Saturday, May 30, 2009

God, this latte is phenomenal.

I was thinking about how irritated I was with all this starting over I've been doing. A year ago I was gearing up to "start over" in South Dakota. Thankfully that puttered out--I hated that whole damn place. I pretended that I didn't but faking it 'till you make it doesn't always work out. Then I came back to Olathe for do-over. That never really got off the ground. It wasn't even a false-start. I just stayed in the same place and hoped to get going. Now this new opportunity [read: an eviction notice of sorts] has presented itself and I'm going to start up a nice little life of my own in an apartment just above where my niece and nephew live.

Only maybe it's not always start-overs. Maybe these are just continuations of my life that give me opportunity and room to grow more and see more. "Do-over" gives the impression that I'm going to get it right this time, finally. But I'm not. I'm not going to get it all right from here on. I'm just doing it. Luckily for me, I find it only mildly irritating to realize that my life started a long time ago--I just never really got on board until now.

Lately I need constant stimulation. Quite honestly, left to myself and ten minutes, I could melt into a pretty pathetic puddle of existential dread. So to keep that from happening, I read. I walk a lot. I go to stores and wander around and don't buy anything. Last night I took myself out on a date. I went to the trouble of putting on fresh mascara and I even shaved my legs. Then we (me and my legs) went to the movies. I watched Night at the Museum and I will be honest--we had a great time. We went to Panda Express and ate a considerable amount of Chow Mein and potstickers and followed up with a fortune cookie that read: Your love life will be happy and harmonious (which I like to follow up with "in bed"--which is such good news, really).

Then I got to hang out with Jamie and JD and all I could think was, "Oh God. I'm so glad you're back." Granted--they will only be here for a little bit longer before transferring to South Korea, and I'll be here for an even shorter amount of time before transferring to McPherson. But I feel really good to know that my friends are no longer stuck in South Dakota for no reason other than stupid, effing contracts. Psh. Stupid effing contracts.

And I'm getting ready to work a 18 hour weekend at Noodles and Company. In preparation, I'm at the Latteland across the parking lot enjoying a Double Vanilla Tea Latte and thinking about how great the paycheck will be right before my move. How comforting. I have less than a week at this job that I've been with for a little over two months before I voluntarily join the jobless again. I'll take the comfort where I can get it. In the mean time, I'm going to think about how much fun Jamie's wedding is going to be and how excited I really am to go alone. I mean, just because you show up alone doesn't mean you're going home alone, now does it? I submit that it does not. ;-) I kid. I kid. Ish.

Love, Libby.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stream of Consciousness Blog: Jealousy--> Forth Place --> My makeup techniques--> My greatest fear

I remember the first time that I recognized myself as a jealous person. It was only a few summers ago. I drank a lot of vodka and cranberry juice out of Styrofoam cups that summer. I was 21 years old. Twenty-one before I knew that I had the capacity for jealousy. I've always been a late bloomer--in every conceivable way.

When I think about it, it could have actually been the first time I've ever, legitimately, been jealous. It could be. I've always been the sort of girl who never thought she'd get the best and, thus, never got my hopes up. I learned to settle for forth place very early on. A lot of times and in many rewarding ways--this is a perfectly acceptable outlook on life. But occasionally, a balance needs to be struck.

I always tell about how since I was little, I was always attracted to the browns and mustards and mossy greens that no one else wanted. In class once, in the second grade, our teacher let us choose a piece of construction paper to create a folder for documents. Everyone else chose vibrant fuscias and teals, bright yellows or clean whites. I dug to the bottom of the pile and pulled out this long piece of sun-faded and spotted green that much resembled the bottom of a neglected swimming pool come autumn. This was mine. I identified with the little dude. He was forgotten and unwanted at the bottom of the pile. He had liver spots and a fairly indistinguishable color. My teacher, Mrs. Lavelle, tried to convince me to take a bright purple, and I considered it, but then guilt kicked in and I stuck to my guns and chose the unlovable. Jealousy may be a recent development but good old fashioned guilt has been my long-time companion along with the personification of numerous inanimate objects.

The thing is that I knew that piece of construction paper had feelings and intuition and eyes. It knew that I considered it and it knew that if I put it back in the stack, it was because I refused to make use of it even though it was completely functional. It would have known that I chose the purple because it was new and didn't have a fabricated name that would likely only be found on the pages of a J. Peterman catalog. I didn't want to hurt it--so to the scorn of my peers, I proudly chose him and decorated him with Crayolas. I was not jealous of everyone else's more beautiful colors. I just did the best I could to make mine a little easier to look at.

And that's how I've been dealing with myself, pretty much ever since. Just try to make it a little easier to look at.

I've never tried to be gorgeous. I've sometimes made conscious leaps toward "pretty" but the harder I try, the worse it gets so I just leave well enough alone and stick to tinted moisturizer and mascara. Which does seem to work for me. See, this is one of those times where it's not always necessary to go for the gold. Jeans, tank tops, mascara and a pony-tail. It leaves much more open for interpretation. Which is all a woman is looking for anyway, to be considered, not summed up after one quick glance.

The other day, Alyssa and I were at lunch and the hostess came over to our table to offer us coupons. When she left, all I could think was that she likely got her makeup tips from time spent in the theatre. She made a valiant attempt, but boy did she crash and burn. And herein lies my greatest fear: crashing and burning.

The fear of the crash isn't that bad. Crashes are quick. They happen in a split second, then you quickly turn off the radio (which is what you always do when you get in an accident), get out of the car and survey the damage. Really, it's the burning that bugs me. The aftermath, the cleaning up of debris and wreckage. I could fail all the time if it wasn't for that blasted immediate reminder of and the subsequent cleaning that ensues.

But very recently I've made a brilliant revelation: fuck that, I'm dealing in.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


They say it's not a diagnosis, insomnia is the symptom. Symptom to... what, again? I haven't slept more than two consecutive hours in a week and a half. I haven't slept more than four total hours in just as long.

Not long ago I wrote that post about my bedtime routine. Nothing's changed except for the fact that now I roll over and place a pillow between my knees and start feeling a warm that comes from the inside and spreads out to my skin and then I feel too hot with the sheet on and too cold with it off. And my hair feels greasy and all I can think about when I start to drift off is stuff that wakes me up again.

I feel the prickly hair on my legs catching the sheets and I wonder about how on earth my Mom always had such beautiful, shiny legs and I'm stuck with these that have an ugly matte finish vast whiteness with little black wiry hairs poking out, like evergreens on a ski slope.
And I start to phase out again, sleep... almost there... here we go...

What made that latte at Black Dog so effing good and others are less effing good? Was it the flavoring? Maybe he used whole milk. He seems like the whole milk type... I shouldn't be having whole milk...
Sleep. Flutter. Flip over the pillow. Ah, here it comes. And goodni--.

My car's wheel is making a noise. Not quite a squealing. Not quite a screeching. God damnit! I'm up. Maybe I should take up smoking. Rip off the sheets. I'm part pissed off. Part lonely. Part turned on. Part nauseous. Completely and totally awake.

I wake up and my pillows are sans-pillow cases. The clock says 5:45. I open the windows and start plucking my eyebrows and listening to the radio.

And that's how my night ends.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let me tell you what I know about.

Today I know about meatballs.
Noodles and Company started a gigantic campaign today. We started selling meatballs. And My. Good. God. is everyone thrilled about it. And by "everyone" I really mean people like managers and owners and stuff. I think they have to be. But can you imagine a world where you get pumped about balls of meat? Yeah?

Anyway, there's a company-wide contest to see which store can sell the most meatballs. My boss, therefore, turned it into personal competitions with great rewards. I'm not a great salesperson though and I'm completely sans a desire to compete. But I'm kind of like a puppy in that I have a pretty serious desire to please. So today I tried to sell meatballs. It was between me and Megan. Megan sold a lot of Spaghetti and Meatball dishes, but I got a lot of people to add meatballs to dishes that they ordinarily wouldn't. Here, you can look at our menu. I had people adding them to Penne Rosas (which, sounds pretty delicious to me) but one dude put them in his Japanese Pan Noodles (and while they happen to be my favorite dish on the menu and the meatballs are pretty great, I sure as hell wouldn't stick one in there).

Secondly, my manager initially introduced the idea of Meatballs to the amigos by calling them "bolas de carne". Let me tell you, that did not thrill them. Many made faces that said, "surely she doesn't mean what she just said." But she did: "balls of meat" which is what they are. But apparently only English speakers aren't disgusted by the word. They have a whole different word for it: albóndiga. So, we try to use that word as often as possible since the visual, I guess, kind of makes them all nauseous. It makes sense though. When you dissect "meatloaf" it should do the same to you. It just should.

New subject, I'm in love with music these days. Company of Theives in particular. I'm constantly talking myself out of buying the cd. The reason being that sometimes I'm real, real excited about a band and then my intrest drops off and I don't want to have wasted the $12. And The Hush Sound. I'm still so into them. And I fall in love when they play the new Death Cab songs on the radio. Cath in particular.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sleep, rinse, repeat.

Let me tell you about my favorite part of my day. It's called bedtime and I look forward to it starting at around 8:00 pm. I really love bedtime on days when I've been at work for an extremely long time.

I usually decide to go to bed insanely early but I never really get around to it 'till a much more culturally acceptable time so as not to appear elderly. But once I make that final decision to get up off the couch and lumber into the bathroom to wash my face, it's great. It feels like Friday every night. By the time I make that decision, my body has gone stiff. I try to limit the amount of ibuprofen I swallow in a day, so by the end it's all worn off. I walk and stretch and hurt and wash my face and brush my teeth.

Between the stiffness and the general sleepyness, it takes forever to find my way to and up the staircase but I finally make it and set the mood. At night time, the overhead light in my room does not come on, side table lamps only please. Really, the best part is when I shut the door and can finally take my jeans off. Seriously, the second the door is latched is the first time of the day that I quit making an effort to keep my pants up. It's an all day struggle for me. My pants never want to stay on. Sometimes I just get tired of all the fighting and give up the ghost.

Stand in front of the mirror. Look at thighs. Wonder if it's hopeless. Smear blue stuff on my face and then finally, finally, crawl into bed. And that's when the good hurt starts. My feet are in love with me. They take me everywhere. But sometimes they say, "Why did you make us walk ten miles in a restaurant today? Why didn't you let them get their own extra napkins? Why did you tell your boss you'd stay another hour? Why don't you love me?" And I tell them, "I gave you a pedicure two weeks ago." And they say, "We will feel better in the morning." And they always do. All three of us do.

I lay on my tummy and write things in my journal that I'm too embarrassed to mention out loud or that are too boring to even bring up in conversation. Then I read Anne Lamott. I try to read her every night. I know good Christian boys and girls read the bible but I haven't been able to do that since I was a good Christian girl. So I rely on Annie to tell me about myself and give me things to disagree with and things to appreciate and things to wonder about. And I always fall asleep very aware of my spirit and my body and very appreciative of both of those things.

It took a long time and I know I'm not there yet but I'm finally at a place where my body doesn't make me want to drive my car into oncoming traffic. My butt, as small as it is, keeps me cushioned when I sit down. And my arms, as loose as they can be, hold lots of plates and give me a paycheck. And these trunky thighs walk me all over my world. I'd much rather appreciate my body than think it was smoking hot. It can only get better from here, so I've got good times to look forward to. I'm getting much better than I've ever been. It's a fight built on a balance between pretending to be in love with myself and actually being okay with myself and a few bouts of existential dread peppered along the way. It happens and I recover and life goes on.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I've got a lot of things swirling around in my head today. Nothing too important, just a lot of wonderings. I'm wondering a lot these days.

Subject #1: A lot of Indians come into our restaurant. More than I've ever seen anywhere else. I love it when they come in. They have these rich accents and clothes with such hearty colors and beautiful draping. I love the older Indian women. They float in with sternness and beauty and I am overwhelmed with my ignorance of their culture. I wish I knew more about them. I wish I wasn't afraid to ask about things. One thing has been very intriguing to me. Every time they come in, the women are very particular to eat only vegetarian dishes. Now, everything can be made without meat but there's really only one dish on our menu that is strictly vegetarian. The Indonesian Peanut Saute isn't made with any butter or fish oil or milk or anything. The men get whatever they want. They order shrimp and steak in their food. Even for girls. The younger girls get the Indo while their brothers eat Macaroni and Cheese. I wonder if it's just a coincidence or if there's a reason for that. It's always been very intriguing for me. I must Wikipedia it.

Subject #2: Is not open for discussion in this forum.

Subject #3: I've never really dealt with racism. Not ever. I grew up in Stafford where we had one half-black kid and then moved to Olathe where, let's face it, I never actually had to deal with a lot of culture differences. There are all sorts of different people but I never really dealt with anyone much unlike myself until recently. It's just how it worked out.
So now I work here in a noodle shop with some of the greatest people ever. I work with two gay people and a handful of Spanish speaking guys. They're not all from Mexico, but when customers hear Spanish, they think they are. And customers are rude. Rude.
There was a time when I felt really indifferent to them. I thought it was admirable to uproot a family and bring them to America but that was about it. But now, these guys are my friends and I have a tiny taste of how hard life is for them. I work with them for about 5 hours a day and communicating with them is so draining and so difficult (but so rewarding)--and they have to do that all day every day. They have to talk to people at the bank and the grocery store. Their cars break down and they have to tell people about it. All they have to say to me is, "nessicito pollo Parmesan". Most of the Spanish I know has to do with shrimp, meatballs, Pad Thai. It's really fun to talk to them. I love learning new things, and teaching them new things. Julien and Gerardo are my favorites. Gerardo is probably my age and flirts with me in a totally un-creepy and friendly way and that's always fun. Julien is older, maybe 45, and he brings me the newspaper so I can teach him new words. For the past few days, we've been mastering the right context for, "Take it easy!"
A few nights ago, a lady came up to the counter and asked for an extra plate. I turned around and asked Julien for uno plato. The lady made a snarky comment about how unfortunate it is that they come to our country and we have to be the ones to learn to speak "Mexican." I was infuriated. I turned around and gave her an involuntary, angry glare--I've never been good at controlling my face. I tried to be as polite as possible when I said that, first of all, they're not all from Mexico and that we are all learning a lot from each other when it comes to communicating, in Spanish.
On top of that, this woman was from India. It was difficult for me to understand most of what she said to me, but I adapted and together we got her order and made small talk and were grateful for one another. But then she comes back and pulls that shit? I was more angry than I've ever been at work. More angry than when a kid intentionally dumps his macaroni and cheese under the table. It's not as though she doesn't know what intolerance looks like. It's not like people don't struggle to communicate with her. It's not like she doesn't know how difficult life is for someone who even speaks the popular language. But those boys back there are mi amigos, they work damn hard and their lives are far from easy--the least I can do is learn the word for "plate" and take a tiny load off of them.

Okay. It's time to go back and finish my shift.
I really do love my job. Everyone is different. Everyone is friends. Everyone learns about tolerance and communication and the fact that we're all deeply loved, deeply spiritual beings. Even when we are scrubbing cheese sauce out of the carpet.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In honor of my husband coming to town today and me having to work (oh, what if Jason got a hankering for Bangkok Curry? I see him as a Bangkok fan. For a few reasons, but I digress), I'ma take a second to introduce you. World, Jason. Jason, World.

I always said that I would pay any amount of money to go see Jason Mraz live. It's true, I still would but Jamie lives all the way in South Freaking Dakota and it would just feel wrong, so wrong to go see him without her. He's our ultimate bonding moment.

The thing is that, there are a lot of bands and artists that I like, that I just really don't feel the need to see live. I've gone through my concert stage. Now I'm the old lady at the back of the room standing there respectfully appreciating the music. Before I liked to be in the front row and be a huge contributor to the sweat and stink and screams. Now, I'm good with not sweating or bleeding.

But Jason is a whole other story. And I love him for reasons that have very little to do with his insatiable hottness. For example, he has little physical hottness to speak of. This is how I've always fallen for boys--I've never crushed on fellas who work out or do their hair or even shower, honestly. I've only ever loved boys who are funny or casual in all sorts of environments or danced silly. Jason sings silly. He scatts and loves parts of people that no one ever thinks about. He makes eating a sandwich so sexy.

I do have that tour dvd. Maybe I'll just watch it tonight in lieu of going to the show. It'll have to work for now until Jamie and I get to go see him together. It's on my bucket list which is shaping up to be awesome.

List Of Stuff To Do Before I Die
Go to Sundance Film Festival with Joshua Franklin
Go to Fashion Week with Alyssa
Go see Jason with Jamie, make him sign the marriage certificate
Live by myself for at least two years
...and more

I love you all as much as I love Jason, but in a much more realistic and probably less sexual way.