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Promise. April 17, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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Well, I promised I'd write yesterday…but unfortunately WordPress was off sick. So, while it was nice to have a legitimate excuse for not writing, it means I have to smear some words onto paper today, so to speak, and I have nothing in my head!

Case in point, I've been staring at this little white box for a good hour and still have only three sentences written, all of which are complaining about my lack of things to talk about.

My very small room had been grating on me lately. The management has decided that, with the rising temperatures, the grass must be watered a million times a day. For some reason, these sprinklers are aimed across sidewalks and at my door, so not only do I have a three-foot patch of damp carpet /inside/, I can't leave my room if the sprinklers are on, or I'll get soaked. I honestly don't understand the need to water grass at one in the afternoon, but perhaps someone out there just enjoys watching me hover around my front door debating – be late, or put up with damp skirt? These are the difficult choices I face every day.

I am drinking a fancy coffee. Have you ever noticed that bubbles blown in any milk-based beverage look odd and scummy and not at all appetizing? However, I /do/ love the fact that I'm a 'regular' at Ben and Jerry's, where I get my fancy coffee. I walk in, and they already know what I want! If I ask for a small something extra…they don't charge me! As strange as this particular town is, I do enjoy being a bit of a regular in a few places. It makes me miss Bar Harbor.

 Speaking of Bar Harbor, I got my start date for Maine! While it brings on a whole new wave of anxiety, (Oh, goodness. When should I leave, how long will it take for me to get there, I need my car serviced, that will be expensive! I have to pack my car again!), it also brings a nice sense of security and a plesant feeling of anticipation. Bar Harbor is probably the closest to feeling like 'home' for me. Driving in after a winter away is always lovely. Slowly, I start to see the familiar places, can anticipate the road's curves as the asphalt turns from city black to a more rural patchy grey. I pass the round house that tells me it's twenty minutes to the bridge, pass the boarded up employee housing that's still unoccupied, and get my first glimpse of the ocean. A few minutes later I'm parking in the '15 minutes or less' space and slipping into 'my' hotel's lobby, looking for familiar faces.

May is a fussy month in Maine, and I can arrive to weeping rain and endless fog, or hopeful sun and spring flowers. You never know – things won't even out until June, and then you're already so deep into work and the 'Season' that you hardly have a moment to notice the weather save to absently pull on a cap or grab an umbrella as you run out the door on four hours of sleep and the hope of short lines at the coffee shop. Most stores are just waking up – every walk to work reveals a new 'open' sign – some places won't open till nearly July. The 'help wanted' signs pop up overnight, begging people to work with promises of a cash bonus for everyone who stays until October, and I often wish sleep was unneccessary so I could pick up a new shift. On the outside I'm rushing to my second job or rushing home to get some sleep, but inside I'm dancing – the book shop! Is right there! I can walk to it! And the coffee shops I like are open! And there's the store I order my favorite tea from, and the pottery shop people have a new color!

I am so very much looking forward to returning.

Here is usually where I'd launch into a long introspective ramble about belonging or something…but really, all I want is to be back somewhere familiar. I do actually like my job most of the time, and I'm good at my job, which is an unfortunately rare situation. But moving every six months and anticipating winter layoffs every six months is very draining.

I was drawn to the seasonal work for many good reasons – I live in Employee housing with fantastically low rent (I'm low maintenence, the quality of housing has never really bothered me), I like the money I can save and the places I can go and how, by never really comitting to a place, I'm also never comitting to rent and utilities, to property taxes and crime rates. I know I'm leaving, everything is bearable for a few months, and no particular place gets old. I can travel in November because…well, the job is over. There's no complicated days-off request or waiting for vacation time to become avaliable.

But I regret not having a home. I have no furniture, no nice glassware, no forks and knives picked out just by me. I can't paint my walls or buy art or garden. I'm so weary of keeping all my clothes in plastic bins and not buying books because they're heavy and never being able to amass cooking things because I often don't have a kitchen. I cannot invite people over because there is no 'over'. I just want to be able to walk through a door into a place that is my own, to put my keys down on a hallway table and be able to sit on a couch, to be able to see a duvet I like and buy it without mentally fitting it in my car when it's time to leave.

It's such an odd wistfulness…physical aching with mental restlessness, and no way to solve it but by actually /living/ somewhere. But I'm not sure what's stronger – the fear of tying myself to a location or the longing for permanence. The freedom to move with abandon and learn new systems or the wish to be able to make long term plans, knowing where I'll be this winter and the winter after. I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do, but it's coming to a rubbing point and I'm starting to feel that tickle of anxiety that means a coming decision.

Sometimes, I feel grown up, moving on my own and being (mostly) self sufficient…and other times I feel very immature – without furniture, a permanent adress, or a sense of home.

A dilemma.

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Charmed April 9, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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I've been a bit slumped lately – personal problems and relationship snaffus and all-around tangledupedness.

But, today I got spam in my inbox encouraging me to invest in stock. And the randomly generated text before and after is just….fabulous.

**

ex-choirmaster!…' Mugging, the specimen swept his jockey's cap from his
won't be any calling for the doctor, injections, or other fuss?'
from all that was happening, and only one thing could be noticed, that he
in the trash, but in a monocle, which, true, was also cracked. The little
So, maybe Aloisy Mogarych did not exist either? Oh, no! He not only
which we end it all.'
looked quite unlike an investigator and yet was one of the best in Moscow.
`Let me think it over,' the cat replied humbly, resting his elbows on
water among the broken zigzags of street lights on the bank.
nose had once been smashed by a blow from a Germanic club.
'But the thing is that he, the consultant, he… let's speak directly… is
happened with the others, too. Some son of a bitch gives me a tenner, I give
looked over with extreme thoroughness, but the walls were also tapped and
new typescript of the novel. In 1965, she prepared another typescript for
and murderers to kiss.' Margarita looked at Woland as if through a veil, her
Here Riukhin looked closely at Ivan and went cold: there was decidedly
Everything the master told the poor poet about her was the exact truth.
'You think so?' shouted Fagott, squinting at the gallery. 'In that case

*** 

It reads like the first sentences from a hundred stories, and I want to know them all! Why did the cat respond humbly? What was the barfight about? Who was the best investigator in Moscow and why didn't he look like one?

Burning questions. By far, this is my favorite kind of spam – all the randomness makes it almost like jumbled poetry that's so bizzare it can't really sound pretentious. I deleted it, but decided to keep the text alive here, to live on, inspiring others.

I bought books today, and food! It was very exciting – me, driving on the interstate for the first time in a month and a half, listening to my CDs and trying to find a far-flung grocery store. Then, the delight of discovering that the grocery store was right next to a TWO STORY Barnes & Nobles. Bliss. I wandered around in a state of book-shock, picking all sorts of things up with abandon before settling on four (two instructional, two literature), and a pack of notecards (Mark Rothko).

That done, I moseyed on to the grocery store where I also flung things into the cart with abandon. Actual veggies were purchased, along with cereal things and snacking things and real food things. I'm pretty limited as to what I can buy considering I have no way of actually cooking food. My staple ends up being the organic corn chip – can be dipped in many things, considered a grain, very tasty. I also spent $10 on a particular chocolate bar. Well, four of them. I buy this particular bar (Green and Blacks milk chocolate with almond) almost every day in Maine, but had not been able to find them here! Which is torture, as these bars are almost 50% by weight whole almonds, unlike pansy Hershey's almond bars which contain maybe four, if you're lucky. Well, they're sizable, and were on sale 2/$5! Hooray! They also carry my favorite brand of white tea (Inko's white with blueberry), but were out of stock. So I bought some Honest Tea instead (Moroccan Mint). I love the caps, and the little quote on the underside. Mine said

Everything has beauty

but not everyone sees it.

 -Confucius

So, I'm a little charmed by life right now. Worried, and feeling a bit stretched, but charmed all the same. Isn't it funny how quickly we recover sometimes? Last night, I was on an emotional adventure, visiting heartbroken, inconsolable, angry, bitter, hopeful, sad, passive, incredulous, happy, confused…I'm sure you get the picture. I went to work feeling like my eyes were about to fall out of their sockets, so tired were they. Today, I wake up…ready to face the day. I do a bit of extra work behind the desk. I go grocery shopping and put everything away. I answer email and find clothes for work and buy a new toothbrush.

I'm generally a pessimistic person. It's neither a good nor bad trait – my general explanation is that, if I expect the worst, and the worst comes, I was expecting it. If not, I am pleasently surprised. Others say 'But Brianna, if you only ever expect the worst, you are positioning yourself for inevitable failure!'. While that may be true, the few times I've actually been optimistic concerning a Life Event, I've been brutally thrown to the ground, so I'm sticking to my familiar comfort blanket – cynicism. Anyhow. My one contrary trait is my occasional mental mantra 'Everything works out for the good'. Which sounds nauseatingly Pollyanna-ish, I know. But, unless I am actually facing a gunman and they are pulling the trigger, I know that in a few months…I'll still be here. And things will more or less be 'normal' for me. It occasionally sort of annoys me – what's the point of all of this if, after enduring emotional trauma, I'll be perfectly fine in a week and completely unable to summon the outrage I feel at this moment? But I suppose these sort of emotions and such are subtle, slowly changing people bit by bit. Afterall, we wouldn't be able to survive if every breakup, car accident, infidelity or death altered you drastically – you would never be able to maintain friendships, families would be constantly churning – how awful.

So, hooray for things turning out for the good. It seems that yesterday, things did. At least I /hope/ things did yesterday – the events of those three hours (and the week preceding) still leave me a bit mystified. Sigh. Fingers crossed.

My points seem to be buried these days, and clear writing is hiding from me…but my own thoughts seem to be buried under layers of half thoughts and difficult to unearth, so I suppose that's only natural.

But oh, for clarity.

World crafting. April 5, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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If you could make a line drawing of my mind, it would be the slow, graceful upsweep portion of a bell curve. That’s me, slowly sweeping upwards, once again singing merrily along to the noise coming out of my headphones and bouncing on my bed when something happy comes on.

Funny how moods work. Remember this next time I’m here writing Sad Things. Soon there will be Happy Things, it’s just all up to that bell curve I have no control over. Though, I find caffine helps. Alot.

It’s so lovely and warm out today. I love that humid heaviness where it’s not so hot you feel as if you’re bathing in air, but stepping outside is a tactile experience and it’s as if the atmosphere is giving you a little hug. I treated myself to a Fancy Coffee today while at work, and everything was very low key and easily managed, and I am wearing a lovely skirt that I even ironed. (Ironing is Of The Devil, but occasionally I’ll splash out and give something a once-over.)

I’ve been daydreaming little worlds for myself lately. I’m not good with friendship. I find them demanding and emotionally exhausting, I either neglect them or smother them, and most don’t understand my periodic ‘hermiting’, where I just…don’t leave my room/house/residence unless neccessary (work). As a result, my friends are flung all over the freaking place. It’s easier to keep textual tabs on people, and so I keep contact with the friend in Montreal, the one in Edmonton, the one in Toronto, the one in California. Those who have slipped by – my S in Louisiana, J who was in Athens and may well be living in France for all I know, D with two daughters now (!) still in Georgia – I keep little mental wonderings on, occasionally placing them in my room, they would sit here, we would say this…I write letters in my head and casually forget them.

I imagine a room, though, where things are easy and everyone is present. M for the prospect of debauchery and surprises, Joy to egg him on while being lush and comforting and provocative. Sarah hopping in with her fairy-sunshine demeanor to encourage me with Sailor Moon singalongs, D tagging along behind rolling her eyes at us weird liberals, for the grounding. D would be lounging around somewhere, being slyly dryly funny and young and perhaps talking to E who is enthusing on the purity of fly fishing. K would be there, simply because he is so /good/ and engaging, and we would hole up somewhere and have complicated talks with our hands while B stands back and watches people smokily and looms over everyone with his tallness, until he finds someone with his taste in music, and then he’s lost in conversation, too.

So, apparently, if I could stand over the world and pluck people out of it and set them into a room of my making, we wouldn’t be playing twister or taking jello shots or dancing or listening to anything or watching anything….we’d all just be talking. Which I guess says something about me, as that’s the most pleasent ‘all friends involved’ scenario I can imagine…everyone just having a nice long chat.

I really romanticise (a word that does not look as if it’s spelled correctly at all, though the dictionary swears it is.) conversation, though. We tend to do that to things we lack…or, more correctly, /I/ tend to do that to things I lack. So, in my head I have a lovely bustling salon incorperating people who always have something to say.

Sometimes I miss my Georgia roommate. She was odd and very bad with money and also at cooking things, but we used to have the most wonderful drawn out conversations. When money was our friend, we would grab some local wine, and turn on the Powerpuff Girls (Don’t ask. It was part of the whole thing.) and drink the wine and start off on something – say ‘living in a vineyard’ – and off we’d go, building our vineyard and deciding what the labels would look like and deciding it would be an /organic/ vineyard and then building a house and decorating my studio and her attic room and deciding who could come visit and where the animals would stay, and soon we were living in a lovely little creation all our own, covinced it was possible. We could talk everything into ‘possible’, from organic wine growing to cottage industry to moving to Paris together and living as starving artists.

As frustrating as life was at the time, the air of tangeble possibility was exciting enough to motivate me.

I catch it now and again on my own, and get caught up in my own multiples of maybe-lives, where I live somewhere else and do something else and work out the hows and whys and whos…but the momentum of a second party to add independently – to put steppingstones under your feet faster than you can climb them so soon you’re both talking over one another due to the overwealming possibility and opportunity and joy in it all – is sorely missed.

I need a collaborator so I have someone to write things on sidewalks in chalk with, and to hand flowers to perfect strangers with, and to take flights of complete fancy and build lives in rural Vermont on a Green Farm with. That feeling of being completely caught up in something dazzling is hard to generate alone.

Though, maybe the point of /being/ alone is to discover that momentum on your own? But then what is the point of finding collaborators? If you have everything you need – self contained – then what’s the point of relationships, friendly or otherwise, in the first place?

I have no idea where I’m going with this, I’m obviously missing something obvious. But I’m sleepy and there is noone here to coax me awake and into sleepy jabbering about nothing in particular, so this will end and I will shove away that tickling frustration I’m feeling in my shoulders and publish this despite my annoyance with it.

See? Not deleted.