Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 recap!

In 2009, I reemerged and re-acclimated to American living. Since then, I go back and forth between loving and hating my little American life and several times have kicked around the idea of moving to España.
I saved my pennies.
I broke up with my boyfriend.
I took a trip to Roma/Venezia and Paris/Bordeaux. Then, took a 2 week road trip around España. It was a mega blast. I reconnected with my old friends from RUC and re-fell in love with Europe.
I came home with my bank account overdrawn and little-to-no work to speak of. I floundered financially and just was not able to make it work at Hilltop Yarn. So, I found a job at Starbucks. This was not an immediate fix, as my training store only gave me 20 hrs/week and was paying me nearly $2/hr less than my agreed upon wage. For another month, I struggled.
Now, here I am. I cashed out a 401K I had to get back on my feet financially. I am paying my rent w/o over drafting my account.
All-in-all, life is good. I have friends. I have food. I have comfort. I can't complain.

Be well. Do good work. Keep in touch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bad date(s)

there are many reasons why i am not ready to reemerge into the dating world. the ones at the forefront are:
the fact that i am recently out of a long-term relationship with a person with whom i still keep close contact--in fact, he is probably reading this right now. that makes for uncomfortable feelings around meeting a future ex-boyfriend. and...
the fact that i don't know what i want in my very near future. it is hard to anchor yourself to someone if you think you might be about to shuffle your life about.
however, in an effort to pass the time, i have signed up for an online dating site. this is my okcupid profile. you can go to it and tell me how datable i am, a perfect 10--really?!
what i have found so far, dating is hazardous to my health. First off, dating makes me stay up far too late on nights that i know i have to wake up early the next day and run the 1st starbucks. Second, bees. Third, apparently, dates make me catch a cold.
I had a brunch date with a man I met at a party. Indi, was nice enough at the party to warrant the release of my precious contact information. upon contact, he invited me to lunch at the B&O Espresso. I thought wonderful! I have history at this place. It is where I spent a good portion of my time upon landing in Seattle. I imagined being rushed with favorable memories.
I arrived a few minutes early--i shocked even myself be this fete. i ordered an espresso, as I had not yet had my morning cup of coffee and did not want to come across as a fiend, and read my book. As i watched a fly do what it does--fly--i thought quietly to myself, "gross." then, when i saw it land i was petrified and screamed silently in my head, "BEE!" I looked up for a friendly face on the wait staff to come and rescue me from my bee woes. i made eye contact with a familiar face, smiled out of habit, then scanned my brain for the file this face was in. i found it in the "short-term romantic stints with messy endings" file.
"FUCK!" Now I was trapped in my seat because, i'd rather get stung than have to force polite discussion with this guy. it didn't occur to me that a place with history might also have some residual baggage.
i read my book until i felt like i would burst, flinging the table over while frenetically shouting, "BEE! BEE! BEE!" then, i got up and urgently flagged down a waiter in the most low-key, casual manner i could muster.
The waiter gallantly squished him with his wet bar towel and announced, "dead." as he pulled the towel away, much to our chagrin, we realized not in fact dead. try #2 was also a failed attempt. then, he got more frantic. it turns out that he is allergic to bees. finally, the bees met its maker and i could safely return to my seat.
to make matters worse, i was sitting in the least enjoyable spot from an ambient perspective. the sun was looming just over my head. this made reading a dream. however, anyone who looked at me would immediately scrunch their face into a pained squint and quickly look away. it made me feel as though I looked like rocky dennis and my face resembled a lion.
After much ado, Indi showed up and we had a nice brunch. afterward, we wandered around volunteer park (including the green house and the Seattle Asian Art Museum). It was all good and dandy, but I suddenly became very tired.
The next day I awoke with a heinous cold. i blame dating. i don't think anything but stress and sickness will come out of venturing into date land, but am willing to be proven wrong.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Anti-Deodorant Dissertation

I am not willing to come out and say that I am explicitly against deodorant. Quite the contrary. In fact, I find the idea amazing. I often ponder the person who came up with the idea and how they pitched it in their head. (Light bulb enters stage right and pauses for a brief moment before pulling its own string and turns itself on. Simultaneously, Dr. Jules Bernard Montenier let's out an audible "EUREKA!") All one need do is rub this magic salve under your arms and smell like a rose all day long. Some are strong enough for a man, but pH balanced for a woman. Others claim that anything else would be uncivilized. This is all good stuff. What I don’t like is the idea of cramming aluminum into my pores and calling it a day. The idea terrifies me. I know that there is "evidence" that a lot of these adverse health "findings" are totally "bogus." Still, the idea gives me a serious case of the wiggins, which is why I am a soley deodorant wearer. No aluminum for moi.
Now, if you are a woman who does not wish to use anti-perspirant, the deodorant endeavor becomes even more interesting. It is impossible to walk into any drug store and find what you need. Also, when I did, it was always baby powder scent. Have you smelt righteous BO mixed with baby powder? It’s like baby diarrhea to the nth degree. It is terrible. I have tried the various hippy brands and don’t get me started, don't even get me started. Now, I know why hippies smell. It's not the patch pants or the disdain of contributing to a market economy—it’s the effing deodorant! My compromise is to buy men’s deodorant. Only a few scents do I find truly repulsive on me and, incidentally, they are also the scents I find repulsive on men. Musk is the number one turn off. If I smell a musky underarm I get to packing. Generally, I am a speed stick girl. However, lately, the original has been letting me down. So, in an attempt to reduce my stank factor, I decided to try the irish spring inspired scents. The first one was a hit. I smelled faintly of soap and water. It was awesome. Then, I got cocky. If one in this scent line was good they must all be, right? WRONG. The Speed Stick Irish Spring Icy Blast smells like leprechaun taint. Everytime I lift my arm I think I am smelling the sweaty under carriage of a lumberjack. I get someone else to smell me and they say they smell cologne. It is enough to drive a sistah crazy. Now, I am forced to wash shirts after every wear that I might otherwise wear 2-3 times between washes.
It is for this reason that I find myself in a frenetic state--head to the wall, fists pounding and cursing the man who started it all: Dr. Jules Bernard Montenier. Damn you straight to hell, mister.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

i've got my spine, i've got my orange crush

Last night I had a dream. It was not a profound dream in the vein of the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. It was not a dream to live on the lips of men for all of eternity. No one will call me noble or nominate me to a panel of experts for praise in my field. In fact, I cannot even think of a very good reason to share my dream with anyone. It borders on Mundane, the capitol city of Trite.
In the aforementioned dream, my family had disowned me--cast me out onto the streets. I didn't know where to go or what to do. So, I decided to walk to my uncle's house. A geographical impossibility because he lives in California. Also, an impossibility of vanity, because he lives in suburban Orange County--Placentia, CA to be exact.
On my walk, made impossible by vanity and logistics, I passed by a house with a yard full of cats about to be euthanized. Just then, the person who [suddenly] appeared as my travel accompaniment up until the present told the proprietor of the establishment that we would take one. We would? The woman grabbed a broken cat transporter and a collar with harness and I begrudgingly picked out a cat. I found the smallest, cutest, orangest one with the biggest eyes, most full of love. I brought her home, which was a fête because she kept slipping out of her broken carrier box and refused to be held. So, I walked her on the leash.
I got her to my uncle's house and my other cats were there waiting. Julia, of course, wanted nothing to do with her and Fernando, of course, seemed enamored by her orangeness. He kept walking next to her and stopping to roll over and lie down at her feet. This is what I expect Fernando to do in real life if he ever perchanced to meet an orange lady cat.
By the end of our exodus, the little lady seemed hungry. So, I gave her a dish of an orange juice, orange sherbet, and orange crush concoction. She lapped it up ravenously and, then, I awoke to my cats snuggled lovingly against me on the bed. It's enough to make me not want to leave the house.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

personalized nameplates...freak name validation

I am just going to come out and say it. I am obsessed with name-personalized products. You know the ones. The overpriced tins of breath mints that read “Beverly” in a faux Las Vegas Marquis, as though the big attraction in Vegas is “Beverly” and not the seedy brothels or tasseled-nipple night club acts passing as talent like a tart in an evening gown passes as elegant.

The obsession began when I was a child. I could easily pass this off on my mother. It’s her fault. She bought be these little trinkets whenever we were on vacation, which enable me to become obsessed with my name and, in turn, become obsessed with myself. This would be easy, because can’t we blame most things on our mothers? Her two ex chromosomes carry more genetic burden than my fathers wimpy ex why combination, one might say on the playground to another child or recess attendant. But, no, this burden is not my mother’s burden to bear. No, in fact, it is mine and mine alone.

Growing up I HATED my name. I absolutely hated it. I went through kindergarten and the better part of 1st grade having never met another Shannon—not a single one. I often thought to myself, “why can’t I have a normal name like Jennifer, Jessica, or Amy? There are like five of each in my class? My parents had to go and name me something weird. I’m not even Irish.” Then, I met my first Shannon—it was a boy. I was mortified and heartbroken all at the same time. My dad gave me a boy’s name because he wanted a son! Oh, woe is I! I didn’t meet another Shannon until high school. My name was a freakish boy name that no normal parent would want to name his or her child.

So, when I would be in a souvenir shop and see a sheet of sparkley, rainbow stickers that had my freak name printed all over them, I would feel somewhat validated. See world?!?! My name is normal! This inflated sense of euphoria would be immediately dashed the next time I had to explain that my name was not, in fact, Sharon. That name is even worse than my real name.

So, that is where the obsession came from. Whenever I have a lay over in an airport, I always look for name personalized item. I still have that sense of validation when I get my notepads that say, “A message from Shannon.” I will often pick things up for friends, to let them know I think their name is valid and completely normal, too. Also, I have gotten better at enunciating my name upon being introduced to someone. No one calls me Sharon anymore.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the honeymoon is over...

I like to call the beginning of fall the honeymoon period of the autumn/winter time of year in Seattle.
The leaves on the trees are lush and full of the changing colors of the season. There is a hint of a chill and the whisper of rain in the air. People laugh about their state of inappropriate dress and lovers cling to each other as they mosey down the sidewalk that has only begun to collect leaves from the friendly trees lining the street. Shopfronts and shop keepers seem inviting. Cocoa, curling up with a good book, warm baths, and fire seem delightful, especially when combined with a loved one/intimate partner. There is a hopeful optimism about the things to come and people seem genuinely happy. Kids happily kick around a can amid the drizzle, the clanking and the laughter comforting reminders of the impending holiday season--a time for togetherness. [deep sigh] life is good.
Well, that period is over.
The trees that line the streets are mostly naked. At best, they look cold and mean. There is no hinting nor whispering about the cold and the rain. It is wet and freezing everywhere. No one is carefree or giggling about their inability to dress for the weather. People are pissed at themselves and they are hating life. More importantly, they are despising the limp, lifeless leaves dejected from their angry trees that have since collected, turned to mush, and have taken over the sidewalks as well as the storm drains; making it so that cars that swish by manage to splash pedestrians as they come toppling to the ground after sliding on that pile of leaves they found endearing just the month before. It almost seems like an ambush, sabotage, or mutiny. Lovers are not clinging to one another and no one is moseying down the lane. Shopfronts and shop keepers become bothersome as all anyone wants to do is go home and go to bed. Heaven help the poor loved one/or intimate partner this person is coming home to. This person gets the joying of bearing the brunt of the frustration. They don't understand what has been endured in the day, nor do they care, and why won't those stupid kids go inside and shut the H311 up!?! Anxiety is high as anticipation ramps up for the holiday season--the hustle, bustle, and head aching stress. No one is happy and life sucks.
I think that is why Pilgrims were so smart to decimate leagues of Indians when they did and Jesus had enough foresight to be born during this season. Because of this, amid the seasonal affective disorder, we have two wonderful holidays to be together and pretend to tolerate each others' company. I truly believe that if it weren't for these two holidays there would be higher incidences of homicide and assault during November and December in Seattle.
The honeymoon is over, but alas there is hope.
Be well, Do good work, and Keep in touch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Devoted Readers

I feel like it has been about/at least a year since I have written down anything at all and possibly longer since I have blogged/ranted/what-have-you. I will not succumb to the temptation to bore you with the insignificant details of my mundane life. Because, when it really comes down to it, I have been keeping my plate full with empty calories. My life plate has been seriously lacking sustenance. This is probably why I have avoided creative endeavors. My life is lacking inspiration. Without inspiration, there can be no creation. I have been going through the motions because I am afraid to deal with a life in transition. Best not to be bothered with instability. Better to avoid and hope it all smooths over. I am unsure how this can be considered living? I know that I am alive because I can see the steam of my breath against the mirror. But, I don't see the twinkle in my eye that used to be there for all occasions. So, even if it is better to make myself into a small ball and let life run over my back like tepid bath water, I will face the rocky turmoil of change. In nature, the most constant growth of a forest happens after the devastation of a fire. The little critters scurry away for a time, but return to a lush budding and burgeoning habitat. Within this girl a fire does burn. I will no longer try to contain it with controlled burns and prescribed fires. Instead, I will walk through the fire, because where else can I turn? The woodland creatures of my heart may seek refuge from me for a time. One by one they will turn from me, but will return to find me rejuvenated, full of life, and creation. I will be happy and I will do what I need to make myself whole. I will fall in love with life, fall in love with myself, and soon you will love me, too.
This is where I will pick up my written journey and hope that people have not written me off as ignoble or irrelevant [YET]. Thank you for peaking in from time-to-time and back to your regularly scheduled program...