Friday, December 31, 2004

"i know what exit means! it means the way out!"

the way my work schedule at the ceramics store played out was that yesterday was my last day. it was long, boring and utterly uneventful, save for the class i taught to one lone pupil who was a ball of untamed energy and had a predilection for not doing as she was instructed, culminating in her socking me in the gut out of some sort of misguided frustration that i wasn't letting her get her way. this meant that when her parents came round to collect her some five minutes later and asked if she'd had fun she said "no" and then they story came out and she choked out a forced apology and i realized i would never have to see this little five year old spun from satan again. earlier, when we had been having something as close to fun as we could muster, she'd proudly told me she knew what exit meant; that it meant the way out. and in the long quiet moments of yesterday afternoon i thought about my own exit, my own way out.

my job history is choppy and colored with unexpected instances of employment interruptus. my first job (not counting babysitting, movie extra work or proofreading for cash) was as a sales clerk at a chain of bargain women's sportswear stores in new york city. i survived the feet-aching christmas, i zipped up the coats as instructed, i tagged and hung and i didn't lean. i took the 28th off for my birthday, and showed up the next day to find out i was being let go; they were overstaffed for the post-holiday season and, since i was last hired, i was first fired.

a few years later i worked my way up through the ranks of a now-defunct chain of deeply discounted book stores. rumors of bankruptcy were brewing as i stepped into the head honcho position at a store in dire need of an overhaul, and within months the doors were being closed, the merchandise liquidated and the jobs eliminated.

next came the brief, but pivotal, stint at an educational supply store. i'm not sure what specifically prompted the higher-ups to decide to close my location, but being as i was one of the more costly assistant managers, and my boyfriend of the time a more costly clerk, we were the first two handed our shipping papers. either that or our fraternization was an issue they didn't want to deal with. i'll never know, but i'll never forget that it was thanksgiving week, and an all-around devastating time.

exactly one year later i came home from a week in toronto to my fabulous job with the los angeles philharmonic. i sipped my routine cup of joe and opened my email, and began to read all of last week's items in the inbox. i wondered why some staff, who'd been with the phil for ten, twenty or more years, were sending out sad goodbye emails, saying how they'd loved their jobs, they were sad to be leaving...twenty minutes later my boss came in uncharacteristically early, with the human resources director in tow, and they told me that last friday, while i was out of town, the organization had wiped out a handful of jobs in order to save costs. that explained the farewell emails, and that also meant i was being shown the door. another exit.

in the following couple of years i made an exit after a short stint as a starbucks barista and a longer and much more dramatic fling as an accounts receivable clerk for a motion picture ad agency. i decided that the tense and often unexpected exits were getting the best of me. and i decided to go back to school.

the next exit, quite possibly the most dramatic and unexpected of them all, was in the summer of 2003, when, as many will recall, i was asked to leave the international headquarters of the ceramics store because of a clash of wills and revenge tactic designed by someone promoted to their level of incompetency and disguised under the veil of my allegedly overusing the internet or, alternatively, of what i wrote on this blog. that exit was abrupt and painful, and my own revenge came frequently, first in my freelance employment as a pinch hitter and teacher in a number of franchised locations, the last being a more permanent gig under kelsey's loving wing, complete with my deployment to the company's annual and regional meetings as the representative delegate and all-around thorn-in-the-side of my antogonizers.

it's really been quite a year, but, like all good and bad things, it must come to its end. and so yesterday i made my last exit from the doors of kelsey's ceramics store. at night the darling housemates and i did away with the old and ushered in the new by completely revamping and redoing our living room, making it, after many years of underuse and dormancy, a room in which we actually want to live. today the delivery folks brought me my brand spanking new pottery barn bed, and next week the mattress and box spring arrive. exit old, enter new.

2004 is making its exit tonight, with the promise and hope and fresh start of 2005 right around its corner. i've made so many exits, not just in general, but in recent history, that it feels about right to be entering a new year. tonight at midnight i know i will be in the company of good people, relaxed in the still unfamilliar feeling of having enough money on which to get by, the means to pay off old debts, the space to inhabit that is warm and welcoming and encourages visits from friends and loved ones and, most importantly, creativity. 2005 is bringing with it my first real publication, the opportunity to work with some of my university's most accomplished and encouraging professors, the possibility of my becoming a college-level english teacher, the continued health and happiness of my family and friends, and, let's hope, a little bit of love...of the self and romantic kind, both.

i know, too, what exit means. sure, sometimes it means leaving, sometimes it means passing through a revolving door, getting the door slammed on your butt, or having to find your way to the next opening in order to move ahead.

so, 2004, take your final bow and exit stage left, and welcome, 2005. we're ready--i'm ready--for your entrance.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

homecoming and the retirement of the birthday queen

the birthday queen, it seems, has gone in to retirement. gone were the ceaseless reminders of how many weeks, days or hours until the festivities were due to start. gone were the tireless pouts, the moody "i don't feel special enough" outburts, the hurt looks, the dramatic sighs of "someone done me wrong." actually, this year was a perfectly lovely and pleasant birthday; my mom called it a very adult birthday. at twenty-eight, i suppose, it was long overdue.

i celebrated my birthday in the seaside neighborhood of white rock, british columbia, at a fantastic little restaurant called pearl. it was one of those lunches that extended far into the afternoon, with an opening round of cocktails, savory appetizers, the entrees and, last, the presentation of my birthday dessert--a chocolate mousse contraption called "between the sheets" set down with its one gleaming candle with a flourish--and the singing of the usual ditty. my inner birthday queen tingled with delight. i made my wish, blew the candle out, pushed the plate to the middle of the table, and inisisted everyone share.

after lunch we raced out to the movie theatre to see the aviator. and i raced my mom and my nana to the ticket buying kiosk, so that i could be the one to slide my card in the machine and treat them to the movie on my birthday. my inner birthday queen shuddered in horror. i think it was at that precised moment that her highness, the almighty diva of the "born-three-days-after-christmas-only-childness" slunk away, head hung low, shamed by my repressing her more colorful tendencies. i think i surprised even myself. and i'll take a stand, too, and say that the movie was quite good; i'm a little annoyed at the liberal poetic license taken with his relationship to katharine hepburn (you'll recall i know a thing or two about her) but, really, i could have sat there for hours, watching howard hughes' strange life unfold. but the movie ended, and, after all, there were presents to open at home!

now i'm the homecoming queen, typing this from my comfy seat at my own kitchen counter, sipping my starbucks christmas blend from my own mug, feeling a little mumbly-grumbly about having to work today (only two more days left at the ceramics store!) but feeling incredibly psyched at the massive home improvement plans launched last night between myself and the two fantastic housemates, angel bunny and l.q.t. and new year's plans are in the hopper, sorting and sifting and awaiting the final go-ahead.

it's good to have turned twenty-eight on the 28th. but it's even better to be home.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

menny 'appy returns

happy birthday to me,
happy birthday to me,
happy birthday dear sassy little punkin,
happy birthday to me!


Saturday, December 25, 2004

crantinis, sweet bottoms, the cousins, and to all a good night

the smell of the onions boiling for the stuffing is wafting, as onion smell tends to do, upstairs in my nana's house as i sit here fussing with last night's photo evidence of merriment and imbibing. the gifts have been opened (mac makeup, dvds, books, oh my!) and the other branches of our family tree will be on their way in the coming hours to keep the festivities going. last night my doldrums and tension were cut with the swift and effective knife of vodka crantinis and the fine company of my aunts and uncles and my five cousins. we caught up on our accomplishments and ambitions--one just finished her degree in english and is applying to masters' programs in library and information sciences, one is in a hot band that comes fully endorsed by alt rock darlings and vancouver natives tegan & sara, one is my beloved 15-going-on-30 gal who's eternally whip-smart and stylish, one is trying his chops at a classic brit-rock influenced band, and the last (but never least) has secured a commercial agent and dreams of being a magazine editor. the future librarian and i traded english major dork insider info and went neck-and-neck on the crantinis, with the actress/editor keeping watchful count--final tally: six apiece, minus the sips stolen by the younger ones. we laughed and jostled, we whipped out dueling digital cameras, we brought out the best of the "remember the time when..." stories (most involved our nana getting sloshed or me dropping the cousins on their heads as babies, oops.) we six waited patiently for our christmas eve traditional gifts of pajamas, now and forever referred to as "sweet bottoms." mine, ironically, turned out to say 'sweet' all over them, with "the sweetest treats in town" plastered on the chest (you hear that, boys? wink wink.) now i've got to put on a face and some christmassy clothes, slide some herbs under the turkey skin, hum along to the best carols mssrs. sinatra, connick, crosby and cole have to offer, and get ready for another night of cocktails and revelry.

merry christmas to all, from me to you and yours!


Thursday, December 23, 2004

trippin' and wishin'

two suitcases packed at the eleventh hour--brimming with late-night laundry, hastily wrapped gifts, and every power cord known to man needed to power my modern gal's modern accesories--one cancelled flight, one frantic call to the airline asking "what do i do?" and one declaration that being put on the much, much later flight was not acceptable, and one sigh of relief at being put on the much, much earlier flight, two hours of toss-and-turn napping, one cup of industrial strength coffee, one long hot shower, one kind friend showing up at five a.m. to take me to the airport and one set of worked nerves later, and i'm trippin' on out of here for my christmas vacation in vancouver, b.c.

here's wishing everyone a very jolly holiday, filled with health, happiness, warmth and good cheer. i'll be checking in from the great white north! and just remember: while there might only be two shopping days til christmas, there's five shopping days til my birthday!


Monday, December 20, 2004


highlights of the weekend include attending a holiday gathering that was like a frat party with fresh-cut flowers. the nibbly-treats were utterly to die for, the ambience martha stewart-meets-kegger, and the folks i kept company with were just the sort who will insist we all sit facing the stairwell so that we could all catch a glimpse of the girl we voted "most holiday spirit" for dressing in a micro mini spandex dress, gold hooker stilettos and no panties, as she made her way down the steps. they were also the sort who could work the phrase "juice my rod" into everyday conversation, who have a sexual orientation litmus test based on the pepsi challenge-style condiment question of "mustard or mayo?" and who see no shame in us draping all over each other in order to pose for a photo in the stylings of a wb teen drama.

highlights of monday include finding out i got straight a's this quarter, getting most of my holiday shopping done and while doing so being asked to audition for the pilot of a reality television show.

tuesday i'm getting my nails done, working on some knitting projects, sneaking in the last of my holiday shopping, possibly seeing the life aquatic with steve zissou and, oh...auditioning for the pilot of a reality television show.

fa la la la la, la la la la.


Friday, December 17, 2004

"if they asked me, i could write a book...", i kind of did!

i've been holding off on letting this info fly for some months now, but i think today is a perfect day to 'out' myself. after all, it's not everyday i win a chevy valentine bloggie award for "getting the most ass!" but, yes... sassy little punkin is being published! several months ago i was invited to be a part of an anthology of web writing, and i graciously (and excitedly) accepted. the topic?, of course. (even my nana agrees sex sells.) it's due out early next year, and, while i don't expect a whirlwind book tour to land me in a bookstore near you for a signing, i do hope you'll be brave and kind enough to order one from amazon or pluck a copy from a shelf and put some coins in my publisher's coffer. this is a nice way to get my toe in the door of the world of the written word--all before i've even finished my masters'! and, yes, they made me format it in proper caps-at-the-start-of-sentences form. and, yes, they made me edit with an international readership in mind (toned down the pop culture). and, no, i'm not one of the more racy authors listed on the cover. but that's okay. i'm in a book. and i hope you share in my excitement. and (you know who you are) i hope a tiny few of you burn a little at having to eat your words so soon--they might go good with some syrup to sweeten up that bitter taste in your mouth; i have about three containers for the whole table to share--they have covered sharing in kindergarten, right?

coming soon: The Mammoth Book of Sex Diaries : Online Confessions and Call-Girl Adventures--The Best of the Sex Blogs edited by Maxim Jakubowski.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

this burden of liking

it seems as though i am constantly in a state of 'liking' someone, and the liking puts a little kick in my step, gives me a reason to wand on some mascara in the morning before i head out, puts a sly little smile on my lips. and the liking, it carries me pretty far; i can dine out on schoolgirl gushings, snippets of racy dreams, or plots to land the object of my affections. but the burden, the pull, the kicker, is that, inevitably, i realize that they don't like me back. not in 'that' way.

and so where does this leave me? sometimes it drives me to the modern gal's instrument of doom: the online personals. and i'll admit, sometimes i sign up, throw up an evocative picture, write a witty blurb, and take some satsifaction in the emails i get that are suggestive, flattering, complimentary or downright dirty. but it feels good to be wanted, even if it's theoretical, it's intangible, it's a concept that's hovering from somewhere behind the comforting glow of the monitor.

sometimes, when my liking is a one-way street, i go through long spells of adamantly not liking anyone. this is the girl power phase of being relieved that i'm not in a relationship, of being too busy to date, (regardless of the fact that no one is asking) and of being really focused on all the other non-man related things i have going for me. this, too, gets me by for so long--i'm getting work done, i'm feeling good, i'm not an emotional titanic over someone special, or, un-special.

i'm wondering if there's something fundemental about my modus operandi that needs switching up. is there a way to go about my life with all the girl power confidence and yet be ready to meet someone who might last longer than the one night of mediocre passion? it feels like sometimes i worry about the wrong things at the wrong time; it feels like i've got something wrong. because these guys, these dudes, these men, they're any combination of oblivious to unattainable. and i crush on them--hard. and either they have no clue, or if they do, they don't dare let on.

the burden of the liking always falls on me, and it's heavy, and it's wearing me out. it's making me question who i am and how i go about things--matters of the heart--and i don't like to tumble into that murky vortex of self-doubt and insecurity. but i want someone to take the burden off my shoulders; i want someone to like me, to doodle my name in their notebook, to confess their intentions and naughty dreams to their buddies, their journals, their pillows at night. i want someone to bravely bite the bullet and to ask me out, to want to get to know me for more than just they few minutes it takes to get me in to bed. and i want to feel strong enough to trust their intentions, to really believe that this isn't temporary, that this isn't another rug that's going to get pulled out from under me, leaving me standing there, alone once again, the wind knocked right out of me, and that same, familliar ache from unreciprocated feelings--that is this burden of liking.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

so many movies, so little time

i know the hollywood powers-that-be do this on purpose, by how am i expected to get to the theatres to see all the new movies that, for once, in this long year of abysmal feature films, i feel i must see?

on my "see before the end of 2004" list:

the life aquatic with steve zissou
ocean's 12
the aviator
meet the fokkers
beyond the sea
bad education

did i forget anything? (and by anything i mean things that don't star will smith, have a christmas plot, are based on popular children's books, or are carried by the sheer brute force of their special effects and fight sequences.)


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

better living through music

you would think that school ending on friday and the fact that i don't have to work on campus until january would give me heaps and loads of delicious free time, wherein you might find me catching up on my netflix discs, cleaning my apartment, or shopping for the holidays. you might even expect to find me calling you, wanting to make plans to get together after weeks of my schedule rendering this feat impossible. you would think, wouldn'tcha?

however, somehow, yesterday i wound up spending a few hours on campus training for my new position at the writing center, followed by a few hours of glazing and firing at the ceramics shop, on what was supposed to be an official day off.

all of this, though, has been made better through music. more specifically, through my darling little ipod. (her name is appletini, btw.) it's like a little miracle at my fingertips. it provides a fitting soundtrack to my life: scurrying to subway to get a sandwich during a break from the kiln room = phantom planet's catchy "california" (aka the o.c. theme song). walking from the parking lot to the writing center mid-morning = cheryl lynn's infectious (and, granted, cheesy) "to be real." four and a half hours of tending to bisque and glaze whizzed by in a blur of frou frou, pete yorn, the postal service, rachael yamagata, phoenix and nellie mckay. thanks to my handy-dandy cassette stereo adapter thinamajiggy, my commute was made lovelier by belinda carlisle (i realize this ups the loser factor, but i can't quite express my geeky glee at discovering itunes** has her 1989 album runaway horses which, on tape, enabled me to survive the 9th grade, and has since gone out of print and hard to find on cd), usher, death cab for cutie and good old britney spears.

today, after a much needed mug of home-brewed starbucks christmas blend and some more furiously fast uploading of music to the ibook, i'm off to the wild world of the d.m.v., to the grocery store, to start getting the christmas gifts together, and then home to do some laundry and cleaning. it seems that instead of a break i'm just spending my days doing what i haven't had the time or money to do in the past eleven weeks of school. but it's okay. waiting in line at the d.m.v. to iron out almost two years' worth of registration mess doesn't seem so bad, so long as my ipod is humming. now, if only i could control my bad habit of lip synching and/or singing along...

**you realize, of course, that if you were wondering just what to get me for christmas, or my birthday on the 28th, and itunes gift card would be a most appreciated and appropriate choice. just a suggestion.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

the trio and apples

this weekend had a hell of a lot going for it. with school over and just a few days left before i'm off and winging northward to vancouver, b.c. to see my family for christmas, this saturday was my first real day of freedom in a good long while. though i'd initially had visions of lounging in bed and channel surfing all day, i wound up meeting the other two members of my new favorite trio-posse, foxy and pisces, for a little dish at a restaurant called, appropriately, dish. we three word geeks come in a blonde-brunette-redhead set, and we're also the troika perpetuating the myth that is alphie. we also laugh a lot. these two broads are a big part of the reason why grad school is the best game in town in my book.

did i say book? did i say my book? did i say "ibook"? i didn't? are you sure?

santa claus (or harry the hanukkah elf, whatever) sent me a little surprise, diguised as my much-awaited student loan for this past fall! (hint: here's where i say "ibook")

so i scurried on down to the apple store at the grove saturday afternoon, and walked up to the first clerk i saw, and ran off the order i'd been composing in my mind for weeks:

"i'd like a 14" ibook with a superdrive, an extra battery, applecare protection plan and a 20gb ipod, please."

we threw in the microsoft office suite for students and teachers, too.

when the clerk at the counter rang me up and gave me my total my heart fluttered; sure, i could cover it, but, good lord!

"don't ever say that number out loud to me again," i warned him, and he laughed.

he bagged my goodies, handed me my ibook's little suitcase, and said: "congratulations, you are now the proud owner of an ibook! welcome to mac!"

i laughed, and in all sincerity, i told him, "you know, i feel like i just had a baby!"

(coincidentally, i've been referring to the ibook as "the child" since that moment, as in "i have to get home to the child" or "have you met my child?")

when i got the ibook home i turned it on, and started to see what i had at my fingertips. so far the best part about apartment living is that there are some unsecured wireless networks running in my building. so, thanks "nicole and danielle," whoever you are, for unknowingly letting me cruise the net on your wireless signal. i can sit in bed, feeding my new itunes crack-like habit, chatting with pals on ichat, reading the ny times and uploading my photos. oh, and the o.c. looks great on here, too. yeah, i'm in nerd heaven. how did i not have a mac before this? i'm absolutely in love.

i'm such a proud mama. next i'll be carrying a photo of the ibook in my wallet. better yet, i'll just carry the ibook. i feel so carrie bradshaw. i feel so lucky. things are so lovely... i feel so happy. now, if you'll excuse me, the child needs to go to bed.


Friday, December 10, 2004

white elephant

i do believe that my first quarter of grad school is over! and, though i am just a tiny bit ragged around the edges, i've come out unscathed and unharmed. now i just have to hang tight til grades are posted in a couple of weeks.

i spent monday and tuesday in a mary shelley fog of scholarly citations and (hopefully) well-structured arguments about the autobiographical impulse and the anxiety of authorship. i felt that the only cure was to watch the entirety of disc one of the o.c. on dvd, which proved rather effective in preserving my mental well-being.

quite frankly, i don't remember wednesday.

yesterday i decided that i should dress like a girl (skirt! tights! boots with a heel!) and that i should sport this look all day, on my feet at work, then sport it crossing the campus to attend a meeting, then sport it crossing campus back to the other side where my poetry class was having our final night reading event. meanwhile, my feet decided they didn't like the boots with heel, and i wound up walking out to the parking lot on stockinged feet, holding the offensive boots with a heel (i keep mis-typing 'heel' as 'hell'; no wonder freud says there are no accidents!) in my hand and limping off into the night.

last night on the way home i actually called in to my favorite radio station, kcrw, to try to win tickets to see phoenix this weekend. i've never called in to win anything before, and i love phoenix like nobody's business, and even though the tickets were for saturday night at 8, and i work saturday night til 9 (a minor problem i'd have happily dealt with), and i never get excited about concerts, and this show and the one sunday night are sold out...well, i got through to the station. and i was on hold, listening to the hold music, after the automatic phone guy instructed me to "stay on the line, as you may have won," and then... i lost my phone signal. where i always do, right by forest lawn and the disney studios. so i won't be seeing phoenix this weekend. phoenix who are from france and only playing two tiny club shows here in l.a. phoenix, whose album, alphabetical, almost never left my cd player this summer. phoenix, who, in using google to find references to themselves on the internet may find this page and notice that i can't stop talking about them today, and that my blog page name at the top is a line from one of their songs, and instead of suing me (i give them credit at the bottom!) maybe they will take mercy on me and email me and offer me a ticket to their show on sunday. it's sunday at 8, and i work til 7, perfect, see? thanks phoenix. si vous voulez, je peu ecrire toute ca en francais: donnez-moi billets pour dimanche!!!!!

the only thing (so far) that is compensating for the fact that i've been living in a fog, that i can't see phoenix (it's going to take me awhile to get over this), and the fact that my feet hate me (heel=hell), is that last night i had one of those ridiculously proud-slash-embarrassing moments when one of my professors met my parents, and instead of stopping at "nice to meet you" she goes on to tell them how "special" i am, and talented, and how lucky she is to get to work with me, and how she sends me fan email all the time, and...i don't remember it all because i was blushing so hard it blocked out my hearing. well! that feels pretty good. it's a nice way to end out the academic part of the quarter.

today brings an end to the work-at-school part of the quarter, though there will be no working, just partaking in holiday party fare, including ye olde white elephant gift game. i'm hoping i get to steal back my gift. it's a doozy. and the housemates, l.q.t. and angel bunny, squealed with delight when i showed them what it was, and agree that we'd like to have it in our house. we'll see...

phoenix? bonjour? etes-vous la? sil-vous-plait?


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

funniest single line ever sent to me in an instant message that will most likely only make sense, or, for that matter, be funny to a tiny group of people but i'm going to post it anyway, because it made me laugh so hard i almost fell out of my chair, and by the way, thanks lisa:

i think someone should steal alphie


Monday, December 06, 2004

six reasons i am not your average twenty-something girl

1. i hate the princess bride.
2. brad pitt, orlando bloom, jude law, and tom cruise do not get me hot.
3. i do not have a fantasy wedding scheme all planned out.
4. puppies and babies make me edgy.
5. i don't shop at victoria's secret.
6. i've never, to the best of my recollection, pleaded: "not tonight, i have a headache."


Thursday, December 02, 2004

for the sake of the cupcakes

i'm writing this post in between swallowing some ibuprofen and putting on some makeup. i realized that today can't start with a headache, nor can it wind down with me plainfaced, because tonight i am giving a presentation in my poetry writing class. i loathe presentations, however, and as i rush about this morning to get everything together, i'm just hoping that i don't forget a single thing; i have a full day of ceramics-store-work to slog through before showtime tonight. while the more stressful aspect of the presentation involved learning powerpoint on the fly late last night-slash-early-this-morning, then learning to get it going on a borrowed laptop, the upside is that, in all earnestness, i have managed to incorporate cupcakes into my presentation (ms. smitten would be proud!). yes, cupcakes. professors, don't ever make a suggestion in jest, as i will, most likely, take you at your word. so, for the sake of the cupcakes i'm aiming to be organized, headache free and fresh faced for the main event. photos to follow, as, in addition, for the sake of the cupcakes there is a key photographic element to the presentation. seriously. cupcakes.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

a geek in word heaven

i was a little early for a meeting yesterday, so instead of sipping my styrofoam-cupped coffee in the deadzone of the seminar room, i stood in the english department hallway, watching everyone zoom by. it's the end of the quarter, and students are anxiously compiling quotes from secondary sources for final papers, putting together portfolios of creative work, some are even defending their masters' thesis. so i leaned against the wall and watched everyone passing by.

one of my classmates arrived and he whooshed past me in to the meeting room. when he found the room empty, he popped his head back out the door.

"don't you want to come in here?" he asked me.

"no," i admitted. "i like to watch people. and these are some of my favorite people in the world."

i suppose part of being a writer is being an observer. i love to listen to the flux of vocal pattern, the body language between two strangers or intimates, the sound of hard footsteps on slick tile floor. so i stood there, a geek in word heaven, listening to snippets of conversations, meetings, echoing sounds and peals of laughter. i listened to one of my favorite professors; this month they had been pivotal inspiration for one of my main characters in my nanowrimo novel, and i daydreamed just a little, yesterday, conflating and merging the fiction with the fact. my eyes and ears are always so wide open for material, for slivers of words and sounds. and even though i was standing still, the motion around me was as vibrant as the electric colors of the hand-knit scarf i was wearing.

"i like your scarf," complimented one of my most beloved professors in her characteristic drawl.

she saw me again, after my meeting, and she waited as i discussed the logistics of passing out flyers with another professor, and then she drew me aside, to talk. and what was said, in the scheme of things, is of no interest but to a small few--it was chatter and jargon and trade kind of talk. but, yesterday, in those minutes, i felt like some metaphoric arms were opening up and pulling me in. there's a vernacular to what i do, to what i study, to my work--and i can speak it. there's a boundary, i suppose i could call it, (without a hint of the inappropriate, mind you), that dissolves when you are no longer somewhere as an outsider, but a part of the cloth, a thread in its overall fabric. perhaps, for the sake of creative continuity, a thread in a hand-knit brightly colored scarf.

after my beloved professor left, i rejoined the fray in the hallway. only this time, i was pulled in further, swept up in the motion of the doing, the going, the talking, the be-ing. you see, i had been selected to submit a piece of my writing for a prestigious national award, and it had all been a very last minute and up-late-the-night-before-rewriting kind of thing. and we were rushing to get things printed, cover pages and revisions and so back and forth, back and forth, up and down my cherished hallway. you see, i was part of the motion...

i realized today that what i was feeling was that sought after sense of belonging. could i be so dramatic to label it a calling? oh, hell, i don't know. but it's right. it's where i'm meant to be. and it is perfectly lovely to have discovered that i am just a geek in word my warm, fuzzy, hand-knit, brightly colored scarf.


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