The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Things have been happening...

I just haven't really felt like writing about them.

On Wednesday I went over to my brother's house, and helped bake a cheesecake for my mother's surprise birthday party. Everything went great until we put on an episode of Law & Order, at which point my energy level dropped at I passed out on the couch. Television will do that to me...


The cheesecake turned out brilliantly, and I did have a tiny piece of it, to sample my work. Hopefully I won't end up feeling too sick, but Gods it was worth it. Mmmm....


Mom's surprise party was last night, and we almost pulled it off completely. Had my brother not shown up too early and stumbled a bit when he encountered my mother still home (he made a nice recovery though), and had I actually made it to their house before my parents showed back up the surprise would have been completely perfect. (I had to recover the lobsters hidden in my fridge, and then book it across town during rush hour. Not an easy feat.) As it was, my mother was still happily surprised, we feasted on lobster, filet mignon, and cheesecake, and we all just enjoyed each others' company. Something we do rather well.

Of course, my brother's girlfriend was there, and his best friend from forever ago who is part of the family and calls me "sis." And of course I got grilled about my new boy. I really don't come up with answers well when put on the spot, but I did my best to offer up a few bits of information.


The funny thing to me was that everyone kept commenting on how thin I have become. "You're so skinny!" They all said. Am I? Has it been that long since I've seen anyone? Or perhaps it was just that I was wearing clothes that were my proper size and not too large for me. I'm not sure, but it was slightly disconcerting. My body image is such that I don't often know how I really look to others, and I will think myself one way when I am actually another.


Perhaps it's only bothersome because people don't make a big fuss when you've gained weight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How many U-Turns does it take?

Honestly, I ask you!

You never realize how important a road is to traffic flow until they shut it down for repair. A simple trip to the gas station over lunch turns into a nightmare of maneuvering around semi-trucks, delivery vans, and souped-up racers (those impatient bastards).

Long, endless lines of automotive vehicles stretching down the one lane of the two-lane road that you need to be on. It's enough to make a girl want to walk.

Not that walking is an option in Florida, what with the lack of trees and the suburban sprawl stretching out for miles on end.

-End rant

Monday, April 25, 2005

Back In Black

Hee hee. My boy made the comment this weekend that I was a little AC/DC, and once I got it I found it rather amusing. It really fit as I was clomping through the Dulles airport to go home in my boots and my "Classic Rose" era Long Black Skirttm (which I had brought with me for shits and giggles). I smiled as my boots clicked on the tile floor and heavy black fabric swirled around my ankles, and definitely thought "I'm back." I felt like I was the old Rose again, only better, the way I always wanted to be.

My weekend away went quite swimmingly, and a good time was had by all. It's interesting switching over to a nocturnal schedule. There's the same amount of daylight upon waking, only it goes away instead of increases. And then there's the odd experience of meeting up with people for a while only to have them say "let's call it a night" when your own night is just beginning. But I fared pretty well. Not looking at the clock too much helped. And not being ready to pass out when I got home was a great boon. (Yeah, you try making it through baggage claim at 11:30pm and getting home around 1am on a diurnal schedule and see how you feel.)

I did have such a sense of deja vu, though. It seemed like everyone I met I had met before, and I was retreading familiar ground, only with someone new. It was slightly disorienting perhaps, but only if I stopped to think hard on it.

Seeing my ex again was interesting. (I was returning to him things he forgot at the apartment.) He's still the same boy I knew, both in good and bad ways, and I got him to do his wicked Smeagol/Gollum impression for everyone we were out with. (He's frighteningly good at it.) Things got tense only for a moment, and I am certain that I did something accidentally to provoke it, but I didn't really think about it until later. At any rate, he seems to be moving on with his life and I am happy to see that.

*sighs* And now I am back home to my cats, my job, and my messy apartment.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Faster, stronger, more organized

My apartment is taking shape rather nicely. Things are being put away, boxes are being unpacked and broken down. I can even sit on about half of my couch now! Hooray!

It seems to be the time for Libran friends to come calling. My friend in Texas called out of the blue the other night (and it was quite lovely to hear from her), and then another friend of mine called last night. It seems we are all in places of thoughtfulness and transition. Interesting...

And in other news, Drew looks silly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

"Habeus Papum" they say...

The new pope is from Germany? Uh oh.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4463519.stm

Yes, in the eternal words of Triumph "I keed!" But do I really? Prejudice compels my instincts to tell me that a German pope does not bode well for us, and I know that this may be folly on my part. However, hearing that he is quite conservative on the same old issues that have plagued the Catholic church for decades, and the suggestion that this is what helped get him elected cause me sincere worry.

And yet, when I think on it, I know that the Catholic church's power is waning. If they continue to cling to their outdated traditions, they will continue to lose followers to newer, prettier, shinier versions of Christianity that promise easy salvation. What worked to control the masses in the 11th century may not necessarily work today.

Jewish culture understsood this, and despite the opinions of some of the Orthodox and Hasidics, there is room for many different ways to celebrate Jewish faith and culture. You have to adapt if you want to survive. Especially now, in this rapidly-paced age of Aquarius. (There has been some debate and speculation as to whether we actually are in the Age of Aquarius, but I say how could we not be? Computers are a tool of the water bearer, connecting the world at large through a fine, rapidly growing and changing network akin to our own nervous systems. Aquarius and Uranus, its ruling planet, influence technology. I highly doubt the internet would have been born in Pisces.)

Still, the pseudo-death throes of Catholicism may yet send spasms of strife throughout the world. One clings most to life when one is near death. And what of the new converts to a more addictive version of Christianity? (In my reflections that religion, especially Christianity, is yet another addictive "substance" one could compare the Catholic church to cocaine, wheras the megachurch phenomenon would be crack.)

We shall indeed see where this new pope leads his flock...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

One of my friends turned into a boy!

And a rather cute one at that, tee hee.

I am, of course, all smiles and giggles, and my brain keeps coming up with countless unladylike thoughts best not disclosed to the general public. I will say, though, that he is totally my type (geeky and "interesting"), and I get to visit him very soon on a much needed vacation pour moi.

Visit you say? Well, yes, there is the unfortunate side effect of life that he lives several states up the coast from me, but I say "Feh! Minor detail." After all, this is what AIM and "nights & weekends" minutes were made for. (And webcams. Maybe.)

In other news, my parents are being totally cool and buying me tons of meat as a housewarming gift. Yay for not having to stock up on my own groceries! Parents rock. Now all I need is to find someone who will buy me a pair of shoes that fit...

Call me smitten and we'll chalk this up to a good day.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm watching you...

Well, sort of.

Wow, apparently there are, like, five more of you out there than I thought.

Yeah, I went and got a free website stat counter, as my nagging curiosity got the better of me. Hey, it's a little piece of mind. Kind of like my cell phone. I carry it with me so I have undisputed proof that no one has called me.

*sigh* It's been a lonely, but productive weekend. I stayed home and unpacked/rearranged some more. It's starting to look like a person lives in my apartment, rather than uses it for storage space! The highlight of this was finally getting around to doing my little Feng Shui analysis of my apartment. Turns out it's almost perfect! How cool is that? The only area I might want to stay away from that I can't is my bedroom, but other than that everything seems to balance out pretty nicely.

I have also realized how much more time I seem to have when I am not watching television. Now that I'm not glued to a glowing box for hour long chunks of time I find that I am getting more done, and still am able to take little cat naps throughout the day. (There is nothing sweeter on this earth than having a tiny little tabby cat curl up next to you on your bed and rest her precious head on your arm. Nothing.)

Thomas, my other cat, finally escaped for an evening though. He'd been threatening to for a while, and he finally made a break for it today. I had to just let him go off and do his thing. What else was I going to do? He was gone for most of the evening, and came back late last night, howling at the door, wanting my dinner. *sighs and shakes head* What am I gonna do with him?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

I was looking at a friend of mine's myspace thingie and found a whole bunch of quiz results telling me everything from which "Sex and the City vixen" she is to which Bjork song she is. So I couldn't resist, I just had to find out...

HASH(0x8a9e418)
You're Brigitte Bardot!
What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Oui oui mon cher! I am obviously quite tickled. I suppose I had better make good on those threats of re-learning French now...

(The link to the quiz seems to be broken now, though. I suppose there are a lot of girls who want to find out whether they're Bettie Page or not...)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The trouble with men.

And women. I mean, I often think about the female role in society first. Gee, I wonder why. And yet, feminism isn't just about women. Feminism is about equality for both genders. What got me thinking about it? A marketing article I read today, pointing out how "middle aged" men are portrayed and thought of in the media as useless, clueless, randy goofballs.

The guy's got a point.

Leave it to marketing to figure out how we tick. Sad that the underlying cause is to learn how to talk to us so we will buy things. (Read the Feminine Mystique for great examples of how many companies and magazines marketed to women in the 50's and 60's. Some of this is still around today. You looked at the magazines in the grocery store lately?)

Another thing pointed out in this article is how male identity is slipping. It talks more about the identity of the "middle aged" male, but I have seen and heard this from several of my guy friends (all around my age) over time as well. While women have been trying to break out of their traditional roles as domestics, and while both genders have been falling into the two income trap, men have been pushed off-center of their traditional "breadwinner" role into uncomfortable territory.

When it comes to gener roles, it's hard to puzzle out the "nature vs. nurture" argument. I have found that there is a strong undercurrent of "nature" that helps shape our respective gender identities, but I also find that society seems to amplify and exploit these natural tendencies to the extreme, making it difficult for us to find the "other" in ourselves. It is perfectly accepted and natural for women to reach out to each other, be in touch with their bodies and how they are feeling, and seek to understand their emotions. We are practically expected to do this, to know ourselves and others. How many guys out there are actually in touch with themselves? How many simply use their job/career to supplement their entire identity? How many more have not found identity in work, and instead sulk quietly in front of their computers and televisions and video games, cocooning themselves in an infantile fantasy world? (Yeah yeah, video games are great and all, but come on. Sometimes you can really have too much of a good thing.)

Not that most guys have as much of an inclination to be all "touchy feely." But just because they express their emotions differently doesn't mean that they aren't there. The evil mechanisms that churn beneath society are still in place. Women are now expected to be spiritual, emotional, self-analytical creatures (a la Oprah), and men? No one seems to have figured that out yet. They can't be "girly", they would lose their status as men. But they aren't as needed for their traditional responsibilities in society. What's a boy to do?

Another thing I can't stand are guys who completely downplay their gender. "Oh, women are great! Men are dogs. Men are pigs. Men are scum." Dude, WTF??? Michael Moore of all people proselytized this in his book Stupid White Men. (At least, I think it was that one. It was either that one or Downsize This.) Guys like that worry me. Men are just as valid and important members of society. But this debate will rage on for a while. We're fighting on both fronts here, those who don't know who they are vs. those who think everyone should be someone else. Those who hate the opposite gender vs. those who hate their own.

It gets so convoluted sometimes. Why can't we all just be ourselves?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Behind every negative occurrence...

...is a Negative Thought (tm). How to solve problems in your life? Find the negative thoughts behind the occurrences, admit them, and replace them with a positive one.

Negative Thoughts (tm) I have unearthed in my head recently:

No one decent is interested in me/wants to be friends with me because I am too fat.

This is an old one from my college days. (Yeah, you all remember what I used to look like.) It's not like I wasn't consciously aware of it, but there's a difference between being caught up in a thought and understanding that this is a thought that is holding me back. And so the "Of course! No wonder I wasn't getting any!" light went off in my head. Not like I'm feeling that way right now, but after opening my eyes and realizing that big girls really do get love too (honest, genuine, real love even), I think maybe I can be a little more okay with myself whatever my body happens to look like at the moment. (After all the ups and downs I've had with my metabolism, I think I need to be prepared to be just about any clothing size. But at least I know I'll always look good!)

I'm not a "real" witch, so my spells won't work.


How amusing it is to me to realize that I needed to come up with a positive thought to counteract that one. You would think that after all this time I would have more confidence in my abilities. Sheesh! Maybe now more of my little spellworkings will pay off... (Yes, some of them have worked before, but the stuff that has brought about the most results usually comes from practicing with others.)

I'm still working on unearthing what keeps me stuck in the cycle of "Get a job. Get bored with said job. Stay stuck in job for longer than needed. Get a new job." Yes, believe it or not, this is tricky business.

Nothing simple is ever easy.

And you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Lover Speaks...

So I got suddenly interested in who actually wrote/performed "No More I Love Yous" before Annie Lennox did. Lo and behold, The Lover Speaks.

I spoke to my ex last night. The first thing he said to me was "I'm mad at you that you started smoking again!" Heh, I wasn't expecting that. Not from him. It was actually kind of nice to know he cares. (At least, I think he does. There are lots of reasons to yell at someone who started smoking again.)

He sounds like he's doing well. He seems to enjoy his new job well enough, and he's been out playing the field as well. It sounds like he has found an environment that makes him really happy, one that he belongs in. I hope it's all true, I really do. When he told me he was dating other girls, I felt really, truly, honestly happy and excited for him. Happier than when he told me he got his job, even. It seems he's doing what he has wanted to do in his life for so long.

Now it's to me to go pursue a little happiness of my own.

Life's falling back into a little bit of balance. I remembered that eating regularly and doing the dishes are good things. And Mercury is finally out of retrograde! Thank the Goddess. I mean, it happens periodically and all (we've got two more rounds to go through this year), so I should focus more on just accepting it (which I usually do), but things are always just a little trickier for those long weeks. It's funny how fast opportunities and experiences open back up to me as soon as it goes direct again. I may even find the will to jump on the wagon again and kick the inhalable cancer habit... Maybe.

And here is a fun blog with a sad story: Waiter Rant

Monday, April 11, 2005

So finally, after all this time... (warning, pee humor)

...I had a real, honest-to-goddess doctor appointment! Wow! 15 dollar co-pays rock. In fact, health insurance rocks.

Of course, I've had this long history of showing up for doctor appointments being expected to pee in a cup and not being able to deliver the goods. Hey, I went before I left! So now I get all anxious about it, and want to be prepared. Today this meant that, about an hour before I had to leave, I opted not to use the facilities, thinking "If I go now I won't be able to go later, so I'll just wait."

Now, it takes about 45 minutes for me to get to my current "Primary Care Physician." I didn't really consider that I could have just downed a bucket of water before I left. So by the time I was on my merry way, I was starting to get mighty uncomfortable. Traffic seemed to slow down. Every light turned red. And when I show up at the office? There's a lady already at the desk, taking up the attention of every single receptionist! Were I not trying to keep my ladylike composure, I probably would have been doing a little dance in the waiting room. Instead, I edged closer and closer behind the woman in front of me, probably making her think "what a pushy bitch!"

Finally,
finally it was my turn to talk to the nice ladies behind the window. I don't know how desperate I sounded as I asked "Do you guys need a sample? Because I really have to use the bathroom." But they were quick to sense my need, and ushered me into the bathroom toute suite. Ahhh. Relief.

Heh, they probably didn't need one anyway.

The rest of my visit went pretty well. I forgot how cool my doctor can be. (This happens when you don't see her for years at a time.) It was amusing to tell her about how during the time I hadn't seen her I had quit smoking, only to start up again before my appointment.

We discussed nutrition, a very important subject to me. And she reassured me that I would not, in fact, die if I re-introduced fruit into my diet. (It was very amusing to hear her suggest Weight Watchers as an appropriate diet for me to follow if I so choose. I may have to give them a second look...but not my money.) She even seemed to think that I might be able to have the occasional potato knish... But that may just be wishful thinking.

Upon returning home, I had a craving to put some Annie Lennox on my stereo. As I sang along (really sang, not that toned down, shy "people are watching me" singing that most people hear), my cats started mewling at me. Thomas even put his paws up on my thigh. (He's a disturbingly large cat sometimes.) I really don't understand this phenomenon. No one else has witnessed this behaviour either, as I don't usually sing in my true voice around others whilst my cats are in my presence. Hmm...

I don't think they'd do the same thing if I sang along to Tribe Called Quest tho... (Yo, microphone check one two what is this...)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Today, I am Goddess...

...for today, I went clothes shopping at Target and had a blast! I even got brave and tried on a few swimsuits. Dare I say I looked tolerable? Perhaps even good? (In the right ensemble of course. I am so happy that these superhot short-skirt-over-bikini-bottom pieces are around now. As well as the oh so flattering swimsuit/halter top. Where was all this stuff when I was awkward and actually went to the beach?)

I didn't actually buy the swimsuit though, because I would only really need it for the grand opening of a spiffy new water ride. I don't know if I am going yet though, so there's no need to buy a swimsuit that I won't wear that often that may go out of style by next year. Or is there? Hmm...

Men amuse me so greatly sometimes. As I was standing at the cash register of the gas station, wearing my little black Sandman t-shirt, one of my trademark black skirts, and my superawesome go go boots, an older fellow walked in the door. As he passed by me I heard him say under his breath "Yes m'aam!" As there were no other females in the store at the time, I can only assume his comment was directed at me. Is it wrong to get a slight kick out of 40-something grungy biker-ish guys thinking that I'm hot?

Eh, it's gotta be the boots.

Friday, April 08, 2005

new moon, solar eclipse, qu'est que ce?...

No, there's nothing cosmically major happening today. And of course, there's a lunar eclipse on the full moon in about two weeks (which also happens to be the first night of Passover, for all you members of the tribe who might be reading this). Oi, what a month! If you haven't noticed any odd energy in your life yet, you haven't been paying attention.

So maybe that's why I feel so scattered and restless today.

I'm going to try to make a run to the Local Pagan Store after work (if traffic allows), so I need to make my little grocery list. I plan on setting up an altar in my kitchen. I know this isn't the wisest of spots really. My cats will probably be all up in my space. But they'll climb all over it no matter where I put it, and I can't really think of another place that it feels right for me to put it. I certainly won't be relegating it to the bedroom anymore.

{bridge}
Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir la
Ce qu'elle a dit, ce soir la
Realisant mon espoir
Je me lance, vers la gloire

We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they're not polite

"Qu'est que ce" indeed...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Occam's Razor

So, I may have my theories wrong, but isn't Occam's Razor the one wherein the simplest explanation is the correct one?

I have a small, and not very shocking confession to make. I've been buying my own cigarettes. (*gasp* Horrors!) Some of you probably figured that this was inevitable, but I wasn't so sure. I've known former smokers to be out in bars and clubs, bumming smokes and then not having any the next day. It just hasn't worked out that way for me.

And it's not like this is a problem with nicotine. That's only the current manifestation. The truth of the matter is that I just have an addictive personality, and if it's not cigarettes then it's something else. My ex very judgmentally pointed this out once, backhandedly stating in a bitter tone that I had replaced smoking with junk food. (He wasn't very happy that I had gained so much weight, but he wouldn't come out and say it.)

So I've been keeping rather quiet about it, partly because I haven't been sure of what to do, partly because I've been in a little bit of denial, and partly because I just don't want to hear anything from anyone. When I smoked before, I made a point to show people it was a part of who I was, but that doesn't seem right this time. It's just something I do, it's not a dominating part of my personality, or at least I don't want it to be. Therefore, if I do tell people (like my parents) then it's like saying "this is me and it's okay." So I haven't yet.

I was just out having a lunchbreak cigarette (the only time I will smoke at work), pondering all of this, when a quiet revelation came to me. I'm just not ready to give up being addicted to things yet. Whether it's food or smoking or people (another friend has pointed out that I used my relationship to fill the void left by all of the things I pushed out of my life, which has become quite clear to me in the recent months). So for now I'm going to have to be okay with it. I'm worn out from all of the other changes going on in my life, I just don't feel like working through this right now.

But I know I can, and I will, when the time is right.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I rocked that mic!

So, after weeks of badgering and cajoling, I finally went out for two dollar martini night with my "gay boyfriend." It took a lot of effort to get ready to go, as I was completely wiped, but I was spurred on by the discovery that I can one again fit (veeery snugly) into my gogo boots! Hell yeah, I am sexy goddess woman again. How could I not go out after that?

Aside from the cheap booze and the fun atmosphere (I kinda like watching hot guys in skimpy undies dance on bars while lecherous men look on), there was karaoke! An unfortunate lack of my personal karaoke favorites led to a wonderful discovery: Psycho Killer (by the Talking Heads)! Of course, it sounds a lot better when David Byrne sings it, but I gave it my all. I rocked.

When I tried to attempt Dizz Nee Land (by Dada) I didn't do so hot. I forgot my cardinal rule of karaoke: never sing songs originally sung by guys. I may be an alto, but I can't go that low.

Ah well, I had a pretty good time anyway.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Edna Earl's gone

The woman who raised my mother for some time passed on at about 4:17 this morning. (Oddly enough, I was awake by some fluke nap that took me from 7pm to 1am and left me to be awake through the early morning.) She isn't my real grandmother, I never knew her well, and I wasn't very close to her, so I shan't call her such. (I never knew my real grandmother, Grace, although apparently I inherited her gift for tarot, and her tendency towards the drink. Or was that my grandfather?)

There's a lot to the history between my mother and Edna Earl, and although I know more of it now that I am older, it's my mother's story to tell, if she chooses to do to. However, there is no love lost there. Just some sadness over how things played out over time. And yet, my mother has made her peace. She even got to say goodbye the night before.

I doubt I will be attending the funeral.

It's funny, because I was telling a nite-owl friend of mine last night how I want a daughter of my own someday (if it's in the stars for me, of course). There is a heritage of women on both sides of my family that has been obscured and convoluted throughout the ages, and I would like to try to make it right if I can. Or bring it further into the light at least. For my true grandmother, lost to time and alcoholism, for my father's mother, trapped in bitterness over being an intelligent woman in an unfortunate time period, and for my own mother, who had little good to go on and still did a pretty damn good job. We don't have our own family names anymore, just the names of our fathers and husbands, but there is still something to pass on. However, if I learned one important thing from my mother, it's to live life for myself first, before devoting any of it to children. And I still have a lot of living to do.

Now watch the Goddess throw me a curve ball, and I get a son instead.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I almost painted another wall...

...before I realized that according to Daylight Savings Time, I would be starting this endeavour at 10 pm instead of 9. D'oh!

I did, however, finish putting my bitchin' computer desk together. And the stereo setup (the basic stuff plus the ancient turntable and amplifier I keep around to look cool for all those people who never come over to my apartment). And the currently useless television. (Once I hook up my old NES though, it's Tetris time baby!)

And I made a lovely, if well done dinner. My apartment came equipped with a broiling pan (oh happy day!), so I felt ambitious and decided to make "real food" rather than the little frozen turkey burgers I was subsisting on. Unfortunately, I got a little overzealous with the timing of my steak. But crunchy on the outside isn't always so bad.

At least the brocoli came out perfectly steamed.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A warm gun?

Happiness is a clean, organized kitchen.

Happiness is also a comfy bed in a sunny room, and two kitty-friends to hang out with.

I also painted a wall in the living room today. One down, six to go...

Friday, April 01, 2005

We never needed to bring ink and paper into this...

I found out from Carpetblogger that Mitch Hedberg has passed. We went to see him at the Orlando Improv, just down the street from where I used to live. I tried to get my brother to go, but he couldn't make it. Damn that boy was funny. And since I like the way Carpetblogger linked it, as it makes reference to one of our favorite jokes...

Escalator permanently stairs. (links to Comedy Central's Mitch Hedberg bio)

Man, now I'm gonna be sad for the rest of the day. And no, the irony that I found this out on April Fool's Day is not lost on me.

(By the by, I am fully into my new place now, and have recovered most of the sleep I lost during the ordeal. I was laying on the floor last night, playing with one of my cats, and ended up nodding off for a few hours. Wisely, I went to my real bed for the rest of the evening.)
 
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