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December 28, 2002
Click click click click click click.
A childhood wish came true on Christmas day: it snowed. But it wasn't a very magical snow. It rained hard throughout the morning and then changed into heavy wet flakes. We ended up with about an inch of icy white stuff. On the 23rd, my mother and father and I went to dinner, and I toasted to a Christmas snow strong enough to prevent us from having to follow our normal routine. The routine is: eat dinner at Mom and Dad's with my great aunt and then drive downtown to visit another great aunt and her brother. It's always a blast, let me tell you. However, the toast worked, and finally, for the first time in memory, we did not have to go anywhere on Christmas.
So I sat by the fire and then in bed and started and finished my favorite book from childhood (I guess from when I was between 7 and 10), Noel Streatfeild's Dancing Shoes. It's about three girls: a spoiled and haughty talented one, a cheery but lazy talented one, and a sort of dour one who is forced to dance though her talents lie undiscovered elsewhere (in acting). While I was a pretty good dancer in childhood, I always identified with the misunderstood third girl. It was written to make me do that, but I felt more like her anyway. Reading it again, I realized I was probably more a combination of the spoiled girl and the misunderstood girl.
I'm still being spoiled. Dad bought Chris and me each a laptop this year. That's on top of a nice stock of other gifts. I got the Lomo Kompakt Automat as well, which is one of the coolest-looking cameras ever and comes with a descriptive booklet ("what the hell is Lomo?") whose copy is severely funny. I want to work for them so I can write stuff like: "Put your head in the ice cold bathtub, hold your breath, count to 100 and let your everyday troubles dissolve. Then jerk your head out again, and with it firmly on your shoulders, grab your Lomo and hit the streets."
Oh, Chris reminded me of another tape I used to listen to during the drive to high school. His message about it reads:
No...I never pronounce lbs. as libs...it just gets read as 'pounds' in my head. Always. What was that tape that had that weird song that wasn't really a song where people were at a party and they were saying "we don't like you!" and laughing?
That was Thinking Fellers Union Local 282's Mother of All Saints. It's a good album.
December 23, 2002
roots rock rebel
Joe Strummer died yesterday. He was the same age as my mother is now.
The Clash, along with Led Zeppelin, have played a big role in my life. I think I tortured my brother with my tape of Combat Rock during the drive to school for about three months straight daily. (Throughout senior year of high school, the tape deck in Snowy rotated among Combat Rock, a tape made from Becca's copy of The Clash on Broadway, X's Los Angeles, The Velvet Underground and Nico, the Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat... anything else, Chris?) It's easier to understand the love affair with The Clash than it is to understand the Led Zeppelin infatuation, I think; The Clash were angry and political and smart, perfect for the seventeen-year-old girl searching for a band to identify with. I also thought they were hot. (Led Zeppelin had their own brand of sex appeal, and I still find their songs eminently listenable, if only because I have heard them so many times — hundreds, truthfully — that I can't imagine a time when I didn't know them.)
Recently I found a painting I did in high school of Mick Jones. It wasn't half bad. But it also wasn't finished. I think I need to add Joe to it.
So, Christmas is coming, and I don't really care whether the goose gets fat, but I do want to make sure that I can, if I want to. I have lost a good bit of weight lately, probably because of stress, and I want to put on some pounds to prove to myself that there isn't something wrong with my body. It's already worked, really; it seems that I've gained about a pound in the past week. But I can spare a couple more if necessary. It's a fun experiment for the holidays. And the 2003 resolutions include more exercising, so hopefully I'll be able to knock those lbs. (when you read 'lbs.,' do you ever pronounce it 'libs' in your head? I do) back off in a healthy way.
December 17, 2002
[one of my recent traditions...]
One of my recent traditions is to try to listen to a few Christmas albums each night during the holiday season. The Charlie Brown Christmas album is always a must. Lately I've also been listening to a collection of Christmas songs from the war era. That's WWII. I must say, I love it. I also ordered Christmas with the Rat Pack (it was described as "boozy" in the review I read, and I thought I might be able to relate) from Amazon and they flubbed my order. Instead, I got Judy Bloom's Blubber, meant for a woman named Cynthia in Oakdale, NY. I wonder if God wants me to read Blubber.
In other music news, I'm addicted to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It has replaced the Pernice Brothers' The World Won't End as my "album I can listen to when I don't know what I feel like listening to." That's not to say that I don't feel like listening to the Pernice Brothers anymore. I would think these two albums might say something about me -- that I've lost my edge, perhaps -- but I still have cravings for X, who I think are one of the edgiest bands ever to grace America.
This entry is fascinating, isn't it.
Three more work days till holiday freedom.
Being single isn't very fun at first. That's all I'll say about that.
Oh, it might do you well to check out Litza's newly revamped web site. She's one of the coolest women on the web (and in the actual world as well!), and I have no reason to exaggerate.
Judy Garland is singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to me right now. I'm a'gonna try.
December 05, 2002
Heft, and later the absence of it
There has been upheaval in my life lately. I've decided to become single.
I think I have always had a vision (albeit a sort of romantic and vague one) of how my life would progress. There is a blurry cartoon map toward the back of my brain with little Xs marking ages. My twenties, the map says, are when I have the adventures that I will write about when I am old and settled. After I turned 24, I realized that my twenties are almost half gone. Or at least a third gone. I'm not a grown-up yet, and I'm not quite ready to become one. Simply put, I have a lot of living to do.
So, the past few weeks have been hard. But my friends have been marvelously compassionate and Greg has been extremely understanding. I have cried a lot lately, and I'm sure I'm not through crying, but this experience is likely the first of similarly formative ones. And that's what I'm going for.
In other news:
It's snowing today. It's pretty. But no one is in my office. I can't decide whether to go in to answer phones. People are going home early. Schools are closed. I'd prefer not to leave the apartment if I don't have to.
However, tonight is also supposed to be my ten-year grade school reunion. Grade school was a sort of traumatic time for me, and I think it'd be cathartic to speak with people from my past. I want to believe they've all matured into kind, intelligent adults (meanwhile, a few paragraphs earlier, she says she isn't an adult yet, so how could she expect the same from her peers...). I'm sure most (and I'm also sure not all) of them are wiser and kinder now. But how many of them will brave the eight inches of snow? If I didn't live twenty-five miles away I'd be more inclined to trek and find out. Should I decide to go, though, I have no idea what to wear.
December 01, 2002
[laundry made me cry]
I haven't been updating my site because I'm avoiding having to write about all of the changes that have been happening. I know a number of people who read dorkist regularly. I don't know who reads this diary aside from my brother. I don't care about Chris reading this, as I don't consider him to be among "my public." But I feel like I don't have to try to be entertaining here, and therefore can be more genuine and less self-concious. It's nice.
Last weekend I told Greg I needed to be alone for awhile. I feel I need to grow up a bit, be more independent and spend more time developing new friendships. I want to figure out where my life is going and where I want it to go. I want to experience and learn new things. I realized the extent to which I am spoiled (by my parents and by Greg) and I fear it's keeping me from becoming a respectable adult.
Over the weekend, small things would set the tears off. I did my laundry and hung some clothes to dry on the railing of Greg's loft, something I have been doing for more than one year, and I thought, "This is the last time I'll do this." Yes, the laundry made me cry, because it was emblematic of the upcoming change in the routine of my life. The comfort and happiness I feel whenever I am with Greg would vanish from my life. I would no longer be able to visit him and play video games with him and do laundry and shop and snuggle in bed with him.
I noticed the string of party lights hanging over the railing and thought about how the previous night was the last time Greg would ever turn on the party lights to set a romantic mood for me.
Greg comforted me and told me that we would always be friends. He kissed me gently and cradled me. He patted my hair and wiped tears off my cheeks.
On Sunday, he walked me out to my car. I sat inside it and he leaned over and kissed me. We said goodbye. He gave me another short, tender kiss. Then I closed the door and started the car and he walked to his apartment and didn't look back.
Friends and family were good distractions this past week, but now that the holiday weekend is over, I'm not sure how things will be. I'll write more later.