Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh, sweet heating pad on my neck. What would I do without you?

I am starting to get sick of extremely painful sore necks. The doctor told me (the last time I got one) that it was probably stemming from something I am doing to strain the muscles, without knowing it. This doesn't seem right to me because I only get them when I wake up in the middle of the night and I have been sweating. And it's cold. I am thinking it makes more sense that sweat + cold = chill = sore neck.

Whatever the cause, I need to be rid of it!! The doctor has given me muscle relaxers, which are useless if you want to keep your job. They knock you out and you can only take them if you are prepared to sleep for a while. You might as well give me Valium; I'm sure the pain would subside if I were sleeping regardless of whether or not my muscles are relaxed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy: Coffee

I want... another... cup... of coffee.

While at my mother's house, I got myself into a 3 or 4 cup a day habit. They drink coffee socially and for fun, not just in the mornings. (How it should be!) We would all be sitting around, playing a game together or watching a Christmas movie, and one of us would say, "Hey, how about some coffee!" We would skip to the kitchen and put on a pot and it was purely lovely. Lovely, I tell you.

Now that I'm home I have promised Boyfriend I'd get down to - gulp - 1 cup a day. The withdrawal symptoms? Not so lovely. I NEED IT! Give it to me!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Home Again

I'm back in the land of 70 degree December weather. I really miss the family already but we have spoken a lot on the phone since I've been back. Today I will try to enjoy the rest of my weekend before having to return to work tomorrow. At least it is only a 3-day work week.

Cool Aunt and I have had another falling out. Big surprise. (I really need to give her a new name, removing 'Cool' from the title. Perhaps Funny And Entertaining But Psychotic Nonetheless Aunt?) I like to think that one of my strengths is being able to admit when I am wrong. I never have a problem apologizing to others after an argument - in fact, I am often overly apologetic. I honestly cannot say that this argument was my fault. I mean, I get along with everyone else in my family and she gets along with no one, family or otherwise.

The gist of it is that FAEBPNA will not allow me to have a relationship with her that does not involve bashing my mother. She sent me an email bashing my mother yesterday, and when I said that her allegations were untrue and that it was not a nice thing to say about Mother, she told me to just do her a favor and leave her alone. She proceeded to tell me off.

Families are fun, aren't they?? :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

It has always been a tradition in my family to open gifts at Christmas Eve at midnight. This is because my mother's family did it this way when she was a child, and since my parents did not teach Sisters and I about Santa Claus, we continued the custom. There have been various years where we've been too tired to stay up until midnight, so we opened them early. We did this last night, at around 10:30 p.m. The kids made out like bandits and were very excited, naturally. I did pretty well myself:

  • Bluetooth and car charger for my phone
  • Knitting Pattern-A-Day 2009 Calendar
  • Baby blue bathrobe with snowflakes on it
  • Various pairs of funky Christmas socks (from Sister)
  • A sweater (from Sister)
  • A book light (from Sister)
  • A statue of a geisha that I wanted several years ago but forgot about (from Sister)
  • Beatles DVDs (from Sister)
  • Four butterfly shaped candles (from Kid Sisters)
  • Birthstone earrings
  • A body spray set

I think that my presents went over well too. I gave Kid Sister #1 knitting needles and yarn (as per request), Kid Sister #2 some books that she really liked, and Baby Sister a coloring book and crayons. Mother and Sister got homemade scarves. I also made Sister a scrapbook about Father, including pictures of him from his childhood and little remembrances of his life. I was excited for her to open it, but I immediately felt terrible when she took one look at it and burst into tears. She assured me that she really liked it, and I know she did... I guess I should have seen that coming. It made me really miss him as well. We always opened presents at midnight with him (except the last few years when he was incapacitated).

Today we are going to visit Grandmother, his mother. I am hoping we can slightly brighten her Christmas. She did not want to celebrate it at all this year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm currently "home" for the holidays with my family. This trip is emotionally easier than the last one, though I don't know why. In the days before Thanksgiving, I felt terribly depressed being in the house where we lived when my father disappeared one night, never to return. It jolted me back to the time when I was a young bright-eyed English major, living in this house with my raggedy old car and my nose in a book most of the time, and when all that innocence was taken away. (Innocence... *snort*) So it was a hard trip, though it improved towards the end.

This time around, I have been here for about two days and I am feeling good. Is it Christmas? Christmas was always my favorite holiday as a child - I simply loved it - but since the accident, when everything changed, I had a hard time enjoying it again. I went through the motions for the kids in my family but it was lost to me.

Now, the first year that we are having Christmas without my father, I am enjoying it again. That is startling. Is it because I have been able to breathe a sigh of relaxation, knowing he is not alone in a room, suffering in agony, wondering where his life went terribly wrong? Do I believe in heaven subconsciously and just not know it? I miss him, and I wish with all my heart I could see him on Christmas Day like we did last year, but something has changed, and maybe that something is what will get me through the grief of his passing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I should write about my weekend because I had a damn good one. Aside from the wonder that was downtown Austin at night with Christmas lights around and a classic movie at a class theatre - which I already wrote about - I did some other really fun things. After work on Friday, Boyfriend went to the Christmas party at the group home with me. I was really excited for him to meet the girls and find out why I talk about them so much. He met them briefly as they ran out to hug me while we walked up the drive, then bombarded him with introductions. "We've been wanting to meet you!!" they yelled. "We saw your picture and Sojourness told us all about you!" They were very hyper and excited because of the party, and we didn't get to talk to them much for the rest of the night, but it was fun. I get so happy just from spending a short amount of time there with them.

Saturday I got trained for a new kind of volunteer work I am considering. I know, I can't stop piling it on. I really can't. I get such a high that I keep looking for more ways to spend time I don't have free :) After that I had lunch with my women writer's group at my favorite Indian restaurant in Austin. The food was outstanding, naturally, and the company was delightful. The women were all older than me but I knew most of them and I always learn a lot from them with regards to my work. Besides, they are fun.

After lunch I drove up north to CL Friend's house for the baking party. I met a ton of new people and we made a ton of cookies. It was a blast but by the time I got home I was exhausted from all the running around. I took it pretty easy on Sunday, knitting, reading, and working on Sister's Christmas present (a scrapbook about Father, which was a big project that took several hours).

Last night Boyfriend and I got takeout from another good Indian restaurant and watched "The Darjeeling Limited," which we had both wanted to see. It was not what we expected but I enjoyed it and I think he did too. It was bizarre and quirky and meaningful and a fun way to pass the evening, especially with samosas and naan in hand. Though, samosas and naan can brighten up anything.

I had a fantastic time seeing a late showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" at a downtown theatre with Boyfriend Friday night. It really made it feel like the holidays, and I just love that movie.

I couldn't help but think about the SNL "Lost Ending" :) It still cracks me up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I want this one too! I think Artsy Friend needs to come over and give me an iron-on tutorial.

Mmm... We just had our company potluck lunch. There were tamales, rice, tortilla soup - this is Texas, after all - plus salads, veggies, pigs in a blanket (made by moi), cheesy potatoes, spinach balls, venison, meatballs, etc. For dessert, we had rum cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, homemade chocolate walnut cookies, rice krispies treats and cranberry mousse. Yowser.. it was good.

Tonight Boyfriend and I are going to a Christmas party at the girls' home and then on to a late night viewing of "It's a Wonderful Night" in my favorite downtown theatre. Then tomorrow is a writers group lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant, followed by a cookie baking party at CL Friend's house. Does it get any better?

I hope my stomach - and the rest of my body - get to recuperate on Sunday.

Note: I couldn't pass up that image. Isn't it the coolest poster ever?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008


  1. Why do I read the news when it only scares me?

  2. Why do "Girls Cut" tee-shirts never account for larger girls? I would really like this one but I'll never squeeze into their "Extra Large."

  3. Why do the characters on Party of Five piss me off much more now than when I first watched years ago? (And yet, I still can't turn away... like a train wreck...)

  4. Why do I come down with nagging colds when I have all kinds of fun stuff planned?

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm back home. Well, my current home, as opposed to my family/city-of-origin home, where I was last week.

Sadly, when Boyfriend and I returned to our apartment, our worst fears were confirmed - his coughing, wheezing, I-can't-breathe thing is definitely because of Cat. We had hoped it was something else: a virus, infection, whooping cough, anything that could be improved without the removal of our darling girl, but it was not to be. The woman who sold her to me picked her up on Saturday. Cat cried. I cried. It was traumatic.

Aside from that, I suppose it is good being back. I had a bit of a hard time leaving my family so I am not as relieved to be home as I usually am after those kinds of trips. I just feel sad. It seems rather obvious to attribute the sadness to my father's death, as these are the first holidays without him, but I am not psychoanalyzing myself much. Just sad.

On the bright side:

*My trip home yielded tons of ancient family photos that I scanned and kept for myself. I learned, for instance, what my paternal great grandmother looked like. I also got tons of pictures of my father as a child, and am enjoying pointing out comparisons between his looks and those of myself and my sisters.

*In the next two weeks, I'm going to two Christmas parties, one birthday party and one cookie baking party.

*I finally finished all the knitting for my little sisters, so I can get back to knitting for other people by Christmas.

*It is winter, and therefore I am free to spend my nights and weekends in pajamas, reading, writing, knitting, listening to music, watching movies, sipping hot chocolate or any combination of these. In other words, winter is the time for hibernation, and the only time of year where my homebodiness as an alternative to social ineptitude becomes socially accepted. Thank you, Sister Winter.

Things That Make Me Happy: Clementines and Cocoa

Friday, November 28, 2008

Further Updates

  • Taught the other 7-year old to knit. She picked it up quickly as well, but got bored just as quickly and went to play Wii. I am a dying breed!!

  • I had dinner the other night with three people I worked with in Venice two years ago, the Traveler and her beau, Boyfriend and a friend from Austin. We ate delightful Turkish food, reminisced, talked about American politics and laughed our asses off. Yay!

  • I got to spend a bit of time with Boyfriend's aunt and cousins, one of whom loved my homemade scarf and tried to abscond with it until I promised to make her one. I also took the opportunity, on my way back to the bus, to pick up souvenirs for the teen girls I mentor back home.

  • Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic. Yes, it was sad to think about the last time we made these dishes and brought them over to share with my father, but it was good to share them with each other again.

  • I am cosmically destined to be told by people over 50 that I am heavier than Sister, as if I hadn't noticed. Always at functions where I would like to enjoy myself eating, and this time, by someone who is not even a family member (of mine)! I must have picked on fat people in a past life.

  • I head home tonight. Not too sad because I will see my family again in a few weeks, and happy to have a weekend to decompress before returning to work.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm sitting here with a cup of comfort and reflecting on my visit home so far. Highlights include:
  • My very first Greek wedding, which was freaking awesome.

  • Teaching a 7-year old how to knit, and watching her do it successfully, to my amazement.

  • Watching a 2-year old pick up a plastic ball-in-a-maze toy and say in an exasperated voice, "How do you play this?? There's no mouse!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I think I am becoming addicted to coffee. I used to eat when I was depressed, hence the lifelong battle of the bulge. More recently, I haven't been doing that and the weight has been coming off slowly but effortlessly. I am starting to notice, however, that while I used to pick up a cookie for comfort, I am now picking up a cup of coffee. Has coffee become my cigarettes? My crack?

Tomorrow I leave sunny, beautiful Austin for cold, chilly New York, but I am excited. Boyfriend and I will be there for a week, attending High School Friend's wedding, meeting up with old friends, and spending Thanksgiving with my lovable yet dysfunctional family. It should be great.

There will be more blogging shortly. I have more to say but I am swamped with last minute work to do at the office before I bounce :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Comment

Andi at The Unlikely Activist posted this video, and I think it is really powerful.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I... can't... move... my... neck. I had to leave work on Thursday and stay out Friday because of a sick feeling accompanied by severe neck, shoulders and back pain. I hesitate to call it a cold outright because it is really characterized by feeling feverish, feeling like I am going to fall over, and having that overall sick feeling. Not coughing or sneezing, but I can barely move, and I didn't pull any muscles or perform any strenuous activity. Not sure what is going on.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mama needs a cup of coffee...

I had a great Halloween, man. I rocked my Rosie the Riveter costume all the way to first prize in the "What Are You?" contest. *Rolls eyes* Whatever, I still won. Defending costume champ two years in a row. I am especially proud that I decided not to spend much money on a costume this year, and the total cost was $1.67 (for a yard of fabric for my head).

After doing absolutely no work and palling around with my coworkers in costume, I went to a party with one of the teen girls I mentor. It was held at the boys home, and the teen boys were just as sweet and lovable as my girls are. I made melon brains the night before, which were a big hit.

Today I am trying to recover from steadily eating garbage for 24 hours straight.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hello my lovelies. I have neglected you for no good reason. Here's the update:
  • I've got some sort of "condition" in my chest that is supposed to go away in 7-10 days but is really being a bitch in the meantime. (No, it's not my heart, but it's still a bitch.)

  • As I told my mother, I voted for the Antichrist yesterday. And boy, did it feel good! :)

  • I have to go shopping tonight to try and find an outfit for High School Friend's wedding in late November. Did I mention I hate shopping? With a passion?

  • Swamped at work. Hence the not posting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Someone Needs to Re-Read Their Bible Alright

You know what might liven up this blog a bit? How about a good old fashioned rant on the ever-sensitive, ever-relevant subjects of politics and religion?

When my father died, it was announced to members of the church where he served faithfully for years and which I grew up in. My parents left the church saddled with serious burnout, after being expected to drive the church van and pick up people all over Brooklyn, teach Sunday school classes, host prayer meetings at our home during the week, coordinate various ministry events, etc. (all of which they did, gladly). When they left, all of their best friends stopped bothering with them, calling them backsliders. They no longer got any phone calls, they were no longer invited to parties. It was as if they had died.

Anyway, some of these church members came to my father's funeral, and some of them remembered me from my brief stint there as a teen in the youth group. Long story short, they added me on Facebook.

Yesterday such a friend - who had always been very kind to me when I was at the church, but whom I hadn't been in touch with for about 7 years now - posted a note: "Why Christians Should NOT Vote for Obama." The note, which tagged others I recognized from the church, including a couple of Former Pastor's grown children, excerpted parts of Former Pastor's (who now fancies himself a "Bishop" though it is a nondenominational church that doesn't believe in those titles) article on the subject. Though it reminded me of 2000, the year I received handouts in church endorsing all of the Republicans on the ticket, I continued to read. Big mistake.

Essentially, "no child of God should support abortion or gay union," and Obama does both. Therefore, this guy urges conservatives to try to carry this election like they did with GW (because that worked out so well, for Christians or otherwise?). Comments from Facebook friends tagged in the note included, "Yes, bring on the antichrist! That should shake up the church." There was also a comment from a Christian friend who disagreed, stating that he would be voting for Obama because of his intelligence, his unifying message, etc. McCain is not exactly the model Christian (as Boyfriend mentioned, he did cheat on his second wife, no?). To which, my "friend" who wrote the note published nasty retorts, ending with, "You need to read your Bible."

Goodness me, where do I begin? Conservative friends and readers of my blog, look away, because this ain't going to be pretty.

  • When is the religious right going to stop voting primarily on abortion and gay marriage? Do you realize our country is falling down around us? Do you realize what our national debt is, for example? Do you realize how many enemies we have made around the world because of our foolish arrogance? Do you have any concept of the challenges we are facing, aside from whether or not someone you don't even know will or will not give birth to a baby she cannot afford, or whether or not Bob can make Tony an honest man? Really? Not paying much attention lately, are you?
  • Why is it that so many Christians - the people who are supposed to represent a loving, peaceful and forgiving religion? - are gung-ho about war and killing non-Christians? I feel like I'm in the middle of a Neo-Crusade. We view fanatical Muslims as less than human but fanatical Christians are A-OK. If there is a Jesus Christ, I hope he will hold them all accountable for the atrocities they supported and the people they elected into office. Save the unborn fetuses while murdering and raping children in Iraq, good tradeoff. But they're not white or Christian, so they're not like real people anyway.
  • I am going to take advice from "Bishop" so-and-so? The man who refused to visit, call or pray for a former friend who was paralyzed for over 3 years? Who waited until the man dropped dead to show any kind of concern (and oh, how genuine - he didn't speak of my father at all, only about his personal Jesus, the one that is sending all of you to hell). This is the guy who is going to influence my voting preference? Really? Jesus said a few things about visiting the sick and that whatever good you do for other people, you do for him. That means that when you tell a broken, suffering man that you are too busy to pray for him, Jesus takes it personally. I can't wait until the "Bishop" gets to heaven and Jesus laughs in his face before showing him the door.
  • Republicans, you don't own Christianity. Stop acting like one's personal faith and one's political party are one and the same. There are plenty of Christians out there who don't judge, who don't want to bomb people of other religions, and who don't want to see us all bankrupt while the fat cats add to their Mercedes collections. Try Anne Lamott, for starters.
  • I've said it once and I will say it again, Jesus Christ was one hell of a liberal, and if I have any feeling left for him inside, it is for that - for his compassion for people that others discarded, for his feeding of the poor and disregard for racist/sexist bullshit. To steal a phrase, what would Jesus do? I highly doubt he'd have the blood on his hands that America does today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You may wonder why I don't blog nearly as often as I used to. The short answer is, my life is boring. Not in a "poor me, I don't have anything fun to do" way. It's boring in a "this is the first time in my life with little drama, where I can be as boring as I wanna be, yay!" way. Whenever I sit down to write a blog post, I realize that nothing I have done in the past few days or hours would interest anyone. I knit. I go to the library. I write. I call home. I go to work. I drink coffee. I eat things that are good for me. I eat things that aren't good for me. I see friends. I read in bed. I try to prevent my geriatric cat from crapping all over my apartment. Not exactly the stuff of action films or Harlequin romances, is it?

I recall starting this blog because I had so much to say about the world. I had opinions and questions on everything from religion to philosophy to culture. I still have opinions and questions - though definitely not the same ones I had three years ago - but I have been fortunate enough to find a platform through my writing. (You know, my real writing, with my real name, as opposed to my anonymous chicken-shit blogging.) There are still some areas I will not touch in my real writing (such as how much I hate my job sometimes?), which means there is still a beautiful space for me here in Neverland.

I dunno, sometimes I wonder what it's worth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A slight chill has actually come to Texas, and I woke up cold this morning because our fan was on very high. I also woke up about a half hour early because Miss Cat was hungry. She proceeded to walk all over us and meow in our faces. I would have been annoyed if she wasn't so cute.

It's one of those gray, chilly days where all I want to do is go home after work, get into pajamas and lie in bed with my cat while I knit or read or do whatever it is I feel like doing. In fact, I think I will.

Last night Boyfriend and I went to a cajun restaurant. I got Jamaican Jerk chicken that just tasted like regular grilled chicken. It was good, but I had been expecting some seasoning. The fries were "cajun-style" though, and we had beignets for dessert. I had been describing zeppoles to Friend From Work about a week ago when he said, "No, I've never had them, but they sound like beignets." When I saw them on the menu I knew we had to try them. They don't hold a candle to zeppoles. Zeppoles are fat and doughy -- they are essentially deep fried doughnuts dipped in powdered sugar. The beignets I had last night had the exact same taste, but they were thin and empty on the inside, nothing to bite into and savor. Sorry, New Orleans.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm in the midst of a Beatles listen-a-thon that is a total throwback to my teen years. I can just see 16-year-old me walking to school with a cheap discman hanging out of a backpack pocket, bobbing my head.

Wait till I come back to your side, we'll forget the tears we've cried...

Best Friend and I sprawled on my living room couch after school, watching the Anthology DVDs, or occasionally "Yellow Submarine."

You know that what you eat you are, but what is sweet now turns so sour...

Telling her that "In My Life" is going to be the song I play at my wedding. Someday.

Some are dead and some are living... In my life, I've loved them all...

17 years old. Sitting on a swing at the local park in the dark of night. Crying my eyes out that George Harrison is dead, and he is never coming back. And why? And how can I ever watch "A Hard Day's Night" again?

With every mistake we must surely be learning...
Still my guitar gently weeps...

Yesterday Therapist told me that I am wrong. It does get easier. It takes a long time, but you do accept it. It really will be okay.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
for people and things that went before,

I know I'll often stop and think about them...
In my life, I love you more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not much to say about the last week. I have been alternately working on writing projects and trying to take it easy. It is rainy and gray in Austin, which is actually a nice change from the heat but does a lot to sap one's energy and spirits. I would much prefer being home in my pajamas on a rainy day than in the office, doing work that does not inspire.

Yesterday I got called into a private meeting with Boss and HR Lady. Apparently my company got a slap on the wrist for our 401k plan being too "top-heavy" (i.e. only high earners invest) so they are being forced to incentivize the rest of us who make peanuts. I'm essentially getting several hundred dollars for free - it's like a bonus, only I have to take it in my 401k. I haven't had a 401k up to this point but was thinking about it. I decided to wait until now because I had heard rumors of free money for anyone not yet on the plan. I'm not thrilled about starting one, especially after seeing the chart on the Traveler's blog, but I'm young and won't be withdrawing anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tell me the truth...

Is it sad that I live for Waffle Cone Wednesdays?
If you recall, I wrote about trying to start the Potatoes Not Prozac (PnP) program a while back. I tried to do too much too fast and cut out white things and sugars entirely, making myself weak and inducing withdrawal symptoms. Bad idea. Now I am actually being *gulp* obedient and following the steps in order, determined to master each one before I move on to the next. The first regards breakfast, and there are three rules: have breakfast within 1 hour of getting up, have your target amount of protein in it, and have a brown in it. The first one is challenging but I have managed to do it. The second is REALLY challenging because this program wants you to have a ton of protein. I finally mastered that by making breakfast shakes with protein powder in them. Finally, the brown is easy - wheat toast, oatmeal in my shake, whatever. So it's going pretty well.

Oh, the perilous times we live in. It is getting scary to be an American, let me tell you. If there was a ever a time to vote your little heart out, it's now.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Bro just spent the weekend with us, which was nice. We visited a prehistoric cave, went swimming, ate at some of my favorite places, played pool and went bowling with CL Friend and her husband. Oh, and we watched a couple of episodes from his DVD collection of Super Mario! Wow, did that take me back...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I am going to try to make this post as un-bitter as possible. Bear with me.

Allow me to list some of the things that made the last two days the shittiest I've had in a while.

  1. I pissed off Cat. I didn't mean to. Long story short, I accused her of peeing on the carpet when she didn't (should have smelled that spot before jumping to conclusions). I didn't yell, I wasn't even mean, I just said, "Cat, no. Don't do this. No." When I found out what the spill really was, I felt terrible, but the damage had been done. I tried petting and brushing her to get back on her good side and she took a swipe at me and hissed. She wouldn't speak to me for the rest of the night. Anytime I spoke to her or threw her kisses, she turned her face the other way. Yesterday she was asking me for food and I was like, "Yay! I'm forgiven!" I danced into the kitchen to give her food and accidentally stepped on her tail. Yeah.

  2. My car is still overheating and making terrible noises. I've had two mechanics look at it. One of them said I might want to consider just getting a new car, because there are some other looming problems on the horizon. That would be a great suggestion if I had money laying around to get a new car. Today I am working from home because the cheaper of the two is replacing the water pump. I'm crossing all body parts and praying that will be the only problem and I can drive the bitch home already. Yes, I called her a bitch. She is certainly acting like one lately.

  3. I had a 1.5 hour dentist appointment yesterday morning at 7:40. Note to self: Don't make dentist appointments that early.

  4. Not enough sleep lately. Kinda need it to deal with this other stuff.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I am happy to report that Cat is warming up to us! Today is one week since we got her, and last night she showed great promise. The entire week she has been laying in her new spot - a low section of our bookshelf, beneath the desk. She comes out and asks for food and whatnot, but that's where she stays. She lets us pet her, but doesn't come when we call or get too close.

Well, last night Boyfriend was out with friends from work and it was just Cat and me. She actually jumped up onto the couch and watched the presidential debate and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" with me! Once she got used to lying on the top of the couch, she continued to do it, jumping on my head as a sort of boost. She even showed up on our bed last night when we were going to sleep, though she didn't stay for long. These are all super signs that she is feeling more comfortable, and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I did it! I got myself a kitty! She is a 10 year old lilac point Siamese, i.e. a grumpy old lady. She is taking time getting used to us but lets us pet her now. I guess she realizes we control the food supply. When I first got her home yesterday, she hid behind the toilet for hours. Now she roams around, checking out the place and its inhabitants, before chilling in one of her spots. (Yes, she has been here approximately 24 hours and she has her own spots: beneath the living room desk, under the TV stand and in the closet on top of an old suitcase.)

I am anxious for her to fall in love with me but I guess it takes time...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Doesn't everything seem better on Fridays? I have a job interview Monday, and my pipe dream of getting a cat may actually come true.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't know if it is leftovers from the hurricane that totally didn't hit us, but temperatures have dropped in the good old former Lone Star Republic (tee hee). I had to wear a light jacket and pants today - pants! I've been wearing tank tops and shorts forever. Just last week it was in the high 90s, if not 100... I don't know, I've stopped looking at the weather. It's always the same temperature-wise, so what's the point? :) Everyone is rejoicing in this break from the heat, though who knows how long it will last.

You know your life is boring when the most exciting thing to talk about is your lack of sleep. It's not like I'm not doing anything from day-to-day, just very little that all of you would be interested in. I've been watching a lot of TV and movies, which isn't something I normally do, but I think I really just need to shut down at the end of the day. I've also been working on my writing, which takes up a lot of time.

The job search is not going very well. I am disappointed because, especially when it comes to the typical entry-level person, I feel highly qualified for what I am applying for. I mean, 3 years experience at real organizations with real responsibilities right out of the gate. I don't know if it is the bad economy or just the fact that I can only put so much effort into it, but it has yielded a whole lot of nothing so far. I'm not going to give up, but I am also coming to terms with the fact that I am comfortable where I am (despite annoying sexism) and with what I make (despite the fact that, in a perfect world, I'm worth more). My job has very little stress and after 8 hours I get the hell out. There is no working late, there is no weekend project to take home, nothing. At this point in my life, where I am trying to keep my head above water in terms of emotional health, it fits me very well. So while I will continue to look for better, I'm not ready to make this priority #1. I'm just not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the verdict is...

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Well - about 20 minutes of rainfall at midnight last night. That's it. I feel silly that we made such a big deal about it, but also lucky when I look at the devastation wreaked on those at the coast. I guess when they are sending evacuees to your city, you are probably not in danger. Note to self for next time.

I added "Relearn Spanish" to my 101 list but am nervous about actually doing it. I studied the language from age 10 to 16 and aced the hell out of it, but I can't speak a word. I understand a lot and can translate signs and such for people here in Texas, but I couldn't speak to save my life, honestly. I find that tragic. How could I have wasted 6 years of my life working on something that would open me up to new worlds of people and places, not to mention make me more marketable, just to lose it? (I have had to forego applying to many jobs down here because I'm not a Spanish speaker.) It just seems silly.

The only fear I have is that focusing on the Spanish will hurt my already fledgling Italian. No, Italian is not as useful in today's world (in a practical sense), but I have strong ties to it through my heritage and upbringing. It means a hell of a lot to me and I will be very sad to exchange it for Spanish. I know that they are similar, as all Romance languages are, but rather than enhance my learning, I fear I will become confused between the two. Maybe these fears are unfounded, but I don't really know.

To that end, I've started a blog that is exclusively written in Italian, so that perhaps I can get Italian speakers to comment, correct and dialogue with me there. Also, I just wanted a place to write in Italian several times a week. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

(Not Austin - this is what they got down on the coast.)

Hurricane Ike is coming for us. Well, not really, but we will get some piece of it. I keep hearing something different every few minutes, from "We'll be lucky if we get some sprinkles" to the schools are closed and the people in front of me in line at the supermarket are stocking up on Chef Boyardee and bottled water like it was Y2K or the eve of WWIII. Friend From Work, a native Texan, explained to me that the panic surrounding these things has been much higher in Texas since Katrina, because everyone realized that if something happens to you, you're on your own and you're screwed. In fact, refugees from the coast are pouring into Austin as we speak.

Being a non-native Texan, naturally I am completely freaked out. Native Texans have been pointing at me and laughing as they pass my desk. Let me take them home for an old fashioned blizzard and see how they deal.

I am planning on a weekend of knitting, reading, watching movies rented from the library, watching everything saved on my DVR list, writing, and sleeping. Hopefully no cowering under the bed, but can't promise until Ike arrives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I am on my third day of "sugar detox." Not as strictly as Dr. DesMaisons' book suggests, as I am still eating fruit. (I am of the belief that any diet or nutrition program that tells you not to eat fruit is bullshit. Fruit is important.) But I am not eating sweets at all, and I have completely and utterly given up "white things" (breads, pastas, rice). I have been off white things for a while but this time I've gone whole hog. That means no pizza unless there is a wheat crust (which we do have here in Austin; yay for liberal hippies), no quesadillas unless they're on wheat tortillas, etc. I can't even have Lean Cuisines anymore, since they have white pasta and noodles in them. But it is working out well. I am hoping to be able to drop some weight and stabilize my moods.

This morning I toasted two whole grain waffles (with flax - I forget what it is, but it's good for you) in the office kitchen. New Boss entered and said, "Heyyy! Waffles! Now you have to cover them with syrup; fill every hole." I practically ran out of there screaming.

Therapy is becoming progressively more difficult. I suppose this is a good thing. I am starting to get to root causes and issues, which is harder than I thought it would be. Yesterday I was talking about how the anniversary of September 11 is looming over me. I recalled the trauma my family faced because my father was in one of the towers at the time of the attack, and we didn't know if he was alive or dead. I talked about how we could smell smoke for days afterward - how it would wake me in the middle of the night, the smell of burning and death. I talked about how afraid we all were for months, even years, to come. How my mother and her colleagues volunteered to serve food to the rescue workers who worked night and day, digging up body parts at Ground Zero.

My father survived that day, and he survived several others things after that, but now he is dead. So the anniversary, which has long lost its power over me - I cried all day on the first 2 anniversaries - has come back with a vengeance. I've decided to use one of my vacation days on that day, just so I can stay home and not have pressure on me to be happy and smiling at work. Therapist was proud of me for making that decision on how to take care of myself. It's progress.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weekend Trip

I had a lovely 3-day weekend. On Friday Boyfriend had to travel overnight so I had Artsy Friend over. We ate dinner and watched "Gosford Park" and then we gawked over a giant craft book. Fun times.

Saturday he returned and then Sunday we took off for the Texas Hill Country. We spent several hours in a small rustic town on the river that still had its old general store and mill and all. It was super cute, and all we kept telling each other was, "We should take Bro here when he visits next month." After that we went a little further south, to the area where our bed and breakfast was. This was also supposed to be an historic district, with remnants of the German heritage of the people who settled it. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday everything was closed but the bars. German restaurants and bakeries, little shops... everything was totally shut down. So we wandered around the downtown area to no avail. We did walk by a (closed) train museum along the still active train tracks and we were able to take pictures because large trains are still visible, even when the museum is closed :)

We spent the night at the bed and breakfast. It was pretty cute itself, but it lost some of its charm considering that there was a Walgreens a few blocks away. We had expected it to be more in the, you know, hill country. The breakfast yesterday morning was also totally shitty. But overall, it was nice to get out of our apartment and see a new place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The most exciting thing that has happened in my life since the last posting is that we got DVR. This actually is really exciting - I have been recording up a storm. Harry Potter movies, Anthony Bourdain, I Love Lucy's and King of Queen's... it is a dream come true. I was barely watching any TV at all prior because nothing good was on when I happened to be in front of it.

In the last couple of weeks, I have fallen back into a depression that I have not known for a while. For the past few years I have gone through my ups and downs - a bad day here, a bad week there - but this is more frightening because it is so comfortable and normal. That probably doesn't make any sense unless you've dealt with clinical depression. Bottom line is, it feels right to lay around unmotivated and want to stay in bed for the rest of your life. No panic, no compulsion to get your work done... you just don't care. And I just don't care. I have accomplished very little in the last couple of weeks for this very reason. It concerns me in a cloudy sort of way because I remember these symptoms well. I'm also having a hard time sleeping as much as I need to. Friends From Work #1 and 2 keep asking me if I'm alright, though I am not intentionally moping or anything. It's almost embarrassing when they ask because what can I say?

What to do, what to do...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Communication has been reopened with Cool Aunt but I feel so fed up by this point that I'm keeping my distance. I like things to be civil between us, but that doesn't mean we have to be best of pals. I just can't take a lot of things in my life anymore.

Speaking of which, I have been taking it super easy the last week or so. Kind of retreated to my apartment, my knitting and my library rentals. I like it this way. I hope it remains this way for a while.

I am looking for a job right now. Not only am I earning way below my market value, but I am still put off by gender bias and bullshit in the office. I've been asked to make coffee, buy a replacement shower head for an executive's private bathroom, reorganize the kitchen and mail in a rebate for an executive's new phone. When I was an intern, it pissed me off but I figured that's the way it works when you're bottom of the chain. One of these things, however, happened yesterday, with my 2-year anniversary around the corner, and I just don't want to stand for it anymore. (FFW #2, who has been here a year longer than I have, was told by an executive that she doesn't need to worry about going to grad school, she just needs to find a doctor or lawyer to marry.) I'm hoping that I will be able to take this opportunity to enter a field I am really passionate about. Wish me luck - I'm working my ass off just searching.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I went through a ton of drama over getting a cat last week. I have wanted one for a long time, but dismissed it as something I can't do right now. For one, I'm damn lazy around the house. I don't even pick up after myself. Adding another creature might drive Boyfriend insane. Not only that, but they cost money. They cost money if you buy or adopt them, they cost money for your landlord to let you have them in the apartment, they cost money for shots and neutering, they cost money for food and litter, and they cost (a ton of) money when they get sick. Do I really have all this disposable income to spend on a pet?

Finally I became so enamored with the idea of my own personal kitty cat that I found people on Craiglist who were giving away their pets because of an allergic fiancee or what have you. These animals are already vaccinated and neutered. That knocks the cost way down. I also found out that the pet deposit in my complex is much lower than elsewhere. That also boistered my spirits. I even got Boyfriend to concede, though he seriously dislikes cats.

In the end, however, I have to accept the death of my dream. I decided that if Boyfriend and I are taking not one, but TWO trips to Asia next year, one potentially lasting 4 months, I really have no business getting a pet I will just have to get rid of or pay someone to sit for.

It's very sad because I was so excited and happy about getting one, and I just heard a new study was done saying that owning a cat reduces your chance of heart attack by 1/3.

It's also a shame because pets are supposed to reduce depression and make people happier, and I was kind of looking forward to having something soft and cuddly to purr on my chest in those moments when I can't stop seeing the face in the coffin or the crimes from long ago.


Friday, August 15, 2008

God, I love a good meme. Thanks Andi.

1. My uncle once:
tried to teach me how to play guitar, unsuccessfully.

2. Never in my life: have I done any recreational drugs. Ever. Surprising, right?

3. When I was five: I was a know-it-all.

4. High school was: a waste of my time, except for a handful of good friends I made there.

5. I will never forget: seeing Boyfriend for the first time.

6. Once I met: Toni Morrison and I was so star-struck because I have loved her since I was 16.

7. There’s this girl I know: who crochets like nothing I've ever seen.

8. Once, at a bar: I watched a severe homophobe sweat when he realized it was a lesbian bar... and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready to go home!

10. Last night: I went to a new gelateria with Boyfriend.

11. If only I had: a kitty cat.

12. Next time I go to church: should be interesting.

13. What worries me most: is death and loss.

14. When I turn my head left I see: a crooked sign Friend From Work threw together for a trade show last year.

15. When I turn my head right I see: Email/phone list taped to the wall and my mini Van Gogh calendar with X's on it.

16. You know I’m lying when: ...ever I'm lying. It's totally obvious.

17. What I miss most about the 80s is: innocence and Punky Brewster.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Cordelia.

19. By this time next year: I'd like to have a job I care passionately about.

20. A better name for me would be: .... Don't think there is one. My name is so very me.

21. I have a hard time understanding: Republicans.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: study something I love to death.

23. You know I like you if: I invite you to the random things I organize.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Boyfriend.

25. Take my advice, never: leave things left unsaid until it's too late.

26. My ideal breakfast is: a big fat Migas taco.

27. A song I love but do not have is: ... Don't laugh, but most of the songs from my copy of City on a Hill: Christmas. I have no idea where the CD is.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: keep an eye on your wallet. Ha, ha, just kidding! (Somewhat.)

29. Why won’t people: live and let live?

30. If you spend a night at my house: you will be uncomfortable on my couch, but my wit and grace will make up for it.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: something that's life or death, but that's about it.

32. The world could do without: nuclear weapons.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: go skydiving.

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: Feminist Friend

35. Paper clips are more useful than: most things.

36. If I do anything well it’s: show affection.

37. And by the way: is it 5:00 yet??

Wednesday night I had a mini-dinner party with Artsy Friend and Former Intern I Actually Liked (I am getting good with the aliases, aren't I?). I picked up pizza, AF picked up red wine and FIAL picked up a chocolate cake. We lounged around my living room and watched "Annie Hall." It was great. AF is a longtime fan of the movie and FIAL had never seen it but loved it.

Woody Allen movies always make me miss home. I think Boyfriend and I need to live in Manhattan for some period of our lives, even though the prospect frightens me (hustle, bustle, high prices, small living space, stress!).

In other news, I am in the process of patching things up with Cool Aunt. She has been diagnosed with cancer and I told her I want to support her during this time. I'm trying to set boundaries though, and let her know that there are things I won't accept. We'll see how this turns out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is anybody out there? I am not a comment whore or anything, but if you could drop a line, it would help. My tracker is broken and I am starting to feel lonely here in cyberspace, not knowing if anyone still reads this thing.

My relationship with Cool Aunt was severed yesterday. It was inevitable. She engages in abusive behavior with everyone in her life, and it is just like me to have put up with it for two years before finally standing up for myself. Needless to say, she couldn't exactly handle the "I don't care for being spoken to that way" assertion, leading her to say some vindictive things. We are finished.

It is yet another loss, but I am trying to put a real value on relationships right now. Is a one-sided, emotionally abusive relationship valuable simply because the other person is a blood relation? I used to think so, but now I'm not so sure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ah, Mondays. Everyone is sad to see the weekend go. For my part, I had a really nice, restful weekend. On Friday night, we had a friend over and watched "The Namesake." Shame on me because I have never actually read it, but I thought the movie was well done. I imagine the novel is even better, as that is usually how it goes.

Saturday we went to the gym and hung around. I spent some time in the library *grin* and some time knitting *grin again*.

Yesterday we did food shopping and the gym once again. I watched a Chinese movie called "Dam Street" that I really liked. More knitting. More lounging. There was also some watching of the Olympics and chomping of TCBY frozen yogurt.

You know, I never really got into the Olympics before, but it is really entertaining. I have been watching swimming, diving and gymnastics. I can't believe people can actually do stuff like that (especially gymnastics). Seriously. I hearken back to my days in a forced high school gymnastic class where they set up uneven bars and rings and pummel horses and balance beams and expected us to morph into Olympians. Yeah right. I sat around every period because there was nothing else I could do. They gave me a mercy pass at the end of semester.

Monday, August 04, 2008

20 Year Meme

This came from Amanda over at the Blog Jar.

20 years ago I:

1. Was a preschooler.

2. Had best friends named Jessie and Melanie.

3. Could recite multiple passages of scripture.

4. Wore my hair teased up and hair-sprayed (it was the 80s and I blame Mother).

5. Had 2 cats and a dog.

6. Lived in an all-Jewish (Hasidic) neighborhood.

10 years ago I:

1. Had just started high school.

2. Had blonde hair.

3. Met great friends such as the Traveler and Bro.

4. Watched "Dawson's Creek" religiously.

5. Liked 'N Sync (before it was trendy, thank you very much).

6. Was in the school production of "Guys and Dolls."

5 years ago I:

1. Realized that I wanted to major in English.

2. Took care of Kid Sisters full-time.

3. Met Ringo Starr.

4. Worked at a major museum.

5. Briefly dated a man nine years older than me.

6. Dressed as Guinevere for Halloween.

3 years ago I:

1. Met the love of my life!

2. Worked at a major publishing house.

3. Learned I was to become the oldest of five.

4. Took my very first flight.

5. Saw "Shakespeare in the Park."

6. Became vegetarian (the first time).

So far this year I:

1. Have read 64 books.

2. Have been somewhat promoted and given a raise.

3. Spent time in 3 different states.

4. Learned how to knit.

5. Have visited home 3 times.

6. Found an awesome therapist.

Yesterday I:

1. Welcomed the Traveler, who is here to visit! :)

2. Went food shopping.

3. Took a nap... mmmm.

4. Ate mediocre pad thai.

5. Did some reading and some knitting.

6. Went to the gym.

Today I:

1. Took the day off from work!

2. Got a TB test so I can volunteer with children.

3. Went swimming.

4. Had a lovely dinner out with the Traveler, Boyfriend and Artsy Friend.

5. Received letters from Kid Sisters in the mail.

6. Received a postcard from Childhood Friend in Greece.

Tomorrow I will:

1. Go to work in the morning.

2. Go to the gym.

3. Take a nap.

4. Take the Traveler out for dinner and the sights, hopefully with some other friends.

5. Take some fun photos of our visit.

6. Try to sync up with Best Friend, who is also in town.

In the next year I will:

1. Travel to Asia for the first time.

2. Enter my quarter-life crisis period.

3. Knock off a ton of stuff from my 101 List.

4. Take the GRE.

5. Make some big decisions about my life's direction.

6. Sock away more savings than I do now.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I think that Andi's post on depression is fantastically honest and accurate. Kudos to her for having more courage than I do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yesterday we had a blackout at the office. Apparently we were not alone, as this occurred all over the area, and we didn't get power back for a little over an hour. I joked with Friend From Work that we should make a YouTube documentary entitled "A Day in the Life of _____ Company" because as soon as the power went out:
  • One guy dashed out of his office with his bag and left
  • The CEO and others congregated around the pool table and started opening beers
  • The IT guy nearly lost his mind - "My servers are overheating!"
It was quite funny, actually.

In other news, after work yesterday I went to visit a local group home for girls who had been abused or whose parents were in jail or whatever the case may have been. I have decided to volunteer as a mentor to them and so they wanted me to go by and meet the girls. Oh my goodness... they won me over in about two seconds. They range from 13 to 18 and are just great!! I am so excited to start hanging out with them. I have to finish my paperwork, get my criminal history done and have a TB test, but then I will be able to go to the house whenever. I will even be able to take them out to the movies if I want. I feel so good about helping out, especially since I am so far from my own sisters. And the group home is right by my office.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I am feeling really happy in my life right now. Sounds crazy because I am actually going through a rough patch this year, but I think that I am handling it the best I ever have. I cannot take credit for this, though, because I have a lot of help. Boyfriend is a constant source of support in ways I can't even express. My therapist is totally kick-ass. The gym is making me feel good about myself, as well as kicking up serotonin into my terminally sad brain. Plus eating well, and being successful with my writing... I just feel that I am finally in control, even though some things have gone terribly wrong.

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" So I just wanted to do that.

Talks have resurfaced of spending some significant time in 2009 in Indonesia. This time we are in a better position to make it happen. And from Indonesia... can you say "Bali"?

You know that when we go I am hitting up some temples.

I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I never used to be much of a tea person but I have been sucking down the hibiscus like it's no tomorrow. Don't know if it's a phase or not, but I just love it. I took it over my morning coffee today, and that's just not me!

Anyway, I probably neglected to mention that Boyfriend and I started going to the gym together a week and a half ago. Actually, that is inaccurate. Boyfriend started a few months ago and I started a week and a half ago :) I have only gone about 7 times but by combining it with really keeping an eye on what I eat, I am already seeing some small results.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I know it has been a while since I posted - an entire week - and I don't even have a good excuse. It is what it is. If anything, I simply love that picture and post and wanted to leave it up top.

I dragged Boyfriend to see "Brick Lane" the other day because I loved the novel so much. The film was - surprise, surprise! - not as good, but it wasn't bad. I thought that the casting choices for Nazneen and Chanu were simply fabulous.

I am also in talks with a local group home for girls about volunteering as a mentor. I am going to visit and meet the girls next week. Pretty excited about this one, folks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,

blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here...
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,

Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

- Pink Floyd

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There are times in every relationship when you face obstacles. The peace can be disrupted by either mutual frustration, external forces or internal soul-searching. During such times, it is important to hearken back to the early days of love, to remember why you fell so hard for the person and why they are worth the struggle.

For example, when you wake up one morning and your boyfriend informs you that he has eaten the last of the peanut butter.

What? I cried. You're joking... He had to be. He doesn't even really like peanut butter. And to make matters worse, he had the gall to encourage me to take a banana to work... just a banana. The man knows I eat bananas with peanut butter and the occasional Nutella swipe.

Relationships are tough.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Okay, I am up at 4:00 AM thinking about religion. This is what makes me the Sojourness you all know.

Yesterday at the gym I got sucked into watching "America's Most Wanted." A couple of pictures of a child's corpse got me so upset that I found it hard to shake for most of the night. The thing that kept returning to my mind was, Believing in God is such wishful thinking. There is no God who could possibly witness this without intervention. If there is no God, there is likely no afterlife. We probably return to dust and that's it.

Does that scare anyone else?

It makes me wonder where my father could possibly be, if anywhere. It makes me fear for my own future of - let's face it - oblivion.

When I look at the worldview I was shaped with, the one that captivated my life for twenty years, I see it as a sham. I cannot convey how traumatic it is to have the earth shift beneath your feet, and all change.

Things That Make Me Happy: Hibiscus Tea

I recently had a chat with other college students and recent grads at my company. One of them said, "Have you ever dreamed that you were ready to graduate but turned up one credit short?" It turns out we have all had such nightmares. I told them that I have a recurring dream where I am ready to graduate but realize I have not attended one of my classes all semester, and it is too late to make up the work. Another one I have is that I have to take an exam in the class, but since I never attended I am really screwed. I am a big slacker in my dreams.

Anyway, I just had one like that, where I realized that I never attended my science class. I was pretty miffed because I thought I had the degree in hand, but I was going to have to take another class!

I am glad to find that this was only a dream :P

Friday, July 11, 2008

How it’s done:

* Answer each of the questions below.
* Surf over to Flickr and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar.
* From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click the one that moves you (edited to add: unless they are lousy, in which case dig a little deeper).
* Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
* Surf over to the Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste in your URLs.
* Click “Create!”
* Save the image, upload it to your favorite picture site (if it’s not Flickr), and blog away.

Here are the questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. Choose one word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name?

Things That Make Me Happy: New Albums by Coldplay

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm home, and I hope to stay away from aircraft for a while.

My trip to the country with the folks was just fantastic. I rode a moped, drove a paddleboat across the lake, went swimming, shopped at a local flea market, ate barbecue (northern barbecue = burgers, hot dogs, chicken, macaroni salad... not southern barbecue ;), sang Pink Floyd songs very loudly with my mother and aunt and got a lot of fresh air. I was almost sad to come back, especially because it was the least stressful family time I have spent in years and I miss the little ones already.

I did, however, miss Boyfriend, and was forced to spend our 3rd anniversary away from him. My mother bought a cake, a card and a gift and forced me to celebrate it out in the country, which was really thoughtful on her part.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

- ee cummings

Upon returning from the country, Mother took me to the cemetery. It was my first visit since the burial in April, and while I thought it would be emotional or difficult, it was neither. I felt like we were in a park. It didn't feel that there were actually people beneath our feet, let alone my father. We walked along the graves and looked at different stones and markers, trying to decide what we want for him. Some of them are beautiful, all of them are sad. A couple of people had double headstones but their spouse is still living, so one heart contains the name and dates of the deceased while the one next to it is still empty. Some widows and widowers even had their name and birth date chiseled in so that all they need is a death date and they are ready to go. Mother found that morbid. I just think it's realistic.

I have been thinking a lot about life and death lately, especially after talking to my family members about it. I will probably have more pensive posts forthcoming soon.

Monday, July 07, 2008

This past weekend has been one of the best vacations I have ever had with my family. Here are some memorable quotes:

Kid Sister #1, as we rolled up the car windows: "Why does New Jersey stink?"


Kid Sister #2, as we discussed Sister's dislike towards me: "Everyone should like you because you're so pretty."


Kid Sister #1, as I described that feminism is about believing that boys are not better than girls, but we are all the same: "Well... boys are a little dumber."


Baby Sister, after stubbing her toe on the door: "Shit!"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Isis is the Egyptian High Priestess, ruling with love and calm patience. She provides equilibrium and guidance through our journey. To open the door to Isis opens the door to love, love fosters the development of inner wisdom, as a budding flower blossoms into a glorious flower that takes people's breath away.

Isis' relationship with the third eye, the psychic eye, brings us a powerful skill to cultivate our trust in our own psychic wisdom. We have all talked about our "gut instinct" at some stage in our lives... Isis lets us embellish on this inner wisdom through divine power.

I trust my wisdom and insight

Friday, June 27, 2008

This morning, as I was driving to work, I noticed an unusually large piece of roadkill in front of the high school a few blocks from my office. As I slowed and drove past, I saw that it was a baby deer. Geez.


Last night's Chinese food didn't come out so well. It's not that I'm a bad cook, it's that I like to experiment and not all recipes come out the way they should.


As I spent $45 and change on gas this morning, I thought to myself, "How can I lower my consumption?" I have thought about this before but realized that it is not feasible for me to go to work via public transportation. There is a bus that takes one hour to get close to my office, and after I get off, I would have to walk for about 20 minutes to get there. Then do it all in reverse when the day is over. Kind of ridiculous when it takes me 20 minutes to drive door to door (except for during traffic!).

This morning I started thinking that perhaps that 40 minutes of walking will be great exercise, and I can spend the hour on the bus reading, writing, knitting or doing something else productive. The fact is, even doing it twice a week would save me a good deal of money. I think I am going to try it when I get back from my vacation.

Not only that, but I need to take buses more on the weekends. When I have plans with friends, it is just my natural impulse to drive. I really need to start figuring out how to make my way around without the car.

Is it Sojourness-on-a-bike time?? First time since the blue bike with the white basket that had a big flower on it? Looked kind of like this but not red:

And pigtails and bad clothes my mother made me wear?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taken from Knitted & Purled of whom I am a brand new fan:

1. What was I doing ten years ago?

I was finishing my first year of high school and getting involved with a skeevy senior. *Shudders*

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

Cook a healthy vegetarian Chinese dinner, relax after a hard day, watch a movie with Boyfriend, read, go to sleep early

3. Snacks I enjoy:

All manner of sweets as well as dips and cheeses with bread.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Concentrate on my writing full-time! And travel all over the world with my love.

5. Places I have lived:

New York City, Venice, Austin

6. Jobs I have had:

Babysitting, dental assistant, "chart puller," receptionist, audio guide sales at museum, marketing and communications, freelance writer and editor

7. Peeps I want to know more about:

Andi, Amanda, Musing Woman
Today I received an email saying, " has some recommendations for you!" In the first row of products, there was a book entitled Christians Going to Hell.



Hello friends, I'm your Vitameatavegamin girl...

Random thoughts:

  • I need to have an I Love Lucy marathon. I put Season 1 on hold at the library years ago and now that it is finally my turn I am going out of town.

  • Stomach is still queasy all the time so I went back to the doctor. They don't know what the hell is wrong with me. This is not helpful.

  • I received a letter in the mail that the university is no longer denying my graduation. Diploma will be forthcoming. I cannot tell you how relieved I am.

  • I am making good progress with my 101 list!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I tend to be superstitious about jinxes so I shouldn't even be writing this, but my things keep breaking on me. First my car CD player broke a few weeks ago. The CD player has a dial that controls the radio, so I can't even get that anymore. I decided not to replace it (yet) because I am making a trip home for the 4th of July weekend and I need to keep spending under wraps.

This weekend, I discovered that the network/wireless card in my laptop is shot. It says it is connected to the Internet, but it is not. My laptop is actually lying to my face!

I don't want anything else to break because I cannot afford it! (Car, don't you dare get any ideas.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Great Office War

This is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yesterday I took the first of many trips on foot to the library. I was really proud of myself for doing this because it is a sizable walk and I have been really lazy with exercise. I got home sweating with a few new books and felt really good ;)

Father's Day was what you'd expect, I don't need to whine about it. I am trying to recover now. It takes time.

Love New Therapist. She makes me feel so comfortable I wind up spilling my guts, whereas I held back a lot from the last one. Things are going well on that front.

I have been thinking about what to do with the archives of this blog. It holds three years of my life - imagine that! - and it does worry me that a server crash or some other problem at Blogger/Google could take it from me. I would like to back it up. I wonder if I should print it as a book, keep it on my bookshelf. Sounds silly but really, it is a long-ass journal. That's what it is. I would hate to lose any of it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bodicea stands Amazon-like, her feet grounded and body erect, garbed as Warrior Queen, leading her followers confidently. Like the tigress mother who protects her young, she harnesses her anger to seek justice for those dear to her.

The great Celtic queen whose name means "victory" became synonymous with terror and savagery as she amassed an army of 20,000 Celts to execute revenge for the rape of her two young daughters. She cut a path of ruthless destruction as she led her people in violent revolt against the Roman Governor of the province of Britannia, killing an estimated 70,000 people who stood in her way. She destroyed three cities including London, before disappearing - it is thought that she took her own life rather than be taken prisoner by the Romans.

I release my fear of the opinions of others

Monday, June 09, 2008

I woke up this morning thinking it was Sunday and then realized it was Monday. Is there anything worse in all the universe? Honestly.

As I was making my cup of Earl Grey this morning, I thought about how what I drink is not just about how it tastes. I once told someone, "I'm not that fond of tea; I just want to be the kind of person who drinks tea." That has changed somewhat, as tea has grown on me, but the fact remains that I like certain personas associated with beverages. Not following? Here's what I mean...

Sojourness, the writer: Drinking cup after cup of coffee, smoking cigarettes and pounding away at an old-fashioned typewriter. Sojourness is hunched over the table for hours on end, surrounded by her cigarette smoke and her thoughts. Her hair is swept up, messily. She is wearing a "sloppy" outfit - t-shirt and short shorts - that is really quite becoming, accented by her thick-rimmed, trendy black glasses. Crumpled up papers litter the floor in the shitty apartment. Pouty lips puff the cigarette as she creates the postmodern masterpiece of our time, the novel that will break all the rules and launch her in the literary world.

(Can't you see it?)

Sojourness, the class act: Sipping a cup of tea at an outdoor cafe after a morning at a local museum. Light, summer dress in light summer colors and hair neatly pinned back. Reading the NY Times, perhaps. Or the New Yorker. Very European.

Neither of these Sojournesses is plump, or emotionally erratic, or too tired to write and visit museums because of her 9-5. These Sojournesses are just cool.

You may have noticed the coffee scenario is richer, more indepth, longer even. That is why coffee appeals to me more than tea :P

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Today I wore a new green t-shirt with a recycling symbol on it. I wore this, along with my new Birki's, to the local recycling center, where I dropped off my cans, bottles and magazines and got a compliment on the t-shirt. As I drove to the library, I realized that I have become a full-fledged hippie, minus the drugs.

Cool, dude.

I don't have much else to write about. Since I am still slightly nauseous, tired and head-achey, I am not doing much but laying on the couch and watching The Sopranos.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Here is some more news from my boring life :P Blood test came back normal; I am not diseased. This is a good feeling, but the nausea will not go away. Neither will the lethargy. I came back to work today only to speak gibberish to my colleagues and nearly fall face first into my decaf. (Yes, baby... decaf!)

I never buy myself things unless they are on serious sale because I'm cheap, but in the last week, I had a couple of fun purchases worth noting. The less exciting are several body washes from the Bath & Body website. I needed new ones, I love their scents, and they were marked down from $9.50 to $3.00 each. I love me a bargain.

Before that, I went to a major closeout yarn sale and went a little crazy. As in, spent three times what I had planned to be my limit, but was able to justify it all. Now I have THE perfect yarn for winter hats and scarves for little sisters, scarf for mother, birthday present for FFWW and for... you know... just fun yarn indulgence for me. The woman who held the sale runs a quality (read: expensive) yarn store around here and she had a two car garage full of imported yarns marked down to about $2-5 a skein. I SAID, $2-5 DOLLARS A SKEIN. And you are surprised at the big bag I brought home? Boyfriend wasn't.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I have officially been sick for four days now. I went to the doctor, who said it could be a bug or virus or something, but doesn't know for sure. Waiting on blood test results. Either way, unless it is something serious, I've gotta go back to work tomorrow. *Sigh*

Been working feverishly from home because of a big project this week. Right now, I'm taking a break, laying on my couch and knitting while watching Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Yesterday was a strange day. (I nearly said today because it is the middle of the night.) I had severe caffeine withdrawal because we keep decaf coffee in the house, and I deliberately did not go out and buy a soda. I figured I would just get over the cold turkey days and then I can get off coffee for good, like I did just before Father's death.

Well, ibuprofen was no match for the killer headache (migraine?) I had all day. As in, it hurts to have my eyes open. As in, I'm going to go take a 3-hour nap right after breakfast.

I went to bed fairly early, as you can guess, and then woke up at 3:00 AM with a horrific upset stomach. I've still got it, though Alka Seltzer and tea have calmed it a bit. This has never happened with caffeine withdrawal before, so I am inclined to think it was something I ate today.

I have a craft party to go tomorrow (uh, today) and am hoping I don't have to cancel, but since I still feel like hurling, it might just go that way.


In other news, I miss my father like nobody's business.