Saturday, January 31, 2009

House hunting makes me tired

One might think that looking for a new house might be fun, but I am already over it. It doesn't seem like it should be this hard. But they all have issues. This house has a good kitchen, but nasty yard. This one is close to the Metro but needs to be upgraded all over. This one has no garage; this one has no driveway!

I know that there is no perfect house. I am trying to approach this with an open mind, and trying to think of ways we could change the house to make it what we want. But I think that there should be a house out there that's a little closer to our ideal (and in our price range.)

Most of the houses now have nicknames: Single-Guy's House, The Marble Palace, Moldy Bones, Blue Kitchen. It's a bad sign if the house doesn't even get a nickname. It's even worse when we can't remember the house at all. ("Did we see that one? Really?") Of course, the really bad ones get nicknames as well, so a nickname isn't always a good sign.

I'm afraid that I will just get sick of looking and just buy one. The next one we see, that's it. No kitchen? Doesn't matter. Toilet missing? We'll figure something out. I'm just sick of looking.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Here kitty, kitty

Today the kitty arrived to relocate in the apartment. I was (am) more than a little tense as to how it will go. First off, the cat hasn't lived anywhere but the house in Newtown, so this is a big deal for the critter. This is clearly not the house he knows and loves. On top of the 3 hour drive, he's not as happy as one would hope.

I'm hoping he settles in. I'm sure he will, but I'm such a freak about these sorts of things -- worrying that he'll adjust, etc. Bru reminds me that animals respond to that tension. Of course, I'm too much of an idiot to dial it back.

Anyway, I hope he's happy and healthy here. For now, I'm checking on him and glad everyone made it down safely.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shake it off!

I'm in bad spirits these days, and I can't seem to break it. It's not a good thing. I know that things are stressful and I should be allowed to be a bit down/freaked out/whatever. But I do think it's gone a bit far and I'm ready to have my spirits uplifted.

I need to have something to look forward to. This may be why I'm daydreaming about taking a vacation. I think about the pretty places I've visited ("oh, Barcelona, next time I'll stay a little longer!") But the voice inside keeps telling me that this is not a good time to be vacationing. Soon I will have things: selling the house, buying a new one, Mr. HP getting a new job and joining me down here. Unfortunately, I don't know when any of this will happen, which adds to my anxiety.

My new-month resolution: work to be happy. Yesterday I washed the rice, and Stephen says that it will lead to happiness. I have to believe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


These days, I just wish I could get my life of a year and a half ago back. Things were definitely easier then. I just want to go back to Rome. When we were in Rome, I still loved working at Novo. The writing group was happy; we all basically got along (basically). Cliff was our slightly misguided leader, but things were going well. We were in Rome! How have things changed so much?

I know that change is a part of life. I also know that there are some things that are better now. I think I do need to challenge myself, and lately I've had to do that. That's probably good for me. But all of the other baggage; um, no thanks.

I'd like to go back, just for a little while, and see what it was like. Was it better? Would I have made the same choices? Or maybe, can I go forward a little bit and make sure I'm doing the right thing now?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guilt, needs, and other bad emotions

It's been a tough month. I'd like to say that I'm handling everything well, but that would be a lie. I'm overly sensitive, I cry too easily, I feel tired all the time. The worse thing is that I know most of this was brought on by the choices I've made, so I feel guilty asking anyone for help, especially Mr. HP. 

I wish Mr. HP would do more. Look for a job more, clean up the house more, want to move down here more. I know part of it is this is just the way he is. I also know that moving was my doing, and he's not a fan of this situation. But there are days that it hurts that he's not doing everything he possibly can to be here with me. 

All of this makes me feel guilty about choices I've made.  I shouldn't feel that way, but, obviously, the chaos in my life is a direct result of choosing the new job. But I do wish that once in a while, someone would jut grab me and hug me and say that it'll all be okay.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Grab the popcorn!

About 10 years ago, AFI came up with their 100 top movies of all time. Like the poser I am, I was like, "I'm going to take this list and see them all!" But, 100 movies is not a lot of movies, especially since I had already seen a number of the movies on the list. Luckily, since this list was newsworthy, there were all sorts of other folks making their movie lists. And, since I am not the only loser out there, some guy put them all together on a website and made a "Greatest Movies" list of about 1000 movies. And, that's how I got "The Movie List."

It's a pretty impressive list; it takes up about 8 pages in 2 columns. I'm down to about 1 column of movies to go. It's just (mostly) American movies, so that is a limitation. No "Jules and Jim", German cinema, that sort of thing. What there is a lot of is Hitchcock. And John Ford. Not that I mind so much, but it's sort of a lazy thing when someone just spits out all of someone's work as "The Best."

Watching all of these movies has been really interesting. I'm surprised as to how much I enjoy the Westerns. And if it's from 1939, I'm there. I'm also surprised as to how much I really don't like the war movies. I also dislike that whole late '60s era ("Easy Rider", "The Graduate", "Bonnie and Clyde" -- sorry, just overrated, the whole lot of them.) 

I cannot get into silent movies and I stand behind this statement. Look, when they got the technology to make movies in color, not all movies switched right away. Heck, even now, they still will sometimes make a black and white movie. But when they were able to add sound, pretty much all movies switched over. There just are not a lot of silent movies after "The Jazz Singer." Sure, I appreciate the talents of folks like Chaplin, but, come on, say something! Plus, it's so annoying to watch about 30 seconds of mock dialogue, then a card: "The sheriff is coming!" Clearly, we are missing some details here. 

The best thing about The List is the "unknown"movies. The movies that I would have never watched if they weren't on The List. Movies like "Good-bye, Mr. Chips" and "Random Harvest." The bad news is that it goes the other way as well. The List is the reason I watched "Last Tango in Paris." Which, sorry List, they all can't be winners.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

If you try sometimes

I am afraid of asking for help. I'm not sure where it comes from. I know that a part of it comes from not wanting to appear weak. I don't want to be girly. I want to be able to hold my own and asking for help makes me feel like I can't do it.

I think the biggest reason I don't ask for help is that I am afraid I will not get it. That when I want a hand, that hand won't be there for me. It's kind of a horrible thing to be afraid of, that the people you love and care about won't be there for you.

Today I asked Mr. HP for something. I want him to come down a day early next weekend. It shouldn't be a big deal. Yet, when I asked, I practically started crying. And when he said that he would, I almost cried with relief.

Maybe I need to ask for help. Once in a while.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where you hang your hat

It's weird, being between houses.  I don't know what to call home anymore. How do you know what is home? Is it based on time? Because I spend most of my time in Maryland. But the Maryland apartment is not home. The furniture is weird rental stuff, and I know I'm not staying there permanently. I'm not growing attached to it, although it is where a lot of my stuff is living these days, at least the stuff I use a lot. 

The house in Pennsylvania kind of feels like home, but it's definitely different than it was. We're rearranging furniture, we've put away a bunch of things, it's just off. And I know that I'm never really going to stay here anymore. That's probably the weirdest thing to think about. The cat is coming to Maryland next weekend, and Mr. HP pointed out that the cat would never go back to Pennsylvania. And that kind of blew my mind a little bit.

The next time I see autumn in Pennsylvania, I'll be a visitor. All these places I view as local, no more. These are no longer my neighborhood places. Philadelphia is not my city. I have moved on. Or, more accurately, I am ready to move on. It's freaking me out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Missing a comrade

Today I was thinking about my old boss Cliff. I just can't believe that we're not going to be able to sit around and talk about my new job. To laugh about all the crazy that happened (and happens) with the Big Blue Bull. I think we all thought that we'd get a chance to get together again. That we'd sit around and talk about work and the Civil War and Halls through history. 

Cliff certainly had his short-comings. He was a tiny, tiny bit of a sexist (I used to say he'd call us "little ladies" if he could get away with it.) He hated to travel and bitched before, during, and after. But I still liked to stop by his office and just shoot the shit for a while.

I just wish I could have one last conversation, where I would talk to him about why I left Novo and what my new job is like. I'd like to chat about our coworkers past and present. I'd like to thank him for everything he's taught me. I'd like to ask him if he had any advice, but I'd take it with a grain of salt.

But what I'd really like to do is tell him how much we all miss him.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Waaaa, I'm not happy...

Waaaa, CALL THE WAMBULANCE! Nothing makes me HAPPY!!! My pad thai SUCKS... Enjoy the day, celebrate the fact that you still eat carbs (ewwww, my pad thai was "starchy") PUHLEASE! What makes ME happy is when my NEW YORKER shows up on time (which it did this week). Of course you won't be GETTING the New Yorker anymore so I guess your shot at happiness is over anyway.

Mr. and Dr.

Bru pointed out to me that both the president and vice president are married to doctors. And there's a part of me that's, "Cool; we love smart chicks!" But there's also a part of me that wonders why the girls aren't in charge. 

I'm not trying to say that being a wife and mother isn't important. I'm not trying to say that one has to have a job to be satisfied and fulfilled. What I am saying is that it's a bit too easy for women to step back and let the boys be in charge. If a man had gotten his PhD or law degree and decided to not work, do you think that society would be, "Now there's a guy who's doing the right thing?"

I can't imagine giving up what I've work towards. I went to school for a reason, and it wasn't housework or carpooling. And, sure, that's my choice, but I'll bet if I'd have had kids, I would've heard the "bad mommy" judgments. And I'd bet even more that Mr. HP wouldn't hear anything about, "Have you ever thought about staying home with the children?" Even though I went to school for more years, work longer hours, and make more money.

I'm glad there are smart ladies associated with the powers that be. But nothing against their husbands, I just wish they were the powers that be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I can't get no

The past few days, I've had the unfortunate luck of things happening that have been vaguely unsatisfying. All minor nonsense, but unsatisfying none the less. 

It started when I made homemade granola this weekend. It seemed like it would be so yummy. Oats, coconut, honey, peanut butter, how bad could it be? I mixed it up, baked it, and it's, well, okay, I guess. I'm not sure where it went wrong. I even added some chocolate. But, hey, every so often, a recipe just doesn't come together.

But the other night I made pad thai. I've made pad thai before, and (I thought) it turned out pretty good, so I was pretty excited about this. Yummy, yummy pad thai and leftovers. What I ended up with, that's not pad thai. I seriously don't know what went wrong, but it's bland and starchy and bleh. So disappointing.

The other night I watched "Last Tango in Paris." I know it's a dirty movie, but isn't it supposed to be some sort of classic? Seriously disappointing. Every character is a mess, but not in an interesting way. I disliked all the characters. And not enough to hate them and hope that something bad happens. I just didn't care at all about what happened.

Sigh. I need something to make me super happy. Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A few things about today

What a fabulous day! Everyone seems so happy! It's really great and exciting. I feel like we've turned a page. A horrible, very long page. It may take a while, but I have great hopes for the future. 

My favorite moment: when he was walking down the corridor before he was sworn in, he had That Moment. Have you had That Moment? That Moment of hyper-awareness. I get them when I have big talks. I got one at my wedding. Before I defended my thesis, I knew I would have one. Sure enough, about 20 minutes in, it hit me, "This is it! I am going to be a PhD!" Walking down that corridor, Obama had this serious expression on his face, but then, there was this flicker. This moment where he was about to break into that huge grin, and the realization that this. is. it. It was awesome.

Another thing: yes, it is historic that he is our first black president. I absolutely appreciate that. But this should be a historic occasion because we all have such hope. Because this is a glorious day. Because he is smart and interesting and tolerant. Because, even if he were a white man, this would still be a historic and wonderful occasion. Okay, extra props for the African-American thing. But I want him to just be a great president, no qualifiers. 

The absolute funniest moment was when one of the announcers on MSNBC compared the Bush administration to the Romanovs. I nearly wet my pants.

It's a wonderful day.

I Am a Patriot

So here it is. 1/20/2009. As of Sunday night I knew I couldn't go to work today; who was I kidding thinking that I could? So I sent out an e-mail to my staff and boss to say that I'd be taking a floating holiday on Tuesday 1/20/2009. It could've been a personal day...but this isn't personal; it could've been a vacation...but I'm not vacationing; it could ONLY be a HOLIDAY because that's what it feels like to me. A very patriotic holiday.

And here I am. Glued to my TV. Switching between CNN, WNBC, and MSNBC. And I'm warm, because it is COLD today. So I'm in my favorite place in the whole world. My own home, with my own dogs watching my own TV...ya know why, because I CAN!

I want to see everything. Every smile from the crowds, every outfit Michelle Obama wears, every step of the parade, the moment he lays his hand on Lincoln's bible.

Because ya know, as Miami (Little) (Silvio Dante) Steven VanZandt said several years ago on a great record (yup, a vinyl LP); "I Am a Patriot, I Love my Country..."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Of the memory of late nights

I like my caffeine in two forms: Diet Coke and coffee. For years I've favored the Diet Coke option but lately I've been drinking a lot more coffee. Delicious, wonderful coffee.

I was sort of late to the coffee-drinking game. My parents didn't drink coffee. (They're tea drinkers. Tea!? Boiled leaves. I just don't get it.) I stuck by the Diet Coke all through college. Even once I started working, Steve and I stuck by the cold, carbonate caffeine. "We drink pop!" we would declare, holding onto our midwestern roots. "Pop!" When chemists think you're a dork, well, that's just a bit sad. 

I blame Jerry. He took me to diners and insisted that, once I started grad school, I'd have to drink coffee. (Of course, if Jerry had suggested I chew ground glass, I probably would've taken that up.) Sugar was not allowed, so I started with coffee and cream and haven't changed since. 

I'm kind of picky about how I have my coffee. I like half and half (or, if I can get it, real cream), not milk. Milk waters the whole thing down too much. I won't drink coffee in styrofoam (I can feel the monomer leaching out of the cup. Please see the above statement regarding chemists.) I will drink it out of one of those paper cups, but prefer an actual mug. Although I'm not too picky about the actual coffee, I really can't stand the office brew. If I drink coffee at a restaurant, I stir in an ice cube, which my Nana used to do.

The bad thing about coffee is that it kills my stomach. Until recently, I couldn't drink coffee more than about four days in a row. Since I've been drinking more coffee, my stomach has toughened up, and I've been able to go for over a week. Maybe that's why it was a purge-free Christmas this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Last week I got my last issue of "The New Yorker" (assuming I don't re-subscribe). I really do love "The New Yorker" but it's such a time commitment. When I first subscribed, I was in graduate school and had two hours on the train every day, and I could actually keep up. I gave it up for a while, but when I started traveling more for work, I re-subscribed, hoping that during the time I would be traveling, I would keep up. Of course, the job situation has changed, and now I just can't do it. I'm so far behind -- gosh, I hope Obama wins this election!

It's both a good time and a bad time for the subscription to run out. Obviously, I've crazy-busy, so not having a stack of "New Yorker's" is probably a good thing. The bad thing about no longer getting "The New Yorker" is that, dammit, I love that magazine. One of the reasons I get so far behind on my reading is that there are always so many articles in every issue I want to read. I always feel like I learn something when I read "The New Yorker." Also, I'm enough of a poser to admit that I like carrying an issue around, marking myself as an East-coast liberal. 

Now I will have to rely on Bru to send me interesting articles. But I may actually be able to read more books (and then get rid of them.) This is a good thing. And, hopefully, soon my life will calm down and I can go back to being an East-coast poser. A girl can dream.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Feelin' alright

I'm actually starting to feel like the house is coming together, and we may be able to sell the thing. The closets are cleaned out, the rooms are getting organized, the junk is getting hidden. We're doing the rearranging, I've put away a lot of books, I'm starting to think we're almost ready to put it on the market. I'm starting to almost calm down a bit.

Hey! We have deer in our backyard right this very minute! Seriously, one of them is looking right into our family room. Come on, wouldn't you love to live here?

I'm sure I will have moments of panic and, in my head, I still have a huge list of things to do. I will be walking through the house next week, and I will see all of the flaws and all of the reasons no one will buy our house. But tonight, I'm feeling good and relatively calm. For once, I'm just going to enjoy this feeling and stop fretting so damn much.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Next step

I've been pretty good about the blog lately, and I'm wondering what the next step should be. I started the blog to become a better writer, and, although I don't know if I'm there yet, I sort of feel that I need to at least start think about the next step.

Am I ready to try to identify myself as a writer? Because, if I am, I need to be doing more than blogging. I need to maybe write a story or something like that. But fiction? Memoir? Commentary? To be published? Just a longer than average blog? It is a puzzlement.

I'm thinking more along the line of commentary/memoir type thing. Sort of like the stuff my girl Sarah writes. I just worry that I'll end up copying her voice rather than finding my own. For that reason, I'll stay away from politics and history. Now I just have to have the guts to go forward.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't go changing

Moving and getting the house ready to sell is not bringing out the best side of me or Mr. Higgy-Piggie. I'm certainly even more frantic and insane and, frankly, bitchy. I feel like not enough is being done, our house it too boring/ugly/cluttered, no one is even going to look at the place. I just feel like there is so much to do and there's no chance to just breathe. 

Unfortunately, picking up the pace is not Mr. HP's strong suit. Actually, the whole move has not played to Mr. HP's strengths, which, of course, makes me more, well, all of the above. I want to him to do more quicker, but that's just not how he is. He's never been that way, but, and this is the issue, I want him to be different. I want him to be running around like a dope (like me). I want him to be go, go, go.

Is fair to ask him to change? He's always been this way; in fact, under other circumstances, I like his laid-back approach to life. He's a good counter balance to me when we don't have a million things to do. But I need him to behave differently right now, and it frustrates me because he remains the same. In addition to the frustration I feel about that, I also feel guilty for putting pressure on him to change. I feel like I'm being unfair to him. 

Here's the question: if you need something from someone, how much is fair? How much can you demand? Should you love the person for who they are? Should the person be willing to change for you? 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lucky or unlucky

Because you need further evidence of my insanity, let me tell you how superstitious I am about jewelry. Even though I know that the following statement makes no sense, I feel like I have lucky and unlucky jewelry. One pair of earrings: lucky; another pair: not so much. If I have a big meeting or something, I'm wearing the lucky earrings, because if something goes wrong, clearly, it's the fault of my earrings.

But it gets worse. 

I also work in combination. For example, certain necklaces are to be worn only with certain earrings. Because, somehow, they work together. God forbid you mix this necklace with those earrings, well, forget it, the day is going to be a mess. Pack it in; go home.

I'm also convinced that the karma of the jewelry might change, so every so often I mix it up a bit. Sure, it's a risk -- it could backfire and be a bad luck combination. Like, a really bad luck combination. Because a bad day, it's all about the earrings. And don't get me started on clothes...

I am crazy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I don't want you to know how weak I am

Confession time. Lately, I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed. The job, the move, getting the house ready to sell, the weather, it's all been crashing in on me the past few days. I feel like I am on the edge of crying all the time. The worst thing is that I am so afraid that if I start crying, I just may never stop.

I hate this. I hate feeling weak. I hate not being the strong person who can handle it all. I hate that I want to cry on someone's shoulder, but I don't want to ask anyone to be that person. I hate being that girl who cries, and I hate the idea of you seeing me cry.

I want to be tough. I don't want you to see that I am struggling. I'm okay, here on my own. I'll figure it out. I don't need you to help me. I don't understand why I am so obsessed with not depending on anyone, but there it is. 

"The trick is not to mind it."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Extra Picture

Nana and Aunt Lil. I accidentally created an entry and can't delete, so this is your bonus. Nana's on the left.

Maybe he's not, but I'll bet he is

I'm back on hulu, watching movies from the '80s. Tonight's selection: "Fatal Attraction", although I'm guessing I won't watch the whole thing. I've seen the last part enough times (spoiler alert: the bunny dies), but can't remember seeing the beginning, how and why they hook up, etc. Anyway, as I start the movie, I realize that Michael Douglas almost always plays the guy who is, well, a tool. Sure, he's an actor, so that doesn't mean he is a tool, but, come on, do you always have to play that guy?

But think about it. The guy in "Fatal Attraction." The husband in "War of the Roses." The director in "A Chorus Line." Heck, he won an Oscar for the ultimate tool: Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street." And if he'd shown a lot of range in other projects, I'd say he's probably a really great actor, but he's always. a. tool. I'm just suspicious.

Yeah, it's not too deep today -- I'm in a really bad mood. It's about stupid things; I'm sure you won't be interested. 

And for those of you keeping track: the Martha trip got cancelled. So at least that's a relief.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Martha Stewart hates me

My sister is a big fan of Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart. So, a few months back, she writes to get tickets to the taping of a show, and she waits. This Friday she hears from Martha (well, not directly): she's got tickets to the January 27 show. Yay for her! So, like the good sister she is, she asks if I want to go. Actually, that's not strong enough -- she really wants me to go with her and Mom, sort of a girls' trip to New York.

The problem is about 10-fold. It's really a terrible time: we're trying to get the house ready to sell (and still have a ton, a ton of cleaning and rearranging to do), work is nuts, I have no vacation time, we're thinking of moving the cat down the weekend before, I have the first meeting of my bookclub that night (and I really wasn't planning to read "The Monk" just for fun.) I just feel like I really can't do it.

However, I also feel like I'm always letting my sister down. Last week I asked her to make me some window treatments in a hurry, and, no questions, she's on it. She's sent me some fabric samples, she's got ideas, and I'm sure they will be ready in a couple of weeks, in time for when the house goes on the market. She wants me to go see "Martha" with her -- sorry, no can do.

The worst thing is that my sister will be absolutely understanding about the whole thing. No guilt trip, nothing. It's just unfair. I could never be that nice. So, I'm trying to figure out if there's anyway I can do this, but it just makes me tired to think about it.

I blame Martha.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sexy talk

Yesterday's Oprah (shut up, you're just jealous) was one of those "your best life" episodes and the topic was sex. In all fairness, I didn't see the whole show (but I did read about it later on-line), but I do have a bit of a problem with the approach. The basic theme was that men want it and ladies, not so much. And, ladies, you need to step up to the plate.

I have a couple of issues with this. The first is the assumption that men always want sex and women are the ones doing the pushing away. Assuming that it's natural and part of life, then we should both have desires. Of course, everyone has different levels of interest, sometimes the boy will have a higher drive and sometimes it'll be the girl. So either Oprah has found a bunch of women who just aren't that interested in sex, which is certainly possible, or maybe there are other factors. Like, maybe women have to deal with more, like housework, kids, etc. Just saying. (or, maybe, she says in a very tiny voice, he's just not very good at it.)

But I do think there are women who have the drive and the man is less interested. In some ways, this is more of a social issues, as the assumption is that, if the woman wants sex, it shouldn't be a problem. And, sorry Oprah, you dropped the ball on that issue.

Another issue I have is the advice that the woman has to be the one to step it up. If the man wants more sex than he is getting, well, ladies, what are you going to do about it? Clearly, it is your issue, not his. What if the woman is perfectly happy with the amount of sex she is getting? Why does she have to alter her behavior? And what about a few lessons for the boys, so that they could maybe make it worth her while?

The follow-up question is, what to do if drives are different? I mean, I hate housework, so we hired someone to clean the house. I'm just saying.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Today someone asked me if I had ever had my heart broken. (I know it sounds weird -- how does something like that come up in a conversation, but it was actually fine.) I said that of course I had had my heart broken. And I think I have. At least a little bit. But maybe only a little bit.

I've been thinking about the times I'd say that my heart was broken. First of all, I can't think of a time I was really heartbroken after the age of about 18. When I think of the boys who broke my heart, even a little bit, I think of the crush I had my sophomore year of high school or the guy who dumped me for my best friend. And when I think of being heartbroken, I think of moments, not periods in my live. I remember feeling bad for a day, maybe a few, but not much more than that. Weeks of heartbreak, well, that's never happened to me. 

Was it really heartbreak?

It all comes back to that control issue I have. Of course it does; I'm not an idiot. The boyfriends I chose, they gave me a lot of the control in the relationship. It's so much easier when I'm in charge of where things are going. To have the upper hand. It was also easier to keep people at a bit of a distance. 

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like just to throw myself completely into a relationship. Would have it been wonderful? Would it have been exciting and fantastic and life-altering? Would it have destroyed me when it ended? Would I have ever stopped crying?

Would it have broken my heart?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What a girl wants

I was thinking about winning the lottery. Yes, this is a realistic concern, especially since the odds are clearly in my favor and I don't actually buy lottery tickets. This does not prevent me from think about what I would do with the winnings. And I realized I was absolutely stumped. If I won the lottery, I really don't know what I would do. I might quit my job, but, then again, I'm not sure what else I would do. I might move, but I don't know where I would want to live. Would I travel? I suppose, but there's a limit to how much I would want to travel. I also like to be home, although right now I have too many and not enough homes.

The question is: should I know (or at least have an idea) of what I would do if I won the lottery? Of course, as it's not realistic, it's somewhat a waste of time to dream about having millions. But I actually think it's a good idea to consider what you would do if you won the lottery, because it helps you decide what is important to you. If you would travel if you had a million dollars, but you're not traveling now, well, maybe you need to be rethinking what you're doing with your time and money now. And if you would quit your job the second you won the lottery, maybe you need a new job. I know it's not realistic to just up and quit your job, but maybe you should be taking steps to change your job.

It concerns me that I don't know what I would do if money, time, resources, etc., were not concerns. Right now, at this point in my life, I don't know what I want. And if I don't know what I want, I don't know what steps I should be taking. I guess I always figure I should be working towards something, and I'm not sure what it should be these days. It's been a while since I've had some sort of goal to reach for.

However, it may good for me to just be for a while.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flashback time!

Hulu has all of these free movies and today I'm watching "St. Elmo's Fire." First off, it's awesomely dated. First scene, Andrew McCarthy is not only smoking inside, he's smoking in a hospital! Ha! The shoulder pads, the high-waisted jeans, the saxophone! God, I miss the '80s.

I'm embarrassed to say that when I first saw this movie, I thought the characters were so cool and interesting. Okay, Demi Moore and Rob Lowe play messes, but the rest of them seemed cool to me, still in college in Toledo, Ohio. But watching it now, they're all such assholes. Mare Winningham is the only one who seems to be at least a tiny bit un-asshole, but they all kind of make fun of her. She's fat, she's dating the wrong guy, she's getting money from her dad. And friends are the perfect ones to point that out to her. Friends who are cheating on their mates, drinking too much, stalking, calling each other in the middle of the night, doing and selling drugs. Yes, please give me shit about wearing a girdle. Jerks.

No image today. Blogger won't let me upload. Try to be strong.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Falling in love

As I dive into the house hunt, I wonder if I should approach this logically or if I should hope to fall in love. I have a list of things I want in a house: a certain number of bedrooms, fireplace, nice yard, etc., but I know that this list isn't the whole story. I've seen houses that, on paper, have everything I would want in a house. And, yet, they did nothing for me. I want a house that is cozy and wonderful and welcoming. I want a house that is beautiful and makes me sigh, "now that's home!" 

I know that a big part of it is what I will do to a house. That I shouldn't put too much on the feeling I get when I walk in, because it will be totally different once our stuff is in the house. The scientist in me has this checklist and, if a house hits those points, I should at least consider it. That I should think about that house for a while. But then I walk in and I'm totally that asshole who makes a judgment in about 20 seconds.

It's not like I don't think I could change a house. Every house I walk into, I have a million ideas of things I could do to it. Redo this, paint this, take out that wall. I just know that we get lazy once we move in. I guess there's a part of me that thinks that if a house has that cozy, wonderful feeling already, maybe we can hold onto it for when we move in.

So, I guess I'm hoping to fall in love, but fall in love with something that works on paper. Yeah, I'm trying to bring logic into my love life. Again.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I did a lot of driving over the holidays and listened to a bunch of music on my ipod. Listening to all that music, I realized that a lot of the music I listen to is the result of a recommendation from a friend. Because I am kind of sentimental, I like to think that that person gave me that music as a gift.

In college, Tom gave me Elvis Costello. Before Tom, the only song I knew by Elvis was "Peace, Love, and Understanding" and, frankly, it just didn't do it for me. One day when I was about to go on a road trip and he handed me a tape of "My Aim Is True." "Just listen to the first song. If you're not hooked, eject the tape and move on." I was hooked by "...why, why, why, why." 

Robert gave me "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking," Pete gave me Dire Straits, Cliff gave me The Who and Dead Milkman, Dave gave me Iggy Pop, Slick gave me Ted Nugent and an appreciation for anything with an awesome drum track. Chuckie gave me early rap music, Jim gave me "Come a Little Bit Closer" and "Stay Awake." It's not just friends; my family got me hooked on all sorts of stuff. One of the first gifts I got was when Pops gave me The Beatles. Lu gave me Kiss, Nana gave me Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, and old country music, Andrea gave me They Might Be Giants, Mom gave me musicals, and Scott gave me PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, and Camper Van Beethoven.

A big part of the joy I get from listening to music is remembering who gave it to me. In fact, most of my music is a gift from someone and I am thankful. But Liz Phair is mine.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

This changes everything!

I was trying to explain to Mr. Higgy Piggie why it's important to have clean, organized closets when we show the house. The obvious answer is that if it looks like you don't have enough space for your stuff, future owner thinks they won't have enough space for their stuff. But, for a lot of women (myself included) I think there's also the idea of the "magic solution." That, no matter how disorganized you are, if you find the right calendar, purse, closet organization system, BOOM! you'll be organized. It never works. But, subconsciously, I believe that when someone like me sees a nicely organized closet, they think, "they've found The System!" 

I think the more disorganized you are, the more you believe there is a solution out there -- you just don't know about it. I also believe, a certain amount of how organized you are is just part of your genetic programming. My sister: organized; me: not so much. Unfortunately for my sister, her oldest  has my genetic programming, and, therefore, messy closets and an obsession with "Ripley's Believe It or Not." (My sister to me: "Seriously, what the hell?!") And since some of us don't have the programming to be naturally organized and we see others that do it effortlessly, we look for The System. 

Of course, there are industries built around selling The System. Oh, I try not to fall for it, but then I come home with a series of rods and boxes from The Container Store. And Mr. Higgy Piggie just sighs.

The place where I am most likely to fall for it is in the purse department. Surely this one will hold my billfold, ipod, glasses, phone, book, notebook, pens, maps, and sewing kit in a tiny, cute package that I can get to everything easily! Which is why I carry a backpack a lot. This way I can also bring socks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hoping to be like Cezanne

I'm reading an interesting article in "The New Yorker" about whether "genius" is related to age. (And, yes, I am way behind on my "New Yorker" reading, thanks for pointing that out, but in all fairness, this issue did get buried in a pile of papers, so I'm not that far behind.) Anyway, the article discusses that, although most people equate genius with precocity, it isn't really true. Although there are many people who have done great work when they were in their twenties (Orson Welles, Picasso, Mozart), there are plenty of folks who did their great work when they were considerably older (Hitchcock, Mark Twain, Cezanne).

The article discusses that it isn't that these late bloomers are discovered late; it's that these guys need time to develop. Their talents don't come from instinct, but rather, they have to work at what they do. They have to experiment and try, try again. That, frankly, they weren't very good at what they did when they were young, but they kept plugging away. 

This article makes me very happy. I like the idea that I still could get good at something. That I just need to put in the work. I'm not saying that I'm going to be a genius or a fantastic talent, but I like that there is still time. I think that I've had the feeling that if I didn't accomplish something when I was young, I would never accomplish anything big. This article basically says that this is a myth -- keep working. 

Now, to find what that thing might be...

Friday, January 2, 2009


I am overwhelmed and tired today. All of the rooms need work. I have too much stuff. Every time I think I'm done with one part of the house, another issue pops up. I thought I was somewhat prepared for the amount of work that had to be done, but it's feeling non-ending at this point.

I know I've mentioned this about 100 times, but my God, the books. I really thought I know where they all were, but then I found a bunch in the basement, another bunch in the guest bathroom (I know, shut up), and other huge bag of them in the guest closet. What the hell? I never thought I'd hate books, but right now, I kind of do.

I found a stack of notes from high school. The ones you pass between classes. I was reading one between me and someone else, and not only did I not know who the other party was, I didn't even know what we were writing about. I decided I just need to put these away -- no time to figure that sort of thing out.

And I found skeleton keys. Seriously, what the hell?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Getting the house ready

We are trying to get the house ready to sell. It's a task that is overwhelming me. A big part of it is just simply the amount of stuff we have (and, admittedly, most of that stuff is mine), but it's also just that there seems to be more and more to do. There's another corner with a stack of magazines, a pile of books, what the hell am I doing with all these pens, another pile of books, good Lord, another pile of books. 

It's also difficult because it's not just cleaning, but getting ready to show the house to a bunch of strangers who will be judging it. Should we shove all the clothes to one side so that there's a space, or have them nicely spread apart? Should we have one closet crammed with stuff or should we have a little in every closet? Should we clean the oven or straighten the basement? Are people really going to look in there?

In some ways, this part is even worse than getting ready to actually move. When we move, just dump everything into a box and go. Ugh, I hate selling houses. I guess I'm lucky because I will be out of here during most of the showings. But it's also frustrating because I'm limited time-wise to what I can do to the house. I have to rely on Mr. HP to get everything done, and his priorities about the house are different from mine. 

I feel like getting the house ready is a series of steps. Every time I put away something or organize a shelf, it's another step closer to being done. I just wish I knew how many steps I still had to do.