walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (dave barry explains it all)
a. in the absence of an actual job, my dad has proposed that he give me money for essentially acting as his secretary. he has ten years of piles of paper—bills, building plans, receipts, annual reports, business cards—and his least favorite chore in the world is sorting through and organizing it all. the paper trail has spilled over into at least four rooms in this house, and his attempt to consolidate it all into one room has been half-hearted at best and unsuccessful at worst. so, in exchange for setting up a filing system—and if you could see my hard drive, you would know how much i adore folders within folders—and paying the household bills, i am taking the money and running.

b. year 22, month 9, day 11 (toby: there was that time i was in elementary school) of career search: STILL NO PLAN. my mother actually asked the other day where i saw myself in five or ten years, and i didn't laugh in her face OR burst into tears, but i did have to quickly leave the room. honestly? i'm peter from office space. given the choice, i would do nothing.

c. [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker would like for me to roadtrip it up to gainesville this week, and i would like to go. the lack of a car puts a little crimp in this plan, but i'm going to see what i can do. i hear the weather is lovely this time of year!

d. speaking of lovely weather in places that aren't south florida: who would like a scarf? if you would like one, i would love to make you one. for testimonials i suppose you can refer to [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker, [livejournal.com profile] zeplum, [livejournal.com profile] vongroovy, [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, or [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu, all of whom got scarves last year that (they said) they liked. i owe [livejournal.com profile] isilya, but she's told me to hold off on sending anything until her living arrangements are settled (at which point she will apparently need plenty of warm-weather gear and accessories, as she has mentioned there may be things like chilblains in her future o.O); i just finished another one for mal and am about to start a new one for erika, but other than that i have no commissions and i'm in the mood. so let me know.

e. on saturday my dad woke me up at about one in the afternoon to ask if i was interested in going to an art fair. we ended up spending a couple of hours in the late afternoon at art in the park in the city of plantation, which turned out to be the perfect amount of time. it's a relatively small park and a correspondingly small fair, so we got to see just about everything, but without that eventual glazed and impenetrable feeling of supersaturation that always hits me at the end of a day at the museum or a bigger festival like coconut grove. my dad bought me two prints and an arepa.

f. lists are my new favorite thing. honestly, i don't remember how to write a livejournal entry anymore.

g. [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i finally got to see RENT ) we went late on a wednesday night and were the only people in the theater. go us.

h. the other day [livejournal.com profile] cimorene111 posted a glowing rec for christmastime in the city, a CSI:NY story (mac/danny) by [livejournal.com profile] stellaluna_, and i thought to myself, "score!" because i once saw an episode of CSI:NY, and that's all the qualification i need these days to feel myself up to the task of reading in any given fandom. lacking that, a primer will suffice—pictures are a bonus, but not strictly required. so i read this story, and it was fantastic, and then i followed the link back to her [livejournal.com profile] fanfic100 table and read all of the stories she had listed there; and THEN i settled down in earnest with her webspace and her livejournal memories and burned through her entire oeuvre. i ended with the light from a dying star series, which is this dark and drowning work of beauty that feels like taking a bat to a windshield, because they keep breaking and breaking, but they never shatter.

i. saturday night cousin m. and i ate more sushi and worked our way through disc 3 of boomtown. the more i see of this show the more i fall in love, and the sadder i am that this single season is all we'll ever have. this is a show that cared deeply about continuity and quality, that expected a lot of its audience, and then rewarded them. the A, B, C, D, and E plots all interconnect and serve a purpose—a unified purpose. everything works in support of the plot and themes of the episode and futher character development; everything they do reinforces what we've seen and then tells us something new.

on the how-much-do-we-know-about-our-crimefighters? spectrum, boomtown falls a lot closer to NYPD blue than law & order, but everything's a slow reveal. they definitely control the narrative. and i like these people. they're good people. cutting for, um, spoilers? because somebody someday might watch this show )

j. i don't talk much about NCIS, but i love it. it's got great banter and the adorably grumpy mark harmon. actually i like all the characters, even zeva; i'm not crazy about the director, but i am pretty crazy about abby and ducky, and even tony in his own smarmy, approval-seeking way. i don't talk about it much because half the time i forget to watch it, and i'm not particularly fannish about it—though i did read all the recs from the last polyamorous update.

k. catch-up: i'm two weeks behind on house, but i do have them on tape; i'm *three* weeks behind on SGA, but [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker sent me "epiphany" and "critical mass" in the mail, and i'm downloading "grace under pressure" piecemeal from [livejournal.com profile] oxoniensis right now, so one day i won't have to press my sad little nose up against the glass and stare longingly at everyone's freaking cut tags anymore.

l. grey's anatomy )

m. if there's anyone within lj-shot who hasn't downloaded both rumble by [livejournal.com profile] shalott and [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza and welcome home by [livejournal.com profile] permetaform, for the love of god, please do that right now. no passing go, no two hundred dollars, etc. the first is HILARIOUS, seriously, seriously hilarious. i'm going to call these spoilers, because it's just so much better if you don't know what it's about until it's happening ) and [livejournal.com profile] permetaform's vid is this gorgeous look at elizabeth and atlantis set to this equally unbelievably gorgeous music, and i keep abusing adjectives, but it's BEAUTIFUL and the story it tells is amazing.

n. site-src: museum of media history: in the year 2014, the new york times has gone offline. the fourth estate's fortunes have waned. what happened to the news? and what is EPIC?

o. next time: ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET. *facepalm*
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the future freaks me out)
writer's block isn't the inability to write as much as it is the crippling fear that what you will write won't be any good. my favorite poetry professor talked about the illusion of perfection in the head, the trap that keeps writers from writing. i have life block. i've been sitting here for months, inert, trying to imagine the perfect job, the pefect grad program, the perfect future path—waiting for it, really, and resisting all suggestions of lesser, less satisfying occupations for my time, both short- and long-term; i've been goldilocks. the key is momentum. i know the secret to beating writer's block is to write, to write nonsense or drivel, whatever comes out. i greatly prefer the illusion of perfection in my head.

basically my dad took me out for breakfast this morning, and when he can pin me down for five minutes at a time, this is where all conversations between us tend: what am i going to do with my life? to be fair, he isn't really demanding i come up with a fifty-year plan; he's insisting that i get off my ass and do something while doing his ineffectual but well-intentioned best to help me find my way. so i played the part of goldilocks over eggs at jack's diner on three hours of sleep this morning. at home i napped through the early afternoon, then tried out the 5:30 kickboxing class at the gym. the class was fantastic but i way overdid it and came home spent and shaky. i could have easily put myself to bed by nine p.m., but didn't.

and now to close with a couple of unpopular livejournal opinions: 1) i don't like to link to or click on cut tags. i love the cut tag itself as a thing of beauty and genius (and am extremely grateful for it in these trying, spoiler-fraught times of no cable television and no high-speed internet) and use them all the time myself; but when i go to read an entry that's behind a cut i almost always click on the link to the entry, not the tag itself; and when somebody else links to an entry using the cut-tag extension, i usually delete it from the URL. i need to start at the top of a document; i feel the same way about embedded links in a page. 2) i prefer to click on—and be linked to—the read-comments, not the post-a-comment page. and 3) i don't like to read someone else's journal in my own journal style. i don't have my journal preferences set up that way, and, again, if somebody's link includes it, i change the URL. it feels weird to see the contents of another journal in the skin of mine. it's like an out-of-body experience, like coming home and finding a stranger living in my house.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the future freaks me out)
a. oh man, this is so late, but: a happy and healthy new year to everyone celebrating the new year! in my house we cooked all day for company (only cousin m. and my aunt and uncle this year) for dinner on both nights of rosh hashanah; my aunt had break fast and did it strangely, as we all knew she would but always hope she won't.

my mom and i sat out synagogue this year: she was deeply unhappy with the rabbi and cantor at our old temple and left several years ago; she has yet to find another one that makes her feel satisfied and welcome. my dad tried to guilt me into going with him, but it didn't take. instead i did some navel-gazing of the "i have basically rejected the religion of my childhood, yet at the same time would like not to reject the culture outright or the family traditions entailed therein" variety. you know, like you do. )

b. went with cousin m. to the humane society on two separate occasions this past week to pick out cats for her to take home and love forever and ever. it's a good thing i was expressly forbidden to bring home any kittens myself, because KITTENS. cousin m. took a whole lot longer than i would have to make up her mind, but in the end came away with littermates: two male grey tiger kittens, two months old, who are friendly and playful and curious and, you know, adorable. she picked them up yesterday and took today off from work to make sure they wouldn't get lost in her house or anything. she referred to it as maternity leave.

c. the other day my mom asked me about things like application deadlines and whether i really wanted to go to grad school, etc.: it's not her fault that career talk + pms = a one-way ticket to crying jag town.

i've reluctantly agreed that there's no real point in going to grad school if i don't really know what i want to do. i am so, so tempted to write to my cambridge shakespeare professor and ask him if he was really serious when he said he wished i were his student and suggested i consider cambridge for graduate school, or if he was just toying with my fragile emotions. because it was obviously something i was good at and would probably enjoy doing. it would be something to do: reading for a graduate degree in shakespeare. in cambridge. i would explode, you know?

also there is the part where i want a ph.d. JUST BECAUSE. the other day i couldn't figure out how to properly abbreviate and capitalize Ph.D.:

walkingshadow: . . . this probably means i don't deserve one, doesn't it?
silentfire: i'd give you one if you wrote me fic
silentfire: it'd be a Ph.D. in AWESOME

d. my parents keep pushing my to edit the blog i kept in england for the purposes of paper publishing, and have redoubled their efforts since i've been home. i updated almost every day, often more than once a day: the sucker as it stands is 46,611 words. i'm thinking about it; i have absolutely no idea how it would work.

here's the thing: november is national novel-writing month. at the moment i have nothing more to say. i probably won't ever have anything more to say, but i give it a long look every year.

e. cousin m. and i had our last bellydancing class not last thursday but the thursday before, and i am not that sad to see it go. it was fun to do, but ultimately frustrating and unsatisfying: the instructor was a very nice lady and a fine dancer, but a nervous person and a horrible teacher. on the other hand, we've since had our first tai chi lesson and we love both it and the instructor. i'm sure that to call it chinese yoga is reductive and offensive to both the disciplines and their respective cultures of origin, but the similarities kept piling up in my head as he mentioned five principles in our first lesson: relaxation; keeping a straight back; breathing; twisting at the waist; and the circling of the hands. i don't know if he's making up his own list or what, but i can get behind it. also the massaging of the internal organs. class is held in a high-school cafeteria: i have to remember to bundle up for next tuesday. i.e. tomorrow.

f. my music purge is complete. the casualty rate was 13.5% (721 of 5,314), though i've added 250 songs just since i've been home from school. one of them was burn, baby, burn by the residents; you can download it there from fluxblog. i like to think of it as judges 11:30-40 (the god digs my daddy remix): jephthah made a vow that if god delivered his (jephthah's) enemies in battle, he would sacrifice the first person who came out of his house to meet him. fast forward to jephthah returning home from victory, when who should rush out to greet him but his daughter, his only child. and he was sad about it, you know, but a promise is a promise. the song is sung from the point of view of the daughter, about to die. it's creepy and cracktastic and i can't stop listening to it, but it's interesting, because the blame falls on god, when it seems like the fault is pretty clearly with the human element in this one.

g. television roundup:

kitchen confidential. i don't remember what i had to say about this one. maybe just that i still love it and am sad it's on hiatus. there's a fic community at [livejournal.com profile] greg_the_fish if you're interested in reading or writing. please be interested in writing, oh please.

grey's anatomy )

the west wing )

related )

h. my dad and i saw wallace and gromit )

and on saturday [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i saw proof )

after the movie we went on a wild-goose chase looking for csi: miami dvds at first blockbuster and then (reluctantly) at wal-mart, but they were nowhere to be found; at least not at one a.m. it's just that what's one more spoiler-cut between friends? ) i didn't get in on the ground floor of any of the csis, i'm just going to have to start renting from the beginning. other shows i mean to get in on include arrested development and scrubs (saw the first season and nothing after); along with anything else you all think is worthwhile. my kingdom for a netflix subscription?

i. is for icon meme:

take a look at my icons. comment with the following:

1. one that makes you automatically think of me.
2. one that you think i should TOTALLY use more often.
3. one that you don't get/needs more explanation/you have no idea why the hell i have it.

comment using an icon of yours that you LOVE, and tell me why you picked THAT one too.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when we're all brilliant and fast)
Parents and I saw Charlie and Chocolate Factory on . . . huh. Um, Sunday? Maybe? reactions, mostly negative )

*

I've started working out again regularly (three times in the last four days) and if there are ten kinds of awesome, I feel them ALL. My body remembers the health club, and I started feeling perky and healthy and self-righteous as soon as I'd started the elliptical machine going, before I'd even worked up a sweat. The bloodmobile was parked outside last night, so I got to donate for the first time in a while. Juice and cookies and an extra-large t-shirt, your basic haul.

*

My mother did end up having to move classrooms, I don't know if I said, so my dad and I have been helping out, packing and transporting boxes and then setting things up as directed. It's utter crap, but hopefully she won't be moving again (current count is seven times in fourteen years) until retirement. We have all crossed our fingers and toes. Teachers go back to work next Monday and the new school year starts the week after that. My parents never made it to a vacation this summer, but my mom is talking very seriously about two weeks in Tuscany next June. I don't think I've been invited.

*

I've raved already about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and "Details of the War" right? Would anyone like to help me decipher the lyrics? I've listened very carefully fourteen million times, but I can't make it all out. Here is a yousendit link: Details of the War. It has harmonica! And I'm convinced it's the theme song of Major John Sheppard and the Story of His Life. You be the judge? this is what I've figured out for myself already: )

Speaking of John Sheppard, [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock posted Chapter 2 of Hindsight (John thinks, why do the crazy ones always imprint on me?) and I love John an absurd amount. ABSURD.

*

I shared a metaphor for life with my parents the other day. My father's very—well, not helpful, but certainly earnest about helping me find a direction in life and meaningful, gainful employment, but all his job models are business models, office models, and I keep trying to explain why the idea of traditional office jobs sap my will to live. So the other night, in the kitchen while my mom was preparing dinner and declining to help me articulate my feelings, I told them about the epiphany I'd had one day in a History of the American West lecture:

We debunked a lot of mythology in that class, deeply ingrained false histories of rugged individualism and the spirit of the pioneers and go West, young man, because the West was defined largely by corporations: corporate-owned ranches, farms, railroads, mines, etc. Even within an industry itself—a mine, for example—the support staff is huge: people to oversee the workers, people to hire and fire workers, bureaucrats to pray over paper, accountants to tabulate the money, security to watch the goods, management to ensure the transfer of product and payment. And each of those industries spurs the growth and proliferation of service industries: restaurants, hotels, brothels and theaters, banks and law enforcement (and the history of development in the American West is largely the history of urban development, crowded city streets with nothingness stretching between them), spiraling out into a bigger and bigger community, with the result that very few people anymore are down in the mines getting their hands dirty and their backs broken. And I want to work in the mines.

I'm fascinated by distillation. I don't really buy into the celebrity cult of personality, so I had a conversation once with [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker about the phenomenon of, for example, Justin Timberlake. This was at the height of Justified, and I remember expressing bemusement that all the mega-stardom, the magazine covers, world-tour, bells-and-whistles arena concerts, etc., etc., all boiled down essentially to thirteen tracks of music. I care about the music, I know, I know—if I were old I'd be showing my age. But that's what I'm concerned with, the nugget at the core, the source. Whatever is being done, I want to be doing. In the doctor's office I worked in last summer, there was one doctor and fourteen staff, fifteen people making the office run. I am the doctor, not the staff. And it isn't that I want a staff: I'm as happy not giving orders as I am not taking them. But I don't do support very well. I am not your number two; I am not your right hand. As for what this means in terms of meaningful, gainful employment? I don't know. I don't need to get my hands dirty, necessarily, but I do need something to sink my hands into, deep, deep.

*

And while we're on the subject of future plans, S. and I got together yet again for GRE self-flagellation (again: I rock at geometry but not arithmetic; my Algebra II teacher warned us sometime before our first test of the year that most of the mistakes we would make would be careless errors, and that is the life I am living). But the best part of the day was when I ventured into the test-prep section to fetch us a book with practice tests we could practice on, and on the shelf behind me I found VOCABULARY NOVELS. Sparknotes makes them, and they are seriously the best things ever: 1,000 common SAT words stuffed into a YA novel! The novels are so bad (sample titles: Busted, Vampire Dreams, Sun-Kissed), and often include meta- vocabulary study (the characters are studying for the SAT too!), and they are the best argument against testing low-frequency vocabulary words, because they stand out like sore thumbs in the narrative, clashing badly with the otherwise super-casual tone and word choice. In terms of test-prep though, the idea is a great one, getting your vocab review in an easily-accessible context; the fact that they're unintentionally (unintentionally? let's assume so) HILARIOUS is just icing on the cake. S. and I broke up our study session with dramatic readings and laughed ourselves sick.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Dear livejournal, how are you? I'm all caught up on the posted goings-on in your lives, but it has been ten days since my own last posting. There's this sense that one can say anything on livejournal, unburden oneself and confess oneself, without repercussions or Hail Marys or anyone even frowning at you like you should know better and they're not mad, just disappointed. If you've got your antennae up and your filters right, you even find people who'll applaud you for it, whatever it is. My entries tend more to the quotidian minutiae of the last book I read and what I had for lunch, but I miss my minutiae if I don't write about it. If nothing happened last Thursday—and around here, some days absolutely nothing happens—is it really so essential to document the fact? Why does it feel essential?

Anyway. To start from the present moment and work my way backward—no. To start from ten days ago and work my way forward to the present moment:

Did yoga on Thursday with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and her mom; the instructor is going on a month-long vacation and we'll be having substitutes starting next week. Class was over at 8:30 and we got out of the parking garage a little before 9:00, at which time it was POURING and lightning and thundering and RAINING REALLY HARD. I did not drive home. Instead Mal and I retreated to her place where we ordered in Italian food and watched Zoolander with a break in the middle for the food and Without a Trace. By midnight the movie was over, Mal was falling asleep, and the rain had almost stopped.

*

The weather stayed clear enough on Friday for my mother and me to take my grandmother to the cemetary for my grandfather's yartzheit; it was technically June 14th, but as my mother said, we're more about the spirit of the law than the letter. The day before had been a very busy day for my grandmother, grocery shopping and maybe a trip to the bank, and she was very quiet and tired today. We took her home soon and my mother took me out to lunch. Over huge salads at Chili's I explained yet again that the problem re: choosing a career isn't finding something I like, it's finding something I like to do. I like everything. In naming the top five classes I'd taken at UF, I came up with Social Psychology, History of Urban America, Intro to Linguistics, Biological Anthropology, and, um. Hmm. I really liked calculus. I thought very hard about taking Calc III for fun, but never did. I never took any hard sciences, so I couldn't say whether or not I would have liked them. I feel cheated of my science education, going back to high school at least. My biology teacher was fabulous, but I didn't take anything away from chemistry or physics.

Anyway. I dropped my mother at home to make a cake and drove around collecting my contact lenses from the optometrist and my prescription from Walgreens. I got home in time to start reading [livejournal.com profile] kaneko's Intersections and get halfway through before we left for dinner at cousin M.'s. More people who watch a lot of television and don't have much else to talk about. I realize of course that many of the people on my friendslist watch a lot of television and a lot of their posting content is about just that, but the level of engagement on which they tend to watch is incomparable to my dinner companions'. I guess I wouldn't care what we were talking about as long as it were interesting, that it went beyond what their TiVo queues held.

I watched SG:A vids tonight and here's what I learned:

cut for length, but I'm welcoming any conversation about characterization, canon, and general SG:A chatter )

Still to come: a rambling and incoherent discussion of giftedness in my favorite fictional characters.

I watched the trailer for Serenity again and am very excited about September. I don't know how much crossover there is between the fandoms, but I'm guessing everybody already knows David Krumholtz is in the movie, right? Playing a character called "Mr. Universe"?

*

Saturday was one of those days when nothing happened. I watched tennis; I did nothing; I did nothing; I read fic online; I fetched take-out with my mother for dinner; I started Fermat's Enigma, a history of the solving of his Last Theorem. I'm up to the twentieth century.

*

Tennis coverage started at noon on Sunday. I slouched around the house after that until my parents go out to dinner and I watched the last disk of Dead Like Me; in more when-my-fandoms-collide news, Kaylee of Firefly was the goth girl in Episode 114, "Rest In Peace".

Then I found SG-1 fic by [livejournal.com profile] paian omg. I have started reading SG-1 fic. But, come on! This was inevitable, right? Right? Guys? Half the authors I know and love write in SG-1 and a handful of the reccers I trust the most have been reccing SG-1 for months and years, but I'm taking suggestions.

The dog came in just when the thunder and rain started in the small hours, leaning close for me to scratch his ears and belly and croon at him that the big noise couldn't hurt him before he laid down on my foot to sleep.

*

I went to bed in the small hours of Monday morning (so small they were almost big again) and tried to get up three hours after going to bed for shopping with my mother, as planned, but though I have a very clear recollection of setting my alarm for nine a.m., I have no memory of turning it off again. My mom came in at a quarter to ten to get me up, told me not to rush, take my time, etc. I set tennis to tape and we hit the Pembroke Mall. We came home exhausted five or six hours later and stopped at Publix on the way home for essentials (mostly fruit); we made dinner and I watched the tennis I'd taped and was very, very tired.

*

My last dentist visit was in 2002. On Tuesday both the hygienist and the dentist chewed me out for getting lost for three years, and then grudgingly proceeded to tell me my teeth look great. I think they almost would have loved to find half a dozen cavities, just so they could say "see? See?! This is what happens!" Except nothing happened: three years and no decay. I've never had a cavity. I brush thoroughly, I floss nightly, and he said if I keep doing what I'm doing I'll have my teeth until I'm a hundred and twenty. They both said I should think about having my teeth bleached. I'm thinking about it.

I came home jubilant only to find my mother had been crying but was too upset to talk about it, just that "[we? I?] have to move." She said telling me why would just make her cry more, and she had errands to run. This is a bad thing to do to me! I have an extremely vivid imagination. I am paranoid. My first thought was financial disaster. My second was personal/medical disaster. My third was divorce. Common sense started kicking in soon after, as I remembered that if any of those things were true, *moving* would be the least of all difficulties; and my dad had absolutely no idea what was going on, hadn't even known my mother was upset before she left; he did say she had talked to her school principal before she left, maybe she'd heard bad news? Should he call back and see? And I was like, don't call anybody, Mom will tell us when she's ready, etc. I worked out that it's likely she'll have to move classrooms within the school. This will be a total bitch. It's something like the fifth move in as many years and she was pretty invested in this room already, had unpacked things and set them up, and moving will be a bitch—but it'll get done. There's a lot to be said for the worst-case scenario.

I watched taped tennis! and then went to the 5:00 yoga, with Jason as instuctor this time: he was cool, he led class just like Tim at UF had. He gave us the option of doing a backbend instead of a bridge, which, whoo, should have helped my brain, according to this article. I'd gotten back the results of my bloodwork from last week: I am an extremely healthy human being; I need to eat more fish. My triglycerides are 67, my HDL cholesterol is 78 (total: 130) though my LDL is only 39 and that could be higher. Iron is fine, blood sugar is fine; as I remarked to my father, imagine if I were actually still working out five days a week.

We had an excellent dinner when I got back, a sort of alternative picnic: split-pea burgers a la Alton Brown, homemade baked sweet potato chips, corn salad, salad salad. We watched House, Detox )As I mentioned the other day in [livejournal.com profile] isilya's journal, it's laughable what these doctors do. Are they the only five doctors in the hospital? Okay, plus Cuddy, the token administrator. Are there no nurses? No lab technicians? The ducklings do EVERYTHING. They draw blood, they run scans, they perform autopsies and brain surgery. What is the head of Oncology doing up in Diagnostics all the time? In what universe would he draw blood himself? Whatever. I am entertained.

*

On Wednesday my mother and I made a heroic effort at all-day shopping at Sawgrass and were immensely successful. We worked our way through five stores (with a break for a delicious lunch at the Cheesecake Factory) and found shoes and shirts and skirts before losing the will to live. We brought home sandwiches for dinner but were still too full from lunch to eat them. I'd gotten about seventy pages into The Tipping Point before my parents and I went to see Batman: I was disappointed. My mistake was in listening to so many positive critical and personal reviews and getting my hopes up. Hope is fatal. No spoilers here, but—it dragged. The plot was no worse than any other superhero movie I've seen, but considering how much there should have been going on, it all felt too thin and insubstantial. I've never liked Chrisitan Bale and, though I'd heard very good things about him here, I still don't like Christian Bale. He's unattractive, and he can't juggle his teeth and his lines in his mouth at the same time. I wasn't impressed with either his acting or his presence in the role. I liked Katie Holmes better than I liked him. And this is me flagging down the Cillian Murphy bandwagon and clambering aboard. I'm genetically disposed—or contractually obligated, or something—to find Cillian Murphy very attractive, as he has dark hair and light eyes, PLUS high, sharp cheekbones and a great mouth. And he's so wee! Is he not wee?

I'd taped the tennis that aired this morning, but I was so tired by the time the Wimbledon update was over at midnight and I already knew Roddick had won his match, so I went to sleep instead. Shocking, I know.

*

I met S. for lunch at Sweet Tomatoes on Thursday—a working lunch that included a study session for the dreaded GRE. I love math; I just don't remember much of it. Still uncertain as to how knowing low-frequency vocabulary words out of context and without benefit of a dictionary will make me a better graduate student. Please advise.

The yoga instructor this time focused largely on breathing and energies, chanting to begin and end. Sanskrit still sounds very much like Hebrew; she tried to tell someone after class that Sanskrit was the first language, from which all other languages come, and that babies call their mothers "ma" in all languages because of the inherent vibrations that all objects sent out, which we all intuitively pick up on and know, even babies know, when they don't know the words. Um. Yes. Or, you know. No. But the class was good.

Instead of going home right afterward I sat with Mal in Dunkin' Donuts for an hour or two, drinking coffee and eating donuts and singing along with the music, the same music that was playing last time we were in here, and the tape started repeating within the hour. I dealt the first three games and turned over the Queen of Hearts all three times. The odds of that are 1 in 140,608. I also kicked ass in the game, but that'll all even out next time. It always does.

That night I finished The Tipping Point and found it fascinating. Aside from being fascinating in its own right, with the case studies and the examination of Paul Revere's sociability, it was like a walk down Social Psych memory lane. One of his first endnotes referenced Granovetter's "Threshold Models of Collective Behavior" and I had to smack my forehead for not anticipating that one. The Granovetter threshold! is the number of people who have to do something before you'll do it too. For some people, this number is zero: they are the people who go first. Then everyone in the crowd whose threshold is one follows; say there were ten of them: then everyone whose threshold is between two and ten follows them, etc., and soon everyone rushes the field after the game, or starts looting the store, or buying a cellphone, or whatever. There have to be enough people whose threshold is low enough (and some other restrictions may apply) or you've just got one guy rushing the field and getting picked off by security.

*

As of Friday, my parents have been married for thirty-two years. We all went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Hollywood and to dinner at a French restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard. I recycled their anniversary card from last year (I was in England at the time and forgot to send it off) and gave them a tiny DVD player for use in the kitchen (installed in thirty seconds or less; it took longer to make room for it in the cabinet) and Field of Dreams. May they use them in good health.

*

My toes hurt from having separators in for most of the day. I've manicured and pedicured and painted, for fun but also for the wedding tomorrow. I'm going to a wedding tomorrow; it's completely bizarre. We were invited, by phone, about two weeks ago; it's cousins on my father's side whom I have never met. My mother and I are strongly of the opinion that we either 1) were entirely forgotten until now or 2) are third-tier guests; neither is particularly flattering. I was all "have fun! I'll be over here, not at this wedding!" but my dad appealed to me with I would really like for you to be there, so I'm going. I won't know anyone at all, but maybe the food will be good?

I was up early this morning, intentionally, for Breakfast at Wimbledon! My mother made scones and I made tea, and I ate strawberries but drank no champagne—I thought it a bit much for 9 a.m. First Roddick and Johannson had to finish their semifinal match, rained out from yesterday: it's going to be Roddick and Federer in the final tomorrow morning, unsurprisingly. Today it was Venus Williams over Lindsay Davenport in three dramatic sets. She had to come back from match-point down to win—the last time a woman had done that in the finals at Wimbledon was 1935.

*

ETA: Didn't manage to get this posted last night. My mom poked her head in my room at five after nine (and lucky that she did; an alarm is all well and good, but one can snooze indefinitely) and I roused myself for Breakfast at Wimbledon, Day Two: all about Roger Federer in straight sets over Roddick. Straight as an arrow, such a clean match, something like 48 winners and 11 unforced errors, no double faults—just beautiful tennis. It was great to watch, because the man is an absolute rock through two weeks and seven matches, giving absolutely nothing away, until his last serve went unreturned for an ace, and he threw up his hands in victory, then fell on the ground and burst into tears. Really, he was smiling and obviously elated, he hugged Roddick when he came around to his side of the net, and shook the chair umpire's hand, and sat in his chair and sobbed into his towel. His third straight Wimbledon championship and he's never really been tested. It's not a rivalry if only one of you ever wins.

I keep wandering around the house blurting out, "tell me again why I'm going to this wedding?" Damned if I know. I'd bring a book if I could. At least my nails are pretty.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the future freaks me out)
I lost the weekend somehow. It was not spent in an alcoholic stupor, I know that much, but suffice it to say nothing happened that was worth posting about. I'll never have that weekend back again. The trouble with life is pacing. Who was it who said time is what keeps everything from happening at once? Because he was wrong. Time moves at its own speed and it doesn't keep tabs on events—those like to spread out unevenly through the fourth dimension. They dogpile, crashing one into the other like a bad day on the highway, backing traffic up for miles while the road ahead stretches clear and barren, miles of unrelieved straightaway inducing hypnosis.

There was a flurry of activity yesterday when I made, broke, and re-scheduled last-minute plans to fly to Atlanta to see Rufus Wainwright in concert and visit with [livejournal.com profile] silentfire and my siblings. If you're between the ages of 18 and 22 you can fly stand-by on AirTran for $59 per segment ($79 for "long-hauls") plus another ten bucks or so in fees, which is and would have been fantastic! Except that the weekends are inadvisable for attempting stand-by; and I would have stayed over until next Monday or Tuesday, but this Sunday is Father's Day and I should be here. It's my dad's first Father's Day without his father. In which case I would have come back Thursday, but it seemed like an awful lot of time spent waiting uncertainly in airports flanking a pretty short visit. And I could have tried flying back Friday or Saturday—because hey, there might be a spot!—but I'm paranoid: I have vivid visions of myself sitting in the airport all day and in the end still not getting on a flight. I've reluctantly taken the pragmatic view and planned a visit for next week (or so?) when I can stay a week complete and not worry about anything. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, I don't know if you've gotten my voicemails re: all of the tedious above, but I'm sorry about the failing at life thing, and give my love to Rufus Wainwright?

While I didn't do a load of laundry and head to the airport this morning, I did set my alarm as though I were going to do just that, so I found myself awake and breakfasted at nine a.m. A nap never materialized. I did get taken out to lunch by my dad at one or one-thirty (after I'd spent most of the morning and early afternoon methodically (read: alphabetically by author, and I'm up to "D") re-reading the SG:A fic on my harddrive. Lunch was a surprisingly delicious wrap at Waffleworks—of all places—but I could have done without the lunchtime conversation, whose topic was: So What Are You Going To Do With The Next Year and/or The Rest of Your Life? Let Us Brainstorm In Search of an Answer! My dad remains firm in his conviction that I should become a constitutional lawyer; or, barring that, an editor. Of something. It doesn't matter what, but I have editorial skills, you see? It was awful. Because he does want to help, he only wants to help, but I tend to go fetal and non-responsive when I start thinking about careers. He had me trapped in the booth with my really good wrap on the table in front of me though, so I had to grit my teeth and hostile-witness my way through it. I have never felt more like a sullen teenager. Plus the fact that my dad and I are radically different personality types and that he doesn't quite know what would or would not appeal to me in terms of things I would be happy and fulfilled by doing every day for a given large number of days. He's a salesman and he likes people: meeting people, talking to people, being around people. I don't. He asked if I'd ever taken any aptitude tests, and I said yes, I have: it turns out I like everything, except people.* This is not exactly helpful.

I know I am not built for the service industries. In addition to but apart from that, I don't like the idea of working in a service industry. I'd much rather be in the actual process of creating or producing something** rather than form part of the necessary but non-specific network surrounding it. I know also that wherever I end up I won't have a time card and be forced to clock in and out. It's too close to bells ringing to announce class changes, monitored for punctuality for its own sake and not for how much work ever gets done. I am not cut out for nine-to-five. Give me what you need done, tell me when it needs to be completed, and I will do it. I'm fairly sure that I'm not destined for time cards anyway. But I think of working in an office like I did last summer, and part of it is appealing, because it's a culture, with rituals and common experiences: daily commutes (of whatever duration), elevators, clocking in first thing in the morning, desks and coworkers, the lunch hour, the refrigerator in the break room, counting down until it's time to go home—but it's only appealing in an anthropological, or even role-playing kind of way, acting at office work. In practice it would sap my will to live. My dad is able to picture very few jobs that don't involve an office.

I learned at least one thing from our little chat: my statute of limitations. I'd wondered what the cap was for having no direction in life, and it turns out it's right about . . . now. They're still in the supportive stage—merely worried, not impatient—but my dad did joke today about wondering where they'd gone wrong with my brother and me. They may tell you, repeatedly, to take all the time you need, but I've been waiting. It's like an all-you-can-eat! buffet of indecision and some of us brought bigger appetites than anyone anticipated. The proprietors first grow nervous, then indignant; it all ends with icy smiles and polite requests to never come back again.

* When asked to rank these four items: people, facts, things, and ideas, it's a close call between the last three (usually I put it down as ideas, facts, things, but it changes if I stare at it too long) but people is waaaay down at the bottom of the list. There might only be four items, but it's in tenth place. I've probably got some low-grade social-anxiety going, but barring any professional diagnoses, people make me tired.

** Anything—be it a fact, a thing, or an idea.


God, that's all boring. After lunch we drove down the street to the library, who'd called this morning to tell me they had two (TWO) books waiting for me, and before I picked them up at the check-out desk, I browsed for another three. We got back to the house a little before four, in just enough time for me to change my clothes and get back in the car to head up to Ft. Lauderdale for yoga with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu. I definitely work up a sweat. My legs shake when it's time to leave. Something to duly note: one can be too flexible. I'll have to take care not to hyper-flex my back.

For dinner my mother made the most fantastic soup ever omg, recipe courtesy Alton Brown. you can even find the recipe for Curried Split Pea Soup behind this very cut tag ) Did I mention it was FANTASTIC? After dinner we watched N.C.I.S. (my dad and I guessed most of the major plot twists) and House: I enjoyed it, I still love him, there were many interesting decisions and reveals, but basically I don't have much to say.

I have appointments to make tomorrow, bills to pay, books to read, and the gym to go to. I was up early this morning, did an hour of yoga, and have had no nap. It is way past my bedtime. I shall take my crossword puzzles with me.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Yesterday while I was sorting colored construction paper in my mother's classroom, I blurted out, "Mom, what was I doing when I was ten?" and I don't think I've ever startled her so badly in my life. I explained when she asked that I thought it would give me career guidance: it seems that people tend do what they've always done. She wasn't very helpful, not recalling much more than that I read a lot. But I never read excessively, or even extensively, and besides, there are limited opportunities to read for a living. Most of them involve editing in some capacity, which I guess isn't the worst thing in the world.

The pattern holds true, I suppose: I never had any direction and I still don't. I did a lot of art when I was even younger, nothing spectacular, with markers and paints, etc.; I drew on the walls for a while and my parents kept taking my supplies away, until one day they found me on the floor with talcum powder, a glass of water, and a paintbrush, painting in the hardwood tiles. They gave everything back after that. For a long time I had to use every color in the crayon or marker or colored-pencil box at least once, taking them all out and lining them up, putting them back after I'd used them. There were a lot of rainbows. For a little while my mother worried about OCD, but I never developed anything crippling. I've been watching and reading about real and fictional characters with brains the size of small planets, and it eats at me that I'm bright but not brilliant. I'm not terribly proud of having a jealous personality, but it's a pretty big part of me and I'm well aware of it. It's almost time to move on to the next thing. I can only hope that this restlessness builds up enough and enough to drive me not only out of here, but toward something.

Today, however, was not a day for doing things. My dad got me up for brunch with my mom at 11:30, much too soon after I'd gone to bed that morning. The sun wasn't out (the rain and wind are apparently the direct result of Tropical Storm Arlene, chugging through the Gulf of Mexico and on course for Alabama, Louisiana, etc.) so I didn't even bother with my contact lenses. We ate at Einstein's and afterwards my mother and I did more work in her room. I climbed carefully on a ladder and pulled down bulletin boards, finished sorting FCAT practice packets, wished for a nap. We cut out at a little after three. My mother tried out her first day of Pilates (verdict: inconclusive) and I watched and commented helpfully. I'd woken up with tight hamstrings and over the course of the day other muscles made themselves known, especially my shoulder blades and the long slabs of my back, down either side of my spine, aching faintly when I shifted and sore to the touch. I had a mid-afternoon meal and went to sleep at four-thirty. My mother let me sleep until dinner three hours later. Afterward we all watched two episodes of Dead Like Me. Great character development, and I'm still in love with Mason, but "Reapercussions" (1.04?) was a little scattered. It did further the canon though, and the plot arcs and the relationships. I am still a fan.

I've downloaded about a dozen songs tonight, all fantastic, because the kids who run the music blogs, they know what they're doing. You can get I Found Love at Stereogun, where Matthew from Fluxblog is filling in for the weekend. He describes the track thusly: "This is a selection from The Now Sound Redesigned, a collection of remixes of songs by the twee-est band of the '60s, The Free Design. Styrofoam and former Velocity Girl singer Sarah Shannon don't quite remix "I Found Love" so much as cover it, recasting the tune as a syrupy alt-pop ballad for a post-Postal Service world." It's lush and light and liquid, and the lyrics are almost unbearably happy-slappy, but her voice pulls it out and there's enough going on in the music—crackling, booping layers along with, um, something drum-like yet electronic? yeah—that it's all okay. I'm listening to it on headphones too, which I recommend. Is absolutely everything better with headphones?

Check out also The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, recommended over at Said the Gramophone, the blog that introduced me to Andrew Bird's "Fake Palindromes."

I haven't read more than fifteen pages of a book at a time in the last few days, and I miss it. There are more filled requests to be picked up at the library tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow too I'll be whole enough to put myself through my paces at the gym.

March 2011

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