Tuesday, June 30, 2009

31 is Not My Favorite Number

July 31 is simultaneously the date on which my two most important and excruciatingly difficult and nuanced chapters of my thesis are due to my advisor and the date I have to deliver my files to the printer for a brand new cookbook that I am designing and laying out.

Sweet Jesus.


I am going fly fishing on August 1 NO MATTER WHAT.


Yesterday, while working my fool ass off on the cookbook, I quickly remembered how much I LOVE indexing. I am not kidding, here. I love indexing a reference document so, so much. Ridiculous, right? But, oh, how I love it. I love systematically scanning the sections and subsections, then the paragraphs for important key words and topics. I love building multiple hierarchies in which to index topics. LOVE.

Of course, this task wouldn't be nearly as fun without the pretty fantastic indexing scripts in InDesign. I know I often curse Adobe and shake my fist in the air in indignation at how they own my ass, but I will give credit where credit is due.


Maybe I could freelance as an damn indexer? Damn. That would be fun.

[UPDATE]: Check it out! There is an American Society for Indexing!!!!


I know.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Totally Willing

A. has been applying for jobs faithfully since April. Originally, we had five towns/cities that we hoped to stay in. Then the search expanded to the Rocky Mountain West. Now, the search is expanding to anywhere there are jobs. Sometimes we think we should stay put, pay off our student loans and set ourselves up for a really good, comfortable move in a few years. Gah.

This is the first time I have moved with someone. What a different experience. Every conversation requires a compromise. Thankfully, we have both been pretty good at remembering to consider the other's needs and wishes and this has made the past few months an exercise in partnership rather than a battle of wills. But it is still ridiculously hard. We don't argue, but we are both stressbots. So, there is that.

Some couples make these kinds of big decisions and moves seem effortless. How the hell do they do that?

What is the most difficult is seeing A. feel discouraged. He worked his butt of in grad school. He graduated with a 4.0! As well as some phenomenal experience from jobs and internships. It is just a super rotten time to look for a job. He is starting to wonder if he will ever move into his field. It breaks my heart.

I am willing to do this as long as it takes, am willing to move somewhere less than perfect so A. can move toward his goals. Totally willing.


We have a Mountain Bluebird couple who have moved into one of our bird houses. They lived in the other bird house earlier this spring, and even had chicks. Baby birds!

A few weeks ago a sparrow came and killed their chicks.

Why does nature have to be so God-damned balanced?

A. and I were devastated. I wish I was exaggerating here, but I am not. I got teary and A. got MAD. He moved a chair up to the window and kept a slingshot next to it. (What?!?!) He was just watching for the damn sparrow to come back.

The bluebirds came back a few days later and set up home in the other birdhouse. We have taken their protection pretty seriously. In case you hadn't guessed that by now.

Now, A. will suddenly crouch in front of the bedroom or kitchen window, then haul ass out the front door. All I ask is, "Sparrow?"  I get a grunt in reply, but then I see him running around the front yard like a maniac and my suspicion is confirmed.

We are confident the bluebirds have eggs in their new nest.

I am totally willing to chase that damn sparrow away, all the while screaming my head off and waving my arms like a damn fool.

Totally willing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Awakening

Often, the smells in the air after an afternoon thunderstorm or first thing in the morning--whether here, my hometown, back East, or anywhere else I've been before--bring back specific, wonderful memories. Place and instance conjoin once again, overpowering the limits of time and location. Connections are made. A glimpse of eternity has been allowed. A part of my soul stirs wildly as it recognizes one of the many events in its constant creation.

These traces of scent might bring a slight pang of bittersweet nostalgia or smack of an event so profound it left me transformed, evermore. A breeze might leave me longing for those times, those friends in grace, or encourage me to send prayers of gratitude for a life so fine.


I have found that laughter affects me much in the same way. Often, some of my favorite things about those most beloved to me are their laughs. A.'s laugh is my favorite sound in the world. My co-worker's laugh brings a huge grin to my face, without my even knowing it.


Two weeks ago I was in Ohio for my baby sister's graduation with her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Ohio State. It was so fun to hang out with my family and see the life my sister has built for herself. The first night I arrived we stayed up unitl after 1:00 a.m., giggling in the dark, sharing stories. I was home.

Last weekend I drove to Salt Lake and reunited with dear college friends, BK, TW, and KW. On paper, there is little to suggest we would make good friends. In the light and energy of life, however, we grew to be very dear to each other.

Sitting around the W's kitchen table, catching up and reminiscing, laughing late into the night and again over breakfast, my soul was truly and quite simply singing. There has been an awakening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fresh Starts

My house is regularly presentable. I can tackle the Laundry Monster and win, usually without breaking a sweat. I can step back and discern the very next step in The Thesis Process and move forward, rather than feel overwhelmed by the insanity of it all. The sink is always shiny when I go to bed. A. and I are spending more time together, and I haven't snapped at him in WEEKS. I am regularly doing yoga. And flossing. I am starting to wake up happy and not anxious. Getting out of bed doesn't require a monumental effort anymore, just a big effort. More mornings than not, I win that battle.

I am feeling much, much better. I have the energy to reclaim my life and I am not allowing anxiety to ruin it.

Life has been really, really, nice lately.


Therapy is going well. I am more comfortable with my therapist. I am being honest in our sessions so healing and honest work can happen. There are surprises, discoveries, connections, patterns and long buried memories coming to the surface. It is good. It is terrifying. It is exciting.


This last session I was telling my therapist -- in a very animated way full of exaggerated facial expressions and over-the-top hand gestures, which is the real me!! yay! -- how I've started to implement the ever-nerdy/geeky Getting Things Done methodology into my work and thesis life. I explained how I went through every! last! random storage thingy! pile! drawer! in my office and got everything that has been bouncing around my head and causing mini anxiety attacks right the hell out of my head and into a safe place so I could just. quit. thinking. about it. Now I am learning to trust myself, my system, and that I will see whatever it is that needs done when I need to. It has been both exhilrating and relaxing and such a damn relief.

Anyhoo, my therapist had this HUGE smile on her face and said, "You loved it, didn't you?" Yes, indeed.

I wish I had realized that A. was joking when he said he was going to ge me a labelmaker for my birthday that year. My disappointment ran deep. And obviously, I haven't forgotten.

It is lame but true: Few activities are as satisfying to me as gutting a room and tossing out ALL the clutter and re-organizing. LOVE. IT.

I am looking forward to moving someday and getting to just PURGE our house of so. much. stuff.  Man, I get all hopped up and twitchy with excitment just thinking about it.

It is like having a mini fresh start.

How about you? Do you enjoy de-clutting and purging or is it daunting? Do you like to hold on to stuff? Why? I am intersted!

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Band Aids

Do you ever get sick of the computer? Man, I have been lately. Between work and trying to finish The Thesis my butt is sick and tired of being parked in front of a monitor.

That is my excuse for not posting. Take it or leave it!


I am going to dress up as Cleopatra next Halloween, because, holy cow am I ever the Queen of Denial.

Therapy is starting to get interesting. And exciting and scary.

And worth it.


I may lose my current advisor, aka The Most Kick Ass Thesis Advisor Ever Who Totally Gets Me, to a sabbatical. *whimper*

Hold me.


I backed into a very stationary, very large storage shed the other day. Behind the public library. In A.'s truck. Boy, I felt like an idiot when I went back into the library to explain I just punched a hole in their storage shed. They were super awesome about it.

I gave the cop all of my insurance info and whatnot. He called something in and came back because the truck isn't registered to me. It is registered to A. and I am just listed as a driver with our insurance.

Oh, yeah. I COMPLETELY FORGOT. We aren't married.

I forget, sometimes. No, really. I forget that we aren't married.


Tuesdays have always been the worst day of the week for me, even when I was in grade school. I could kind of slide through Monday pretty quickly without incurring too many injuries, even if I wasn't totally prepared for Monday. But, man. There is no tricking Tuesday. Tuesday just knows when I don't have my shit together. And Tuesday always makes me pay.

Stupid Tuesday.


One of A.'s best friends, another artist, also hates Tuesdays. He hates them vehemently. I wonder if it something to do with the artistic temperament?


On that note, have the best Tuesday you can, and keep some band-aids close.