Saturday, December 31, 2005

a thousand words is worth a picture

two-oh-oh-five is pretty much brushing its teeth and putting on its jammies and getting ready to say goodnight. it's funny, because lately i've spent more time thinking about things that have happened not just this year, but years and years ago, and i just have to tip my hat to the amazing manner in which what went before colors and shades what happens now and will happen later. senses and imagery, shadows and light. old photographs and new cameras. take offs and landings. reunions and farewells. and i have to scroll through my virtual album just to remember where i've been these past dozen months.

and so, what was 2005 to me? i'm fairly certain somethings about me--my personality and attitude--have changed, and for the better. at some point i cultivated patience. i curbed my anger, and for the most part, i minded my words. i made new friends, and i embraced my family. there was a lot of beauty in my life this year. it was in the ever-maturing faces of my cousins, who never cease to amaze and delight me and remind me who i am. it was in giddy late nights with friends, rehashing heartaches and telling tales. it was in hugging farther-flung friends, in exploring new territories. it was in the familiar touch and smile of someone i'd thought i'd seen the last of a long, long time ago. it was in realizing that by teaching, i was affecting people's lives for the better. it was in secretive tipsy adventures high up in some sparkling hills. it was in any number of unexpected flowers.

this year i traveled to portland and seattle to usher in ashley's birthday. i showed bunny new york city, and we wore our selves ragged. i snuck up to vancouver with my mom to surprise my nana for her 75th birthday. i roamed the rolling streets of san francisco with a notebook, my camera, and a new pal. i spent a strange and wonderful christmas with my family in vancouver.

this year i stepped up to a few plates and dove in head first, and came up swimmingly. i helmed a literary magazine. i joined the phenomenal team of writers at, and discovered that i could now legitimately take pictures of and talk about food and get called an editor for it. i won awards for being a nerd, for having a way with words. i was published in an anthology that i keep seeing in just about every bookstore i go in to. i got on for poking fun of the eccentrics who dress like superheroes in hollywood. i bonded with some amazing gals and we called ourselves the unicorns. i rode the buses and the subways until my folks came to my rescue and lent me their car. i shook my ass and waved my arms at concerts like phoenix, sarah mclachlan, and nine inch nails. i ate a lot of sushi. i dated a smattering of mostly inconsequential men. i felt good about saying no to things. i decided to apply to phd programs. i decided not to apply to phd programs. i took the GRE in literature, wrote a twenty-page paper, did my first grading session, and it didn't kill me. i had dinner at three different professors' houses. i improved my grammar. i maintained a straight-A 4.0 average in my master's program. i got new glasses, business cards, and seriously got serious about my makeup. my surrogate younger brother moved to chicago. i lost my uncle out of the blue and for no good reason. i baked a lot of cookies, chased down a lot of cupcakes. i went to a spa and had my first professional massage. i found out that i don't mind working out so much so long as i can do it while watching cable television. i rocked the tv-on-dvd thing pretty hardcore.

i survived... and i'm putting two-oh-oh-five to bed by singing a lot of my favorite songs, and giving it a sloppy goodnight kiss. and while this is another year when i won't be kissing someone special at the stroke of midnight, i can say for the first time in a long, long while, that i honestly don't mind. all things considered, i'm pretty happy. there's a lot to be said for persistence. i'm making no resolutions tonight, because lately i'm doing pretty well at working towards what i want; i think this year i really came into my own sense of empowerment. i've realized i'm all i need, and that's an incredible feeling. and i'm really looking forward to the great strech of unknown that is 2006.

and a thousand words is worth a picture.


Friday, December 30, 2005

hot dig-ital-itty dog!

It's sooooo tiny!
Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.
picture taking just took on whole new proportions for me! for the big 2-9 i welcomed a little elph into my gadgety family. go go gadget digi photos! pictures of food good enough to eat. this thing is a tiny little miracle. overshadowed only (and rightly so) by the amazing experience i had spending the holidays and my birthday up yonder in the wilds of sub-sub-suburban vancouver (not so frozen, more drizzly and damp with the bonus of killer light displays). naturally, when expectations are high things can get a little zany at times, but all in all it was a really great trip. and as comfy cozy as i was, i'm still happy to be back in my own princess bed, dealing with the hassles of unexpected last-minutes changes to my winter schedule, and getting together again with all the fine folks and friends and etceteras that i left behind in la-la-land. back to my crazy, colorful, california casual life. definitely full of things to take many a picture of!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


since very little--well, actually nothing--can be done about it, the fact of the matter is that today is my birthday. i don't mind being twenty-nine so much, especially since my cousin pointed out today that angelina jolie is around my age but looks way older. i do hate this nasty no-man's land hollow of days between christmas and new year's, when everyone is broke, out of town, or over-stimulated from too much merriment had recently, or that's on its way. i've had heaps of well-wishers calling and texting and emailing, and a gorgeous lunch at the highest point in all of vancouver. this year i even got my wish and had a birthday cake--something that i haven't had in years. of course, i won't dare reveal what my wish was when i blew out that lone candle, but i will say i should have wished that when people say "well, it's up to you, it's your birthday" that they actually mean it. otherwise i wouldn't be hiding out upstairs by myself. but, whatever. i'm twenty-nine. it's about time i got over it. so happy birthday to me.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

oh, for the sake of baby jesus, it's christmas freakin' eve!

i'm just moments away from putting a face and some party clothes on, since this year's swingin' christmas eve cocktail and appetizer bonanza is about to begin. we're busy trying to keep our cool, get a functioning serving platter for every dish, and remember to keep in the spirit of things. the holiday music is piped all through the house, the presents are spread all around the tree. i'm looking forward to my first drink of the day, the fine company of my family, photo opportunities, and the chance to play santa later tonight when we stuff the stockings and ready ourselves for christmas overload. when things start to seem wound a little tight i like to launch into what my nana calls "spaz" imitation, which is completely politically incorrect, and utterly ridiculous. but funny. pee your pants funny. then again, we're the pee your pants type. anyhow, i copied some little kid off the television who burst out with a cutesy-voiced "mewwwy chwismuss!" and it gets everyone laughing so hard they tear up. or pee. either way, it works wonders. i mean, for chrissakes and the baby jesus, it's christmas eve. let's have some fun.


Friday, December 23, 2005

performance enhancements

total geek moment: getting all jazzed about moving up to firefox 1.5, then downloading the performancing extension so i can blog right in firefox. somewhere, a nerd-angel got their wings. dorkdom rocks.

things i can't do:

1. figure out how to get a "script" to run that links my itunes with ichat so that under my name it shows what song is playing.

2. figure out how xml, rss, atom, etc. works and get my blog to be on that.

i've managed to out-tech myself, and can't teach myself my way through these things. any help would be appreciated, via email or aim (raspberryloulou).


Monday, December 19, 2005

i'm way over yonder

it's hovering around the freezing mark here in the wilds of very sub-urban vancouver. this morning i took a walk to try to clear my head of all the dazzling blur that has moved in and taken up vociferous residence, but really things just stayed stuck like all the puddles of wet leaves i stepped on as i made my way along the damp sidewalks. i feel about a million miles away from home, with just the faintest tug of birthright holding me in place.

because i have so little to really do here, besides that elusive "relaxing" i've yearned so much for up until now, my mind feels entitled to much wandering. actually, wandering implies motion of thought, in this metaphor of mine. but really my mind is more like that clump of leaves. i'm a little stuck in one place, on one topic. i can't help it; it's what's on my mind.

i'm also doing that ridiculously comforting thing of finding my life in song lyrics. lisa loeb? i mean, really. it's absurd. but it's what i do. it's what i've done. it's what i'm doing.

what's dangerous is that, considering some of the things that have happened to me in the past few weeks that have been electric and once the stuff of pure imagination, i seem to be able to "want" things into reality. and although i'm guessing that's a sign that i'm in the right place for the right time, i've also made a kind of full circle. and here come the song lyrics: "everything old is new again." and i wonder, what lesson did i not learn the last time i was stuck here--not here in the wilds of sub-urban vancouver where it's drizzling and dark--but here in this same clump of leaves.

and i asked for it. it's what i wanted. oh boy is it ever. and i don't stop wanting.

yeah. i'm way over yonder. see me waving? but it's okay. i'm exactly where i want to be.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

not entirely dead, but...

i knew things were taking an ugly turn when i was sitting on my comp & rhet professor's futon couch, enjoying the company of my classmates, feeling relieved to have handed in my paper, but also feeling a suspiscious tightening in my throat. yes, i was being invaded by the germs of a good old fashioned cold.

so i kick-started the nyquil-dayquil routine, and tried and tried to go about my life as usual--you know, breakfast with bunny, studying for the GRE in literature, wrangling the loose ends for my phd applications--but then realized things were rather amiss. why was i sick? i asked myself. sure, it's cold season, and everyone i've been around has some kind of hacking cough or lingering sinus ache. but why was i so vulnerable? a vitamin-taking, hand-washing, water drinking gal who takes pretty good care of herself.

the answer was stress.

here i was, facing revisions to a personal statement i dreaded writing and about which content-wise i felt rather dishonest, and studying for this ridiculous test that was meant to measure some sort of immeasurable knowledge, and getting ready to ask the powers that be at some major institutions to please consider me for admission into programs that would eat up 5-7 years of my life, and I WASN'T HAPPY. and if i wasn't happy now, i wouldn't be happy for the next 5-7 years. i was making myself sick of this.

the GRE in lit on saturday just about did me in. what a horror. total nightmare. i'm sure i did fine, but to reduce the study of literature to a multiple-choice standardized number two pencil test is completely contrary to the study of literature! what a crock.

and i got sicker. i took to my bed and basically stayed there. by monday night i was certain something had to give. so i made a few teary phone calls, and then made a big choice.

i decided not to apply to any phd programs.

i wish i could say i miraculously felt better, but actually, my cold changed paths and moved into my eyes (disgusting, and a first for me) and by wednesday i was ready to admit defeat (at least in the illness department) and went to the university's clinic. i was bound and determined to be better. after all, i had the LAist holiday dinner to attend, and get togethers with girlfriends, shopping, a hair appointment, and errands to do, all before i board a plane headed northward to vancouver on saturday. so here i am, heavily medicated, hanging in there, looking forward to vacation, and ready for the next phase of my life to unfold. january brings my last class in my master's program, my thesis proposal, and all sorts of exciting goings on. i have so much to look forward to, and when it's done in june, i'll be able to get to doing the things i love.

and that makes me feel a whole lot better.


Thursday, December 08, 2005


i wrote a paper. it's 18 pages long.

as a result, i did not die.

since i began the actually act of writing said paper (apart from researching, listing, sorting,outlining and actively thinking about the paper) yesterday afternoon, i also found time to bake cookies, go see the squid and the whale, watch melinda and melinda, take a nap, and do a lot of bitching and moaning.

but again, as a result, i did not die.

wow. everyone was right. i can do it!

that is all.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

desperately looking forward to:

my essay being done, turned in, graded appropriately and this hideous academic quarter behind me.

my phd applications being complete and in the mail.

the gre in literature exam being manageable, and taken in a relatively painless matter this saturday.

a smattering of holiday parties.

hearing back in the affirmative from someone in charge of something entertainment-y who can grant me access to be somewhere i'd love to be for a day or two.

getting a haircut next week.

the general gre exam being manageable, and taken in a relatively painless manner a week from today.

an afternoon tea with some beloved girlfriends.

errands run, a tidy house, clean laundry...perpetual struggles.

not feeling guilty for replacing "study" or "paper-writing" time with "watch dvds."

the new quarter of school--my last course! thesis proposal!

my 21 days (hint:,, target, gap, etc.)

a trip to chicago for spring break!

but most of all, i can't wait to see my family over the upcoming holidays!


Monday, December 05, 2005

welcome to my avoidance tactic in action

because i have so much to do, and yet so little desire to actually do it, i'm perfectly content to throw myself in any direction but productivity. if i didn't drive myself to hyperventilation i'd explain all the various and sundried shit i have to do, so consider yourself spared. it will get done. it has to. it will. no, i swear.

doing other things is far more interesting, i've found. like capping off a day of grading with a couple of pints of beer and some tipsy shopping. there wasn't a person or perfectly folded sweater display in the gap i didn't bump in to. my apologies. i also tried on a sweater or two in the middle of the store, and freaked the fuck out because the size i normally would wear was, get this--too big! this was a christmukkah miracle in and of itself, clearly signalling the need to purchase a sweater. i love it and that's all that matters. i also conned the nice lady at the body shop into giving me free samples of things, even though i didn't make a purchase. more crap i don't need, but enjoy smelling. whatever.

in keeping with the theme of so much to do i think i'll go and have some free booze and eats with some pretty people (which is the theme) tonight i'm off to an invite-only paper magazine party. if i could actually convince myself that showering was entertainment i might actually get cleaned up and out of my pajama/workout uniform and trade dead skin cells for nars blush in orgasm and glad hand with strangers. i'd be more enthused if tonight i had even the slightest glimmer of hope of making out with someone. despite my ever-shrinking sweater size, the most action i've gotten lately (and much to the raised eyebrow shock of my friends who witnessed this) was from a couple of poodles whom i let cover me in doggy kisses thanksgiving weekend. at least i did the most pooch-smooching with the boy dog, right?

truly glamorous.

now if you'll forgive me, i think i need to find something else to distract me from my actual obligations.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

on glamour, in class

a few thursday nights back i was where i usually have been for the past ten or so weeks: in class. as most of us are now knee-deep in tentative thesis statements and piles of scholarship related to our chosen avenues of exploration in the thrilling and varied world of composition and rhetoric theory, we thought perhaps we could ask for the mercy of our fearless leader; we wanted to be let just a little off the hook for some of the weekly reading and writing responsibilities we'd held up consistently throughout the quarter. thankfully he was agreeable, and we were told that from the following week on we wouldn't have to type up responses to our weekly article readings. hooray! sweet relief!

"just show up with the reading done," he said, "and be your usual glamorous selves."

"thank you!" i said aloud.

"did you just thank me?" he asked. "what was that for?"

"you said we were glamorous. and i took it personally."

and in case anyone is interested in furthering the cause of my glamour, in honor of the upcoming holidays, as well as my big 29th birthday, i am now registered at the gift of beauty is, well...a beautiful thing.


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