I haven't really felt like blogging... Serotonin is a tricksy thing, precious.


Happy Halloween!

Hooray for Halloween! I love this season, and I love these quotes:

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created with the first man awoke in the night." --J.M. Barrie

"One need not be a chamber to be haunted; one need not be a house; the brain has corridors surpassing material place." --Emily Dickinson

"From Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-leggedy Beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us!" --Scottish Saying

I hope everyone has a safe, happy and ghoulishly delicious Halloween!


Bragging Rights

I think I have the cutest niece and nephews in the free world! These are my sister Sara's kids, and the pictures are from my other sister Megan's wedding in September.


Twitterpation Tunes

I've been feeling maudlin and mopey lately, and listening to music to match. Last night, I decided to lay off the Damien Rice for a while, and in a desperate bid to raise my spirits, turn to the playlist on my iPod with Love songs (as opposed to Love will invariably kick you in the ass Songs), and here are some of my favorites:

"Paperweight" by Joshua Radin, feat. Schuyler Fisk. I recently introduced this song to my friend Jeremiah, and it reminded me how much I love it.
The Awww Moment:
Mess up my bed with me
kick off the covers, i'm waiting
every word you say I think
I should write down
don't want to forget come daylight

"The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson. I don't know anyone who can't relate to this song at least a little bit (except maybe the clowns...sorry about that...). And, it's just cute.
The Awww Moment:
I'd buy you Rogaine
When you start losing all your hair
Sew on patches
To all you tear
Cause I love you more than I could ever promise
And you take me the way I am

"Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional. I don't want to hear it, okay? I love Dashboard Confessional, and there's nothing anyone can do about it! Plus, I really like this song...
The Awww Moment:
My hopes are so high,
that your kiss might kill me.
So won't you kill me,
so I die happy.
My heart is yours to fill or burst,
to break or bury,
or wear as jewelery,
whichever you prefer.

"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. This song is romantic. It just is.
The Awww Moment:
Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads
I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I feel a little better...


Pinup of the Week

In honor of the Season...

"Thou art to me a delicious torment"

So, I've hit that point in the break-up cycle when things in the broken relationship begin to seem idyllic. I'm pretty sure the other word for this is Loneliness... Logically, I know that things are over for a reason, and that the idyllic images I insist on replaying over and over in my head are faulty at best, and that I really am just lonely. But, lonely is never logical, and so I find myself looking back through rosy lenses. You know how it is: you stalk their blog, and haunt their Facebook page wishing for any tidbit of information, and knowing that as soon as you get said information, it is likely to break your heart again. You long to see them, and when you do, you can't take your eyes off them; you fervently hope that they will look at you, and when they do, you immediately look away. Just being near them is agony, but it's agony you crave. Emerson had it right: it IS "delicious torment". Dammit...


Welcome, Autumn...

"Then Summer fades and passes and October comes. We'll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure." --Thomas Wolfe

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand, shadowless like Silence, listening
To Silence."

--Thomas Hood
"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
--Elizabeth Lawrence

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."
--John Keats, To Autumn

"The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on."

--Emily Dickinson, Nature 27 - Autumn


Quirks Ahoy!

Jessie tagged me to share 6 quirky things about myself. There are loads more than 6, and to be honest, I had to get help, but here they are, in no particular order:

#1 - I hate odd numbers. In truth, I'm a little bit afraid of them. And by a little, I mean a lot; I'm kind of pathologically afraid of odd numbers. I'm convinced that only bad things can come from them. For example, when I fill up my tank with gas, I will go up as many cents as I need to in order to have it end on a "round" number, or the next whole number. AND, if I go over, even by ONE cent, I have to keep going until I end up at a number I can live with. I just have to. And, they nearly put me in apartment 187 at my new complex; good thing they found out #156 was available, or I'd've had to back out. Seriously.

#2 - I stockpile scrapbook paper. I do not have, nor do I intend to start, a scrapbook. I don't even really make cards with it. I just like knowing that I have all that cute paper on hand, "just in case."

#3 - I have what some have called an "unnatural love for office supplies." I'm not getting frisky with Post-its, and the sight of Whiteout doesn't turn me on, just in case you were wondering; but, I do love office supplies. I like having them around, I like purchasing them, and I like using them. When I was a little girl, I dreamt of being a secretary for the unlimited number of office supplies they get to have at any given time. (SIDEBAR: I was a secretary, and the office supplies were not nearly unlimited -- budgets, you know -- but, it was practically Nirvana every time I opened the supply cupboard...) In conjunction with this, I am on a seemingly never-ending search for the perfect pen. Most recently, I purchased the new Sharpie pen in black. I had such high hopes for it, and alas, it let me down. The nib is too tiny and flimsy, and it isn't near "flow-y" enough, and thus: the search continues.

#4 - I love Tropical Dots. In fact, they are the only Dots I will eat, and really, the only gummy candy I like. I will travel to find Tropical Dots (Maverik and Walgreen's locations being the most likely sources of the elusive T.D.'s), because they are kind of hard to find. When I do find them, I generally stockpile those as well. Trust me, they're worth it.

#5 - Someday, I want to own 1,000 books at one time. I made that goal when I was 9 or 10, and I said it kind of as a joke, but the idea took root, grew, and flourished. I love books (and, no, that isn't one of my quirks -- lots of people like books), and I have convinced myself that I cannot die until I have 1,000 books in one room, at one time. For the record, the library that the Beast gives Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" makes me weepy.

#6 - I hate mascots. Really, I hate anything where I can't see the person's real face, so this includes clowns, too, and I will cross the street/room/county to stay away from them. I also hate dolls with porcelain faces, because they are supposed to look like real faces, but they AREN'T, and it's just creepy.

So, there you have it. I am only going to tag Jeremiah, because Jessie tagged the other people I would've, and I'll just wait to see what they say! :)

On Being 30

So, I've been 30 for a little over a week (in fact, I share my birthday with National Talk Like a Pirate Day!), and it comes with a mixed bag of emotions. There is a part of me that can't really believe that I am 30, and I wonder when in the hell life happened to the point that I'm no longer 16, or 20, or 25. I don't feel 30, which is good, I suppose, and I have to believe that the next decade will be better than the last -- it seems more respectable, somehow, you know? But, on the other hand, this is not the life I imagined for myself at 30. Don't get me wrong: it's not bad; it just isn't what I wanted. When I was 16 (and 20 and even 25), I pictured myself with a family by now. I pictured myself doing more with my writing, not just using it as a pastime and a dream. I certainly didn't envision myself as a 30-year-old recovering from a freshly broken heart, or as a 30-year-old doing a complete re-evaluation of my life. I always figured life would be settled by now... But, it isn't. At least, mine isn't. And that's okay. I've done things I never imagined I would do (serving a mission comes right to mind), I've had amazing opportunities, I've met incredible people, and learned a lot. I have friends, I have a great family, and for the most part, I can honestly say that I am content. And: I'm 30.


Pin-Up Girl of the Week

This is how I feel when I get on a scale, too...

5 Pictures That Made Me Laugh

This is another blogging trick I've borrowed from my friend at I Know About Popular, but he doesn't mind (I asked him).

Sad Songs (and by Sad, I mean Poignant)

My very good friend over at I Know About Popular challenged me to post my 6 favorite, sad songs (view his list), and then took it a step further, and challenged me to make them all Damien Rice songs. I adore Damien Rice, I have nearly everything he has recorded, I've seen him live twice and this should've been much easier than it has been, but I couldn't choose. So, after 3 weeks and much thought, plus a minor tweaking of "sad" to "poignant" -- because that works better for me -- here is my list:

#6: "I Remember", from the album O. This song is interesting, because as he explained, he wrote half of it at the beginning of a relationship, and the other half after it imploded; this in itself would make it a poignant song, because it shows the two sides of a relationship, and Heaven knows we've all been there, but additionally, the first part of this song is very sweet. The tugs on my heartstrings: "I remember it well, the first time that I saw your head 'round the door, 'cause mine stopped working... Want you here tonight, want you here, 'cause I can't believe what I found... I remember it well; I was stood in your line, and your mouth, your mouth, your mind..."

#5: "Delicate", from the album O. This song kind of speaks for itself, but it tugs nonetheless: "We might make love in some sacred place/that look on your face is delicate. So why d'ya fill my sorrow with the words you've borrowed from the only place you've known; why d'ya sing hallelujah, if it means nothin' to ya, why d'ya sing with me at all?"

#4: "The Animals were Gone", from the album 9. This song is verging on straight up sad, which frankly, I love, but I also like this one for the Rapunzel reference. (I'm kind of a literary nerd; what can I say?) The tugs on my heartstrings: "I know that I've left you in places of despair; I know that I love you, so please throw down your hair. At night I trip without you and hope I don't wake up, 'cause waking up without you is like drinking from an empty cup."

#3: "Blower's Daughter", from the album O. This is actually the first Damien Rice song I ever heard. I was immediately hooked, and this song spawned our love affair. I had never heard anything so tragically romantic, or hauntingly beautiful: "And so it is, the colder water, the blower's daughter, the pupil in denial: I can't take my eyes off of you. Did I say that I loathe you? Did I say that I want to leave it all behind? I can't take my mind off of you, my mind,' til I find somebody new."

#2: "Rootless Tree", from the album 9 (although the various live versions are better, I think.) This song breaks my heart. It is difficult to imagine how hard things must have been, or how bad the relationship must've gotten for him to pen these tugs: "So f*** you, and all we've been through. I said leave it; it's nothing to you, and if you hate me then hate me so good that you can let me out, let me out of this hell when you're around." Ouch...

#1: "Accidental Babies", from the album 9. This song is profoundly sad. I heard it for the first time at a live show, and I wept. It is far and away my favorite Damien Rice song, even though it still makes me teary sometimes. The tugs on my heartstrings: "Is he dark enough, enough to see your light? Do you brush your teeth before you kiss? Do you miss my smell? is he bold enough to take you on? Do you feel like you belong? Does he drive you wild? Or just mildly free? What about me?... And I know I make you cry, I know sometimes you wanna die, but do you really feel alive without me? If so be free; if not, leave him for me before one of us has accidental babies, for we are ..."

Honorable Mention: "9 Crimes" from the album 9: "Leave me out with the waste, this is not what I do. It's the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you; it's the wrong time, she's pulling me through. It's a small crime, and I got no excuse."

And if you'll excuse me, I need a tissue...


Update and a Poem

So, I more or less have an apartment to move into; I am just waiting to hear back with confirmation, which is a huge stress reliever! Otherwise, I still haven't packed a thing, and the days are rolling on. But, on a lighter note, and in honor of Megan's wedding on Friday, a love poem:

Sonnet XVII

I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don't know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

--Pablo Neruda (from One Hundred Love Sonnets)


Holy Crap!

I cannot believe it is September already! When did that happen? And, this September is going to be particularly hairy: my cute sister, Megan, is getting married on the 12th, which is awesome, I have recently started a new job, and will be fairly busy with it for the next few weeks, and for some reason I decided that I need to move. To be fair, my lease is up on the 30th, and I've kind of had it with my place, but moving while trying to participate in a wedding, and working more than 40 hours a week isn't going to be fun. Plus, my birthday is in a couple weeks, and in true diva fashion, I have decided that I don't want to move or work or do anything but indulge myself on my birthday. Super for me, not so much for the time crunch I've put on myself. It might not be SO bad, except that I also haven't really decided where I am going to move, and it is really hard to find affordable apartments that allow dogs and that aren't in BFE or Dodgyville. In hindsight, I maybe should have paid the extra $50 to my current landlord, and stuck it out another month... Fingers crossed I can pull this off!

Pinup of the Week

She's a Pinup AND a Pirate...


Loathing, Aisle 3

I hate grocery shopping. I always have, and frankly, I'm convinced I always will. Last night, at my downtown Smith's Marketplace, was especially loathesome, because:

#5: It was ridiculously crowded for a Wednesday evening. That in itself is cause enough to hate the grocery store, but last night, that was just the tip of the iceberg. And, because it was crowded, I wanted to get out of there, so I forgot to get the body wash I went in there specifically for. Which leads me to...

#4: I went back in to get the body wash and there were not nearly enough checkers for how busy it was; and no matter how many self-check stations they have, there are never enough of those either! I just needed to get that one thing, and I didn't want to stand in line for another 10 minutes, so I just put it down, and walked out. I had to go across the street to Walgreen's. Grrr.

#3: The yucky couple who were shouting across the aisles to each other. He was standing in the potato chips, and she was in the cereal, and apparantly there was some concern about how much cereal they had in the house, and clearly the chips were too engrossing for him to leave, so they had their conversation at decibels inappropriate for anything other than a sporting event. Besides the fact, it was completely inane, and I felt like my IQ dropped several points just for hearing it.

#2: Just down from the cereal conversation debacle, I came across a really embarrassing display of failed flirting. I hate watching people flirt anyway, because it's awkward at the best of times. This was especially bad, though, because a.) the guy Girl #1 was trying to flirt with was obviously gay, and b.) the guy was with another girl who was obviously friends with Girl #1. Um....hello? Why would you flirt (or try to) with a guy a girlfriend introduces you to? What if they are together? That's just a bitchy thing to do. Plus, Girl #1 needs her gaydar tuned, 'cause, wow; it shouldn't have been hard to tell... This whole thing just made me uncomfortable and pissed -- I don't want to see crap like that while I'm buying peanut butter!

#1: Every other person in the damn store smelled like patchouli! This is not that big a deal, really, and I know that, but I HATE patchouli, especially when I can smell it everywhere. Plus, for those who don't know, I have the dual blessing/curse of an insane sense of smell. I nearly passed out after I passed one guy in particular (who was then everywhere, of course); he smelled like he had bathed in it -- which maybe he had. And, honestly, that's his business, until it gives me a headache; then it pisses me off.

So, I left Smith's feeling uncomfortable, stupid, and headachy, knowing I was going to have to make another stop for stupid soap, which has inspired me to make enough money someday to hire people to do that for me.


Pinup Girl of the Week

For those who may be wondering, I like pinup girls because they are fun, kind of flirty, definitely sexy, and unbelievably feminine. It's good to see women who look like WOMEN. This particular one comes courtesy of Edward Vargas.


"If Music Be the Food of Love..."

I've been feeling very musical lately and consequently, I've realized how much I've missed it. And, really, it's no wonder. Music can touch us in ways no other art form can and it can communicate on levels we mere mortals have yet to master. Music can turn us on, calm us down, wind us up, tell a story, make us laugh, make us cry, soothe us, entertain us; it can cross generational gaps, gender stereotypes, and county lines. Music can praise, inspire, and very often express our feelings more eloquently than we can -- as evidenced by the mix tape (or compilation CD) as the quintessential symbol of new love, old love, heartbreak, hate, angst, or any combination of the above. (SIDEBAR: I vastly prefer the idea of a tape to a CD. I mean, you really had to want that mixed tape: the two-tape deck, the stopping, starting, pausing, queuing the tape to just the right spot, the effort it took to make sure you had enough space between songs and at the beginning, and not too much space at the end of the tape...and all this AFTER you have selected the perfect play list and exact order. If you screwed that up, it could spell disaster for the whole project! The mix tape is truly a labor of love...) And, Music, more than any other medium, can allow us the complexity inherent in all individuals. Because of Music, you can dance giddily in your contact high at a Jack Johnson concert; or throw some elbows in a Goldfinger mosh pit; or scream like a little girl and sing yourself hoarse because you are in the same room as Dashboard Confessional. You can wallow in melancholy -- and LIKE it -- with Damien Rice, crank some John Denver as you drive through a Fall canyon, or make out during a jazz ensemble. Music lets you scat like a fool while you and Ella scrub the bathroom and it lets you worship at a Messiah sing-along. It makes you breathless during the Carmina Burana, or tap your toes with Jason Mraz. Music sears forever in your memory the first time you heard the Queen of the Night aria from "The Magic Flute" and the euphoria you felt the first time you hit a high A. It makes it okay to weep unabashedly when Mimi dies at the end of "La Boheme", and to let your heart break a little when you realize the Phantom has heard Christine's declarations of love to another. It doesn't tell anybody when you hit repeat so you can hear a particularly poignant set of lyrics again, and it keeps your sighs and sniffles to Itself. Music is the background for our lives, and thank the Muses for it. "...Play On!"


Home of the Brave

I think patriotism is a matter of choice: whether you have any, how much, etc. But, I also think it is difficult not to feel a certain surge of national pride while watching a fellow countryman compete against the world and emerge as the best of the best. At last count, the United States has 102 medals, including the record-breaking 8 medals in one Olympics won by Michael Phelps. While that is an AMAZING accomplishment, I think huge props should be given to his teammate Jason Lezak who swam the final leg of the last Men's 4x100 Relay as if demons of hell were chasing him, widening the gap between the US and Australia, and coming in first, well ahead of the other swimmers, helping Phelps to get that 8th medal. I was as proud of that while watching the race as I was of anything. I was also rooting for Dara Torres, the 41 year old American swimmer, whose Olympic career spans 20 years, and who has won 5 medals in the 2008 games alone. Our men's gymnastics team, taking bronze with 2 alternates, Gold medals for both the men's and women's Beach Volleyball pairs, a huge showing in the track and field events, and we still have a couple days to go. Congratulations to all our American athletes, and to all those who are there from all over the world, proving themselves among the best of the best!


My Favorite Things

So, I wasn't really sure about this one. I was torn between feeling I should share these things in the spirit of exposition (this is a new blog, after all), and feeling that I shouldn't for fear of overshare. Ultimately, I decided to share my favorite things, because they are my favorites, overshare be damned! (Although, this attitude may be why I am so bad at dating...) Thus, in no particular order: my Family, whimsy, Diet Coke, crossword puzzles, Yeats, lipstick, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", shoes, Atonement, and "Atonement", Pablo Neruda, Damien Rice, Pachabel's "Canon in D", easy companionship, e.e. cummings, faeries, The Outlander Series, Joshua Radin, fonts, the possibility of magic, Klimt, a fuzzy sweater, Dashboard Confessional, pedicures, Edna St. Vincent Millay, pandora.com, "Pride and Prejudice", pirates, Maeve Binchey, grammar humor, old friends, a good pen, hope, clean sheets, pork salad, wordle.net, Bach's "Air on the G String", crisp, Fall mornings, a safe embrace, "Law and Order: SVU", my iPod, "Starry Night", singing, the pleasure of familiarity, peanut M &M's, Debussy's "Claire de Lune", a good cry, inspiration, a new book, a good laugh, the smell of rain, a good kiss, The Poisonwood Bible, the Tudors, "CSI" reruns, sister time, the comfort of silence, Ding-Dongs, joy, a heated discussion, "Suite no. 1 in G Major", a full moon, pinup girls, and love.


Credit Where Credit is Due

The amazing drawing I have used for my header was done by Francesca Crescentini. You can visit her website at http://francescacrescentini.wordpress.com/


Puppy Love

As I mentioned in my first posting, I DO count my dog, Daisy, as family, and I do so despite the mocking I receive on multiple fronts. But, there are several reasons why Daisy is my baby girl: she offers absolutely unconditional love, without asking for much in return. As long as she has food, water, and her favorite chew toy, she's good. This makes her incredibly easy to be around; I don't know any human who is as forgiving or easy-going. We understand each other, and respect each others' space (I know that sounds odd, but if I don't bug her about her pillow under the bed, she doesn't pee all over my apartment in retribution...). Daisy is also an excellent listener, mostly because she can't talk back and/or offer "well-meaning" advice; she just sits there and watches me talk to her, and when I'm done, she just goes about her business. This is also good because I know she's keeping my secrets :) And, if I'm ever upset or sad, she instinctively knows, and comes to sit on my lap, which the dog lovers out there will understand, is an incredibly soothing thing. So, yes, I am one of "those" dog people, and I feel okay about it.


And so it Begins...

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against blogs, and have enjoyed several of them on many an occasion. I just never figured myself for a blogger. I admit that I have harbored some preconceived notions about blogs; specifically that they are 1) a ranting/venting/soapboxing venue, 2) a showcase for one's family, or 3) the product of someone having way too much time on his or her hands. I didn't think I had anything to rant and/or vent about (umm...yeah...who was I kidding?), I don't have my own family, unless you count my dog, Daisy -- which I DO, btw -- and I really have plenty to do, and thus, no reason to blog. Then, I discovered that most of my friends have blogs which is how they keep in touch, and were privy to all kinds of fun information that I didn't have. I want to keep in touch with my friends, and let's be honest: rant a bit, and so, it begins...