Thursday, March 31, 2005
“I like you how you are. What I think I expect to change is that you won't have to be grumpy and prickly when you're pissed about something.” And even as I say it, realizing I’m grumpy and prickly when I’m pissed about something.
“Mike went bowling with his lesbian friends and had to endure two hours of them complaining about other lesbians in their GLBT club. Women.” To my friends Grant and Shannon.
To two large fellows standing in line together at the deli, both wearing self-deprecating shirts. One that says, “Wide Boys, Non-athletic Wear” or something, the other “LARGE MAN” or something hilarious like that. “So, do you guys shop at the same store for t-shirts?” Both stare at me like I’m the ass that I am (an unintentional ass). “I mean, they’re funny and stuff…I was just wondering.” Wishing to sink into the ground, but keeping up a good façade.
Joking and teasing, having a good time with my friend Jack at lunch one day, “Oh stop it, you fag.” Too late, realizing/remembering that he’s gay. Apologizing profusely, promising him I’d never call someone such a derogatory name again. And I haven’t.
Don't you hate the feeling of shame? When it washes hotly through your limbs and into your cheeks after you realize you did or said something completely stupid?
I can be a real jerk, it's true. Luckily it's not on purpose. And about the fag comment, I grew up in 80’s and 90’s, bandying it about with my cousins and sisters before it became a real big issue, before it was politically incorrect. Or something.
Lifetime goals: write more, vocalize less. No, I mean in verbal conversation. Pause before speaking. Observe more.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
So anyway, I've been feeling old and fat. Even though I'm not actually fat. I know. I just feel fat (last I checked I weighed 125, at 5'5). I sit around most of the day and have to take breaks to go down the stairs and then back up just to get some daily exercise. I try to work out 3 times a week, but often only get to it twice. I used to be lean. I rock climbed indoors and outdoors regularly. I used to be more athletic and tough.
About a month or so ago, my mom teased me (lovingly. An observation, not a criticism) that I'm turning into a woman. My butt is getting rounder, she said. I scorned that phrase, turning into a woman. I sneered in derision, after my shoulders slumped in defeat. I don't want to be a "woman." I want to be a girl. I've been just a girl for so long. Small. Petite. I've liked that a lot. Enjoyed being what I was. It's not about the type and development of my reproductive system. That's not what I'm protesting. I'm protesting this bastard-sedentary lifestyle that's turning the Coke calories into potential energy (and good luck ever tapping that energy), instead of beautiful kinetic energy. I want to be free and moving, liberated, for 8 hours a day*. Not kept in a cage nicknamed a "cubicle," sort of trapped. Sure, the money sets me free in another way and it's great to have it, but sometimes I feel the boundaries pressing in on me. I see the results in the flab on my once beautiful six-packed stomach.
The real point of all this was to share something I found in Utah Health magazine, under the title of "Celebrate the blessings of age." Ironically, the facing page was an advertisement for plastic/cosmetic surgery (for the following areas: breast enlargement, eyelid rejuvenation, facelift, forehead lift, tummy tuck, botox injections, collagen for your thin, lifeless lips, and collagen for facial lines and creases. "You can choose to perfect and refine whatever is making you feel self-conscious or unhappy."). A very well-placed ad, reinforcing the blessing of age.
The quote, for all you bitter, jaded 26+ers like me (my comments in brackets):
"Who says you can only bloom once in life? With each advancing year a whole new life opens before you. Recognize it and enjoy it. With age comes an inner, higher life and sense of purpose. You may try by starting each day with 60-seconds of self-apprecation [I'm smart enough]. Try standing in front of your mirror [I'm good enough]. Smile. Like yourself [And doggone it, people like me]. Examine each wrinkle, smile line, spot and dot [cancerous and non-cancerous] on your face, and see them as marks of wisdom, happiness, [not wearing sunblock] and a life richly lived. Also, release your inner child today. Do something playful [but not criminal]. Try on clothes you'd never wear in public [but don't go OUT in them.] Experiment with makeup [or just forget about makeup altogether]. Sing your favorite tune loudly in the shower. Go for a long bike ride. Go for it."
There it is. I actually like it, even though it seems like I'm making fun of it. Now, go for a long bike ride.
*Here's another contention: what bastard decided we, the American people, should work 8 hours of our day? We only have 24, and 8 of that should be spent sleeping. So thanks, thanks a lot for that measly 8 I'm left with, which isn't really 8 since 1 should be spent at lunch. And if you commute, about 1-2 are spent driving. Does that leave us enough time for nuturing our families and other relationships? 5 to 6 hours to do anything else. I'm proposing a swift change: 6 hours should be considered the new full time. Thank you very much.
The New Moosewood Cookbook, by Molly Katzen -- includes a great recipe for Hungarian mushroom soup.
Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris -- heard about him from several friends.
The News From Paraguay, by Lily Tuck -- I don't know why. It had a shiny medal on it, like it won an award and the cover was interesting.
Comfort Me with Apples, by Ruth Reichl -- I read the first few pages and it was funny. Plus I liked the cover.
Whether I read any of them remains to be seen. A week ago I bought The Botany of Desire because I liked the title and the cover, and the premise of the book sounded interesting. I'm reading that and so far I'm a little annoyed with the author's obsession with Johnny Appleseed. I sincerely wonder if he knew his section on the apple would end up being about the real Johnny. Or if it ended up being a wild-goose chase and because of the grant money he received he had to produce a book, or else. I don't know, I made that up about him getting grant money. But I wonder. I really do. I could see myself being forced to write about something that ended up differently than expected. I've done it. 8 years in college studying literature will do that to you.
When I bought that Botany of Desire book, my mom teased me that I don't read any more and that she's never seen a former English student read so little. Or something like that. I just stood there and took it, and then offered as my excuse, Stoker. I spend all my time with him. We rarely read. The last time I actually finished a book was in October, I think. Kind of sad, really. But I'll keep buying books, hoping to read, planning to read, growing my library in the event that I read. I'm obsessed with buying books. And the worst part of it, is that I buy them based on the cover. I always buy books with great covers. What they say, you can't judge a book by it's cover, is only partially true. I've read several great books based solely on the cover. I've read crap books and stopped 1/3 of the way through, having bought it based on the allure of the cover. There are great books with boring, ugly covers. But right now I can't think of any. And there are awful books with, as expected, offensively ugly covers.
What they really mean, is that you can't judge a person based on how they look. And even that's only half true. There are definitely people who are just as they appear to be.
The books. Yes. Border's was having a 3 for 2 sale. I'm a sell-out. Shopping at the megastore/chain/taking-over-the-world-one-neighborhood-at-a-time bookstore. But I had a giftcard from Stoker's brother and sister-in-law. I can't turn away from the chance to buy a book based entirely on its cover.
Monday, March 28, 2005
So, here I am with Stoker and Anna. Uh, we look like we have yellow teeth, but trust me, we don't. I don't know, it's the color of the picture. I've been told by my dentist that I have great teeth coloration. Stoker has great coloration too. I don't know about Anna. I haven't scrutinized her teeth in close detail. That's a good thing, I think.
Anyway, yesterday was my golden birthday. I'm so old now. 27, but it was a VERY good birthday. Stoker woke up and made me breakfast because he's adorable. His sweet family showered me with gifts, as did my mom and dad. Not that gifts are what counts. It's, yes, the thought that counts and all the gifts I was given were really thoughtful.
Some of my friends even remembered. You know how it is, now that I'm with Stoker all the time my other relationships are a little neglected. Plus it's hard, and not necessarily recommended, to continue my relationships with male friends. But we keep in loose contact and it's nice that they'd remember. Beau (future rock-star, keep a lookout) and Matt (brilliant mathematician). Sweet.
My sisters also called. They live all over: here, Omaha, D.C. and Philly. So we're not around each other to celebrate birthdays anymore. They were also sweet.
But Stoker IS, obviously, the sweetest. He finalized plans for our honeymoon (Los Cabos, Mexico), which promises to be sweet. That was my birthday present (at my suggestion -- not the location of the honeymoon, just that he focus on that) from him.
Anyway, me, Stoker and Anna, with yellow teeth. My jaw is doing some weird thing, too. It's not that pronounced, normally. Oh, and it's off-center because Anna was holding the camera. And yes, Stoker's eyes are half-closed. It's his curse to always be caught with his eyes closed when someone's taking a picture.
(Anecdote moment: when he was getting Lasik done to his eyes, the doctor told him he had small eyes and now he thinks he has bitty-baby eyes. It made me laugh my head off when he told me that afterwards, every time he looked in the mirror he thought he had small eyes. He doesn't. Stupid doctor. So anyway.)
p.s. this post sucks. Sorry. It's raining and gloomy and I can't write. Nor can I think clearly. And cleverly? No chance.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I know it doesn’t matter. Or shouldn’t. But it does. We will always be four and a half years apart. Sometimes it will sound like 4 years and sometimes it will sound like 5 years.
I’ve only ever ‘dated’ a younger man one other time. When I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend, Nick, (I went by Nik or Nikki then, so . . . funny and stupid) was a sophomore, but he was only a year younger than me. And he wasn’t really a ‘younger man.’ He was a boy and really acted like it and we broke up the summer after I graduated because I got mad at him for peeing over the side of his father’s sailboat, which bothered me because the boat had a bathroom on it, and another sailboat full of onlookers sailed by while Nick was taking care of his business. They waved. I fumed. Anyway, he said I was intolerant and we were over, but give me a break, I only have sisters and am not desensitized to things boys do that only boys can consider normal (Stoker knows this). Before we broke up, we had in common fantasy books (Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, et. al) and mountain biking. Then Nick joined the Navy after he graduated from high school and I’ve only seen him once since. We weren’t on the same wavelength, nor anything close. I don’t miss him.
Stoker is younger, but he doesn’t feel younger. Before I met him, I was mildly interested in this other 21-year old, but in my head he felt younger and I’d hear myself say, “He’s cute. BUT he’s 21.” And it never went anywhere. Besides, his mother was my 3rd grade teacher and so in my mind he’s always that little boy I helped to shoot baskets on the playground.
Enter Stoker (his real name). The first time we did something together—Sunday dinner at his parents—I kept thinking about the age gap. Awkward. I remember dishing up casserole or something, his mother asking me what I was studying in college and my response that I had actually just finished my M.A. I remember a cold panic, when she asked me how old I was, and my hesitant/laughing answer. There was comfort in the realization that this wasn’t a date, but a friend thing. We were just friends. What a relief. But then, somehow I ended up looking through his photo album, all the pictures of him from elementary school to high school and after. Something about his eyes and his smile.
Anyway it was over after that. We’re on the same wavelength. We have in common guitars, a love of knowledge, laughter, a similar sense of humor, and good conversation/ideas.
My next post will NOT be about Stoker. I promise.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
But I think we were both really tired and so everything that’s not usually funny, was extra funny. I was making fun of an even bigger, black Dodge truck with humongous wheels, a ten-foot lift (I swear, it had to be) and tinted windows. I told Stoker we could have driven his Mazda 626 right under it, barely shaving the top of our car off. I also suggested that the guy probably had a collection of porn under his bucket seats. They go together, the mentality of must-have-big-ass-truck-grunt-grunt with me-like-many-fake-naked-women-in-various-positions-of-being-dominated (minus the fake part -- to explain, people into porn convince themselves it’s real, and see the world that way, that every person walking around is just waiting to let their hungry, sexy beast out, waiting to dominate or be subjugated, naked and screaming for more. While the reality is that we’re all screaming inside our skin for love, to cherish someone and be cherished. Call me idealistic. Call me stupid. If you do, I’ll tell you to go to hell because I’m right). Anyway, Stoker laughed because he’s heard all this before, from me, and probably worries that he’ll have to hear it for THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Disclaimer: he’s never said anything like that. I said it. He’s always spoken of how he can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with me. He likes to imagine us when we’re 40 (and he’s 36, ha ha), when we’re 55 (51), where we’ll be, what we’ll be doing and if we’ll still go on epic walks like the first one we went on.
Seriously. I get unduly annoyed by gargantuan trucks. I think of what Freud might say about men with absurdly large vehicles. Hmmm. Stoker suggested that the driver of the enormous, black Dodge (it should have been in a monster truck rally) might be a girl. And I laughed and said in that case it would be very cool because it would be in defiance of stereotypes. Especially if she was beautiful and straight. If she’d been butch and, well, butch, then it would have only been mildly funny, by virtue of being in alliance with stereotypes. Butch women are always funny, unless one has you cornered in a bar or bathroom.
Anyway, I’d rather be gold mining. I would. I really would. Or sitting on a beach in Tahiti with Stoker. Yes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Any person with average intelligence can probably answer that. I can answer that. I can answer just about anything you ask, and have a relatively educated guess or intellectual sounding response, so long as it pertains to anything – excluding computer mysteries and deep economics or politics. But even with simple economics I can sound pretty damn smart. What matters is how you live. Having all the answers is a hollow claim until you exercise what you know.
Who can blame you, or me, for being insecure? Who can blame you (and when I say you, I mean me. When I say me, I also mean you.) for having jealous tendencies? Why shouldn’t we have them? How many examples of fidelity and hard core monogamy are lauded in our world, and by world I mean world + the American media? Just about zero. That’s all, zero. The SOBs in the media paint news sites, tabloids (and by tabloids I mean Us, People, and even Time magazines), and television with stories of broken vows and marriages, broken families, broken trust. Everything is broken. Someone, or a large group of someone’s, wants us to feel like we can’t hold onto anything. All things will slip away. Your promises. My promises.
Where is this pessimism coming from today? you ask. I don’t know. And if I did know, I wouldn’t go into it. Jealousy and insecurity can eat into me, and I’m the best of them, let me tell you. You know how they say, “It can get the best of them…” That’s me today, and the ‘it’ is jealousy. When it comes and it always does, I think to myself that I’d be better off alone. I consider giving Stoker up, giving his ring back to him (which I’d feel naked without, just as I’d feel completely naked and desolate without the knowledge of him in my life) and going it alone. Don’t crucify me for this and don’t think that I’m not dedicated to him just because of these thoughts. They are sad, alone thoughts that come when I’m scared of something. They are my demons. And he knows about them.
I’d say he knows all my demons and that’s one of the things so beautiful about him. We didn’t meet under pretenses of who the other was. You know what I mean? I mean that what drew me to him was the contradiction of what I believed he was, and who he showed himself to be. I.E. you think a girl is dumb because she’s beautiful and then she says something insightful and astoundingly intelligent and immediately she’s much more interesting, by virtue of shattering the stereotype you applied to her. Stoker shattered my stereotypes in a variety of ways, rendering him desirable, and he’s still desirable to me.
But the more you love something, the more it hurts when it leaves or threatens to leave. Deeper are the cords that bind you, and so deeper are the pains when you lose. This isn’t rocket science (which I could probably look pretty intelligent discussing, believe me) and it doesn’t take Einstein to understand it (who I could hold my own against, I’m utterly convinced). In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Einstein couldn’t understand it. The vagaries of the heart don’t follow equations and rules.
It all comes down to this: I adore Stoker. I’ve had about 8 boyfriends, give or take a few and depending on what constitutes a boyfriend, and not one has ever fulfilled me in the various ways Stoker does. He gives more than 100% to our relationship. He amazes me. Therefore, he’s more attractive to other women. I mean, I’m not the only one who sees how great he is. I’m not that special. And it’s not his heart that I fear being unfaithful, it’s other women. Call me crazy, but women are conniving. We are, it’s a fact of the gender. I have no study to prove that. But it takes an incredibly honest woman to face up to this and admit it and try to suppress her feminine desire to be tempting. To resist the temptation to be desirable to another woman’s man. I know because I have to do it myself. Women desire being desired. They’re selfish and want all men to fall prey to their coyness. I’m not kidding. And if you’re a man reading this stupid blog, be warned. I have no agenda here except to warn other women that I’m privy to their female wiles.
Monday, March 21, 2005
I know, I know. He's not giving relationship advice. He's just providing a lame-ass list of "why men cheat." But I'm telling you, stuff like that doesn't help gender relations. T.J., Drew, Alex, et. al sound like a bunch of vengeful, losers and I hope that good-hearted women potentially affiliated with any of those men in their respective cities sever their ties immediately.
I hope my relationship with Stoker is undamaged by the after-effects of reading such awful testimonials from such scummy sounding men. What's the problem with magazines and sites like MSN? Why do all these stupid lists revolve around such base behavior? They're never lists like, "10 Reasons Men Are So Loveable." Or "79 Things a Man Will Do for the Woman He Loves." Why don't they go ahead and draw up that list? I'm serious. I think it'd be ridiculous to assume that there is no fallout from the things the media focuses on.
If I could pinpoint a group representing the entire media and said to them, "What do you have to say for yourselves? Look at the damage you've done." They'd say, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg? We were simply representing the problems that were already there." Then I could only say, "Look at yourselves, look at your families." And they'd look, and hopefully their families would be in shambles because of the rule of poetic justic in tragedies and dramas. Then they'd hang their heads in shame and remorse and I'd raise my arms above my head in triumph. Just kidding.
Seriously. I just hate the lists on msn.com. They suck me in. They do me no good. They're a waste of time. Probably this blog is a waste of your time. Go do something constructive. Go play your guitar. Read a book. Write me a letter. Write your mom a letter. Your grandmother -- she's probably lonely.
I'm not giving you 7 reasons, either, if you were still looking for them. Not today. Like I said, go do something constructive. No 7 reasons today. Nothing.
ps . . . I wrote this entry back in January but didn't have the chance to finish it. So I don't know if the link works anymore.
Monday, March 14, 2005
If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. I think it’s ridiculous that the media worships the weak artistic type whose life is finalized in a culminating moment marked by self-murder. What kind of mixed message is being promoted through idolizing "artists" who blow their brains out, while imprisoning the sociopath who blow out the brains of their neighbors? Anyway, that’s not exactly what I’m so annoyed about. I don’t really have a huge problem with suicide unless it directly affects me. I feel bad for the people left behind, but I can think of a few people who ought to just do themselves in. I won’t name names. The main problem I see is that some celebrity-jerk is immortalized because he/she is weak and takes the easy way out, while the strong celebrities who survive and die of natural causes just fade away and are mentioned in a stupid blip at the edge of the newspaper as in: Deaths today: Bill Rosenrosen, star of the daytime hit "Sand through the Hourglass" etc. Instead of the suicide headline like:
BILL ROSENROSEN BLOWS HIS BRAINS OUT,
MAID FINDS BODY IN BATHTUB
followed by a lengthy description of the death scene, his family situation, and a detailed account of every major or minor work or influence he’s had on anything from television to salad dressings.
Celebrities who live long lives and dedicate a portion of their funds and time to charity are sorely overlooked, to the detriment of the masses. Celebrities who remain faithful to their spouses and families, put them first, are ignored. Writers who are not manic-depressive and die of natural causes are thought to be boring. A writer with too many demons for good mental health is worshipped regardless of the amount of destruction he might have caused in his life. And obsessing over celebrities is unhealthy.
Here’s my disclaimer for anyone who might actually read anything I’ve written: I have nothing personal against Hunter S. Thompson. I’ve never seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, nor have I read any of his writing. I was using his suicide as an example of a malaise in the media. Nothing more. Thank you.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
1) Oh, she’s/they’re getting married. I haven't absolutely nothing to say to that. Boring. So, what do I say now? Congratulations. Hmmm. That seems weak. I need something else to say besides congratulations. I wonder what day they’re tying the knot. Yeah. Oh yeah, good question. Real. Deliberate. "So, when’s the big day?"
2) Idiot(s). She’s/they’re getting married. So hopeful. If only she/they knew the truth. I wonder when the big day is, when they shackle themselves to someone else’s whimsical emotions and lifestyle. Morons. "So, when’s the big day?" Said with a knowing smile and a glint in the eye. (Usually thought by a divorcee.)
3) Getting married. Like I give a shit. Hmm. I better say something that seems like I care, even though I don’t. When? If I ask when, it will seem like I care. Yeah. "When’s the big day?" (Usually thought by a single person who’s bitter that they’re not getting married. Or who’s bitter/disappointed that I’m/Stoker is getting married because they always secretly hoped I/Stoker wouldn’t because they secretly wanted me/him, even though they never stood a chance/took the chance. I’ve been guilty of this one myself.)
4) Sweet! I’m sincerely glad she/they’re getting married. (Upon further mental self-exploration) Wow, I really am glad. I can’t believe it. Sincerely happy someone else is happy. Never thought I’d see the day. "So when’s the big day?" (There really are people who mean what they say and how they say it, just not that many.)
So anyway. Not making fun of my future marriage. I’m looking forward to my release from the darkness of being single. No, but seriously. Being single isn’t living in darkness. There are trade-offs. Being single is tough. Being married is tough for different reasons. Sometimes I think about how difficult it is to work on a relationship, sacrificing your wants for someone else’s and all that. Like when I want to just go home and unwind after work, but Stoker wants me to go over to his house . . . I know it’s rather minor, but you get the idea. I do something for him to make him happy because I love him. That’s growing. You know. Accelerated growth. When you’re single, you just look out for yourself. It’s easier, but lonely.
Anyhoo. We’re getting married June 3rd on Cassi’s birthday (my sister). She’s very honored. It’ll be a Friday, summer will be on its way. We’re going to have a giant swan ice sculpture in the courtyard of the reception center. I’m thinking about six feet tall, with a bouquet of lilies in its beak. We’ll put cloth on its back to hold bottles of champagne for the grand toast and when it melts, we’ll use the water for gondola rides. Just kidding. That wasn’t funny. Sorry. There won’t be any stupid ice sculpture, gondolas or champagne. No toasting. Just a dinner for our families. Elegant and boring. No dancing. No reception line. Just dinner. Fondue appetizers. Mingling. Celebrating. Fabulous.