Sunday, December 30, 2007

I just came back from a weekend with Cool Aunt at her home a state over. It kicked ass. We subsisted on Peruvian and Indian food, ice cream, cookies and hot chocolate and did nothing but watch comedy videos. Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin, we just laughed all weekend. As I told Boyfriend, this is one of my New Year's resolutions: to laugh more. I should watch at least one bullshit comedy special each week - no thinking, just laughing and enjoying myself. Who knows, I may live longer.

Cool Aunt gave me a scrapbooking kit and a paint set for my birthday, which is next week. Yay for arts and crafts in the new year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Books, books, books!

I have been spoiled for Christmas. My mother gave me an Amazon Kindle. You can load like 200 books on it but it is slimmer and lighter than a book. I feel like a little kid, finding free ebook sites and loading all kinds of things onto it. Kid Sisters got small portable V-Smiles so the three of us sit in a row, hunched over our electronic devices.

I am feeling pretty sick - what else is new? I need to get some Airborne or Zicam or something because traveling makes me sick every single time!

Friday, December 21, 2007

You know what is exciting me most about the holidays? (And this is quite sad, so be prepared.) I am taking a break from my schoolwork and can read WHATEVER I WANT! Yes! Yes!

I am a total nerd but damn, I'm excited. I've got a ton of books I've been mooching and collecting and taking out of the library but haven't had a chance to read. And now? I am even looking forward to long flights because of this.

I'm sure I'll change my mind a half hour into said flight, but I'm just saying.

Now I'm not big on presents - I enjoy them but I could just as easily go without because I have everything I need in life - but Boyfriend claims to have "gone a little overboard" on my wishlist and we are expecting a veritable deluge of books to be at the house by the time we get back on the 1st. I get chills just thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Last night I went to a meeting of a local writer's group for the first time. It was pretty fun. Not what I expected but I enjoyed myself. There were five other people there besides me - the ringleader, another new guy, another new girl, a woman who is working on her fifth book and a former literary agent from New York. It was an interesting mix of never-been-published up to successful authors. I feel that I will get a lot out of knowing them and sharing my work with them.

The literary agent was trying to discourage me from returning to New York. He talked of working 14 hour days and never having "a life." He is so happy in Austin, and I agreed - I am very happy here too. It is completely laid back and low-stress, which is what I need right now. To be honest, I am apprehensive at the prospect of moving back home in the next year or two, but then there is my family to think about. L.A. said, "If you're thinking about graduate school, there's no better place for it than here. There's such an open artistic community here for your writing." He was like a walking advertisement for Austin, but I understand why.

He was a trip. He said he had written a novel for NaNoWriMo but that he didn't share it with the group because there was too much sex in it - lol. I rarely "lol" in blog posts but that warranted it. He is an older man with a large, bushy beard and round glasses who wore socks and sandals so I just didn't expect that from him.

Another woman told us that since her current historical novel takes place in the Middle East of yesteryear, and one of her characters traveled via camel caravan, she went to Syria and Egypt and did it herself. And I thought, that's what it means to be a real writer.

Will I ever be one?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm in a pretty good mood. Boyfriend's family has decided that while they are spending most of their trip in another city, they will probably be in New York on his birthday. I will also be there then so I don't have to miss out on spending his birthday with him. I am very excited about this :)

Speaking of which, I got him the perfect birthday present yesterday but I can't say what it is because he reads this. It was a stroke of luck but I got it. Yee ha.

Last night after work Friend From Work #2 and I went shopping together, then to dinner at a fancy Chinese place. We had wine and great food and hung out for a couple of hours. It was great fun. I was missing Boyfriend because he left yesterday morning, and then the fortune in my cookie read, "The one you love is closer than you think." Silly but made me feel better! :)

Afterwards I went to the library and picked out a chick lit novel because I deserve to kick back and enjoy myself after hustling to get my literature class done the past two months.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I need to stop laboring under the allusion that I can wear a 3/4 shirt or even a long sleeved shirt and a coat and nothing else, because once I get to the office I will be warm inside. This office is chilly, man. I need to buy me some winter clothes. Especially before I go home next week, because then it will really be a big problem.

Boyfriend left for the east coast this morning, and I'm following on Sunday. I have been upset about him going, naturally, but I already feel that this time will be easier than the last time was. I mean, I guess that's easy to say at work... let's see what happens when I get home to an empty apartment every night. But I feel a bit stronger and independent. I hope it lasts the entire week and not just this morning ;)

Yesterday B. and I went to dinner with CL Friend and CLFH. We went to a restaurant out on the lake that was crazy gorgeous. I don't know how else to describe it. There were sculptures everywhere and the sun set while we were there and the view was spectacular. It wasn't even a fancy or expensive restaurant. I would love to go there again.

This Friday I am sleeping over CLF and CLFH's place, which should be fun, although they are so keen on getting me to have a shot (I have never had one, ever) and I am too afraid to try. How to dissuade them when I am in their home, I don't know.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Last night was our company Christmas party. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed this one more than last year's, perhaps because I am more comfortable and actually know everyone's name now ;)

We went to a fancy barbecue restaurant. It's probably the only one in town (in existence?) but that's their gimmick - you dress up to go have barbecue. A couple of us were skeptical but it actually really worked. The food was awesome and the ambience was great too.

Boyfriend and I sat at a table with Friend From Work and his wife, and they were wildly entertaining and fun with their anecdotes about the company. They are both very sarcastic, funny, intellectual, quirky people, which is what I really enjoy about FFW at work. His wife is the same exact way.

At the end of the night Friend From Work #2 came to our table to announce that apparently we had prepaid for hundreds of dollars more from the bar than we had spent at that point, so everyone had better start drinking. It would have been fun to stick around, have expensive drinks on the company's dime and watch my coworkers and superiors get drunk, but I have a literature test this afternoon and I knew I needed to get home and into bed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This morning I came across the most beautiful picture ever. I know that's kind of random but it really is something. I didn't want to deal with the copyright issues of posting it here so go look.

So yesterday Boss made me Project Manager of this new marketing venture we are undertaking. I was pretty happy. Yes, it means more work but it made me feel good.

Tonight is our company Christmas party and I have nothing to wear - yay!

I may post a poem later in the day because I am feeling arty. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I did a study for a local research firm the other day on my lunch hour. It was a website usability thing - which site did I like best, what did I think about them, etc. - and they gave me $75 for being there for about 45 minutes. It rocked. Who couldn't use that, especially around the holidays?

Drinking tea this morning. It's a nice change, though I simply don't like it as much as I like coffee. Shame, too, because it's supposed to be better for you, but I can't make the switch.

I have been thinking about doing some volunteer work. I know it seems I don't have the time but I'm sure I could find a little and I have had this tug on my heart for a while. (Maybe it's the holidays; I'm not sure.) There's a great website for pairing you up with opportunities in your area called VolunteerMatch. Thinking I will peruse that shortly.

Monday, December 10, 2007

According to Anita's website, my goddess birth sign is Demeter. What does this say about me? Well, Demeter was very maternal - remember how crazy she went when her daughter, Persephone, was abducted? She also controls the harvest and some such. Does that mean I'm earthy? I definitely think I'm maternal, though I'm not a mother yet.

That was kind of random but I was puttering around her site. It's fun and inspiring, though I don't necessarily buy everything.

We got a new person in Sales today, though I hadn't heard anything about it. I guess when you miss a day you fall out of the loop :P One of our Sales guys just came over and introduced her to me, saying, "This is Sojourness, the only Marketing person who comes in before 10:00." Hee hee.

I am thinking of checking out the local poetry slams. I wrote something last night that could be a slam piece, though I am not bold enough to be a slam performer. I figure I should go and listen and maybe I can get up courage to perform my piece in the future. After all, I never thought I would be able to read "regular" poetry in front of people but I do it now with some degree of ease. Some things you just have to force yourself to do, and they are so rewarding.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Listening to Christmas songs is reminding me of junior high music class. My teacher was an older Italian-American man with big glasses and a big nose who had absolutely no control of the class. I felt sorry for him, Mr. Magnoli or Miglini or Manelli or whatever his name was, I don't remember.

He had us spend the entire month of December singing "Winter Wonderland" every day from sheet music. Perhaps he was a real big Christmas fan, or he just found that we had fun caroling and didn't act up as much.

If you need to get yourself into the holiday spirit, go Elf Yourself. This provides hours of entertainment, I assure you.

(Johnny Cash's "Blue Christmas" is my new theme song because Boyfriend and I will be apart for most of the holidays.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I had a small breakfast this morning and my leftover Chicken Parmigiana is calling my name from the office fridge. Why is it not noon yet?

Tomorrow is an office potluck. Awesome. I am making Italian sausage and peppers even though I don't like it. I make it pretty well according to Boyfriend, who is an expert in sausage and pepper matters, and it's very easy, so voila.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm having a good Monday morning, although something bummed me out a little. I was looking at the Thanksgiving photos that Sister put up on one of her social networking site profiles, and I saw that beneath the one of myself, my sisters, my aunt and my mother, my aunt - who is a feminist that I greatly admire - commented with a laugh that Sister looks thinner and prettier than the rest of us.

This is a silly superficial thing that shouldn't bother me, but it does. Why does thin = pretty? Or if it does not, I suppose that Sister is just fortunate enough to have it all.

Eh, whatever.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Gospel According to Sojourness

I have some thoughts on religion that I want to share. Getting back in touch with the roots of Sojourner's Truths! :)

They are pretty random but they were caused by various discussions and topics in my life recently. For example, when Future Priest referenced the controversy over the Golden Compass. After reading his comment I decided to go find some interviews with Philip Pullman to see just what he believes. I do not believe in the vision of the world as he described it in his novels - and who is to say that he does as well? It's fiction - but I thought they were incredibly well-done and he is extremely clever to have come up with such an original concept. Anyway, I found this interview which is really good. He takes up issue with C.S. Lewis, whom I adore, but I think the whole interview is interesting and this is definitely one smart guy who thinks for himself.

In addition, I was telling Boyfriend about my addiction to SIMS several years ago, when I got it for Christmas at 17. I believe it was just getting popular then. Sister and I would spend hours playing that game, and once the novelty had worn off and we were tired of getting them jobs and making their relationships work, we decided to invent interesting ways to kill them. For example, Sister would make sure that her Sims had no cooking skills whatsoever and then make them cook all the time until they set their kitchens on fire. I opted for creating a swimming pool, letting them get in and then deleting the ladder. They kept swimming for hours until they eventually drowned.

We must be some sadistic people because this was amusing to us, and I wondered, is this how the world really works? Is God sitting up there figuring out new ways to make us suffer for amusement?

Sounds like a terrible idea but hey, I did it to my Sims.

As I said, these are just random thoughts. I am not bashing God.

I remember years ago Veteran Seeker gave me the idea to make a list of affirmations - to write out what I do believe, in order to feel better about not knowing what I believe in some areas. I always intended to do this, on this very blog, but never did. I think I will now. It will be a little difficult because when I ask myself questions such as, "What do I believe about _____?" my answer is inevitably "I don't know." But I will give it a try.

I believe...
  • that there is a purpose for us. That we are here on earth for a reason.

  • that karma exists in some form. Things we do, good or evil, will come back to influence us (in our own lives or our children's lives, whatever).

  • that we are still conscious after death. I don't know what we experience but I think the soul is separate from the body - it is what animates the body - and so I don't believe that we simply lie in the ground and decompose.

  • that being good to others should spring from love and not fear of eternal punishment or karma.

  • that we should respect and honor the bodies we have been given (though I don't pretend to know who gave them to us).

  • that there is a force above humanity. I don't know if it's a personable god or just some energy, though.