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"How do you know who you are 'till you know what you want, which you don't."

Silly Symphony
2007

 

Get caught up on last year:
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2006

 

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 Another year of current events, relationships, family, holidays, vacations, people who are inspirational, good times, bad times, and life in general from the viewpoint of a 20-somthing year old girl. Updated about once a week (hopefully).

 

A Summer Night

August 14, 2007

     My life lately has been nothing to Blog about. Just one day after another of the hard work I love, when I have the time to think about it, interjected with the running around I do when I have any free time at all. Do laundry, grocery shop, deposit money, spend time with the family, and maybe clean a little if I have the time, try to get some sleep: all in one twenty-four hour period. Was my new year's resolution to simplify things? Yeah, that didn't happen.

     I think I've been a little cranky to get along with, frustrated when things don't go the exact way I pictured them. Brian is wonderful to put up with me the way he does, subtley forcing me to do what I'm certain I won't enjoy. I always end up loving it of course, and being endlessly glad we did it his way.

     Tonight was a prime example of this. I got home and asked him to go to dinner and a movie with me (meaning a stop at Chipotle, then on to see Stardust), thinking we'd use the money I found in the wash this afternoon as financing. He decided we needed to go cheaper than that, and started looking around for concerts in the park, much to my chagrin. I used to love concerts in the park in Claremont. Running around, carefree and young in that amazing summer evening air, and visiting with old friends. It was the only time we saw our friends, some summers, as we played volleyball in the sand pits (a sport I'm notoriously bad at), or ran in the soft grass under the starry summer sky. And then I graduated from High School.

     Suddenly I realized how much I hated pretending to care about people I actually didn't, just because they used to wave at me in the halls. I hated running into them, the ones who weren't friends but were something in between, finding out about their lives and using it as an invisible measuring rod against my own life. I always felt like I somehow came up short, and I hated that too. I realized that the bands wern't actually what I ever cared about seeing, how much of a hastle it was packing a picnick, and that I felt lonely and ridiculous in a crowd I didn't know. The last thing I wanted to do tonight was pack a lunch and feel lonely under the summer stars.

     Brian, of course, came through for me in a way that was completely amazing. He found this place, about ten minutes away, where they served dinner to big band music with no cover charge. "I don't want to have to dance," I hemmed and hawed, "I don't feel like dressing up. What if they don't have anything on the menu I like." But he gave me that face. The one that says "Shut up Case, and try this for me because you love me." With the big brown puppy-dog eyes that just plead for me to be reasonable. I let out a big sigh, resolved to be pleasant, and put on my tuxedo pants with silver wedges.

     Twenty minutes later I was in big band heaven. The food was amazing, the band was great, and the place was so packed with tables that we couldn't have danced if we wanted to. The emcee was filled with little factoids and tidbits about the origins of every song they played, and we had a wonderful time. They do this every Monday, evidently, and we will definitely be back for more. It was everything I wanted in spirit: good food and great entertainment, though I didn't know it. Brian is so great to put up with me.

 

4th

July 3, 2007

     It's my favorite holiday pretty soon, the one that fills my soul with hope and promise and optimism. A gigantic yay-fest in the sweltering heat of summer sun. I heard a man say on NPR the other day that patriotism is a love of one's country that goes deeper than the loathing of one's rulers and that is exactly the way I feel about America, especially this summer.

     As much as I've felt shackled and bound by responsibility, I also feel incredibly free these days. Every choice I've made has been my own completely, and that goes a long way towards contentment, I think. My volunteering experiences have all ended with a bang, and that could also be why I'm feeling so free. I have a moment to stop and contemplate again, I don't have to run all over creation unless I want to. I will watch the fireworks blossom in the sky with a joyful heart this year. I look forward to it!
 

Easy

June 9, 2007

     They tell you a lot of things about marriage, about what a serious business it is and about how much it will affect your life. They tell you how hard it is to reverse once it's done, but they don't tell you how easy it is to do it. All you really need is to ignore that voice of terror that whispers in your little be-pearled ear "it's never going to work for you in the long run," suppress that feeling of terror that you will never be yourself again, lost in this man's identity, and say "I do" when asked. It's quick too. One short half-hour of your time and you are literally tied into knots only a professional can untangle. A complicated mess of legality and expectation, feelings and duties. You can never know what it's like to be married if you aren't, though every human being tries to imagine it. Some try to prepare for it.

     Brian and I knew we would get married from the very beginning, or so it seemed to me five years into our relationship when I took that frightening walk down a white papered isle, my hand draped across my father's arm. I had been trying for five years to imagine what the experience would be like, not the wedding but the marriage, and I had no idea what was in store for the two of us. Brian was smart. He studied all the couples we knew and deduced some common problems that everyone had. We chatted and came up with solutions, right down to the chore chart taped to the inside of our broom closet door. I made the lines neat and straight, with little boxes we could check off, our names written in fancy dotted letters.

     The other thing they don't tell you when you get married is how incredibly close you will be to this person. Remember the nights you used to write in your diary, dreaming in your peaceful room? You no longer have your own bedroom. Remember those nights when nothing particular was wrong, but you felt like crying yourself to sleep for the relief of it? The someone sleeping next to you will be quite alarmed at the sobbing going on next door. You don't even have your own bed to yourself, you share absolutely everything in the closest possible way. It's the nights that I'm freezing and want the down comforter and he's sweltering wanting only the sheet that I feel like Lucy and Ricky may have had the right idea with those identical twin beds.

     I'm sure they would tell you if it were describable, because they always tell you what they can of good, marriage is a sweeter thing than it is possible to know from the other side. It's beyond attraction, beyond personality, the calm self-assurance that comes with knowing that he knows all your secret flaws and insecurities, your hopes and dreams, and he LIKES YOU ANYWAY. The slow realization that he knows you better than you do yourself, and that you in turn know him just as well. The day to day activity that feels like a well-oiled machine, in a romantic and fuzzy kind of way, and the millions of small kindnesses that fill your life with joy.

     I'm going to tell you a secret. It means a lot to me, and I know you'll think it's mushy, but here it is anyway: I have been kissed every morning for the past four years. Truly, what could be better than that?
 

Behind

May 16, 2007

     Oh, I am behind behind in all this blog writing! I have volunteered for too much, and it is eating my free time as if it has been starving for years. Relay For Life is taking place this weekend, so that shall be one less thing on my plate. The Youth Theater Works production of Into the Woods doesn't come off until the last weekend of June (a thought that gives me conniptions when I think of how behind I am), so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think.

     The kids have been doing their own costume designs, which has been a joy and a treasure. They are so creative, and they don't even know it! I think they'll be pleased to see their designs on stage.

     I must try harder to write more. I can make the time for it somehow, I'm sure. In my 1/2 hour of lunch, or in the brief moments of time I have between work and work again. Who needs sleep anyhow? I think I can survive without it...
 

Untouched by Human Hands

April 19, 2007

     There's a stretch of the 57 freeway that I love, that puts my heart at ease and makes my day seem brighter. From industrial businesses and tan-colored brick rimming the roadsides, the hallmark of California highways, to a grass-lined road of stunted trees and tall power lines wending it's way across the earth. Sometimes there are even cows, bobbing their heads and swishing their tails as they huddle in clumps in the bushy shade. You can tell the seasons by this short stint of pasture, a feat that's difficult in a state with little weather. You have to truly pay attention to watch the leaves change or the flowers start to bud and bloom. Not on this sliver of highway. In winter and spring the grasses are a vivid green, waving in the wind amongst the little trees. In summer the green grasses slowly fade away to a bland oatmeal as the trees turn into a deep green, almost gray. Then comes the parched look of a dry fall, desperate for the rains of winter to make them green again.

     I never thought I would miss my commute from Claremont to here, and yet I miss that piece of road so much it seems ridiculous. Rushing over hill and dale to emerge into civilization again, the suburban buildings sprawling across the valley below me for miles in all directions, except the mile or so behind me, untouched by human hands. It's especially gorgeous at night when the black hills press themselves against the gray evening sky, splashed with stars like you have never seen it before, Orion waving a hand hello as you speed past. A part of the night around you. If you emerge around 9:30 you may even see blossoms of fireworks erupting in the sky, a bulls eye for the happiest place on earth. The reason for my move.

     I'll still be a visitor to that little piece of New England nestled in the hills of L.A., Claremont, and I'll visit my hills on the road home. I have to remind myself of that when I feel those little clods of dirt detaching themselves from my roots. Not a pot change, just a soil change, repeat it whenever you feel out of place. The house is looking cozy now, divested of it's boxes, and Brian and I are slowly settling in. The happiest couple on earth, tucked snugly in our little apartment with two matching cats running circles all around us.
 

Camp Me

March 19, 2007

     It's been strange lately, getting ready to move farther away from my family than I ever have before. Little tidbits from my past have been rearing their little heads with frequency, making me long for the old days before I was married and responsible. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade Brian for the world, but it was such a simpler time way back then. I could do what I wanted without consult and without thoughts of money...

     Mata is going to outdoor school this week. A snowy and campy adventure in Wrightwood where they make you sing "Dirt you made my lunch" before they let you eat, make you dance with boys (that's right, you heard me!), and teach you how to tell the temperature from the cicada's chirping. We had an earthquake while I was there, a two-point-something rocking us out of our beds one night from the fault we visited on our hike that afternoon. I guess mother nature didn't appreciate all the rocks we threw into that stream nearby as we traipsed through the hills and valleys in the sparse and needly forests of Southern California.

     It makes me think of the summers I spent at camp, five in all, getting tan and making friends. There was Camp Lakota where we rode horses and slept on cots under the stars. The highlight of my week was getting to be the color guard at breakfast, and the most useful thing I learned was how to set a table in the dark and vast dining hall. My horse stepped off the path a little one day, right into a tree, and I had a giant bleeding scratch spanning from under my cheek to above my right eye. It must have looked worse than it felt, because everyone had a conniption when I took my riding helmet off that afternoon and the cut broke open again.. It was almost completely healed by the time I went home a week later.

     Camp Whites Landing is probably better forgotten, the small snobocracy the long time campers formed and the complete unwillingness of the staff to find alternative programs for those who couldn't (or wouldn't) do the task at hand. I did learn that dry buffalo droppings are gigantic and not that gross once they've dried up in the summer sunshine. Buff Puffs, we called them. I also gained a deep love for canoeing and a slight fear of sailboats. I was almost beaned in the head by the swinging boom on our one day out, after failing completely to steer it in any direction whatsoever.

     CIMI became the love of my life. The climbing wall and the pitch black maze, the astrobright orange garibaldi, the flying fish that would soar right over the dock, and even the fox tails that would hitch-hike to your socks. I ate seaweed that tasted like pepper, sang the Jacques Cousteau Bevertail song with gusto, ached for a pair of Tevos like everyone else, and listened to whale songs in the auditorium with a stained glass window of otters in a kelp forest, making patterns of blues and browns across the carpeted floor as the sun streamed through. At the beginning of the week, they would challenge some unsuspecting new counselor to identify a fish blindfolded. Someone would run quickly for the rubber chicken and we would all try not to giggle as confusion reigned supreme. By the end of the week we were all sun browned and loathe to leave that little island of romance.

     Alas, I shall stay in my little house with my little husband as we cross our fingers that our new life turns out to be the quiet affair it used to be. It will be more industrial than it was, on the busiest street in Anaheim, but hopefully quiet none the less. I hope Mata has a good time at outdoor school, I know I would
 

East Bonita Avenue

March 6, 2007

     I met one of my high school English teachers in the grocery the other day. She remembered me first and we had a lovely time chatting. Mrs. Raguiel would have been my favorite teacher ever had Dr. Hoffman not been so incredibly fabulous, and I always seemed to do my best work in her class. She always gave us assignments that were just thought provoking enough without being restrictive. That was the year we read The House on Mango Street and then wrote essays on the neighborhood we lived in.

     I'm leaving my little neighborhood in less than a month, so I thought I'd do another one, just for the sake of loving this place.

     There are eight units staring at each other across a slim sidewalk where I live, peaceful examples of the twin units facing off all over the complex, each almost the same but slightly different islands in the middle of the winding paths and creeks covered in sycamore trees and vegetation. I live on the top southwest side of these eight twins, with my husband and two cats who crawl all over the railings of our little balcony and keep a close watch on the neighbors like the small hairy busybodies they are. We used to be afraid they would jump down into Megan's garden below, or perhaps leap balconies next door to visit Carl, but they haven't yet.

     Carl replaced the congenial older lady who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and couldn't climb the stairs any longer. She took her nice ivy topiary from the hall and the pretty wreath from her door and moved in with her daughter until they could find her a place without steps, and Carl moved in. Long bushy brown hair, a silver Mercedes with a Kompressor engine, foldable metal multipurpose room deck chairs, and a bare door. He's the loudest one on the block, his rock music blaring at acceptable daytime hours, and as nice as can be. He had a lot of work done on the place after he moved in, disappearing for a few weeks while his "people" put in a dark stained wood floor and shiny high tech entertainment system. They called him Carlos instead of Carl, the workmen.

     Brian chats with Carl across the balcony all the time, exchanging pleasantries and stories. He told Brian once about a friend who didn't want his car anymore and decided to dump it in Mexico, report it stolen, and collect the insurance money. The friend and his girlfriend set up a great alibi, jumped in the car, and proceeded to buy gas the whole way down with a credit card. They ended up in court for insurance fraud. Carl is also a little apprehensive that the cats will come over and visit him some day. He says they look at him sometimes like they want to be petted, and are maybe considering the jump to bridge the gap.

     "I'll pet you if you come over here," he tells them, "But I don't know how you're going to get home again." so they stay where they are. The devil you know and all.

     Megan has lived in our little octet for as long as I can remember, a self-reliant and cute blonde living directly below us. We share a garage with her buff colored Volvo and red-striped armchair as quiet and unobtrusive as she is herself, unlike our side stacking up taller every year and lopping over a tad to the side that isn't ours. She goes running around town sometimes in her vinyl shorts and t-shirt, and you can catch a glimpse of her in places you'd never expect her to be and yet make perfect sense. A brown-haired boyfriend arrives and leaves occasionally, unobtrusively of course, and sometimes her car never makes it into the garage for the night. Her front window has had a "For Sale" sign posted in it for the last week. Brian thinks she might be moving in with the boyfriend, though we haven't asked.

     When we moved in we dutifully traded phone numbers and try to take care of problems equally. We fixed the garage the first time it wasn't working right, so the next time it was having problems Megan brought her dad over and they spent the afternoon at it. It opened smooth as butter for a while but now it's starting to be cranky again, opening only the second or the third time you press the button.

     Megan used to be really good friends with the people underneath Carl, a happy couple and their toddler crammed into a small one bedroom condo. One summer evening the water pipe underneath the middle sidewalk burst and water came gushing from the seam, running down like a new sort of creek into the maccadam parking lot. The three of them sat there, the adults sprawled on the sidewalk as their little girl laughed and splashed in the cool water, drenching her tiny jean shorts and frilly shirt. They moved into a two bedroom in the same complex a few weeks later, quickly transferring their things without much help.

     A young couple moved in, keeping mostly to themselves. They like to prop their front door open and close the screen door. You can see the flat-screen TV flickering as you walk by, and the wall they painted a medium blue in the dining room. A lot of the people here like to keep to themselves.

     Directly across from us in the upstairs apartment, I have never seen anyone enter or leave ever. I assume it's a woman living there, because she has white curtains with lacy edges in the kitchen windows that look out on the parking garages, and plethora of red Geraniums on her patio. In the winter time she has a bamboo screen to shade her living room from the sun, but in the summer she replaces it with a giant American flag that waves in the hot breezy afternoons and probably turns her living room to a cozy red. Sometimes easy songs from her radio drift from her window and across the parking lot.

     Directly underneath her is a man Brian and I recognized the moment we moved in. He used to come in daily for a coffee at Borders when we worked together years ago, though I don't think he remembers us. He has three adorable and ill behaved dogs that he walks one or two at a time, wandering overweight and shirtless with his nose in a book across the parking lot at all hours of the day and night, to wherever they feel like taking him. Brian asked him what he did for a living and he said he was in tech theater, which made me feel like we were kindred spirits at once. We never say hi, just smile at each other in recognition as we saunter by. He once asked us if we'd like a dog sometime, but we explained that the cats were quite enough for now, and moved on in our merry way.

     It's the two Mannie's on the north east side, completely unrelated except for the building and the name they share. Mannie on the bottom replaced the young guy with the revolving door of women carrying grocery bags. We asked him why he was moving out so soon after moving in as he dumped the furnishings he carried onto the back of a white pickup truck, and he explained that the owner needed the place for his elderly relative and he was being kicked out. The way he said it you know he thought it was unfair, but he was going to suck it up, deal with it, and not complain. A few weeks later, little old man Mannie and his small gray girlfriend moved in, replacing all the curtains with lacy valances.

     Mannie the younger lives upstairs. He has a wife and a huge family that visits him all the time, gunking up the guest parking with their sociable cars. It's his first home ever, and his voice just rings with pride when he tells you. He's the sort that works hard at the expense of everything, hustling around all night in a warehouse, moving women's cosmetics this way and that. He once told me what his wife did, but I've forgotten. She works just as hard as he does, that much is certain, and in the same strange hours. They get a lot of grief from the other tenants, the yuppie middle-class bred occupants who decided that if you have to work hard, for heaven's sake don't tell anyone about it. Anything they do that is slightly suspect is immediately reported, and I know it's poisoning the joyfulness of homeownership a little for them, but they deal with it all.

     That's our little neighborhood. Eight little units among hundreds, staring at each other through the decades and listening to that fake and laughing creek wend it's way back to the beginning again.
 

In Limbo

February 28, 2007


    
I have been in limbo these past three weeks, waiting silently in the dark peacefulness of my bedroom for my new life to start. It's been upsetting and boring, feeling like a useless member of the family who doesn't contribute anything. I have been so incredibly stir-crazy, not being able to speak with people who are all at work without me. The cats, while they give a half hearted try, are not good company. They either must be on your lap forcing you to pet them, rubbing their little faces on your hands as you try to do things, or completely ignoring you for the activity of outside. I've barely survived these weeks, and I'm so glad they're over tomorrow.

     It felt like it wasn't real. That I didn't really leave my job to chase a dream, that I wasn't going to be allowed to work for something that mattered to me. I was hopelessly lonely without the hope that I might sometime feel otherwise, and I was incredibly cranky. Brian is so good to put up with me.

     I learned a lot in my time alone. It's so easy to sleep until noon, even if you don't mean to. TV is not good company, though both music and Garrison Keilor are adequate substitutes for human beings. The less you have on the schedule, the less you want to do anything at all, and I don't like myself nearly as much as I thought I did. It's not that I dislike myself, I just go nuts spending every waking moment with myself without someone else to intercede on my behalf.

     Tomorrow I step into the light of the afternoon and begin work in the happiest place on earth. I have a hope that this job will result in fast friendships and a renewed sense of belonging to the night, as I did before I was married. I'm more grateful for the chance to do something (anything) because of my time with myself, so I guess it's been a blessing in disguise in a way. The excitement is spreading slowly throughout my little body as I realize that it's really happening. Opportunity is an amazing thing, the way it infects every aspect of a person's outlook. I can hardly wait for tomorrow!
 

How To Listen

February 20, 2007


     Garrison Keilor sends me an e-mail every day. It's nice to hear from him, his breath-of-fresh-air perspective and funny factoids. I like to ignore the fact that he sends the same e-mail out to anyone who wants it, and also reads it on the radio every evening. I like people to think it's just for me, that somehow he knows me as well as I feel I know him from listening to that mellow voice of his these last few years. A voice that could calm a monsoon and make the sun shine brightly again. And has.

     On the top of my personal e-mail every day it has a set of instructions: "how to listen". I've never clicked the link, but it seems to me it must be a portal to something secret and rare. Advice on how to take advice, or possibly how to know what the people around you are really longing for. Take the guessing out of human interaction and learn how to read the secret signs of dreams within another person.

     I've been a little introspective of late, an alone woman of leisure. Trapped in the space between old life and new, apprehensive and bored, anticipating the day things return to familiarity. The search for an apartment is always interesting to me, how two people that seem so similar can have such different ideas of home. Trying to make that reality mesh has never been easy for Brian and I, raised so incredibly differently, but we always do somehow. Politely disagreeing until we find the perfect place for us both.

     It's times like these I wish that there was an otherworldly link, that "how to listen"    would turn out to be something other than a set of instructions about media players. Advice on how to take advice or something deeper, a key to a soul or two. It would be so much easier if only it was.
 

Status:

February 8, 2007

    It's my last day at CUC, which means no more Frontpage until Brian and I get our new computer.  This also means no updates until Brian and I get our new computer.  I'll still be writing like crazy, and hopefully in a week or so I can backdate some blog entries.  Not the end, just a hiatus.  Thanks for understanding!

Last Show

February 6, 2007

    It's dark and silent as I switch off my spot in the quiet pause, though the hum of the fan still fills the spot booth. She steps off the stage, into the pool of blue light on the dance floor and softly begins to sing. The audience is captivated and we watch together, me a little bit separate and a little invisible. I melt into the black shadows as I watch, as I'll melt out of this small family a few minutes from now. I was never good at keeping in touch.

    Among the silence, her words ring out. It was Lisa who shepherded me into my first show here at the Candlelight, and important that she Shepherd me out again. A full circle of bittersweet joy completing itself. This place has been my heart and soul for the six best years of my life, and I know I'll be leaving some of that soul behind me. Stashed in the booth perhaps, or lingering by the stage manager's console in the darkness that has become a part of me. A secret calmness at my center, a flair for being alone as everyone is alone in the dark, connected as we are by headset and mutual experience. It will be strange not participating anymore.

    "Let the world stop turning, let the sun stop burning: In this life I was loved by you." She tells the hushed crowd sitting at their tables in the same darkness I inhabit, perched on my stool and peering over the edge. That's exactly how I feel about my last night here. We loved each other, the Candlelight and I, deeply and blindly cycling through each performance and striving for the best time anyone could have. No matter what happens to me as I step into the world theaterless, I will always have that.

     The end of an era has come to pass.

Generic Girl

February 1, 2007

   Every time I've turned on the radio lately, I've been hearing discussions about race. Is the US ready for a black president? Should all white racial-awareness groups be allowed to exist? What are we going to do about illegal immigrants in our country? It made me think a lot about myself and my personal ethnicity, and I realized that I don't have one.

     I am just about the whitest person on the face of this earth. My mother's family has been in America since they sailed over on the mayflower, and my father's family has been here even longer than that, if you can believe it. I'm even blond haired and blue eyed, so I look like the perfect Aryan girl. It's a little disconcerting to be so incredibly generic.

     We went to the Ramona pageant a few springs ago. A community production gone wild, with everyone in town participating in a show practically unchanged since the 1920's.  They have a little museum, about the book the play was based on and about the various Indian tribes in the area.  I found out that day that Brian is 1/8 Native American, and proud of it.  It was a shock to me, although I don't know why it should be.  I guess I just thought he was as generic as I was, a kindred spirit of the blankness that comes of being white.  It made me just a tiny bit jealous.

     My favorite place in the entire world is Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth Massachusetts where they've re-created the original pilgrim village as near as they can from the documents that still exist. It's a beautiful town on a river, weathered gray buildings standing sturdily amongst the waving grasses and vegetable gardens. A dusty path threads it's way down the center of the row, and a giant palisade encircles the whole thing. Men and women in old clothes work the whole day through, telling jokes and chatting with each other and anyone else that wanders through. The last time I was there I spoke with Miles Standish for quite some time about his disdain for church on Sundays, and I could have stayed all day. It's funny, that a silly little thing like this is so important to me.

     I was talking to my father-in-law last night about the Pilgrims, they're journey and the circumstances under which they left England, and it dawned on me that my heritage is this. I love Plimoth Plantation because it's where I came from, or as near as they can make it. It's why I love stories about the Revolutionary War, and why I love the fourth of July. It may not be much, but I have a small culture to point to and say "those traits are mine." A brief history I can cling to in times of uncertainty.  I feel less generic already.


 

Officially

January 26, 2007

Official announcement:

    I am leaving my job to join the masses in costuming, at the biggest people trap ever built by a mouse (that would be Disneyland, thank you Puppa). It's a little bit of a leap off a ledge, but I can see the ground below and I know I'll be fine.

    I'm looking forward (enthusiastically!!!) to being busy at work and striving for something I love. It's been a long time since I've felt fulfilled, so bring on the strange hours and the overtime. I'll take it all in stride like the professional I pretend to be. February 9th is the first day of my new life: a lucky number for me, if we're believing in lucky numbers. I can hardly wait!!

    On another note, the search is on for an apartment closer to Brian and my respective jobs. We love our little upstairs condo, so cute and concise. It's great that we can take our time and find something equally as homey near where we need it to be. No hurrying allowed.

    And now the official announcements are officially over.

 

Blink

January 23, 2007

    I asked for it. I wanted things to change just a little bit, and suddenly I'm in a whirl of endings. It's unsettling and adrenaline inducing. I feel as though someone has stepped into my life and I'm not really me anymore, though I know I'm waiting for myself somewhere deep down inside. I'll be looking forward to the settling of the dust, if only because I'll (maybe) get some sleep.

    I'm sure there will be official announcements in the not too distant future...

Home

January 17, 2007

    We had been dating about a year when I went to Maine. I was looking forward to another sunny month on the beach, running around with cousins and generally living an ideal existence, so different from my actual existence in California where I had responsibilities. I didn't want to leave Brian behind, but I was craving that salty sea air sweeping over the grey sands, rustling the blades of sea grass back and fourth. Carefree and tanned, is how I wanted my summer to proceed,  slipping  into the slang and inside jokes of an east-coast life.

    He came to the airport with the three of us, my mother and sister and me. It was before all the 9/11 extra security measures, and he waited at the gate with us. I had carefully put on my white pedal pushers and blue tank-top that morning. I don't know why, but it was important to me to look good that day. Maybe it was because I knew I'd cry, and if I couldn't look attractive, at leased I'd be dressed attractively. I cried for almost an hour, embarrassed to the nines and striving desperately for self-control. I knew I'd miss him a lot, my silly boyfriend, things were always so idyllic between us.  Walking through the square tube to the plane, my new blue carry on thumping as it rolled over the floor joints and dragging behind me. I tried not to look back at his tall waving form, framed by the open doorway.

    We sat in the sun, us four Blond girls, running to the corner store for home-made sub sandwiches or pizza and perusing the gift shop of trinkets that proclaimed "Goose Rocks Beach".  Reading smutty magazines as we became brown as beans or running in and out of the house with drinks and snacks, the green grasses whipping at our legs as we ran down the path. There is something about the ocean that makes me long for things.  Staring out at the blue cove, timber island slowly joining with the land, I longed for Brian.  Especially on the evenings we had a bonfire, stopping at the fire department for the permit, then arguing about the best way to lay the wood in a hollow of the beach. 

    The days wore on, we drove a half-hour to the movie theater to watch a film arriving weeks after it's premier in California, the smell of skunk on the road pervading the warm night. Eating chowder at the local dive, or fried haddock with lots of lemon, and running around the Port spending money on frivolities. On weekends we'd go up to my Aunt's camp, tubing and wake-boarding or just anchoring and swimming on their lake all day long. A plane with giant feet circled overhead that summer, getting ever closer before skidding over the surface of the water and coming to a rest, bobbing like a boat on stilts in the lake. I didn't know why I had a hollow feeling in my soul. I tried to cover it with gaiety and nice clothes, which helped some but not enough.

    I called him from the camp and also from the beach house with a calling card, purchased for way too much money at the Rite-Aid near camp. I stood there, leaning against the gray wooden hood built over the pay phones eying the spider with his web stretched across the corner, and heard all the news from back home. Listening to Brian's voice through the plastic receiver, the hole in my soul shrank.

    It was later that night, bundled in the boat and watching the sun set from the middle of the lake, that I realized what my problem was. Homesickness. In the course of a year, my sense of home had shifted from a place to a person without my knowledge or consent, and it was making me uncomfortable in my own skin. That realization made it easier to bear, and I went from homesick to only a little lonely for the rest of that vacation. I don't know if I ever told Brian the epiphany I had, floating freely above the waveless depths as the world turned to pinks and golds above me. It's a good thing I married him four years later, or who knows where I'd be?

 

Alone, But Not Lonely

January 9, 2007

     It's funny how something as simple as a commute can eat so much time from a day. I'm not commuting, but Brian is, and I feel like I never see him any more.

     I've been waking up a lot earlier lately, snuggled up in my new red sheets. Almost comfortable, but not quite, and painfully conscience that I didn't sleep very well (I know, so what else is new?. Bustling around the house all by my little lonesome, going to my quiet little job and thinking quiet thoughts, coming home to my empty house to wait for Brian to walk through the door. It's really brought out my inner housewife, I've been cooking and cleaning and all that other stuff.

     I've always been a quiet person, liking time to myself to reflect and just be. The unexamined life is not worth living, etcetera etcetera. Still, it's odd to me how much I miss Brian. He's still there, but our silly good times are farther between than they used to be, and we are no longer joined at the hip. I guess you could say I have separation anxiety.

     I'm sure I'll get used to being with myself so much. I used to thrive on it, and I'm looking forward to thriving again.

 

Flight

January 2, 2007

     I usually fly in the summer time. It's nice and clear, and we don't have to worry about storms at all. This year I have flown more than I ever have in my life, at strange times and to unusual places, and I have concluded that by flying in the summertime I'm missing some of the amazing joys of flight. In fact, I would be willing to contend with the extra motion-sickness of extra turbulents if every flight could be as beautiful as the two I experienced this Christmas.

     It was a winter day in Southern California when we flew out, 3 days before the holiday, and the sun washed the world in cool gold. Sweater Weather (can you say that ten times fast?), and beautiful. We flew through Dallas and figured we had nothing to worry about, and we didn't really. We hit a rainstorm in the darkness, and it was the best thing I've ever seen. We were right in back of the wing watching the tip light flash and dim, lighting the raindrops around it in random sparks of white fire. Mist furled over the wings and receded back into the thick grey haze around us. When we broke through the clouds, our wings still sparking, a runway surrounded by bay and boats and a motherboard of lights met us. Rivulets of rain ran streaming across my window, and we landed smoothly on the wet runway.

     The flight back was just as amazing. We floated on top of spilled batting, covering the land completely. Above us another layer of wispy clouds floated freely as we chased after the sunset, always falling a bit more behind until an orange orb peered through the white fluff. Arms of orange and yellow reached out to us over the sky, briefly, then turned into a colored line on the horizon. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and an ever deepening indigo into the violet darkness of the night sky. A single star sat where the indigo turned into night, and I have to admit that I wished on it, as old as I am to be doing such things. The Santa Ana's were crazy in Ontario that night and our descent was rough, to say the least, but I would do it all again for the sake of that star growing ever brighter in the frame of my little round window.

     I'm not a happy camper when I fly. Though I've understood the romance of flight in theory, I've never had a practical experience until this Christmas jaunt to Virginia. It almost made me want to become a flight attendant. And then I came to my senses when I realized I'd be keeping the barf-bag and Dramamine manufacturers in business.

 

A New Year

January 1, 2007

     It was about this time last year that I started blogging, so happy anniversary to me! I started this blog to say some things about society in general and it ended up getting personal. Which is OK, but unintended. I discovered that I have at least a years worth of experience to relate and that I have a better way with words than I ever thought I did (or so I'm told). All in all it's been a good first year.

     I like to make resolutions at New Year's, and I try hard to resolve to do things that I can and will. No loosing 50 pounds or learning underwater basket weaving for me. This year my resolutions are as follows:

     1) School, school, school. I really need to get this figured out. Just pick a place and get done with it, I'm not getting any younger and in fact I'm getting older pretty rapidly.

     2) Slim down the schedule. I do way too much, and it makes my life nuts. Running around is not something I enjoy.

     3) Stop with the nail biting. Yes, I'm giving this one a go again, hopefully this time around it'll stick.

     I hope I can keep them, I'll be trying my hardest. In the mean time, have a great yuletide type celebration and a happy 2007.

     On another note, here's a wonderful and stirring piece of poetry written by my dear old dad.  He's got one for every occasion, and if he doesn't he'll make one up.  

     There was a man, his name was Lang
     And he had a neon sign.
     Now, Mr. Lang was very old,
     So they called it Old Lang's Sign.