Saturday, January 29, 2005

you understand, right? my in absentia explained via my caption of captivity


brand new "princess" bed with fabulous shabby chic bedding in usual state of chaos with it's chief resident, little ibook annie, and, this weekend: scholastic materials in abundance (machine dreams by jayne anne phillips with a small portion of the supplemental theoretic and critical materials gathered last night at the central library while on a nerdy "field trip" with pisces and foxy that i am using both on my own for an eventual paper and preceeding annotated bibliography and with pisces for a presentation on thursday; 14th century alliterative poem piers plowman with a sampling of supplemental readings needed to get through weekly reading and to prepare for two written projects and a final; a book on the GRE literature test [because most phd programs, including the one i am hoping to get in to] will require it; university catalog to make sure i'm on track and indeed going to be done with my MA in june 2006 [i am!]), pleasant diversions (my ipod and the new itrip software for tuning radio stations to the ipod, two netflix movies [that are actually more educational as they are on the vietnam war, topic of one of my seminars], my cellphone at the ready to firm up this evening's plan to escape my cave, issues of los angeles and the new yorker magazines to catch up on, my first published book waiting for me to altruistically read past my own chapter) and the necessities (hair clip, highlighter and pen, a chart of my poor teeth given to me wednesday by my dentist) and, vitally, next to my bed-office-campgrounds: alarm clock, cup of coffee, water--all tools for survival.

listen closely and you'll hear a tiny sound. hear it? it's me, saying: ", help!?"


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

hello, my name is lindsay, and i'm a published author

just arrived in the mail today.

buy now
. ask questions later.


Monday, January 24, 2005

didn't do-s

this weekend slipped by in a bit of a blur, wherein i seemed much more aware of all the things i didn't do as opposed to what i actually did do.

things i didn't do:
  • my taxes
  • read parts or the entirety of this book, this book, this book, this book, this book, this book, this book, this book, or this book
  • mail my rebate forms for my snazzy new camera phone
  • attempt to connect my laptop to my printer for the first time
  • write an essay for formality's sake on why i want to get a masters in creative writing
  • assemble and make cover sheets of my own writing to submit to my school's literary magazine, of which i am, coincidentally, editor-in-chief
  • edit, organize and email out photos from last weekend's raunchy bachelorette party (i.e. take my small part in internet porn as the distributor of naked stripper pictures)
  • sleep past nine a.m.
  • work on redesigning this page using dreamweaver for mac and css--oh, lord!
  • call my honorary twin sister and gab
  • mail belated christmas presents to laurie's 3-almost-4-month-old baby
  • put my ipod to the workout test
  • obsessively fantasize or share (ad nauseum) my obsessive fantasies about the professor
i did, however:
  • find a couple of things i was searching for at my neighborhood used book store
  • make some exciting spring plans
  • prepare healthy and nutritious meals to take with me to campus for the week (under the strict guidelines of low-carb, low-fat, no sugar, high-protein, no red meat, portable, quiet and not offensive smelling, which is no small feat, i'll have you know)
  • have a dream about joan didion
  • have brunch with my family and see their own personal mudslide-mudpile
  • inherit a pink t-shirt that says "free martha"
considering last week i had the unexpected fun of going to court without realizing i was going to court (only me, i know...) and this week i have the long overdue fun of going to the dentist, well... i'd say i did my fair share. it's no wonder so many eighties pop stars wrote mournful songs about mondays! sigh... tell me again how last fall i did all this with two jobs?


Saturday, January 22, 2005

saturday in a series of smashcuts

i suppose it was because i was reading this book that aims to somewhat academically dissect sex and the city that i tried to look at my slow saturday in the context of the savvy single girl. i'd already labelled this a low-activity weekend (i.e. hours of lazy wasted time, movie watching, and loads of reading for my classes) because last weekend was the long-weekend of interminable fun and social events (gay latino cowboy bar visit! bachelorette party complete with female stripper! dinner and watching the golden globes! shopping! errand-running! martin luther king day!--well, okay, i'll admit things wound down by the end) and really, enough is enough sometimes. and i'll often try to comfort myself when i decide to stay in and stay put with thinking that even the hippest of the hip give themselves a little down time. only today my down time just needed the extra pizazz of a smashcut styled montage, complete with soundtrack. so i've given myself some awesome chillout grooves on my itunes, i've sufficiently flashbacked on my day's doings (sleeping in! chatting with housemate! picking up package at post office! getting my nails done! letting a suitor's call go to voicemail! butterfield 8 on dvd!) and i'm back to being smugly satisfied with my self-imposed status as a saturday shut-in. but, seriously, thank god for the prospect of tuesday night porn-star karaoke, and here's to not letting suitors' calls go to voicemail. because i don't think i can wait until next weekend to go out and have fun.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

tuesday for monday blues

the tears were pinching the corners of my eyes. i fumbled for the chapstick; a medicated balm for the lips and not the soul. there was a canyon of twenty paces and one elevator ride down between us, as we took the familliar trip in separation. i'd spent the night pondering the wonder of the forearm revealed by means of rolled up blue sleeves and the person on the other end of the phone. there's disquieting hope in hearing "love" and then a look my way. a pun on plough and a reminder that there are no accidents seems to qualify my connections. "it wasn't a question," he says and "it wasn't an answer," i reply, catty for the sideshow banter and the murmur of delight. but it's "mind your post" and give another translation, dinner past the hunger and a plea issued to a blank january sky. and i penned femme fatale in the margin minutes before he said it, grasping at the cobweb-like strand of knowing recognition, another hint wasted on the eye-rubbing blindness. it's curse after curse on a tuesday for monday, singing "mesmerizing" all the way home, and filling the empty hollow with witless prophecy from the pink magic date ball and a late night conversation with a sympathetic soul. sleep saved me from taking in his book, but ushered me to the bleating alarm and another day of have-not.


Monday, January 17, 2005

a roll of quarters and i'm back in business

my housemate angel bunny told me that she woke up this morning and read dr. king's "i have a dream" speech in honor of our holiday. she was in an uncharacteristically cheery mood, despite the fact that she's been dealt some harsh and low blows as of late, and i must admit i felt a little guilty at my characteristically meandering and unproductive (but not cheerless, no!) morning spent tinkering about with my itunes, lolling about between the shabby chich sheets, reading a little middle english, and trying to decide whether or not i should get a pedicure.

i know very little about dr. king, i'll shamefully admit, though i did do pretty well in my one and only american history class, which was one of those advanced placement ones--not too shabby for a canadian fairly fresh to america. i'll proudly admit that i know a lot about many other things, some of which might even fall under the categories of historically or socially relevant. some fall under the categories of beauty products, obsessive crushes on unavailable men, katharine hepburn, healthy cooking and the wonders of the camera phone; little relevancy there, i know. for fear of having lost everyone in the wake of my non-sequiturs, i'll pick up the thread of my topic, which is, believe it or not, american-ness.

it seemed most amusing today, that, on the day following the pomp and circumstance of the golden globes--a ceremony i once revered as all things glorious and hollywood--whereupon a room full of overpaid and overdressed 'somebodies' verbally masturbated their peers and expressed glittery remorse for, and i quote mr. eastwood, i believe, "the tsunami thing," that i should find myself riding on the waves of consumerism. for, today, after a lovely late lunch with gal-pal bunny, i thought about how it seemed i "simply hadn't a thing to wear" and shouldn't i maybe go and buy some new clothes? after all, it was beginning to feel like i had so little to choose from in my closet--how did that happen? but i changed my mind, and decided instead to plead for the purchase of a roll of quarters from the checkout man at my neighborhood grocery store and to head home to do an unprecedented (for lazy me, at least) six loads of laundry. it was during the sorting of the dirty clothes that i found myself exclaiming: "i forgot i had that shirt! and this one! and this, and..." it was like shopping, minus the bad lighting, rude salespeople, three way mirrors and i knew everything already fit.

it's as funny as it's disgusting to me, a sort of golden globes of my own in my apartment building's laundry room. look, i'm pretty sure dr. king's dream was of equality, opportunity, and recognition for those who had long been shunned and repressed, and my indulgent and altogether lame dilemma not at all a part of his rhetoric. but i caught myself--just a roll of quarters and i was back in business. back to sorting out the middle english verse lines and vietnam war narratives that comprise my curriculum in the education that i've been working my butt off to pay for and at which i'm excelling (i have a four-point-oh, you dig?) and i roll my eyes and toss snarky remarks at the celebrity culture that used to impress me to great lenghts (don't get me wrong, i'm still a starstruck gossip nut, but all with a grain of salt, right?). i think i can do this american thing pretty well.

all in all... it was a pretty nice day.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

telephonic impotence

what is with men and their inability to use the phone? not just in the arena of the phenomenon of the no-calling-after-the-first-date, but in general. general in the realm of you say you want to date me/meet me/sleep with me, but you can't move beyond the email. you want to dither away time on yahoo instant messaging; my friend, in that respect, i simply do not "yahoo." you will pester a girl with emails, long and short, full of come-ons, ideas for things to do, propositions, confessions of boredom typed at midnight (and received by me sometime the next morning, because, honey, at midnight i'm not checking my email), and, hey, that's fine at first--but there's a certain point where it just comes time to pick up the phone and dial.

all of this veiled non-verbal behavior has me all riled up, and not in the way the guys perhaps want me to be. if i give you my phone number...use it! if you want to date me/meet me/sleep with me, you're going to have to call me. and not at midnight when you're bored and lonely and hope that i'm feeling the same. because even if i am, i'm not going to get out of my jammies and go to see you. i have a little something called self-respect; combine that with the fact that i'm a planner, and i like to know more than ten minutes in advance where i'm going to be at a given time, and you've got someone with whom men need to book a date with. and i don't need hot air balloon rides, steak dinners or a night at the opera. i'm cool with a glass of wine and some good conversation. 'cause you gotta give good conversation. otherwise, as it's been proven, the chemistry quotient sinks past acceptable. but i won't know this unless you've gotten it together to give me a call. because if you can't get it up to call do you expect to get it up to get with me?


Thursday, January 13, 2005

devil on my shoulder

by the end of the day i'd hit a crisis point and needed to issue an s.o.s., like someone in some twelve-step program hitting a rough patch desperately dialing up their sponsor in hopes of being steered on the right path. my cry for help was more wry commentary, as is my style, in the form of a text message to my beloved gal-pal bunny.

Day 2 not going well not loving m______ since i just spent time w him & am waiting to see him again @ his request

(in this case, form is forgivable, as it's content that's the issue.)

girls who vow to not be crush-crazed over someone should not find themselves in a position to be anywhere near them, really. but, no... i had to stop by the department to pick up a form, and, oh, well, i may as well see when he'll be in, since at some point soon i'll have to talk about my research topic, and, well, look at that--the office hours aren't posted on the main board, so i'd better just go down the hall to see if they're posted by his door, and...oh! "hello!" he's here! better talk to him, then!

the new me (you remember her, she'd sworn the other day that she wouldn't get all goofy and fill her head with ideas about this man) thought that i could just ask a quick question and be on my way. so that's what the new me did. only...

"hey, punkin, want to see something? come here and look at this project i'm working on!" he beckoned me to his desk, where he sat, and began to open windows on his computer monitor. "you see, this is..." and he began to explain, in great and lengthy detail, what he was working on. we read through lines, we compared portions, we referred to texts... and it was amazing, first because this project is amazing, and i haven't the talent to do this kind of work but do have an immense appreciation and curiosity for it, and second because as he found things to show me he was having me lean forward, over his shoulder, just inches from him.

it was exquisite. it was exactly the wrong thing for me to be doing. one step forward, two steps back, and, ohmygodheissoclosethisisamazing!

"you deserve extra credit for being so patient as i explain all this to you," he said. but i shook my head (had he no idea that this was doubly delightful?) and tried to find a way to work flirtation in with academic praise.

there was more...we spent the better part of an hour together, first with the explanation, and then i waited as he saw a couple of people, (dialing out my s.o.s. in the meantime) because he'd asked me to wait so he could print out an article he'd written that i'd inquired about. and i won't belabor the minutia further, though i will attest that there was a great deal of laughing and his comment that i "always looked for the comic angle" to which i responded, "oh, is that my angle?" and i realized that having just considered the fact that we probably aren't meant to be had liberated me enough to be all the more comfortable with him. and that was certainly extra credit in the course of life for me. i'd found myself far from being a blithering idiot to being downright charming. the payoff was in getting him to smile his broad grin.

so that's how we left it today, amidst good humor and smiles and much learning. of course, the devil on my shoulder keeps whispering "make a move, because he never will" and i'll tell you, it's tempting. there's a lot in favor of the devil's wicked ways.

tonight i had a date with a man coincidentally also named m______. it was a great date, a nice time, complete with easy conversation, the promise of another date, and a kiss to end the night. but the devil's gotten to me again, and i can't help but think of how it would have been to have shared that evening with the crush-tastic m______. i know, i know. it's not healthy. it's just making things harder. it's impossible. it's...

i tried, i really did. did anyone ever think that i'd actually be able to quit the professor cold turkey? i think what i need is a patch or chewing gum or something. let's see what the devil on my shoulder makes of that!


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"madame, the hunk has poisoned you"

i've had to adapt a tenuous pull-back strategy; it's part self-defense and part restorative to my sanity. i've never been the kind of woman that relished playing games, though i've often been aware that decidedly not playing games is a game unto itself. and, in line with games and the self, it's really only myself that i'm fooling.

it's been some time (years, admittedly) since my last long-term romantic relationship. sure, i've dabbled in intense and misguided (or intensely misguided) flings of various proportions, running the gamut from ten bad minutes to almost two years of on-and-off torture. my latest forays into the dating world have been meet-ups with men who know little about themselves save for the fact that whatever they're looking for comes with no strings. and i can smile, laugh, flirt, cross my legs and issue a conspiratorial wink and say that i'm on the same page. but that's a game, too. it's a poker-face kind of bluff. it's a downright lie. because what i'm looking for is something real. something as real as i remember having; something as real as i know i deserve.

in this hideous interim of trial and error, i've maintained a painfully hard crush on someone who occasionally is in a position of authority in my life. scuttlebut might indicate that he's indulged in dalliances, but a rumor is only a rumor, after all, and to push the envelope is to put his livelihood on the line. and it's no secret that my little heart beats for him like no other--so much so not a secret that i'd have to think that after almost three years of bearing this weighty, beaconing torch for him, that by this point i'm certain even he knows i'm crazy about him. and the trouble is, while i can't say he encourages me to keep the flame for him, he certainly doesn't discourage it. perhaps it's just a case of it-feels-good-to-be-liked. "that man's ego must be this big," someone close to me commented, then extended their arms in a wide reach. it's certainly plausible; he's wickedly smart and devastatingly handsome with an air of naughtiness to boot. he is, in no uncertain terms, utterly unattainable.

so here is where i've reluctantly found myself, caught between the sweet and soothing comfort of my fantasies of him and the cold, gray reality of the fact that he and i are most likely not destined for each other. yes, we both drive volkswagens, we write our name in our books, we like scotch, cooking and writing about love and sex in literature. but, no... i suppose i don't really know him. dozens of walks shared to the cafe, the parking lot, series of volleyed emails signed in informal initials, generous offers of help and support don't amount to a hill of beans in the realm of "meant to be." and i'm not sure if it's fair to say i know a little of him but sincerely desire to know more, or if it's more accurate to say that i'm romanticizing an ideal. an ideal so safe, in fact, that it seems i have subconsciously selected someone to fall for that is impossible to get. just absolutely impossible. well, even an armchair psychologist could see that this must be some defense i've invented to protect myself from ever getting back to that something real. that something that i remember having, and that something that, inherently, i believe i deserve.

this is indeed a sticky situation. i spend several hours a week on a crash course of self-propelled torment and anguish: "will i be able to work it so that we walk to the cafe together?" "what if i don't sit next to him tonight?" "is there a reason i could invent to walk past his office?"

this is actually... pathetic.

and i think it has to stop.

it's scary to think that i'm going to have to take on a pull-back strategy in order to save myself more heartache. there's a hint of illegitimacy in the move, because there's that part of me that thinks perhaps if i pull back he'll be compelled to pursue. men love the chase, right? am i that classically overly-available woman?

it seems i've reached the point of giving up and getting real. it's sad, because a big part of me knows that, given better circumstances or variables, we'd probably make a nice pair. when i think of waking up next to someone that i care for, respect, and desire, it's his face that i see... and it's sad to think that i'm going to have to let that go. but letting go seems to be the thing to do. adapting a new mode has emerged as the modus operandi of personal success for me this year. breaking up is hard to do... even if it's with an imaginary boyfriend.


Monday, January 10, 2005

mending bridges in rainstorms

i moved closer to the windowed doorway in order to have a better view. i was waiting for the notoriously tardy juniper to meet me at the arclight theatres in hollywood, and he was, naturally, running late. my toes were tapping nervously as i eyed the rain streaming down in endless sheets. we'd thought a sunday afternoon at the movies might be just the thing to get our minds off the rain; half of los angeles had the same idea, apparently, because the lobby was bustling with umbrella shaking crowds. i sighed, and picked up bits and pieces of everyone's conversation. the best snippet, by far, was a teenaged girl's outburst of "ryan! you're advocating genocide!" whereas the most often heard line was "oh, no, it's still raining!" i had tried to distract myself by browsing the gift shop, but i soon realized that i really am not a happy shopper in a crowded store, so i moved to my mooring post by the entrance.

people came and went--dads with their daughters, hipster couples, families on an outing--and still no juniper. i felt as awkward and self-conscious as i had the night before, when i put in my time holding up the wall at a bar in long beach when i was waiting for pisces and her husband to meet me so we could catch our friend's salsa band and hit the dancefloor. i suppose the worst part about waiting, for me, is in being concerned with the fact that, well, i look like i'm waiting. i've never been stood up for a date, thank god, but looking like i'm being stood up is probably on par psychologically. i tried to make a face with matching posture that clearly demonstrated "i'm waiting for a friend who is horribly late." i had to laugh a little at myself; i realized, in waiting, that juniper had made me wait for ages on hot day last summer when we'd met to see the door in the floor. he'd get there, sooner or later.

i kept up my gaze out the door, and then i did that "what? no!" doubletake of recognition. it wasn't juniper, no, but... it was someone from my past! and he was waving, and headed my way, and...didn't he remember that we'd parted on bad terms?

"hey you!" he exclaimed, and i matched his greeting in words and energy. we did the routine "how-are-you" bit, and compared notes on mutual aquaintances. we shared our work situations, our accomplishments, his news of a long-term relationship with a fellow on the east coast. we laughed, and when i paused to really drink in the moment and look in his eyes, i felt the bridge that was long broken between us being mended. it was a tremendous feeling.

we'd met in the spring of 2000, when i'd begun work at an entertainment advertising agency. at first we circled each other, uncertain if we'd mesh socially or not. it was one of those workplaces that seemed to have an unwritten rule that you were who you lunched with. the first few weeks i was me, myself and i with my little mermaid lunch box. then one day i was entreated to join the crew, and a fast friendship began. he and i were a good match--the queens tend to love me--and we soon became a notorious twosome, pulling pranks, going to concerts, hanging out after hours, being mischievous, and, of course, having lunch after lunch.

it didn't take too long for the drama to brew. people's personalities were clashing among the ranks, and factions were forming. new employees weren't jiving with old ones. moods were swinging and choices were in the making. on top of that, the company was in financial dire straights, and the workload was piling up. what was once fun was soon become drudgery. plesant workdays gave way to my migraines and dreams of escape. we fought like tigers locked in the same cage; we were sparring for blood, fired up and frustrated. it wasn't pretty.

as things neared their end for me the workplace had taken on an unfriendly air. since you were still who you lunched with, and i was back to lunching alone, i was becoming increasingly unhappy. and i'd hit the ceiling; i wasn't about to work eighteen hour days for a miserly boss, and there was nowhere to go but...out. the front door. and so i left, striking out on my own in the summer sunlight, leaving some broken bridges in my wake.

so there i was, a rainstorming sunday afternoon almost four years later, mending a long-broken bridge. the fallout had always nagged at me, and in reflective moments i'd often found myself tripping on the debris, asking "what went wrong?" and being able to only shake my head with "what a shame we're no longer friends" as my refrain. with people's shoes squeaking on the arclight's lobby floor as our backdrop, and the continuing exclamations of "hey, oh--it's still raining!" swimming about, we caught each other up on our lives. and then, in a moment of pause, i said, "you know, i don't know what happened between us years ago, but i just want to say that i'm sorry." "me too," he said. "i'm sorry too." the sound of resolution sounds eerily like falling rain, with its same properties of cleansing and inspiring growth.

"happy new year, baby," he said, and we hugged.

"happy new year," i returned, and we waved goodbye.

five minutes later juniper showed up, having floated in on some los angeles street that had become a river. we fell in to step as we are most likely to do, and we headed to get some tickets to see spanglish.

it was still raining when the movie let out, and we went outside to brave the elements. knowing that i'd mended that bridge, though, made the ride home much easier.


Saturday, January 08, 2005

no princess should feel the pea

"they're here!" i squealed, jumping up and down and clapping my hands.

i rushed downstairs in my flip-flops and laundry-day garb, and met the two men who were ushering in my mattress and box spring duo in the blustery rainstormy saturday evening air. the cold whooshed in after them, but i didn't mind, i just urged them onward and upward to my open door, and my bedroom, where my beloved bed frame had been sitting, vacant, for over a week since its delivery on new year's eve day.

"i'm so happy you're here!" i said. much to their amusement. perhaps they didn't often see a twenty-eight year old girl bouncing up and down like a child high on sugar. "i've been sleeping on a worn out mattress on the floor for six months!"

they pushed the box spring in first, and tore off the rain-splattered plastic covering. they flopped it in to place and went back for the mattress, while i sprang in to action, laying out the stripey bedskirt i'd been clutching in anticipation of just this very moment.

"six months!" one of the delivery men said. "you'll be comfortable now. like a princess."

i laughed. "yes," i agreed, taking a glimpse at my bed. "just like a princess!"

moments later the mattress was set in place, and the men snagged the hideous beast formerly known as my bed for the past six, seven, oh, maybe even eight years. i signed on the dotted line and wished them well.

i could feel my toes curling in that giddy something-exciting-is-happening way. i rushed in to my room and set to work. first the egg-crate for extra feel-good-ness. then the new mattress pad and cover. i tore in to the package of birthday sheets that had sad patiently all week. never in my life could i remember being so eager to actually make my bed. i sprayed a little smell-good lavender linen spray for good measure, and folded the sheet's edge over the cotton blanket at the head of the bed. i spread out the beautiful new quilt and fluffed the pillows and sighed contentedly.

i've never had a bed like this. the first bed i really remember picking out was a white sort of pressboard number with drawers, twin-sized, that sat in my bedroom in toronto. i remember the loft bed my step-dad had so skillfully crafted, with it's wide open space underneath for playing and the desk at the end. i remember the white metal bed with the stretchy wire as the base and the thin foam mattress that i used all through high school and past its prime, when, by rights, the wire had stretched too much to allow for the weight and motion of two grown ups tustling about doing grown up things. there was, of course, the nondescript metal bedframe and new mattress set that arrived in our tiny apartment on east 60th street in new york (what became of that bed, i wonder?) and my last bed--a wooden plank on log-like legs that had once been our dining room table and had been refitted to be a full-sized bed, complete with the mattress i routinely forget to flip so that a sunken hollow developed where i most often lay night after night for the past several years.

but this bed--complete with antiqued pewter head and foot boards and giant 'diamond' accents on the posts (for, as the princess, i surely need jewels!), and the simply shabby chic sheets--it's a first for me, it's all of my own doing, my own patience and spending and design. so i sit here, her royal highness, listening to a the sea and cake album i downloaded from itunes yesterday, tapping away on my laptop (annie--i named my laptop "little ibook annie"), between my bejeweled posts (claudia--the bed's name is claudia but you can't blame me for that, it's the name given by pottery barn), feeling much the princess punkin who shan't feel a single pea. (my pointing out how annie looked so good on the bed prompted housemate l.q.t. to say, "aww, annie and claudia, b.f.f." to which i replied with a snort, " i'm such a gayhole!") this would all make the most regal and unspoiled picture if one of my first thoughts was: "and which prince will be the first to have me on my bed?"

look, you can take the princess off the floor, but you can't take the naughty out of the princess.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

purge and re-emerge; a new year's philosophy in action

as often is the case when i come home from the tidiest home known to north america a.k.a. my nana's house, i get the proverbial bee in my bonnet to make things in my own life tidier, neater, more organized and coordinated. much to the amusement of my housemates, my first night back in town in our darling apartment i went on a mini-purging spree, tossing things pell-mell in happy trash receptacles, making proclamations about less clutter, less junk, less crap. this inspired the great living room re-do of 2004, and my own pet task, project clean-out-your-closets which launched into full swing on new year's day. you may also find me sing-songing what i believe is my motto for 2005: "new year, new you!" and yes, readers, you may feel free to picture me tossing my beret (or was it a tam?) high up in the air, turning the world on with my smile, because "new year, new you!" is just that exhilerating.

the best part of the purge is that i feel i'm really stepping into the shoes of age that came with my birthday last week. it felt superb throwing out my little mermaid juice cups (complete with sparkles and an exterior shell that was once filled with water and little ocean things bobbing about) and swapping them for a much more mature set of glassware. i rid my closet archives of newspaper and magazine clippings about icons of my younger years, like liz phair and courtney love. old cell phones reminiscent of zach morris and clothes that will never be in style again also faced the trash chute. sure, i got a little misty eyed over the sweet tokens of affection once bestowed upon me by former loves; those were carefully tucked back in their boxes and saved from the round file out of my shameless sentimentality. letters, cards, and pictures were sorted into their respective stacks and boxed accordingly. things i don't use, i don't need to keep--all part of the desire to purge, and re-emerge a little more (dare i say?) grown up.

today i secured one of my most beloved possessions in its new place; i finally framed a painting my mother made, making good on my resolution to only hang things that are framed, rather than the sort of college-dorn approach of push-pinning any old thing straight on the wall. earlier this afternoon i'd poked about in a number of antique stores near my house, looking for just the right little side table to go next to my bed. the over-friendly and extremely nosy clerk in one such store showed me everything but the kitchen sink, but i kept shaking my head, no, not my style, too big, too small, just not me. and it dawned on me that i have a style, i am creating a home, and a place for myself in this big world. it's not about things and stuff and posessions, but about being confident enough to say, "this is who i am." it's the way i feel in the hall of the english department i so tirelessly mention, because every time i walk through there i get that same notion of self. i have answers to questions. i know where i need to be. and i know where i am.

so today i'll hang my treasured framed canvas, and i'll send out some emails and do some reading and i'll daydream some more about all the others parts of my life that seem to be falling into place. who knows what the days, weeks or months ahead may bring, but with this "new year, new you!" motto, cozy spaces to inhabit and work in, and the belief that possibilities are still endless, well, you can count on me tossing that goddamned hat up on a regular basis.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

so far so fabulous

it's amazing how so few days could have been so full of so much, yet none of it really anything, and none of it nothing. there was one glorious weekend of lolling about watching movies and shopping and eating last suppers before the resolution phase began. there has been two days of being the ultimate dork in high gear, trilling over the little green card that says i'm officially "faculty" and bouncing about my favorite halls with my favorite teachers and classmates, high on life and life alone, whirling in the "happy new year-how was your break?-what are you up to?" of it all, mixed with a liberal dose of praise from my professors past and present and a run-in with a character from my past. today i was visited by a former student who passed both her writing proficiency class and u.s. citizenship class on the same day who brought me an inscribed token of appreciation from her far-away hometown. i spent monday night sitting to the right of my longtime professor crush, delighting in the fact that i am one of only seven students sitting 'round his seminar table. back at the homestead we have a living room splashed in the brilliant reds and golds of fall leaves with a decidedly outlandish flair (we call it rockin' morroccan on acid) and i have the most beautiful bed awaiting its mattress and box spring (saturday, hurry, hurry, get here!) and the final crowing touch of my beautiful new birthday-present bedding. i've got my sex and the city season six part two all queued up in the player, my ipod is full of tunes for my commute, there are art openings and salsa band shows to check out, a stack of books to be read, and the silliest, most happiest, most dorkiest smile on my face. so far, 2005 fits me like a's fabulous!


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