Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh, mystery! And finding our personal rhythms.

[Ugh, the U is feeling weird on my keyboard, sort of thick and slow.]

So, last night I rode home from school/work/school and tossed myself onto the living-room floor like a dead fish. I know at least a couple of you reading this have seen my dead fish move; it's hot, I know. Helen and I HAD had plans to cook dinner together and then do French manicures, but we both ended up in our bedrooms doing the alone thing. And I really needed it.

Don't misunderstand- I love my roommate and I utterly enjoyed seeing so much of Bill this week, but I have become adjusted to my own time-space continuum. I'm just not a clingy type girl, I suppose? And a night sans enfants is the perfect chance to catch up reading blogs, doing chores I don't want to do when I have company over, etc.

Funny enough, my alone night ended up very closely resembling the Tues night-in we shared this week; I got cozy in bed pretty early in the night and watched funny stuff until my stomach hurt from laughing so much. The difference? I did have more space to stretch out in, but I missed his legs nestled against mine.

Anyways, things are new enough in the relationship that we are still exploring the lay of the land and finding our rhythm. After a couple of days without talking/texting, and laying in my bed missing his laughter mingling roundly with mine, I sent him a little one, just saying hi.

A few exchanged in the ten minutes after that, and we decided to spend some time together tonight, but I have no clue as to what/when. I decided to leave it up to him a bit, and he said he'd call with more info.

In the meantime (since I'm so keen on hanging out with myself), I'm thinking about going out in pursuit of food; I happen to have a coupon for one free entree at a local restaurant. I'm hungry but starting to feel tired of riding every day with no car option for chilly night outings. It's not a physical tiredness, it's more psychological. I have to hold myself steeled to the fact that any moment a car can wipe my slate clean when I'm riding. No matter how careful or visible, complete obliteration is a real possibility. And all I want is some dinner!

---EDIT--- I ended up walking around some hilly parts of Clearwater with my friend Mike. After a good walk, we were eating potatoes and drinking beer (practicing for St. Patrick's day??), which was way funner than my original prospect of riding in the dark, alone.

Victory Gardenz

I was thinking about the garden project, Meet Molly (a children's book), and WWII when it occurred to me that history does sort of repeat itself. Sort of. There are a great deal of things that are vastly different now than they were in the 1940's, but maybe the American psyche has a providential gardening gene that "kicks in" during hard times.

Sure, it might just be economic (less income + higher prices = move towards gardening), but I think this is more about needing to feel human again. Dirt on your hands, wind in your hair human.

Victory!! Wooo!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

nearly two weeks w/o a car

Well, without a car of my own. I've gotten a few rides.

I am loving riding my bike for nearly everything; school/work, errands, fun. Logging bunches of miles and I feel great. At the end of the first week, my calves were crampy and my cycle started a few days early from the physical strain. But have I EVER felt more alive? More free? I would live like this all of time, except it puts pressure on friends and family a bit, and I don't want to do that for an extended period of time.

Getting the kids to/from school has been the major issue, so thankfully their grandma and dad have been helping with pick ups and drop offs (coming from Dunedin and Pinellas Park, respectively, to do so). I'm still seriously considering a trail-a-bike, though, but I'm not sure if Conner's reliable enough to not fall off- he's 3.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

expat dreaming, on such a winter daaaaaay

Last night we were all sitting around chatting about travel plans we want to make.

See, my best friend who lives in NM is pregnant, my cousin is getting married in Denver this summer, I have other cousins in NYC, and Harry will be in CA this spring...

All of that kind of got me started thinking about GOING. Somewhere.

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Riverdale, Marin County.

Holland, Belgium, France, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Wales.

Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile.

Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia.

Passports are very tricky things to own; they do all sorts of things to you. Especially when you're holding hands with someone who feels the exact same way about the world being a ripe peach, quivering with the anticipation of being bitten.

this sounds good to me

We'll be there; I'm bringing Malden Mills fleece diaper covers to barter with. I am ISO: black or pink grip-tape for my bike, books (and more books, inevitably), produce, and who knows what else.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm one $500 check away from being in sleep deprivation experiment

Man oh man, Conner woke up about twenty times last night carrying on about everything from itchy pajamas to thirst to having kicked the covers off to BEING TIRED. Who WAKES UP to complain about being freakin tired?

And of course, none of the waking started before I fell asleep, only after. And I went to bed late as it was, on top of having missed lots of sleep this weekend anyways.

So, I'm at work and exausted and blogging unashamedly. Not even TRYING to conceal it. That's how tired and "don't give a damn" I'm feeling today.

On the upside, I have some glee today. We were celebrating Helen's birthday last night, so my guy came over and a couple of my friends were able to meet him. And not only was he his usual charming, polite, and attractive self, he even brought Helen the perfect gift; a book by Hunter S. Thompson that she didn't have yet.

Then, in our goodnight embrace my ankle ended up wrapped on one of his legs, and his other foot ended up twining around my leg. We chuckled to each other, and commented on how nicely we were impersonating those Indian statues of embracing deities.

It took focus to continue to hold the complicated balancing posture and achieve that pure-being state, but the meditation we shared for a minute or so like that was really nice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

gardener's journal...

So, my friend Amy has asked me to join her and few other bloggers in writing about our garden projects over at How Does My Garden Grow. I really like the idea of various different gardeners posting stories and pictures, how-to information, and updates.

And this is sort of like an extension of our actual garden. The different views, needs, resources, and experiences we can all bring to the table (literal and metaphorical) are so valuable. Can you imagine if all of life was this cooperative?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

we all have our own picket fences

I don't know what picket fences mean to you, but they happen to be one of my psychological phobias. As a kid, I had recurring nightmares (in black and white!) featuring picket fences, and houses that (were made out of ticky-tacky and) all looked just the same. In the dream, I was always walking along, when I realized that the sidewalk was part of a gear, and that each house was a square tooth in a cog of death. It makes my insides roil, even now that I'm 25 and I know suburbia only eats you metaphorically.

The only reason I bring this up is because I'm having a bit of a meltdown, feeling really insecure and a little anxiety ridden, and Helen pointed out to me tonight that we all have our own picket fences. I'm anxious because it seems like he MUST be about to stand me up for our plans tomorrow. She wanted me to realize that IF HE DOES (and assuming it's because of nerves), I should remember that we all have our own triggers for meltdowns.

I don't know why this is even making it to the blog; this isn't my panic attack diary, by any means, but I guess I just wanted to say that if it happens, I'm choosing to be ok with that. Maybe not right away, but that's life. Now it's in print and I have to stick to that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

my favorite taoist proverb in action?

I started two more little pots of seedlings last night, carrots and more watermelons. The kids and I have a gardening afternoon planned with Amy and Avery for Friday. We'll be bringing over our little seedlings (which are SO ready to go into the ground), and some compost and perhaps coming home with some ferns.

Last night, as I was clearing dinner from the table and herding children upstairs to brush teeth, Bill called (sorry, yes, you are going to be getting updates for a little while like this, until the shock wears off). We made some small talk, I got the funniest compliment I have in a while- "Your brain is a really nice brain..." - and then he asked me what I planned on doing on Saturday.

Well, I had planned on asking him that! I confessed that I had something really dorky going on, and I wanted to see if he wanted to join us. Inflatable bouncy place. Yes, the kind for children. Conner got an invitation from a preschool classmate, and we were going to use it on Saturday, and I always seem to be the only grown up in there, jumping. I figured, worst case scenario, he'd laugh at me, best case scenario, I wouldn't be the only grown up jumping in the inflatables. He laughed a little and said yes, absolutely, sounds like fun actually. And then invited me to one of his best friends' houses with him, too. (So, to clarify... does this mean he's NOT embarrassed to be seen with me??)

Also, stay tuned for more info on THE REALLY REALLY FREE MARKET a local event that is going to knock your plebeian socks off. Well, it will if you like the idea of trading and bartering for goods instead of buying with money... and a world that is less dependent on gorging itself at Capitalism's groaning buffet table of economic splendors.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

seems like all good stories start with two monks that went walking

How timely that we're covering Buddhism in my World Religions class; I've been needing to reaffirm my philosophies lately. Yes, I know suffering is caused by desire. I know that is the nature of living, and I accept it, but I still haven't perfected the Middle Way, between self denial and self indulgence. This whole "my car is DEAD" thing could have bothered me more, but I barely broke a sweat. I just accept it as an event, a chance to ride my bike more, walk more, and spend more time at home organizing and whatnot. It's not too hard for me to let go of material things I already have when the time comes, but it has taken practice (which was painful at the time). It all just disintegrates, anyways. It's pure physics.

The buying of a new car, however, is fraught with potential-anguish-pitfalls. Desire leads to suffering. Maybe that sad feeling I have inside when I think about the gorgeous Acura that I saw on craigslist and decided was MEANT FOR ME (but sold while I was on my way over to test drive it) is a good example of this; that car carries with it a certain amount of status, that I now feel like I can't attain. I desired that particular car and I am disappointed. That sadness manifested itself through a snowball of childish, covetous thoughts and behaviors; wanting to feel important, wanting to take Helen for a ride in my mom's car before returning it (to impress?), stopping impulsively for ice cream, checking my phone a million times to see if I got a reply to a certain text message. The end feeling to all of this was depression! At least I saw it coming.

Aside from shiny cars, only personal-life stuff is freaking me out right now. I can't help but fear that Bill isn't in fact being genuine about how he feels, because that's apparently what Brian was up to. And Tom.

But a new acquaintance told me a cool story of two monks who went walking, and it really helped. Moral of the story: let it go, and keep walking.

Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"

"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So, the next time I go to Colombia, I'll let you know if anything comes of this...

Monday, February 16, 2009

sounds so good

This is Whitest Boy Alive playing at Radio Global's anniversary party, in Tijuana, of all places.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

baby, why'd you have to give up on us?

we had a good thing going on...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

oh, my aching, lonely car...

WHERE DOES this story start?

Well, I guess it sort of starts a year and a half ago, when my zany friend from our high school academic team introduced me to another zany friend of his. Whom I now adore. :D

There's not much story in the interim; I delivered pizza for a while and ran my poor Saturn into the ground with that, and lots of other driving, for the sake of socializing and running errands, etc. I also spent some of the past loving people who were really hurtful and also putting a lot of energy into all sorts of projects and flying from place to place.

Recently, my car did whimper some, and I thought, "Gee, I'll be taking her in to the mechanics in the next couple of weeks, for sure, to check this out..."

I the meanwhile, Billy and I had started talking about hanging out some time about 6 months ago, but we hadn't spent any alone time together until more recently. True to form, I've spent the better part of two weeks seriously doubting his interest in me, even though the deep stares and holding-each-other-close romance had started to pick up some steam. I mean, pretty much all 25 year old guys know how to effect that emotion, right? I figured he was just acting that way, but who knows why?

Anyways, Friday night he sent a little <3 in a text, and then called and told me he was on foot, and coming to see me, if that was ok. I laughed for a while and then realized he was seriously walking from Indian Rocks Beach TO MY HOUSE IN CLEARWATER (and in flip flops, at that).

I protested as I laughed at the absurdity of it, but he said it was a way of showing me that he wanted to see me. And I deduced that he was a little bitty bit drunk. But, I acquiesced to the notion. Then I said I'd go meet him halfway (with my car, lol, not on foot). We were both feeling giddy about curling up under the covers and whiling away the wee hours to music.

I got as far as the Walmart on Missouri (that's about 2 miles from my house, for you out of towners), when I had to coast into the parking lot, cursing myself for getting out of my pj's and trying to go on this silly drive to the beach. I tried giving it oil and antifreeze, but the problem is clearly the transmission (or a cracked block... actually, that's a good possibility at this point).

So, Bill calls me right about then, and hearing my plight, immediately turns round, walks home, hops in his car, and comes to pick me up. I started to really worry after he said he was coming to get me, because he had been drinking earlier that night, but his mind was made up and that was that. I was elated when he pulled in and I knew that nothing awful happened to him. Funny, being completely car-less didn't seem even remotely important at the time.

Thankfully, somebody has AAA, and I got a free tow this afternoon to a mechanic in Clearwater. And about a hundred hugs and kisses.

This Valentine's Day was brought to you by: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, AAA, vegetable and feta omelettes, and youthful optimism.

Friday, February 13, 2009

spending ample time in bed, in the neutral milk hotel

It is a truly gorgeous day. In a little while I'm sure I'll get up again and go out and enjoy the world, but for now, I'm back under the thread-count enjoying a little laptop time. It was a late night last night.

And I'm just not used to it anymore. I don't go out much these days. But after a competitive hour or two of playing Energy Quest with Helen, Bill and I were antsy.

In case you've never heard of it, Energy Quest is just like Monopoly, and just as long and drawn out... NOTE the pic of the tattered game is not mine. My game was actually still in the original shrink wrap until last night when we christened it, circa 1981.

So, anyways, we scooted over to the neighborhood pub where we happily discovered we both have a liking for whiskey (and the ever delectable Irish Car Bomb).

Anyways, I HAD had several things planned for the weekend including going out for Kimmee's birthday tonight, a date to the state fair for tomorrow, and helping my mom by keeping an eye on the mentally handicapped woman my mom is a caretaker for (she is high-functioning, works at Publix, etc, I just need to pop in and check on her several times).

Kimmee's not up to it tonight after all, I hear, and Daniel is having some family problems :-( , so we've canceled going to the fair, too. It's cool, though. I'm feeling a little worn and distracted anyways.

Besides, I'm in the mood for a longish bike ride this afternoon. Maybe I'll sail away into the sunset? :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Everyone arrived to where they were going early today.

Weird thing is, I didn't wake up any earlier than I usually do. And I didn't have clothes already picked out, however everything was clean, folded, and put away. I have no idea what made the difference, but I did keep on them from one activity to the next, with no yelling.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I don't want to talk about it, wait, I mean I do


WHY is it that one half of my life is going really well (excellent, even) and the other half is in shambles.

Seriously, all the "me as an individual" stuff is fine. My personal life is bustling with joviality and freshness and vim. I've got a date to the State Fair (romantic, huh?). My classes are going well, by which I mean that I've lost track of how many A's I've scored on tests in the past 4 weeks. My house is clean, I've been eating healthy... I could go on, but my heart is breaking.

"Me as a mother" is in jeopardy; not my identity with that role, but the actual mechanics of it.
Harry called to b---- me out this morning because Cora reported back to him about something I said to her about her late arrivals to school. Granted, what I said was wrong; I told her that I don't want her running to Harry to tattle on me about me getting her to school late that day. YES I know he needs to be informed, etc etc. But I was frustrated because he has been calling me with non-stop complaints about my way of doing things lately.

So, anyways, of course, she must want me to be even more stressed and flip out even more, because she went and told him exactly that and then he called me a dozen times to make me even more miserable than I already am about it all.

All I could tell him was that I know I suck at it and I'm SORRY. I'm pretty sure I can make this all work (God, I hope so). Sure, I've been impatient, as I had some pretty big problems come up right after the holidays, and yes, I've made mistakes. I want to be really good at mothering. But, according to Harry, I'm a really bad person and I might as well just give up trying.

I hate dualism sometimes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Nooo! Do anything else- just don't take Sbarro's!

I've been following all the reccession news via NPR and the occasional Yahoo tidbit (but you know how Yahoo headlines make me cranky...). Today, I read that Claire's, Sbarro's, and a few other big names are suspected to face major financial crises in the coming months.

Helen will be happy to hear that Pizza Hut is doing well, compared to Sbarro's, and as our local Pizza Ambassador, she'd like you to know:

Pizza loves you too.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

went shopping for new glasses!

Whew. It's actually exhausting trying on pair after pair and having to remember which ones were duds and which ones were hot. The kiddos and I went to two different optic-locations today, both bursting at the seams with nerdy goodness. And, considering my sudden (yes, childish) interest in bespectacled men (like Mr. Robin Van Loon, over there in my side-bar; I'd totally be lying if I said I don't intend to trek into the sacred jungles of "darkest Peru" to ask him out), it's something I might start doing more frequently.

I actually couldn't make a final decision, therefore we are hitting the trail again tomorrow, back to the same stores we went to today. Out of the 100+ that I tried on, I have about 5 favorites.

I'm taking Helen with me tomorrow, if I can, because I'm nervous about making the wrong choice. The last time I bought glasses, a year and a half ago, I was under pressure to get in and out in a timely manner and I sort of freaked out. I ended up buying a (cute) pair of trendy little glasses with a rectangular sort of look to them, in dark pink/light green.

Don't get me wrong, I love them, but they just don't fit my face :-(

It doesn't help that I DON'T KNOW WHAT SHAPE MY FACE IS (other than "weird" lol). I've ruled out circular and square, so that leaves triangular, oval, and heart-shaped.

Yeah, ok.

Friday, February 6, 2009

for once, I'm advocating playing by the rules in science AND dating ;-)

I've had two epiphanies about doing things the "right way". I know I usually mock rigid-rule-followers as bleating sheep, but today, I feel... different.

So, today, in lab, I was irritated to no end by the BAD FORM I saw all around me.

I mean, really. WHO wears flip flips to lab? Rule no. 1, right?

Also, when you have toxic stuff in slippery little glass containers and you are manuvering in a crowded space, you have to behave a certain way. In restaurant work, to prevent burns and wasted food/time, you call out "I'm behind you" or "coming through" or something like that. Common sense.

Don't be mean and leave a huge mess for the lab tech assistants. Come on. Wash your own stuff. Even in high school we washed all our own glassware.

And lastly, while this one is just ettiquette, I still think it's important; don't go to a station where there's stuff everyone needs to use, and cozy up to it like it's your personal science experiment. Get you stuff and go back to your work station (please!).

And, while we've all had fun tracking my various missteps and faux pas in dating, I have to break it to you; an era may have ended. But before I elaborate, a trip down memory lane perhaps?

Lessons I've learned:

1) If your best friend/roommate says "sure, I'll introduce you, but he's a little clingy/crazy/difficult/maniacal" don't even bother with a few first dates, because he'll be calling you vicious names as soon as you tell him that moving to South America together is not actually on the agenda.

2) Don't hook up with anyone you work with, or for that matter, the son of the owner of your workplace.

3) Same goes for next door neighbors, it gets tricky.

4) Substance abusers = complicated times at best, severely twisted reality at worst.

5) If you have that feeling that you genuinely like someone, don't (for goodness sakes) rush into, well, everything. Draw it out.

6) Physical relations (no matter how hot, steamy, and spontaneous) with no emotional quotient don't make for skipping-down-the-sidewalk mornings. Sharing thoughts and holding hands is sorely underrated.

Anyways, I'm proud of myself for taking things slow right now. I'm enjoying the scenery and whatnot. :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

this blogging life

Sometimes I try to be funny or cute or witty.

Tonight, I'm just feeling serious and nervous and pensive.

I did make a perfect 100% on my first trig test of the year (re-taking the class, though) and I did make the most dastardly delicious dinner humankind has ever laid eyes on, but I'm still feeling solemn.

Life can be serious, sometimes, and it'd be good to have a hand to hold. Hellllllennnnnn!!!! Come downstairs!

Monday, February 2, 2009

the fed ex guy is my new boyfriend

This is my (most recent) magnum opus, the fruit of my womb...

...and this is the truck it drove away in, on a rainy February Monday, in ClearDun.