Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sorry I've been MIA

Just a quick post to explain the absence. It's mostly been moving. I have a lot of stuff, in case you missed it in previous posts. And, currently, I am without internet (quick shout-out the the neighbors who aren't protecting theirs. Oh, can you get a stronger signal -- it doesn't always come in when I need to steal it from you. Thanks!)

I promise more soon. Really. Don't go away, tiny audience of mine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is not a happy post

There are days that I just feel like I'm a jerk. That I'm selfish and all I care about is myself. All I think about is my needs, what makes me happy, without really thinking about how it affects someone else. And I hate myself a little bit for that.

I didn't want to hurt Mr. HP. I really didn't. And I hate that I had to hurt him to get to where I am today. Look, I know there were a lot of factors, that we both played our part in this falling apart. I get that. But I was the one who pulled the trigger, who made it all happen. And there are times when I think about his hurt, and I can't believe I could be so awful, to intentionally do this to a person. I think of him alone and I almost gasp that I was capable of causing this.

No one wants to be the villain. And I know that I'm not the villain. But I'm not the good guy either.

Friday, August 14, 2009

C'mon up to the house

Next week, I wake up in my brand new house! Okay, it's not really brand new, but it is brand new to me. I am out of the apartment with its rented furniture and white, white walls. It's a nice apartment, but it's not mine. I could settle in some, but I never really felt like it was home (home-ish, perhaps.) My cd's were in Pennsylvania; most of my books were there as well. Although there are pictures on the wall of the apartment, they are those weird hotel-like pictures that mean nothing to no one. I want to put up the photos I have taken on my trips, the pictures my mom has painted, the family tree.

I want to settle in. I want to put up shelves, and put my stupid, little trinkets on them. I want to (at least think about) painting the walls different colors. I want to make a place that people want to visit; I want people to hang out. I want it to be a place where everyone feels comfortable. I hope it's a place that brings me joy.

I know that part of that will be my attitude. I will have to work on relaxing when people visit. I will have to enjoy their company and not worry if they bang a chair into the wall. It's just a spill; we can clean it up. I need to laugh at the jokes and not worry about the scuff marks.

But I'm really looking forward to taking a bath in that awesome tub!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I never weep at night

Today, after three hours at the DMV, I walked away with new plates for my car and a new driver's license. Oh, and I got my name back. For the first time in 13 years, the name on my driver's license matches my passport.

I never legally changed my name when Mr. HP and I got married. I was going to, but it's a very (very) common last name (not that common), and I just never really got around to doing it. When I got my driver's license renewed after I got married, during those crazy pre-9/11 days, all I had to do was show the marriage license and tell them that I was planning to change my name, and there you go: my driver's license had my married name.

I had two names for 13 years: my work name and my home name. It's actually surprising how easy it is to do this. Paychecks, publications, those are in my work (legal) name; home ownership, driver's license, checking accounting: my home name, Mr. HP's last name. Of course, when I travelled, that got a bit tricky; I had to remember to buy my out-of-the-country tickets in the passport name. When I'd go to check into the hotel, I'd have to remember which name I gave.

Mortgage companies are not big fans of the multiple names, even six years ago. I had to write a letter explaining why I had two names. I resisted the temptation to just write, "because it's not 1950 and not all of us take the guy's name."

I have a couple of things that still have the married name, but today I changed the major ones. It's a bit sad, but it's also kind of nice. No more explaining why my credit card name is different from my license. (An aside: it's shocking the number of businesses that ask to see the identification, and then just shrug off the fact they don't match. I had only one place that refused to take my card because they didn't match. Seriously, why did the others even check?)

Yeah, my name is common, but it's mine again. And I now only have one.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yeah, I know that guy (or gal)

I think everyone who has worked has worked with That Guy. That Guy who has a higher level job than you and makes more than you, but, seriously, no one has any idea how they got there. That Guy (or Gal: let's be honest, it's sometimes a gal) has a great job. He goes home at a reasonable hour; he has a nice office; he gets to travel. And, yet, no one knows quite what it is he does, what he adds to the whole system. In fact, sometimes, he makes it more difficult.

I look at these people and I wonder, how do I get that job? What did I do wrong that I'm stuck actually working? I think I could do That Guy's job. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could do it better. Or maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fear of fiction

I have, on some level, accepted that I am a writer. I do get a paycheck as a result of being a writer (a specific type of writer, yes, but they do pay me.) I do this blog, which involves some writing, now and again. So, yes, I guess I have the ability to write. However, what I do not do is write fiction.

I read fiction. I love fiction. I love to tell a story. But those stories have to be based in fact, in actual events. I can't make up a story. Besides assignments in school, I've never written any fiction. And, honestly, I don't know if I could. Fiction requires a bravery I don't think I have. When you write fiction, that's all you. If I'm just telling a story, well, that's the way it happened and there's no changing that. When you make up a story, that's your mind, your heart, that's your story.

I'd like to think that some day I could write a story. But when I start to think about it, maybe to explore an idea, two things happen. One: it always seems like that any idea I have must have been done before. And, most likely, much better than I could do. But, maybe, I talk myself out of that, past that point, and I start to develop it in my head. Well, it just sounds so poorly written (almost "Twilight" bad!) I just can't do it.

So, all you fiction writers, I raise a glass to you. Thanks for being brave. Maybe, one day, I'll try to be brave as well.