raybear: (Default)
I had a moment earlier when I was considering the fact that today is Friday and I had no plans tonight, and what I might want to do about that, and considering who I haven't seen in awhile and who might be free, but then it occurred to me: last Friday night I had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion then we went to a comedy show, afterwards I popped by on drinks with Jet and [livejournal.com profile] broqued; on Saturday morning I had brunch with WOWS club, then an afternoon meeting that led into the spring sangha day potluck at temple; on Sunday night, we went over to M&E's house for dinner; on Monday night, I went to [livejournal.com profile] jethead & K's to watch RuPaul's Drag Race finale; on Tuesday night, I had ribs with J-Hud and [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass; on Wednesday night, we went to meditation sitting, then to watch a bad gay movie at [livejournal.com profile] jethead's house (again...I'm there a lot...in addition to having great people who live there, its also 3 blocks from my own house); on last night, I went up to [livejournal.com profile] broqued's house to chat and eat snacks and build legos.

After that amazing week of socializing, I'm actually not burnt out on people even, at least not those who are my friends (I think being home alone all day probably contributes), but I am also quite content with spending the next 24 hours alone and not feeling some sort of strange obligation to the cultural concept of "Friday night". Why is that even still around in my brain? I'm not 19 and haven't been for awhile. I prefer the version of me in 1983 who was excited about Friday night because it meant Diff'rent Strokes and Webster were going to be on tv and I could stay up later to read in bed.

Its too bad I can't get a job as a professional friend. I could even travel to you and make weekend visits. [livejournal.com profile] anjiyama and [livejournal.com profile] downmiles can vouch for my character and skills in hanging out, even if we've never done it in-person before.
raybear: (Default)
I'm sitting on the same couch in the same condo in South Beach as I did almost exactly a year ago. I'm enjoying the familiarity of the once-a-year novelty. Its not quite as warm this year, but I think its getting there -- yesterday it was around 70, today should get up to about 75 and tomorrow its 80. Mostly sunny, of course. (Sorry, Chicago people.)

The weekend before we left for Miami, I had three really long days in a row, and didn't sleep very much or very deeply, but they were all awesome days.
I am actually using a cut, because it got quite long )
raybear: (portrait by Amy Garlick)
Today is too lovely to be denied. I slept in (though that's relative given that I went to bed at 2 am, so I still got the usual 6.5 hours of rest), then spent the morning taking care of some lagging Unemployment To-Do list items I'd been avoiding. I washed dishes for awhile, then, inspired by a chat with [livejournal.com profile] crafting_change, I gave my bike a sponge bath. I had been thinking about getting the tune-up soon, to beat the spring rush, but today is sunny and breezy and 60, so I decided I would wipe down the bike, ride to the gym and lift, ride to the library, then the bike shop and drop it off. Except when I started to roll up on Boulevard Bikes, my heart did not want to be separated from my love. We rode home joyous together. Now I'm recuperating in my dark cave office, eating a sandwich and pears and smoky bacon & cheddar potato crisps. Again I'm playing hooky from revising because I want to be outside again on my bike. Maybe with my new camcorder too.

In Other News, not only did I answer the phone today, I also made a call. And I'm typing this while sitting on the couch on my office that is not cluttered with piles of clean laundry or papers. So far, my new year's resolutions are going swimmingly.
raybear: (Default)
My Y membership lapsed unintentionally this summer, when I went away to Ragdale, and when I came back, I started riding my bike to work most everyday, as well as everywhere else, so I just let it stay lapsed. Today I went and reactivated it, only at the Irving Park location, since I go there more often. And its $2 less a month. It made me so happy to be running on the machines and lifting weights amongst my favorite characters again. In the past month, I've still been somewhat active, at work practice every week, talking lots of long walks, etc. so I'm not totally out of shape, however, I am not in the shape I was when I left off doing my power superset workout I'd perfected this summer, courtesy of all my Men's Health reading. So now I'm at work and nothing hurts yet -- it just takes a lot of effort to do, oh, anything. I'm going again tomorrow, of course, because the physical pain/exhaustion is somewhat satisfying.

It is December already. I sort of hate when Thanksgiving falls so late in the month, it makes this time of year fly by even faster, the end of the year slipping off into the archives, but there's another part of me that is maybe okay with it whizzing past. This is the season of feeling feelings, and I'm trying to be better about the stuffing/swallowing/avoiding tactics, but still, there's always going to be an element of "hurry up and move on" in my nature. Thanksgiving itself was good, we had a great meal and good company and THREE homemade pies and a game of Apples to Apples and then nature porn. On Friday I saw Milk with good friends and hung out downtown afterwards, perusing the jazz record mart and getting a couple rounds of beers while talking about everything, then heading home in the cold, clutching my brown paper bag of records. It was just a good winter's night. Saturday, things started to catch up with me, I didn't want to be alone in the house with myself, so I was alone in the world with myself, which wasn't necessarily better, just easier. Though for two hours and 45 minutes, I was alone with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and that was pretty great (I gush about it in more detail in my [livejournal.com profile] popnography review found HERE. Then I took a long walk down isolated industrial corridors, stumbling upon all sorts of finds, like giant scrap metal piles with crushed cars and washing machines. I met up with [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass to see JARRED. Sunday was probably the most perfect day of the holiday weekend: sleeping in, reading in bed, wrote my movie review, turkey leftovers for brunch, catching up on 30 Rock, quality time on the futon with DYA, afternoon service at temple, quick visit with [livejournal.com profile] jethead and [livejournal.com profile] jessicaeve, sushi dinner with [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion, then phone conversation with [livejournal.com profile] vfc, which inspired me to take a bath before bed. I've talked to her on the phone 3 times since she's moved, which is practically a record for me.

I think my pre-new year's resolution (I tend to like to start in December to get a good test run in) is to be better about making phone calls, or rather, scratch that, that makes it sound completely unappealing -- instead let's put it as not being scared of phone calls. Its more fun to think of conquering a fear than avoiding an obligation, right? Really it boils down to not worrying about talking for shorter periods of time, with more frequency. I talk on the phone so infrequently, that when I do, its often a 1-2 hour deal, and so when I think about making phone calls, I think, geez, I don't know if I can commit to being on the phone for the next 2 hours. Oh wait, I don't have to. Just like I enjoy the great art of the 1 page typewritten letter, I'm going to pursue the great art of the 15 minute phone call. We'll see how this goes.
raybear: (chik-fil-a)
[livejournal.com profile] freakysparks called me the other night and left a voicemail, asking about my "almost perfect weekend" last weekend, as per my facebook status report, and she was curious about what it entailed, given that I never wrote about it here. So now I'm writing about it here! A chronological pastiche.

friday. [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass picked me up from work and we went down to Hyde Park to see a friend's art in a gallery show. We had plans to immediately go to Lincoln Lodge afterwards. "They definitely serve food there, right?" I was a little hungry, which makes me a little (more) nervous. We found the gallery in this tiny little block of storefronts on a street where no car traffic is allowed, it was like being in another city. The show was strange. A couple pieces I liked from a distance. Most of them underwhelmed me. I didn't get my friend's piece AT ALL. But I went up to her and said, hey, um, I totally don't understand what you're doing here at all, but I want to, so will you explain it to me? And she did, very well, and even succinctly, which none of this surprised me, but it made me very, very glad that I didn't have to bullisht my friend, because that is always awkward. And happens to me a lot, because I'm a fcking critic. I mean, who isn't? But you know. The best part of this gallery is that my friend brought the wine so it wasn't crappy yellowtail in a plastic cup, it was delicious bordeaux in a plastic cup! I almost walked out onto the street with my cup in my hand, I guess I thought we were in New Orleans. We went up to Lincoln Lodge and were fairly desperate audience members, we needed meat. Luckily once we flagged down a waitress, she was very good to us. The burger was suprisingly delicous. And I was so happy I had it to eat because a good bit of the stand-up we saw was baaaaaaad. And we were near the front. And I don't really like having to politely laugh. I'm actually more likely to do that in boring conversations with strangers than I am to do for comics. There were a few bright spots, including seeing a friend of a friend I just met last week show up on stage and do a great act and when the MC was talking about Sarah Palin then paused and said, "I keep waiting for her to say 'thanks, Buy Owner!'" We cut out during the intermission. We went to bed early.

saturday. We got up early and drove to St. Charles. DYA was having her first horseback riding lesson, and I just tagged along to see the stables and enjoy the drive and the hint of country, or at least trees, it was more country/suburbs hybrid. I pet one horse, nervously. I'm kinda freaked out by horses, but I'm trying to get better. It was sunny and had a fall chill but heated up in the sun. While I poked around at a chapter with my pencil, I was surrounded by the barn cats who were such love muffins, wanting to be in my lap, under my hands. I wanted to take them home. Afterwards, we went back to the city, gathered up the caravan and then drove up to Racine for Chick-fil-a. I found some great stuff on the sale table at the Gap. We all passed out on the way home. Well, except [livejournal.com profile] sadomillerchism, who drove. That night we lounged on the couch and had a 30 Rock marathon.

sunday. Went to temple in the morning. Had dharma study group afterwards. Biked home but stopped to make a reservation to river kayak. Ate homemade delicous brunch and changed clothes. Biked back to the river and kayaked for an hour. My first time. I was a little nervous, but held it together pretty well. I didn't freak out about my legs being pinned, about the toxic river water splashing on my skin everytime I paddled, about getting stuck up river because my arms would give out and I would be unable to get myself home. Nothing bad happened, we saw some gorgeous tree leaves changing colors and some super cute ducks and a blue blue october sky and I wasn't even that sore afterwards. Went home and messed around, which was the first time in awhile because I've been in a period of quasi-celibacy for a few weeks, which I haven't written about here, and may or may not later, but anyway Sunday was a very nice way to break the fast. Then I showered and changed clothes and biked over to Yogaview and met up with [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion and we talked and walked back to her house, then made a dinner around the leftover Chick-fil-a sandwiches I brought back from Racine. For the record, a sandwich that has been in the fridge for 24 hours, plus in my shoulder bag for an hour, then reheated briefly in the oven, is still very very delicious. Its that foil-lined packet, as [livejournal.com profile] broqued knows. We ate dessert and watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development, then I biked home. I wasn't quite ready to go to bed, and I wanted to watch something comforting, and I started one movie, but it wasn't working....what was it? I don't know. But then I ended up watching my old VHS copy of Sneakers and that made me really happy. I could practically recite half of the movie, which surprised me. I went to bed around midnight, curled up and cozy around all the down pillows I recently purchased to replace the old pillows that were hurting our ears while we slept. ???

And that was my perfect weekend.

It will maybe have some competition with this weekend coming up though. [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet came into town yesterday, and tonight he's having a book reading at Quimby's at 7. Then afterwards we're doing drinks (and a song) at Sidekicks, if anyone wants to come by. The weekend will then be some one-on-one hanging out, some small group gatherings, a friend's wedding, eating good food, and another book reading on Sunday night at Early 2 Bed. I can't believe I'm going to see my best friend read from his book! I'm so damn proud and excited.
raybear: (sunglasses)
Let's see if I can set a record for lj user name-dropping.

On Friday night, I went to see [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion in Let's Go Love with [livejournal.com profile] broqued, [livejournal.com profile] foxycoxy and [livejournal.com profile] sadomillerchism and laughed a lot.

On Saturday morning, I biked over to [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion's neighborhood for breakfast (and on the way down there, briefly chatted with [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster and [livejournal.com profile] cocolola through their car window when they passed me on Milwaukee Ave), then after my visit, I biked home to [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet sitting on my my porch with luggage and an ice cream sandwich for me. We caught up for a few minutes until [livejournal.com profile] unscrambled picked us up and we went down to Garfield Park to Ms. B (no LJ) dressed in beekeeper regalia, we tasted some honey, petted some bees, then all of us (including J, Ms. B's partner) piled back in the car and went to Feed for supper (late lunch/early dinner) and ate delicious food and talked a lot. Then we all piled in the car again and went to Mercury Cafe and drink delicious beverages and talked a lot. Then we all went back to my house, except J, and sat at the kitchen table and ate brownie and drank sparkling wine and talked a lot. Then [livejournal.com profile] jethead and K came over and joined us the table for more talking. Then J rejoined us, and at one point, when sitting in my kitchen with these 6 people I thought, this is one of best friend moments of my life. You know, when you're laughing so hard you need to put your head down on the table (or at least I did) and everyone is pulling out amazing stories (e.g. discovering someone's collection of fish-eye lens asshole porn), and I just felt all gooey grateful love for people I can spend 10 hours with and not feel spent. After people left around midnight, [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet and I went to the corner store for cake-like snacks, then came back and watched episodes of 30 Rock.

On Sunday, we slept in, then stumbled to Cafe Con Leche for delicious breakfast sandwiches, stumbled back to the house and ate them while playing Perfect Dark on the N64 for a couple hours. Then we napped. Then we went for a long walk that ended at Smoque, where we met [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass, [livejournal.com profile] broqued, [livejournal.com profile] foxycoxy, and [livejournal.com profile] jethead for more delicious food and more talking. Then a couple folks parted, the rest of us went to Sidekicks for karaoke, meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] vfc and [livejournal.com profile] fuzzilla and [livejournal.com profile] unscrambled and other people without ljs. I sang a lot of duets. Some of them were pretty powerful, like "Betcha By Golly Wow" with [livejournal.com profile] unscrambled and "Supreme" with [livejournal.com profile] vfc and, perhaps the most powerful of them all, "Leather & Lace" with none other than Ronnie Taz the KJ himself. He was my Don Henley. I also sang "Black Water" with [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet and sang Blondie's "Dreamin'", Stephen Bishop's "It Might Be You" (which I dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] broqued even though she didn't come) and Billy Joel's "Movin Out". I love Sunday night karaoke, because I sang all that and we left at midnight.

Today we slept in, I had therapy while [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet had a lunch date, we played a few more rounds of deathmatch before getting on the train - me to work, him to the airport. Work is fairly quiet, though everytime someone is trying to be friendly and wanting to talk to me, I feel I'm on the verge of collapsing into a silently sobbing ball in the corner. I get a little cranky when I miss my nap. And even though I wouldn't give up one minute of my jam-packed amazing weekend of amazing people and amazing food, it does take a toll on an extroverted introvert like me. Luckily, all I have to do this week in-between work is get ready for Ragdale on Thursday.
raybear: (red)
My unofficial birthday weekend was quite lovely. On Friday, [livejournal.com profile] cocolola invited me to see a bad movie with her, which I jumped on. She treated me to candy, soda, and The Happening, which god help me, was really bad, but in that non-painful way where I totally enjoy myself the entire time. Its like Shyamalan has these good story ideas, and he has some technical prowess, but he lacks a good vision on the best way to implement it, they are so heavy-handed and obvious. I swear I'm probably going to end up seeing everything he makes though, they are entertaining failures to me.

After work, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion and we headed up to Sidekicks for some karaoke-ing. It was a packed house already, with some birthday and work events, even before the singing started. I opened with Phil Collins "Don't Lose My Number" which I'd never done before and was feeling pretty good about it. So much so that when two songs later, someone from the birthday party was singing "On My Own" but they had not Michael Mcdonald on stage, so I went up to the front and when I started singing along, she waved me on stage. I can't even count the number of times (or people) I've sung "On My Own", but I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of it. We were instantly bff's. But then that bond was broken when my next song choice came on -- "Thong Song". I had a feeling that the crowd wouldn't be into it, they seemed way to sort of button-down and slightly conservative. Like, they went crazy for "I Will Survive", but they weren't so sure about my lascivious choice. Well, a couple people seemed excited, but they totally got shushed by their friends, so I kinda felt a bit like an ass up on stage singing a song that made people cranky. But I got over it and sang "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" with Chip's friend E, who has this aMAZing voice which was totally intimidating. Especially since she sang the Barbra part, which is normally what I do better anyway. But it was still fun. The wait between songs was long, I hung out with the darts players for awhile, I chatted with [livejournal.com profile] loosethread and [livejournal.com profile] femmepony, [livejournal.com profile] fuzzilla, other non-lj people, then finally I ended the night with Kenny Loggins "This Is It". [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion went out on "All Night Long" which was very well received by the crowd. We left, and it was way past our usual bedtime, but we ended up going to catch the end of Smoothtastic dance party, one of the parties to emerge from the yacht rock movement. I got home at 2:30 am and ate a slice of razzleberry pie (which I bought for myself on my birthday), along with chocolate ice cream before bed.

i suppose i should cut for neatness )
raybear: (sunglasses)
When its an entire weekend of clear bright skies and 70 degrees, I'm not sure there's anything else to do but ride/walk around, visit friends, eat food, and listen to music. And wear my seersucker trousers both days. The Tinariwen album is a favorite when riding my bike in the sunshine, but the Yeasayer song "Sunrise" is good too. Note: this isn't a real video, just the song itself with a picture of a sunrise, so you can continue reading your friends page while listening!

I need to compile my "sunshine bike ride mix" in anticipation of summer finally, finally arriving. (I checked the 7-day forecast, and while there's rain in the future, the low for everyday doesn't seem to go below 60.) I'm sure it will be 85+ and I will be sweltering soon, but for now, 70s is my sweet spot so I'm going to enjoy.

Friday: Sex and the City movie in the afternoon (thoroughly entertaining fluff), evening was alone time in the house after work until DYA came home and we watched the final episode of The 4400 ever which sort of crept up on us, we didn't expect such a short season and a short episode.
Saturday: gym with [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster, then after that we had brunch with [livejournal.com profile] broqued and [livejournal.com profile] gem_stellar at a diner. I biked down to [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion's house for a spontaneous visit and tapdanced for her entertainment since the power was out. Then had a date with DYA that night involving Honky Tonk BBQ and a show at Davenport's for my friend's CD release party, which was all swanky and grown-up. I wanted to order manhattans, but didn't want to blow tons of cash and then be so drunk I couldn't get myself home. The concert was great, she has the type of energy that I just fall in love with her again every time I see her, she's just so damn open and gorgeous and smartly silly.
Sunday: gym with [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster again, thought this time I rode my bike there and back. Writing group in the early afternoon, then biking down to Division Street to see the 1900s play, and I hope that [livejournal.com profile] vfc's video footage turns out well, because the lead female singer/tambourinist was AWESOME and I could watch her all day. After the show, I grabbed a quick slice of pizza with Chip before she went to a play and I biked home. DYA was home earlier than planned and we ended up watching Midnight Cowboy as part of our ongoing project of filling in film history gaps in our education. That movie was not at all what I thought, if felt more trippy and weird than Easy Rider, but then again, I haven't seen Easy Rider in a hella long time. Then I went to bed and wrote a bunch until I fell asleep. Since my trip to SF and getting back, I've been handwriting a lot more, and now that muscle is getting into shape. I realized last night that my journaling there is a mix of more private stuff as well as just random crazy-brain thoughts, somewhat how I used to be here more. It's tempting to now make some sort of declaration of How Things Are (or Will Be) in how this might effect blogging, but I'll just hold off and see how it goes. I mean, its only been a week.
raybear: (sunglasses)
On Friday after work I met up with FKA the Person who was in town for an art fair, and we rode the train up to Rogers Park to meet [livejournal.com profile] broqued and [livejournal.com profile] foxycoxy and see On My Parents' One Hundredth Wedding Anniversary which stars our friend who is an "articulate torrent in a tutu", according to one reviewer, and I couldn't agree more. The play was imperfect but powerful, and the staging was brilliant. I forget that I love being in tiny spaces for a performance. This theater was about 12 feet by 36 feet in size, with 18 chairs on each side and the action taking place in the middle, so you are right there IN IT. (This is an unfortunate setup if the play is bad, but luckily it was not.) I like it when I'm so close that actors' spit gets on me. It was the eve of our Articulate Tutu-ed friend's birthday, we all piled into Coxy's car and went to Nonak's in Andersonville, which I've never been to, in all my years of living near and visiting the neighborhood. Its an actor's sports bar, or a sports bar with actors, or I'm not really sure. It was kinda strange and their definition of top shelf whiskey was pretty hilarious.

Saturday morning we slept in until 9 am and upon waking there was a text from [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster: Stanley's at 10? We'll be there with the baby. We said yes with lots of exclamation points then put on clothes and got ready to ride our bikes because it was sunny and not too bad. But within minutes it was cloudy and cool and we rode anyway, it wasn't too bad, a brisk wake-up. We ate, we chatted with MW/CP clan, then the bike ride home was a bit grueling. Damp, cold, threatening to rain, dripping on us some, eventually holding off before it got too bad, but we made it home with nothing damaged, just some pink skin. Later in the afternoon I caught a late matinee of Iron Man (it was for a writing job! for real! best summer part-time job ever!!), then I went to a performance space/cafe in Evanston to see [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass's taiko class perform, along with several other groups. It was great to see her in action, and I'm sure most of you can imagine what a drumming performance in L.L. Bean-filled Evanston might be like, and it wasn't as bad as I thought, the space itself seemed to be a hybrid of community folks. But there were definitely all the straight-from-central-casting characters you would imagine, including guy with a one silver feather earring and a leather pentacle belt pouch and another gentlemen I dubbed "the Crystal Gayle of Dreadmocks". Seriously, his blond knotted mess hit the backs of his knees. I was kinda of being asshole loud about it when he walked by, but then I thought, whatever, he looks in the mirror everyday, he knows what he looks like and obviously is okay with it, even if I am not. I spent the whole evening talking and laughing with DYA and Joe Butch, who made for a good audience who egged on my crazy brain. Afterwards we drove all the way down to 44th and Ashland to see Luna Blues Machine perform at the TL benefit. I tried to get Y to do a push-up contest with me. Ok, I didn't try very hard because I want to train more, not because I need to beat her but I want to lose respectably. Maybe for next year's benefit we'll do it for the audience and have people place bets to raise money for the theater. Coco likes gambling, I bet we can make this happen.

Sunday morning was the first meal I'd eaten in my kitchen in three days, I made asparagus and goat cheese eggs with bacon and we watched more Torchwood, which we've just started recently. I am enjoying the show, but I am not in love yet. Perhaps because they are still getting started in establishing ongoing plotlines? Or will it remain a monster-of-the-week show forever? Wait, never mind, don't tell me. We'll just keep going through the season. Though I might want to pause and watch the last season of The 4400. Anyway, afterwards I picked up an igo car and picked up [livejournal.com profile] broqued and we made a run for the border -- the Wisconsin one -- and hit the giant sprawl of outlet malls. It was a sunny and warm and good company and I found glorious shoes for the summer and a couple shirts. I was only slightly panicked about money spent afterwards, which is good. I'm still coming to terms with getting quality shoes that are nice to my feet and last a long time. i.e. not Payless (though they are an excellent place for shoes that fit certain demographics, I'm not hating). But I think I did good, with the help of my Shoe Consultant. I came home and ate steak and corn tortillas and mashed beans with cumin and epazote, and I confess my menu tastes were directly influenced by driving the whole way home down Kedzie behind a car with two giant Mexican flags out the side in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

I've been nervous about my knee all weekend, its been a bit swollen and occasionally making strange scary noises, but no pain. I think I just over-did it on weightlifting on Friday, so that bike ride was the only activity I did. Today I think I'll just bike to the gym, do upper body weights, then bike home, maybe take a detour or two. Its sunny out, I should get back on the horse, I should got outside and be active and not mope and enjoy the nice weather and the fact that I have managed to construct this life of part-time leisure where I can still pay my bills and maybe sometimes do good work, a life with amazing people who love and accept me in all these different ways. I'm having a bit of guilt lately but I'm trying to turn it around into gratitude at reaching a place on my time line, where good fortune, luck, and my own hard and soft work has aligned to give me this schedule, this life. Enjoy it, bastard. What's the use of going through all the effort of constructing it if you're just going to be paralyzed by guilt when you have it? Ok, for real now, I'm putting on pants and getting on my bike.
raybear: (Default)
I haven't been posting much, not intentionally -- though now that I notice, I start to think, oh god, I can't remember what I did last weekend -- I should have journalled about it! Its gone forever. And now I have to write the longest catch-up post ever! I don't want to! So I don't. Which means sometimes there are gaps in the record, but hey, we'll live.

There are some various reasons I haven't been distracted from wanting to write lj, because my attention has been given to:

a. My inexplicable leap in Scramble prowess. (For those who don't know, its an online Boggle type game on facebook.) I'm playing a lot more games.
b. Daily Lit. I'm currently reading Madame Bovary and Ethan Frome.
c. I'm also reading a tactile book -- The Kite Runner. (I know, its kinda crazy that I'm reading three novels simultaneously, but it actually kinda works and I think its because my brain was trained by my years of reading livejournal friends page, which is about having dozens of narratives in your head at one time and jumping from one to the other with minimal transitions.)
d. The few brief warm sunny moments of last week, I went outside as much as possible, to either ride my bike to the gym, eat at Hot Doug's with for lunch, go for a walk to the library, buy bread at the bakery a few blocks over.
e. I spent a lot of time last week (and still am spending a little time) freaking out about stumbling upon a group on Facebook containing a large slice from my church community growing up. Suddenly all these memories that had been locked up got let loose and people were contacting me, texting me, and my friend in KY said, do you feel like you just got released from the Witness Protection program? Yeah, a little.
f. I kinda miss Cupcakes. No, still no word. (I wasn't planning to communicate him again, but I did text him one more time yesterday. That's it though, for real.) This is such a bizarre, unexpected and unresolved ending to our dating.

I mostly have a lot to say and write about item "E" but that will have to come later. I'm still not ready to go there fully. Or rather, outside of the confines of my brain.

I had jury duty last week. Now, while there, I sort of realized something about myself. I'm really good at waiting. Seriously. I am almost always prepared for it, with a book or headphones or a pad and paper (though usually all three) but sometimes when I have those things, I don't use them -- I'm perfectly content to sit and stare or people-watch. It is often relaxing, but at the very least, it rarely makes me anxious (there are a few exceptions: like being stuck underground on a stopped subway train. That is not always relaxing, but sometimes I can use breathing exercises to trick myself into my laconic waiting state of mind.)

Having said all that, dude, jury duty is boring. And there is a lot of waiting. I sat in a room and waited to watch a hilarious training video. Fine. I waited for two hours while other people got pulled out of the room to report to a courtroom. Fine. My group got called and we had to do lots of waiting in hallways and elevators to get to the courtroom. Fine. We got in the courtroom and waited until we were told to go to lunch and report back in an hour. Fine. I go to lunch and wait in line. I eat and wait for the hour to pass. I go back to the courtroom and wait in line at security. I wait out the courtroom. And wait. And they say wait fifteen minutes. And we wait 30 minutes. And then they come out but don't say anything. And we wait. And wait. And finally they say, good news! They settled! We have your checks and your dismissed for the day.

So I wait to hear my name called.
Then I go outside and wait for a bus.
Then I wait for the bus to arrive downtown.

It was a day with a lot of waiting.
raybear: (red)
Don't get me wrong, I cry at television. It doesn't necessarily take much even, but still, there are times where I can stop and think, um, this is maybe about something else. I had an inkling last week, maybe Thursday or Friday morning I was watching Oprah for the first time in weeks, and it was a story about this college kid who got hit by a car and died but was an organ donor and all these people benefitted from his body and they all showed up and met the dead guy's parents and whoo, I just lost it so much I stopped watching and went in the next room to play scrabble or something.

Today it was during Lost, we're near the end of last season, and I was thinking about Juliet and how much she loves her sister and wants to get back to her and then I thought about how I have no idea what its like to love your sibling that way and have them be important in your life in any significant real way. I think that's sort of what's mixed into this process of mine, I'm not just grieving the loss and choices made by family in the past years, I'm coming to terms with general expectations and ideas of family. So I guess maybe it makes sense that random scenes in television shows make me all upset, because that's the idea of pop culture, capitalizing on common touchstones and ideas that are ingrained, retelling the same stories with occasional twists on new things to keep us interested, but for the most part, if its not actually reflecting life, its reflecting what we think life is suppose to be, or at least look like.

At one point this evening I looked out the window and was shocked to see it snowing more, so hard. I don't look at the weather, I guess, or I'm easily shocked. Maybe that's not the right word. Startled, if only because that afternoon while watching Sophie run around and rub her face in the snow (she is weird), I was imagining what this would all look like with another blanket put on, and then it happened. I think it won't be as much, its eased up, but I decided I needed to go out in it. I took a short walk, to a corner store to cream for coffee tomorrow, but mostly to be in it, to surround myself in the muffled silence on side streets, except the scrape of occasional shovels or breaks of my own footsteps as I went past the school and obliterated the perfect horizontal plane on the sidewalk in front. That block has been untouched all weekend, its a school after all, and its not a block that needs to be passed through, there are better reasons to go around. I chose that route specifically so I could ruin the placid scene, not out of spite or anger, but just because I knew it wouldn't last anyway, so why not have a go of it.

Yesterday I used the gift card my parents sent me for Christmas and I bought the game Apples-To-Apples, and played it with [livejournal.com profile] broqued and [livejournal.com profile] foxycoxy and [livejournal.com profile] keetbabe while eating delicious chicken tenders that Keet had made for us, and I think one of my favorite parts was when Coxy trying to choose between two cards, and after she picked one I yelled out, "whatever, both cards were mine, bitches!!!" to gloat at Broqued and Keet [because there was a small group of us, we were throwing in 2 cards per round, to liven it up and increase the illusion that our odds were greater]. I think they were slightly alarmed at my outburst, then amused. I like games. I like trash-talking during games. I love the dramatics and the sense of conflict that comes from being invested in outcomes. I love getting it and giving it. Also, I had just been playing Trivial Pursuit and Encore with [livejournal.com profile] vfc the night before, and I think near the end of the night, after a lot of drinking, every other word out of our mouth to each other was bitch, sucker, or motherfucker.

I woke up this morning and lower back was seizing up and causing major pain. I've been doing ice and took some naproxen and its maybe ok, just a slightly strained muscle, but I think I'm all traumatized by my injury last fall and concerned about spinal injuries. I think I'll just go distract myself with facebook before I start googling my way into trouble. Of course, having a hurt back didn't stop me from making the best pot roast of my life today. I love those moments, when you've cooked something, and you know its going to be good, but you put it in your mouth and it complete exceeds expectations, so the surprise is almost like someone else made it. We thought there would be leftovers, but there aren't. I think I ate more than a deck of cards size portion of red meat for the week. And its only Sunday.
raybear: (scream)
I had to go back and seen when I last posted, I couldn't remember. This is going to be one of those "and then I did this, and then I did this" entries, because I don't have any specific topic or anecdote to relay, but if I keep not writing, then more time will pass and the gap will get longer and actually the "And Then I Did This..." are mildly interesting for me to re-read years later because I forget about things I've done.

On Friday night I left work and went over to [livejournal.com profile] vfc's house to 'pre-party' before the show at Schuba's to which I had won tickets. I drank a lot. A lot. I mean, maybe not that much more than a regular evening that I have decided to Do Some Drinkin', but I did all of it in the span of 2 hours, instead of 4-5. I will say, being drunk did make being up front and the loud rock way more enjoyable. Because I am generally a crotchety old man, not hardcore, never have claimed to be. But I can have my moments, I suppose. After the opening band, Teenage FBI (GBV tribute band from Nashville), we went out to the front bar and pretty much decided then we weren't that concerned about making it back inside for the Pixies tribute band. We were chatting it up with a couple people and around the time this picture was taken, I realized, whoa, I am druuunk. Looking at it, you can see why I felt that -- the telltale red face and even droopier eyelids than usual. I was slightly alarmed by it so I must go home RIGHT NOW. I left about 3 minutes later. I sat on the bus stop and watched the smokers outside, realizing for the first time that the smoking ban will change the landscape a little, to match NYC and California.

I staggered home, literally -- I was kind of cracking myself up at my own weaving walk, in between whispering gratitude that I made it this far without self-injury, while also marvelling at the body and mind's ability to care of itself while so offkilter. I woke up the next morning and went to the gym. First, I put a ham in the oven, then I went to the gym with [livejournal.com profile] unscrambled and [livejournal.com profile] keetbabe and then I came home and ate the ham, which I was so concerned of it drying out, but instead, with the frozen pineapple in the pan and the tightly covered foil, it sort of exploded a little with moisture. But tasted good. We ate it and watched lots of CSI. Then we went to Links Hall for Method to Madness. Then to a bar afterwards where I put a dollar in the jukebox, but only got one song, but that's ok, I spent most of the time talking to Jyldo and Brad. I drank only soda, as the thought of alcoholic beverages made my stomach turn. We came home and watched more CSI.

I slept in yesterday and wished we had biscuits to eat with the ham. I thought about going to the store, but then realized, wait, I have flour and butter and milk and baking powder, I'm going to just make drop biscuits. They were most delicious right out of the oven, but I'm having a couple now for breakfast and they aren't too bad either. Then I spent an hour playing all my scrabulous games that I had been neglecting for two days. Then I watched the Simpsons movie. And I thought about [livejournal.com profile] thirdreel's assessment of it, which is that if you love Simpsons (the TV show), you will love the movie. If you kinda like Simpsons, you will kinda like the movie. If you hate Simpsons, you will hate the movie. I used to love Simpsons (the show), but now I just really like it, I guess, even though I haven't watched much of the past couple seasons. I ended up really liking the movie.

Then I took the dog for a walk and got her muddy. Then I came home and bathed her, which she was overdue for anyway. Then we watched more CSI. Then I read a bunch. Then we watched the movie Waitress which was quite charming, though I thought just a tad overlong in certain sections, which I only mention because in my opinion it would have possibly been absolutely perfect at 89 minutes, instead of 112. But still, it was quite good and I got a little teary-eyed watching the memorial for Adrienne Shelly afterwards. Then I finished my book This Breathing World and maybe didn't really like it that much, though was compelled by it during it. It was weird and dark and sexual and horrifying in ways I often like my books, but I wasn't terribly satisfied with interconnection of the stories, it got too sci-fi in its quasi-explanation, even though I think it was instead trying to tap into some idea of universal consciousness/muse. I don't know. It felt good to be reading a novel again, mostly. I've been out of the habit, outside of short stories, essays, small things.

And now here I am, finishing my coffee, slightly wonky from fumes of the cleaner used in the bathroom, going to the dentist shortly to have my permanent crown put on, then the gym, maybe a million other errands too. Also, its 60 degrees today. And it was yesterday too. Its weirding me out.

May 2010

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