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.


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.


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.


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


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 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



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.


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.