Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spinning on that dizzy edge

Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream, he said
The one that makes me laugh, he said
And threw his arms around my neck
Show me how you do it
And I promise you
I promise you that I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you

Spinning on the dizzy edge
I kissed his face
I kissed his head
And thought of all the different ways I had
To make him glow
Why are you so far away? he said
Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you
That I'm in love with you

You, soft and only
You, lost and lonely
You, strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You're just like a dream
You're just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe his name
I opened up my eys
And found myself alone, alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only boy I loved
And drowned him deep inside of me

You, soft and only
You, lost and lonely
You, just like heaven
~Katie Melua, cover of The Cure's Just Like Heaven

Thursday, February 23, 2006

You make my wheel set me free

I satisfy my vices in small amounts. I have bottles of wine in my cupboard long ago turned to vinegar and a bottle of vodka from October still half-full. I buy a carton of cigarettes to smoke two or three and then give the rest away.
I eat chocolate everyday, but that's another story.
It feels like my mind operates on overdrive; that it's always working on something-- rehashing the past, figuring out the present, contemplating and planning for the future. Doing menial tasks doesn't distract its persistant work. In fact, it seems encouraged by monotony. While working on a knitted piece, I'll suddenly find that I have completed far more than I thought. I have to take a second to remember where I went, and often it's to somewhere unexpected: saving for retirement, fulfilling my dreams, naming my aspirations, cooking for my future self/family, next week's "To Do" list, metaphysical poetry, movies I love, songs I hate, people I miss, failed relationships, the promise of the future-- I don't know how it gets to these places, and sometimes I'm unaware that we're there, but it's always thinking.
And, occasionally, it gets very loud.
I once took Valium for a medical procedure. Unsure what to expect, but certain I shouldn't drive I had a friend take me to the testing cite. As we passed through a familiar intersection I exclaimed, "When did they put that pond there? It's very pretty. I wonder what it's for." My friend just laughed and drove on, but I continued to stare in wonder. When everything was finished and the drug had worn off my mother called. "How did it go?" she asked, refering to the procedure. "It was like a vacation. Like my mind had shut off all of its auxiliary power and I was operating on auto-pilot," I responsded, refering to the Valium. "I understand why house-wives were addicted to this stuff. It was fanstastic and scary."
I was not only impressed by my mind's mini-break, I was also acutely aware of just how much is going on in my head at one time. There is always a song playing and occasionally scenes from movies-- both real and imagined. There is noise and color and information just flying by.
And I am almost certain that none of us live up to our full potential mind-wise.
There are days when my brain and my body call out for a break. For a chance to slow down and join the world; to be able to sit for just a moment without figuring out "what's next." To stare at the stars, to notice ponds, to appreciate where I am. I used to read these cravings as a sign of weakness, that I couldn't keep up... but I am learning to give into them.
After all, the stars are very pretty.
And I'll hop back on the treadmill in the morning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I just keep getting above myself

Cryptic words meander
Now there is a song beneath the song
One day you'll learn
You'll soon discern its true meaning
An interesting detachment
A listless poem of love sincere
Desire, despair
Overlapping melodies...
Oh now the roots are reminiscing
Recurring dreams of minor chords
Metred time
Muted chimes find the beat
And in the pulse there lies conviction
A steady push and pull routine
The cymbals swell
High notes flail into reach...
~Maria Taylor, Song Beneath the Song

Recently, I've been consumed by all the trappings, trials and tribulations of "the job search." I have spent a good amount of time going over my resume--attempting to define myself with each carefully choosen "action" word. I spend hours surfing through job listings, imagining myself in any number of new, exciting and not-so-exciting places. My days are filled with conversations concerning contract negotiations, benefit packages, good career moves, bad career moves, interview questions and tips on suit buying. I spent last Friday at a conference where I pretended to interview for two positions and received feedback on my performance. I will soon attend a large national conference where I hope to interview at a large number of schools at the same time as 1000 other candidates inone giant conference hall (it will be loud, distracting, and cause not just a few candidates some psychological harm).
This past weekend I was housesitting for a friend with an adorable dog and a gorgeous new addition. I relaxed into a world free of resumes and watched a number of movies I keep meaning to see (Note: I love Netflicks, but Direct TV provides so many more immediate options). I slept in one of the most comfortable beds of my life. I had a puppy companion who, I believe, would kill squirels and other small rodents if he thought my life was in danger, and I learned that I am allergic to cats. Or, at the very least those of the long hair uber-dandery persuassion.
While I've been catching up with my career and recent advances in entertainment (and making the occasional trip to the gym), I have not been dating or really paying much attention to my social life at all. Valentine's Day came and went; I hardly noticed. This is not out of the ordinary-- I started to ignore the holiday in high school and really don't feel the worse for not having any interest in it. And, recently (for the past 3-4 years with one or two exceptions) I generally choose to ignore that section of my life. I'm quite willing to admit that the prospect of putting time into a relationship feels like an overwhelming energy vortex that would be the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. Having a dating record that reads like a "Who's Who of the Socially Inept" doesn't really help either. I am not, shall we say, encouraged.
And I've done enough soul searching to know that I have to own some of the failures... and that I too am somewhat inept -- anyone who knows me well knows that I can't talk to men I find attractive. While generally an intelligent, erudite woman, I actually stop making sense at all. Actual conversations (my half): "Going are you to the meeting? The one at the high school? Are you going?" "Really like the book... I really like it. The book, I mean." "Girlfriend? You have one? No?" I am Yoda, and there is no known cure-- but my own social specialness aside, I am generally content in my life. At least I like to say that I am. And I believe myself at least 87% of the time (it can't be good if I'm giving myself a "B" in fooling myself, right?).
Which brings me to the real meat of this rather long-winded and winding post. Creating resumes and going over interview questions forces you to take a good long look at yourself: Why are you the best candidate for the job/relationship? What do you look for in a supervisor/date? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? How will this job/relationship get you there? Are you limiting your search too much? Is your search too wide? Is most of your experience in the classroom, or do you have some field work under your belt? What size institution would you like to work at? What would your staff/friends/former relationships say about you?
It turns out, Grey's Anatomy does the same thing.
I've looked over the responses of my friends to this week's episode and find that I am not "a George," "a Meredith" or "an Addison." I am an Izzie. Nude photos and babies aside: I bake when I'm nervous. I clean house when I'm annoyed. I believe that we are born into one family and create another. I sometimes do things because "that's what Jesus would freakin' do!" or at least because I know it's the right thing even though I don't want/like it. I live in fear that I am not a doer (it is perhaps my second biggest fear, right behind not living an exceptional life). I see the best in people/situations. I have to learn some lessons the hard way.
I find Dr. McAsshole very attractive.
I know I deserve better.
And so, I sat in shock as Meredith removed George's shirt. At first, I was disappointed that Izzie was advising George to follow down a path that can only lead to Meredith breaking him. And I was a bit peeved that she was so focused on fulfilling her own needs that she couldn't see the trainwreck ahead (Ding! Ding! Ding! Epiphany ahead! Life-long lesson to be learned at next station!).
But it's really okay. It wasn't her job to stop George. We all make our own decisionsn and have to live with the consequences. George needs to learn that. Izzie needs to take care of herself. I need to learn to do that too.
One final lesson: although "the beast" may sleep, that should never be confused for contentment.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion!

I've been wanting to write, but am feeling less than inspired. So, I yoinked this quiz from Heather....

1. Who was your first love? Hugh Laurie as the BBC's "Bertie Wooster"... I'm so glad he's back in my life.

2. Who was your first prom date? Jeremy Graef

3. Who was your first roommate? My sister, and then Beth Harper

4. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk the first time? Apple Pie Shooters. Yummm!

5. What was your first job? I cleaned the fridge/shop at the local florists. I also had a small Birthday Party throwing business. And I baby-sat.

6. What was your first car? Burgundy Dodge Caravan

7.When did you go to your first funeral? I can't remember... part of the family business.

8. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? 17

10. Who was your first grade teacher? I don't know because she went on maternity leave, and then our sub went on maternity leave... and at that point it all seemed so trascient I stopped paying attention. But my kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Onken -- she came to my graduation. And Mrs. O'Neil (a teacher/family friend) made sure I didn't get lost in my own 5 year old existential crisis.

11. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Terra Haute, Indiana for an Epicopal Youth Event

12. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them? Tara O'Neil... and I occasionally check her profile on IM, but we haven't typed/talked in 4+ years.

13. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents' house? At the Monell/Jones' house for the summer, then McDaniel College's very own DMC 203.

14. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? My sister

15. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen? My Aunt Kathy's wedding... I looked like a poodle... a poodle wearing bringht fuschia.

16. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Hit the snooze button and talk myself out of 5 more minutes.