Monday, January 31, 2011

Colonization Handbook

I always have too much to read.  Tonight, I came across this large post on colonization.  Really fascinating stuff.  Lots of little history tidbits too. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We're Complaining Because More People Might be Thinking?

Recently someone posted this editorial about how everyone's a critic now.  The basic idea of the article is now that social media has taken off, more people are critics. 
I fail to see how people thinking more is a bad thing.  This is not to say that everyone who posts their ideas on Facebook or Twitter (or, you know, blogs) is expressing a reasoned, thoughtful set of ideas, but writing these things down, especially on a regular basis, fosters exactly those kinds of thoughts.  And thinking critically isn't a bad thing.  Ever.  Expressing critical thoughts, especially well-argued ones?  Not bad either.  Even if apparently no one is listening/reading or especially if people are listening/reading. 
Plato himself believed that the best kind of democracy was one where the populace was educated.  Here is an elite complaining about the masses self-educating through dialogues (which, incidentally, Plato's mentor, hero and mouthpiece Socrates would have appreciated), taking the time to reason and consider multiple points of view.  That is extraordinary and wonderful, and I am happy for the change. 
This article is a mess.  If this author is holding him or herself up to be a representative of the apparently great work critics do, then no wonder people are turning elsewhere.  The pedigree of a writer is unimportant in comparison to what they say and how they say it. 

Roommate Troubles

When I was younger, I started leaving rooms when I got really angry.  I didn't have to do it a lot, but occasionally I did.  I did it mostly to allow myself the time and space to calm down. 
At around one in the morning yesterday I realized I needed to do the same thing.  So I grabbed my key and left. 
I ended up in one of the common rooms, watching television.  The screen was all snowy, but I watched part of an episode of Stargate Universe, which I had actually never seen before.  I tried to concentrate on the show and not what was making me angry, although my mind kept wandering back to my problems.  I hate this. 
By the time I went back to my room, I had a compromise in mind.  It was too late to do anything about it tonight, so I tried to sleep. 
And couldn't.  Again, even though I tried to concentrate on sleep, my mind was wheeling around problems.  This is both a good and bad feature.  Good in that I can usually quickly figure out how to fix something.  Bad in that I have a hard time thinking about anything else, and when I'm trying to sleep, not being able to relax is bad. 
But also because, well, the problem was my sleep.  There's a lot of noise on the street below us, even well into the night.  My roommate won't let me close the window at night because she says she gets too hot.  And then the noise keeps me up.  (It apparently doesn't bother her one bit.)  Instead of her, say, not wearing winter pajamas to bed, which would be an obvious way to fix it, she said something that angered me last night, which is what prompted the retreat.  I was trying to be the better person, but trying to do that was meaning I was up half the night, the sound of ambulance sirens and car door alarms keeping me up. 
I tried to tire myself out.  I have all sorts of tricks that sometimes work.  I got on my computer for a half hour, hoping the harsh computer glare would make my eyes tired.  No luck. 
Around 4:30 this morning, still awake but in that state of "dear God, just let me sleep," another set of sirens went off and I finally shut the window.  It took me at least another half hour, but I finally fell back asleep. 
She woke my up in the morning, opening her drawers and doing something strange with liquid.  (Every morning there's a glug, glug, glug sound and I find myself wondering why she can't do that in the kitchen, since that is where she is heading next.  I am trying to be patient, but I am stunned by how generally inconsiderate she is.  When she is sleeping and I'm awake, I try to do things that are either inherently quiet or if they aren't and they have to get done, I try to do them as quietly as possible.  Every morning she must open and close at least six drawers.) 
I got up then because it's not worth trying to fight it.  I just got up and waited for her to close her drawers enough to let me walk past.  Once she was out of the room to get her breakfast I changed and got breakfast myself. 
I was tired at breakfast this morning.  My eyes were doing that itchy thing that tells me they're red and that I'm tired.  I didn't really feel like talking to anyone.  I thought about offering her a compromise, trying to decide which one would be the best. 
When I got back to the room, I sat down at my computer and started doing my usual morning routine of catching up with the news.  And she left.  I was going to offer it to her this morning, but she's gone. 
Part of me is still really angry.  Like, ready to pick a nasty fight angry.  But the other part of me so wants to make this work, since other then the noise thing, I mostly don't mind her.  I can try to forgive the early morning wake up if I can just manage some decent sleep in the first place.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Night of Ring Day

Dinner tonight was quiet.  Ruth is gone and Elizabeth didn't show up, so it was sort of a smaller group than usual.  Jenny talked a bit about her first hangover and Claire and her struck up a conversation talking about Scottish slang. 
Preadad came over to sit with us again tonight.  I really don't like her, and I wish, honestly, she wouldn't talk to me, because I hate making the effort to be nice to her.  It sounds terrible, but I sort of like it when I and someone else decide we don't like each other, and since there aren't many circumstances in which we have to talk to one other, we simply avoid each other, and thus avoid confrontation.  I especially like this because it allows me to avoid trying to be better natured than I truly am. 
It was all big news that we were going out tonight to celebrate Rachel getting a new job.  I found myself wondering how much I should put into my appearance.  I really don't want to make an effort tonight, and honestly if this wasn't for Rachel, I wouldn't go out at all and just stay in and watch a movie. 
Nina asked me to buy toilet paper, and since I was running low on shampoo, in between dinner and going out I went to get some.  Pharmacies around here are shabby, and this one was no different, with the computer freezing up as I tried to check out. 
I finally got home, and put on the lightest bit of makeup, and then went downstairs.  On the way down, I ran into Mimi.  She gave me this strange speech about when one should press the button on the elevator.  "Wait five seconds before you press it." 
"Okay," I said.  I continued saying that, even though she didn't really wait for me to confirm I was listening, just talked about how you have to wait, counting it out for me in demonstration.  It's not as if it matters: the door closes when it is ready to; pressing the button at one second or another doesn't make a difference; you still end up at the same place at the same time.  But everyone sort of humors Mimi because she seems to be at least a little bit mad. 
Downstairs we had a ring day celebration.  This is some strange game Elizabeth made up to celebrate achievements of various kinds.  The last time was for Rebecca, and for whatever reason I missed it.  (Had I gone out that even with Mikey?  I can't recall.)  Anyway, this was my first ring day, so I didn't know exactly what to expect, though Elizabeth had explained it to me once. 
Basically, Elizabeth brought this giant hula hoop, covered with ribbons, and she told Rachel she had to walk through it.  Several people took pictures as Rachel crawled through in in slow motion.  (She even said the word "slow motion" as slowly as possible.) 
Then Elizabeth gave Rachel this ring, which I was really surprised to say looked really nice.  It was sort of knot set with green stones.  Then everyone had to twist the ring around Rachel's ring going towards the pinkie finger.  "Don't go the other way or she'll be a nun," Elizabeth insisted.  I honestly don't know if that's true or not, but I really don't know much about how nuns are made other than to say they are married to God and whatnot. 
There were other people sort of milling about and you could tell they thought we were barking mad, and they were sort of laughing at our escapades.  I hate to say it, but adults are always making up little games, even if they don't talk about it.  (Especially if they don't talk about.) 
Lola was there, and I was sort of surprised to see her.  I don't remember her being as pretty as she was today.  Maybe I am appreciating her now that I don't see her on a regular basis and she doesn't have a chance to annoy me twice a day. 
We went out to the bar then.  When we got there, we had a bit of trouble.  The woman wouldn't let us sit down at a table.  The girls prefer this bar because they let us sit down.  I realized if we were here an hour later it probably wouldn't be a problem. 
Amanda made the comment that "the customer is always right," and that service jobs are all about giving people what they want.  She's right, of course, but it is one of the things that I am not good at, even when I remind myself.  I am just naturally not inclined towards other people. 
I think what was sort of irritating was that Rachel had actually made reservations before hand, and they were giving her trouble now. 
After a bit of trouble, they let us sit down.  I tried to be super gracious.  I'd been to this bar before and I had never seen the young woman in question, which makes me wonder if she is new. 
We had the same waiter we had a couple of weeks ago when I went out with the girls.  A bunch of them ordered margaritas.  I noticed a listening for a spiked Arnold Palmer, so I ordered that. 
It was horrible.  Like, really rank.  I actually have not been impressed by this place in terms of drinks.  Long Island Ice Teas and Captain and Cokes are also really bad at this place.  And I'm not a fan of margaritas. 
Meanwhile, I chatted with the girls.  Lola sat on the other side of the table, so I didn't really mind her at all tonight.  I sat with Jenny and Claire.  Jenny and I complained a lot about various mutual enemies.  We sort of filled Claire in on how Jenny has become Mimi's friend, though Jenny really hates her.  Everyone enjoyed my story of the latest run-in with Mimi on the elevator.
Jenny also knew somethings about Mimi I didn't.  According to Jenny, Mimi has four sisters, and all of them are married and normal.  Mimi was apparently showing Jenny a family album and she had all these pictures of her nephews and nieces, and none of them were smiling in any of them. 
"That's because they were with Mimi," Jenny explained.   

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Language Problems

My roommate, Nina, sometimes asks me for help with her English.  She was texting today, and she asked me if she could say "If you need any help, don't bother asking me."  I explained that she probably should say "If you need any help, just ask."  She does this frequently: say the opposite of what she means, which sometimes makes determining her actual meaning hard. 
I kind of wonder how she functions as her job.  She works at an English newspaper, so how does she get on?  I would be impossibly in trouble if I worked at a non-English newspaper. 
She told me last night she wanted to learn Chinese, which is admirable, but since she's here, I personally think an English class might be a good idea.  It's clear she has the vocab, but she needs to practice speaking, and well, there are classes (or coffee table nights) that cater exactly to that. 

The End of Dreaming

I actually had a dream this morning.  I was at some sort of gathering, and everyone was waiting to dance.  (There was nothing really stopping us from dancing, other than the people sort of milling about.)  I ran into Dean and Jane, who like to dance too.  And we waited. 
The woman next door woke me this morning with another one of her screaming marathons.  I overslept, so it was strangely a good thing.  I suspect if she hadn't woken me, the dream would probably have more details and make more sense, or at least make more sense in the way dreams sometimes do. 
I sometimes worry about this woman.  What could it possible be that she needs to scream so frequently about? 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I think I'm just having a series of bad mornings.  Today, as I was trying to get ready for work, someone knocked on my door wanting to inspect my place.  I let them in, but I'm sure she noticed I was all "really, now?" about it.  (If she had come thirty minutes later, I would have probably been gone.) 
All that really happened was that they looked inside my bathroom (for what?) and then replaced my smoke alarms.  So, okay, not as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peak Oil

Sometimes I encounter things that I am not sure how to react to.  Today it was this website, about peak oil.  There's something about this website that seems super paranoid, but at the same time, we know we're in trouble oil-wise, and so it goes to reason. 
I really hope these people are wrong.  I don't want there to be disaster. 


I might be one of those people who is sensative to noise.  Whoever lives next to me banged very loudly through the wall around 11:30 at night.  This struck me as rich, because the woman who lives there is very loud herself, screaming into the night.  I think she's talking on the phone, but this goes on for hours sometimes.  I think she could stay music, especially since it's better than what she makes. 
This morning, my roommate's alarm went off really early and loudly, and it woke me up.  And then my roommate didn't even get up, which annoyed me.  She is really noisy in the morning when she is getting ready, and it has sort of gotten on my nerves.  And then she comes home at night, and makes tons of noise before getting into bed, so now I am tired all the time.  I'm misspelling things everytime I sit down to write, and I find misspellings so embarrassing. 
If that wasn't enough, this morning my neighbor was up again around eight, screaming into her phone again.  Good Lord, she sounds abusive.  Not that I can tell what she is saying. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Working Out

I went to work out today.  I just stayed on one machine.  I kind of hate working out, though I love walks.  I get bored really easy, even when I have my music with me to help distract me. 
Some friends came in.  One of them saw I had a book near my machine and asked if I wanted to put it up on my console to read.  I told her that wouldn't be necessary.  Lizzie came in later and worked out on one of the machines that lets you jog in place.  (I clearly am not much for working out, just because I have no idea what that machine is called.) 
After showering off, I noticed that I have sores on my toes, which annoys me deeply, because I've had these sneakers for a year and seriously, I walk in them everywhere.  One of my toes is half covered in one, which means when it breaks open (and it inevitably will...) it's going to hurt badly. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I swear to God I actually had a reason for walking past.  But Ruth is leaving soon for a couple of weeks, so I sat down with her.  She was watching the news, and we talked about the weather and how hilariously awful local news is.  (So, so bad.)  She ranted to me a little about how bad the food is here and about what proper biscuits are.  And then a little about a new book she got, Assassination Vacation, about a road trip to see where various Presidents were murdered.  We ended with watching some of The Simpsons, and we gently telling her that she looked just like a particular character.  
I'm so good at wasting time I really wish someone would offer me a job doing it. 


Karen today asked me if I had dyed my hair.  "No..." I said, not sure how to respond.  "It looks really good today."  Oh.  Thank you. 
I get the feeling Karen likes me better than I like her, which makes me feel a little guilty.  She and I exchanged glances when dealing with Preadad, who almost came over to sit at our table. 
Elizabeth and Jenny, I suspect, are heterosexual lifemates, much like Daniel and Kashif or Paul and Jimmy or, I guess, Ruth and I.  (Or once upon a time, Josie and I, or going even farther back, Ash and I.)  Elizabeth has finally caught on to this and jokes about it.  Elizabeth will talk for the both of them and then Jenny will sort of grunt along.
Tamar talked about the surprise party that she went to, and how she got lost and then had to be on the phone with someone for twenty-five minutes trying to direct her to the right place.  And then we had a discussion of circumcision.  And then followed by a discussion of ear piercings.  Tamar had a harder time with the second discussion than the first. 
Jessica was babysitting a little girl named Callie today, and she brought her to lunch.  Mary Jane was all over her, and they chatted about shoes.  Callie was very cute, but like most children, not really interested in taking her daily nap.  Quite frankly, I was a bit jealous, because I really wanted a nap already today, but felt awkward taking one since my roommate was hanging about the room. 
Jessica came over to tell us Ian had gotten tickets to the circus but couldn't go; did anyone want them?  If Ruth was at dinner, I would have been up for going with her, but I didn't feel much like going alone tonight (and really, I have things I am meant to stay in for: essay editing, maybe some draft writing, and possible assorted studying and reading.)  I went out last night when I really wasn't meant to, and drank with Ruth and some of the other girls.  Anyway, Jenny still needs to get out of her party tonight, but she didn't like the circus idea.   

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cleaning Out

I was asked to clean out my boss's things today
What is is about other people's things I find so fascinating? She had a piggy bank filled with farm animals. She had notes and letters, some with names I recognized. She had postcards and tiny books on plants. She had organic soap and vegan soaps and even preserved blueberries. She had letters, some of them from prison, and one from the prison itself, telling her she couldn't come back. Seeing all of this just reminded me of how much I liked her, and I wondered what is making her so sick she can't even get her own things, and worrying about her a little, and, considering the prison things, feeling sorry for her, and mostly, just missing her. I miss her. I wish she hadn't left, or at the very least, was coming back.
Maybe no one else wanted to pack up her things because most of the people around here knew her better than I did.
The packing itself was okay. I wrapped things in bubble wrap, organized it so it was nice, hope that she is okay. I was tempted to stick a note in there myself, wishing her well.
I teared up a little at the thought of her.
I did that thing were you eat because you're sad. I've never done that before, and I guess I'm not going to again, because it didn't really make me feel better. I basically just felt the same. I guess I should be grateful the vending machine wouldn't let me have the chips and I got crackers instead. (If only it worked that when you were sad you suddenly would eat lettuce.)

How Dark I Would Turn

I feel bad for essayists when a poet decides to become one, because almost always a poet turned essayist outshines the only-essayist.  I was reading a Cherrie Moraga essay today, and she said "if my thoughts could color my flesh, how dark I would turn," and I was struck by how poetic that was.  How amazing and perfect.  And how much better she was as an essayist for having a poetry background. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Was a Teenage Feminist

I love this little video clip.  I love the cute bits of her younger self, and I love that she wants to find her feminism. 
You go girl!  Hope you got there.  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LBJ Orders Pants

Put This On: LBJ Buys Pants from Put This On on Vimeo.

Continuing on my love for LBJ, I found this video of him ordering pants.  Lol.  This sounds like my Grandpa. 
This has got to be one of the most intimate conversations I've ever heard out of a president, describing various body parts.  I like that LBJ knows exactly what he wants.  I've heard girls talk about clothes in about this much detail. 
The only thing that was sort of creeping me out is that they recorded this conversation.  Nixon was notorious for his phone conversations, but I didn't realize all president did that. 

The Protests

This morning I had another dream. In this one, I was in a class I took over a year ago. Jon and Mark were there. (I've been thinking about the two of them a lot lately, I have to admit. Jon and I have had some recent heart-to-hearts.) The professor was calling on people he thought weren't paying attention, asking them questions. Three questions in, he turned and called on me, asking what I thought. This annoyed me deeply because I was paying attention. "About the protests?" I asked. There was a pause. "The protests?" I repeated, louder and more forcefully. And then my alarm woke me up.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Last Night and This Morning

Right before going to bed last night, Nina asked me to help her with her English.  "Just correct me, okay?" she said.  I couldn't see her in the dark, but surely she could see me, with the light on.  She sounded a little sad.  I felt sorry for being impatient with her.  "Sure," I said.  I turned the light off. 
I am still having trouble sleeping, though last night it was mostly everything else.  I am very sensitive to noise, and last night there was so much noise it took me a long time (hours) to finally nod off. 
And then I was up early because Nina was up early, getting ready for work. 
I tried to lay down again after having breakfast with Ruth, Rachel and Jenny, but then Ruth texted me.  She wanted to go see a movie; did I want to come?  I asked her where it was and it was far off, but I said I'd think about it. 
I really shouldn't go, because really, I have essays that need editing and phone calls to make and more writing to do and I suspect there's some reading, but...I do want to go.  Spending time with Ruth and all.
I just feel sort of terrible right now.  I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep or if I'm hungry.   

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cafeteria Crushes

Had lunch with a bunch of my friends today.
At another table there was some sort of debacle.  We still haven't figured out what it is, but it involved making an hour of Lenny's life bad.  This is what usually happens when certain people get unhappy: it doesn't matter who is actually at fault, if you've made the mistake of being nearby, you're the target for their anger. 
Also sad is that my cafeteria crush was not in today.  I haven't seen him around all weekend.  Claire has finally relented that he is not, in fact, too young for me.  Jenny thinks he's very much around twenty, which sounds just about perfect.  It also appears that because he so much more polite than a bunch of the other cafeteria workers about that he is generally a favorite with everyone else.  Though apparently no one else is as rapid for him as I am. 
Lunch itself was sort of terrible.  I thought they had set lime jello out, so I took a bunch.  I was so happy to have jello.  Turns out it was mint jelly, and that people put it on lamb.  I don't eat lamb very much and I certainly don't know what to do with mint jelly.  So I was very disappointed by it.    
But the best news is this: Ruth is back!  I saw her walk into the cafeteria and it was just like old times.  We were back to having our little private conversations and giggles with one another.  I have missed her so much.  I love being around her; she is one of the few people who I feel I implicitly understand and vice versa. 
I asked her what she did on her Christmas break, which was mostly traveling to see old friends.  (Not doing her work, you'll notice.)  She said her sister got to the family house just in the nick of time, Christmas eve. 
She has a new roommate, who she described as a "belly dancer."  Anything, really, would be better than her old one, who was so mean.  If Ruth had come maybe two days earlier, she might have ended up with me. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dream Outloud

Was reading tonight and came across a cool quote from Nanon Williams on poetry: "It gives us a chance to dream out loud."  That's both incredibly true and inspirational. 


Was reading a pop culture blog today and came across this post that discussed sequels.  I love that the post described sequels as each being uniquely idiotic.  I find that really funny, because that's how I think of so many people I went to high school as.  They were idiots, but each in fairly different ways from each other, though I guess if I thought of it, I could put them into categories of stupidity. 
Back to the issue at hand: Mostly, it said, sequels are bad, and there's even a graph that proves it.  (We're so mathy about things.  So many people organize their lives in terms of graphs.)  I really take umbrage with putting The Silence of the Lambs as only slightly better than the original.  I love that movie; it could easily stand on its own as a well-played thriller. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thank God It's Over

Today at work was just terrible.  There wasn't anything really bad about it, but I got strangely sad and started thinking about all the things I need to fix now.  I teared up a couple of times as I was working on a computer.  I'm really grateful that my back was to the door, so I didn't have to look at anyone when they looked in at me. 
Near the end of the day, I got moved to another computer.  I finished up the project I was working on and then started looking at another one for next week.  I hate to bring work home with me, but honestly, I probably will end up doing a little of it over the weekend, just to get it over with. 
We have a couple of new people around.  One is named Kenya, who I met today.  He seemed fine, but when we were introduced, it was awkward, because even though I heard we were getting new people, I knew nothing about them.  Usually when I meet people I try to make polite chitchat, but my mind went blank.  Not even stressful blank, like apathetic blank.  Awkward. 
The other new guy, Hunter, hugged one of the other coworkers before he left.  Okay, I guess they know each other. 
Right when I was leaving, I got some bad news.  My ex-boss isn't coming back.  I kind of guessed, because it's been so long since I've seen her.  No one will tell me exactly what's wrong.  I don't think anyone realized she informed me that she had cists on her ovaries that burst.  I want to know what happened once she went on medical leave.  Obviously, since she's not returning, the answer is not good enough to make working again possible. 
I'm really sad about this because I liked her, and I didn't know her well, but I thought she would make a cool sister type.  (I am always looking for sisters and brothers.)  I liked that she was so talkative, and after she left, and it got really quiet, I missed it even more.  I somedays go so long without talking that I stumble over my words when I finally do.  (Today I struggled with the word "package.")

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I don't usually think of myself as a fashionista, but I came across these shoes today and think they're amazing.  I really want a pair.  I would have absolutely nothing to wear them with, but I want them anyway. 

Infant Mortality Rate

I was doing some reading today and apparently the infant mortality rate in Harlem is higher than it is in Bangladesh.
It was mentioned in passing, but I can guess what factors convene to make that possible.  All I can think about is how ugly that is. 

Not Sleeping Again

I hate to admit it, but I'm back to not sleeping again. 
Last week was fine, but starting sometime this past weekend my sleep schedule got thrown off and I was having trouble falling asleep.  Generally, unless there's a noise problem, once I fall asleep I'm fine, but it's the falling first that has gotten me in trouble.  The last four nights or so I've gone to bed around my usual time, but ended up laying there until at least two in the morning. 
The last couple of days people have been asking me if I'm alright.  Elizabeth told me at dinner last night I looked sad, and I know I haven't been talking as much.  Those of you who have been my friends know how much I like to talk to people, but I honestly don't feel like it, and for the most part, I can't think of anything I want to talk about.
I suspect I look bad too, given how much people have been asking me if I'm okay. 
I just don't know how to fix this, because I would have already.  Last night while I was eating dinner I realized how tired I was, but it was early and I wanted to set myself back on my normal routine, so I decided to stay up until my usual sleep time.  And then when I got to that time, it was just like the last few nights where I couldn't sleep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Woz

I was doing some research today and came across Waziyatawin.  She's an academic and Native activist.  Reading her stuff, I decided I really liked her, both because she makes important points and because she's eloquent. 
While I was reading some interviews with her I noticed that they referred to her as "The Woz" which made me think of the famed computer tycoon.  I think that's possibly the best nickname to have. 
Also, on a more serious note, Waziyatawin is being targeted by the FBI for giving a speech criticizing the U.S. government's handling on Native lands.  She's not a terrorist. 

Monday, January 10, 2011


I must admit that I am not really much of a dog person, though sometimes I can be persuaded that a particular puppy is cute.  I found these pictures of LBJ's Ladybird online today, and they made me smile.  The picture of the two of them howling almost makes me want to howl back. 
I strangely enough really like LBJ, though some of my friends absolutely hate him.  I feel really bad about how he inherited the Vietnam War, because if he had been president from the beginning of the trouble there, I think he would have handled it differently. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dinner with Mikey

I was having one of those days were nothing much happens.  After getting up from a nap, I started getting ready for my dinner with Mikey. 
I haven't seen Mikey since May and I fell upon my old problem: should I wear makeup or not?  I'm loathe to wear it, but I look so bad normally, and even though Mikey is so cool about stuff, what if he's had a personality job recently and isn't the same person? 
Luckily, when I saw him, it was pretty clear he hadn't changed.  I made fun of him for dressing like a hipster, and we were off, just like old times.
He told me all about what he was doing.  He just got a job offer, and he thinks he's going to take it.  He told me how much he likes his current job, and all the cool new friends he's made, and about his roommates Patrick (who's boyfriend is in South Africa) and Jennifer (who is "a hot mess.")  He talked about how glad he was to see me, since he's been missing his old friends.
He said he wanted to hang out some more, just like Emily did.  I guess now I'm going to have to come up with some cool stuff to do. 
I love the hugs I've been getting lately.  When I was younger, I wasn't into touching people, but now that I'm older, a hug from an old friend feels so good. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lunch with Emily

Had lunch today with Emily.  We talked about some mutual friends who she had spoken to more recently than I had.  It's hard to believe that we have so many people in common. 
She told me that Charlotte was in St. Louis, having recently had a baby girl.  She had also gotten married.
I told her that Erin was trying to get into graduate schools, including Sarah Lawrence.  Emily told me that she thought Erin was a great writer. 
We also had a long chat about relationships.  Neither of us is in a relationship right now, and happy to be.  (Sort of.  I would be glad to be with certain boys, but most of these boys aren't interested in me, and there's nothing that can be done about that.)  Emily told me that she is having so much trouble getting her own life together she doesn't have time to consider the extra problems of someone else.  This is sort of how I feel too.
We had some mutual friends who got married, and then the young woman just gave up all career hopes.  Period.  It was really something, because she was always carrying on about what a brilliant student she was (as someone also with a large ego, I didn't think she could even compare to me...)  I almost told her to drop out of school midway through, since she was not apparently planning on using her degree and why bother paying for it otherwise?  Emily agreed with me on my thoughts on that.
I had just been thinking about Ashley this morning.  Ashley has never had a boyfriend, and I feel sorry for her, but I found myself thinking about her desire for a boyfriend isn't about her loving anyone in particular, it's about having someone make her feel whole.  Ashley, in all the years of gripping about her single status, has never mentioned liking any one guy.  This to me indicates that it is not that she is in love with someone but in love with the idea of "love."  It's not even real love, it's an idealized version where love isn't hard work.  Anyone who's ever been in a relationship knows it is hard work.   
Times like these I wish I had a boyfriend who was flexible enough that he could just go anywhere.  But I realize that's a pipe dream. 
Maybe Emily and I will hang out some more soon.  I'd really like that. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on Grandma

I have some good news on my Grandma.  She's got a new aide and she's one of my older friends, Alex.  My Mom says that Alex is really good with her, and I'm glad.  Alex is the kind of person who would find my Grandma's antics and attitude more funny than awful, and I suspect that no matter what happens now, Alex will understand intimately what my family has been going through. 
My Mom did need confuse Alex with Kris, another old friend.  Kris loved trees, and anytime she saw a tree she really liked (which was frequently) she would go up and hug it.  About ten years ago we were walking along the river on campus, and she was hugging nearly every tree we passed.  When I walk down that path, I think about her, remembering how excited she was for these trees. 

The Most Awesome Parent Ever

I've already mentioned before how much I like the tumblr My Parents Were Awesome, but seriously, this has to be the most awesome picture someone has posted yet

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Keep Your Head Up

My friend Sam showed me this video.  The song is fun, though it seriously sounds like so many other songs I will probably get it confused with other ones. 
What I really like in this video is all the cute clothes the girls are wearing.  I would totally wear these outfits.  I especially like the girl with the orange highlights and the pink mini coat that the girl with pigtails is wearing.
And Dwight!  Gotta love Dwight.  He would totally show up in a music video.   

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Working on the Resolution

Back at work for the first time since the holidays.  It was an okay day.  It was quiet in the office, but I got swamped with work, most of it that I'm going to have to do tomorrow.  Mostly it was the same paperwork I've gotten used to, though there was some talk about training me in new stuff I've never done before and then maybe I helped out with a small project. 
After work I had dinner with Elizabeth, Jenny and Rebecca.  When I sat down with Elizabeth, I immediately noticed Mimi wasn't sitting with her usual group of friends. 
"Has something happened?" I asked.  I already knew the answer. 
"Mimi had a fight with Isabel." 
Mimi having a fight is nothing new; she fights all the time, but usually with Maria.  Isabel can be a really difficult person to get along with too, but I've never seen the two of them go at it. 
"What was the fight over?"
"I don't know."
"Probably the tv."
Elizabeth let out an exasperated sigh.  "We're suppose to be adults, for god's sake."
"I mean, maybe not, it's just that every fight I've witnessed has been over the tv."  And even though I've never see Isabel fight with someone over the tv, I've watched her be heavy handed with others.  Mimi is not the kind to take well to that kind of thing.
Isabel has this annoying tendency to come in and change the channel to the news, even if you're clearly sitting there.  Her rational is that she has to watch the news, which would be fine, but she always falls asleep anyway.  I wish she'd just get a tv in her own room so she could sleep there and not annoy me. 
We chatted a little about the fighting.  Elizabeth had some theories on it.  She thought that maybe the younger girls were just better behaved because they had a common enemy.  Honestly, I think it's just a better attitude.  Mary Kay gets on with people, but that's because she's nice.  Mimi and Isabel are notoriously mean or at the least difficult, and mean people don't usually nice-up when someone's mean to them.  They just get worse. 
Faith and Jessica came around, and we all sat with each other.  We chatted about learning how to drive.  Elizabeth told us about being out in the snow.  We had our usual good dinner.  Mimi kind of wanted to sit with us, but I'm not sure about letting her round.  I've already watched her be so mean to people, and she sort of has this weird need to get Jenny's attention all the time. 
After dinner, I sat down to too some reading, and I ended up having a heart to heart with Jon.  Jon and I have been friends for years, but we're not really close.  But tonight we sort of bonded over some stuff.  I was really surprised at his candor. 
I really appreciate it when people tell me something true, something they are struggling to say.  As much as I hate to admit it, I always thought Jon was telling me the truth, it just was an ugly one that made me dislike a lot about him.  But tonight he showed me there was a sad, disappointed person inside, and it made me care for him a great deal more. 
I didn't formally set a New Year's resolution, but I was thinking the other day about how I need to be more forgiving and less judgemental.  Maybe this was a good way to start. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pacey Con


I'm posting this video just because I was thinking about it again today. 
I hate to admit that my Dawson's Creek knowledge is limited.  But I guess I like the idea of an actor having enough sense of humor about his career to do something like this.  And I find Joshua Jackson rather charming, even if he seems really old and looks tired in this little clip.


When I got home, I decided to get some lunch.  I ate all of the Swedish Fish Lisa gave me and then made some nachos.  As I was eating, I flipped through CSI and Law and Order: CI.  I don't honestly get how people can stay home all day and watch tv for days on end.  I was bored right then and there.
My Mom came home and asked if I wanted to go with her to the hospital to see Grandma.  Sure.  I got ready (which mostly consists of combing my hair, there's no one who needs me to wear makeup in the hospital) and then we left.  My Mom had to drop something off, and I flipped through the radio on the car, trying to find something we could agree on.  I stopped at the Beatles's "Blackbird."
At the hospital, my Mom realized she had forgotten her cell phone out in the car, so I was sent back to get it.  And then finally I wandered up to see my Grandma.
She looked worse than when I had seen her last.  Her arms were swollen, and when I inspected her fingers, they were too.  Her skin looks so weird and gelantaneous and her skin has weird patterns on them.  She reached for my hand.  I took it, not really thinking.  She was hot to the touch.
Because she is so sick right now, no one is suppose to touch her without gloves on, and after remembering, I did put them on.  It felt weird touching my Grandma's hand with a glove on.  Like wearing a condom, sort of.
I skipped around on her tv, looking for something she might like.  Score!  Criminal Minds.  The hottness, once again.
I read a celebrity magazine as my Mom talked to her.  She mostly reasked the same questions about where she was and what happened.  My Mom was impatient with her, but I tried to answer her questions patiently.
My Dad had been there earlier in the day, and I noticed that he was reading a book on Freud.  Maybe now he'll know something about psychology?  Probably not.
Various nurses and doctors came in to see her.  One asked me if we needed anything.  I said that she needed to be placed in the chair so she could eat her dinner.  She went to go get someone else to help her and we sat her down.
They brough my Grandma dinner.  My parents then left to get themselves something to eat, and I sat and watched her.  I read the magazine, or parts of it.  (There were lots of celebrities I had never heard of.)  I turned on SpongeBob Squarepants.
My Grandma ate by herself, which is a big improvement.  She asked me for something to drink, but we're trying to get her to do it herself, so I pointed to where it was on her tray and she did it herself.  A doctor came in to give her pills midway through her meal.
My parents came back and then we left.  We went out to dinner.  I have been desperate for protein, so I had an omelette, even though normally I have either an omelette or a hard-boiled egg every morning anyway.
When I got home, my sister was about to leave to go to the movies.  I got on my computer, intending to maybe write something.
There was a message from my friend Christine that she had a miscarriage.  This has to be her second one.  I feel badly for her, because I know she really wanted this baby.  I guess I'm also surprised, because she told me a few days ago how he (or she.  It was never really determined.) was kicking about and all excited for New Years Eve celebrations.
Seems like no one in my life is doing well health-wise.      

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The First Weekend of the Year

I watched the game, and by the time we got to the third quarter, my heart was broken.  We were behind by thirty-five points.  Alabama kept getting the ball and running it against us. 
Then I remembered that it was after three and I still hadn't had anything to eat.  I made myself some nachos.
My Mom came in and ate some of them, and this personally irked me.  I hate how people are always eating my food. 
I turned the tv off after we fell behind by forty-two points.  I just couldn't watch it anymore because it was depressing me. 
My sister turned on some dumb MTV show.  And then my internet wouldn't connect.  I don't know why, but it seems like lately a lot of bad things have happened, and somehow, not being able to connect to the internet was too much to deal with. 
I went out for a walk.  I haven't been out for a walk in weeks, even though I've just stayed inside to exercise.  For the first part of my walk, I was still depressed, thinking about the bad things that had happened this week.  But by the time I got back home, I was feeling cheerful. 
As I was taking off my shoes, my Mom started talking to me about all this stuff she wanted me to do in the next few days and then about my Grandma (who is still in the hospital).  I just felt like a deflating balloon. What little cheerfulness I had left me. 
We went out to dinner.  My sister didn't want to come along.  In the car, my Mom asked if she had a fight with her boyfriend. 
"I don't know.  She didn't say anything to me about it," I said.  Mom didn't really have any proof, just that she was sort of a mope the last twenty-four hours.  I had noticed that too. 
Dinner was okay.  My Mom usually is fine at restaurants, but she chose tonight to be one of those people who harass the wait staff.  One of the waiters came up and asked if we wanted more of some chips.  My Mom said that she was hoping the food would come out soon.  This apparently prompted the manager to come over and say the food was coming soon. 
Then my Mom wasn't happy with how her burger was cooked, and they took it back and got her a new one.  The manager came over again and checked to make sure the second one was cooked well and then came back to ask her again if it was okay. 
I think the manager was overreacting a bit, but at the same time it's so embarrassing.  We got out of there soon. 
When I got back, my sister was watching Jersey Shore.  I tried to do some work in the same room.  Then the boyfriend called.  She talked to him briefly, telling him that all he had to do was give his Dad's name and use his ID.  I don't know what that was over, but doesn't sound much like making up. 
I worked on putting some new music on my MP3 player.  As I was trying to get a CD to work, and it wouldn't import.  I tried to get it a second time and it worked then.
Then the boyfriend walked into the room.  He sat down with my sister and they tried to watch a movie.  Something about the air was really tense (they couldn't decide what to watch) so I left.  I went to the next room, continuing the fixing up of my MP3 player and reading about French chansons in between. 
My sister and her boyfriend watched the UConn/Oklahoma game.  I watched bits and pieces of it.  Man, Oklahoma's a good team.  They're fast and they're rough. 
The only thing I don't like about them is their mascot.  I'm strangely picky about mascots, and I find there's something really awful about glorifying the Sooners, who were part of a bunch of white people who kicked Native Americans off their land, the land the government forced them on after torturing them through the Trail of Tears.  (Among other things, soldiers raped Native American women, specifically targeting those who spoke English.) 
I watched part of the Crow which I've never seen before but heard a lot about over the years.  I can see why people like it.  Then I watched Criminal Minds.  I'm trying to watch as much of it as possible because I don't have access to it when I leave home, being without a tv and all.  Mostly, being without a tv is a good thing, but sometimes I don't want to do anything but veg out, and watching tv has to be the ultimate way to veg out. 
Afterwards, I was still not quite ready for bed, so I sat down and read for about an hour.  Then I fixed myself a drink and read for another hour and finally I felt ready for bed. 
I had another dream about Sam, the second one in about a month.  It's so strange dreaming about Sam because I don't usually think about her at all.  This time, I walked into a room and there she was, sitting at her computer.  We talk, though I can't really remember what about, though I think part of the conversation centers around music, specifically a CD I bought when I was in Canada.  Then we start dancing around, and she's shouting the way she used to. 
I haven't seen Sam for at least a year now.  Right around this time, she packed up her bags and left, not saying goodbye to me or anyone else.  In the time leading up to her leaving, I saw her around less and less, because we were no longer living in the same area or in the same field of work.  But she was living with Emily and Chrissy, and she didn't say anything to them either (even if my last dream implied Emily knew more than she told me at the time.) 
When I got up, my Mom was in the kitchen, talking about how she was going to see my Grandma in the hospital today.  I wanted to go, but not really now.
I took another walk.  This time, I put on my MP3 player and went around the neighborhood.  There was no one around, and I sort of like it this way.  I don't really like it when people around here stop and talk to me because I don't necessarily want to talk to them, and usually they ask what I'm up to, and honestly I'm too tired to talk about that these days.