Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday updates and a snout-snog

Ok - first things first, how adorable is this? I simply adore cuteoverload.

Secondly - I'm in the mood for a true-to-the-supposed-theme-of-this-site update (i.e., boys) so here goes:

1) My one date of the summer in SF: I met up with L for drinks in the Haight after emailing him out of the blue to let him know I was coming into town. Much to my surprise he was enthusiastic about getting together and we met at a great little bar for drinks before going to a hip little noodle shop and then back for another round of drinks before I taxi'd home. It was a fantastic date - and boy, did I need it! We didn't really know each other at all, but because we'd met amongst mutual friends, there wasn't the discomfort of a blind date or a set-up - there was more room for it to flow and simply enjoy the banter of getting to know each other. We talked about searching for the perfect job (he recently started teaching preschool at Stanford - pretty unique if you ask me - he can honestly say "I teach at Stanford") and was formerly a sous chef for some sort of T.V. network. We have complimentary goofy senses of humor and we both sing. He actually just joined a local group that does contemporary and tango-inspired works - so cool! We ended the evening by loading up the juke box with a bunch of jazz (including my favorite, Mood Indigo - of course) and I got to actually hear him sing a bit - he was good!. It was really a lovely night and we met up for another drink later in the week before I went home. We've talked a few times since - and while I can't quite tell if there's a real love connection - there's a nice flirtation going on and overall it was a great experience to throw myself out there and end up having a great time.

2) High school boyfriend. We haven't talked since the letter (just a little emailing here and there) but he is planning to visit some family down here in the next month or so so we'll likely get some time to hang out and explore our feelings a bit. I have to be honest - I've caught myself smiling about it more than once, and when I was having trouble falling asleep the other night I turned on the light and whipped out a little design for a Japanese-inspired wedding dress. Yes, the theme of the wedding I'm nowhere near ready for (nor is there a realistic groom in site) tends to depend highly on the culture/ethnicity of the man at the center of the day dream - and high school boyfriend has recently replaced my ex in the lead for the groom role, so a Japanese motif it is. I am such a GIRL.

3) The dentist. I am currently house-sitting and in the location where I am supposed to put the casual call plan to 'hang out with me and my friends' at the bar where I keep running into him at into place. I haven't done it. I don't know why - I don't know if it's because having a silly crush is more fun, or that I got a funny vibe from him last time I saw him, or I'd rather dream about more realistic things? Or is it just too far out of my comfort zone and I don't want to risk a comfortable cavity-filling environment? I don't know - but If I'm going to do it it should probably be in the next few days...

4) I haven't yet blogged about a funny Trader Joe's experience I had last week, but it ended with some flirting with a truly adorable checker who I went back hoping to see last night, but he was already off shift. I've tasked my roommate with finding out his name when she does the shopping next weekend (as I'm house-sitting in a different town for another week and his name was so unusual that I couldn't sound it out in my head and maintain flirty eye contact at the same time). Anyway - It wouldn't hurt to hang out with someone locally - and he had such a nice presence(which GREATLY contrasted the guy I met earlier in the store and about whom I will do a blog post soon!).

5) *The yet to-be-determined date* I'm keeping mum on this for now until I know if it's actually happening but if it does, it will be incredibly cool and I'll have lots to write about (and in turn, be written about...) Stay tuned for an update - probably in November.

O.k. - that's the boy run down. I realize my use of hyphens has reached an all time high on this post. I'll try and work on that. Until then - may you all kiss more princes(ses) than pigs :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My first meme!

Thanks to Jaclyn, I didn't have to come up with a topic for this post - I get to do my first meme. Here goes:

1. One book that changed your life - hardest question first.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. My brother gave me the Chronicles of Narnia for Christmas when I was in third grade or so, and my love affair with Narnia began. While the fantasy of another world that every day children could become kings and queens in blew my childhood mind, it was Lewis's ability to translate the key points of Christianity (and in all honesty, most major religions) into simple terms that stayed with me. In many ways I go back to his paraphrasing of biblical lessons more than I do the bible itself - somehow I feel like basic truths are more evident in Narnia than they are in the church (and most Christians!).

2. One book you’ve read more than once.

See above :) I reread the Chronicles of Narnia every year or two and fall in love all over again.

3. One book that you’d want on a desert island.

Something like Bleak House - incredibly long with intricate story lines that could be read and re-read to catch all that you miss each time through.

4. One book that made you laugh.

The River Y by David Duncan. It's one of my best friend's favorite books, but the fact that it was about fly fishing kept me from it for a long time. When I finally read it I was blown away - the characters are rich and hilarious - it's a classic coming of age story and captures life's lessons even as it tells the story of someone with a life very different than your own.

5. One book that made you cry.
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. I could not put it down and literally sobbed throughout it. The Mother/Daughter relationship hit me especially hard - that the woman you love the most in this world also has the greatest ability to hurt you, and vice versa. And that no matter what - somehow you make it through as you grow into adulthood and gain insight into that which you could simply dismiss as "crazy" when you were a child.

6. One book that you wish you had written.
Joy Luck Club. I just love the way so many different stories are told - again, with heavy emphasis on the mother/child relationship. The intersection of cultures and generations is fascinating as well - I would love to delve into such things and explore them as a writer.

7. One book you wish had never been written.
Anything Ann Coulter. She's just vile.

8. One book you are reading at the moment.
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It's slow going - I'm incredibly interested in the topic (globalization more or less) but somehow I have trouble engaging in his writing. Of course the man's won many Pulitzers, so this surely says something more about me than about him! Lot's of interesting connecting-the-dots of the last 10-20 years as the world has truly shrunk, and what the effects of this are throughout the world.

9. One book that you’ve been meaning to read.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I know it's wonderful I just haven't made it happen!

10. Tag five (I'm only doing three!) others that you’d like to do this meme. about Sadia, my bro, and B. Also - any readers who don't have blogs who want to answer - feel free to do so in the comments :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

lazy blogger

I have definately been a lazy blogger lately. It's funny - a number of my favorite sites have gone on hiatus (Daily Dump, Liberal Banana) as these prolific bloggers realize that there's more to life than writing about it. Now for a true writer, writing is life - an experience isn't complete until it's capture on the page - or at the very least it's enhanced by finding the words by which to describe it. But we all need a break from time to time. Lately I haven't been following the writer's process all the way through (not that I've ever really developed this, but I have been working on it). I take a lot of notes to remind myself to share funny experiences here, or process things there - but somehow I don't make it to the page. Even as I compose things in my head, by the time I have a moment to write them down, I fail to take it.

So I'm working on this and hope to be processing things more here as I jump into some research for some goals and interests I've had for a long time. I'm also preparing to make a major life change early next year by leaving my job (joy!). It's exciting and scary to think about the possibilities - but thinking about them makes me feel alive in a way I haven't in quite a while. I don't quite have the words to describe it - but I'm glad to have a place to share it!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Root of Wanting

Ok - I am still committed to doing a recap of my week up north but alas, here I am back in real life and my how it throws me for a loop at times. I mentioned that I'd had a bit of reconnecting with my high school boyfriend after we hung out at the A's game (see silly pic) on Friday and then went to visit a friend Tuesday and then went out with friends the following Friday (see group pics). While I was aware of the chemistry between us, it didn't really break through officially until the second Friday - which led us to some "debriefing" on Saturday/Sunday - and inspired him to send me a letter he'd written after the A's game (are you following?). Well I got the letter yesterday, and I might as well be in high school again (we lived two hours apart for most of our relationship so there was a lot of lovely letter writing going on). Basically, he laid out that he has always loved me, and while he's looked for someone with the qualities he is drawn to in me, he hasn't found anyone and he's been more and more discouraged feeling that what he is seeking is hard to find (please forgive however self-righteous this ends up sounding - I am really trying to be objective while processing through this stuff and use his words not mine). He talks about how when we broke up he remembers that I was looking for someone with the ability to "lead" (interesting, given the raving feminist I like to think of myself as being - that sounds SO submissive to me!) and since he's rather softspoken and more of a background guy he's tried to figure out if he could have the qualities he knows I'm looking for. I think we'd need to talk about that as I would hope that my expectations have evolved over the years - and I'd definitely like to clarify the idea of a "leader" in the relationship - that's not really what I'm looking for at all - but I do want to be with a man who takes initiative and comes to a relationship with a sense of responsibility and caretaking. I do believe that there are certain needs/responsibilities that men and women are more naturally fitted to and while I try and prepare myself for a long-term relationship and the needs I'll have to fulfill - I am looking for a man who will approach things similarly. Unfortunately, many men (or 'guys') tend to come to relationships with no sense of greater responsibility - and especially when coupled with a strong woman, are all to willing to let her take the lead (oh damn - I used that word!) in all areas and be taken care of by, rather than take care of, their wife. This subject will clearly require a future post (or many) of its own - throwing such statements out into the blogosphere makes me nervous in such short segments - I know they need further explanation.

Ok - back to the letter, skipping through much of it, it ends with, "But I keep learning, and growing...and I want you to know that I don't need you, but I want you." After. 10. Years. Wow.

NOW - this is where the gods of love like to throw me for a loop because not only do I have this incredible gift of love coming at me from this truly dear person (again, first loves - there's just an irresistible sweetness there - just ask FG)- but I literally have it coming from someone else at the SAME time. And lest I sound completely self-absorbed let me remind you that I've had one date all summer so it's not like I'm miss have-it-going-on or anything over here.

I have mentioned my good friend who was in love with me (as far as he could ascertain) and sent me the drunken text message earlier in the summer. We have literally been navigating the friendship-in-the-midst-of-serious-feelings thing for almost two years now. I very recently finally got to a point where I was able to say that I knew we were not going to be together, that after all this time healing from my last relationship the proper attraction/feelings had not evolved. I didn't want to keep hanging that out there as a potential outcome the way I think I once had while in the absolute haze of my break up (and subsequent discovery of this friendship that provided all the things my relationship didn't).

Trying to establish a normal friendship that has the depth we're used to but doesn't make me feel guilty or let him convince himself (and try to convince me) that we're destined to be together has been a challenge. Lately, I've mostly just given up - but as I'm always trying to protect his feelings, I haven't been able to tell him straight out, "I just don't want to talk to you right now - it makes me feel bad, and I don't want to feel bad anymore." Seems simple - but I just don't want to hurt him anymore, so I've been trying to have normal friendship while dealing with some resentment about how long this has dragged on and how much emotional energy I've had to invest when I'm supposedly a single woman (it's been like all the bad things about an unhealthy relationship with none of the make-up sex - imagine). Anyway, he sent me an email yesterday, read the SAME DAY that I got the letter from high school ex, saying virtually the exact same thing. "Its like I was trying to argue you into what I wanted and yet I don't feel like I've ever just said I wanted you...Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that honestly one time and you can feel free to do whatever you want with it but I needed to say it."

So there you have it: want. From two people, both of whom I care deeply about - one of whom I actually think I could have a future with - at the same time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sometimes knowing just isn't enough

So I know that in no more than 4 mos. time I will be quitting my job. Right now, that's entirely too long - waiting even until tomorrow feels like a lifetime. Rather than mope I've spent a good deal of the day reviewing the fun of last week and how happy these make me:

Bath time - check out my duck puppet washcloth. Oh yes, and let your heart melt over Dexter's thumbsucking.

Go A's!

I have little memory of this pic!

I am masterful with the self timer, note the overall composition - brilliant...

Amazing food, less than stellar barstool buddies (though at least one of them took this pic for us!).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Return to the blogosphere

The blogosphere is a truly bizarre thing to leave behind for a week when you're used to checking in on your favorite rants 143 times a day. Since I've been back I've had to adjust my blog addiction as Blogger has suddenly been banned from my work. They're being very sneaky about it too - the straight "This website is forbidden" (or whatever it says) message doesn't pop-up, it just pretends not to load. Given that it's been two days though, I think it's safe to say that the taxpayers may start to get a little more bang for their buck out of this worker bee, and I'll have to do my posting in the evening.

The other funny thing when returning to the blog world is realizing how many people you don't even know are often in the midst of the same things you are in some form or another. Jaclyn's post today more or less took the words right out of my mouth regarding old friends and visiting a place so dear to your heart you have to bide your time until you can make being their permanently a reality (although she seems to be at the honest to goodness start of a relationship, which clearly I am not!). Fat Girl, however, has been telling a tale recently of connecting with her first love - and while my experience is slightly different I did have a little rekindling of an old flame last week that's giving me some heart strings to ponder. My high school boyfriend and I reconnected last year (ah, the wonders of myspace) and have visited a few times since, when I've been up north. We've taken advantage of visits to catch up on each others' families, the dreams we used to share together - where are we now - what's changed, what's not, etc. There's definitely something to be said for first loves - especially those that ended more due to circumstance (i.e. colleges in different parts of the state and my sudden realization that there were boys out there after graduating from an all girls high school - what a shame most turned out to be gay as I started dating my fellow conducting majors) than to any real incompatibility.

As I've worked in the past year to reconcile the pieces of my heart that I've given away or allowed to be shaped by the relationships I've had (especially the last one), I've tried to strip all learned behaviors down so that the next time the opportunity for a relationship comes along I'm as baggage free as I can be. Being with my first love provided a sense of comfort and a reminder of the innocence of love that I've lost sight of in recent years. The idea that with love does not always come pain - that love can be built (and surely must be) on the interweaving of lives in the simplest of ways, was refreshing. I let my guard down a little bit, opened myself up to the idea of being vulnerable with someone in a way I've been really tried to avoid lately (as it always seems to end up with me or someone I care about getting incredibly hurt). I don't know what this says about the potential for a future with my high school sweetheart - it would take a lot of time and exposure to each other for me to know if that were in the cards or not. Regardless, I'm thankful for the rediscovery of him, his friendship and the way he made me feel 10 years ago when we said for the very first time in our lives, 'I love you.'

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happiness Stream of Consciousness

(please note: following post written for the most part last week. I'll be attempting to process the last week in the next few days but seem to be doing a better job talking about it than writing about it so far!)

I am on a modern-day vision quest of sorts. Sure, it's just a week, and it's not an empty week in the desert waiting for signs and interpreting the flight of the eagle above me - but it's as close to such things as I've taken myself recently. I'm spending 9 days in the place where I grew up - the place I loved and left when my family moved my sophomore year in high school. The place where my brother and his new baby live, with another brother and sister-in-law and their families nearby. My parents and extended family are two hours away, and a host of friends both old and new have started to call this home as well. So while this week is full of visits, reconnecting with old friends, taking a chance on new friends - it is also a time to simply awaken the pieces of me that are so intricately tied to this place. The pieces I long for when Southern California gets too dry, when family seems a bit too far away, when inspiration hasn't struck. Still - part of the happiness I feel in being here is knowing that I have another home to return to - dear friends that after a week away I will catch up with and bask with in the So-Cal sun, and share all that is going on inside me, if I can put a finger on it to try and explain.

I've managed to preserve one sweet day with no plans leaving space for writing, meditating, adhering to a brief to-do list and letting the day unfold comfortably. I'm not always good at this - I make my lists and I chastise myself for not keeping to them. The faint whispers of such scoldings in my ear remind me that no matter where you are, life's flaws follow you. I don't escape my neuroses by putting myself in a different local - but I do give myself space to see them for what they are. With a day laying before me, time wasted on the internet is more evident - my list of tasks that translate to my future more pressing, and more enjoyable. At the top of the list though, and rightly so, are the moments I'm taking to try and document all that's going through my head. The value of taking this time, of letting myself wander a bit - not focus on decisions but focus on what's making me tick - what's giving me energy, what's causing me to be nervous or bring a smile to my face.

My observations thus far, in no particular order - and referencing a variety of things as I try and figure out life and love and career and location:

1) Moving to the Bay Area could once again mean Saturday afternoons with nothing to do. I think this is fear talking - but I think of the time after my break up and departure from 2020 where suddenly free time opened up as this expanse in which I had no idea what to do with myself. Part of the self-discovery post break up has been realizing free time is the best time - I've gotten involved in new things, rediscovered a joy of reading, been better at getting the day-to-day life stuff done and built a core of friends around me with whom to share it. A move would mean embarking on this process all over again - which is not necessarily bad, I just think it's something to consider - am I ready to revisit that already, or do I want to enjoy the life I've discovered more?

2) I like naps. When contemplating a career path, 8-5 is less and less appealing. My sister-in-law suggested I figure out how much money I need to survive and get a job (or a few jobs) for awhile that will support that but give me some freedom in my schedule. This is immensely appealing to me right now. I think of doing some free-lance copy editing, pushing for some focus-groups, some temp work - whatever, just taking a few months to be able to surf in the a.m., nap in the p.m. and have the space and time to evaluate what's important to me, plain and simple.

3) Weather is important to me. I doubt I would still be in SoCal if it weren't for the weather. Being in the city this weekend was interesting - I could track my mood by how cold and gloomy it was - it lifted immediately when the sun came out.

4) I want to live in a city someday - or at least work in a city someday. It just seems like the thing to do. Bart makes this so easy - a commute from the East Bay is pretty quick - with time to read that I don't have on a daily basis. I love the idea of a train commute!

5) I think living in the Bay Area would bring music back into my life. I am surprised that I don't miss it's presence more - I sang for so many years and the last four have been empty of this. Being in the Bay offers big churches, the potential for gospel - or small groups doing contemporary arranging, and at the very least - being able to enjoy Piedmont Children's Choirs which hopefully my niece will be joining. Again - it's connecting to a piece of my history that could become a part of my present - I don't know how to rationalize that - is it living in the past or is it embracing the depths of who I am and giving voice (literally!) to a piece of me longing to be revisited and awakened?
So these are some initial thoughts...more of a recap including a fabulous date, an old flame and the cutest. baby. ever. to come...