Monday, December 05, 2011

Magic and Wonder

This Sunday, I went to church. I know, SHOCKING. (On the one hand, I'm joking because, well, I'm Christian and I grew up going to church and I have not given up on these things. On the other, I've been absolutely AWFUL about going lately. I'm working on that.)

The sermon was on, not surprisingly, Christmas. It was interesting; I'd just read the thread on Ravelry about someone telling their stepchild that there was no Santa, and the sermon was on the question, "Have you been good?". In the Rav thread, some people talked about how Santa was awful, a way to force kids to be good by manipulation and an example of how parents lie to their kids. Which made me sad. I don't remember Santa ever being that to me. Santa was... pure magic. Something utterly wonderful that I couldn't and shouldn't understand. I don't remember threats of "If you're not good, Santa won't bring presents." Instead, I remember lying awake, listening as hard as I could for the sleigh bells my beloved babysitter had told me she'd heard (I may have passed this on to kids I babysat). Being so excited I couldn't sleep. Believing that *anything* could happen.

Anyways, so the sermon was on how it should be less about whether or not you'd been good (the children's sermon made the excellent point that everyone was a mix of good and bad), and more about who you follow. We all screw up. Every day I feel like Jiminy Cricket on "Once Upon a Time" (Amazing show, btw. Watch it. WATCH IT NOW.). I see so clearly the person I want to be; and I so often fail. (Dude at teh Christmas party. You were annoying, but I was mean. I'm sorry.) Does that mean Santa (or God) is going to take all my presents away (or smite me)? I hope not. A part of what I believe is forgiveness, and accepting we all fail and we all get back up and try again. And a religion should support that.

And at the bottom of Christmas is love and experiencing the unknowable. And to me, that's what matters about Christmas. It's not that I get presents; one of my favorite parts of Christmas is singing while candles are lit at the Christmas Eve service. It is so beautiful and mystical and beautiful. I tear up every freaking year. I love being with family. I love feeling that peace and calm and joy. I love feeling that magic that, even if I no longer hear sleigh bells, pervades the season.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day for Corduroy and Dreams?

Let's face it, I'm mainly blogging today because of teh date. It's not the first time; I've been journaling on cool dates for YEARS. Who cares if I have nothing to say! What I was doing on 11/11/11 must be known! Though the whole corduroy thing is a bit ridiculous. "It looks like corduroy, so we're going to declare a day after it." What other fabric gets a day? Well, I know Congress has seersucker day, but that's just because of the freaking heat and humidity here. I want a plaid silk day. I have the perfect skirt, even.

I've become obsessed with Once Upon a Time. I mean, obviously a part of it appeals to my romantic nature, plus the natural desire to hate people. A part of it is figuring out what is going to happen. A part of it is... well, let's just say that I get the feeling of a happily ever after thwarted. And I am NOT implying that X was Charming. I didn't think that when we were dating. But I sometimes feel like everything is just out of reach. If only I were in teh right spot, joined the right group. But beyond that, I *want* to believe. Even if not for me. I'm obsessed with the thought of magic and fairy tales. And a place where things are black and white. I know they aren't. Not in real life. But wouldn't it be nice if bad were obviously evil, and good always won? Plus it's just a damn good show. And it's hard to beat horseback riding and sword fights. Man, I miss horseback riding...

Monday, November 07, 2011

The End of Things

This weekend... was exhausting. On the one hand, it was great. My parents flew up my grandparents and rented a house on the Eastern Shore for my immediate family, and my grandparents. Which was lovely. I love the Eastern Shore. It was so lovely, great weather. I finally won over my niece. Not as much as my dad, but still. It's nice to get smiles as opposed to funny faces and crying.

But on the other hand. Well, first of all, my room was creepy as hell. It was up this crazy staircase, and the first night I hardly slept. There was an antique mirror. It freaked me out. The house creaked and no one was on the same level and the house was built in 1790. I'm just saying. If there were going to be a haunted room, it was this one. By the time we left, I was fine with sleeping up there, but the stairs still made me nervous.

But the saddest thing was realizing that my grandparents are aging. I'm not sure how much longer they are going to be around, especially my grandpa. My grandpa has Parkinsons, and last I saw him, he was doing okay. Better. He's always been a great storyteller, and every once in a while you see a glimpse of that. but... now. You still see glimpses, but he's having a hard time. I think help and maybe a dog would be good.

But I sat there, and I watched him and my grandmas with my niece and nephew, which was oh-so-sweet. And on the one hand, I'm so glad they got that. On the other, I can't help but wonder if I ever get married, if they will even meet my so, much less my kids (again, if I have them). I love my grandparents, and having someone be such a part of my life who doesn't know them... it just makes me a bit sad.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Some of my friends posted about their experiences being in New York on 9/11. I know many DC friends have similar memories. It almost feels strange to not have that experience. Despite living in DC for seven years, I can't imagine what I'd do, how I'd react. I can't picture the city shut down, people walking home. The smells, the sounds, the terror of not knowing what happened to people you know and care about. Seeing the gaping holes. People in NY mentioned being afraid of planes, always plotting their trajectory. I can't imagine those in DC. DCA is right outside the city and desperately close to the Pentagon; planes are constantly on the last approach over that area. How unnerving that must have been.

My story is no where near as dramatic. I was a sophomore in college, in the shower getting ready for class when the first plane hit. My mom called nearly immediately, "just to be sure, even though I know nothing happened to you." I had no idea. I hung up with her (they were stuck in Denver trying to get home for several days), and turned on the tv. I sat there, hugging a teddy bear, watching what was happening, seeing the second plane hit and then the towers collapsing. Being shocked and terrified and horrified. And then getting up and going to class, because I didn't know what else to do. We were supposed to have a review for an exam, and that's exactly what we did. Our professor wanted to keep things as normal as possible for us.

There was a strange atmosphere over the whole campus. No one knew how to cope; should things go on as normal, should we take time to grieve? My dorm had a kind of fluff "getting to know the dorm" class; in that one, we colored, which seemed strangely appropriate. I had a paper due the next day on Machiavelli and *The Prince*'s impact on politics. I wrote it that night, trying to ignore what had happened (I got a C+, one of two in my whole college career. The other was my first paper at Oxford, from my tutor who wanted me to be writing at a grad school level, and graded at that level). There were probably 30 vigils. I went to two or three, singing and holding hands with people I'd never seen before, and didn't see after. I lay in bed at night, feeling unsafe, thinking how easily we could be attacked. I remember CSF's banquet the next year, and the sister (a CSF alum) of Todd Beamer came and spoke about her brother.

After, several country singers wrote songs about it. Some are angry, like "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" by Toby Keith, but my favorite is "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" It makes me tear up almost every time I hear it. Things changed for America that day, but I look at how people banded together, and *that* seems like a good thing.

I have other friends who have mentioned that they don't want to look back, they want to look forward. That all the media attention is too much, that the best way to pay tribute is by living. And I get that; every other year, I've done my best to ignore the anniversary. And today, I'm not watching the news, I'm not going to any vigil. I went to the local coffee shop, I went to the farmers market. Life continues.

But I'm a sucker for anniversaries anyways, and this was something that had a profound impact on not only me, but everyone I know.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Seinfeld of Blogposts

Welcome back to my blog. I know you have missed it dearly. It changed appearances a bit while you were gone; I'm going to change the background pic to one I took in Wales, but I'd have to bend over to plug in my media drive and it's too hot. Also, I'm feeling random, so I am declaring this to be the post of random snippets I thought about blogging on but didn't.

I love Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I don't know why. I find it so soothing. It's like the perfect combination of romance and calm and Britishness. It's like Chicago, but without all the killing.

I was going to go into drama here. Then I was going to go into some stuff about my own two-year-old drama (It's a toddler!) that I recently found out and was hurt by. But really. It's exhausting and I'm tired and really who the hell cares. Especially after three days of nothing but talk about it.

So lately. I started a new job. I am overly paranoid about everything involved, mainly because of my old job. Bought too much yarn. Went to my friend's wedding. She had a plan that nearly worked, but I am giving up hope on it now.

Every once in a while, I get emails from OKCupid with the title, "someone chose you!" I find them insulting. It's like they're surprised. "NO, we can't believe it EITHER." You know what, OKCupid? Screw you.

I was also going to blog about a piece on NPR on size issues (It was really good). I was then going to tie it into an article on Rosario Dawson and how she was deeply disturbed by getting comments about how good she looked when she was losing weight so she could play Mimi, a crack addict dying of AIDS, in Rent.

Or I could blog about the sad state of the world right now. (Seriously. SO glad I'm not planning on retiring. You know, ever. Alternate plan, marry rich.) It's not like I can even pretend like it's not happening, what with being surrounded by it at work. We occasionally meet to just shake our heads in shock.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Mourning.

Between watching the episode where Angel breaks up with Buffy and the time of year, I'm feeling a bit maudlin. See, while the X and I didn't break up until August, we had a close call before. I now think of this as the beginning of the end. It was the Wednesday before Maundy Thursday, and X tried to break up with me. While this time, he didn't tell me that he couldn't see a future with me, he did go through the motions. And I went along, for 24 hours. That day was one of the worst of my life. I don't know that I have ever hurt so much. I walked to work and thought of throwing myself in front of buses. Then I went to church that night. I walked in and felt... calm. Peaceful. Like I was supposed to be with X, and that it would all work out. So after the service, I called and went over to his place and fought to stay with him.

I wonder if he expected the same thing when we actually broke up, that I would fight. But see, after the Maundy Thursday event, I spent so much energy. I worked HARD to keep us together, fought with everything I had. Whereas he... He did nothing. he shut me out, pushed me away. I think he wanted me to fight for him, but wasn't willing to put forth any effort of his own. I'm not saying I was the perfect girlfriend; I have my own baggage, I have my own childish needs that I try to push forward. I hadn't treated him well before the first close-call. I took out the fact that I hated my job on him for a while. But after? After I did everything I could think of, only to be continually shut down.

So this Good Friday I mourn. Not for our relationship; I'm over that. If I never see him again, I'll be happy. But I mourn for all the torment I put myself through. I mourn the scars that I might have avoided if I'd just let him go then. I mourn the issues that he made worse, the extreme self-doubt that I have. And I blame him.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Family et al.

I was looking at some drafts of blog posts, and one was written the day before my niece and nephew were born. BIG SIGH. Which, of course, was after the last time I wrote. So for those of you not on Facebook (and let me tell you, you're missing out. I'm hilarious over there.), I became an aunt in mid-October. I love being an aunt. I love being a local aunt even more, though I have got to time my visits more so I'm not there at dinner. The babies are adorable, and I heart them muchly. I can't wait to see what they become. Right now, my niece smiles every time you catch her eye, which is so freaking cute. That is, of course, when she's not screaming. My nephew sits there and makes funny faces at everyone. I swear, he's got the whole doomed chipmunk look down pat.

Anyways, I have been driven back to blogging by my friend Mandy, who blogs here nearly daily and makes me feel ashamed of myself and my total lack of blogging. She writes heart-wrenching, bared-soul truths. I wish I had that courage; I don't.

Though in all honesty, I have never known the trauma she's had to go through. The more people I know, the more of an anomaly I realize my family is. Loving and supportive and nice. Not perfect. Not perfect at all. But I see some of my friends and how their parents and other family members tear them down or wear them down, and I think of my own family, my own parents who unfailingly support me? And I know that's a support that many of my friends lack.

Not that I haven't needed that support lately. It's ridiculous how little able I am to cope with stress, but I can't. And there have been a couple of things in my life that I am not cool with. I'm working on changing them, but it's hard. And once I've hit a point where I know a situation is not healthy, I have a really hard time dealing with it until I can easily leave.