Friday, December 08, 2006

More Excuses and The Boxing Day Party

Ha ha ha. Of course, I'm doing it to myself AGAIN! I really want to write about the demise of my latest not-quite-as-perfect-as-it-seemed-at-the-time relationship... but that's quite a story, and a bit of a jumble, so I just haven't given it the time it needs.

In the meantime, I keep meaning to write of course, but I've turned over a new leaf and am actually WORKING every day. Yeah, working tends to get in the way of my blogging activities. Then I get home and I'm exhausted and blogging always seems better to do with a fresh head in the AM, when I'm all charged up with coffee... then I wake up late and have no time between coffee and shower and get-the-hell-to-work. You all know how that happens. The difference is, YOU ALL get to go to work and sit at a computer and still have access to your blogger dashboard, while I'm laying out dropcloths and actually getting my hands dirty.

My sister Bonnie suggested in the comment thread that I blog about a party I want to have. I'm excited about planning this party, but I haven't really done anything yet... One key arrangement MUST be in place for me to feel comfortable about this. I want to throw a Boxing Day party. Anyone know what boxing day is? Read the link, bozos. I want to have a party on the evening of Tuesday the 26th. Dress casual, and bring everything in your home that you just don't want anymore and stick it in my garage. (Hence, the arrangement: I need to convince Goodwill or the Salvation Army or somebody to pick this stuff up on the 27th and take it away to charity.) This party will also feature an 8pm Yankee swap (wrap up something you don't want from christmas and trade it off to unsuspecting victims). I may even invite people to bring holiday leftovers that they are desperate to get out of their homes.

My sister Beth suggested to me that she would have a lot more time to find stuff to give to charity if I had this party in the middle of January. There's a few problems with that idea:

  • Boxing Day is December 26th.
  • I don't have enough room in my garage for ALL the things Beth can give to charity, plus that of everyone else I know. If this party catches on, it might be a tight squeeze as it is.
  • Aside from taking a nap, I can't think of a better use of one's time on the afternoon/evening of Christmas Day, after all the hullabaloo is over while one still feels bloated and spoiled from the excesses of this holiday. As you put away your gifts, make room for them by going through your belongings and finding things to give away. I can say from personal experience that this activity is the perfect antidote for any post-Christmas letdown blues you might normally experience.
  • Did I mention that Boxing Day is an actual holiday, celebrated internationally, occurring specifically on December 26th, NOT "in the middle of January"?
So. Anyone want to come to my party? I called Goodwill about it last week and got transferred to someone's voicemail, never to be called back. I will go to Goodwill in person today, and if that doesn't work I'll try Salvation Army. In the meantime, I know my sister Bonnie and my mom have specific charities they give different types of things to... I think they also know someone with a van who drives a schoolbus (and therefore would be off that week.) Maybe someone would be interested in sorting the objects and delivering them to specific charities? Just throwing it out there. I don't really care what happens to the stuff, so long as it ends up in the hands of people who can use it, rather than continue to collect dust in all of our closets.

Friday, December 01, 2006


The longer I go without posting on my blog, the more pressure builds. I WANT to write, but I feel like my return ought to carry all the weight of time that has passed between us. And so I wait, not having the topic or passion or most of all time to conpensate sufficiently for my absence. It seems that Novy is my muse, leaving comments at times when my guilt happens to burgeon at the forefront of my overcrazed mind. Once I did respond to her proddings, but lately the time passed has seemed insurmountable.

I have a few friends I keep meaning to get back in contact with, and this is exactly like that. The guilt and the build-up of things to catch-up on continue mount - and yet deep down I know that I'm making too much of it. The time spent worrying is a waste. Meanwhile millions of moments slip past when one small act could have started us all back in the right direction.

So here it is: the action you've been waiting for. A bunch of blah, blah blah about nothing, yes that's what you've been checking this blog for in nail-biting anticipation. As you might expect, there's quite a bit for us all to catch up on, but I'm not going to let that overwhelm me any longer. This post may be all pomp and fluff, but at least it's a start. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Want it Back

six weeks.

I just looked at the calender, and that's how long my hairclip has been missing. I know what you're thinking: any "normal" woman would have put that clip far behind her by now. The fact that I continue to peer under couches and rifle through drawers where I have already looked dozens of times does not speak highly of my sanity. But I can't help it. For a woman to attach this much importance to an object, I'm sure you're thinking it has sentimental value... and I suppose I could derive some out of it if I must, but that's not what bothers me. My need for this object is practical.

I paid thirty dollars for it, which I'm sure you're thinking is highway robbery for some kind of barrette with no actual jewels in it, but I tell you I would pay it again and again... if only I could find the vendor. I bought it at a stand somewhere in downtown Boston, the day of the parade (October 30, 2004.) It came with a lifetime warranty but I promptly lost all information that had come with it, including brand name. Friends have returned to the location for me to no avail. I don't know how to get another one.

I am desperate to find this hairclip, or another one like it in short order. It is, in fact, the only thing I have ever found that effectively holds my hair up. My mother, knowing this, found some in the same design for me for Christmas. A lovely thought, and I now resort to using them on occasion, but because they are made of plastic they are too flimsy to hold onto my hair for more than five minutes at a time. The metal teeth and spring were both essential to the strength of this clip. I found one in Lincoln, NH this weekend of similar style and made of metal... but it's fancy. And it doesn't manipulate easily.I can wear it sometimes but not - like the beloved red one - EVERY DAY.

I keep thinking it will turn up. I keep trying to go over in my head the last times I used it, to think of where I might have left it. Is it rude to ask a friend AGAIN six weeks later "are you SURE you don't have my hairclip?" Yeah, I guess that would imply foul play or something. Not that I think anyone would steal it (unless, of course, they figured out how god-damned awesome it was) but perhaps some people might not realize how CRAZY I am about it?

Get over it? yeah, easy for you to say... you whose hair is not long enough to find use for such an object, or who prefers a ponytail, or who just was never priveleged enough to get used to such a clip... and you, over there without hair at all, yeah YOU... laugh it up. After all, there's gotta be some benefit to baldness.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Different Kind of Feeling

Nine days ago I headed off to Boston for a bachelorette party, merely a (psychotically fun) stopping ground on the way to New Hampshire. I needed several days to work on a project there, and of course it didn't hurt to spend some time with the new boy of interest. I was a bit concerned during my travels that I was not excited enough about this prospect. I thought surely that was a bad sign, that said lucky boy might be fading into the past quite soon.

I was wrong.

Over the course of several evenings spent with the new guy I was able to confirm something I had noticed from the start: this one was different. I feel different with this guy. Yes, I realize I just used the same vague adjective twice in a row there, but I'm at a bit of a loss for words here. I've never felt anything quite like this before.

Some believe love happens when you meet the right person; others say the right person is the first one who comes along when you're ready. I guess there's a bit of truth to both. I feel like I've met the right person at the right time. I know the timing is significant because of the emotional growth we've both experienced in recent years- so maybe if it weren't the right timing it wouldn't feel this way, but if I felt this way but wasn't "ready" I sure as hell would GET ready pretty damn quick. (yes, bad grammer. intentional.)

What is "ready", anyway? I'm not sure how to define this emotional status, but we all know it when we're there and recognize it in those who are close to us. I have a good friend half-way across the country who knew this was coming. I could see it in the things he chose to talk to me about in recent months, and I could feel the anticipation in his voice when I called him last week. One thing this friend had told me has been lingering in the back of my mind for several months: he said when I meet the right person the physical stuff would take on a completely different context - less erotic and a lot more intimate. Well, this not being a porn site, I wouldn't want to heat you up with the details, suffice to say that he was right. To illustrate I will tell you that in the past, lingerie has always made me feel naughty and a bit contrived, and I've never been wholly confortable with it. With him it feels so natural. It's flirty and sensual and makes me feel beautiful rather than self-conscious... and there I will cut myself off. I think that's quite enough information, don't you?

The most amazing thing to me about this relationship is the ease of communication. I never wonder how to say something to this man; I never worry about how he will react. No moment is awkward between us, and believe me there have been opportunities. I don't know if my friends and family will wonder what I see in this man, and frankly I don't care. It is not just what I see in him, but what I see in myself when I'm with him that makes me a better person. People have always told me that when you meet the right person, you'll just know. I'm pretty cautious about big decisions, almost to a fault. Commitment scares the hell out of me until I really make up my mind, and I generally I just don't until I'm really sure about something- and would certainly not write about it like this! I don't care if you people think I'm jumping the gun; I could marry this man tomorrow and never look back.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tread Softly

Remember when I talked about going on Match and telling you, my dear readers, all those sordid stories about the crazy dates I go on? Yeah, well, it looks like that might not be happening anytime soon. I guess I've gone and scewed up that plan by starting to see someone. My apologies if you were really looking forward to it, but I didn't exactly see a clamoring cheer section when I asked for input a few weeks ago.

Anyway, you know how it is when you first start dating someone. It's exciting, and you can't get said lucky-boy off your mind, and it's easy to get carried away with that, except when you're old like me and seen too many new loves to believe it. You start imagining what kind of future you might have with said lucky-boy; you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself, but when you're old like me you can't just live in the moment... there is no time to waste on a relationship with no future. And so you walk a fine line, dizzy and distracted and grinning wildly as you go, hoping for the best, but banking on the worst, and all the while trying to remember to enjoy the moment.

Said lucky-boy and I were attracted to each other when we first met six years ago, but we were both in relationships at the time. Plus there is a pretty large age gap, which I'm assuming would have been a much bigger deal back then... at least I know what I tell my 35-year-old guy friends when they start talking about 25-year-old girls: stay away - she's too young - she doesn't know what she wants - she'll break your heart. (Do they listen? No. But at least I try.) Interesting that we should meet up again, both single, now that I'm OLD (at this point you must know I'm fishing for you people to tell me that I'm still quite young... please?)

Said lucky-boy lives in NH. I know, I know. If things were to work out with him, I would not want to be a fly trapped in the room where my ex finds out I'm moving back to town and WHY. I hear he's doing pretty well on his quest to get over me lately, but still I would feel terrible. Good thing I shouldn't get ahead of myself. But yeah, I would definitely go up there. Not only does said lucky-boy have a business there that he established oh, right about the time I entered high school, but re-establishing my business there would be a snap. Also, I don't think I've ever mentioned this here before, but even though I now live in the town where I grew up, seacoast NH feels much more like home. Every time I go up there I feel so sad that I don't live there anymore. So really, I shouldn't feel bad if I ever move back there for another boy, especially when you consider that the boy I moved away from doesn't consider it home, at least not deep down in his heart.

Said lucky-boy doesn't know about my blogging habits. Not that I'm ashamed, mind you. Still it's nice to keep something like this on the DL for now... what if I want to write about him? I mean look, I'm writing about him right now and I don't have to worry about him reading and what he might think because he would never know to look for it. What if it doesn't last and there's a messy story to tell at the end? WHAT IF HE THINKS I'M A NERD? Yeah, we'll just keep this our little secret for now, shall we?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Do I Say Too Much?

"I understand the benefit to writing about your feelings, Rebecca. But why," asked RaRa (my grandmother) two weeks ago, "do you need to make it so public?" She seemed quite distressed about it. My cousin and I both tried to explain... but it's hard to know what to say when neither of us really understand why it upsets her so much. I consider the British concept of "airing your dirty laundry" and wonder if she feels it immodest to allow others to see one's true feelings. I wonder if she's simply concerned about the feelings of one or two people who might find offense with some of the things I've written. Still I fail to see the problem.

One of the ways I benefit from writing about my feelings on this blog is not having to bloody go into my personal life in detail every time I talk to friends or family members. Certain things can be difficult to explain, and rather than gloss things off or avoid the conversation entirely, I can always tell people to go read it on my blog if they really want to know. Not to be cold, but some things you just get sick of talking about if you know what I mean. Also many things (particularly matters of the heart) seem one-dimensional or, on the other side of the coin, too complex to relate in conversation, and take on a more vivid and cohesive understanding in written form. I used to pour out myt heart in exquisite detail in e-mails, only to have to cut & paste or start all over again or forget to tell the next friend. Certainly Ra herself never would have known/understood what went wrong in my last relationship or how I finally quit smoking without reading it on my blog... not that I wouldn't have wanted to tell her, but we can't always take the time. Is she saying I gave her too much information?

I have, in over a year of sporadic blogging, modified the amount of detailed information I include in my writing. I have learned to be more private in certain areas, and attempt to respect the privacy of others by using varying degrees of vagueness when discussing them. Still, I try to maintain a level of openess in reflection of a concept my cuz and I attempted to explain to our grandmother that day: who cares? Yes, my blog can be accessed by anyone in the world over the internet, but I can hardly consider that a global audience. Most people are not wondering about my life.

I am not so egotistical to think that my feelings and life experiences are that unique. This, in fact, is the true heart of the reason I feel the need to make them SO PUBLIC, as my grandmother has described. There are people who read this blog who have never met me, and yet they know me - to some extent - by the honesty expressed here in cyberspace. There are strangers who might land here via google or a comment thread, a link somewhere, or even the "next blog" button. These strangers might be logging in from California or Venezuela, North Dakota or Saudi Arabia, or even the next street over - neither of us would ever know. They might read or they might just pass me by for something in their language or with more pictures. Some might be bored with what I have to say, but every once in awhile, whether the person comments or not, someone relates to my written thoughts. Maybe it gives them insight to a struggle they have gone though or are trying to sort out now... or maybe it just assures them that they are not alone. Maybe it gets banked in the memory for a later date. Not that I think I'm actually helping people with my blog, mind you, or that most things I write about are that significant... but it's funny how much the same we all are, and how much we can learn from each others' experiences.

A great deal of fuss has been made lately about blogging in the professional world. It seems that blogs can hurt people in the job application process, and (in more rare cases) also help them. While I don't need to worry about being fired, I suppose I should consider whether blogging hurts my chances of being hired by clients... which is why I recently moved this blog. Still I don't feel the need to blog about things that ought to hurt such chances, like a bad client experience or something like that. I'm not sure what a potential client would glean from this blog aside from an understanding of who I am as a person... and if they don't like who I am enough not to hire me, I suppose l'd rather not work for them. Beyond this professional realm, I'm still struggling to understand what my dangers are.

I'm sorry if I offend with my open-ness... but I am not sorry about being open. If you wish to be more private with your own thoughts and feelings, no one is objecting... I only ask: why should I be more closed? Is there something objectionable to my honesty? I hereby challenge anyone who thinks I am too open and honest in my blog to follow my lead on that in the comment thread and tell me so - and WHY I SHOULD NOT BE.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Seems Like Only Yesterday...

... I was just a child at play...

An old family friend recently moved up the street from me. This guy has fixed my computer several times over the years, and my money is no good to him. If you've ever had a virus you know what a sweet deal that is. So finally I can pay him back for his kindness, and I was over there last night putting a coat of paint on his kitchen walls. His apartment is above the garage, attached to the house where his landlords live with their three kids. The whole family was out on their back deck last night, playing cards. The woman introduced herself to me when I was lugging my stuff up, and invited me to come hang out with them. Well I was motivated to get something done last night, and as that rarely happens I need to jump on it when the mood strikes me. So my friend and his buddy played cards and drank daiquiris with them while I slaved away with the paintbrush.

I was glad to see they were still out there when I finished for the night, and had lost only the 9 year-old to bed. I joined them for some cards. The game we played initially was bizarre. There are a lot of rules to it, many made up by whoever is in charge, and that person only shares some of the basics... The rest you have to figure out as you play, and you get penalized with extra cards every time you make a mistake. The basic structure was like Uno, but with things you have to do or say with specific cards. I managed to do pretty well simply by keeping my mouth shut most of the time, while my buddies were almost making a mockery of the game. They were getting handed so many penalty cards that periodically the master (which in this case is the 16 year-old son) kept having to take some from them so he would actually have cards to penalize them with.

Then we switched to Asshole. I had to object and turn the rules up in disarray when I discovered that in this misguided 16 year-old's world (who yes, seemed to still be in charge of the game) twos and aces are LOW. There I was stuck with three cards in my hand that I had been saving because I thought they were GOOD, and they turn out to be the worst there are. So I made a big fuss and to my surprise our hosts graciously changed the rules for me - perhaps in relief that someone was standing up to their children, 'cause PARENTS certainly can't make the card rules when kids get to be that age.

Well the son didn't last too long at that game, as he soon became "asshole" and not too long after retired to his computer screen. At this point his mother informed me that the boy has a callous on his wrist from typing and using the mouse, which is sure to be a regular feature on the next generation. The 14 year-old daughter was still with us, however, and stuck around past midnight, assuring her parents that she "would be up this late anyway". She was the only one not drinking, and managed to maintain her presidency nearly the whole time.

Eventually the young one retired, and so did the cards, but the five of us sat and talked long into the AM. I'm not sure how it came up, but my new friend started listing off all the art teachers the middle school has gone through in the time the shop teacher has been there. I didn't recognize any of the names. When I told her who I had for art at Chalk Hill Middle School, it was almost as if she didn't know who I was talking about - at first - by the blank stare she gave me.

And here we come to the real subject of this post. I was somewhat of a pet student of this art teacher, whom I had a class with in all three years I attended there. And while I was a bit of a nerd with the studies, art was still my favorite subject and he was my favorite teacher. His wife was the chorus teacher, and although back then I didn't think they were all that young, I'm pretty sure they were in their early thirties which I now turn around to declare quite young. They were both kindof the mousy, bookish types, but always nice and quite popular with the students.

He was so easy-going, in fact, that sometimes the boys in class would get a touch rowdy. It was at such a moment in my eighth grade year when my dear favorite teacher got frustrated and raised his voice at them, which was quite unusual. He was leaning against his desk and pointing his finger at them in rebuke when he started to shake and turn red. I was three or four feet away from him at the time. At first we thought he was just mad, but as he started shaking harder and harder and sinking to the floor it became obvious something was VERY WRONG. He didn't even have the breath to call for help, and for a moment the entire classroom was frozen in shock. Finally someone (and it could have been me, for all I can remember - the vision of the seizure overrides all other memories from that day) pushed the office intercom while someone else ran across the hall to the gymn to get help.

The ambulance came and wheeled him away on a stretcher, and by that time our class had been re-located to a science classroom down the hall, where another laid-back favorite of a teacher had a free period and spent it with us. Suffice to say we were all frantically worried and in somewhat of a haze. They kept our teacher overnight for tests, but he came back two days later, and as far as we were told the hospital could not find cause.

February break came not too long after that, and our arts-teacher couple went on a tropical cruise. He was back at school the first day after vacation, but he looked terrible. He had caught some kind of exotic flu or parasite was all that was ever explained to us kids. Honestly I never even thought to question what the real story was until now; if they knew more I can certainly understand why they wouldn't have told us. Anyway, he couldn't keep any food down.

He died a week later.

I don't know how she did it, but his wife was back teaching within a couple weeks. It soon came out that she was expecting, and I think all of our hearts wept for her both in sorrow and in joy. She stayed and taught at Chalk Hill for years - could still be there, for all I know - and her daughter has grown up here, in this community to which she means so much. I have never met her, and haven't thought of her in years.

She's the best friend of the young man who was dictating our card game last night.
I can't believe it's been over seventeen years since all this has happened. I cry over it as if not a day has passed.

Life is brief, but when it's gone,
Love goes on and on...