Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blogging the Relationship (12), or, Insomnia

It's a Saturday morning, technically.

More idiomatically, it is still Friday night. It is 4:30 in the morning. Both the men in my life are asleep--my furball is on the futon, his normal place, all 75 pounds of him sprawled out, covering 3/4 of the available sitting space. LT is asleep in bed, of course, like a sane person.

I am not. (Asleep or, apparently, sane.)

I awoke about 3:40, got up, peed, turned off the lights in the kitchen and sealed up some chip bags, and got back into bed. I sighed. I rolled over. I tried snuggling, thinking that would help me sleep. It didn't. All I did was wake up the LT every time I moved. I got back out of bed.

The LT has a theory about sleep: that your body has an ever-running sleep deficit or Debt, and that it keeps track of how many hours you need versus how many hours you get, and if you're low, you can make it up--the LT swears you need only 15 minutes extra for every hour of sleep you've missed. And that the Debt can run several days, or in fact eternally, until you make up that lost sleep.

I must be in the black, then.

It's amazing how loud the littlest sounds can be when you're cognizant that two people you care about are asleep. Opening and closing the microwave sounds like a gunshot, the actual running time sounds as loud as the vacuum. I just went and closed the door to the bedroom and noticed for the first time how LOUD MY FLOORBOARDS ARE, holy crap, I was practically playing a symphony at full volume. LT sighed and turned over in his sleep.

It's been awhile since my last bout of insomnia, and back then I would fart around on the internet, read some blogs, and maybe go back to sleep. At this moment I don't want to read ANY blogs. My obsession with the printed word is becoming a hatred. I'm tired of reading and writing, I'm tired of keeping up with people I'm never going to meet. I have a full life here in RealWorld. I'm tired of trying to write my novel, a novel that will never be completed, and I'm tired of trying to keep up my blog, of the pressure I put on myself that I MUST write, tired of reading writers like Dooce and realizing I'll never be as good as they are, not in a million years, not even if I do nothing else but pour over my own words for the rest of my natural life.


I have a big day planned today: the LT and I are helping my parents haul wood away to the dump this morning--in fact I'm getting up in less than an hour--and then I'm driving down to Portland to meet a bunch of people I've never met; I'm going to a Vegan Meet-Up. Here's hoping I don't fall asleep in the car.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I have reverted to my old blog style! (I'm still Beta, I'm just...reverting to the classic form.)

Thank you for all who have read through my ugly design change!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Evening

*insert sigh of contenment here*

It's Sunday evening, and I have been told, by a high school girl, a CUTE one, a beautiful high school girl with perfect skin and perfect hair and waxed eyebrows and who's captain of her dance team and definitely one of the Golden People, part of the In Crowd at her school...

..."Hey! Your hair is cute today!"

And folks, if a HIGH SCHOOL GIRL thinks you have cute hair, then you SERIOUSLY HAVE CUTE HAIR!

Also, I would like to point out that I am a SERIOUSLY BAD ASS TUTOR, and that when two high school girls--both gorgeous and blonde and perfectly-skinned-and-eyebrowed--when TWO separate girls remember, on the same evening, things that YOU TOLD THEM, in a previous tutoring session...that's when you know you're a badass tutor.

So, to recap: I have cute hair and I'm a badass tutor.

Thank you and good night.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Things That Inspire Me

The Buttons and SexyBack videos. HOLY CRAP ARE THEY HAWT.
The Matrix videos.
The movie Domino.
BONES, the TV show.
The Psalms and the Proverbs.
The practice of Wicca.
Changing weather.
Growing my hair out.
Awesome Dinner Party on Saturday, at which I ate my fill of three excellent vegan dips, one made by me.
Baba Ghanoush that turned out seriously awesome, see above.
Cold Sesame Noodles that turned out SO awesome that people asked me for the recipe.
Rearranging my kitchen!

Purposely using the V word--aka Vegan--in normal conversation with servers. As in, "Can I get that with no cheese, no sour cream, or any animal products? I'm vegan."

Them: "Sure."

Me: "Great.

Surprisingly easy!

This weekend, which will include going to see The Black Dahlia, this awesome Oktoberfest, seeing the LT, and spending time with my niece and my mother in the fall sunshine!

And finally, debauchery.

This picture is better not examined too closely. Please leave as a thumbnail, thank you.

Uh, AND this picture too.

But THIS picture is awesome! All hail Tacoma!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Depression Lite

Sigh. Wednesday AGAIN.

Because life goes on, you see, which is pretty much the best part about it, it just goes on and on, one day after another, and you might be able to stop your own life but whatever you do you cannot stop Time. Or the Passing Of. History goes on, and the only thing you've changed is that you're not a part of it anymore, and THAT'S no fun.

But neither are you an active part of history, either, if you realize that you've left early with your boyfriend from the last three public events you were invited to, including a major hip hop concert that you were just too tired to attend, and you wonder if maybe there is something wrong with yourself.

And you wake up on the futon because you were too scared to sleep in your own bed, because Titan went crazy at the window two nights ago at the big tree outside and you became convinced that someone had climbed the tree to spy into your bedroom, and you kind of like sleeping in the living room anyway, because for some reason you've never been a big fan of bedrooms as hang-out spots. You sleep in them, and that's about it.

And you feel sort of weird about that, that your bedroom is just a mishmash of stuff that didn't fit anywhere ELSE in the apartment, and your living room has become your bedroom, and you wake up from the futon and open your eyes to squalor.

You always thought that having money--or being flush at all--would make your life better, but you find out that it really doesn't. You've bought new cookbooks and new yoga videos, you've bought stuff you needed at target, you got your mother a birthday present, and yet it all sits, in its original bags and boxes, around your apartment, and everything is being slowly covered by a fine layer of dog hair, including you, because you have not moved from your computer in the last three hours.

Because money can buy you things, but it cannot buy you the will to do anything.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blogging the Relationship (11), or, Sunday Evening Contentment

I am drinking a glass of wine and eating an enormous quantity of food. New Orleans zydeco-type jazz plays at a low but rollicking volume on NPR.

My boyfriend, who has already eaten at a brewery with a recently-moved-to-town fraternity brother, sits kitty corner from me at my white breakfast table. He occasionally turns his nose up at my vegan spread, but also occasionally accepts a rice crisp, once with vegan herb "cheese" on it. I have eaten an entire "cheese" ball, half a tub of hummus, half a large package of rice crisps, and polished off an entire package of vegan ramen. I am full. And inordinately happy about it.

Titan snoozes beneath the table. LT is reading "In The Company of Soliders", and I am typing this blog post. He occasionally reads passages out loud. I am fascinated, especially when he reads, "...and the General returned home April 14th. Huh. I returned home April 15th. That's an interesting confluence of events."

I cannot believe that my boyfriend, who sits across from me now in a Keystone Ski Resort t-shirt and flipflops, is reading an account about the war that he just experienced. I cannot believe he was IN a war. I can't believe that he jumped out of bed early this morning so he could put the hard-top back on my Jeep, and also add light-guards, and that, when the appointed time came around, and he attempted to wake me up, I yelled at him, and yet he still came over tonight.

I have fed him wine and food and put on his favorite shirt, and here we are, still talking. I am about to nap until my sheets are ready. It is perfect.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And then Firefox exploded, or, a love letter to my mother

Hello. It is Wednesday, it is gray, I have not slept well, I am doing a gigantic data entry project for work, and my Firefox has exploded. All my bookmarks/blog feeds/everything else, gone. GONE.

So if I don't comment on your blog for awhile, I swear I still like you. ALL of you. It's just that...well, I need to work sometime, right?

Just ask my mother. (Hi, mom!)


It is a truth universally acknowledged that, a single woman in possession of a fairly medium-ish salary and her own apartment and a boyfriend and some friends and a dog, must be in want of a mother's advice.

Notice I said "a" mother, not necessarily "HER" mother. The older OA in this office often stops by my desk to "catch up"--she has a daughter a few years older than myself, and she wants to trade stories, no matter how much I would like to keep my personal life private. "Watch out for boys," she often says. I was stopped on the street yesterday by a nice woman drinking a sugar-free latte through a straw out of a Tully's cup, Dockers, sensible shoes, sensible makeup, gray hair, glasses for fading eyesight. "You're losing your hem, dear," she said, warmly, not condescendingly. She put her arm around me. "I just thought you would want to know." I jumped, already on edge, but I appreciated her saying something, although it was a little weird to be hugged by an elderly lady on the streets of Seattle by the courthouse.

Yes, the courthouse.

It is ALSO a truth universally acknowledged that, a single woman, no matter how old she gets, will be in more fear of her mother than her boyfriend.

So when my ACTUAL mother called yesterday, and she said, "Where are you? I've tried the office AND your cell, just now," I therefore responded, "I came home for lunch."

Which was true.

But I came home for lunch because I had a midmorning appointment downtown, at the Seattle Municipal Court, for a traffic ticket.

Which I neglected to mention.

I am in the unique--and oft-envied--position of being friends with my mother in my adult life. And we ARE friends, sort of mother and daugther too, which we always will be, but mainly friends. This has not been easy. There was a period in high school in which things between us were so contentious that, after every occasion in which we spent time together, we rated it: "Well, we only got in that one screaming match, and we only gave each other the silent treatment for half an hour, so we did pretty good!" This was a habit we had to then consciously break ourselves of as we began to get along better, or else it felt (to me, at least) like too much of a reminder of that contentious period, and I really didn't want to be reminded.

I went to college far away, and got an internship in DC, and lived on my own, and had a boyfriend, etc, and then I graduated (by the skin of my teeth) and came back to the old homestead, being out of work and sort of lost. It wasn't a good time for me. I spent barely three months at home and got out again. It continued to not be a good time, but at least I wasn't living at home.

But this is not a story about me. (Not really.) This is a story about my mother, and our relationship. After this troubled time, I waited tables for awhile, and then Mom--ever so gently--mentioned one day, "So, my friend tells me they're hiring at B."

And I put my resume in, and the rest is history.

It wasn't that she wasn't my friend before; after all, she and my father came to every restaurant I worked at, to show support, even though they weren't crazy about my lifestyle. But I get the impression now that my lifestyle is more...understandable, my mother. I'm young, I'm single, I'm a professional, I live in my own apartment. She did this herself. She never graduated from college and decided to slum for awhile. She graduated college--without drinking a drop until senior year--and started a career. True, she had been married for two years already when she was my age, but she was 21 when she graduated and she was on her own for two years, so almost parallel to where I am now. And then her career offered to send her to Thailand, and then my dad heard about it, and then he proposed, and here we all are, thirty-five years later. Life is a funny thing.

And now, like all mothers, she attempts to live out her life through me, her other life, what would have happened if maybe she had gone to Thailand instead, but at the same time she's held back by sixty-year-old dating advice. She told me the other day, for example, that I should be careful to put the LT's needs first at all times. With maybe this exception: "You don't HAVE to sleep with ANYBODY until there's a RING ON YOUR FINGER," she reminds me occasionally. Well, no kidding, mom, I don't HAVE to do anything except go to work on a daily basis and feed myself and Titan. What happened to my needs, MY choices? Dating in the sixties didn't allow for the woman to have an opinion, I guess, except the word No.

But just because I don't take her advice in the dating arena--although I often ask for it anyway--doesn't mean I tune her out, just like I would a close friend. T-Town and I don't always agree, and neither do my mother and I, but there's plenty of things I DO take from her. For example: when I moved to Seattle the second time, I picked out an apartment that I could afford, and she did a drive-by and didn't like it. "There's a halfway house right by it," she said. "Fine, mom," I said, exasperated after having looked for apartments for a week. "YOU find me something."

She ended up charming the manager at my current (mom-selected and approved) apartment so much that I was allowed to bring Titan, even though the building has a no-big-dog policy, and he (the manager, not Titan) still asks to be remembered to her, every time he and I talk. (Full disclosure: there's a halfway house--a different one--two blocks away, and crowds of homeless people above the dog park, but that's Capitol Hill for you.)

I do this mix of taking and not-taking her advice because I'm still learning, too. If I see something I think she'll like, I try to pick it up, and pass it along to her. And then there's times in which I tell her I bought her a Mother's Day present and really didn't. Like this time. (Whoops.)

For slow readers, yes, my mother lives thirty-four miles away from me. And HER mother lives here, too, and when we go out, the three of us, we resemble three fussy hens, stackable by height, with me being tallest, or at least usually wearing the tallest heels. I was telling Roommate an anecdote once, and I started it out with, "So, my family was traveling together this one time," and got halfway through the story and realized his eyes had glazed over. "What?"

"I just can't imagine traveling--ANYWHERE--with both YOU AND YOUR MOTHER IN THE SAME CAR," he said, awed. "My respect for your father's patience level has just gone up five notches."

Every meeting recently with her has been a battle of wills. This particular time several weeks ago, for example:


"I just want to clean the bathroom," she says, absently, not stopping. She really hasn't heard me at all, or if she has, she certainly hasn't registered them as important, because she is still cleaning. An actual friend would have stopped, and we would have talked about it, and made a compromise, but not my mother--she knows she's the mother, and I'm the daughter, and therefore she pulls rank. My words are no more important to her than the music in the background. She occassionally complains that my father doesn't listen to her, or just goes along with what HE wants to do, but it's obvious to me that she has developed her own method. They have been married for thirty-five years, and they are still a wonderful couple, but they have developed defense mechanisms for each other, as all couples do. And they work on me. Power, it's all about power. Power over ourselves, power over each other.

Oh, well. My mother and I are both as stubborn as mules, so I at least have this guarantee: as long as one of wants to be friends, we will continue. I can't help it, it's out of my control. When I see her, my blood rises up within me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Having It All

Balance, grasshopper. Patience. Balance. Life is a juggling act.

For example: going to yoga + going to hip hop + walking my dog twice daily + possibly starting a real dance class = not possible.

Doing hip hop now, starting yoga with a workout tape at home = possible.

Starting a real dance class after hip hop class is over, next season = possible.

Walking Titan = a necessity

Trying to add a few swims per week to this schedule = NOT POSSIBLE.

Trying to rent a practice room at the local community college in which I can occasionally practice my flute = NOT POSSIBLE

Occasionally practicing at home, in the bathroom, with the door closed = possible.

Finishing novel + working 40 hours a week + tutoring five hours a week = not possible.

Working on novel from time to time, at least one day a week = possible

Cooking my own vegan food fresh for every meal = NOT POSSIBLE

Devoting one afternoon a week to keep my vegan food supplies up = possible.

Number of evenings I would like to see the LT = 7
Number of evenings I have free = 5

Number of major overlaps I have in coming months: 1.

Being at both the LT's Navy Ball and at my Freshman Roommate's Wedding in Boston, at the same time = NOT POSSIBLE

Being at one or the other = possible

Number of ways I care that this post does not use consistent syntax = 0.

Number of ways in which I am slowly going insane = 579.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Indian Summer

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and, oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,
follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,
follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Deep in December it's nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December our hearts should remember,
And follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,


LT and I on our way to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Paramount. Another musical that broke tradition, and had great songs to boot.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Land of Festivals

Hey! It's a party over here! Ho! It's a party over there!

It's Labor Day Weekend, and if you're from Seattle, there's only one thing to do: leave town.

No, I'm kidding, the correct answer is, of course: go to Bumbershoot! And SkiBonkers! And hit Pike Place Market for vegan pastries! And walk and walk and walk some more and walk your dog and then go out and then entertain long-lost friends and then walk some more and pause for a Sparks break (much needed) and then walk some and stay hydrated! And then dance, space monkey, dance, and get interview for Spin magazine and see a million bands and fall asleep during a comics presentation but wake up in time to catch Wild Turkey bottles thrown by Chuck Palahniuk and stop in an air conditioned place for a glass of wine and go home and take a much needed nap.

Repeat, ad nauseam.

Help. Send Sparks.

Friday, September 01, 2006

All In Love, Aglow, and Making Your Ears Bleed

Hello! I am in love, yes! I am infatuated! And my brain has begun to slowly trickle out my ears!

And by "slowly" I mean "Niagra falls".

In talking to T-Town on Gchat today, usually we chat along and occasionally we chat so fast we have that time delay happening where one of is responding to the question from three chat messages ago, so that it looks like this:

Me: I washed my hair this morning.
T-Town: Taj got into the trash this morning.
Me: Damn! How bad was the mess?
T-Town: Oh yeah? Did you use that new shampoo?
Me: Titan got into the trash the other day, spread it all over the place.
T-Town: Pretty bad. There was toilet paper involved.
Yes, I really like it.
T-Town: Wow, he hasn't done that in awhile.
Me: Yuck!
T-Town: Sweet, I'm almost out of mine.
Me: Yeah, it was my fault, I left the bag out.
T-Town: It wasn't too bad.

(Y'all know what I'm talking about.)

ANYWAY. The point is, usually we're pretty energetic with our fingers (rawr!) and today there was a lot of...nothing.

Me: OMG my boyfriend's so cute goob gush go on for ages.
Me: I think today when he arrives we're going to do this thing, and then that thing, and then that other thing.
T-Town: (drip, drip)
Me: Hello? Is this thing on?
T-Town: (in a coma)

It's bad, y'all. Everything I say, these days, immediately puts whomever I'm taking to sleep, even if they've just had a big cup of coffee, ran four miles pursued by howling wolves, and watched a Jackie Chan movie. I am the Anti-Adrenaline. I am Boredom personified. Need to relax? Don't take Xanax, take me! (Please!) (Ba-dum!)