November 30, 2008

10 things to 10 people

1. I feel like you've saved me over and over again.
2. I miss you.
3. Sometimes I wish you would just leave me alone.
4. I feel unworthy of the esteem in which you seem to hold me.
5. Let's start driving. Now.
6. I feel more peaceful now that we've forgiven each other.
7. What if...?
8. Thank you for loving me.
9. I am so grateful that I can say absolutely anything in the world to you and know that it will be heard without judgment.
10. You give me hope for myself.

November 24, 2008

2 unrelated things

1. I woke up this morning to this message:

We need someone to write song lyrics for our band. We're a moderately terrible band with pretensions to be something between the melvins and kiss. We have not obtained a singer, but when we do, we need something for him to sing.

If interested, let's get a drink. If not, let's get two.

I don't really want to have a drink with this person, but the message did make me laugh.

2. One of my favorite websites, A Softer World, has t-shirts for sale and advertised them this way:

If you buy one of our shirts for your mom or your dad for Christmas, your parents will probably get back together. Unless they are happier apart. Then they will just look good.

November 23, 2008

Far from heaven

That was the day I stopped believing in love. That kind of love. The love in books and films. The love that tells us to abandon our lives and plans, all for one brief touch of Venus. So often we fail at that kind of love. The world just seems too fragile a place for it. Perhaps it's just that we are too fragile.

"There is hope. Make the call."

Today I worked on something that I started over a year ago for the first time: making greeting cards. It was an extremely satisfying experience.

For years I've felt there was something creative in me trying to get out. And for the last couple of years I've taken pictures of random things and never really knew what I would end up doing with them.

Here are some prototypes:

Bluff 019
Once I bluffed and fooled everyone, I stopped playing. It was enough that my eyes hadn’t revealed everything for once.

This one above I actually made last October, and I still like it. So after mailing out all those copies, I made another.

Momma wished for a bigger set of tits. See how that didn’t work?

My hands still remember 006

This one above was a postcard secret I made last October, and it's one of my favorite things I've ever made because it was so anguished and heartfelt. I felt like it didn't need any writing inside because it said enough already.

Paul's visit 005
We painted our bodies like savages and vowed to give our children names of towns we’d never been to. Then your mother called and told you to come home for dinner.

Cluck cluck
Do you honestly think that slut Henrietta will love you the way I can?

Portland 048
I heard, I heard. I heard it clear. I was afraid to follow. (Shel Silverstein)

This one above I have on my MySpace page entitled "run away with little boy blue." That title is appropriate for so many reasons. As is this caption.

Don't jump
Turned off the stove—check. Set the cat free—check. Told the landlord to go fuck himself—check. Gave you all my taped MacGuyver episodes—damn…

I bought stamps and put my brand name on the back of each: 6 Birds Cards

There are a couple that I want to re-work a bit. There are at least a dozen more that I've made and am still thinking about the captions. But I'm pretty happy with them. Also, I realize they're not for everyone, as has already been evident from the people I've shown them to. I don't care, though. I love them. I'd buy them.

November 12, 2008

All you need is...

I have this weird thing I like to do.

In Facebook there is this strange little application (among exactly 9,458 others) you can add to your page. It's called "send good karma" and I added it months ago when a friend spammed me on a list. You earn points when you send people good karma, and you can use those points to "purchase" different types of good karma to send to people--things like health, prosperity, love, and wisdom. You can send it to your friends and you can send it to strangers. You can also put out a general request to all good karma users for a specific type of karma you want.

At first I was amused by this ability to send and receive good karma to and from strangers. Then, as I started reading the reasons people listed as to why they'd requested a good karma, I was touched.

Take love for example. People give responses to the prompt, "I ask for this karma because..." such as these below:

"...because I have been unlucky in love lately."

"...because I feel like love is something for other people and not for me."

"...because I am lonely."

"...because the one person who loved me is no longer in my life."

It's true that I'm a sucker for sad bastard stories and this has been pointed out to me by more than one person. But after reading these responses, I started sending "Love" to every stranger I could. (Am I, like, a good karma whore?)

Then I tested it for myself. I typed the reason I was requesting the good karma of "love" be sent to me:

"...because sometimes I am afraid I only have a limited supply of it."

I started getting "love" and encouraging, supportive messages from people all over the globe. Somehow I never get tired of them. This application really cheers me up.

Conversation at work

Co-worker (regarding our company's 25th anniversary party this evening): Are you bringing a date tonight?

Me: No.

Co-worker: Thank God I'm not the only pathetic one.

November 9, 2008

A symphony in three movements

The song in my head right now:

I'll take advantage while
You hang me out to dry
But I can't see you every night
No, I can't see you every night

(I do.)

The book quote that just struck me:

Our backyard looked into the woods, and we'd sit out there when it got too humid to breathe inside. Charlottesville turns into a rain forest every summer; the sea winds blow in from Tidewater, a few hundred miles to the east, and then they run slam into the Blue Ridge, so all the hot, wet air just hovers over Charlottesville. We'd look out across our neighbors' yards and try to imagine their lives. Did the really live here, call it home? Or were the on their way to bigger things, like us? Did they get stuck here on their way somewhere else, or was this the town where they arrived and said, This is the place? Did they give up and blame each other? Were they lying low and planning their next move?

- From Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

The vivid dreams I've been having:

1. I dreamed about my bike. I barely know how to do anything to it, including ride it, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I dreamed I finally got on it to go for a ride. When I got there I had a flat tire and absolutely no idea how to fix it. I stayed in one place forever trying to get it fixed. I finally broke down and admitted I couldn't do it myself. I asked someone to help me so that I could finally get somewhere.

2. I dreamed I was flying. I haven't had one of those dreams in years. I would have dreams where I tried desperately to get off the ground--would run and run and hold out my arms, hoping the wind would lift me--but I never got there. In this dream, I was gliding over meadows as the late summer sun started setting in the sky, and I was thinking, "My God, it's been so long..." A voice of someone I knew in my past--I couldn't quite place her--said, "How do you do this? Can you show me?"

I shook my head and said out loud as I continued to fly, "No. I don't think so. You have to figure it out for yourself. It took me a lot of trial and error. I still don't always get it right."

She persisted. "Just tell me how you do it! Teach me how!"

I answered, "I can't. I can't teach you."

November 6, 2008

Confessions of a dangerous mind

I am bored.

I think I get bored way too easily.

I get lonely frequently.

I think I get lonely way too easily.

I would like to be having sex.

Going to Richmond--however briefly--has made me think a lot about what I want in my life.

I am planning my exit strategy now more than ever--on the drives to and from work, in the quiet moments before sleep, with my head underwater in the shower, while waiting for the coffee pot at work...

November 3, 2008

In between

I imagine there are only a few moments in your life, at best, when you have the opportunity to tell another human being--really tell them--the impact they've had on you. The funny thing about these moments is that it seems like each second should be momentous and dripping with meaning, and that usually isn't the case. It often seems that they could easily be mistaken as a moment of lesser import because they are sandwiched in between more mundane and trivial affairs: Did I remember to turn off the coffee pot? My foot itches How long would a piece of hail last if I were to save it in my freezer?

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to say these things to my grandpa--my favorite person in the world, living or dead. I was exhausted and feeling rushed My hair was dripping from taking a bath and I was having trouble getting my suitcase closed. I needed to stop and get gas before getting on the interstate to go back to the Pittsburgh airport.

I felt self-conscious about asking my mom and my step-grandma to leave me alone with him for a few moments. I worried that I would lose my nerve to face up to this conversation. I wondered how to sum up a lifetime of love for and memories of and gratitude toward someone.

He looked small and frail in pajamas that have grown too big for him. I pulled a kitchen chair into the living room and sat next to him in his recliner. I took his hand into mine and looked him in the eyes. I told him everything I wanted to say. I wept. I thanked him for loving me and helping to raise me. I told him how important he was to me and I loved him very much.

He squeezed my hand and listened to me with tears in his eyes. He told me in a weak voice that I'd brought so much happiness into his life. He told me not to feel guilty about not coming home for his funeral because he didn't want one. He told me he would watch over me. He told me he'd had a good life. I stroked his arm and asked him if he was scared. "No," he said quietly.

I hugged and kissed him, called everyone back in the room, and said my goodbyes. Then I slipped back into business mode--loading my suitcase in the car, checking my watch, and returning to the life I've created for myself on the west coast.