Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Alright people, here is my list. It is not quite 101 yet but I am thinking of things to add all the time.

Beginning: April 30, 2008
Ending: January 26, 2011

Good Will

Put change in someone's expired meter
Donate blood (tried... low iron)
Participate in a charity walk
Volunteer to serve food to the hungry
Knit an item for charity
Make five donations to five different charities
Volunteer with children 20 times


Switch over to my own shopping bags
Walk to the library rather than drive
Start recycling
Bring washcloths to work and stop using paper towels

Being a Global Citizen

Visit another country
Visit another place in Texas besides Austin
Learn Hindi (in progress)
Take a road trip
Re-establish my habit of reading the newspaper daily (in progress)
Significantly improve my Italian (in progress)
Make more Italian penpals
Visit an American city I've never been to before


Make regular exercise a habit
Go to the dentist
Meditate once a week for a month
Find a therapist I like
Check my blood sugar
Check my cholesterol

Professional, Financial &
General Things Smart People Do

Take the GRE
Start investing in a 401k
Create a budget (in progress)
Get into the habit of writing 300 words a day
Write a novel (in progress)
Clean up flash drive (in progress)
Clean up files on work computer
Clean up files on laptop (in progress)
Back up Google Documents
Back up this blog
Create a new 101 list to work on after this one
Earn my market value
Scan/archive family photos
Organize my writing portfolio
Organize my writing scrapbook
Become more of a decision-maker (in progress)
Become more car-savvy (in progress)
Wash my kitchen floor
Write 15 short stories
Update my resume
Create a cover letter template
Relearn Spanish (in progress)


Take a romantic trip with Boyfriend
Write letters to friends (1/15)
Buy myself flowers
Make a surprise candlelit dinner for Boyfriend for no reason


See a play in the park
Go to a play at a theatre
Go to the opera
Watch a movie in the park
Read 20 classics that I have never read before (15/20)
Attend 10 different religious services (2/10)


Get a massage
Go on a hike
Fill an entire scrapbook (in progress)
Reread To Kill A Mockingbird
Get a facial
Learn to knit a hat
Visit the Farmer's Market
Cook 101 new dishes and compile them into a personal cookbook with where I got the recipes and changes made (10/101)
Read every nonfiction book by C.S. Lewis that I haven't read yet
Participate at
Lie down in the grass and look at the clouds
Exchange five postcards with friends abroad
Knit a prayer shawl
Knit a pair of socks (in progress)
Reread every J.D. Salinger work (in progress)
Send a secret to
Make calzones with Mom's recipe
Reread The Red Tent
Bake a cheesecake
Bake cookies with a friend
Finish reading the Harry Potter series
Complete 50 knitting projects (26/50)
Go dancing
Reread the LOTR series
Go to a concert
Buy myself some fun jewelry I like (in progress)
Rent and watch 25 movies I have always wanted to see (18/25)
Knit 2-3 coasters for my desk at work

Monday, April 28, 2008

I fell off the reduced sugar wagon, though not entirely. Saturday I purchased a jumbo cupcake for Boyfriend from our favorite vendor and did not get one for myself. It wasn't even that hard, really. Though this morning I had a (small) slice of lemon pound cake for breakfast.

I'm totally doing this: 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days Project

It is taking me forever but I am compiling a list. 101 is a larger number than I realized. I have been at it for a week and I've only got about 60. I will probably publish it here when I finish, or I won't. You know me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy: Cats

Random thought: I wish I had a cat. Do I need the extra expense and responsibility right now? Hell no. I can't even manage to clean up after myself.


The best thing about having a new boss is forwarding annoying people who want to sell something to Marketing to him. I have been trying to get rid of one guy for months! He keeps calling me and yakking my ear off. I don't know why, I don't make any decisions on how we spend our budget. It was so gratifying this morning when I said, "You know what? We have a new director. Allow me to transfer you."

I actually really, really like the new boss. I hope this lasts because I was apprehensive about working for someone new. He is an incredibly nice guy and working for him has been a pleasure so far.

Last night I had Colombian food for the first time. Friend From Work's Wife invited me and another friend of hers to go to dinner and then to a local funky crafts night with our knitting. FFW joined us at dinner but did not accompany for knitting. FFWW started me on a hat and had me use bamboo circular needles, which I LOVE! I had a great time; we are talking about going every week :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I finally stopped biting my nails and they are looking good.

I joined a Yahoo grief support group but the people on there are just depressing me so I left. I keep getting emails about how people's sons were murdered and friends committed suicide and they can't go on. This is not exactly encouraging to me. There is the occasional person who says "I went through it and it gets better" but they are few and far between.

I began my sugar sensitivity stuff yesterday. Again, I'm not doing detox. I simply swapped out white things for brown things and took sweets out of my diet. Well, I am allowing myself one small sweet a day, but no more. So yesterday I had granola with breakfast, a slice of seven grain bread with my lunch, a Lean Cuisine that contained pasta (the white kind, unfortunately) and some whole grain pita with dinner. I ate only fruit and when my sugar cravings got out of control last night, I had two cups of vanilla soymilk. I can always tell a diet is working when I have eaten plenty and still feel very hungry. My body is used to more calories and more sugar so it is like, what the hell is going on here? Last night I felt that way, which encouraged me. The book says to have a potato every night about two hours after dinner so you won't wake up in the night hungry (which I have many times in the past). It worked. I have high hopes.

I'm not journaling, though. For a writer I am seriously lazy about writing down what I eat; always have been.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Took this from Mo, the funniest lady in cyberspace. Go check her out.

You've gotta note the very white, very American cultural vices you are willing to admit to.

#92 Book Deals - I don't have one, I just want one.

#91 San Francisco - Never been but would love to go.

#90 Dinner Parties - My apartment's too small but I want to give them and I enjoy going to them, so I'm gonna bold this.

#89 St. Patrick's Day - I'm Irish, but not a big drinker. Eh.

#88 Having Gay Friends - Woohoo! I wear my "Fag Hag" sign with pride.

#87 Outdoor Performance Clothes

#86 Shorts

#85 The Wire - Never saw it.

#84 T-Shirts

#83 Bad Memories of High School

#82 Hating Corporations

#81 Graduate School - Plan to go.

#80 The Idea of Soccer

#79 Modern Furniture

#78 Multilingual Children - Yes, dammit!

#77 Musical Comedy

#76 Bottles of Water - I drink tap out of bottles, but I don't think that's what they mean.

#75 Threatening to Move to Canada - Um, it has crossed my mind. Don't even think about a draft, Bushie.

#74 Oscar Parties - I don't even watch.

#73 Gentrification

#72 Study Abroad - Yee ha! Send me back!

#71 Being the only white person around

#70 Difficult Breakups

#69 Mos Def

#68 Michel Gondry - Don't know who this is.

#67 Standing Still at Concerts - That is very me.

#66 Divorce

#65 Co-Ed Sports

#64 Recycling

#63 Expensive Sandwiches

#62 Knowing What's Best for Poor People

#61 Bicycles

#60 Toyota Prius

#59 Natural Medicine

#58 Japan

#57 Juno - Didn't see it.

#56 Lawyers

#55 Apologies

#54 Kitchen Gadgets

#53 Dogs

#52 Sarah Silverman -Nooo, she is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

#51 Living by the Water

#50 Irony

#49 Vintage

#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops

#47 Arts Degrees

#46 The Sunday New York Times

#45 Asian Fusion Food

#44 Public Radio

#43 Plays

#42 Sushi

#41 Indie Music

#40 Apple Products

#39 Netflix

#38 Arrested Development

#37 Renovations

#36 Breakfast Places - I could live on breakfast tacos. And french toast. And omelettes. And coffee. So... yes to this one.

#35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report

#34 Architecture

#33 Marijuana

#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism

#31 Snowboarding

#30 Wrigley Field

#29 80s Night

#28 Not having a TV

#27 Marathons

#26 Manhattan

#25 David Sedaris

#24 Wine

#23 Microbreweries

#22 Having Two Last Names

#21 Writer Workshops

#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture

#19 Traveling

#18 Awareness

#17 Hating their Parents

#16 Gifted Children

#15 Yoga

#14 Having Black Friends

#13 Tea

#12 Non-Profit Organizations

#11 Asian Girls

#10 Wes Anderson Movies - Don't think I have seen any.

#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside

#8 Barack Obama

#7 Diversity

#6 Organic Food

#5 Farmer's Markets - I never go, though.

#4 Assists

#3 Film Festivals

#2 Religions their parents don't belong to

#1 Coffee

Monday, April 21, 2008

I had a good weekend. Saturday I took for myself, not making any plans or obligations to fulfill. I spent a lot of time reading, writing, knitting, walking and even just laying in bed. It was restful.

Yesterday I had my knitting group. CLF met me while her husband went to play golf with Boyfriend (I joked that we had such gendered activities planned for the day). We then met two other women our age and had a nice conversation. One of them knits beanies for chemotherapy patients who lose their hair and the other fosters dogs from a rescue organization and knits dog sweaters and things that are then sold to raise money for the organization. I immediately felt good about the meeting because I really like people who are socially conscious. Once I get better at it, I am going to look into knitting for charities as well.

One of the women was a lot like CLF - they both lived in the same area, they are both married and they both talked about trying to buy a house. The other was more like me - a big reader who went through school a year early. It was kind of bizarre!

Last night I didn't sleep well at all and it is really affecting me today. *Snore*

Friday, April 18, 2008

I am skimming a book from the library called Potatoes, not Prozac. It's about sugar-sensitivity. The author theorizes that some people - and the description fit me well - are sensitive to sugar, meaning they consume too much and are dependent on it, like a drug. Not just in sweet things, but in "white" things like bread, pasta, rice or any carb that's not "brown" (whole grains).

I haven't read it very indepth because science bores me but the idea is that sugar inhibits the happy chemicals in your brain like serotonin. (I have heard this before because they always advise you to avoid things like sugar and alcohol when you are depressed.) They recommend a week-long detox where you have NO sugar, not even fruit, but I don't do ridiculous things like that. I might just cut out all "white" things in favor of brown and cut the sweets way down. (Since all of this happened, I have been on the coffee and sweets again like nobody's business.) It can't hurt to see if it helps my mood, not to mention my weight and energy level.

In other news, I finally kicked the nail biting habit. I'm not sure how this came about but when I got back after the funeral I noticed that they had grown because I hadn't bit them during the entire trip. You would think I would have because of stress, but I just didn't think of it, I must have been so distracted. I immediately bought some fancy schmancy nail polish, not the cheap crap that I've been using, and it hardened them up. They continue to grow and look great - I am very happy about it.

Meeting Feminist Friend for coffee after work today. I have only known her for such a short time but she has been super supportive throughout this, really helping me out and offering good insight. Other than that, weekend plans include SLEEPING, going to the park with Boyfriend if weather allows and a possible knitting event.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The knitting group was interesting. CLF and I were the youngest ones there, as we expected to be. The other women were nice (and extremely talented!) but I don't know that it is something I would do again. For that matter, I could just meet up with CLF at a coffeehouse and knit together, just the two of us.

In fact, Boyfriend suggested I get together a monthly gathering of my (peer-aged) friends for knitting. I already have two friends who are into it, and I'm sure there are other young, fabulous knitters around. I will have to look into it.

So last night I started a knitting with this new "Surf and Turf" yarn I bought that is just ... ahhh .... gorgeous. I am making a bag out of it :) Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

  • I like New Boss a lot. We met for an hour this morning to introduce ourselves. He seems to be the kind of manager who builds people up in order to get them to produce the best results, rather than cutting them down or criticizing harshly. That is the kind of manager I work with best because I am uber-sensitive.

  • I finished my first ever knitting project! It is a pink wool scarf. I now know to use more yarn for the next one because it's not as long as I would have liked, but I am totally excited. Headless photo ala Cheeky Nomad forthcoming.

  • CLF and I are going to a local knitting group tonight after having dinner together. I know, it's like I turned 80 overnight, but I love it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I think that it is really sucky that some people manipulate our fear of death by asserting that eternal torment awaits certain people who don't agree with them.
Goddess of the Week: Juno

Juno (or Hera) was married to Jupiter/Zeus and thus represents the wife and life partner. She protected her status as Queen of Olympus with a passion.

Literally, Juno is the epitome of a strong woman who can say, "I deepen my willingness to give and receive unconditional love."

I grow stronger through forgiveness


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today was a great day. I am trying to fight the depression as best I can. Yes, grief is normal, but it is also damn hard. While yesterday was a sucky day, today was good. Boyfriend and I had lunch with CLF and CLFH, complete with Oreo cheesecake for dessert. Mamma mia.

Afterwards he and I browsed a bookstore and a crafts store, where I bought some more funky yarn. (I am really getting into my knitting.) We did some boring stuff like food shopping but I feel relaxed and okay.

On Friday night CLF and Artsy Friend came over and we all knitted together. It was great because they are more experienced than me so I was able to ask all my questions. We had pizza and wine, as well as a chocolate chip cookie cake that Boyfriend and I picked up as a surprise for Artsy Friend. It said "Congrats!" to applaud her for getting into the university she applied to, as a transfer. One smart lady.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Let me paint a picture for you. The apartment is quiet; I am the only one at home. It is dusk, maybe a little past so that it’s dark but not pitch black. I have opened the door to our balcony, but I’m not sitting outside. I am sitting in the doorway, on the floor, so that no one can see me from the street below unless they really look. A lavender scented candle glows in its holder beside me and I am sipping cheap Cabernet Sauvignon out of my pretty pink and gold wine glass, the one I paid a couple bucks for. And I’m writing as the breeze hits me from the side.

Moments like this make me feel like I’m gonna make it after all. You know, like Mary Tyler Moore.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I posted this here three years ago and just found it again. It is so beautiful and haunting.


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom I once loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

- Edward Thomas

Things That Annoy the Crap Out of Me

  • Our company has a scholarship program. There is a website for said scholarship. Why do people keep emailing me asking how to apply? The only way they have the email address is through the scholarship page, which lays out how to apply. New rule: if you can't read or follow instructions, you do not deserve money to help you continue wasting the time and energy of your professors.

  • People who apply for a scholarship without having run a spell check on their papers or given it to another individual to at least look at. Hey everyone, free money over here! You don't even have to work for it, we will take your crappy left over Comp I papers.

  • Childhood friends who don't talk to you for four years and then apologize for it by saying, "I was really busy and then I was afraid you were angry that I hadn't talked to you so I continued not to talk to you." The only reason they are talking to you now is because they ran into your sister and feel guilty that your father died.

    Interestingly enough, they found plenty of time to remain in contact with your thinner, prettier, more popular friend, whom they haven't known for nearly as long and only know through you. I guess some of us never left high school.

I need some goddamn coffee, and maybe a chill pill.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The only people at my job who know why I was out last week are Boss, Friends From Work #1 and #2, New Boss and HR Lady. Today is my first day back and people keep asking where I was, or how my vacation went. I don't like to share personal information, especially the kind that makes things awkward, but I cannot bring myself to say with a smile, "It was a great! Yee ha!" so I wind up telling them the truth.

They get weird looks on their faces and apologize. I don't want them to apologize, I just can't pretend that I had a fun trip when I buried my father.

Life is so complicated sometimes.
Fellow (my roommate in Italy, for those of you who forgot) emailed me the following Walt Whitman quote:
"What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,

And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier."
- Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


  1. If I ever become the kind of writer who is remembered long after her death as having inspired people and made them think about the meaning of life, then I must be prepared for the possibility that some of my journal entries will be showcased in museums one day.

  2. Imagine a person you love is going to die in 25 minutes: what would you say to them before they go? Think about it and then say it to them now. (I wish someone would have told me this.)

  3. There are things about a person that you can never know until you attend their funeral. You should therefore not beat yourself up for not knowing and discussing with said person while they were alive.

  4. If your glass of water tastes musty, just think: it might be the ice cubes, not the water. (I learned this valuable lesson thanks to American Airlines and thought it might have some philosophical value. You're welcome :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

The wake and burial were difficult - extremely - but not as difficult as I thought they would be. As I told a few friends, I felt some kind of grace on me throughout. Something outside of myself was carrying me along because it could have easily been a lot worse. (Having so many of my friends there was a huge part of it.)

The thing that really fucking gets me is that he died through hospital negligence. This is not a conspiracy theory my family has concocted, but the conclusion of the doctor who did the autopsy. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to know that my father died in vain at such a young age? His life was half over by the time I was born, when he was a year younger than I am now. It's ridiculous.

It is so hard not to get angry in a world where people who are being paid an ungodly amount of money let your loved ones die because they don't feel like doing their jobs.

I go home tomorrow and am looking forward to it. I need the space and solitude.

I don't like to ask for things but your prayers may just be what is holding me up right now, so I would love it if you would keep them up. Thanks :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The loss of a parent is something I had hoped not to have to experience so soon. All I can say is, I don't know how so many people deal with this very terrible event. If you think about it, most people lose both of their parents in their lifetime. It is practically a universal experience.

I am home now, answering hard questions about God, heaven and why this had to happen from Kid Sisters #1 and #2. Sister has kidney stones, so an emotionally painful time is compounded by a physically painful condition. My mother is strong, as always, taking care of all of the preparations, but it is hard for her. "I'm with him since I'm 13," she reminds me.

I will probably continue to blog because there is little I can do with myself right now. I would appreciate a prayer or two on our behalf for the wake and burial this week. I don't know how I am going to react to seeing my father's body in person.