Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ave Genevieve

"Ave Maria," as performed by Aaron Rosand is just finishing playing in iTunes. When it started, I was just overwhelmed by missing my Grandma so much. Mr. Lenahan sang a version of Ave Maria at her funeral, which we're just shy of the 4 year anniversary of.

For someone who claims to be a writer, I have a hard time articulating that which I feel the most. My family is all bat-shit crazy, but I know Grandpa's always there for me--and I knew Grandma was, too, right up until the end.

I miss the way she used to ask me if I was sure I didn't want any more cookies/cake/junk food, and then tell me I was getting a fat fanny. I miss the 70 cents she used to put in our allowance, in case we needed to use the pay phone (enough for two calls a week!). I miss the rips in the kitchen table where I did all my homework from 3rd to 8th grade, while watching the Disney Afternoon and re-runs of Saved By the Bell or 90210. I miss the way she'd call Bush "your president." I miss the dismissive hand-wave she gave, head turned away, when you teased her. I miss the marble notebooks she used to calculate their taxes that were under the TV in the spare bedroom. I miss all the little things you forget because of the hospital smell and proliferating drug regime and the albuterol (that she always said was too salty) and because she was shrinking away until she was gone. And all the things you forget because she's gone, and we don't talk about her because you don't talk about the things that matter most.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church plan to picket Heath Ledger's funeral. (Pick an article...by the time you click the link, I'm sure more will have been added.)

Disgusting. Sick. These people have no shame, and they give humanity a bad name.

Way to follow the teachings of Christ, there, Westboro Baptist Church. It makes me wish I believed in Hell, so that I could take comfort in the fact that you would be burning there for eternity after death.

Oh say say say Oh say say say Oh say say say

I am so sick of being sick. The most frustrating thing is that the symptoms are fairly mild in and of themselves, but they combine to leave me weak, tired, and dizzy. Huzzah. I think I'm over the hump of the illness, but it would be nice to be 100% again. Maybe my Rock Band performance will improve once I'm healthy! (I don't have a problem. I can stop any time I want.)

I'm at work after 5 again, because I have a physical therapy appointment for my ankle (which, the perceptive among you will remember I sprained back around Halloween. And it's still bothering me--today it hurt to walk on it). But rather than cross anything off my massive to-do list, I'm posting here. I'm also sick of my massive to-do list that never gets shorter, only longer.

But yesterday, I left work at 5, and it was still light out. I, the tone-deaf wonder, sang two songs on hard in Rock Band last night. My friend sent me the January 7th page from the New Yorker daily calendar because it has penguins. It's the little things.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You can't go home again

Nothing like a cold to make you feel like you've been run over by a truck. Repeatedly. I've put in a day and a half at the office this week, and tomorrow I'm off to drive down to NJ. Tomorrow, G-pa turns 86, and Saturday, a good friend from high school is getting married.

She's not the first friend my age to get married, but for some reason, this feels more like the beginning of a new chapter in my life than previous marriages. There've been a lot of articles written about my generation and how we're taking our sweet time growing up (combination of bad job market and too much pressure in high school and college are the usual reasons given) and creating a new life-stage, between adolescence and adult-hood. I'm entirely too lazy to look up any of these articles, but I've read several over the last 3 years--had to do something while I was looking for jobs and living in my mom's basement (wait a minute…that's what all those articles were about...)--and I'm also too lazy to look up and see what they were proposing to call this new life stage. The first time I read one, it said "tweens," meaning between teenager and adult, but that’s since been co-opted by the pre-teen set.

So anyway. I don't really feel like an adult yet. I have a steady, 9-5 job (in my desired career path, no less). I pay rent and bills. But I still feel like I'm playing at being a grown-up. My friends have jobs, or they’re grad students, or off in Japan teaching English. Yet a lot of them feel similarly—that we’re just play-acting, like pre-schoolers playing “house” or “school.”

And now I've got this good friend from my past who is getting married. Sure, she's still a grad student, so if not for the impending ceremonies, she'd still be in this quasi-state with the rest of us. But she's going off into this new stage of life and that's absolutely crazy to me. Even if I walked out of my apartment tomorrow and bumped into the person who I want to spend the rest of my life with...I'm not there yet.

The other, really jarring thing about this is that it made me realize something that actually happened months, if not a couple of years ago. I'm still good friends with several of my friends from high school, and there are more who I don't talk to as often, but I am still friendly with. And they are "my friends from home." But one by one, we've moved on. The friend who is getting married is still based where we grew up, but that's not going to last long. I'm not saying that we're suddenly going to stop talking to one another, or going to visit one another, or fall completely out of touch. But it did make me realize that not only is that "chapter of my life" over, but the one after that is over, too. (I'm going to blame the cliché on being fever-addled most of the week.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm sick, so this'll be a quick one.

If you want to vote in the MA primary, today is the last day to register to vote!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Elections and Voting and Primaries, Oh My!

So, on Thursday I went down to Ye Olde Town Hall and I registered to vote in Massachusetts. If you want to vote in the primary on February 5th, the deadline here is January 16th! Make sure you are registered, have any necessary absentee ballots, etc!

There are still a lot of problems with the way elections work in America. Certain states get more say in the nomination process than others, just because of when they hold their primaries. The electoral college is ridiculous. We desperately need campaign finance reform. Etc. But this election season (which admittedly already feels like it's been going on forever--buckle down, kiddies, we've still got 11 months to go!) is one of the most exciting I can remember. Iowa and New Hampshire both had record voter turn-outs. Both parties had surprising results in both states. People want change, and they are actually going out and doing something about it.

Check out Rock the Vote for more information on registering to vote in your state.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shameless Plug!

So, my first job right out of college was as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. I worked there for just over a year. It sucked. A lot.

But I met a lot of really awesome people, including my friend Chris. Chris, like me, was an idiot. We decided to graduate a semester early. We bonded over this a lot.

He wound up abandoning me for a cushy job, and a few months later, I finally got my break into publishing. But now he's done something that I think is pretty amazing, and takes a lot of balls.

He quit his cushy job with the intention of getting a short story published by his 25th birthday, giving him roughly 6 months to do so. He's posting his stories, and blogging, over at Becoming Somebody.

And make sure you read "The Often Unheralded Affect of Burnt Bagels and Weak Coffee." It's his best story yet.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Foliage, because all of it is gone

So, I'm a pretty slow knitter. The tendonitis doesn't help. And I have a couple of ambitious things on the needles (the Central Park Hoodie, for instance. Though that's for the frog-pile. And I started the Tilted Duster back in oh...October. And I have maybe 6 inches done on it.) So it's been a while since I finished anything.

But at long last, I can present to you my Foliage.

(Please to be ignoring the poor lighting--the color is off--and the ugly purple sleeping bag.)

I started this back at the beginning of December. "Self," I says, "you like knitting hats. They are quick, and this one is cute! And you need some Princess Bride and knitting!" Sometimes, I am not so smrt. This pattern took pretty much all of my concentration. I couldn't do ANYTHING else while knitting it, or else I made stupid, stupid mistakes. And they were stupid, the pattern isn't hard. Just attention-consuming. All those yarn-overs and slip 1 knit 2 together and pass the slipped stitch overs! Very confusing.

The details (which can also be found on Ravelry, for those with accounts):

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino, less than one skein in Burgundy. The yarn was a gift from Essjay and her husband, and I love it.
Needles: Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles, sizes 7 and 4.
Start to Finish: December 2007 to January 2007
Modifications: Used size 4's for the ribbing instead of 5's, left off the last two rounds of ribbing due to impatience. Initially, I'd done a knit-off but it was too tight, so I picked it out and did a knit 1, purl 1 bind off. I don't love the edge it gives, but it's much stretchier.