Thursday, January 31, 2013

Of the essence

The clone/pod person/evil twin is a common SciFi plot device. I always find myself yelling at the TV screen in frustration. Come on, how can the other characters not realize that this person is an obvious fake? I like to think that I would notice if anyone I know was suddenly replaced by an alien doppelganger. But maybe I wouldn't. Maybe this has already happened, unbeknownst to me. (Though to what end I have no idea. It's not like I'm hiding the secrets of the universe in my attic or anything. If I did have any secret treasures, I'd hide them in a cookie jar because you never see villains eating cookies.)

This always gets me thinking about what it is that makes us Us. How we know people, not merely by their outward appearance, but by their essence, their unique personality, mannerisms, spirit and shared experiences. There is something more to us, and we recognize this somehow, without really knowing how or why.

One of my favorite quotes is from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery:
“They didn't recognize me," I repeat.
He stops in turn, my hand still on his arm.
"It is because they have never seen you," he says. "I would recognize you anywhere.”

I think that's one of the nicest things anyone can say to you. I see you, I recognize you, I know you, I love you. And this will always be true, throughout all time and space and alien invasions.

Lyric of the moment: "I wish I was your favorite girl. I wish you thought I was the reason you are in the world. I wish my smile was your favorite kind of smile. I wish the way I dressed was your favorite kind of style. I wish you couldn't figure me out but you'd always wanna know what I was about..."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Because everything is funny

I am easily amused, which is delightful because it makes life all the more hilarious.

Things that are funny:

*My ever growing collection of ridiculous winter hats. Whenever I wear them, strangers come up and start talking to me, like the woman at Wegmans who randomly told me which scratch off lottery tickets are the best ones to buy and the woman at the gas station near my house who recited her dissertation on gas prices in the greater Rochester area (I think her thesis statement was something about the Quick Fill in Henrietta, but I can't be sure) and the man at the coffee shop who told me he liked my hat (which I found especially funny since he was wearing the most ridiculous striped pants. Awesome, right?).

*Watching football with my dad.
Me (yelling to my dad, who had just left the room): Interception!
Dad: Who threw it?
Me: The red guy.
Dad: There are communists in this game?
Me: (cracking up)
Mom: Don't laugh at him, he's not funny.

*Everything Bill says. "Pretty please with...what's that expression?...butter on top?" And "Cheese it! The cops are coming! We used to say that when I was a kid."

*Wilbur randomly ripped all the stuffing out of the arm of my parents' couch while they were at work. (Which would probably be less funny if it were my couch.) Normally, he's not destructive at all. In fact, he has the dog equivalent of a daintily-drinking-tea-with your-pinkie-out temperament.  I totally wish there was a video of it so we could see what possessed him to go all weirdo Fight Club on the couch. I'm picturing him saying, in a Billy Madison voice, "Stop looking at me couch!"

*This conversation with my bro:
Me: Did you eat a whole pig on your birthday?

TJ: I had some help, but yes. We had 18 and they require 10...but we didn't even finish it...they have a bunch of sides and starters and stuff too.
Me: You should have asked for the pig to be stuffed with their second finest food. TJ: I should have. The place has really good food.
Me: Did you eat the brains?
TJ: I tried it yea. Spread it on some hard bread with a spritz of lemon....needed more lemon.
Me: eww. I wonder if that's how zombies eat brains.
TJ: I think they like them raw, but possibly with lemon.
Me: Fancy zombies use Grey Poupon.
TJ: oo that's probably true.

Lyric of the moment: "Every glorious disaster every bond is gonna bring you faster out into the light..." (Because I like the idea that disasters can be as glorious as triumphs.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tiny beautiful moments

Last year I lost some things that I thought I needed to be happy. But then in their absence I found happiness again. It was there all along. The thing I'm coming to realize is...I am not a race time or a number on a scale or a bank account balance or a job title or someone else's opinion of me. I am a collection of experiences, interpersonal connections and tiny beautiful moments.

Moments of exhilaration and ecstasy, of sadness and pain, of hilarity and happiness, of love and loss, of confusion and discomfort and unimaginable good fortune. There is beauty in all of it.

There are still so many things I'd like to see and do, ways I'd like to improve, people I have yet to meet. But in some ways, it doesn't really matter what happens. Because it is all amazing.

I mean, it doesn't always feel amazing. Sometimes it feels like shit. But feelings aren't necessarily truth. They aren't necessarily permanent either. I can experience a feeling and challenge it or let it go and move on to a better feeling. I don't have to compound it by feeling bad about the way I feel.

Happiness isn't about feeling completely wonderful all the time. It's taking chances and making messes and learning and trying again and loving and laughing and feeling grateful to be here. It's the adventure, the wandering, the fantastic roller coaster ride of being alive.

And I do love roller coasters.

Lyric of the moment: "And one day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea. But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun. And count every beautiful thing we can see. Love to be in the arms of all I'm keeping here with me..."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Month of marvellous

The mystery of the "I don't know what I'd do without you, but I bet it's awesome" T-shirt has been solved! Over the weekend I got an email from my friend George explaining "I swung by during lunch and put that gift bag on your porch by your door.  In the gift bag was the shirt AND a note.  So hopefully despite the confusion you can appreciate the shirt.  It was completely meant in a good way. Like no matter what anyone else does it wouldn't matter because you're doing it and it would be awesome because you're involved."

People are the best.

I appreciate the humor of the shirt, but I don't really have the balls to wear it. And I don't feel that way about anyone. To all the people I know, I really believe that life is more awesome with you than without you.

I hope other people feel the same way about me. To that end, I've decided to take a month to be nice to and take care of myself. To run and read and relax and be happy and eat nutritious food and wear my favorite clothes and explore and spend time with awesome people. Maybe that's selfish but I don't care. I figure if I focus on being a better version of me, then I'll be able to give my best to everyone else.

There are no rules, no specific goals. That's the whole point. To be a kinder, more accepting and more nurturing robot. And to let go and have fun or be a little out of control at times. Everything in moderation.

At the end of the month I hope to feel marvellous.

Lyric of the moment: "Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can't help falling in love with you..." (I heard an awesome cover of this song on the radio. It's just one of those songs that melts my heart. I guess you could say I'm a hopeful romantic.)

Friday, January 11, 2013


The other night, in that in-between state right before falling asleep, I had this...daydream? vision? I don't know what to call it but it was this vivid image of being at someone's house listening to old records and talking all night. I don't know where the idea came from or who the other person was. I don't even own any records. But I remember feeling like I was right where I was supposed to be.


I've been having a lot of dreams lately. Maybe it's the software. I don't know. But I find it very entertaining. It's like having my own personal miniseries, but without the annoying commercials. What will happen next? Who knows. It could be anything.

I think I'm giving up. I'm just going to float along for a little while, relaxing and observing. If there's something I want to do, I'll do it. And pay attention to how it feels. If it feels right, I'll go with it. If it makes me feel bad, I'll let it go.

Today I received an email from one of my candidates that said "I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year! Let all your dreams come true!" (I love it!) If all my actual dreams came true, life would be very strange indeed. Though if New Year's eve/day is any indication, it's going to be a strange and unexpectedly amazing year. I'm kind of looking forward to that.

I'm responsible to a fault, but there is also a wildness in me, a bit of mischief, rebelliousness and wanderlust. Maybe that's why I often feel restless, why I always need an escape plan. I hope it's possible to be both a free spirit and a responsible adult. Because I can't choose.

Lyric of the moment: "Nothing I’ve ever done right, happened on the safe side. It’s the other way. I’m missing everyone I know now..."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Alas, some kind of impasse

Do you ever feel confused, like you don't know what you want anymore? I do, and it makes me feel like there's something wrong with me, like I'm failing at life, at emotions, at being human.

Sometimes I feel like there's this path that I'm "supposed to" be on, but my life doesn't look like that, and I don't know if I even want it to. I'm not unhappy here. But I know the best part of life is other people and that's the direction I'd like to go. So why am I always running away from it? It's not the right time? I don't have feelings anymore? I'm afraid that I'm fundamentally unlovable?

Sometimes I feel like there's no "right" path, no one way to live, that all roads lead to Awesometown. But it's not the destination that's awesome, it's the company you pick up along the way. So I feel stuck at an impasse; there's no point going there alone but I don't think anyone wants to go with me.

I want to fall in love, but I don't know if I remember how. I want a partner, but I don't like the feeling of depending on someone else. I want my head and my heart to join forces for once, but they're both unruly and prone to stupidity.

So there it is.

Now that I've gotten it all out, I can stop thinking about it and let it go.

Someone I love told me "You can't force it. Shit just tends to straighten itself out in time. You just go with it for a while. The more you try and force an outcome you're not really even sure you want, sometimes the worse it gets. And you end up getting something you really don't want. Just go with it, let shit fall where it may."

That sounds good to me. 

Lyric of the moment: "What you don't have you don't need it now. What you don't know you can feel it somehow..." (because I'm hoping this is true)