Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Holiday Traditions: Gingerbread Houses

"One thing I should tell you," he says. "These people whose house we're going to...they're Republican. I mean, like, REALLY Republican."

"Okay, so, when I make my gingerbread house, should I just leave off all the snow and say loudly, 'What does it matter? Snow's not even going to exist in five years anyway!"

"Absolutely. Maybe make it very clear that you're NOT adding guns to this gingerbread house. 'What do people need guns for anyway? We have too many guns in this country!'"

"Add a compost bin? Just go straight for the jugular and put solar panels on the roof? And I'll write the woman symbol above my front door in frosting. Two of them linked together, as befits a house that has subverted traditional gender roles."

"To balance you out, I'm personally going to put a gingerbread woman in mine and chain her to the kitchen. On a leash."

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Talking About Love With Really Smart People

Him: "What happened with the engagement, if you don't mind my asking?"

Me: "I don't mind you asking! It was coming for awhile; we both agreed, when we had the Ending Discussion, that the relationship probably hadn't been working for almost a year. That doesn't mean it's easy. Or that the Ending Discussions, and associated emotions, are over. The relationship definitely didn't fade away, for better or worse. He and I are both not "throwing a scene" type people, fortunately, but there's some residual bad feeling. 

...I'm not trying to be cryptic. The short version is that we were growing apart, particularly in life goals and life styles. Neither of us wanted to admit that to ourselves or each other. Sadness ensued."

Him: "Oh I can only imagine. It's easy to split when one party does something definitively horrible, providing immediate justification for change if not a complete cessation of the relationship as a whole. Good that there aren't any slashed tires or restraining orders to report, but in some ways those kind of crazy (albeit human) reactions can make the decision all the more comfortable. To a much, much lesser degree I can certainly understand it relative to my last relationship. There was no huge fight or anything like that, we just weren't working in a way both parties were happy. ...I do wish we spent more time interacting.... The logic is all there and I maintain that if we had continued dating the outcome was all but inevitably going to be the same, but yeah- emotional soreness is natural."

Me: "Yes. The outcome wouldn't have been any different even if we had gone to couples therapy five times a week. After awhile, you compromise yourself so completely that you actually become someone else. That's never sustainable. The length of the relationship lives on as muscle memory, like when you see a band they like, or when you try to get on the wrong bus to go 'home'."

Him: "I think the fact that compromise is expected for a relationship to work makes it easy to justify a "keep trying" mentality and if at any point one party decides not to work on additional compromises they can be seen as giving up or quitting. Which ultimately ends up being completely unfair to both parties given that - as you said - you essentially compromise yourself into being a different person and the whole damn thing feels less like a relationship and more like a peace treaty between two culturally different nations."

Me: "...I'm so stealing that last line."

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Benefit of Being Single Again is Meeting New People and Having Conversations Like This

Him: "I'm a little tired after all my caulking work today."

Me: "Must...not...make...easy...jokes..."

Him: "My new caulking gun has a 10:1 thrust ratio. I'm feeling confident I can knock this job out quickly."


Him: "Kids need to learn about crucial home maintenance sometime."

Me: "Or else, who's going to tell them? Their friends? I think not. So it's left up to the creepy old guy behind the counter at the corner hardware store."

Him: "'Trim the tip of your caulk at a 45 degree angle,' says this guide I'm reading."

Me: "SEE? You don't want to play around with instructions like that."

Sunday, July 03, 2016

A Partial List of Things Blowing My Mind Recently

Layar. The Olympic Sculpture Park is using this app to add future projections, or imaginations, to the existing flora and fauna. The execution is okay, and the idea is partly escapism, partly future-tripping, all broadening.

Tamiko Thiel

Tamiko Thiel

The Roastery. Just that the concept exists in the flesh thrills me. I'm sitting there right now, typing this, and it's so loud, with loud, expansive, music, and tourists and people everywhere and I adore it. It's places like this that exemplify the fine balance between aspirational living and a firm commitment to quality in everything, and I find that wonderful. SOMEONE has to care about the BEST bag, the BEST coffee. Is it partially ridiculous? Of course. But all of humanity benefits in the end.

Psalm 30, second half of verse 5: "...Weeping lingers over night, but joy comes in the morning."

This exchange from Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 3:

How does your patient, doctor?

     Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

     Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies
That keep her from her rest. 

     Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

Friday, July 01, 2016

The Song Of My People

Me, getting really excited about explaining the concept of Pi: "...all circles, forever! Hooray!" 
Student: (beat)(beat)(beat) "...YAY!"
Me: "Thanks for the backup vocals."
Student: "You're welcome. I'm really not that excited about it, but you seemed like you could use a hype man."

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Sitting Man and Standing Man: A Character Study

A Standing Man grabs the back of a Sitting Man's bus seat for balance. Sitting Man is Not Happy. Standing Man says, finally: "I'm getting off the bus soon." Sitting Man replies loudly: "I don't care."

What is happening here? Is the Standing Man really saying, "I see you?" Or, perhaps in long form: "I see that you're uncomfortable, you don't have to be an asshole about it, I'm getting off soon?"

Like that lady on the plane who stands, and fidgets, and checks her watch fifteen times, and sighs so loudly and graphically that she blows out your ear drums-and every fifteen seconds, too- until someone turns around and says, "Lady, we're all gonna get off the plane, would you mind not driving MY heart rate through the roof by controlling yourself?"

And the head shaking Sitting Man, saying to the standing man, loudly, "I don't care, man."

Standing man: "Well, clearly you do, because you keep looking at me and violently shaking your head."

Sitting man: "I don't care, man. I don't care about you."

Standing man gets off bus.

Sitting man continues to talk to the people around him. "I don't care, I don't care if he comes or goes," (rearranges lunch bag) "I don't care if he shits or blows," (drops lunch bag) "he doesn't feed me, I don't pay him, " (puts lunch bag on floor) "I don't care about him, I know this bus is always packed, that's why I tried to catch the 6:50." (Picks lunch bag off floor, drops it, tries to pick it back up, misses his grab, juggles it for a minute, knocks it over, and finally puts it back in his lap so he can keep an eye on this troublesome object.) He shrugs his shoulders several times. 

And what is the sitting man trying to say, with this performance? Obviously the standing man is correct: the sitting man cares very much. But the sitting man believes, or very much wants to believe, his own vehement denials. (Well. Don't we all?)

Also, the sitting man is wearing "dressy" sweat pants with pockets, which in itself is fine, but he's wearing them *with black dress shoes* like he thinks they're real pants, or, worse, that he knows they're not but he doesn't think anyone is going to notice. Men have been hated for less.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Eye Makeup

The babies that I live with these days are SO CASUAL about their makeup. It amazes me. They sleep in it, they re-touch it the next day, they're like, whatever. They're reminding me that's it not the END of the world if I sleep in my eyeliner; I just get up the next morning looking extra fabulous. Because what matters is LOOKING FABULOUS. And these baby girls look FABULOUS, ALL THE TIME. Revlon should be sponsoring our house. I don't have time for that, of course, because I'd much rather fart around on the computer, so I'm dyeing my lashes and my eyebrows so at least I'm not COMPLETELY untouched. And rinsing my hair with hibiscus dye, and applying dry shampoo made of arrowroot powder and cocoa powder.

Hey, I'm obsessing about it. That alone should get me in the club.