Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dreams Mining Reality

Have you ever noticed that dreams often, but not always, have things from real life that you can point to as their "inspiration" as it were? I've been having more dreams like that than usual. I'm not sure that I like it.

It's been raining for weeks here in New Hampshire, and that's seeping into my dreams. They've also been doing constant road construction that doesn't seem to improve anything either. So is it any surprise that a couple of weeks ago I had a scary dream about being directed by cops at a construction site down a road that turned out to be flooded? It was nerve-wracking enough that I bruised myself while sleeping again; apparently I squeeze my right hand/wrist hard enough during nightmares to leave bruises...they're always a good match to the fingers or thumb of the other hand. This isn't the only flooding dream I've had lately, either, so it's reason #536 that I hope the rain will stop.

I also had a disturbing dream about McDuff this weekend, marking his only remembered appearance in my dreams. In the dream I wordlessly gave him the money he needed to buy a ticket somewhere, and he decided that meant we were on speaking terms again, ominously saying we'd be talking about "things" soon. In real life, on Saturday I was asked for money by someone at North Station who claimed he was stranded in Boston and needed to get to Lowell. We gave him some change, but I know we were had. Whatever, it's remotely possible he really used the money towards a train ticket home.

And then, last night, I dreamed I was almost three months pregnant. Surely this could only be inspired by the pregnant women in my life, though they're both farther along than that. It's a pretty big deal, though: only the second dream my entire life that I've dreamed of being pregnant. I was just barely old enough to get pregnant when I had the first dream, and now years and years later I've finally had the same sort of dream; I was considerably happier about it in last night's dream than the earlier one. I almost never dream about having children, either - I never did at all until January of this year when I had two such dreams a few days apart (I had mixed feelings about those dreams since I had daughters in both, though in addition to a son in one). None since then, however. It's kind of funny, though, in the dreams with kids I didn't "know" in the dreams who their father might be, but in both dreams about being pregnant I knew. Not that either dream-daddy was someone I've slept with in real life...

"Anything I can mistake in the dark for being what I'm looking for is good enough for me" - Owls, What Whorse You Wrote Id

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Still Don't Know How...

One of my favorite message boards had a new thread this weekend that I actually haven't got around to replying to. The topic was "Things you still don't know how to do, even though you're an adult."

The very first thing that comes to mind is properly tying my shoes. When I was very small someone tried to teach me that you wrap the lace around your thumb and then you do something else, then you perform magic complete with an incantation, and you end up with a tied shoe. I can't do that. I cross the laces and then make two bows, and tie those instead. Just like when I was five. It was to my relief a few years ago that I learned that this is not in fact, the "bunny ears method" because that's something else. Something even more babyish. Knowing that the method I use is called "the crossed Ian knot" does not do much to soothe my sadness at not being able to tie my shoes like an adult.

Another thing that comes to mind is being able to tell, definitively, when someone is being friendly, or subtly flirting; yes, I do mean someone, we'll talk about Kim the theater major who years later dated one of my bi friends some other time. I understand overt flirting (suggestive) but I tend to err on the side of friendly the rest of the time. Let me tell you a dumb story to illustrate this:
When I was 20, I was friends with a girl named Sarah. Sarah had a crush on a boy named Adam. Adam was a doofus, so I never paid him much attention. Somehow, Adam began to join me at breakfast before a lot of my 8 AM classes. I'm not a morning person, nor have I ever told anyone directly to go away, so I quietly endured his insistence that he eat with me. His annoying presence did give me an idea though: it seems like I could use that time to talk to him about Sarah. So, I did my best to steer the conversation towards her when possible, and tried to feel him out to see if he liked her. I didn't get the impression that he really did and it even seemed to annoy him, so I never said anything too enthusiastic about him when she and I talked about him. Later on, he asked me to sleep with him. I was surprised.
I can't say that I've progressed terribly much with figuring this sort of thing out since then - I try not to think about whether or not I miss out because of this, since that's too depressing.

The last thing, completely and wholly unrelated to either of the two previous, is that I still can't make fudge. This might be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective re weight, but I really like fudge. I can usually con my mom into making it once a year if I buy all the ingredients. It's the bubbling versus boiling thing that gets me. Either it doesn't set properly because I jumped the gun and thought it was boiling when it wasn't, or it has a rich smoky taste to it because I burnt the marshmallow by waiting too long. Someday I will get up the nerve to try it again on my own, despite the fact that it can be a very expensive mistake.

"I tried to tell you. You didn't know/I'm trying to make you feel the same" - Second Story Man, Cancer Dance

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1301 More Days

I suppose I could spend a few paragraphs grousing over the idiocy that is cap and trade, but I think that I'll content myself with noting that approving a measure that will send utilities costs through the roof during a recession is a really destructive idea. Someone will get rich off of this, but it sure won't be you and I. Hopefully the senate will see reason and not pass it there as well. And I could complain that the only thing that Obama has done that I like so far is to extend some benefits to the same sex partners of government workers (you realize that Megan McCain and I aren't the only pro-life, pro-gay rights voters out there, right?) but I won't do that tonight either.

Instead I'm going to b*tch about how the GOP needs to get it's act together immediately. There are 1300 days and 3 hours until the next inauguration day, and we sure as hell shouldn't wait so long to make a choice as we did the last go-round. It was a field full of weak players, and McCain wasn't even the best of a bad lot, so I held little hope that he'd get elected. I didn't vote for him in the primaries, but a lot of Clinton supporters in states striped of their seats did. Grr.

We need someone good this time around, and I'm going to cry if people keep suggesting Palin. She's an idiot, and won't win. We can't afford - I mean that literally, being a fiscal conservative - another 4 years of Obama's spending on top of Bush's war spending, so we must do something. And as a side rant, what is it about Baby Boomer politicos, republicans and democrats alike, that makes them so damn selfish? They won't be happy until they bankrupt everyone in the two generations that follow them with their self-absorbed spending on frivolous things.

Anyway...it's going to be a long three and a half years.

"A-E-I-O-U Nothing/Don't ask me for a single cent...Don't ask me" - Men, Women & Children, Vowels

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shipping up to Boston

By the time you read this, I'll already be Boston-bound. We won't be looking for our wooden legs despite the entry title since that's just a nod to the celtic punk genre, but hopefully it will be an entertaining. I'll probably have new pictures tomorrow.

One of the most fun things about going to Boston is wondering who we'll interact with today. We are always asked for directions, which seems to suggest that we have a clue where we're going. We usually do, and even with my poor sense of direction I can navigate the T without difficulty, so there's that. And maybe it's because we lack the dazed, kind of scared look that a lot of tourists have too. Boston during the day isn't anything to be scared of. Neither is Boston alone, at night, in the rain, either, but that's too long a story for today since I've got to be leaving in half an hour...

I like abandoning the car in northern MA and taking the train in. Boston driving is no fun, and I try to avoid it when possible. Bridges are hard for me to deal with at all, and the Tobin makes me really really nervous to drive over. We also have the fun of seeing who else is on the train too. In February we spent half the train ride home talking to a college kid about how useful our language classes proved to be as adults, since he was a language major.

See ya.

"She said I think I'll go to Boston/Think I'll start a new life/I think I'll start it over" - Augustana, Boston

Friday, June 26, 2009

Battle of the Dead Celebs

So, as I'm sure everyone knows, both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died yesterday. Her death was expected, and I guess I can't really say that his is a huge shock. But I'm glad that she died first. She was filming her death because for some reason she thought that it was important for "the world" to see it.

Can you imagine feeling that way *coughnarcissistscough* about the importance of your own passing to the world, only to find out on your death-bed that the self-declared King Of Pop had passed just before you? That would have sucked. At least she passed on without the knowledge that her death would be completely overshadowed by his.

"Stack dead actors, stacked to the rafters/Line up all the b*stards and we cry when they all die blonde." - Foo Fighters, Stacked Actors

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinner Q & A

Well, not exactly dinner since I haven't eaten yet, but you know what I mean.


I'm thinking about taking a non-credit college class late summer/early fall, more to alleviate boredom and meet new people than anything else; but something more interesting than the classes I've had to take since college because grant-writing, first aid, humane restraint, and the autism series weren't much fun. Anyone know of a likely subject that would attract more men than women? Hopefully those in their late 20s to mid 30s? ::g::

Why do coworkers ask me what I plan to do during our (unpaid) time off? Would knowing that my plans include worrying about money a little, writing, hopefully going to the beach, worrying about money, and continuing my quest to find someone in my life who isn't scared of rollercoasters to talk into going to an amusement park help them in any way? It's not as though there's an amazing way of making cash I'm keeping secret from them or anything.

While I've helped other people dye their hair, I've never done it to my own. How does someone who dyes their hair blonde decide when enough dark has crept back in to bother dyeing it again? And how do you gently suggest to someone that he try dyeing his hair brown instead of dyeing it black?

Why do so many people, even those born since the advent of word processors, still put two spaces after a period? That was only necessary for typewriters, and looks really odd in a computer-generated document.

What is the point of the new "concealing petals" in bra cups? Do that many women wearing a bra still have that problem? And how come they have tags on bras that say "invisible under clothing" or "stay put straps"? Who do you have to kill to get a bra that in invisible under clothing and with straps that'll stay put?

Will anyone ever get flat sandals in a 7.5w in again? I've already been looking for 2 months! They don't even have boy's leather sandals this year, what gives? This is a conspiracy to keep me in socks, isn't it.

Can my on-going nightmares about alarm clocks be solved with a new clock, or would I worry instead that the new one wouldn't wake me?

How come no one ever told me that increasing your level of exercise significantly can cause metrorrhagia? We all know about it causing amenorrhea over the long term, but no one ever said the opposite can happen! Hopefully Sunday night was a scary one-off since it hasn't happened again. (Gents: if you don't know what the words mean, you'll probably be happier not looking them up)



Other than trio under my right eye, just from my shoulders to my fingers. No where else.

No contacts. They just change color from their usual indeterminate shade of blue.

Because it's more fun to let you imagine the questions than tell you what they are.

"She's in your head/And you just don't notice." - Shiny Toy Guns, Ricochet

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My brother's announcement, this oppressive unrelenting rain, and my increasing sense of marginalization at work have created in me the perfect storm of dissatisfaction. I want change. I'm sick of being the universe's b*tch.

As a general rule I'm a change resistant person, always a "better the devil you know" sort of girl, so this is not a common feeling for me. Will it pass, or will it grow?

Right this very right now, I'd like to run away to somewhere new*, to live somewhere else, to be somewhere where it might be sunny instead of getting 10' of snow and being faux rainforest the rest of the year, to escape what feel like unending familial obligations, to meet the next lively boy with dark hair and dark eyes to fall in love with but one who'll make me the game rather than the hunter, to take risks with money and livelihood....

* though the traditional place to run away to, the circus, is out because I'm afraid of clowns

"I just survive here/I never thrive here/I’m in a culture of mediocrity" - Cavalier King, The Unprotected

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Breakfast Q & A

I have questions, and I have unrelated answers to questions people haven't asked me but probably want to.


Why do so many people think it's funny when I swear? Or, as I get the sneaking suspicion in some cases, even worse, cute? F*ck was my first word. I bet a swearing seven-month-old was pretty damn cute.

What is it about my car that makes chipmunks who see it decide to try to end it all? I'm sick of the near-misses. I've only killed one animal in 15+ years of driving, and I'm not looking to add to the number.

Why did they cut Eric's hair?! It was perfect! Blond hair on guys only looks good long-ish.

Why do a disturbing number of nine-year-olds think that animals provide sunlight to trees? And what's the point of trees, anyway? They can't see, hear, taste, smell, or talk.

Does Ebay sell any build your own ark plans?

Why are they called Charley horses instead of "Oh my God! What did I just do to my leg?!"


Because Dave is only 22, Dad. That's why.

I'm grumpy when it rains so hard that I miss walks because if this keeps up all week I might fidget enough that it makes someone kill me. Hyper-active kids don't exactly grow up to be calm adults, you know.

Of course I took yesterday's picture. While flying that kite myself no less. It's the best shot out of more than half a dozen attempts.

Okay, you got me. I had 15 minutes to kill last night, and that's when I wrote most of this. I'm hoping to do something more productive this afternoon than play with this silly blog.

"When they finally come what will you do to them? Gonna decimate like you did to me?" - OK Go, Invincible

Monday, June 22, 2009

Me. Here. Wish I were.

"Get me outta the rain, you get me out of my clothes/Hope I don't make a sound, you hope that nobody knows." - The Academy Is, Checkmarks

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Color Me Green

I know that I promised on the 12th to try to whine less in the future than in that entry, but there's nothing like someone else's happiness to make you feel more alone. Maybe getting things out here will keep things from coming out wrong in real life. And what am I worried about? I don't even know if anyone is reading this blog anyway.

When I wrote about Harper's Island this morning, I figured on an uneventful day. Give Dad his presents, train Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 some more since it couldn't transfer my user data from version 9.5, go to the laundrymat, get groceries…find out that Vynce is planning to propose to his girlfriend on the 4th of July. Yeah, that last one threw me. It's not as though this is entirely unexpected given that he and Megan have been together going on three years, but... And I wish them every happiness, but...

As much as I can't stand Jane Austin, I'm beginning to understand why in the society of Pride and Prejudice it was traditional to marry off the older siblings before the younger ones. I'm sure that there are a lot of people whose younger siblings have beat them to the alter, and doesn't it feel fun? There's nothing like a younger sibling reaching an important milestone before you to give you a nice sense of failure as an adult. Sigh.

I guess it wouldn't sting so much if I wasn't both single and without any realistic prospects for a relationship, nevermind a successful long-term one. (the reason I label my surprisingly difficult to put aside infatuation as "unwise" is that in addition to lacking evidence that my affections are particularly returned, circumstances far beyond my control make a happy ending there a significant long shot even if he does like me as much as I do him. Even if talking to him for 5 minutes can ocassionally leave just the thought "God, I want him" in my head...) Nor do I know of a good way to meet guys given that I'm neither into religion or visiting bars too often. Since you've surely listened to women complain that the good ones are always taken, going away, or gay – or a charming combination of two out of the three - I'll let you imagine that sort of self-indulgent rant. Ditto for laments about being likable but too seldom loveable...

In a way, I'm glad to have a couple weeks notice before hearing all about her accepting his proposal. Since he bought the ring she showed her mother, there's little doubt that she'll say yes, and it would be far worse to learn his intentions after the fact. This gives me a few days to wallow and remind myself that this has nothing to do with me despite the feelings of envy it stirs up.

"Pain, without love/Pain, I can't get enough" - Three Days Grace, Pain

Harper's Island

I wish that I could enthuse about it being the first day of my favorite season, but it's yucky out. So instead of talking about my unrequited feelings for the Sun (I love sunlight, but it hurts me), I think I'll talk about a fantastic TV show instead.

This show started a few months ago, but given it was on Thursday nights against the final season of e.r. (sob! At least Neela and Ray ended up together) it's taken me until this week to get caught up on the episodes that I missed. There are barely words enough to describe how incredibly taken I am with Harper's Island. I'll give it a shot, though.

The premise is that a girl, Abby, is returning home for her best friend Henry's wedding after seven years away. Seven years earlier a serial killer named John Wakefield killed her mother and several other people, and Abby's dad sent her away after that. Tons of people have also arrived for the wedding - including someone who is killing them off one by one.

How cool a premise is that? It's like the movie Mindhunters, but long and drawn out with even more suspense. Okay, okay, I know it's more likely an homage to Ten Little Indians/Then There Were None, but I've seen Mindhunters. I'm not usually a mystery buff because I tend to solve the mysteries early on and then get grumpy over having read the rest of the book, but ones on the screen tend to be more entertaining. The first ten episodes of Harper's Island have kept me guessing, and I really hope that next week's commercial is misleading since it involves one of my favorite characters. We'll see.

Besides the mystery, I'm also impressed that there's such a large cast, but 2/3rds of the characters are fleshed out enough for you to care about who the killer is, and who the next victim(s) will be. It seems to me that this too works better in film than print, because too many characters in a book get tiring. Now that there are only three episodes left, we've gotten a chance to get to know the remaining characters well enough to be rooting for certain ones to live...or not. Die, Shane, die!

Anyway, if you get the chance to find it online, and don't mind some gore, check it out. There's only going to be this one season (some people are really bummed by that, but how could a show whose premise was a place, not a set of murders, continue for multiple seasons even if they switched casts? How would that go: "You wanna go to Harper's Island, Babe? Sure, there were all those murders there in 2002 and in 2009, but what are the odds of that sort of thing happening again?") so there isn't a long time commitment. I think I'll have to buy it on DVD when it comes out. Not that that is surprising - I own almost as many box sets of TV shows as I do movies on DVD.

"Untouchable like a distant diamond sky/Keep reaching out and I still can't tell you why/I'm caught up in you" - Luna Halo, Untouchable

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The J in INTJ

On to part two of two for INTJ (part one here). J for Judgment is where I've gotten myself into trouble over the years. The J in judgment is about using logic rather than feelings to make decisions; but as you'll see later can lead to being judgmental too. People tell you that they want things to be logical, but people are liars. Logic is great... until you point out the flaw in their idea. Then you're the bad guy. Uh, gal.

It's a wall I have run up against many times. Even now I don't quite understand it, but a lot of people seem to attach emotions to ideas in a way that I don't. I like ideas that work. If I have an idea while brainstorming and it doesn't pass the plausibility test, I discard it. The only emotions attached to that are possibly of frustration that I have not in fact found a solution when I thought I might have, or dismay that I wasted the time on it. But other people attach other emotions to their similar ideas. And apparently, not acknowledging these feelings is insensitive. Never mind the fact I often have no idea what emotions they are attaching to these ideas anyway, or why, but apparently I am "dismissive," "arrogant," and "critical." I don't understand why pointing out an unworkable idea seems to suggest to people that they themselves, not the ideas, are flawed. Since this happens almost exclusively with other women, I can say authoritatively that this is another proof that I do not understand many members of my own gender.

I think a lot of the problem stems from the fact that many people think in a much more linear fashion than I do. They see potential solution A as affecting problem A. But that fails to take in account when you change A B, C, D, H and Q also change. And those changes also cause new problems. But to point that out...

Besides the obvious disadvantage, there are a lot of advantages to being able to figure out the implications of ideas. Contingency planning is a useful thing in and of itself, and it has a lot of practical applications. A lot of the contingencies I think of never need to come to pass, but that doesn't mean that they won't eventually in another application. Thinking things through also saves a lot of wasted time and effort, that could be spent doing things that just won't work. It is also helpful with writing, and one thing no one has ever complained about in my fiction is plot holes.

But as I suggested earlier, a tendency to believe one is using logic, and of course to believe one is most often right, also leads to being judgmental. I have to admit, I am often critical of other people, though in a silent way rather than making cutting remarks like so many of the girls I knew grewing up felt the need to. This isn't an exhaustive list but it gives you the idea.

Weight. When I decided to write about INTJ, this was the main thing that prompted the impulse. People come and go where I work, and it's not unusual to not see somebody for months. I can't remember her name, but I believe that a woman that I worked with in July last year has returned. And if so, she has gained at least 50 pounds in the interim. I can barely wrap my mind around how that is possible. The only foods I eat because I enjoy them, rather than tolerate them, are sweets of pretty much any kind, breads, chicken, turkey, beef and pasta - all things that are terrible for you in excess. If I didn't have a sweet tooth, I would probably weigh 120 pounds... Even with my fairly poor track record for impulse control, the most I have ever weighed is about 10 pounds more than I weigh now. And right now, I'm dismayed that I gained 5 pounds over the winter/early spring after eating in a tremendous amount of chocolate and discovering that I like fried ravioli. So for the last two weeks I've been forcing myself to exercise for twice as often as I usually do: discounting time spent on walks, I usually exercise 2 to 2 1/2 hours a week and now I've added 45 minutes to an hour more three times a week. And I hate every minute of it even as I plan to keep on doing so until I lose those 5 pounds and hopefully a few of their friends. But lack of discipline in diet needs to be made up for somehow. Right? I definitely lack empathy and understanding of how people (at least those not disabled or depressed) can let their weight really get out of hand.

Politics. People on both sides of the aisle who show an unwavering, unquestioning devotion to politicians in their party worry me. All politicians are human beings, and most seem to be more deeply flawed than the general public. They are not deserving of uncritical acceptance, and I question the judgment of the people who give it to them their untempered enthusiasm rather than the skepticism they deserve.

Abortion. As I hinted at in a previous entry, I am pro-life. The only moral reason to have an abortion, as far as I'm concerned, is to spare a child a life of agony caused by an incurable disease or severe uncorrectable deformity. There are other reasons where the choice is the lesser of two evils and these reasons contribute somewhat to my belief that it should be something rare rather than illegal, but that does not make them morally neutral. Upon learning the person of either gender has been party to an abortion for any other reason, I instantly think less of that person.

Reality TV. Upon learning that more than one reality show makes up a person's favorite shows, I seriously question their taste. This is probably hypocritical of me, considering for years I have had a celebrity baby blog as a favorite place...

People who don't vote. Not being able, or more accurately willing, to make the minimal effort required to keep yourself informed enough to vote shows a staggering lack of maturity. On the other hand, I am no longer interested in Rock The Vote. If you can't be bothered to vote, that gives my vote more weight.

Motorcyclists who don't wear helmets. Few things are sadder than a motorcyclist you can tell is attractive as he drives by. So pretty to look at, but so dumb.

The JC Penny Ad staff. Notice the popped collar. This is the second week in a row that they've featured an ad of a guy with his collar popped; last week's model had two shirts on, both with the collars popped. Did someone on the ad staff miss a memo, or are they secretly marketing to a specific type of guy? This marketing ploy doesn't make them look terribly bright.

Unfortunately, I could probably name a dozen or two more things that I'm equally critical of. But then, so probably could you.

"My heart's a graveyard, Baby" - HIM, Passion's Killing Floor

Friday, June 19, 2009

Putting the I INTJ

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs test? I realize that some people believe that it's akin to astrology in terms of meaningfulness, but I've found that the description of my psychological type is a far more accurate depiction of someone like me than the description of an Aries; a risk-taker? Me??

If you think the personality sorter is hogwash feel free to skip this entry. I've taken this test more than once, both for work and for the hell of it to see if I always got the same results, and I have. I am INTJ. That acronym stands for Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judgment. We are the supposed masterminds, which is less impressive than the title makes it sound.

How much I can be described as be someone who is a "thinking" person is up for debate, and when they say intuitive they are not talking about the common way we use the word intuition but how much someone is able to synthesize information, like how one of the reasons I have loved computers almost all my life is that I am easily able to discern patterns (as long as they don't involve human beings, ha) which has often made teaching myself computer programs that lack instructions an achievable task. Let's talk about introversion now and judgment at another time, since those things are the most interesting.

I find it amusing that many people who know me superficially do not realize that I am an introvert at heart. I have been able to mislead them for two reasons: 1. Over the course of my years as an employee at various places of enterprise I have been able to make successful strides towards overcoming my introverted tendencies, mostly through repetition and endurance and this spills over somewhat into other experiences too. This is a survival mechanism that has been necessary, especially at my current job, because so much of my position involves meeting new people and interacting with them. I no longer feel butterflies in the stomach when it comes to public speaking, even if the crowd is fairly large, but this doesn't make constant interactions with others as stress-free. We'll come back to that later.

2. When I am around extroverts of both sexes, I am myself more extroverted. From puzzled looks when other people refer to me as "quiet," I can tell that many extroverts don't have a clue how I am around other introverts. Every guy I have ever liked all the way back to middle school, and most of my female friends as well, have been more extroverted than I am. There's something about their energy that's contagious, and pressure-free because are more than happy to dominate conversation, so despite their need to constantly talk, it's still relaxing. This might be why our current project at work has not driven me completely insane. The two kids - god, I'm getting old if I'm saying that, but they're only 22 and 23 - at my end of the table will talk your ear off, and that lessens the monotony... even though I finally asked one of them if I could have his girlfriend's phone number so I could call her and tell him to behave =) I haven't had to ask for the other one's girlfriend's number yet, but there's still a week to go.

Anyway, extroverts who do realize on some level that I'm introverted call me a "good listener." Probably because I only make halfhearted attempts to interrupt. Oh I try sometimes, but it's usually not worth the effort so I hold my tongue after being talked over.

Then there's the agony of associating with people who are less extroverted than I am. And there are a lot of them, because when you take other tests that measure how introverted or extroverted you are, I fall just to the left of center on the scale, and that leaves a whole lot of potential introversion as you move leftward. I think I probably would have ended up a lot more introverted if I wasn't born a redhead; having my hair drawing often unwanted attention since birth didn't allow me to hide from interaction with chatty strangers! As for those more interverted, remember McDuff? He is much more introverted than I am. He's the classic "strong silent type" that drives me batty. Being alone with him was mostly unpleasant, because the onus to maintain the conversation fell on me since he wouldn't even try to think of topics to talk about. (These awkward, barely maintains conversations are a big reason I have no idea why on earth he decided that he liked me...after two years of what I thought was agreeable plantonic acquaintenceship, I might add. Why would anyone want more awkward conversation?) Being somewhat better socialized made me anxious about filling silences every time we were together without a more talkative person along. Hopefully it's not too hypocritical to tend to avoid the company of people who have even less to say than I do.

Being an introvert, especially one drawn to the company of extroverts, has its difficulties. Primarily, because there are social situations in which I lack any great degree of confidence. One of those that has caused the most difficulty, is the instinctual urge to turn down invitations to go out with a group of people I only know some of. Sometimes I've been able to squelch that impulse, though, which is the only reason I know (in a rudimentary sense, that is) how to play Ultimate Frisbee or darts. Even though I know that these situations usually turn out to be less scary than I anticipate, it's still hard to overcome the instinct to refuse to engage with others until I know everyone in the group. After that, though, I seldom turn down an invite.

The other thing, which is something I've battled since college is that I find it devastatingly hard to approach people (okay, let's be honest, guys) that I enjoy being around if they are already talking to a group of people that I'm not comfortable with; be it because I don't know the other people well enough to feel at ease around them, or I just don't like them. This wasn't a problem before college because I went to a tiny high school, so we all knew each other. And since I was entangled with the same boy from the 10th through 12th grades, we knew each other's friends and had quite a few in common anyway. I suppose this can be confusing to extroverted guys, which I've already said are my favorite kind, because as long as my interest isn't solely carnal* I'm not shy around them one-on-one, or in group situations where I'm there when the group forms. This has led to them wondering "is she mad at me?" more than once when the truth is, no. I'm just scared of your friends. I don't know why these other people are scary, perhaps on some level I fear they will exclude/reject me, and the interesting guy of the given moment will as well. I fully admit this probably makes me hard to figure out myself, because it gives the impression of running hot and cold. If I could change that I would, but I'm not sure how to become more brave in this situation. Sorry, guys.

These difficulties aside, being an introvert isn't all bad. For example, I'm equally happy with the thought of having no set plans this weekend, as I am with the idea of going into Boston with a friend next weekend. I know people who would be aghast at the thought of spending time alone, but I don't mind. It seems to me that life would be more difficult if you are not able to entertain yourself, since it would require the presence of other people for you to relax and other people can be deeply unreliable.

And as a bonus, I've learned that I not infrequently intimidate people. I find that bizarre, considering I do not cut an imposing figure, being all of almost five foot four. After hashing it out with other "imposing" introverts, we have concluded that merely being introverts is somehow imposing to less confident extroverts. Which seems that the contradictions in terms to me, because how could you be extroverted and less confident than I am? In general I'm a fairly confident person, and as I've said at times it's still hard to find the nerve to speak. Those unconfident extroverts, why aren't they afraid to say stupid things too if they lack self confidence? Anyway, apparently some of them believe we are judging them, and our stern silence is evidence of this. You, gentle reader, know this is not true. Instead I'm apt to be thinking about underwear sizes, or eggs thrown into fryers =) I'm not being secretive because I am trying to spare their feelings about them, I just don't have any feelings about most of them. They probably wouldn't like the truth much better come to think of it, but I'm so not a people person.

As for J for judging, maybe tomorrow.

*For me, lust is a counterproductive emotion. If I like a guy for any reasons other than simply the thought of bedding him, I had no difficulties carrying on a conversation with him...even if that same thought has crossed my mind a time or seven. But around guys whom my interest in is solely physical, I can't even string two coherent sentences together. Then I avoid them, because as Willow said, "I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk."

"Going home, you won't miss me/ I don't care shut up & kiss me" - Pony Up!, Shut Up And Kiss Me

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Fickle Listener

Not that it has anything to do with this post, I figured out how to allow people to comment! Good, I was getting lonely. Now back to your regularly scheduled thing you neither think nor care about:

My first thought upon waking this morning was that my alarm clock didn't "feel friendly" and I'm still not sure what that meant, though perhaps it's related to also having woken up in the middle of the night twice this week anxious about not knowing where the alarm's non-existence remote speaker unit was. I'm afraid that my clarity of thought didn't improve exponentially over the course of the day, so I'm not able to guarantee this entry will make perfect sense.

But be glad, instead of talking about music, I could talk about the other mysteries I ponder on dopey days like this: why does no brand of women's underwear have sizes 1-4? Women's & Junior's pants have those sizes. And it's not like shoes - girl's underwear goes up to size 16, so it's not as though there's a confusion to be avoided by skipping 4 numbers. And what, exactly, would happen if you threw a raw egg in a fryer, shell and all? Anyway...

I've been wondering what the difference is between songs that I love for a brief time, and those I love forever and ever. I'll play songs I really like on a loop for an hour or more at a time (this week's songs that I'm that enamored by: "Sour Cherry" and "Tape Song" both by The Kills, "Cowbell" by Tapes n Tapes, and "Stay Don't Go" by Spoon) but I often just stop listening to them at all after a few weeks. Why? Sometimes you discover that the song recently got divorced and has an eighteen-month-old daughter, but- No wait, that's an example of my not-infrequent fickleness about men; a guy I was interested in for less than a week three months ago. Why are you letting me digress again?

Take Neil Finn's cover of "Billie Jean" for example. I was all over that in September, but I haven't listened to it at all in a month or two. On the other hand, there's "Weird" by Menomena that I've loved loved loved since July. Since I haven't listened to commercial radio for four years (besides getting songs from music blogs I use Station Ripper, which makes and downloads mp3s from the tracks streaming audio radio stations air, to listen to content from commerical-free indie and alternative stations across the country), I make myself a new CD of MP3s for my car once a month on average, with 200 or so songs on each one. "Weird" has been on more than half of those CDs for almost a year. Ditto for "Baby Girl, I'm A Blur" by Say Anything, "Pretty Little Nightmare" by Stefy, and the Young Americans mix of "Here In Your Arms" by Hellogoodbye.

And of course there are the songs that I re-fall in love with too. That I understand is just one of my quirks because I do that with other things, including foods, TV shows and the occasional human male, too. But why those songs? Why has "Coming Back to Me" and "To Your Bedroom" both by Paper Models, "The Rock Stop" by The Sun, and "Careful What You Say" by Up The Empire begun to resonate with me again? The latter two certainly don't have lyrics that are more meaningful at the present, so who knows.

The only person whose thoughts and actions I ever try hard to understand the motivation of is myself, and I can't but help to wonder if I could solve the mystery of what makes me love some songs for now and some forever I might learn something interesting about me. Or, maybe it's just mental masturbation, and I'm better off not bothering to think about it. Damn.

"I once had a grip on everything / It feels better to let go" - Carolina Liar, I'm Not Over

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

26 Years Ago Today...

Twenty-Six years ago today I missed my kindergarten graduation. I bet you're wondering why I remember the date exactly, but you should be more curious about why I didn't get to wear a paper mortarboard and had to pick up my diploma – which my parents still have framed – the following Monday. The reason happens to be one of my favorite people: my little brother.

My grandmother told my Mom that childbirth was the most awful experience a woman could endure, and she thought that she was going to die all three times. This lead my mother to believe that she got off easily when I was born, despite it going so badly that the doctor asked my father if it came to it, did he want her to try to save his wife or the baby. Luckily for us, they worked things out, so we're both still here. But this made my mother determined that she wouldn't mislead me so badly. So my aunt Gerry and I were present at my brother's birth. That's why I missed my graduation. I got to hold Vynce when he was just minutes old.

I'd like to say I adored him from the moment he was born, but we had a rocky start. Oh, he was fine as a baby, but by the time he was two he was breaking my things, and while I might not have the classic redhead's explosive temper (well, usually. Ask Vynce about the baseball bat incident some time) he always has had a shorter fuse. This lead to me having a lot of bruises when he was small. I didn't hit him back. But I did tease him and make him cry. I was his babysitter after school and all summer from the time I was twelve, so resentment that I was stuck with him when I'd rather be with friends, and his indignation that I wasn't the boss of him, didn't help any.

When he was eleven, though, my parents had him treated for ADHD, and he became a different boy, one who was actually nice to be around. We became much closer then, and remain close to this day :) When he was small I would have traded him for a sister in a second, but now I don't know what I'd do without him.

There are a lot of benefits to having a little brother: I got a lot better at video games like Mortal Combat and Grand Theft Auto than I'd ever been with a sister – I still haven't improved on Guitar Hero to his disappointment, though; I probably have him to thank for a lot of my knowledge of action movies; he explained the whole polo shirt wardrobe guy thing that baffles me; brothers invent fun games like let's beat on each other with wrapping paper tubes, and it became a Christmas eve tradition – I think it's been about 3 years since we last did that, so maybe we've outgrown it; he's never tried to steal a boyfriend or borrow my clothes; little brothers provide an easier method of deciding how much younger a person you can date than the guys' half your age plus seven equation – girls can date any guy older than their brother but those even a day younger than him are not eligible for dirty thoughts, so it's just a date to check, no math; little brothers seldom drag you clothes or shoes shopping, it's great to have someone who really understands why Space Ghost and the Batman Beyond incarnation of Batman are the best superheroes ever…

I think those things make up for the hours and hours I spent at little league games so our parents didn't have to bring him. Or the time he decided to tell me who I should marry, claiming he should have that right because he "never got to have a brother." Or telling me, a mere two years after he got taller than me, that he was glad I didn't want to go into the mosh pit at the Offspring concert we went to because "you're so little you could have gotten hurt." Or that time he stole my diary when I was going into the 10th grade…well, maybe it doesn't make up for that last one. And not for the walking sleeping bag thing either, but what can you do?

He had to work today, so the family celebrated his birthday on Sunday. What do you buy a man of twenty-six? If you're me you buy him volume 4 of Batman the animated series and this cool jellyfish mood lamp from Thinkgeek. Hey, he bought me a jar of sunlight for my birthday in April, and an alien fetus lamp a few Christmases ago, so it's not like we do practical. I called him today and we argued about whether or not someone is in the last year of their mid-20s, or the first year of their late 20s at 26. What to do with 20 is where we differed.

Happy birthday, Kiddo. I hope we celebrate many more.

"When Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house/You've got to set them up kid" - LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk Is Playing At My House

Bone Marrow Registry

I've been thinking about joining the bone marrow registry for a few weeks, and by happy happenstance, there's a registration drive going on until June 22nd, with the normal $52 fee waived. I just sent for my kit.

The odds of me ever being a match for anyone are small, but I like the idea of being able to help someone this way. Especially since I'm not planning on being an organ donor (learning that most donors are brain dead rather than dead-dead is off-putting). Donating marrow would either hurt or make me sick for a week or so depending on which of the two methods they use to collect marrow, but there are no lasting ill effects from either donation method, so it's hard to decide not to go through with it.

Here's the link if anyone is interested in joining too. Still, you once you register you're considered a potential donor until your 61st birthday, so it shouldn't be something you decide to do on a whim.

"I'm the only sour cherry on your fruit stand. Right??/Am I the only sour cherry on the fruit stand?" - The Kills, Sour Cherry

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It Spills Out

I was five when my cousin Jimmy drowned in the creek behind our grandmother's house. My parents had a fierce argument about whether or not I was old enough to go to the funeral; it was ended when my father hissed that I wouldn't understand if I couldn't see the body for myself.

Two days later, wearing a stiff white dress and a bow in my dark hair, I stood looking down my dead cousin. It was the only time I'd ever seen him wearing a suit, and not wearing an impish smile.

Two years older than me, Jimmy had been leading me into trouble as soon as I could walk. My parents said it had been a blessing that I hadn't been with him that day, or the family would've been burying two children. Not "might have," but a firm declaration, which showed their disdain for my cousin's leadership even as they said not to speak ill of the dead.

After the funeral, I didn't see Jimmy again until Thanksgiving.

Back in 2000 I wrote an essay for a defunct non-fiction site, Thinkstream, called "Write Like Love." The point of the essay was to compare how it feels to be in love with how it feels to be in the thrall of a new story. All these years later, I still think that the dreamy surreal feelings are quite similar; in both cases you obsess to the point of distraction and feel filled up possibility. Not that I'm currently in love - I'm just suffering from a moderate and unwise infatuation. Nor at this very moment am I enthralled by any particular story, though I'd like to be.

Instead of rehashing that, I want to talk about the opening of this entry. I was minding my business on Saturday afternoon, just listening to music, when I needed to grab a pen because the above had suddenly taken up residence in my head. I do know what it is - it's a plot that's been bouncing around my head for years, about death being another place rather than a state of being. This fragment is yet another of my brain's insistent attempts to put word to page. I dutifully wrote this sketch down, but I'm not sure that I'll be paying it much attention, because I don't even know anything about the narrator. Not even her name.

It seems wiser to instead return to Islene (age 35, distant descendant of Hypnos, God of Dreams) and Jared (nearly age 30, distant descendant of Epiales, demon-God of Nightmares) and finally give their story the last third it's been missing for what feels like forever. When I started that story two and a half years ago, I thought it would eventually end, not be hung up at word 54,441 - for those of you wondering the average page of a novel is 250 words. They're supposed to save their sons, and end up together after defeating Gods with mere human determination, yet they linger. Starting a new story seems like it will take me even farther from them...

I have been writing fiction since I was six years old. In all this time it never occurred to me until this weekend to wonder what it must be like not to have stories living in your head. Would it be as awful as my gut insists, or would it be a relief not to have to deal with creativity that demands an outlet now now now? My instincts tip towards the former. Though writing has provided me with many frustrations over the years, I don't know if I'd be the same person without the stories, both those victoriously or half-heartedly completed, and the ones who were snuffed out as mere sparks. I suppose that if I'd never picked up a pencil for the first time and wrote about girls on islands with monkeys or animals with mixed up voices I might never know what I was missing, but I can't help think that a lack of stories would lead to some sort of emptiness inside, even if I didn't know how to fill it.

"It takes a lot of desperation to make a move ." - Malcolm Middleton, A Brighter Beat

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

Neither is mine, obviously, since I unfortunately didn't have that sort of weekend =P Two of my female friends are expecting their first babies this fall. K, whom I've been friends with for going on twelve years, is expecting a planned-for baby in November. And Portia, who I used to be closer friends with in the past but has pulled away from people some since having a lot of turbulent things happen to her within the past three years (her first husband committed suicide, not everyone approved when she later married his best friend, she's been traveling for work far more often than she used to etc) is expecting a baby in October that's a... surprise. Yeah, let's use the word surprise.

Guess which one of them is having an easier time, physically, with her pregnancy?

It hardly seems fair, does it? Not that I would wish a difficult pregnancy on Portia, but I wish that K were having a much easier time of things. Am I wrong to be surprised that someone who is only turning 31 in July already has health issues like high blood pressure and thyroid problems that makes her pregnancy high risk and carefully watched by doctors? Maybe I'm being naive, but those things do surprise me. I thought those were problems that happened to older women; I'm over a year older than her, and neither of those problems is an issue for me. I suppose she could have gained a lot of weight since I last saw her in person, but I doubt it. Reading between the lines makes me a bit nervous when she talks about doctor's visits. I hope I'm just being nervous, because I'd hate for things to end badly for her and her husband given they are really excited about the baby.

On the other hand, Portia is not excited about her baby. Her husband is, her family is, but she is more resigned than pleased. How did she put it? She's "finally getting used to the idea." Yikes. Maybe it's a good thing she's having an easy time of it physically, because at least there's no resentment that having K's problems would probably spawn. Boy am I glad that I asked her if I missed an announcement when I noticed she was showing, rather than be all effervescent about the idea of a baby.

I told her that I can totally understand having mixed emotions, since I'm sure I would too given how long I was sure that parenthood isn't in my future. Especially if I found out that I was having a girl. I don't want daughters. (We live in wonderful times, because you can now stack the deck to a significant degree pre-conception...without using IVF, which is good given my disapproval of making embryos you don't intend to use) From the relieved expression on her face, it's pretty clear to me that a lot of people have been, consciously or not, making her feel guilty over her lack of enthusiasm. That sucks, even more so if they're not doing it on purpose. It's harder to keep yourself from doing something when you're not even aware that you're doing it. She says that the baby feels more real now, so that could be a sign that she's coming around more.

They are both in my prayers, and with luck the fall with bring two healthy babies to two sets of happy parents. I do mean that literally, by the way. I'm not a church-goer, but I haven't missed a night's prayers since before starting high school. It's going to be a long time until the fall...

"Used to feel love/now I wanna hurt you/ Real bad, real slow..." - Greg Dulli, Early Today

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Choices to Make in These Uncertain Economic Times

According to some, saving during a recession is a Bad Thing because the saver isn't doing their part to put money into the economy. That seems like a pretty narrow view, because it's the spendthrifts who are going to cause us more problems when they blow all their money and go on public assistance so they don't starve. It seems illogical to spend when you can save money.

As for me, a few days ago I saved myself at least a hundred dollars in installation fees by figuring out how to install the hardware I bought forever ago for my computer. (I had some oversight by someone who knew what to do, but I did everything myself with his advice). I wish I'd decided to brave opening the computer up months ago, because it turned out to be fairly easy. At least it was once I cannibalized a ribbon cable from an old computer for the new secondary DVD writer, that is. Everything else, the RAM, the video card and the sound card, all went in without a hitch. Now I'm even more curious to know if I can take out the stupid pocket media drive and put in a second hard drive in that space. I'm not about to pay $200+ for a 500mb pocket media card which is just a glorified external hard drive like the one I already own at over twice the cost, and I'd rather have another internal hard drive so I can have even more Mp3s on my computer. As it is, I only have 6,000 songs (all carefully labeled by their 63 subgenres, of course - is this pickiness why people find it surprising that I didn't listen to music until 9th grade?), and there are a lot of CDs I might rip if I had the space. My next computer is going to have a TB hard drive, or I won't even consider it without an expansion bay for another drive. It's funny, the computer I bought during college had a hard drive of 850MB and the day I bought it I couldn't imagine ever filling up all that space! Things have changed a lot in the past twelve years.

On the other hand, when I discovered that my car needed new tires and an oil change a week and a half ago, I promptly brought it in to have the tires installed for me and the oil changed. I figured it out at one point: changing the oil myself would cost me $2 less than having it done. Having it done right, and not getting my hands dirty is well worth the $2. As for the tires, I worry that I'll do something wrong and one will fall off, which is why I don't buy tires at Tire Warehouse, where you do the labor and save yourself a significant amount of the fees associated with tire installation. I hope I never have to change a tire on my own, because I'll be paranoid until I can get someone stronger to tighten the lug nuts for me...preferably with a gun.

Everyone should make their fiscal choices in the same way: based on what's best for them, not what might be the "morally" right thing for the economy.

"To feel real in dreams is not enough." - The Illiterati, Be My Echo

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Drag Me To Hell (no plot spoilers)

I saw Drag Me To Hell last weekend, and I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it. It wasn't what we'd planned to see, but my plans to hang out with C got postponed so many weekends in a row that The Haunting in Connecticut had already left theaters down her way. It's playing in my town - and it's yet another movie I won't see until it's out on DVD because I can't bear the idea of going to a movie alone - but she's dog-sitting her parents' dogs while they're out of the country this whole last week and part of next, so I had to see her instead. So, Drag Me To Hell was plan B.

By now I should know enough to look and see who directs a movie before seeing it, but I rarely do. Or, you know, pay attention during the opening credits so I'm not left wondering until the very end of the movie and the closing credits are up. Raimi isn't a director whose movies I won't watch (on the other hand, if anyone else tries to trick me into seeing a Richard Kelly movie again, I'm going to punch them. Seriously. I'm never going to get back the hours wasted on Southland Tales or Donnie Darko) but it would have been better to know that it had been one of his movies given I'm a much bigger fan of movies he's been the producer of, rather than the director or writer. As it was, the shift in mood two thirds into the movie was both jarring and unexpected. I'm sure fans of the Evil Dead movies will enjoy that, though. Me, I felt like we were suddenly yanked out of a fairly scary movie and dropped into Beetlejuice all of the sudden for a couple of scenes, and that was very odd.

As I said, I'm still not entirely sure what I think of the movie. I guess it was okay, but was it worth $8 to see? Hmm. The Mac Guy (Justin Long) playing one of the male leads did nothing for me, since he's neither a great actor, nor interesting to look at - and I kept expecting him to talk about computers. I also think he looked too young to play the part, given he was supposed to be "a professor" rather than a mere grad student teaching classes. Are there full professors who are only 31? Alison Lohman on the other hand, was really good. I keep thinking that she and Anna Paquin should draw on their characters from this movie and True Blood respectively to be sisters in a southern gothic horror movie, because they could really sell that. The other guy in the movie, Dileep Rao, seems to be new on the scene, but he was pretty compelling, so I'll keep an eye out for him.

One of the previews looked interesting - Orphan. Which means it'll probably not be very good. You get a real The Good Son vibe from the trailer, though.

"I'm not afraid of happy endings/I'm just afraid my life won't work that way" - Jack Off Jill, Fear of Dying

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Long, Long Week

Have you ever had one of those situations where you don't feel like you're displaying an adequate amount of outrage, because you just don't feel it? Something upsetting happened at work this week, but I get the feeling that other people feel more deeply upset than I do. I wonder how much it shows...

I'll change the names to protect the innocent and guilty, because you never know who'll find you in cyberspace. So, sometime last week four of the important people in the company were fired unexpectedly: Beatrice, who'd been with the company for eighteen years; Fortinbras, who'd also been there years; Paris, who started a couple years after me; and Banquo who started even more recently than Paris. It's clear to the players who remain that the decision to let these people go rather than others had everything to do with consolidating contracts rather than competency or seniority. Well, Paris was kind of useless, and Banquo was new to his position, but the other two were both senior to and more competent than those whose jobs didn't meet the chopping block. In an ironic sort of way, I'm glad I didn't get Paris or Banquo's jobs, since I'd interviewed for both. Getting promoted, then fired, would have been bad.

I feel sad in a general sort of way for Fortinbras, Paris, and Banquo because losing your job in any situation sucks, but the only one I really feel outrage for is Beatrice. She's the only one of the four that I knew well, and I've always liked and respected her, while I haven't been anything more than indifferent to the other three. (Paris, however, has for years been a handy mental illustration of the exact opposite of my type, being too tall, too thin, blond and blue-eyed. I've never told him that, of course, but I'm sure he wouldn't care given I don't even have the right plumbing to be his type) It's hard to feel outrage on the behalf of people you don't even particularly like, and I'm afraid that I'm not very good at faking it. I guess I'll stick to murmuring "how terrible" because I'm not going to learn to act now.

Maybe it would be easier to be upset on their behalf if I wasn't so annoyed on my own. Who the powers that be have decided to do play certain roles (with different pay grades) this month is grating, especially knowing why one person is King Lear's undeserved favorite. I'm hoping next month will be brighter for those of us being ill-used, since the economy is trapping us into feeling grateful that we're even employed at all.

Alas, work is not the only reason this week seemed to go on and on. I had a cold early in the week, and on top of that four days on and off of feeling sick to my stomach for an entirely different reason did nothing for my mood. It does make me worry, however, that if I'm ever pregnant I won't get past morning sickness without killing anyone. I'm not looking forward to this week in July, because falling to the communists in July is always the worst "experience" of the year for me. If June was this bad, will next month bring one of those weeks when I'm too sick to eat for three days? sigh. If I hadn't finally come around to the startling realization that I might actually want kids, which is something I've thought about more over the past two years than the ten previous (oh, another potential thing to whine about, how the guy who unintentionally changed my mind is one who found me easy to leave behind and forget about! Nah, I'll spare you that particular self-absorbed sniveling), a voluntary hysterectomy would sometimes be tempting.

And there's more! I've spent a couple of months researching things for a children's book I want to write. The problem comes that the story isn't. I've written 4000 words in first person, and I don't like the narrator's voice. But I also can't think of a way to effectively convey the same story in third person, either, which is frustrating me and making me doubt that I'm ever going to figure it out. I need to find a way to work through this, or I'll put it aside forever, just like I always do. I can't even properly fail as a novelist if I never finish anything. Or, anything besides my first, pitiful novel that no one is allowed to read, that is.

I guess this week isn't all bad, though. I found out through a friend that a former friend, McDuff, might be going to China to teach next year. I hope he will, and that he'll enjoy it if he does. We can't be friends anymore because I don't want to hurt him by leading him on and I can't figure out how I mislead him so badly in the first place, but I do pray for him still and I want him to be happy - just not with or because of me. There's got to be a girl out there that's right for him, and I hope he finds her soon.

The only bright spot about the situation with McDuff is that the things that made me never consider him for anything more than friendship - his quietness and lack of assertiveness, at least until he went about things horribly wrong - are also spared us both the discussion that goes "I thought about it when I became aware of your interest and decided that we'd have great potential to make each other miserable due to our temperament differences: you're a moody wuss and I'm too often insensitive. So yes, I'd far rather be alone than with you." He hasn't tried to talk to me since I told him to leave me alone in November, and God am I grateful it wasn't messier.

So pathetic whining isn't the best way to start off a brand new blog, but it's what's on my mind. I promise to try to whine less in further entries. I can't promise to use fewer parentheses.

"We were born to f*ck each other/One way or another" - Iron & Wine, Evening on the Ground