July 24, 2009 ~ 2 Comments

dimly on a Friday evening

I can almost guarantee this entry will be neither thought provoking nor particularly eloquent. I’m sitting in a dim living room at the moment, looking out over two snoozing felines, listening to deep, even breaths coming from the nearby bedroom… erk! Hoping my ringing cell phone didn’t just wake said deep, even breather!

My regular phone calls home prove to me that my life is not very interesting at the moment, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. I am not fighting crime or building empires in my spare time. I am hanging out with a boy and his cats, watching a bit more TV on DVD than usual, playing (and wanting to play) Lego Star Wars on the Xbox just a little too much. Not working out enough, sleeping enough or being motivated enough at the office. It is a familiar phase for me, and it will pass eventually—this much I know for sure. But, just now, I’m enjoying it while it’s here, while I have an excuse to be starry eyed and silly 95% of the time. I’m giving myself a free pass just this once, no deep-seated, self-induced guilt trips or sudden, random dips into depression. I’m coasting. It feels good.

Now, that’s not to say everything’s perfect; it never is, in fact. But it’s damn near for me. Even as I stare at empty frozen-custard cups that beg me to pitch them, even as I grumble through a month’s overdue laundry, even as I yawn my way through a day at the office, I realize that the happiness I get to have now is worth the imperfections. When I am unhappy, life is one big imperfection, one giant blemish in the grand scheme of things. And when life IS the grand scheme of things… well, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? So I will take this near-perfect situation and hold it dear to my heart. And laugh at its occasional pitfalls and fairly noticeable quirks and tics.

In the professional world, things are the same as always, though I grow irritable more quickly with my tasks than I once did. I suppose that’s a sign of the times, both for me and for the company as a whole. Everyone is quicker to anger now, quicker to threaten walking out, even with no place else to go. We’re all on edge and we’re all a bit fed up with what we cannot change, what happens higher in the ranks than we dare to tread a single step. And that height is the very thing that causes the strife for everyone. For those who wish to attain greatness, the strife comes in the form of glass ceilings, hiring freezes, cut positions and a sort of moratorium on progress. Those who wish to remain in the lower bowl (me, for example) turn a spiteful eye to those out for personal gain, become tense when issues of clout are discussed, wish the whole system would dissolve into the disorganized heap it really is so we could start fresh and make something good out of our company again. That said, I know they’re doing the best they can with what they have… most, anyway. Those that aren’t, that are looking out for #1 and #1 alone… well, they can head out any day now, and I don’t doubt for a second they’ll never be missed, at least not by me.

This is when I quit my cushy desk job and become a waitress at a diner. Doesn’t that sound fun, kids? Take a risk, start a new life AND force myself to speak at a normal volume all in one fell swoop!

In things-that-don’t-frustrate-me news, Bryan lent me a book called Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. I’m about three chapters in and loving it so far, in spite of the fact that Butcher is still just setting the scene. I’m OK with that—I appreciate the opportunity to visualize the scene and the characters in greater detail before delving into the story. While it’s nice to be reminded as you go along what the characters are like, and add to their depth and breadth with anecdotes and revealing moments along the way, I desire a solid foundation to go on most of the time. Unless I’m reading one of those pointedly confusing books written to make one’s head spin in circles.

I am attempting to create an online resume (on Bryan’s Mac laptop, so I have no idea how to make accented “e”s or how to find a character map, if there is one at all). I really need to do it myself using HTML and CSS, but I haven’t had the energy of late. I did start piecing something together using moonfruit, which is free and sleek and lovely. But that won’t fly when I’m looking for HTML AND CSS JOBS. Ha. However, it is giving me inspiration for how to make my real site look. And if I can just figure out some fancy-looking-but-not-actually-difficult-to-implement JavaScript, we’ll be good to go.

I’ve also noticed a few things I’ve been missing in my life lately. But then I look at what my life DOES contain and wonder how on earth I’m supposed to wedge it all in. Maybe I’m too shallow and one-dimensional. Maybe I need to hone my multitasking skills until they can slice hairs without even being in the same room. There are NPR shows I want to listen to, movies I want to see, books I want to read, places I want to visit, languages I want to learn, games I want to play, experiences I want to have just once to say I did, foods I want to eat, laughs I want to share… There’s just so MUCH to be done and seen and FELT in this world. I feel like I’m still fresh and warm from the womb with about a million miles to go before I reach the first summit of what I expect will be an endless mountain range of life experiences. And that’s great, I love that—I just don’t know where to begin. That indecision breeds laziness and stress, which then makes me drop out of the race completely and return to base camp without even donning all my gear.

I need to start with one thing. One. Just one. Not one thing to get to another. It CAN be one thing that eventually leads to another, but I need to keep my eye on the thing, not the other. If I want to learn to knit, I need to focus on learning, not on producing the World’s Best Scarf Just in Time for Christmas, Which is Three Weeks Away. No, no! See how that breeds failure? If I want to volunteer my time more, I need to focus on finding good places to volunteer, choosing one and trying it out. Not choosing seven, trying to volunteer at all of them and stretching my resources so thin I have nothing left to give anyone at the end of the week.

What one thing would you suggest? Or what’s one thing you’ve been wanting to learn or do lately? Or that you are learning or doing as we speak? If nothing else, it would be nice to read about others’ plans, others’ triumphs. Or failures—either way. I’m usually a happy-endings kind of gal, but I can revel in tragedy with the best of ‘em!

That is enough drivel for one dim Friday evening. I’m going to see if the heavy breather is still breathing and maybe flip on a light or two.

July 17, 2009 ~ Comments Off

presenting pete

By popular demand (of Mandy):

pete1 pete2

What’s missing from the first photo is the teeny-tiniest tip of his tongue sticking out, which is how he looks most of the time. He also stares like that. It’s a little unnerving, but I know he glowers with love. The second photo contains what appears to be an angelic Wheat Thin. I think Pete was awaiting his bowl of chili – alas, it never came.

Thus endeth the kitty parade. And my workweek. Bon!

Note: For those confused or concerned, Pete is Bryan’s cat, not mine. Though I love him as if he were mine. The end.

July 17, 2009 ~ Comments Off

absolutely no pork

From a work e-mail today…

A coworker’s son recently shipped out to Afghanistan for a year-long tour. The coworker e-mailed and asked if anyone would be interested in donating items for him and his troop. The list was lengthy and pretty standard, containing items such as Easy Mac, pretzels, Twizzlers, toothpaste, etc. At the bottom of the message were the items that are not accepted. Some of them made me laugh:

  • Pressurized items
  • Chocolate or anything that can melt
  • Pornographic material
  • Alcohol
  • Religious Material
  • Anything that contains PORK
  • No WAR type materials or toys

OK, maybe it was just the PORK that made me laugh. And the juxtaposition of vices and virtues. And the capitalization of “Religious Material.”

I’ll try to refrain from sending off my chocolate-covered SPAM Jesus figurine. He’s nude, toting an uzi and stored inside a whipped-cream canister. Suspended in Jack Daniels.

June 20, 2009 ~ Comments Off

more levitt shell

levittLights2

levittClay

levittBryan

levittLights1

levittRobby

levittLights3

June 19, 2009 ~ Comments Off

creative outlet

poetry
I realized the other night how much I miss writing poetry. Also how much I miss writing and drawing on my arms and legs. At some point I either tried to turn into an adult or got really worried about ink poisoning, because I stopped my former habits of temporary body art. But the other night I couldn’t sleep, so I lay in bed writing notes about myself on legal pads and writing poetry on my leg.

My poetry isn’t good. Neither are my blog entries, half-hearted attempts at short stories or anything else that falls even close to the realm of actual writing. Even my to-do lists make almost no sense and fail to follow a logical progression! But writing is necessary for me. It is what keeps me sane and makes me feel somewhat whole. I spend so much time in my head, writing is the only way to let those thoughts leak out somewhere along the way. I’m not dropping them off for keeps, but I am giving my mind a break from them. A much-needed one at that.

This has been a busy week, hence the late-night poetry slam. I met a new friend on Tuesday night and it turned into a 6-hour marathon of smoothies, Web development tutorials, semi-sweaty walking, mosquito bites and a too-late BFD at IHOP. I didn’t get home until almost 1 a.m. and didn’t fall asleep for at least another hour after that—insanity on a school night! Wednesday night was a fancy dinner at Frank Grisanti’s Italian restaurant for work. I ate WAY too much and ended up feeling mighty sick afterward. There were sausage-stuffed mushroom caps, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, cocktails, chicken, pasta, garlic bread, tiramisu, cheesecake with berries, apple ravioli… That list in and of itself makes me a little queasy, actually. =P

levitt shell, memphisThursday night wrapped up my busy week with a concert at Levitt Shell, Memphis’ outdoor amphitheater next door to Overton Park. They have a free concert series every June with themed shows each day; this year it’s Americana, R&B/Gospel/Soul, Kids, Musica Latina and World Rhythms. Thursday night’s show featured local favorite Todd Snider and, on drums, my coworker and good friend Joe! =D Joe hadn’t played with Todd and the rest of the group for about 15 years, but after a single night of rehearsing, there he was on stage in front of hundreds of Memphians and other assorted guests. He did awesome, of course, and it was a great time. I brought refreshments for my group (Clay, Robby, Steven & Bryan – the new friend) and a blanket for a little added comfort on the grassy knoll.

After all this, and random inconsistencies in being able to fall asleep once I got home at night after these activities, my brain and body are both spent. I actually feel much more run down right now than I have in a very long time, so I hope I’m able to sleep tonight and wake up at least semi-refreshed in the morning. I have an insane amount of laundry to do to start off the weekend, as well as grand plans to clean, get some work done, possibly take myself to see “Up” in 3-D before it leaves theaters and attempt to accomplish at least one thing that’s been on my I-Want-To-Do list for the past several months.

Also, it’s hot. And it’s only June. Which means this summer might kill me. Last summer was mild for Memphis, so it’s like I’m experiencing a Memphis summer for the first time now. And me? I’m not all that excited about it. =P Goodnight.