Friday, June 29, 2007
Posted by Evolutionary Revolutionary at 10:50 AM
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I don't expect people to understand. In fact, I imagine they are pissed off. They probably think I'm jerking them around, or at very least lying to myself about something. But I'm not! Not this time! I am finally trying to break this pattern. This is thing I do - it IS my pattern. All my relationships I lived with one foot out the door, waiting for something better to come along. Something better will always come along if you are looking for it. And then things got hard. And my fears and insecurities tell me that its better to just run far away. Start something somewhere new. I've perfected this. By now I know exactly how to land so that I'm only off my feet for a moment, and then I'm off and running again, towards the same goal, just on the other side of the fence this time.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I suppose it's a blessing. I have a village guiding me to do "The Right Thing". Too bad, however, that "The Right Thing" is conflicting, confusing and just plain doesn't feel right. Is "The Right Thing" (Whatever you may think it is) supposed to give you heart pounding anxiety and loss of sleep?Well, thank you to my many advisers, be them all kind and well intentioned. But I have to turn you off now. Radio Silence. I'm going to hide my cell phone, leave the Internet at work, unplug the T.V. and double lock the door. I want no more advice. I need a moment of silence and the opposite of what I've been craving - stillness.
Posted by Evolutionary Revolutionary at 1:56 PM
But I'm not really sure what. My head / heart are stuck in some kind of limbo. I am trying to keep moving - forward, ideally - but there's not a lot I'm completely sure of right now. I get advice from everyone. I even tried to ask God to talk to me through the I Ching, although I was assured that He didn't really respond to that kind of blaspheming. But no matter what I'm told to do I still have no idea what I should.
I don't know when to leave. Straight up escape is first on my mind. I could make it without proper organization, I'd just have less money. I'm sort of okay with that. But I don't want to completely screw my rental reference and I will need some money to land with.
I've already picked out (but not yet purchased) a big bag thing to strap to the top of Betty Ford in order to maximize the space I'll have, and I found some cheap compression bags to pack my sweaters and other various linens as small as the will go. But there is still a daunting task of figuring out exactly what of all my crap I really want to keep. I'm sure that my mom can keep a lot of things for me for awhile, but the last time I left things behind somewhere I didn't end up getting them back - mainly because I never found need for them. So I guess it's about quantifying what is really important enough to take with me, and giving away all the rest.
Not to leave out the other major change in my life. I am just avoiding thinking about it, to stave off crying all day. I know I messed up. I know I can't have both: my dream of living in the city and the person I love. Not this year. Maybe not ever. That is the thing that kills me. That the hope is gone. The thing that I always had carrying me along through everything. Hope. Dissolved in a second, blown to bits by my actions. Obliterated.
But I am tired. Tired of going around in circles. Trying to make heads or tails and coming up with a damn Canadian coin in the end. Which way is up? I don't know anymore.
I want to stop crying. I want to stop wondering when things are going to get better. I want to go more than one month without a fight. I want to laugh hysterically. I want to go do something silly and spontaneous. I don't know if that can happen again. I want to be hopeful. I want to find the hope again.
Friday, June 22, 2007
This time, friends, it's a new AIR CONDITIONER. Something like this would be nice:
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Why It Is Better To Have WORK While At Work:
1. Because I am obsessively refreshing my inbox.
2. Because I am running out of interesting web pages to look at.
3. Because I'm feeling lonely.
I guess I just want someone to talk to right now. I could begin a new letter for "the letter writing campaign". I could file. I guess.
Surely it's just the rain, mixed with a sullen Norah Jones, mixed with the cessation of cigarettes, mixed with the menstrual mayhem brewing in my body. Surely I'm not actually sad.
Thank God for the brief thunderstorm; I haven't watered my garden for days.
Do I leave for lunch, or stay here and enjoy a few moments where I'm technically allowed to do nothing?
Been thinking about the movie Shopgirl recently. It was one of those brightly lit, colorful and crisp movies that I love so much, like I Heart Huckabees, Lost in Translation, and Amelie. May be qualified as girly movies but then - I am, after all, a girl. I've been thinking about the scene where Claire Danes runs out into the dark of a field, barefoot in a long night gown, and the flash reveals her silhouette just as she turns around to face the camera. Later, in her kitchen, she blackens a sketch with charcoal to the same effect. At the end of the movie we see the image, deeply contrasted in black and white and framed delicately in a gallery.
I don't know why it's that I've been thinking of, specifically. I've not worked on a collage for weeks. My plans to pan handle/create in public are thwarted by the consistent threat of thunderstorms and pouring rain. I want to begin saving money for the big move, but I don't know what indoor public places will allow me to usurp their space for a day - let alone stink it up with rubber cement fumes. Maybe Bookpeople...
I think it's the anxiety that comes along with facing a big change. I want each detail to be carved in stone and to be executed flawlessly. It seems, to me at least, that there are so many elements still up in the air. There are too many variables that can still change.
What it is, I guess, is I like the idea of change, but find the change itself too overwhelming. If I could just fast forward three months to the end result. Cut out the fretting and fussing and packing and selling that will be carefully shoved between the two times. Then I could feel less anxiety, I think.
I picked a very bad time to quit smoking.
Don't know why, but I think this monologue is absolutely fabulous. Maybe its her stellar use of gourmet confectionery treats as a topic of conversation....
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Posted by Evolutionary Revolutionary at 3:39 PM
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
For future reference: I need more than ten hours notice to complete a project like the one that you just requested. If you had given me any advanced warning as to the changes that had been made (such as, oh, I don't know, forwarding me the DAMN email) then I could have budgeted my time more efficiently. NOW I am going to have to bust my balls to get done what should really already be done. You are a fucking egocentric shaved head east Texas gig truck driving piece of shit.
Your Most Disgruntled Co-Worker
Posted by Evolutionary Revolutionary at 3:38 PM
I don't feel good about the day until I have written something. No matter what it is. It's probably the healthiest addiction I have.
And some humor, for good measure...
Monday, June 18, 2007
I visited H-town this weekend, and my sweet mommy. It was the first time I'd seen her since January. It's basically criminal to go six months without seeing your mother if you only live three hours from her. I blame it on the price of gas, which, at three dollars a gallon, is almost a legitimate (albeit lame) excuse.
Still, it was nice to just lay around, unselfconscious, and eat pizza and ice cream with her. No matter how old I get that is the kind of home base she will provide. One where she and I lay around in our pajama's and watch fluffy girlie movies, talk politics over breakfast and a pot of coffee, and spend money we don't really have for the sheer sake of enjoying every minute together.
It's hard to think of leaving her again to move eight states and 2,000 miles away. I wish that I could take her with me, but for all of my trying she will not budge. She is determined to succeed in Houston. She will not be rescued away, carried off in a flurry of other peoples wishes. She will scrape and claw her way until that very last point of breaking - she will either go through the top or the bottom - but she will have done it entirely on her own.
And I wonder where I get it from.
For that I cannot begrudge her. No one (especially no one in this family) likes to be told they are doing it wrong. Be damned to Hell if you say those words to our face.
Anyhow, I feel pretty certain that she knows there's no way to hold me back from this plan. I talked about it so much over the weekend that I almost felt bad. Then made the mistake of telling my machismo uncle that I was making the move with my boyfriend??? Oh, sinner beware! I thought he might send me to the fires of hell, right after brunch.
I just don't want her to be alone anymore. After all these years she still hasn't made any real friends, and though my sister debates that she's never had any real friends I feel that my mother is totally capable of this. She is capable of giving so much love. Maybe L is right though, and she holds it back, reserves it like a special secret to be given only to the chosen.
So much I don't know about her. As a child I used to wait until I was left at home alone so that I could go through her dresser drawers. I don't know what I was looking for exactly. Clues, hints to her past. I know so little. I have one Aunt that I have never met or talked to, and hear less of. There must have been so much pain there. I never found it buried in her nightstand.
When I called my father for his appropriated Hallmark day, he talked incessantly about our family. He had stories and pictures and stories to go with pictures. Almost the whole family still lives in Pennsylvania. They are (reportedly) crazy back woods characters, who love to have barbecues and dances and play music under faded porch light. He jokes that I could write a book about them, but what he doesn't know is that I want to. That history - that extensive family that has been a lifelong mystery to me - that was the reason I wanted to get to know him. I wanted so badly to know where I came from. Lord knows I may never find out about my mother. Though, Lord also knows I will continue to try.
I looked at the photo of my father and mother, a year before I was born. They stand in the field of my great Aunt Millie, probably at some backyard get together. He is thin, with thick hair still fairly blonde from outdoor work and play. She is beside him, also still thin, wearing the exact same blues as he is in her jeans and shirt. She has my face, with bushy black hair to confuse the picture.
Like a foolish child I imagined what it would be like if my real mommy and daddy got back together after all these years. It's the kind of five year old fantasy I never before allowed myself to have. It's unrealistic, for all the pain and hurt my mother still harbors, and for the obviousness of my perfectly lovely stepmother. But for a minute I thought about it.
Maybe some piece of me feels guilty. I fear that she will think I've chosen him over her - though it's not that at all. Its the whole lot of them, and my sister too, and this beautiful dream of mine I've entertained for too long not to make it real. And, foolishly, I wish that she would just up and change her mind. Make this fourth cross country move with me. That she would want to be with her baby more than be alone and "make it".
This is all the more reason that I have to have a stable job to land with in the city. I will not put myself in a position that doesn't allow me to see her more than once a year. I need that mommy love. That one relationship that I have been so blessed with that will never ever change or falter. I need to see her cats, and the old dog we raised from a puppy. I need to smell her mommy smell - Covergirl makeup and soapy lotion. I need to be able to go to church with her, hold her hand during the "Our Father", and kiss her cheek when we all greet each other with "Peace Be With You".
I suppose time and space never change these bonds. What stories to tell...what stories will come...
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Why are you messing with my head like that? Buffering at .2% and then .3% and then again at .2? It's really cruel. I don't know what is wrong with you today, but I feel like have some strong words with your superior about your performance.
I am posting before coffee. This could cause several things to occur.
A: A cranky post about the dismal life of an office ant.
B: A boring post about the dream I had about my cuticles.
C: A cataclysmic shift in the time space continuum, causing life as we know it to be altered.
D: Complete and total internal failure on my part.
I am well aware of the dangers. And still I plug on. I think that I smell today. I pulled a shirt out of the closet, unaware that it wasn't exactly...um...clean, until I put it on. But I had my heart set on wearing this shirt. It is pale and feminine. It makes me feel powerful, in a girly kind of "I can get what I want" way.
I decided to wear it anyway. Normally I would have febreezed it, but of course I had spent fifteen good minutes of getting ready time trying to make a new CD to listen to in the car (only to have the CD not burn correctly). So I doused it with a good dose of my favorite honeysuckle perfume, which didn't really mask the smell so much as alter it slightly to something else kind of funky. ...Honestly, I don't really care.
Judging by the size of the stack of paper on my bosses desk I think I have about 20 more minutes before he comes up and begs me to get to work. This is something I am not looking forward to.
Most of my days lately are spent job hunting in New York, and looking for potential places to live. I am anxious to begin trying to make money for the trip out there, constantly scheming at easier, cheaper ways to make the move. I don't have a credit card and I don't intend to get one. (Although, I think in my dream last night I had one). Well, maybe I will get one strictly for good credits sake, after I pay off my Capital One card. It will be a real joy if the just stop calling me at work...
I've excited myself about the new plan for my book. Its top secret(ish). But I've finally found something that motivates me to write on it, every single day. So far it hasn't cost me anything except perhaps the cost of my conscience for stealing stamps from work. What? They're fourty-one cents a pop now. I guess I could use the Pony Express....
I can't wait for the calls to start rolling in about job offers. Yeah. I feel sure they'll come ANY day now.
Okay, completely boring, no? At least I didn't go on and on about the dream I had the other night where a whale was breaching in Puerto Rico and he breached right into a wall and the cliff smashed down on him and sliced him right in two and his whale wife came up and started cleaning his teeth because she was so sad at her loss and there was no blood in the water, it was still crystal blue. At least I didn't do that.
Alas...the stack of paper has returned to my desk...Such is the bitter, miserable life of a secretary...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
What some people don't appreciate, I think, are the moments that you can take for yourself and not give one good damn about anyone else. That's what this is for me. I've worked today. I've legitimately done things, so there can be no complaints made. And yet I'm certain that many complaints could be made on behalf of me, by the very same people who don't appreciate taking time for yourself.
It's all cryptic and coded, I guess, what I'm saying. But I'm so tired. Of working like this for other people. How has my mother done it for thirty some odd years?? Each day waking up and knowing that you are so capable of really succeeding at what you are passionate about, if only you didn't have to leave in five minutes to be brow beaten by overweight pencil pushers.
I'm not depressed about it. Just strengthens my resolve, that's all. None of the brilliant and talented minds of our world let the defeat of others get them down. They just pushed on. Became painters and poets and nuclear scientists and brain surgeons and Oprah.
Not that I think that someday I'll be as influential as Oprah. I'd like to be on Oprah...but that is a different aspiration altogether, I guess, that has nothing to do at all with my passions.
The moment is fleeting. Back to the grind, lest I be drawn and quartered for not turning something around immediately, if not sooner. Boxes of chipped up trees, casually awaiting a landfill, require my attention.
When appling for a job that requires you handwrite a letter about "The Importance of Accuracy" do NOT mention items attached to said resume and cover letter that are not actually attached.
It could be worse though. Originally, I thought that I had sent them a cover letter that read "Attached are my cover letter and resume as application for the Administrative Assistant position advertised on your website." The position is for an Art Gallery Assistant and was posted everywhere BUT their website.
Hopefully they won't notice the flub of information...
(My Resume ------------------------>)
This morning, I came into work early to fax something. I felt mostly upbeat; definitely ready for some coffee. I was even feeling ready for some actual work.
I swung around the desk to put down my purse and found, laying on my keyboard, the obituary I had left there to remind me to write cards today for my grandmothers passing, and two things laid directly on top of that, left by my boss. One was something I needed to type up and the other was a big binder that I had been keeping on my desk. It had been on my desk for a couple of days, waiting for the next person who was going to the office it was en route to, to take it off my hands. On the binder there was a yellow sticky note. It read:
"Why is this still here? They expected it yesterday!"
Grumbling, I faxed what I needed to and got in the car to drive the FIVE minutes to the office it apparently should have been at yesterday, fuming at the passive aggressive nature of the stupid yellow sticky.
Why was it still there? WHY? Because I didn't know it needed to be there yesterday. Because, when my boss came up and gave me the submittal he had forgotten to put in the binder, he did not say "Can you get this out, because they are expecting it today." Nor had he expressed that there was any rush whatsoever. Because usually things that are going to that office wait until someone is going there for a meeting because it is absurd to pay 10+ dollars for a courier to drive a quarter of a mile. But of course, this is my fault.
I cranked up Johnny "Guitar" Watson's 'Ain't That a Bitch', singing angrily to the lines about not having a damn thing left. By the time I got back to my office I had cooled down enough to reason myself into the last slice of chocolate cake and a cup of ultra sugary coffee (and a piece of dark chocolate). I checked the fax machine to make sure my document had gone through and set my jaw determinedly for making this move happen, as soon as humanly possible.
Today I fully intend so send out many more of what went through the fax machine this morning: My Resume.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Exhibit A: Beautiful deep chocolate strawberry and chocolate glaze bliss.
I whipped up some fresh cream for the remainder of the berries. I didn't get any photos of the lovely walnut truffles I made earlier this week. But they were fabulous, trust me.
A thriving succulent, my prized heirloom plum lemon tomato plant
and the honeysuckle I planted which is successfully growing up.
See? Martha F***ing Stewart.
Not included in Martha's Curriculum Vitae is famous collagist. Which I will soon be.
Full of Expectation
"One Wish Under the Golden Gate"
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
No one talks about this. Everyone is familiar with a mid-life crisis and with menopause. But no one ever talks about how shitty you feel when you are about to turn 25 and still have not done what you want with your life. I want to make changes. I want to stab out in the unkown. I want to figure out if I can manage my life in the big city, if I can make my dreams come true. I am resisting with everything in my body the urge to pack up the cats and the car and just GO. Sell everything I don't care about, strap the bed to my car and pray that Betty doesn't explode before I sell her. These things, however, are a recipe for distaster. I will surely fail if I go before I even have a JOB, let alone do somethings to clear up my credit and make at least most of the two grand it would cost me to move into a room in Brooklyn. When you put it that way it sounds nuts.
And so I'm convinced I'm having a quarter life crisis. There are things there that I want. Things that I can see tangibly in the distance. And my utter discontent is clouding me from staying put and doing it the smart way.
I need some good advice. I need a plan and a fucking shoulder to cry on because things are getting rough. I'm not depressed, I'm just discontented. I need a secret benefactor who can loan me enough money to get there. I need someone to stop me from freaking out.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Oatmeal made with peanut butter,
I can't stay away from that. I can't keep myself away from the dream of this city, the opportunities it hold, my passions at my fingertips. Here is good, and here got me to where I am today. But here will not help me get to be a writer. Not like I want to be.
I want to write know people who write. I want to intern at McSweeney's school for kids, teaching eight year olds how to believe that they too can be writers for a living. I want to take a real course from a real writer, who can tell me a few things about making it, instead of just sharing my work with other mediocre folks like myself.
And that is why I'm foreiting my simple little Austin life for the Big City.
Out watering the seedlings who seem to be withering in the Texas sun – don't worry I will breathe them back to life. I pruned the honeysuckle and tried not to kill the spider spinning a web between my Wandering Jew and my Heirloom Plum Lemon Tomato. I plucked the dead remains of my neighbors Peonies and thought about sending him a warning message not to be shocked if they were dead when he returned from his vacation. I began to spray the teeny buds of Basil and the leftovers of my Thyme. And then there was a flutter behind me in the birdbath.
When I put the garden in I carefully resurrected the old concrete birdbath from its tomb beneath the bushes, hoping to bring down the Mourning Doves from the trees. So far I had not seen one in it, and so when I heard the commotion I thought I might be greeted by a sweet surprise.
Instead I found Ralph, the neighboring orange cat, jingling out of a launch onto the bath with a mouthful of brown bird. I gasped and screamed horrified that one of my special birdies would be a victim.
"NO! Ralph NO!" I cried. Ralph stopped, questioning my judgment.
"It would be so good!" he seemed to say.
So I sprayed him with the garden hose. He let the bird go and it fluttered off to address its wounds, leaving Ralph with a mouth of feathers. I sprayed him again to get him out of the yard.
Seems silly, maybe, to try to stop nature from happening. But the sound of doves have always been my comfort noise; they're sad coo has always awaken me in the places I call home. Doves are the symbol of peace, but of the Future too. And so my garden, of course, will always be a safe haven for their sweet sad songs.
Some people have special talismans that keep them safe; they can wear them around their neck or keep them by their bed. For me, over the years, my talismans have been birds – the Mourning Dove, the Blackbird, and the Loon, respectively.
The mourning dove solaced me in the years just after I left Colorado. I became familiar with their song in the bed where I called home, and then as moved from city to city I listened for it in the places I went. If I heard them call I knew I could safely call whereever I was my new home, at least for a time. If there was no dove call, I considered it inhospitable. On my first trip exploring NYC as a potential place to live I heard only pigeons. This time, a single dove let itself on a telephone wire as the sun rose over Brooklyn. I new I could be safe there.
Just as the Blackbird had called me from a song, letting me know everything would be okay. When I floundered aimlessly in Pennsylvania, wondering what to do and if I would ever find happiness, I heard the Beatles song "Blackbird" in several completely different renditions, over and over in the course of several days. Sometimes it finds itself to a lone guitar while I am within earshot. But each time I find the symbol of Promise in that song. "Fly blackbird, fly," the refrain calls to me. There has to be hope.
There was never a simple explanation for the presence of Loon I heard one night on a bike ride home. It was a steamy night in Texas, seems like maybe September or some rainy season. I rode up the hill to my street and I paused for the noise I heard. At first I thought it was a siren, and then maybe a horses whinny. It stopped and I rode on, but then several nights later while laying in bed, I woke just after the end of a violent rainstorm. In the silence that followed I heard the same call right outside the window. I couldn't figure out what could have made such a sound in my neighborhood, and why I seemed to be the only one around when it called, and so I obsessively researched it. I looked through all the indigenous birds of Texas and then searched on to waterfowl, thinking of the rain, when I came upon the loon. It's Tremolo was the exact sound I heard. But the loon is a Northern duck. And to this day I haven't heard another.
I looked up the symbolism of the loon and Native American cultures regard it as the symbol of realizing your dreams.
The other day I put together the symbols of my bird talisman. It read: "The promise of realizing your dreams in the future." And so they are my identity.
Miles Davis. It's finally raining. The clouds are letting loose their heavy burden. My little garden gets a fresh drink. Lightening strikes. I am not afraid. When I was young, my stepfather used to stand and watch the lightening strike. I would cower under the covers. I hated the thunder crashing around me. One night, sleeplessly, I joined him at our screen door to watch the light flicker over the mountains. He was outside, the wind blowing around him. He looked crazy. When he saw me at the door he came in; I told him that I was scared.
"Nothing to be scared of," he said. "The lightening is miles away."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Because you count. Every time you see the lightening flash you count the seconds until you hear the thunder. And that is how far away it is."
There was a flash and we counted – one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five – until the clap rattled me. I jumped.
"That one was five miles away!" He explained.
We watched and counted again and again, until I wasn't afraid anymore. Thick bolts of light ran jagged and horizontal in the purple clouds. It was awesome, when my fear was gone.
The more you know the less you are afraid.
What I do not know yet terrifies me still. But I am old enough to know that I can seek out the answers, if I want.