Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Maybe you've noticed

The blog keeps changing colors, font, and orientation. Or maybe you haven't because you have lives. No matter, I don't. So I've been messing around with the templates for no good reason.

Something about a new year makes me want to light a match and start over. It also makes me impatient with myself. And annoyed at what progress there remains, what demons remained unaddressed or unconquered. I want to take myself off-line and get repaired. I don't want to keep doing, keep producing and consuming, keep telling myself I can't live for the praise of others but refuse to prepare anything else to survive on. I want to do really well at work but it's all I can do to even get there lately. I woke up the other day, swung my legs out of the bed and thought, 'I am sick.' Working with my head like this is like going in with the flu, I don't get anything done, I run the risk of infecting others, and I'm worse off for using energy making an appearance that could have been used to get better. It isn't my circumstances that need changing, it's me. A new round of determinations is coming..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Antidote

I'm sure we've all done it, maybe even if we're in a committed relationship. We've browsed the personal ads or dating sites just to see if we're missing anything. I browse them every blue moon to see if I see anyone compelling enough to consider jumping into the on-line fray. Over the weekend, I stumbled upon something on Craigslist called missed opportunities. I had never heard of it before but thought I would see if anyone had seen me out and about, picking up dog crap or wiping off the coffee I spilled on my jacket and had been utterly charmed but too shy to approach me. Some of them are cute (I saw you in the produce aisle, you said 'hi'), most are weird. The weirdest one was a guy who wrote this long treatise about how it was a deal breaker if his woman submitted to regular gynecological exams--unless he did them. He was an IT guy. Reading this stuff might make me sterile but it's been a great antidote to my predilection to think I'm missing something by not being 'out there.' There are some f-ing weird men out there.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It only gets better from here

I love the 21st of December, Winter Solstice, my father's birthday, the shortest, darkest day of the year. In my mind, we turn now toward spring as everyday lingers a bit longer than the day before. Winter Solstice lends itself so easily for comparative musings. Though we've reached our shortest and darkest day, this is really only the beginning of the painful part of winter. The light tells us that things are moving towards spring but everything else, the wind, the sleet, the snow, and ice, make it impossible to imagine needing a fan or wearing shorts ever again.

I read my brother's latest post and some stuff by the authors on my blog list and was a little jealous because they are so funny, smart, acerbic, and often poignant. I felt so PollyAnna in comparison, I could barely stand it. But that's me. I like musing over winter solstice in it's various parallels with the human experience. I was annoyed that I didn't bring my camera with me on our walk this morning because I wanted to take more pictures of frozen berries and tree limbs because I thought they were beautiful. I'm just a big dork. Someone has to be. So it's cool if Castron and Steve from The Sneeze, and most everyone at Burnside is funnier, smarter, or writes better than me. I'm glad they are here for me to enjoy and that they have in me, someone to feel superior to. *smile*

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Classified ads and dating sites

If I read one more classified ad warning women that some random dude is not looking for drama, I may puke until my esophagus bleeds. I have got to stop reading this crap, it makes me want to have my tubes tied. This insomnia is eating me alive...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What they'll find

I was looking for a misplaced piece of paper among the endless other pieces of paper scattered throughout this place and I thought, if I die tonight what will people think? I think they will be amazed how much a labrador sheds or they will think I never vacuum. I think my boss will think he's right, women are sloppier than men. Perhaps they will marvel at the organization of the small spaces juxtaposed with the random sloth of the greater spaces. Those who know me will perhaps smile because that contrast is so 'me.' I think my friends will be surprised at just how often I thought about them in the unsent cards and unfinished letters they will find and how much I treasured them in the things I kept; cards and letters rubber cemented and methodically pressed into a notebook. Perhaps they will be surprised at just how many dresses I had that they never saw me wear or that I owned high heels.

Still, I couldn't bring myself to clean up tonight.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A short list of things that virgins like and hate

Nonsense Pictures, Images and Photos

No one ever accused me of being original. An obvious knockoff of the white people site, here's my cover of an idea that surprisingly made someone money. It's actually pretty well written satire so I don't begrudge Mr. Stuffwhitepeoplelike his success. I think I just heard him sigh with relief. White people hate conflict, especially with minorities.

Things Virgins Like

1. Intellectual Stimulation: Need I say more? We love talking. We want to get as close as possible to your soul without actually touching your body. We swoon over an intimate conversation and often mistake it for romantic interest, even if the primary topic of conversation is other girls. "I've never told anyone this before" or "I feel so comfortable with you" are practically marriage proposals.

2. Animals: Nothing says ‘virgin’ quite like unhealthy devotion to non-human mammals.

3. Comfortable shoes: They're not just for lesbians and married women. Nothing says, "I'm not interested or interesting" quite like a comfortable pair of black and tan all-weather mocs.

4. Awesome guys that almost always turn out to be gay: All is not lost though, there's always a chance he can be your sperm donor when you decide on your 39th birthday to have kids on your own. And at the rate you're going, it will be an immaculate conception.

Stuff virgins hate

1. Purity rings: Give me an f-ing break. No. one. cares. Poser.

2. Clothing, makeup, and relationship advice: Nothing makes a girl feel more like a loser than advice from friends and strangers alike that invariably carries the subtext, 'this is why no one wants you.'

3. Talking about sex: It feels like everyone is repeating the catch phrases and inside jokes of a movie you've seen the trailer for but never watched with many of the same feelings you have when you fully intend to watch that movie one day; like you're hearing spoilers.

4. Making a big deal out of it: Any other new experience is normally fun.

Her: 'Oh, I've never had Thai food before.'
Him: 'Thai food is awesome! I'll take you to my favorite place. It will be fun and I'm sure we'll find something you like.'

Insert sex into that same exchange:

Her: 'Oh, I've never had sex before.'
Him: 'I'm not ready for a serious relationship and/or I think we should be friends. And by friends, I mean I should get to say we're friends but actually do my level best to never see you again. And I'm totally telling all my friends.' And then he'll tell his friends he was afraid you'd fall in love with him or want to get married because he was your 'first.' Ego check, please.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lost and Found; advice for Oprah

It has been a horribly wasted night. I've discovered that I have limited cable, emphasis on limited. Among the entertainment options I had was some second chance to be famous for being a total f-up show on Vh1 with the ladies from Rock of Love. As I watched some random chick get eliminated, her exit monologue cued up, and she mentioned something about finding herself. I was flipping between that and King of the Hill and thinking, there's nothing to find. Not for her, not for me. There is no epiphany that holds the answer, there is no truth to uncover that makes it easier to get up in the morning, or makes pain hurt less, or love last or come at all. At the end, beginning, and middle of the day, something actually has to be done. Decisions are made, outcomes follow, and a new set of decisions are made. If I want different outcomes, I have to make different decisions. I already know that makes a difference in a day but struggle with whatever it is that makes it hard to string those days together. I consider this life to be an addiction, if nothing else, of habit. Change is hard. Keeping myself out of the quicksand is hard. Oprah, who I'm sure works terribly hard, has such tremendous access to resources that we could all stand back and say, there's no reason she should ever be a pound heavier than she wants to be. But she struggles because change is hard. She struggles against herself. I personally don't care what she weighs but she does and that's all it takes in her world to be unhappy with herself. Her lack of control in that one small area of her life. That defines her. She is generous, has a show, magazine, God knows what else but we keep coming back to the weight.

Thinking about Oprah's struggles, and the woman with pink hair extensions who looked rode hard and put up wet leaving a show people only watch to feel better about themselves, I really questioned the value of "finding" yourself. What fuels this desire for self dissection as if looking at the heart will teach us about love? If there are things in my life that I think cause me some degree of heartache or strife then I need to see if I can do something about it instead of turning the problem around in my hands and figuring out how to describe it. It reminds me of an earlier comment I left for myself (yes, I'm still doing that and yes, I know that is a little sad), regarding my tendency to build a watch to tell the time. Perhaps I use introspection as another way to put off doing something about the things that trouble me. Maybe there is some value in thinking through the 'why' but I think too much self-awareness can be crippling. Is it important that I know why I don't seek available men when I could just say yes to the next random dude that pursues me? Should I explore my 'daddy' issues as they relate to my drive to achieve, fear of failure, and need for acceptance or just accept that everyone is carrying some sort of parental baggage and stop trying figure out ways to unpack and repack it? I went to a Kundalini yoga class a few weeks ago and the instructor asked if all strife could not be reduced to some struggle against ourselves, something other than what we are, that we think we should be or do. I won't do the sentiment justice here but it resonates with me still. The thought of moving forward, having goals, absent despair about where I am now is potentially life changing.

So Oprah, I know you skim the web looking for small blogs actively read by three people to gain insights and advice so I just want to encourage you to abandon your shame about your weight as you are so much more than that. Anyone who really cares how much you weigh needs better hobbies. You've accomplished so much, I wish you success not in losing weight but in shedding the voices that won't allow you happiness as you are now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I heart: Catholics

rosary Pictures, Images and Photos

I don't know if it is coincidence or just a reflection of effective proselytizing leading to greater population density but I know a lot of Catholics. And I love them.

It's a Protestant thing, you wouldn't understand.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Fleurville Pictures, Images and Photos

I've tried yoga a few times throughout the years and found it both surprisingly strenuous and pretty boring. I'm not sure what compelled me to try it once again, especially since the last two times I tried it, I couldn't sit down for three days and I wrenched my back out something fierce (like can't sit upright fierce). The difference this time is that I went to an actual yoga studio and that has made all the difference. It is a great supplement to my overall efforts to exist in the present borrowing no trouble from either the past or the future. I think more about myself in the moment, what my body is doing, how it is feeling, where I am tense from clenching, what I might do to relieve a present stress. I'm not sure how long I'll go or whether it will become a regular part of my life but I have found so far that I really look forward to being outside of my mind for an hour and trying to listen only to my body. I enjoy the break from watching others and wondering what they think about me. I enjoy the break from being aware of my body as it relates to how I and others see it or judge it. I enjoy the concept of waiting for my body to give me an invitation to a deeper form of a particular posture. I enjoy not forcing it. I enjoy how I feel when the practice is over. It isn't the same as I've felt after other exercise where I'm glad for an end to suffering.

I will however, note that last Saturday, I went and there was a girl in the class who exhaled with an orgasmic sigh that I found distracting. It was difficult for me to allow her the experience she was having without being annoyed at how it was impacting mine. It reminded me of the Friends episode where Phoebe can't give Monica a massage because she makes sex noises. I'm hoping I don't see her again but I'll definitely know if she's in class that day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anyone else bored?

It's the holiday season and another year is wrapping up. I've made enough progress on my determinations that I'm inclined to issue them anew in the coming year to challenge myself to live even better next year than this year. I'm a little bored with therapists, lightness and dark, and feeling a little silly for exploring those things over and over again in this space. In some respect I think I should get the wheels on and get moving instead of taking you through how I'm building the car.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Restaurant review: Konak

Konak is a Turkish place a few blocks away that I've been walking past for months now and I decided tonight to finally give it a try. I'll caveat what follows thusly; I'm not a professional eater and perhaps lack a sophisticated palette. I have been known to microwave steaks and hamburgers and some may conclude that alone disqualifies me from being able to register an opinion on the culinary talents of others.

The venue is great. The decor is appropriately ethnic without being gaudy and it seems in that respect to be a great date place. There is a bar out front with a good milling around area and seems like it would be an ideal happy hour spot because the groups couldn't get too big. There was a guitarist there who also sang what I am guessing were old standards in Turkish but between every traditional song, he would play a bar or two from something contemporary--something like Never Never Land from Metallica. I thought--wait a minute, he's playing Metalica, then he would segue into another foreign language ballad before I could get out my lighter or push the table back to headbang.

But back to the food. The popularity of chains like Lebanese Taverna and other offerings from the middle, near, and far east is in their offering of dishes that are the most western which turns out to be rice/lamb/beef/chicken and rice or rice/lamb/beef/chicken and pita bread of some sort. For folks who want to show off, they can always order falafel, babaganush, or humus, but you really can't go wrong with a meat/starch combo from any menu from any corner of the world. Konak was no exception in their offering of the classic combos but they also offered traditional fare, some of which came "highly recommended" on the menu. I should have asked why it was highly recommended but I'll know better next time. So I ordered per the menu on their website:

Iskender Kebob (Highly Recommended)
Thinly sliced-lightly buttered pide bread topped with Famous Turkish Gyro (Doner Kebob), served with tomato sauce and homemade plain yogurt on the side in a special dish

When it arrived in what was indeed a special and splendid silver dish, I had my choice of additional butter and/or tomato sauce to pour on top. I told them I had never had the dish before and requested their recommendation and got melted butter poured on top of what ended up being a lukewarm chipped beef open faced sandwich with a large side helping of yogurt. There was a charred green chili and half a tomato on the plate as well. The chili tasted like burnt paper and the tomato with the tomato sauce was a bit too much. I ate quickly because arriving lukewarm, it was in my best interest to consume it quickly. I was also starving. The staff was so nice I didn't have to heart to tell them that I couldn't believe I had left my house on a snowy night to eat that crap when soup out of a can would have tasted better and I wouldn't still be burping butter laced tomatoes. I sought a redeeming note for the evening in ordering baklava and found it too, to be disappointing. It was soggy and tasted vaguely of dishwater--perhaps that was rose water gone too long but the point is that it was not good. I should have just claimed that I was full but I actually felt a pressure to finish my food, like I was dining at their house or something. Perhaps it was just the awkward courtesy of an American eating what was described to me as a traditional Turkish dish and finding it lackluster, not wanting to diss something that came so highly recommended they dare to print it on their menu. Perhaps it is Turkish humor to steer Westerners to their grossest dishes just to see them squirm when they ask how everything is. I for one will not be rushing back there but when I do, I'm sticking to the meat and bread basics.

The food is heavy in my belly and I must sleep now.

Ninja tools: sacks of poop

I'm a single gal who walks alone in the dark every single day. It just comes with the territory of having a dog. Though my dog is also a ninja, I think it wise to supplement her deadly cunning and my crazy mad skills with a back-up arsenal of ninja tools. I am a conscientious ninja and thus everyday can be found carrying a sack of poop around to deposit in the nearest trash can. One day it occurred to me that this is a weapon. Imagine a would-be attacker being smacked in the face with a sack of dog crap that may even explode upon impact. Imagine attaching these ninja crap sacks to nunchukkas. I know, awesome right?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This day, Framed in Light* pt2

So I loved the last sentence in the previous post because it is pure poetry to me. "Maybe take a look in the shadows for something you can use, because it looks like the light has exhausted its utility." Even though I disagree, I think it is beautiful writing. The commenter is right, I don't need a therapist or a companion. I want them. I want them because I think I will be better, that life will be better, as a result of knowing them. I'm happy right now sitting in my bed typing away. I'm clean, well fed, and warm. I can make noises and smells with abandon and turn out the lights when I'm good and ready. Every couple I know relishes their time away from one another to be as I am every day so it really isn't a bad way to live. But it's my default setting. And it is harder to make company than it is to make space so when I tire of being alone it's not as easily remedied. As a default position, too much time alone often becomes simply lonely.

Shadow vs Light. I may spend a lot of time wondering and trying to be 'right' but I don't think that time is spent in the light. In fact those might be the shadows you speak of. And a little sin? I assume (fully aware of what that makes out of you and me) that you mean debauchery and high-living. The sort of stuff that makes the stories that make redemption so interesting and compelling. I'm sure I'm capable of debauchery beyond your imagination and perhaps shouldn't taunt it by declaring myself beyond its temptation. When I've found myself courting the bad girl within, it has never been out of desire to be that girl because I already am her. I've just found a less obvious way to sublimate the same desires and seek the same protection that the 'bad girl' does with cleaner execution and clarity. I court her for her ability to be so obviously flawed, so vulnerable. People may talk as if they don't desire these things but it is only now dawning on me that people don't fall in love with perfection. Perfection is inaccessible and worrisome. I see who people chose to spend their lives with and find myself surprised with what people are willing to live with just to be with the person that their heart belongs to. I don't believe my story gets interesting in the shadows, I've been hiding there for some time and know them cold. I'm afraid of what I and others will see and accept or reject when I embrace the light. It is the light that ices my blood.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This day, Framed in Light*

I love this comment from the other blog:

"You don't need a therapist. You don't need a companion either. How can the solution to a person's problems be the addition of problems from a whole new source. I think you need the pursuit of power, blind ambition, vanity, rage. Sin, a little bit more sin to balance the flavor of your life. Maybe take a look in the shadows for something you can use, because it looks like the light has exhausted its utility."

The last sentence is my absolute favorite. If I was into tattoos, optional pain, and making Jesus cry, I would totally get that put somewhere on my body.

Right now the dog is silently demanding to be walked by invoking a civil rights era sit-in at my bedroom door. More on that great comment later.

*Gianna Russo wrote a poem by this title. I read it as a prompt in a writer's workshop and the title stuck with me. You can read her poem here

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


At the risk of ruining it by calling attention to it, I want to note how happy I am to have my brother in the blogsphere though according to Wired magazine, we are both so 2004. Whatever, we bloom late in everything else, why should this be any different? His blog, I've introduced previously but didn't mention that we were related. You should read it. What I like about it as his sister is the ability to both see another side of one another and comment on one another's posts. Anybody who reads his posts or comments will know why I'm a little threatened by both his writing and his insight. His latest musings had me smiling every time I thought of the title of the post, Nervous about chicken. His comments on the other blog had me blown away by the insight and amused by his lack of maturity as it concerns the thought of me and any guy.

Monday, December 1, 2008


My girl crush on Tina Fey continues. I just read the Vanity Fair article on her and had to talk myself out of writing her fan mail. She has no idea that I think I'm her black alter-ego. I thought about that sense of kinship and then kind of talked myself out of it, and not just because I'm not Greek or German or any combination of the two (that I am aware of). I talked myself out of it because I thought of other women who I don't think are as funny or likable who would claim the same kinship and decided I didn't want to be associated with them. Yes, I'm petty even in abstract. Still, I admire her and wish her continued success and freedom to create.

Speaking of generating bad karma, I just put a piece of food on top of my dog's head. She looked at me with liquid brown eyes like, 'how will I get this delectable morsel from my head' and I thought, yep, I'll be stepping in some dog shit courtesy of that mean move. She incidentally bent her head down and used her paw to get the food within seconds so maybe I'll almost step in dog poop.

Though I have vowed not to speak of a current infatuation, I'll meet myself halfway and note only that it continues, capable of sustaining itself in a vacuum. While I haven't matured enough to stop nursing these pointless, awkward, childish, time-sucks, the reality of a woman in her mid-thirties who hasn't really figured out if she wants kids is that the decision will be made for me sooner rather than later. It reminds me of movies showing the pages of a calendar flipping away with increasing speed. It's forcing me to actually think beyond the melodramatic declarations of my 20's of what I would do if I found myself single past 29. I always thought I would have time. Time to meet him, time to be sure, time to enjoy the other's company without thinking about having to make a quick decision on whether there would be kids before my body closed up shop, or before we were both not interested in being old parents with young children. Time for all that stuff to just happen without concerted effort or thought. If I never have children, never get married, it won't be a tragedy or even unfortunate, it will just be. But I do feel the proverbial clock ticking--not as much the biological one as the one who will be deciding if it is time to start using 'age-defying' soap and deodorant (when did armpits become an area where I want to look forever 25?). I'm happy now to note a little suggestion of wear in my face as I'm just fascinated with how the body changes and can't believe already that it is showing history. If I lament anything from my 20's in the looks department, it's my awkward experimentation with eyebrow waxing (think drag queen thin), not wearing a good bra, and not capitalizing on what was a great figure.

But back to the crush. What I find the most amusing and maddening about them is the filter it puts on my thoughts and the weird teenage predilection to want to write him letters. I blame every single teen movie for that. Oh, and David Archuletta's new song, Crush (which yes, I totally downloaded-see what regressive behavior does to my taste in music?). Only in movies does a well-penned letter open the door to true love with a guy who is otherwise 'just a friend' or has only a marginal awareness of your existence. I have an adult friend who still succumbs to this indulgent adolescent behavior and the results are always the same-AWKWARD. It actually didn't work when were teenagers either. As both a sender and recipient of that type of letter, I think part of its ineffectiveness lies in what it is replacing, which is actual interaction with the object of your desire. Penning an op-ed hoping to convince a guy to return your affection simply because you harbor affection for him is silly. He's bound to be flattered but embarrassed both for you and him. Trying to spend time with a guy you like and hoping that something will spark--much smarter and sometimes even works. But for now, the ipod calls and I'm going to put Crush on repeat while I do laundry and try to learn all the words before I go to bed tonight.