Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New reasons to keep vomiting


I'd heard they were doing this, but I really didn't believe it...And I just love our smug president and his, "Golly gee, I don't pronounce words so good anyway" garbage. The leaders of the free world, ladies and gentlemen!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Stomach flu today (or food poisoning, but who cares enough to be decisive?). It's almost 6pm, and this is the first time I've been able to sit up for more than 10 minues in a row...so I'll get back to blogging when I'm not semi-delerious.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Life lists

Most normal people are in bed at 12:40 am. Me? I make a life list for your reading pleasure. Or mine. I've just realized there are a lot of things I keep saying I should do, but then I forget about them until the next time a bright idea flashes through my head. Now, I have to actually think about doing them. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Getting my fix

I don't do sci-fi.

That said, holy crap, how can a girl become so addicted to Battlestar Galactica? Two multi-hour marathons after my first episode (#1 of Season Three), and I'm hopelessly ensnared by the drawn-out plots, the juicy ethical questions, and the inexplicably *hawt* Lee Adama. The best part is that every time I mention it, I out another friend who's also hooked. It's like some sort of virus running rampant over the airwaves.

Stupid DVD series. I get rid of my tv, but I still have my DVD-RW. I really ought to throw it out...but then I'd never find out who the last five Cylons are.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


You know, listening to the SOTU became easier this year for two reasons:

1. Fewer smart-ass smirks from Dubya
2. The SOTU Drinking Game

After his third or fourth reference to "the American people," I was too entranced by the spinning Senate floor to care. Gotta love the dramatic atmospheric shift this year. No more wild applause or u-rah cheers, and a lot of painful silence when he clearly expected praise. So, what was my favorite part? The long, drawn out praise of Nancy Pelosi, clearly intended to forstall actually embarking on a lame duck speech, or the standard cream filling (in which we praise various random people for random noble acts) which came at the end this time -- because he had not a damned thing to say and didn't want to wrap up with, "Please don't hurt me." Personally, I think it was the Cheney-Pelosi glare wars. Good stuff, people.

But what was up with the near-groping of our new Speaker of the House? Between her and Angela Merkel, I think we have a problem.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Where do I draw the line?

I have two job interviews this week. One seems promising; the other less so. I should be excited -- and I was, but there's a catch. A silver one.

I reluctantly drove to my tattoo and piercing parlour today to have a clear glass eyebrow barbell fitted. That way, I can keep the hole open without jeopardizing the interview, on the offhand chance that anyone in nonprofit land still balks at the sight of metal in skin. Sounds perfect, right?


I fucking hate it.

In addition to being mind-numbingly ugly, like I'm some kind of land fish dragging around a small memento of my last encounter with a fisherman, it also draws lots of attention to the slight irritation around the piercing itself. Skin, understandably, isn't keen on being rubbed, and it's in constant contact with my barbell. So it's red. Usually, this isn't a problem. Now? Now it looks like I have MRSA.

The aesthetic ugliness aside, my real problem is something I didn't anticipate feeling: a severe sense of loathing and resentment that my potential for a job might be gauged not upon my qualifications, enthusiasm, potential or experience, but upon a millimeter thick piece of metal that spends half its time lurking behind my fringe. You know something? I can do these jobs. I am talented enough, hard-working enough -- I'll be the last one at the office if that's what it takes. But this little piercing here? It's part of me. You may not get that, but it is. It means a lot to me. I wore it through hell and back this past year, and I've transitioned from viewing it as an interesting accoutrement to a vital portion of who I am and what I stand for every damn day.

Tattoos, piercings, hair color, unusual clothes....news for ya, people: they don't affect job performance. My brain won't implode because I have a piercing; in fact, my academic performance has increased since its arrival. But cramming us all into the same neutral spaces and stifling any hint of personal expression does hurt the workplace. We are who we are. You may not have a single piercing, or you may be tattooed from elbows to knees. It doesn't matter to me, as long as you can file my taxes/tinker with my car/fix my aching back. I will wear a suit, even though I dislike them. I'll put on makeup, file my nails, maybe even consider heels. This? This is too far.

I know there are people out there who don't understand why it matters, and that's fine -- but it does. Lord knows I wish it didn't, but I've been sitting in front of the bathroom mirror for much of the last couple days trying to work up the nerve to take it out...and I Can't Do It.

So. It would appear that we are at an impasse, my little glass imposter and I. And here we sit, in a long detente with no resolution in sight. It's just a stupid hunk of metal, but it matters.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'll be right beside you, dear

So, how did that last night go?

That was the view from our hotel window, with lighting assistance from Picasa (thanks to Joanium for turning me onto the program). When I opened the door, CB went straight to the view; for two hours, we sat in front of the window as gulls swept past, their wingtips nearly caressing the glass. You live here long enough and almost fail to notice how beautiful it is. I remember now.

Dinner was amazing. We found a quiet Italian bistro tucked into a corner of Pike Place. On a snowy weeknight, the half-empty restaurant became a perfect place for lingering glances and easy conversation.

The next morning, as we sat at the window of a cafe across from the Market, I realized I hadn't let it hit me yet. It was just what I hoped I'd be able to say.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow

Can you believe this? In Seattle. In January.

At 9am, the streets were silent. Actually, silent is not the right word. They were devoid of everyday workweek sounds: rushing traffic, pulsing energy. Instead, side streets like this one became community centers, as if this modest snowstorm was our own little blackout, impelling our impersonal city to bundle up and come out to play, dressed in its brightest scarf and hat.

Everywhere I walked, throngs of children skidded past on anything slick enough to move: plastic sleds, snowboards, dinner trays. Parents formed casual phalanxes on the hilltops, using group strength to deter the occasional ambitious 4x4 driver who approached. Today, all of the streets in our neighborhood were for people. And even though you weren't here, I felt surrounded by friends.

We don't have snow like this in Seattle. Ideal snowball-snow. The satisfying, dull thock of compact powder as it strikes the alluring telephone pole, the electric stop sign. Perfect targets in a monochrome world.

Tonight, the rain returns, and great clumps of snow are plummeting from the roof as I write. The day itself was rather crap: job applications unanswered, evil British banks determined to dog me from abroad, creeping anxiety I didn't quite manage to ignore. But this morning? This morning was a gift to savor for every moment of my long, lingering walk up and down the slopes of our hill. Because for that deceptively brief stretch, I forgot that anything mattered at all.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sinking in

Half the time, I convince myself that nothing's changed. When I'm driving across town to visit a mutual friend, and there's no one in the car to share my ire at the latest bulletin on NPR, I tell myself it's because you're at work, or staying home, or maybe biking out on the Burke. When I'm not sure where you are or what you're doing, I pretend it's because we want to surprise each other, talk about our days over dinner that night.

The other half, it's 2:30 in the morning and I wake up. Your pillow: it's cold. Your side of the bed: empty. Your warm chest rising and falling against my skin is a whisper in my dream.

I think, this can't be right. It's only been three days. I have approximately 60 more sets of three days to go. A few weeks later, they'll start again. And again. And again.

Sometimes, I wish I could start a blog just for us, one that let me tell you everything ; right now, I feel like I'm opening our windows to let the world see through the panes.

My writing is shit right now. My brain on automatic. The incredibly kind parking attendant at the airport took one look at my mascara-streaked face (what was I thinking, wearing that?) and waived me past the line, even though I'd validated my car much earlier, when I hadn't guessed I'd spend 20 minutes behind the steering wheel without starting the ignition.

I know it's going to pass. It is already: I reorganized our room today and visited a few friends. I'm crashed on their couch right now, trying to convince myself that this post won't be as embarrassing to read in the morning. Please forgive me if I dabble in melancholy the next few weeks. I promise to regale you with equally as many good stories, even if they take awhile to come.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Things I never envisioned explaining

Parental Unit (Male), riffling through this week's edition of the Stranger, which I mistakenly left on the coffee table:

"Look, they have their summarized takes on all of the 2008 presidential candidates."

Proceeds to read a few out loud to Parental Unit (Female), who is pointedly ignoring him. Reads anyway.

Dad: "Barak Obama: junior senator from Illinois; bestselling author; totally fuckable former coke and pot user."

Mom: "What? Former what?"

"Coke and pot user."

"Oh, yeah, that. It was all over the news a few months ago. We heard it already."

Dad, perplexed: "Yes, but what does 'totally fuckable' mean?"

Me: contemplate lengthy, detailed explanation which would include summaries of Dan Savage and Savage Love, as well as the 'Barak Obama Does Your Mama' satirical piece. Think about the latest letters to Savage Love, which included graphic descriptions of wives-of-cuckolds being 'bred' in front of their mates.

"Daughter? Honey? Do you --"

"What? No, Dad, I don't read that kind of stuff -- jeez, I mean, the thing is, there's this gay columnist, hey, has anyone seen my front door key? I think I dropped it somewhere last night. Better go look because you never know who might...um...pick it up...off our...um, floor."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Storm front coming

Seattle is experiencing a cold snap right now, the kind that leaves pedestrians huddled on corners with hands pulling their collar flaps tight. Last night, just before the latest front's arrival, my dad came inside and said, "We may want to reconsider our plans. There's a sea of black rolling this way. I'd hate to have you caught out in it."

The tide is in this morning. It marks the arrival of an unexpected part of our lives, a physical separation we anticipated but still thought we could stave off for awhile longer. I'm still not sure exactly how I'll manage to put CB on "our" flight tomorrow, especially knowing that there will be an empty seat with my name on it next to his. But despite my discomfort (and, okay, denial), quiet confidence sits deep at the base of my chest. If we didn't do this, we might not make it. By doing it, by allowing ourselves to follow the paths we feel compelled to take, we're doing exactly what we think is right, precisely what we need to be together for the long haul. If it doesn't work, I'll go back to England. But it is going to work. We believe in our decision; we will be there for each other every single day, even if it's not in the traditional way; and we will change our plans if either of us senses even the slightest warning sign. We are going to be fine.

So the next time an acquaintance asks how we're doing, wearing an expression that tells me the person has already decided our outcome, I'm going to ram the heartache and tears down my throat. I'll turn to the person with a "Why should you ask?" smile and say, "Good. We're good."

We are good.

Talk to you in a few days.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spinning my wheels

*huff* *huff*

I'd write more, but I'm still catching my breath after biking all the way up freaking Fremont today. That hill was a lot shorter when I got to turn on 41st. Those last nine blocks? The deceptively gradual grade? My knee wants its cartilage back. My lungs are apparently capable of having seizures.


The sick part is that I really enjoyed it. I even chased after someone who passed me on a road bike. Probably won't be doing that for another week (by which time I hope to regain feeling in my quads), but at least I know I still can.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Are you getting somewhere

Sorry, sorry! I'm relieved and surprised that anyone's expecting me to post, but I also feel bad for failing to meet my self-imposed deadline. Things are just a little hectic around here. I'm not coping well with the husband's impending absence, and so everything else (phone calls, emails, holiday cards and blog posts) has fallen by the wayside. It should pick up once he's away, as I'll be trying to find things to do that fill the lonely hours. For now, I've been trying to brainstorm some New Year's resolutions...

Resolution One: Prove to the world that my career title is *not* Permanent Admin Assistant. I have more job applications floating around my field now. Getting into that world matters to me: I need to discover what my options are within it before I determine whether I should be going back to school for a policy degree, a resource management degree, or something else altogether. I also can't imagine doing anything else at this point in my life, which I thought I'd never say. I'm a little depressed because I'm running into the "You are over/underqualified" trap, and no one seems to care that overqualified can also be interpreted as will be the *most* qualified and yet still willing to work for crap to gain a little experience. C'mon, people!!

Resolution Two: Do everything I can to keep this LDR functional. This includes lots of handwritten letters, spontaneous gifts, daily phone calls (stupid time zones), and the occasional racy e-photo. ;)

Resolution Three: Finish my damn book. I got stuck in December when we decided I was moving back, but CB insists that it's worth finishing and I just need to think up an approach to a sticky conflict/catharsis chapter. I want a finished draft by mid-year and a "real" draft by December so I can inflict pain upon friends and potential agents just in time for the holidays.

Resolution Four: Bike more. Headwinds, psychotic Seattle rain and crazed drivers be damned.

Resolution Five: Find ways to be less stressed. This should be easy, what with the career uncertainty, LDR, current housing situation and fear of writer's block looming in the background.

Resolution Six: Change the current housing situation. We all love our families, which is why we don't live with them.

Resolution Seven: Bird more (new hobby), improve the ever-inadequate Spanish, actually send my thesis to people who were promised it last summer.

Resolution Eight: Stop feeling like I need a laundry list of resolutions.

Posts over the next few weeks will either be embarrassingly emotional, sporradic, or schizophrenic. With four days to go before CB flies back to England, I'm holding it together -- but every time I think of that impending drive to the airport, I feel more despair than I ever imagined I could bear without breaking. We will be fine, but that doesn't mean I have to be right now.

Monday, January 01, 2007

So this is the New Year

Death Cab running through my head...

On the first day of the new year, my brother's futon snapped in half, the rain returned, and I spent most of the day curled in a ball on the bedspread trying not to think about how quickly Coalescent Boy's departure is approaching.

We decided that our most monstrous 2006 hadn't quite left. We realized we had failed to burn the traditional New Year's candle.

It just flickered out. Goodbye and good riddance, 2006! While it had its moments, I can't say I'll miss it. Here's hoping for brighter days to come. Regular posting to resume on January 4th.

My life list

Birders have "life lists," or lists recording the first sighting of any bird that's "new" to them. Since I am barely a birder, I thought I'd start my own life list of of 26 things I hope to do in this lifetime (since I turn 26 this year and all). I'll add an item a year, or more, or less. Who knows? Maybe you'll even see a few checked off before you get bored.

Life list, in no particular order

  1. Shave my head
  2. Parachute out of a plane
  3. Complete RAMROD
  4. Do STP
  5. Ride the Kettle Valley Trail
  6. Backpack through the Hoh Rainforest. None of this dayhike crap like I always do.
  7. Do at least 50 cumulative miles of the Pacific Crest Trail
  8. Start three day eventing
  9. Write and publish four novels. Good ones. And by “good,” I mean, the NYT doesn’t hate them “good,” not sells like Daniel Steele “good.”
  10. Become a Master Birder (yeah, I know. Bad title.)
  11. Spend 4-6 months traveling through South America
  12. Buy a house in the city. By city, I mean Seattle. Yes, I know this might mean saying goodbye to one of my kidneys. And a lung.
  13. Be able to look back on my career and feel that I made a tangible difference in Northwest conservation.
  14. Never forget to fight for the forgotten parts of society.
  15. Keep tutoring inmates. Try hard to field questions from skeptics without becoming frustrated or complaining that nobody “gets it.”
  16. See (and howl with) honest-to-god wild wolves.
  17. Write at least one essay that would make Barbara Kingsolver or Annie Dillard proud.
  18. Become as close to fluent in Spanish as a gabacha can be.
  19. Take better pictures and someday purchase the equipment I need to be a legitimate photographer. Print the ones that are good enough already and try selling them. Or at least framing them for the house.
  20. Keep up the tango lessons until I can walk backwards with the best of them.
  21. Love CB openly, honestly, and unfailingly for the rest of my days.
  22. Stay vegetarian.
  23. Begin investing in real estate before 30 to build a secure future.
  24. Find a reason to laugh every day.
  25. Commit to practicing yoga well enough and long enough to actually maintain a healthy back.
  26. Understand that I’ll never feel like I’m doing enough, accomplishing enough, or living up to my own expectations. Find a way to be okay with that.