Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Feel sorry for me.

I'm having a bad day already.

I'm only 46 minutes into it.

I don't even have the energy to go into all the stuff that has me exhausted, annoyed, and ready to puke. Mostly it's work related. And personal. And I just need to get over it all and keep on moving.

I'm back to Atlanta tomorrow. I hope my family will understand if I spend the day sleeping, not talking to anyone, and generally moping.

I'm sure that will go over REAL well.

So instead, dear internet, I'm just using you to vent a little. To get it out before I have to go upstairs and do someone else's job. Before I have to welcome an alum that I care nothing about. Before I have to interview 10 people and give them feedback on their answers.

...When all I really want to do is go back to bed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dear Internets,

Thanks so much for making me famous.


This Morning: Gratitude.

It's a crisp, autumn day in Philadelphia. Birds are singing. Squirrels are gathering. Life is good. All is wholesome and clean.

In my post-Atlanta preparations-weekend, I took a cab to the park, then had a walk through the park to my local Starbucks to say hi to my barista friends and get my chai.

First, the nice landscaping man stopped his blower while I walked by, then I had an interesting exchange with two young homeless men:

Here is the conversation:

Homeless Man 1 and Homeless Man 2 (in unison): Good Morning, Lady!

Me: Good Morning.

Homeless Man 1: How are you this lovely day?

Me: Fine, How are you? (almost past him)

Homeless Man 1: (calling behind me) I'd be better if I had you! Then I wouldn't be sitting here!

It was sobering. A truly sobering reminder that without our friends and family, we are all a few bad decisions away from that bench.

I am truly grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. All of you contribute to my well-being in such a meaningful way and I am humbled by your input in my life right now - and always.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seven Random Things about ME.

A certain someone that plays the banjo and has a blog asked me, tagged me, to write today about seven random things about myself. So here I go.

1. I faint very easily.

I've had cardiac workups since I was in my early 20's to try to isolate it, but its actually a couple of common things: low heart rate, low blood pressure, and a heart that occasionally skips a beat. Most people don't have all of those things at once, so they don't faint, but I do. My favorite fainting story was when I got up to get a glass of water and "woke up" with my head on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator - a complete gallon of water spilled all over me and the floor.

2. I love to learn new languages.

I speak only English fluently and I am still reasonably decent in French, but I have some working knowledge or have studied to some point: Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and my current obsession: Swahili and Luo.*

3. My parents are both Episcopal priests.
Which is most interesting to me because my grandfather was Jewish and his parents were killed in the holocaust. Makes for a comparative-religion kind of family. I liken growing up in the church to being like a politician's child - with the same kind of pressure to perform and be as perfect as possible. And the same requirement of sharing your life with people that you may or may not know or care about.

*Now that you know my grandfather was German and Jewish, it will make more sense why I love languages. He tried to teach me Hebrew and German as a child during my vacations at their house, but it didn't stick. He spoke 15 languages.

4. I love to work in clay, but hate the feeling of dried clay on my hands.

So when I'm working on a project, I become even more of an OCD obsessive hand-washer than I normally am.

5. I watch movies over and over again. Even if I only like them a little.
Seriously, I can watch the same movie 3 or 4 times in the same day. I look for little pieces of dialogue that I've missed, and I love to watch the special features and then rewatch the movie with the director's vision in mind.

6. I keep alot of secrets from people. I am obsessed with my privacy.
Probably related to that growing up in front of hoards of well-meaning, but often crazy, parishioners. I don't like to be the center of attention and suffer from extreme stage-fright. I can even be going along just fine in a meeting or at a party and if the focus turns to be on me to suddenly, I freeze and panic.

7. I never forward chain letters.
Which is weird because I am very superstitious, but I don't like to bother people, so I'd rather just absorb the bad luck! Sorry this list is going to end with me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I know, it will save my job, but this is how I really feel:

Ask and ye shall receive

Loyal reader, friend extraordinaire, and dare I say comic book fanatic sent me a link to this shirt. See how much Barack and I have in common. He is my hero... and I would love to throw open my shirt to him throwing open his shirt, it's like when you hold a mirror up to a mirror and then you look in the mirror into infinity.

Should I decide on a night out on the town, I'll be sure to switch into this little number, since that's the way a lady pulls out her superhero powers, by working all day at a thankless job and then transforming into something sparkly to meet and greet the throngs of fans.

Thanks universe, I now feel appropriately outfitted for the fast-approaching day when I get to exercise my right to suffrage.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheaters never win.

While registering at the lab today before getting a blood test, the nurse started telling me how she hadn't finished her homework. Here is a transcript of the conversation:

Nurse: How can I be expected to read like 25 pages of material. I mean it's an article, maybe if he gave us a book, I'd read that.

Me: Oh, yeah.

Nurse: Besides, he leaves the room and everyone cheats anyways.

Me: Really?

Nurse: Yeah, I'll be like "what's he talking about with this one" and someone else will ask about another one that I know.

Me: What's the class?

Nurse: Business Ethics.

Then she totally didn't get why I laughed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama wears my t-shirt.

Oh, did I say that? I meant: OBAMA, Where's my t-shirt?

That's right, I bought several very expensive t-shirts several weeks ago, to support the final days of your campaign and to give as gifts to my new Kenyan crew, but no shirts have arrived.

I know, I won't wear it on election day. I've heard Pennsylvania is strict on passive campaigning. (Although I do have fantasies of throwing open the election curtain and baring my chest to reveal a stylized likeness of your dear face and yelling "Obama, m****f******, Vote OBAMA!)

But I'll control myself.

P.S. Why can't I find the t-shirt pictured above? It's my favorite image and it's hard to find.

Friday, October 10, 2008

America, insular? No... say it ain't so.

Class, please read this wonderful article in the Washington Post today about the new Nobel Prize winner, the dreamy Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio*.

The article accuses American literature and publishers of being insular and of not engaging in translations. Really? You think?

As someone that craves all things from all places outside the boundaries of this tiny little country, I was so excited to read this being so clearly stated by such a widely read publication. -- Admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery, people.

For example, in a country where approximately 36 million people are of Hispanic descent, have you seen the Spanish Language section of your local bookstore? Probably not, because if there is one, it is usually about 2 shelves, in the back, and is comprised predominately of children's books.

So it's no wonder that lyrical Frenchmen with chiseled jaws find it hard to get their books translated and published in this land of ours. Obviously with the harsh words from the Swedes, maybe some smaller publishers will sit up and take note. As the article says, no one is saying that the US doesn't produce wonderful literature, but what we READ is our own. Which by my way of thinking keeps us safe and warm at night and doesn't challenge us to face the problems out in the world of ours. We wait for things to come knocking on our door, prefiltered and palatable.

*No, I have not read anything by him. I am as isolated and insular as the rest of you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Interview with Charles

Many many months ago, Charles and I were talking about this blog. "I mention you, but I don't ever go into specifics." I said.

"When you do, it will be big." was his response.

So here is an interview with Charles, my beloved, conducted on the way back from Atlanta last night.

Me: So Charles, my loyal readers want to know more about you. Tell us a few things that you cannot live without.

Charles: (laughs) Okay. First, sembe [author note: sembe, or ugali in swahili, is an east african food staple. Made from maize flour, when hot it is like maize mashed potatoes and is used to eat stew - like a soft spoon, when cold it is like a cross between corn bread and grits and is delicious with tea.] For the last 8 years, I have been without, but I cannot live without my drum. For the last two years, you. And finally, Family. Family is an asset you cannot live without.

Me: What made you talk to me that day that we met?

Charles: (laughing again) Marasas. [author note: a sheng word for a body part]

Me: Oh! I figured that, because I was straight from the gym

Charles: luminous.

Me: up and I was wearing this sweater but I was wearing tight pants.

Charles: ...yes, luminous tight pants.

Me: Now that you know me better, what keeps you talking to me?

Charles: I love making friends and I don't like losing them. Our friendship has taken us to the next level. So I will talk to you everyday.

Me: So when you think about the future, what do you want? Tell me things that include your career, your personal life and your finances.

Charles: I want to finish my education. That is important to me. I am so in love with sports, and I would like to work as a strength coach or a physical trainer. I would love to bring up a healthy family in the way that I was brought up by my late father and mother. Lastly I would like to start a nonprofit organization for people that are financially unstable and/or an afterschool program to keep kids active and away from stealing and mugging people.

Me: Anything else that the people should know about you?

Charles: Smiling, I am always smiling. I may seem shy, but I love to sing. And philantropy is very important to me.

Me: Thank you, that is wonderful.

Charles: Now, shall we try this crossword puzzle?

Me: Yes, let's go!