Saturday, September 22, 2007

In Which I Push Myself Too Hard As I type this . . . hands shaking . . . I know I will spend the rest of my day in bed. I went to the writing group and am thrilled with the experience. I met with John and feel very confident about the direction in which things are going, aligning my actions to meet his needs. So far so good! But of course, five hours outside of my home is four and a half hours too many. I am so exhausted right now. All I want and need is my bed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

In Which I Can’t Come Out to Play Much I am trying to catch up on so many things after losing so many days. Monday and Tuesday lost because I went out. Wednesday and Thursday lost because I was so sick from the first half of the week. Today is my first day of feeling somewhat normal. Discouraged but normal. A friend of mine told me about a work from home company, a legitimate one. Unfortunately, I would need a LAN line. I don’t have a regular phone anymore, not now that I have a cell phone. And I would also have to answer telephone calls. During particular hours. Given that I can’t tell from one day to the next whether I will be physically strong enough to work . . . and knowing that the sound of telephones ringing triggers my vertigo meaning that the more frequently a phone rings the sicker I will be by the end of the day . . . Yep. A bit discouraging. But I know that I will eventually find something that will not aggravate my vertigo, something I can do from home. Data entry or proofreading or something along those lines. Something. Almost anything. So I’ve been pretty quiet mentally and physically. Rob and I are going out for dinner tonight. He has a craving for IHOP. Not fancy. Not even remarkably special. But we are going out to celebrate our second year anniversary. Two years engaged and still no wedding date! Woohoo!!! (Ahhhh . . . commitment phobic love . . . you just gotta laugh!) Rob suggested we go someplace fancier but until I have some form of steady income I think it would be best if we just stick with something inexpensive and not make things crazier than they have to be. And tomorrow more stress on my body. I am going to a writing critique group meeting. I am more than a little anxious about this because I am so damned needy and I don’t like needing something so very much. The story I submitted is one that my literati circle love; those academic elite who discuss philosophy and get off on discussing books read with a critical eye to allusions, metaphors, and the sort of things that bore the rest of the world. The story is my litmus test. If I can get any useful feedback on this particular story then I know I have found my niche, a place I can go and get the kind of comments for which I am starving. Remember when I said how Rob and I don’t need to make things crazier than they have to be? I might try following that line of thinking where it concerns this whole writing critique thing. I have a feeling that when we come home we’ll watch a dvd. Nothing romantic or even erotic. I’d lay my money down on Disney. Then again, you never know. Rob is nothing less than surprising.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Which I Confess to One of My Vices I am a sucker for America’s Next Top Model. I don’t think it is intelligent. I don’t think it is enlightening. I just enjoy watching the one hour each week and also enjoy the recaps I find on Television Without Pity. Although usually the updates on TWP are a lot more interesting and in depth. I can’t believe that there was no comment made about how Tyra got up on the table and . . . well, if I were to describe it to you, there is no way you could appreciate the oddness of the moment. (But if you have the time and/or inclination, you can go to the official website and watch what happens when Tyra finds out that one of the contestants does body waxings and . . . well, I really cannot do it justice!) Tyra takes modeling seriously. Very seriously. I can’t blame her. It’s done so much for her and I love how much she is doing with what she has. And it’s all well and good for Tyra to say “You should feel good about yourself” when she looks like . . . well, Tyra Banks . . . but she is not afraid to look a little foolish. Okay, sometimes very foolish. I mean, think about it. There is video of her falling off the sofa of her talk show, doing funky dances, showing off her fuller than before figure and we all know she could, as the producer of the programs involved, ask for these to be left on the cutting room floor. And still, she lets herself be human, look silly, kneel on a table with her butt in Ms Jay’s face and . . . really, you should see it for yourself. So here we are. Season/Cycle 9. I missed a few seasons and even now I miss the occasional episode. I am still surprised (appalled?) with last year’s winner but that doesn’t keep me from marveling at how these girls don’t get that modeling is not an easy profession. I lived in New York City so I’ve seen professional models off camera. It is not often a pretty picture. What photographs well doesn’t necessarily look so nice in the harsh light of day. (Brooke Shields is an exception and I could tell you more about that but why bore you. If you want to know more, ask. I’ll share my short BS story.) I fully intend on updating with my comments on each episode, with my saying which girl I like best. Mind you, my favorite changes from episode to episode and just because I like someone doesn’t mean they will win. In fact, the girl I like least could very well end up winning. It hasn’t happened yet but it could. As of now, I am all about Heather, who is definitely going to lose because she lacks confidence, and Lisa, who is an exotic dancer. Heather has Asperger’s Syndrome, is a self-proclaimed geek, and walks sort of stooped over. I have to back the geek because I’m looking forward to her dropping some Star Wars or Star Trek reference that none of the other girls will understand but will make me giggle with delight. (And did you know that they are making a new Star Trek film which is a prelude to the original show, that has the original C crew in the academy, learning the things that they will learn when they finally and boldly go where no man has gone before? Do you know how excited I was to hear about this? I mean, YAY! No Riker!) And Lisa . . . an exotic answer who says often that she dances in a bikini and did a lap dance right there for one of the girls. Woohoo! More Lisa Lap Dancing! How could I not want her to stay. So that’s where I stand now with my ANTM9 commentary. Stay tuned for updates and images and more.
Aries Horoscope for week of September 20, 2007 In the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, mamihlapinatapai is a word meaning "gazing into each other's eyes, each hoping that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start." If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, you've been experiencing some version of this poignant deadlock lately. It may have made sense for you to refrain from making the first move up until now, but it no longer does. Get yourself in a generous mood and provide the jumpstart you've both been hesitant to try.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In Which I Utterly Exhaust Myself

I had insomnia Sunday night. I went to acupuncture Monday and spent the rest of the day feeling rather wiped out, as usual. I managed to take a 45 mins nap. Monday night I had insomnia again. Tuesday I went out. Big mistake. I was literally nauseous from the vertigo and exhaustion by the time I got home. I took a 30 mins nap. Last night I took something to help me sleep. I woke up a little tired but I had at least slept. And below is a picture of a bruise from my last acupuncture appointment. That is a quarter beside it to give an idea of proportion. My mother, Rob, and I are agreed; put a pea under my mattress and I, princess that I am, would wake up complaining of being uncomfortable and bruised all over. That may explain why I had trouble sleeping the last two nights, now that I think of it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Which I Finish Reading (devouring really) a Graphic Memoir
I read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic in one day. Not a surprise. Graphic novels are a breeze to read, especially when it is as illuminating as this one is. But this is not a novel. It’s a memoir. Written in graphic novel style. And fabulous. I devoured it the way I had done Danny Gregory’s Everyday Matters, another graphic memoir. The artistic styles are hugely different. The only thing they both had in common was a deep resonance for me. Gregory writes about how his wife’s paralyzing accident changes their lives and how he himself learned to cope. I found myself reading it wondering if this is how Rob feels about my vertigo and how it has complicated our lives. And then Bechdel’s memoir . . . she actually uses words I have to look up in a dictionary (although I pretty much understand them contextually). Do you know how rare this is? Especially in a contemporary writer? I was so excited I practically had an orgasm reading her story. And as if that weren’t enough, there are all of these wonderful literary allusions, mythic metaphors that give deeper meaning and implication to the events of the story. Even without these things, the story is powerful and powerfully told. The first chapter lays it all out for the reader. Young woman tells her parents she is a lesbian mere weeks before her father dies in an accident that she believes was no accident. As she tries to comprehend her father’s suicide, family secrets come out of the closet, so to speak. The story cycles from past to the present and then back again, layering truth over truth until, by the final pages, you think maybe you know the truth. But really, how well does any child know the truth of her parents’ lives? And it is that questioning, the impossibility of her quest, that makes this memoir so wonderful. So very wonderful. For me there were so many things I found myself connecting with. She mentions lilacs very briefly and I am reminded immediately of a paper I wrote about Walt Whitman’s use of lilac imagery in his poetry. In one panel she describes the various scents that assault the nose on a typical New York City street and I am smiling, nodding, remembering. References to Nixon, to commercials, to fashion statements . . . everything sounded like something I knew personally, intimately. When she points out to her parents that girls wear hiking boots in Switzerland to persuade them to buy her a pair I am reminded of my mother saying that girls don’t wear high top Converse sneakers. (Notice, getting a pair of these is on my list of 101 Things . . . I still want a pair of what girls don’t wear. And now with my vertigo and my need to wear flats constantly, I have an argument for not only wearing them but needing to wear them.) I could go on. Easily. Endlessly. But I shall stop exuding. Great graphic memoir. Amazing story. Wonderfully told. Highly recommended. I'll definitely reread it before the book group meets to discuss it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

In Which I Say Everything and Nothing A hand extended, falls back empty. Such things are inevitable. I anticipated it, made the offer expecting nothing more. The other person will perhaps suggest that the slight was unintended. I’ve lived too closely to passive aggressive behavior to be so easily fooled. I lament the superficiality of online relationships only to see those in my real life fall into meaninglessness. We talk of things that do not matter and emails sent go silent. Common courtesies become uncommon and intimacy loses its touch. I feel unfelt. Questions become void, thrown out into nothing. What is a question without an answer? Silence. And I burn after one encounter. I medicate and complicate the simple. Anticipate that the blame will be laid at my unanointed feet. My hair is not long enough to wipe away the truth. I open my hands so wide it hurts, letting go of what I never held onto. There are times when even I fall silent.
This week September 17 through September 23 Aries You may find it difficult to make progress on Tuesday, as a number of obstacles rise up before you. The best way to deal with this is to not fight it. If you try too hard to push your way through, you may make matters worse. Just go with the flow, even if it means taking an unexpected detour. Getting bad tempered isn't the answer. The Sun moves into Virgo on Thursday, where it joins Mercury, highlighting your health and work zone. This is a good time to gather information and find out the facts.