27 January 2010


Does this ever happen to you? You're sailing along in your day and suddenly - CRINGE - you remember something you should have done/did/never got around to and it's embarrassing and horrible and the more time goes on, the harder it is to make it up? I do, seemingly daily. It's this huge mantle of shame and guilt and I'm getting pretty tired of lugging it around. I'm ready for some atonement, without the Intervention and rehab. So part of my 2010 plan is The Cringe List. I made one, squirming all the while. I'm not feeling free and easy enough to add the actual items to the Interwebs but I will keep a running tally of Cringe Items Completed. 
Today, my CIC is 2. 
I feel better already.

25 January 2010

Dream Projects

I'm on the threshold of graduating and the fear is rising - fear of losing access to great libraries, resources, databases, a purpose in life....fear of never finding a job or becoming a failure. But at the same time, something else is rising...project ideas. I'm  allowing myself to think about a time when I won't be doing homework every night, when in fact I may be crying in my coffee over being unemployed, but when I'll be less busy too. I'm making this fantasy list to remind myself and to prod myself and to make a record of where my imaginative life is at right now:

1. YA Book of Interminable Foreverness
It has a title even, but I don't want to jinx it. You guys, I feel 1000x closer to actually finishing this than I ever have before. A million false starts and I finally hit my groove and it's moving along and I had a dreamy little session at a coffeeshop on Saturday while AH took Simone to a birthday party and I felt so good, but also so bad - because it's about heartbreak and throwing myself back into that mindset where you can't sleep and life is worthless and it will never be good again and listening to Smog songs non-stop....but I really, really feel like it will be done before the end of the year, which sounds modest and small-goal but I mean it. 

2. Duham: The Movie
The possibility that we may leave this little town and the South for good is rearing up and while I'm excited, I've got that feeling too that I will never live somewhere near as complex and unique either. Or we'll end up living here forever and I'll bitterly resent it. One or the other. I have inherited 10 400 ft. rolls of 16 mm film and I have decided how I want to make movies now is to "crowdsource" the shooting - I am no cinematographer, and I want others to shoot for me, hand out the film and say "Go!" - and then collect and develop he results and edit it together with a collage soundtrack taken from the Southern Oral History Project and my own experiences (and others) walking around with binaural mics in their ears.  Editing is where it is at. I could edit my whole life away. 

3. Playground: The Movie

I have to spend a lot of time at playgrounds and actually - I hate them. As a parent that is, because in NA it feels like playgrounds are tucked away and ghetto-ized and god, dull. There is never a coffee stall or anything interesting around - just lots of nervous parents who dare not let their child play alone. I loved them when I was kid but strangely, I rarely remember my parents being present. It was about being alone and wild and falling through eagles perches and sitting up in rocket ship climbing structure - and the rocket ship got me thinking about design of playgrounds and then I saw a few amazing photos of 70's era playgrounds and guess what, no one has really made a definitive work tracing the design of playgrounds and wouldn't it be cool to see what 1950's era playgrounds vs. todays are like or NYC vs Rio? This is another I would crowd-source for filming. I couldn't hope to go all the cool places but I would like to try....this is such a pipedream project but it fills my head with happy little images and sounds. 

4. Teen Court: the audio doc
So every Tuesday here in town, teens who are up for misdemeanors face a jury - and a judge, and a lawyer - of their peers. Teens are trained to argue and judge cases and help their peers escape conventional sentencing. I think the possibilities for good audio and stories are strong strong strong - but I have to get over my fear of recording other people and being noticed. And asking permission. And being snoopy. 

5. Fundraising video for the school I volunteer at:
I was listening to a live performance of K'Naan's "Waving Flag" today and I am such a sucker for this song for some reason and suddenly I could see all the shots of my kids and the library and the classrooms and the awesome teachers and the good food and everything that makes the school so special and I knew I could make the best video of all time to wring tears and dollars out of peoples eyes. To be clear, I would use the chorus only, the verses are good but my kids don't live in a warzone, exactly. 

I have a million more (pipe)dreams, but these are the ones haunting me right now - would that I got 1/10th of what I dream of done. Secretly, I'm hoping this librarian business is my day job and I get to do a whole lot more than worry about cataloging schemes. Now that I got all of that out of my system, I guess I better do my homework...

11 January 2010


Before I return to my regular undisturbed much more anonymous and non-media rich blogging corner of the world (so as not to dilute this site from being what I intended, projects and food and nice looking things and such) I'll submit 5 things that bothered me or made me nervous in the last 5 minutes:

1. The Hardee's ad where (I have commercials on mute always so I'm gathering there is audio but I don't know it) a dude eats a big old burger and smirks while they clean "Cheater" off his car. Wha?

2. The movie trailer for "Leap Year" which although I like Amy Adams, also makes me go wha? Because in 2010 it's so flipping radical for a woman to PROPOSE? Or make a life decision together, you know, like you'll be doing for the rest of your life? As one who did the proposing, you know AFTER we had discussed the idea, this premise is completely insulting. Please don't get me started about hating the whole proposal deal in the first place, most especially the Bended Knee or when women pick the ring out and the just wait for the man to choose the moment to "surprise" them. You may not feel the same way and if so, I salute you, because then you won't be as infuriated quite as often.

3. My landlord just stopped by. To pick up the rent. On the 11th. After we had to e-mail her last week to ask when she would be by and she said Saturday. She never came all weekend and then dropped by without notice tonight as I was on the phone with my sister and I said "oh the rents on the mailbox, excuse me, I'm on the phone" and she kept talking and acting annoyed. She will not provide us with a mailbox to mail the damn thing to her, I think because she doesn't want us to know where she live. As HUD is my witness, I shall never rent from an individual again, ever. It is all property management companies from here on in. You'd have to be crazy to be a landlord - and 90% of them are.

4. I have to go bowl tonight in the league which I usually miss because of homework and babytime but tonight the pressure is on me to win one for the team and I'm petrified. I love to bowl but just realised I totally don't want to bowl in active competition where you let people other than yourself down. Yipes. 

5. I also have to drive to the airport tonight - on a highway in the dark, which is something I truly did not think I would be doing. But it's for all the right reasons - AH and Simone come home tonight! I can't wait to squeeze that kid - but about 5 minutes after that touching reunion, I'm sure there will be some serious parenting to do and I will think longingly about the last 4 days. I'm not going to lie, it was awesome. 

Okay back to my regular anono-corner of the internet. 

08 January 2010

All the Single Ladies

There will be no pictures in this post, because the camera is with AH and Simone in Albuquerque. Where I am not. That's right, I'm alone. Footloose and fancy free. It's Friday night. And I'm knitting, watching Supernanny (secret love, although why is every house that SN visits seems to be eerily off in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors and the same decorator who likes taupe walls and black leather couches?) and contemplating a bowl of popcorn and gingerale. Party! Actually, it's just the way I want it.

I really had to force myself to make plans this weekend - beers and thrift stores with friend mostly and it's been great heading out after work these last few nights. But secretly, there is nothing - NOTHING - like the feeling I had last night with the freshly made bed all to myself and the sweet, sure comfort of knowing that I could get up whenever I wanted to get up. Which was 8 am, and then I went back to bed and read some more. And worked out. I will tell you right now that working out and infrequent meals are totally easier on the Single Lady Plan. 

I've also been driving a lot which sounds bad - but I never do the driving. I take the bus to school and work so it was sneakily luxurious in this cold snap to do the activity I fear most - driving. I actually drove them to the airport, which I have never done for anyone. I felt like a real grown-up. Little things I cede to AH all the time - driving, getting gas, dealing with our landlady, errands at night - doing them it made me feel a little more competent. I sobbed all the way out of the airport, which I didn't expect, though I knew I'd miss her. And I do, terribly. But I am SO enjoying these moments of quiet and selfishness before my last semester starts next week and the whole machine starts up again. 

God, I hope there's some good True Crime sensationalized story on TV next. 

03 January 2010


Every day is a guilt trip and  a resolve to be a better person, so I hardly need a new year to usher in the same old feelings. Nonetheless, on NYE, on the porch at 5 to midnight, I burned a slip of paper with what I wanted to be rid of from the old year and what I wished for the new one. I'm not divulging secrets if I tell you my A#1 problem/challenge/struggle in life is FOLLOW THROUGH and COMMUNICATION. So yeah, duly noted, I'm working on it - again. Though I also note the irony of trying to Follow Through on my lack of Follow Through. Good luck!

Actually, my #1 Goal for 2010 is to get my first real professional job. In a threadbare industry during a recession. Tune in and see if we make it...I did just apply for a job I think I could actually do, as well as a summer internship. So, wheels are turning. 

Some Summary, Some Looking Forward
I moved house, again. I will likely do that again this year. Sigh.

I went to Edmonton, Canada, Spain, Austin, Boston, Maine, and Western NC - which is not enough. I want more travel! I will for sure go to Vancouver, BC in February which I am very excited about. 

My child learned to walk. She likes to run away from me in parking lots.

My child learned to talk. Her favourite phrase is "Stop, Mommy" whenever I try to talk, wash her face, eat, drink, kiss her, discipline her or cuddle. 

My Ten Favourite Books of the Year, according to my GoodReads rating system:
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman
Beginners Greek by James Collin
Important Artifacts... by Leanne Shapton
Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins 
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
The Moomin Collected comics by Tove Jansson 
February by Lisa Moore

Also according to GR, I read 127 books last year. Not bad, but if I included horribly painful library articles, it would be a metric ton more. 

5 movies I liked most watching according to Netflix:
Thirtysomething, the First Season (It was everything and more I was hoping for when I heard it was being re-released - unfairly panned as "smug and Yuppie angst" I think the writing is Right On and the issues being raised - by the same people who did My So Called Life I might add - are exactly right for, duh, my 30-something years. The only mystery is why I loved it in my Teens...)
Dear Zachary (heart-searing documentary)
Wendy and Lucy (love her style and Michelle Williams in this movie)
A Lion in the House (more heart-searing docs, in a children's cancer ward)
The Farmer's Wife (guess what - a documentary series! from a million years ago, but I enjoyed the re-watch)
Can I add the Patti Smith doc that was on POV the other other night? Really lovely.

Things I'm proud of, off the top of my head: 
Trying to create wonder and ritual in my kids life, but not the image of Perfection
A clean kitchen, most days
Keeping my jobs
Volunteering at the school library, even when it feels like I have no free time

Things I struggle with and mostly win:
The ethical dilemma of animal products in my diet, but when out to dinner, I occasionally indulge in a meat-based dish. I am the Poster Child of Flexitarian-ism. 

Things I struggle with and mostly lose:
Thinking about getting up an hour early to exercise but though I am an early-riser, 5 am is still too hard.

Coffee. Beer. Cheese. Chocolate. I'm actually pretty good about most things vice-like.

Pet Peeves:
That talk women do at work potlucks when they justify out loud, such as "I couldn't have anymore, I'm just too full" (after eating a sliver) or "I'll have to work out for an extra hour this week" or ANY kind of talk where they justify/excuse/mention how fat they are and how terrible they are for eating. HATE THIS.
Driving and how nobody obeys any laws or posted speed limits. 

If you've read this far, I'm going to add another Resolution and a story that makes me look terrible but is 100% true.
Let it be resolved: that I not say anything horrible/nasty/mean or cutting about people out loud. Just let that negativity stay inside. Here's the story:
One of my uber-bosses at work lives near me and we've struck up a fair friendship on the bus and walks to work. She's hard to get to know so I felt good about this. Then one day we were walking Simone on the bike/walk path near our house and I have a complete complex about Right of Way on the sidewalk in general. In the distance I could see a jogger with a stroller, coming on the wrong side of the path.  I muttered loudly and darkly about who was this asshole who though they owned the whole path, blah blah blah and as she passed - OH HI BOSS-WOMAN! I didn't know it was you. I wasn't sure she heard - but her subsequent complete and total iciness GUARANTEES it. She shuts me down totally, months later. Yipes.
So yeah: Keep My Big Fat Mouth Shut. 
Starting now.