Thursday, January 31, 2013

and none of that wishing for more wishes

I've gotten so much better. My cousin posted a bunch of zodiac stuff, so I looked up Libra.  The verdict: The way a Libra seeks love and romance can lead them to tons of depression and heartache for being so open and willing, something they must be mindful of. Dangling participle aside, can I really be mindful of a character trait? Well yes, but can I change that character trait? With every relationship, the breakup depression has lasted as long as the relationship. I don't mean to trust the other person, but I can't help it, and broken trust is agh. Like the gnats from "A Bug's Life" staring at a bug zapper on a summer night: 

"Don't look at the light!" 
"I can't help it." <flies closer>
Zap - dead!

But I can't help it. I'm talking about friendship now. If we get to the point where we like each other and do things for each other and hang out and are each other's type of people, then I'm going to trust you. Girls are bitches, so a female friend is rare and awesome (by awesome, I mean honestly inspiring awe). I think the heartbreak degree isn't as high for broken friendships because we have multiple friends at the same time, many of them superficial, but no multiple boyfriends. At least, I'm not savvy enough to pull that off.
And I'll certainly never be this savvy.
Anyway, before that bout of introspection, I just wanted to say that I reached the end of my freewrite book yesterday, so I was looking through it. It lasted from Oct2012 to Jan2013, and concerning Bud, I came really far. Time. Distance. Not looking at his facebook. I am an expert at not seeking out things that hurt me. Facebook doesn't even tempt me.

Does only March get the privilege of coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb (or is it vice versa)? I'm talking about the weather patterns of life, dudes. Not my best metaphor. But I have hopes for February. I got dreams, people. At midnight I'll say rabbits rabbits rabbits. I wished on the full moon on Saturday (I saw it in Kimchi Family). I pray. I finished my PhD apps. I apply to all the jobs I qualify for, although I draw the line at retail. So February, let's spend it on a (non-emotional) roller-coaster.
The coaster's track follows the letters. We're in for some loops.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

that kind of single-minded focus

"Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere." --Paulo Coehlo
He wrote O Alquimista aka The Alchemist. Years ago, my mother made me read it, the English version. It was one of those books that convinced me I hadn't lived enough to write anything worth anything.

Been finishing those PhD apps. I have one essay left to turn in by Friday. I don't know why, but applications are one thing I'm horribly last minute on. I have no clue of my acceptance chances. I'm going to say they're small. Every school I talk to is competitive and let's face it - I got my MA from an easy school. The most challenging thing about the program was my thesis. I worked harder in my part-time jobs than in class. That doesn't give me much confidence about my application, but at least my GRE scores are high... Still, I'd really rather have a job. My car malfunctions in new and glorious ways these days and I want to get a new one.

The weather was 54 and sunny. The weather people said it would be, but I hadn't believed them. So I emerged from my house in running clothes and drove to the gym. There's a trail right next to the gym, so first I ran 5K outside. Slow, 10:25 minute miles because I'm weak lately. Then I went inside the gym, which was packed with new year's resolution-ers still. I didn't mind. Guy-watching was more interesting. The man on the cross-fit machine (is it called that?) in front of me had the most beautifully muscular back I've had the pleasure of staring at for 11 minutes in a long time. Not that I did nothing but stare at his back for 11 minutes. I kept getting distracted by other people and my music and tvs, and if I had that kind of single-minded focus it would be creepy anyway. That man had many tattoos and shouldn't have shaved his head bald, but he put up his hood, so I could forget all about that :-).

 My friend/acquaintance asked me if I'd found someone new. I love how my friends are genuinely surprised that I haven't yet.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oh miracle o' miracles:

I went out last night. I hear adults normally go "out," but I'm both shy and fearful of the cold. As in, 9 times out of 10, I won't dress up for a below freezing winter night in which I have to wear short sleeves for inside. But let it be known that I love to dress up classy.
I need to go out in this outfit next time.
The prerequisite guy standing outside the door to check ID throws me. I can never find mine right away, so last night I brought my smallest purse: a blue leather Tiganello crossbody I got at Marshalls a couple years ago. My voice is high-pitched, so the bartenders can't hear me if it's crowded. It was crowded. The shy factor ensures that it takes me about 2 hours to get comfortable enough to dance. What happens before then is plain awkward, and I hope no one ever records me and then makes me watch it.

Confession. Mostly what gets me is I'm no stunning beauty and I'm not a slutty drunk, so not enough guys hit on me. Ugh, it hurts my pride to say that. It's not like I want to hook up with a guy I just met in a bar. Drunk isn't the best first impression. It's probably some messed up psychological thing that makes me mentally compete with whatever girls I go with to the bar. I have issues. I need to stay away from the super-crowded dancing bars. Or do I need to go more often so I get used to it and can just lalala in my own headspace? But I already spend too much time in my own headspace.

Anyway, shame. I will say, one thing I like about being in a relationship is that I stop looking at men. When I'm single, I hate the mental cataloging I do of every man I see, looking for potential date material. I can't turn it off. Is it genetic wiring? Mostly I stay away from dancey bars. I go for nerdy guys anyway; they're endearing. I don't think they're really found there.
Somebody buy me flowers.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Some words said by others that I want to remember.

"It reminded me of talking, how what is said is never quite what was thought, and what is heard is never quite what was said."
--Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds

"The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?"
---Milan Kundera

Remember to eat well.  Rabokki pictured above. Now I'm hungry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

there was one inspired affair

I don't feel like doing anything. Had to wear another dress today, black with a cardigan, stockings, and the same heels. I'm outside for such short periods of time that it barely registers that the wind chill is sixteen. I'm a girly girl. If I'm not wearing running clothes, then I prefer to be wearing a dress. I stopped by the Goodwill after my interview; the store expanded. Now it's twice the size with almost twice the merchandise. I found a Banana Republic skirt for $3.50. Tan, button-up, a real 70s inspired affair - let's call it vintage. I can only buy work clothes. Even though I had an internship almost the whole time I was in grad school, my wardrobe became too casual. It's like I just graduated or something.

I don't feel like doing anything. I need to remember that I still have PhD programs to apply to. There are plenty of jobs to apply to also. The gym is open 24/7. And yet, the only thing I can dredge up enough momentum to do is go to sleep early. I looked at the clock and it was 8:03pm and I wished I was in bed. If I didn't have to take my contacts out, I would have climbed in right then. Can someone else job apply for me while I stay in bed and sleep? Now there's an idea for a small business. Wait. False alarm. I think those are called recruiters.

When I'm bored I think about being friends with Bud. I don't know if it's even possible. If I started to wonder all these months later, does that mean I should do something about it?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

first in-person interview of my post-MA adult(?) life

That job called. Today was my in-person interview. A 2 hour drive, but I was nervous on the way there so it didn't feel long. There were no traffic jams; I got there a half hour early. I had time to collect myself and put on my make up. I'm usually a mascara + some kind of lip product kind of girl. If I'm into it, I add brown eye-shadow. It's a good thing I went impeccably dressed, because I was thoroughly impressed by the attire of the ladies on the interview panel. I do pretty well, but may I please learn to dress like them some day soon?

Driving past Baltimore always makes me wistful for my 4 years of undergrad past. I haven't set foot in the city since, but that's okay - I don't want to tarnish the memories. You know how it is when moving on means physically moving on. Don't want to get stuck in a physical or metaphysical rut.

Being so close made me think about a friend from college who now lives in DC. I'll probably call him tomorrow. It would be awesome if I got the job and lived near him. Of course, I think he might be moving in May, but being in the neighbor-ish vicinity of someone who used to be a close friend for 3 months is better than for no months. I'd be comforted a little I think. It takes courage to pick up and move to a place where you have no network. Still, whatever the deal, I can do it.
The windchill was in the teens, but I wore a dress and stockings. My sacrifice for fashion was worth it. On the way home, I accidentally ran over a horseshoe because I was distracted by an Amish buggy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

another car story

Trickery. So I'm barely a quarter mile down my street, setting off for a temp job interview, when there's a rumbling and a squeaking from the general front of the car. There are regular noises that the car makes, which were born into existence one by one, and which I accept. But this bumping and squeaking was something new. I've been known to panic unnecessarily about new noises which my car makes, so I turned off the radio and listened. I call it being one with my car. I made the left turn from my neighborhood onto a road with a 35mph speed limit. The new noises got worse. I turned onto the 45mph road and the bumping worsened, so I turned into the gas station and called my dad. He said keep going.

He always says keep going. Unless some sort of fluid is leaking out. No wait, he said keep going that time too. Anyway, this time no fluid leaking. Just me in a skirt and sneakers (my driving shoes) in 30-something weather. Peering at the car like that would tell me something. I got back in the car. I merged onto the 55mph road. The horror. The rumbling made me scared to do 50. I waited for other drivers to stop me, waving frantically and pointing at something gone horribly wrong. It didn't happen, but I knew I couldn't drive 25miles to my interview and back.

I got off at the first exit, pulled into CVS, and proceeded to accidentally call a family friend. It's okay, I acted like I meant to do it. We're now meeting up tomorrow. Anyway, the staffing agency understands, their client understands, the interview was rescheduled for next week, and I made it home. Turns out the lug-nuts on the front left tire were coming off. Yeah, that tire would have popped off while I was driving. For a while, we thought it was a bearing or an axle, but all I needed to do was tighten some lug-nuts. This wasn't a huge deal after all. Thankful.

The potential full-time job called. Interview on Tuesday! Lady Gaga is right - "...your career will never wake up tell you that it doesn't love you anymore."

Today is somehow Chekhov's birthday, and so is Jan 29th. I don't understand Russian calendars, but I love him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


No call yet.

I went to the gym. When I was on that cardio machine that I do every time and yet still don't know the name of, I think I saw Bud's brother. Weird. I can't be sure because I only met him a few times months ago. If he has the same haircut, then it could have been him. 65% chance? I need to get better with faces.

I think I'm losing the ability to be content alone with my thoughts, so today I didn't watch television while eating breakfast. It went alright until I got a phone call from my temp agency. That forced me to think about imminent administrative work and money issues (okay, so lack of money issues).

Been working on another PhD essay for the past couple hours. University of South Carolina this time.
I like water.

Monday, January 14, 2013

tinge sting wince hiss

Job anxiety, which is really coping with rejection from strangers. I'm used to getting rejected before the interview stage. Hell, like a lot of people, I get rejection emails from jobs I applied to so long ago that I no longer remember applying. But I haven't had many interviews. And it's the worst when they say they'll call you. It's like dating. You're waiting for the call from that one person, and all other calls carry that special tinge-sting of disappointment. So like dating at the beginning of a relationship then.

It's been so cloudy that I workout 3 times a week instead of every other day. It's not seasonal depression, but it sure is seasonal something. Can the weather fast-forward to March? Never mind that I've barely used my winter gear. I decided years ago to always be grateful for the heat in summer, even during a particulary hot Georgia summer spent under the ceiling fan because there was no electricity. But here's forgetting about what could be for a while and focusing on what is. Hello, my mittens.

Ate a bit of sticky bun from Amish country today. It tasted like sweet delicious sugar. Mmm.
There's still a little left...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

cake vs. panic-attacks; and cake triumphs

I had a phone interview for a job on Friday! Relief. Even if the end result isn't employment, I know I qualify for something. I was doubting myself. 8 months of off-and-on job applying does that to you. This job requires a background check. Hmm. Does the government care about blogs?

PhD applying takes determination. I must stay flexible. Today I found an old post-it note in the Bible I had in college. The note read "ultimate pslam for a panic-attack," and was marked on Pslam 69. I'd forgotten until I found the note, but I used to read the psalm out loud when I was at Hopkins and couldn't handle the stress. In the psalm, the whole world is against the speaker, but he/she still has strength. I understand why I needed that back then. Hopkins was no joke. I remember I had a mini panic-attack at the beginning of a Linear Algebra test once. I had to call the TA to come over and talk to me. All he said was he couldn't tell me anything, but I used the sound of his voice to calm down. I haven't been so stressed since Hopkins. MFA school was challenging in a non-stressful way, and geography grad school was cake that I thoroughly enjoyed eating. It surprises me, how easily I forget.
And now I'm hungry.
I've always been a journal-er. Today I found some diaries dating all the way back to the late 1990s. Because I knew I'd only mock my 12 year old self, I recycled them. I don't want to read middle school dreams about my life at 22, when 22 is also a memory.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

anything less

I got a little zest in my desire to job search on Monday. Here's hoping renewed efforts yield an interview. One interview, that's all I hope for right now. On the temping front, my staffing agency is wonderful. If I got any benefits at all, I could work temp jobs forever. On the PhD front, one school down and 4 to go. It's slow going since each program is slightly different, and yet the essay with my research interests is crucial. I might be over-thinking those.

The high yesterday was 48, so I ran in the park. It was so much nicer than the gym. I even saw a fox hunt - about 5 riders on horseback and 50 dogs. I saw my trees and the lake, and I crunched snow. I avoided horse poop and jumped over potholes on the gravel road. I was so happy. And no runny nose troubles, so I'll keep my rule of no running unless it's warmer than 45 degrees. Anything less is too cold.
What I saw was basically this.
Anything less. I can't accept anything less than what a human being deserves. This is a philosophy I have to follow to keep my self-respect. It's the reason for break-ups, for get-togethers, why I'm temping instead of working retail, why I started working out, and more things I can't think of right now.

Still sad in general, and I'm tired of it, so I'm sitting up straighter and talking to myself step by step. Mornings are hard, plus it doesn't help that my room is cold. Such effort just to get out of bed. I feel the sensation of a cold contact on my eye too often these days.

A friend is coming over Saturday. She's managed to never see lotr for her entire life. My 3 siblings and I are very different, and we all love those movies. Hence my belief in their universal appeal. Time for some peer pressure.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


So why do friends(?) passive-aggressively rub your ex's sex life in your face and smile at you while they're doing it? And yet, the particular situation means that I can't say anything without looking like a bitch. I think the next WC reunion, I might have to be busy that day. This is the 3rd time, and I'm kind of done. The first time was like 3 weeks after we broke up and right in front of him! Right in front. As in, my eyes were trained to the table directly in front of me because I couldn't look anywhere else. I wish I had a face that hid emotions, but I don't. I can't fool anyone. I can't even fool large groups of kids long enough to effectively sub them. Fail. This is a fail caused by my personality, and that's not changeable through willpower alone.

Everyone was at the gym last night. Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be over 50! That means I get to run. Oh yeah. Out of practice, so not expecting this to go well, but we'll see. Warm weather, please stay with me. Let me love you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

wasting their sweetness

Easy workout at the gym because I scared myself last time by almost pulling a muscle. Today's workout felt like I didn't try hard enough, but I'd rather be able to workout than overdo it again. I miss running, but the gym is good too because of all the people. Some days, I need to run alone, but I forgot that it's not the worst thing to share the path with strangers.

Beautiful Louise Erdrich quote:
"And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. 
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."

My youngest sissy flies to Japan next Tuesday to study abroad for a semester. I hope she makes forever friends with her host family.

WC-reunion/girls'-tipsy-lunch tomorrow. As always with girl events, I have to look good for this one.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Swag check. Swag check. -GDragon

Thursday, January 3, 2013

delirious energy

Yesterday I went too hard (at the gym). I'm sore in the good ways, but also in the oh-no-you-almost-strained-this-muscle way.  I've taken being fit for granted. I feel like a slacker when I'm not running outside, so now that I'm in the gym basically until winter's over, I go extra hard.

When I run outside, I spend about an hour working out, which included warm-up, stretching, walk breaks, staring at the scenery, cool-down, and push-ups.
If I'm in the gym, there's naught to look at but one of 8 television channels. I stare at HGTV and go 45 minutes straight (no-name not-quite stair-stepper machine), then 25(elliptical), and then 15 (treadmill). Then I come home and do lunges, push-ups, and whatever else I can think of.

Usually exercise gives me energy. But no, I had that delirious energy where you're not in your right mind. It's probably actually exhaustion. I did things I'm not proud of.
a side-effect of working out on the regular
Spent today applying for jobs. Hope something comes out of it. My original kind-of-plan was to work for a while and then go back to school. But the working hasn't happened, so I fast-forwarded school. It's too bad I'm past the age where my parents know what's best for me. Life was easier.

I networked today. So much uncertainty. I keep freaking out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a dangerous business

I was cold and lazy, so I didn't go out for New Year's Eve. Instead I spent it warm in front of the television. Is this more or less adult-like than last year? I didn't feel like a bar, but next year I'll try a house party. Maybe I'll even throw it.  Writing essays for those PhD programs. After I've applied to them all, I'll go back to temping full-time and by the end of March, I'll know what my choices are. If I don't make it into any PhD programs, or if I can't afford to go, I'll just reapply myself to full-time job searching. We'll see, is all I can say. I need to remember that life post-school seems to be wavering around, figuring out what it is you want.
Did I ever tell you flowers make me happy?
Thinking of the family of some local kids that were hurt last night (car accident on rt. 202), since one of my sisters knew them in high school. I can't imagine what it is to accidentally cause someone else's death, whether that person is friend or stranger. Is friend or stranger worse when you're staring at their family? If I've ever met anyone this happened to, they never told me, but many a fictional character has carried such monumental guilt. The fact that there's nothing you can do to make it right intensifies your feelings. I don't know how I'd cope. I'm lucky so far to go through life with average worries, with middle class worries. And guys, Philly is a mean city. What they say is true- It's a dangerous business, ... going out your door.

When the weather warms up a little, I'm going to train with a friend to run a 10K. I wouldn't do it on my own because training isn't as fun as simply running, but with someone, I think training would be fun.
Oh weather, please warm up soon.