Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Caution, part of my heart is on the table

I was reading in bed earlier, fell asleep and woke up when the book fell and hit my face. Nice. After shutting off my light, rolling over onto my side, and holding a little pillow against my chest, I was wide awake again. Damnit. And here I am putting up another mid-night blog.

I was going to go sit outside and blog about what I see and hear on my stoop after 11 at night. But after grabbing my sweat shirt and my computer I get outside and realize it's raining. Oops. Well not really raining, it's more like little droplets fall and maybe one lands on your face. (Which by the way, I really really really wish it would rain. We need it so badly!) I just didn't want to sit on the wet ground.

So back inside I go.

I've been sitting in my head a lot lately. I like that phrase, sitting in my head. I got that from my ex, he used it and I thought it was clever. I don't think I've ever typed those words before, my ex. It's weird. I've said it but I surely have never stated it on here. And now that those words have been put down, I'll just state that that is where my mind has been sitting lately. And geez is it annoying.

It's been over a year since I felt us falling apart. And it's been almost 10 months since I have been home. And somewhere in between the two since he and I ended. Yet I think about him and the situation more often than I would ever like to admit. I have so many questions that will never get answered. I wonder if he's happy, if he got his degree that he set out to do before we even met, I think about the good times before everything went south, I wonder if he wonders about me.

I never thought I'd write about it here. But I'm now doing it in hopes that it will help me let it go. I wrote in my personal journal (yes I also have a book that I write in, more personal than I will ever get on here, and much more pissy and moany than I will subject anyone to) but I wrote that I needed to turn the page. Hell, I needed to pick up another book.

I have jumped several hurdles when it comes to ending that relationship and moving on, but this last one... This last hurdle that I'm not sure even has a name, is taller than I had expected and much harder to get over. I am just hoping that this hurdle won't hurt as much as the others.

Run, jump over it, and keep my eyes and heart looking forward.

Whew. This one is a big piece of me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This one goes in my top 10

I just finished the most wonderful book. It's called Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. I picked it up at a used bookstore on their new arrivals shelf a little over a week ago. Augusten Burroughs (one of my absolute favorite writers) was quoted on the front of the book saying "A shocking, profoundly moving, and morally challenging story...nothing short of miraculous. It will haunt you, it will help to complete you..."

And my goodness, he was right.

This book takes place in the present day Paris and in Paris 1942 during the capture of thousands of Jewish people by the French police. The past is told through a 10 year old Jewish girl's eyes. Her questioning and her need for safety and family breaks your heart. The present day narrator is an American woman named Julia who married into a French family and she is an American journalist for a French paper.

The little girl is named Sarah and when the French police come to take her family she hides her little brother in a cupboard locked with a key, because she thinks they will be back shortly to get him. Her parents are sent to Auschwitz. And she escapes from a children's camp and makes it back to Paris with the help of a couple who find her in their fields. The only thing this poor little girl can focus on is getting back to save her brother. It is such a simple need, a simple want. But it makes you ache inside, with the knowledge that adults have and the underlying tones of what happened to her brother.

The journalist is Julia and through writing a piece about the building that housed the Jews before they were sent to the camps, she discovers that her family is connected to Sarah. Her family became a small but shockingly important part of Sarah's life. Julia goes to deep levels to find out all she can of Sarah. Where she went after she came home to find her brother, what kind of woman she became, if she was happy.

The whole book is written with a sense incompleteness. The lives that were intertwined through a series of events just keep on moving, keep on changing. There is a conclusion, the book ends. But like many moments in life you are left wanting more. Wanting one more hug, one more reason, one more explanation. But life doesn't stop to satisfy those needs. It keeps rolling whether we want it to or not. This author did a wonderful job of pulling me in. Making my heart sob for these characters, making me want to embrace them and wash their sorrows away.

Read it. The reviewers were right. It will change your life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A little love note part deux

So a few months ago I wrote a post about a found love letter. I had found a little card at work that was blank for the giver to write their own message in it. And someone named E had written a little birthday love letter to a man named Kenny. She said how she had hoped to be the beautiful girl that he saw her as and that she wanted to give all of her heart to him. I had kept that card because it was filled with such bare emotion that I felt someone should hold onto it. Right now that card is sitting in my wooden box of sentimental cards and things.

Well I found out who E and Kenny were. E is actually Elizabeth and Kenny is her boyfriend and they come into my work a couple of times a week, each get a small coffee with a few refills, and they sit by the window talking quietly. I've gotten to know a little bit about both of them. Elizabeth is anemic so she always has us fill a little water cup with ice for her to suck on. Kenny is a trumpet player and is often one of the musicians that I hear in the evening hours of downtown. Elizabeth likes her coffee black and Kenny likes his with cream and vanilla powder added. I don't know how long they have been together or how their relationship started. But I do know that it's not as calm and caring on the inside as it appears to be on the outside.

I don't want to divulge all their information because when Kenny started to talk to me because I told him he could. I was like a hairdresser, someone you can just tell your problems to and they will listen. But mostly I've rediscovered through someone else's story that relationships are never easy. It takes understanding, patience, communication. And no one is prefect but the thing we all have to figure out is whether or not we're perfect for each other.

I find it so interesting that we were all born with a huge, hungry-for-love heart, yet when it's right there staring us in the face, something else within us gets in the way. Our mind, our stubbornness, fear, an unknown something inside trying to tell us that this isn't it.

I hope that Kenny and Elizabeth can work through whatever issues they are having for many reasons. But personally, I like them together. From an outsider's view they seem comfortable and compatible, and sweet when they are sitting next to each other. His arm around her shoulder, drinking coffee and watching the world go by from the windows of a coffee shop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My birthday and perhaps a furry friend

I am 30. And 3 days. And it feels no different than 29. Everyone asks that on every birthday, "So how does it feel to be...?" And it never feels any different than the day before.

I do have to say that being a year older doesn't feel different so much as now saying I'm 30 feels new. I heard a quote once that said "Now in your 30's you have to actually have to take responsibility for your actions." Made me laugh, but my mama raised me right, and I have been taken responsibility for my actions for years. Or most of them at least.

For my birthday I had a small party at Mom's house. I was very upset for a while because not many people could make it. But I got over that (sort of) and ended up having a grand time! Many friends from work came, and we always have a lot to laugh about together, and friends from college and even an old friend from high school. It was a nice mix and I truly enjoyed myself. And even felt very lucky to have those people in my life.

So I'm 30. And the next night I was 30 years and 1 day old and had mac and cheese with cut-up hot dogs for dinner. I may be older but parts of me will always be young!!

I am thinking about getting a cat. And last night my mother and I went to the Humane Society to look and like the norm, I fell for a one of the little cats. But I also broke out in hives and had to leave without him. My neck was all itchy and red, it cooled down after an hour away from the felines. But all day today I was thinking about this cat. He was scrawny with a funny face and a long snout. He was a stray and I think once he was fattened up a bit, his face would fill out. But he cuddled with me, and was playful and so endearing. I was holding him on my shoulder and he just nuzzled into my neck. What a sweetie. So tonight I hemmed and hawed for about 2 hours trying to decide if I should go back and get him. And I'm sure nearly drove my mother crazy. I decided to go pick him up and half way there realized I can't afford to pay for him right now. (I have vacation plans in a few weeks that I need to save for.) So Mom turned the car around and we'll try when I'm back from my little trip.

As I have sat and thought about it more tonight, I do want a cat. I'm nervous about it for reasons I can not figure out. I'm going to get some Claritin and hope that stops the allergies. This cat was the scrawniest, most homely one of the bunch but I really liked him. I'm hoping that this little guy will be there in a few weeks when I want to go pick him up for myself. It's a no-kill shelter so they stay until they are adopted.

My mom is right. I miss having a pet. And having a little furry friend to greet me when I come home and cuddle with me while I watch Friends is exactly the perfect addition to my life. If anything it would give me someone to talk to other than myself.

Friday, July 17, 2009

That was far too easy

I think I've figured out why this country is fat. Or at least one of the many reasons.

I'm house-sitting this week which means I also have a car. So I've been driving a bit and have gone through the drive-through at McDonald's. Twice. Shameful, I know. But that is not the point.

My point is that as I was driving away today, eating my fries and Strawberry shake, I realized getting this food was far too easy with a car. When I am car-less and have to actually think about how I'm going to get food, I put a bigger effort into eating good things that will fill me up and give me more for my money. Having the car today and realizing I wanted a mid-day snack made it all so easy to get salty goodness.

No wonder we as a country are fat.

I bet if people got rid of their cars, used another mode of transportation to their destination other than what might be immediate or easy, they might be thinner. But more importantly they may be less stressed, more happy and more full of life.

I think this is being added to the list as to why I'm glad I don't have a car any more. Although I did just renew my license two days ago, just in case.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

MTV made me tear up

I am house-sitting this week and we all know that I love my cable TV when I'm house-sitting. And I tend to spend much of my time on MTV. Don't judge, there is no shame in my game. I'm aware of how shitty that station is. But it's my thing.

Anyway, on MTV there is a show called 16 and Pregnant. And it has followed around 3 or 5 teens who are pregnant and their journey through those 9 months. The one thing that struck me was they all have Southern accents. Now I know there are pregnant teens all over but the fact the only ones on this MTV documentary are from the South doesn't bode well for the stereotypes of the South.

I'm not saying. I'm just saying.

But the one episode that has sucked me in is a young couple who have chosen to give their baby up for adoption. Against their parents wishes I might add. Which is a whole other topic that I can't get into right now.

Right now I need to write about how mature these two teens are. When they first met with the adoptive parents they were asked "Why do you want us to adopt your baby?" And this girl's response blew me away. She said that she knows that they can give her baby a much better life than they could. She wants her baby to have more than she had and she knows the adoptive parents can give her that.

I am very impressed. Those are some big words filled with a very grown-up decision that is rare in a teenager.

Right after she gave birth both birth parents were hugging and saying through their tears "We can do this. We have to do this. She is going to be so happy and so much better off."

Then watching these two teen parents try to give up their baby girl was just so heart breaking. The adoptive mother gave the birth mother a bracelet with a heart on it that said "Always in my heart" Both mothers have one, and there is one for the baby as well.

I wouldn't wish a teen pregnancy on anyone, and I also wouldn't wish having to give up a baby on anyone either. Neither situation is ideal. But I truly commend these two teens for making a good decision and giving their baby to someone who can give her the care she needs. That has got to be one of the hardest things someone can face and to decide to do it at 16...

I never thought I'd write a blog on a show from MTV. And I never thought a show from MTV would make me tear up. But there it is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Writers block and no inspiration

I need to find my muse.

She took off into some creative abyss that I can not seem to find. It stinks. I have much to write about but I am having the hardest time making it interesting and well-written. Some of my best works have been written about something very hard in my life. But right now there isn't much that is hard. There are daily struggles but nothing that is getting me stressed out.

Maybe I should count my blessings. And quit complaining. And write about something good. Or positive is a better word.

Some of my thoughts for my next assignment which is due in 2 weeks.
1. Location location location. How being in a city that is good to you and that you love makes your daily life worth living.
2. I'm turning 30 in 4 days. And I'm stoked! Does getting older really qualify the end or does it just get better the older you get? Is it all about your view on your own situation?
3. A best of Minneapolis, Riley style. And why one needs to experience what I think is the best of the best of this city.
4. And procrastination piece. This came to me mostly because when I can't get myself to buckle down and write. I will find everything else to do instead of write. So in stead of procrastinating, I decided to write about. And right now, that piece is crap. But whatever.

See? Weak. Nothing that jumps off the page and scream "Yes! That one! It will be a winner!"

I'm stuck and have no idea where to go from here. I used to think writers block didn't exist. But now I think otherwise. It exists and it's like a little bug that just buzzes around and around, quick enough that you can't kill it and slow enough that you know it's always there.

Damn pest.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Look what I did!!

I have been wanting a new tattoo for a while now. And I have known what I want and where I wanted to get it. And in 10 days I turn 30. So I decided about a month ago that for my 30th birthday I would get my tattoo as a birthday present to myself.

Pretty cool huh?!

The boyfriend of a friend of mine at work is a tattoo artist and my friend had suggested I go to him. So I did. If you're interested it's Marx Barry at Aloha Tattoo in Burnsville.

My mom went with me. If only she had been in the back to hold my hand. Because f*** did that hurt! I don't remember my first tattoo hurting that much. I nearly passed out during the outlining. Marx let me take a break and got me some water. But I clenched the cushion of the chair the whole time. And just when I was going to ask for another breather, he handed me a mirror and told me to check out the finished product. I love it! It turned out so much cooler than I had imagined!

It's my own version of yin and yang. It's my strength and the ability to accept both the masculine and feminine sides of myself.

Yea for me!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A little July joy

Today was the longest parade to ever happen in Minneapolis. Or so I'm told. There was an international convention of the Lions (like the Elks but different) and today was their parade. It started at 10 am and went until 2 and it went right past my store. We were completely entertained for 4 hours! There were floats and bands a few big balloons, even something purple, gold, and sparkely drove by. Uber fun!

I haven't posted much lately. I noticed I wrote more when things were not as good as they are now. Why is it that when things suck we find it so easy to complain but when things are good, we keep quiet? Maybe we are just reveling in the good? Maybe.

Summer here is good. It's been humid but I'll take humidity over dry heat any day. I know most people thing I'm crazy but with humidity also comes a breeze, trees, shade, lakes, water, and eventually rain. Dry heat is just hot. All. The. Time. No thanks.
I'm reading a very funny book right now. It's called At Least In The City Someone Could Hear Me Scream. It's a gay couple's quest to move to the country and live simply. And I laugh out loud every time I open it up. He's so gay and so honest about his quirks that it's endearing. You want to slap him and say "Oh good grief, it's just the wind." But he is so open about his misunderstanding of the simple life that you are pulling for him to make it through the winter. Plus he's witty and I love witty.

My birthday is in less than 2 weeks. I'm going to be 30! I'm totally stoked to turn 30 but not as excited about the party I'm throwing for myself. Having a summer birthday sucks for one reason and one reason only. No one can ever celebrate with you because they all plan their summers in February and every weekend is taken up with "the lake cabin" or Florida. Seriously, who goes to Florida in the summer?! It's hot and sunny here people and we have just as much water as they do just in smaller increments! But 30 years old, that is very exciting. I did hear someone once say in your 30's you now have to take responsibility for all the dumb things you do. In your 20's you didn't know better, but now in your 30's you're older and wiser. How dull and boring. I'm going to do bigger and better things and look cuter than I did in my 20's doing them!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I thought we were through with her!

Oh. My. God. I want to punch her!

Sarah Palin is a moron. Certifiablly stupid.

Sure, she resigned. Great. We don't have to deal with her at the present moment. But we all know that dumb woman, with her winking, and "right back at'cha's" is preparing herself to run for president in 2012.


That is the worst idea the republican party has had since, well, I can't really think of anything because most of what they do I think is a bad idea.

But what I do know is that her giving up her position as Alaskan governor early makes me all the more sure I'm not going to even think of voting for her next presidential election.

I can just hear it, all nasal and annoying,"Lets see, I don't want to finish the task I already started because I want to work for something else for 4 years from now. So a heads-up, half way through my being president I think I'm going to quit early because I want to try to become Queen of England."

Lord, help us.