Tuesday, December 21, 2004

fatalism at its best

my imagination is out of control.

do you ever find that once you land on an idea, you begin considering every possible facet of it? you know, the "what ifs" of a situation? for example, take an average day at six flags or any other such amusement park. while you may be thinking, "geez, i really hope my krispy kreme doughnut stays down on this loop-de-loop ride," i'm sitting next to you thinking, "if this harness contraption breaks off or if i slip beneath the seat belt or if the entire ride falls off the track, i'll put my hands immediately over my head, ball up in the fetal position, and i WILL NOT scream. i will breathe calmly in my last few minutes so as not to add to the horror of the event."

what's wrong with me? on plane rides, it's the same thing. or on snowy days when i'm in a car, or when the train curves around the track a little too fast (yes, i've even thought, "hmm, if it curves to the right, and the doors open up, i'll jump through the doors and grab on to that fire escape stairwell and wait for help to arrive; if flames should shoot up from the disaster below, i'll surely have enough adrenaline in me to scale the building to safety. and should i die, i'll breathe slowly and wait for my body to be engulfed in the flames"). it's awful. i'm so fatalistic.

what's worse is that my roommates are gone so the quiet in the house feeds my imagination. last night, to avoid crazy thinking, i turned on the tv only to watch 7th Heaven's Lucy preach from the pulpit about the unknowns of the world - you could die of cancer, have an unexpected pregnancy, contract HIV, lose your job, be ostracized from your church, family, friends, etc, etc.

for crying out loud.

this morning, i woke up and for 5 minutes felt like, "i'm fine. everything is fine." but as soon as i got out of bed, all these thoughts swarmed in my head again. and at once, my whole world was falling apart.

why do i think like this? my friend allan told me that it's my awful fatalistic approach to life, that i think i'll be the one to be the example of surprise suffering for the world, to show everyone that yes, things can go wrong unexpectedly, and completely screw you over.

today i am trying to focus on reality. i'm trying to harness my thoughts, think about what is true, real, good, pure, lovely, admirable. i just need to get a rein on this.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

meet the alumni director

(currently listening to badly drawn boy's "magic in the air")

the early morning, the productive meeting, the sunshine, the morning of tiebreaker and over the rhine, the lunch with kate, and the icing on the cake - my favorite alum, kris, stopped by yet again.

this time, he brought in his girlfriend of one month, kira. she flew into chicago last night for a four day trip, and he stopped in this afternoon to introduce us.

"i've heard so much about you, " she said with this shy, welcoming smile.

she's wonderful. and my heart feels like it could explode with happiness. i know they're young, and no one knows where this will go, but i almost wanted to hug her, i was so happy.

and there kris stands, beaming between the two of us.

after they left, my boss commented on how weird it was that a guy would bring in his new girlfriend to meet his alumni director. i don't care. i know kris and i are friends in an unexplainable way. besides, we share the same birthday so we're naturally drawn to each other.
and my boss tried to say that if a girl flies in to see her boyfriend, it's serious. and it's only serious if they're fooling around. i plugged my ears and told him i wasn't listening to him.

no, i don't want to think about anything like that happening between the two of them. even if it is, i think i love kris so much and i have no hesitancy in really liking kira since he obviously thinks so much of her. and honestly, any relationship has more to do with the two individuals than sex. so whether they are or whether they aren't, my heart is bubbling over.

i'm so lucky to know kris. i'm so lucky to be part of his life, to learn about his girlfriend, to wait as he searches for things to say just to stick around my office a little while longer, to be invited to meet this girl who makes his whole face light up, to hear the stories his old teachers don't get to hear. if god was responsible for letting me meet kris, well, then, thanks. thanks, god. it means a lot to me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

crinkly wrinkly

my eyes are tired this afternoon. i can feel the lines just beneath getting gradually deeper. i suppose i don't so much mind. i've always been a big fan of wrinkles - especially the deep, crinkly kind. i think they look beautiful. so if anyone asks why i look so god-awful tired again, i think i will tell them it's all part of my beauty regiment.

anyhow, last night, our friends kiran and dave came over to bake cookies, so i am finally in the christmas spirit. 5-year-old kiran mixed the icing, so our holiday treats look more like summer jungle cookies (sunrise orange, jungle green, raspberry pink ... you get the idea). she was happy with them - and the unburned ones were actually pretty tasty.

dave and kiran have such sweet hearts. i liked being with them and my roommates. i just like cooking with a bunch of people. it's funny. i also like cooking like julia childs. you know, when all of her ingredients are already measured and put into little pyrex dishes so you can mix everything quickly. and you feel like you are a real master in the kitchen. granted, the only thing that actually felt true last night from that previous statement was the "you are ... in the kitchen" part. whatever, i'm still young. i've got time to learn the culinary arts.

speaking of being young, three of my favorite alums stopped in today. they're back from college and visiting teachers, but they always come to see me so i get the dirt on what's really going on at school. kris is the first one to show up at my desk and he eventually shares that he's just started dating this girl. i find myself simultaneously so happy for him, and then so protective. i have a bad tendency to love some of these alums as if they were my own. ahh, but they're so wonderful, it's hard not to love them as more than "clients." i digress ...

so eventually, alice and whitney come in to join the group, and they're joking about how old they're getting (the oldest is 20) when alice announces that a friend of hers at college is getting married:

alice: "they're both, like, MY AGE."

whitney: "oh my god. that's way too young. i mean, at least wait until you're a senior."

alice: "i know, it's, like, that [marriage] is something you do when you're like, really, really, really, really bored."

i chuckle and turn to kris.

mary: "remember to bring that up at her wedding someday."

kris: "yeah," clearing his throat and raising an imaginary glass to alice, "to alice and husband, sorry you guys got so bored. best of luck!"

it cracked me up. "marriage is something you do when you're like, really, really, really, really bored." something to think on, i guess, long into the night ...

sleepless evenings - they're part of my beauty regiment. wouldn't look as old and tired without them.

Friday, December 10, 2004

katherine paige

friday morning, 8:01 a.m.

happy birthday to my beautiful roommate, kat! this morning, erin and i crept into kat's room at 5:50 a.m. with a candle in some coffeecake and a cold vanilla frappuccino and sang a little happy birthday ditty to our newly 24-year-old north carolinian roommate. it was the most fun.

seriously can't wait for the weekend. tonight, a few of us are going out to the mason jennings concert at schubas (where over the rhine will be next week, ahem, in case anyone needs to get tickets yet) where of course we will celebrate kat yet again. joyous.

i love birthdays. i love being able to celebrate someone's life. i love when you see someone's face light up. and it's so easy with kat. i admire her so much - the way she moved to the city not knowing anyone, left her friends and family back home in NC, and - bam! - just made her way to chicago and settled herself in. she fully wows me. and the things about her character i love? oh, so many! her willingness to try new things, put herself in uncomfortable situations,
her sense of humor and silliness, her honesty, her perseverance, her fashion sense, her cooking, (okay, so not so much traits of character, but you know what i mean), her laugh (hee hee), her patience - man, i am so happy that God made Kat!!

so happy birthday, babe. enjoy your day - this is gonna be the best year yet.

and p.s. to everyone else - if it isn't your bday, you should celebrate like it is anyhow. have a very merry unbirthday :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

heaven wrote a letter, part 2

the thing with part 2s is that i never have the energy to trudge back into it. so this is really no part 2. this is like the fake part 2. the heaven wrote a letter, part deux.

the truth is, when all is said and done, i want to share the things in my heart verbally, you know? it's hard to write and not get an immediate reaction. so monday night, when i came home early from work and after my 210 minute nap, i shared my heart with my roommates. i know i go off about this all the time, bragging about how incredible my roommates are, but it continues to amaze me.

okay, for real, let's wrap this sucker up. the truth is, sunday night, i lay in bed thinking, why can't god just really come talk with me?? and why can't he write everything we talked about on a piece of paper and leave it for me to read in the morning? you know, to verify that, yes, indeed, he did come and we did talk.

so ... monday night, i got into bed at a little after 11 and lay there until about 1:30, unable to sleep. i tossed and turned, trying to pray. i had so much on my mind, so much about leaving this job, so much about what happens if i fail, what happens if i lose everything and am miserable? so i thought about what - if anything - i feel god's ever told me before. and i turned to isaiah 62:5 (it's a verse i feel god talked to me a lot through for years in college and one of the reasons now why i am afraid god is a liar).

essentially, it says "as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your god rejoice over you." the whole chapter is awesome, but i sat there thinking about it. and i threw it out to god, tossed and turned some more, and tried to start a dialogue with him (or he tried to start a dialogue with me, however you want to say it). and we talked about so much, that i thought, good, well, we talked about it, i feel better, i'm ready to go to sleep.
let me go to sleep.

but i couldn't sleep, and so i turned on my light and i wrote down everything that we had talked about. and as soon as i finished, i thought, good, now i'll be able to sleep. well, about half an hour later or so, i finally fell asleep (finally). and tuesday morning, i woke up and felt abnormally well rested - even with less than 5 hours of sleep under my belt - and thought, i wrote it down! i wrote down my conversation with god last night! i wrote down everything we talked about! maybe i'm on crack and this is total ridiculousness, but it's what i prayed! i mean, i asked god sunday night to please talk with me in my bed and then write it down. but i wrote it down, he kept me awake till i wrote it down and would remember that we had this conversation!

awesome. awesome. awesome.
okay, so that's a good part deux after all.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

heaven wrote a letter, pt 1

tuesday afternoon, 4:44 p.m.

i am getting ready to leave the office, but figure i don't want to be behind the computer later on tonight so i'm blogging before i leave. there's a lot going on in my head and trying to figure out what should be said (filter? filter? i have to use a filter? ugh) is going to be a challenge. so, i've decided to present my thoughts in installations. i'm not sure how many there'll be. bear with me. and enjoy ... "heaven wrote a letter, pt 1."

since sunday night, when my roommates and i visited another house of roommates for dinner, i've had these BIG things on my mind. as we sat around their fireplace (note to self: next apartment WILL have a fireplace), we chatted about dreams and risks. the conversation ended when chris got up to leave, but my mind, my heart stayed on this idea of risk for hours afterwards.

we drove home at 11:30. i went to bed to journal, to cry, to beg for answers, to ask for some glimpse of WHAT-IN-THE-WORLD-I-SHOULD-BE-DOING, and got not a wink of sleep. not a wink.

i woke up the next morning with the puffiest eyes you could ever imagine. i threw some ice cubes in a ziploc and held them against my eyes while i dried my hair. nothing going. i caked on makeup for the circles under my eyes, but i think little invisible elves with black permanent markers must have snuck into my room and drawn deep lines under my eyes that makeup can't cover up. ugh.

my colleagues at work said, "go home! you look awful," to which i kindly smiled, batted my swollen eyelids, and said, "oh, thank you. you look awful as well."

geez, some people.

Friday, December 03, 2004


i just found this beautiful song online. i don't want it to end. i mean, i've played it three times now, and each time, i close my eyes and imagine someplace so beautiful that i don't want to leave. you should check it out.

that's all. just wanted to give this band - tiebreaker - props. for real. wow.

skidding in sideways

got a forward from a colleague this morning and had to pass it on.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, replacement parts hanging by a mere thread, and screaming: "WOO HOO!! What a ride!!!"

happy friday, all.