Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
- My Most Serious Injury
- My Favorite Job
- How I Shop
- How I Earned My Worst Karma
- Why I Love My Hometown
- Why I Hate My Hometown
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
- At meals does he order steak?
- Will he mimic your speech patterns?
- Does he forget even the simplest of concepts?
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- There's Hilah. Hila's a susie-homemaker bad ass. She seems to be trying to get Comedy Central to consider adding some cooking shows. It's not a terrible idea. The thing is, though, that Hilah's more of a vlogger and I have a fear of video cameras. Also, she has an adorable cartoon of herself to use and I would like to copy... I mean "use as inspiration" that idea.
- I also read Matt Logelin. This is where I learned some important things: chicks dig a man with a baby, a sob story goes a long way, if you get on Oprah you'll be set for life, and people love it when you post incredible photos, the occasional F word and your favorite indie music choices.
- And then there's obviously Allie Brosh. My current (and probably forever) hero. What I wouldn't give to be able to tell a story like she does. I want to be the coppiest of all cats when it comes to...life mostly. I want to draw bear sharks and wear sexy dragon costumes. I want to be chased by geese and live with Boyfriend (not her boyfriend, they seem to have a perfect set-up for them). Anyway, she's pretty much cornered the bear-shark, orc rapist niche which is good and also bad. Good because I can go there and feel supremely normal and bad because from now on everything I want to do will likely be considered "copyright infringement". Laws suck. Except for when they protect my content, in which case they are mighty. Allie is really good at trying not to use relative words. She explains her stories with such gusto and completeness that you don't even need the remarkable cartoons that go along with them. But then you do get to see them and it is great. Also, Allie is unafraid of her weirdness and even exploits it which makes her not at all weird and, instead, a very, very ordinary and thrilling person.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Made me happy: Catching a middle-aged man slide his hand down his wife's hiney as their three teenagers walk ahead of them.Needs improvement: I saw a cashier use the restroom without washing her hands. Again.Made me happy: Seeing my best friend's daughter play with my nephew as though they hadn't just met--imagining that there actually was a time in our lives when these people didn't even exist.Needs improvement: Overhearing an angry father threaten to give his daughter away if she didn't straighten up. She quieted and shrunk.Made me happy: My sister-in-law gave me the new issue of InStyle. Few things make me as happy as fat, fragrant magazines that tell me how I should wear my hair to the New Year's Party.Needs improvement: Changing your profile pictures to cartoon characters in an effort to "bring awareness" to child abuse without any legitimate action. It is what it is--a nostalgia circle jerk.Made me happy: Finding out that my best friends miss me just as much as I miss them. And subsequently making plans to cross paths.Needs improvement: At one point, during this week, I chose to dwell and stew over a complete misunderstanding. This needlessly and arrogantly overcast an entire 24-hour period.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
"Okay, so he's from New York and you're from California? Wow! How did you guys even end up in the same room?""Well, he was visiting his brother who was stationed in San Diego. His brother dragged him to this bar and then left him there while he went out with a girl. I was at an after-work party and terribly bored and I offered him a ride home. We both left stone sober.""I got in her car and we talked until the sun came up.""And we decided to get married.""Right then?!""Yep. I went home, broke up with my boyfriend of two years and that was thirty years and eight days ago."I'm pretty much just staring at them in stunned silence and I finally managed to squeak out that question that's been nagging at me for the past half-dozen years, "What made you want to marry her?"And quite simply, in the most unromantic and honest tone he said, "She was nice to talk to.""You see, I figured I'd never see him again. So I didn't start with any pretenses. No lies, no put ons. I was just myself--very transparent. Too transparent.""Not too transparent.""And I've never had to pretend with him in thirty years and eight days. He only wanted me like I came--straight out of the box."I was mostly speechless. But I did manage, "I. Love. That story."She looked at me and asked me the type of question that can only be asked by someone who's not used to putting on airs. She said, "I wasted my time with that other boy because I was lonely. It's a very pathetic part of the story.so are you wasting your time with anyone, Libby?"The scope of my grin surprised me, I couldn't hold it back because I felt truly happy to be answering this question honestly when I said, "Nope."
Friday, November 5, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Wonder Number Two: Is this some sort of copyright infringement or something and that's why it's so impossible to find? Damn, I sure hope that's not the answer.
The Lovely Shall Be ChoosersThe Voice said, "Hurl her down!"The Voices, "How far down?""Seven levels of the world.""How much time have we?""Take twenty years.She would refuse love safe with wealth and honor!The lovely shall be choosers, shall they?Then let them choose!""Then we shall let her choose?""Yes, let her choose.Take up the task beyond her choosing."Invisible hands crowned on her shoulderIn readiness to weigh upon her.But she stood straight still,In broad round earrings, gold and jet with pearls,And broad round suchlike brooch,Her cheeks high-colored,Proud and the pride of friends.The Voice asked, "You can let her choose?""Yes, we can let her and still triumph.""Do it by joys, and leave her always blameless.Be her first joy her wedding,That though a wedding,is yet--well, something they know, he and she.And after that her next joyThat though she grieves, her grief is secret:Those friends know nothing of her grief to make it shameful.Her third joy that though now they cannot help but know,They move in pleasure too far offTo think much or much care.Give her a child at either knee for fourth joyTo tell once and once only, for them never to forget,How once she walked in brightness,And make them see it in the winter firelight.But give her friends, for then she dare not tellFor their foregone incredulousness.And be her next joy this:Her never having deigned to tell them.Make her among the humblest evenSeem to them less than they are.Hopeless of being known for what she has been,Failing of being loved for what she is,Give her the comfort for her sixth of knowingShe fails from strangeness to a way of lifeShe came to from too high too late to learn.Then send some one with eyes to seeAnd wonder at her where she is,And words to wonder in her hearing how she came there,But without time to linger for her story.Be her last joy her heart's going out to this oneSo that she almost speaks.You know them--seven in all.""Trust us," the Voices said.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I think the thing of it is that the beard, the shoes with holes, the half-drunken charm tell me something that the clean-cut, polo-and-chinos gentleman does not. He says, “I'm your other. I feel things and I'm eager to explore exceptionally tactile sensations. I am 'one of the roughs, a kosmos, disorderly, fleshly, and sensual, no sentimentalist, no stander above men or women or apart from them, no more modest than immodest.' I may imagine a completely different version of you than what really exists—but I will never ask you to listen to David Crowder.” He is much more charming a few drinks in and it's hard to say no to that. I think at a certain point in your life, it's important to allow yourself to fall for charm as long as you know that's what you're doing. Unfortunately, that generally happens at particularly young points and those are the most dangerous times.
That other guy, now, he's unpredictable. He's scary. I don't know how to read someone who doesn't feel things in the same ways that I feel things or isn't afraid of marriage. I don't know how to talk to someone who hasn't at least been interested in reading Whitman even if he's not willing to don the follicle commitment (read the metaphor). That other guy is already married, anyway, and has been for years.
There are these two boys sitting a few tables away from me. They're having some sort of an accountability meeting/ bible study. I feel terrible for eavesdropping—I'm a bad person, but then I think maybe they shouldn't be having a fairly loud meeting in such a public place. I'm not wrong. When they first sat down, the talk mostly centered around girls, which is to be expected where two or more are gathered. How girls are temptresses and how it's not their fault that they're getting boners every time they brush up against one. Fair enough. I felt really sad for them, right then. The truth is that, nope, it's not their fault that they're experiencing inconvenient and embarrassing erections at the worst possible moments. It's simply a terribly horrific part of growing up with a penis. It sounds too simple, but I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I can't imagine being forced to wear your arousal on your sleeve, so to speak. But what's worse than the embarrassment is the shame and the hatred that has to come alongside of it in some circles. The poor boys. They're praying for the wrong things. They're hoping to never get an erection again but really all they want is to wake up in the morning and not hate themselves over something so elementally biological. Being a teenager is impossible but it gets better. Throwing adulthood on top of a mountain of childhood—who could blame you for being utterly speechless.
When we're seventeen we think that we should know better by now but really we have nearly two decades of being a kid lightly covered by a blanket of a brand new interest in understanding ourselves. In retrospect, being the adult overhearing these kids' conversation, it's half encouraging and half heartbreaking. I want to tell them that they will always be confused. There are no answers that will end the questions, so don't expect them to stop. Questions breed questions. But the last thing I would ever want is for them to stop. Continue to wonder. Continue to wander. Continue to be open to honesty, little brothers. Continue to look upon yourselves with as much grace as you would offer to your friend across the table.
Friday, September 17, 2010
There's a spider who lives outside of my door. She's been there for about, I estimate, two weeks? Maybe more. Maybe less. I don't really know. One night I was walking up my steps and saw her for the first time. Instinctively, I cowered and snuck into my house as if she wouldn't be able to see me. Well, she did and she paused and stayed very still and I imagined her whispering to herself "Pleasedon'tkillmepleasedon'tkillmepleasedon'tkillme.” I stood behind the safety of the door and watched. It took her a while to wake from her paralysis but then she regained her composure and started some web building. It was very cool to watch. I could see the web glisten from the porch light and it was so shiny and she went about it so quickly. She's just a regular garden spider, an orbweaver to be quasi-specific. I named her Alice. She doesn't want to hurt anybody, she just wants to catch some bugs so that she can live another day. Alice and I are a lot alike, that way. I like to leave my porch light on so that the bugs come and land in her web and then she can have a snack. She doesn't bother me because she stays outside. Those bugs, on the other hand, they're itching to get in like I've got some impressive set up or something. Nope, bugs, nothing exciting up here. Just a couch, a lot of books and Facebook and you won't live long enough to build a social networking profile so I'll just leave you outside with Alice.
I noticed that every morning the web would be gone. I wondered if maybe I just couldn't see it or if it really had disappeared. After some research, I learned some things.
Alice builds a web because it's a fairly energy efficient means of prey-trapping. She can build a web and then bugs get caught and she eats them without having to hunt them down or chase them (I told you we're a lot alike—I don't really like to leave my house in search of sustenance either). It does use a lot of Alice's energy to build a web, but at least she doesn't have to chase anyone or stay on high alert. However, after an evening (and especially when the dew comes) the webs lose a lot of their sticky. That being the case, especially if the web hasn't caught anything, Alice will tear down her web and eat it and regain some of that lost energy. That's why her web was always gone when I'd go to work and she'd be building a new one when I came home. She lives in a spot that is behind my screen door when it's open so there's no chance of me accidentally running into it and I let her stay there. I kind of like her, even.
I don't like spiders in my house. It's not that I'm afraid they're going to kill me (though I do understand the likelihood is a little more probable), it's more that if they're in my house I know they're just trying to keep warm. And if they're trying to keep warm, then I know that they might have some little spider fetuses they're trying to take care of. Other spiders who will want to live in my house. That's not super great to me. Also, I'm paying rent in this joint and I get to say who stays and who goes. Little bitty black spiders that run super fast, wasps, mice, bees--unless and until you start coughing up $200 monthly, you're going to be savagely murdered. Sometimes poisoned, sometimes beaten but I will always win. Alice, you may stay. Outside.
I've never been the jump-on-a-table-screaming type of girl, regarding arachnids. Don't get me wrong, I've never liked them. When I see one across the room, I get a little annoyed that I have to get up and kill it (I'm not the type to usher them outside, I can't get that close) and then I get up and kill it. When there's one next to me on the sofa, I'll probably jump up and scream. It's the unpredictability, really. Seriously, if anything unexpectedly appeared I would more than likely jump. Don't get so close to me, unpredictable spider. That's why I like Alice. She's predictable. I know why she's here. I know what she's doing. We have an understanding. I've told her that if she gets into my house, I will have no qualms about squishing her. If she lays eggs in her web—I'll tear it down. It'll be a sad say and she can build a new one but laying new eggs might be more difficult.
I've started to get really excited about spider webs when I see them now. They're exciting. Did you know that pound for pound, a spiderweb is stronger than steel? Have you witnessed the horriffic storms we've had lately in these parts? The wind? The torrential downpours? And yet, Alice's web remains unscathed. She hasn't eaten it in a few days. They're completely useful—even beneficial to me as a human and yet they're one of the hallmarks of creep. Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without cobwebs. Why? They're not scary—are they? I understand that someone with arachnophobia would rightfully be scared of them because they are indicative of a spider's presence (according to Wikipedia, 50% of women suffer from arachnophobia and 10% of men do, too. Show of hands, who thinks that's an accurate estimate?) but they're not going to do anything. What makes them fearful? I wonder. It could be that when you think of spiderwebs, you think of an abandoned house or maybe a house filled with insane folks. It would have to be that way because what rational person would leave a spider web on their porch? That's craziness! It's not crazy. It looks just like Paris, and people love Paris. [Map of Paris brought to you in part by Etsy.com http://bit.ly/9SeCfD]
Monday, September 13, 2010
Nope. None of that.
“Just see what you can do, Sugar. Can you do that?”
“Sure,” I said, “I'll be right back.” She was so sweet but she didn't really need anything that I could offer her. I wasn't sure exactly what it was she was looking for from me. So I did what I usually do when customers can get a little imaginary. I took them into the back and I cleaned them as best I could and tightened every little screw that I could find. And the reaction was exactly as I had expected, “Oh, honey! You're a miracle worker—I knew you could fix it.”
She was very old. Very, very old. I imagine she's a widow and doesn't have a lot waiting for her at home. She didn't get up to leave. She sat there, patting my hand and asking me questions about myself.
“Are you from McPherson?”
“No. I moved here a little over a year ago.”
“Where did you move here from?”
And it always goes like this, “Oh! Well, this must be quite a change of pace for you!”
And I always say, “Yes, it took some getting used to but I love it.”
She asked me about my husband and I told her that I didn't have one. She said something along the lines of, “a woman as talented as you must scare them off pretty easily.” It was easily the silliest excuse for singleness I've ever heard. As if there were a group of men outside, enraptured but intimidated by my ability to adjust the crap out of a pair of glasses. I laughed, probably too hard and she kept patting my hand.
She told me that she'd just bought a birthday card for her son. She got a kick out of the cards that play music. Personally, those cards just piss me right off but they brought this woman so much joy. She just went on and on about how she didn't know what kind of music her son—who, I imagine, is at least sixty years old—likes to listen to, so she bought him two. Initially, I was trying to hurry her along but once I realized how long she's been holding my hand, it occurred to me that neither of us really had anything going on. It's a Sunday. There are relatively few tasks that need to be completed and hardly any customers, so I just let her talk.
When I was at MidAmerica, Brady Braatz talked about how people need intentional touches every day. Many of them. Not just one. Like—at least seven. I think seven is pretty steep, though. It is for me, anyhow. Intentional Touches being, honestly, any purposeful, physical contact. I'll agree with that. I think it's necessary. Being a person who doesn't get a whole lot of touches—I do notice when it's been a while. A handshake can even catch me off guard sometimes. There are places that I go to when I need it. Though, I don't ever really notice that's what I'm looking for until after it happens. My nephew is my first go-to guy. One particularly bad day, I walked downstairs just to see him. He ran to the door yelling, “Beebeebeebee! Up.” So I picked him up. He scrutinized my face and then pet my cheeks, clucking like a Jewish mother. Then he laid his head into my neck and pat his hand on my back. I started to cry a little bit. He gives perfect love.
I have this other friend who gives, what I can only describe as the sexiest hugs imaginable. He doesn't waste a bit of contact. He slides his hands across my shoulders, grips tight with his hands like he wants to be there. He doesn't squeeze with his whole arm so that I'm out of breath. It's more like he just wants to hold on. He slides out of the embrace the same way that he got into it and to describe it, it sounds downright creepy. It's nice.
When the old lady left, I walked her out with my arm around her shoulders. She seemed grateful and I was really happy to have provided her with one of the many touches she would need, but may not get, to make it through the day.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I realize that I'm not the person to talk about working out. In fact, it makes me really self-conscious to discuss it but since I've been intentionally doing things that, ordinarily, I would fear or, ordinarily, would make me uncomfortable—I'm going to talk about it.
But first, a note on doing what you're afraid of:
Fear is debilitating and stupid and no one thinks you're any cooler for being scared. Admittedly, that doesn't make it easy to be fearless or anything. I'm just wondering, have you ever gushed to your friend about this boy or girl who is attractive and funny and confident and intelligent and oh so scared of stuff? I submit that you have never done that and I can't imagine that you ever would. Because I know you, personally, and I know that you are much cooler than that. There's something to be said for people who wholly feel and acknowledge themselves, even their uncomfortable parts—even their fear. But then there's something else about a person who can see that fear (or awkwardness or anger or whatever it is that keeps us on the couch) and can walk past it like an acquaintance in the doctor's office, with a nod and very little conversation.
So. Working out. I like it. It's one of those things that I never remember that I like until I'm just starting it--I feel the same way about showering. Ordinarily, it goes like this: my sister-in-law says, “Hey, do you want to go to the Y tomorrow?” And, honestly, I can't say no to that. I want to—don't get me wrong. I always think, please already have other plans... of course I don't have other plans. “Sure! I'd love to do that!”
I would most certainly not love to do that and I'm fairly confident that neither would Arryn. But we also would not love to develop heart disease or diabetes—mostly because we can not afford it and also because in this life we are given bodies only one time and it's best if our ankles can be contained inside of our socks.
But as soon as I get my shoes tied up, I get really excited and happy and ready to move. I get into the cardio room and I have three choices. In order of appearance starting at the back of the room and moving forward: there's the elliptical, the treadmill and the stationary bike. I like to go for the bike because it's at the front of the room and it takes me back to when I was in school and always took the desk in the front row because looking at other people intimidates me. I don't like to see the guy running 23 miles an hour—I don't need that. It's bad for my psyche and I end up walking to the lobby and reading People Magazine. So I take the bike, plug in my ancient iPod, close my eyes and let Kanye West speak truth to me as I get my heart rate going for the next 30 minutes.
I need you to hurry up now, 'cuz I can't wait much longer
I'm going, Kanye, I'm going as fast as I can.
Haters give me them salty looks, Lawry's
Yeah, tell me about it. Haters... Lawry's. I hate haters.
What do you think I rap for, to push a fuckin' Rav 4?
No you do not, Kanye West. You most certainly. Do. Not.
Go, heart rate, go!!
Getting your heart rate up is not about health—it's about a video game. When you ride these fancy computery bikes in the gym, they have these handlebars that you hold onto. The fancy handlebars tell you whether or not what you're doing is actually beneficial. I am into it for the most part. I get really into it. The little blinking light says, “You're warming up,” and I say, I'll show you 'warming up'. And then it says, "You've now entered into a cardio zone.” And I say,Yeah, I have! And then it says, “You're almost at your 'peak performance',” And I say, I have three minutes to get into 'Peak Performance' and I'm going to stay there. And I do and I reward myself by calming down. I spray my machine and then wipe off anything that I may have left behind and walk to the back of the class.
Then I change it over to a gentle crooning and go swimming on the elliptical. If you're not trying too hard, this machine can be the most delightful piece of equipment in your life. It's like frolicking through a meadow in a sun dress towards my lover as a douche advertisement plays in the background and the low morning sun beams between the tree leaves. Everyone else looks at me like I'm an idiot—wasting my time and really not aware of how to work out properly. They're probably not thinking that at all. I so rarely consider the other people in the gym that it makes sense that they're likely not considering me, either. So, I do that until the Zumba class is over and then Arryn and I go home talking about how good we feel—and we do.