Monday, October 24, 2005

newbie

okay, this is gonna be a SUPER quick post: basically, i got my new computer today!! all is well with it, except that i nearly herniated myself trying to get all three boxes up the stairs (one for the cpu, one for the monitor, one for the speakers - seemed like excessive packaging, if you ask me!). unfortunately, the wireless keyboard and mouse i ordered didn't arrive with the system (on backorder), but i thought i'd be all good, because i have a spare mouse and keyboard to use.

um, yeah, except for one minor problem: my cpu has no ps2 jack. oy. so i had to go out in the cold, spitting rain to staples (not a highlight of my day, i'll tell you) to pick up a new keyboard (the adaptors were only 4 bucks cheaper than a whole new keyboard - highway robbery!) to tide me over. thank God my mouse works; it was already usb.

anyhoo, it's all set up; all the software came pre-installed (thank you, Jesus!) and so far everything works great. it's a fast little guy - 2.8ghz with 1 gig of ram. i should've gotten a better graphics card, but i think i can manage for now;).

pics will be forthcoming, and i'm fairly certain he needs a name. yes, it's a boy. for sure. and i think he might be greek, but i'm not 100% on that detail yet....

:)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

waylayed

i've been feeling sick the last two days. some type of virus-y thing, i suspect. but i'm better now (i think).

i stayed home yesterday to be able to work in the comfort of my pajamas, but i wound up sleeping quite a bit in the afternoon, so today i'm making up for it by doing lots of work, work, work!!

in other news, i ordered myself a new computer. my laptop is over, i've realized, and while it still works just fine, i need something that isn't cracked (!), has a bigger monitor (hence, i'm getting a desktop this time around, but with a flat panel), and that has more updated features so that i can begin to expand my writing/editing life. i had a nerve-wracking -- nay, hellacious -- time with dell trying to get this thing ordered (and correctly so), and if it weren't for the fact that they have good computers and their macked out system was less than i would have paid elsewhere, i wouldn't have bothered.

at this point, i'm just trying to lay low about it all and hope that it arrives this week.

so, it's a rainy saturday, i've got much to do, and i'm hoping to actually get it done so that i can have some time this weekend to just relax. i have another chance today to be different than i was the day before. let's see how it goes....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

debris

so many thoughts are swimming around in my head, it's making me dizzy. i just wish i could have one day where i didn't feel like my mind was a spiraling cloud of debris.

my apartment needs dusting and vacuuming. i have laundry to do. i'm meeting a friend for lunch. i need to read a book for my book club. i have freelance work that's been waiting on me for a couple of weeks. why can't i accomplish the things i want to accomplish?

okay, so clearly i'm a bit depressed. apparently all the recent activity in my life has been holding at bay the inevitable downswing of my mood. it's not horrid or anything. just more like ennui.

but let me tell you: ennui don't get the floors cleaned.

and for the record, spending the last two mornings crying on my way to work doesn't particularly help things either.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

vacation, all i ever wanted. vacation, had to get away

okay, so i tried to post yesterday about my weekend in new england, but my computer wigged out halfway through and i had to perform an emergency shut-down.

suffice it to say that my weekend with salimah and cat was fantastic: much relaxation, yummy food, FUN purchases, tooling around small towns, and being in one of my favorite cities ever. boston has such a great energy about it, and i've always LOVED that accent!

quick recap: salimah and i left just before 5 a.m. on friday morning, was on the new jersey turnpike by 6:10ish, and in boston by 1 (we deliberately took an extra long stop along the way to allow miss catchka to have time to get herself in order before we barged in on her life for three days). it was a completely lovely, uneventful trip, made even better by the fact that i had made a two-volume, kick butt (if i do say so myself) 'please come to boston' mix to commemorate the place i am in my life right now and where i want to be.

friday afternoon, admist some balmy drizzle, we made our way to concord and hung out at louisa may alcott's stomping grounds. there was such a whimsical vibe in that transcendentalist home [and i later discovered that i had been there more than 25 years ago. can't say whether it's changed; i have no memory of that visit:)], and honestly it made me want to go and write something.

after a lovely dinner of chicken saltimbocca (compliments of cat), we headed off to dreamland rather early (having been up since 4). saturday morning, we got a slow start and drove to winchester to the griffin museum of photography for an exhibit on photojournalism, and then to porter square for sushi and shopping at this very asian-centric 'mall.' while there, i scored a fun japanese bowl and small chinese pastry (later consumed at starbucks).

after a quick detour to pier one on the way to the car, we ambled to davis square and, after pumpkin lattes, cocoa, and a mini-photo shoot, we spent the rest of the day window shopping at used book and CD stores. we dined at red bones bbq restaurant and then drove to arlington heights for ice cream and a quick tour through the neighborhood where my aunt, uncle, and cousin lived - and where i spent two summer trips as a 12- and 13-year-old.

by this time, the temperature had dropped quite a bit, and it was finally starting to feel like fall in new england to me (yay!). once home, we hung out before bed and then made plans to rise a bit earlier on sunday morning, because we were meeting one of my dear childhood friends, her husband, and baby for brunch at renee's cafe in davis square (i had a bbq chicken, apple, and cheddar omelette - delish!). we had a lovely time and were thoroughly entertained by little jack who, at just 16 months of age, already has the look of a charmer and the budding personality to match.

after brunch, we bid them a quick farewell and headed off to rockport, a seaside town with lovely shops and little seafood joints tucked together along crooked streets. even for a chilly, windy sunday, the town was hopping with visitors, and we dashed from shop to shop, trying to avoid being in the cold air for long stretches. the sea was gray and the ocean sprayed gloriously against those craggy new england rocks. it simply did my heart good to look at it. also, the seagulls were HUGE, and the chowdah (eaten at ellen's harborside restaurant) was rather satisfying and tasty. after lunch, we got cocoa and walked down the main dock for some photos and gazing at the sea before retreating back to the warmth of the shops.

while in rockport, i scored a few little goodies, including a lovely silver claddagh ring from the village silversmith (i've been wanting one for more than half my life; it seemed high time to get one for myself). after several hours of shopping and bearing the cold, we traveled back inland and hit up one final shop (with homemade pottery that i had been eyeing every time we drove by) before going home for a meal of homemade chicken enchiladas.

monday morning came early and we were in the car by 6. we made it home in about eight hours again (this time because our bladders seemed continually full and we had to stop no fewer than five times), with no traffic or problems along the way.

it was a satisfying time away from home, and although it came and went too quickly, i am so grateful for having had that respite. the past two days, i've been at home doing chores and hanging out with salimah. last night, we took in a late screening of 'just like heaven,' featuring the lovely mark ruffalo and then today had a sushi lunch, some shopping at whole foods for me, and then time at the one world cafe so that she could write a poem for class and i could catch up on some celebrity rags.

tomorrow i venture back to the real world. it's a bittersweet thing - stepping into your actual life again after some time away - but it must be done. besides, i've only got to endure two days and then the weekend comes again.

but for now, the memory of the sea and the air and the feeling of somewhere else will comfort me....

Sunday, October 02, 2005

metaphor

these days, when i come back at night to an empty apartment, i practice walking around in the dark, if only to prove to myself that i know the way from one room to the next. i sense the walls, the couch, the lamp, the CD rack. i feel when i am closed in and when i'm surrounded by nothing. clearly, this is me throwing myself a bone: it's the one area in which i get to choose whether there is light for my path.

if only i had control of the light switch for the rest of my life....

this afternoon, i went with salimah and a friend from her poetry group to the play the last five years (playing at the everyman theatre). it was a musical and for some reason, salimah had it in her head that it was largely a comedy, despite the fact that the plot involved a breakup. i went expecting to be amused, or at the very least not depressed.

um, yeah. musical or no, this show was decidedly uncomedic in nature. in fact, there were points at which i had to fight back tears -- the song lyrics were that eerily similar to my own existence over the last month or so.

it was hard not to feel the room spinning out of control while i sat there in the dark, wondering why i had agreed to go. oh, don't get me wrong: it was a well-done production. and even despite the subject matter, i enjoyed it...but it was presenting quite the challenge to avoid the line of thought that this was, in essence, some cruel joke i had played on myself.

and i'm not going to even go into the reading material that seemed to present itself EVERYWHERE at the barnes and noble this evening. yeah, okay, so i'm sure you can figure out what its primary focus was....

anyhoo, the point is this: i'm confused. i feel uncertain. i'm at some points sad (like right now, for instance). i'm not avoiding, but i also sense that i'm sort of sliding along the surface of what, i know, is a deeper well of hurt. i do dip in my toes every so often, but not all at once, because i'm trying to be kind to myself as much as possible.

i don't know what my future holds. i don't know what happens next. i DO feel like i'm walking around in the dark much of the time, except that one message (books and plays aside) keeps showing up in my heart more than any other: trust God.

and so i must, even though i'm scared and weary and feeling very vulnerable and at times raw with emotion. i must trust that these steps i'm taking will cover more ground than even i can anticipate. and that when my path is lit with understanding, i'll see so clearly how my heart has changed. and i'll be better for it. more able to love God. more open to loving others. less hurt. less afraid.

i can't see ahead of me, God. but i know You're there. help me to know You're here now, too. help me to lay fear aside, to be willing to answer when You call, to know that You are for me, that you are building and not tearing down, that You are healing what was broken, that You are lighting what was dark.

all in due time, i suppose. i must be patient, learn to wait. but meanwhile? i keep practicing....

'now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.'
(hebrews 11:1)