Tuesday, November 27, 2012

memories in the forest

I need to be taken down. Mentally, not physically. A couple years ago, I got really good at Scrabble - all so I could beat my cousin who's 6 years younger than me. Yeah, I'm intimate with the 2-letter word list. Recently, I gave into peer pressure and started a certain words game that you play with your friends. And now I'm beating them and getting a really big head about it. Humility is ingrained in me (thanks parents), so of course this means a bad thing will happen to punish me for my overconfidence. Someone beat me before something really bad happens.
This is a great song to sing to, which should be done at the top of the lungs.
I went out and about today in the snow, then rain, then snow, then rain. Nature is indecisive. So am I. Places hold memories - I think this is accepted as fact. So do songs. Objects. Actions. Sounds. I guess everything does but a memory itself. And even that could be said too - a memory of a memory - something you used to know. So how do I forget? If I don't walk them enough, will the neural pathways grow over until I walk right by the spot in the woods where there used to be a path? It's easy to get lost in the woods, especially at night. And what is the neural equivalent of forest growth. Is it not me that's keeping the growth back by walking the same paths, but the forest animals inside my brain. This metaphor has gone too far, but I like the idea of an ecosystem up there. "Ecosystem" implies I don't have full control, that my actions and reactions have unpredictable results.
A much lighter forest than the one I imagine exists in my brain.
Yes, that was about Bud. Stupid house I have to walk by on my way to my old internship reminded me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

con los cerezos

Sitting crammed in the car with my Black Friday purchases for the 5 hour road trip home made my left leg experience a mysterious pain. Pain is exacerbated by running. I never mentioned that my post-Thanksgiving run kicked my ass the other day. Yeah... There was wind and a 20 degree temperature drop and I lost my mp3 player and so much snot dripped from my nose, but I'd forgotten to bring a tissue. At least I wore a hat and those thin gloves they sell everywhere for $1. Yes, the experience scared me off of my beautiful park.

Today I drove to the gym instead. My gym is next to a different park, so of course I couldn't resist running, despite my leg. But I only did a half mile! Then I worked out on the elliptical and that nameless machine that's a cross between a treadmill and an elliptical. The machines told me I burned over 700 calories, but I'm skeptical. I waved to my favorite gym employee, came home, and did 3 sets of a 10lb weight exercise that my super-fit (and former body-building) uncle swears will tone my waist. Considering the fact that my arms and my waist are sore, I think it's working. Reader, I'm excited.

Snow in the forecast for the early morning hours. I have a 9am meeting 20 miles away, so hoping this forecast is full of lies. The meeting is business casual - I'll be breaking out the knee high boots, tights, oxblood skirt, peacoat, cute hat - the works. I caught up on my favorite fashion blogs today. Can you tell?
This is beauty. But don't make me wake up to this. Please?
Also, can a future boyfriend say this to me one day?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Although I like you, although, although

I should avoid times when I have nothing to do. I came across these sentences in a short story this morning and what if they're a warning?:

"I felt myself entering my own reality as if it were a tunnel or a dream. I know now you lose yourself by going deeper. It is a hole you slip down. You think you are getting close to truth when actually your mind reveals nothing."
---Transparency, Frances Hwang

What does this say about the age-old practice of keeping a diary? About blogging? I admit that life is easier when the time I have to reflect is precious. Too much idleness has become unhealthy for me. Kids can stand it for some reason, look at them with those long summer vacations. But I'm happier busy. Yes, I take the quote with a grain of salt; it's too easy to write about characters who are in pain. It's easier to convey sadness than joy. Just look at all the photos of supposedly happy people online.
A Gap ad about friendship.
I was very busy for about a month, up until yesterday. I don't want to say I'm back to where I was before, to feeling, on a daily basis, the sadness it's so easy to write about. But I will say I'm closer. Maybe I didn't need to go see Bud on a whim before. Maybe there is no closure. I think that although I like him as a person, I can't be friends with him. Seeing him is good, but painful. I can't enjoy his presence anymore. So that's what I was mourning these past months. Hey! - people who can be friends with an ex - how?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

i'll have none of that mess from you

Hey yo, can I getcho nuuumba?
For the first time, I gave a guy my number first. Yesterday was the last day of my temp job, so I went around saying farewell to people I've genuinely come to like. Buuut, when I made it over to him he was still working. We mouthed wordless goodbyes. I discovered (again) that I can't read lips. I was disappoint. But my sissy reminded me that I could just email him at work, since it wasn't his last day. I agonized all night over the wording and didn't sleep well, but in the morning, before I could over-think, I sent it. It's like I'm an adult or something. I forgot what potential feels like.

I went out with two of my girls for an authentic Mexican brunch. Yum. After non-alcoholic margaritas, we discovered they had no churros! What kind of Mexican place has no churros? We settled for 25¢ gumballs. I dropped K back at her apartment and was on my way to take B to the bus stop. Buuut, first we stopped by school and who should be there but Bud. And good news - I'm over him! I was thinking that I was, but I wasn't sure until B and I sat and talked with him for half an hour. Being around him makes me talk super fast and I tell myself to calm down, but I accept that. There was no crying afterwards. No depression. To be sure I could stave it off, I went home, changed, and went for a run. I felt great, a relief since I was so weak during my last run. Barely anyone was there. I crossed paths with a grand total of 4 people and 2 dogs. I swear I only live next to the middle of nowhere. I did my 25 post-run push-ups, got in the car, and viola! the guy from my temp job had responded. He's my kind of people.
Churros: what K,B, and I should have been eating instead of gumballs

Happy turkey day to all. I hear turkeys are dumb. I never told the story of the farmer who kept a field full of turkeys. Well, one day it rained, and all the turkeys looked up at the sky for the source of the water. Where was it coming from? They looked up and stared and stared. And then, one by one, they drowned.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

what we're capable of

While doing my hair, I watched a Korean TV show called Vampire Prosecutor 2. The show is Law and Order: Criminal Intent + Interview with a Vampire + Stand By Me (okay and liberal eyeliner). This season hasn't been as arresting as the first, but today there was a scene where the autopsy doctor threatens a child-trafficker for info about a kidnapped girl. The doctor speaks about the many times he's met the family of a dead person, how they cry and cry. It took me back to the emergency room in 2001, because autopsy doctor is right. And then I started crying. This is why I love fiction. I've learned so much about life through books, so much about people I will never meet, and even if I did meet them, I would never know them the way it's possible to know someone in a book. I learn so much about who I am and who other people are from books.
People people everywhere.
I'm reading Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving. John Irving's novels are monsters. They're super dense and super long. I'm a very fast reader, but his novels take me weeks. Still, take this quote -

"What Danny had desired in his wife only filled him now with revulsion- and this had taken a mere two years to transpire. (The loving-her part would last a little longer; neither Danny nor any other writer could ever explain that.)" -302

This is the aspect of break-ups that started this blog. Knowing the person isn't right, but loving them anyway, uncontrolled. I'm not saying I loved the guy, but I could feel the potential. And that's what's so exciting about relationships, not just romantic ones- potential. And then it surprises you- how close you get, and how far apart you'll always be. When you push and find that no matter how hard, it's not enough, or that you didn't need to push so hard, that you can stop now, or that you can't push any more, that you hate it, that you love your friend anyway. I think people are capable of loving very easily. Not of falling in love easily, but of loving someone, of reaching the point where you care, the point where you protect them. Or maybe that's just me. I've been reading, and so I know I'm soft.
The first thing I do when I open a book is smell it.
Ran today. My legs felt weak, buuuuut I did 25 push-ups! And I saw the friendliest man, walking his dog. He smiled at me and asked me how I was, and I instantly liked him. Instant like is rare.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Outside and inside; alone and together

I had the day off from my temp job. Only Monday and Tuesday left. It made me sleep like an adult. Sleeping in means 8:30am. I get tired every night at 8pm. Shaking my head...

I now fit into size 7 pants from the juniors section. Thank you exercise. Let's see, I started to get in shape back in April/May. I probably actually got in shape in June. And now it's mid-November. That's five and a half months of being in shape. I think the last time I was in shape for this long was back in high school for indoor and outdoor track. I'm proud of myself, especially for summoning up that willpower to go to the gym after work. I don't like the cold, but once I'm in the car I'm ready, and I'm never sorry once I'm there. I love running in the park, but there's something about working out surrounded by strangers that forces me to try harder. Competitiveness. Peer pressure. The possibility of meeting a hot guy who works out.
I fought it, but I'm starting to see Ryan Gosling's appeal.
I like to be alone, but I also like to have people to go back to when I'm done being alone. I like steady worlds. Outside is always steady, the trees, the gravel, fallen leaves, the sun blinding me from across the lake. It's inside, I still need to find the steadiness. And I think that by steadiness I mean people, relationships I can count on. Outside of family, I don't have many stable local relationships. I have some great friends, ...who are spread across the country.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

traffic jams (and jellies and marmalades)

So this temp job requires me to think just enough and be just busy enough that I'm too tired at night to be introspective. Take yesterday. I got home 6ish, changed into workout clothes, drove to the gym, did the elliptical and this weird step(ish) machine for over an hour, stopped at the grocery story to buy bread, came home, showered, made my lunch/snacks for the next day, then went to sleep. There's no time for thinking in any of that. And then the weekend comes and you cram in all the home things you neglected during the week. So this is how people are satisfied going to work and coming back 5 days a week until they retire. It's lulling. I myself would be lulled if it wasn't for the infuriating traffic jams. A job right near King of Prussia, the location of what was at one point the largest mall in America, is bound to have ridiculous traffic. I'm almost at the point where I accept traffic jams as normal.

To keep myself gym-motivated, I decided to make friends with the guy who's always there when I go. I should ask him what his name is the next time I see him.

I'm drinking Evening Comfort tea, a blend I got from my local Cha Tea Store. Cha means tea in Mandarin, so the title is redundant, but I don't think I'm supposed to know that. I'm not sure what's in Evening Comfort, but I know it includes ginger+peppermint+lemon rind. I love it.
Don't look at the ginger tag on tumblr. My eyes...
During a lull at work, I texted everyone that I hadn't texted since October. This is my new plan for keeping in touch with people. Thank you, phone which doesn't require me to delete old text messages.

Excellent books I finished recently:
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Li Yiyun
Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler

Sunday, November 11, 2012

if Paulo Coehlo spoke to me

I'm still sad in general. Why this should be, I don't know. It's starling every time I realize I'm unhappy. I must still be an optimist, because I realize it over and over. (This morning I was reading a scene in an Anne Tyler's Saint Maybe where the father and son buried their dog in the yard, and I started crying because it reminded me of when my dog died almost 2 years ago and we buried her).
I think I was a happy person before this summer, but these days I force myself not to be a downer. It is possible that something fundamental changed. But what changed and how do I cope with it? And how could it change that fast? At least I'm working; the novelty of my temp job is still there, but I feel it wearing away. Hopefully some of the shine sticks as I progress throughout the month.
I'm always in a rush to self-sacrifice for somebody.
Is it because I'm the oldest child and a Libra?
One of my school friends might be coming down next weekend and wants to get people together for lunch/drinks, including Bud. I want to see the rest of them, but I think this is going to mess me up. I might not go. I need to date other people so I can stop drifting back to my last relationship. Since the only people I meet lately (married) are coworkers, does this mean I have to internet date? But I feel like I should be able to get dates without resorting to the internet.
"when i see stars that's all they are..." -Some Nights

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

temping is no joke

I should be asleep right now. Wanted to chime in with what I knew to be fact before, but didn't really believe. The 8:30-5 shift is hard when it's really 7:30-6 and the highlight of your day is your lunch hour. I've started to regulate my snack times so I don't fall into the trap of eating a reasonable lunch, working until 5, driving home, and pigging out for dinner.
Pigs are cute, but I'm not into all that.
A lot of life is personal experience. Temp jobs are no joke. Working monotonous jobs for years is doable, but it costs you. I spoke with a man who lost his wife to divorce because he worked a good job that kept him away from home all the time. Help me not lose my soul, or my good posture for that matter. The chair is awkward -at this rate I'm in danger of hunch-backing it up.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

AAG and the star city

I gave my presentation at Middles States AAG. It was my first time ever presenting at a professional conference in my field. I gave a shortened version of the presentation I used to defend my thesis. I don't mind public speaking. Before I substitute taught, I'd get serious butterflies, but now I don't even get nervous until 10 minutes before, and on a nervousness scale of 1-10, only about a 3. Middle States was a 2+ hour drive, so I drove down 81 and saw the mountains again. It reminded me of the 2 years when I used to take 81 south all the way to Roanoke for MFA school. Oh Star City.  

The (locally) famous Roanoke Star.
Night view of the city from the Roanoke Star Overlook. I used to take that highway to my part-time job at VWCC.
At Middle States, it was great to be around geography people again. I didn't see any of my former classmates (they'd presented the day before), but I saw 3 of my professors and met a bunch of new people. The food was excellent. Everyone was friendly and full of advice about potential PhD programs. The consensus was that you'll be okay if you have a good relationship with your advisor. I believe it. I was really lucky that I like my master's thesis advisor so much. Then again, I like everyone until they give me a reason not to. For some people that happens quickly, but my personality requires that I try to like most people. Am I going to like the wife of my bf from undergrad? Well, no; I'm not crazy. But you get the general idea.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I wake up in the morning feeling like

Day 2 of training at the temp job with my middle sister. I'm still bad at mornings. Thanks to this temp job, when I get a full-time, I will know how to choose my insurance. Tomorrow is casual Friday. I get to wear jeans and there's free lunch! Free food = goodness. Must plan my outfit. Skinny jeans and boots, but what to wear on top?...
The office building is quite a drive (merging + construction + those concrete walls everyone hates). There's always traffic, but I think I'm already used to it. With the cold weather left behind in the wake of Sandy, it feels like holiday season already.  I've always liked the mix of cloud cover, traffic, red brake lights and white headlights; add in some green lights and it's practically festive.
Red and green is Christmas coloring.
Middle States, the annual AAG SEPA geography conference is this Saturday. I'm going to have to leave the house at like 6:30am to get there on time. I might be late. Oh, how I wish I could summon the willpower to practice my presentation. I spent a half a year on my master's thesis and already I can't remember any of the details. God forbid anyone should ask questions.

I saw a perfect red and black party dress at Kohls in the teenage section, although sadly my chest is probably too big to fit it right considering the way the dress is cut.
The print is so black roses. Princess Vera Wang. Please let me be invited to a Christmas party this year. This is the first time I haven't had a job around Christmas, so I don't even have the annual work Christmas party to count on.  Nooooo!