Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am now blogging to you. (plus Lindsey).

Small Victories, Or Not.

1 an arbitrary decision: capricious, whimsical, random, chance, unpredictable; casual, wanton, unmotivated, motiveless, unreasoned, unsupported, irrational, illogical, groundless, unjustified; personal, discretionary, subjective. antonym: reasoned, rational.

Today I'm eating my sandwich out of a one-gallon freezer bag because we ran out of sandwich baggies. I just decided that coffee and turkey & cheese don't agree. I want to move somewhere exotic. I need to decorate my room. And Better Homes & Gardens is sending me 55 Tips for a Fabulous Fourth! My sandwich is "disappearing" too quickly. I hate it when that happens.

Every part of me is running in overdrive today thanks to two gigantic mugs of really strong, black coffee and very little food in my stomach. (Cue the sandwich remedy.) In these moments, when my sandwich is gone and I'm still hungry, I think too much and often decide that I'm going to change my life. From my desk.

So I think, wouldn't it be nice to pick up a year from now and move to Cali. or the south of France? If I chose the West coast, I'd look for a small beach bunaglow in Santa Barbara, If France, I'd go with a little hut in Marseille or Toulouse. I don't need anything extravagant. I don't even want internet. The more time I spend away from the beach, the more I miss the atmosphere, the sounds, the calm. I'm definitely one of the unfortunate types who needs that mental reinforcement, that atmospherical (?) push to take a deep breath, relax. All of this isn't to say that I've abandoned my dreams (from prev. post) of escaping this...mess, (wow, really full circle) I am still all for that. But if I have to work, if I have to live somewhere with running water, then here. Or There.

And then, I should stop by Home Depot on my way home, buy some paint (green, or gray) and paint my room. Finally patch those curtains. Paint that canvas that is hidden behind the dresser and hang it over the bed. My dream would be to find a non-tacky shade of gold and paint my oversized room gold. It would be perfect for the Indian-theme I secretly want. Is it weird that the two qualitites I want my bedroom to possess are as follows: colorful and crowded. And Indian. Right now it's too empty, too bright with its never-ending white walls and light pouring in from the walls and skylights.

I have an obnoxiously red KitchenAid mixer on my counter that serves (in my opinion) as a daily reminder of two things: 1. That I am not married 2. That I am not domestic (enough). So sometimes I move it around, or leave it plugged in overnight, or flip through the instruction manual that came with it, and ultimately, leave it untouched. But last night it was being extraordinarly bright red and flashy and I just couldn't take it anymore, so I had to handle the situation. I made some really delicious cranberry almond cookies that turned out perfectly golden and delicious. I'm proud of myself. The more I push myself in the kitchen, the more confidence I get. Homemade lasagna, penne a la vodka: TBD. But for now, it's just the nightly challenge of boiling various shapes of pasta noodles and heating sauce. Small victories, for now at least.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just So You Know

(D)avid, adjective
1 an avid reader of science fiction
keen, eager, enthusiastic, ardent, passionate, zealous, hard-core; devoted, dedicated, wholehearted, earnest. See note at eager . antonym apathetic.

This morning, while driving to work, I thought of you as I often do on my drives, even on jaunts to the grocery store, anytime I’m without you. I drank my orange juice and pictured us last night as we were lying in bed, picking on each other and play fighting. I thought of us hysterically laughing in whispers so as not to wake up Callie, then settling down and turning our backs to one another to succumb to sleep and another week and our most-preferred sleeping positions. I started thinking about how quickly I transitioned from sleeping alone while we’ve been apart these last six months back to feeling the bottom of your feet pressing into the backs of my calves in the middle of the night. When I wake up suddenly, or just before you do, and I find your hand on my pillow, or I turn to face the wall and see the very tip of your head—a cluster of your hair, a thin strip of your forehead— sticking out from the top of the covers, I am not alarmed. I’ve fallen back in to being used to you.

I’m used to you here: your soggy towels leaving small pools of moisture on the carpet, on the comforter. Your glasses left behind on top of a pile of books on the coffee table. Your white t-shirts stuffed in baskets, or drawers—sometimes hidden in corners with holes in the sleeves. Your optimism, making me feel so rich with love when we are so poor. Your assurance never failing to keep me believing.

I like you here in our robin’s-egg blue house with our dogs. Where pasta is what’s for dinner every night, and we buy wine when we can’t afford it, and you always ask me to stay up and watch movies with you, but when I decline—say I’m too tired— you follow me upstairs to bed, anyway. You make every day fun. Every day an adventure. Every day one that ends with me smiling and laughing in your arms.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

(A Kind of) Death In Birth

orphan noun
1 a child whose parents are dead.
• a person or thing bereft of protection, position, etc. : radioactive wastes are the main orphan of the nuclear era. 2 Printing the first line of a paragraph set as the last line of a page or column, considered undesirable.

Willy's mother died from complications during childbirth. Bringing him--but not just him, also his three identical siblings, Theo; Idda and Stella-- into the world. They are orphans kept alive by the staff at the Berega Orphanage, in Berega, Tanzania, where they are provided with the necessities and nurturing needed in their crucial first years. Commonly, they are reintegrated into their extended families between the ages of 2 and 3.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I complained to David that I just wanted to work in a field that I actually liked. One that I felt challenged me and stimulated me. One that ignited passion within me. He just smiled and comforted me as he usually does and sent me on my way, and when I got to work I found this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/world/africa/25orphan.html) in the New York Times. I saw and read about Willy and Theo and their sisters and my heart clenched, or eased up as I read about their struggle and the success they have found with the help of the Berega Orphanage. They are not just given food and health care, they are shown and given love. They are challenged to develop relationships and maintain them. No one makes a huge profit, or is able to build their resume from their work there, or can claim any other fame besides a brief Times article, and no one takes from it the workers' names, anyway. We only remember the names and faces of Willy, Theo, Stella and Idda.

It occured to me, maybe just now, that I'll never find what I'm looking for where I am. I know I'll never find it on my own anyway, without God's guidance, but I'll never find what my heart longs for in an office such as this one, or behind a desk in a plush computer chair. I will always feel drained or bored or uninterested--despite brief periods when business or distraction give me the illusion of interest. My heart beats for the Berega's kind of service. Here I am given too much time and space to fill with my self, and my own ego, my own "stuff." I don't want any of it, rather, I find myself longing to watch children grow. These children. To play a part in all of it. To cradle a newborn baby in my arms who was welcomed into the world on the coattails of his mother's farewell. Whose hope brought on by new life was a mere spark in a shadow cast by his mother's death. To cradle that tiny bundle of life in my arms and demand that this one has value, matchless worth. That this one deserves a chance, deserves all the opportunity the world can afford.

After all, what relevance does a decent-paying job, or a mid-level position, or a mid-sized townhouse, or even the mountain of student-loan debt it took to lift me up to this level even matter? In the face of a life that has one small window, one opening to either bloom or be lost, how can I worry about the grip that Sallie Mae now (though it will always be something) has on me? I'm asking because I'd really like to know. I know all hearts don't beat the same rhythm, for the same reason but why do I feel so stupid to ask? I'm sick of ignorning these feelings, of fully feeling them, only to moments later cast them off as ridiculous, childish. BECAUSE, I say to myself, you have to pay your bills. And who will feed the dog? Gas is not going to pay for itself to be pumped into that tank. Silly Lia. But I don't want to care about these things anymore. I don't want to care if my credit is destroyed, because I don't want to have credit. I want to forget what credit is and how it could have once "ruined my life." I don't want to know, and I won't need to know because I want to be so far from the concept of credit and bills, in the town of Berega, in Tanzania, living blissfully unaware, in love and with reckless abandon of my old self, and my old selfish ways, and everything before, after and all the things in between.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Mess, Please.

revamp verb they plan to revamp the kitchen
renovate, redecorate, refurbish, recondition, rehabilitate, overhaul, make over; upgrade, refit, re-equip; remodel, refashion, redesign, restyle; informal do up, give something a facelift, rehab.

Ah, facelift. I like it. I'm dusting this old thing off. Trying to put prettier things on top in hopes to make the awful class-enforced blog posts that came before this one quiet down, or just go away.

I just tried to list 6 things about myself and I'm not sure why. Hello, Lindsey. You are the only person reading this and you already know all 6. Want to guess anyway, though? Didn't think so.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing here. What I do know is that I am trying to force myself to write again. To write daily, which, in truth, is something I have never done--except maybe for a brief stint freshman year, and it was poetry, awful poetry. (Awful.) I love to write. I love to make up elaborate stories and characters with overly indulgent details, I love to research and observe and look up statistics for essays on tiny moments we often catch merely glimpses of, I love to plop short globs of language, clumsily and abrupt, atop slender swimming lines of poetry. I am in love with it, but it taxes me. I am overwhelmed by what I could write, or what I couldn't, or what would be too painful to pen down. I am anxious, and these days, too fidgety to sit still long enough to let some magic happen.

Last night I sat on our plump leather couch reading Jhumpa, and felt that ache I feel. When the way a line, or a charater's expression, peels the skin right off of me and climbs inside. I ache for the passion a couple feels when they share a first kiss while making dinner, then collapse into each other, and crawl into the bedroom to make love, forgetting the food, simmering (soon burning) in pots and pans strewn across the top of the stove, and the uncorked wine. Let loose. So loose that the fact that the frying pan has to be thrown out afterwards doesn't even matter. It is casually mentioned, a short sentence that follows them slipping back into their clothes, laughing as they order bad Chinese food and split some left-over beer from the back of the fridge. Effortlessly, it is life. It is messy: she has couscous in her hair. It is messy: he smells like onions. It is messy: their sticky bodies draped over one another's on top of a nondescript bedspread, in a nondescriptly messy New York apartment.

I'd like a little more messy, please. I'd like a little more loose. I want to forget about the pots and pan, too. Let the charred dishes sit in the sink and get dirtier. I'd like to stay up too late and eat more bad Chinese. I'd like to make more messes with my writing. I'd like to slosh onto pages instead of tip toe. I'd like to fail miserably at writing a 100-page Sci-Fi novel. I'd like to be proud of pages wrinkled from indifference, and traced in brown watercolor coffee stains that no one will ever read. I'd like to live a little more, write a lot more.

I guess we'll just have to see, won't we?