Friday, April 29, 2011

Great life choices brought to you by: me.

How to screw up your ankle: try to run up basement stairs in a foreign house at two in the morning.

How to feel fantastic in the morning: screw up said ankle and go to sleep at three in the morning. This is a really good idea, especially when you have to work at eight in the morning and you forget to set an alarm clock. Thank your lucky stars for your internal clock, it saved your ass this morning.

God help the girl.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

short circuits

It's all about the beautiful ice breakers. How quickly I revert back in to a sixteen year old girl at the drop of a hat. And then I step back and say, You're being entirely ridiculous, and Yes, it is fun, but calm down. And then I just smirk and pretend like it's totally cool.

Man, people are feisty today. I don't know what the story is. I've had the weirdest people calling, my co-workers screws are looser than usual and everyone's going nutty. It's as if the customers are in the movie Network and are on the verge of shouting I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more. And we just sit back and chuckle. It's a vicious cycle, really.

To add to my giggle fest, I've been reading this all day sprinkled with a little of this for good measure. As if that weren't enough, Satchel Moore found a site with similar dedication to my own love for Bill Murray and I lost it, smiling verging on crying, with utter joy.

Today kind of rules, but not in that Something great is about to or has happened sort of way but in that, This is just another average day and nothing is wrong and everything is just sort of funny kind of way.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Brevity. Recaps in Life

Yesterday was Tuesday. My favorite part of the week was published. I read it in a record setting five minutes, waiting for nothing but the sheer satisfaction of the written word. And glorious it was.

Tim Burke came through with flying colors [as if he wouldn't have or any doubt existed in my mind] and everything seems to be falling in to place besides one component.

What happens then?

I have been living my life like it is about to end. And it has never felt so good. I've washed my hands finally, after a tedious year, a tedious four years, and this enormous weight has lifted. Anything I have ever wanted to do and more is happening.

And then what. It's like this great cinematic ending. I could not have scripted it better myself. Or perhaps I am. Perhaps I am letting, willing this all to fall in to place perfectly as I have always wanted.

Dear Jim. It's amazing what happens over the course of a year.

Dear Christopher. Thank you for always being right. And for quietly saying Yes You Can.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Songs (in the key of Life)

The notion of Mondays being different than any other day of the week is absurd. The whole Case of the Mondays stigma has always bugged me. Until today. I finally get it. My brain is like a wet noodle. I've gotten the same call multiple times - a call with no one there, just elevator style music playing because clearly the caller put ME on hold before I picked up the phone. This has actually been happening. But I think I like it. The first time I resisted and kept on with Hello's. The second time, however, I answered with my usual greeting, said Hello knowing good and well no one was on the other line and stayed quiet listening for nearly a minute. That phone call bought me a minute of solitude.

Waking up with songs in your head is probably apropos of nothing. Muzzle of Bees has been a prominent one as of late. I don't think these songs relate to any dreams I've had. Perhaps just chalk it up to a nice sound to start my morning. Some of the notable morning starters include: ELO It's a Living Thing, Iron and Wine Walking Far From Home, and Halloween, Alaska's Hot Pink.

What happened. Friday I left work early to have dinner cooked for me and to be drawn by a beautiful friend(s), went for a walk, and ended up at Drink! bar. No need to rub your eyes or re-read the last bit of that sentence, you read correctly. I went to Drink!, one of the places I always swore to never attend. It was(nt) as bad as I thought it would be. Perhaps keeping good company can make any intolerable situation quite lovely.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inevitable moments (in) Life

I could not see any wrong in you, and you saw none in me.

It's funny, how you know a certain situation is bound to happen. Still, even though you see the boulder rolling down the cliff and you are running continually looking back, it will gain enough momentum to squish you. When it does, it will hit your stomach like a cannonball. You'll feel like you should be the only person in the world who matters at that exact moment in time and everything else should stop.

How could you not have better prepared yourself for these things?

So I guess this means I am becoming a real grown up, dealing with change. I'm trying not to revert back into old habits of ignoring a situation and pretending it does not exist and closing a person out.

It's sort of like tax day. That shit sucks. But, you prepare for it by not waiting until April 15th and everything is hunky dory and providing all is square, you get a chunk of change back. Pay off.

Or like going on a trip. Or moving. You know you will have to pack, so why put it of until the last possible moment or until it's too late and you forget your toothbrush? Payoff, you get a new toothbrush. Or underwear. Or whatever you forgot.

Somewhere there has to be a pay off. to make it worth while some how, some where, to some one.

I knew the day would come and someone else would be seen. But I never actually wanted that day to come. 

Hopefully there still is a payoff waiting in the wings.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The middle, Wednesday, Life

Last time i saw you, I sang to you along the river bank.

There are fleeting moments that you think no one else will remember. And then they do and you don't know what to say.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In flight - life

Every morning I see this woman walking in to work. She looks like a flight attendant - pulls a wheely rolly bag thing behind her that rattles along the pavement and wears a flowing scarf that ties in an effortless bow beneath her collar. I wonder if she knows that she so heavily resembles a flight attendant. Maybe she is or has always aspired to be one. To me it is mildly unnerving. She sports the bleached hair, gold jewelry and ham smile to boot.

When I was younger I wanted to be a flight attendant, but not a hackjob one. I wanted the pill box hat, a matching piece of circular luggage, pencil skirt, blazer, scarf and neatly pinned up hair. I wanted to see the world. And when I say When I was younger, I'm referring from the ages of seventeen until now. This feeling has not gone away.

The yearning to assist passengers in flight was only escalated when I traveled abroad three years ago. In Germany they still wear the traditional attire. KLM, you are one classy airline.

What is it that so attracts me to serving unruly flyers beverages and meals, fetching blankets and quelling nerves? Is it the overwhelming need to help people? Or is it merely a vehicle to not be grounded - to be a freewheelin' nomad with a foot in every city? I've wanted to travel always. Perhaps this is from a fear of settling, of the anonymity it brings, the excite and intrigue. I wonder if this goes away over time.

In the meantime, I daydream about being in flight, moving, going.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lists [are a large part of my life]

Making a list of Needs is a very strange, very subjective thing. For instance, I am compiling all of the items I Need before August. Hunter rain boots, raincoat, bag, camera. Do I really NEED these things? Probably not. But damn it would be sweet to have shiny new boots, a green slicker from Black Blue and a camera to document said attire.

The Need list is multi-faceted. There are things - tangible objects such as clothes and other goods - that I Need to acquire, as well as things I Need to do, meaning people I want to spend time with and places I would like to go. For some reason I have been failing pretty hard in the friend game lately and have not seen numerous people in far too long. Sure, it is a two-way thing, but whatever, I usually harbor enough Norwegian Lutheran guilt for the entire midwest, so I say it is my fault for the lack of activity and/or communication.

I started reading the book The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business. Oh to read intellectually and ethically driven writing that is well written! Never having cared much for business ethics (or so I thought) I did not think the book would do much for me. But how interesting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday, Quests and journeys.

Twist update. After working overtime Wednesday, I went to the 24th and Nicollet Mcdonalds. I drove up to the ordering machine screen and asked if they had twist cones. The woman paused, sounded slightly confused, and said they had chocolate and vanilla.

GREAT! I said. Can i get a twist cone?

A lengthy pause and a few noises escaped her mouth. A man's voice came over the blinking speaker and said they did not have them, per se, but could "customize one" for me if I would like.

At this point I couldn't say no. Tuesday night revealed my lack of shame in my quest - as I waited in line, all to be told that the Hennepin/Lake location only served vanilla and quickly stepped out of line and did not purchase anything but did use their facilities. I had previously thought about what I would do if they didn't have them: Leave without buying anything. Save your money for when you accomplish your mission and achieve your goal. But tonight was different. Tonight I was in my car, in a line with other vehicles. Not as easy to escape the potential bad news.

But the customized twist cone?! This brought me to a fundamental and perhaps ethical conundrum.

What is it that I am seeking? What constitutes a classic twist cone? Am I deviating from the purpose of my venture?

I decided I could not say no. And responded with a cheerful Sure.

A worker took my money at the first window. I wondered if he knew what I ordered and if so if he thought I was crazy. He closed the window and I waited there for the car ahead of me to drive off.The manager then peeked his head out of the first window and said in a thick accent, Excuse me beautiful, and handed me the evenly layered "twist" cone he personally made for me. There was a painful silence after I accepted the cone and thanked him. He stayed, staring at me from the open drive-thru window. I didn't know if he wanted me to try it and give a smile of approval. Without thinking I averted my eyes and inched the car forward slightly, so as to not feel any further obligation.  I picked up my fries at the next window and drove home.
The not-twisted-twist-cone tasted amazing. If my eyes had not been involved I wouldn't have been able to tell a difference in taste/chocolate-to-vanilla-distribution. The only downfall in the cone was it did not stay together terribly well because it was like the jenga of ice cream, with each layer stacked meticulously on top of the next. But I made it through.
Although taste buds were satisfied, my quest was not. This location gets an invalid marking with an honorable mention for creativity and excellent verging on creepy customer service.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things I have forgotten, life.

Driving down Lake street, I watched a Latino teen aged girl on rollerblades walk her dog. Really, the dog - a weimaraner wearing a white men's polo shirt - was walking her.

Picture that for a moment.

Overcome with sheer shock and awe, I nearly rear-ended the car ahead of me in rush hour traffic. But how could I not look away. You cannot write something that good.

No car accident occurred.

Some images are so striking that you wish you could capture them forever. Perhaps this is why you fell so hard for the classics. Consider this. Even if not as vivid as first-hand, you will find a way to re-tell the image. This is what you live for.

(draft from Monday)

Moments from today:

Researched billboard top 100 songs from 1991 and have consequently had Right Here, Right Now and Wicked Game stuck in my head
Researched Kevin Bacon ad nauseum and my distaste for him has only grown stronger
Overly carbonated kombucha that took 15 minutes to settle down and still had it explode all over me.
Decided I get excited for lunch like it was Christmas. That's what my life has resorted to these days.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, Food, Cellulose, and Writing.

Films, food, writing. The three objects of my affection.

Jean Paul Belmondo, I thought I saw his face this morning and refreshed and refreshed. It was possibly an ad on a website and it never appeared again. Later I saw his face coincidentally for the press photo of A Woman is A Woman.

The epic twist-cone-hunt begins tonight. Rumor has it that McDonald's (who undeniably makes the best no-frills twist cone) is only serving vanilla. When said hearsay hit my ears, I called bluff and insisted on seeking out said frozen treat. Perhaps this will end up like the great Cheez-curl venture of 2007 (See: ultimate disappointment after driving to nearly every grocery chain in MN, WI, and IA, and many small grocers, even seeking expired cans via ebay all to find out after writing a letter to the CEO of Planters that Cheez-curls had been discontinued) but even if it does, it will be worth the quest. If anything, I can chock it up to another mildly embarrassing yet nevertheless entertaining food story for the personal vault.

When telling afriend about the excursion he asked if I was going to call ahead. I can't imagine that calling McDonald's Isn't fun. And imagine being that asshole who shows up ten minutes later and orders a twist cone. Sweet bliss.

Weekly review was published today, seeing as it is Tuesday. Savor the last paragraph or two. They are like the tenderloin.

A beautiful cross between food, writing, and acting, I give you Bon Appetit meets Aziz Ansari's love affair that began with a napkin.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday, Living: Sometimes I Always Think About You

There are certain people you meet in your life that are just supposed to be there. Like it was decided, by the cosmos or something, that you two need each other.

This morning an unprompted e-mail waited patiently in my inbox, housing short stories waiting to be read. And then I began to read and was taken. All I want to do is read and talk about writing. Always.

Sometimes I Always Think About You.

The same woman was back on the couch in the mall last night. She was on the phone again talking about how her life has been without joy. It was a story of pity and pessimism, of life serving up nothing but the worst. And for a brief moment in time, I felt sorrow for her. How her life was so clouded that she felt nothing but remorse. And then I felt sorry for her, because of her disillusionment about what life is about.

At times it seems like I feel so much that my heart will not be able to take any more. As if any more excitement or empathy would make it explode inside itself. And then somehow, magically, it regenerates itself and continues to work, persisting onwards.

(In other news, I think I need to stop watching My So-Called Life. Pretty sure Angela Chase is infiltrating my brain.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, Life and thought streams

Some days I wake up and miss a certain person so much it feels that I am stuck, immobilized, like the whole world is going to stop because I know that no matter what I do I cannot physically see them ever again. As much as I want to talk to them, tell them all of the exciting and boring things in my life - because I know even if I told them "I ate a salad for lunch today" they would be interested - I can't and it sort of destroys me when I think about it too hard.

I wonder if that feeling will ever go away or if it will stay with me forever.

The memento mori concept has been ever present lately. I've been thinking about people dying. Sometimes I think I'm really selfish, and chances are I probably am.

Some evenings I feel like I am a bachelor when it comes to making dinner for myself. It's almost like I have never heard of or learned the concept of a balanced meal and I eat all of my favorite things ever. Or like I am a child who is left alone for the first time to fend for herself and eats cookies and cheetos and ice cream and string cheese for dinner. Tuesday night I ate pate and cheese and sweet potato gnocchi and macarons. And the inevitable stomach ache [inevitable and obvious to any outside party] ensued. Some day I will learn to be a real adult.

A Gatsby inspired summer is growing near. Visions of lawn activities, lavish cocktails, lakes, minus the heartbreak, deceit, and main character found dead in his own pool.

Bucket lists are growing by the minute. It's almost as if my life will end when the summer does, but in fact, it will not. It will just begin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, Life and Non-sequiturs

Reverting back to old habits.

I missed my blue coffee mug dearly. Dropped a PG Tip in the dry glass and placed it in my lunch bag this morning; it has been cupped in my palm ever since. And everything feels okay. A while back I made a list of things I would grab if my house caught on fire. I pictured myself with papers falling through the crease in my elbows, every ounce of my being overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I wanted to save. And then I stepped back momentarily. What is worth saving?

To this day I don't think I have a good enough grasp on what I would want. The harder I think about it the more I worry about dying or losing what I love the most and then everything seems so fleeting any how and I don't know if I would take anything.

The highlight of my week was published yesterday, as it is each Tuesday. Part of me wants to read it real slow, like one of those meals you feel guilty about swallowing because it tastes so good. As if it would save my life I hang on every word, anticipating the juxtaposition of the next and the following sentence. I wonder if I applied if Harper's would hire me. Would the Weekly Review lose its hold over me? Or would it be escalated that much further, having a stake in this delicacy?

Sometimes I want to swallow you whole.

Have you noticed the improper use of "good morning" or "good afternoon" when calling a place or being greeted? It's like there should be a bell that does off daily, at the stroke of noon, to notify all of the deft observers of the world that it is indeed "after noon" and to lose the morning bit. Similar applies for the AM afternoon greeters. Clearly it is before 12pm, please refrain from saying AFTERNOON. Semantics. And maybe, if we're lucky, this bell would be not unlike the Pavlovian experiment and the phone/welcome monkeys would salivate precisely as the clock strikes twelve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday: Life and favorite favorites.

Have you ever noticed how incredibly tan Cary Grant is in North by Northwest? Neither had I until I saw it on the big screen last night. And my, what a sight! There was something uncomfortably unnerving about the way he holds his hands behind Eva Marie Saint's head while kissing her, where I cannot decipher if it is undeniably sexy or terribly creepy. Something about the flat palm to perfectly coiffed hair...

An orphan postcard that was sent over two months ago that I gave up as a lost cause a few weeks back miraculously found its way to my mailbox yesterday. I shrieked with excitement. It finally found home.

An equally lovely e-mail came across my inbox this afternoon.
Still going to be around July 8th? She's coming with her new film...

A more sizeable squeel escaped.

"If this gets cancelled, you're on suicide watch, like instantly," was remarkably quoted about said event.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday; Life in the key of rain and beautiful weekends

Don't worry, you read well.
Sage advice about change. The joys of double entendres.

Slept with the windows open and heard the rain as I slept.

Took a macaron drive through potholes and grey skies. Purchased rose, salted caramel, and mint/basil [that was actually] chocolate.

Breakfast at TTiffany's over a dinner of salmon and mushroom risotto alone. I want a cracker jack ring with initials inscribed.

The air smelled like worms on my walk into work this morning.

On a bucket-list of sorts, I've always wanted to take a lie detector test. One of the old contraptions with a line monitor that jumps when I'm not telling the truth. Wires would be connected to my arms and brain and it would mildly resemble an electric chair. I wonder if it would get me in trouble even when telling the truth or if I would alter my response out of fear. Oh, how terribly exciting the possibilities and outcomes!

When red is bled, and petals blue. And in my sleepless head our love's been dead a week or two.
Sometimes, good times are stuck inside of you, And then they're gone. But I don't know why.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday, Life moments

Momentary thoughts.

Is there a way to eloquently correct someone when they call you by the wrong name? I have been getting "Stephanie" a lot lately. For the longest time it was "Amy" and I felt okay with it. Almost as if it were an alias. But Stephanie gets under my skin.

When someone tells you less than savory news, how do you respond?  Do you respond with seeming indifference? Perhaps your indifference is calm consideration. Likely, this is a positive thing. Rather than expending useful energy on things out of your control, you take the unexpected in stride. It takes quite a lot to bring you down.  Focus your energy for something productive and save the strife - safely in your pocket - for a later time. .