Friday, September 30, 2005

Scrub-a-dub-dub

WARNING: light, girlie beauty-product post

I have mentioned before my ongoing obsession with bath and body products, particularly all things LUSH. (yes, shameless plug – deal with it ;). Well last night I was feeling a little daring, a little edgy. So I dipped into my vast bath and beauty stash and found a scrub I'd never used. It was labeled Hemp Poppy Sugar Scrub. Ok, interesting enough for me.

Let me digress for a moment and say that I [heart] body scrubs. For those of you not in the know, body scrubs, well, scrub your body. I personally use one a couple times a week, in the shower, after the body wash step. I do my limbs, mostly. It makes my arms buttery soft. And ladies it's also good to scrub your legs before shaving – it gives you a closer, smoother shave. Anyway…

So I took my long LUSH bath, soaking in my favorite bubbles and using the scrub on my legs before shaving – it was a nice scrubby scrub, and smelled very sweet, I guess from the poppy seeds. When I was done in the tub, I drained it and took a shower, for rinsing purposes, e.g. poppy seeds, mainly. As I scrubbed my arms, I wondered idly if one absorbs poppy seeds (or hemp, for that matter) through one's skin and if so, would this cause a positive on a drug test? Hmm. Scrub scrub, rinse rinse. Step out, dry off. And look down. At the pile of poppy seeds at my feet. On my towel. Coating the shower walls and curtain. Lining the bottom of the bathtub. People. I had NO IDEA how stubborn those suckers are.

I stepped right back in and rinsed some more, but I swear I'm stil finding them today. They were hiding in my armpits, as evidenced by the deoderant afterwards. And just now I glanced down and saw one sitting proudly on my, shall we say, décolleté. Nice. I'm afraid to look closer.

Anyway, all in all it was a very nice scrub, however a bit messy. It came from BathNation, and they happen to have TONS of awesome scrubs. I'll probably try something different next time. You should check them out if you're into that sort of thing.

And that is all I have to say about body scrubs. For now.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

iTunes flashback

Hot Kansas summers. Three months of childhood decadence, running around the neighborhood in terrycloth shorts, playing so hard the days fly by in what feels like moments. Waiting for the ice cream truck to make it's afternoon pilgrimage down Pick Avenue; at the first ding of the bell, running inside to wake up mom for ice cream money, trying hard not to wake up little brother while slamming the screen door. After dinner, back outside where all the courtyard kids reconvene for an exhilarating and complex game of hide and seek. In the dusky moonlight, fireflies light up like nature's magic candles, and weeping willows make brilliant hiding places. Sometimes it felt like hours you were huddled under the low branches, heart pounding, waiting to be discovered. Anticipation turning to worry when you were not discovered, fearing you had been forgotten and the other kids had moved on to another game. A fear you still have, actually…

- "More Than a Woman", Bee Gees, circa 1977

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Butterflies

This is something I wrote a few years ago, before I had a blog. I stumbled upon it tonight and thought how weird that I don't remember answering my own recent questions...


By Sunday evening it had become painfully clear to her that her weekend had not been one spent in blessed solitude, cherishing her freedom, relaxing in her cozy home with her devoted cats. Oh no, let’s call it what it was. A weekend spent waiting. Waiting for his phone call. Or even an email. Waiting for him to stop by. Since Friday, she had been tacitly expecting… something. She was bathed, shaved, and pretty. Trying to Zen-out so she wouldn’t obsess about why the hell he hadn’t called her at all this past week. Drinking a little bit, laughing a lot. Trying not to wonder why the only contact she had had from him in over a week was one benign instant message asking “how are you”. Maybe he was out of town? Ok, why couldn’t he call to let her know. Maybe he was deathly ill? Ok, why didn’t he call and say “I can’t talk, I’m deathly ill.” Maybe he was holed up in his house, fucking his ex. Fine, he could’ve called and said “I’m not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with you anymore, please stop calling and emailing me.” He wouldn’t even need to bring up the part about the ex….

But this? This utter abandonment, utter cutoff of communication? She couldn’t fathom that anyone who even remotely cared about her, unless in a life-threatening coma, could not have found a way to communicate something, even if it wasn’t pleasant.

Oh yeah, and her ex, the only “love of her life” so far, had what her best friend referred to as a “beautiful, touching, emotional, perfect” wedding the day before to the girl he had lusted after when they were still living together. Sorry, but was she a complete bitch to think there was NEVER going to be anything beautiful or touching about something that started so seedily and with such origins of disrespect? It was doomed to fail, based on karma alone. Anyone should be able to see that, especially her best friend.

She didn’t know what to do. She had cleaned, straightened, done dishes, laundry, fantasized that Colin Farrell was her boyfriend – she’d even done her damn TAXES -- and nothing was making her feel any better, as the tension continued to grow. In her fevered mind, with each moment that passed and he didn’t call, the more palpable the tension became. With each day that he didn’t respond to her efforts to reach him, he was less likely to respond ever, based on what she assumed was his fear of her supposed wrath. And her thoughts on that were, well, JACKASS, if you know I’m angry, if you knew your behavior was going to make me angry, why the FUCK didn’t you call before it got to that point??

So here she was, furiously typing out her thoughts on the computer, feeling angry and helpless and annoyed and very very pissed off. She felt like a caricature of herself. She normally considered herself to be intuitive, kind, loving, blahblahblah. Now she just felt venomous and bloated, bleak and unhappy, fat and desperate. All of these things were jumbled up in her psyche and her body, swirling around into a blackness that made her feel nauseous and like crying uncontrollably. She was NOT going to retreat into the bathtub with wine again, she had spent more time in the bath this weekend than was probably healthy. And each bath cost about $10 in bath products alone, not counting the wine, making it a very expensive weekend indeed. And she STILL felt like shit.

It never ceased to amaze her how one hiccup in the spasm of life seemed to poison everything else. She didn’t even want her cat talking to or touching her. The rejected animal now lay prone before her, on top of the desk, but not making or attempting to make any kind of eye contact. Just the tip of her tail flicked every few minutes, to show she was paying attention and was available for affection should her master become affectionate. There she was, sprawled on the desk, trying to look appealing and pettable – only her flattened ears gave away her angst. The girl knew this strategy – she’d mastered it herself many nights curled up on the couch with him. Sending the message, “I’m cool with things the way they are, but should you find yourself overwhelmed with desire for my adorable self, I’m also cool with you having your way with me.”

She momentarily felt sorry for the furry creature, so she reached over and gave her a half-hearted rub – to which the cat immediately jumped up, started purring furiously, and began trying to manipulate the girl’s hand into petting her longer. How pathetic. Oh. My. God. What if that’s how she appeared to him, and what if he also found her pathetic in her utter transparency??? Was this some kind of sick BREAKTHROUGH?? NOW what to think? Her stomach hurt even more, and her head started to pound.

She kept absently petting the cat as this whole metaphor for life overtook her imagination. She pet the animal with increasing vigor as she became more intent on these thoughts – and the cat responded by purring louder and louder, until she choked and had to stop and swallow-- then continued purring again. Such utter unconditional devotion. And so undeserved, the girl thought, as she felt herself a shitty cat owner who didn’t spend nearly enough time loving on the animal. This is getting worse and worse, she thought. So, let’s follow it through; which cat did she enjoy petting the most? The one who was emotionally available, yet not always physically available for loving. The boy cat, that is. He would blink at her across the couch with lovey eyes, but would not let her pet him indiscriminately, lest it tarnish the thrill.

If it was a metaphor for life, or for love, then now she realized what she had always done wrong. She had given too much of herself. Loved more, given more, cared more, in almost every romantic relationship she had ever had. Because she was an honest person, and she didn’t even know how to be dishonest with her feelings. To her, to hold back would be to play a certain kind of game, and she had never been comfortable with that. So was this the problem, this tendency to give too much too soon? She thought about this deeply, lengthily, all the while stroking the cat, which had now settled down. The cat, when given the proper affection, was no longer needy and annoying. Hmmm.

So, there it was. But with one big flaw, she realized. Why was her ability and willingness to give of herself completely, and to be breathtakingly open, considered to be something she had been doing wrong? At least, from a man’s point of view? At least, from the men she had had in her life? Couldn’t this instead be a shortcoming of the other person in the relationship? She thought and thought, but she just couldn’t reconcile her honest behavior as being anything cloying or scary. Perhaps she had just not met the right man?

Who would, then, be the right kind of man, she wondered. Well, one who was emotionally strong. One who was comfortable with love, the idea of love, being loved, and loving. Someone as honest and open as she was, someone who was not afraid to make themself vulnerable. For to care was to be vulnerable, there was no other way to do it. Anytime you take any kind of risk, she realized, you’re making yourself vulnerable. And any time you hold yourself back from something because you are afraid, you are missing out on what could be a life-altering opportunity. You are losing something, some experience, good or bad, that could very well change your life and carry you further along the path you were meant to follow.

She sat up straight in her chair, still fiddling with the cat, which was now purring at a manageable pace and whose ears were no longer flattened in angst. The girl began to feel herself relax, also. She was not doing anything wrong in her relationships by being herself, open and honest. If she had a fault, it was trusting too easily, and again, was that really her fault, or the fault of the person who was untrustworthy? Because as many times as she had had her heart broken, she had always been willing to open herself up again, to very possibly be hurt again. And as this boy had once pointed out to her (in one of their long, meaningful conversations, pre-disappearance), most relationships were destined to have not only a beginning, but an end.

One night they had discussed how most relationships would not end in forever, but were not wasted opportunities, either. Each one, no matter where it led, taught you things you might use in your next relationship, things you might then teach to someone else. So it was not right to fear losing love. Perhaps you were not meant to have every love in your life forever – maybe that just wasn’t how it worked. He had pointed out that perhaps the point was to enjoy, to the fullest, each and every person who touched you in your life, for as long or as short as they were meant to touch you. Following this to its natural conclusion, then, one should not feel heartbroken, or broken at all, when such a relationship ends. One should take the lesson and the love and apply it to life’s next turn.

Maybe the reason her ex could get married now, four years after their relationship ended, was because of the things she had taught him during her time in his life. He was never meant to be hers; her purpose had been to prepare him for his future wife. And maybe his purpose had been to show her how love could be, not to necessarily be that love. She felt drained with this realization, but she no longer felt twisted inside.

This guy she liked right now was pretty smart – it was no wonder she liked him. Hopefully she would get to have him in her life a little bit longer, so she could relax and enjoy the moments, instead of hanging on so tight trying to see the unknowable future. Even if he never called her, even if she never heard from him again from this night on – she had already learned something very valuable from him.

And the cat purred softly as she slept, her tail twitching lazily in tune to her dreams.

Hell on earth

It is F-ing HOT outside. Record highs. 108 degrees at the END of SEPTEMBER. Come on, people!! It's one of the "Brrr" months (Sept, Oct, Dec), what the hell???

My sister tells me every week how they go hiking around in the cool mountains on the weekends. How they sleep with the windows open and there's no humidity. I can't help but think how AWESOME that would be. I actually like hiking; I just don't do it when it's hot. Which is about 11 months out of the year here. Which begs the question again – why am I still in Texas??? Seriously. Why? I just sort of ended up here, but I'm still young and have more life ahead of me than behind, so what's keeping me from picking my shit up and just going where my heart leads me? Plus, my hair looks GREAT in Colorado.

I will tell you why I have stayed in the past: My friends who I love dearly. But, we've all gotten busier with work or family as the years have passed and truthfully, but for a small handful, I rarely see them more than once a month or so. We can talk on the phone no matter where I live. Plus, we're all at the point where we can take weekend trips should the mood strike us. So that's no longer a valid excuse for me. Another reason: my nephews. Um, they moved away, like to my dream state. I haven't seen them since July. I've gone longer w/out seeing them when they lived in TX anyway, and I talk to my sister just as much as before. Again, not valid. My parents and brother? I'm sure they would come visit too -- especially if I moved to a hip state that everyone wants to visit ☺.

So I get excited when I think of uprooting. Excited about finding a new place to live, a new town to explore, a new climate. But then, I fear the aftermath, when it all sinks in. When the boxes are unpacked, when the home is decorated, when the snow becomes more of a burden than a thrill, and mostly, when the utter solitude hits me. I love solitude, don't get me wrong. I have entire weekends right here in Austin where I speak to no one and don't leave my house until Monday. But you see, the difference is that I **could** if I wanted to. At any time, I can call a friend and probably talk someone into meeting me somewhere. I choose my "alone" weekends. It frightens me to think about truly being alone, with no choice.

Yes, yes, I would make new friends, but it's not something you can just "do" at will. You have to meet the right people at the right time. What if I become a total sloth living out of state with no one checking on me or incenting me to vacuum every now and then? What if I go away and the same inertia I feel here overtakes me there? It's the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are." I hate to be trite, but it's true.

In any event, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I need to get serious about selling my house, though. It's starting to weigh me down and make me feel trapped, more and more. I grow more resentful of my lawn with each passing day that has temps in the triple digits, turning my grass to straw. It seems senseless to water, when it will immediately evaporate anyway, no matter what time you do it. We're talking the 90s at NIGHT, people. But anyway, the first step is getting my house ready to sell, then I guess I'll go from there. I had been thinking about buying a condo next, but my original plan of moving into a rental for a while before buying is seeming like a good idea again – then I'm not tied to anything and I can live really close to work w/out paying the million dollar price tag for homes in the hills. Which I would if I could, in a heartbeat – but I can't. I kind of like the idea of living in a ritzy area where I could never afford to buy a house, with a fabulous, hill-country view, without the mortgage headache. Anyway.

Blahblahblah. That's where I am today. We'll see about tomorrow; it changes almost daily. I know what would help cheer me up, though: ice cream.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Better than ice cream

I am very fond of a certain ice cream…concoction. This delight is most excellent, a huge treat, and I look forward to it pretty much anytime I'm not partaking in it. But like anything divine, it is somewhat off limits and not something I can have all the time – as much as I may crave it. This sometimes makes me sad and even frustrated, but deep down I understand that if I could have it whenever I wanted, it wouldn't be nearly as sweet, now would it?

You can be sure, though, that when I do allow myself to partake? I enjoy it immensely. Every last drop. I lick the bowl and save the spoon. It is always worth the wait, and I am completely sated -- until next time. It isn't something that rules my thoughts, but it's nice to know that this treat is out there, whenever I want to look at it, look forward to it, indulge in it.

But not tonight. Instead, here I sit on my couch, a geriatric kitty staring and tap-tap-tapping on my arm, the TV muted so I can think and write about my current craving. It is the end of a long day of nothing for me. I have done very little but nap, watch TV, play on the computer, and think about ice cream. But I made it this far without caving, I'm in the home stretch. I just need to make it to bedtime and I'll be fine…until tomorrow.

This knowledge doesn't make it any easier to do without. And I'm quite sure my dreams tonight will be filled with tons of buttercream frosted, sugary sweets with lovely crunchy bits, tantalizing whipped cream, and lots – LOTS – of chocolate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The age of innocence

As I compulsively click on CNN all day long to watch hurricane updates, I am reminded of something from my first semester at Texas A&M, back in '88 (gulp). One weekend that fall we were supposed to play Alabama (I think), which was a big game (I think), but there was a hurricane hitting that area and the game was cancelled. Which is a big deal in college football. In Texas. At Texas A&M. Anyway, so what did the students do instead? Why, they threw hurricane parties, of course!

The one I went to was with some of my Fish Camp friends. It was my first official "college party." My [older, wiser] roommate had gone home for the weekend, so I had the apartment all to myself. I went to this party and played drinking games and laughed with new friends, giddy with the possibilities spread out before me in this exciting new world. It was raining, but I don't remember any of us registering any fear or concern for the hurricane, wherever it was hitting. I have fond, although slightly vague, memories of this party, because I met a super-cute boy who liked me and we spontaneously made out in the backseat of a car stuffed with about six other people. Driving somewhere. Intoxicated (although I have no idea who was driving or whose car it was). Crammed in the back, I turned my head and there he was and we just casually made out for a few minutes. Then that was it. It was all very exciting, and I remember feeling wild and free and having it sink in just a little bit more that I was truly On My Own now and could Do as I Wished. His name was Kevin and he was H.O.T.

The notable part for me was how okay I was with just casually making out one night, then just being friendly after that and never even dating – and that was perfectly ok. This was a new way for me to feel, sans burning jealousy. I still had that when it came to my boyfriend back home, but this carefree attitude was new for me and I felt very empowered. Ahhh, youth…

Anyway, it was a hurricane party and I don't even remember the hurricane. And in light of what's been going on lately on the Gulf Coast, I kinda doubt there are any hurricane parties still going on these days. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just seems scarier and more real now than it did then – maybe because I'm all "grown up"? Sometimes I wish, though, that I could revert to that time of innocence and the naiveté I had back then. I felt so worldly and so free and believed the future was mine – I didn't know yet that the world is smaller than it seems, that no one is free once they become a slave to Uncle Sam, and that hurricanes are nothing to party about.

BUT.

I highly recommend kissing a strange boy every now and then.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nephews ROCK

I had to push back my scheduled trip to see my nephews this weekend. It sucks, but I only had to push it two weeks, so it's not as sucky as it could be. But now I'm having all kinds of nephew dreams, in which I'm with them and I'm sad because I know I won't see them for a while. Whenever I talk to my sister, I make her tell me nephew stories. Poor thing, like she isn't sick of LIVING their antics, much less recounting them for her desperate and childless sistah ☺ But she does. And the whole time we're talking, I can hear Claytie's little scruffy voice trying to tell her things "real quick" – and "real quick" to a 3-year old is not that quick to adults. I think it's totally adorable, though. "Mama, there was a bug on the porch, and, um, it was behind the chair and I, um, I, I, stepped on it………and, and……Brother touched it!!!! But, but, I wouldn't touch it!!! and, and………" You get the idea. MUFFIN.

The story she told me last night was about a little girl Claytie has befriended from his pre-school class. My sis said she kept hearing him talk about what sounded like "snee-naw" this and "snee-naw" that, and finally one day as she picked him up from class she said "WHAT is a "snee-naw?" Just as the words left her lips, she heard the voice of another mom nearby saying something like "Hurry up, Sneenaw, get your bag…". Sure enough, there's a little Indian girl named Snee-naw and I'm not even going to guess at the correct spelling. But how cute is it that Claytie was actually saying it right and no one understood what he was talking about? Maybe it's only cute to me, hmmm. Anyway, my sis went on to tell me this little girl is a doll, and she has a really short, pixie, cutie-pie haircut. She said for the longest time, Claytie thought she was a boy because of her short hair – he would say "Mama, why does that boy have EARRINGS??" (which is a whole other issue, like what's he gonna say the next time he's in Austin to visit his liberal-hippie Aunt???) and she would say "Because, Claytie, she's a GIRL!" Well I guess it finally sank in, as Snee-naw is his new girlfriend. He told her they even hold hands! (go ahead, I'm going to – awwwwwww!)

As a co-worker of mine pointed out, if I were my sis, I'd be so relieved she didn't have to go into more detail about what the difference is between a little boy and little girl – besides earrings, you know.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Life is a left turn

When my dad taught me to drive back when I was 16, it was not an enjoyable experience for either one of us. My dad, a former flight instructor for the Army, would get quite frustrated at his insubordinate daughter, who didn't react quickly enough to his "orders". His daughter, in turn, would get incredibly stressed out and frustrated with said "orders". As they careened down the 20mph road with her at the wheel of the '63 beetle, he would begin chanting in a military monotone, "To the right. to the right. to the right. to the right. more. more. more. TO THE RIGHT." And I would move slightly to the right, but stop because for the Love of God, the curb was Right There and I was not very good at this, you know? I swear he wanted me to scrape the tires against the curb, and then I'd be "to the right" enough. Every single driving lesson ended with me dissolving into tears and him telling me gruffly to get back home. This is why it took me a year after my 16th birthday to finally get my driver's license, when all my friends had run out and taken the test the day of their birthday. Which, incidentally, made it possible for me to procrastinate a year -- everyone else could drive, why should I?

The other thing slowing me down, besides the frustrating driving lessons, was the stick shift in that bug car. In driver's ed, which I had already taken, we drove an automatic, of course. But nooooo, even though my Grandmother offered to let me take the driving test in her automatic car (ok, it was a huge cadillac and i probably would have failed in that car too), my dad said no, I couldn't take the test until I could drive the car I would actually be driving. Go figure. So about a year later, one night I had a dream where I was driving the bug car. With ease. I was flipping through the gears like a pro, and it felt good. The next day I got in that car and I. Could. Drive. Not quite as smoothly as in the dream, but I definitely had the gears down. With a little more practice I was licensed and ready to go. I even aced parallel parking, but that could be a whole separate entry. I know you can't wait.

I remember that the first place I drove by myself was my boyfriend's house. Which was a pretty straight shot from my house, except for one thing: the Big Hill with a Stop Sign at the top. Every new stick-shift driver's nightmare. I was very nervous about the first gear thing on the hill, but I figured it out and after that, I could go into first without killing it pretty much from then on. I've said it before, I'll say it again: I work well under pressure. So I was excited to take on my next conquest, which was driving to school.

But here's the catch -- my dad sat down and figured out this weird, twisty way to school, and spent a lot of time explaining and drawing me a little map and everything. It finally came out (after his insubordinate daughter questioned his orders yet again) that all this was so I would not have to make a left turn into the parking lot. That's right. I wasn't going to be allowed to make a left turn. We fought about this. Oh, how we fought. There were tears and door-slammings and the kind of drama only wreaked by a teenaged girl. But after much protest, my mom stepped in and overrode him, taking my side. My side was that eventually, I would have to make a left turn. I couldn't go through life taking the long way around to avoid the left turns. Life was not a series of simple right turns. I couldn't truly grasp the wisdom of my argument until almost 20 years later, even though it finally won my dad over.

I thought about all of this tonight, as I sat at a blinking yellow light waiting to make a left turn, AFTER DARK no less, into my neighborhood. I found myself noticing how interesting that my home ends up requiring a *dangerous* left turn every single day. And guess what? I've been doing it for five years and I've got it down pretty well, left turn and all. Now that I think about it, I've been braving the tricky turns since I was a teenager, and here I am. We all do it, every day. And imagine what the world would be like if we didn't? If everyone just kept it simple and took the long way around, avoiding any risk or danger?

What a mess that would be.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Procrastination

That is what I'm doing, right at this moment. I have absolutely nothing new to say since yesterday; the reason I'm trying to say something anyway is I am still at my place of business trying to finish a project before tomorrow, and I don't wanna. I wanna leave and go eat. And maybe have a tiny drink. And maybe nap on the couch, for the third night on the row, before it's time to go to bed. And maybe take a bubble bath with my new LUSH goodies, delivered fresh from S.F. via the gorgeous Sarah. All of those things sound awesome. But I can't leave until I do this project. So...i'm blogging. And chatting with Babs and Dipu about dinner.

ok, i can only procrastinate one way at a time, so.....later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One of those list thingies...

First off, I cannot beLIEVE it has been almost a week since my last post. Time flies when you're in hell. Anyway.

I stole this from MissZoot because I am still deep in the midst of a stress storm and can't think of anything to say that is a) positive or b) not about work, which is off limits. So here ya go -- take it and run with it, if you want to:


10 years ago I was:
...married
...a technical writer
...going to SA every weekend to take care of my mom, who had cancer
...pre-therapy
...newly transplanted in Austin


5 years ago I was:
...unmarried
...a copywriter
...a new auntie
...quite a bit skinnier
...a new, and very proud, homeowner


1 year ago I was:
...still single
...at a brand new job and very happy about it
...just back from visiting Sarah in SF
...a three-time auntie
...just starting to talk to BT again

Yesterday I was:
...stressed out
...tired
...hungry, about this time
...undecided

5 snacks I enjoy the most:
1. Ben & Jerry's ice cream
2. Goldfish
3. cashews from AustinNuts (yes, it makes a difference)
4. anything chocolate
5. Little Debbie swiss rolls OR oatmeal cream pies

5 songs I know all the words to:
1. Ant Rap - Adam & the Ants
2. Come to Jesus - Mindy Smith
3. Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan
4. Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik
5. Never is a Promise - Fiona Apple

5 ideal places for running away to:
1. Paris
2. Victoria, BC (newly discovered)
3. my sister's house in CO
4. Spring Canyon
5. Verona, Italy

5 items you will never see me wear:
1. pantyhose
2. bikini
3. hat
4. tapered jeans/pants
5. capri pants (vs. cropped, which are fine)

5 biggest joys in life:
1. my nephews
2. shopping
3. traveling
4. my circle of friends
5. being alive

that is all.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Five reasons why my ex believed he was an alien abductee

It's true. Half jokingly or not, he was convinced ("ha ha") he had been secretly abducted by aliens. ahem. I am neither agreeing nor mocking, I am simply presenting his "evidence" because it is...amusing? interesting? thought provoking? Anyway, here goes:

1. He always seemed to look at a digital clock when it was exactly 11:11. (He read somewhere this was a "sign" you'd been abducted; but I'll be damned if I don't do it all the time ever since he pointed it out years ago...what does it MEAN???)
2. He would break out in a cold sweat during any movies/tv shows/books dealing with this topic -- although he also searched for them and watched/read them with horrid delight. He both relished and feared the spooky "deja vu" he would supposedly experience.
3. One day he showed me that he did, indeed, have odd little scabs behind each of his ears -- right where he had seen/read that alien abductees often had this "feature". Due to secret alien experiments. Or something.
4. He once took me hours out of our way on a road trip to show me the Marfa Lights. I have to admit they were weird. But cool. He had always been compelled to see them. (sigh) Honestly? I'd never even heard of them until he took me there.
5. He had always suffered from sleeping disorders like insomnia or restlessness or sleep "binges" where he could sleep for like 16 hours in a row.

And that, my friends, is why my ex believed he was an alien abductee. Which really would explain a lot, if true.....

I'm just sayin'.

Oh, and if there's a teeny tiny part of you wondering if you, too, are an abductee? Check out this helpful website and report back to us.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

childish dreams breed grown-up nightmares

Last night I had a disturbingly vivid dream about my ex-husband. This is not unusual, unfortunately; I seem to have dreams about him when I’m stressed out. But I’m not stressed out right now, so it’s rather odd. And I hate it.

Anyway, the one last night made an impact because I had more clarity than I usually do while IN the dream. I dreamed, as usual, that he and I were back together. We were living in the same house together, and as usual, he was “into” the reunion more than I was (by “as usual”, I mean in the dreams, not in real life; I wouldn’t be surprised if he has nightmares about being married to me again, either…). Nothing significant happened, it was more just the feeling of guilt I had, and unease, knowing this wasn’t really what I wanted and how the HELL had this happened, by the way?? Last night, the issue was Christmas. I love it, he hated it. Rather, he loved getting presents, hated everything else about it (in fact, on our first Christmas as a married couple, he sat on the couch and pretended to read a hunting magazine while I tried to string our huge, “real” tree that I made him help me pick out, with lights. He pretended not to be watching as I struggled, and moved the stepstool all around the tree, and cursed, and got poked by pine needles, until the very end, when I realized I had strung the lights UPSIDE DOWN and the plug was at the TOP of the tree. At which point I started sobbing and he finally put down the magazine, said “Good LORD,” and fixed it for me. Happy happy memories of Christmas as a young, hopeful newlywed.). Ahem. Anyway. So in this dream I was decorating for Christmas and he was not helping, and all the while I was thinking “WHY am I DOING this?? I hate this about him, that he scorns all holidays… what am I DOING?”

Then I had an IN-DREAM epiphany, which is the unusual part for me. I realized that maybe this was what being in a long-term relationship was, giving up your “silly fantasies” about finding the “perfect” guy and just settling for someone who didn’t drive you completely mad (in which case, I had failed on both counts). Maybe in order to have stability, you had to give up excitement and joy. Then I woke up to a crushing depression. Don’t get me wrong, I was very glad to realize it was just a dream, but I was also very depressed to think that maybe what I “realized” in the dream was correct. That you can’t have it all. It’s either a crazy, sexy attraction with sparks and fireworks, or stability and longevity where you’ve squelched your “fantasies” of ever being truly happy. GAH! This can’t be true, can it??? And if it is, or rather if I really believe that? Then that explains why I’m still single, and why the thought of being married again is so unappealing at this point in my life.

I know that intoxicating “in love” feeling is fleeting, and addictive, and cannot stay the same forever. I know, intellectually, that settling into a comfy “love” can also be rewarding. But. I have never made it to that point. All my relationships, except maybe one, have been sparks and fireworks, then disappointment and anger. Then, over. I have no basis for comparison. The thought of “forever”, which is so comforting to some people, freaks my shit out. I cannot even IMAGINE being with the same person for longer than a few years. I have this innate fear that the moment I actually get comfortable and relax in a relationship, it will blow up in my face. I don’t really trust anything or anyone NOT to just disappear one day, with no explanation.

So now, today, post-bad-dream, I’m left wondering, am I defective? Am I being unreasonable? Have I set myself up for imminent failure? Do I sabotage relationships that might have long-term merit because I’d rather do that than let them dwindle to the mundane? (gosh, but the people that might have been long-term were so booorrriiinnngggg…..). Or am I drawn to meaningless, yet exciting, relationships because I can handle that and there’s no expectation to grow or change? (but there was a time when I wanted said meaningless, yet exciting, relationship to grow and change…it just never did…and I’m ok with that now…) But I don’t think I avoid meaningful relationships. I have to believe that I simply haven’t yet met the “right guy”. However, that goes back to the “perfect guy” myth, which I truly believe is a myth. AAACK!

That’s it, I’m going shopping.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Busted

Piper. Piper, Piper, Piper. My innocent, gimpy kitty. HA.

Yesterday, since I was home all afternoon, I left the back door open a crack so the kitties could frolic in the sun. My kitties are all indoor cats; they are only allowed in my fenced backyard when I’m home and within eye/ear sight. I have been fortunate in that none of them have ever tried to get out. Hey, I have one old kitty, one fat kitty, and one gimpy kitty – I believed this was a reasonable assumption. Besides, when I call them to come in, they all come running. Seriously. Like dogs. Sometimes I have to entice Jess to take that last step over the doorway by shaking the catnip jar in front of him, but that’s neither here nor there.

So I was watching TV/surfing/napping on my couch yesterday afternoon when a movement caught the corner of my eye. When I looked through the tall, skinny window by my front door, I saw the back end of a cat flash by. A back end that looked… suspiciously… familiar. As the bushy tail swooped by, I thought, PIPER. I opened the front door, calling her name, and rounded the corner to my driveway where she was frozen in horror, looking back at me, clearly trying to decide whether to keep running or just die right there on the spot. Honestly, even looking right at her, I wasn’t 100% it was my Piper at first – she looked THAT ruffled. I said her name again and asked her what was up, and she frantically ran towards me, past me, around the corner, then I heard her go up and over the fence back into my backyard. Hmmm. I came back inside to find her sitting in the kitchen, panting, frazzled, mortified. She. Was. Busted.

She was trying to act all cool, like “hey, what’s up? I’ve just been sitting here in the kitchen…” but she was really freaking out because she knew I had seen her. I had discovered her secret. Piper had been roaming the neighborhood for WHO KNOWS HOW LONG. How had I not seen it? Weren’t there times, now that I thought abut it, that I called her name out the back door and it took a little while for her to come running around the corner? The corner of the yard where I assumed she was sniffing dandelions, but where I now realized she was jumping the fence?? My illusions of safe kitties were utterly shattered. I was a bad mom. How did I not see the signs?? Oh, but you should have SEEN the look of guilt and distress on her little furry face. She acted weird around me for about an hour, then she shook it off and life went on as normal.

Except that now I know. And I’m not sure what to do. I didn’t let them outside today, because I couldn’t bear the thought of KNOWING she was out there, in the big scary world, roaming around by herself. They are inside cats for a reason; they’re not street smart at all, they don’t wear collars, and I thought that with her gimpy paw, Piper was defenseless. Hmm, might have to rethink that – I also thought she couldn’t jump the fence.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Addendum

I just found this article and it makes my stomach hurt:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/Default.aspx?id=9174806&site=newsweek&uart=9&uarc=Rating

Sharing.

Good news from LA

Ok, we finally heard from my aunt and uncle from New Orleans. Here is an excerpt from my dad's email:

"On Wednesday John towed a boat into western New Orleans and volunteered to help save people. The authorities turned him away and told him to leave. Instead, he sneaked through back roads into their neighborhood, which is several miles south of the river, and drove to his home. Yes, he was armed. Their vicinity was not flooded at all and will not be. They have wind damage: the fence is gone, some siding, and part of the roof over one upstairs bedroom. That room is pretty well trashed, but the rest of the house not bad, considering. Their main problem now is the open roof hole, which probably cannot be fixed for some time. They had taken with them important documents, photos, and such. Had not been looted as of Wednesday.

No telling when John can get back to work; the tire business is flooded and probably looted, north of the river. [Cousin1] has a job in Thibodeax (sp?) and is already back to work. Paula's Wal-Mart is flooded and looted. On Monday, she will go back to work at a Wal-Mart in Morgan City, which is short of employees. Don't know [Cousin2's] status; I think she was in school & working. They are just thankful to be safe and not in the mess."

So that's a relief -- they were VERY fortunate. I am a little shocked that my uncle was turned away when he offered to help, but I imagine there were safety issues, etc. Just like my family to go ahead and sneak in anyway, and armed, at that...

I also heard from my friend Ann yesterday. She and her husband, two sons, and infant daughter had been pretty much stranded in their home in Chickasaw, AL (right outside Mobile) since Sunday, for various reasons, but the good news was they still HAD a home, with minimal damage, and they were finally on their way to her mother-in-law's home in Kentucky. Ann did say they'd been miserable and scared and had even run out of gas waiting in an insanely long line at a gas station -- just like what they're saying on the news.

Unbelievable. Just... unbelievable. But Thank God they're all safe.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

On tragedy and numbness and a totally new and different type of anger

I haven't known what to say about what's going on with the hurricane. So many others have been saying so much, and all I've been able to do is watch, numbly, at the incredible footage of a city underwater. And let's not forget the smaller towns that are just ... gone. I've actually visited Gulfport and Biloxi several times, because one of my best friends lived there for years -- actually, she worked at the Beau Rivage, which I *think* might still be standing, although ravaged. So all the images of the flattened beaches, demolished casinos, the absence of the cute row of houses across the highway looking at the water, all of that makes me feel raw and sick and ... to use the word again ... numb.

I took a nap when I got home this evening. I have been complaining about the return of my Texas allergies, but have realized that I should just shut up and be grateful for everything that I have and everyone I know who is safe. So, I slept. And now I am awake, in that hyper-groggy, after a nap-that's-too-long state. Flipping around the channels, I am pummelled once more with the awful images and stories about the victims of this awful natural disaster. My own Aunt Paula and Uncle John and cousins are displaced from their home in N.O., although I know they evacuated on Sunday, so i'm trying not to freak out at the fact that we haven't yet heard from them.

Somehow I landed on the A&E channel, on a show about 9/11 -- why the towers fell, stories of survivors, the works. Now, what cable programming genius thought that *now* might be a great time to remind everyone, in case we have forgotten, of that terrible tragedy and everyone who died, and to bring back the horror in the pit of our stomachs at the waste, the loss, the devastation. Why, NOW is the perfect time, since we're eating up all the hurricane coverage. DAMN. Despite myself, and perhaps as planned by said programming genius, I found myself drawing similarities between the two events and the difference in the horror in the pit of my stomach. I remember the numbness I felt on 9/11 and the weeks following when it was still so fresh and sore, when it was still sinking in what had happened and how we as Americans would never again be able to fully bask in our false sense of security. The familiar feelings wash over me when I see images of post-apocalyptic N.O., and the displaced famillies with no food and water, and the frustrating rescue efforts, and all the news coverage, and I'm left wondering, now why is that journalist just standing there with a mike, next to two hungry, skinny babies, and *talking* about how much the conditions suck, and why isn't that journalist DOING SOMETHING since he's there and we aren't??? I'm marveling, along with the rest of the country, at how long it is taking the rescue efforts to get their shit together and HELP those people. I'm wondering why it is taking so long, when it seems everyone reacted faster and more effectively in the face of 9/11. But is that true, or have I simply forgotten the chaos from four years ago? Or, and I hesitate to even say this out loud, but i'm wondering if our country is, indeed, so numb at this point, after terrorists and tsunamis and war and destruction, that we simply aren't grasping this reality and are moving at a slower pace because we are paralyzed with helplessness. I don't know, but that thought really scares me. And if it's true? Our country is in more trouble than anyone even fathoms at this point. Because, people, although it is live on television, and we can watch it 24x7 from the comfort of our air-conditioned living rooms and in front of our flat-screen computer monitors, Dos Equis in hand, it is NOT just another episode of ER. This is REAL, there are no commercial breaks for the victims stuck on their roofs in the staggering heat, going on day 4 with no end in sight.

So about the only thing I feel I can personally do at this point is give money to the Red Cross, so I will do that and hope that it makes some kind of difference, however small. Please do the same if you are able. And let's collectively send good vibes to LA and MS and AL and FL and everyone else affected by Katrina, shall we? Go ahead, just do it.

Sorry for the silence...

...but my brain is still in post-vacation recovery (coma) even as my body rejects the polluted, hot, humid Texas air. My lungs, they keep shouting (groaning, actually), "wtf? this time last week we were in the purest air in the world. what are you tryin to do, kill us??" Well, dear lungs, yes, I suppose that inadvertently, that is exactly what I'm doing. There can be no other explanation for why I continue to live in this wretched, hotter-than-hell, humid and allergy-ridden state. Maybe it will make more sense when it begins to cool off -- in DECEMBER.

No, no bitterness at being back in the real world, none at all. Who told you that? They were clearly lying.

Really, i hope to do some productive and happy vacation blogging this weekend, if my sinuses don't explode in protest before that time. Here's something else to keep you hanging on:



That is where my heart still is. That is the peaceful view from the balcony in our room as we sailed back to Seattle on the last day...


[can you hear the tiny violin? i can...]