Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"...and the world still turns when you're not around."

My soon-to-be landlord called today to see if I still want the apartment. He said that there are a lot of people who are interested in the apartment but he really wants me to take it if I'm still interested. That's really cool.

Reeling from the anticipation that this phone call elicited--of course I headed to the nearest thrift store looking for something for my kitchen. I wasn't particular, I don't have anything for my kitchen except for a set of dishes and one pot. I was in the mood for anything. Three dollars and seventy-five cents bought me an ikea french press and two mismatched coffee mugs. I'm determined to not have any coffee mugs that match one another and no mugs featuring business logos of any type. Unless it is awesome. Today I bought what I know will be my most favorite and frequently used coffee mug. I will keep it with me for the rest of my life. I can't show you a picture right now but I'd be happy to tell you about it. It's clear with a giant, bold, black "E". I can't place the font, but it is not Times New Roman. It is magnificent. When there's orange juice in this cup, it doesn't even look like an "E" anymore, it reverses the focal point and you're looking at the orange and not the black. God, I love it. In the store, my eye fell across this cup and I said, outloud, "Mmm yes." It's funny how people have no interest in the things you're looking at until you're interested and then suddenly it's like this is the only thing worth buying in the whole place. Today that actually was the case, though.

I can't wait to put together my house and show you. It's what I've been working for for the past seven years of my life. My. Own. Place. God, I can taste it!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The "Don'ts" of Today

Don't oversleep.
Don't forget to take a shower.
Don't walk out the door without your apron--again.
"Don't you dare run over me, gigantic Dodge Ram."
Don't yell at your boss.
Don't be even mildly sarcastic.
Don't not help out.
Don't go to the bathroom.
Don't yell at your boss.
Don't get upset--you're new.
Don't drink the Pepsi, have a glass of water first.
Don't eat a ruben, have smoked turkey and mustard.
Don't sit here too long, you get paid by the hour.
Don't stare.
Don't check your text message.
Don't stare.
Don't ask him where he's from.
Do offer fudge samples.
Don't give them too much, it's just a sample.
Don't answer that phone call.
Don't be passive aggressive.
Don't be upset with her, she's trying to be helpful. She's making it worse--but she's trying.
Don't linger.
Don't try to get hit by the truck.
Don't forget to go to the grocery store.
Don't buy the cupcakes.
Don't buy the cupcakes.
Don't buy the cupcakes.
Okay, you can buy one beer if you promise to share it.
Don't forget to share.
Don't overcook the tortellini.
Don't flirt with him.
Well, don't do it again.
Don't answer that phone call.
Don't go to sleep. It's too early.
Don't stay up too late, you have to work in the morning.
Don't blog. You have nothing to say.
Don't say anything incriminating.

Help! I need some positivity. I am in need of a day of power.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Look around your world, Pretty Baby, is it everything you hoped it would be?

According to my horoscope (that is found at the top of my home page--it's not something I actively seek), today would be a day full of greater challenge than the day before. It also said to not spend a lot of time criticizing or complaining because that doesn't impress people. If you ask me, that's just good old fashioned generic advice and not really the work of a fortune teller--but I digress.

In the spirit of cheesy horoscopes and the horrendous bout of existential dread I struggled with earlier today and the fact that it's easier to get over a bad day by not re-hashing it--I give to you a list of ten things for which I am most thankful tonight.

1. Food that lives and sustains. I've been starting my days with Greek yogurt, honey and strawberries with 1/2 a cup of organic granola and wheat germ. Would you believe that I usually don't require a lunch break until around 2:00 pm. I'm working on drinking only water--it will come in time and my tummy will be thankful.
2. John Mayer's cover of Free Fallin'. Put this on and I'll let you dance with me from behind while I finish the dishes.
3. Generosity. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but there's something graceful about the humility of receiving. And besides, if there was no one willing to receive we wouldn't have givers. "Everyone is vital to the flow."
4. Flirting with the old men who come into the Deli. If I can wiggle a wink out of one of them, I go home happy. I think that flirting is God's gift to crummy days and achy backs.
5. Jamie and JD. Maybe it sounds like shout outs and maybe it is because this duo is literally half of the people that I know that actually read this. You have it and I want it and I am not completely certain of what it is but I think I'll know it when it climbs my stairs and knocks on my door. And I will practice the exuberant patience that has been demonstrated to me by you for years followed by the sincerest gratitude.
6. Shaving cream. No aerosol foamy, scented puff balls for me. Nope, not since Skintimate started making shaving cream made with oil from olives and jojoba. This product has revolutionized my relationship with my legs.
7. The fact that my last botched dye job is growing out to the point that I can chop off all of the black and start anew with virgin locks.
8. Thrift stores that carry everything that I need for my home for under $2.00. Not only is it inexpensive, it's all worn in and has it's story and is going to come in and be a part of my story. So far, my most favorite item is a mail sorter from the 60's that I picked up in Lindsborg for all of seventy-five cents. I can't wait 'till you can see where I live. You'll want to rent out my second bedroom. And I will kindly oblige. Come, we'll merge journeys.
9. While I am proud of my snippets of independence, I treasure the interdependence between myself and my closest friends. They have something I need and I have something that they require and there is freedom in holding nothing hostage. They could get it from anywhere and I could give it to anyone. But we chose one another and we keep choosing.
10. Amos. He's a lump of a human, merely 10 months old but filled with absolute wonder and awe and a laugh that you can get to by squeezing his thigh. And he is in love with me, too.

Row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
life is but a dream.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let's talk about Truth, Baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Okay, the other night Arryn and Angie and I were sitting around talking about the houses we grew up in. Angie was talking about how she is pretty sure that her house in Newton was haunted. She told us all sorts of stories: when she was younger, early in the morning she'd hear some voices in the living room and, thinking that it was her parents, she would walk down the stairs to go visit them. Every time she got to the second to the last step, they would stop talking. She'd go into the living room and not see anyone. She'd, then go to her parents room and they would be sleeping. So, she'd go back to bed. Arryn and I chocked that up to good, old-fashioned children's imagination. One night, her family went outside to get in the car and once they were all loaded up, the light in her mother's bedroom went on. They got a neighbor and searched the house and found no one. Another time, the pull-chain for the light in the bathroom started swinging ferociously, which prompted Angie's mom to launch into the living room with her pants around her ankles. All of these incidences seem explainable--but creepy nonetheless and got me to start wondering. After everyone went to bed, I had to pee. I went to the bathroom and in the middle of washing my hands, the light started to flicker. I ran--ran back to my cozy couch and thought happy thoughts. In the morning, Arryn mentioned that the light has been pretty flickery lately. Good to know.

Anyway, the next day at work I walked into a conversation about Charlie. Charlie is apparently the grandfather of the previous owner of the deli. He died a decade ago and used to bake--I guess. Apparently Charlie shows up from time to time. Kim, my boss, asks us to treat him with respect. She also told us a few stories that employees have had. Some just fleeting--a woman will call your name with a sense of urgency. In another instance, a girl had a difficult time opening the door to the General's Quarters. The GQ is a small section that is often reserved for parties. A girl was going into the GQ to get it set up for a party, she didn't believe Kim about Charlie. She said that it was dumb to believe in ghosts. But this night, she had to push and push and push to get the door open and as she was setting up the tables, apparently she kept hearing a woman ask, "Who are you? What are you doing here?" The woman was mad. The girl ran out and wouldn't go back in.

So, as I said, I walked into this conversation that was taking place between Kim and a high school girl named Amy. Amy said that she has a theory that if you don't believe in ghosts, then they don't exist. Now, I don't know if ghosts exist and I really don't care that much but I do know that statement is the most gigantic load of tripe I have ever heard out loud. I mean--how could something exist but only for those who think it's true?

Kim told her about the GQ incident and Amy sort of laughed at her. Kim asked, "how do you know it's not true? Well, what do you believe?" Amy said, "Well, I believe in God and in the Bible..." Innocently, I asked her, "In the Bible, does it say that ghosts don't exist?" I mean, I haven't read the whole thing but from what I've seen I don't think that I've crossed anything that mentioned it. I really was just wondering. She's got, like, a 4.8 gpa and does very little other than study and go to Youth Group so if one of the two of us would know about this stuff, it would naturally be her.

So I told her, albeit very quickly, where I'm coming from. I told her that I'm a Christian (though would appreciate a different term, since this one has been ruined) and that I (regretfully) just spent five years at a Christian (extended summer-camp) University. I said that if there's one thing I learned--one thing that I took away from that experience that made me into a whole and entire person it was learning that I won't know everything. But more importantly, that there's a difference between what the Bible says and what people have been telling us this whole time. Sometimes people tell us what the Bible says but sometimes Sunday School teachers are just telling us what their Sunday School teachers told them and we listen to it and think that it's what God says. But really, honestly, it's what Great Aunt Gertrude said and we never think to ask where this information came from. Secondly--we think that checking Gertrude's references is the worst thing we could ever possibly do. Questioners are either shunned or welcomed by their own kind--who are also shunned.

"Doubt is not a pleasant position, but certainty is absurd." --Voltaire

I have to be honest with you, I have never felt as secure and whole and even beautiful as I did the day I realized--and was okay with the fact that not only is it impossible for me to have the answers to some questions but that I shouldn't. Moses wasn't allowed to even look at God. What on Earth makes some of us believe that we could possibly be privy his every thought or reason or idea about stuff--even trivial stuff. You know? Maybe he did make ghosts. Maybe they're not real. Who cares? And it's not just ghosts and aliens and vampires--I really couldn't care less about this stuff, it's just what prompted me thinking about the subject. Other subjects though, "What's Heaven like?" "What happens after you die?" "What is sin?" "Does God actually give a shit about where I go to college/ who or if I marry/ if I move to another country/ if I name all of my children after the secondary characters in Harry Potter/ if I sleep with a gentleman to whom I have made no vows?"

On the other hand, very few things offend me more than ignorance. So how do you marry those two ideas? Why keep looking for answers when you know you'll never find them? I don't know. The only thing I can think of is so that you and I can continue to be the types of people that you and I can stand being around. I want to have important ideas. I want to believe things and I want to know exactly what it is that lead me to that belief. Just understand that there's a line between fact and belief.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Misc. Mental Inventory + Musical Interludes

"I'm a new soul I came to this strange world hoping I could learn a bit 'bout how to give and take..."

I had this conversation with my brother:
A: So, I wanted to make an egg sandwich to take to work because eggs are cheap and I'm out of lunch meat. But you can't take a fried egg in your lunch. So I boiled one and chopped it up and to make it all stick together, I added some mayo. It was really good!
Me: No kidding?
A: I don't think I've ever heard of anything like that before, have you?
Me: Noooo--nope. What do you think you're gonna call that? Egg salad, maybe?
A: Nah.
Me: Yeah. You totally invented that.

The fact of the matter is and I don't know what the latter is, oh no way. You see I always wanted to kiss you but I always wanted to run from you. Because I always wanted to miss you. And I, always wanted to come for you...

It's been brought to my attention that Gavin DeGraw has a new album. So, when Chariot came out in 2003 I bought it on a whim and didn't expect much. I bought it on the same day that I bought my very first Jason Mraz cd--which was also a whim. I never, ever buy more than one cd at a time because I like to give it my full attention. You know--take it out to dinner, maybe a movie, always a midnight stroll. Light a fire and pull it out... I'm just saying, things get intimate. I don't want to clutter up the romance with a competing cd. But I did this time and Gavin and I got very serious very quickly. I didn't go anywhere near Jason for about a week or two. I thought Chariot was one of the most brilliantly written albums I'd heard in a long time.

So when his self-titled album came out the summer before last, I was, needles to say, thrilled to see what beautiful songs he had to sing to me. Turns out--the whole damn album was pure money-crap and he but What's Her Name from Laguna Beach in the video for the one song that got air-play. I was pissed. Therefore--today I feel a little more hesitant to jump back into such a hopeful relationship with one that I'd known so wildly. Oh Gavin--don't you sell out on me again. Ball's in your court--if you want to hook up with me again, you're going to need to be the one to call me. And following me on Twitter doesn't count.

Maybe I would have been something you'd be good at. Maybe you would have been something I'd be good at. But now we'll never know, I'll start to wonder if this was the thing to do.

You know how there's always that one person at work who smells terrible? Maybe you don't, maybe it's just me. Anyway, I'm fairly certain that people who work in food service should, in all circumstances, smell nice. And if not nice, then at least neutral. The last thing that a person wants a whiff of before going to town on a Turkey Ruben is an unprotected armpit or a dirty t-shirt that has obviously been sitting next to a damp towel for a week and a half. But imagine, just imagine, working along-side a person who is currently suffering from both--both of these situations. Like dishing up broccoli soup isn't bad enough, I have to do it while standing next to an unkempt walking locker room. This person is my superior. She's younger than me. She's a girl. And she smells. And on top of that:

Smelly Girl: So I sort of think that Jason Mraz is kind of a total rip-off of Jack Johnson only not as good.

Have you ever found yourself doing that thing where you're not really changing your facial expression but you're suddenly very aware of the fact that you haven't blinked in about 19 seconds? She continues, "and plus I've seen him live, like, twice and every time he is so totally stoned." This girl went to KU for two semesters. Granted, while that's not a long amount of time--I've spent probably a total of 8 days in Lawrence, Kansas and have yet grown very accustomed to stoned people serenading you all over the place and I find it--at the very least--charming. And I've never heard any of them skat. Jason. Now, Jason skats. He makes a trip to Subway (the sandwich shop, not the public transportation system--although he could probably do it for that, too) sound like sweetest sex the world has ever known. Jack Johnson doesn't skat. And Jack Johnson is, like, 5'4". Jack Johnson wants to change the world with his ukulele. Jason wants to wear a straw fedora and see my tattoo and, frankly, I'm down with that. I'll even buy lunch.

Don't get me wrong--Jack's great. I have... the majority of his albums. He's inspiring and sweet and syrupy but these two gentlemen have nothing to do with one another. And you know what--even if they did sound similar, which they absolutely do not, what gives? People sound similar all the time. It's called a shared market. Wash your laundry. Wash your hair. And have correct opinions.*

Anyway. Sorry I end up talking about Jason Mraz all the time. If it's not him, it's Anne Lamott. It really is. Sorry. It's just that they're both pretty influential when it comes to values that I hold most deeply (also, I would buy either of them a sandwich if the situation arose). Music and books. Yep. I'm the kind of girl who has imaginary friends.

I'm starving. I'll go to bed.

*Yes. I know it's ironic to say "have correct opinions". You see, it's funny.