Friday, March 29, 2013

Countdown to Cairo

Sometimes I get an idea that, for whatever reason, I just can't shake. And then, because I'm incredibly fortunate and at times more than a little relentless, it has a tendency to become sort of inevitable. So I'm going to Egypt. (EGYPT!!!!!) At the end of April! As in less than 4 weeks from now!

Amongst all my travel and flight confirmation emails, I also received this:

Word of the Day for Friday, March 29, 2013
swivet \SWIV-it\, noun: a state of nervous excitement, haste, or anxiety; flutter: I was in such a swivet that I could hardly speak.

That sums it up quite nicely.

I've always wanted to go to Egypt. I mean, I've always wanted to go pretty much everywhere. But Egypt, man, that's some epic shit. Then one day I was like what am I waiting for? Why not now?

And admittedly I had a moment where I got all what if I have an awful, lonely, depressing time by myself and just totally fail at this vacation? But then I was like so what? As if it is even possible to fail at vacation. I'm going to be with a tour group the whole time. Sure, they're strangers, but I won't be alone. And I doubt I will feel anything other than serious awe while standing in front of the freaking pyramids. Plus, I'm totally going to use this trip as an excuse to buy some harem pants. But seriously, I am going to have to do some shopping. Most of my clothes are too risqué for a conservative Muslim country.

Lyric of the moment: "Breathe in for luck..."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cell of the month awards

Once upon a time, I was a single cell. So were you. We were all these microscopic bundles of infinite potential. And look at us now: we have become trillions of cells, trillions of bundles of infinite potential. We could do anything. I love that about us.

Sometimes I'm kind of a jerk to my cells. I take them for granted. I forget to wonder at all of the amazing things they are doing for me right this very minute and every single minute. I don't hand out cell of the month awards.

But I am feeding them more vegetables. Baby steps. I mean, I still eat a lot more junk than I should, but I'm working on it. (A life without cake is no kind of life. But neither is a life of all cake.) I can really feel the difference too. When I eat better I feel better, happier, more energized. You probably can't tell from the outside, but inside it's a party up in here.

I realize all these things I'm saying are blatantly obvious. But sometimes the most obvious truths are the hardest to internalize. Maybe I'm finally starting to get it, this whole taking care of myself thing. Maybe I will finally stop running away from things that are good for me. Anything could happen.

Cell of the month: Erythrocyte #23,000.

Lyric of the moment: "Not really sure how to feel about it. Something in the way you move. Makes me feel like I can't live without you..."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Work hard, play hard (die hard?)*

The truth I'm coming to realize is that I would let anyone onto the plane but there are very few I would trust to be co-captain. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Admittedly I have some control issues (See: 2000-2002, so not my best years). I can embrace all the randomness and chaos of life but I cannot stand to be out of control of myself. If you were being kind, you might call it self-discipline, but it's really part of the craziness. The craziness is what compelled me to do every single bit of extra credit in school even though I already had straight A's, what made me run a second marathon because the first one didn't go down how I wanted it to, what drives me to get to work by 7:15 even though no one else gets there until at least 8.

Sometimes I think I just want to do whatever I feel like, screw the consequences. But I don't. Because that's not who I am. And I know it's not going to get me where I really want to be. A life of instant gratification is a dead end. It's small changes, good habits and healthy actions, made consistently and continually, that lead to lasting awesomeness and real fulfillment. I don't want to escape from reality, I want to live it, in all its messiness and beauty.

As much as I sometimes feel like it, I can't give up. I don't have it in me to do anything half-arsed. If I'm in, I'm all in. I will put everything I have into it for as long as it takes. It's the craziness, it's how I'm programmed. I can't change it and I don't really want to. I just have to keep it in balance so it works for me instead of against me. Because I want to let go and enjoy myself, I want spontaneity and adventure. But I also want stability and responsibility. Which seems contradictory but it's yin and yang, balance, everything in moderation. Robots just want to have fun, while also being healthy and saving for retirement.

I think sometimes responsibility gets a bad rap. It sounds boring and dull. But I think it's actually the foundation for true enjoyment. You can't really relax if you're worried about money all the time or involved in crazy personal drama. But if you have your life in order, you have options and resources and the world becomes your playground. At least I hope so. Because I've been working hard for 31 years and now I want to play hard too.

Lyric of the moment: "I don’t wanna go to sleep, I wanna stay up all night, I wanna just screw around. I don’t wanna think about what’s gonna be after this, I wanna just live right now..." (but like in a totally responsible way where I still get to have a 401K)

*Dear Bruce Willis, please pick this as the title of your next movie. And if you have a thirty-something doppelganger, please send him my way.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wildness and adventure

A few nights ago I was watching 12 Monkeys on TV, but I fell asleep partway through. I checked Netflix but they didn't have it. Then last night I was at Adam's for burritos and Doctor Who and happened to mention 12 Monkeys. He got up, walked over to his shelf, then handed me his 12 Monkeys DVD. Sometimes that's all it takes. You happen to mention what you want and life hands it to you. It's not usually that immediate or effortless, but it seems like the universe has given me everything I need, and most of what I ask for, exactly when I needed it.

Sometimes I forget this and I get all when is it going to happen? seriously, when? how about now? are we there yet? when I should just relax and trust that everything is and will be copacetic.

If a unicorn says it, it must be true.
Maybe once I'm able to articulate what I desire and become more open to the opportunities around me, the rest just sort of takes care of itself.
Or something like that. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm not very Machiavellian. I don't believe the ends justify the means. I've found that if I don't enjoy the process, the results are sort of irrelevant. I don't want to force myself to do things I dislike just to get somewhere I may not even want to be.

But I don't know how to get where I want to be. I just want wildness and adventure. (Dear universe, hint hint).

Lyric of the moment: "I'll just read a book instead. I don't care if we're just friends. I can hang out with myself. I'm old enough now to pretend..." (I love Kate Nash because all her songs are the story of my life but also make me laugh. See especially: "Why're you being a dickhead for? You're just fucking up situations.")

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Last week I got a placement bonus and instead of saving the money like I usually do, I think I'm going to take myself somewhere nice. I'm getting restless and I need to go somewhere and climb on something. If someone wants to join me, great. If not, I will venture out alone. I've never gone on a solo vacation and it seems like something I should try at least once. Even if I hate it, it will still be an experience, right? I'm thinking either Greece, Bermuda or Easter Island, but I'm going to let the universe, or possibly the Magic 8 Ball, decide.

Lyric of the moment: "I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and I’ve been locked inside that house all the while you hold the key. And I’ve been dying to get out and that might be the death of me. And even though there’s no way of knowing where to go, promise I’m going because I gotta get out of here. I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake. I gotta get outta here and I’m begging you, I’m begging you, I’m begging you to be my escape..."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Karma said there'd be days like this

Sometimes I have one of those days where I feel like I just can't do it anymore, where I'm tired and disheartened and I want to give up. Why can't I just give up? Why can't I stop hoping for things that will never happen? For the love of cake why? I worry that everyone else is moving on and I'm stuck. I'm happy with my job, my house, myself (for the most part). My life, my finances, everything is in order. So much freaking order that I don't even know what it is all for. It feels like I've reached the limits of what I can do alone. Which is frustrating and annoying. Because I don't want to have limits. I don't want to need anyone else. But everyone needs someone else. No man is an island. No robot is either. But I can't help how I feel. I don't know what my stupid heart is doing, but I'm getting so very impatient. I don't know why I don't have the right feelings. I don't know why, when Bill said "I know I'm not supposed to give you compliments, but you are a remarkable person. You have no idea how much you've got going for yourself" it made me feel sad (instead of happy like a normal person). I don't know what is wrong with me sometimes.

Maybe it's karmic payback for faking a headache to get away from someone. I felt bad about it but seriously, why don't people know that it's not a great idea to talk about the details of your gastrointestinal problems to someone you just met?* While I'm eating. And then ask me what I think is wrong with you. Dude, I'm not Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil. I couldn't begin to guess what is wrong with you. I know it's mean and judgmental and I'm sorry about that, but I just needed to get out of there.

But whenever I get into a funk, something happens. This time it was a text from DJ with a picture of a box of Oatmeal Creme Pies. Which is this joke we've had since high school because I hate them and think they are the grossest thing ever. When I saw the picture I started laughing.  Something as simple as that is enough. Sometimes all it takes is lunch with someone who has known me since I had braces to remind me to chill out and let things work out for the best, as they are wont to do.

I know I'm incredibly fortunate and life is funny and amazing and full of surprises. I know it and yet I don't always feel it. But the awesomeness is always there. And when I forget that, life has a way of reminding me.

Lyric of the moment: "It's not much of a life you're living. It's not just something you take, it's given. Round and around and around and around we go. Oh now tell me now tell me now tell me now you know..."

*Unless you're running. For some reason you can talk about anything while running and it doesn't seem weird. Well, almost anything. Probably you should still not talk about say, your serial killing sprees and the corpses in your basement (I have to stop watching Criminal Minds before bed).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Get busy living

I don't know why I'm here or why you're here or why I've met you or why I haven't. I don't know the meaning of life, but I am alive (at least as far as I know. In any case, I certainly feel alive, which is good enough for me). I've been alive now for 11,457 days and I've gotten used to the idea. Sometimes I take it for granted, I forget what an amazing and miraculous heap of awesomeness it is to be alive. But I don't want to take it for granted. I want to get busy living. I have done a lot in 31 years, but I feel as if I've only dipped a toe into the vast ocean of human experiences. It's time to jump in and do a cannonball.

There are certain experiences I have zero interest in: crystal meth, bankruptcy, homicide, mushrooms (Why are they everywhere? They are the bane of my existence). But I'm trying to be open to experiences, big and small, ordinary and unusual.

This past week I went to an hilarious One Hit Wonders show with Adam, tried eating beets (verdict: don't trust anyone who claims that beets are nature's candy. Swedish Fish are nature's candy), went to see Life of Pi with Becky (I really need to go to India someday), learned that bananas can float, started making artwork for 6x6x20 at Rochester Contemporary (I have no artistic ability but anyone can enter and I've always wanted to do it), continued in my quest to read some of the classics (I've finished Anna Karenina and now I'm in the middle of the Invisible Man), and over the weekend I unknowingly did something to my back that it did not like at all one bit and it protested all day (At first I was excited. I'm getting old! My back hurts! I'm going to grumble and complain about it and lie on the heating pad and feel sorry for myself for a bit! And that lasted for all of 20 minutes before I was like Ok back, I get it. You're the bee's knees and the cat's pajamas and I really need you. Please stop being angry with me and get back (ha! get back! get it?) to having my back (oh my god the puns are killing me). But the next day I felt totally better and all was well again in the house of Robot.

Lyric of the moment: "There's a lot I will never do. Some fantastic, I know it's true. But none as much as my want to be with you..."