seem to be coming alive recently. They freak me out and feel great, all at the same time. The irony, however, is that these sparkly pieces of glitter are also the cause of the depressed feelings. Is that possible? When something is capable of making me so happy, is it possible that it is also capable of making me feel so "blue?" Is this normal? I have no answers, and I'm oddly more comfortable discussing it in the blogosphere than I am talking to a trained professional about it. This, to me, also seems odd.

Thursday I am making fried chicken, biscuits, green beans with ham hock, cheese grits, and cobbler. I am also getting a haircut, and going to the doctor's appointment that I have rescheduled three times. (Yes, the lovely and wonderful boss has given me the whole day off.) I am living for Thursday.

This has been the longest, and shortest, of all months. I can't believe that January is almost over! Each day feels like an eternity, yet I can't seem to comprehend that February is only about a week away. I feel like the month has been a blur. Yet, somehow, during the last 20-some-odd days, I've helped my organization raise over a million dollars (!), made a few new friends, fallen in and out (and in) of "like," lost a roommate, and made over a whole normal paycheck's worth of overtime. I've also drunk an obscene amount of wine, bought more "convenience food" than I have since I was in college (thus the five pounds...), and gotten my lunch for free about 50% of the time. Will February bring the same brilliant insanity?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Eureka!!!

I have slept until nearly 7 am! YES! YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!

I'm still tired, and still unable to get back to sleep. But 7:00 is a time that normal people sometimes wake up, so I'm satisfied.

There's hope, ladies and jellybeans!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Unexpected happiness

Will Samson, I Heart You. I love my mail, yet again! Instead of the myriad pieces of junk and statements that I owe money, I received a CD of songs that make me smile. (And OH MY GOD. You found the Brak song. I canNOT believe you found the Brak song. Somebody left a cake out in the rain! OH NO!)

This is the best week of mail I've ever had. It reminds me of the years when I was a kid, waiting by the mailbox as soon as we heard the mail truck coming down the street. The mail was always like a mini-Christmas every day. The mail truck brought with it endless possibility: someone would write to me, sending me words of encouragement, understanding, or insight into my world. The mail has never completely lost its magic on me. I still wait open my mailbox with a sense of anticipation, hoping against hope that someone has sent me something, some small sign of the way in which their universe intersects with mine. Email, while wonderful and instantaneous, has never really held the same sway over my psyche. Sure, each day I hope for an email from one of you (and I am usually gratified at some point during my daily journey), but there's a certain feeling that is incited by the opening of an envelope. The feeling of touching something that you so recently touched is like a hug, something that I often wish I could give and receive from each and every one of you.

So to the emailers, the snailmailers, and the phonecallers, thank you for making my life an amazing place to be. J'adore vous. And, I should just mention, I don't speak French, so if that's wrong... sorry.

Mwah. <---- that's a kiss noise. Just so's you know.

Sleeping in?

So I made it until 5:30 am today. An improvement, but I'd say there's still some work to be done on the sleeping front.

On top of Gala, I heard from my bank yesterday that there's been some fraudulent activity on my account, causing my RENT CHECK to have potentially bounced. They can't actually tell me which things have cleared and which haven't at the moment. Luckily, I have the greatest of all landlords, and he is extremely understanding. Not that this particularly assuages the embarrassment of me having to tell him that there is a possible problem, but it's nice to know that there are still good people in the world.

The day ended, however, with an impromptu dinner out for Greek (Turkish?) food, lots of laughter over my sleep-deprived use of the English language, and then receiving a package in the mail from Nko, which made life beautiful again. (You! Seriously, the best mail I've gotten in a long time.) So, regardless of the anti-sleep factor, the Gala and the bank awfulness, yesterday turned out to be a better-than-average day in the World of Me.

Let's keep up the good work!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's 4 a.m.

I woke up in a cold sweat about an hour ago. I don't remember what I was dreaming about, but whatever it was caused me to sit straight up in bed, fully awake and breathing as though I'd just run a marathon. I need sleep. I need to go back to sleep. And, true to form, whenever I need sleep the most, it eludes me.

My cats are both passed out, taking up half the bed. One of them (I can't tell which) is snoring, little sighing sounds at two-second intervals. Occasionally, one wakes up and moves to a different spot, still as close to me as possible, circles, lies down, and conks out again. I wish I were a cat right now.

Come on, Sleep! Let's get this party started. For the love.

Anyone want to hit me upside the noggin with a baseball bat? I'll pay you...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Friends and Miscellany

1. You have all been amazing this weekend. I've gotten so many phonecalls and text messages and emails. I've already written so many times that I love my friends, that you are the kind of people I aspire to become. So I'll just reiterate that (wait, I just did...), and say thanks. Because you are all wonderful beyond words.

2. Greatest song lyric EVER, on Somebody More Like You, by Nickel Creek song: I hope you find someone your height so you can see eye to eye with someone as small as you. Um, bitter much? But dude, you know you've wanted to say it before. And that's seriously the most eloquent and poetic way I've ever heard it said. So ten points to you, Nickel Creek.

3. Most shameful moment of music listening in... years...

I just downloaded a Justin Timberlake song. That's right, I have lost all of my hipster "street cred," if such a thing exists (or, frankly, if I even want it, whatever it may be). This outranks someone recently discovering that I have "Livin' La Vida Loca" on my iPod. As a joke. I swear.

crickets


In my defense, it's catchy, and shaking my booty around the house is as strenuous as my exercising is going to get until Gala is over. So there. Thou shalt not judge me for my supremely teeny-bopper music downloading confession.

4. So today I went to the grocery store again, just to pick up a few things that my usual market doesn't stock. I guess I was hungry, because I came home with the makings of pot roast, fried chicken, and chili. The catch here is that I purchased ingredients enough to feed a small nation, and I live with no one. So, does anyone want to come over for dinner this week? Because that'd be very helpful.

5. I need a haircut, which is going to have to wait until my tax return comes in. And that is going to take a while, seeing as I haven't even gotten my forms. So. Please pardon the woman walking around with a blonde bush on her head for the next few months.

6. Have I mentioned that I love my friends? Because I do.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I love Sundays off!

Today I slept in. I did not go anywhere near any kind of work. I shopped for groceries. I made homemade biscuits. I watched seven episodes of Alias and did three loads of laundry. I've done some yoga, eaten a respectable amount of ice cream, and snuggled with both of my cats. I have not fixed my hair or put on makeup. I'm currently lounging around in my fuzzy teddy-bear-like sweatpants. I vacuumed, washed the dishes, and even gasp unloaded the dishwasher. I may or may not have tomorrow off for MLK day, but even this one day of retreating from the world has done miracles for my psyche.

Now, if only I could figure out how to get one particular person to pick up the telephone and call me... sigh

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A music meme (Or, I Apparently Have A Sarah McLachlan Problem)

First, I should state for the record that I rarely use my iTunes as a music-playing device, primarily due to the fact that my speakers are absolute shit. A much more accurate count will be posted tomorrow, using my iPod.


Open iTunes. Click on the column header for "Play Count." What are the top 5 songs?

1. Fallen, Sarah McLachlan. 151 plays.
2. Wishful Thinking, Duncan Sheik. 133 plays. (Um, WHAT? I don't even remember the last time I listened to this song...)
3. White Flag, Dido. 109 plays.
4. Dirty Little Secret, Sarah McLachlan. 109 plays.
5. Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley. 107 plays.

I should also state that, of the top 20 songs, TWELVE of them were Sarah McLachlan. You should know this, so you can tell someone when I am hospitalized for an overdose.

Click the column header for "Last Played." What are the first 5 songs?


1. Brighter Discontent, The Submarines.
2. It'll All Work Out, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
3. 9 Crimes, Damian Rice.
4. Over My Head, The Fray.
5. Fools in Love, Inara George.

Click on the "Party Shuffle." What are the first 5 songs?


1. Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield.
2. Right Between the Eyes, Garbage.
3. The Freshmen, The Verve Pipe.
4. Northern Sky, Nick Drake.
5. I Alone, Live.

Click on the column header for "Year." What are the first 5 albums of 1994?


1. Under the Pink, Tori Amos.
2. Wildflowers, Tom Petty.
3. Strong Enough, Sheryl Crow.
4. Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, Sarah McLachlan.
5. When I Woke, Rusted Root.

Look at the bottom of your iTunes window. How many days of music do you have?

I have... ready?... 11.6 days of music on my computer. And most of my CDs are not actually on my iTunes. That is the kind of sickness we're talking about here, people. 11.6 days of music that I don't actually listen to that much, due to my shit speakers.

Additionally, I should also mention that all this talk of Sarah McLachlan has caused me to put one of her CDs on my stereo, just for good measure. Because, apparently, I don't already listen to her enough.

Ten points for me!

Redefining Regift...



As an aside, I feel like I should state for the record that this is the most unflattering photo that I've ever seen of my legs. Or, at least, of my ankles.

That is all. lol

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feelings I hate but have experienced today:

Rage
Sadness
Annoyance
Intolerance
Hopelessness
Paranoia
Exhaustion
Anxiety
Pessimism
Irritation
Impatience
Stubbornness
Hurt
Apathy

Tomorrow will be better. I swear, tomorrow will be better. I feel like Dorothy, closing my eyes, clicking my heels together three times. So, for the third time: Tomorrow will be better.

Anxiety much?

M'kay. So it is becoming painfully clear that I need to chill out. Why, you ask? Oh, believe you me, either A) I need to calm down, or B) I need to lay off the drugs. And, seeing as I'm so boring that I've only been high once (by ACCIDENT), I think option A is probably a safe bet. (As an aside, this might actually be best achieved by picking up a drug habit, but that's neither here nor there.)

What could possibly be my reasoning for this thought process? I'm so glad you asked! I went to bed last night at 8:30 after attempting to watch Batman Begins and crashing about halfway through. And I had one of those nights when I woke up a good six or seven times. But this time, I know exactly what was waking me up: my dreams. Which were seriously vivid. In my dreams, I repeatedly messed up several millionaire's Gala orders. And they were angry. So they sent ninjas to kill me. That's right, my generally sensible mind repeatedly awoke convinced that there were ninjas in my apartment.

crickets

A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A sign of the times?

I am insanely busy right now at work. Need proof? Okay, here goes:

- I arrived at work at 8:30 this morning, and couldn't even check my personal email until I got home, 20 minutes ago.
- Today I received over 50 voicemails.
- It is currently 7:20, and all I want to do is go to bed.
- Arriving home, I noticed that my stomach had been killing me for several hours. Upon reflection, I realized that this was because I had not peed since before lunchtime.
- Dinner was a beer, a handful of tortilla chips, and the last two spoonfuls of queso. Both the queso and the chips were artificially flavored. Which is kind of against my religion.

Could someone please invent a time machine and transport me to January 25, when Gala will be over? That'd be great, thanks.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The truth of the matter

The Big D is rearing its ugly head, attempting to devour me. Depression has been a personal battle of mine since I can remember. I hate that I can feel it approaching, shaking the ground I stand on, and I hate that I am paralyzed standing in its path. The irony is that I am so overwhelmingly positive on a day-to-day basis that I think no one would ever think of this as an issue for me. Yet every second year, on average, I lose several months of productivity to this monster. Each time, I am determined to stand my ground and fight it, and I am sometimes successful. Today, I am fairly certain that this is just the warning alarm sounding after a few high-stress (and moderately lonely) days. Growing up in a family that considered depression to be a made-up problem, something that someone should just be able to "snap out of," I am still hit by waves of guilt that I am sitting around, feeling sorry for myself. Realistically, I know that this will not go away on its own. I know that I need to own the Big D, and the only way to remove its power is by giving it a voice. There's still a big part of me, however, that requires me to maintain the facade of perfection (or, at the very least, optimism) that I have spent the past 26 years painstakingly constructing. Tonight, I feel surrounded by an impenetrable barrier of darkness. I find it difficult to concentrate, and nearly impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is my version of the Big D, this feeling that I am swimming through mud towards a prize that is not worth the effort.

This may be the most honest thing I've posted on the blog. And I don't mean to alarm anyone. I've been reading more and more inspiring people, and I feel that I owe it to them to exhibit at least a modicum of the courage that they've displayed in recent weeks. So yes. The Big D is rearing its ugly head. And I'm going to fight it, as I always do. And eventually I'll win, I know that to be true.

Monday, January 08, 2007

ACK!

I feel like a human stress ball. I feel like I am being squeezed by a giant hand, and somehow I am just getting more and more compact.

Today two of my work friends were "terminated." And I will be filling in for them until they are replaced, which won't happen for several months. And their job centers around the gala, which will be happening in two weeks. Without them.

Add to this the fact that my biggest task of the year was supposed to be completed this past Friday. Through a series of events which, to be completely honest, were in no way my fault, we are now horridly behind schedule. So, I'm supposed to be doing this gigantic thing that I've been working on, and I'm supposed to jump in and work on this even-more-gigantic thing that someone else has been working on.

I am having one of those moments when the sheer enormity of what I'm up against is paralyzing. I can't even seem to formulate coherent thoughts, and I don't know where to begin getting stuff done. I might be in over my head.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A red-letter year

I can tell that 2007 is going to be the best year yet. Call me foolishly optimistic, but I have this sense of hopefulness, and of excited anticipation. I can't wait to see where this year takes me. I am excited to see how my life is going to change in the next 12 months. Or 11.75 months, I suppose. At any rate, I feel like this weekend was indicative of my reasoning for feeling this way. Because I'm lazy, another list:

1. Overate Korean Barbeque like it was my job.
2. Talked in a ridiculous Appalachian mountain accent for about four hours.
3. Laughed so hard that my stomach seriously hurt the next day.
4. Watched three trashy action movies.
5. Walked outside in the sunshine. In January. YES!
6. Talked to most of my friends on the telephone at least once.
7. Practiced for the first time in about a month.
8. Cleaned my house.
9. Drank a bottle of my current favorite white wine.
10. Ate chips and queso, and promptly felt disgusting.
11. Watched my cat do the most bizarre-o new thing, which mostly involves staring at his reflection in the tv and talking to himself.
12. Listened to about 15 cds.
13. Told one of my students that I am no longer willing to drive to San Carlos (40 minutes away) to teach only her in the middle of the day on Sunday. And succeeded in moving her to Saturdays, with everyone else.
14. Prepared myself for the onslought of work the next two weeks.
15. Took a bath.
16. Talked to Sis in England.

The next three are happening this evening, but I feel they should be included anyway:
17. Making fajitas.
18. Having my friend over for dinner while he visits from NYC.
19. Playing Mozart flute quartets. In a bar. Like a rockstar!!!

Now, that's what I call a great few days. Onward and upward, 2007!

Friday, January 05, 2007

"Living Alone" Dilemma of the Day

For the love of all that is good in the world, how do I make ONE decent cup of coffee in my coffee maker? My two options seem to be:
-One absolutely shit cup of coffee
-Five outstanding cups of coffee

In the world of things that are great, however, I slept through the night! That's my January Allotment of Good Sleeping, but damn, do I feel great!

Oh, and good morning, all!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Needing armor

Something has been happening in my life recently that I have stalwartly refused to believe. Like an ostrich with my head in the sand, I have denied that someone I have trusted and cared about could be so careless with me. I think I might be done with my unwillingness to think ill of this situation. I think I'm at the point of giving up. Except that I still have this speck of hope that I'm wrong, that there's some grand excuse and that everything will be okay.

This is the downside of my open-heartedness. I possess an amazing propensity for trusting (and liking) people too much. It is a double-edged sword, as it has allowed me to befriend some thoroughly amazing people who might not outwardly seem to be a natural part of my social circle. I've had some amazing experiences because of my somewhat childlike character, and I feel like it is a part of my personality that will never be extinguished. That being said, however, today I wish I were more worldy-wise, that I had the "I'm about to be hurt" radar that most people my age seem to have developed. I wish that I could become so enraged that I would feel righteously angry, rather than slightly damaged.

I will bounce back from this, and it will happen quickly. I just don't know how to resolve anything in the interim. I just don't feel like I have thick enough skin for this.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Who knew?

I just got a call from an old friend in the orchestral world. Apparently everyone in the New World Symphony is under the impression that I am getting married.

Congrats to me! Let's open the champagne!

Denial is a river in... England

In less than 24 hours, I will be living alone. Sis is leaving for Portsmouth at 4:45 pm today. I am trying desperately not to think about it, choosing instead to worry incessantly about things that don't matter. We've lived together for nearly a year, and I rely upon her presence at the beginnings and endings of my days. I love sitting together over our morning coffee, which we learned to fix together. I love watching the cats try to decide between her rice milk and my genuine dairy in the bottoms of our cereal bowls. I love being guaranteed that someone will get all of my jokes, and laugh at everything stupid I do, without judgement.

Realistically, I know that this is good for both of us. We tend to feed off of one another, comfortable in the relative isolation of our tiny apartment. An apartment which, in a few short hours, will feel cavernous. I am proud of her for taking such a brave step, moving to another country. I am inspired by this bold move, this leap of faith that she is choosing to make. I am just terrified of the void she will leave in my life.

I foresee many large phonebills in my future. I predict that I will be crying in my bathtub tomorrow at this time. The silence of my apartment will be deafening for a few weeks. And then life will simply adjust to feeling normal again, and we will learn to adapt.

To my best friend, safe travels. You are who I want to be when I grow up. I am so proud of you, and I will miss you with every bone in my body. And you better freaking come back and visit me!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Resolutions

Every year since I was a kid, my New Year's resolution has been to lose
weight. This includes the years when I weighed under 100 pounds. I
think that's just sad. But anyway... This year, I resolve not to
resolve to lose weight. And if you followed that sentence, you're a
better woman than I. Or man. Or whatever. So, without further ado, my
first list of 2007:

1. Get rid of all the clothes that I don't like or that make me feel awkward, ugly, or self-conscious, regardless of their functionality.
2. Call my grandparents more.
3. Get out of my apartment after dark more often.
4. Pay off a substantial chunk of my credit card debt.
5. Take a vacation.
6. Explore at least three local places on my "list of places to see in the Bay area."
7. Create a functional circle of friends in San Francisco. Preferably of people who know and like one another, as well!
8. Fall in love as frequently as possible. (This doesn't mean with tons of
people, necessarily. It can mean places, smells, events, sounds...)
9. Change the oil in my car when I'm supposed to.
10. Try one new recipe a week.
11. Read 20 books. I'm not feeling as ambitious as the rest of you, I realize, but 20 is all I can imagine having the time for!
12. Start practicing again.
13. Go salsa dancing at least once.
14. Figure out a way to give myself one day off per week, even if that means teaching less.
15. Excel at my job, and hopefully get promoted.
16. Get my shoes repaired instead of wearing through them.
17. Call people back in a timely fashion. (Really, I'm going to try. I promise.)
18. Take more pictures.
19. Cry less than in 2006.
20. Go to at least three of the street fairs in San Francisco. I can't believe I haven't been to a single one!!!
21. Hear more live music.
22. Call my sister in England at least once a week.
23. Surround myself with people who care about me, and stop worrying about the people who don't.
24. Along those lines, stop trying so darn hard to make people care about
me. Um, hi. If you can't like me on your own, that's your loss!
25. Send more letters.
26. Say what's on my mind. At least, occasionally!
27. Laugh more than in 2006.
28. Learn how to stand up for myself without getting so pumped full of adrenaline that I start to cry. That is absurd, and really mortifying!
29. Remember to wash my face before going to bed. Trivial, yes, but important? Definitely!
30. Learn to say "no" to things that hurt me, even if it means disappointing others.
31. Most importantly: Learn to say "yes" to things that, while scary, will make me happy.

That's all I have for now. Happy 2007, blogging world!