Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Don't mess with Mister In-Between...

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Somewhere along the way, I got a reputation, both with myself and with some of the people in my life, of being a sort of pessimistic person. Not negative, exactly, or not fun to be around, but a bit Eeyorish.(Did you know "eeyorish" is an actual word now? Check the Oxford dictionary.) Certainly there were instances when I earned this. I hear I was a challenging child, and I KNOW I was a challenging teenager at times. (I have my own theories about this, but that is for another post. Or not.) But for some reason I've never really been able to fully embrace this supposed trait of mine. It's never quite felt like the truth.

It turns out that maybe there was a reason. Lately I've had the opportunity, in several different situations, to take a smattering of personality tests. Having nothing to lose, and always enjoying a chance to gain a little personal insight, I was completely honest when answering the questions. Every single one declared me to be, among other things, an optimistic person who looks on the bright side of life. Mind you, these were not tests from Cosmopolitan or Glamour, asking me what shade of lipstick I prefer or what my dream vacation would be, therefore deducing if I'm sunshine and roses or a dark gloomy rain cloud. These were tests that in some cases took me an hour to finish. So there's gotta be some merit. My first instinct was to think that clearly they must just be wrong, their methodology must be off, because otherwise they would see that I AM A GLASS HALF EMPTY GIRL FOR GOD'S SAKE!

Except they're right. They're just confirming something I've figured out about myself, slowly, over the past few years. It turns out that beneath the sometimes dark exterior, I'm more hopeful than what most people see. I just get shy, after all this time, all this eeyorishness, about admitting it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Sharing the Wealth

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

There's a really beautiful blog that I read every day that I wanted to share with you guys.( Right now the writer, Andrea, has a post up with a few links to some of her favorite entries from the past year. "Lost and Found" is one that I've read a couple of times and it always really moves me.

I've been a bit slow with the writing, both here and on my own, for the past couple weeks. I think it's because I've been focusing elsewhere, trying to really enjoy spring, all that is going on with Sweet Monday, and getting all sorts of things in order. The hope for this week is that I can get some stuff planted in these flower pots that I see when I look out my window.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"Phase one, in which Doris..."

Last night April and I got our first order for a skirt through the website (everything up until now has been less "official")and I'm very excited about it. It's got me anxious to be able to sit down and do a bit of creating again, as it's been a few weeks since I've been able to do much of that, outside of my writing. I'm thinking of getting a mini silkscreen (a Gocco machine, I believe)to help with my card making. Will allow me to go much further than I've been able to with just paper, scissors and glue thus far.

The writing is going well. Dad liked the first fifty pages, but did any of us really expect that he wouldn't? He's obligated. But I appreciate the support nonetheless, and am moving forward. I think it's finally truly started to become a habit. I sit down every night and do a little bit, and if I don't it feels strange. This isn't to say that I'm not one vacation away from falling off the novel writing bandwagon, but so far, so good.

It's Spring in California and I feel happy.

Monday, March 21, 2005

It doesn't bode well...

for the new shoes I am wearing today that for the entire time I've had them on, I've been remembering how it felt to be in my pointe shoes.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Greatest Rock Band in US History

I know that most of you who read this also read my dad's blog, but if you don't, you should check it out right now to weigh in on the debate/play off he's got going on...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Of One's Own

Have you ever seen a photograph of someone you know well, someone you know better than you know anyone else, perhaps someone you know better than anyone else in their life knows them, and see in the picture something you don't recognize? If you have, you know what a curious moment it is, to realize that no matter what, there is in each of us something that can't be given to anyone else, or known by anyone else, that is ours alone. It's true of everyone we love, and it's true of ourselves.

It's because of this that I've always struggled with the whole notion of constantly trying to achieve "independence," of trying to be sure you hold some part of yourself back from the people close to you, so that you never feel too much in need of them. I agree with it in certain ways. It's entirely possible to become too wrapped up in someone else, to lose yourself in them to a degree that isn't healthy. But ultimately, there's no risk of becoming lost entirely. It's impossible. Even if we TRIED to become completely entwined with other people, we'd never succeed. There's too much that goes on at a level so deep that we can't even articulate it. So much of our lives are lived in our minds in ways that we don't think to express, or are unable to -- small things like the thoughts we have about the hangnail on our right ring finger to our deepest fears. All day long we think a myriad of things that are known only to us.

There's so much of life that has to be lived by one's self, whether we want to or not. So my deal is that I think if we find someone who wants to know as much about us as we can possibly give them, and if we also happen to want to know that much about them, shouldn't we try for it? Shouldn't we try our best to have someone know us so very well that they are startled when they see a glimpse of us that lets them know there's yet more to learn?

I read a wonderful book several years ago, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It's about a missionary family in the Belgian Congo in the 50s. Much of it has faded from memory, but the following passage (from the perspective of the wife/mother) has stuck with me, and probably always will:

"I married a man who could never love me, probably. It would have trespassed on his devotion to all mankind. I remained his wife because it was one thing I was able to do each day. My daughters would say: You see, Mother, you had no life of your own.

They have no idea. One has ONLY a life of one's own.

I've seen things they'll never know about. I saw a family of weaver birds work together for months on a nest that became such a monstrous lump of sticks and progeny and nonsense that finally it brought their whole tree thundering down. I didn't speak of it to my husband or children, not ever. So you see. I have my own story..."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fortifying Deep Conditioner for Dry, Unmanageable Hair

I feel the need to write, but have nothing all that meaningful to say. I wish I did. But things aren't coming to me in neat and tidy metaphors right now, or at least not ones that I'm enjoying all that much. I'm trying to be brutally honest with myself right now about what I want, what I am looking for. I had the tiniest snippet of something come my direction this weekend that I chose not to pursue. At first I felt bad about it because who am I to be picky right now? And then I realized, who am I NOT to be picky right now? I MUST be picky right now. I no longer have the luxury of not. I've gotten smarter some how, or at least less tolerant of red flags. That can be tiring though. I'm tired.

Friday, March 11, 2005

There are few things...

more gravely disappointing than believing you've chosen a donut with cream filling when in fact you have not.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Smattering

This morning I had a huge piece of cake for breakfast. White frosting. A lot of it.

My head has been spinning ever since.

I finished my latest chapter yesterday, so now I am ready to polish it a bit and then send it to my dad. Will be strange to have eyes other than mine on it.

Researching Argentinian restaurants to have dinner at before going to see "Evita" on Saturday night, and coming up fairly short as far as a place that is not TOO pricey, but is pricey ENOUGH.

Discussing with A. that everything feels slightly off this week.

Discussing with M. that we've both got a good opportunity right now to use our clean relationship slates to our advantage.

Last night I walked up to Larchmont for some exercise and promptly bought myself an ice cream cone. Chocolate peanut butter. Loved every last bite. And every first bite, too.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

On The Street Where I Live

apartment envy
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I live in my favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles. When I moved there, I didn't know that would end up being the case. Picking my apartment had less to do with where it WAS than where it WASN'T (namely, not the bum infested street I lived on previously, nor the somewhat snobby beach communities to the west). I was happy to simply be moving someplace safer and a bit sweeter, but which still had the feel of LA's east side that I love so much. It was in between my two sets of friends who happen to live on polar ends of Melrose. Those were the reasons I picked my building. (Oh, and it was cheap.)

The reasons I've continued to pick my building, month after month, when I could actually afford to move elsewhere, is that I've come to love my street and those that surround it. There are plenty of towering, substantial trees that remind me of home. There are bushes of flowers everywhere, and the whole neighborhood always smells either of those, or of a fire rising through a chimney (possibly my favorite smell in the world). I can walk to things (the grocery, many restaurants, a farmer's market on Sundays, flower shops), almost as if I lived in a real city.

The absolute best thing is that there are certain parts of my street in particular where, when I walk by, I feel completely transported, as if I were in another place entirely. There is a very European feel to many of the buildings near mine (except for the palm trees), and if I stand in front of them, peering upward, I feel worlds away from the Hollywood sign that I can see in the north, and the smog that covers it.

apartment envy

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hands On

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

I'm not very good at embroidering. This pillow case is the best thing I've done in the several months since I picked up the hobby. (And I didn't even bother with the "yours" version since Lord knows when I will ever need a "yours" anything.) Most of the time, I end up getting the string in a million knots or the stitches are terribly uneven. But I like doing it anyway. I've figured out that I like almost anything where I'm creating something that didn't exist before. I like getting my hands dirty with things. Clay, paint, soil, wood, scissors, newsprint, paper, film, fabric... bring it on. Discovering this has surprised me because it doesn't really go with the rest of my personality. It would make much more sense for me to like doing things that are less concrete. So it's interesting to me that I need this. I'm trying to foster it as much as I can these days because for a while after college I didn't do nearly enough of any of that stuff, and I always felt like something essential was missing. It took me a while to figure out that even though I was up to my neck in the film industry, I missed the actual production work, the moving of the lights and splicing of the film and what not. It hadn't even occurred to me that that was what I had enjoyed about school. I'd thought it was all about the stories.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Happy, Healthy Monsters

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Boredom is dangerous.

This week at work has flown by. I've been training my new cubemate (Who is actually close to my age! Imagine that.) and doing some research on grad schools as well as stuff for Sweet Monday. So for once I haven't had too much time during the day to think about the grand scheme of my life, but have instead been consumed with practical issues, which I much prefer, at least right now.

Once I get home, however, it's a somewhat different story. I've too much time on my hands. There's no reason why I should -- I have two sets of cards to make that need to be mailed out by Monday and another chapter of the book to write. But boredom is a stubborn thing, and it can set in at any time. The result is a wandering mind and a tendency to over ponder. Not a good thing for a girl who already ponders enough for both herself and the next several dozen people.

(I took pictures of these flowers last weekend. They grow in front of the building next to mine, and I like them because none of them are too close together. They have very long stems and they grow in opposite directions from one another. A rather independent lot, these ones.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wouldn't It Be Loverly...

I've learned just now that the My Fair Lady album is fine greeting card making music.

"Someone's head resting on my knee..."


I've noticed something really embarrassing these past couple of weeks. I've become completely addicted to internet communication. Not a casual little habit, but a full on addiction. I'm talking checking my email while I walk to my car in the mornings. I'm talking about checking it via my phone from bed last night at about 12:30, as if there were ANY CHANCE AT ALL that someone had emailed me since I'd last checked it at midnight. I'm talking checking it (as well as my blog comments, my flickr comments and my IM) no fewer than ten thousand times in between example A and example B. The obvious reason for this new burst of dependence is that I'm isolated in a lot of other ways these days. I'm not friends with the people I work with, and I live by myself, so the majority of my days and evenings are not spent actually WITH any of the people who are important to me. This electronic stuff is all I have.

I suspect, though, that it runs a tiny bit deeper than that. I think that part of what I'm wanting from the emails or the comments or the IMs is to know that someone's thinking of me, that I'm on someone's radar. I feel sort of invisible lately without scraps of acknowledgement throughout my day. I know that this is sort of faulty reasoning as there are people who I think about literally every day and am never in touch with. I guess there's always some possibility that someone feels the same way about me. But still, the addiction lives.

The truth is that I've always been a bit of a correspondence fiend. I remember many days during summer breaks when I would literally wait on the front porch for the mail man to arrive so I could see if someone had sent me a letter (and I still get little butterflies in my stomach every day when I check my mail box, as if that day might be the one when I get some special piece of mail). I was the little girl who signed up for pen pals across the world and had friendships that were sustained entirely through letters (never have been a big phone talker, feel more comfortable writing things out). I passed notes in class as if the world depended on it (hey! it might have!), to the point where I once had a teacher take a note away from me and keep it (the horror!). So it's not really surprising that I've embraced all these new ways to communicate. They're fun. But they also mean that there are just that many fewer excuses to not hear from someone. I know that from my cell phone alone, I can call (duh), email, IM and text message. There are no longer any excuses (except for maybe camping in Big Sur, where I get no reception) for me to not be able to reach someone, and vice versa. So when hours (okay, sometimes even MINUTES) go by without something from someone, I find myself feeling offended. That's where I feel lame. I shouldn't need to constantly be in touch with people. It's kinda weird of me. The good thing is that I know it's temporary. There will be a time when I will think it's funny that I spent so many hours composing or waiting for electronic messages. And I also know that if I were to go camping for a week or on vacation or anything else of that sort, I would happily forget all about what email messages I might be missing. It wouldn't even cross my mind.

So maybe it's not an addiction after all. Or even some psychological craving. Maybe it's mostly just boredom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You'd be wrong.

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Wouldn't you think by looking at this picture that there's something interesting going on in Mira's head?