Coffee Table Declarations
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A woman I work with just described love as a psychosis. That seems apt if the definition of psychosis is a break with reality and drawing upon my vast knowledge of psychology I believe that is the gist of psychosis. On the other hand, neurosis is a distortion of reality and that could apply as well.

Love may be more of a distortion of reality than a break with reality, but as with all abnormal psych, it’s a matter of degree rather than falling on one side or the other. When you spend the majority of your time worrying about the future with a person, wondering what they are thinking and feeling, and waiting for them to call or otherwise acknowledge your existence, isn’t that inflating a small thing into a huge obsession? Is that a break with the reality of your life and a preoccupation with things that don’t exist in real time?

And when you are in a constant state of want and need and spend most of the time agonizing over what will happen, yet the brief time you actually spend with the person still weighs more in your mind and makes the suffering all worthwhile, is that a distortion of the reality of happiness and suffering? And if you can pull off the façade that you are happy-go-lucky, yet inside you are in constant turmoil, which is the real you? When I had no one in my life I was convinced that my life was happy and fulfilling and well rounded.

After experiencing so much happiness in the presence of another person I can glimpse what love is actually supposed to feel like and I wonder how I lived my life in a state of blissful ignorance and I’m terrified that I could never go back after knowing. It’s almost like now, with the panic attacks and the ability to cry at the drop of a hat and the wonderful amazing peace that comes on as strong as any other emotion, it’s as if I’m only now really alive and before I was just numb and walking around with no idea it was possible to feel so many things in such a short span of time. My coworker, who I should mention is single, if that makes any difference in evaluating her wisdom on the subject, says she prefers to avoid love because of the delusion it causes. But I’m a romantic at heart. If that makes me also psychotic, well, so be it.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I am so miserable today. I need to stop drinking heavily and staying out until 2am on work nights. I'm too old for this but it's funny what dating someone will do to you. Suddenly I'm making accomodations in my nice little boring life of being in bed with the remote by 10pm for things like bands at bars and martinis. Funny thing is, I can't believe I was ever o.k. with being single - life is so much better this way. And that terrifies me. I don't know, usually I just go to yoga on Thursday nights.

So after 4 hours of sleep I dragged myself into work and as the morning progressed it became clear that I was not going to be able to make it through the day. I told them I had a bad migraine and felt nauseous, all of which was true. My boss was suspicious though saying it was not like me and what did I think was wrong? Then she said, maybe I need to curtail my weekly activities which made me feel like a total problem employee who comes in massively hungover on a daily basis and is unable to perform on the job. Which is so not true - I haven't called in sick since December of 2003 so you know, should I feel guilty about being too hungover to stay at work? Yes. But do I deserve to actually use a couple of my alotted sick days once in a while? Yes!

Anyway I didn't make it all the way home before having to pull over down a side street, crouch down behind my car and get sick, swearing all the time that I have to stop doing this to myself. Why did I drink so much? Well, it's not that I did, I really only had two drinks. But they were strong, sugary drinks and I was drinking with the wrong attitude to begin with. I was by far drunker than he's ever seen me and though I can't recall anything too awful, I vaguely remember a conversation with a girl my age about how there is pressure on us to start having babies and how I want to wait 5 - 7 years for that at least. Who knows what he thought of all that? At least I didn't say, "I want to snag me a husband and start popping out babies asap!"

So after tossing my breakfast by the side of the road, I got home and proceeded to sleep until, oh, about an hour ago. Which brings me to right now - stomach, not too bad, head, still unpleasant, but I took asprin finally and I need to remain upright so that it doesn't start making me nauseous again, hence writing this post because there's nothing else I feel like doing right now except confessing my sins to the internet. Thanks for listening internet.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
There should be more words for feelings in the English language. What do you call it when you haven't known someone long enough to justifiably love them, but like is simply too inadequate? I've been seeing a new guy and I feel more than like for him, maybe not quite love. Well it couldn't be love, right? So what is it when it feels all crazy and exciting and every time before you go out you feel slightly nauseous because you're so nervous about being perfect all the time or at least perfectly adorable, and when you're with him, just sitting next to him you feel absolutely content and something you vaguely recognize as purely happy although that's a feeling you don't know too well... what is it when you can picture a future with someone but you're afraid to think past the weekend because you have no idea, even though he is sweet and affectionate and nothing if not reliable and drama-free, if he'll ever even call again because you don't know how to trust men and you don't have faith enough in yourself and your ability to inspire the same strange like/love feeling in someone else... what is it when you can't eat and you can't sleep and you feel restless all day because you can't sit still and all you want to do is walk the city streets for hours or just do something to keep moving... what do you call it when you feel so lucky to have finally found something that seems wonderful and you're so terrified of it disappearing and you know that everything is changed and you can't go back to not knowing but you wouldn't anyway... oh yeah and also, though you know it can't logically be true, while you're feeling all of this, you suspect that you are the only person in the history of the world who has ever felt this way before and you could swear that it's certainly different than anything you've ever personally felt before, although you're old enough to know better. Is there a word for the emotion that expresses all of that? There should be.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Um, so... yeah. What does one say when they have not updated in over a year and would like to start back up again? Does one just jump right back in? Does one give all sorts of crazy excuses? (I've been indisposed, the alarm didn't go off, the dog ate my computer, I swear!) Does one fill in one's reading public (that is, if one still has a reading public, which one severely doubts) on all sorts of details like, "last summer I did this... and in December, this happened...", or do we just say, hey, my life's been happening, you know? Nothing too crazy, nothing too different, there have been stories I haven't told, but it's really all water on the bridge now, so can we start over? Can we? Because I have lots of things to tell you and lots of things to say and I have missed you, really I have. I have missed having a public forum in which to vent my thoughts and feelings for any stranger who happens by on this big wide internet to read and comment on. After all, I didn't take a hiatus for any real reason beyond that I was tired of listening to myself talk about nothing in particular. I didn't like the pressure of having to constantly produce and I think that I sacrificed quality in the name of quantity. So I'd like to start over, begin again, and do this right. What do you say, can we give it a try?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Once again it's been far too long since I've updated. I would apologize, but I'm sure you're sick of hearing it by now, so instead, I'll just jump right in to the long awaited part two of the ski trip.

So the boy went, although the only time we hung out with him was when we all went to dinner on Saturday night. As usual, it's all mixed messages with him. I was drinking wine because it helps me not be nervous around him but the wine always catches up with me. After he left with his friend (they were headed back that night), I of course started feeling melancholy and started to cry in the bathroom at the bar. I was just so frustrated with all the back and forth, always getting my hopes up, and not knowing how he feels. So there I was in the bathroom with my friend that I'd brought with me - luckily a very good friend, and not a coworker. Nice ladies kept coming in and talking to me. Women are like that - if we see one of our own crying in a bathroom, we usually try to help.

I pulled myself together and my friend and I went back to our hotel so we could continue drinking without having to worry about driving. We were having a great time when we were approached by a couple of guys - in fact, the only guys anywhere near our age, in the bar. They had been playing pool and so we agreed to join them. They told us they were 21 and what school they went to and what they were studying. Then they asked, "what school do you ladies go to?" I'm beginning to see why looking young can be a good thing! My friend and I had decided for some reason to tell them that we were 26 instead of 30. I don't know why we picked 26, we could've gotten away with 24. They were shocked by 26!! Little did they know!

We had a great time playing pool and the cutest guy was flirting with me. I was playing pool like a pro - surprising considering I could barely see straight. Maybe wine enhances my pool playing abilities. The cute guy and I were on a team together and he kept hugging me and putting his arm around me. I'm not going to lie to you, it felt good. Especially because of all the frustration and confusion I've been feeling over my blue-eyed friend. A girl starts to think there might be something wrong with her after all you know.

We played pool until the bar closed. As we parted ways I told the boys our room number so they could call us the next day for breakfast or something. "547" I told them, "you can call us", and we went back to our room. Half an hour later there was a knock on the door. The boys had followed us home like puppies. We told them we were going to bed and made a joke about being old. Right before they left the cute one gave me his cell phone number. The next morning packing up our stuff and getting ready to leave, I looked at the number, sighed, and threw it away. Nothing good could come of that.

Is it pervy of me to confess that I have wished more than once since we've been back that I hadn't thrown that number out? He was cute and he was sweet and attentive. Maybe I need a fling with a college boy. Hey, if my ex can date an 18 year old, why do I feel so wrong entertaining the possibilities? What about Ashton and Demi? It can happen. What a perfect cure for the turning 30 crisis, right? I can still get a college guy! Of course, if I ever told him my real age he would be horrified. And that's why I threw out his number. He probably feels like I turned him down, but really, I was afraid he would turn me down for being too old.

And then I drove home in a blizzard, literally. My dad had called the night before when we were at the hotel bar and suggested, strongly, that we come back that night. I had to tell him I couldn't - because I'd been drinking. That was by no means the weirdest part of the weekend, but it was right up there.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Last weekend I went away on a ski trip. Skiing was something I had never done in my life nor something I had any real desire to do but I like this guy so I thought I should try it. I didn't think I'd like skiing because I don't like winter or being cold but for skiing you get to wear fun things like ski jackets and neck-ups and put little packets of heated stuff in your gloves. And you get to go "cute-outdoorsy-type" when out on the mountain with fleecy vests and shape-hugging shirts with strategically placed graphics. And super cute waterproof boots on sale. Or at least I did.

My coworker, a fanatical skiier invited me along on her annual ski trip knowing that my special friend with the blue eyes (as well as some of our other coworkers) would be there. I invited a skiing friend and we got a room at an Inn with... wait for it... an outdoor heated pool! Have you ever heard of anything so bizarre? And yet so wonderful? It was such a great experience to be outside in a warm pool with snow all around. Steam was rising off the water because it was so cold and every now and then I would take a hand or foot out of the pool to remind myself how freezing cold the air was. But don't worry, the entrance to the pool was inside a building and there was a plastic curtain to swim through to get outside.

I signed up for a skiing lesson by myself for the morning and I was scared. My big fear was the chair lift but not for the reasons everyone seemed to think. I wasn't scared to fall out, I was scared to be stuck hanging in mid-air in another situation I couldn't control. When the instructor explained the agenda to the class, it sounded like the chair lift part would be extra, done later, if we really felt comfortable. So I relaxed a bit and shoved my feet into heavy constrictive rented ski boots. Then the instructor announced we would be taking a shuttle bus to the beginners slope and I began to worry anew. As I've mentioned before, my anxiety surges at the thought of riding in something which I'm not driving. It sounds silly I know but it is what it is.

Luckily I didn't have much time to think about it and it was a short ride. Thinking back I know that if I had known ahead of time, then that would have been the focus of my anxiety and I would've made a huge deal out of it with worrying and maybe even chickening out. But the fact that I just did it? It was nothing. I guess the key to overcoming anxiety is to stop thinking so much, but how?

Anyway I learned to ski. It was cumbersome trying to move with skis on and waiting in line for the rope tow and everything was a lot of work for like, 30 seconds of skiing but it was worth it. I only fell a couple times and that was when I didn't know how to stop myself from sliding away so I made an emergency stop by pitching myself to the ground. Once I couldn't get up and it was really rather comical. A bunch of little kids were trying to tell me how to manuver my skis but I just couldn't do it. Finally an instructor had to come and rescue me from sitting in the snow the rest of the day.

I guess I did really well according to the instructor. I'm a quick learner when I like something and I did like skiing. But at the end of the class it was time for everyone to take the chair lift and as I stood watching it slowly move along many feet up in the air, it suddenly stopped for several minutes. The image of skis swinging with no ground below them froze in my head. I couldn't do it. I had challenged myself enough for one day. I didn't want to ride it with the instructor who didn't understand my fears and was giving me a hard time. I wanted to go myself or with a friend. I said I'd had enough and called it a day.

Am I disappointed in myself? No, not if I go back and do it again soon before I lose my momentum but yes if I let it stop me from trying. Mostly I am proud of myself for facing my fears - the whole trip was scary for me what with being over three hours away from home and trying something new and the possibility of spending time with the guy I have a crush on without looking like a total loser... I could've opted out of the whole thing but I didn't and now I've discovered that I tried something new and enjoyed it.

There was a lot more to the weekend but it's a story for another day. You'll just have to wait in suspense to hear what happened with the boy (not much) and the drama that night (darn wine!) and the college boys we played pool with later (21 years old!!) - do you think we revealed our real age to them? But for now as a lovely three day weekend draws to a close, I have to think about possibly going to bed. Part two coming soon! (Really.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
It's hard to believe that I can remember something from 20 years ago. That just sounds like a long time. It's easier to imagine something that happened when I was 10 or something that happened in 1986 because, really, who doesn't remember 1986?

When the Challenger disaster happened I was in fifth grade and our class went to the library to watch the space shuttle take off on television. We had been talking about it for weeks - a teacher was going to space! It was so exciting that I got a front row seat. Moments later the tv was off and we were being led back to our classroom. I don't think we understood what was going on. I don't think most adults watching grasped the sudden drama unfolding. I wish I remember more about afterwards. I wish I remember how the teachers handled it or what I thought. I wasn't thinking in terms of how I would see backwards from the distance of twenty years. I was thinking how sad it was the teacher wouldn't get to go to space after all. Probably.

On a related but different subject, Sunday was my dad's 60th birthday. When I was there, he pulled out the "decade" pictures. The first picture was taken in good old 1986 (which we all remember, right?) It is a picture of my dad showing a rectangular cake with "Happy 40th" written in m&m's. They didn't have blue m&m's then by the way. I know because the next decade picture, taken in 1996, showed a cake with "Happy 50th" in m&m's, including blue. I remember when there weren't any blue m&m's, but I don't remember how I felt when the Challenger disaster took place.

Anyway, in the 1986 picture the three of us kids are gathered around my dad, gazing at the cake. The cool thing is, we purposely posed the same way for the 1996 picture. So in the 1986 picture you see my dad on his 40th birthday (how old that must've seemed to me at the time and how young it seems now!) holding the cake. On his right is my brother looking quite young, and on his left is a high chair where my little sister was sitting looking every bit a baby, and between my dad and my sister with an arm around each, is me. I had my head turned down toward the cake and really you can mostly just see my hair. But you can see the smallness of my hand draped over my dad's shoulder.

In 1996 my dad is holding his cake and on his right is my brother in the height of adolescence, with shaggy hair and looking so different from 10 years earlier. Perhaps the most different is my sister, now sitting in a chair on my dad's left, smiling with teeth missing and looking as sweet and cute as any kid from a sitcom. Between them I stand looking, as my mom pointed out, basically just the same as I do now. It was startling to realize why - I was already 20 when the picture was taken, already sort of an adult - and it hit me that I haven't been a kid in a long time. Especially when I compared the size of my hand draped over my dad's shoulder in 1986.

We haven't taken a decade picture this year yet because my brother's in California. But when he visits this summer we will stage a "60th birthday" for my dad, complete with an m&m cake. I look forward to continuing to compare our pictures for decades to come.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Earlier this winter it was snowing and I got to leave work at 4:00. On my way home I headed for a familiar road - a street that winds down a hill. I knew it wasn't ideal but I told myself I would be careful and drive very slowly. I started down the hill without realizing it was sheer ice.

I started to slide and with no control whatsoever, spun 180 degrees and landed in a snowbank facing up the hill. My little Neon was stuck. Frustrated, I got out of the car and saw a girl walking toward me. Turns out her car was stuck a little further down and wouldn't even start. The two of us watched as, moments later, a third car became lodged in a snowbank. The lady in the car rolled down her window and jokingly asked if we should order pizza since we weren't going anywhere for a while. It was troubling because I couldn't think what to do or who to call to help me. It's not like anyone could get there anyway without facing the same fate. But yet I was calmly accepting of the situation, probably because it was one of those weird moments where you are brought together with strangers who are suddenly like old friends.

The three of us watched in horror as cars lost control coming down the hill. The tires weren't even spinning, which indicated that the drivers were not driving, just sliding. One car came within about three inches of hitting mine. Surveying the cars strewn about the street, I knew it was only a matter of time before one of ours got hit. I've only had this car a couple of months and I sure as heck didn't want anything to happen to it. I took up a post watching for other cars appearing at the top of the hill. Whenever I saw one I frantically waved my arms and yelled "go back, we're stuck here!!" At one point a car stopped at the top of the hill and I heard a guy's voice yell, "I can't go back - I'm stuck too!" Seizing the opportunity to have a guy help us push our cars out, I yelled back "Can you help us?"

The guy made his way down the hill and with the help of a resident who happened to be out shoveling nearby, he pushed the third lady's car out and then went for mine. The street was so slippery that we were falling just walking across it - it was literally ice. I offered a ride to the girl who couldn't get her car started. After all, I would want someone to help me and besides, us girls have to stick together. She said she just wanted to get a bag out of her car and headed for it as the guys were pushing me free. After sliding gently down to the end of the street and making sure I was on solid ground, I parked to wait for the girl to get to my car.

All of a sudden out of nowhere, a car was behind me beeping the horn. There was no room to pull over so I had to drive out onto the main street and then go a little ways down into a parking lot that was mostly clear. Then I got out and made my way back through the snow. I was stepping in drifts up to my knees but I was afraid to walk on the street. It was slow going and my ears felt like they were potentially going to fall off but I couldn't leave that girl stranded. By the time I got back she was gone. The only person still around was the shoveler. He told me the girl got a ride with the other guy. I was a little bit glad because that meant I could go right home but I also felt bad because she must not have thought I was coming back.

I climbed back through the deep snow. My throat was aching in the way it only can when you are exerting yourself in extreme cold. I think I was never so happy to get into the car and crank the heat up. I got home in one piece, about the time I get home when I leave work at my normal time, and thought grumblingly about how much I hate winter. And then I thought about strangers helping each other and I realized that not one of us had even exchanged names.
Friday, January 13, 2006
What people don't seem to realize is, I don't need advice for conversation starters, casual invitations, sly schemes, plots, and plans. I've got all that. I know how to ask someone out and I'm not afraid. I have conversational topics and common interests and friendly overtures galore.

What I need help with is how to deal with someone who is so desperately shy, they don't even converse in the first place. I know there is potential, after all, we spent the whole time together at a recent work function. But I sit here day after day in the center of everything, watching him walk by and smile, or smile and wave, or keep his head down. What am I supposed to do, call him over? I can't just tackle him in the hallway. Especially because I'm a little shy too.

And all I hear people say is how since he's so shy, I have to take the initiative and ask him out. Yes I know that and I am fully willing to do so, if for no other reason than to find out one way or the other instead of sitting here in limbo-land. That's not the problem. The problem is how to get him to talk to me in the first place. Every day I see him and I feel like banging my head against the wall repeatedly. He is making me crazy and I want him all the more.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
O.K. so it's Christmas Eve and you're lying in bed listening for sleigh bells when suddenly you hear noise coming from the chimney. Who is there bringing presents for you? If you answered Santa Claus, you'd be wrong - at least if you lived in Switzerland. Oh yes, I learned all about Swiss Christmas this holiday season.

For one thing, they use real candles on the tree. Real candles on the very flammable tree. A little crazy perhaps, but traditional nonetheless. And Santa Claus? No he doesn't bring presents on Christmas, he brings presents on December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day. I guess technically that makes more sense. So who leaves presents for you on Christmas you might be asking? Well it's your good friend Jesus, that's who. I'm not sure if he actually scoots up and down the chimney, but he does bring you presents, even though it's his birthday. Which, thanks to special holiday educational programs on PBS and the history channel, I can now say most assuredly that it is not actually his birthday at all. His real birthday is approximately April 17th, 6 B.C. (after telling that to my mom I asked, "hey, isn't that your anniversary?" to which she replied "yes, but not the 6 B.C. part - although it feels that way sometimes.") But I digress.

I'm not sure if Jesus leaves coal or withholds presents from you if you've been bad, but on St. Nicholas Day look out for Santa carrying a club to knock some sense into unruly children - for real! Coal? Those American children get off easy. And lest we forget about the third holiday of the season which doesn't even exist in America, I'll tell you what I can about Three Kings Day which takes place on January 6th - the twelvth day of Christmas.

There is a special cake or cakes for Three Kings Day and in one cake is a small plastic king (or in modern times, perhaps a queen just to make everything a little more inclusive). If your cake has the plastic royalty in it, you are the king/queen of the day and you get to wear a crown. So there's something else to look forward to after Christmas is over.

I tried to determine if Swiss people feel betrayal at the discovery that none of these things are real - Santa doesn't bring presents, Jesus doesn't stop by to drop off goodies, etc. But there seemed to be no anger to report. I remember feeling outraged at the revelation that Santa wasn't real. I wasn't so angry at my parents necessarily, but at adults in general for taking part in the grand conspiracy to manipulate children into behaving. I long ago decided that I won't tell my future children an outright lie like that. But I will still make sure they have magical holidays.

Oh and speaking of magical holidays, my brother didn't come home for Christmas this year but at least my sister's boyfriend was there in his place! My brother decided to spend Christmas in the magical California sunshine and he was greatly missed. But at least Santa wasn't waiting in a darkened living room with a club in hand ready to beat the crap out of us, so there's a plus.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I'm still here, I just hate winter. This bank on my way to work, right where I get on the highway, sometimes it tells me the time and the temperature but sometimes instead it says things like "Season's Greetings!" or "Happy Birthday Joe!" or something. When it doesn't tell me the temperature I am all out of whack not knowing the temperature. Today it said "Season's Greetings!" and I have no idea what it's like outside.

Inside is slow and boring because everyone in the world is on vacation and I am the only one working. It has been a long long time since I have written here from work. I could literally fall asleep but instead I'm writing - and that, by the way, should tip you off as to the excitement of my content! I'm trying to catch up on my reading by making my way through the list on the right. Some of those links haven't been read in so long that the websites are no longer there, or have changed hands somehow. Have I been out of the loop or what? I just spent the past 45 minutes trying to catch up on Melissa's life because I had a lot of archives to get through. She is one person who I might accidentally go months without reading, but then have to read back through every single thing I've missed. There are a few like that.

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas/holiday. I got so many nice things including... a digital camera! I can't wait to start using it. Unfortunately, it has an instruction manual about as thick as a phone book so I've been putting that off. There is one present I am still waiting for however - and he has blue eyes. Gosh, I feel like such a silly little girl with my big crush on this boy. Any second I'm going to break into giggles and pass him notes that say "do you like me, circle one: yes no" Either that or I may just fall asleep, here at my desk, because it's just that boring around here today.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Ah, it's that special time of year again - the holidays have begun. Of course, my family never celebrates holidays on the holiday anymore, the theory being, no one wants to drive on a holiday. So Thanksgiving I went to my parents' house and the three of us had frozen pizza before I left to see a movie with a friend.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving for us. Family gatherings always fill me with nervous apprehension so this time I spent some time quietly knitting in an empty room until my mom compared me to an old lady. It used to help me to have my boyfriend with me for these occasions but now of course, I'm on my own.

And speaking of the holidays, my Swiss roommate was horrified to hear of turducken - or whatever it's called. She found it insultingly undignified and really, she's right. Is there any need for that much poultry in one meal?

The other night we were watching tv when that Coke commercial came on with the polar bears and penguins sharing a Coke together. I wasn't paying much attention when suddenly my Swiss roommate declared, "Oh my God. Did they just show polar bears and penguins together? How ridiculous - the two would never meet! Polar bears live in the North Pole and penguins live in the South Pole. Do they think we are stupid or something?" My other roommate and I looked confused. "What? Polar bears and penguins don't live together drinking Coca Cola?" Then my roommate speculated that maybe the point of the commercial was that Coke brings these distant animals together. "No, you're over thinking it," I said, "they just don't think anyone will know better." So what does this say about our commercialized American minds? We won't notice such inaccuracy? Well now we will, won't we? Do they think we're stupid or something? But you know, it is a really cute commercial.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I'm so sick of centipedes. In the eight months we have lived in this apartment I saw a centipede in the tub, one roommate had one in her bedroom and saw one in the hallway, and the other roommate, the science-lover, captured the largest centipede I've ever seen in an empty salsa container after it was spotted casually hanging out in the kitchen. "How fantastic!" she exclaimed, "my first centipede!" She captured him (her? it?) for the purpose of admiring the fascinating creature of nature but I told her there was no way I was sleeping if she left it in the house. I suspected it would be able to chew it's way through the salsa container. So she brought it to work for a little show and tell with her scientific coworkers.

Last night my centipede sightings total reached one more. This time I was looking for something in my bedroom, moved something on the floor and out scurried a centipede. I was horrified. I mean, my bedroom? Is nothing sacred? Acting on instinct I grabbed a nearby boot and smacked it down hard. Then I pressed down and slid the boot around a little, just to be sure. Then I piled other shoes onto the boot and ran to find my science roommate.

I stood in the hall outside my room while my roommate picked up the boot. Even with myopia and from that distance I could still see an oblong brown smear on the sole of the boot. "Well, you have quite a mess here," my roommate remarked. I handed her tissues and kept my eyes closed. All the while she congratulated me on having the presence of mind to smack the beast with a boot. It was a good shot too, centipedes move so fast and that one was running at close to the speed of light.

It took a while to relax because I would be willing to bet there are more centipedes not far away and that we just don't see them too often because of how fast they move. I guess there are worse things to have in my bedroom than a centipede or two. They are better than burglers for example, or ax-weilding psychopaths. They are better than brain-eating zombies, vampires, aliens, ghosts... no, on second thought, I'd rather have ghosts.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
One thing I really like about living in the Boston area is the historical aspect. I had the opportunity recently to do a volunteer event at a church in one of the many historically significant locales nearby. The event was not church related nor was it history related and was a very rewarding event in and of itself.

As an added bonus, at the end of the event, the volunteer coordinator took us for a tour of the church, explaining how it was the church of the Adams family - no, not the Addams family, I'm talking about the colonial presidents John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. The church regularly gives tours for that very reason and charges money but we got to tour for free.

In the basement we entered a dark hallway with stone walls and cement floors and off to the side, a doorway with a wrought iron gate. Peeking through I could see some large stone shapes in a small room. "Wow, what's in there?" I asked. Matter of factly, the volunteer lady replied, "John Adams." What?? "You're kidding!" I remarked. But she was not kidding and she opened the wrought iron gate and led us into the Adams mosuleum. The large stone shapes were four tombs - John, his wife Abigail, their son John Quincy and his wife.

I was completely floored by the whole thing but I was most impressed to be in the presence of Abigail. I recently finished reading "Founding Mothers" and therefore know quite a bit about this amazing, courageous woman. As I was telling all this to the volunteer lady, recalling how Abigail stayed behind while her husband was off dealing with the revolution and how she alone was left to defend family and homestead, I looked down and noticed my hand resting on the top of her tomb. I had chills to say the least - there I was recounting the details of a two hundred year old historical figure with my hand resting on the cool rough stone of her tomb. It was almost as if she was in the room with me. A very surreal experience all around. So you see, volunteer work can pay off in more ways than you might expect.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Recently we had a huge party at my apartment. The place was packed so full we had to open windows to cool off. I only knew a handful of people and the rest were collective friends of my roommates, or friends of friends.

At one point my roommate asked me to take some pictures for her and I became a wandering photographer, approaching strangers and asking them to pose. It was really fun and I got some great shots.

The best pictures by far are the ones I took of my bat balloon. My bat balloon was just floating around by himself at the supermarket when we went to stock up on party supplies. One look and I had to have him. He is one of those shiny balloons that stay up for days. His face is huge and his wings are tiny and he is ever so cheerful, two little fangs poking out from his wide smile.

I brought him home and left him in the living room for the party. At first I was just taking pictures of people with him but as the night progressed I photographed him admiring some flowers, eating the dip I made, flirting with pretty ladies, and imbibing plenty of wine. He had a great time really, perhaps more than a bat balloon should. My roommates thought I was insane but I don't mind. In fact as type this, he is across the room, floating gently to and fro and grinning at me with his large happy face.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Looks like Sunday night is my writing night around here. I know I've been really neglecting my writing lately. It's tough because work has become so busy, I can barely steal a minute to read a blog or two. Oh well, excuses excuses.

And speaking of excuses, I'm just beating off the guys with a stick right now. Just before logging into blogger I checked my email and there was one from a guy I met recently while volunteering. He asked me if I want to grab coffee sometime or something, he said he wanted to get to know me better. Trouble is, while I thought he was nice, there is just no attraction there on my part. I didn't give him my email - he got it from the volunteer list because he's one of the coordinators. So how do I respond to that?

When word gets out that you're single again suddenly everyone knows a lonely guy they think you should meet. Within the past couple weeks two coworkers approached me about guys (one a best friend's brother, and the other's brother-in-law). The brother-in-law sent me an email asking me if I want to grab coffee sometime (are you detecting a theme here??) But it's hard to be excited when my coworker described him by saying, "I'm going to be honest, he's not the best looking guy" and that he's kept asking her, "don't you work with any single girls?"

Late last Friday night one would-be suitor actually had the courage to ask me in person if I want to "have dinner sometime". Of course, I'm not interested in him either. He is a coworker who I thought was just friendly and I'd been friendly back. Guess he got the wrong idea, or his hopes up anyway. He was a little easier to turn down because I just told him I was interested in someone else, which is true. I am pursuing other interests right now. But it seems like a lame excuse to use over email with guys I barely know. What's a girl to do? I know it sounds silly, but that is one tricky thing I've never found easy - how to politely decline and yet still be friendly, without sending mixed messages? I have to give the coworker a lot of credit because all week he was as normal and friendly as ever, as if there had never been an awkward invitation outside of a local bar.

And speaking of coworkers and invitations, I know you've all been waiting to hear how my lunch went. I don't want to disappoint, but it was rather anti-climactic. We talked, we ate, we walked back. He was super polite and he paid for my lunch, but really, he'd have to come right out and make some sort of serious declaration for me to understand he's interested. Partly I think he might be, but partly I'm just not sure. There has been no follow up or future invitations since but I am going to be patient.

The thing about putting yourself out there in a situation that isn't just a "safe" guy is, if he's not interested, I can't rationalize it any other way than "it must be me". Safe guys are safe because they have other reasons for not getting involved. But I think he's worth the risk so we'll see what happens.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
When was the last time you had such a big crush on someone that you felt physically ill when they were around? Never? O.K., I guess it's just me then.

Here's the short version: he's new at my work and I've had my eye on him since he came in for his interview. He's shy and sweet and single. Crushing from afar was working out just fine but now he's asked me out to lunch! We were supposed to go Friday but it's been rescheduled to tomorrow.

When I think about going my stomach twists up into knots. What will we talk about? We're both so shy with each other that we've barely exchanged a few words in the whole month he's been there. Now we're supposed to go to lunch, just the two of us? What if I say something stupid? What if I do something stupid?

I read once that people who have anxiety disorders confuse the feelings of excitement with panic. They are physically similar - racing heart, sweating palms, surging adrenaline. I'm supposed to be excited going to lunch with a nice guy and instead I'm gripped by fear. Sometimes I think I'd rather be alone - this stuff is just too hard.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Recently a friend and I innocently stepped into a place to get some lunch and were attacked by onions. Standing at the menu board we both started to feel a familiar stinging sensation in our eyes. We thought someone was cooking or cutting onions behind the counter. The proprieter called us cry babies and opened the door for air. I was confused by this - can people develop an immunity to onions? But I realized later that he thought we were bothered by the smoke from cooking.

As we stood contemplating our orders we were surprised that the onion pain was getting worse and not better. By the time I handed my money to the cashier I was so overwhelmed by onion that I had tears streaming down my face and I could barely open my eyes. The cashier was looking at me curiously and I guess I can't blame her.

Moments later we discovered the source of the problem. Next to the menu board, on a counter, was a large tub of onions stewing in their own juices and inflicting pain on unsuspecting passersby. After we sat down and started to recover we discussed the many mysteries involved in the situation - why were the employees unaffected? Is it possible to adjust or would the pain keep growing worse and worse until it killed you? Why had the guy called us cry babies? Could you use onions as a torture device to glean information from the enemy? And why the heck do onions make you cry anyway? I mean really why? Is there some evolutionary necessity here that I'm just missing? With all the genetic engineering going on these days couldn't someone breed an inoffensive onion? As you can see our onion incident raised some serious questions. But at least our lunch was tasty.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Anyone know what day it is today? I'll give you a hint: it has to do with me turning 30...
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I am dangerously addicted to animal crackers. Actually, I am addicted to Stauffer's animal crackers. They have just the right crunch and just the right flavor. I have a bazillion "snack" size bags in my desk drawer at work because my coworker, who I turned on to the addiction, now buys them in bulk and gives me bunches. She always says, "let me know when you are running out of bags because there's plenty more where those came from." She keeps me well stocked. Everyday about 3, I crack open a bag and now I even have some at home too. Ah, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, I just can't get enough. Actually, I'm probably not doing myself any favors with that, but I can't seem to stop eating them.

And speaking of addictive substances, my Swiss roommate brought me back some special "calming" tea from when she went to Switzerland for a friend's wedding. I drank a cup and could barely keep my eyes open. The next day I told her how calming the tea was and how I passed right out after drinking it. I said, "what's in it, drugs?" She laughed and said they are liberal, but not that liberal. But who knows? The box is covered with German, I can't read it. It could list roofies as an ingredient and I wouldn't know it. It could be full of partially hydrogenated soybean oil and I would have no idea.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
About a month ago, my friend and I signed up to volunteer for a few hours cleaning up the area around a large river. Yesterday was the day the event took place and the hours were supposed to be 9 - 2. However just getting there was a comedy of errors for us.

I was ready to go and waiting on my friend when she called me from home at 8:45 to say she had just woken up. At that point I was ready to write the whole thing off wondering what I was thinking signing up to do unpaid physical labor so early on a Saturday morning. But she was insistent on going.

By the time she got to my place, and we had stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and we had found the place we were supposed to meet the other volunteers, and we had parked the car a mile away in a free parking lot, it was after 10. To make matters worse, I was wearing the stupidest choice of shoes. The activity coordinator said to wear sturdy shoes and I knew that they should be shoes I wouldn't care about getting grubby. Therefore, I didn't want to wear my favorite (and only) pair of sneakers which are maroon and purchased on zappos at a huge discount. I had instead selected an old pair of black slip on shoes with thick solid soles that I've had forever and were basically on their last leg.

What I didn't realize was that my shoes were impossibly uncomfortable for walking any distance. I hadn't expected walking to be involved and continuously berated my decision as I hobbled down the road. Finally we made it back to the meeting spot and there were no volunteers to be found. We had the cell phone number for the activity coordinator... back in the car.

After another walk back to the car in the dreaded shoes I was at that point, really pushing for calling it a day and going out for breakfast. But my friend, good person that she is, offered to call the guy and just tell him we had car trouble or something and did they still need us to come? We were expecting to get his voicemail or at least have him say not to bother at that point but instead he was delighted to hear from us and eager to have us join the effort. So eager in fact that he called her cell phone twice while we were once again enroute, just to make sure we were coming.

We finally found the group and were greeted joyously. I realized that in the world of volunteer work late truly is better than never. We were told what to do - we were supposed to be cutting the over growth with hedge clippers in the area between the road and the river. The area of course happened to be on an incline. In my stupid shoes I nearly tumbled into the river several times before even getting started. Hearing my distress the activity coordinator said he had another job for me instead which was really a blessing in disguise.

He led me to a flatter surfaced area near a bridge that was covered with trash and gave me gloves, a trash bag, and a stick with a little spear at the end for skewering the trash. Then he wished me luck and left me there by myself. I know picking up trash isn't the most glamourous job in the world, but it was certainly easier that pruning shrubbery on a slippery incline. Plus, I enjoyed working by myself and not feeling like anyone was watching my progress.

And I found some interesting things! There were plenty of papery objects which were easy to spear but there were some things a bit more challenging. I discovered that if you step on a beer can so it is dented and can't roll away, it can be speared quite easily. I found that fabrics are tough to spear and you really have to give it your all, and that empty glass liquor bottles can't be speared at all and have to be picked up by gloved hand. I even found some used condoms and the top of a syringe. (And in case you were curious, condoms can be picked up with a spear, but syringes can't.) I also found some unused condoms still in their packages and I drove my spear through their centers I thought to myself, "well these won't be preventing any venereal diseases or unwanted pregnancies."

I found what must have been a homeless person's domicile. There was a large spread of flattened cardboard boxes laid out on the ground about the size of a bed. There were also boots (standing up about feets-width apart as if someone had been wearing them when they just happened to spontaneously combust), a pair of jeans laid out neatly, and even a pair of underwear. I was half expecting to find a dead body or a limb or something. If I have ever felt like I was on an episode of CSI, this was the time.

All in all it was very exhausting but very satisfying to see the end result of a trash free natural setting. It really made me wonder what the heck is wrong with people that they can so casually litter nature with such horrifying objects. I did feel a little bit bad that a homeless person was going to arrive later and find that his bed and boots had disappeared. But on the other hand, I noticed a small bunny hiding in the grass who stayed nearby watching me most of the time. So I felt really good that I rid his habitat of used condoms and hypodermic needles.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Ever since the new craft studio opened up nearby I've been making jewelry like crazy. Most of it is wire and bead type creations which are not hard to mess up.

The other night I went to a craft event to make fancy bangle bracelets. I didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be plastic bangle bracelets that you could wrap ribbon around, attach velvet to, glue sparkley things on, etc. It had so much potential.

After sewing a strip of dark blue velvet and sawing the plastic bangle in half to fit the velvet onto it, I looked at my beautiful bracelet and thought, "this looks great but it needs something more". So then I made the mistake of glueing sequins and sparkleys and all sorts of things to it. It was a mess - glue everywhere, sequins hanging askew, etc.

So much for my artistic vision. I don't honestly know if I can wear it in public. It looks like something a kid might make at summer camp. I should've just glued on some macaroni and called it a day.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
On a recent vacation day I went to visit my parents on their vacation. Every year they go for a week to a place that is a combination of a New Hampshire farm and a resort/summer camp. The place hosts activities for all ages - swimming, horseback riding, tennis, etc. There is also one main dining hall and all meals are served at particular times and marked by bells so guests know when to come. I had never been there before but other summers my parents took my sister and they always coordinated their visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

The drive up there was fascinating because I passed through all these non-places which made me feel like I was in the middle of nowhere. What's strange for me to realize, having spent my entire life living in the suburbs of Boston, is that a lot of Massachusetts is really quite rural. There are these city areas and then in the middle and the western part of the state, it's mostly small communities. Some I've never even heard of. I drove right through the center of one town which was full of banners advertising their annual chili bake-off as if it were the high point of the year. Then I saw a sign I was entering another town, and saw nothing but rolling fields and wooded areas and the occasional sign for something with the town's name on it (the local church, library, gas station, etc.) I swear this went on for ages, maybe even 20 miles before I finally entered another town. I could not imagine growing up in a town like that.

Finally I arrived at the farm and found my parents. Before long I realized that the guests were not my demographic whatsoever. There were plenty of older people and young families with children. No one my age. The whole setting (all the little buildings, the mountains in the background, the dining hall, the end-of-the-week talent show) really reminded me of Dirty Dancing sans any sexy dance instructors.

The highlight of the day was when my mom and I went exploring and found a working hot tub in the basement of one of the buildings. We were enjoying it for all of two minutes when an unwelcome visitor floated through the swirling waters right past my chest. Yes, it was a huge daddy-long-legs spider. If you know me you know how I feel about spiders and daddy-long-legs are like mutant spiders on steroids in my opinion. I was out of the hot tub in seconds flat screaming loudly. My mom is completely indifferent to spiders. She assured me the spider had long since drowned and she proceeded to try to catch it in her hands to throw it out of the hot tub but she kept losing it. I stood dripping in my bathing suit a safe six or so feet away pointing, "There he is! Get him! Oh god!"

Finally she asked me to hand her the piece of wood on the side of the hot tub attached to the key we were given in order to get into the basement. She scooped him up onto the wood and laid him on the side. It was still too close for me however because I couldn't even look at the thing let alone get back in the hot tub. She nonchalantly said that I should take the wood and dump the spider into a conveniently nearby wastebasket. No small task for someone who couldn't look at the spider. I had to trust her to tell me that I was picking up the far end of the wood and then after waving it frantically over the wastebasket I would hold the wood out and say, "is he gone?" But he wouldn't go away! He was wet and stuck to the wood. My mom suggested scraping him against the edge of the wastebasket and the whole process was greatly traumatic. Just writing this now I am getting chills. I think I've blocked out whatever happened next because the next thing I know I was peering into the hot tub for other offending creatures before gingerly climbing back in for a brief time.

Needless to say I was so very glad to return to the city at the end of the day where although we do not have annual chili bake-offs, at least the spiders are smaller.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I've been on vacation this week which explains my absence here - sorry. It's hard to get motivated to sit and write especially since my computer is so much slower than my work computer and I swear this one has a virus. Every other page I pull up triggers a little pop up asking me if I want to download micromedia flash or something. No matter how many times I say no, they just keep asking.

The other day I went to the Science Museum and spent a good deal of time exploring the feature exhibit about the human brain. I watched a little movie saying that half of all people will experience a brain disfunction at some point in their lives. I was slightly horrified until they started giving examples and the very first one was anxiety disorder. I guess I'm covered then.

A lot of people, particularly those who don't have anxiety, don't seem to understand that it is physiological, like any illness, and not just something a person does to cause trouble and inconvenience for themselves and everyone around them.

I've always had slight anxiety over one thing or another and I've suffered my share of panic attacks. But four and a half years ago, for some reason, it all became much worse. I always avoided elevators for as long as I can remember, but I was o.k. in other settings that may have seemed claustrophobic to some. Then one day, we were having a meeting at work in the conference room with no windows. Even though I had sat in there for countless meetings in the past, when the door was shut on that particular occasion, I had a panic attack and an urge to jump up and run out of the room. I didn't of course, but knowing I could get up and open the door was no longer enough to make me feel safe. I suddenly had a new concern of what people would think if I got up and opened the door.

Right around the time of that first panic attack, I had another one while riding in someone's car. It was someone I didn't know well and I was in the backseat and we were on the highway. Out of the blue for no apparent reason I realized that I was stuck and not in control. I was not controlling the car, I couldn't get out, I was basically trapped until we reached our destination.

Over time I have gotten a little better and I don't mind telling you that I am taking Zoloft. Although Zoloft has the super cute bouncy spokes... person? Bean? Bubble? you have seen the commercials I'm sure, it is certainly not so magical as to make the unbearable bearable. Medicine can take the edge off, but the anxiety is still there, and the avoidance is extremely difficult to overcome.

It's especially difficult when people become frustrated with me. Just tonight I made plans with my dad to go on a few errands tomorrow involving a car (more on the car in a future post!) He himself suffered from the same anxieties years ago (unbeknownst to me until recently). But he asked if I minded him driving, saying "you don't feel anxious with me driving, right?" The fact is I feel anxious with anyone else driving. Yes, I have taken short trips through town in my dad's car but that doesn't mean I'm cured or that I will never again feel anxious with him driving.

So my mother and I were talking about it and she got really frustrated with me asking, "well, are you going to be like this the rest of your life?" God I hope not. But this is the same mother who has experienced her own "brain disfunction" in the form of depression. The same mother who reasoned with me when I was hesitant about taking medication that if I had a disease, I would take medicine for it, right? It would be stupid not to.

She thinks I need to go to therapy or take more medication or something. She thinks those things will help. I feel hopeless that nothing will help because I've tried it all. How is talking about my anxiety going to make it go away? And how much medication do I have to take to feel nothing? Do I have to take a daily tranquilizer or something so that I don't end up frustrating people with my anxiety?

My father called back and kindly told me not to worry, I could drive for our errands tomorrow. I hung up the phone and I just started to cry. When I have to defend my anxiety to someone I feel like I'm giving the anxiety more power. People don't seem to understand it's not so simple. It's not like I can make the decision to ride in someone's car and do it and then suddenly I'm over the whole thing.

I wasn't always like this and I don't want to be like this anymore. I'm frustrated with myself probably more than anyone else is. Do you think it's easy arranging things so that you're always the one driving? Let me assure you, it can be very tricky with people you don't know well enough to confess all this to. And besides, I don't want to confess it to anyone else. When I do people are always nice enough to let me drive all the time and that's not really helping me in the long run is it? I don't know what to do, I really don't. But at least I've got my brain disfunction out of the way right?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Recently I've been embracing my inner science geek. Finally there was just no denying the fact that I love PBS and the Discovery Channel. Shows about DNA testing and carbon dating and quantum physics. These are a few of my favorite things. Nova and Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda - woo hoo! Even the books I've been delving into of late are sciencey - genetics, cosmology, the nature of time - all topics I've enjoyed, if not entirely understood.

On a recent day off, I found myself in a bookstore geared towards the students of a particular prestigious, science-oriented, world-renowned university. I wandered up and down the rows of books not finding what I was looking for. Finally in a special section entitled "reference" that actually took up half the store, I saw the sign that said "science". I actually thought to myself "yay, science!" and smiled right there and then for all to see as I made my way over to the science books.

What's interesting about all of this is that I definately wasn't aware of my scientific leanings before. I've always been interested in these things, I just never made the connection. I can remember the last time I proclaimed an interest in science. I was in the fifth grade and I signed up for an after school science program. The first day I walked in and realized I was the only girl there. After all, there definately was an undercurrent about science and math being for boys more than girls. I hadn't acknowledged it, but at that moment I remember thinking that maybe I wasn't supposed to like science because I was a girl. Maybe science was boy-stuff. And remember, in fifth grade, boys were yucky. Some of them still are. And speaking of yucky, one of the things we did in that program was dissect worms. I think I felt even more out of place, repulsed by the smell of formaldehyde and the waxy worm skin, among boys who were excitedly throwing worms at each other and eagerly cutting them up.

And now one of my roommates is an actual scientist. Science is her job and she is the smartest person I know. Keeping in mind that she is from Europe, she was honestly surprised when I told her of my revelation that science was for boys. She had never heard such outrage. She just wasn't taught that way. Now she has inspired me to accept my inner scientist. And I realize that science is for everyone! But I still don't want to cut up worms. In fact, I feel kind of sorry for the worms.

Oh and speaking of dissection, I will never forget the way my seventh grade science teacher looked at the frog I was dissecting and said, "wow, what a remarkably large liver!" as he reached into my little aluminum tray, pulled the organ in question right out of the frog it was still attached to with nothing but his bare hands, and held it up to his face for examination. Really, is it any wonder I was a little put off by science?
Saturday, August 20, 2005
During a recent visit to my parents' house, they asked me to clean out a couple drawers in my old bedroom so they could use the space. Sifting through two decades of my life was pretty interesting. There were such prized possessions as plastic jewelry, banana clips (remember those?), notes from high school friends, a teensy pair of glasses that fit my face at five, a whole collection of buttons like the ones we used to pin all over our jean jackets - there was one I had made and decorated with pink hearts that said, "I love Bon Jovi!!", a short story written by me in elementary school and typed on a typewriter (it was actually a really good story and sort of humorous! Maybe I'll post it sometime), hair ribbons, old pictures, and a whole array of other things that were once important enough to keep.

Side note: I found a super cute picture of my cousin when he was a baby. When he was born I was in junior high school. When he was an infant I used to sit on the couch at my aunt's house holding him and pretending he was my baby - like a doll, only real. I actually saw him last week. He is turning 18 at the end of this month.

Anyway, going through those drawers was a fascinating trip down memory lane. Then just tonight I happened to smell something plastic just for an instant that brought me right back to second grade when the most wonderful things in the world were plasticky-smelling prism stickers. Prism stickers had liquid inside them and you could press on them to move the liquid around. For some reason we could buy them at school sometimes along with scratch and sniff stickers and small erasers shaped like hearts and flowers. It's just amazing to think back at how important these things were at the time. Treasured and loved and stored in drawers in my old bedroom just like a time capsule waiting for me to open it. Except instead of just finding erasers and banana clips and notes from old friends, I found a long forgotten piece of myself.
Monday, August 15, 2005
I have been doing so much lately and having a great time. Last week I was out three nights in a row! That hasn't happened since I was still living at my parents house and felt desperate to escape nightly.

Wednesday night was dinner with my old roommate. Remember the one I was most recently living with who decided to move in with her boyfriend? Well they broke up and she moved out and I'm just now realizing how much of a crazier partier she is. Dinner wasn't so crazy, but some of her stories were. No wonder she always made me feel like an old lady while she was off drinking until all hours of the morning when her boyfriend wasn't around.

Thursday night I got together with five strangers for an evening of pottery. I had replied to something I saw about a women's only social group when I saw that they were doing one of my favorite things - paint your own pottery. The girls are all in my age range and we had a great time. No one knew anyone else and they all turned out to be really nice. Most of all, I feel proud of myself for doing something like that - getting out there and doing something with people I don't know. The only weird thing is that I was the only one who is originally from Massachusetts. They were from all over. That's something I've been noticing a lot lately. Is it weird that I still live within a couple of miles from where I grew up? I really like Boston. Of course I haven't been many other places but I somehow feel compelled to relocate, like it's a rite of passage.

Friday night was another jewelry making event with wine! Did I tell you that I've been doing lots of jewelry making lately? It's really fun but a rather expensive hobby. For example, I'm wearing a super cool ring at this moment that I made only last night. I would say the cost for the materials was somewhere around $10. At the studio where I've been doing jewelry making they sell rings just like mine for $35 each. I can make the exact same rings so how can I start selling them and raking in the big bucks? My friend and I were thinking of renting a table at a craft fair or something and selling jewelry but really, I don't know much about becoming an entrepreneur. Also, I think it would be really hard parting with the things I make. They are all very special to me even when they don't come out well.

My only complaint about the last week were the guys at the burrito place I stopped at after pottery. The way they were looking at me made me feel sort of dirty and they were saying things in Spanish while looking at me. Finally one said, "I was just saying that you are beautiful". Yikes! Just give me my burrito and hold the creepy compliments please, thanks.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I love my new neighborhood, but I am still getting used to the sights and sounds. For example, it often smells like freshly baked cookies outside. Now this is fortunate because I know there are a lot of worse things it could smell like. The problem is, I have no idea where the smell is coming from. I figure there must be a factory someplace baking cookies in bulk and if I could sniff it out and track it down I sure would.

At the beginning of every month, we are awoken to a loud recording saying that cars on the street will be towed due to street cleaning. This is actually a great idea - to drive around warning people rather than just towing. And speaking of cars, I have seen more than one fall victim to a "boot". I've hardly ever seen one of those until I moved.

Yesterday morning I walked out the front door and almost stepped right into someone's unfinished meal. There was, on our front steps, a plate of half eaten chicken wings. The plate itself was not a paper plate, but someone's actual dinner plate. It was purple in color and I found myself admiring it as I stared down at the chicken wings in disbelief.

My apartment is in a duplex of sorts so technically, within our house, there are four apartments. I know that my roommates weren't snacking on the stoop because we don't have any fancy purple plates. Yet someone for some reason, left their plate on the top step directly outside our door. It was so random that I found myself trying to think of the story behind it. Someone was eating on the steps and had to leave in a big hurry, obviously. But why?

When I got home later the plate was still there but when I went back out still later, it was gone. Thank goodness because I sure didn't want to touch it.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
I just want to thank you all for the support and advice you gave me in regard to my last post. Every little comment meant so much to me to read. Sometimes during a difficult experience, it's easy to feel alone and to forget that other people have been there. It helps just to hear similar stories from those who have gone through something and lived to tell the tale. So thank you - I really do appreciate it.

* * * * *

The other night my roommate and I took a really long walk for exercise purposes. We walked down the main street, over by the river, and then cut back up a parallel busy street. As we were walking past the river, we encountered a man on a bike riding straight towards us. He announced "ladies, on your left" so that we would move to one side, only it was confusing because we weren't sure if he truly meant our left since he was veering in that direction, or his left. As we scrambled to clear the way, we saw that he definately wasn't your average evening bike rider. In fact, he seemed drunk and as he passed us, he smelled drunk as well.

One near miss with a drunken biker was enough but several minutes later we heard a familiar voice behind us say "ladies, between the two of you or to one side - your choice." Our choice? How long did we get to make the choice? Not long considering he was practically on top of us. Turns out Mr. Drink and Ride had forgotten his back pack up ahead in the darkness. "I'm so relieved no one took it!" he exclaimed. But in this day and age, really, who is going to pick up and carry off an unattended back pack? There could be anything in there.

And while we're on the subject of creepy things, I'd also like to mention that on the third leg of our walk, on the brightly lit sidewalk of the busy street, something large suddenly ran toward us. So large in fact that I with my myopia could see it distinctly sprinting in our direction. It was a huge cockroach. And by huge I mean that it was the size of a small dog. We screamed and darted out of it's path and then watched it continue hurriedly toward a local eating establishment. It was quite a sight indeed.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
I know why I've had such a hard time writing lately. My mind is completely preoccupied with a situation that I haven't wanted to write about and therefore any other topic seems fluffy and unnecessary. I may as well just get this out right?

For the entire time I have been writing here, I had a boyfriend who I never wrote about. I don't know why I didn't... I guess because for one thing, people I know read this and I didn't need to give them an in depth look at my relationship. For another thing, deep down inside I have known for a long time that he is not the right one for me and I knew the end was inevitable. So why bother saying anything?

A couple of months ago, we broke up in a rather anticlimactic way. In fact, it coincided with my move so I was for the most part, doing just fine. I had so many new and different things going on. Plus, I felt a little bit relieved. Not because I didn't want to be with him, but because the impending reality had been whispering in my ear for a long time. Things about growing up and needing to figure it all out and not waste anymore time in my life.

The biggest problem with the separation is that he was my best friend. Although we were quite different in a number of key ways that would crop up down the line in the not-so-distant future and we both knew that, during the day to day we were amazingly matched. We laughed and talked and had so much fun together.

So I thought I was ready to be friends. I thought I could handle it. We got together a few weeks ago and things were great. Just like old times (in the friendship sense). Then over dinner, he told me he is seeing someone new. Someone dramatically younger than him and someone who he thinks could be "the one". I immediately lost my appetite.

This whole thing has been devastating for me. It has brought to the surface so many memories from the beginning when he felt that way about me. Ultimately knowing that we don't belong together has not been able to stop me from feeling so terrible. I can't stop myself from thinking things I shouldn't and I can't seem to get the whole mess out of my head.

I miss him in so many ways. And on top of it all, I know he genuinely wants to be friends with me. He has always felt the way I did about the friendship aspect of our relationship. I want to be friends too. But I can't even talk to him right now. I just can't. Not because I'm angry but because it just hurts so much. I'm still going over in my head what went wrong with us and at what point did he stop feeling like it was me who might be "the one". Never mind my own revelations - I know it's not rational.

I also know that on occasion, he reads this blog. I didn't want him to think that I was pining away for him, wanting to get back together. I'm not and I don't. I have a lot of mixed feelings. In some ways I feel angry - how could he have gotten over me so quickly? In some ways I feel nonsensical - I don't want him to be with someone else, even though I don't want him for myself. This is all a jumble of things that I don't want him to read about here because they are just words. I may feel a million different things from minute to minute and then they are gone. The real truth is I am just sad. I am mourning the loss of us and I am baffled that he is not. But I know that it will all be o.k. I know that I need to feel bad right now and that I will get over this.

And if he happens to be reading, well I guess it doesn't matter if he knows all of that.
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