Saturday, June 30, 2007

Live Blogging from Reno - Hour 1

So, it's been a while since I've blogged. Ok, a LONG while. But I have been totally buried up to my eyeballs at work, people. And freelance work. And then more work. But never fear, because just before they squeezed the last tiny sliver of life out of my soul -- I am on vacation!! I made it! I am in the Reno airport, people, and besides the minor detail of my entire brand new bottle of Aussie hairspray (lidless, I might add) exploding in my luggage, and the fact that I just spent 30 minutes in the bathroom trying to get it off of everything -- besides that -- I just discovered that the lovely Reno airport has FREE WIRELESS INTERNET. So that almost makes up for the fact that everything I own smells like purple. Cuz you know, that's what Aussie hairspray smells like. Purple.

Anyway. I have a mere three hours to kill here in the good ole Reno airport before my friends arrive from Austin. That's why I ended up bringing my laptop at the last minute -- while I did not know of the FREE WIRELESS INTERNET, I do have some freelance work to finish up. Erm, yes. I have ... work to do. On my vacation. Shut up. At least I'm here!!!

So in case you were wondering, if anyone still reads this that is, we are not vacationing in Reno. NO, we are vacationing at Lake Tahoe! Oh, you might ask, isn't that the lake that has been on fire all week? Why yes, it has! And it still is! But we did not buy travel insurance, so figured we'd tough it out anyway since we can't get refunds. Plus our resort swears up and down "it's not even smoky up here! honest!" should be an adventure no matter what, right? More on that later. I'm sure there will be more.

And I become happier by the moment that I grabbed my laptop at the last second.....

more updates coming soon! maybe i'll actually be inspired to write this week, when I don't HAVE to -- well, other than that pesky freelance project I mean... which I hopefully will finish up and send off before the gang ever even arrives in lovely Nevada.

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I have never particularly liked islands. In fact, they've always made me nervous. I know better now, but it doesn't change my misperception as a child that an island was land that floated above the ocean -- you know, like a boat. A boat that could sink. Anyone who knows me knows I have issues with ocean water (as in, I won't get IN it), so the thought of walking around on dirt precariously floating above gilled dinosaur fish, aliens, and who knows what all else lurks in the bottom recesses of the ocean, was less than attractive. (I also have issues with lakes, thanks to Stephen King's The Mist. That story about a mysterious fog that rolls in over a lake and brings with it scary and horrifying and icky things scared the bejesus out of me in 9th grade, since I read it while on vacation at my Aunt and Uncle's -- you guessed it -- lakehouse.)

Ah yes, but back to my point. The point is that tonight, as I floated in my ginormous bathtub, I was doing my bathtub meditation thing and my gaze drifted down to the remaining bubbles floating on the water. I'd been in there about 20-25 minutes, so all that were left were the tiny, effervescent ones all joined together in different shapes that float along like...well, like islands. I leaned my head down and gently blew right onto Italy, and watched as a perfect circle formed in the middle and drifted, morphing, until it broke off into two little bubble islands.

I imagined that I was looking at the ocean from space. That I was an astronaut. Then I imagined that I was God, that I was watching the earth form over a period of time. I thought deeply about this for a moment, picturing how so many tiny people lived on the islands, musing, when my eyes drifted downward and rested on my feet in the bottom of the tub, barely discernible beneath the cloudy bathwater.

Damn, I thought, I really need a pedicure. My vacation is in a week... my vacation that is at a...............lake.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

my life as a spy and the freckled redhead

It was summertime in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Probably 1979-80, I don't remember exactly. I was a bookworm and my favorite book at the time was Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I so admired Harriet. I wanted to be Harriet. So I became Harriet. with the help of my friend Diane Dunovan (sp). That sticky Kansas summer was spent hiding under the bushes planted outside almost every duplex on base - bushes my mom referred to as "funeral bushes". I have no idea what they were actually called, but they made good hiding places, that is a fact. Each duplex in my neighborhood had several concrete steps up to a tiny concrete porch leading into a rickety 3-bedroom home that might or might not have a basement. They were all exactly the same, except for the basement factor. We had one and oh how we loved it. But that's another story...

Diane was a gawky like me, pale like me, more freckled than me, bespectacled like me, and had light, carrot-colored red hair--unlike me. (I just realized I have had redheaded friends my whole life; Kirsten, Diane, Kelly and now Kirby -- hmmm.....) Diane was as nerdy and bookwormy as me, and maybe even a little bit more shy. We were also in girl scouts together. Again, another story for another time... In any event, she would pretty much do whatever I wanted to do. And this summer, I wanted to spy. So we both bought spiral-bound notebooks and began creeping around our neighborhood for hours at a time, "spying" on people. We would hide under the bushes and listen. In all honestly, I don't remember a thing we "found out" about anyone, as it was more about the covert ops than about anything we might have overheard. I can still smell the evergreen bush, feel the gritty dirt under my knees as I knelt, poised to run if discovered, notebook in one hand and pen in the other. I wish I knew where those notebooks are now; my mom no doubt has them somewhere in her attic, but it might be decades before they're unearthed... anyway, kneeling under the evergreens, trying to be still, trying not to giggle at Diane's funny faces; my heart pounding in my chest, wondering how much trouble we would get into if we got found out--those were the days of summer. I don't remember if we ever were discovered, I just remember the adrenaline rush that kept us going throughout that long, hot, Kansas summer. Me and Diane.

The summer before 5th grade, Diane's family moved away to Ft. Riley, KS. It was the way of the military; you met people and befriended them in two or four-year increments, then one of you moved on and most likely you lost touch. I really hated to see Diane go, though; she was quirky and could make me laugh at almost anything. I remember going to visit her in Ft. Riley for a few days late in the summer, and it already wasn't the same. She had a new baby brother and she was having a hard time adjusting. While awkward at first, we warmed up to each other over the next few days, and we spent the nights in sleeping bags on the giant screened-in front porch of her parent's house. Talking and giggling until we fell into sweaty sleep, then reluctantly rising with the sun. We would talk about everything -- moving, school, boys. I remember one night we pretended to be each other's boyfriend and took turns holding hands and kissing on the lips -- such innocent pretending, such high hopes. We would try to be serious, as we imagined a boy and girl would be in such a situation, but without fail we would dissolve into a pile of giggles. Someday we would know, for real. And we would sure as shit talk to each about it.

And then school started and another year passed, and the next summer my family moved back to San Antonio. And Diane and I lost touch for good. I wrote her a few letters, but she never responded, so eventually I just stopped. We would get Christmas cards from her family every year, and one year, while I was in 8th or 9th grade, the card came and said that Diane was very ill. Maybe terminally ill. With some unpronounceable illness neither my mom nor myself can remember now. Her mom explained in the card that that was why Diane had lost touch; she didn't want to explain to anyone what was happening to her. We were so, so young. She must have been so, so scared. I like to think I tried writing to her again after that, but I truly don't remember. My feelings had been hurt when she hadn't responded years earlier, and even knowing the reason why didn't make it stop hurting. In fact, it made it worse. That was the last time we heard from her family.

In the craziness that was puberty and first love and teenage angst and dad-wars, the high-school years passed and I didn't really think about Diane that much -- and with each passing year, the memories faded. But I've never stopped wondering what happened to her. I have googled her, but no luck. I also don't remember exactly how she spelled her last name, so that's also a hindrance. I think she's probably gone. And that makes me really sad.

She was the quirky, redheaded girl who pretended to be my boyfriend; who listened to my silly, girlish hopes and dreams; who even crept around underneath the bushes all summer, dutifully taking notes on every screaming toddler that rolled by on a Big Wheel. Ah, the glamorous life on an army base.

I hope Diane had the chance to have a real boyfriend, as I did. I hope she knew how much I cared for her. I wonder if she ever thought of me in those later years. I wonder if she might still be alive. I wonder, but I may never know.

And that's the thing about life that really eats at me; so many people pass through our lives, people who are huge or small influences on us at one time or another, and then they can just be gone, just like that, and no matter how hard you look, you can't find them again. I hate losing people.

I hate losing Diane Dunavon.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

see into my brain.

I just wanted to say this. Only she said it sooo much better.

Friday, June 01, 2007

hey stranger

Ahhh, downtime. Sweet, sweet downtime. I had all but forgotten you. The last time I saw you was ….. March??? Wow. It’s been too long, downtime, my long lost friend.

Yeah. Sooooooo…. I finally have a slight lull at work. And it’s even more awesome because it falls on a Friday afternoon – yay! And my friend G and I are leaving at 5 to get pedicures, to get the weekend off on the right foot (i couldn’t help it. sorry).

So, we must address my post-less-ness. Would you believe me if I just said I’ve been real busy?? Cuz it’s true. Also, nothing earth-shatteringly inspiring has happened lately, besides my magical cat getting off insulin – until this past weekend, which I spent in Chicago with the lovely Tamara. I would blog about it, but she already did a really good job.

Truthfully, I have just been too buried in work and life to think deep thoughts to share with the Internets. Boring bullets I can drum up to make this post just a tad longer:

  • I found a pet sitter, yay! He works as a vet technician so I feel comfy leaving him in charge of my slightly diabetic kitty. Now I just need to find a dentist; GYN; optometrist … hey, it’s only been 10 months people! Give me time!
  • I decided to stay put in my apartment for another year. It was a difficult decision, as you could probably tell from my manic posts on here, but ultimately I just had too much going on to try and move too. So, this time next year I will hopefully be in my own place, or at least someplace that’s not attached to 30 other units…
  • I just planned a week at Lake Tahoe with the cruise gang over the 4th of July, and I’m so excited! We’re staying at this cool resort and it will be fun and relaxing. And I really miss my peeps, so we’ll do some much-needed catching up. Yay, less than a month to go!
  • My boss at work, the one I worked for in Austin years ago and who hired me here, is moving back to Austin in August and will continue to work for the company remotely. So I will be getting a new boss. This makes me sad and nervous, but I’m also happy for him as he’s been in limbo for almost two years now…
  • My precious youngest nephew turned three and was the cutest muffin evah at his birthday party. Three. Dude.
  • ………

    That’s it folks, that’s all the random stuff I can think of. I promise to post again soon! I will work on having some deep thoughts this weekend…