Friday, December 28, 2007

they don't even taste like cookies

I have a fortune cookie slip taped to my fridge that says:

You will come to realizations in your life that will change you forever.

I doubt that these are among them, but at least they are fun:

1. I've come to realize that, my last ex: left the country without saying goodbye for a reason.
2. I've come to realize that, when I talk: I'm not necessarily saying what I'm thinking, or vice versa.
3. I've come to realize that, I love: a lot of different people. And also, Merlot.
4. I've come to realize that my friends: are a lot like the people you date. Sometimes you find out they have a really ugly quality. You re-evaluate the relationship. Either I'm lucky to have so many life-long friends, or I am an incredibly gigantic pushover.
5. I've come to realize that, I've lost: the $20 check I made for selling tickets to the last volleyball game.
6. I've come to realize that, I hate: when people are judgmental, myself included.
7. I've come to realize that, marriage is: ultimately what my step-mom thinks will make me happy and because I am an eternal adolescent...something I will put off just to see her squirm.
8. I've come to realize that, somewhere, someone is thinking: about far more important things than this blog.
9. I've come to realize that, I'll always have: a need for my mother, the support of good friends, and mild acne.
10. I've come to realize that, my heart: does not like it when I drink a lot of caffeine.
11. I've come to realize that, right now I am wondering: what will happen on Sunday, when the writers' strike will end, and how I will find a new ingredient for pantry stew when the pantry is nearly empty.
12. I've come to realize that, my cell phone is: crap. AT&T can bite me.
13. I've come to realize that, when I wake up in the morning: it's probably not fair, but I pee before I take Pucker out to do the same.
14. I've come to realize that, before I go to sleep at night I: love to read and have missed that ritual.
15. I've come to realize that, right now I am thinking about: how loud Zoey is snoring. Do they make breathe-rights for cats?
16. I've come to realize that, I get on myspace: too much.
17. I have come to realize, that today: is another day I will procrastinate and not work on National Boards.
18. I've come to realize, that tonight I will: perhaps go and buy a printer. Well, I've accepted it more than realized - I hate spending money on electronics.
19. I've come to realize that, school is: where I belong, in any capacity.
20. I've come to realize that, tomorrow I will: sleep in, because that's what you do on winter break!

Maybe it's not what the fortune cookie had in mind, but I like it. Thanks Emily!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

not furtado

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you.

I heard that line in a movie tonight. I thought, "That is so totally me!"

My Nanny (grandmother on dad's side) used to call herself a "Nervous Nelly". I think, were she alive today, she'd call me Nervous Nelly, too.

I don't trust anyone. I really believe that people lie to me on a daily basis. I think people are out to get me. I don't think that anything good can happen. I am always anticipating the bad. I am constantly nervous.

I wonder how I got this way?

I vaguely remember being this way as a kid. The earliest memory I have of paranoia revolves are the Marion County Superintendent elections of 1992. The principal of my sister's high school...Dr. John Something...was running for office. My parents didn't like him because he let a teacher flunk my sister when she was absent because my mom was sick. Or some other grade issue. My parents were never really happy with the FL school system. I knew that much as a fifth grader.

As a fifth grader walking through the neighborhood with my cousin and my sister, I also knew that seeing a big, yellow "Vote for Dr. John What's-His-Name" would make my mother angry. I knew she didn't like him. She didn't like politicians and their campaign signs either. I had seen my mom knock down other signs when they were blocking her view of oncoming traffic. She'd jump out of the car and knock them over. Which is probably why I didn't think it would be a big deal to knock over Dr. John's big, yellow sign.

Which we did.

And my cousin yelled, "Run!".

Which we did.

And then we heard someone yell, "Girls! Stop. Come back here."

It was Mr. Weldon. Father to my sister's friend Erin, principal at an elementary school, and neighbor to us all. I didn't know much about principals - I had never been in The Office myself. But I'd heard about the paddle. My mind began to race. Could we really get in trouble for this?

"Why did you knock over that sign?" he asked.

I don't remember what we said. It probably involved mumbling and shrugs.

"Did you know it is a Federal Offense to knock over politician's signs?" he asked us again.

In retrospect, I sincerely doubt that it is, in fact, a Federal Offense to knock down someone's campaign paraphernalia. But if Mr. Weldon's intent was the scare the living shit out of me, it worked.

We apologized, put back that sign, and began walking home.

"Do you think we'll go to jail?" I asked my big sister.

"Don't be such a baby," my cousin said.

"He should leave us alone," my sister spat. "He knows what happened to Mommy."

"Yeah, he's just trying to scare you," said my cousin. "Adults do that sometimes."

I didn't believe them. If Mr. Weldon said we could get in trouble for it then it was true. I barely slept that night. For days afterward, when I saw a police car, I would shrink in fear, certain they were coming to arrest me for Knocking Down The Sign. I remember being so afraid.

And for what?

I think that's where the Nervous Nelliness began. For years afterward, I remember being afraid of everything - bus drivers, severe weather, imaginary serial killers in my closet. Sailors envied the knots in my stomach.

I don't really get scared like that anymore. Now, it is more of an emotional fear. Always worried about a bad outcome. Always afraid of the unknown. Always anticipating and prioritizing the "what if".

I don't want to be a Nervous Nelly anymore. Therefore, I want to declare 2008 "The Year of Risk". I tried this with 2005. I called it "The Year of Yes", thinking that I would say Yes to anything I was asked to do (socially) but that sort of fell apart, because, well, let's face it, I'm basically a moody hermit. But I think the goal for Year of Yes was ill-intentioned. I just wanted to see what would happen. I thought I would end up with a lot of funny anecdotes, which would prove useful on first dates and cocktail parties. Instead, I found myself at a bunch of boring parties thinking, "I wonder who's going to get auf'd on Project Runway tonight."

Perhaps second time is the charm. I hereby declare 2008 to be the Year of Risk. I want to try new things. I want to do things I've never done before. My goal is to do so many risky things that when something normal comes along - a new relationship, a confrontation with the Publix cashier, an opportunity to advance my career - I won't run away from it. I'll embrace it. That is the goal of the Year of Risk.

Down with Nervous Nelly! I want to truly live in the Sum of Awe.

Any suggestions as of how to start?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

laundry list

These are the top ten things I should be doing at the moment:

10. Laundry. Seriously, the dirty clothes pile grew legs and tried to suffocate me last night.
9. National Boards. This process is the equivalent of 9 graduate credit hours. I've only got until March 31st. Yikes!
8. Making my Lunch. I've been eating out for a week. Not good for my bank account or my booty.
7. Crying. Have you watched the news lately? Aids in Africa, global warming, Republicans making gains in Iowa. Kleenex must be making a killing.
6. Reading. I lecture the kids about this every day. Read more and you will learn more. But who wants that?
5. Painting. I haven't bought a drop of paint yet, but I've got the colors for my house all picked out. Too bad I hate painting.
4. Calling a Doctor. I've had some severe back pain, and my joints are getting worse as time goes by. Who knew twenty-six was when I'd start falling apart?
3. Returning Phone Calls. My sisters, my long-lost friends, my we-talk-once-a-month buddies are all being sadly neglected.
2. Volunteering. I'm sure someone somewhere needs my help with something.

and the number one thing I should be doing right now is...

1. Vacuuming. Seriously, I live with the world's hairiest mutt. If only I my childhood hadn't been a series of fights about dog hair, I might loathe this chore slightly less. It's a pretty anticlimactic ending to the list. I know.

But who needs to DO ANYTHING when you have free wireless Internet, a collection of Gilmore DVDs, a burrito and some cookie dough?

My life?


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I totally...

miss my friend Rodney.

Being around Rodney is like bringing home a new puppy. He's so adorable. Sure, he gets into trouble, but you never get mad at him because he just wants to make you happy. He has an endless supply of energy. He waits on you and makes you feel loved. He looks at his family with big puppy dog eyes and is so incredibly loyal to them.

I totally miss Rodney.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

que sera, sera

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother,
what would I be?

Will I be pretty?
Will I be rich?
Here's what she FORGOT to say to me:

Pay your bills, your bills!
There's never enough money.
The future is debt, you see.
Pay your bills, your bills!

Friday, December 7, 2007

note to self

H: Here's what I don't get about you. You are so spiritual. You have a faith deeper than anyone else I know. But you have such a problem just "being".

L: I know. I don't know why that is.

H: Doesn't that faith give you some kind of security? Doesn't it make you feel like, no matter what, it's going to be okay?

L: You'd think it would.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the word i don't know


One little word.

It gives you a lot of power.

Too bad I don't know how to use it.

That's why, tomorrow, I get to meet with the vigilante parents during 3rd period. That's why, I get to listen to them spout off ideas of how to fix problems that don't exist in the magnitude described.
That's why, tomorrow, I get to go into a meeting with my defenses up and my backbone slowly melting, leaking down my pencil skirt and onto the cheap blue carpet.

But, the woman who asked me is my friend, and she needed my help.