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A nasty headache ensues and transforms everything into 'exhaustingly bright'. I'd rather not see colors. I wish I were sleeping. I wonder if my plaid pants have anything to do with this affliction. Perhaps they are channeling negative energy. Perhaps, but my rational mind does not see how it is possible. I have not been staring into my monitor long enough for it to be work related, though, this staring is causing me pain. I suppose I would be infinitely more miserable if I were working in retail, as customers tend to behave badly when their clerk is visibly unwell.
Here's to demonstrating a little self restraint. I had a granola bar for breakfast instead of Zingers and I swear I feel like about twenty five thousand bucks. It's nice to be able to appreciate a beautiful day, not that I am out in it. That would be even more nice. At least I have a window. I've noticed the squirrels haven't been frolicking out on the corporate lawn as much as usual. Hopefully none have drowned in the heavily chlorinated fountain stream. What a horrible thought. Do squirrels hibernate? I really should get back to work. Off I go.
I am a documentary junkie. I brought my headphones to work today so that I could listen to archives of This American Life without disturbing my co-workers. Funnily enough I was asked by my boss to write a short letter of condolences to those affected by the WTC and DC attacks for our company newsletter. The last three weeks of TAL have been completely devoted to the matter, so my timing was impeccable as far as being prepared for getting in the right frame of mind for writing such a letter. I have to say, though; it is terribly depressing.
I've got squirrels on my mind, again. Everyone has gone completely loopy in the September 11 aftermath. For a newsletter graphic, my boss suggests some dramatic interpretation of our company strength involving balsa wood planes flying into the POP displays of our competitors, while one of our head sales guys holds a fire extinguisher confidently beside our own towering display. Meanwhile my thoughts are drawn to something I read yesterday depicting squirrels in turbans flying propeller planes into the phone terminal of an unsuspecting Brooklynite. Comedy is, without a doubt, a superior coping mechanism. Anyone familiar with the 'Squirrel Noir'?
I woke up mildly pissed off this morning. My cat decided he couldn't wait for the alarm clock to work it's resurrecting magic, and promptly knocked it off it's perch on the radiator. Very effective, Terrance, good morning, and thank you! Shithead.
Last night a good friend decided he was going to rail on me about something wholly unimportant in the grand scheme of things: my eating habits. I am in relatively good health. I could definitely benefit from more exercise and a more holistic diet, but holy jesus, whose business is it but my own? Social pirahnas, I swear.
I really only wanted to do one thing today. I wanted to sit inside all day working on a style sheet for my site. Alas, the weather was absolutely stunning and I would have been insane to not be out in it. So, I went out with a friend to run some of her errands: feed her sister's dogs, do a little grocery shopping, do a little shopping for the cats. We ended up wandering the great expanses of the barely intuitive aisles of the new Super Wal-Mart, much to my chagrin. Not a window for hours. I hate Wal-Mart.
What do I get for sitting up all night with a new friend talking about music and populism and html? I get nothing done on Sunday. I also get a visit from one of my more deranged long-time friends, complete with a sampling of his latest musical obsessions. I get a primer on how to erase my hard drive. I resurrect my dormant love of cooking in an effort to procrastinate studying for my upcoming spanish exam. I take a pre-studying disco nap. I get a headache. I study for five minutes. I take valerian root and go to bed.
Ah, the joys of baked italian food.
Today's subject: Eggplant Parmesan.
Today's forecast: Cloudy and cool.
My eyes are tearing up ever so slightly in that -I could really use a nap- manner. It's nothing a cup of cocoa and some cherry chapstick couldn't sort out. You'd think we were in the throes of a bitter winter, but it's barely fall and all I can think about is food. I also can't keep my mind off of wooly sweaters and the prospect of finding a new boyfriend. There's nothing like a cold front to make a single gal crave company.
People breaking off engagements is depressing to me. I hate watching it. I've never been near engagement, but I've had a couple of nasty breakups, and they suck quite like nothing else. Driving with one of my girlfriends over the weekend, seeing big tears roll down her face while she's explaining (half to me, half to herself) why she can't go on in this situation, was devastating. All I can think about is moving out of my then-boyfriend's apartment more than a year ago. I recall the uncontrollable sobbing fits, fully aware I was doing what was best for me.
I felt it coming on before I went to bed last night. I knew I was not going to be able to sit through my classes comfortably this morning. I guess it's just restlessness. I am preparing to go on vacation, and I haven't seen one of my cats in three days. I am going to fly. I can't afford to, but I am going to do it anyway.
I have anxiety about leaving town because of school, my job, my cats and money. I almost feel guilty and it's ridiculous. I'm worrying about my plants and batheing my cat.
I am in a unusually good mood for having had three Guinni last night on an empty stomach over heated discussion about world politics. I didn't sleep all that well, the commute was slow, it was pissing down rain and I had no money to take care of my craving for fast food breakfast. (A sourdough breakfast jack would have hit the spot. yum.)
I upgraded from using PageMaker to InDesign, and it requires an additional postscript driver (that I can't find) for printing my graphics, which on any other day would drive me batty. I'm handling it quite well.
It was about four years ago that it dawned on me weather was a boring topic of conversation. Weather systems are endlessly fascinating. I live in a relatively turbulent neck of the woods with regard to weather; it's never boring, but I slowly phased my proclivity to talk about the sky out in an effort to not bore my friends to tears. But, how can I avoid talking about fog!?! Dense fog. The sky was a dark orange when I woke up this morning, I thought I was in Mississippi. Surprisingly, nobody else found it as startling as I did.
Last night tested my emotions. While out with friends having beers and playing Ms. Pac Man before Smog takes the stage, an old boyfriend wanders in and must speak with me immediately. He tells me about his therapy, that he's no longer insane, that he hopes I am 'still in the game', and asks me not the get married any time soon. Christ. I try to listen, but his declaring that he's not insane creepily suggests otherwise. He just stares at me, and I want to get away. I just want to enjoy my night out. I go back inside.
A day at the fair. The weather is perfect. Such fun to talk and laugh and forget about lines and crowds and yelling people. I rally for the scariest rides. We get so dizzy that I imagine myself falling into that throng of strollers and that poor crying baby. Dog shows and hens and ducks and quilts and pickled okra and legos make me think that in another universe elementary school never ends, that maybe it will always seem important to draw pictures of my cat in cray-pas. The sun is so warm and your face has gotten all red.
A bad day all around. I had nightmares of war. I caught a friend in a lie and I can't say anything -or- I'd rather not at this point even though it makes me angry. I dreamt of confronting him and nothing good came of it. I thought I should talk about it, and upon waking up thought better of doing so. I need desperately to work out some hurt feelings, and let them go for good. I've been busted for plenty of lies, and hurt peoples feelings. I can see right through it and, sadly, I identify with it.
My mind is uneasy. I am making plans and I have people talking to me. There are so many changes that I feel like I am losing my composure. I look forward to the pressure, but I know that I have got to make time for being still so that I don't get completely tangled up in ideas. I act playful to hide anxiety. I make jokes because it's too heavy to be thoughtful. I think I'll put things in perspective because I am pleased by everything that goes on around me. I just wonder if I can keep up.
I spent the entire morning feeling like I was pushing uphill, doing things and being places I'd rather not, but going through with it anyway. While becoming addicted to an adorable egg-tossing game on the internet yesterday and the day before, I prayed for something to do at work before I got busted for being a slack-off. Heavens to Betsey!, there was work on my desk when I showed up today. I really couldn't ask for much more, except for maybe infinite calm and a consistently rational, yet creative, mind. On second thought, I could ask for a scanner, too.
It's never any good to feel under-appreciated. My absentee boss rarely takes the time to tell me what he thinks of the work I do. Usually, I get a compliment or two if I throw a minor fit, but it's ridiculous that I should have to beg for feedback. I'm not even looking for compliments necessarily. What I want is comments, suggestions, opinions; I want feedback! The forwarded bin Laden jokes in my email box are wearing thin. I wonder what he does all day in his Nashville office. I tend not to trust guys who tell too many jokes.
It turns out I can use a sick day for going to the doctor! I'm not sick! I had a check-up, and my good health has been re-affirmed by a professional. I am going to book the rest of my sick time at the dentist and at my dermatologist to take advantage of this glorious loophole.
My sister and I are working for the same company. She also took the day off, but for reasons relating to birthdays and binge-drinking. She's twenty-five and made no bones about letting every person in our office perfectly aware of it. She rules.
Strange behavior. I have self-control, but it fails me when I'm tired and smitten and I don't want to go home. I'm awake and thinking of my responsibilities and hobbies. I'm thinking about trying something new, thinking about discipline and outdoor activities. I'll till all morning, and plant flowers all afternoon. Time apart, and I'm so busy thinking about what we'll do next time I see you. My preoccupations are like my children. Giving them attention and showing affection toward you is a balancing act. I've dropped everything before. You are busy now and I'm sure it is a blessing.
Only three days until I leave for Chicago. Someone called me a journalist today. I sort of stood back for a second, reorganized my definition of journalist (pun-style) and thought, "sure, why not". It only took a couple of months in the communications department to teach me to despise aspiring television journalists. One moment a girl charmingly quips she loves that "Proud to be an American" song, and the next declares in a fiery tone that people have no capacity to think for themselves. Jesus Christ! I keep a journal and share my thoughts freely. I am not a journalist.
I enjoy the little things: the promise of my boyfriend teaching me how to paint with watercolor, the buildings that turn orange at dusk, my cat's 'cat-pattern' baldness and long, ferret-like nose, blow-drying my hair, ethiopian coffee roasted lightly and served black. I’m proud of my blister caused by working my soft hands harshly over yardwork this past weekend. My entire body is sore, my shoulders and arms especially. If I could take my cat running at dusk everyday, and come home to paint what I saw while having coffee with my boyfriend, I would melt. I am clearly insane.
Projects and hobbies all intermingled, it’s beautiful and frightening and maddening. I wish I could put entrepreneurial spirits in a bottle until industriousness manifests. When everyone has a mind on fire it’s easy to forget how to harness the ideas. I forget several times a day, I know. I’ll be sitting still in a few days with nothing but my notes and some good walking shoes. I’ll have the headspace for exploring ideas, and hopefully enough for a few fully realized epiphanies. I wonder if those are high expectations. Not so very when I consider my head is now spinning.
Joy! A mail order treat was waiting for me at my desk when I showed up for work today, a child’s large T-shirt that labels me a fan of The Clientele. I am 26 going on 17, and as impressionable as ever. Talk of starting a record label and building a webzine and making those plans and talking it all over and keeping several pairs of feet on the ground. Are we all insane? I hope we are because that would be our only hope of seeing any of it through. It’s funny how fantasies turn into realities without trying.
I am torn almost exactly in half with regard to travelling. I guess I hate it, but I love to see my friends. Getting out of town is a rare treat. I hate airports. I love road trips. I wish I could drive for hours on end and not fear that I might fall asleep at the wheel. My mother is narcoleptic. I try not to press my luck. I also miss my bed when I am away. I miss my records. I miss home, but I love to sometimes sleep in foreign surroundings. I like listening to the sounds.
Nobody seems to be paying much mind to the cautionary suggestions for early airport arrival. I woke up at what seemed like a dangerously late hour for making my flight departure. Lines were no slower than I've experienced pre-Sept.11. My photo ID was checked thrice. Travel was smooth, so smooth I slept through the second take-off. Forty-five minutes later I found myself wandering amongst throngs of seemingly cheerful travellers. The strangers in Chicago are more colourful than I am used to. Everyone wears more interesting shoes and seems to laugh and smile, and I commend these activities in airports settings.
I'm not usually very interested in drinking myself sick. Something about reunions with good friends skews my judgement, though only for a short while. I will not be drinking tonight. With a coffee in one hand and a therapeutic juice concoction in the other, I wandered Lakeview in a haze. Later I made my way up to Rogers Park to visit my friend at Ennui. I hope someday to make a home in Chicago. Life is somehow simultaneously peaceful and bustling. My fantasies of friends and me organizing a mass exodus are probably not likely to happen any time soon.
Darling cat leaned up against my hip. The two of us nestled on a dingy sofa in a pleasantly cluttered apartment near Belmont. I feel so relaxed. My mind is wading through visions and experiences: filing conversations, building onto my abstract calendar, making plans. I read something about the goddess of the day and it made me feel like painting. I want to be taking photographs, but today I am alone. The sky is a bright and pale blue, and many of the trees leaves have turned yellow. The brisk air and the calm almost make me want to cry.
A part of me was feeling very sad last night. I was worrying that my friend and I were maybe drifting apart or that he was worried I wasn't being amply entertained, which caused him to feel guilty. So many hours we've spent jabbering and drinking or just watching television or listening to records. I do not need to be entertained. Luckily and thankfully after a very long walk and a nap my head has cleared of that series of worries. There's so much joy to be found in learning the limits of shared secrets among friends. It demonstrates trust.
I took a trip to the museum and was frisked to gain entrance. My friend and I unsuspectingly wandered into "The Magic of Lace" exhibit by way of a room full of interesting 20th century chair designs. The lace exhibit was eerily quiet. We navigated our way to the surrealists and dada-ists. Highlights: Joseph Cornell, Joan Miro and Wilfredo Lam. The last time I came the contemporary gallery was blocked off, and funnily enough, it was blocked off today. So, we meandered our way back toward the main entrance through Asian glassware and medieval armour. I recommend the museum dash.
Curious that I have lost my shopping flair. I haven't been to a record store in more than a week, and thrifting has been fruitless, but in my searching I've pieced together several Chicago neighbourhoods. I feel content to sketch mental images of intersections, landmarks and train stations. Chicago is a cozy and soulful town, in which parts of me would very much like to live. In ways I wish the weather were less perfect because the only empirical evidence I have suggests Chicago weather is the same as that in San Francisco. Of course, I know better than that.
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