Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day.  I was in the kitchen, finishing a batch of baked goods, when I noticed two of my neighbors outside, doing yard work.  It turned out that one of them has been hired by our landlord to maintain the two properties here, which made me feel a little better about my laziness.  But still.  It is our home, right?

So I donned clothes I could work in and borrowed a rake.  According to one of my other neighbors, it has been at least a couple of years since anyone raked out my “backyard.”  From the massive pile of leaves I created, I can believe it!  I was outside for almost three hours.  But my backyard is mostly raked, I cleared off my porch area, and worked the soil a little in a small flower bed area by the porch.  (It’s mostly surrounded by a line of rocks, so it feels like it ought to be a bed of some sort.)  I even pruned a tree and this huge bush that is now not so huge.

I’m considering buying a few plants to put in, to make it look nice.  Even if I’m only here this one year, I’ll still be here this spring and summer, so I might as well enjoy my backyard, right?

I’ll say this: my cats did not like that they could watch me through the screen, but couldn’t join me.  I think they were jealous.

This weekend was incredibly productive.

The antibiotics that my Shelby-cat is on are irritating her throat, which has made her meow cracked sounding.  I didn’t want to have the vet sedate her just to confirm this, and then to give me more medicine to fix it, so I turned to my Natural Cat book.  Frazier has this great recipe for a Slippery Elm syrup (slippery elm coats mucus membranes and soothes them–works for humans, too, fyi), and from the first dose, Shelby sounded better.

I also made a spinach and artichoke pasta, southwestern egg rolls, orange chocolate chip pound cake, and chocolate pudding (milk style).  If you look at the pound cake recipe, you’ll see a picture of Joy the Baker’s book tour from Portland.  I’m in that picture somewhere.  The chocolate pudding is from my Harry Potter cookbook and is delightfully rich.  Although I did make it only with 2% milk, not a combination of whole and cream, as called for.

Oh yeah, most of that food is in the freezer.  Not the pudding, though.

I finally watched Frozen, and I love it.

I just wish I had one more day of the weekend.  Two days are never enough.

 

I have been enjoying watching a friend fall in love with his first boyfriend.  It is delightful and surprising and beautiful.

It has made me painfully aware, however, that I have never been as transparent or vulnerable with a significant other as my friend is able to be.  I want that for myself, but I’ve never been able, or at least, never been willing.  I’m not sure which.

I want that sort of heedlessness for myself.  I want to be able to run headlong into love without holding back.

Maybe someday.

In a surprise plot-twist, I have been invited and accepted into okcupid hot-land. (Thanks to TOK for coining the name.)

Yes, indeed.  Okcupid hot-land is a real place.  You might have thought, as I foolishly did, that okcupid is a free for all.  But in truth, it is divided into ugly-land and hot-land.

Please read the following email that I received yesterday:

“We just detected that you’re now among the most attractive people on OkCupid.

We learned this from clicks to your profile and reactions to you in Quickmatch and Quiver. Did you get a new haircut or something?  Well, it’s working!

To celebrate, we’ve adjusted your OkCupid experience:  You’ll see more attractive people in your match results.

This won’t affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match’s answers. But we’ll recommend more attractive people to you. You’ll also appear more often to other attractive people.

Sign in to see your newly-shuffled matches. Have fun, and don’t let this go to your head.”

Here I thought that okcupid was merely filled up with funny looking people (yours truly included), when in truth, they were holding out on me!  (And you, if you’re not part of hot-land.)  I checked it out, and it’s true.  There are way more attractive folk in my mix now.  It’s so weird!  And amazing.  And terrible.

But I feel bad for these hot guys, because 1) I discriminate against good-looking people (you just can’t trust them), and 2) they will be disappointed if they actually meet me because I am not actually hot at all.

Ha!

My cats are costing me a small fortune.

That’s all I care to say about that for the time being.

Recently, I have discovered how incredibly delightful it is to take your bra off at the end of the day.  Seriously, why do we wear these things again?

I’m tired of being poor.  That’s not new news.  But it’s still true.

And I miss having friends.  You know what I mean: that group of people you just have standing dates with, that you see on a regular basis, people you know that know you.

In May, when I’ve been at my job for a year, I’m going to start looking for a new job in earnest.  Maybe even a bit closer to my hometown area, where I could go back to people and places I know.  But maybe not.  The city here probably has better options.

Time will tell!

I need to start writing poetry again.  I can feel it in my soul, aching to write the words I can’t express in prose.

I want to sift through and find the ones that have meaning, to work them until they are right.  And then to do something with them.

Maybe leave them on chairs for people to find.

Seal them with wax and mail them.

Collect them and distribute them to the world at large.

Or continue to do what I have always done: keep them in a shabby folder, hidden from view.  Share a few on my blog (such as the Nectarine poem or the Blues poem), but mostly keep them to myself.  Look through them every so often, remembering circumstances and feelings, motivations for the words I find scribbled on pages.

Why is my life full of failed attempts at starts?  Why is the most common phrase out of my mouth “I almost” when speaking of the past?  As Yoda wisely said, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”

Oh, god. I am lonely.

It is possible that I have been watching entirely too much Gilmore Girls and am envious of their fantastic social circles.

At least I have cats?  There’s one sleeping on my legs right now.  (So cute!)

And I’m kind of done with dating sites.  I know I’ve said that before, but maybe this time it’ll stick.  I go on, I see no one, I leave.  I’m not even sure that there’s any fun left in merely mocking profiles.

Blarg.

UPDATE: But do not let that make you think I am discontent with life.  I am just in a lonely stage of life.  It takes time for me to put down roots, to make friends.  And while I am in a transitory place (or fear that I still am), I am even more hesitant.  But that’s okay, because that’s who I am.  And I will find my place, eventually.

Can I just say, it is really wind-ing out there.

I’ve been thinking about dreams lately.  The kind you have when you’re sleeping.  You know, the kind that is a “wish your heart makes.”  No, okay, the first kind.

I find dreaming to be an entirely fascinating occurrence.  I kind of used to hate dreaming, because I had recurring nightmares for most of my childhood.  But when I got over the nightmares (sometime in high school), I started having recurring dreams.  I still do, to an extent.

My favourite part of recurring dreams is that the recurring part is more centered on the dream-place than the actual dream.  The more times I dream of a dream-place, the more familiar I become with it, and the more I am able to control what happens in my dream.  Or, maybe I should say that I am able to control where I go in my dream, because certain locations tend to have certain actions tied to them.

A few of my dream places:

-There is a two story house, loosely built upon my second house, but much larger and quite different.  The front yard has a bomb shelter type structure in it (but I have never managed to get in, so I’m not sure what it actually was).  The upstairs is thick with dust and eery to me.  I tried not to spend much time up there.  Although, it has a secret hallway that led to a secret door that I knew if I could get all the way to the end, I would find out the answer to the question I had.  I never did make it to the end, but I did try several times.  Anyway, downstairs has the most magnificent bedrooms.  And one of them has a master bath connected, with a great shower/tub combo.  I really enjoyed those rooms.  (I know that sounds weird.)

-There is a town, a conglomeration of a few places with significant differences.  Every sector was very different.  The waterfront area is where I had an apartment.  The old-town section was where my grandma lived.  Downtown had a fantastic ice cream shop, but it was almost never open, so you had to really work at it to get there at the right time.  I liked to walk the streets, go to shops, just enjoy.

-There is a place that is connected to the playground of my elementary school in real life, but obviously my dream completely deviates from reality.  There is a river that separates the playground from a camping ground and several other neighborhoods.  One of the trails led to the most wonderful hike/river/pond.  I really enjoy going there, but it’s hard to find sometimes.  The hike is fun, and the surroundings are beautiful: all green and mossy and tons of granite rocks, artfully placed it seems.

-There is a place that is on a university campus, I think.  It has a game room, which I have never fully explored (big surprise), and a movie theatre, which actually has a secret floor (because this movie theatre is something like 7 floors–kind of weird).  I think that this is the same place that also has a huge parking garage, and the dormitories I sometimes find myself in.  The stairs are absolutely creepy, and the bathrooms are awkward to say the least.  Some of the stalls have doors, but only some.  And then the largest set of bathrooms is unisex, maybe a locker room, actually.  I do not like being stuck in the locker room: it also has group toilet stalls  (like several toilets in one large stall).  I also feel like this is the place that the parking garage can take you to an airport and a hotel (connected to each other), which has an elevator that you almost fall out of every time you go in it.  It’s a place that has too much for me to ever really learn it.  It’s really confusing.

-One of my newer dream places seems to be a collection of parks.  I’m not as familiar with it, so I still get lost a lot while I’m there.  It’s awkward because I’m often expected to know where things are, and sometimes people ask me, but I can never quite say, because as I said, it’s still unfamiliar.  But I like it.  I love parks, so it’s fun that I have a dream place where it seems like I just get to go around and explore.  The other night I dreampt about this place, and we were having a festival in one of the parks, which was really fun.  Only it was raining.  (When I woke up, it was raining outside, so I imagine that’s where the unfortunate rain came from.)

I don’t mind completely random dreams, but I do admit that familiar ones are nice.  I can remember them better, and I enjoy being able to choose my own adventure, so to speak.

How do you dream?

 

I cut my hair last weekend, similar to Ginnifer Goodwin.

I haven’t received any negative feedback (and let’s be honest, most men, at least, are more than ready to tell you they hate your short hair–as if you care).  I have heard tons of good about it.

Although, a few have asked about the motivation.  Motivation for getting my hair cut?  As if it is a huge life change I have made, as if I am making a point or a statement, as if it is more than hair…  At that point, I usually stumble through my explanation that I have wanted short hair for years, but was always afraid my face is too round.  (Who wants to look like Charlie Brown?  Not me!)  But then, Ginnifer Goodwin, who I love, cut her hair short.  And she has a round face.  And she is darling!  I have been considering her cut for the last six months to a year.  But I wasn’t brave enough.  Then I finally gathered up the courage.  And I don’t look like Charlie Brown at all.  One person even told me that I have the perfect face for this cut.  What??  I wish I had known years ago.

This wash and go is fantastic.  Styling has never been easier.  This is what most men have been enjoying for years, while I toiled on with long hair.  The unfairness is astounding.

All that to say, I am loving this haircut.

I think I believe that writing or speaking something calls it into a tangible existence, whereas if it remains but a thought, it has no real basis in reality.  This is the foundation for how I find myself lying to myself in my journal (my real journal, the one I write in and only I read).  Or, not lying necessarily, but not telling the truth–to myself.  But I always know the difference.  I know it then, and I know it later.  Sometimes when I tell these “lies” to friends, they can tell.  Not always–it depends on the lie and the friend.

I had a conversation yesterday about how I’m not your average introvert.  Yes, I am most certainly an introvert: I get my energy from being alone and require alone time regularly to be able to continue interacting with the outside world without wanting to hurt them for talking to me.  But I am considered outgoing (in some situations), and I am a talker.  I have always been a talker.  And I talk before I think (this is always a problem).  Introverts aren’t known for that, not really.

I decided that the difference with me is that while I am a talker, while I like interacting with people (until my energy stores are depleted), the things I talk about are frequently not the heart issues that matter to me.  Or if they are, they are with trusted people, and those things have been considered and mulled over before they are spoken.  I can talk about surface or frivolous things until the cows come home (sometimes I wonder if this is something I developed in self-defense against the world of extroversion).  But if you want me to talk about something real, and it’s something I haven’t given a lot of thought to, it is extremely unlikely that I will do so.  And most people will never get the privilege of those real things, because they’re not the people I care to really give part of myself to.

I am also a verbal processor, so thank God for the friends who I can trust to listen to my musings and be a sounding board for my confusion.  However, those things are usually not brought up until I’ve had the time to consider them for myself.

Tying this all in: putting your heart out there, in the bald and naked ways of words, both written and spoken, is a terrifying thing.  It is a commitment to an idea, a purpose, a direction.  And, apparently, sometimes I’m not even sure I’m ready for that in my own private sphere.

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