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This is an obligatory ‘why am I awake?’ type thing. Why hasn’t my brain shut down yet? Why? I guess I only got home from work three hours ago, so it’s not unreasonable. Also, today involved coffee. Delicious coffee. Even though the coffee occurred nearly 13 hours ago, I shall blame it, in part, for my wakefulness.

I was just doing some commenting and realized, hey, I kinda feel like writing.

I LOVE NOT GOING STRAIGHT FROM ONE JOB TO THE OTHER IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC!

I just had to say that. I think the caps are justified. My love is deep & abiding, like my love of the postal service.

Maybe the reason I’m not ready for bed yet is that I haven’t debriefed. Well folks, I’m here to debrief. When I got home from work, I was too busy shoving food in my face to talk to my rooomie in the brief moment before she put her sick self in bed. I think that’s why I don’t want to live alone. I guess I’d start calling people at bedtime if I did live alone. Actually, I need to start calling people more. Maybe I should live alone.

Tyka’s near death experience has affected me profoundly. It’s made me come to terms with the fact that I’m mortal and that I, too, need a will. I don’t want any fighting when I’m dead.

If I preceed tyka to ‘the other room,’ she may have: my half of the red couch, all of the chocolate in the house, & any Nikki McClure artwork in my possession.

Toni shall have my red pants. For keeps. She’s already got her some Nikki.

My letters & notebooks shall be in the care of Bee, to be compiled & published with her own in many many volumes after sufficient time has passed.

To Sophie, my tea collection as a tribute to many happy evenings.

My kitchenware can be fought over by my mom & sister, with the exception of the avocado slicer, which shall be in my mother’s sole possession (just a tip, but it’s not shaped like an avocado – it doesn’t work!)

To my brother, I leave any electronics, to be disassembled and recreated as he sees fit.

To Maren, Laurel, Lis & Toni I leave the fruit bowl and the vacuum. You know why.

My picture books I leave to Q. Use them well.

Tyk has already tried to give away my guitar & Narnia books to her brother. He can have the guitar, but Q. has dibs on Narnia.

To Laurel, my bed, so that she call collapse on it any time she wants to.

[Back with more later - hold your breath!]

Let’s talk about my mom. She doesn’t know I have a blog. I think she would get a real kick out of it if she knew. She’d read it, and she’d talk about it to me, and ask me questions, and make fun of me (but in the most loving way possible). But I don’t know if I want that or not. Not because I’d come here and say nasty things about her, but maybe because I want to be able to come here and make fun of her (but in the most loving way possible). Also, the whole sharing how I feel thing? Yeah. Maybe some day. I think she’d enjoy it.

I worked with my mom for almost a year. That ended almost three months ago. Honestly, it was great. I’m not just saying that in case she reads this some day. It was very cohesive. It worked. We didn’t have to really think about what we said in front of our “coworker.” We had time to plan things and discuss things and be caught up. We could have a bad day and not need to be polite. I could say “let me ask my mom.”

When I left my old job location, on Friday, I got all sad in the car. Not because of leaving the location, or the people there, but because that was the place that I’d worked with her, and now it was really over. Now we were both gone. The End.

And I miss that. I feel like I have my best relationships with people when I see them regularly, without needing to plan a lot. All of the little, random conversations happen that way. Over dinner. In the car. While there are no customers. Walking in the blueberries after church. Times like that. So, a little tribute to our time together.

My mom is embracing her grandmotherly side these days. She doesn’t have any grandkids. I’m the oldest. Sorry Mom, no grandkids for you yet. Wait your turn.

She’s starting to find substitutes, like the three-year-old son of my sister’s roommate. We were at my sister’s place on Sunday, Town and I, and you should’ve seen my mom when she came through the front door. She made a beeline for A., presented him with an Easter basket/pail & shovel, and proceeded to drool over him. After a few minutes she looks up and sees Town, Lucy and I. “Oh, hi. Here’s some candy for you guys, too.”

I’ve lost my mother to a three-year-old. He’s pretty cute, though.

Your turn, oh half-dead with sickness tyka, now that Town has answered hers.

1. To match Toni’s question – what’s your favorite thing that’s green?

2. What’s a book that you wish you could have lived in as a child?

3. If you could relive any day of your life, which day would you choose? (Either because it was great or because you’d change something.)

4. If you could be doing any job in the world right now, regardless of skills/education, what would it be?

5. Can you guess where I found the coasters?

Wanna be interviewed? Here are the rules:
1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond, and ask you five questions.
3. You’ll update your journal with my five questions and your answers.
4. You’ll include this explanation.
5. You’ll ask people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

1. If you had to make a forever decision right now, would you continue to eat chocolate or not?

2. You were writing down dreams (life dreams, not asleep dreams) the other morning. Care to share any of them?

3. What keeps you at your church? What makes you want to keep going?

4. What’s your favorite thing about your new house?

5. Favorite thing that’s purple?

Questions from beege:

1. As a writer, I know that you savor the flavor of words. What is your favorite word? If I were being goofy, I would say ‘seabiscuit.’ Because it just rolls off the tongue in such a delightful way. Doesn’t it? A more serious answer would be, say, ‘loving-kindness’ (and don’t you dare tell me it’s two words!) because a) it sounds good and b) it means good. It’s all we need.

2. What book could you not live without (and if the answer is “the Bible” pick another one, OK? ‘Cuz that’s sort of a given.)? I probably use the dictionary more than any other specific book. Boring, huh? But true. It would frustrate me most to be without a dictionary.

3. So, um, when do you celebrate Easter? This year? May 1. Why? #6 is a decent explanation, but basically it’s just damn confusing. Calendars are confusing. I think it’s to remind us that we don’t know as much as we think we know.

4. What gives you peace? You know that deep down peace that just gives you that serene glow, and absolutely no shit can touch you for just a little while. That kind of peace. A lot of things. Holding my god-daughter is a guarantee. A lot of times in church, like Friday night (#9). A lot of times when I least expect it. Conversations with friends where we really get each other.

5. What is your favorite article of clothing and why? Dansko clogs. Do those count? I say they do.

Wanna be interviewed? Here are the rules:
1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond, and ask you five questions.
3. You’ll update your journal with my five questions and your answers.
4. You’ll include this explanation.
5. You’ll ask people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Reading Toni’s post got me thinking about a couple things: what you reveal about yourself when you write (and specifically, when you blog), and what you intend to say as compared to what people perceive you saying.

Like many others, I suffer from hard-to-read disease. Which is part of the reason that I thought blogging would be good for me – forcing me to express myself publicly. Even so, I’m surprised at things I’ve found myself writing about. I’m constantly thinking “I didn’t know I had THAT to say” or “I never thought I’d write about THAT when I started blogging.” Like all the church stuff. Never part of my agenda. But I can’t stop myself from writing about things like that, because that’s who I am. I do realize, though, that because I choose what to write here, I could present a very skewed picture of myself. I probably am.

So I want to ask some of the same questions as Toni: what gets communicated in my blog? If you know me, have you been surprised by anything? If you know me but have never met me, does it change your perception? How?

I’m also curious because there are several people whose blogs I now read regularly who I also know in different online formats, and reading their blogs HAS changed my perception of them. Not drastically, but it has, if only because it helps me know them better.

1. Realize at 4 pm that it’s your last day working at that location.
2. Try to find any belongings you might have strewn around in the past 14 months.
3. Drive home and have The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants bring a little tear to your eye.
4. Another tear springs to your eye as you and rooomie move futon to car in most inefficient style possible, squeezing yourselves and futon through door frame simultaneously. Laugh. Drop futon.
5. Spend Friday night at church (6:30-11 pm).
6. Begin service by watching grown men (the visiting bishop, a new reader) ceremoniously dressed in church.
7. Sing “Eis Polla Eti Dhespota”* (a special something you sing only when the bishop is there) which could mean “hey, thanks for coming,” “mad props,” or “it took a while to get you dressed! Look at that hat!”
8. Quietly sing alternate version of “Nespola, eti Nespola!” to self, which means “let’s commemorate that visit to Genova when we at the mysterious nespola fruit and it reminded us of what we sing to the bishop!”
9. Feel all those little corners in yourself, the ones that felt kind of empty the night before, start to fill up. All those little things that felt missing? They’re not anymore.
10. Return home to sweep, nap, and await Townpocket’s arrival.
11. Stay up till 2 talking, reading storypeople.
12. Fall asleep talking.

*”Many years, Master” in (possibly?) Greek

Despite various friends singing its praises, I don’t have a gmail account yet. Here’s why:

1. italics. Is it true that gmail doesn’t do italics? Because, really, I can’t live without them.
2. I’m happy with my yahoo account. Why be unfaithful if nothing’s wrong?
3. (This is the biggest one) I can’t think of a good name. An email account should have a name that’s easy to remember, isn’t embarrassing to give out to people, and is unique. The kind where your college calls you to ask for money and check your contact info, and the person making the call says “cool email address.” Because that’s where I’m at now, folks.

If someone gives me a good idea, I just might make the switch.

Not really. It’s more like a pan of vegan chocolate chip bars (which received rave reviews from the women of the church! We’re easy to impress during Lent) for the potluck dessert tomorrow.

Let’s recap: I made these for the first time on Sunday, in a last minute panic when Tyka remembered we were supposed to bring a dessert to the gathering. A request was put in that I bring them to our patronal feast tomorrow. Okay, sure, I said. Then, as I ducked out of organizational duties for the next women’s gathering, I managed to get stuck with another baking commitment. “Why don’t you bring those brownies again?” our president asked.

That’s 3. Three pans of vegan-ness. Plus the pan (new and improved! with cocoa and shredded coconut!) I made for us to eat this week. I’m swimming in these things. I think I have the recipe memorized. But really, unless you’re vegan or pretending to be vegan, they’re not that great. The secret’s out.

I might have to go eat one while I wait.

For the record, coffee’s starting to sound really good. We’ve been considering, Pocket darling, and we want to indulge in B&B on Saturday. I think we’ll be able to pursuade you, but just for a little advance warning…

And to finish up, some words! More words! and phrases! that I have an inexplicable hankering to see used more or that give me great joy:

man-befriending
sprinkle me with hyssop
loving-kindness
secret eating, idle talking & frivolous laughter
repose from the burdens of our much toiling flesh
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
a desolate land, trackless and waterless

There’s a great part in Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible where one of the girls says that “mother had a pagan’s appreciation of the Bible.” And she lists all these phrases that her mother loves. I like to think that I have a writer’s appreciation of the Bible, and church music. Sometimes it’s distracting, most of the time I love it. I can’t stop these things from coming out my mouth in unrelated conversations. All these words! Mine to use!

Every once in a while I get in this child-like mental space where staying up late sounds REALLY exciting. Like, oh my God, the best thing EVER! “What? It’s 10:30 and I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning? And even though I’m bone-tired I don’t HAVE to go to bed? YES!”

Why all the CAPS? I don’t know. Blame it on the tiredness.

I’ve never been a night owl. If I stay up late, my mental capacities go downhill quickly. In college, a last-minute paper turned out better if I got up at 6am to finish it, rather than staying up till 3.

I have really distinct memories of staying up late at as child:

1. When I had the chicken pox. (I’ve been revisiting my chicken pox memories lately because the kids I babysit have been taking turns getting them. They’re not even on my body but goodness do I want to reach out and scratch them.) When I had the chicken pox at around age 7, we’d just gotten our first TV, but we only watched movies on it. But I couldn’t sleep and so I sat in the living room watching mindless late-night stuff with my dad. TV seemed really boring then and it still seems boring now, but there’s some magic in being up late at night. (Or being anywhere at an unusual time. The craziest thing about college? Having odd breaks when you could go out in the world in the middle of the day. It felt so forbidden! As though someone would stop you and say “why aren’t you in school?”)

2. Writing my first “big” paper in high school and I stayed up until (gasp!) 11:30pm. 11:30! I was such a tame, lame teenager. Not a rebellious bone in my body. Well, not that kind of rebellion, at least. At the time it felt like freaking oh-dark-thirty. Now I go to bed at 11:30 most nights.

3. There was also the time (slightly embarassing), maybe in 6th grade, when I woke up in the middle of the night, thought it was morning, got out of bed, got dressed, and went out to the living room. Imagine my parents’ surprise when I emerged. Being the 6th grader that I was, I probably refused to believe them when they said it wasn’t really morning.

I have this passionate fondness for childhood photos. I’m never quite sure why, but I can stare at them for hours. My dad took good photos when I was a kid. I wish he still did. It’s this whole world that I (the me that I am now, as an aware adult) can never really know, not first hand. Both because of the people my parents were then (which everyone experiences) and because the world that they lived in no longer exists – it was a unique atmosphere, that cult. The mythology of my childhood, learned in stories over the dinner table.

Time to go to bed before I try to get any more philosophical.

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