Monthly Archives: February 2009

.owie.

I’m falling apart at the seams here, people!

I’m currently sporting:

1. An infected wisdom tooth, which means that it hurts to talk, chew, swallow, or open my mouth any farther than it takes to just eek a spoon in there.  I’ve not eaten solid foods in about 3 days.  Luckily, Finn has been lately gunning for the Best Girlfriend of the Year award, and bought me ice cream, chocolate pudding, rice pudding, nutritional drinks, mac n cheese, soup, and fruit and yogurt for smoothies, so at least I won’t continue the slow starve I was working up.  I went to the dentist this morning and came away with prescriptions for 2 antibiotics, some kind of special mouthwash, and percocet.  (I’ve never taken prescription painkillers, and I’m actually kind of scared of them, so I haven’t touched the percocet yet…)  Anyway, doc predicts I’ll start feeling better by tomorrow night, if not sooner.  Also, once it’s cleared up I have to get my wisdom teeth out.  Sadface.

2. Less exciting but nonetheless annoying, a long cat scratch on one hand that’s painful and inflamed.  Yes, another infection.  C’mon immune system, seriously?  I figure the antibiotics will knock this out, but I’ve been neosporin-ing just in case.

3. And of course, because no sickly incident would be complete without it: my period.

In other less whiny news, my mom passed her stress test with flying colors, which is awesome because it means that whatever was (is…) wrong with her isn’t a heart issue.  She’s still weak and having some trouble breathing, however, so at the moment she’s kind of a medical mystery.  Which brings me to…

… who is, I think, the answer to all our problems at this point.  He just better watch where he sticks that thermometer.

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Filed under Finn, sickyface, The Fam

.lent.

Today is Ash Wednesday – the first day of the Lenten season.  I grew up Catholic, and though I only ever go to mass anymore on Christmas eve (when I’m visiting my family) I do still keep up with my lenten promises every year.  Most people give things up for Lent – chocolate is a popular option – and view it as an exercise in self-control, or in giving something up in order to remind yourself to reflect on the nature of sacrifice.  I have generally taken a different course, and try and add something on for Lent – volunteering, sponsoring a child, that kind of thing.  I like the idea of being proactive, sacrificing my time or money in a way that impacts the world we’re living in.  Plus, once you get involved in something it can become a part of your life for far longer than the 40 days til Easter.

I’m still undecided as to what to do this year.  I’m thinking maybe a commitment to write at least a little something every day for the 40 days, but that strikes me as similar to the more tokenized sacrifices I was just talking about.  (It’s not exactly helping the homeless, after all…)  It’s a sacrifice of time, obviously, but only to my benefit.  Though… I am a much happier person when I’m writing consistently, which may improve the lives of those who are forced to interact with me every day.  Does that count?  Ha.

Maybe commitment to write + promising to clean the kitchen promptly after dinner every night.  Sounds lame, but I have been super lazy at home lately – when I get home from work I am so tired I’m useless most evenings – and so it actually would be a pretty big deal for me.  Plus, built in reflection time on sacrifice – which is the whole point anyway, right?  Right.

Not exactly discovering a cure for cancer, but as time and money are so limited, this Lent will just have to be a little more personal this year…

Anyone else Lenting?

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.request for good thoughts.

My mom is in the ER.  I don’t know what’s going on, exactly, other than that she was having chest pains and trouble breathing.  My sister is with her, my dad is on a plane and knows nothing about it, and jesus christ NC feels really far away right now.

Sis says the EKG was fine, so they’re doing x-rays and blood tests.  I have no idea what a blood test would show as to troubled breathing, but I guess that’s because I didn’t go to med school.

Good thoughts, please.

Update: Mom’s home from the ER; they ran all kinds of tests and couldn’t pinpoint a problem, other than her obvious persistent shortness of breath and some crazy high blood pressure.  She’s been instructed to see a cardiologist ASAP, but she’s home and she’s okay.  Thanks for good thoughts.  xxoo

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Filed under anxiety, The Fam

.dear diary.

My younger sister called me today, her tone immediately recognizable as that perfect outrage only 17 year olds can achieve.  She’s angry at my mom, who is making her do things like… clean up after herself around the house.  And it’s official: I am no longer able to sympathize with the impassioned, wrongheaded arguments of teenagers.

When I was at my parent’s house last Christmas, they had just cleaned out their storage space, which meant that they had boxes and boxes of old things they wanted me to sift through, throwing away what I could.  I found so many things I had forgotten about – my “happy book” (a small notebook where I listed everything in my life that made me happy – it was something one of my best friends and I did for about a year, and my list was well over 1000 by the time I stopped); an ornate notebook full of letters that my other half and I wrote during our sophomore year; yearbooks; essays I wrote for english class on topics like “Art vs. Craft: An Interdisciplinary Analysis” and “A Disapproving God: The Eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg”; and, of course, the obligatory 7th grade diary.  It was fun to read through my old essays (and oh my god, proof that I’m getting less intelligent as I age) and my letters, but the real find was definitely the diary.  Mostly because it was a good reminder that I used to be a crazy person.

What part of the brain is it that’s so underdeveloped in teenagers?  The frontal lobe or something?  [Hang on, googling…]  Yes!  The frontal lobes!

Researchers studying the brain say the last section to develop — the frontal lobes — may not mature until a person is age 25 or beyond.

“The frontal lobes are sort of the executive center of the brain — the part of the brain that’s responsible for planning, organizing, anticipating the consequences of one’s actions,” said Elizabeth Sowell, a UCLA neurophysiologist.

– ABC News, Teen Brain Blamed for Reckless Driving

Ah ha!  Well, that certainly explains a lot.  My diary was full of all sorts of ridiculously dramatic statements – “I HATE HER!” or “Why doesn’t he just LOVE ME?!?!?!”  Reading it now, from the point of view of a person who considers herself, if not perfectly rational, at least consistently so… well, obviously, I laughed at myself.  But I was also kind of shocked.  I really didn’t remember having all of those out of control feelings, those thoughts that were so clearly not rooted in what was actually going on.  I didn’t remember that I used to be unable to take a step back and see the world from others’ point of view.

All of which I tried to keep in mind tonight as I talked my sister down.  There were some tears (hers) and some tongue biting (mine), and I really did try to be sympathetic as she railed on.  Seriously though, when did I start siding with my mother against my siblings???

Ah well, at least she comes by her dramatic teenage crazies honestly.


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Filed under memories, quotables, The Fam

.we walk.

[This is something I wrote a few years ago, during one of my particularly prolific (read: difficult) periods.  I’ve never shared it with anyone; I’d forgotten it existed, actually, until I stumbled upon it this evening while trying to organize some things.  I wanted to post it, as a reminder to myself… of lessons, and cost, and of how far it is possible to travel with someone.]


[we walk]

we walk below a thunderstorm
and count the seconds between
each blinding flash
and the baleful roar that follows

i am wishing again for silence

but because i care for you
and because you are a dangerous person to care for
(you have settled on thunderstorms)
i give you whatever words come to mind
between the thunderclaps –

it matters less what we are saying
than that we are here at all;
so impressed are we at our own resurrection
that it seems silence is not something we will abide.

and yet i am wishing again for silence
with you
a gentle nighttime quiet
the warm hush of bodies shifting together during sleep
and despising my own sentimentality
that i would still be jealous of the rain on your skin
after all this

and we are counting the seconds – one one thousand –
we count – two one thousand –
between the blindingly obvious
– three one thousand –
and the rumbling aftershocks
– dull but an ache nonetheless –
we are shaking our heads at our mistiming
– how many miles off? –

and i am wishing
again
for a kind of silence,
something befitting the memory
of the seconds between what is wordless
and real, this remaining truth,

between what could have been

and what is.

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Filed under lightning and a lightning bug, memories

.malaise.

It has been a while since I’ve last posted… mostly because nothing of any real note has been happening lately.  There are some weeks where I feel like all I do is get up, go to work, come home, eat, go to bed.  It’s the same litany my father uses when I talk with him on the weekends.  “How was your week?”  “You know.  Got up, went to work, came home, ate, went to bed.”  I never realized, until now, how suffocating that sentence is.

[On a sidenote, I feel the need to clarify something.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am a Cancer: ruled by the moon, a bundle of contradictions, emotional, &etc.  Which is to say that I am aware that sometimes I write about how I adore my job and I’m lucky to be there, and sometimes I write about how I can’t believe I work a 9 to 5 and have to wear a suit.  There are days when I couldn’t be more satisfied, and days when I am ready to quit.  This is probably true of most people in most jobs, but it is particularly true of me and mine.  Do I contradict myself?  Very well, then, I contradict myself.  I am large, I contain multitudes.  Thank you Mr. Whitman.]

In any case, to move on to happier things… Finn and Cali and another friend and I went out dancing last weekend.  For some reason there is no longer a “ladies night” around here on Saturdays, so we ended up going to this little club in the middle of nowhere which drew quite the colorful clientele.  There were the hipsters, who clearly found the place to be just ironic enough to make it worth being seen there; the older lesbians, who made us all grin ear to ear with their unabashed just-wanna-have-fun dancing; and, oddly, one shirtless gay man who was hired to walk around offering us all test tube shots.  I was exhausted and had been hesitant to go, but Finn never agrees to go out dancing so I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity.  (Finn broke her foot when we were walking to my apartment one day, very early in our relationship, and – despite the pain, not knowing it was broken – continued to walk around on it for another 3 months before she got an X-ray.  It didn’t heal properly, and it still hurts her sometimes… so that was the end of dancing for her.  OR WAS IT????  Word on the street is, she might have gotten her mojo back last weekend.  To be confirmed.)

So anyway, dancing was good.  Then came this week of boredom and lethargy, broken only by my attendance at Holiday Handjobs, a queer craft fair.

And so here I am.  Taking a mental health day (because of the boredom, and because it will give me a four day weekend, and because we get so many vacation days that it’s a wonder anyone is ever there at all.)   Plans for the weekend include helping our friend Gem pack and move, brunch with Cali, sleep, and writing.

Oh, and last but not least, shoutout to Rev who just started what promises to be a pretty kickass blog about her adventures and misadventures trying to get ordained as a big ‘ol queer in the Presbyterian church.  Should be lots of good reflection about the intersection between religion and spirituality, so if you’re interested in reading or being a part of that dialogue, you should head that way.

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Filed under Cali, Finn, Gem, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, Rev

.okay okay okay.

So, y’know that “25 Random Things About Me” meme that has TAKEN OVER facebook (and is apparently “threatening to consume what little remaining free time and privacy we have“?)  Yea, so, I caved.  Without further ado, my 25:

1. When I was about 6, I fell off a jungle gym and had the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t breathe for about a minute, and I – literally – thought I had died. As in, I walked around for about 3 days thinking I was a ghost. I don’t recall the event that made me realize I was actually, in fact, still counted among the living… but I did enjoy being a ghost. I may or may not have believed I was invisible for all or part of that time.

2. My first car was named the Dalai Lama, which had nothing to do with His Holiness, and everything to do with not wanting it to be known as “the nipple car.” I think this one works best without an explanation.

3. I have never been given, but most assuredly deserve, a diagnosis of at least mild OCD. A short list of my compulsions include: cornering, extending lines, patterned muscle twitching, and an inability to work in a room that has not been “porquaed.”

4. I listened to Tori Amos every single day of my high school career.

5. I wrote a poem in kindergarten about the headless horseman that ended “For he got away with a bat… for he got away with a bat.” In the margins surrounding the poem, I drew a picture of a baseball bat as well as a flying-animal-bat. To this day, I have no idea what the hell my 5 year old self was talking about.

6. I wonder more than I should whether I made a mistake in going to law school. I still think – wistfully and often – about running away from everything and holing up somewhere and just writing. And if ever given anything remotely resembling an opportunity to do so, I will.

7. I would never describe myself as conservative, but I am surprisingly traditional.

8. I think I must have been an early American New England colonist in a past life. Moving here made something click in a really fundamental way that I can’t explain. That said, there will always be a part of me that is, yes, a southern girl. So pass the cornbread. Please. (Because we are polite).

9. I learned to speak with a lishp from Rala, and I can honestly say it is one of the greatest comedic gifts anyone has ever given me.

10. I still have a pair of shoes that my grandma bought me at the Jersey Shore the summer before my 10th grade year. The soles are peeling off the uppers, they’re faded and falling apart, but they are the most comfortable damn shoes in the world and I can’t give them up.

11. I really, genuinely, with every fiber of my being, hate cooking. Otherwise, I am your typical Cancer.

12. I am ridiculously efficient.

13. My favorite non-alcoholic drink is pomegranate seltzer water. I don’t have a favorite alcoholic drink, but gin and tonics make me turn into a crazy person. (It’s still unclear whether it’s the gin or the tonic, so I avoid both like the plague).

14. I once fell forward onto a cactus, and had to pull out close to 50 long, thick needles from my legs. Also, I had gotten a terrible sunburn on my back earlier in the day, so… yea, it was a pretty bad day.

15. She will never ever believe me, but I genuinely believe that my little sister is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.

16. I’m a super picky eater, which I didn’t realize until I moved to New England. Apparently I only like southern cooking. I have tried to expand my palate, and have added in a few other genres, sushi and Vietnamese being the most notable. But I just can’t do Indian. I tried, and I can’t. Sorry, Finn.

17. I spend a lot of time feeling really undeserving of all the blessings I’ve been given in my life. But I feel very lucky to have been raised to believe that it’s important to give back, and to have a job that lets me do that.

18. I have never served on a jury, and now that I’m a lawyer, I’ll probably never be chosen for one.

19. I haven’t lived in the same house/dorm room/apartment for more than a year since I was 18, and I am realllllly tired of being a nomad. I am ready to settle down, dammit.

20. I think all of my best memories take place at my Grandma’s cottage at the beach. We spent at least one month of every summer vacation there for the majority of my childhood. To this day, when I’m having trouble falling asleep, I will recall lying on the bed in the back bedroom, listening to the crickets chirp over the sound of the fan whirring, and feeling like there was nothing in the world so lovely as being right there in that moment.

21. I have nothing against aging; I think women (and society at large) put far too much emphasis on looking young; but I can’t pretend I’m not going to be a little sad when my hair starts turning grey. Being a redhead is pretty awesome.

22. I can remember anything if you put it to music. 50 states? Check. Preamble to the Constitution? Check. Every song from every episode of Barney that played in the background of my adolescence? Check.

23. I worked in the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library for 3 of my 4 years at UNC. It was an incredibly coveted job (easy, low stress, relatively well-paid) and I got an interview solely because my boss wanted to know what the heck “Occoneechee” meant.

24. If I could subsist on Milky Way Midnight candy bars, I would eat nothing else.

25. I have a hairless cat. No, we did not shave her. No, she is not a woodland creature who somehow snuck into our house. And for the love of Nancy, NO, she is not Golem!

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Filed under memories, the beauty of the in-between