On second thought

I don’t really, truly, absolutely believe the internet is evil.

It has given me so much opportunity to learn and to read and to connect and to pin adorable clothes onto my Pinterest Style page. Clothes that I want to buy and will likely never buy. Goals!

Also, I get to obsess over pictures of my favorite bands.

Also, I get to watch Schitt’s Creek via my Netflix app while on the Treadmill (imagine me saying “David!” in my Alexis voice).

Also, thesaurus.com

Also, memes!

lamenting, naturally

I do not like that the days, months, and years are going by so fast. The pages of my life are turning too quickly. The year of my birth feels much too far away.

And so I ask, all the time, what have I done? And what am I doing? Why haven’t I don’t more? I still haven’t tried to bake my own bread. Even that supposedly easy “no knead” one.

For years I have wanted to visit Door County again (last time I went was during my childhood. There are goats on a roof and I want to again see those goats).

I do not own a cottage by the sea. Or even one by water. At this point, I would certainly settle for a little house by a Great Lake. And there would have to be a paid gardener involved.

Anyway, I’m writing. I believe with all my heart and soul that no matter how great the internet is and how much easier it makes one’s life, it is ultimately an evil thing. Mostly because it keeps me from too many other things. Certainly I would have gotten more writing done. Certainly I would have baked more cakes and made more dinners. Certainly I would have read more books.

My eyes are bothering me more. Is it my glasses? Is it the screen? I do not like this. But going to the eye doctor is such a pain (you know, um, scheduling and um, parking) and they put those stinging drops on your eyeballs and then you feel guilty for not buying the eight thousand dollar frames from their business and have to sheepishly ask for your prescription so you can be cheap-o frames online. Yes, cheaper than Warby Parker. Ones where you have to upload a picture of your big headed self and do a virtual try on.

All things are degenerating.

Here’s a rabbit hole that ends up being a story about personalities, kind of

I love Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I only recently became aware of her when her Gwyneth Paltrow profile started showing up all over my twitter feed. I only recently became aware of a lot of people whom I now love. Mostly women writers. They all have such fantastic twitter presences, but I’ve been reading their writing, as well. Their short stories and flash fiction, their personal essays, their writings about film and television, their celebrity profiles, their funny newsletters. I keep discovering new women writers and keep being amazed. There’s a whole bunch of worlds out there I haven’t thought about or seen or let myself be exposed to or, I suppose, really paid much attention to before. Where have I been?

But I digress. Taffy. I love Taffy. She has a new novel out (it’s on my to read list) and she’s doing interviews and I read this one. And because I follow all the links (one never has to wonder how the time escapes us. It’s because we follow all the links.) I ended up reading this profile of Robert Pattinson she did for GQ a few years back. Who doesn’t want to read about Edward? I’m sorry, Robert, you will always be Edward. I respect your acting career and your willingness (or eagerness) to do the arty and the edgy and I think you are fine actor, but you are Edward.

So Robert Pattinson seems like a person that always needs to be doing something. Something maybe a little bit exciting or thrilling. Moving. And this made me think about how I am not a person like that. How I enjoy stillness and quiet and aloneness. I do not want to climb mountains or take hikes longer than two hours. Once, in my freshmen year of college, I was attending an FPIRG conference in Miami when, as we were all hanging out on the beach (some of us naked. Not me, I have never been naked in public),  my fellow PIRGERs declared we needed to drive to the Keys to the see the sunrise. It was sometime after midnight and the Keys were a couple of hours away. I went. I wanted to be game. Also, I wanted to hang out longer with the cute guy from Florida State who ended up jumping out of the truck we piled into approximately 2 minutes after we all jumped into it. He had realized that he didn’t really want to do this. He wanted to go to sleep. I wanted to go sleep, too, but I couldn’t follow him out of the truck lest he think that I was trying to sleep with him. I couldn’t appear desperate. I knew I wasn’t as hot as the naked girls he had just seen a few moments earlier. They came out from their ocean swim and stood before us, fully naked, yes, and talked about sunrises and I did my ever-so-common inward sigh that was all about realizing I couldn’t compete. Not with confident, beautiful naked girls in Miami.

Anyway, I stayed in the truck. I wanted to be in my bed in that hostel we were booked in. I wanted to have a pillow. Instead I tried my best to find sleep on a stinky fishing net. I didn’t even get out of the truck once we got there. I might have sat up and acknowledged the sunrise, but it was no grand experience. I was so tired. I was angry with myself for doing this thing and for not getting any sleep and for now being hungry and having to be cramped in the back of this stinky truck for another couple of hours on the way back. I am not the person who wants to drive to the Keys at 2am to witness a sunrise on the southern tip of the U.S. I am the person who wants to go back to the hostel and read her book and fall asleep. I accept this about myself. I am at peace with it. Obviously, as we have seen from recent news, we cannot all be mountain climbers.

Sometimes I like to do things, but these things have to be followed by promises of showers and meals and maybe naps. I have never liked camping. I don’t imagine I ever will.

After my sophomore year of college (not in Florida, now in Iowa. It made more sense), I spent the summer in Champaign-Urbana with two hometown friends who were attending the University of Illinois. They were taking classes and working and wanted to be with college friends and I did not want to be in our hometown which was small and lonely. I thought I would work and have small adventures (underage drinking, concerts, giant burritos after the underage drinking) and meet boys. There was a boy I crushed on early on. Matt, I think. Matt had dark hair and wore glasses and was funny and witty and liked P-Funk. I think he wrote for The Onion back when The Onion was smaller and more local.

Matt was a doer. He was someone that wanted to be entertained. He probably didn’t want to climb mountains, but he wanted to be part of things that were happening, not quiet rooftop conversations about whatever (“I’m bored” he said out loud. Or maybe it was “this is boring”. Either way, screw you Matt from The Onion). Yeah, I sensed this right away and yet I still hoped he could like me and kiss me and whatever.

He did not. It was for the best. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the pressure. Keep him laughing. Keep him guessing. Ugh.

And here we are. The point of the story. Some people are exhausting. You don’t have to put up with that. Not if you don’t want to. Don’t get in the truck if you want to just go to bed. Who cares about that Florida State guy. Naps are nice. Reading is wonderful. Pillows are amazing.

Also, this: all the women writers! They are brilliant.

 

Should I be this tired at 4:30pm?

It is possible that June is a difficult month for me. Most of the blame can go to allergies. There’s some grasses and trees and and stuff out there growing and blowing that does not agree with my immune system. What the heck, allergies? Why, allergies? How even dare you, allergies? Also, doesn’t it seem ridiculous that a person should even have allergies? Shouldn’t we have evolved past having difficulties with the the grass that grows in the climate where we live? The climate where we grew up? I’m disappointed in you, evolution.

Also, June, hi. I think June might be difficult because summer is here and summer is pressure. Summer means I’m supposed to be having fun and also, you know, moving my butt. And also, you know, going places. Pressure to be more active and more alive, I suppose. I am not supposed to want to spend the day watching shows about nuclear meltdowns. I’m supposed to be out boating on some lake. I’m supposed to be having picnics. I’m supposed to be weeding and mowing and growing. I’m supposed to be grilling on my deck and waving to neighbors and experimenting with pasta salad recipes.

Is 75 percent of one’s life feeling angst about the things one is supposed to be doing and not doing? I think so.

Except for those type A people. I am not a type A person. I might be a type D person. I don’t know if a type D person is a thing but I am making it a thing.

Hi. Where does the time go?

I spent like 6 weeks having serious anxiety and dread about an oral surgery I had to get to figure out and remove a mystery growth up behind my back tooth. It was an aggressive type cyst. I do not appreciate you, cyst, or your aggressiveness.

I have become more fearful of the world. I grow more fearful of the world. Aging has not made me braver.

In February I flew on airplanes and cried half the time. It was likely partly due to being pre-menstrual or very nearly menstrual. I drank one of those little bottles of wine at 9 in the morning and then I listened to the man next to me describe every detail of his discovered genealogy. He was in the Air Force. He said I was safe. I did not feel safe, but safer for talking to someone. A little more relaxed with some wine in me. I heard all about his ancestors in Germany. He asked me nothing of my own life. Fine, it was fine. Keep talking until we land. Nice to meet you.

I’m worried I will never be able to fly again. And I’d really like to go to Japan. And Hawaii. And Norway. And I would like to visit Austin again. It’s been 10 years. But I don’t want to drive to Austin because I don’t want to be in the hot car for 15 hours and I don’t want to travel through Oklahoma again and see gun signs and I hate public restrooms. But I also do not want to fly.

 

Possible titles for my memoir so far

I Thought It Was Going to Be Easier

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

10 Years A Texan

I Never Liked Beets

If I Had To Do It Over, I Would Have Kissed That Boy in 6th Grade

Regret is a Two Week Europe Trip at 21

Never Did Figure Out How To Put On Eyeliner

 

Some really great YA books I have recently read

I love existential stuff and I really like existential stuff in my book reading. These are a few books I have read and enjoyed and been moved by. Books that burrowed into my psyche. Books that made me want to work harder at my own writing. Books about meaning and existence. How do we make the best of living in this crazy life?

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is quiet and sad and lovely. It dives into grief, loss, and identity. My first Nina LaCour book and I’m definitely interested to read more.

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold. I’m a big, big fan of Arnold. I love his other two books, BUT I FREAKING WORSHIP THIS ONE. It’s so good. Has all the ingredients I love: existential angst, humor, quirk, juicy characters, a touch of magical realism (sorta), and some music worship. It’s a fun read, but it takes you on a satisfying emotional journey, as well. I need to talk about this book with people.

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick is fantastic. Lots of identity exploration, meaning exploration, and incredible characters. I found this on a used bookstore shelf and I’m so glad that I did.

sometimes you feel sorry for yourself

These are hard times for a lot of people. Not you, so much. You are doing okay in your cozy house in your progressive community. But it hurts to see the pain around the world and it hurts to see the divisiveness and it hurts to know who our official leader is and the things he does and says and is willing to do. It hurts that people cheer and clap for him. And you worry. You worry that your daughter is going to be a grown up in this new world where rights are being taken away and no one is doing anything about climate change or gun violence. Where this leader says awful things about women and no one stops him. IMG_0782

And you might be crying because you can’t figure out how to get the can opener to work (the one that is supposed to be easier) and because you hardly have any twitter followers and because you put yourself out there so much and you don’t feel like you get what you need in return. Probably you are crying because your book won’t sell. The one you love and worked so hard on. You want to see it read. You want to see it on bookshelves. You want to talk about it. You want your parents to be proud. And because the years keep going by and you know that won’t stop. You cry because it hurts.

And then you see this old man and he’s playing on one of those pianos they put out on the sidewalks in the summertime. He’s got some sheet music in front of him and you can see “Bach” at the top in big letters. It’s a nice day. It’s breezy. There are things that are good.

I hope in my time

They figure out what dark matter is. And clean up that giant floating island of garbage in the ocean. And have fast trains up and running all over the U.S. And I hope I get to live in Oregon someday and spend more time in forests and near the ocean.

I WATCHED THE OSCARS

And now I’m up too late. I am happy for the winners and sad for those that didn’t take away a statue. I love Laurie Metcalf. My favorite dress was on Greta Gerwig. Frances McDormand rules! Can she me my professor in the how to live life like a badass class I need to take? Just seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda always makes me feel happy. Really, I should go to sleep now. Good night. Thank you.