Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Songs that save my life 2.0

It’s 1 o’clock on a Friday morning,
I’m trying to keep my back from the wall.
The prophets and their pawns have had another success
And I’m wondering why we bother at all.

And I think of you on cold winter mornings, darling
They remind me of when we were in school,
Nothing really mattered when you called out my name
In fact nothing really mattered at all

And I think about how long it will take them to blow us away
But I won’t get me down!
I’m just thankful to be facing the day.
Cause days don’t get you far when you’re young.

It’s 5 o’ clock on a Friday morning
One hundred telephones shake and ring
One of those was someone who knew you

And I’ll still think of you on cold winter mornings, darling
They’ll still remind me of when we were in school
When they could never have persuaded me,
That lives like yours, were in the hands of these erroneous fools

And to those of you who mourn your lives through one day to the next
Well let them take you next!
Can’t you live and be thankful you’re here?
See - it could be you, tomorrow, next year.

~Trains to Brazil, Guillemots

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Speak the words on your lips

This afternoon, over a rousing game of Monopoly (which I never win, but love to yell play) I tried to explain the plot line of one of my new favorite romance books of all time. My summary went something like this:

Me: It starts in a medieval convent where they train women to become wives. Knights would then come down and choose their brides and the convent would be paid a finders fee. Well, in this particular book (it's a series) the convent's head chef is sold to a knight who--
At this point, I started to laugh histerically--has a particularly keen sense of smell. He wears a nose guard so he doesn't smell anything and therefore doesn't taste anything. He's not able to find a chef who can cook for him and his home is really really clean because he can smell dirt. Of course, they fall in love, which is scandelous, and he saves the realm and gets to eat and it's quite wonderful.
Friend: Wait, how does he save the realm?
Me: Laughing so hard I can barely breathe. Well, he was supposed to marry the daughter of his enemy, but he married a nun instead, so war ensued. Oh, and they called him "the Beast" because if he removed his nose gaurd the smells of battle would overwhlem him and he would do the fighting of 20 men.
Friend: Really? The Beast?
Me: Yes. The chef and him fought alot in the begining of the book because he wouldn't compliment her cooking and she would annoy him on purpose. And when he was younger he had a chef who taught him to concentrate on one smell at a time, and the best smell for this was truffles. And there was a treasure in the South Forest that the two enemies were fighting over and they didn't know it, but the treasure was truffles. One side used pigs and and other used dogs and they fought all the time about which was better.

The thing is, I didn't see the hilarity of "The Marriage Test" until I said all of this out loud and tried to explain it to someone else. Up until this afternoon it seemed perfectly reasonable to imagine that a man with a super keen shnoz and a nun-chef would be thrown together by circumstance and fall in love. Why not? Stranger couplings have happened (and I know a few of them personally).
Something happens when we are asked/forced to put thoughts into words. Sometimes we are granted a clarity we couldn't find inside our minds; we can fully grasp what we've been confusedly thinking. Other times, we are shown how ridiculous our thoughts have been--things that seemed reasonable turn out to be absolutely ludicrous.

**Quick Note: The kindergarten/James Joycean quality of my narrative should be excused. I did a marathon interview (8 hours) today; it's hard to be intrigued by a question the forth time you've heard it... but I think I succeeded. Now I have NO brain cells left.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Keep it loose, keep it tight

Note: I do not intend this to become the "my weekly reaction to Grey's Anatomy" blog, but please bear with me as I react to yet another episode of the BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION!

If you'll recall, a few weeks back I determined that I most identified with Seattle General Intern Izzie Stevens-- a talented, crafty woman who, currently, has strong feelings for a rather adorable man in need of a heart transplant. Izzie is a Pollyanna type (not unlike myself) who bakes and cleans when she's upset, works hard at keeping her family of friends together and on speaking terms, and - we learned this week - knits. I relate to all of these things... sometimes too well.
It's not simply that Izzie knits. Rather, she and Meredith have taken up knitting and celibacy at the same time; they've replaced men with yarn. What's frightening is that I can actually say that I've done that.
After the "most significant relationship of my young life" (as I've termed it in the past) came to an end, I determined that I had spent entirely too much of my time getting wrapped up in someone else's life, interests, etc. I am not the kind of person with a lot of free time, but I found that there were hours that were missing something... someone. So, I bought a pair of knitting needles, a skein of neon green and electric blue variegated yarn and decided that I would be able to knit by the end of Fall Break (aka, Columbus Day Weekend). And... I was.
By the end of the week I had finished my first scarf. I have a clear memory of leaving a Halloween party so that I could quietly sit in my living room watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and work on a project. By the end of the semester I could crochet, which I did while my friends played in the snow that the blizzards of 2002 brought to MD. I still wear some of the scarves and hats I made that winter. At the close of the academic year, I had finished my first afghan and not dated anyone for the entire school year. And then I left the country.
So, the trading men for yarn thing works... to a point. And, while I'd like to believe there is someone waiting for me to make him whole-- perhaps not at literally as Denny needing a new heart and Izzie being a surgeon, but I understand the analogy for Izzie's character and her need to fix things-- I don't hang out in a hospital with good looking surgeons and kind patients all day.
I'm reminded of an advertisement I saw at a movie theatre this weekend featuring modern-day Hummel type knick knacks depicting life lessons. One had a guy with bandages on his severed hands and an inscription which reads: You can't always do it yourself. Or the one of two men standing at urinals, one of whom has just whipped out his wallet: Not everyone wants to see your baby pictures. My favorite was the one that read: Dating can be awkward, but so is becoming a cat lady.
Not that I fear myself in danger of that-- I don't like my cat that much. But I see the point. Replacing relationships with hobbies works when you're trying to heal yourself. But there comes a point where you have to put the needles down and go on a couple of dates. Sometimes (or at all times, in my case) these dates remind you about why you weren't dating in the first place. But, there is always the chance that Chris O'Donnell will be playing the part of your vet this week; or at least that you'll meet your very own McDreamy.
I live in hope.

** Someone should have told Izzie "The Rule": You DO NOT make a sweater for a man before you have a ring on your finger (unless he is a relative). Her relationship with Denny is officially doomed. Handmade sweaters and new relationships don't mix.