Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Whacha doing?

I've decided since I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life, I shall take up/renew old hobbies. Here are the current ones....

Photography - I would be in the darkroom all day everyday if I could. I love it. All of it. That is all.

Sewing - Why yes I just made my halloween costume. Did I use a pattern you ask? Nope. I'm cool like that.

Yoga - All time favorite. Maybe it's my hippy instructor. Maybe it's the ideals. Whatever it is, it's love.

Rip Stick - I've decided this is my cool new hobby/new mode of transportation. It's like a skateboard, but it only has two wheels. It's ridiculous but in about five hours I've learned to get on and off (albeit not very gracefully) and can roll down the hill. It's killer.

So imagine me in some ridiculous outfit carrying a old brick of a camera, a yoga mat, and a rip stick, (Unfortunately I can't carry the sewing machine with me)

Crazy...probably, but it fits me

Monday, October 26, 2009


Out here it's like I'm someone else, I thought that maybe I could find myself. If I could walk around, I'd swear i'd leave, I won't take nothing but a memory...

I miss Portugal. A lot. I told my mom today that I was over it. I was earlier, but I slip back so easily. I'm overwhelmed with mental images of all the places I've been. I long for the embrace of my friends, the two kisses of greetings, the wishes for good days, the coffee, the sing-song portuguese language, the ease of life.

I can't smell cigarette smoke without thinking of Felipe's slender fingers reaching into another box of Marlboro's searching for his next fix. The way his glasses would slip down his nose a little as his face relaxed when he took in his first breath. The way the corners of his mouth would turn up slightly in a little grin as he felt the nicotine take effect.

I can't listen to certain music without Hugo coming to mind. I was caught off-guard today when one of his rarer favorites came on the radio. It made me think of his gorgeous eyes, his little laugh, the freckles on his face that he tried to cover up with a little stubble, his car with the broken shift stick, his eclectic decorations and scandalous photography. The way I would sit on the wooden chest in his room while he tried to write in english so I could help him with his grammer. It made me long for his morning greeting of, "hello beautiful" no matter how I looked, for the nonchalant way he would grab my hand as he pulled me across the street towards our next adventure.

I can't feel the gust of wind from a passing semi going down Mississippi street without thinking about the trip to work everyday. My first warning was to stay at least a foot in from the street while walking on the sidewalk. Because the mirrors on the buses stick out far enough to take you out if you aren't careful.

I can't drink coffee without longing for the bitter strong taste of their cafe. The strong kick that came on immediately that could wake the dead. The addiction that pulled so strong that you had to stop for coffee before the day could start, after lunch, before you went home from work, and then again after dinner. The feeling of knowing exactly how much sugar to add and the exact number of circular stirs needed to cool it down enough to take it back in one gulp.

So tonight I won't smell, hear, feel or taste anything. No Portugal. No United States. Nothing.

Tomorrow I'll pick myself up and be ready for another day, but I have 9 hours until then to be senseless.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brother against Brother

And i'm winning you with words because i have no other way, I want to look into your face without your eyes turning away, Last night i watched you sing because a person has to try, And i walked home in the rain because a person can not lie

The rain was coming down without raindrops. It was a gentle easy mist that made the world look hazy and dreamy. The quad was deserted and dark as I walked from the Union towards my home away from home. As I passed under lights I was struck with the beauty of the refraction of the light on the hazy rain. It made the lamp posts pool with a shimmery light, like all the romantic movie scenes, the ones we dream about where our true love is waiting for us in this dream world. Waiting to sweep us off our feet, where everything is perfect. As I walked through the hazy rain from one pool of light to the next a new figure rose out of the mist. He gave away his age as he limped up the ramp slowly, leaning heavily on the cane in his right hand, causing the gold tassels on his shoulders to shimmer with each step. The gold buttons running down the length of his uniform gave way to a gold belt that would make any girl who craves vintage clothing drool. The gray in his uniform was the same color as his hair and as he stopped in another pool of light I saw confederate flag on his uniform.
We crossed paths in the hazy dream world, under my breath I muttered... Viva la revolution.
He gave me a fist pump and a knowing smile.

We walked through the haze, he to his battle wherever that may be. And me, back to my fight with science. One that wasn't going to be as bloody as his fight, but equally as painful.

But it did leave me to contemplate just what exactly a confederate soldier, well past his prime was doing on the quad tonight.

This one's for you

Here's a recent decision I made. Take it, leave it, do with it what you will.

My theory on relationships has been the same for awhile now, whether it be with friends, crazy Whiskey-Tango relatives, or just strangers on the street. When it comes down to it, I'm responsible for my actions and my actions only. I can only be held accountable for what I do, say or think. Anything more than that is not up to me. How people respond to my actions or words isn't something I can control. Yes I can make sure that the words I say are gentle and full of love towards the other person, but their response is not mine to be in control of.

So I'm taking responsibility for my actions and words. I'm going to be a big girl, while letting you be an adult at the same time. I'm sorry if what I have done has hurt you, or what I've said has wounded you. That was never my intent.

That being said, I don't want to hear about things happening secondhand. I don't want someone to tell me about the drama in your life, specifically when it is related to me or being blamed on me. I don't want to be held responsible for anyone else's actions. They are not mine to be judged for. I'm not going to play sides. I'm not going to draw the battle lines. I would rather feel the pain of being ostracized by others rather than force those lines to be drawn.

So that is what I'm going to do.

I'm going to be responsible for me while caring for you, even if it is from a distance. But I will not get in the way of your decisions. They are yours to make. Your life to live and I will not meddle. Or judge.

I ask you do the same.

Monday, October 19, 2009

pumpkin pickin'

My legs pumped the swing higher and higher. The wind blew my hair wildly and despite the fact that my swing was hooked tight to the top of the metal pole, there were moments when I was convinced it would give way and I would fly through the air. Free and wild, flying through the dark with a little giggly friend next to me. A friend as fueled by out-of-the ordinary adventure and Sheridan's concrete as I am.

a good end to an unexpectedly filling break

wishing chicago was closer

I've been struck with forgotten memories from Portugal. They've come at the most random times, unconnected to anything I'm thinking about, yet vivid nonetheless. Here's a few...

-Her dark eyes peered out from behind her mother's cotton beach dress. Her little pink hat sat crookedly on her head forcing her left ear to stick out farther than her right. The gap in her front teeth showed just enough, that when put together with her round gleaming eyes, you had to question her three year old motives. I stepped off the bus with my backpack and t-shirt and jeans, clothing unfit for this beach town and stood over mother and daughter. They both tilted their heads way back to take me in. Lucia grabbed her ear that stuck out and pushed her thumb into her mouth. As we walked down the sandy road her mother tried to explain Lucia's newfound shyness. I figured it would be blamed on how tall I was. She said it was the nose ring.

- The waiters with the hot bodies, best personalities and most gorgeous eyes were put outside to convince tourists to sit at their restaurant. They knew enough of every language to lure the visitors in, and they usually were good at guessing where people were from. I usually avoided this strip of Lisbon. Too touristy for me, and I stuck out enough, but today I was wearing my yellow dress and was feeling brave. The dress was tied so that it only covered one shoulder, and the way I walked gave the impression that you might get to see a little more if you watched long enough. The little old ladies coming out of the cathedral already gave me their best judging eyes, but i merely laughed behind my sunglasses. As I walked on the smoothed cobblestones, the waiters came to their posts. Their eyes flashed quickly up and down taking in my long tanned legs, the short yellow dress, and the dark brown hair that curled at my shoulders. They were slow to speak, unable to decide what language to use first. I pulled down my sunglasses to meet their gaze, daring them to make a guess. Getting it right the first time was imperative as to whether i would stop or not, and they knew this. It was like a game. The first said something in French, I shook my head and turned my attention to the next waiter. German, nope. Spanish, I gave him a little smile and gave him a consolation prize of a small line in Spanish to give away how wrong he was. By the end of the row there was only one guess left. He incredibly asked, Falo Portuguese? I walked past him before turning around and giving them all a smile, replaced my sunglasses, and said, "Maybe next time boys." The audible groans carried over the english lines they called after me trying to get me to come back. I just turned in the direction i was heading and gave myself a mental point. Another win for the American in the yellow dress, we'll see what they can do next week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

living in twilight

The rowboat rocked violently as she transferred her weight too quickly from the old weather worn dock into the boat. Her hope was that this trip would give her sanctuary, an escape from the last few hours of one of the longest days of her life. The sun started setting as she placed the oars in their proper place and glided away from the dock. She didn't pay attention to the birds singing in the trees that surrounded the lake, or the crickets in the long grass, or even the sound of the oars dipping in and out of the water in perfect rhythm.

Her back curved with each stroke as she pulled the water out of the way, forcing the boat to glide further away from her pain. She rowed until her arms ached. Finally, when every muscle fought against the movement for another stroke, she looked up and took in the evening. The sun was setting into the far side of the lake, taking with it the creatures that roamed the woods during the day. The golden yellow of the sun illuminated the quiet lake, leaving it to glisten like fire in the late evening twilight. She sat quietly and watched as a peace settled over the lake. The peace made its way through the icy grip she held over her heart, and her face softened as she let the anger go. She dipped her fingers into the water letting them dance over the surface, trailing behind the slow coasting of the boat. When her fingers grew tired of their dancing she merely sat, allowing her soul to refill with the beauty and amazement she was witnessing.

As the last of the suns rays slipped below the horizon, she let her tired arms pick up the oars and place them back in the runners. She turned the boat around and headed back to her reality. As the boat butted up to the dock she tied it down before gracefully stepping up to the solid ground. The lake lapped against the boat pushing it into the dock, adding a natural beat to the sound of the crickets and cicadas as she walked away. She walked across the lawn to the back door that she knew so well. She opened it and slipped in quietly, allowing the familiar door that led to the house that was suffocating her slowly to close behind her without a sound.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

rain rain

The rain was falling softly on the truck's windshield. The highway was dark and barren, a foreshadowing of what this cold weather would be bringing to the midwestern landscape. The music played softly in the background trying in vain to cover the sound of the squeaking windshield wipers. There was a comfortable silence within the cab that let me think about answering the bitter winds call to fly with it. To keep traveling, no destination in mind, just an empty road beckoning. I broke the silence, uttering a few words about how i love driving in the rain. I didn't give away the longing to keep going, just a short sentence of how much i enjoy the sound and feeling of rain on the road. The unexpected response however answered those unspoken desires. It brought me back to my responsibilities. Grounded me. And I didn't resent him for that. I nodded my head and allowed the car to pull into the driveway and leave me.

For the first time in a long time I feel more here than there.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Turkey Leg Marriage Proposal

I entered my writing into a contest. Liz won. I guess it was supposed to be fiction, but we both wrote the truth. Our lives are just that great, but I think my story scared some people. Either way, here it is...

His pounding footsteps came up the stairs that led to my rented bedroom in a Portuguese flat. In a matter of seconds he had unlocked the door and burst through, calling my name in his thick Portuguese accent. I came from around the corner and found Hugo panting in the doorway in his typical dirty, over-worn board shorts and tank top. His Raybans were still hiding his gorgeous blue green eyes and in both hands he held a brown paper package. In broken English that was peppered with way too much excited Portuguese and a lot of gestures he tried to explain his plans. After five minutes of mixing up pronouns and improper conjugation, I gave up trying to follow. The look of confusion on my face only grew when he started unwrapping the brown paper and thrust a giant, raw turkey leg into my hands.

I was used to Hugo’s antics by now; he was a washed-up journalist who was barely taller than my shoulder, and was desperately trying to break into the art scene with mirrors and frames that he decoupaged with macaroni and glitter. Eccentric would not even be close to a strong enough word to describe him.

The turkey leg was transferred into my hands before Hugo turned around and left the kitchen nearly as abruptly as he came. We had this agreement set up long ago where he would cook Portuguese dinners, while I baked him traditional and fattening American desserts. The turkey leg obviously broke that agreement and I was left angry and confused. What was I supposed to do with an entire turkey leg?

My anger and frustration grew as I ran out of options for the turkey. I tried pulling meat off the bone, I tried chopping through it with a knife, I even slammed it on the counter a couple times hoping it would just give way. As I slammed the turkey leg on the counter Hugo made his glorious reentry. He eyed me cautiously seeing as how I was still wielding the turkey leg and shook his head with a look on his face that spoke of his inability to comprehend how Americans do things. He looked at me incredulously then asked if I loved him. I could have taken him out with the turkey leg, but I lowered it, looked him in the eye, and in a sharp angry tone, told him that I loved him enough to cook him this god-forsaken turkey. He laughed off his nervousness before asking another question. He stood up to his full height making his eyes come squarely to my chin before asking, “do you love me enough to marry me?”

I had been in Portugal for two months and while images of green cards and permanent residency flashed across my mind there was no option for the response. There was no way I could share my life with this short little man who listened to Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson obsessively. I couldn’t make my sundresses or height fit into his classy art gallery openings and native country. I laughed before searching his eyes and realizing he was serious, dead serious. I scrambled for an answer, racking my brain, trying to figure out a way to let him down without breaking his heart.

I opened my mouth after an awkwardly long period of silence and blurted out that I wanted tall children and that he couldn’t help me with that. It was the best excuse I could find. It crushed his soul. He left the kitchen depressed and heartbroken and retreated to his room to the solace of Mariah and Michael. I was left in the kitchen with the turkey leg. Not wanting to ruin his proposal gift, I wrapped the raw, beaten turkey leg back up and made room for it in the fridge. Just like I was hoping his next tenant could make room for him in her heart. Maybe she would be shorter. Maybe she would be able to put up with his eccentricities. And maybe for her, the draw of permanent residency would be a little stronger.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


He asked why I was laughing and I answered that I liked it. His smile showed his approval and I kept laughing while he took my hands and pulled me from my seat. I laughed when my feet weren't going the right direction, and when my hands decided to stop following his and try to lead the way, and when his elbow collided with my forehead. I laughed as he spinned me faster and faster. My hair came undone, but I kept spinning. My shoes last traction, but I kept spinning. The room went out of focus, but still i was spinning.

Spinning and laughing and smiling. A soothing medicine for my bruised and tired soul. Today when I reached out, someone was there to take my hand. It may have been a simple dance, but it resounded with my struggles of the past weeks.

A simple outstretched hand. Simple, with little meaning, but strong enough to ignite my heart and jump start my brain. A hand, a presence, a desire.
This is what I ask for.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


My heart is restless and uneasy. Something is changing again, a new wind is blowing, calling my name, awakening old feelings in my soul. It might be the changing weather, it might be the added stress, it might be that I've tightened the grip on my heart. I'm not sure, but it is different. It isn't that same feeling of reckless abandon or the need to get away. It's tangible but nameless and descriptionless. It's a new strength that is welling up inside, bubbling from the depths and slowly rising like a late night tide. It doesn't need to be fed by short dresses or boots. It doesn't really need anything, just validation of its presence. Maybe even acceptance. It will show itself when it is ready.

In other news...
I sent some of my writing in for a short story competition. Granted it's just for the Hilltop Monitor, but it still is sending shock waves through my gut. They catch me off guard and send chills up and down my back before retreating back as quickly as they came. It's not that I'm nervous about the outcome, its this feeling of being completely vulnerable with new people. With people that I wouldn't be normally comfortable bearing my soul with. Too late now, my little innocent baby story is out in the big bad world....

Monday, October 5, 2009

word vomit

The rhymes are ringing in my head. Silly little ditties that took too much effort to write. They are mixed with arguments about genetic engineering and calculations for densities. It could have been because I have been writing for the entire day and can no longer keep these topics separate. A lab report for physical chemistry, an extremely focused essay for birth by any means and then silly princess poems. Trying at this point to keep these topics separate is difficult. It's even harder to find words that rhyme with engineering.

There's a writing competition for the newspaper.
I think I will write about a turkey leg and a marriage proposal.

I had a dream about a potato last night, the night before was about a penguin posse. There might be a trend here...

I finally had time to go to the grocery store. I was down to two eggs, raspberry cream cheese, three tortillas and some sunflower seeds. It made eating a little difficult.

I still haven't unpacked all of my boxes from home. They were stacked in a corner of my room, but turns out they were on top of a heating vent. I'd like to say that was the reason my room was so cold, but that would be a lie.

I went skateboarding this evening. In a knit dress and grey robin hood boots.

Full moons make me mischievous and wild.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

reasons, excuses and lessons

I feel empty and a little used, but there's a reason. Exhausted, but there's a reason for that too. Cold, but there's another reason.

Did I bring this all on myself? Most likely.
Will the drama come for me? Probably.
Am a aiming for a breakdown? Definitely.

I'm pretty good at pretending that a lot of things don't affect me. I've been pretending for far too long. I think I'm done pretending to be "that" girl.

I went to the Harriman event last night and heard a tenor sing opera after opera. He made it look easy, he made it look simple. He held onto the piano like a safety blanket. He made me want to sing. The operas took my breath away. The lyrics were in French, Italian, and English, with translations to pick up the words i couldn't translate fast enough. The english translations hit me like a ton of bricks. I made a joke of them and said that the writer had serious love issues, but in reality I knew what he was struggling wit. He sang about being stuck. He wasn't in love, but wasn't allowed to leave his torment brought on by the beautiful women. He couldn't die, but he wasn't living. He was flying in the skies while at the same time being grounded on the earth. A constant juxtaposition that ended in tragedy. I took the lesson to mean that you will get stuck if you simply use someone and get no love or expect anything else from them. You will fly when they are with you, but that will all come crumbling to the ground the minute you expect to hear the words you long for. The ones that make you feel wanted or cared for, or beautiful.

Last night, I didn't just learn this in the opera.

This morning, when I got in the car to find a place to work on my projects for the day I wanted to just drive. I needed that clarity, I needed to run away.

I wanted to
I didn't
I hate that I had to stay

Two weeks.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

late night moodiness

The rain is tugging at my soul. It brings back the memories of pitch black back porches, whispered secrets, and a strong southern wind that urged me to run to freedom.

The gypsy in me is hungry again, and smothering my soul. The desire to be free is pulling me down, like a strong tide, it takes all of me to fight it.

I hate hormones. And sometimes I hate gypsy. And I really hate having to be a big girl.