Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Eye

It seems like an appropriate reference in the middle of hurricane season to refer to the center calm in the eye of the storm when everything feels suspended in anticipation of what comes next. Yesterday was my last day at my current job and this weekend I will be packing up the car, Clampet-style and heading to the city of brotherly love. I've had no less than three surprise parties in the last three weeks--if you're going to be single, I've got to tell you that being showered with love from the people you spend most of your waking hours with is not a bad way to go. Very validating and definitely makes me feel like the effort was well worth the return. I never suspected a thing three times in a row. They have spoiled me. And I'm definitely falling down on my ninja skills. I really should have seen them all coming.

I feel a bit outside of myself in this move because I'm having a hard time recognizing 'me' in this move. Transitions like these, usually see me beside myself with equal parts of fear, regret (things I didn't do, things I didn't take advantage of...etc), resistance to change, and a death-grip hold on the people I leave behind. I cry a lot, wish I could stay right where I am a lot, and just generally move through the transition kicking and screaming.

But not this time. I feel imbued with that peace which passes all understanding. The Bible has such a way with expressions. Peace like that, for me, means that I don't quite understand the stillness of my soul in what is swirl of activity and opportunity for discord. It is an assurance that everything is and will be, just fine. I'm hesitant to declare this as solid evidence that I might be maturing after all but it is certainly a promising indicator. It feels very much like a story I heard a long time ago about a little girl with a beautiful but fake string of pearls. I won't do the story justice in retelling it but the the Cliff's Notes version is that every night her father would take her in his lap, read her a story and then ask her if she loved him. She would say she did, and then he would ask her if she loved him enough to give him her pearls. She replied that she loved him but that he did not want to give him the pearls. Initially, it was funny and teasing, but he continued night after night asking her the same two questions. She became increasingly distraught with the request, feeling that she was rejecting him each time, and that he would think she loved the pearls more than she loved him (which on some level, was probably true). She finally broke down one night and tearfully gave her father the pearls she cherished so much. He in turn, gave her a strand of real pearls which of course, had been the point all along. He wanted only to get her to release something that resembled what she cherished for the real thing.

The moral of the story, as least as it relates to me right now, is that I feel that there are parts of my life that I've been content to have only resemble the authentic thing that I actually want. They are my fake pearls; my inexplicable but nearly supernatural ability to hone in on unavailable men, my tendency to avoid making decisions for fear of making an incorrect one, my desire for intimacy coupled with a reflexive resistance to the same, and more than I would or could catalogue for your reading pleasure. But with this move, every time I meet an obstacle and overcome it, I appreciate that the aggregate of my experiences with these new things have trended positively. What I'm 'giving up' thus far has been relief of burdens I no longer need carry or 'replaced' with something different in ways that don't invite comparison. I give up an apple and get a milkshake. Both good.

I'm glad for this mental honeymoon and know that what follows is not likely to be a never ending parade of wet puppy noses and whisker kisses, but I'm looking forward and hoping the growth will be be more often like the satisfying soreness of a taxing workout and less like I'm being jumped into a gang.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

After the fire pt 2

It appears I have tempted fate because last night I had an actual fire at the house. What I learned was that pizza boxes should not be put in the oven on the bottom rack at 450 degrees, that I'm actually pretty good at putting out fires, how to disconnect a hard wired smoke detector, and how pervasive the fine powder of whatever comes out of the fire extinguisher is. This after one of the worst days at work in recent memory, a ripped shirt courtesy of my friends spastic dog, and after the fire, no edible food, I think it's safe to label this one as 'worst day ever.' Okay, worst day in recent history. Why tempt fate to outdo itself?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Truth

Burnside Writer's Blog had an interesting post today about Mike Guglielmucci, a Christian music artist and pastor who pretended to have a terminal illness assumably to hawk his song "Healer." You can view Burnside's great post here. There is a video on youtube promoting the song and giving the back story on the inspiration behind the song here. Burnside writer Bryan Allain does a much better job of discussing the deception and that God's truth can still be be spoken through the mouth and deeds of a liar...etc so I'll leave that untouched.

What struck me was the video. Not the artist, whose story in the 20/20 lens of retrospect seems a bit off and vague (walking cane, oxygen, and agony? what disease is this?) but the other Christian music artist testimonials scattered throughout the video. There is something in a Christian that is almost jealous of transcendental suffering and what bubbles up in a person's soul when extremely pressed. In this video, it was almost a separate category of worship, how this terminally ill man was being used by God. So now I'm wondering how this situation will challenge their faith. I'll assume all testimonials were coming from the very core of their faith and that evening was the very presence of God for them. They felt him there, he moved in them, and through the people in that room. They were caught up in something very powerful. And now they know that they were gushing about a man, and a night, and a song that came from the dark place in a man's soul that would conceive to deceive so many for reasons that we can all probably relate to even if we wouldn't have made the same decisions. I think I would struggle mightily had I been there that night and experienced what they experienced. I spent more years than I'm willing to admit getting over a three week relationship because it was a connection beyond my ability to describe. My biggest struggle was not getting over him but reconciling the certainty of the connection with everything that followed. Never mind him, I really struggled with trusting myself. How could I have been so very wrong but so very certain? And what was I wrong about? About his feelings for me, about my feelings for him, or that if I was right about both that it meant we were supposed to be together forever?

I'm sure that night Pastor Mike Guglielmuccihe was wholly caught up in what was happening in that venue. Regardless of his motives, I believe he was probably moved. I believe it was hard for him to continue when he saw how God was using his song. Maybe you misrepresent to generate sales but then you see people believe in you, see something in your walk they want to emulate, begin to celebrate you, and attribute virtues to you that you don't think you have. That's got to make it hard, if you have any soul or conscience at all, to continue in deception.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is creepy; Dead man stands through 3 day wake

I don't get this at all. Weekend at Bernie's is silly and sophomoric. This is strange and super creepy to me.

The big push

I imagine moving is like childbirth. Exciting and intimidating before and just plain painful during the actual event. There's always some "thing" that would have been nice to do but has to be abandoned, a flurry of thoughts on how one might have been better prepared, hope that something important has not been forgotten, and finally resignation that this is it, it's time to push. If this blog had wider circulation, I could see getting a stream of comments from sore, sleep deprived new mothers on how moving is nothing at all like childbirth and how they'd rather move all the stuff in my house, one piece at a time, back and forth than opt for labor again, but the analogy works for me so that's what moving is going to be like today.

My movers are nice and were really flexible. I didn't feel like I had to watch them with my stuff and while I'm am positive that my lack of organization has ensured that I will find my drill battery has been sent to storage and my drill has been packed to come with me to Philly, today, in my grimy, exhausted state, it is an expected and acceptable casualty of moving.

I'm renting for the first time in years and while I thought it would be great after almost 7 years of overrated home ownership, I am looking forward to being in my own place again. I hemmed and hawed over painting and what and where to place things on the walls but they were my walls. The house was a never ending to-do list, often subject to budgetary constraints but I had options to change the space I lived in. Unrealized options, but options nonetheless. I'm very much leaning toward selling the place I'm in as I believe it is time to move on from my beautiful lake view and let someone who will truly maximize waterfront living get a well tended home to enjoy the water by. This place has brought me great friends, great dramas, and more home repair experiences than I cared for. I think we've wrung this one dry. Time for something new.

Abrupt subject change. This is a beautifully written reminder to all that feel that they live a divided life; one doing what is safe and one devoting what is leftover to your passion; or one that feels adrift and wondering what one's purpose might be.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Transitions suck. They are awkward, messy, fraught with uncertainty, and completely unavoidable. I've spent the day chipping away at the granite that is preparing for the home invasion (movers) that will arrive on my doorstep between 8-10 tomorrow. I'm sure I've accomplished something but it is pretty hard to tell. I've wanted to take a nap all day which I'm sure it partly genuine fatigue and partly a classic avoidance technique. I would take a nap but all I would do is dream and think about stuff I need to do so it isn't restful and serves only to pump more draining anxiety chemicals in my bloodstream. So why am I blogging right now? Because I need to vent and I don't want to hear myself do it. This morning I felt a little weepy to be doing this all alone even though it is easier to move just one person. Pretty pitiful. It would be nice to have help but it's nothing to get distraught over which is what I might do if on the phone with a friend who might sympathetically coo and sigh and wish they could be there to help.

I had planned to camp at the house on an air mattress between now and my departure date to minimize disruptions to the dog and to not have to mess around with relocating to a hotel. I talked to my parents today, who aren't generally into animals, and my mother seemed to think that I was staying with them. I don't recall ever having that discussion unless it was the one where my father said that if I was really up against the wall (which I took to mean fire or natural disaster) that me and the dog could stay with them. So we'll see how that one plays out. My family is wonderful but they are not really the kind of family that rallies together to do something like help someone move. Someone always comes with me to make sure that I'm not staying in seedy hotels and traveling alone as a single female on long drives. But the hard part before I get in the car--that's all me.

To balance the whininess above with a little gratitude, as I was dropping off canned goods and tranches of my possessions to the local charity, I recognized that I had more to give away than many people had period.

Back to work....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

After the fire

So I had fun with the two folks who showed up and was determined that I would not betray my disappointment over the paltry attendance to those who had made the difficult trek. I tried to take some of the sting out of their long, difficult drive and the lack of attendance by taking them out to dinner at a wonderful, authentic Cuban place. In classic fashion, we're almost there and the road that we must take to get there is closed, so I drove them 25 minutes out of the way to have us ending up at a chain pizza place. IBC did not make it and today is a lingering sadness over that and the sodas, beer, food, and other things that won't be used and that I now have to get rid of. I know I need to make the choice to move on, and I will, but I want to stew in this steamy funk for just a while longer. This is why I don't have people over. I don't think I'll do that again. It's fine when your worst-case scenario plays out and it truly wasn't the end of the world that people just didn't want to come. But I know myself well enough that this is not the sort of thing I want to happen again because it's not good for my mental health and growth. So I have thrown my first and last party. So sorry you missed it.

Bad party aside, the two folks who showed up, I really enjoyed talking with. They are great people and what scares me about the wonderful single people I'm meeting is that they are single. I don't understand how someone has not scooped them up. We're all bastions of imperfection and incompleteness, but they are well over the halfway mark of just plain great. What hope have I when these great people are out there floating unattached?

The movers come this week. I need to pack and figure out what goes into storage and start filling the car with stuff for Goodwill. I have a permanent knot of anxiety in my stomach. It's been great for my appetite so at least there's the silver lining of a 3-5 pound head start on a larger weight-loss goal. Count on a girl to see it that way.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

An ideal day

Some brief highlights (as I am tired) on my ideal day. First, mission accomplished. It was a good day. I was remembered and celebrated and surprised and delighted. The fire sale is on--it will be a very modest showing, not unlike the readership of this blog. Two, perhaps three folks will show up. It will hopefully be a decent time for everyone but it would be better with more energy to feed from. IBC may or may not show and he's being a bit weird. I don't like when I'm not able to figure out what's going on. I think I shall stop talking to him. I can't shake the feeling that we aren't actually friends. I have some beyond friends attraction to him but I expect that to wane as it isn't really based in anything real between the two of us. But I'm sensitive to being the patsy in a relationship-I don't want to be the one that anyone suffers just be be nice. I'd sooner remove myself than be that person. I'm sure I need to be willing to be foolish for love but since IBC is not likely to be 'the one,' I think I'm okay if I don't go out of my way to talk to him.

IBC distraction aside, it was a wonderful day. Happy Birthday to me. And my birthday twin (another subject, another time).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fire sale

--For everyone coming to the site to check out this picture. What gives? I thought it was an awesome picture when I found it on but I am simply stunned at the amount of traffic coming to the site for this one picture. I welcome anyone stopping in that cares to comment on the draw of this picture and how you came to be here.

I appreciate the comments on the fire sale plans and the comments in general. It is such a treat to know that someone is even reading this. Instead of outright canceling the sale, I let the invitees know that I was considering a cancelation and that like your favorites on any elimination show, their votes would determine if the show went on as planned. I made sure it was known that a vote for 'no' would not wound me even though it kind of would so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moving on

Got a lot on my mind tonight. I thought this time--right before the move--would be when I'd fall off the writing wagon. I surprise myself because I'm not sure who I thought I was. Anything I can use to procrastinate is fair game. With writing, I can even feel like not tackling another house project is justified.

In the 'why I am lame' department, what seemed like a good idea a month ago when I was probably in the same state of mind about future me as I was when I thought I wouldn't be writing here as much, I invited a bunch of people to my house for a 'fire sale.' It was an opportunity to get rid of wine and other stuff that wouldn't be packed and to visit with folks all at once instead of going to a dozen coffees and lunches between now and when I leave. This was/is a big deal because I don't have parties. I don't ever invite people over. I live in the boonies and I'm positive my company won't be worth the trip. But in the spirit of seizing the opportunity this move will afford me to redefine myself and get more outside of my comfort zone, I thought, 'yay! i'm going to throw a party!' and i'm not going to freak out that no one will have fun-i'll make it worth their while by giving away my possessions! YES! It's foolproof!'

So tomorrow, I think I'm going to cancel the fire sale. Several people have already given me the downcast eyes of 'I've got something I'd rather go to,' and the people who are perhaps planning to come I fear are sure to regret the trip. Okay, maybe regret is a strong word. I don't think they'll be giving each other high fives and talking about it Monday morning like everyone else really missed out. Plus I've got shit loads to do and my house is a disaster. I recognize that fear (and a dash of laziness) are the primary drivers on my reluctance to follow through. I can go to a "party" 40 minutes away where I know only one other person and likely would not have come if he hadn't made it clear that is was important to him (retrospect thinks it might have been intoxication driving the insistence that I come). But I can't ask that of other people. Because I don't want to give them an opportunity to chose something else. I've been in this house for 6 years and have had people over three times. Only one of those was an actual party, i.e., more than two people. I've actually uninvited people to my house. I have no idea why I have any friends at all.

My mother called tonight and they want to take me to dinner on the day of the fire sale. I don't really want to go to dinner and I know that is really bratty but since we are going to celebrate my birthday, I'd rather just hang out at home and watch something funny together. I don't have anywhere I'm dying to eat at on someone else's dime, and for some reason, it just doesn't feel special. It feels obligatory. Again, bratty. I know. I'm a total turd. My sick mother wants to take me to dinner and I'm stiff-arming her. I can give her a kidney but I can't humor her before I leave the state with a family meal at Outback.

I'm going to make a prediction. Saturday I will feel like shit for canceling the fire sale. I will also feel bad because I won't tell my mom because I'm not going to want to go to dinner either. Sunday I will realize I could have done both and will tack another notch on the bedpost of regret as I will have disappointed everybody, including myself. But I will get a lot of work done so that it won't all be for naught. Or I won't and will have posted prolifically about what I'm not doing.

Private Conversation

It's been almost a year since I started 'blogging.' Not discounting anyone who has kindly commented (TM, you are the best), it has largely been a private conversation and kind of a lonely one. I assume when there is a lack of comment, there is a lack of impact, a lack of resonance, a lack of readership. I realize that it could be all of the above, but if it isn't, know that I want to hear from you. If it is, I'll get the message eventually, be patient with me. There's only five of you so I do recognize that lack of anonymity is an issue--I'm thinking about how to spread the word to spread the wealth.

I've been visiting some of blogger's 'blogs of note.' Every single blogger is ridiculously pleased to be featured, to have people comment, even argue with them. Blogging is an invitation to a conversation, to a community that can be built around that conversation. It means so much to have someone comment on your site, especially if you don't know them. It is just so validating. I need an outlet, I want to play with words, and I want a reaction. I want to create something that people want to read. Working through this frustration, what feedburner (who provides stats on visits to my sites) calls "0 reach", I hope will make me better at something I love to do.

We'll see.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And that's how the fight started

It is a beautiful fall-like night in August and before going out to walk the dog, it occurs to me that it is cool enough for a light jacket. I open my closet door, knowing just the jacket I'm going to grab. It even goes with what I'm wearing.

It isn't there.

It isn't on the floor where I thought it might have been after perhaps slipping off the hangar.

It's not anywhere.

I want to be wrong about it but I'm pretty sure it is somewhere, ripped, defiled, and reeking of Febreeze in the floor of my sister's room, car, or bathroom. It's not the first time. She's so bad about taking my clothes and shoes that I actually set aside shoes and clothes for her to wear when it just has to be something of mine. And she doesn't just borrow, she appropriates. And then she destroys. Couple that with the pitiful dying plant on my front porch that she walked past every day and didn't water, the clean bedsheets that she kicked on the floor, and the inexplicable presence of a macaroni cheese shell on the handle of one of my "clean" pots, and well, I understand how siblings end up on Dr. Phil.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ugly Models

So, average is ugly now. The way this piece is cast is amusing. The women are pretty, the men are characters. It's not even remotely about ugly but bravo to the folks willing to be featured as such.>1=43001#TDY_UglyModels


Apparently have no sense of humor so I don't think it's going to work out. Apparently, many non-ninjas suffer from an impaired sense of humor or tolerance as well.

Guess what I found

*SIGH* Heavier *SIGH*. So, I was born with a weird pigment thing (that's right, that's what the doctors call it--look it up). My left side until about chest level is a mix of light brown and brown, kind of like someone didn't stir all the colors together completely. The hair on the light brown parts are red or almost blond, the hair on the brown parts is brown. Well, the red hair is starting to turn white. And I discovered one of those white hairs on my eyebrow this weekend. I'm not even 35 years old and I had a flash of me as the professor from Back to the Future with his crazy white eyebrows. I have got to get married soon. My body is going to hell in a handbasket. I told my mother who offered me no comfort when I wondered aloud what do do about white arm hair when and if it happens. I'm going to look like a freaking half Yetti. The upside is that I may have a promising second career in a traveling circus. I'd probably meet a dashing carny too...I do like work that involves travel and I love animals. Hmmm.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Song of the moment; Anyway

Bless the day this restoration is complete
Dirty, dusty, something must be underneath
So I scrape and I scuff
Though it's never quite enough
I am starting to see me finally

A gallery of paintings new and paintings old
Guess its no suprise that I'm no Michaelangelo
Every layer of mine
Hides a lovely design
It might take a little patience
It might take a little time

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you palced me on the wall

You who have begun this work will someday see
A portrait of the holiness you meant for me
So I polish and shine till it's easier to find
Even an outline of mine

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you placed me on the wall