March 9, 2015
For exactly one year and eight days now, we have lived behind a nasty patch of old pine needles and accumulated flotsam like cigarette butts and bits of food wrapper. It has been ugly. It has been imposed upon, as the needle tree has its own entire patch on which to scatter its dead hairs; it does not need to blow them all over into other uninvolved patches of dirt. Furthermore it has been useless, except, as aforementioned, as an unnecessary additional trash storage annex, which was woefully undersized and under organized anyhow. But mostly it has been ugly.
Yesterday morning I got up at what my body considered to be eight thirty, and I raked all of the crap out of this patch of dirt for literally hours and pulled all the weeds and their horrible clever old roots out of it and eventually after literally hours it turned into beautiful soft warm dirt. Also I have callouses.
And the dirt is jammed so far under my fingernails that at all times and regardless of grooming implements my fingertips faintly reek of fertilizer. But hey! Potting soil’s not going to fling itself onto the ground in uniform poofiness.
And now there is salad planted in it! This previous king of the eyesores is now home to a bunch of lettuce and spinach, and hopefully there is some room left in there for kale, because ideally I want to just walk out my front door and pick a salad bar.
HOORAY FOR SPRING
February 26, 2015
I was just walking back to the office from picking up delicious things at Woodblock Chocolate (nice people, great chocolate), and I saw somebody familiar-looking at a bus stop. Sure enough, it was my friend Brandon, and we said Hi and I gave him a bar of chocolate because to be honest they gave me a lot of samples and I was already wondering to myself what I was going to do with all of them because there is no way my ass needs that much chocolate even if it is of the pure 70% super special locally handcrafted variety.
And then the best thing happened.
Brandon reached into his bag and he pulled out another bag and out of that he pulled a couple of sea salt caramels (I know, at that point you were expecting a rabbit or some other peculiarity but no), and he gave me these caramels and then his bus came and I continued walking to my office.
And I am just glimmering on the inside because I live in a world where you can meet a friend unexpectedly at a bus stop and you can trade candy.
Maybe I just missed out on this delightful phenomenon by never having a childhood bus stop and everybody else is all like oh I did that ten thousand times and twice on Halloween, but I am pretty happy with it. Now I have chocolate and caramels.
February 6, 2015
Every time it rains a lot I have to remind myself that I was not placed on this earth to be the sole overthrower of the great Annelid genocide.
Seeing worms on the sidewalk just pisses me off. They can pretty much do one thing as far as I know, and that thing is burrow. Maybe their eating and pooping are included in burrowing, I can’t really remember. And yet here they are on the sidewalk, an unyeildingly unburrowable substance. And they probably got there on their own, they probably thought ‘oh hey it looks like a good time to cross the great unburrowable desert because there is a lot of water on it right now’ or whatever, and then they got stuck. And then someone steps on them, and then I see them, and then I get upset.
It bugs the crap out of me to see a worm on a sidewalk, ever, but especially if it has been smooshed already. If it has not been smooshed already, in general I tend to pick it up and put it into some nice grass. (Everyone who has ever allowed me to touch them with my fingers just recoiled).
But when it rains like it has been lately, the sidewalks are literally peppered with worms and there is just no picking them all up and putting them all into some nice grass. There is just not time for that, and I am also not supposed to be doing things that could lead to me becoming a legitimately crazy person.
I deal with this by reminding myself to look up, and trying to have big thoughts on how all of us are mostly just screwed in the long run, the earth is totally out to get us and always has been.
But I still feel unhappy about it.
Can you all
January 18, 2015
January 18, 2015
What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
I got married to my best friend, who continues to get both hotter and more awesome as we go. I wrote one of the two best wedding vows of all time, and I delivered two of the best that’s what she saids in history. Damn it feels good to be a gangster.
What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Bodies. Or age? Aging bodies. This has been the year of realizing really and finally that there are two ways to live, and both of them suck. You live in the lap of vice, where all the vivid and complex things are, and you can slowly disintegrate into whatever your style of in the gutter is; or you can live on the goddamn jungle gym of life, where all of the simple yet difficult things are, and be strong and sharp and beautiful. I continue to flail angrily, impulsively back into vice’s comforting claws every so often, but our household has pretty much planted its collective flag in the realm of health. I do yoga and I DO NOT EAT CHEESE. Jason drinks a lot of smoothies. Lucky eats Science Diet for Old Lady Cats. I DO NOT EAT CHEESE.
What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Getting laid off. There hadn’t been enough work for me to do for a long while, but it was hard to leave the river views and the cush spot in the parking garage. I needed to be pushed out of that constrictive comfort zone and out into the wide world of new opportunities. And after my wedding and a summer where I decided that accounting is definitely an interest, but maybe not a life interest, I found a new job that is so entirely excellent that one is compelled to wonder at my damn good luck. I learned a lot from my old job, and it gave me the outstanding bonuses of going to New York, having an X-Box, being on MTV, and having a bunch of silicone copies of my hands and fingers all over the house.
What was an unexpected obstacle?
Money. I cannot believe how throwing a wedding eats your entire budget for the entire preceding year. I saved for that for a year, and bought things on sale for a year, and now it is over and I cannot wait till my bank account revives from the shock of it and I have my mad money back. I still want to make doll houses.
Did you have to learn any hard life lessons in the past 12 months?
I feel like I am in a phase of constantly learning life lessons, but none of them has been especially drastic. The people that I spend my life with and I are all in this time of transition, and I feel like we’re all learning a whole new set of ropes, the likes of which have not been experienced since teenage trials and tribulations. I got married this year, and so did a bunch of my closest friends, and some of them are starting families, some of them are starting new careers, all of us are mucking through a long, complicated, intricate chapter of life called Actually Growing Up But For Real This Time. Getting past my teens was just an introduction to a decade long party time adventure, where I experienced and learned and grew a lot but was in fact most often reveling luxuriously in a second childhood, this time with power and capital. This new bout of growing up, this is the real stuff.
Have you had any life-changing experiences in 2014?
No, you know. I’m still just this drunk little purple haired single chick in a children’s dinosaur hoodie all the time.
Did you do anything you never thought you would do?
Yeah, actually. I threw a wedding and I enjoyed it. I wore a massive pink and white dress and I loved it, except after several nuptial cupcakes, and then I couldn’t breathe. I obsessed over details, I bought tulle and pink gummy bears, I picked a playlist. I removed the tops of beer bottles with fire, I learned to use a jig-saw, and I abandoned more drinks in one day than I have previously or subsequently abandoned in my lifetime.
I found a set of bridesmaid dresses that, while not unanimously popular, everyone wore.
What is your happiest memory from the year?
Smoking private cigarettes on the steps of the Edgefield with my brand new husband.
What was your most stupid incident?
Hm. I got a D in Intermediate Algebra, although I tried really hard. I pinned Carol’s baby quilt wrong a couple of times. I forgot a lot of people’s names.
Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I left the Halloween pumpkins out rotting in the front yard until Jason just cleaned them up two days ago.
What was your proudest moment of 2014?
I won a salsa contest; I got a gun that makes smoke rings. Also I got a B in economics, which I was not expecting. I kept Holly’s baby secret for a damn long time, which required some of the most effective lying I have ever been capable of.
What was your most embarrassing moment of 2014?
I bought a dinosaur hat for one of my coworker’s baby, having met said baby a few days before. She looked at it and looked at me, and said ‘what’s this?’ and I thought oh my god she doesn’t have a baby whose baby was that, SHIT, and I blurted out ‘you have a baby!’ And she was like, ‘yeah, I do.’ And I went gray with relief and it turned out that she just thought it was a chicken hat, and her baby already had a chicken hat which was apparently very special to it, and she was just super impressed at my knowledge of her baby, and I did not say that it was actually a dinosaur hat.
Pick three words to describe 2014.
What was the best book you read this year?
The Power of Habit was pretty damn good. I read it and immediately decided that I can change my mind, change my life, and I have determined to really chill out about my year of math and maybe (hard work and consistent effort notwithstanding) I can just breeze through it and have a life as well.
What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2014?
Her. It was simply engaging.Or Snowpiercer, which was excellent. Everyone should watch Snowpiercer.
What was your favorite record from 2014?
I got a cute new radio! Now I can go boogie all over the house whenever I want, because for some reason I am a radio girl, I cannot be bothered to open my laptop and start Pandora or something, I cannot spare the space in my house for a record player and records. I have a radio, and life is amazing.
What was your favorite month of 2014?
Well…hm. This whole year is like one of those pot holders you make out of loops on a little plastic loom: interwoven inextricably with wonder moments and blots of shadow. The whole damn thing has been the brightest, sweetest, hardest, best year of my life and there is just no way to parse that into twelves.
That said…the weeks while Jason and I worked together to create the tangible bits of our wedding will always shine in my memory. Not only are we an efficient team, not only are we an effective team; we are a good natured and fun team. Making a bunch of stuff together with our own hands and ingenuity and a whole lotta wood was such a great slow fade into our wedding and marriage. A major part of love is working together, and working well together. I love how we take that from the metaphorical to the literal. I love our many toolboxes, even if I can never find nails in them.
What was the best thing you bought?
My wedding dress. My wedding dress is the best thing I have ever bought. It is the best thing in existence, pretty much.
In what ways did you grow emotionally?
I can honestly say that for the first long stretch of time in my life I just capitalized on the groundwork I’ve been laying for absolutely ever. This last year I just let myself run the track without obsessively putting down ties and making up crossings as I went. I guess it was my seventh day. I rested, and I saw that it was good. I definitely still learned things and evolved, but in general I was more focused on just riding the rails and enjoying the journey. I guess that’s what she said.
In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I’m still figuring that out. It’s been a big year. It’s got to be a big think.
In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I so do not want to talk about it. Let us just say I no longer own any fat pants. I have transitioned to fat leggings.
In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I feel like I really began the true trench work required to actually not need other people to be perfect. You can go around saying you don’t need other people to be perfect all you want, but that is not going to change how you deal when the shit hits the fan, even if the shit is really more of a fart and the fan is a middling breeze. I do need other people to be perfect, I need them to do and think and act like I think they should. What could be more perfect than that? And that is just a silly way to go about life. One size has never and will never fit all, even when it’s the impeccable Tabitha line with the best textures and darlingest tinting.
What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
I replayed Fable II like eighteen times when I was unemployed for four months. I need a dog. And a master cleaver.
What was the best way you used your time this past year?
I don’t really know. I feel like I did a lot this year and much of it was excellent. I guess maybe all the several minute increments in which I made the decision to do something right the first time, and did it? God does that cut the clutter out of your life. For just ten minutes a day, you can sponsor a Less Slightly Irked by the Whopperjawed Minutiae Life for yourself.
What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
Everything is like a muscle. Use it or lose it.
Create a phrase or statement that describes 2014 for you.
I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now, there is no other place I wanna be
Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history
What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?
I wrote my wedding vows, in the morning, on the staircase, with the trees.
What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?
In 2014 I did not have a flat tire, a collision, or any other sort of auto incident. Thank you very much. Thank you.
If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?
All of our precious people would have been in good health and able to come to our wedding.
What are the three most important things you learned this year?
That could happen.
I could make that happen.
That is how things happen.
What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year, but is easy now?
In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?
Certainly not the area dedicated to giving into popcorn cravings.
Other than that, and the cheezit cravings, and the lemonheads cravings, I think I made a bunch of improvements in general. I was effing busy, and I didn’t have as much time for any one thing as I wanted, ever, but I was a lot more chill and a lot more loving and I think that is the best improvement I could ever show.
Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive it at the start of the year, what advice would you give yourself?
Snuggle. Snuggle all the time.
What was the nicest thing someone has done for you this year?
Jason continued to live.
Did you fall in love in 2014?
This year I fell head over heels in love with That 70s Show. I’d never seen it before but it feels like home. I have never seen anything so consistently full of clothing and cars and housewares that I goddamn want. I would crawl into the tv after that Toyota if it was remotely an option.
If yes, with who/do they know?
Yeah, they’re all super conceited.
Are you still in love with them?
Well it’s got to the point where Donna is blonde and everyone is kind of boring. But I still love the parents. So yes.
Did you make any new friends in 2014?
What person has made the biggest impact in your life this year? Why?
My husband! That should totally sum it up!
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
The people who made me stay true to myself, who allowed me to keep them true to themselves, who laughed with me and at me and at themselves, who loved me and forced me to be greater and happier and more joyous, again.
How were relationships with boyfriends/girlfriends?
Everyone is still fine as far as I know. Lucky and Toy are still together, even, and she has a pea-sized attention span.
Did you lose anybody close to you in 2014?
Yes, Gorthon the Destroyer died. He had a good run, three years.
Did you (or anyone close to you) give birth?
Oh man. The march of the babies is just getting started. The pitter patter of little feet, I predict, will soon swell to the sound of thundering horses’ hooves.
Who are you most proud of?
I don’t know. I think everyone pretty much rocked again this year.
I do have to say massive props to Hollison for tossing a caber while pregnant.
Did you have any meetings that you find memorable?
I met Jason’s mom for the first time. I especially remember sitting in the hospital room late at night on the 4th of July watching fire works flare up all across the dark Kansas skyline. So flat, Kansas. They say it is, but you never really understand it until you are there watching so many miles worth of fireworks all at once across a massive blankness.
What was the worst lie someone told you in 2014?
I have no idea. But I hope they get lactose intolerance for it.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Well we were all really happy when Victor recovered so quickly from appendicitis. And Lucky stopped scratching on doors when she wanted to go through them, and instead began waiting patiently by them for someone to open them. Good job, guys!
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There were a lot of people on Forensic Files who killed their spouses. They sucked. Shut up. I watch a lot of tv while I do my homework, ok?
Do you hate (strongly dislike) anyone or anything now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not that I can think of. Not that I could name, anyhow. Other Driver has been the target of much rage and hatred this year, however. Are you a jackass or just clueless?
Did you travel outside of your country of residence in 2014?
How many different states / provinces did you travel to in 2014?
One? I think we just went to Kansas. Oh and our flight got canceled so we stayed a night in Denver, which initially made me really mad (ok! There’s another set of people I hated in 2014! Everyone involved in running airlines!) but actually turned out to be awesome. We got free cookies at the hotel, and the bartender was really nice, and I saw this from my window.
How many concerts did you see in 2014?
I don’t know. Does sitting at the Gemini eating ahi and listening to an apparently impromptu ska band count?
Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2014?
I guess that depends. I can’t really remember what my intake at the beginning of the year was like, but I was sucking at math so it was probably significant. From mid year on, I think I had a lot of beers but everything else just kind of dropped off.
Did you do a lot of drugs in 2014?
What did you do last year that you’d never done before?
I planned a wedding, and I meant it. I took math, and I meant it. I helped to build a home, and I meant it. I got married, and I meant it. I extended my friendship, and I meant it. I meant everything I did this year. Hot damn. I have never been able to say that before. Good for me! Long may it live. I mean it.
What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?
My toes firmly curled around the tightrope of my own personal brand of magic.
What date from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I promised to believe in someone, and be believed in, and work with someone, and care for someone, and be cared for, and laugh and talk and sleep side by side with someone, forever. Forever. And I meant it.
Where did most of your money go?
The surprisingly pink, gaping maw of our wedding. Cute boots.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My ability to sew! And use a jigsaw, and a sander, and a dremel. Cute boots. My new job! Holly’s wedding! Holly’s baby!
What song will always remind you of last year?
Take Me To Church
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?…thinner or fatter?…richer or poorer?
Happier. And I was happy as fuck this time last year.
Fatter. It’s age, right? It’s age.
Richer…? I am no longer paying for a wedding, bitches! FREEEEDOMMM
What do you wish you’d done more of?
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Ignoring the mess in the back yard. That shit is getting out of hand.
What did you do on your birthday?
Ha. I made everyone go to Tom’s and listen to me sing eighty songs in one night. I love Tom’s. And on my actual birthday, I played a perfect game of pool. It was so good I felt like I could totally just go do a bunch of math spontaneously.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Passing math 95. Bastard.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept for last year?
Kind of right back to not giving a fuck. Oh well. I got cute boots.
What kept you sane?
Jason. Girl talks. Getting some time to myself. Working out. Washing dishes. Watching That 70s Show (at least I have never fallen off a water tower). Snuggling my bad cat.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
What political issue stirred you the most?
Net neutrality, dammit, and factory farming, double dammit.
If you met yourself for the first time this year would you strike up a friendship?
For sure. There would be popcorn for every meal.
Did you spend any time listening to yourself?
Definitely. The longer I’m with someone else who listens to me, the better I listen to myself.
What did you say?
I said, will the real slim shady please stand up?
What did you do over the summer?
I had a wedding; I helped Holly with her wedding, picking Queen Anne’s Lace by the Milwaukie train tracks, spray painting tea light holders, not losing Niall’s wedding ring, tossing a caber crooked, etc. I acquired a taste for pub trivia and IPAs. I played a damn lot of Fable.
What news story sticks in your mind the most from 2014?
Robin Williams died. :(
What things do you appreciate most in your life at the moment?
Jason, my family and friends, my awesome new math teacher, my amazing new job. Yoga, baths, huckleberry taffy. Lucky.
Where were you when 2014 began?
At Holly and Niall’s, drinking champagne and singing living room karaoke. Smoking next to the defunct Christmas tree, resenting some kid who kept bumming my smokes, dancing to daft punk.
Where will you be when 2014 ends?
At a pub called, inventively, Pub. With Jason, wearing a green cardboard tiara, drinking free champagne, out-tootling other couples with our party horns.
What are your plans for 2015?
Math. So much math.
Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions of 2014?
I had much better posture. That is a lame resolution.
Do you have (a) New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2015?
September 21, 2014
My Brain, without whom none of this would have been possible
Also Jason, ditto
It’s time to move again, I said, and hauled her to her feet.
Her breath came and went in mangled desperation, between a wheeze and a gurgle. The noise of it froze my spine like the rattle of a snake.
It’s going to hear that, I whispered urgently, you’ve got to be quiet.
She nodded but the next breath was just as dreadful.
Breathe through your mouth instead, I said, and she opened her lips to let the next escape more easily. If that did anything at all to quiet the process I didn’t notice.
It’s already heard us anyhow by now, I thought, we just have to keep moving.
I braced her over as much of my body as I could manage and we began our descent. It was a slow and stupid affair because the stairs were the shitty steep narrow kind you fall down and I had to more or less carry her, which I was neither much equipped for nor very inclined to do. We made our way to the motif of her increasingly wretched breathing.
When we finally reached the bottom my head was spinning. I propped her against a wall and sagged to catch my breath. The corner of my eye caught movement.
She had changed. She was taller, strong and beautiful; her breath still serrated but more like a growl. She caught my left hand, and brought it to her lips. Her eyes, deep with passion, found mine.
I saved you for last, she said, and I’ll wait for you – as long as I can.
I could feel that that wouldn’t be long. She was intoxicated by my scent, already her eyes were glazing and she was moving my hand slyly from her nose toward her point filled mouth.
Oh hell no, I thought, there is no way I am going through ALL THAT CRAP to get eaten right now, and I clocked back my arm and punched a hole right through her head, and I woke up.
And now I think it is hilarious that my subconscious tried so hard and clever to turn Jason’s snoring into a story it could maybe talk out of the noise, even if it didn’t succeed.