Monday, August 27, 2007

Sometimes, the Results Are All That Matter

Apparently, in many ways, I am very unusual when it comes to dreams. For one thing, I almost always remember my dreams, often quite vividly and sometimes for years at a time. For another, I usually dream in black-and-white, with select people or things appearing in color. And lastly, I dream in third-person - my dreams are like watching a movie, and while I can feel and experience things as if I'm living them out first-hand, I am always watching myself and others from some other perspective.

A couple years ago, I had a dream that was very strange for me. It was in color, and it was from a first-person perspective. Nothing out of the ordinary was really happening - no weird creatures, no magical elements. Except for one thing:

I was talking to my dad.

I had a dream all about talking to Dad. I sat with him, face to face, and told him about my life. I told him I'd gone to Stanford and graduated with my degree. I told him about J., and how much I loved him, and how I thought he might be the one. I shared my life with my dad - everything that had happened since he died. Everything he'd missed.

And he listened, with a smile, not speaking until the end. And when I was done, he said simply, "I know. I saw it."

I woke up happier than I'd been in a long time. Oh, sure, there was that pang of sadness to wake up to a life without him again. But it felt like I'd really talked to him, and that was something I'd longed for since the day he died.

Some people might say that my dream was no dream at all - that my father, as an angel or spirit of some kind, was really visiting me in my sleep. Others might argue that my sub-conscious was merely creating a situation wherein I could let out some of my bottled up emotional baggage, and it came in the form of an imagined conversation with my father. Still others might claim that it was nothing more than a dream, as random as any other.

I tried for a while to figure it out, but in the end, I realized it doesn't matter. I felt better that day, because of that dream. I felt closer to my dad for a little while, which is a rare thing for me. And I felt closure about some things I thought would be open forever.

Sometimes, I think maybe it's okay to leave questions unanswered and phenomena unexplained, and just be grateful for what they made possible.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Arts and Crafts Google-age

One of the myths a lot of people seem to hold about my job is that it's all playtime. Certainly the kids have a lot of time to play and have fun, but I? Don't really get to join in. Since I'm always supervising, I don't get to run around the playground with them, and I never get to do the fun art projects. There was one time I tried drawing with the kids during afternoon art time, and Boss Lady got upset, saying that if any parents saw me doing that they'd be very upset. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I'm not supposed to be playing or having fun with the kids - it's better to be distant and cold, right?

Well, because of this, I decided to host a little arts and crafts day for me and some friends. Boss Lady was kind enough to let me borrow any and all art supplies I wanted, as well as a work table and some of those tiny plastic kiddie chairs. Attendees included New Boy, Tali and K., and Graham. We made collages, decorated picture frames, painted greeting cards, and had general merriment all around. I highly recommend this as a fun way to get together with friends on a sunny weekend afternoon. Because doesn't this look like fun?

(That's New Boy on the left in the green.)

Besides, now I have a decorated fridge:

If you want a greeting card that looks like it was made by a 3-year-old, email me your address and I will send you a Lara David original.

And that's a bona fide offer.


I Want to Date These People

optical illusions thirteens man - Because nothing spices up a relationship like having your man suddenly disappear. Or become thirteen of himself.

Dr Pepper Berries and Cream guy - You know, he's not too bad. But that Starburst Berries N' Cream guy? Now he's hot.

fortune tellers telling me at what age i will die - What a handy person to have around, someone who knows when I'll die and isn't afraid to tell me. Of course, that might be a pretty big mood-killer, you know? "Oh, honey, you're so hot. It's too bad you'll be dying in a fiery crash next Thursday."

struggling depression twentysomething - We're like peas in a pod! Clearly, we were made for each other. We'll drag each other down into our respective depressions until we self-destruct in a big pile of flames and ash. And we'll probably have great sex along the way.

miss ish - Miss Ish is awesome. Why would anyone not want to date her?

ophelia king crab - I think this world needs more crustacean-human interbreeding.

i'm sweet but not enough to give you a toothache - That's good, because I hate toothaches. But I do like boys who are sweet. I also like cookies. And cupcakes. And boxes of chocolate. And did I mention the cookies?

Mr. Darcy and rising out of the water - Oh yeah... I'll be having sweet dreams tonight after thinking about that scene. Oh, Colin Firth, how hot you are swimming around with no shirt on.

Oh It Seems Like a Good Idea Now...

sleepover tickle - Tickle fights area brilliantly entertaining part of sleepovers... until you start tickling that one girl who completely lacks bladder control. That's when the game stops being fun.

learning to love myself - Very important part of life. However, if you're looking for a support group, make sure it's not a "self-love" support group. Those are different. Trust me.

tickling as flirting - See above, where I discuss bladder control.

letters of encouragement to your daughter - "Dearest daughter, I am so proud of what you have accomplished so far in your life. When you accepted your prize as second runner-up at Stripperlympics 2004, I cried tears of joy. Now that you've accepted Paco the Pimp's kind offer, I hope you might consider moving out of my basement. Love, Mom."

Rolling Chairs for Education - Not the greatest fund-raising endeavor in the history of high schools.

twist oreos lick frosting - Enough twisting and you'll have a nasty case of carpal tunnel, mister.

banging sisters best friend - Yeah, when you're a horny 16-year-old boy, this always seems like a good idea. It's really not.

cinnamon trident discussion - It's nice until those damned spearmint enthusiasts show up and ruin everything.

see my underwear skirt - You think it's a good idea to write about what's under your skirt, but then you start getting creepy emails from strange men asking to get "more information" about what's down there. Yeah, that's not frightening at all...

sending your date on a scavenger hunt before the date - How sweet! But two days later, when she still hasn't returned, you'll have a lot to answer for.

And the WTF?! for today goes to:

diagramming sentences because city roads are crowed, I will buy a bicycle.

To which we say: WTF?!

Any strange searches for you lately?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Staples of Youth: The Older Sibling Crush

We've been having a fair amount of change at work lately, with a number of kids moving on to new schools and a number of other kids moving in to ours. I'm sure I'll give an updated "Cast and Crew" list soon, but in the meantime, I'll just mention one in particular.

At least he naps...
Pacer (yep, he paces... with his hands behind his back... looks like a tiny businessman) has been with us only three days so far, and his transition is going completely normally. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with a "normal" preschool transition, this means he cries a lot when it's time for Daddy to leave in the mornings. And sometimes he cries for Daddy during the day too. This is normal, though, because he's adjusting to a new situation, so it's okay to long for the familiar; abnormal transitions are ones in which the kid cries the entire time.

Yesterday, Pacer's older brother L. came with Daddy to drop him off. L. is six years old (our oldest kids are four), and will be starting first grade soon, but his school doesn't start until next week. With some of our kids on vacation, we had a lighter schedule than normal, so we invited L. to spend the morning playing with us at school. This way, we figured, Pacer could have someone with whom he felt comfortable, but who wouldn't seem terribly out of place (like, say, a large grown-up person might). L. agreed, and Dad was able to sneak out without any tears at all from Pacer.

Within minutes, however, we had a new problem, completely unforseen: Bossy (age 3) was completely and totally infatuated with L.

She stared up at his with starry eyes, asking if he wanted to read a book with her, or help her with this puzzle, or would he maybe like to go for a walk on the playground? He would say, "I'm going to play in the sandbox," and Bossy would quickly announce, "I'm going to play in the sandbox, too!" before running after him. She would show off for him, sometimes subtly - by which I mean staring at him intensely while jumping and shouting repeatedly in his field of vision - and sometimes more obviously, with a "Look what I can do!" warning before some seemingly death-defying stunt. When we went to the table for snack. or an art project, or lunch, L. would sit down and Bossy would lunge for the seat beside him, announcing to the world, "I'm going to sit next to L."

Funny thing is? I don't think he noticed her. At. All.

Poor little Bossy, chasing after him like a lovesick puppy. And Boss Lady and I couldn't help but chuckle as we watched the drama unfold, because we know how this goes. It's a tale with which we're all, I think, familiar: Girl goes to friend's house one afternoon to study, when suddenly hunky older brother walks into the kitchen fresh out of basketball practice and grabs a snack, sparing only a sidelong glance for this new specimen of female sitting in his kitchen. Maybe, if she's lucky, she gets a "Hey," from his angelic lips.

Come on, you can't tell me you haven't been there. I spent a large chunk of high school silently adoring my best friend's brother, Tim. Boy didn't give me a second look until college, after I'd already dated his best friend. But damn, I worshiped the ground he walked on. And the pool he played in, since I went religiously to every single one of his water polo games.

It works other ways, too. My brother's friend Kevin had a crush on me, despite his being two years younger than I was, at my wise old age of 13. And I can't even begin to count the number of times my male friends came over, only to fawn over my hot, blonde-haired, blue-eyed older sister. Because apparently this was all the rage at the time:

Oh, Seeser - please don't hate me for showing this picture to the world.

Seems to me, looking back, like this older sibling crush was an integral part of adolescence. I had it on Tim, Kevin had it on me, my friends had it on my sister - everyone was taking part in this trend.

So how about you? Any "older sibling crush" stories to share? Or am I totally crazy in thinking this is common?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thievery: A Special Kind of Love

Two stolen memes today, because the only thing better than a meme on a slow Tuesday is two memes. (But three is just too much.) If you're not so into memes, you can skip to the bottom to leave a comment telling me why.

First, from Miss A., a Blogging Tips Meme.

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a star (*) beside those you like. Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general. After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends! Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn.

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other.

3. Don’t let money change ya!

4. Always reply to your comments. *

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. *

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile.

7. Give link credit where credit is due. *

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post. **

9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you - it’s nice to know who is reading! **

10. When commenting on others’ blogs, a few kind words go a long way. **

11. Don’t limit yourself to reading only where you think your interests are; blogging can add infinitely to one’s knowledge base. *

12. Don’t write a book and consider writing text that equals 2 minutes of reading . Some of us have short attention spans and can’t handle reading a 10 page paper in a web browser. Pictures sometimes say it better than words. ( I know someone else aready said it, but it was a good hint)

13. Blogging should never be a chore - if it's not fun anymore, something needs to change!

Um, I'll ignore the tagging part this time. If you're interested, consider yourself tagged!


I really liked this second meme when I saw it over at the Meme Queen's (aka Tense Teacher). I was too busy to steal it sooner, but it's here now. Learn about the utter banality that is my daily life. Woot!

1. You wake up in the morning. What time is it probably?
If it's a weekday, I'm waking to my alarm at 7:00am. If it's a normal weekend, I'm waking whenever I damn well please, which lately seems to be around 10am. I miss the days of 2pm wake-ups.

2. You get yourself some breakfast. What do you make?
I don't "make" anything. I do, however, pour myself some cereal and milk. Anything more complicated than Special K is beyond me in that state of grogginess.

3. Someone calls you on the phone. Who do you want it to be?
Who the f*ck is calling me this early?! I think I want it to be Boss Lady telling me that all the kids have called in sick and I can have the day off to sleep in.

4. You turn on the TV for a bit. What channel do you put it on?
Early in the morning, nothing beats Cartoon Network for a little Tom and Jerry.

5. You have some time to kill before you leave. What do you do?
Read blogs. Yep, I'm still reading, even when I don't comment.

6. You go and have a shower. How long does it take you?
It takes me no time at all, because I never shower in the mornings. However, if you want to know about my evening showers, you can read about them in #1 here.

7. You decide to get yourself ready for your day. How long does it take?
About 15 minutes.

8. You put on some makeup. What do you put on?
I put on my Bare Minerals! (Remember here when I said I had ordered some? I wear it religiously now.) Start with foundation, then a little concealer. Next comes the "Warmth" shade, which is not quite a blush and not quite a bronzer, but the best of both. Then the "Mineral Veil" finishing powder. Last but not least, I apply my Softlips moisturizing lip balm.

9. You’re ready to leave. What do you take out with you?
My purse, keys, sunglasses, and a sweater.

10. How long does it take you to get to work?
Morning street traffic makes it about 15 minutes (in the afternoon, when I go home for lunch, it takes only 10).

11. What is the first thing you do when you get to work?
Sign myself in. Then take off my shoes and put down my things. Then start supervising the kiddos on their tasks.

12. Do you take part in office gossip/water cooler talk?
Boss Lady and I talk about the kids, if that's how this translates. Some of that is definitely necessary, though - talking about their progress and development, problems they're having in different tasks, ways they're interacting, etc. I'll admit, though, that we sometimes "gossip" about the kids and/or their parents, too.

13. Anything particularly annoying about each work day?
Wiping boogers gets old after a while, and the "Who's poopy?" game is one in which no one wins.

14. What’s the best part of the day?
Any of those little moments when one of the kids does something adorable. There are actually a lot of those moments, for which I consider myself quite lucky.

15. Do you usually leave on time or stay late? Take any work home with you?
Oh, I definitely leave on time - 5:15 on the dot. And no, I don't take any work home with me. The kids generally go home with their parents. If I brought one home, Nora would probably eat him/her.

16. The boss calls to tell you that don’t have to work, and you’re free for a whole day. What do you do?
First and foremost, I go back to bed. Mmmm, sleep. After that, I'd be open to suggestions.

17. With whom would you want to spend the day?
Maybe New Boy, because he makes me sigh and giggle.

18. You go to the store to get some snackage, but it turns out you can only buy one thing there. What do you buy? Why can I only buy one thing? Is this some weird promotional thing from the store? I think I'd buy Cocoa Krispies and hope I already have milk at home. If I don't, I'll find some sucker off the street to use his "one thing" to buy me some milk.

These are not the boots I had in mind.
19. You’re walking down the street and you find a magic lamp that grants you 3 wishes. What do you wish for?
A never-ending money supply, the ability to teleport myself and others, and a really nice pair of boots.

20. You meet a man who says he will give you your dream job, what is it?
Some combination of writing, photography, and dancing, plus teaching any or all of the three.

21. You can choose any concert of any singer/band in the world; whose do you go to?
Rascal Flatts. (This is becoming a very busy day!)

22. You get home and there’s a check for $50,000 in the mail for you. On what would you spend it?
Nothing. I would bank it.

23. You get to bring back anyone from the dead, famous or not. Who would it be?
Dad. If only...

24. You get to interview your favorite celebrity. Who is it, and what would you ask him/her?
Hugh Jackman, and I'd ask, "Will you sleep with me?"

25. You get to see into the future but you can only find out one thing about your future life. What would you want to find out?
Who I'm going to marry.

26. At the end of your perfect day, you go on a perfect date; describe it.
A nice dinner, followed by dancing, at the Top of the Mark. Walking along the beach and talking until 4am. Finished off with a totally romantic and foot-popping kiss.

Anyone want to steal? Meme-stealing is how you show you care.


In New Boy news, there have been many requests for photos. Soon, my friends, soon. If knowing that people he has never met (and probably will never meet) are desperate to know what he looks like doesn't scare him off first...

Monday, August 20, 2007

You're All Just Gullible

Before I get to today's post, I would just like to say that I had a Sunday Google-age mostly ready to go yesterday and would have posted it, if New Boy hadn't distracted me. Not that I minded the distraction, of course. I'm just sayin's all: Not. My. Fault.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the more important things. Tense Teacher has presented me with the "Nice Matters" award:

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people and good blog friends - those who bring good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

To which I say: Huh?

It's funny - I've realized for a while now that I somehow got this reputation for being a (gasp!) Nice Person in the blogosphere. I'm not sure how you all were so easily fooled, but from what I hear, I was repeatedly deemed "sweet" when my name came up in conversations at Blogher. Somehow, the fact that I often like to leave supportive comments for folks going through tough times has been construed as niceness. Or the fact that I've occasionally written posts about how wonderful my friends are. Or the fact that I sometimes send emails checking in with other bloggers to make sure all is well with them. Or the fact that I sent greeting cards with Lady M for a number of bloggers at Blogher.


Okay, maybe I'm a little nice. But only sometimes. And I'm still snarky sometimes, too. (Right, Ali?)

Well, thank you, Tense. You're sweet to think of me, and in case you doubted it, you well deserve this particular award.

And now, in no particular order, I'd like to introduce you to seven of the nicest bloggers you'll ever read:

Lady M
Mayberry Mom
Her Bad Mother

Congrats, you Belles of the Blogosphere! I heart you all THIS much.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Inhale and Exhale: A Poet's Words Breathe

And then there are moments when words are a vessel,
carrying forward their meaning in sound.

Beyond that, they carry no meaning at all,

for words can be worthless when feeling is bound

to the meaning imposed by reality. Better

to leave them until some emotion is found.

And when that emotion appears, it is better

to write the words up without reason around.

Days like today, I can't seem to escape the poetry. Words flow through my head like water, a shifting tide but ever present, seeping through to anything and everything I do. I see the world differently, as a world to be read and translated and somehow shared - somehow, in a way so people can see and hear and feel the way that I do, with these words that never stop. It is at once tragic and hopeful; filled with possibility while falling in upon itself. This is the world I inhabit when the poet's heart takes over.

I wonder, at times, how I will ever find a lover for my poet's heart. My poet's heart is the soft insanity of my life - the heart that bleeds tears of compassion for others and suffering for self. My poet's heart is the font of all the words that seem to make no sense, because their sense is in their sound, and in their feeling, and beyond that the meaning is transient and useless. My poet's heart is why I hold my hand to the window late at night, to feel the cool glass and sit watching for a change that might only come if I can push through to my own reflection. Because my poet's heart believes that kind of thing is possible - that all things are possible if I feel them enough.

Who, but a poet, can ever learn to love such nonsense as I do? Who else can learn to believe in my magical world, have faith in the wondrousness of the impossible, yet mourn with me the loss of innocence and purity and all things imagined? Who will see the extremes that I see - without judgment, without scorn - yet anchor me to the firmness of center?

Who will love the breathing words that make up the core of my poet's soul?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hot or Not?

Well, Diva Dee dished it out over at So Many Blogs, So Little Time, and my blog has officially been reviewed. Was it good, bad, and/or ugly? Go read to find out.

Then come back.

I'll wait.


*Am humming "Strangers in the Night"*


Back now? Good.

So honestly, everything she said about the template is stuff I already knew. Some of you may remember when I used to have the more green-themed template. Was it still pretty unoriginal? Yes, but I liked it better than the blue. I'm not even sure why I stayed with the blue as long as I did. About a week ago I started looking into other templates I could use. The problem seems to be that with the new Blogger - using the Layouts template design, instead of Classic - I can't just put in a free template code and be done with it. Anyone want to take me by the hand and help me find something good and easy to manage? Diva Dee? Graham?

In the meantime, you'll notice I've switched templates again. While it's still boring, I like the simple white better than I liked the blue, so while I'm looking for something better, I'll stick with this. I also like the header graphic, though I'm still messing with it - I know, for example, that you can't read the blog title or description very well over the pics. I also know that my labels are currently not appearing in the sidebar, because I put in code for a label cloud before I decided to switch templates, so now I need to start over (but at least I know how and know it works). I'll be tweaking a bit over the next few days, so don't mind the dust as the site undergoes a bit of construction. I promise the content will be as rough-and-tumble as ever. Because apparently, my words are the one thing I've really got going for me.

Thanks, Diva Dee, for the kind review. I was terrified of you all these weeks for nothing.


Update: As you can see, we've had sort of a major overhaul. Personally, I really like it. So even though I don't think you'll be able to convince me to change it, I'm still curious to know what y'all think.

Comments are there. Please discuss.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Little Dating Dish with the Google-age

Okay, stop nagging me! Seriously, y'all can stop with the emails and IMs asking for details about the New Boy. Actually, scratch that - if you stop, I'll think you don't love me anymore. Nagging is how you show you care, right?

Okay, so the timeline of our "relationship" thus far is as follows:
  • Saturday, July 21: We meet at a blues party and he asks me out (before I can ask him).
  • Friday, August 3: We go out on date #1. I go to his place, we walk downtown for dinner, and then we hang out chatting until very late.
  • Saturday, August 4: After seeing Becoming Jane, I go over to New Boy's to hang out with him and another friend for a while. We are again chatting until very late. I'm still uncertain if this is date #2 or not. We'll call it #1.5.
  • Sunday, August 5 (Yes, this is three days in a row): New Boy comes over for take-out and watching dance vids. We are again chatting until very late.
  • Wednesday, August 8: We both (independently, though knowing the other would be there) go out swing dancing. We hang out and share a number of great dances.
  • Friday, August 10: New Boy takes me out on a "real" date. He described "real" date as one in which we get dressed up, we go out to a nice dinner and/or show, I let him put his arm around me if he's lucky, and when it's all over he gives me a goodnight kiss on the front porch. I certainly took the "getting dressed up" part to heart, and decided to try something new with my hair:
Yep, those would be curls.
  • Saturday, August 11: We go out to dinner at a nice tapas place with live music, then return to my apartment to watch a movie and hang out. We are, yet again, chatting until very late.
And that, dear readers brings us to today. No plans to see him, but you never really know, right?

In case it wasn't obvious by how much I've seen of him, I do like him quite a bit. He's already won tons of brownie points for being a super sweet and amazing guy. He complains that he's always the "nice guy," and how "nice guys finish last." Well, I suppose that sometimes that's true. But for me - and many other girls out there - in the end, it's gotta be a nice guy who finishes first.


[We're going sans categories today, folks. Learn to love the chaos.]

exams and cutting wrists - What kind of exams are you taking? Unless it's a medical exam that somehow involves wrist surgery, you should probably look into some help, 'cause this is a problem.

tsm sleep deprivation - Oh, dear. Tracy, are you having sleeping problems?

my GAF is only 65 - If you actually know what your GAF is, you're probably already in therapy, so I guess you don't anything from me.

life is a blank canvas metaphor - Life is actually a lot of different metaphors, all thrown together. But the blank canvas one is pretty good.

cinderella negative effects - Well first there's all the soot in your hair...

my tampon in my hand my period - You know, it actually doesn't work nearly as well if that's where you're putting it.

how many marbles;life - Huh? I don't know how many, but I think you lost them.

my mom is emotionally unstable - You're no prize.

people who look like porcelain dolls - Do you see these people often? Do they try to speak to you? Do they ever try to convince you to commit violent crimes? If so, they might not be real.

tali I shot myself - You know, I don't think Tali will be able to help you as much as a licensed professional could.

Petticoat Boy - The longtime sidekick of Captain Bloomers!

Aussie bites cookies - Details at eleven.

glad you're back sayings - Because, "I'm glad you're back!" is so unoriginal.

perfume with scent of zest soap - Why do you need this? Couldn't you just use Zest soap and be done with it?

i guess this is goodbye and i'll never forget you - No, don't leave me! I'm sure we can find a way to work this out, whatever it is, and whoever you are.

pantyhose for sweet sixteen - You know, there really are better gifts out there.

remember the sunblock graduation song? - Totally! And it was all, "Wear sunscreen," and I was all, "Yeah!" and there was some other stuff about life or whatever. Yeah, those were the days.

how much a man appreciates you in his life - Probably directly correlates with how many blow jobs he gets. Oh, wait. Did I say that out loud?

contrary to the popular belief i DO have guy friends that are JUST friends - Really? They probably don't appreciate you in their lives very much then. Unless you're in that special "blow job" stage of the friendship.

I don't have a maternal instinct - Do you have kids? 'Cause if not, it's not really a big deal, is it? Oh, also if you're a dude.

missy higgins ru - If you call me that again, I will have to slap you across the face.

roofies for sale - When? Where? Your advertising sucks.

how to stop mental distractions - Stop thinking. (Let me know if this works.)

How much should I pay someone to babysit, massachussetts - Well, babysitting Massachusetts is a pretty big job. I mean, if it were Rhode Island or something, it'd be a lot less. At least it's not Jersey, though...

look see underwear - Yes, I see. Very nice.

LOOK SEE UNDERWEAR - I said I see them! Jeez, you don't have to yell.

lara + kennyramone - Sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

just alil bit uncencored - Just alil bit unspellchecked.

lara david blog - You've come to the right place. Also try here.

Remember to share one of your own recent searches in the comments, or just pick a fave of these to giggle over. See you next Sunday!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Not Going Back

I can remember a time, not too long ago, in the midst of my depression, when all I could think about was "getting back to normal." I talked often about wishing I could "go back to the way things were," or "be myself again." I was thinking of myself as a completed picture - a set object, already ordered and organized and fully designed and produced. Packaged neatly in a pristine box, I sat for years on a pretty shelf. Depression, it seemed at the time, had yanked me violently from the box, pulled me apart, and left me broken in pieces. Somehow, I had to get back into my box.

But ten months later, I find myself now seeing things different. I see me now in motion, constantly growing and changing. I'm not sitting stagnant in a box - I'm moving forward on the timeline of my life. Going "back" to anything from before the depression would be just that: a step in the wrong direction. I can't go back to the way things were, and I shouldn't want to.

That doesn't mean nothing is the same or similar to the way it was before. There are pieces of this newer me that look unchanged - I still love to dance, I still love little kids, I still love my amazing friends. My family is still by my side, as they always have been. I haven't moved to a new country, though I did move to a new apartment. Many things are the same for me.

But all that means is that I'm still me. It means I'm growing and changing, not disappearing entirely. I'm different, but not gone.

I was talking to my mom last night about some of the ways in which I've grown the most over the last year or so. Some of these changes can actually be seen in how I think about blogging - in general, in others' blogs, and in my own. For example, most of you know I keep stats on my posts, and one of the stats I record is the number of comments I receive on each post. These numbers used to cause me no end of stress and obsession. I used to hover by my mail, just waiting for comments, and often I would skim the comment itself only to get to my file and add one to the number of comments and see where that put my average. It was kind of disgusting, frankly.

These days, I appreciate the comments, not the numbers. I watch the numbers because they're interesting to me - sometimes I notice trends about which kinds of posts are most interesting or thought-provoking, or which days of the week tend to get the most comments, etc. But I do that because I find it interesting, not because I need to have the numbers. And when I read your comments now, I read them to see what you have to say, what you want to contribute to the conversation. Some of you may have noticed that I've taken to responding whenever and wherever I feel like it too, instead of routinely responding to everything at a pre-appointed time. It suddenly feels like what it should have been all along: a conversation. I don't need a number on an Excel spreadsheet to determine my worth as a blogger - I can do that all on my own.

Similarly, I don't need to be loved by the blogging celebrities anymore. For one thing, I realized that we really are all just people. The women at the top of the blogging game, they're just doing what they love, same as I am. Back in the beginning of my career as a blogger, I would hope desperately for a visit from Mom101 or Her Bad Mother or Mocha Momma, and on the rare occasion that they would leave a comment, I suddenly felt worthy. No offense to any of those ladies, but I now know that that's complete bullshit. Who are they to determine my worth? They'd be the first to answer, "Nobody." I value their opinions as writers and thinkers, definitely - I'm not trying to say they have nothing important to contribute. But I've come to better understand that when they don't comment, it doesn't mean they don't think I'm a good blogger. It means they're busy, and they don't read me every day, and that's not a poor reflection of me. Hell, I've had the chance to spend a number of hours now with Mocha (and sea monkeys, as can be clearly seen in the picture above), and I did not come away from our time together feeling like she thought I was a lame, worthless, wannabe "cool" blogger or anything like that.

My blog is going to be reviewed Monday by Diva Dee of Review My Blog. Honestly, this post isn't for her. If it were, what kind of growth would that be? No, I'm interested in her opinion too - if not, I wouldn't have submitted my blog for review. I'm curious what an objective observer, especially one familiar with many different kinds of blogs (from doing so many reviews), would have to say about my site. But I already know that her review won't make or break my blog. I seriously doubt any of you reading out there have been reading on condition of "No bad reviews!" If one bad review scares you off, then frankly, I'm not sure you were ever all that interested in my writing. Her review won't make me a good or bad writer - it'll just be one person's opinion about whether this blog is interesting to her or not, in writing as well as design, content, etc. I'll listen to what she has to say, and if she has suggestions for improvement, I'll consider them, just as I would from anyone. But I won't do them automatically just for approval - the only one whose approval I really need is my own.

So if I've grown this much just in how I think about my blogging, can you imagine the leaps and bounds I've made in my personal life too? Quality over quantity, understanding other people better, and seeking my own approval first and foremost: It's a big step forward.

There's no going back from here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yes, She is Blond

It's Circle Time at school, and we're talking about ants, because our theme for August is "Insects." As is common in a preschool environment, many of the kids want to share something with the group. Elfin has his hand raised, so Boss Lady calls on him.

E: "This one time, at my house, outside in the yard, I saw a line of ants, and they were marching somewhere, and I watched them walking all in a line together but in a line."

BL: "That's right, Elfin. Ants often walk in a straight line all together. Ayu, you can share next."

A: "Well, on Discovery Channel Friday night I saw about red ants and how they can bite you and they are very dangerous."

BL: "Yes, red ants do sometimes bite. But we don't have red ants around here."

Bossy stretches her hand way up high, as she has now had to wait for 90 whole seconds to share her story with the circle. Finally, Boss Lady points to her.

B: "Well, um, I have Barbie movies at my house."

Silence descends upon the group. Boss Lady and I exchange a look.

BL: "Bossy, what does that have to do with ants?"

B: "Um.... "

BL: "The answer is nothing, Bossy."

B: "Oh. Okay."

Boss Lady and I shake our heads in mild confusion and continue with our discussion. A few minutes later, Bossy raises her hand again.

BL: "Bossy, is this about ants?"

B: "Um... no."

I accidentally snort and BL glares at me with a smirk, her eyes saying, "This is only funny because *I'm* the one leading circle right now."

Personally, I still kind of want to know what Bossy was going to say. No one can ever claim she doesn't keep things interesting.

Monday, August 06, 2007

An Introduction to the Google-age (for Newbies)

I've noticed some new visitors over the last few weeks (Hi, Smart Gurl! Hi, Yuriko! Hi, Hanlie! Hi, other new folks! You should say hello!). For the sake of these newbies - and anyone with a short memory span - I'll explain a bit about the tradition of the Sunday Google-age.

(What? It's not Sunday? No, you must be mistaken. Seriously. Ignore that date up there.)

So, imagine this: You're sitting around one day, and you decide you'd love to read about Amish sluts. Because really? Who wouldn't? So you head to the laptop and the good ol' reliable Google and type in "amish sluts" to see what pops up. If you click on that second link, you'll head to my blog.

But you already knew all that, right?

Well, here's something maybe you didn't know: Once you click on my link from a Google search, your search goes into my statistics. My statistics compile a list of these searches - aka "referrals" - and I can look at them. And let me tell you, when I read this list, I wonder - often - about the state of humanity today.

So every Sunday (or thereabouts), I share some of these interesting searches with you all, my lovely readers. For past Sunday Google-ages, click on the Metadata label. Oh, and if you don't already, you should start keeping track of your own stats. Because they can be seriously hysterical at times.

My Unique Brand of Humor

shakespeare fart quote - I'm sure there are many. Shakespeare appreciated bawdy humor as well as anyone. And really? Fart jokes are classics.

male teachers tampons - I admit it: The combination of men and tampons is always funny to me. Don't know why.

funny handy tips - Ha! If you don't get this, think about other possible meanings for "handy." Like, noun meanings.

accidental boob graze - An accidental boob graze is definitely funny in many situations. A purposeful boob graze? Not so much.

spanky's mother undressed - Spanky's a funny name.

dramatic rodent pictures - Okay, this might only be funny to me because I'm reading this and thinking, "You're a feisty rodent!" If you don't get that, you are SO missing out.

FUNNY PICTURES ON PREPOSITIONS - This is funny because they used the wrong preposition! There can't be pictures ON the prepositions! They must have meant OF prepositions. Ha!

grope box - This is simultaneously funny and very, very disturbing.

God bless the winded road that led me to you - This is funnier when you try to imagine what a road would look like if it were winded. Regular sprints would improve the road's lung capacity, and then it wouldn't get winded so quickly.

fell in hole at my apartment complex - What can I say? I laugh at other peoples' misfortunes.

I'm Insulted!

smelling and nasty feet (pictures - Okay, I may not have explicitly attractive feet, but I wouldn't call them nasty either.

fat failure - You were looking for a fat failure and you found me? I resent that.

has sniffed shoes of schoolgirls - I have NOT!

lousy poetry - Hey! My poetry's not that bad!

crazy into life - I suffer from depression; I wouldn't say I'm crazy.

SAD BUT TRUE - I'm slightly offended, but maybe that's not a bad tagline for this blog.

musty old person smelling house - I think both my roommate and I are insulted by this one.

rude birthday wish - There are no such things anywhere in this blog. I don't think.

vapid musings - I BEG your pardon?!

I'm Flattered!

deep thinking blog - Two Thinking Blogger awards certainly uphold this, and I'm honored people think of me that way.

tilf blog - Aw, shucks. You think I'm a TILF? That's flattering. Unless you're actually a teenage boy. Then it's creepy.

sad but cute blog - I think I like this even better than "SAD BUT TRUE" as a tagline.

beautiful pictures of a light at the very end of a tunnel - I'm glad you liked it.

awesome meme - I'm blushing, really. Though if you truly want some awesome memes, check out the Meme Queen.

Lovely Ladies Pics Only - It's true, I only show pics of lovely ladies.

happy birthday to someone wonderful - Thanks! But my birthday was over a month ago.

Googlers Answer Their Own Searches

Query: funny things to type into google
Response1: naughty monkey SHOES adam ballet [No one can tell me that's not funny.]
R2: teaching's material: zoo mask [That's the teaching material I was missing!]
R3: second grade goodbye letter to parents ["Dear Mom and Dad: I'm mooving out to becom a perfeshunal baseball player. Pleese send me my bed becuse it was too heavy for me to carrey. Love, Johnny."
R4: Installing self esteem in a 7 year old [Like 7-year-olds are hardware of some kind, and self-esteem is a new software upgrade.]
R5: skip ball - rope toys for kids - ring on ankle [This is when they first learn what marriage is all about.]
R6: sunburned boob pictures [All right, it's probably less funny if you've had it happen.]

Q: remedy for a badly scraped knee
R1: starbucks regular order [In my opinion, that's the remedy for almost anything. If it doesn't work, try adding some hard liquor.]
R2: Yep, friends, pretty much [Also a remedy for everything.]
R3: tickling flirting play fighting [If there are cute boys involved, it'll get my mind off a scraped knee pretty quickly.]
R4: getting hurt emotionaly [Nothing like a worse injury to distract from a lesser one.]

Q: real life shocking confessions
R1: i had an unhappy childhood felt ugly [You are not alone in this, kid.]
R2: i love my moms feet [In what way? Hopefully a non-creepy way.]
R3: all my life i've been waiting for someone to love [Haven't we all?]
R4: i feel like a total failure at life [I think everyone does sometimes. You just gotta keep at it.]
R5: I envy people with happy families [So do I sometimes. But someday, I'll have one of my own, and I bet you will too.]
R6: she's my mommy and my aunt [Freaky.]
R7: "i am a virgin" 24 [That's okay - I was too.]

Q: humorous ways to deal with depression
R1: happy bunny have your cake [Anything related to It's Happy Bunny will be humorous.]
R2: Hooters-girls Lara [In hindsight, getting a job at Hooters might have been a great way for me to deal with my depression.]
R3: sexy getting to know you questions [Well, it depends who you're trying to get to know.]
R4: share your first love break up blogspot [Ha! I bet that would be humorous!]
R5: games done in group therapy depression ["Who's the biggest loser?" is always a popular one.]
R6: "get her. that was your plan?" [Yes, watching that movie will do it. I certainly hope you all know what movie I'm referring to here.]

Q: is getting a roommate on craigslist a good idea?
R: stay away from CL crazies [And really? I think that just about sums it up right there.]

Share some of your own recent stats, or pick your favorite from this list and leave it in the comments!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What I Overhear During My Morning Break

[Names changed to protect the innocent, as always.]

"Ayu, stop!"

"Puff-Puff, no shooting! We do NOT shoot our friends!"

"No, BB - take the tan bark out of your mouth!"

"Princess, your shoes are on the wrong feet."

"Puff-Puff, stop shooting!"

"Bebby! Bebby! ... BEBBY! No, Bebby, over here."

"Use your words, Elfin."

"If you're stuck, Bossy, move the other car! ... Yes, QueenR, you need to help if you want to ride with her."

"Puff-Puff, if you shoot again, you're going to sit in time-out!"

"Princess, they're still on the wrong feet. Take them off and switch them."

"Le Petit - thumb out of your mouth."

"BB - finger out of your nose."

"Ayu - hand out of your pants."

"Puff-Puff! Stop! Come sit here right now!"

"No, Princess, the other foot."

"Slow down, QueenR - that's how you fell yesterday!"

"Bleu, you're playing so nicely in that sand. Puff-Puff, look how nicely Bl-



Can you understand why my 15-minute breaks always seem much too short for me?


In other news, I hope you've all taken the opportunity to check out my new photo blog. A new photo every day, and admiring the pics takes only about 10 seconds from your life. Leaving a comment probably adds about thirty seconds. Seriously? That's less than a minute.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Eight Things... And Then Eight More

Long ago - longer than I care to admit - Lady M tagged me for the "Eight Things" meme. And then, a bit more recently Tori tagged me a second time. Unless my rudimentary math skills fail me, that means 16 things about me. Can you handle that much Lara? I mean, seriously?

In the true spirit of the meme, I will a) follow the rules, and b) try to actually make them 16 totally random and useless facts about me.


A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I have two versions of "shower": If I'm taking a "long" shower, it takes about thirty minutes. If I'm taking a "short" shower, it's more like fifteen. Yes, my "short" shower is 15 minutes long.

2. When I was 12, I got braces. I wore the braces for two full years, and for about six months of that time, I also had to wear headgear. I was *that* kid.

3. I'm 25 years old, and I still sometimes order milk to drink at restaurants. I just love drinking milk. This might explain why I'm so darn tall.

4. I have absolutely no squeamishness about people touching my feet. I do, however, HATE having anyone touch my face. This has annoyed many a guy in the past, including J. and Aussie Boy.

5. I was a runner-up for Prom Queen in my senior year of high school. Still, to this day, I wish I'd won. Because I was (and am) insecure enough to think that might have meant something significant. Deep down, I know it wouldn't have.

6. My "comfort food" is Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream and Cheetos. Together. I know - don't hate.

7. I am absolutely terrified of moths. The fluttering freaks me out like you cannot believe. Even butterflies scare me, but not as much as moths. I will literally burst into tears if one is too close to me and I can't get away as fast as I'd like.

8. I am not now and never have been on Facebook. I've also never been on MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, or any of those other social networking things. I consider this a point of pride, but I think I'll probably give in to the Facebook trend soon. Sigh.

[Eight more? Seriously? Damn. Okay, let's get a little deeper with these.]

9. I value the poetic nature of words. Or, to be more accurate, the potential words have to be poetic. Sometimes a phrase will pop into my head for no apparent reason, and I'll write it down just because I love the way it sings to me.

10. My biggest fear has always been not being good enough. This is why I'm always so desperate to be popular, even in the blogosphere, and why I have struggled with insecurities my whole life.

11. I was a virgin when I wrote this post. I am not now. And yes, I just announced that to the entire internet. I continue to astound myself (as well as many of you, if I believe your comments and emails) with how much of my personal life I'm willing to share here.

12. As the years go by, I am forgetting more and more about my dad. I feel indescribably guilty about this, but I don't know how to stop it.

[I've done too many Thursday Thirteens. I keep thinking I should be done soon.]

13. I have already imagined how I will tell my someday-husband that I am pregnant. The idea of becoming a mom is that exciting to me.

14. I have grudges that I am still holding from years ago. This is one of the reasons I have so much trouble forgiving myself when I make mistakes.

15. I was raised Catholic, and my religion used to be very important to me. Since my life fell apart in October, I have not once spoken to God on my own behalf, and only rarely prayed on behalf of others. When I am honest with myself, I know that I am too scared and ashamed to turn where I know forgiveness is waiting. Someday - soon - I hope I can go back. I will need my friends for this.

16. Part of the reason I am still alive today is this blog and all the supportive people I have gotten to know through it. I honestly do not know if I could have been strong enough to stay out of the hospital without you all. That truth never ceases to amaze me.

I would love to see some "Me too!"s in the comments section after opening myself up like this. As for the tagging of other folks, I guess I should do eight and eight, since I was double-tagged. In alphabetical order (so as to show no favoritism), I tag:

California Teacher Guy
Dancing Dragon
Jill B
Miss A
Queen of Spain
Wolf Lover Girl

Looking forward to reading those 128 things!