24 April, 2011

News and Entertainment.

There is much to write this entry. I hope I don't forget anything, so I most assuredly will. I have tried to jot little notes to myself as I think of things I need to document in this journal. It's such a bummer to not be able to type it all out as it comes to me. But, then, I am a child of the NOW generation. We were born into the Cult of Convenience, and as such have taken vows of Impatience and Immediacy and Id. Hmmm. I digress ...

I had a yard sale this weekend past. (Yes, another one. And how I could still have so much stuff covering a lawn is really just beyond me. It shames me. But, I rally in the knowledge that most of it is gone now.) The sale was supposed to be on Saturday, but due to the impending rain storm (and tornadoes!) we had to postpone it to Sunday. Now, Sunday is traditionally not a very good day for a yard sale ... especially here in the Bible Belt USA. We tried to adjust our timing so that churchgoers would still be able to stop by. But, in the end, we didn't get too much traffic. The traffic we did get was top quality, though - several friends and neighbors who were happy to support our efforts and take our good stuff at cheap prices. That said, this was a pretty good yard sale as far as wares were concerned. Most of this stuff was what had made it through all the other rounds of "Keep or Heap". This was some mint swag. And in the process of trying to sell it all, I found myself facing some [more] uncomfortable demons. You are probably familiar with these demons, in fact. Their names are Smeagol and Gollum. That's right. Whenever I would set some beautiful, shiny trinket out to sell, old Gollum would suddenly seize upon it with a lusty, "My Precious! We can't sells the Precious!" Then Smeagol would chime in to kindly remind me that this object has been with us forever - we define ourselves by ownership of this object, and we wants it. Then I would suddenly find the presence of mind to release the object, thus releasing it's torrid spell on me. This internal battle would rage for what seemed like years in my head and heart, but really only passed for a moment or two. And it happened with almost every object out there. Argh. What a workout! Still, I made it to the end of the sale. What didn't sell either got donated or ended up on craigslist. Despite all the gut-wrenching back and forth, it did feel so much better to be released of the burden of all that stuff. (You would think I would have learned this by now, but I seem to have to go through the grabby phase every time. Maybe one day I will be totally free.)

So, in an effort to release the last few objects, here are the links to the stuff on craigslist:

Saddle Oxford Shoes
Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Le Creuset Canister
Retro Telephone
Mac Laptop Computer
Japanese Folding Picnic Table
Vintage Peeptoe Crocodile Pumps
Vintage Bacon Press

There. If any of the above piques your interest ... or your inner Gollum ... give me a shout.

In other exciting news, I finished all my work on Rosy, and she has been posted online, too. She is officially For Sale! Here are a few of her online ads. Feel free to pass them on to potential buyers!


She's turned out quite nicely, I think. Toot! Toot! (That was me tooting my horn. I hope you'll excuse me.) My hope, now, is that she will sell quickly and easily so that I can get on to planning my trip!

I have been so productive since Mercury went Retrograde. It's ironic and unusual, but I'm digging it. Wonder what will happen when it goes direct again? (Does that happen today? I think it does!) I even managed to get my personal training test on the books. Though, sadly, it had to be scheduled for later than I had hoped due to the untimely expiration of my CPR certification. That class has also been scheduled. All should be finished by the last week of May. I'm also down to one storage unit now. Well, it officially happens at the end of this month, but any stuff in there is going to be gone very soon. So, somehow, I managed to get back on track with all of those monthly goals I set for myself in January. Bully for me! And thanks to all the Universal mojo that has helped me get it all done. (Yes, that includes help from people, too. Thanks to those who have helped me do this much. You know who you are.)

In the midst of all this progress, I have managed to have a little fun, too. Sister and I went to see the movie, Your Highness a couple weeks ago. It was hilarious! We giggled and snickered our whole way through the film. It should be noted, however, that we both have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. If you do, as well, I strongly suggest you go see it immediately. Plus, there's eye candy for everyone in this film. (James Franco? Natalie Portman? Hello?) Then, this week, we had a Dinner With Andre at the Herons restaurant at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. Now, I know you don't know what I mean by Dinner With Andre. And no, I am not speaking of the film of the same name. A friend of mine has very graciously made an occasional habit of taking myself, my sister and my friend to dinner at some of the nicer eateries in the area. It's a chance for all of us to get together, catch up, spend good time with good friends, good food, good drink. ("Andre", if you are reading this, you rock the party live. Thank you.) Anyway, it was a lovely dinner, and, as always, was a fun evening spent in the company of people I love. Yay!

Got to talk with mom and dad quite a bit this past couple weeks. There were a couple of family video chats on Skype, as well as emails and chats with dad online. They are doing so well on the island. They now have a house and a car. They say the car is very weird looking, so it fits our family well. Dad got a haircut the other day. Mom is trying to adjust to the humidity. (Well, I imagine they both are.) They have made some really nice friends, too. I am so happy for them, and I can barely wait to get there to visit with them. Soon. Soon.

That's really all I can muster to write about today. As I said above, I am sure I am forgetting something, but, whatever it is will have to wait until another entry. Have a warm and wonderful Easter weekend, should you choose to celebrate it or not. Cheers!

10 April, 2011

Just call me Shrek.

It’s quite a process, really; this sloughing off of my life prior. I continue to be amazed by the correlation between object and experience, property and memory. I recognize that this is a tired metaphor, but I really feel like I’m peeling an onion. For every layer I manage to pry away from the center, there are an infinite number of remaining layers. Some of the layers burn. Some make me cry. Some set me salivating. Some are sticky and hard to release tidily. And some just plain stink. But if one can get beyond all of the difficulties of peeling an onion, then one is rewarded with a seductive sweetness. For a full-flavored life, I suppose I can keep on peeling.

It’s trippy watching the teleplay. Every so often I find myself overwhelmed with a strange sense of nostalgia for very particular periods of my past. Right now I seem to be wading through the mid to late 1990s. It was a pretty fun time for me, though, so I don’t really mind resting (wallowing?) here a while. It was during this time that I think I may have felt most comfortable in my skin. (Or, at least, that’s how I remember it while glancing back through Sister Nostalgia’s rosy hued specs.) I hadn’t realized how uncomfortable I had become until I began to reflect on the era.

Freeze Frame: It was a time of Girl Power; third wave feminism; renewed interest in mysticism and the occult; Buffy, the Vampire Slayer; the WB network. Fashion was plastic, shiny and sparkly. A mixture of Brit Pop,

Punk Pop,

and Chick Pop

was playing in the dance halls and on the radio waves. Lilith Fair was born. Dawson had Joey. Felicity had Ben. Horror movies went glam. Ally McBeal’s hemlines were a topic of national debate. Life was light and bubbly and fun.

These, of course, are my personal [college girl] recollections. Yours may be quite different. In my world, the late nineties represent fun, friends, and frivolity, or, to quote the brilliant Baz Luhrmann (whose Romeo + Juliet was rocking cinemas at the time): Truth. Beauty. Freedom. Love. A bohemian storm was brewing, alright; it was brewing inside of me.

This was one of the few times in my life when I have felt fully connected with the world around me. I had friends. I had fun. I was creative, and active. I was participating in life. I was learning, and laughing and loving. And I was having a blast doing it. That doesn’t mean that I was always happy as a sorority sister on uppers. I still had my moments of depression, worry and stress, but I dealt with these emotions creatively. I would write … a lot. I would draw. I would go for a drive, play music, and sing out my frustrations … always very loudly … sometimes very badly. I would dance. And dance. And dance.

I don’t do those things much anymore. And I’m not sure why.

This afternoon, as I was burning all of my CDs into my iTunes library (in preparation for selling them), I found myself poring over several of my old favorite CD liners. Most of these were from – you guessed it – the 1990s. Suddenly, I felt an almost violent desire to create. Something. Anything. (Ironically, I ended up playing some Tori Amos and writing this blog entry. Not really what I was craving, but I’m hoping to get the insight and inspiration I need to figure out what my creative outlets are now.) I suppose I will forever be surprised by the recurring realization that I both am and am not at all the person I’ve always been. Okay, Brain, chew on that a while longer.

I’m not really sure where this is all going. Nor am I sure I need to know. I just know that I need to get it out here. Somehow I have to figure out how to marry the old me with the now me. But, first, I must discover who each of these women really are. They whisper secrets in my ears, but like a good game of Gossip, the messages sometimes get garbled on the way to my brain. It’s like the poetry I used to write: It was always very personal and emotional and, well, crude, I suppose. I rarely shared it with people, and when I did, it was more an exercise for me to symbolically open myself to the larger world than to have my poetic skill judged. In fact, I imagine that most of those words read as ridiculous gibberish to anyone not a denizen of my headspace. Still, I miss those moments of enchantment when the Muses would light a spark for me and set my pen to scribbling. Those moments when all that was churning around inside me could be purged onto paper into something that was beautiful and tangible and could be deciphered later if it needed deciphering at all. I miss that rush of releasing the residue and remains of experience into the ethers. That symbolic exorcism via practical magick.


That sounds kind of like what I am doing now with my material belongings. Wait a minute: Am I having a light bulb moment? Is this ‘material unloading’ my creative process right now? Perhaps. Or, perhaps, Sister Nostalgia is wearing me out, and it’s time for a nap. Either way, I think I’ll wrap things up so I can ruminate while I rest. I hope this entry gives you pause – if not to think, then to take a little stroll down memory lane. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

06 April, 2011

Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my birthday. And it was a good one. Actually, my celebrating began on Saturday. Sister took me out for birthday dinner. We decided to triple our fun by going to three different places during the evening. We began with appetizers and Makers Manhattans at Pop's. Then it was off to Dos Perros for dinner - we shared the seafood enchiladas, chips, salsa and guacamole - along with a spicy guava and tequila cocktail followed by a fancy round of tequila. (I can't remember the name, but the waiter said it was his favorite tequila in the world.) After dinner, we finished the evening with a drive by gelato-getting trip to Francesca's, which we took back to Sister's house and feasted on with coffee and some delicious cookies that Sister had baked. (Thankfully she made them with gluten free flours, so I could eat them. Yum.) We tried to watch a movie, but by then we were too pooped from all the partying (read: eating and drinking) that we only made it through about half a Harry Potter. Then I came home and hit the sack.

Sunday was a fasting day (New Moon), so I took it pretty easy. In the afternoon, Sister and I went for a two and a half hour hike in the botanical garden trails. It was really a beautiful day and a lovely hike. We even got to talk to mom and dad while we were out there. They've been having some difficulties getting reliable communication going from the island, so it was an added bonus to a great day.

For my actual birthday, I decided I wanted to really indulge myself all day. I woke up fairly early (after 10 hours of delightful sleep), and spent the morning luxuriating around the camper. Then, I gave myself a facial while watching some Veronica Mars. In the late morning, I walked over to my friend Sarah's house for a long overdue and much needed two hour massage. Aaah. After walking home, I proceeded to Weaver Street Market to pick up some sushi. Took my sushi and my sunscreen to my friend's pool to get started on my tan. (I feel like it's better to have a base tan than to be pasty white when one embarks on a trip to the equator.) Sunbathed for an hour, and finished a book to boot. I came home long enough to get cleaned up and set off for Durham where I met up with Sister and some girlfriends at Fullsteam Brewery. One of the ladies was in from out of town, so it was a welcomed chance to get to see her for a bit before she was due to return home. (As always seems to happen in those instances, though, I didn't get to chat with her as much as I would have liked ... Kelly, if you're reading this, I'd love to chat more! Email, maybe?) I was slated to meet up with another girlfriend in Durham at 9pm when she got out of a class. However, being the wild and crazy lass I am, my lids started to droop almost as soon as the sun dipped below the horizon, so we decided to reschedule. (Mere, if you're reading this, let me know when you want to make that happen.) Came home, watched a video while eating the birthday cheesecake that Sarah gave me (Y.U.M.), then dropped the lights and a ton of Z's.

And, it's getting dark here, now, too, so I think I'm gonna go get ready to drop some more. Buenos Noches, y'all.

01 April, 2011

Another Update 3.31.11

My parents have arrived safely in Pohnpei (Ponape), FSM (Federated States of Micronesia). I can breathe easily again. Actually, it would be more accurate to state that I can breathe more easily now. I must confess that I have been only barely maintaining myself since my last post. We had to put our family dog, Sparky (aka: Sparkles), to sleep last week. We knew the time for his departure was fast approaching, but it became immediate when he began bleeding inexplicably. He was such a good doggie, and brightened so many of our days. He will be sorely missed. That marked yet another big loss for our family. All of this grief has been almost unbearable, but we have managed to keep ourselves so distracted with the preparations for my parents' move, that it has allowed us to just keep trodding.

I have noticed, for myself, that I have been letting my health and personal maintenance take a backseat during all of this processing. And this is probably the worst thing I could be doing under these extreme circumstances. I have not been exercising for a couple weeks. My diet has been crap. And I've been giving in to sugar cravings. My sleep schedule is so interrupted that I am tired all the time. And my acupuncturist told me that she is convinced my candidiasis is flaring up again. Good times. Of course, by "good times" I really mean "this is terrible, and I must start doing something about it immediately." I did manage to sleep for twelve and a half hours last night, so I am hoping that will allow the healing to begin.

As far as progress goes ... in my last post I mentioned my plans for getting back on track with my outlined goals for completing projects pre-trip. Well, I haven't stayed on target due to the aforementioned upsets. But! I have gotten some good work done. I have finished sorting through my storage units and my camper, and am ready to start organizing a sale of all of the items I will no longer be needing. I also replaced all the burned out bulbs in the camper, and installed the new bathroom flooring. My sister helped me with do that, and we repaired the galley table. Only a few more small repairs and I'll have this baby on the market. I am hoping to do most of the remaining work this weekend since the weather is supposed to be dry and warmer. I also received a little money from my mom via her share of my grandfather's will. I am going to use that to procure a good HD camcorder. I am, admittedly, nervous about choosing a camera, since I'm still unsure of what I am going to want in a camera, but some friends have given me some pointers, so I will do the best I can. I am hoping to record an updated video tour of Rosy soon so that you all can see the repairs and get a better look at her without all the clutter that used to be clogging up her insides.

Other than that, I am hoping to get back to being more active. My mood seems to be intricately and intensely affected by how much or how little exercise I get. It's a catch-22 loop, really: The more I exercise, the better I feel, the more I want to exercise; the less I exercise, the worse I feel, the harder it is to motivate myself to exercise. I'm hoping a return to warm Spring weather will help with the motivation.

My birthday is coming up soon ... on Monday, in fact. I had hopes of having a celebration, but I'm realizing that I have no idea what to do, and have waited too long to really be able to expect anyone to be available on such short notice. I may try to do something anyway, but am not sure what. I guess we'll see what happens, and how I feel. I really miss my parents.

Oh well, enough of that melancholy! I'm off to have lunch, then to take a yoga class. Let's get this body back in motion!

Thanks to all of you who sent good mojo out to my folks during their transit. You are rockstars ... all of you. Have a fantastic weekend!