I laughed, first at the story and then at the synchronization

My geology professor is doing the obligatory overview of general chemistry (ions, isotopes, bondings) and brings up reactivity: "Has anyone ever tried mixing sodium with water?"

There’s silence.

"Yeah, I guess they wouldn’t allow that in the high schools these days. Basically what happens is, the sodium reacts with the water and explodes and ignites. It’s pretty crazy."

He remembers something, sort of half-chuckles to himself and shakes his head. "We had a fishtank in our classroom…"

And practically on cue, there’s a collective "Aww!" from all the girls in the class.


Four years of goodbye

I don’t care if the whole city burns down today. And if I had your money, I would burn that, too. I would set a match to it all and I wouldn’t think twice before doing it. And it isn’t that I don’t have the capacity to care right now– I just wouldn’t mind actively destroying something. The guilt of a thousand silences makes it so hard to keep it pulled together, and it would be a relief to see something fall apart that *isn’t* me. Or my mother.

It even rhymes with Spring. How effing ADORABLE.

In my feverish misery early Saturday night, I stretched out my left arm to rearrange a pillow and knives of pain suddenly shot through my entire forearm, originating at my elbow and ending at my wrist. I don’t know what happened (pinched nerve?), but ever since, if I try to extend my arm beyond 120 degrees, there is unbelievable pain. Which then induces a coughing fit, those wheezy, hacking, spasmodic coughs that leave you breathless afterward.

I’m– I’m kind of pissed. I won’t lie. This? It’s kicking me while I’m down, it’s rubbing salt into a raw, gaping cut. First the beastly (return of the) UTI, then the coughing and the fever, and now this. And of course, I thought this would be one of those pains that would go away, as spontaneously as it had arrived, but no. Idiot that I am, I kept forgetting all Sunday and would automatically reach for something, or try to do something, with my left arm/hand, and the next thing you knew, I’d be in a gasping, breathless ball on the floor.

So, I bought a sling. A goddamned sling.

Bigger idiot that I am, I can’t stop taking it off every once in a while "just to check." Does it still hurt when I do this? I do it. Hey, where’d Lora go? Oh, she’s back on the floor. Yeah, it still hurts.

What’s that? Just *how* big of an idiot am I? The last time I "checked"? I got distracted after I recovered from the pain and forgot to put the sling back on. And then automatically reached for something with my left hand.

I don’t know how I ever learned lessons as a kid. If I’ve always been this way, doubtless I entertained thoughts like hey, maybe this time the stove won’t be hot, or, maybe this time the knives won’t be sharp! Which suddenly makes me think of this.

My right hand and arm are *pissed*. They cannot *believe* how much work I am making them do now that my left side is out of commission. After about five minutes of using chopsticks during lunch today, my right hand decided it had had enough of that nonsense, cramped up, and refused to operate again until I got a stupid fork.

Anyway. Now I get to start the school semester all dizzy and gimpy and wearing a stupid sling. OH YAY.

She’s right, though. Tell them. Tell them every day.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s Hormone Week, I was miserably sick yesterday and am still pretty sick today, I didn’t sleep well last night at all; so naturally, all these factors combined burned acidic holes through my iron walls.

I started off today by reading unexpectedly sentimental posts; Megan’s is what did me in. I was fine until the last line– "It matters like breath"– and suddenly, without warning, the tears hit.

Since, I’ve just been thinking about all the things I typically steadfastly ignore, things I try to bury in the farthest and darkest corners of my mind because there are too many Things To Get Done, I can’t be hampered by ridiculous silly things like feelings and sadness. Most days, I get by just fine, telling myself that I am good and kind
and smart and strong, that I am loved by many and liked well enough by
more. But on days like this, in moments like this, the buried thoughts spring into full view, and what then? Crying won’t get anything done, true, but it’s not like I have any other pressing business to attend at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

All the things I wish I could say to him. But it wouldn’t change anything. Nothing will change the way things are between us. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, knowing that there isn’t anything you can do to make it right, that all the apologies in the world won’t make things right. Knowing that you will never be good enough for him, that no matter how perfect you become, he will never change his mind about you.

But to go back to Megan’s post, sort of– of all the boyfriends I’ve had, only one of them was like her ex, and he told me constantly. Even when disaster hit, and I wouldn’t turn to face him because I’d been crying for god only knows how long, insisting I was a mess– he took my face in his hands and corrected me: "You’re beautiful." I was crazy about him. He was one of the best things to ever happen to me. And it did, you know. It did matter like breath.

America’s Finest City of Sin

To this day, if you asked me to tell you why San Diego is such a great place and what exactly it has going for it and why anyone should want to live there, I could talk your ear off until *you* got blue in the face just listening to me. For every one reason why Las Vegas is a terrific place to call home, I could give you ten for San Diego.

It’s a funny thing, though: after I left the first time, after the first time I started settling and making a life for myself here in Vegas, I sort… "got over" San Diego. There were a hundred million things in San Diego that I missed like hell on a regular basis– to say nothing of the people in San Diego I missed with equal misery– but I was done with the city. I went back on Super Bowl weekend back in 2006 and visited friends and old favorite haunts and as fabulous as every second of that weekend was, I was acutely aware of how I had no desire whatsoever to live there anymore. And people kept pestering me all that Sunday– why didn’t I move back to SD? I didn’t have anything going on in Las Vegas at that time (I was, in fact, sending out my resume to countless companies in the Bay Area then, desperately trying to relocate *there*) and clearly San Diego was chock full of things that made me happy! But the more they pestered, the more I got annoyed and the more I strengthened my resolve to be over that city for good.

And then two months later I moved back. But that was because of a job offer that was too good to pass up– and I honestly had nothing keeping me in Vegas, had no reason to stay, had too many sensible reasons to move.

And *then* the tables turned and I had every reason to come back to Vegas and little, if anything at all, tying me to San Diego. And here I came, and here I stay. I know where I want to go in terms of a long-run career and I have a general idea of what I want to do and how to go about these next two years. This is the place for me– probably not forever, but for a good, good while.

So– I can understand that, leaving a place you love and leaving people you miss and who miss you too, leaving and not coming back even though what you left it for doesn’t really present itself as all that advantageous. Just as I can understand coming back right after you swore you never would, not again, not ever– can understand circumstances changing so that you have enough of a reason to come back, as opposed to simply not having enough of a reason to stay where you moved. I can understand all that– and I do.

That being said: I miss the Cove, Valentine’s, kayaking, the OB tide pools, Big Sonic Chill, Bogart Yogurt, my alma mater, the 992 line, Julian, that salad shop on 8th and F, Golden Hill, and– of course– Balbloa (the second "l", it’s silent). Among many, many other things. San Diego, I love you with all my heart. I’ll visit again someday.

Iowa, I owe ya

Internets, say hello to Maya.

Maya is named after Maya Stein, a poet whose work I only know through this online medium and who won my fanship with this poem (and then this one). The naming has less to do with poetry appreciation, however, and far more to do with fruits– which is a story that starts with a doggle named Mango, a story you don’t really feel like hearing and I don’t really feel like telling. I’ve been up for 20 hours at this point, Internets.

She is not my dog, but we will be living under the same roof for the next seven weeks, which means I get to play with her when I’m home and escape the guilt trips when I’m not. It’s pretty much the best puppy situation ever; why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? And incidentally, I’ve taken to calling her Little Moo. Little Moo Pickle Pie.

The breeder was a really considerate, caring, thoughtful and friendly
guy, and I don’t know if this is how all his puppies turn out, but ours
was unbelievably well-socialized and well-behaved and paper-trained upon arrival, which– which really rocks, as anyone who’s ever had to raise a puppy would agree.

Anyway. She’s a sweetie, she doesn’t fit inside of a teacup and never will, she’s got *brains*, and she’s not a quivering ankle-biting yappy dog. I’m like a human metal detector, except instead of buried bits of scrap metal and doubloons, I find kick-ass pets. Win!

Flickr set here.

Or maybe it wasn’t iced tea? Not really the important detail here.

-Milk isn’t juice!
-Yeah it is… it’s *cow* juice!
-Ohhh, he’s right.
-And water… is cloud juice.
-We should totally just start asking for that in restaurants. Can you imagine? "I’d like a glass of cloud juice, please."
-"Do you have any cloud juice? No? Aw man, I guess I’ll just have a Coke then."

Soon after, two of us went to (a much belated) breakfast. The waitress asked us if we’d like anything to drink, and immediately I locked eyes with C., and there was a pause while I struggled internally before finally responding, with as straight a face as I could muster: "I’ll just have water, please."

She jotted it down on her notepad, then looked at C. expectantly– and he didn’t miss a beat: "Do you have cloud juice?" And then, before she could even furrow her brow at him: "No, I’m sorry, I’ll just have an iced tea."

That’s right. Cloud juice. Ask your servers for it by name.

The Reno kids would call it “chill”

I’m in sleep clothes and burrowed under my layers and layers of comforters, listening to a 3-EP compilation (Cary Brothers, Joshua Radin) that someone gave me almost this time a year ago, savoring– thoughts. And everything is peaceful and mellow and unrushed, and the only thing that could match this right now would be sitting in the passenger seat of a car that was driving nowhere in particular and watching the world fly past.

A Northwestern graduate, no doubt

I love how this article, after detailing the devastating effects of the recent Northern California storm– including evacuation preparations, ruined homes, a missing family and massive flight cancellations– ends with this:

At Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, iguanas fell out of trees Thursday… The animals are not native to Florida and are considered a nuisance, park officials told The Miami Herald.