Tiramisu: Day Twenty-Three

I’m thirty.  Remember this, above all else, or none of what follows or ever was on this blog will seem remarkable.

It’s also not remarkable at all and what matters, what I really feel matters, is that I know I’m seen and loved today and the age I am at this particular moment is neither here nor there.

I hope I don’t have another post titled Tiramisu.  Ah, well, this is today’s Tiramisu.  Which became my birthday cake tonight and was perfect.   We went to Olive Garden because the realization that if I wanted anything to eat for my birthday, I wanted garlic bread sticks.  I wasn’t expecting to do anything tonight except perhaps to write a post lamenting my absent birthday celebration, but instead, from the very moment I woke up, I was surrounded by the kind, well-wishes of others.  My friend who I am going to see in Italy sent me an in-jokey picture.  I drove myself through some touchy, snowy roads, tense but breathing.  My boss texted me that I could take all the time I needed.  As I drove I told myself, half in jest, half in complete sincerity, that this was already the best birthday ever because I was pushing against my fear instead of being owned by it.  It was not perfect, but it was managed, with no real panic to speak of as I concentrated just on being safe.  At work, they got me flowers and we all got Starbucks in my honor.  I was given hugs and also quietude while the new boss went out on an excursion with some of the board.   There was Chinese for lunch.  I was given cards and thanked by people I care about.  And tons of people, people I haven’t talked to in years said hey on Facebook.  And then, my sister, employed and able to do this, bought me that Olive Garden birthday dinner which was delicious.  So good.  And it reminded me of the whole Italy trip and the fact that this pretty great, pretty big thing is going to happen because I’m willing it to happen.   

I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted.  To just feel like I wasn’t passing by in my life completely unnoticed, unremarked upon.

Well, maybe not all I’ve ever wanted.  But I have wanted it.  And it’s nice to get it, if only for a day.

At the moment, given how much love I felt today, it’s hard to gin up outrage or despair or even much more than a dim flickering frustration at not having one particular person to lavish affection upon me.   Staying in this moment feels more effective than worrying about what might be.  I laid in bed last night worrying about the snow until I realized that no matter how strongly I worked my brain, how aggressively I wanted that snow to not be hitting the streets, I had absolutely no impact on it.  I couldn’t stop one flake from falling.  And with that understanding made, I began to sleep.



Some days I am up for it, other days, no.

Vienna Teng and Alex Wong were really lovely last night.  I bought her newest album Aims after aiming, hah, to buy it during the Kickstarter campaign, but for whatever reason, didn’t.   Last night proved I had really been missing out since the majority of the songs she played were from that album and I loved every one of them, hearing them for the first time.  Sorry if that sentence reads awkwardly.  She was also very funny and relaxed and warm, in the way you would hope her to be after investing so many years into loving her music.  I’ve listened to it already two or three times and just love the whole feel of it.  If you’ve ever been to Epcot, it sort of feels like the soundtrack to the Land building, if you know, it wasn’t Disneyfied.  Just sort of a futuristic naturalism, somehow?

I did go in and work today for a bit.  The work gossip engine is running on high and it is taking every last shredded bit of integrity not to indulge in feeding it.  I’ve been given speculative names for people who might be interested or likely to apply for my boss’ position. These are people in our circle, in the community, that I know rather than potentially more qualified applicants who they’re reaching out to from around the country.  All of them rather alarm me, all of them make me wonder what their motivation could possibly be aside from just a paycheck and the one thing that I feel aggressively about the whole situation is that in no way is my work just about the paycheck.  It requires so much more and if the person above me isn’t going to be pouring themselves into it – I don’t know how comfortable I can be there.  Some of the names are just NO.   Some of them are people who have actively worked against our interests, or have professed a less than clear understanding of what it is we do.  I wish I could just ask them what the hell they’re thinking about.

I have to think back to therapy and just step out of the way and let the answer come out as it will.   If it ‘s not acceptable, it will be up to me to figure out what to do.  And more and more things are getting infinitesimally more organized and more free-standing every day so I can step away and not feel like the house of cards is going to collapse when I go.

I’m having the hibernation impulse to just eat everything, and today I made the mistake of re-affirming the fact that I do have money in my checking account so I took my afternoon off to wander the grocery store for like an hour and a half, not even buying terribly much (aside from cleaning supplies),  Now, I’m readying my plan of attack for the weekend.   There’s a huge list running but so long as I don’t drift entirely off-course, I will make a dent in the problems.



Amanda Palmer is making me think about art and the critical, seemingly obviously critical, reception that the woman who repainted the fresco of Jesus and did so with such unplanned and unexpected results.  It’s nice to read the back and forth of minds as they bat around the question of whether or not this was restoration or destruction.  It’s nice to think at all about something on a larger scale, rather than scurrying from task to task to relief to relief.

Ah.  I feel alright just about now.   It was Monday with all the added stress of it being this time of year between billing cycles where we have tons of bills and no money coming in and I felt really just overwhelmed and undone by the agenda of the day.   It was just Monday, every minute, every inch.  So no filming.  But no crying, either and I arrive here after taking a pile (a literal) pile of work home and my dear sister helped me get the gumption to work through and sort it so that it will be manageable for tomorrow.  I am very lucky, because this is going to make all the difference in the world tomorrow, given that I have to leave early.  Don’t have to, but am.  I had only asked for half days tomorrow and Wednesday, but my lunacy, my relentless lunacy made me anxious about the whole being in the front situation and essentially NOT being up there in the not so cheap seats, made the very good decision to take Wednesday off.  Despite it being a board meeting, despite me needing to take minutes, frankly, dear universe, I need this more.  I need this so much more.   And my boss who deserves kudos and credit for getting that as much as I dissemble and say it doesn’t really matter and I can stay as long as is necessary (a really nebulous phrase if there ever was one), I still want the time off.  And he said, well, if you were in a car accident, we’d have to get by, so…but he meant it, 100%, that I asked for the time, I wanted it, I’ve been working hard and I deserve to go.

It is a small, pear-shaped permission, but I’ll take it.

So after we got the work done, I have been fumbling around on the internet, letting the anxious feelings die down and fanning the fangirl flames of psychosis.  Not psychosis, just safe, normal excitement!  I only maybe nearly killed a cyclist today.  I didn’t, though, and I’ll take that, too.

Life is full of risk, anyway.  You walk out your door, you take a grave risk and I am happy to play my small role in helping someone avert an early doom, but yet giving them a cheap thrill by which they’ll perhaps value their life at a slightly higher rate.

So, fake lashes, no hair chalking unless I’m deeply committed to hipsterism, my paperwork, a poncho, a light jacket, a pillow for mine arse, a cheeky grin, a pen and something to sign, and some gémissements terrible!

Evidence of a Rich Inner Life

And you know it’s been far too long doing this for me if I’m considering and grousing that I’m wasting all those words on the damn title.  But, as I hear frequently, it is what it is and sometimes the title for a piece becomes immediately obvious even before the ideas start churning.  Not that these are pieces, Jesus, no, but you get what I mean.  Maybe.  I hope.

Speaking of titles, up until this instance, I had decided via the swirling jets of my brainpan that today’s post would be called Manichean Monday for puns and lols, but the day is never all that black and white.  It was the usual frustrating sort of day, though, where I told myself one thing and then life conspired to disallow all my plans and instead run me through a maze of its own devising where struggled through the switchbacks and turns until the whole proceedings were eventually called for time because the maze staff was tired and wanted to go home.   Saw the Farmers Market totals which were good, though less explosively amazing as everyone typically always expects.  Tried to get the books done.  Couldn’t quite amidst everything else, so I have to go in early tomorrow and buckle down (knuckle down?) and get that done.  There was much talk of my boss’ vacation which will mostly be to see family, not all of whom are well, and I feel more than a little guilty about how nice it will be to have those days to try and organize and get things done instead of chasing my tail, chasing my clerical dragons.   He hasn’t been gone for that long, possibly ever, at least for good year or two and I could just use it.

Sigh.  Well, I am, as always, a shadow of the graceful creature I will ever fail to be.

Exhibit A of that is that when I arrived home, it was shocking to discover that both my sister and I were in a decent enough mood to clean up a bit and I offered to drive us the very short distance to the recycling site.  I said I feel resistant about it, so surely, that means I need to do it.  And I did and no one died!  And as a reward for this great victory against the marauding bastards in my mind, we walked to the park and futzed around on the playground equipment until we felt dizzy and silly and the cool breeze and dark clouds ordered us home.

Run-on sentence!

I am hoping to get on the bike for ten minutes here, another nothing thing that has to be done if only to prove that it’s nothing.    Hoping to snag a little time on the ukulele since I think the guitar is too noisy right now.  Hoping to answer that email I keep putting off because I can’t figure out how to do it perfectly.    Can’t hope.  Gotta do it.    Can’t wait for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Body to scoop you and awkwardly force you to do it.

Today: 162.8

And some music:

The Prescient Prussian

Totally awesome band name, right there.

I should learn a few more chords on my guitar and start a band.  We’d probably be one of those terrible bands that changes their name more than they actually ever write or play music, but we’d always have really amazing band names and probably equally excellent t-shirt designs.  So you should probably get ahead of the game and just start being our fans now before someone hears of us and we have to change our name and you have to resign yourself to being a damn hipster.

There’s a dying rainstorm leaving us.  It came with the kind of light show you would think would portend something epic and tremendous happening in the firmament, maybe like Heaven got The Avengers on IMAX or something.  But it was miraculous enough with just cannons and rocketfire  and the occasional darting appearance of  neon white veins across the smoked-out cloudscape.

As for other things, well, there are other things which is nice to talk about apart from the notable weather.

My weight was, as I was pretty well aware, up a tisch this morning.  That’s what happens when you justify straying.  So I am fully re-horsed, with bike riding, a longish walk about and low-carb eating making me feel much better physically.  Funny how you give yourself the option to screw up and there is nothing about eating that feels good accept that quick flare of relief that your addiction was satisfied.  It’s like, oh, fuck, I ate all that bread.  Well.  That’s going to mess with me, I sure am delighted I did that so randomly and impulsively.  I’m sure going to remember that bread until the day I die.  Except, of course, it was utterly without meaning and making my stomach knot up as well as turn the volume back up on the voices in my head that just keep saying “Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, don’t change ever, buy Chipotle, grow into your mattress, the best thing about death is the absence of the fear of death.”  You know, the awesome voices that project stagnancy is the same as security.

So, I am doing what I can to get those voices, among others, muted.   I’ll see what I say in the morning.  Gotta continue to think positive and do things I love – like read.  Read some more of The Bean Trees and remembered why I loved it so much the first time.  I think I like re-reading it now in light of having read more of Barbara Kingsolver’s non-fiction and knowing something about her circumstances and life.

This morning was really good, though, because I set my timer and got things done in 7 minute sections at a time.  Cleaned out the drawer in the night table which was so overloaded with pens and batteries and random junk drawer detritus that it was getting difficult to close.

Small pleasures.  Your anthologist, journalist, whatever I am, has a rather Amelie-like life, save perhaps, the end.  But there is always tomorrow.




Paperbark Birch

You have these days that you think will never be over.  No, you think they’ll never arrive or you’ll never survive them and they’ll never pass by.  These days appear, at a distance, to be the calendar’s version of a klein bottle.   A groundhog’s day.  If you can somehow manage to get yourself inside of one, you’ll be there forever.

Today was the festival jurying and it took forever, or so it seemed at every juncture, but the envelopes were sealed and provided I fix the errors I’ve already found, it went incredibly smoothly.   Everyone was pleased and nobody died.  The day was so beautiful.  So beautiful, that naturally, I had to reward myself and I screwed up and ate a sandwich.  Just a couple pieces of bread, but instead of cascading and going emo about the errors and my life, I went and got an excellent dinner at my mother’s with some leftover pork loin and asparagus all kind of glazed in garlic and olive oil and herbs and some iced tea.  My mother, though she would never describe herself this way, is a kitchen witch.  She can make anything – nearly – certainly anything that would come to mind for you to want to eat, but she makes it better than you (or I ever could) and it makes you feel what she wants you to feel.  Happy, content, better than when you began.  Wiser, somehow, settled, braver, stronger.   This is a power I think many women, mothers, and I’m sure fathers (though mine puts grape jelly and parmesan cheese on toast as a bizarre delicacy) come to in time.  But I bless my mother for this gift whether or not I ever am able to do so well, she’s saved me from a tremendously painful and wrong decision to go dive into some food that is going to throw me backwards.  Instead, I am on track and excited to stay there.  Just at about 10,000 steps, too!  I may throw myself on the floor and struggle to get up a few times in the form of a sit-up.

I just am emotionally out of whack because work is stressful and I am trying to take time off but they need me so terribly much and this dude OKC-emailed me today and he seems vaguely sensible but at the same time, I am a hot mess and what am I inviting by responding when the driving and the body and the whole lack of…and at the same time, how much do I bitch about needing wanting craving someone to give a shit about me, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?  It’s a big fuzzy blip that will signify nothing and die a quick death.

After this,  I plan to start re-ripping my finger tips on my guitar.  I crave that simple struggle and the little rewards I get every time I try.  Get some Dinah going there, too.

Well, no resting upon one’s laurels, there’s always more to do.  And I want to not collapse, flan in a cupboard-style – here in bed.

Man of Action

So, first things first, dear readers, dear kind, like-clicking readers, you should ask me a question.

I have been so long in writing this blog – seriously, it’s two years and some months of writing it every single blasted day – that sometimes I lose my sense of it.   I have said before and it still holds that I don’t write it for an audience, but sometimes in your life you hear the echoes, the very pins dropping, and you wonder about your presence or impact.  I think from time to time that perhaps I’ve lost perspective and then, moments later, I feel like I understand the frame of everything.   The reality, per usual, falls right about down the center.

So ask me a question or tell me your name.   Let’s go, let’s go!

Music: Man of Action, Matthew Good Band

Today, I peeled myself out of my little bed and did the necessary preparations and brought myself to work on this blessed Saturday.  The weather, I am happy to note, I noted.   Glorious, bright sunshine filtered through deep, kelly green leaves.  The chlorophyll in full bloom.  Cottonwood flittering about like we were caught in the pleasantest of snow globes.  I can say this because I don’t have terrible allergies.   I got 99% of what I needed to do at work done and then I drove about trying to buy the things my boss asked me to buy before the festival project tomorrow and of course, store one, had unfeasibly costly USB drives (please don’t arrive here having searched for USB drives and be mad at me, it actually was what I was looking for, creepy random search term arrivals) and no little squeeze bottles for moistening the adhesive on envelopes so I felt a bit defeated having driven out of my typical driving realm to check it out.   Empty-handed, I went to my parents’ house – where they have a working stove and oven which is another story (yo, A, we should get our stove fixed)  and had a very low-carb lunch with asparagus and chicken once again.  And watched Law and Order: Criminal Intent [a Mike Logan episode, luckily enough] and an episode of Gilmore Girls which was just enough regular tv to sate me.  But I still needed to get the USB drives and the moisteners.  Ahem.   So I figured, grown-up girl that I am, despite the fear of panic attacks that my anxiety always produces, that I should try and drive to the Target that is ridiculously close to my house.   And huzzah, USB drives purchased, but another goose egg on envelope moisteners.   Kind of proud of being mildly human.  Trying to do mildly adult things spontaneously.  Wash the dishes, maybe?  Also got a pedometer.  Maybe I’ll even exercise.

So I’ve returned home to you.  Not sure what the rest of the night will bring, but I am going to try not to spend it all staring at this screen or waiting for your call.  And not, certainly, on fuckin Tumblr.

Dinah, blow that horn!