Friday, February 28, 2003

they should call it the 5-12

okay, so random thing here: there's this 7-11 in our building where we buy milk and stuff (the same place that had the food off of which sj and i got sick several weeks back....). anyway, apparently 2 of the clerks have now decided that they need to know me somehow. (one of them had already been chatting me up since the summer, but now another man has taken it upon himself to socialize with me.) so last night, this newer clerk looks down at my credit card as he's handing me my receipt, looks back at me and goes sarah? i nod, smile, and mumble something about having a nice evening....and then proceed to beat a hasty retreat out of there. (fyi, i'm not into convenience stores. they kinda freak me out for some reason - perhaps that things are rarely clean. yeah, i know. it's one of my little weird-isms.)

anyway, this morning, i go in there to grab a quick cup of hot chocolate on my way out of town at 8 a.m.. same man is in there and as he's ringing me up, he gives me this big smile and goes so WHERE are you going??? work?

nope, i say, while looking for change in my wallet.

SCHOOL? he further prods.

nope, i smile as i hand him my change. and then, he just stands there STARING at me, waiting for me to give him an answer....looking rather desperate to know what it is i might be doing with my time. i should have said nothing more, but i didn't want to be rude, somehow. um, i have an appointment, i offer.

OH, he says flatly. (did i detect some measure of disappointment in his tone? i don't even know.) i mean, honestly, what was he hoping for? some delicious details, some top-secret codes?

in any event, it made me rather uncomfortable. the other guy who talks to me in there is at least friendlier and doesn't ask TOO many personal questions. is it just me, or does all of that seem kind of forward? maybe i'm just completely cynical at this point in my life - i've been conditioned not to trust people. but, frankly, in my book, you need to earn some trust before it's given. these people could be murderers, for all i know.

but just in case they are, and even despite this whole new forward line of questioning, i always give them big smiles, thank them heartily, and hope that if they ever have the urge to blow up our building, they will remember me with fondness and hold off on their plans.

now, which is weirder - the fact that i'm pondering the potential murderous qualities of rather friendly convenience store clerks or that i somehow feel that i could singlehandedly save an entire building full of people from certain doom, simply by being witty and/or charming?

either way, i need to get out more.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

mister rogers is dead.

i am a bit disarmed at how sad that makes me feel. looking back, i realize that in my adolescent years, i disdained his show, saying how silly and pointless it was. but then, something in me shifted and i recalled how happy he used to make me as a child...how comforted and calm i felt as i listened to him talk to just me. i mean, somehow i knew that he was speaking to everyone in tv land, but there was part of it that seemed only for my ears, for my eyes, for my heart. i loved the little daniel striped tiger and lady aberlin. sometimes watching the two of them interact - and how sweet and kind they were - would bring me near tears. and then there was mr. mcfeely (the mail man) and chef brockett and the trolley, which also, for some reason, made me want to cry on occasion.

the truth is that mr. rogers made a lot of kids feel better - about themselves, their families, their circumstances. and i would rather have my children watching something that encourages and educates them than allow their little minds to be bombarded by violent and ridiculous cartoons about nothing at all. it's easy to make fun of someone like that - someone so uncompromising in their vision to help children and families, so unswerving in their commitment to be who they are, so unashamed of loving people. and i'm sorry that i ever felt ungrateful, even for a short time, for the ways in which he helped me. to be honest, my disdain was more a smokescreen, because i hated admitting that i needed mr. rogers...that i needed his encouragement, because so much around me was DIScouraging.

well, i'm not ashamed of that anymore. mr. rogers rocked. and i am one person in what i know is a long list of little kids who benefitted from the sort of kindness and gentleness that he showed, who felt that they had at least one friend a world that is often so very unkind.

thank you, mr. rogers. life was a little less lonely with you around.
i realized today what a rare and precious gift it is to have even one person in your life who knows you like the back of his or her hand. i am privileged and honored to have 2. one his and one her:).....

and thank you, Lord, for them both.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

the promise

i'm exceedingly sad. yesterday was long and tiring, and today it feels as though i have nothing left to give to anyone or anything. i am craving a nap, but i'm going to try and resist it, because i'd like to go to down at a reasonable hour tonight. honestly, i'm sitting here typing this with my eyes closed and all i want to do is climb into bed and burrow underneath the covers and just sleep and sleep. and maybe dreams would come. and if they did, i would fall into them and let them hold me for awhile.

at least i can say that i had a nice, light lunch (roasted chicken breast, couscous, sugar snap peas) and am trying to re-stock my body with lots of water. i'm feeling dry as a bone inside.

filling my ears right now is jim brickman's simple things. beautiful and yearning and mellow and smooth. thank you, Lord, for music that soothes. thank you for the grace that covers me like a blanket.

thank you for the tears running down my face.

Monday, February 24, 2003

'it's cloud illusions i recall....'

i am so tired. eyes hurting kind of tired. no-amount-of-hot-water-pouring-over-your-head-can-make-you-anything-other-than-TIRED tired. i got up early this morning because in THEORY, the maintenance people in our building were to come and deal with an issue in the bathroom. see? i SO called it about this whole shower thing. okay, no, the ceiling has not caved in, BUT we have a rather serious pipe leakage that has worked its way into both our shower and the linen closet [read: rusty water dripping down the walls and pretty much ruining everything].

so anyway, they promise me that this will take place first thing on Monday morning. first thing in my mind is 8-ish, so i get up early, shower and get out of the way so that they can begin their work. um....yeah. at this point, it's after 10 and they have yet to show. punks. i'm wondering if they'll even come at all.

and to be completely honest, if this were the only thing that had gone wrong this weekend, i'm wagering that i wouldn't be that upset. but it was just one in an inordinately long list of things that, frankly, got way under my skin and has left me feeling rather grumpy.

on a lighter note (and in the spirit of the 'silver lining' theory), i will say that i'm rather looking forward to the potential of hanging out with a certain someone this afternoon:).....AND i was able to get some cleaning out of the way in all of my free time this morning. so, while i am not miss mary sunshine about everything going on right now, i am, at the very least, attempting to find the bright side in all of this.

and there may be a bit of blue sky breaking through just yet....

Saturday, February 22, 2003

see below

YAY!!

sj, aren't you impressed??!! i might just have to go and wake you up to tell you the exciting news!!

(for the record, i did just go and wake her up, and all she could do was say mm hmmm..... repeatedly. perhaps this is more of a morning-time kind of revelation to be making....)
testing, testing....

okay, i've made a decision. i'm teaching myself html. some of you may be thinking big frickin' deal. so WHAT that you're finally getting on the bandwagon? you and everyone else on the planet!

okay, fine. you've got a point there (but may i humbly suggest that you should consider how angry that sounded?!)....anyhoo, i'm going to do something kinda crazy and not entirely me here and i'm going to attempt to link a picture....

bear with me, ok? i'm a nerd.....if it works, though, it should show up below.....

*eyes clenched*.....please, God.....



(by the way, this image is not mine originally. whose is it? no clue....)

Friday, February 21, 2003

danger: sharp mental curves ahead

for many reasons, none of which i will elucidate herein, i have been holding back this week. it's not that i haven't the words to type - quite the contrary, really. no, dear reader, it is that i have much to say and am having difficulty discerning what to put on the page. so, with that being said, i've decided that, in this case, it is best to say nothing at all. in the presence of the potential for much pontificating, silence often speaks much more than words could ever hope to do.

you will be pleased to note, however, that i am wading through my ever-churning river of muck and finding myself reaching some conclusions....or, at the very least, arriving at the conclusion that i need to reach some conclusions. have i confused you enough?

as to the aforementioned blah-blah-blah (a.k.a. the text of this post), think nothing of it. unless of course you know me very well....in which case, think much and draw your OWN conclusions.

'nuff said:)

Monday, February 17, 2003

i feel like i've been slimed. we watched a full night of specials on michael jackson and watched a bunch of sensationalist nonsense. i can't deal with all of this anymore...and yet, for some reason, it continues to fascinate me. not all the nonsense, i guess, but him. the sight of him makes me so sad. and it's not his physicality (although i will say that the fact that he has felt he needed to change his face like that is indicative of a deeper trouble than just a little pro-surgery stance), but instead the pain and emptiness in his eyes. every time i see him or think of him, all that occurs to me, over and over, is that this man just wants to know that he's loved....

God, won't you break through his walls, past all the security and the money and the things he has to protect him from anyone really knowing him, and show him Your heart for him....that You know him....that You love him?

there's no help without You. not for him. not for me. not for anyone.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

oh yeah, it's DEFINITELY on now. the snow coming down outside has been steadily falling since sometime around 3 a.m., and it's definitely got that icy, stick to everything feel about it. great. when they said last night that there might be '12 to 24 inches', i was thinking yeah....sure. i'm thinking now that the news may have been right for once.

this doesn't look good.

Friday, February 14, 2003

'L' is for the way you look at me....

in truth, i have never been a girl who has gotten particularly excited about valentine's day. okay, that's not completely true. back in 3rd grade, when my then 'boyfriend' gave me a handmade valentine, i was seriously stoked. and in 10th grade, in an uncharacteristic move of sentimentality, my pseudo-love professed his undying affection for me on a creatively folded piece of construction paper....and that got me all a-twitter.

but other than that, i've never really gotten that jazzed over this particular day of the year. and to be honest, i guess the reason why is that i haven't been in a relationship that was fully 'established' enough to warrant such cupid's-arrow-flying kind of behavior (and when i say 'established', i mean a) we're both on the same page and not basically dating without official recognition, b) we're not in the throes of dealing with the mother who would never approve because i'm not catholic/asian/whatever, c) any of a number of reasons why men have basically gotten the benefits of me as their girlfriend but never referred to me as such). so instead of being a gal who fully expects flowers, cards, candy, kisses, and other signs of 'l-o-v-e', i've been content with the verbal 'oh....uh....happy valentine's day....' mumbled into a telephone, added to the end of an e-mail, or written, a bit more eloquently than that, on a card from my mom and dad. and i use 'content' in only the most backhanded sense, with its true meaning as 'disappointed but resigned to the truth.'

so no, this year is not really any different than the ones that have come before it. but i guess this is the way it is for now in my life. and you know what? i may never be in a candy-and-flowers kind of relationship (okay, honestly, i'd settle for just flowers, which are much cooler anyway), but hopefully someday SOMEone will be unashamed that i am his and he is mine and whether or not he brings me 'a little something' on valentine's day or a random tuesday or ANY and EVERY day, i'll know that he loves me and i love him and it won't ever be....ever again....about fronting or side-stepping or the 'f' word. no, not THAT 'f' word. the other one. the one that means 'you'll never be more to me than this'....you know the one i mean.

until then, though, i'll settle with notes from my mom, my gal-pals, and occasional brave boys who give valentine's day cards to their girl-just-friends. and don't misunderstand me - i really appreciate those sentiments (i even send some along myself). but if i'm being honest here, i'll have to admit that nothing beats those same cards (and flowers!! hint, hint!!) coming from a boy that makes your eyes gleam and your heart do the cha-cha.

or....at least, that's what i'm guessing....:)

**************************************************************************************
happy valentine's day, everyone. i hope that love is on your horizon today....

Thursday, February 13, 2003

my freshman year of college began in september of 1993. one night about two weeks into the start of school, my then-closest friend and i walked across campus in the dark over to the president's garden. in the center of the garden is a square pond filled with rather murky water and these huge goldfish. there is something so inherently peaceful about that place, surrounded by a tall fence of hedges, made separate even in its inclusion as part of the campus. we stood on the marble edges of the pond and tried desperately to peer deep into the waters. we were looking for something...some indication that the choice we had made to come to hopkins was the right one. i couldn't see anything. my eyes were unable to penetrate the darkness.

afterwards, we went to sit on a bench nearby and i remember leaning my head back to look for stars. there were none. there are never stars in the city. the sky is far too orange and distracted by pollution to let those twinkling lights shine through.

so instead, i closed my eyes, breathed deeply and held the air inside of me for a moment. and when i exhaled, i opened my eyes and looked at my companion. he was doing the same thing. he let his air go and looked over at me, the light from the path sort of shimmering in his eyes (i thought for a moment that he was crying).

we're HERE, sarah. we're in college. can you believe it?

i couldn't believe it. any of it. but i promised myself that i would never forget that moment - how the night air felt, how it was a little bit cold, even for september....how his eyes glimmered (even if it was just from a streetlight)....the way his voice echoed a little when he spoke.....and how my heart leapt in my chest with hope for what my life could become....maybe. just maybe.

and all these years later, i haven't forgotten....

and i don't think i ever will.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

'reunited, and it feels so good....'

okay, okay. i totally broke down. caffeine and i got back together for a one-night stand. he kept leaving me notes telling me that he couldn't go on without me. he called me 'baby', for crying out loud! who can resist that?!

in all honesty, it was heaven.

sheer heaven.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

sweet elixir of life, how i miss you so!

i still have a headache. caffeine was my friend, but we broke up. i think i'm still in denial....

i'm 106 pages into 'the fourth hand' by john irving, and i'm still not sure how i feel about it. frankly, irving is great at characterization, but i'm seriously having a hard time staying with the people in this book. he has written yet another bizarre tale about bizarre individuals (as he is wont to do), but nothing about any of them so far has proven to be charming enough to hold me captive. hmm. i'll still finish the book. perhaps in the next 250-some pages, it'll pick up a bit....

i'm having a very thought-inducing evening. it's not that i've done anything particularly profound or interesting, but my mind is whirling with images and ideas and streams of semi-consciousness. i've written three letters and/or cards to old friends, so i'm feeling rather accomplished in the correspondence department. but still, something tells me that there are more words inside me that need to come out. who knows what the late night hours will bring?? (please, God, let it be sleep!!)

and not that any of you were clamoring to know this, but i made meatloaf for dinner. honestly, the thought of this cracks me up, because that seems like THE most married-person-with-kids-in-the-50s thing one could possibly cook. not that i'm surprised, mind you....i'm a rather domesticated individual. well-suited for that kind of keep-the-family-organized-and-the-meals-planned kind of life. as long as that life comes with air conditioning and a dishwasher, that is....

oh, and sj, if you're reading this, kudos to you for going to bed so early tonight!! i hope you rested well, my friend....

a final thought: giving up coca-cola is like asking to be tortured slowly, day after day....and yet i will persist!!! if it's the last thing i do....

which it may well be:)
don't mind the noise. it's just the voices in my head....

either i'm going insane or there has been CONSTANT rattly drilling noises in the building both today AND yesterday. and because this is my life, i'm thinking that it's going to continue on until spring (okay, no, i'm not just being pessimistic. sj's rental office sent a note to that effect). this has got to stop. i don't think i can handle this all day, every day.

and to top it all off, i have a headache. oy.

okay, and also, the 7-11 in our building charged me 4 times for something i bought on friday. hey, punks, i'm ON TO YOU....

in other news, i am looking forward to the next installment of 'reality' tv, such as it is....

yeah, like america NEEDS another idol.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

emotional commentary at its most acute

this morning i dreamed that a man was trying to attack me and that i was unable to scream. he had begun to berate me for speaking my mind about this episcopal church i had once attended near hopkins. i was wearing a towel and realized that i was all but exposed to a small group of people that were standing about watching the whole scene. he managed to back me down a hallway and i opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out; in truth, i can't scream in real life either. i can yell, but screaming is somehow too much for me to muster.

in any event, i was becoming more and more afraid by the moment and was increasingly isolated from the group as he backed me down this narrow hallway, trying to attack me as we walked. eventually, a man resembling a combination of alan alda and john lithgow (wearing a green sweater and glasses, i might add) came to rescue me, made the man go away, and held me while i sobbed.

and over and over, i yelled the same thing, 'i had no voice....i had no voice....i had NO VOICE!!!' and torrents of tears poured....

Friday, February 07, 2003

i must say that being unemployed and having snow days is rather anticlimactic. but i'm not complaining, mind you. in fact, if i'm being honest, i have to say that i'm really thankful not to have to drive around in what, this morning, was still kinda mucky weather. i'm a bit over this winter we're having. it seemed to take awhile for winter to really set in, and now, of course, i'm wishing its hasty retreat....

in other news, i ate no chicken of any kind for dinner. i think i was, frankly, feeling burned out on the whole cooking thing, considering that last night, i cooked a full-on meal that included a sweet potato souffle-type thing and some liquored-up pork chops....

just to show how truly pathetic my life can be, i'm watching some 'pet star' show on animal planet. this is MY friday, people. don't you wish you were me?

...i didn't think so.
the friday five

1. what did you have for breakfast this morning? if you didn't have breakfast, why not? i have yet to eat today. my 'breakfast' is usually lunch.

2. what's your favorite cereal? hmm....there are several that i like. right now, though, i'm particularly fond of this puffed wheat with flax seeds from trader joe's. it tastes like honey smacks:). normally, though, i'd have to say cinnamon life, cracklin oat bran, and michael's granola:)

3. how often do you eat out? do you want that to change? as in actually GOING to a restaurant, maybe twice a month, max. i love going out to dinner/lunch/whatever, but money doesn't really permit that these days.

4. what do you plan on having for dinner tonight? got a recipe for that? i haven't totally decided what to put out. perhaps some chicken. yeah, i know - that's pretty vague. but please.....i don't give my recipes away on such public forums:)

5. what's your favorite restaurant? why? the red sage (the grill, not the border cafe), washington dc. innovative, flavor-packed food, nice atmosphere, yummy drinks, one dessert in particular that makes my toes curl. for more casual dining, i'm a big fan of baja fresh, la madeleine, nacho mama's, and the loco hombre (although i had a recent bad experience there with the waitstaff that will, likely, prevent me from returning).

Thursday, February 06, 2003

i love our president.
i think i'm having some kind of allergic reaction. to what - i'm not sure. the thing is that i'm really itchy on the left side of my body and i have some hives on my arms. hmm....what have i done to myself? you would think that since i haven't left the house all day, i'd be safe. apparently not....

besides, it's not as though i'm a stranger to itching in general. my skin gets really dry in the winter, and it's a frequent bedtime ritual to be scratching either my arms/shoulders or legs for at least a period of time. but this? this is a bit kicked up. why, oh why, can i not stay on a regimen of moisturizing body lotion?

enough with that, though. this present situation is getting to the point where i'm actually considering an antihistamine.

oy. vey.

*scratch*

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

'eight days a week is not enough to show i care....'

last night i dreamed that i was hanging out with the osbourne family and somehow, i had the gift of interpreting ozzy's often unintelligible speech. i realized halfway through what a serious commodity that is in this ozzy-friendly world in which we live. obviously, i watched way too much mtv yesterday....

in other news, i feel like i've emerged from my tuesday fog. this has become my typical weekly ritual: monday beats me down, tuesday is a daze, wednesday is either numb or still dazy (depending on monday's severity), thursday and friday are, in general, decent, and saturday and sunday are usually anxiety-ridden - the anticipation of monday, of course.

the next few months of my life should be rather interesting.

note to self: stay low and don't let them see the whites of your eyes....

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

antidote

last night i dreamed that some rather unappealing chef was my lover. it was disheartening, to say the least. i'm not into men with seriously tobacco-stained teeth and, to top it all off, dreams like that always leave me feeling gross and out of sorts.

in other, less icky news, i had some seriously good conversations with a couple of different women friends yesterday, feeling like some things were 'hashed out', if you will. i realized last night, as one of them was asking me what i like to do with my spare time, that what we were doing - in that moment - is one of my favorite activities: connecting with people one-on-one. if there's a meal or coffee involved, so much the better, but what i really enjoy is hearing about other people's lives, learning from their experiences, sharing insights, helping them, perhaps, with epiphanies i've had along the way. and all of it - the joy and the sorrow, the frustrations and triumphs - gets blended together in this beautiful melange called a life. and there, in the midst of every moment, is God, often quietly moving things along, clearing the path ahead, steering and staving, allowing and orchestrating, His hand always gentle (even in its power), His arms always open, His love always healing.

to share tears with a friend who has known and felt that love, even in the midst of devastation and heartache - that is the stuff....