Saturday, March 20, 2004

"Before I learned to tango, I did a lot of lindy hop," I told someone I had newly met as we were dancing tonight.

"Well, that makes a lot of sense," he replied, "because swing girls always dance with a lot of feeling."

With a lot of feeling! He implied that I dance with feeling! That made me really happy. What I want most in my dancing is feeling, is soul, and it's nice to know that maybe I'm on the right track.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I think it is about time to wander away from this wi-fi station.

For those of you who don't already know, I'm out of town all weekend. I'll be back Monday and odds are you won't see anything from me again until that time.
When I fly, I am greatful for my talent of being able to sleep anywhere, any time, under any circumstances. I board the plane, sit down, fall asleep, and next thing I know the plane is landing. Nice, nice, very nice.
Minnesota air feels so much better to me. I love walking up the ramp from the plane to the terminal and breathing in the air that leaks in from outside; I breathe it so much more easily. It just feels good. I'm not sure if it's the temperature, the climate, or what. Makes me wonder if it will always be like this. Will my affinity for MN air change eventually, given enough time away from this climate? If so, how much time would such a change take? I haven't been back to MN more than once or twice a year since I've lived in Washington state -- almost 5 years now.

On a downside, MN buildings tend to be far too heavily climate controlled. The air in this airport is overly dry and warm and ... recycled. Or something. Not nearly so pleasant.
I spaced out this morning and missed my connecting flight to DC. Wasn't even sleeping -- was just writing a letter, and had apparently become completely immersed in my own little world.

Happily, NWA is bumping me to the next flight, so the worst of it all is that I get to spend a few extra hours here in the Minneapolis airport. Ah, but fate toys with me so! Had I known I'd be laid over for a while, I would have attempted to get in contact with some of my old Minneapolis buddies. I miss this city.

Free wi-fi demo stations are awesome. So nice to be able to while away a bit of my layover time here on the net.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Occasionally friends and acquaintances have asked me why I blog. Some have said that it seems strange to them that I live my life as such an open book. Others have said that they feel almost uncomfortable reading my journal, as if they're invading my privacy.

Here are my thoughts on why I continue to blog the way that I do:

This journal is a social experiment of sorts that I am applying to myself. I don't want to live a life hidden. I don't want to think or do things that I am uncomfortable owning up to. If I make a point to publicly own up to everything and I find that I squirm at anything I might feel inclined to write, it causes me to think and converse with myself in ways I would not otherwise. Why do I find the topic uncomfortable? Am I unhappy with how I act, with the choices I make? Am I succumbing to deeply rooted prejudices or childhood beliefs that I might do better to let go of altogether? Am I overly dependent upon or concerned with the approval of friends, acquaintances, family, peers, or strangers? And if I am concerned, should I be?

I have made a habit, over the years, of living without thinking. I do. I go. I keep busy. I build routines and I adhere strictly to them. I develop deeply ingrained behavioral patterns, traversing them day in and day out without a second thought.

At some point along the way I was given a moment of clarity in which I realized I do these things.

This journal and the questions it cause me to ask myself represent an ongoing attempt to break out of these patterns. As far as I know I am given only one life to live, and it is slipping by at breakneck speed. When all is said and done, when I reach the finish line and look back over my life, I would rather have lived it with open eyes, with an awareness, than look back to find that I blindly stumbled on year after year. Even now, I regret great expanses of time in recent years which passed without any introspection, without conversing with myself, being aware of who I was and really being with myself.

That said, there is a great deal going on in my life right now of which I do not write. I have forged new relationships, let old relationships go. I have made new resolutions and am experimenting with approaching things in new ways.

I would like to write of these things, but for a number of reasons, I do not feel that this is currently the most appropriate forum. I am flirting with the idea of expressing myself and inducing introspection through other mediums; perhaps I will try my hand at writing a book, perhaps I will keep writing in offline journals, perhaps I will continue to simply correspond and discuss with friends on an individual basis, or perhaps I will do some combination of all these things. And I will blog what I am comfortable with. If you're comfortable reading it, wonderful! Be my guest. And feel free to ask questions and to challenge me about what I write; I love when people approach me and start up discussions or correspondence based upon something I have written.
Read an article in the nytimes today about, an online community devoted to helping people find new homes for old things, transforming one person's trash into another's treasure. It sounded pretty cool. It struck me as especially interesting that Portland seems to have the biggest freecycle community right now, by several orders of magnitude. Go Portland!

I'm working on cleaning my place up these days. Maybe I'll see what I can freecycle along the way.
Apparently I can blame all my disastrous relationships on my sun sign and just be glad I did not marry into any of them: "In your personal relationships Arians are frank, direct and candid, and make enthusiastic and generous friends. You are liable to have a high sex drive and make passionate but fastidious lovers. . .The intensity of your sexual urges can drive you to promiscuity and a Don Juan-like counting of conquests of the opposite sex. It can also trick you into early unwise marriage which may end disastrously."

It's actually a little disconcerting how strongly I relate to much of what the site pegs as "Aries" behavior. I mean, it's all pretty generic, but the traits they emphasize, both positive and negative, are some of the strongest traits I see influencing my own life right now. A fondness for extremes, a penchant for pushing the bounds of social acceptability, a need to take control, and a problem with taking directions for which I can see no reason or with which I disagree. A strong need for freedom to act, a wanting for straightforwardness, and a need to avoid negative emotions such as regret and self-pity. Even the physical ailments hit right on the head. I don't buy much into astrology, but it's interesting to ponder.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I realized this last weekend that there's this thing I do with relationships. Not a good thing.

When the other person does something that truly hurts me, generally I will confront them about it. If they are not receptive when I first talk to them about it, though, I will eat it up. I try to move on, forget about it, deal with it. I'll act forgiving, laid back, cool with things, and I'll think that everything is okay. I won't bring up the issue again.

But it's like a poison. As much as I think I'm over it, I'll change the way I act in tiny, minute ways. I'll do little things, destructive things that eat away at the relationship. Termites eating away at the foundation, down where nobody can see. I'll not put into the relationship in the same way that I did before, and will allow myself to do things the other person might find to be hurtful. It's not that I'll be noticeably destructive or that I'll act out towards them -- it's just that, having lost some little bit of trust or faith in them, I'll be more guarded of myself. A tiny bit more about-self and less about-them. And for a relationship to really work, I think it has to be strongly about-them in addition to about-self. The worst part is that I won't even realize I'm doing that. I will honestly believe that everything is fine.

The Denver Lindy Exchange last year was just this sort of turning point in my relationship with Mike, I think. It took half a year from that time for things to really start dying off and falling apart, but that's when things really changed for me. It didn't seem huge at the time but I don't think there was any going back from that point on.

Looking back now, I can see points like that in other relationships, too. With Louis, it was when I found out that he'd cheated on me a second time with his ex-girlfriend. Again, it took months and months after that for things to finally implode, but that was when something in me turned off, when things changed somehow. With Jon, I think it might have been the argument in Montreal about bus tickets. With Jeremy, maybe it was Ashley? I'm not as sure about Jeremy -- it might not apply there.

I hope that since I see the pattern now, I'll be able to break out of it in the future.
You know those silly email surveys that people send all about? The "I'll answer a million generic questions so you can get to know me" sort of surveys? I am not a huge fan and I almost never do them. Only I did one today, as part of an email exchange with someone I'm trying to get to know better, and because I haven't been blogging much lately I've decided to post it here. It's something, anyhow.
  • Full Name: Kathryn Anisette Krueger (My parents thought they made the middle name up - "Ann" combined with a French suffix meaning little, so "Little Ann" - but it turns out to also be the name of a black liquorice-flavored liquor.)

  • Where Were You Born?: Rochester, MN

  • Siblings:
    • Leroy. 23, living in Duluth, MN. Is in the Army Reserves and was shipped off to Iraq for a year, got back this Christmas. Just proposed to his girlfriend and will be getting married sometime this coming winter.
    • Mary. 20, living here in Seattle. Attends the Art Institute of Seattle and is studying in their Culinary program.
    • Susan. 18, still at home with the folks attending her senior year of high school. Heading off to Spain for the summer and then going to attend college somewhere in the Midwest.

  • Favorite TV Show: West Wing and/or Law and Order (just the original, not the spin-offs), although I haven't watched either in years.

  • What Is On Your Mouse Pad?: I use laser mice so I don't need a mouse pad. Developed a bit of carpal tunnel in the last few years, which makes mice with balls impractical and ultimately painful.

  • Favorite Board Game: I prefer cards. Canasta and Spades turn me on.

  • Favorite Magazine: Dell Logic Puzzles

  • Favorite Smells: Outdoors just after a rainstorm or a heavy snowfall. Freshly brewed coffee. Smoke from campfires.

  • Favorite Soundtrack: Brokedown Palace

  • What Do You Think About Ouija Boards?: I don't use them.

  • What Is The First Thing You Think Of When You Awake In The Morning?: Ugh! I hate mornings! Make it stop! Make my life not suck so much!! I hate my life. I hate having a job. I just want to sleep.

  • Do You Get Motion Sickness?: Yes. Especially when I'm already under the weather with something else.

  • Roller Coasters-Scary Or Exciting?: I wish I could be one of the people who samples and rides and judges roller coasters for a living. Ride them all day, every day...

  • Pen Or Pencil?: Pen for writing, pencil for sketching.

  • How Many Rings Before You Answer The Phone?: Depends on who is calling, what my mood is, and what else I am doing. Sometimes I just won't answer at all.

  • Favorite Foods: Sushi. Steak, medium rare on the rare side. Steamed bananas in coconut milk. Thai curries.

  • Chocolate Or Vanilla?: Coffee.

  • Favorite Ice Cream: Coffee. Peppermint Bon Bon.

  • Do You Like To Drive?: In Minnesota? - yes. In Seattle? - generally, no. I hate traffic. I like long open roads, the windows down, the wind whipping through the car as I navigate the roads. Seattle traffic is too crappy to allow much of that.

  • Do You Sleep With Stuffed Animals?: Sometimes.

  • Storms-Cool Or Scary?: I love a good storm. I really miss extreme electrical storms -- we never get those in Seattle.

  • Favorite Poet: Still working on figuring that out.

  • If You Could Meet One Person Dead Or Alive, Who Would It Be?: Not sure.

  • Favorite Alcoholic Drink: A good merlot, or maybe a nice warm sake.

  • Do You Eat The Stems of Broccoli?: Yes.

  • Would You Ever Ask A Guy For His Shirt?: Umm...

  • If You Could Have Any Job You Wanted, What Would It Be?: I'd teach tango part time, work with kids part time, and maybe do massage therapy for a small set of recurring customers.

  • If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Color, What Would It Be?: I've dyed it red, I've dyed it black, but right now I'm happy with brown.

  • Have You Ever Been In Love?: Yes.

  • What Is On The Walls Of Your Room?: I'm working on finding some nice tapestries... they're pretty bare-bones right now.

  • Are You A Lefty, Righty, or Ambidextrous?: Although I used to take my handwriting assignments home as a child and repeat them using my left hand so that I could switch when desired, I was never able to use my left as well or as freely as my right. Still a righty.

  • Do You Type With Your Fingers On The Right Keys?: Generally, yes.

  • What's Under Your Bed?: A folded up dog-kennel. Louie hopes it stays there forever; he doesn't want to see it ever again.

  • What's Your Favorite Number?: 13.

  • What's Your Favorite Color?: Green for wearing. Olive greens in particular, or any green with more yellow tinge than blue. Yellows and reds and blues for surrounding myself with. Or orange sometimes. A number of colors, in fact. I love colors, especially bright vibrant colors overlaid on nice textures.

  • Favorite Sport To Watch?: I love playing Ultimate Frisbee, but am not so into watching any sport. Unless you count ice skating competitions or dance competitions, which I could watch all the day long.

  • Did You Enjoy This Survey?: Depends how you define "enjoy".

Scientists have discovered a new planet within our solar system! Sedna. Pretty exciting. But is it a 'planet' or a 'planetoid'? My officemate think it's silly that they're naming it after an Inuit goddess -- too politically correct. Should be named after a greek god or goddess. "Which one of these things doesn't belong?" He has a point.

The NASA site has pictures. Pretty.