Wednesday, May 28, 2003

shiny, happy people

it's amazing to me that one simple conversation can change one's entire perspective on an issue, a relationship, whatever....i admit that i am far too typically making assumptions based on negative perceptions i have of myself that i am certain other people share. did that make sense?

i was talking with a dear friend of mine yesterday, and she remarked to me that she is not an optimistic person, that she rarely thinks things will go well. in fact, she has recently been feeling rather positively about something in her life, and she knows it must be God speaking to her, because the chances of her own heart and mind coming up with such information are slim at best. for some reason, it dawned on me in that moment that i am precisely that way about a lot of things. i've had people tell me before that i'm a pessimist, and i always tried to reassure them that, in actuality, i am simply realistic. i'm fairly certain that this is true; however, i must say that even realists have their moments of optimism, right? if that's the case, then i'm still lacking in that 'positive' vibe.

it's an issue of trust, really. i'm still trying to really learn and live the truth about who God is and who He says i am to Him....trying to understand it in a way that goes past my brain and engages my heart, effecting real, lifelong change. along the road, though, i try to trust God as much as i can but remain honest about the reality of humanity and the bad choices many people make. i have always been a fan of breaking things down and calling them by name. this, i am sure, will never change....

update, 2:30 a.m.
because i am posting this entry in 2 separate installments (the first one got interrupted by din-din), i must say that i FINALLY worked out again. man, i'm wiped! it probably wasn't the brightest thing for me to do this at 1:00 a.m., but i knew that if i didn't go then, another day would go by without me moving my butt....believe you me, my butt needs moving!

anyway, i didn't do a full workout, but i came close, and perhaps within a day or so, i'll be back up to snuff. now, i'm off to shower and bed, because morning comes sooner than i would want, and i need to be out the door by 9:45.

g'night all:)

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

'never, never, never quit' - winston churchill

tonight, salimah and i went to barnes & noble in towson to scope out some cards for her sister who is graduating tomorrow. i also bought her this metal bookmark with the above quote and got myself 'atonement' by ian mcewan. it's been on my wishlist for about 2 years now, and i don't want to wait any longer to read it. besides, it was on sale....

so, speaking of quitting, it has been three days since i hit the fitness room, and i'm feeling much the worse for it. in addition, my eating habits have not been so good this weekend. that was generous, actually; they've been dismal. in all honesty, i've felt under the weather and achy since friday, and who wants to work out when you feel yucky?

i'm hoping that the morning will bring new exercising mercies and that i can get back on track for the week ahead. this past week, i had 4 workouts. i'm hoping for at least that many in the coming days....

it's ALL about praying on the treadmill, people....

Sunday, May 25, 2003

keanu sho' can kick!

because a certain friend of mine announced that it wasn't a good thing that i had not blogged in days, i give you the following post:

i went to see 'the matrix: reloaded' tonight. so good. even better than the first, i think. michael and i both enjoyed it and i'm sure will need to see it several more times to be able to digest it all. everything about it would have been fine, save for one detail: the people in front of us were TOTAL PUNKS! i wanted to kick their butts so badly, but refrained so as not to embarrass them for getting whipped by a girl;). seriously, there were two guys and a girl sitting in front of us, and one of the guys had the nerve to flip open his cell phone and begin checking his e-mail and DOWNLOADING FILES(!) as soon as the movie started. the screen was shining right into my eyes and creating both a distraction and a glare on my glasses. figuring he would have enough sense to be polite, i waited a few minutes before finally leaning forward and asking him to please turn it off. he plainly told me NO and kept on doing his thing. after a bit longer, michael asked him to turn it off, since it was causing a serious glare. he informed us that we should TAKE OFF OUR GLASSES.

first of all - WHAT?! in what way does that make sense? secondly, that guy had some nerve to talk to us like that. he had ZERO qualms about doing whatever he felt like doing, regardless of how it was affecting those around him. so, after his second snide answer, michael got up and went to speak to the manager, who informed him that someone would come 'right away' to check the situation. twenty minutes later, after mr. e-mailer had finally turned his cell phone off on his own, someone wandered in to do their typical 'rounds', which apparently involve wandering aimlessly about the theatre, half-heartedly checking for miscreants and violators of movie theater etiquette. POINTLESS.

after the movie, we went to the managers' station and i gave them a piece of my mind, told them plainly that it was completely unacceptable that we, two patrons who PAID to get in, should have to police the behavior of the other people in the theatre. when a nearby usher began making excuses for why she didn't come in there until later than we had asked (her manager had just told her - clearly, our request meant nothing to him), i informed her that it was not her that was to blame. it was, quite simply, the management. and i looked at them all while i said that. they did apologize several times and even handed us four pieces of paper, which we both assumed were passes to come back for another show. we thanked them for their time and their generosity and left.

as we're walking back to the car, i looked down at the tickets. yeah. they were vouchers for FREE SODAS. four of them. insulting? exactly.

next time i try to go to the movies on a saturday night, someone please remind me that this is the kind of crap that gets perpetrated on weekends...and, more specifically, on me. please. for the love of all that is good and kind.

i beg of you....please.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

funeral

that's it. i offed my weather pixie. she was getting on my nerves - never wearing appropriate clothes for the temperature, never showing the actual updated weather conditions. come on, people...did you really think there have been clear skies in baltimore for 2 months now? um....yeah....i didn't think so.

anyway, you can mourn if you want to, but frankly, i'm not sorry to see her go. i loathe inaccuracy, even if she was cute.

rest in peace, yo.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

i hope you dance

i sat at the table, listening to my aunt spew her political rage all over the lovely apple cake and tea, her husband all too happy to chime in with his two cents' worth about how our president is clearly a fool (i will spare you his choice of expletives). there was a lot of nodding going on, but not from me. i just sat there, looking at them, wondering how long i should put up with this frenzy of nonsense before politely excusing myself and beating a hasty retreat for the city. how funny it is that in a house full of people who are bound by blood and genetic codes, no one really seems to know anyone else....or to be interested in knowing them, for that matter. they endure one another's stories, the details of lives that hardly intertwine. and while you might look at the laughter and the loud story-telling and think it fun and heartwarming, imagine (if you will) a room full of people all talking at once but no one actually saying anything. apparently, it takes a LOT of noise to cover up the anxiety at the thought of just being together sometimes.

and in the midst of the throng, those are the moments in which i feel so particularly alone in this world. i'm guessing that i'm not the only one, because the men, in accordance with tradition, escaped to the living room to numb their minds with some type of sports-related programming on tv. the women remained, trading anecdotes and washing dishes and countertops. and the only touching thing about it all was when my mom proudly told her blank-eyed sisters about the mother's day card i had picked for her...the one with the photograph of the ballet shoes (she used to dance, 'in a former life') and the pale pink roses on the front. it was my way of saying to my mom i remember who you are, even behind all those corporate suits and church committee dinners. i remember who you used to be, even before i knew you.

i could tell that it touched her...and i'm glad it did, because i meant every word that i wrote inside, about how things being hard has never changed my love for her. and everyone needs to be reminded of the fact that, at the end of the day when all the facades fall down and the masks come off, someone does love them - for better or worse. and if it should come from someone you gave birth to...or from a friend that you met because you infringed upon their dinner one night...or from someone you never expected would care for someone as messed up as you...well, so much the better.

i've learned that life is too short to spend your life across the table from people who don't even know what's important to you, deep down inside...even if they are your 'family.' i'd rather be alone in a room, in the quiet of my thoughts, my pain, my problems, than in a crowd of mere acquaintances who don't even know what i like or how i think or what i feel. i spent a lot of years dulling my senses in the midst of the noise so that i couldn't feel the hurt inside. but now, with every breath, with every step and twirl and toss of my head, i am letting it rise up and go out, bit by bit. sometimes, i may wander and stumble and curse and forget and fall, but i am not failing....i am not suppressing or running or denying.

i am sitting at the table and i am not ashamed of who i am.

and lonely or not, i am not alone.

Friday, May 16, 2003

lettuce pray....

i must say that, while it's only been a couple of weeks of more-regular-than-not exercise, i already feel a change in my body. tonight, i put on my 'laundry jeans' (you know, the ones that you don't really wear out in public because they don't fit super well) and they are decidedly looser. i just ate a rather large green salad for dinner with some roasted chicken, a bit of cheese, and then had an orange. i'm stuffed and feeling like lying on the floor and moaning for awhile....

speaking of exercise, i worked my arms like crazy today, and they were weak for several hours afterwards, with occasional 'twitching'. is this bad? i don't even know.

my clothes are churning in some soapy water on the floor below us (our laundry room sucks), and tonight i will sleep on clean sheets. gotta love that....

i finished a novel today. it was just okay. nothing that blew my socks off, but i wasn't really expecting that it would. it's hard to find actual literature these days....

off to bed in a few hours with hopes that i'll sleep through the night without serious back pain. God, please hook me up with some mercy!!

postscript: i just read on yahoo news that barry white had a stroke on may 1 and is also battling kidney failure. he's in bad shape, yo....come on, barry. work it out....i'm not sure we'll ever be able to get enough of your love, babe...it's that velvety deep voice. i'm having serious flashbacks of living in monty county and hearing his soothing, sexy tones talking to me from our living room stereo where salimah was blasting his greatest hits. it used to freak me out from time to time when it would take me a minute to realize that there wasn't some strange, lovemaking man in our apartment:)
where you at?

i would love to be one of those lettuce-only-eating, non-chalant types that sips her mineral water and looks with near disdain at everything around her. okay, but i'm not. not in the least. i like working it out, saying how i feel. i am all about the returned phone call. i care about stuff. almost everything, actually. i have strong opinions. i despise bland food. i am a fan of air conditioning.

my pulse is racing. God, your sense of humor astounds me sometimes....

Thursday, May 15, 2003

why should i care?

i'm having a bad day. last night, i cracked part of my big toe nail off on michael's shoe; it bled and is really sore and tender. i've got a mind-numbing headache that i've had for the last 24+ hours. and on top of it, i feel sad enough to break apart. anything else crappy that has happened today is just icing on my big cake of mess.

please excuse me. i need a nap. a long one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

i have redeemed myself fish-wise. today, i lightly breaded and sauteed some more of my flounder fillets and they turned out SO well. little spritzing of lemon...perfect:) how can a person possibly feel weighed down after eating white fish for lunch? impossible, i tell you....

in other news, i'm thinking of re-naming my blog and revamping my template. i DO have a webpage separate from this that i actually pay for, but i haven't exerted the mental energy necessary to really doll it up so that it's a fit enough place to house my thoughts. i'd like to get this whole thing resolved, though. it's taking up too much space in my brain....

yesterday's workout went pretty well, all things considered. i pushed myself on the weight machines and felt good about the outcome. and i did even manage to log some time in on the bike, which, surprisingly, didn't hurt my back too much. i'm still hurting in that regard, but i'm feeling strangely optimistic that it will work itself out sooner rather than later.

more thoughts will be forthcoming about various and sundry things....

Monday, May 12, 2003

yeeeeouch

i have the worst pain in my lower back on the right side. the muscle tension is like a huge knot that i CANNOT get to go away, and it's been getting increasingly worse over the last 4 or 5 days, to the point where now, i have pain shooting down my leg. i think it's pinching on my sciatic nerve. this has happened to me before, and it's NOT comfortable!! i didn't even sleep well last night because of it, and it's rendered me feeling less than spunky. (okay, so, in truth, i'm not really spunky to begin with, but rest assured that if i had a bent towards spunkiness, it would have been severely stunted at this point.) i'm going to go and work on the weight machines in a bit....perhaps do a bit of walking on the treadmill. i'm not feeling up for the bike today. too much pain.

oy. i need a massage therapist at my beck and call....anyone feeling generous??

Sunday, May 11, 2003

waste not, want not

on friday, i went to the grocery store and spent all my allocated money buying things that are decidedly good for me. the items i was unable to purchase there, i went and picked up today from trader joe's. i am currently all about their whole wheat couscous, which i cook in broth with some raisins and toasted walnuts thrown in for kicks. this afternoon, i made a salad of creamy yogurt-dressed couscous (with above-mentioned nuts and raisins), braised chicken, sprinkles of bleu cheese, and dried cranberries on top of mesclun greens with a balsamic vinaigrette. it was very delish.

it's kind of a fun prospect to make food out of mostly fresh ingredients. it motivates you to cook every meal so that your newly-bought veggies don't go bad sitting in the specially designated drawer in the bottom of the fridge. i did try some fish last night, but in my carelessness, i kind of ruined it. i was thankful, though, that it was only me that had to suffer through the pile of mush on my plate. eww.

for those of you who do not know (that would be most people, i would guess), i am weaning myself of white flour and as much sugar as i can reasonably give up at this stage of the game. i am also cutting WAY back on red meat [read: i didn't buy any this grocery expedition] and going for the high taste/high nutrition way of cooking. i am not, however, giving up cheese. or nuts. i can't stop eating the breads and pastas i love and then not have cheese. that would be too much to ask of myself. it would depress me, and then i would have to eat some ice cream. i don't need to stack the deck like that, so the cheese stays.

tomorrow, i think i'll eat a lot of spinach. i'm really in the mood for spinach. plus, i've got this whole big bag in my fridge of...you guessed it....fresh spinach. must! make! spinach! (note to self: repeating the word 'spinach' may actually promote the eating of said spinach.)

in other news, i watched 'two weeks notice' today. very fun and cute. must add to my amazon wishlist.

and speaking of WHICH:), for any of you keeping tabs, my birthday's july 1. and, just in case you were wondering, i LOVE presents:).

enough of the gift propaganda and talk of greenery. happy mother's day, everyone. i hope you spent yours with someone special:).

Friday, May 09, 2003

'it's not the pale moon that excites me, that thrills and delights me. oh no, it's just the nearness of you....'**

right now, i feel like crap. inside and out. so, instead of discussing all the various and sundry reasons why (and the implications and ramifications of such), i will instead talk about something that delights and perplexes me....

there's this moment when two people are exchanging a vibe, and everything kind of goes all fuzzy and wispy. and in that smudgy place, there comes, strangely enough, a deep-settling clarity about some things going on inside of you....how you feel, what you want, where you are. certain things suddenly seem possible that one might censor inside oneself during non-wispy moments (i.e., the rest of life). perhaps i'm the only one who has any clue of what it is that i'm speaking here, but i can't imagine so....

the truth is that i wouldn't want to spend my entire reality in such a condition, but every now and again (okay, frequently, even), it's nice to meander in that direction for awhile....especially if the other person is wandering that way with you.

to feel beaten and bruised by this world, and then to come back to a safe place where you can fall...a place that's warm and inviting and doesn't tell you that you haven't done enough to earn the comfort you need...a lap where you can lay your head down and feel a strong hand softly stroking your hair...this is the stuff. this is acceptance, comfort, love, assurance. it is the arms that tightly hold when i have lost the strength to cling. it is the voice saying my name on the other end of the phone. it is the knowing and the being known.

it is a gift from God's heart to mine. i will not question it this time around....

(**hoagy carmichael/ned washington)

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

working it out

well, my exercising has been going fairly well, although i had to take a 2-day hiatus due to exhaustion. last friday, i worked my butt off, and by saturday, fatigue had really set into my bones. i had a paltry workout on saturday morning, and then took sunday and yesterday off. i needed the rest, obviously, because today when i went back in there, i was pretty much ready to go. it feels good to sweat, to be sore, to know that you're doing something....

in other news, i've been rather down the last few days. a wave of sadness washed over me late last week, and i haven't really been able to get out from under it. it would be easy to sit and analyze the reasons for it. but the truth is that i don't really need a reason. i've got lots of them from which to choose. it's really not about that, though....it's more along the lines of God bringing up another round of mess for me to process, and while it hurts, i'm grateful for it. it's changing me and making me stronger in Him.

to feel one's pain: this is a discipline more difficult to master than any stationary bike-riding regimen or weight routine will ever hope to be.

and so, i plod ahead....

Friday, May 02, 2003

the friday five

note: this was way too hard. i'm sure i left out a million songs, but here's what i could come up with, as of now....

1. name one song you hate to admit you like. 'weekend in new england' (barry manilow)

2. name two songs that always make you cry. 'watch the lamb' (ray boltz) & 'isn't she lovely?' (stevie wonder)

3. name three songs that turn you on. 'fortress around your heart' (sting), 'i wanna know' (joe), 'anytime' (brian mcknight)

4. name four songs that always make you feel good. 'fly me to the moon' (sinatra), 'that's all' (mel torme), 'for the girl who has everything' ('nsync), 'human superstar' (cross movement)

5. name five songs you couldn't ever do without. '6, 8, 12'(brian mcknight), 'hold me jesus' (rich mullins), 'carolina in my mind' (james taylor), 'watershed' & 'hammer and a nail' (indigo girls)
lopsided

yesterday, while sitting in my car for an hour, i managed to get a sunburn on my left arm. WHY do i do this to myself every year? i know what's going to happen now: i'll get all freckled (even more than i already am) on that arm and my right arm will remain remarkably bare. yeesh.

yesterday was one of our off days from exercising (pre-determined), but i still felt like a slug for not moving. can i be honest, though? today i'm not feeling very well. i wish i had gone ahead and done something yesterday and then i could have skipped today. hmm...perhaps if i just push through the yuckiness, i'll feel better. i know it might sound dumb, but this sunburn is really hampering me. it's on my face a bit, too, and that never helps:(

blah day. blah and sore and unevenly discolored.

:P

Thursday, May 01, 2003

illumination

it used to be that when you looked me full in the face, i had to turn away, for fear that you'd see what was really there. i suspected that my eyes would betray me somehow...that i would be left, exposed and embarrassed in my wanting. and so my gazes wandered - my solace and protection, the lack of focus. but tonight....and these day, in general....i'm not worrying about what you will find when you look at me....not trying to deny myself, my heart. i'm finally able to trust a man with my feelings, without regret or qualification.

what would be the use in hiding anyway? the world is not fooled by my supposed 'discretion'. no one has believed for ages that the emotions weren't there. how can you hide a beaming light? how can you mask the kind of joy that follows when someone is being cared for the way that you care for me? salimah said that my face has changed somehow....softened, relaxed. in my estimation, there is a marked lack of shame where much once resided. i'm not embarrassed by my feelings for you. i'm not ashamed to say what it is that i want, how i feel, who i am.

and even though i am often disarmed by the tenderness in your eyes, i can meet your gaze without hiding. in truth, there isn't anyone that i trust as much as you. there is no one else to whom i would want to show myself, no one i would trust to take a good look at everything about me and still see me for who i am.

but you do see me.

i want you to see me.