2. I have an urgent need to make these browned butter Rice Krispies snaxx, but will hold off until there is an acceptably non-insipid ersatz Milche Preparation in the house to savor with them.
3. What’s for dinner?
Well, I'm fighting the good fight. And it's going... okay, some of the time. It’s just the damn seasonal depression has got me so down. The thing is: I really wanted it to not get me this time, not here, not here in our exciting new town, not here in our new life. But here I am and here It is, and it's the same as all the other years- insidious and gripping- and it reminds me of all the other years, which makes me feel even more shitty because I have this insane idea that I should have gotten over it by now, that it's something I should naturally grow out of. I thought this tendency in me must be diminishing a little each year, going the way of my collagen, but boy did I have another think coming. Now I’m left with just as much angst, but significantly less of the plump-faced youth that helped me pull off angst so poetically in the past. At my age the cancerous, obese, hypertensive reality of depression starts to set in, and it’s not a very pleasant aspect.
Not that it was ever so rad, before, the depression. Looking back now it is woefully apparent how major a role the seasonal blues played in my dropping out of school all those times. At the time I was just taking it day by day, not recognizing my own patterns, but now it seems so clear- if I had only been on a quarter system and skipped the middle quarters, or if I only I had gone to college in southern
Last year I didn’t get the depression so bad. I got it, but I was so busy with work and family and social engagements and so distracted by all the righteous fury I was building up toward my insane, abusive boss that I didn’t have time to sink into the usual ennui. Instead I just developed general anxiety and routine bouts of irritable bowels. Also I was out in the daylight birding or on the farm almost every weekend and I have to consider that that helped a whole giant lot at the time.
This year I’m mad because the shit sneaked up on me in a mean, sudden way. I was doing fine, we were all fine, it was a fun year, I liked our town and we had a lot of visitors and everything was moving along and then I had this desultory Christmas and I just couldn’t get feeling festive. By the time we went to
On Monday It began to affect my work, and that was the final straw. I cannot be low-functioning at this job. I cannot be slow or cloudy or God forbid cry- ever- at this job. Not at this firm. Not in this atmosphere of hyper-educated, highly ambitious, workaholic overachievers; I just can’t. Not only will it not fly; it’s not even conceivable. So if there’s not room for me to be foggy on the job, there is certainly not room for me to be abjectly miserable and weeping, or to think seriously every day about calling in sick, or to find I am speaking aloud without realizing it, saying things like, “I have no joy in me now,” because not only is that unacceptable at work but it’s also just really fucking embarrassing.
To be continued...
I am home from work today. I'm still sick with this yucky cold and was up all night with a croupy little-kid cough moaning and snorking and dozing and waking up stuck in a messed-up dream place not sure whether I was me in my bed or whether I was my cousin's poor asthmatic toddler at our family reunion. Finally I woke up genuinely distressed with that can't-breathe feeling and started shuffling around coughing and rasping and finally drove poor Stan to go sleep on the couch (yay that we have one!) while I did the only thing I could think of which was give myself The Treatment.
The Treatment is what my singing teacher used to when I was studying with her and living in her house in Kansas and would get a bad cold that went to my head and chest like this one has. It involves the afflicted individual having a big swipe of mentholatum rubbed on her upper lip and hot wet washcloths applied to her face and covered with layers of towels to keep the heat and moisture in. You/she, the afflicted, must also have many blankets pulled up high and tight under your/her chin. I did my best to duplicate The Treatment last night but I didn't have any mentholatum (fine by me, I think it's the nast) and I didn't have Rachel to sit at the edge of the bed and rub my chest and talk to me for what seemed like hours under my towel tent. My washcloths weren't as warm as hers nor my efforts so soothing; the whole exercise made me miss her terribly- now I am crying about it and can't see what I'm typing. She claimed The Treatment cured her husband of the seasonal allergies he had suffered all his life and while I don't know about that I do know it relieved me enough last night that I could get back to sleep after a while and then Stan came in and held me; we slept in late like that and that was a good and different kind of comforting.
I don't know what to do with myself at home all day with no responsibilities. I have managed to utterly waste the first half of the day doing absolutely nothing but I'm not good at doing nothing with impunity, I prefer to do wedge in my time-suck activities in a way that makes it feel like I'm shirking my other duties. Also it is early in my days at work and I'm not supposed to be taking days off yet so I'm uncomfortable with staying home. I'm an odd sort of workaholic in that I tend to put in too much time but not necessarily enough organized effort. There are times when I know I could work more efficiently and not stay through lunch, but somehow I just never do it; then I find myself in a sudden flurry of productivity right at 5:30 when I ought to be heading home. Anyway I've started to really like the team of people I'm working with and I feel rather tenderly about our little codependencies and the ways they wind up needing me. I have this possessive thing that makes it tough to go a weekday with license to not worry about them. What if they need something? Like to have a document printed or a meeting added to their calendars or a flight booked somewhere? Even if they have nothing pressing come up today I still feel I should be in the office if only to keep up the routine. It just doesn't look right for me to not be there. Besides, there are projects I've been drawing out to which I could be half-attending!
I was so guilty and weirded out by staying home at first that I thought I couldn't give myself permission to do anything if I didn't go out and buy a humidifier first because by God, if I'm going to convalesce I'm going to put some effort into it! I turned on the computer with plans to figure out the nearest store that I could get to with the least effort to pick up said humidifier and that's when the distractions began. Now I am thoroughly caught up on the lives of both Jen and Erin and on what several people are saying to one another on MySpace. I could shower, but that sounds too cold even though it would be good for my lungs and sinus and our shower runs out of hot too fast anyway. I did eat breakfast just now finally. I mean to have oatmeal because I'm trying to get a lot of post-Turkey Day fiber but then I saw that we have Happy Thanksgiving Cranberry Breakfast Cake which I'm not entirely sure is really meant for breakfasts but it has cranberries and walnuts just like my oatmeal so I figured that's breakfast and cut myself a giant slice to go with my latte. Yes I know coffee is not good for colds and flu but what kind of Satanist are you that you would deny me my latte when our double-shot portafilter basket just started working again after being mysteriously irreparably clogged for the past two weeks? Anyway the coffee may just allow me to make a move and get some of our laundry done as long as I am in and that would be miraculous. Also the house could stand a little cleaning since we didn't do it over the weekend and now the fine layer of millions of Stan's tiny black hairs that typically carpet our floors have been interwoven with millions of long black hairs from Leonard and it's starting to be noticeable so I'm thinking maybe I should do something.
Incidentally, this ephalump is the humidifier of my hearts desiring:
It may be for kids but it's still better than some boring blue clinical box. Plus I like ephalumps, especially the ultrasonic ones.
(Actually, while we're at it, THIS is the true humidifier I would choose as part of my Ultimate Yuppie Lifestyle:
but it costs more than the next piece of furniture I'm going to buy so ephalumps it is, I hope. (P.S. Plus Minus Zero's space heater design is equally gorgeous if anybody cares and can afford it.))
Now you know everything about me.
P.S. I've been wanting a bird so bad but now I'm stricken with insecurity about my bird-caring qualities because I just left a dry Teflon pot burning on the stove and made our horrible shrieking smoke alarm go crazy and if we had a budgie it'd be dead by now for sure. (I hope the ladybugs are okay!)
I am a November blogging mofo.
Ahoy- a post! It's moving time again. This week I am moving home AND office, simultaneously! Isn't it tragic? Also I am sick with a gross unrelenting "gold id by doze." Also also the season changed on Halloween night as it does every year in Salt Lake and the weather is truly cold and wintry-feeling now. There's so much to do I don't even know how to begin thinking about it, but all seems to be (somehow... magically) coming together and, looking at the big picture, I really can't complain. Plus, hell- it's November, this aitching month has a tradition of handling me rather roughly. I figure I can toughen up and dodder on alright.
(Lastly p.s. speaking of November I may or may not be kind of doing this this month. Even though the computer is about to be torn down at the apartment and won't be set up at the house anytime soon, I'm sort of noncommittally considering giving it a go... maybe. Perhaps. Weather permitting. Anyway, one down, and we'll see.)
Here are my bath towels and me. We have been feeling angst today. And by angst I mean stomach-churning anxiety and depression. We don't know what we're doing with our lives, but we're pretty sure the thing we've been trying isn't working out for us these days. My towels and I are lonely. We spend a lot of time thinking about families.
I got 'em!
I'm downing this beer as fast as I can, having just come from an "interview" with one of the most stunningly inefficient people I've ever met. Having started ONE FULL HOUR after our scheduled meeting time, I was eager to get in there, talk myself up, get hired, and get out. Instead I got to wait. A lot. The first time my potential employer took a call from his lawyer regarding a health issue I took the opportunity to collect my thoughts, look around and see what needed to be done (by me, natch) to help get things organized, the second time I began to familiarize myself a little bit with the product. By the time he started actually placing calls to hammer out details regarding packaging I began to be somewhat peeved, and finally when he checked, then ANSWERED HIS CELL PHONE and sustained a lengthy conversation over whether or not he would skip out for the afternoon to, "knock off nine holes," I admit- I almost started to cry.
During the course of our meeting he was on the phone not less than six times, then wanted to make an appointment so I can come back and, presumably, wait around some more! Efficiency, I tell you! Adorably, he was also patriarchal and homophobic, and made great issue of my inclusion of the Queer Lounge on my resume, digging around to find out just how I feel about Those Kinds of People, and to make sure I haven't been recruited and am just not letting on about it. This fretting and probing went on at length, until he admitted experience with "an unfortunate intimacy on the subject," (like he's a big emmer-effing queer theorist or something) and I, flailing to steer the conversation off this course of doom, found myself explaining that, "it's not my pet cause," which is true, but still left me feeling sullied and traitorous.
The whole time I kept thinking this is a game, Em, treat it like a game, all you have to do is come here, and do your job, and PRETEND. You will be able to tell whether you're winning by how well you pretend, see? A game! And I know that I COULD play it, and it wouldn't be so bad. There are things I could do for the business and, having done them, I'd be liked, and in being liked I could influence the bigoted opinions of the boss I'd be interacting with every day. Maybe. On the plus side, the guy is anti-Bush Administration. Too bad he's also vociferously anti-immigrant- if you wouldn't mind not mentioning that to the Mexicans in the other room hard at work keeping his business running.
Anyway he's not all bad; in fact he's certainly charming in many ways. He has rather beautiful smooth skin for someone his age, for example. I could point out that his T's are beautifully articulated. And he's kind of sweetly lispy and precise, so that one can perceive the strong likelihood that he has endured a lifetime of being mistaken for a total queer gay fag cocksucker.
I don't mean to be so bitter, but part of the reason I came out to California was to get away from his Type, with their wide-eyed, patently offensive Good-Ol'-Boy "innocence." I thought I'd left that (and the lurking darnger of marrying into it) behind in Salt Lake City. Then I had to deal with this guy, and then there was this insane retarded angry homophobic letter to the editor in the local weekly (which is not online but I'll hunt it down and append to this post later), and it's all conspired to leave me feeling rather bruised and tender, to the point that I think I'd better leave it at this for the moment.
I was already going to post today about how I've had it with the whole Not Having the Internet at Home business, then I found out this afternoon that my web cafe is closing, to boot. So tonight I'm testing out the only other spot in town that stays open later than six. It's a far cry from the scene I've grown accustomed to at my Usual Spot, which is in an upscale neighborhood and features banks of PC's and desks and rolling chairs all office-like and plays a steady soundtrack of White Album Beatles, 70's punk, and Stan Getz. The new spot is downtown next to the soup kitchen and has a decidedly artier air, including lots of paintings of hot chicks with green skin, and Stabby the (bleeding) Panda, who features a daily message such as, “If you come in here wrapped in a blanket, you are asking to be kicked out.” The cute punk girl who made my mocha mentioned she only works here one day a week; I liked her because it's obvious she doesn't care about this job almost as much as I didn't care about my coffee shop job where I only worked on day a week and the homeless people would come in wrapped in blankets and have to be asked to leave. The music is loud and rocking, as are the many tattooed, pierced, safety-pin-and-cigarette-accessorized patrons, except for the three extremely bro'd out surfers who apparently came off a wave directly into the seats behind me, so that I had to set the music through my headphones at top volume to drown out the voluble shouts of, “Dude!” and, “Irie!”
Ughhh, and I just now noticed that it reeks of piss in here, as well. This will not do, no. It will not do at all.
Yesterday I was in full freaked-out, mentally ill premenstrual mode and wondering where are the women who all sport my same gang symbol? Why am I not having the usual Sunday Brunch with my girlfriends? I'm missing three unflaggingly supportive amigas upon whose reliably subjective-in-my-favor ears I can direct my wails and always receive sympathy and encouragement. I'm wondering What is this place, this “town” to which I have moved? And why are none of my girlfriends here in it and how can I get to where they are and how soon? Do you ever get panicked like this? I was not feeling very optimistical yesterday.
I've been dreaming a lot lately about food. More specifically, that I AM food. I can't remember all of the dreams, but a couple of nights ago I dreamed I was a beer (one of a six-pack!), and the following night I was some soup. I don't really know what inspired this theme, but it does remind me of this sort of nightmare I had in 1998 that was not really scary when I dreamt it, but which I turned into a big awful saga in my mind in the days and weeks that followed. The dream was this:
I am standing at the kitchen counter getting ready to make a sandwich. I have all these ingredients spread before me; Wonder bread, creamy Jif, and a whole array of other stuff from the fridge. I take out a slice of bread, smear it lightly with Miracle-Whip, top it with a heavy drizzle of honey and- wait, no! Fuck! How did that lettuce get in there? This is not the right combination! Anyway this is supposed to be a PEANUT BUTTER sandwich! Now I have to start all over again. I toss the ruined sandwich in the tall kitchen garbage at my side, feeling incredibly guilty for the waste, and commence again with a new slice of bread. As I pull it out of the plastic I am full of intention, doing this immaculate Choosy-Mom job of spreading the peanut butter and envisioning the completed sandwich with it's layers of brown and purple and a single perfect bite taken out of it how tasty it will be with a glass of cold milk and in my reverie I take another slice of bread and- whoops! Cover it with a heavy smear of whole seed deli mustard. This is not a proper peanut butter sandwich! I have to throw it away. One by one I remove slices of bread from the bag, and one by one I wreck my sandwiches. I seem to get off to a good start, but then I lose my focus; in go onions, bologna, ketchup, pickle relish- I'm just not paying careful enough attention! One by one I drop the polluted sandwiches in the trash, until I have no more bread to work with. I reach in the bag and find it's all gone, I have just wasted the last slice of the loaf.
I was haunted by this dream- the frustration of it. I talked and talked about it with friends and over the course of a few days I concluded that obviously LOAF=LIFE/LIFE=LOAF! My life = a wasted loaf. I was very unfocused at the time, and I had no idea what aim to take for my future. I felt as though I had been trying all these things, was interested in all these things, but that none of them were leading me anywhere- I was not hitting on the right combination, you know?
So lately I am thinking about this because I've been having these other food dreams, which are also possibly ambiguously-meaningful (I am part of something more than myself? In my dream I am not all of the soup, I am only a portion of the soup- yet I am mixed in with the rest of the soup, not ladled out neatly in my own soup bowl.), and because I'm feeling a lot the same way these days as I was eight years ago, namely- confused and without direction. I'm wondering, What have I been doing all this time? What has it taught me? and Where in the hell am I headed?
This is my version of an existential crisis (I can tell when start in with the worrying about the bread), and it only occurs when I have way too much time on my hands. I sit around doing nothing, wondering what was the point of everything that I was doing back when I used to be doing things. Where did all those things get me? Here, doing nothing? (And what were the things, by the way? I can't seem to remember.) Fortunately, this particular crisis seems so much less critical than in the past. At nineteen I thought, "My God! My life is going nowhere, and I haven't even been anywhere yet!" Now I tend more to think if I don't know what I've been doing all this time, I at least know that whatever it was it was pretty nice mostly, that while it was going on I was surrounded with people who loved me, and that overall it brought me a lot of happiness. And so what if now I don't know where my future is going? I reckon that means it's time (way way past time) for me to get an emmer-effing JOB, because when I'm working and busy I tend not to be worrying and just to be living. And isn't that the whole idea?
So I've decided to stop fussing over what job to get, that it's not really important right now what job it is, because it's not really the job that counts. The point of the job is merely to give me the resources to be able to figure out what I do want to do, the ideal being that one day what I want to do and what I do for a job combine in happy union! And, while we're at it, that they earn me barrels of money! In the meantime (and back in reality), all I have to do is get a job because until I get one, I have no income, and that's beginning to be somewhat troubling. But also, once I get a job, I will no longer have so much time on my hands- there will be less time for the missing of girlfriends and less time for complaining. Of course there will be less time for the drinking of tea and of wine, but there will also be less time for worrying, which to me sounds just FINE.
I'm so glad to discover, upon checking in with the Internets for the first time in a week, that others have also been holiday-busy and neglectful of their blogs! Thanks for making me feel less losery, guys and gals! Since I have not written a damn thing in weeks, I thought I'd post this old thing that I wrote almost two years ago when, for some reason (Terri Schaivo?), I was thinking about dying. Specifically, about my death, and how helpful it would be if I provided some guidelines that didn't leave too much room for debate among the family on certain key issues, such as which disco anthem I want played at my funeral. I wrote this "will" at work and rediscovered it a couple of months ago when clearing out old files before leaving my job, at which time I read it aloud to Heidi and Meredith and they laffed and made fun of me so I thought I'd offer you these same pleasures. Substitute a name here and there (not my name though) and everything pretty much still applies; in case you were wondering...
Okay, Happy New Year everybody! Don't die!
Something Along the Lines of a Last Will and Testament
I, Emily, being (as they say) of "sound mind" this twenty-eighth day of February, 2004, would like to, somewhat informally, lay down the specifications for the handling of my body and possessions on the occasion of my death, should it befall me before I have the chance or reason to create a more official-type will or whatever. Here goes.
As to my body:
· First and foremost it is of great priority to me to donate any and all of my organs that are salvageable and not smashed or rotted or whatever depending on the cause of my death so please give them 100% away, except my eyes, which everyone knows can't see for the life of them. (Ha ha! For the life of them! Get it?! Okay, sorry. Sorry. Jeez.)
· Secondly, I do not under any circumstances wish to be stuffed full of chemicals and buried in a huge expensive coffin. Don't you think that's bad for the environment? I would like to be cremated and buried in a location where folks might be able to come and visit someday if they were so desirous. I am not picky as to the place or means of this burial; a cemetery is fine if no place else is legal, or it might be nice to be mixed with some lovely compost and go in the planting spot for a tree (a fruit tree! or a fragrant shrubbery, like a lilac bush!) that is likely to hang around in it’s spot for awhile and not be ripped up to make room for a subdivision (someplace in Smith & Moorehouse Canyon or Weber Canyon where the family cabin was when I was growing up would be a meaningful location for me, if it’s convenient/not already overdeveloped). Wherever I lay, I could totally deal with having some type of simple plaque or headstone or something to mark the spot. Name, dates and places of birth and death are sufficient information for such a plaque or grave marker; please do not include poems, song lyrics, or one of those creepy photo engravings they're doing on headstones these days. Also a receptacle is totally optional, my loved ones should use their discretion as to the make and model, and are requested to please not keep me hanging morbidly around the house for too long.
By way of a funeral:
· Please no religious service of any type (but religious songs are okay)! Some music would be good, especially everybody singing a rousing gospel tune or two. Having grown up Mormon and reverent, I am not personally familiar with any rousing gospel songs, so anybody who knows one is welcome to choose whatever you like. If most everyone is too shy to sing (which is likely), please have Liz & Laura perform a duet of something pretty and not too sad.
· I guess folks could get up (or remain seated) and talk about me a little if they felt like it. And maybe an assembly of pictures could be displayed giving hints about my life in some type of format that looks classy. Folks talking about me should not be obligatory, by the way, let it be a round table! No pressure, you know? Above all I DO NOT WANT THERE TO BE A BUNCH OF GLOOM.
· After the funeral or whatever I would love for all the people to come to my burial site* and throw in handfuls of dirt like in the olden days. Also folks could throw in other stuff if they're sure they can deal with never seeing it again.
· My favorite flowers are Gerber daisies in all the colors.
· There should definitely be food, especially chocolate cake. Try to make it like a little bit of a party! (Remember how great I was at throwing parties? I suppose it would be okay to cry a little over how there will, alas, be no more such parties now that I am dead. This will seem fitting, as you will recall that I often cried at parties! Feels like old times, man. Feels like old times...)
· Who will do the soundtrack? Some songs I love are:
1. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (bay-Bee)”
2. “Night On Disco Mountain ” – David Shire
3. “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
“Softly As I Leave You” – Frank Sinatra Never mind. Too sad.
5. “The Christmas Song” – No, I’m not kidding, the one about the chestnuts…
6. “Sexy M.F.” – Prince
7. “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)” - Parliament
As to my possessions, of which there are few:
Emily Elizabeth (me) Date
Witness [I never bothered to print it and get one] Date
* P.S. I guess there doesn't really have to be a burial site/grave-marker. Go ahead and scatter me if you want to. You choose where- what do I care anymore, really? I love you.
Posted at 09:34 PM in Flamly, Why Live?, Wut I Think About When I Spend Too Much Time By Myself | Permalink | Comments (6)