Saturday, April 03, 2004

I don't remember a time in my life where I've been happier than this weekend. Surrounded by people that I'm growing to love, sharing experiences that I will treasure for a long while to come.

This morning -- sunshine, companionship. We went to eat breakfast at a cafe that turned out to be quite crowded, so the 10 of us went down the street to a creperie instead. Enveloped by sun, warmth, good feeling, all the walk over.

At the creperie, fresh coffee, cold water, all of us pulled around a few tables in the center of the room. Happy and cozy. As our orders came trickling in, we all shared one another's food. Pleasant camaraderie. I love sharing -- somehow, other people sharing with me or allowing me to share with them makes me feel so connected to them.

Then, this afternoon, 15 of us drove down to the coast. We walked barefoot in the sand, danced with the sea, the sun, the wind in our hair. Pulling sand beneath our feet and between our toes, our music accompanied by the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. I portaged little Lindsay and Lyera over a knee deep water crossing when they didn't want to get wet and cold. I enjoyed helping them, getting my feet wet, really using my body. Being a part of the land around me. Being connected with the people near me.

Everyone else got cold, but without shoes or socks, wearing only a light pair of pants and a tank top, I felt no chill. How could I, with such warmth of happiness radiating from my core?

I have not spent much time in my life near the ocean. Today surpassed all expectations.

I think someday I'd like to live in a little bungalow by the sea. I feel so grounded, so alive when I stand out in the wind, the air heavy with salt water, the sand beneath my feet, the surf pounding the shore. Such grandness. Such reason for living. Words don't do the feeling justice.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I rode down to Portland with Lyera and Greg. Lyera's stereo is broken -- well, not so much broken as currently & for all the foreseeable future, non-functional. It's the kind with a removable face. One time, in Vancouver, Lyera put the face in the trunk in an attempt to thwart thievery. Unfortunately, thieves broke a window and pulled it out anyway, so now the stereo is unusable for both she and for them. The thieves also stole her favorite Piazzolla CD's and a Mickey Mouse a friend had given her. Bastards. Greg thinks that maybe the Mickey Mouse is happier now, off doing heroine and stealing things and really seeing the world.

So, anyhow, since there is no stereo, Greg read out loud from the book Underworld: A Novel for all the trip. How awesome is that? I used to practically beg friends and boyfriends to read out loud to me, and here Greg does it for us as a matter of course. Super-sweet.
Alex Phelps was going to visit this weekend, but he is no longer able to do so due to hellish work stuff. They're going to reimburse his plane ticket and he'll visit a few weeks from now, but that threw this weekend into flux.

I've decided instead to head down to Portland with a few other Seattle folk. I'm a traveling fiend. Tonight, Gypsy Dance Night with the Vagabond Opera! Tomorrow night, Milonga Berretin. And then there are all the Portland folk I'll get to hang out with; should be good times!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
- Terry Pratchett.
Jaimes says I have a hard time letting people go, that I am afraid of losing people. I mean, most people have that to some extent, but he says it's particularly pronounced in me.

I can see truth in that. I wonder where it comes from, though.

On a different note, in a conversation with Wayne yesterday morning I realized that I don't trust people to stick around for the long term. I perceive friendships and close relationships to be much more transient than I once did, and expect that they will all deteriorate, given time. Regardless of how much I care for the other person and regardless of how much I treasure the relationship, I do not have faith that it will last.

So why do I have such a hard time letting go, if I expect that every friendship will eventually require just that of me? Am I trying to postpone the inevitable? Is one observation or the other not entirely true? Is there some level of subtlety I am missing? I don't know. If both observations aptly describe me, I don't understand how they fit together.
. . .

You really had me going
wishing on a star
But the black holes that surround you
are heavier by far

I believed in your confusion
you were so completely torn
Well it must have been that yesterday
was the day that I was born

. . .

I've come to find
I may never know
your changing mind
Is it friend or foe?
I rise above
or sink below
With every time
you come and go
Please don't
come and go

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
I don't know who I'm kidding
imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
a fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price, worth the price
The price that I would pay

But I'm thinking it over anyway
I'm thinking it over anyway
From Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik

I am so irrational. I knowingly let myself be used by somebody, but then later I get upset because I feel used. How dumb is that?

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Two squarish layers of clouds sat right over the horizon on the east side of Lake Washington this morning, resembling a large king-sized mattress and box spring. The line of mountains and trees lining the horizon looked like the shadowy area underneath the bed, and the water resembled a freshly swept tile floor. Above the two squarish clouds was a single fluffy mass of cloud, bringing to mind a down comforter all crumpled up from someone having just rolled out of bed.

Such a picture -- the bed of some celestial being, left in disarray when he ran off to start the day. Made me smile.
Lyrics to tango music are generally in Spanish.

In DC, I danced with one guy who translated the lyrics to the music for me as we danced. I loved it!

So now, I want to know what the songs are saying as I am dancing them. I don't need that to dance, but it adds atmosphere, helps to enhance the story of my dance, perhaps. Adds subtle feeling, and dance is so much about feeling. At least dance that I am drawn to.

With that in mind, I decided that I want to learn Spanish. (Well, also with the thought of visiting Argentina in mind. It won't happen for quite a while, but I plan on making it some day and I might as well start preparing early.)

I was going to just hit some books and see then hopefully work out a deal with a Spanish speaker on TimeBucks as a supplemental deal. With all that on my mind, I asked Alex if there were any books he might recommend. He said he had heard great things about the ones used by the state department, and they were available at the U Bookstore. He also pointed me to the Seattle Language Academy.

The Seattle Language Academy! Woah! With a new term of classes starting today! How awesome is that?

I called Alex up and asked him, "Would you like to learn Spanish with me?"

Amazingly, he agreed.

And we signed up for a class that started within the hour. So twice weekly, on my lunch breaks from now until June, I will be heading to Spanish class. The class today was pretty awesome, once we got there (we got lost on the way). I adore our instructor.

Super crazy, all of that. I never thought I would learn Spanish. As a kid, I had some wierd prejudice against Spanish, Mexico, and anything having to do with Spanish or Mexican culture. In Junior High, when all kids in the school got to take one semester of Spanish and one semester of either French or German, I threw a fit and made them let me skip Spanish, taking French and German, instead.

And now here I am, suddenly in a Spanish class, and with Alex taking it with me, to boot. I'm excited. It's been far too long since I've taken classes. I'm even excited about homework.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My officemate and I were talking today about public opinion and how malleable it is. I complained that too many people don't think for themselves. Why, when they watch or read a slanted newscast, can they not think to themselves, "There are some valid points here, but the newscaster seems to have an agenda. I should look more into the issue outside of this one newscast."? I mentioned that I subscribe to both the MoveOn.Org mailing list and to the DFL mailing list, and while I think they bring up many interesting issues, I am aware that they both have agendas and that their bulletins will be slanted as a result of those agendas.

That got me thinking; am I all talk? If I really separate the issues from the agendas, why are the only lists I subscribe to pursuing similar agendas? Why am I not reading bulletins written by organizations with alternate agendas and giving thought to the issues that those organizations bring up, as well?

With that in mind, I went and signed up for the RNC mailing list. Should be interesting.
Here I am in sunny San Francisco:

Here are most of the Portland peeps that made the trip, minus Wayne who took all the pictures:

Chinese hot mustard makes me happy.
"There is no art when one does something without intention."
- Duke Ellington
Oak Hammock, a retirement community that opened this month in Gainesville, Florida, is affiliated with the University of Florida and offers residents campus privileges similar to those of faculty members. They can use amenities and sit in on classes to their heart's content. Man, when I retire, I want to live in a community like that.
According to OkCupid.Com, I am The Peach.

Random Gentle Love Master (RGLMf)

Playful, kind, and well-loved, you are The Peach.

For such a warm-hearted, generous person, you're surprisingly experienced in both love and sex. We credit your spontaneous side; you tend to live in the moment, and you don't get bogged down by inhibitions like most women your age. If you see something wonderful, you confidently embrace it.

You are a fun flirt and an instant sweetheart, but our guess is you're becoming more selective about long-term love. It's getting tougher for you to become permanently attached; and a guy who's in a different place emotionally might misunderstand your early enthusiasm. You can wreck someone simply by enjoying him.

Your ideal mate is adventurous and giving, like you. But not overly intense.
What do they have to say about you?

Monday, March 29, 2004

I finally transcribed everything I wrote in DC. Bloggerific. Here's a link to the first post of the bunch if you don't feel like scrolling down to find it on your own.
The San Francisco area confounds me.

The drive into Marin is surrounded by large, rolling hills, soft and smooth like a woman's belly. Here and there are clumps of soft bushy trees, perfectly placed. The land is warm, enveloping. I want to be pulled into it.

Then, over a single hill, change. Everywhere, sprawl. We are surrounded by corners, cement, gray. Buildings and signs. The green of the grass and the hills is less vibrant, and even the trees seem droopier. So much of the area is like that. Spots here and there that are immensely beautiful, but then just around the next corner or over the next rise is congested traffic, buildings everywhere, a wasteland of cement and asphalt. I was torn -- on the one hand, I want to think it renders the natural beauty of the area more shallow. It only stretches so far before you see what is beneath, what surrounds. But on the other hand, the contrast makes it seem somehow more precious, as well.

The sun was out this weekend while we were down. We spent some time on the beach. Sat out in the sunlight watching the water. Walked barefoot in the sand, feeling sand between my toes, the bay water gently kissing my feet. Meditated. Let the sunlight, the water, the air penetrate my mind, my psyche. The experience was regenerative. Sitting out on the beach, surrounded by friends but silent, each of us caught up in our own thoughts, I felt more at one with myself.

The locals say that San Francisco is not always so warm and sunny, and that we should not think of this weekend as representative of San Francisco in general. It's difficult not to, though, as that's all I've seen. I felt it calling to me. I'd like to spend more time there sometime, get to know the area better.

Have you ever been outside and everything is so beautiful to look at it almost hurts? The sky is a brilliant shade of cerulean blue, lined with a soft layer of misty white clouds. Over to the left is a clump of bushes, a loud but attractive yellow-green. The rust on a bridge overhead shines brilliantly in the sunlight. A semi passing by causes my breath to catch, because it is just the right shade of orange. Everywhere, color and sunlight. Warm colors, brilliant colors, off-setting each other, meshing into a diverse but cohesive landscape; a balm for my eyes, my senses, my soul.

That's how I've felt recently, when I'm outdoors and I take the time to look around.
I've decided that I am not going to cut my hair short again until it's long enough to donate the trimmings to Locks of Love. My mother donated 22 inches just a week or so ago! How awesome is that?
Happy belated birthday to me. One year older. One year wiser?