Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Little Rain Must Fall

So I'm back!
I was keeping to a pretty regular schedule here, and then I got the plague.  The "I-think-I'd-rather-die-please-just-bury-me" kind, where you can't even enjoy guiltlessly watching awful television with incredibly unwashed hair.

I'll spare you gory details, but it was really really unpleasant.  I'm still slightly afraid to eat meals. And at least personally, I'm a wuss about these kinds of things, and it's one of my least favorite things on Earth. Not that anyone likes to be any kind of sick. Just sayin'.

You might say it's in keeping with the weekend I had. I might have said that too, at least at first.  A fun trip got bogged out and then completely dismantled by extreme illness (which I'd later catch, of course.)

And I could complain about missing out on bluffs and fall colors.  I could complain about how it was supposed to be a carefree fun time for me and someone I really care about, and it was mostly an exercise in worst- case scenario.

And you know what? It's ok to complain. It's ok to be upset when things don't work out. That's something I have to remember too. Not that I didn't let myself have the "cry in the dark" moment.  I did.

But there was time by the fire, and goofy conversations.  There was lazy mornings and late nights with rain falling on the roof.  There was fall colors, even if they passed by in watercolor brush strokes on the way home....

You know how people always say that all that matters is who you're with?  And you know how you go "oh my God, that's a cliche."

Sometimes it's not. Or it always is, but sometimes it applies.
Because when you look back, and you realize that even in the "worst case scenario", you weren't alone and you had someone to talk to, someone to laugh with even?  And when you realize that you survived it and came out even better for it?  When your stomach hurt like hell because you were laughing?  When you realized that yeah, things suck right now in a lot of ways, but we got this?  And when situations like the one I ran into recently happen, it strips down the barriers, you know?  No time for fronts. Care out in the open, because there's no other way to be about it.

I keep thinking about it because I wasn't the one who reached this conclusion right away. I just wanted it fixed. I wanted it to be easy and fun because I thought that's what would be best.  And ok, being rained out and getting awfully sick, that's really not ideal. Would I take it back though? I don't know.  I hate seeing anyone in pain, and I hate being in pain.  There's things I'm sure we'd have enjoyed that we didn't get to.  But it's not always about that.  And that's a lesson we've all learned before but have to keep learning.  The hard stuff can be the good stuff too. So I'm a little bit glad.

And that's how I am tonight.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back home

I've been away on a housesitting/dogsitting job for about a week now. It's nice to get away, nice out to be in the quiet, and since I love animals, it's a lot of fun to visit other peoples' pets. I love dogs and cats, and since I don't have dogs, it can be fun to take them out for walks, talk to them and generally confuse them to death when you zip yourself inside a mummy bag and they have NO clue why any human would do such things.

As nice as that all is, it was nice to be back at home last night.  My cat, the furball pictured above, was waiting for me.  In fact, she was waiting to intentionally ignore me to my face, because that's what cats do when they're upset that you left.  She ran down the stairs like she always does to greet me when I come home from work or being out somewhere else, but as soon as I acknowledged her even a little, she took a haughty little turn on her back paws and marched herself back up the stairs.

I think some people would consider it off-putting. But one thing I like about cats is that they really seem to have many different emotions, and it's easy to read them.  Later on when she ran into my closet, I scooped her up for some cuddles, and she protested loudly as though it was torture and she  But at the same time she was letting out her sharp little protest meows, she was nuzzling her face into mine and leaning into the pets she was getting.

And as much as I loved all the tail wagging and balls getting shoved into my hands this weekend...there's something about my strange little ring-tailed drip hunter, and the way she yells about everything and nothing at all.  There's something about that nuzzle from your very own pet that lets you know you're loved that you can't replace.

I've always had pets, and I hope I always will.  Yes, they cost money. Yes, they chew fences or tear holes in plastic bags you didn't want them to.  They track litter onto your floor or barf in the corner or eat the trash. They lick parts of them they shouldn't lick when they're in the center of your living room on Christmas Day...but the love you get from an animal is irreplaceable.

That's one of the reasons I love the picture above- I look at that picture and I see *my* pet.  My pet that has travelled cross country with me, and slept like a teddy bear in  my arms, and who comes and yells at me every morning when I take a shower.  The one who knows when I'm sick or sad and comes and curls up with me, even though she's more of an independent soul most days.  The one who loves me just as much as I love her.

People usually don't give their love as easily as animals do.  It's harder to know, and you won't always get that "I miss you" that you want to hear so badly (but won't admit, of course).  You won't always be able to just look at someone and know.  Pets give you something I think everyone actually wants- the feeling of being needed and loved, and more importantly, being needed and loved openly.  But then, I always did think we could learn something from our pets.

I think if we're lucky, not only will we find someone who loves us that openly...we'll be open to being loved that way, and to loving someone that way right back.

Now, get out of here and go hug your pet.  Unless it's a goldfish...because...I don't think they'd appreciate that too much.  But y'know, maybe give em a shake of the flakes?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tarantella23 and the Angry Toe

This is my toe when it's angry.  Scary, is it not?  It's also what I do when I have Sharpies and a lot of free time.  In fact, this was something I did to attempt to cheer up a friend.  Sometimes I find being extremely, utterly weird throws people off enough to make them smile when they're not feeling great.  Plus...truth be told, I enjoy being extremely, utterly weird sometimes.

I thought of this picture tonight because I needed a little cheering up, and I needed to remember who I am a little, and who I want to be able to be.

A long time ago, a good friend of mine cornered me, so to speak, and asked me why I felt like I always had to prove myself.  It took me by surprise because I didn't see it in myself, and I didn't know anyone else could either.  It's been a turning point since then, though sometimes I've made slow progress.

I didn't used to like my name when I was little, because it was weird.  I didn't tell people my middle name because it was still weirder. (It's a public blog so no, I'm not putting it here either, but it's for security reasons). One day in a cemetery visiting the grave of someone I loved very much, I realized how special it is, and how powerful. Now if I don't share it with the world it's not due to shame or awkwardness, it's because it's a precious precious gift I want to protect.

We all figure out who we are as we go along.  That's how it's supposed to be, I think.  But I also believe that the people that really love you accept you for who you are, weird angry toes and all.   And I won't prove myself to anyone anymore.  From stranger on the street to family, say what you will.  You don't like the way I dress? You don't like the dress size? You don't like who I'm voting for?  Well, that's fine.  You don't have to, but I don't have to apologize either.

I prefer Macs, though I know they're too expensive, and though I use a PC  (which i also like, and does more for the money. hey folks, it's POSSIBLE)  I like to play video games with people socially, though I'm not a hard core gamer.  I think organized religion has a lot wrong with it.  I doodle constantly, and I ADORE editing anything and everything I can for grammar, punctuation and especially spelling, even though I am guilty of abusing the English language for fun sometimes, and I make up words, and I write run-on sentences when I think the situation calls for it.  I have a weird obsession with nail polish lately.  I like to buy magazines, and I think it's a compulsion.  I'm a dork about cooking, photography, writing, and music. I don't care if they're the popular interest and if everyone else or no one else is interested in those things, they're things I love to do and want to get great at.  I talk to my cat when I'm in the shower, and she meows back at me.  I ADORE puns, to a fault.  I like absurd humor.  I'm a treehugging hippie nature freak, and if you let me loose near water, I will be IN it without hesitation 9 out of 12 months of the year. I love to drive, and I don't drive home the same way every day because I can't stand that, gas mileage be damned. I eat pickles and then drink milk. I love travel, but I freak out the night before I leave on any trip and insist I don't want to go, no matter how badly I actually DO want to go.  I seem openhearted, but I build some killer walls around my heart and I clam up like...a clam of steel sometimes.  (that's...weird....too...)

I watch America's Next Top Model no matter how much worse it gets every season, or how much Tyra scares me sometimes. I can recite Princess Bride from start to finish but I've probably not seen a bunch of movies everyone else has. Or so I'm told ;).  If you give me a blanket when I'm watching a movie, chances are I will check out in about half an hour, but I also LOVE blankets. I don't really have much of a sweet tooth, unless you're holding gummis, KitKats or Tootsie Rolls....but I'd give up candy altogether for flowers, because I love them so much more.

I snore ever since I moved back to IL from NM, and it pisses me off.  I'm allergic to almost anything airborne, and some things that aren't.  I will eat all your strawberries with no remorse.  I sleepwalk and sleeptalk, though rarely anymore.  I HATE mornings, and you probably shouldn't try talking to me for the first two hours of  my day, and especially don't expect me to remember anything first thing in the morning.  I like to intentionally mispronounce things and read signs on the side of the road, especially if the light is out so it's not Dun Don's or Fo Eyes.  Or Barnes and Noble Boosellers.

I'm bad at confrontation, and I don't always speak up when I should. Sometimes, my feet smell really, really bad.

I believe in silliness, and I don't think it's something you should outgrow.

I love who I love how I love them, and it's nobody's decision but my own who I choose, and nobody's right to judge. I don't ask you to love all the people I do or even like them, all I ask is you respect my decision to do so.

I am me.  I'm good with it, smelly feet, run-on sentences, milk and pickles and all.

And that has to be enough.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I'm not sure what to write about tonight, and I'm not sure where it will go, but I felt like it was something I should do.

I know I've mentioned it before, and to anyone in the North (and maybe the South, though I can't say with absolute certainty) it's fairly obvious to those whose rods and cones are working that it's fall. Things are turning copper, orange, yellow and red before they die away into the whites, grays and browns of winter.   It's natural, and it's beautiful.

For me, it's a time I can't help but look back.  Sometimes I find I do so fondly, but it hasn't really been that way recently.  I enjoy the amazing colors and the bite in the air, and I enjoy entertaining thoughts of sweaters and chili and cuddling up under blankets.  As wonderful as all that color is though, it's a sign, and an ending.  The light's fading and the leaves aren't holding on anymore.

It's just a going dormant and the spring will bring all the signs of life back.  I sometimes feel like I want to go dormant in certain arenas though.  Here's the part where there'd be some grand analogy involving the brightest leaves being the first to fall.

I guess the dark coming earlier has me worried when I'll see the light again.  The changes in weather are matching the way I feel like I'm safe to open my heart one day and another I need to bury it in the floorboards.  And here's the things, I like extremes.  I like raging fires and crashing waves and violent lightning and thunder...most of the time.   But I don't need that now. I need pastoral.  Neat little bundles of hay in a row that makes sense in a little cornfield somewhere where everything is in a row.   It's not normal for me to want that but I do.  I want to feel safe, and I want to feel cared for.  I don't want to look out the window every day and have no idea what it's going to feel like when I step outside, because I've been trying to adapt to the changing weather for too long and I need to rest.

What I want is fall.  Blankets and rainy nights and the distant sounds of high school football games and marching bands.   What I want is to wrap up in a comfortable sweater and know that it'll be okay when I step outside.

I hope I find that feeling soon, and I start to look at fall as the sun catching the world on fire again. I hope when I do it's contagious.