You plagerize fantastically.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Current sounds: Crickets, cicadas, cars, and perhaps something else that begins with a C.
Current atmosphere: A girl can wear shorts and a tshirt comfortably, but the occasional breeze reminds her she should soon be heading inside.
Current scents: Almost nothing… just a trace of summer, somehow.
Current sight: Twilight, a street light here or there–just close enough to necessary. Some kind of tree in our back yard which towers over this 3 story building and from this deck makes a girl wonder if she is actually sitting in a tree fort.
Current internet: A “borrowed” signal, weak but currently available, and so why not blog a few words to say that yes, we have an apartment and yes, I am planning to start painting some more despite very recently swearing it off. Yes, I had a chicken salad sandwich for dinner two nights in a row, but who really cares? If something is nutritious and also delicious, I say why not have it for dinner two nights in a row? Can anyone offer a good reason not to?

I didn’t think so.

Some of the somethings.

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Things? They are going well. Swell, even! I got a job and moved to Madison, all in one swift (though not necessarily graceful) motion. It’s a beautiful summer and I am healthy. Today my faltering hobbies were discovered and nursed back to life, or at least what could be the beginning of new life. I am home for a visit, and my ever-faithful dog greeted me with fits of jubilation and is now lying peacefully at my feet. A certain someone terrific got his plane ticket for August, the month at-bat, which happens to be the best month of all–did you all know that?? Currently I am homeless, but grateful to those members of my family who are allowing me their bed. That is very nice of them! Soon I will be 25 years old. I think that God is very good to me. Cool!

Second grade feminist.

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

The other day I mentioned that I’ve been reading Ramona and her Mother. Last night I was close to finishing, and in the final chapter Mrs. Quimby mentions to her daughter that Mr. Quimby is going to be starting school at Portland State. The school that rejected me! For some reason this made me feel a little bit of something, I’m not sure what.

Continuing the tradition of being a 2nd grade girl, I have these bottles of American Girl shampoo and conditioner (a gift!) and besides smelling incredible, they also offer young girls bits of advice on the back label, advice regarding “real beauty.” Most likely these are meant to be inspirational, if not empowering, but it occurred to me during a recent shower just how far off the mark they actually are. For example, on the back of the shampoo bottle reads, “Real beauty is thinking before you speak.” What? Shouldn’t that say, “Real beauty is speaking your mind”? Or “Real beauty is speaking the truth”? Or something that doesn’t sound like a 17th century chauvinist wrote it? Sure, there is something to be said about prudent speech, but there is also something very unnatural about prudent, well-spoken girls. Girls are supposed to express themselves! Or maybe that’s what the American Girl people where trying to say with “Real beauty is wearing your favorite color.” Girls, look nice and don’t talk. That’s the real message of American Girl. Ramona would not approve.

My seldom is like no one else’s seldom.

Friday, July 6th, 2007
I think I’d like to go back and visit my 14-year-old self and pat her on the shoulder and say, “Girl, everything will turn out fine.” 

Sometimes I wish my 34-year-old self would go back and tell present-day me the same thing.

 

**

These days I have really been missing Pepper, our cat who passed away this past March. We have some pictures of her posted on the refrigerator, and every time I see them I kind of crumple up inside, remembering how precious she was. She doesn’t exist anymore, and that is something that I haven’t quite accepted yet. I really loved her. Grief is a slow walk.

 

**
I’ve started listening to more public radio and less music. I think I might give up painting and focus on writing. It’s not as if I’ve painted in the past five months anyway, and even then I was never terribly good. I would like to finish reading more books, and improve my vocabulary, or more importantly, my ability to access that vocabulary while speaking. I would like to learn something again. 

The purpose of any of these changes is not to pose as an intellectual–that’s what my glasses are for–but to return to that neglected side of my brain which requires THOUGHT and not INSTINCT. I almost always favor instinct, and perhaps it is time for a change.

Sometimes I don’t remember what a brain is, anyway.

Today at lunch I had a hamburger and read two chapters from Ramona and her Mother. When I draw I will use my left hand.

 

** 

 

In case anyone was missing the ’90s, I’m pleased to announce that pop-up ads have returned in full force.

Blog Anxiety

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

You might think I’ve forgotten about my blog, or at least my promise to blog with greater frequency. This is not the case! In fact, I often think about my blog and how neglected it has become, and there have been many occasions when I actually log in to my account and begin typing. But then I get halfway through and lose confidence, and then I stop. I don’t delete my unfinished posts but I save them as drafts, thinking that maybe one day I will come back and fix them up so that they are worthy of being read, but I doubt I will ever do that. They will never be good enough.

I am suffering from Blog Anxiety.

And in a move which renders me incredibly vulnerable I will now bear all, as they say, and give a taste of my failures:

“If you were a bear and I was a berry, would you eat my heart out?”
–post never written–

” The significance of living in A.D.”
Earlier this winter I was thinking a lot about these two very major–and universally recognized–periods of history. There is B.C. (or B.C.E. to be PC) and there is A.D. (C.E.) Before Christ, and Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. Mostly these dates are just helpful for us when we need a reference point to begin sorting out events (Jesus Christ was born six years Before Christ??) but they are also handy when you want to do some heavy thinking about how you stack up to the Old-Testament Heroes (perhaps NBC would be interested in the pilot.) Blah blah blah… (Post truncated)

 

“At one point today my lungs and my lips and my larynx teamed up and issued forth the following monologue: “I can’t speak Spanish. I can’t speak French. I can’t sing. I can’t play any instruments. I can’t cook. I can’t sew. I can’t fix cars. I can’t paint. I don’t have any kind of job skills. I can’t do anything well.” I actually BLAH BLAH BLAH (Post truncated) 

 

“A very Christian man and a very atheistic man both stepped onto the subway at the same stop, and proceeded to sit on two benches which faced each other. The Christian man’s name was, appropriately, Christian. The atheist’s name was Harold. Christian was 46 years old and Harold was 38, and although neither one knew it, both Christian
and Harold’s parents had been married on the exact same date, October 4th, 1955. BLAH BLAH BLAH (Post, thankfully, truncated.) 

 

“I do not believe in time travel. Part One.”
(Post never written) 

 

“If I don’t do it, I won’t do it” 

On Friday night the gang gathered around the piano and we spent a few minutes making fun of John Lennon for writing a song as ridiculous as Imagine (oh, you secular humanists!) Today, though, as I was driving along the freeway I couldn’t help but do some utopic imagining of my own. Here: Imagine there was no advertising.

It’s easy if you try, though of course it’s far fetched and the resulting
implications run deep and wide. Mostly I was thinking, “What if there weren’t a thousand billboards on the side of the road? What if I could enjoy the scenery as I drove, instead of consciously focusing on the pavement? What if there were no banner ads on the internet? What if there were no commercials on the TV and the Radio? What if BLAH BLAH BLAH… (Post truncated)

So you see, I’ve been trying! But I’ve lost it. I have lost it. Tragedy upon great tragedies, perhaps we can all gather up our quivering droplets of soul and move on together–brave to leave those things we love, to seek that which is unfamiliar and regain strength with each step. Iowa, Sangria, Melancholia. Lotus latitudinus. BLAH WHATEVER!

There are today’s ten minutes. That was terrifying!

Cloudy with a chance of in three parts.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

One morning you might wake up and realize that last night’s sunset, which seemed so breathtaking at the time, was really just the product of copious amounts of air pollution, refusing to let white light pass unbent.

Breathtaking indeed. You could choke on beauty like that.

***

Everything that this man on TV predicted about the weather is coming true. They say he has a contract with God, that every night God leans down and whispers in his ear precisely what to expect of the skies that week, and God is never wrong. In exchange for this gift, this hand-out of impeccible accuracy and resulting success as a public meteorological figure, the weatherman must spend no less than 40 percent of his free time devoted to local charities and other good causes, which God allows him to choose freely. Forty percent does not seem like much of a request, considering the fame his divine connection has brought him. Though four times a usual tithe, 40 percent is really quite manageable. He can accomplish a lot of good in his charitable hours, if he so desires.

This morning the man on TV predicted flooding on the north part of the city. Many years earlier God promised he would never again flood the world, but the north part of the city, I suppose, is expendable. I’d like to think he’s got it wrong this time, considering I live in the north, but he gets his information straight from God.

I’m worried for my cat. My dog is a strong swimmer, she will do fine. But what about my cat?

Sometimes the weatherman does his 40 percent service at the local animal shelter. I think that people who work with animals must be very kind. I’m happy that he has acheived great success in life. Some people aren’t as deserving.

I think it’s beginning to rain.

***

You have ribbons for eyes, you cannot see.

To close with an inadvertant rhyme. (I tend to do that all the time.)

Friday, May 25th, 2007

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she needs to just take a vacation to Berkeley, California. So that is what I’m doing, starting tomorrow. I know you will miss my daily-posts, densely infused with wit and insight simultaneously… what’s that? Oh, I have barely been writing a single post every other week? My, but the gig, how it is up. This next part I’m about to say is totally serious though: when I return I would like to make more of an effort to get back to good blogging habits. Perhaps a goal such as, “Ten minutes a day, it doesn’t matter what you write,” and maybe down the road it would become, “Ten minutes a day and it better be worthy of the New Yorker!” or whatever stuffy publication is supposedly good. And then you know what? One day? It will be thousands of New Yorker journalists who will be tugging at their hair in frustration and muttering to themselves, “Ten minutes a day, and it better be worthy of Wear Four Thwart!!”

So for now it’s a so long of the fondest register (and for some readers it is actually a “see you soon!”) and I’ll be back in June!

Synapse, blessed syntax. Sin, Tense, sentence.

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Her body is rejecting the Year 2007, as wonderful as it has been. Now five months into the year and she still catches herself writing the date as 2006, or, more commonly, as 2008. In many things she has a predilection toward odds, but not so, apparently, with dates.

And to the families who live in houses alongside traffic lights: as the glow outside your windows changes incessantly from green to yellow to red, do you go slowly and quietly insane?

And finally, are we living in a society which is weeding plurals from our garden of identity?

No, the finally is this: what have I done to deserve any of this current reality? (So said with a smile on her face.)

**Because the new rule in blogging is that posts need only make sense to the blogger. So saith the she!**

Orange Butt?

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Today I was meditating for a few moments on the color orange. Well, actually, I was meditating on the word. And I thought to myself, Orange. Or-an-ge. Or. And. Ge? Shouldn’t that last part be “but”? Are you following? The word orange is made up of 67 percent of our common English conjunctions! Or, And, but there is no But. I propose one of two changes:

1. We change the name of the popular citrus fruit to Oranbut. Would you like a glass of oranbut juice? John broke my oranbut crayon! Oranbut you glad I didn’t say banana?

2. We change the popular conjunction “but” (and maybe also “butt”) to the new word, “ge” (pronounced “Jeh,” or sometimes Geh”). I was going to go to the movie, ge my mom decided I was grounded. I was going to wear my orange trousers, ge my sister had set them on fire. What a pain in the ge!

Oranbut.

Or. And. Ge.

Okay, who’s with me???

It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor.

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

I am sorry about the extremeness of yesterday’s post, I don’t know what came over me. What I meant to write about was this:

Yesterday at lunch I borrowed a magazine from the reception area at work and I read about the 32 students and teachers who had been murdered at Virginia Tech. As I read the brief eulogies printed there I became very sad, because each person sounded so precious. If he hadn’t been on a blind rampage it would seem that the killer had methodically picked out a selection of people who were diverse, yet collectively irreplaceable. I was sad because I would never have the chance to meet these people, to get to know them.

But it occurred to me–assuming the killer’s list of victims was completely haphazard and those 32 were only chosen to die for their unfortunate vicinity to a madman–it could have been anyone’s eulogy printed there in Newsweek. And how many people do I encounter every day whose presense I take for granted–not just friends and family, but acquaintences, strangers, passers-by. And many of them I will never get to know until their life has been pared down to a few sentences said in memorial. But I’m not trying to be morbid! If anything this is a call to take notice of the lives around you, not simply as a mass of people without faces, but as individuals with stories and experiences and dreams unique to them and irreplaceable in the human network.

How important to break through the statistics when we hear about an injustice. A number rolls off of us, unaffected. But to see the faces, to know the real void left by any one person, it is then that we cannot ignore it. These people are like us. We’re not so uncommon. We empathize. And meanwhile there are still so many people who come daily into our lives, and we begin to apperciate. Stranger. Neighbor. Brother. Maybe?