Friday, March 28, 2003

i've been listening to michael's copy of 'the preacher's wife' soundtrack and i've got 2 or 3 of the songs running on a loop through my brain....whitney houston's got some pipes for sure, but i can only take her in small doses....

i'm back home in charm city after a rather uneventful ride up the road (patches of rain excepted). my time in va. was relaxing, the weather was beautiful, i did all my laundry for free(!), and i got to see a couple of good friends and visit my favorite grocery store for a brief food-finding shopping expedition. not only that, but my parents have a HUGE kitchen, so cooking dinner is always a comparatively enjoyable experience....if only they had a gas stove!

anyway, i'm off to unpack my clothes, make the bed, and start a grocery list for later. tomorrow there's a wedding shower for a friend of sj's, for which i need to make enough brunch casserole to feed 17 or 18 people. i'm not in a super domestic mood just now, but what can you do? sometimes life is all about hitting the ground running....

Thursday, March 27, 2003

'and in conclusion, may i remind you that it does NOT say RSVP on the statue of liberty?!'

one thing i have realized: being in virginia sucks the creative juices out of my body. perhaps it's the familiarity of the place where i grew up. perhaps it's the ease of this particular branch of 'suburbia, USA'....whatever it is, i'm finding myself unable to think about anything deeper than what to make for dinner tonight (fajitas, incidentally).

something about baltimore has always felt so desperate to me. perhaps that's why, on a deeper level, that city and i know one another. and while it's perfectly okay to live a life more involved with grass mowing and hardware store erranding, i prefer something a bit more...shall we say...connected? which is not to say that you cannot be connected and shop at home depot. but i think you know what i mean....

at the end of the day, though, where is it, really, that i belong? what is my style? i'm still not sure. perhaps i'm too all over the map to be pinned down to one particular locale. perhaps it's a matter of nothing in my present situation being firmly settled (except the knowledge that NOTHING IS settled...which is, in its own way, kind of settling....) maybe when things shake themselves out, it will suddenly become obvious where it is that i should spend my days and nights and what it is that i should be doing. until then, though, i remain, as ever....

clueless.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

sorry

i'm on a blogging break. why? i have nothing to say....(okay, well, the fact that i'm writing this kind of shoots that theory in the foot, but you know what i mean). i'm in virginia right now visiting mom and dad. other than that, i'm so tired. so very tired. feel like i could hibernate for a month and it wouldn't make me any less tired.

depression bites.

sj, i miss you already. don't have any fun until i get home, ok?:)

Friday, March 21, 2003

it's a good thing that i'm alone right now, because, frankly, i'm feeling unable to conceal the fact that i'm in a state. i'm all melancholy baby and anxious....and surely, if someone were in front of me, they would read it on my face and want to talk to me about it. and maybe, depending on whom that person is, it has something to do with them. and so i'd have to find a way to make it NOT about them, or else get into a discussion that would leave them feeling confused and me out of my mind and/or misunderstood. and that, my friends, is NOT something i want to have happen just now....

all of this to say that while it feels as though something beneficial has shifted somehow in the grand scheme of my life, i find myself feeling more scared than before. more anxious and nervous and unsure. maybe it's because my heart is realizing that there is more at stake...bigger risks equaling more to lose...

i'm suddenly remembering this one day back in the spring of 1999. i went over to salimah's office, and, almost without thinking, i grabbed this journal off of her desk and started pouring my heart out onto the page. i was writing and writing about how i had realized that my feelings for this particular person were not dead (as i had hoped they would be) and how my theoretically 'active' feelings for this other person were, in fact, a huge farce. it felt like i was seriously coming to terms with something earth-shattering. but then, i walked away from the situation and nothing really changed. the minutes and hours and days continued to tick by as ever. and my realization was just that: a realization. coming to terms with having some feelings did nothing but frustrate me more than i had been already...and it certainly didn't mean that the broken relationship with that person would heal. and it didn't.

but, see, that's not the point. this isn't about loves lost and all of that. it's about today. tonight. this minute. it's about my heart pounding in my chest with the hope for what might be. with the fear that all that i know might never be more than that....a thought. an idea. a dream. a realization, of sorts. Lord, in your mercy, let the things You've planted in my heart coalesce into something tangible....something i can sink my hands and teeth and whole heart into....something that will remind me that, all along, THIS is what You had in mind.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

priceless

salimah gave me a card the other day, the front of which looks like this....



now, in and of itself, one might not find that particularly amusing....the inside, however, is where it is all brought home for me personally. the following quote appears inside:

'i've been talking about my family with my therapist for so long that by now she has her own problems with these people. last week, when i was talking about my mother, she said look, i don't want to hear a THING that woman has to say!'


um....yeah.
hope

'therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him! for if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.'


without this, i have nothing.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

one word

winter

hazy shades and crystals clear
embark upon a frozen year
of words unspoken, selfish rage
my heart of stone inside the cage

(note to self: what's this rhyming thing all about??)
sammie joy on parade

charm city has never looked more fabulous....









Thursday, March 13, 2003

diastrophism

the last several days of my life have been so interesting. okay, interesting isn't really that interesting of a word, but you know what i mean....i feel something shifting under the surface, changing the tides, the way i perceive colors, the timbre of the pounding in my chest....

in many ways, the last 72 hours have been very 'raw' for me, and yet i find myself, somehow, at peace...sitting silent in the wonder of it all. and in my waiting, God's voice echoes down the empty hallways of my heart, reminding me over and over again that i am His, that He hears my cries, that He is perfectly in tune to my joys and sorrows....and, most prominently, that He is not fazed by my confusion, my indecision, my question after question after question into the night....

all i ask is that You keep carving, Lord. i want to see the river, after all.

Monday, March 10, 2003

addiction

i have reached the conclusion that i am, in fact, psychologically dependent on coca-cola. there is just no getting around it. my attempts to give it up altogether have only proven my case all the more clearly. i have been doing really well, for the most part, however. i went for two whole weeks without any soda of any kind. then, the snowstorm hit and i was trapped in our apartment for 5 days with sj and her sister. it may go without saying here, but i drank nothing BUT soda for that entire time. okay, perhaps a bit of oj in the mornings, but soda straight on through for the rest of the day. i was stressed, ok?

well, this weekend, after not drinking coke for at least a week, i experienced what i can only surmise to be the coca-cola DTs. i felt like killing someone. i felt that i would give away my car for just a glass of the syrupy, carbonated concoction. what was wrong with me?! my palms sweated. it was 11:50 p.m.. 10 more minutes until the 7-11 closed up shop for the night. i sat on the couch, twitching....wanting that fix so badly, not allowing myself to move....waiting out each of those 10 minutes as if my life, somehow, depended on it.

when midnight struck, i was no less frenzied but felt as though i had, nevertheless, made it through a trial of herculean proportions. i was proud of myself. satisfied.

okay, not satisfied, really, because the craving was still bad. i mean BAD. i had a cocktail instead (my idea, at the time, of a settlement) and went to bed. when i awoke yesterday, the craving had not really subsided, but seemed to be temporarily napping. i went through my day as per the usual and hung out with michael in the afternoon. around 5:30, we left to go to dinner at donna's in timonium. i love that place. the risotto with pears, gorgonzola, walnuts, raisins, and roasted chicken makes me quite happy. anyway, i found my usual excitement rather diminished and was, quite understandably, taken aback. i began to internally monitor my sudden moodswing and realized the problem almost immediately.

the people at the table next to us had ordered for themselves a glass of.....yeah, you guessed it.

the obsessive thoughts began streaking through every cell in my brain. michael, oblivious to my plight, was chattering along happily about all the various delights he could order for his own dinner. my eyes darted back and forth. i tried desperately to read my menu, unable, even, to focus on the words on the page. a light film of perspiration worked its way across the flesh on my face and palms of my hands.

after about 5 minutes of what can only be described to you as sheer torture (perhaps similar to how you feel reading this overly-detailed account), i finally burst out, 'okay, we need to talk about something RIGHT NOW!'

michael looked up at me, a mix of shock and bewilderment flashing across his face. 'yes?' he said, nervously.

'look. here's the thing,' i explained. 'i have to have a soda. it's driving me over the edge.' a feeling of guilt swept over me as i waited for his response, hoping, praying that he wouldn't judge me in my time of need.

'well,' he said slowly, 'it IS sunday.' i looked at him with such love in that moment. yes, indeed, it WAS sunday. a day of rest. of peace. of soda, even....

the waitress returned a moment later to take our order. she looked first at me. 'yes,' i said pleasantly. 'i'll have a COKE.' there was a brief pause. we all laughed a bit, the waitress somehow able to discern in that moment how truly past the point i clearly was. i ordered the rest of my meal and away she whisked, with promises to return with beverages in tow.

now, let me take a moment to say that i am sure that the reason i have been so obsessive about coca-cola of late is that it is MUCH easier to fixate on something like that than deal with the emotional torment that often covers me...or at the very least the dull pain that sits in the center of my chest. i have issues, people. and i'm trying to work through them, day by day, by God's grace, and with a lot of perseverance.

all of that being said, i must close by saying that when the waitress finally brought me my coke a few minutes later, and after i had squeezed the lemon from my water glass into the bubbling delight, i took that first sip. and as my mouth danced with pleasure, i quietly thanked God. and just for that moment, that brief flash in time, all was indeed right with the world....

Friday, March 07, 2003

one word

content

if i could feel the things that You say i possess, then i would know, with all of me, that i have enough.

but, as it is, i wither and wonder and sit alone, asking questions into a night sky without stars.

help me rest in You. to wait. to breathe.
inspired by michelle, i decided that i had to fill out this little find your spot quiz thingie to see what u.s. cities would supposedly best fit me. i'm not 100% sure how i feel about all of these, but some of them are dead on....and some are...well....places i have lived within the last 5 years....or, say, NOW, even.....

without further ado, here is the list:

1. baltimore, maryland (hmm....i didn't realize i was so suited to this place)
2. providence, rhode island (i loves me some new england)
3. new haven, connecticut (not super fond of connecticut, though. just a thing with me.)
4. portland, oregon (pacific northwest....:))
5. boston, massachusetts (yeah, baby!!)
6. annapolis, maryland
7. eugene, oregon
8. corvallis, oregon (i'm sensing a theme here...what? no seattle??)
9. hartford, connecticut
10. charleston, west virginia
11. frederick, maryland
12. danbury, connecticut (is this a plot?)
13. medford, oregon
14. salem, oregon (are they picking every city in that state?)
15. cambridge, massachusetts (again, YEAH, baby!!)
16. stamford-norwalk, connecticut
17. worcester, massachusetts (i almost went to college here. CLAHHHHK university. that would be clark for you non-new englanders)
18. gaithersburg, maryland (*GROAN*...man, i just left that town!)
19. bend, oregon
20. oakland, california
21. norfolk, virginia
22. washington, d.c.
23. little rock, arkansas (in what way?)
24. san francisco, california

truth be told, much of this list fits me rather well. the pacific northwest charms me, even though i've never been there. and, as previously stated, i'm quite fond of much of new england (connecticut excepted). who knows where i'll eventually wind up? to be honest, i care less about where i live than with whom....if i were with the right man, i'd go pretty much wherever he was going. within reason, of course....:) no worries. i haven't become a complete pushover.

in other news, i'm flying solo this weekend. sj is visiting her family until sunday evening. i shall miss her, but i'm hoping to get a bit of cleaning done and have promised her that i will read more of this book so that we can begin discussing it. i also have a personal goal to get some writing done. i need to put pen to paper and expel some thoughts out of my head. also, there's this ongoing project i have for myself, and it needs some attention. hmm...perhaps a bit of painting or drawing as well. it has been too long.

currently listening to 'a hymn to new england' written by john williams and played by the boston pops. *sigh* makes me want to take a drive, hold hands, kick about in leaf piles, and wear mittens.

okay, enough of this daydreaming. i need to eat lunch and clean the house. happy weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

being the genius that i am, i decided to outsmart the resident services staff in our building and sleep through (yeah, you read it right!) the power outage that occurred between 10 am and 2 pm today. i mean, after all, i couldn't have this whole situation interfering with my ability to experience electricity in all of its various, exquisite forms. so, instead of torturing myself with sitting in darkness without e-mail privileges, i managed to go to bed at around 6:30 this morning and did not awaken until 1:45 when i heard the small fan in the corner click on.

unfortunately, they must have been messing with the plumbing in addition to the wiring, because all afternoon since the return of power, the water coming out of the faucets has been a rather unpleasant shade of pee-colored yellow. somehow bathing in dirt doesn't appeal to me.

so, genius or not, i'm unwashed and annoyed and thinking that my next 'brilliant' idea should take place only after showering first.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

so little to say, so much time....

my brain feels rather sparsely decorated this evening. cars honk their misery on the dark streets outside. emeril fires up something cajun, sounding his own version of the timeless barbaric yawp. the blood in my veins courses, pounding loud inside my brain. my stomach moans for something to fill the void. in the next room, salimah sleeps....coughs....sleeps some more. clock ticks. eyes blink. fingers tap.

tap.

tap.

books wait to be read. clothes linger in the hamper, draping and spilling socks on top of socks on top of socks.

some questions. will he call? will i sleep? is the hollow in my chest going to go away? are you coming for me? can you touch my sadness? be my words? hold me tight?

somewhere inside the silence, find me.

Monday, March 03, 2003

reprieve

thank the LORD that they didn't shut the power off in the building today. it was supposed to commence at 10 a.m., and at 9:55, while dripping wet, i suddenly realized that if they shut off the power, the elevators won't work either. and neither will the door for the parking garage. or the lights in said garage, for that matter. pretty smart, eh? you'd think i would have thought of that a bit earlier on and planned accordingly. yeah, i didn't go to college for nothin', people!

anyway, it was irrelevant because, as i said, they didn't do the power outage today; it's going to be rescheduled for some other time, at which point i will ACTUALLY make plans to be out of the building in advance of the designated cut-off time.

that being said, i am eating a bowl of rice krispies and trying to decide what to do with the next 4 hours of my life....

Sunday, March 02, 2003

deprivation, visitation, intellectualization (a.k.a. random stuff that's on my mind)

tomorrow the power gets turned off in my building from 10 am to 2 pm, thus cutting off my oxygen (a.k.a. the internet) and preventing me from purging myself of all thoughts and feelings in my traditional ways (a.k.a. blogging &/or e-mail). needless to say, i'm not looking forward to this....

on a brighter note, however, i did manage to get to target today with my friend shona from h.s.. we had a blast looking through all the girlie stuff (nail polishes, shimmery eye shadows, hair care products, etc.) and i got new toothbrush heads and a printer cartridge, both of which were total (albeit expensive) necessities. so, with those 2 items, plus a few other much-neededs, i managed to barely escape target with just over 100 bucks out of pocket. ouch! it's not as though i can really afford that, but what are you gonna do?

anyway, i must give serious thanks to a certain person in canada, the illustrious michelle. she sent me, via snail mail, a very fabulous, colorful, personalized, handmade valentine that arrived sometime last week. i have tried to scan it in, but considering the fact that i don't own a flat bed, it's a no-go. major bums, because it was quite lovely and i would have adored showing it off to the world. either way, thank you so much, michelle.....you ROCK!

i'm starting a new book tomorrow during the power outage, although i'm not sure which one as of yet.

and in conclusion, may i just say that all food was a serious let-down after yesterday's gourmet extravaganza?!

thank you for your interest in today's dose of non-sequiturs. here's hoping your week begins well....
on a (culinary) whim....

last night, i decided to make an actual dinner. something with more than one course. something that involved a little effort, creativity. sj was kind enough to run to the store for a few extra items that nicely complemented the staples i had purchased earlier in the week. here was our 'menu', and if i do say so myself, it turned out rather well....

butternut squash bisque with fried sage leaves (accented with a hint of bacon and gorgonzola cheese)


chicken breast, spinach, onions, & mushrooms in creamy vermouth sauce with toasted pine nuts over texmati brown rice.


peaches sauteed in rum over pound cake, with homemade caramel sauce


wine:cavit pinot grigio delle venezie


and, to make matters even more fantastic, i re-christened my cuisinart after months of non-use. i cannot actually express how happy THAT made me. but adding to my satisfaction all the more was the fact that salimah and michael truly seemed to enjoy themselves, making comments all throughout the meal and cleaning their plates down to the last drop of sauce. after dinner, we watched 'a few good men' before calling it a night. it was, to be honest, one of the more pleasant evenings i have shared in quite some time.

of course, good friends always make the time, the food, the conversation, the wine seem all the sweeter....