Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nostalgic

You know when you get nostalgic for a time that was never good? You start listening to all those sad but pretty songs, the ones you like a lot but can only listen to when you're drunk or distraught to egg on your sadness. You start remembering all these times in your life like a movie scene, where everything hurts but was so beautiful. Really though, it was a terrible time, some time you tried to get out of. That, or it was a good time that you're projecting all your sad romances onto. You romanticize everything, but remind yourself that your memory is deceiving you. Still, it feels good in a cry-yourself-to-bits sort of way.

Playlist:

Mum: Green Grass of Tunnel
Kings of Convenience: I Don't Know What I Can Save You From
Beirut: Postcards From Italy
Aphex Twin: Avril 14th
Antony and the Johnsons: Bird Girl
Old Crow Medicine Show: Wagon Wheel
Sia: Breathe Me
Sigur Ros: Saeglopur

I am such a sucker for sad songs. Ah, but The Strokes are bringing me back to reality.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Boring Complaints

A 4-hour off and on in-brain conversation with myself has really made me realize something. Here I was, trying to talk myself out of yet another "No, you aren't," "Yes, you are," internal dialogue when I realized that I am exactly like those cartoon characters with a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on another. Unfortunately, instead of talking me into or talking me out of wily hi jinks and general hilarity, it has a lot more to do with my self-esteem/mental health/generally being okay with the world. I feel like I'm in a constant battle with myself. Days go by and I feel fantastic about myself, totally in love with everything I am and everything I think I can be. Suddenly I'll remember this awful thing someone said to me, that one time no one stood up for me, all the elaborately drawn and written letters I sent and never got an answer in return...and then it snowballs into feeling completely worthless.

Really, my dialogue with myself today was so painfully circular and a waste of time, but luckily all the time spent in my own head while I rearranged flowers at the flower shop helped me realize I very much have a good sally and a bad sally. Here's a sample from my brain, verbatim, if it could talk.

Bad Sally: X said so and so about me and it really pissed me off and no one came to my rescue and that is so unfair.
Good Sally: Whatever, he's insecure and you're a good person and you should really love yourself regardless of what people around you say and do.
BS: Yeah, maybe, but everyone else has a bazillion friends who throw them parties and write them letters and love them unconditionally. If you were worthwhile, you'd have that.
GS: That's not true, you're exaggerating and it only seems that way because you witness things and romanticize them.
BS: SILENCE
GS: See, everything is fine and you're great and you should really learn to love yourself more in the face of badness. Maybe you should check out some self help books or something and seriously devote yourself to that for awhile.
BS: That could be a good idea....wait a minute. Only loser housewives in American Beauty and on sad TV shows do that stuff. If you did that you'd be deemed pathetic and you'd live up to it. Everyone else is perfectly okay with themselves without stupid books and you can be too.
GS: Well then, what's your solution?
BS: This conversation is, loser, I'M TRYING TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING HERE.


Well, that was fairly disturbing to actually write down. But its ALWAYS LIKE THIS, and seriously? Can't there be a better way? Maybe, says Rational Sally, now that I've pinpointed the distinct problem in my logic of Good Brain versus Bad Brain instead of NORMAL BRAIN ALL THE TIME, maybe now I can utilize that Counseling Center on campus and make good my parent's hard-earned money.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cost of Living

Huuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrgh. After a long and somewhat stupid, but also somewhat rewarding week, here I am with a belly full of ridiculously greasy dirty rice and a list of stuff to do.
The start of the stupidity began on Monday, when my Honda, which was parked at a gas pump while I was inside the adjacent convenience store buying a 6-pack of coke, popped out of the Emergency brake and rolled through the parking lot, off the sidewalk, into traffic and ended up plowing into the side of a 4-Runner. Awesome. I actually wasn't too worried about it at first- it wasn't my fault (so, obviously, no ticket should have been issued), I had auto insurance, so the damage should be covered, and hey, by the time it was all squared away with the police and the other car then the frozen salmon we had been trucking to a barbecue should be all thawed out. I bumped merrily away from the scene feeling a little shaken up but hopeful that everything was fine. That is, until I called my dad to tell him about it all only to find out that I would first have to pay for the $500 deductible on my insurance. And that the cop actually HAD found a law that states you're responsible for your handbrake functioning properly ($150). AND that while Tucker and I had been approved for the house we wanted to rent for the next year (FINALLY), I now owed a deposit of $275. And to top it all off, since the lease starts some time in August I'll be paying double rent for awhile. Whoooooo.

So needless to say I've been a bit grumpy, since my tab to the universe is somewhere in the region of $925...and that's a lot for someone who every two or three months buys a new CD and immediately feels guilty for the next week and a half. I ended up not going to the Capital Hill block party (oh good, it's actually going on AS I TYPE THIS) because I couldn't justify the cost of gas/ticket price/food and beverages for the day. This is particular blows because I'd been waiting forEVER to see Chromeo (and to see them with Riley) and now I've lost the opportunity for WHO KNOWS HOW LONG. It also sucks because I'm going to have a really hard time not working myself til I enter Crazytown in an attempt to make as much money as possible. I'm kind of astounded I'm not working right now. I keep trying to NOT think of all the glorious, wonderful, and PRACTICAL things I could have bought or saved for with $900 or more...but its a lot harder than it sounds.

The good news is that at least after that happened I had three days off and I went camping for Tucker's birthday, attended a really fun party and drank plenty of sangria, and Tucker discovered two new YouTube channels with copious amounts of No Reservations in full length, so at least I have that. Watching too much of that show has made me incredibly anxious to leave Bellingham, and I'm really feeling that today. So my antidote is to bake some strawberry rhubarb pie, some blueberry buckle, clean my house, take care of my to-do list, and when all of that is done, hope that I've forgotten how much I'd prefer to be anywhere else.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On being afraid

I’ve been loosely planning on traveling after college with Tucker, hopefully through the WWOOFing network, but in all the frenzy of the school year I got lazy and stopped looking into the logistics behind actually going through with it. Now that I’ve got some time on my hands I’m back on the net and fervently cruising the destination lists; a long list of hosting families and farms divided into their respective countries. I’m hooked on Spain, and the more I read about their olive farms and Andalusian horse stock, the more I find myself drifting into an imagined world where I ride the trails through hot and dusty forests and stack stones into containment walls. Maybe not glamorous, but what I need, I’m sure. I’d like to get really tan and work outdoors planting and weeding, learning to build, mucking stalls, whatever. I’m so entranced with the idea that sometimes I find it difficult to even contemplate the possibilities for fear that they won’t happen for one reason or the other, or because my heart strings are pulled a little too taut while I dream in front of the computer. Sometimes I wish more than anything that I could be one of those people who just make things happen with little regard for plans, or timelines, or, most importantly money. But no matter how hard I try to become that sort of person with reckless abandon, I find I really just can’t let go of my instinct to have a plan, a backup plan, and an escape route. That’s just my nature and I’ve been forced to accept it. However, acknowledging my weaknesses (though, sometimes, it’s a strength) doesn’t make it any easier to continue into reality and make things happen. And realizing my nature doesn’t mean I can magically change it and allow myself to travel through the world freely and without a care. So I suppose that now I just have to begin the process that never seems to end in my life: letting go, getting over it, convincing myself of my own competence blah blah blah. And then going through with something that I’m really, really scared of- in this case, Spain. Anywhere, really. And learning how to go with the flow, as the Bellinghammers say.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mmm, Chicken.

There is something so oddly satisfying about preparing really simple, really old fashioned food. My fingers are still smelling of garlic cloves (and my cuts are still stinging from them...ow) after stuffing them underneath the skin of a chicken that's currently roasting whole surrounding by fresh, local, organic baby red potatoes and carrots. In highschool, or a year ago even, I wouldn't dream of preparing a whole chicken, and if my mom insisted that I rearrange the thawing chicken in the microwave or trim the breasts for a marinade, I'd hold the thing out at arms-length while prodding at it vainly with a paring knife. I'm happy to say that these days my irrational fear of raw meats and cooking in general has pretty much dissipated. This is something I'm wildly thankful for, my growing interest and adeptness at making food-real food- considering how a few years ago I had accepted defeat from the culinary world and pledged to live off quesadillas and noodles for the rest of my life. I had decided that maybe one day in the faraway future I might become comfortable enough with cooking that I could purchase a neatly wrapped package of boneless, skinless, organless chicken (as long as it didn't resemble anything living, dear god) and maybe put it on a grill. Nowadays I'm still learning, but I'm infinitely more at ease in the kitchen and am getting to be pretty competent with cooking without books, just my senses. I even considered volunteering to help a friend butcher a rooster, until I realized that two pairs of hands was good, and my third pair would probably just get damaged in the inevitable frenzy. But I'm not scared of the notion of killing animals for food anymore. I think it's better to be comfortable acknolwedging the animal's existence before eating it rather than pretending it never had one at all. It helps that even on my meager college-student food budget I can still afford free-range organic meats...if I eat them few and far between.

It surprises me that many people are happy gobbling down any old grocery store chicken or fast food chicken burger but are repulsed by the idea of killing and butchering their own food. Understandably, parts of America aren't exactly a hands-on food culture, but I think the whole "circle of life" approach is much more humbling and even, after awhile, reassuring compared to never knowing your food in the first place. While my chicken, which I just rebasted, is filling the house with wonderful garlic-rosemary-chickeny smells, I'm dreaming of a time in my future when I can have a few very happy animals roaming freely on some land...and every so often I will eat one of them. Ha! Divine.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Everyday Its Like 1989

Actually I don't really remember 1989 since I was a drooling pile of baby at that point, but the title of this blog is a little tribute to the new Moby album I just bought. Despite my dwindling bank account and my hours of monetary hand-wringing, I decided to once again convince myself that money is not a problem by purchasing not one but TWO new albums! Because for some sick reason, all it takes is a few purchases to trick my feeble little brain into believing that I HAVE NO CARES IN THE WORLD. Unfortunately, the album wasn't all that I was really expecting, but its always sort of touch and go with Moby. I saw him live at the Paramount some years back and it still tops by list of all time funnest shows, but I'm attributing that to the live aspect. On a record its just not entirely the same. "Play" will always be the peak of his albums, and "Last Night," what I just bought, is still pretty fun, but not blow-your-mind good. The other album I bought was the new Ratatat CD, "LP3," which is just as fun and dancey as ever, but I have yet to actually sit down and listen to it, since listening to it while cooking dinner/carrying on a conversation/searching for a house on craigslist doesn't really cut it.

But actually, despite my impulse buys and awkward money scenario (read: every day or so I transfer $20 from savings to checkings and examine my savings amount with extreme confusion), things are surprisingly okay. I'm not sure if it's just me calming down with the summer months or what, but these things aren't really getting to me right now. Searching for a house has been hellish, as college students are a wiley, sneaky, and frighteningly quick crowd who snatch up ALL THE GOOD HOUSES right from under your nose. Every day. All the time. No matter how polite/persistent you are to the property managers. One certain asshole wouldn't even rent to Tucker and me just because we were a couple, which I'm pretty sure is illegal, but I don't exactly have the time to seek that law out at the moment. I'll probably have to settle for this one less-than-perfect-but-mostly-acceptable-apartment pretty soon if nothing turns up in the next day or so. Whew! I'll just be glad when its over and I can stop thinking about living situations for another year or so.

In the meantime the only thing really bothering me is the sad news that a longtime friend of mine has decided I am no longer worthy of being her friend, for reasons I can only guess and then try not to feel too bad about. This person has been a dear friend of mine ever since first grade, and never have we had any major breakdowns/fights, or really any disagreements I can recall. I've always loved her, and whenever we were together we'd have a blast and I'd feel good to be around her again on whatever vacation break we were on until we'd part ways for another few months. But then something changed and she'd ignore me, my phone calls, say she was busy or that she didn't feel well or was too tired or something. And then it just sort of fizzled out, and my repeated attempts to get in touch and see how she was were met with nothing, until I heard through the grapevine that she just wasn't interested in my friendship anymore. There were months of me beating myself up for reasons I could only guess and wondering, still wondering actually, why I was singled out as the undesirable one. I just think the whole process of eliminating me from her life is wildly distressing. I understand that as we all get older and start going our own separate directions we'll inevitable have less in common and less desire to keep our ties. But there are also ways to let things die naturally, people do it all the time, and why she couldn't be content with that and instead had the need to sever all ties so dramatically is not only painful to me, but incredibly selfish. If it had to be this way, I'd at least like a reason, but she's decided to skulk away without even having to face me and tell me what exactly is wrong with me. I just think its pretty fucked up to put one of your best friends through heartbreak without ever having to feel the least bit of guilt or responsibility. And why only me? No one else I know of got the boot, and I just really can't see how I am so completely less worthwhile than every one of her other friends. What did I do? It's infuriating to me, but at least now I've had since around January to coem to terms with reality so I'm not too bent out of shape about it anymore. But when I do think about it, there's this ridiculous inner dialogue that goes something like this:

SALLY 1: What did I do? Why I am so lame? Why doesn't she love me anymore?
SALLY 2: Get over it. Its not your fault. Its impossible that this has anything to do with your faults.
SALLY 1: But I love her.
SALLY 2: But she's crazy enough to cut someone close to her out of her life with no remorse, so you shouldn't feel too bad about getting rejected by a crazy person.
SALLY 1: I don't like getting rejected by anyone, even if they're crazy, if they were my friend.
SALLY 2: But she is crazy. There is no logic. There is nothing wrong. Stop pinning it on you. You never did anything wrong.

And so on and so on. Its a remarkably stupid and cyclical process. Mostly I'm terrified of seeing her in person, because if I did I'd probably simulatenously reach for the closest blunt object to throw at her head while sobbing and screaming LOOOOOOVE MEEEEEEEE! I MIIIIIIIIIIISS YOOOOOOOOOOOU!

Thus, Sally might be a little nutso herself. But if you treat her nicely and try to be good to her like she is to you, she stays mostly sane. Well, as long as its not the holidays or final-paper time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hmmmm, so I've caved in and actually listened to the nagging little voice that won't quit saying "BLOG. BLOG. BLOG. DO IT. SIT DOWN AND BLOG." It's hard for me because I know it'll be good for me as a writer to be writing often, but until now my blogs were only every month or so, after I felt I'd saved up enough interesting material for an a few pages or so. But that's not what I'm going for with this blog, so I'd better get used to my own strict rules. Summer is hopping along and I'm thrilled because I have a few days off from both my jobs at the Children's Museum and the flower shop. As a result of my weird off and on schedule (6 days of work? And then four days off? A day of work? Where am I?) I've been totally disoriented as to what day it actually is and whether or not enough hours have passed in the day to warrent another meal (answer: yes, always). Thus, as I was wandering around the little storefront for the garden near my house (that supplies unworldly organic produce for a frightfully cheap price) I noticed thte signs saying that the store would be closed Fourth of July and Tucker and I sort of looked at each other with hopelessness. Oh yeah, it's actually July now. And the 4th is...two days away? Cool. I don't even know what you're supposed to do on the 4th of July if you don't have a boat and really tan thighs. I have neither, so my tentative plan is to get intoxicated at an early hour and spend the day searching out freebies at barbeques, fireworks, and possibly a croquet tournament. Croquet is never as fun if you don't have a jar of rum and coke. Sounds like a good day to me, and I'm blissful that I won't have to work before OR after.

In the meantime, between editing the 750 wedding photos I recently took (whew!) and the writing group tomorrow, I better finish up the ultimate dance mix I've been working on to properly cement the essence of summer fun into my memory forever. You know how it goes.

Playlist so far (not necessarily in order):

Daft Punk: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Calvin Harris: The Girls
Mika: Love Today (I'm iffy on this one...)
Hot Chip: Out at the Pictures
Calvin Harris: Dance Wiv Me
Annie (Alan Braxe remix): Heartbeat
Cut Copy: Lights and Music
Calvin Haris: Acceptable in the 80s
Europe: Final Countdown (you know it.)
Scissor Sisters: Get it Get it
M.I.A.: Come Around
Cut Copy (Chromeo remix): Future


I still need about 7 or 8 more songs for it to feel complete. Now if only Acquisition would stop denying my download access...