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Archive for March, 2012

A Good Hair Day

I didn’t brush my hair today. My perfectly logical explanation is that I couldn’t find a brush. Because I am the kind of person that frequently misplaces their hairbrush, which doesn’t even seem like it should be possible, but I always take mine in the car or in my purse. Our house is sparse and uncluttered because of the showings and I still managed to lose it. Though considering how good my hair looks today it might have to stay gone. This is the second day my brush has been missing and I swear my hair looked great both days. And that’s probably only 20% or 30% wishful thinking. I only did the fingers through the hair quick comb and yet it seems to be much less frizzy and unkempt than usual.

In addition to the hair, I feel like I’ve had a pretty good day. I was productive and I had a free meal at Subway with my mom. My veggie sandwich happened to be on the low fat list of subs (I’m ignoring the amount of cheese and mayo I added), I’ve been able to get some writing done, I worked out, and I studied Spanish for a little while. The only thing I can hope for is that this continues until tomorrow. It seems like every good day I have is followed by a day that I wear sweatpants and don’t leave the couch.

I suppose all of this is my way of saying I am glad to have some Mary Oliver in my life.

Reckless Poem- Mary Oliver

Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.

It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves – you may believe this or not –
have once or twice
emerged from the tips of my fingers

somewhere
deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.

Though, of course, I also know that other song,
the sweet passion of one-ness.

Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.

And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand,
I have flown from the other window of myself
to become white heron, blue whale,
red fox, hedgehog.
Oh, sometimes already my body has felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched
among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.

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Artist

When I was around five we moved into a little circle drive. I know we lived in the same area but I barely remember our house before this one. I remember being friends with the girl who lived behind us, but I can’t remember any of our other neighbors. Our cul-de-sac has about 12 houses in it, I could count the actual number but it is dark outside and I am lazy. Ours was the third house to be built so we’ve seen almost everyone move in. This way it was easier to get to know our small circle of neighbors. Most of the neighbors had children that I grew up with, but many of them moved once their children grew. Now, I only know the neighbors that have been around as long as we have. I don’t see the neighborhood as much as I used to when I was running around outside. I wave whenever a car passes me but I never know if I’m waving to a neighbor or someone who’s just using our circle drive to turn around in.

My favorite neighbor is one I never speak to. He actually lives in the duplexes across the street from us. We’ve known him for a few years but I can’t remember how it started. He’s an elderly African American gentleman who sits on a bench outside his house when the weather is nice. We live off a busy street and as far as I can tell he just sits there enjoying the weather, observing the traffic, and talking to joggers who pass by. One day we started waving to him. I think my mom started it while I was in the car and then I waved to him too. I’ve barely spoken to him since I saw him across the street but I always enjoy seeing him outside. We know his name is Artist, he has a big family, a nice wife, and various health problems. He can’t putter around in his yard as much as he used to but he still likes to sit outside when he can. Today was the first day I saw him outside this Spring and I hope to see him more.

My mom and I tried to restart our habit of drinking margaritas outside at Chipotle when the weather is nice but due to a “city ordinance” we can longer drink on patio. It’s shocking but in this battle of the outdoors vs. tequila, I think sitting outside is going to win. What are you doing now that Spring is here?

 

A cul-de-sac sign in Dublin, Ireland.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Musical Sunday

I woke up this morning and had little else to do but surf the internet since I cannot touch anything in the house. The house gets shown on the weekends so we try to keep everything pristine. It’s driving me a little crazy. Most of my stuff is thrown in boxes in the garage or the basement. So I caught up on what happened during the week with Jezebel and the Hairpin. I seemed to be drawn to the more shallow articles though.

First, I saw the video to Part Of Me by Katy Perry that has been playing on the radio recently. I recognized it because it is the only Katy Perry song in recent memory that I don’t automatically change the station on. I liked Hot n’ Cold and… that’s about it. And maybe I fell in love with her cover Use Your Love and insisted that it be played at least twice during every road trip we took in college. She’s more toned down in this video but still crazy. She plays a woman who broke up with her boyfriend and naturally decides to get back at him to show female empowerment or something. So there’s a bunch of shots of her being strong and firing guns, and then dancing and twirling under a flag. Like all marines do. I wonder if any video about the army or the marines can just be an uplifting story about armed services without seeming like a propaganda video. Probably not, at least in this case. Though getting members to enlist because their significant other broke up with them is a new tactic. Still, I didn’t really hate the video. I liked Katy Perry without crazy colored hair and a lot of makeup. Plus yes, the flag dancing looked fun.

Then to delve deeper into saccharine pop music, I discovered this song:

Or Justin Bieber discovered it I guess, then much later I did. I am such a fan of Bieber that I didn’t even know how to spell his name. I went to youtube and typed in “J” and it was the first option. If I can still like Selena Gomez despite her affiliation with JBeebs, then I think this girl is safe too. It is kind of a terrible song though. I’m going to listen to it a lot.

Finally, I learned Jessie J was turning 24. As in the age I am. I always do that thing where I compare what famous people my age have accomplished to what I’ve done, and then I get a headache. Not that I know what Jessie J has accomplished besides being on the MTV awards once and having a song I can’t stand. But I’m still pretty sure it’s more than what I’ve done with my life so far. Yet somehow I’m not that disappointed, I’m mostly just wondering what the J in her name stands for.

What are your favorite pop songs?

Investigating.

 

Sometimes I’m pretty sharp. Then there’s the other times when I can’t even get the simplest jokes. Like this one. My friend told this to me over dinner and I was too busy picturing an alligator wearing a vest to even bother with the joke. Adorable, right? Then I just didn’t get it. I got that he was wearing a vest but wasn’t sure why the ‘in’ part mattered. It didn’t click for minutes. My friends still laugh about it and one sent me this picture. I suppose the bright side is that it runs in the family. My mom had the exact same reaction to the joke I did and it took her the same amount of time to figure it out. But seriously, that alligator is so cute.

Politics. Yay.

My parents are tea partiers. While they still claim the independent status they’ve had since I was young, they are more right wing than I have ever seen them. It started with the last election. My mother used to listen to Rush Limbaugh but would be likely to be vote democrat because her whole career was spent working at a union job. Then Obama came on the scene, and we haven’t had a day without Fox News since. At least Glennie finally left the network, and I only have to hear him lauding the praises of gold when I’m occasionally home in the mornings. He was replaced with a program called The Five, which has one liberal and that liberal wears suspenders. So overall, a huge improvement.

My parents have always leaned socially conservative while I’m socially liberal. I can’t pinpoint when or how this happened but I remember urging them to vote for Clinton over Dole when I was nine. They view liberalism as a phase people grow out of when they get money. We have radically different views now and in some areas we’ve probably differed for a long time. I guess we deal with this by making politics a joke when we can. My parents admitted from the get go they would vote for anyone but Obama. My dad said he would vote for a dead cat over Obama, which started the largely unknown but valiant Dead Cat 2012 campaign. We want to make t-shirts. My only stipulation was that we couldn’t kill the cat, we had to find it dead. This is gross but doesn’t offend my delicate hippie sensitivities.

So, we have different politics. And lately I’ve largely been staying out of politics all together. I almost majored in political science in college but I haven’t been paying as much attention as I used to since then. I watched five or six of the 73 Republican presidential debates but by the second one much of what they said blended together.

This meant I didn’t know much about Rick Santorum before last weekend. Well, I know I disagree with his social policies. And that the Duggars love him. I still decided to go see him when he stopped in Kansas last week. I never go to any of my parent’s tea party or Republican events even though they do hold some strange fascination for me. While Santorum being president scares me, he is still in the running, so I suppose I just wanted to see a real presidential candidate up close. Then again, I would have much preferred meeting Michelle Obama the night before, but of course my mother didn’t mention that one until the First Lady already left.

I still don’t know much about Santorum now.  His speech only talked about him in the most general terms and contained a lot of warnings about what would happen if someone else became president. It was probably the generic speech he gave everywhere and even my mom started rolling her eyes when he got too dramatic. She still voted for him in the caucus, but at least I had someone to giggle with every time he used hyperbole.

Cooking Again

When I first became a vegetarian, I received a vegan cookbook to use. I was determined to make every recipe and start cooking more. I think I made about three things. And I added cheese to every recipe, but otherwise I tried to stick to the instructions.

This was a challenge anyway because I am not a good cook. The first problem I encountered was the book. It was nice. And by that I mean it was fancy and expensive. I needed sea salt, fresh herbs like basil and thyme, vegan butter, and okay maybe I substituted a lot more than cheese. I used whatever I could find in the house and I thought it would be alright when I was making wraps once. I made the wrap by scratch and I used regular salt instead of sea salt. In the exact same measurement. It was so salty I couldn’t even pretend to enjoy it for more than too bites. I think it was a little chewy too because it took my dog a whole minute to eat it. He sat there determinedly chomping on the wrap but it didn’t look like he particularly enjoyed it either.

Now, I’m cooking again. This time I started easy.

Pre-bought dough and cut up fake hot dogs

Finished!

I don’t always use meat substitutes but these fake pigs in a blanket were pretty good. My mom was grossed out by the idea of fake hot dogs but even she had more than one. The dog didn’t get anything this time though.

 

Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?

One Step Closer To Moving Out

So, my parents are moving. They aren’t making progress. Part of that may be my fault. I can only manage to keep everything off my floor for a few days at a time, or at least it’s after a few days that I realize that somehow all of my clothes are on the floor again. Or are still on the floor. I’m not really sure. I’ve been told that people who look at the house aren’t allowed to snoop in our stuff so I plan to throw everything in my dresser and nightstand as soon as we have an open house. It’s the same strategy I employ when we host family gatherings. There are also a million little details I don’t even notice that are apparently essential to selling a house. Okay, I get why we redid the laundry room. It’s been torn up since we tried to keep our first dog in there overnight. Re-grouting the tile floors are the current project and I can’t say I ever even noticed anything was wrong with them to begin with. Or why we needed to paint certain ceilings again. Or why the house can stay bright yellow but my room had to be painted a different green. I feel like I’m living in a Girl Scout Uniform now.

I don’t really get anything that’s going on with the sale of the house. Right now it looks like I’ll be moving out before they sell the house. I am trying not to focus on how much rent I could save by staying a couple extra months. Instead, I am reminding myself how excited I am to move. And I am so thrilled. Not with the actual moving process but I want an apartment, added costs and all.

I went apartment hunting for the first time on Saturday. I realized two things. One: I should not do important things like find an apartment hungover. I went through most of it in a daze and I spent all the time between apartments sleeping. This is the awful KU games fault, so maybe the solution is for them not to lose anymore. I don’t think I asked the right questions, not that I would have known which questions to ask anyway, and I was very lackluster. But as long as they didn’t know I was actually hungover maybe they preferred that to someone who seemed rowdy. The second thing I realized is that I should not be apartment hunting. I didn’t know the right questions to ask and I didn’t care. I wanted somewhere cheap and clean. I know there are tons of apartment horror stories, but I can live almost anywhere and I’m not picky. We’re in a safe area, its a convenient location, and we might be getting a cat. What more do I need? Sophomore year our suite living room had a hole in it. Right in the wall by the door. I kind of liked our weird eyesore because it showed how truly crappy those suites were. One of the parents fixed it though, and we got a fine for that at the end of the year.

We went to the cheapest apartment and I pretty much made up my mind. It wasn’t as fancy as some of the others but it was cute, it had enough room, and it was way cheap. Its my roommate who is more discerning. She was also more hungover. She missed apartment hunting all together and I can’t say she missed much. However, I did heavily plug my favorite place and even she was pleased by the price. On the bright side if my parents are still here when I move out I can come over and visit my dogs. As cheap as I am, they’d still be the main reason I came over. Maybe I’d eat some of the food when I’m over but I’d still play with them more.

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