Saturday, February 26, 2005

It's the little things....

Specifically, the little jeans.

Once upon a time, I bought a pair of jeans off the juniors rack. For the last few years, they've made my thighs look (and feel) like sausages in a casing. So I haven't worn them.

Tried them on this morning....I'm wearing them to work today.

Yay me!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shuffle, All Play

Time once again for a rather fitting musical update.

Shuffle, all play,
First dozen songs that came up today:

"Day is Done" - Norah Jones and Charlie Hunter
"You Won't Fall" - Lori Carson
"Knocking on Heaven's Door" - Clapton
"Stay (Faraway So Close) - U2
"A Woman's Worth" - Alicia Keys
"Are We the Waiting?" - Green Day
"Do I Love You?" - Jane Monheit
"The Suite Theme" - Maxwell
"74-75" - Connells
"Not Enough Time" - INXS
"Stuck in a Moment" - U2
"Open Wider" - Bird York

A few oddly coincidental pairings in there, eh?

Edited at 6:30 - for some reason this didn't post earlier...saved as a draft. Ah well.

Tax Time

It's the end of February - do you know where YOUR tax documents are?

That's how I'm spending my next few hours - slogging through my taxes to get everything ready to mail out to the guy who makes sense of it all for me. About mid-year I started a new record-keeping system that looks like it's working, so next year's taxes will be a breeze. But that doesn't do me a hill of beans about going through the beginning of this year's stuff.

I feel like Santa Claus - making a list and checking it twice to make sure I didn't miss any deductions. Ugh! Better to get it done now, though, and get the money back sooner. Not to mention I won't have to worry about this stuff taking up valuable time in March!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Neglected Blogspace

Morning, folks.

I've been a little bad about my blogging lately, which in a way is a good thing. I started this as a place to vent and ramble. Now I've been venting to the people who need to hear it, rather than at an audience in cyberspace, and taking the time to condense some of these ramblings into more polished works.

This is an awesome medium for someone like me, whose brain moves faster than fingers on a keyboard, and way too fast for legible handwriting. It's helped me clear out some of the mental clutter and hone in on some of the kernels of ideas that are starting to take root.

An update now on the rest of the goings on in my world - the prognosis on the puppy is guardedly optimistic, there's the chance of a vacation this summer, my friends are sorting through their winter doldrums I do believe, and a handful of my friends are about to take big life steps - although not all together ;*). Add in that I've been approached to apply for three positions, and I've also been having more of a life because my work has settled down a smidge, and you see why I resemble the proverbial chicken without a head. It's not all a bed of roses, and I'm not where I want to be just yet, but you've got to find what's good and hold to that when you can, or when the waves crash, they'll pull you along with the undertow.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Powder Keg

I want to write you a letter, but I'm afraid I do that too much. I want to talk to you, but I'm afraid the words won't be quite as right. I want to see you, but you're long asleep. I want to spend time with you, but between my schedule and yours, that doesn't seem to happen.

Instead, I'll just say it here - I've been a bitch this week and I'm sorry. It's been a rough one at work, a rough one at home, and sometimes I carry the baggage over into the reat of my life. You don't deserve to have to carry that, or have it thrown at you. My apologies.

I'm spending a lot of time wondering lately, what is worse for me: where I am, or where I want to be? Where I am, I spend so much time thinking about how much better life will be. Where I want to be, though, makes me so happy it hurts. I enjoy it when I can, and get what doses of it are possible.

We have so much potential it scares me. I've been on this straight and relatively flat road for so long I don't know how to handle extremes. Fact is, you make me more than just "happy" and I want to do the same for you. That can add up to one explosive powder keg, and I'm looking for my lighter.

Friday, February 18, 2005

As the Rooster Crows

It's 5:25 in the morning and I'm as awake as if it were 10:25 am. Or 10:25 pm.

I wish I could explain why I'm up. but I can't. My best attempt - there's so much running through my head that there's no turning off my brain. I want to sit and talk with you so much right now, but that's not an option, just as it wasn't yesterday, or the day before, or the day before, et cetera. I'm spending way too much time inside my own head, and I need a way out of the labyrinth.

Even if I could talk to you, I'd make no sense. I can't string together a coherent sentences, nor can I string together sleep into a meaningful cohesive whole right now. I nod off, only to be awakened by a dream or a thought or a feeling, or some other manifestation of this bizarre contradiction of comfort and pain, I can only wait for it all to subside before I try to grab a few more minutes of that precious escape that truly isn't tonight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Three Strikes and She's Out

My neighbor's cat thinks she lives here. Seriously! I've never fed her, just petted her and left water out sometimes in the summer, but she has adopted me. She came over three times today - and JUST left when she saw her mom come home from my front window.

It started this morning when I went to mailbox - She slipped in between my feet when I opened the front door. Once she gets inside, she's very canine - follows me from room to room, meows when she can't see me, and wants to be petted all the time. At first I tried to usher her outside, now I just let her roam and I close off all my ipstairs rooms unless I'm in them. Last thing I need to do is lose a cat. Come to think of it, though, she did make her way into my closet and I had to pick her up, sweater and all, and get out.

I finally got her outside, and she spent the next 20 minutes standing back legs, looking like she was trying to open the door and meowing. When that didn't convince me to let her in, she went to the front door, climbed onto my windowsill and did the same. I'm sure the other neighbors think I'm ignoring or abusing this poor little one.

But back to the tale....or is it the tail? She goes away, and I didn't think much of it until I went to run some errands. I opened the door, and VOILA, kitty jets in again. That time I scooped her up and carried her outside, even as she dug a claw or two into my denim jacket and the shoulder below.

I come home about an hour later...No kitty...but just to be sure, I let myself in the back door. I make a cup of coffee, and the mewling begins. So I decided to go outside and pet on her a bit. Cat must be a ventriloquist, or a super hero, cause she was meowing under my window, and before I could get the door halfway open, she was inside again. And where she stayed until a few minutes ago.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Romance isn't dead....just on life support

Contrary to popular opinion, here's proof that romance isn't dead, despite Hallmark's best efforts:

1: Looking for love in all the wrong places? How bout here? ? Yep - there's someone out there for everyone. The site has had 3500 hits from Florida to L-A since its debut two weeks ago.

2: Wedding Bells are ringing for Mary Kay LeTourneau. Yep - she's finally marrying the student she went to jail for so long ago.

3: A few stats from the US Census Bureau: There are 118 single (never divorced) men in their 20's for every 100 women in the same category.There are about 2.2 million marriages a year in the US. That averages out to 6,000 a day.The average age for for a woman's first marriage is 25.3. For men, it's 27.1.

I've always known I'm above average ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

If they come in threes.....

...then I'm waiting for the third shoe to drop, cause bad news doesn't seem to stop once it starts rolling downhill for me. First, the pup, then today I found out that a dear and old friend of the family passed away. She was 92 years old, and at the risk of using a cliche, did indeed lead the proverbial full life.

I was, for all intents and purposes, her adopted granddaughter. She and her husband lived two doors down from us when I was growing up, and were pretty much my playmates when I wanted to get out of the house. She taught me how bake cookies, how to make basic quilts and plastic canvas crafts, and how to care for plants both indoors and out. They had two children themselves, one married and had children of his own with whom I got along wonderfully, even though they were 8 and 11 years younger then I was. The other daughter never married, but she and I still exchange birthday and Christmas cards and the occasional letter through the year. She was my touchstone from time to time to be reminded that not all adults were like my parents, she was the one who convinced my parents to get me tested and let me start school early.

Her husband passed away about a decade ago, but she didn't let that stop her. Instead, she did her best to live for two. Even Alzheimers never had the chance to truly rob her of her memories. Farewell, Dee. I'll make sure there are violets and irises on the altar.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Earworm Alert

I'm on a bit of a piano jag lately. A few songs have caught my ear and I can't get rid of them:

1: The end of Nine Inch Nails "Closer." Can't get it out of my head - to the point that I think it's now stuck in my cubemate's head. He obviously doesn't know the reproduction habits of the earworm...rather than escape into thin air, they divide and conquer, lodging themselves in someone else's head as well. So in his misguided efforts to help clear my head, he started singing the chorus all day.

2: Come Be With Me - Bird York. The best I can describe this one is what Fiona Apple will sound like in about another decade or so when she has more maturity, more experience, and better producers. Still trying to figure out why this woman looks so familar though...

3: Eminem's new one, "Mockingbird." The lyrics are quite personal and don't translate well across crowds, which leaves me pondering why that was the radio release, but the mix in the background - a piano loop of the lullaby "Hush little baby don't you cry" is just so haunting (and haunted) when you put it under his voice.

Edited 2/10 to add artist to #2. Norah Jones' song is "Come Away With Me." This song is by Bird York.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Photograph? Or Fun-House Mirror?

Life runs in cycles - so much so that without being the instigator, I've had this conversation three times in the last week, with three separate groups of people who don't interact with each other. Funny how life works that way. Anyway, hitting it the third time tonight with a group of guys sitting around a table made me realize it's worth blogging over.

The topic? Body image. Somewhere along the way, usually mid-20s or so, it's my theory that you get this image of yourself stuck in your head, and that's how you see yourself until something extreme or drastic happens to change that view. For example, I look in the mirror and see a size 10-12 with clothes that need to be bigger to hide the unflattering bits, hair that needs a brush cause I just pulled it into a ponytail, a broken out face, and no feature that truly stands out. Not quite my worst, but not where I am right now either.

Somehow, this came up with a group of female friends (go figure), a male friend, and now a group of male friends. To find men who are willing to talk about body image is indeed a surprise, and what they said was even more surprising. They feel the same way! It's not just a chick thing. And what's more, you'd think men with their impenetrable egos would have the most flattering mental picture possible, but they don't! They're just as insecure as we are, they just know how to sell it better is all.

Age isn't a factor either - the college student still thinks of himself as a scrawny unpopular high schooler, the 20-something as the person he was a few years ago, and the 30-something as the 20 something he was when he moved here.

Which leads me to my rhetorical question: If we constantly see ourselves as who we WERE, when do we have time to acknowledge who we ARE? What does it take for us to realize that we have indeed changed and to update that soon-to-be-outdated image of ourselves? Is this why you see those unlikely pairings of balding middle-aged men and hot super-models - because they still see themselves as , and therefore act like, a spry cunning 20 year old?

When do we realize that we've changed? For me, the revelation started when I was shopping for
that dress - I started by automatically getting a size 10 off the rack. That was too I would get an 8, but it still wasn't right. Finally a saleswoman walked in and said, "Honey, why do you have an 8 in here - you need a 6 in that designer." The thought had never crossed my mind that I would be a 6. Me? Who still has size 16's in the back of her closet? Wow! Then, a few weeks later, I tried on a pair of jeans I bought at Christmas of last year, and they are too the point that without a belt and with much effort, I could actually pull them off without unbuttoning or zipping them (I don't know what inspired me to try that, but I did. Not something I'd recommend - it almost broke the zipper - but you see my point.) On one hand, it means my plan to be health conscious without dieting is really working. On the other hand, I still look at pictures of me taken recently, and can find things that aren't good.

Maybe the subject line is wrong...maybe a photograph can STILL be a fun house mirror - it all depends on whose eyes are viewing it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

How Odd

I feel like writing tonight and yet I have nothing of consequence to say. I almost didn't even log on, however, these are the times I really SHOULD write. To unlock whatever's nagging at me that I can't put a finger on. Chances are if there's something telling me to write, then there's an idea in there trying to get out that even I may not know about yet. Perhaps I'm writing this to stop myself from writing something else I could regret.

Or maybe it's just me being too philosophical and putting too much weight on the fact that I'm not ready to go to sleep yet either.

I had some extra time today, so I took some of those tests on I think the first one was "Street Smarts or School Smarts" or something like that. Guess what - I'm "smartest when it comes to linguistic intelligence." Good to know I know too much about words and not enough about everything else. Duh - I coulda told you that, but it was fun to sift through the questions and see what they ask.

I punted the second test - What's your trademark tune? - cause the questions were too teeny-bopper. No matter how accurate you claim to be in predicting what that song is that's running through my head, when you're asking me how often I miss curfew... I can pretty much assure you that whatever you guess won't apply.

Maybe the third time was the charm, so I went for "Discover Your Past Life." Sounded fun, yet interesting. The first set of questions were pretty easy - do you pick at your food, how annoying are you. Then they got kinda odd - how wide can you open your mouth? What animal do you think you're like? From 18 of these questions, the folks at good ol' Tickle decided this was my former life:

You were a beagle named Scooter who hailed from Allamakee, Iowa. The cutest puppy on the entire farm, you were so adored that the Allamakee High Junior Varsity Basketball team chose you to be their mascot.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Something to ponder

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Today's Lesson

Knowing you has taught me so much about myself. You've
forced me to examine so many long-held thoughts and beliefs,
both about myself and about the world, and learn to
articulate them for someone else to understand. Today,
you've taught me something else, or at least forced me to
acknowledge it.

I resist affection. I fight the chance of love.

The more I get to know you, the more I see your worth and the
more I push you away. I'm still trying to sort through the
whys and wherefores of it all, but that's pretty much it. I
don't understand how you would care for someone like me, how
you would want to spend your time with me, and I care enough
for you that I try to push you toward something better.

Is it that I need to learn how to be selfish and snatch a
good one for myself? Or is it that I don't know how to be
happy? That's one for another day. After all, learn too
much at once and you get overwhelmed.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Smells like home

I walked out of work tonight, and about halfway across the parking lot, a scent hit my nose that made me feel like I was home again. Someone across the street had a fire going. A wood fire, probably oak or maple by the smell of it, that was just roaring away. I couldn't find the chimney to see who was so lucky, but I know it had to be nearby because it was so strong.

It reminded me of growing up. Walking around my neighborhood seeing the smoke rise from chimneys sticking up from snow covered rooftops. Wisps of smoke carrying what at the time was a familiar, almost forgettable smell that as I've traveled down the roads of time has evolved into an aroma laced with memories and warm feelings. The rare occasions we had a fire in our house were few and far between, yet my father always kept the woodpile beside the house stocked as though we would burn it every week.

Now my parents have gas logs that they never use - like me, they can smell natural gas and propane a mile away - and the woodpile fed the neighbors' black kettle stove years ago. My dad will never cut another tree, and the smell of burning wood will pass us all by. But to encounter that scent here, in the middle of town, took me back to a simpler place, a warmer place, a kinder place, even if just for the brief drive to the house.

Maybe I'll call my parents tonight and see how cold it is at home.

Oops - forgot to click publish on this one last night!