Coming soon

Direction. Redesign. Real posts, including a recap of how my much-fanfared Golden Year went.

This site isn't really going anywhere, but at the same time, it's not going anywhere. If you get the drift.

Be back in an internet jiffy.

Can’t lose

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Today marks the beginning of my golden year.

Now, first things first: I don’t put a lot of emphasis on my birthday, typically. The only other birthday I remember vividly looking forward to was my 23rd, and I have never been able to figure out why being 23 was such an enormous deal to me. But I was convinced that 23 was going to be an exceptional year… and, looking back, it was kind of was. And I do remember being very excited about being 23 that entire year.

This one… is a little different. This is almost too close to things like palm reading and astrology for comfort, but while I’m not a superstitious type (or at least not seriously; I half-subscribe to magical thinking but know I’m being ridiculous for doing so)– my golden year! Turning 28 on the 28th! Sure, this year could very well be like any other year, as far as the world is concerned*, but isn’t life what you make of it? And this is as good an excuse as any to do my damnedest to get the most out of the next 365 days.

(Oh. 2012 is a leap year. 366 days! IT’S A SIGN.) 

I’ve never made an official life list, and I don’t know if I really want to make one, but this will be the year I finally accomplish things I have wanted to do since ever (like go to Wales, properly). Since mid-September, my life has been in perpetual motion, and I’d like to continue that momentum through Year 28. Truth be told, I’m not always sure which direction things are taking me, but I do know it’s forward. Or up? Both? You get the idea.

I’ve been cooking and baking and food-experimenting a ton more recently, with surprisingly high success, and I have plans and people (plans with people?) to keep that going. I’ve picked up new hobbies and interests and am working still on cultivating the old ones– ditto with friendships. Admittedly, I took a break from decorating my house, but I bought a lot of great artwork that now just needs to be framed and hung, and I’m slowly sketching out ideas for the last two rooms. Year 28 is going to be a year of Doing More and Waiting Less, which sounds like I’m encouraging impatience, and yeah, maybe I am. I was going to contest that, but the truth is, in these days and weeks leading up to turning 28, I’ve lost my patience with unnecessary waiting and holding off and hemming and hawing. I’ll still wait for something worthwhile– you won’t see me taking off for Wales tomorrow (the weather would be just awful this time of year, and anyway, it’s meant to be early summer)– but I’m also much more adept at recognizing a lost cause, these days. 

To quote an ever-quotable scene: “Get mad, you sons of bitches! Get mad!

My life was a self-induced whirlwind of chaos and cacophony for so many (so, so many) years. After it finally settled down, I embraced the peaceful change so blindly that I failed to notice the stale silence that crept in. So now, I’m kicking up the dust again, but on my own terms, and with clear eyes this time… and, yes, a full heart as well. 

Here’s to my golden year. I hope it’s golden for you, too.

 

 

*As far as the world is concerned, this year could very well be filled with DISASTERS. Like, my cat could decide she wants to pursue a life of forever chasing squirrels and run away from home. Then again, maybe that’s less of a disaster and more of an opportunity to finally get a kitten. Hm.

 

I don’t drink coffee, so I need to waste my money on *something*. I guess.

Three posts in the last year. Awesome.

I've been writing a little, elsewhere, here-and-there-abouts. Nothing particularly noteworthy. Some long pieces are due and on their way to being in-the-works, but I don't know if I'll piecemeal them out for Posterous or just slap them up here. I suppose that's a hurdle to consider when I actually have something to potentially piecemeal, though.

There's a tiny writing project that *is* in progress, though I'll need to do it consistently for two weeks before I'll take it more seriously. I recently had a modern-day Hemingway sweep into my life (truth: the more we interact, the more I suspect he's actually a modern-day Steinbeck, or maybe just the love child between the two) and it's inspired me to re-negotiate my relationship with the written word. Or rather, my relationship with the writing of words. I get along just fine with the consumption of written words.

I hope you're well, friends, strangers, comrades.

It’s mostly the former, actually. I’m kind of a jerk like that.

Noah's been gone enough by now that I can't remember how this started, but all I know is that when he's not here, Bean sleeps on my pillow and I sleep on his. I referenced it enough to him to where the last time he was home (for a day), he asked if I wanted to just switch sides, since I seemed to like the new sleeping arrangement so much. I declined, but then he pulled some shifty magic in the middle of the night and stole my pillow and I ended up being shunted to his side of the bed anyway.

So.

The uncertainty is regarding whether I first started sleeping on Noah's pillow, whereupon Bean decided to start sleeping (and shedding all over) my pillow, or whether my cat kicked me off my pillow first (why can't anyone in this household just let me be when it comes to orders of the sleeping kind?). But either way, this is how it goes, now: Noah leaves, and suddenly I'm sleeping on the right side.

Truthfully, I prefer the left side. It's closer to the windows, so I get more of the morning light (which I crave). But also truthfully, even if Bean weren't here, in Noah's absence I'd probably still sleep on his side of the bed. Partially from the "forbidden fruit" aspect (even though I realize it's not exactly "forbidden")– in the same way that I listen to Coldplay and Norah Jones, or do the Shim Sham in the kitchen in the middle of the night, when he's gone– and partially because it helps me miss him less. Like how I used to wear his enormous Cal hoodie in our first year of dating whenever we were apart. Sleeping in my normal space and not feeling the warmth of his presence as he moves ever closer until he's practically shoved me off the bed entirely just makes me lonelier, so instead, I sleep in the space he's supposed to be occupying and somehow, somehow, that's enough for now.

I also tend to avoid my voicemail inbox like the plague, which is why I never promise to return your call if you leave me a message

My family is not big on telephone communication, and by "my family", I'm including myself. I remember using the (landline) phone more when I was in junior high and high school, but even then, I was hardly the stereotypical teenage girl who could never get off the phone. I distinctly remember starting to feel a definitive disinterest for phone calls during college, especially when so many of them were heated conversations ("arguments") with boyfriends.

Either way: we're not phone people. My mom and I e-mail several times a week, and that's about it. When she does call, it's usually for an immediate purpose (do you know where this document is, I'm at the grocery store and they have almond milk on sale but I can't remember what kind you like, etc.)– everything else can be communicated online. This has resulted in my always making sure to answer my phone when I see that she's calling, because she never calls "just to say hi". She bought an answering machine for the house phone in order to avoid people who do just that.

My dad and my sister, on the other hand, NEVER call me (and vice versa). *This* has resulted in my momentarily freaking out whenever I see that they're calling, because my first reactionary thought is: "Something bad has happened to my mom and they're calling me to tell me the bad news because whatever has happened is so bad that she's not capable of calling me herself which means she's either unconscious or in an ambulance or dead."

Example 1: My sister called me a month ago. I was at work and had my phone on silent (as I always have it, actually), and didn't see the missed call until an hour or so later. She'd left a message, so I listened to it (with apprehension), but all it amounted to was, "Hey, call me back." And she didn't sound like she'd been crying, and I hadn't also missed a call from either of my parents, so I knew she hadn't called with bad news about someone in our family and I figured it also wasn't about one of her pets dying. Which left me stumped, because I couldn't think of any other reason why she would call. But she hadn't been crying, so it couldn't have been urgent. Maybe my mom had been bugging her to call me in order to nurture a sisterly bond? In which case, definitely not urgent.

I called her back after I was done with work, which ended up being a lot later that night– and as it turned out, the news was simply that her boyfriend had proposed and they were going to be married next year and I was going to be a bridesmaid, and so on. So, good news! It was a good news! call. And yet had she simply e-mailed the news to me, I honestly don't think I'd have been surprised or dismayed at the communication channel of choice. Precedents, after all. The only other phone calls I really remember from my sister are: her cat died (2000?), my cat wasn't moving (2005), and "What do you want to eat for Thanksgiving?" (2008, but she knew I was in my car en route to San Diego at the time, so obviously e-mail would have been a poor choice).

Example 2: My dad called me on Friday. While I was at work (which he knew), and while he was at work (well, actually, it might have been one of the Fridays he has off). I panicked, answered immediately, and the first words out of my mouth were: "Hi, what's wrong?"

Yeah. Nothing was wrong. There was just paperwork on my house loan that needed to be signed ASAP and he needed to know when I was flying back to Vegas, and was there any way I could get back by Tuesday? (My flight was already scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning, so that worked out perfectly.)

*****

There's not really a point to these anecdotes, but if I had to English-major one up, I'd say it's that I apparently only think that disastrous news warrants a phone call from my family. Which says something about either how easy it is to get a hold of me via e-mail, or how much I really hate being on the phone.

Apples to apples

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Over Thanksgiving of last year, my dad noticed I was using a Macbook Pro and asked what happened to my Air. I explained how I'd switched over, and left it at that.

Apparently, I didn't communicate the story very well and he ended up thinking I was using an extra laptop of Noah's and no longer had one of my own… and then decided to buy me one so I could gain my Macbook independence.

Of course, he has always been strictly a PC kind of guy (even though he's owned the first two generations of iPods and the iPhone 3GS), but I offered to swap MBPs (since mine didn't have the backlit keyboard, a feature that drove him nuts) so he could at least have a Mac to play around with, should the notion ever appeal to him.

One month later, he commented to me that the Mac was pretty much his main computer.

He'd also bought a really nice squashy case for my MBP and had no interest in keeping it, since his laptops are strictly stay-at-home. I already had a (only slightly less-nice) Speck skin-case that I really liked using, but couldn't say no to him, so I took it as well.

A day or two later, Noah was helping me pack for San Francisco, and I asked him if he'd like to use the case so it wouldn't just collect dust. He gladly accepted, and later we were cleaning up my room and he was about to throw away the case's packaging when I grabbed it and pulled off the little metal chain that had been used to hang the case (+ package) on the wall hook in the store.

It was small, but seemed like it would fit around my wrist, so I laid it over my left arm, found that it did, latched the ends, and it's never come off since. For over 10 months, I've worn this thing with such guarded obsession that one would think it was secretly made out of platinum and unicorn tears and Robert Pattinson's eyebrow hair.

Keep in mind that I had been sobbing on and off all that night and was a complete and total emotional train wreck nightmare. I didn't want to leave Vegas, and I didn't want to be so far from my parents, even if it was only going to be a state line and 8 hours on the road. I was basically trying to cling to whatever representation of them I could come up with, including but not limited to what in most minds was an article of rubbish.

(But to the weepy and overly distraught daughter's mind, said article of rubbish was essentially part of a gift from her father, and thus it represented his thoughtfulness and generosity. Can you blame her, then, for wanting to keep it next to her skin and have it with her for every waking and sleeping moment?)

Or even the iPod Touch. I've never really wanted an iPod because while I enjoy music– love it, even, sure– I've never felt that compelled to carry a library of music with me wherever I go. But after my dad got his iPhone, he gave me his first iPod Touch and left his 10 screens of apps and small collection of music on it. I later added my own music and download other apps to it, but otherwise have left it as-is. It actually turned buggy two months ago while I was in Holland, and while I'm almost positive a system wipe and restore would fix it, I haven't had the heart to do it. That would make it too much mine, and I don't want it to be mine. Or rather, I don't want it to become any less his. In following with the theme of the post prior to this– I love it because it was his, because he gave it to me.

It's fitting that the iPod Touch would be what turned me on to e-books. I was sitting on a plane with nothing else to do and decided to make use of one of my dad's apps, "Classics". I started reading Jack London's "Call of the Wild" and ended up glued to the iPod for the rest of the night until the battery was nearly dead and I'd finished reading. I also read "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"– something I'd been kicking myself to pick up since 2006*– through that app and finished it while Noah and I were in Bali. And two e-books read on my Mac and three weeks later, I bought a Kindle.

When I was a little kid, my dad made an offer: if I memorized an entire book (any book!), he'd take me to Toys 'R Us and buy me a toy of my choice. I remember exactly the toy I wanted– a Hook, one of the big ones (my sister had a big one, I had a little one)– and the book I was determined to memorize was "Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse".

It never happened. As desperate as I was at the time for that toy, the project overwhelmed me and I gave up halfway through the book. But I've since managed to commit other things to memory– things like beautiful poems or inspiring passages or lyrics to really trashy pop songs– things like every instance of my father's demonstration of his love for me and his tolerance of my flaws, or all the habits and quirks of his that I've inherited.

In these ways, I collect him. The little out-of-the-blue things he gives to me (like a tiny stuffed turtle wearing a bow tie which he brought back from a cruise with my mom), I hoard as a substitute for physical proximity to him, and I cling to his personality traits for the days when all these things tangible will no longer be.

Happy birthday, Daddy. I love you.

Elsewhere…

I'm not closing up shop, not just yet. That being said, in my absence here, I've been erratically submitting doodlebug thoughts over at Posterous for some time. Wasn't sure if I was going to stick with it, and it's particularly hard to remember to upload things from my mobile when I'm abroad and without a data plan, but as it turns out, Posterous is something of a keeper. So that's that.

Michael Scott != Darrin Stevens

We've been doing P90X (as well as, it seems, the rest of this crazy nation) and from Day 2, I can't get through a single routine without thinking about how, if Steve Carell ever wanted to leave "The Office" and NBC just *had* to keep the show running with his character, Tony Horton should be the first guy on the list to call.

Or how there ought to be an episode wherein Michael 1) denounces how completely unfunny Tony Horton's jokes are, or 2) declares Tony Horton his funny-man muse.

And then this morning, our first round of Core Synergistics (which is the only one so far I despise; I'd rather do two rounds of pilates)– THERE'S A GIRL NAMED PAM. "Pam the Blam!" as Tony sings out in the beginning, then later re-introduces her as "Plam". Oh, Tony. Such a kidder.

And NOW, this: http://uk.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b187949_steve_carell_confirms_hes_leaving.html

Fate. This is fated. I only hope the cast and crew of "The Office" is ready to bring it.