Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rabid, One

Will that pompous John Updike never stop upstaging me?!?

Read his review of Memories of My Melancholy Whores here:

A Book Report.

Last night I finished Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. While in New York last weekend, I witnessed a brief conversation about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which on Sunday prompted me to wander to his section of the bookstore to see what I was missing.

I've read One Hundred Years of Solitude several times. The first time in the summer of my senior year in high school, when I felt it would take me nearly the number of years in the title to complete my reading requirements. Several years later I reread the book, and to my delight, I had matured enough to enjoy the magical realism I had dismissed so easily a few years before.

Perhaps it's my status as a reluctantly chaste, single woman, but I was so intrigued by the title that I decided to buy it- sight unseen.

It's a brief, little book about a man who on his ninetieth birthday decides that he will return to the brothel he has not frequented in nearly twenty years. Such great care is taken with describing the man from nearly every angle that one feels the effects of age on him physically, emotionally, and societally.

This is a book written by a man about a man, written by a writer about a writer. Marquez seems to truly understand his character, making one wonder if he is this character to a large extent. From his jealous rage to his burning anus, you feel his losses: his loss of station, his loss of perspective, and particularly his loss of virility. The pity that descends during the story is not caused by this man's age. It is a direct reflection of his lack of love.

He has made it to 90 years old, and has never made love to someone he loves.

While the story is quick and entertaining, the moments of brilliance are quick flashes. Not the slow building of a complicated and earthshaking denouement like in ...Solitude, but instead great images, and wonderful quotes that seem to have been admired by this man - or by Marquez - for some time. Like the staggering Leopardi quote: "Ah me, if this is love, then how it torments."

Perhaps my favorite moment is in the beginning. The reader is just beginning to get a sense of this character: a self-obsessed, whore-monger - but in the best possible way. He is describing his life, in which he had few intimate friends, "... and the few who came close are in New York. By which I mean they're dead, because that's where I suppose condemned souls go in order not to endure the truth of their past lives." (Ah, perhaps this is where my overwhelming desire to move to New York comes from - am I trying to escape my tortured past?)

I was struck by the similarity of the protagonist in this book to the one in Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. Both books very eloquently describe the humiliation of moving from virility and conquest - to isolation and age. Both authors seem to imply that the mortal wound of no longer being desired far out-ways any affliction of impotence. These men are forced, after long lives of degrading women, or at the very least taking them for granted, into a cold, lonely, and confusing existence that makes old age seem more like a sentence in a cold prison than a revered state to be respected.

Thinking of this view of old age reminds me of a trip I took to a retirement community several years ago. A woman pulled me aside and said, "Have lots of children, when you become my age, that's all you'll have."

Haunting. Truly haunting.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Interpreter of Maladies

A wonderful friend of mine sent me this picture yesterday. It was saved as "inappropriate Superman" on his computer.
I don't see the same thing here. I see this image as a modern pieta - Wonder Woman is comforting Superman after some tragedy.
This has me thinking about the role that women often play in the lives of men. To borrow the title from Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of short stories - that role is as the Interpreter of Maladies.
We feel their forehead when they aren't feeling well, we help them decompress after a stressful day, we listen to their darkest secrets and assure them they are still good people and still worthy of our love.
What is interesting to me is that we require them to be strong - especially in public. We want them to be dominant, hard-working, physically imposing, and maybe even to say things we wouldn't ever say. But when we are alone and vulnerable, we want them to be vulnerable too.
So this picture to me, isn't "inappropriate Superman" - it's the real Superman. It's the man that can risk his life to help save the world, but then worries that he hasn't done everything he can, it's the man that grieves those that have been lost, and the man that is concerned that occasionally and unintentionally, he wounds the people around him.
And in this act of vulnerability - we women are assured that he cares, that he loves, and that we are needed.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Snow White or Betty Boop?

My boss came in this morning clearly bursting to tell me something... and in a very good mood, so I figured it would be good...

She told me she'd been watching Snow White and she decided I was just like Snow White. She even did the little trill that Snow White does in the forest to illustrate it for me.

I don't see it.

I've always thought of myself more as Betty Boop ... or at least it's closer to my figure. My boss told me that one of the same animators that worked on Snow White created Betty Boop... intriguing!

So here are some links to help you decide:
Snow White: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89m1ICb9Pqs
(In French, of course... what else do you expect from me)

And here's Betty Boop as Snow White: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Hr4Aekt-s

Please let me know what you think... I need an objective opinion!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Subconscious Wake-up

I had a disturbing dream last night. I may very well change the way people see me. But I must get it out of my head. It's making me crazy.

Last night, in my dream, I had sex with Kevin Federline.

Eewww, eewww, eewww. I feel gross even typing it. It gets worse.

Not only did I have sex with him, but we were in public, discovered by paparazzi, and I was chased around a luxury hotel complex draped only in a sheet.

And I had my period.

This was possibly the most disturbingly graphic dream I've ever had. What in the world is my subconscious trying to tell me?

Let's look at the elements:
1) Kevin Federline: possibly the archetype for bad relationship choices. A self-serving, oversexed, gold-digging, procreating little twerp. (And someone I have NO conscious attraction to, by the way)
2) The Paparazzi: throngs of people wanting to expose the bad or difficult parts of my life. Mercenaries with only profit on their minds.
3) My period: maybe symbolizing those parts of my life that I cannot control. Things that come and go that bring me embarrassment and some shame.

Well, I hope I can address some of these issues, because I certainly don't want to be haunted by these kind of dreams!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Help for the stressed...

I read an interesting article in the Washington Post today... okay I read a couple. The first was about a Goth style magazine, and I'll spare you the details. Although according to the article, Los Angeles is the most Goth-friendly town. I would never have guessed that.

The second interesting article was about stress. Basically, the main advice in the article was "...figure out exactly what's causing you stress, change what can be changed, and devise a plan for coping with the inevitable remainder."

This sounds so easy.

Okay, so what's causing me stress: work, residual health problems, personal relationships, my commute, and my endless desire to better myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What can be changed: uh, I'm not sure.

Well, serving as my own therapist for a moment, there you go... if you don't know what to change to make your life better, how can you change it?

So that leaves me moving most of the items in the "what's causing you stress column" directly into the "devise a plan to cope with the remainder" column.

What's my plan to cope? Now there's a good question!

Wow, what a helpful article.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Theatre Review: The Fever

While in New York this weekend, I saw "The Fever," written and performed by Wallace Shawn at the New Group on 42nd Street in Theatre Row.

The matinee began with a champagne reception, on stage, with Wallace Shawn. Mr. Shawn brilliantly worked the circle of people around him, patiently answering questions - or deflecting them - and focusing on just a few people at a time. I was a little star struck and nervous, but thrilled each time he met my gaze. I wondered if he felt like an animal at the zoo.

When the performance began, I was unprepared for the darkness. The physical darkness combined with the solemnity of the performance left me seriously shaken. It took nearly an hour in the brightly colored coffee bar on a different floor of the building for me to recover my ability to talk intelligently and think clearly.

It's hard for me, even now - 2 full days later- to decide how I felt about the play. I appreciated that it talked completely about poverty - from nearly every angle. Blame was equally distributed, answers were scarce or nonexistent, and every one of our intentions were called into question. I'm not certain that "the poor" were seen as mobile entities as much as a problematic blob of people to be questioned, or helped, or ignored, depending on which side of the issue the "non-poor" fell on.

Wallace was masterful in his delivery. The play is long, intense, and without intermission. Truly the piece is an opportunity for an impressive performance, and this was one. One expects a certain fluency if the person has written the piece himself, but I was still amazed at the fluidity of Mr. Shawn's diction and with the performance in general.

The conversation upon leaving a performance is always an interesting opportunity to see how the issues are received. I was disheartened to hear only a few interactions. One being a woman saying "at least some people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are trying to do something." Yes, the richest people in the world are giving a small percentage of their enormous wealth back. But really, its a requirement for them to do so, morally and financially.

If I were to respond to the issues brought up in this wonderful play, they would be something to the effect of "What now?" You've raised the questions. You've challenged our motives. You've questioned our comfort. Now what? What do we do now? We're listening now, Mr. Shawn, all of us - the poor, the middle class, the upper class - all of us commingled at your lovely performance. What would you have us do now?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Finding the sparkle.

Life sucks. Sometimes it just sucks. Truly.

So much happens to us. We live through so many things: people dying, stress, illness, betrayal - physical and emotional wounds leave us scarred.

I worry sometimes, clearly I worry all the time, but in particular I worry sometimes that I'll eventually come to the point where I lose it. That proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. But I'm starting to believe that's not true.

I've realized that there is always another day, a different encounter, another person, a kindness, a smile, a hug... something that will come along that will change the way everything feels.

When you watch someone else going through something horrible. You watch the pain register on their face, in their body, in the way they hold themselves. I always feel so helpless, like I wish I could take some of their burden from them - help them in some meaningful way.

Time passes, things happen, and you see them gain strength. There's a moment when you see them relax, when you see the light in their eyes return, you can imagine that they feel loved, that they feel comfort.

Even if it takes years, it returns. They find happiness. As my favorite psalm says: Those that sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

So even as the people around us change, we all have that one person that will always come back to us, our "rock" that helps us find the way through the darkness - we already have that person inside us - an authentic self that can be returned to when we are ready to sparkle again.

Exhibition Review: The Art of African Women: Empowering Traditions

I went to the opening of the exhibition "The Art of African Women: Empowering Traditions" at the African American Museum in Philadelphia last night. The exhibition's most powerful elements are the photographs of Margaret Courtney-Clarke, a photojournalist born and raised in Naimibia who lived amongst the Ndebele people in South Africa for over a year.

The strong geometric lines of the Ndebele wall painting, combined with the bright colors is staggeringly breathtaking and the jewels of the show. The real-life jewels - the heavy bead work produced by the Ndebele people - are on display in three dimensions as well - some from Ms. Clarke's collection and some from the wonderful collection of the Schomberg center. Peppered throughout the exhibition are textiles from the Berber region of North Africa, Ghanaian Kente cloths, and some images from Cambodia.

One of the highlights of the night was my getting to meet Howard Dodson, Director of the Schomberg center and getting the chance to tell him of my obsession with the sculptor Richmond Barthe. Mr. Dodson indulged me by telling the story of Barthe, who contacted the Schomberg center on his way to spend time in the Caribbean. He didn't know what to do with all of his work while away, so he dropped it off at the Schomberg Center with no pretense, no deed of gift... nothing. He also told one of my favorite Barthe fun facts: that the actor James Garner supported him in the last years of his life. I have always wanted to interview Garner about this relationship, so if any of you know him... give me a shout.

Back to the exhibition. In short, it's amazing. Lovely, complete, and powerful. Unfortunately those that visit throughout the rest of the run will not have the live African band and the words of Mr. Dodson to aid in their experience... regardless: GO. And invite me along, I'd love to see it again.

Congratulations to Ramona Benson, the new CEO of the museum. What a coup!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I'm having a hard time with disappointment lately. I feel like I keep having interactions with people where I feel like I understand who they are, but then they turn out to be completely different - not at all who I thought. And not only that - but they have such a different idea about who I am, and what I'm all about - that it's shocking.

Two of my friends have been teasing me about the way I am: friendly, making eye-contact with strangers, saying hello to random people, chatting with strangers. They say that it is communicating intentions that I'm NOT trying to convey. For example, according to them, making eye-contact with a stranger on the subway means you want to have sex with them. Who knew?

I was trying to defend myself by telling them that occasionally a man will be following close behind me in my "blind spot" and I'll abruptly step aside, so they are forced to pass, but as they do so I'll say "Sorry, I'm walking slowly." They were rolling with laughter that in my attempts to be dominant and agressive, I'm ruining the action by very passive speech. So yes, I've stepped aside and basically said to the person "I'm weak and slow and you're strong and fast."

This has me wondering about all kinds of messages that I may be inadvertantly sending people. I want people to think of me as strong, intelligent, interesting, and respectable. Someone that is reliable, and worthy of the time and attention it takes to develop a relationship or a friendship. I don't think people are getting that message, and I'm not quite sure what I need to do to change.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Flashbacks and WAY too much information

There's a little one person, unisex restroom right outside my office that I use all the time. Today I finally figured out why I twitch a little when I have to go in there.

I got my first period when I was only 9 years old. 4th Grade. At the time, we were living in this tiny little rural town, Drayton Plains, in Michigan. I went to one of those rambling ranch style elementary schools that looks like a glorified house with a gymnasium/cafeteria in the center and three short wings on each side.

Each of the classrooms was small. It was such a small school that many classes were multiple grade levels, and since I was a pretty quick little girl, this meant that I was usually around older students. I went to 2nd grade in a 2nd/3rd grade split class (where I met my first boyfriend, Lyle McCoon - a saavy 3rd grader on the safety patrol), 4th grade in a 4th/5th grade split class (where Mr. Kachadorian let me decorate the bulletin boards and taught me algebra), and 5th grade in a 5th/6th split class (where Mrs. Rouse befriended me and took me to Toronto with her granddaughter).

So back to the periods. Because each classroom had a single bathroom at the front of the class, with no facilities for sanitary disposal of feminine products, to save me the embarrassment of having to throw my products away in the regular classroom trash - in front of my significantly less-developed classmates - I was allowed to use the teacher's bathroom.

Now I had a bit of a bathroom-phobia to begin with. As a young girl on long trips I used to just "hold-it" for hours instead of using the gross, black toilets at rest-stops. My parents were always after me to go and I was always insistent that I could wait.

So needless to say, I was a bit traumatized by having to walk all the way to the other side of the school and use the women's room reserved for teachers next to the scariest place in the school - the teacher's lounge. I always imagined that everyone knew exactly what was going on, a sort of Scarlet Letter. ... heh, heh... scarlet letter...

Certainly I survived, and by 6th grade there were a few of us that had to use the teacher's bathroom: Angie Mountain, Kristy Haggerty and I. The tall girls with breasts. Funny, no one would call me that now!

Well, so that's why I twitch going into the bathroom here at the College. Just so you know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My new perspective

I used to believe that there was one single path. I really believed that everything that happens is part of some over-arching, predetermined plan that is laid out for you from birth. But my view has been altered dramatically over the last several years.

I just have a hard time believing that all these little things that happen: people that come and go quickly in your life, small hardships that have multiple resolutions, conflict that rises and disapates - that they are part of the plan. How could God care whether or not my car runs? How could my dating disappointments be part of my whole life plan when I quickly move on to the next thing?

Lately I've been thinking more about the interesting parallels that exist all around us. In particular I've been thinking about the body and how the colonies of bacteria and viruses that co-exist in the environment of our body so closely mimic the society that we live in on the planet. The relationship between bacteria and body is not unlike the relationship of human to universe. In the functioning of the universe, my life is no more important than a nice little bacteria cell in the flora of my digestive system. If things get out-of-whack, it gets ugly.

Until I can identify which of my co-enzymes will help me grow stronger and which will make things ugly, I'm not doing anything.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Greeting me in my inbox this morning was an email saying that President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum has agreed to a cease-fire and some hybrid peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region of the Sudan.


Okay, okay... cautious optimism. Could this be a result of this week's bombing in Somalia? Yes. Could this be a bluff? Yes.

But it could also signal the end of what has been called the 21 century's first genocide. It certainly could be the end to the rapid diaspora of non-Arab Sudanese.

While the unfortunate part of all Diasporas is that most of the people never get to go home again - their former existence in that place having already been erased - maybe some people who are still there will get to relax, regroup, and start to rebuild. I want that for them.

Will there still be African tribe/Arab unrest, distrust, and violence? Um, yeah.

But maybe we've reached the tipping point. Maybe the Sudanese people, especially those in the north, have been reminded that racism and genocide are unacceptable. What convinced them? Fear of God? Fear of U.S/U.N retaliation? Fear of their own conscious?

I don't care. I just hope that peace really comes. I hope they find relief on both sides. I hope the displaced can find comfort and a place that feels like home, maybe even a place that feels better than home ever did before. That is my wish for them all.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My tummy-type: stressed

According to Denice Austin in an article for Prevention Magazine (on MSN.com), stress could be keeping me from having rock-hard abs!

Here's what she says I should do:
Exercise Rx30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise most days of the week plus a couple of yoga sessions each week.
Exercise can counteract stress and its negative side effects by bolstering brain levels of calming, feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Before you start panicking about how you'll fit it in, take a deep breath and keep reading. This tummy type should focus on accumulating activity by aiming for 10-minute bouts throughout the day. For even more stress reduction, add two yoga sessions a week, or substitute yoga for weight lifting. Yoga builds strength, but even more important, it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Diet RxEat frequently.Hunger can stress the body and trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that encourages the storage of fat in the abdomen. To keep your hunger under control, split your meals and snacks into five or six minimeals.
Get 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye a night.Chronic sleep deprivation can raise cortisol levels. It can also drive down levels of the appetite-control hormone leptin, making you feel hungry.
Laugh more.Here's a tactic anyone can stick with! In a study conducted at Loma Linda University, men and women who watched a humorous video had 30% less cortisol in their blood not only while watching the tape but also up to 24 hours later.
Day 1: 30 minutes cardio, 10 minutes strength-trainingDay 2: 30 minutes cardio, 10 minutes yogaDay 3: 30 minutes cardio, 10 minutes strength-trainingDay 4: 30 minutes cardio, 10 minutes Core MovesDay 5: 30 minutes cardio, 10 minutes yoga
Your Smartest Snack Vegetable and Onion Dip
Crunchy foods help dissipate stress. Try this low-cal alternative to chips.
Recipe: Coat saucepan with olive oil cooking spray and heat over low to medium heat. Add 1/2 c chopped onion. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. In a bowl, mix onion with 1/2 c fat-free sour cream, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp light canola oil mayonnaise. Cool and use as a dip for 2 c raw veggies.

While a big part of me feels like this is ridiculous, remember what I said in the last post... that if I don't have those release activities then I go crazy. Well it's making me think she might be right.

Okay, I'll commit to trying to lower my stress level and we'll see what happens between now and bikini season.

Forcing it.

This is going to come as a shock to those that know me (okay, maybe not) but I have a hard time sitting back and just allowing things to happen. I always have.

For example, as a child I went out on a lake with some family friends to learn how to waterski. I kept trying to pull myself closer to the boat once I was up on the skis, which would cause me to topple forward, the wind would be knocked out of me and I'd sputter up to the surface and wait for the boat. Finally the man who was teaching me said, "Kathryn you have to let the boat PULL you!"

So it shouldn't come as a surprize to me or to anyone else that in situations where I must just wait and see what happens that I get all anxious and tense. I have alot of those situations in my life right now and it makes me cranky. (Not to mention that my jaw is tense all the time and sometimes my hair seems to be falling out.)

In these situations I usually do one of two things: 1) make myself crazy worrying until the situation resolves itself or 2) pick some kind of fight or raise conflict to force the issue.

I'd like to stop this. Most of the reason that I work out, go dancing, and have my yoga practice is to try to offset the tension I feel all the time. But I've decided there must also be a mental shift. A trigger to make me less critical, less tense, and not looking for an opportunity to force the resolution. Sometimes my routines (and I have many of them) serve as a way for me to relax, but I would like to develop something more subtle, more immediate.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


So I'm supposed to be working on my evaluation and setting my goals.

I don't want to.

I don't want to think about the last six months. What do I say? I've been a mess. Trying my best, going through the motions, trying to make everyone believe there is nothing wrong. The truth is my memory sucks. If I don't look at my calendar, my emails, and my to-do list... I wouldn't make it through the day in any cohesive way.

So how do I set my goals?

I could really care less if 5 more people attend my next workshop. What I really want is for the next person who walks into my office to feel better and more confident about themselves. I want them to understand it's okay to be unsure, it's okay to be risk-averse and still plow through to the next great thing.

I don't really care about the board. They only care about the financial saliency of the College. This little, old, fossil-of-a-school is barely making it. They talk about raising the ceiling of student loans to increase revenue and then I hand kleenex to the grads who can't pay their loans. What I really want is to go back to school myself. To experience the bliss of putting big, heavy books into your bag and trudging off to class. I want to toil long and hard to try to be a better person, so I can help people figure out the system.

The cyclical nature of the world frustrates me. We're a symbiotic planet full of symbiotic beings. One feeds another, and the strong overtake the weak - at least temporarily, until the tide shifts again and underdog has its day.

So what do I really want? What is my goal for today?

I'd like to talk to one good friend today. I'd like to say "I love you" at least once today. I'd like to give someone a hug and tell them it will be alright. And I'd like to buy a pair of gloves and have a nice lunch... just to keep the capitalist machine grinding away.

You may be wondering... "what are you gonna do about your evaluation?" What are your professional goals for the next year?

I have no idea.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The dreaded bus...

Back in the day (the day being 1999), I had a bus-driver stalker. The driver would stop the bus next to me as I was walking through the streets of Old Town Alexandria to talk to me. He would also stop his car on his days off and get out and talk to me. (And by talk to me, I mean he talked and I walked away.)

This was of extreme concern to me. I'd had stalker-types before, but never combined with my preferred mode of transportation. I didn't have a car at the time and I lived by myself, so I was particularly concerned about it escalating into something dangerous.

I was sitting at dinner one day during that period and my boyfriend-at-the-time turned to my friend who had joined us and told her what was happening. Now this friend happens to be nearly perfect - a lovely woman: smart, pretty, petite, and kind. The boyfriend-in-question turned to her after telling her the scenario and said "Has this kind of thing ever happened to you?"

Her response: "I don't think I've ever been on a bus."

Well, this was a bit shocking. I know he was thinking that if this could happen to me, then surely it happened even more often to the prettier ones. But both of us were unprepared for her response. It was, however, effective. I bought a car and moved-in with said-boyfriend.

My time on buses has been occasional at-best since then, so I was shocked to be back on one this morning. My car is in the shop and the 2 miles to the train station is too treacherous to walk, so I took the bus that runs from outside my complex straight into the city.

With all due respect: OH, MY GOD, WHAT A FREAK SHOW! It started with a homeless-smelling old man that got on and did fake karate moves between naps and occasionally burst into intelligible song. Then came the transvestite (I think), with the enormous breasts, only partially concealed by a light wind-breaker. Her fake eyelashes and fake nails were a sight to be seen. Finally, an old woman came to sit in the seat right next to me (even though there were plenty of extra ones), and proceeded to lean against me the whole ride. Awww, how sweet, the old woman likes you, right? Well at 6:30am, I'm a bit touch-averse when it comes to strangers, but I was afraid to draw undue attention to myself by moving, so I just let it happen.

And the whole thing took two hours. Two full hours. I walked out of my house at 6:30am and got into the city at 8:30am and not reaching my office until 8:45am.

Gosh, I hope they fix my car today. I don't know if I can take it again tomorrow!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

3 Nicoles - 1 week

Doesn't it seem strange the way that things happen? I've been marveling for the last 24 hours that I've heard from every Nicole that I know this week: my friend here in town (who I talk to all the time), my friend in Vermont (who I talk to a couple times a year), and my friend Nicole in DC that I haven't talked to since I left!

So I'm sending much love to all the Nicoles.

What's next? Sarahs? Jennifers? Johns?

Some things cannot be undone.

I was watching Kill Bill, Vol. 2 on tv tonight... if you haven't seen it, DON'T READ THIS POST! (Unless you have no desire to see it, then go ahead.)

I had forgotten all about the scene just after Beatrice gets to Bill's house and discovers her daughter is still alive. Shortly after she arrives, Bill tells a story about her daughter's discovery of life and death.

To make the long story short, the daughter has killed her fish and in this action instinctively knows that she has done something that cannot be undone.

Well, I could argue that this was interesting to me because my own sins began as a fishkiller, but what I am more interested in is the notion that the things in life that rock us to the core are those things that cannot be undone.

Those things that cannot be undone - regardless of whether we are the one who does the deed or if we are the recipient of the deed - are the things that shape our lives. They are our secrets, our shame, our wounds to carry through life. They are endless fountains of guilt and anger, and it takes very little effort to remember the emotions of those events.

So my supposition is thusly: time does not heal some wounds. Because some things cannot be undone.

Oh, and the soundtrack is today's nomination for Best Soundtrack Ever.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


Why is it that you can like most parts of your life, but there are a few that stick in your side like thorns?

I like my office, like the students, like my coworkers, feel like I'm helping people, but long to be in charge... and of course to make more money.

I like my bed, love my roommate, like the view, but hate having to drive everywhere and hate my commute.

Am I a perfectionist? Do I take the good things for granted? Seriously what's the deal.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Novacaine, please.

I had an annoying trip to the dentist on Wednesday afternoon - he didn't want to use any Novacaine while I was getting my brand new shiny crown installed.

This brings to mind two things: I'm a wimp. And... I don't like pain.

I spend most of my life trying to avoid the bad parts: I don't eat bitter things, I try to be nice to people - in hopes that they'll be nice back, I take good care of my body, and I avoid as many germs as possible. (Yes, if you've ever walked through a public door with me, you've seen me pull my sleeve down over my hand so I don't have to touch the door handle.)

Now I'm not usually a pill-popper - I'd rather take a nap than an Advil if I have a headache. But there are definitely times when I want to be as medicated as possible - like when at the dentist.

I do find myself longing for some kind of euphoria on particularly bad days: when the boss is being snippy, when the guy disappoints me, when I say the wrong thing at the wrong time to someone that I care about deeply.

I guess if I were better at apologizing I probably won't want to escape quite as much. Let me practice it now: "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry you feel that way, boss lady, I was trying my best."
"I'm sorry I expected so much from you, handsome man, I do have pretty high expectations." "I'm sorry I said that to you, you're such a dear friend and I don't want to hurt you."

We'll see how it goes. I do still secretly wish I had that Morphine pump with me to get me through the speedbumps of life.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Best of 2006

I recently saw an intriguing Best of 2006 list on another blog, so here is mine.

Best meal of 2006:
Definitely my friends and my first trip to the Greco Roman restaurant in Norristown. We ordered family-style and ate tsatziki, dolmades, spanakopita, gigantic beans, horiatiki, and more. The owner was so sweet and cute and his wife's homemade dessert was super decadent - like a cross between a souffle and fudge.

Best purchase of 2006:
Karite lip balm from Whole Foods. It makes me happy several times a day.

Worst Addiction of 2006:
Iced Soy Chai.

Best Mind-Altering substance of 2006:
Morphine. I had no idea there was happiness like that on this planet. And I was NOT happy when the stupid nurses took it away from me.

Best quiet moments of 2006:
Sitting on the sofa watching In America while knitting.

Best party moments of 2006:
NYC in November. Lovely conversation, a bit of dancing, drinking games with top shelf scotch, and platonic cuddling with half the room before the end of the night.

Best movie of 2006:
Little Miss Sunshine, but Volver was REALLY close

Best book of 2006:
Age of Iron (okay published a million years ago, but I read it this year)

Biggest obsession of 2006:

Best song of 2006:
Either Shake that thing by Sean Paul or Smack that by Akon

Things I'm looking forward to in 2007:
- Sudanese Portrait Project and Exhibition
- Nas, Hip Hop is Dead (gonna buy the album soon)
- A trip somewhere! (suggestions? offers?)
- Building a new lifecycles piece in West Philadelphia
- Taking the GREs. (Anyone want to be my study partner?)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year

It's only a day and a half into 2007 and I'm already overwhelmed.

Maybe it's just the first day back from break that has me concerned. I feel like I did nothing productive over break and have so much waiting for me.

Oh well, one day at a time. Resolution Number 1.

Be Nicer- to myself and others. Resolution Number 2.

Figure out life. Resolution Number 3.

Have any resolutions?