Tuesday, February 28, 2006

There's a plot in there somewhere...

But I don't seem to notice as I'm incredibly distracted by the style of Jennifer Love Hewitt's character on CBS's Ghost Whisperer. Sure the premise is interesting, with spooky apparitions, untimely deaths and do-gooder morals all neatly wrapped up in a one hour show on the generally boring Friday night network lineup. But all that doesn’t really compare to the luscious and funky vintage clothing that is prominently featured. If I were a size 0, I'd so be wearing crushed velvet jackets, empire style dresses, and peasant tops just like her. The only thing I would avoid is the heavy doe-eyed look that is achieved with obviously fake eyelashes. Her promotional pictures don’t rely on the distracting ones that are used in the show so you have to tune in to see what I mean. On the other hand, her hair is divine and whatever they use- extensions, wigs, or a really good volumizer- makes it an appropriate accessory for everything she’s dressed in.

She is my new style idol.

(On a side note, the opening credits feature a fantastic and surreal dream collage style sequence done by Digital Kitchen Studios. You can view the clip at their website. It’s interesting to note that they have done the opening credits for House, Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck, the über cool Jade Empire video game, and the newest Sundance Film Festival spots. Their style reminds me of the opening sequence to the brilliant HBO show Carnivàle, which you can still view here.
The show's cancellation was a tremendous blow to superior television programming and I’m still grieving to this day. How did a show about Tarot, the Dust Bowl and Depression, carnival freaks, supernatural psychic phenomenon and demonic forces somehow get left by the wayside after an unsatisfying 24 episodes? I’ll never know. But I'm pretty sure that Ghost Whisperer isn't going to suffer the same fate- the writing and acting are simply no match to Carnivàle. This show isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Of course, I'm not a TV exec, so what do I know?)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Troublesome Dream

My dream on Sunday night is still bothering me a few days later. I don’t know quite how to interpret it and I worry about the negative connotations that it potentially could have since the symbols within the dream tend to lead me in a certain direction (I'm sure Alder will scold me for saying that).
Alder and I were traveling home to my parent’s house in Madison and it was late at night. We came up Highway 55 and turned to reach my childhood neighborhood from the wrong way. We passed a large apartment building under construction. There were still wood boards hastily attached where railings on the balconies should be. The roof was partially done with several holes still needing to be patched and I could see the night sky and stars through some of those holes. The building was rather large and out of place for the surrounding neighborhood; it was four or five stories compared to mostly one story ranch homes that populated the area. As we rounded the corner, I could see a small fire gaining strength in one of the upper story apartments. The strange thing was that I couldn’t actually see the fire, only the appropriate and distinctive shadow that its flames made as they flickered against the side of the building. It was like an impression of a fire or something, not the actual event. Nevertheless, I told Alder that we needed to stop and call in a report to 911. But he drove right past and ignored me. I repeated myself with more urgency but his only response was “don’t worry about it”. I was totally miffed that he would blatantly ignore this very serious matter and I pulled out my cell phone from my pocket. “We need to call 911!” I shouted. “I said, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!" He screamed. "Someone ELSE will call it in; we need to get to your parent’s house. It’s VERY LATE (he gestured to the large green digital clock on the car’s dashboard) and I’m EXTREMELY TIRED!” And that completely pissed me off. Once we reached the intersection just before my parents house and Alder made his way slowly around a new roundabout that had been constructed there (there isn’t one there in real life), I jumped out of the car and dropped the cell phone, shattering it in the process. I crossed the street in a huff and walked back up the sidewalk towards the apartment building, stomping my heels loudly on the concrete. They made loud clicking echoes in the silent night air. He was nice enough to turn the car around and come after me, calling to me from the car to get back in, that he was sorry, that he’ll dial 911 right now. But the damage was done; I couldn’t believe how selfish he was being and how uncharacteristically rude he was to me. I was bound and determined to get this fire reported but I didn’t get to call 911 because Alder woke me up in real life by crawling in next to me in the guest bed and wrapping his arms around me. I lay there for a minute extremely confused. Why was I letting him near me after his complete lack of respect for me and for the situation? But the urgency of the dream quickly faded as my eyes adjusted to light and I remembered where I was.

I don’t like the fire, or the fact that it wasn’t a fire but an impression of a fire. I don’t like his reaction to my own reactions. I don’t like that I can’t easily interpret this episode but it leaves me with an unsettling feeling. Doesn't fire usually signal danger or death? The apartment building isn't complete, it's still being built. Could that be our bond to one another somehow? Are the holes in the building a good or bad thing? Why was I so concerned about something I couldn't completely see but intuitively knew was still there? Is this a relationship issue or something else? Hmm...

Technorati Tags:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying, there's no crying in skiing!

Ski rentals, lift ticket, and hot cocoa: $0
(because I was adopted by Alder's family for the day)

Two nights of lodging minutes from Mt Hood: $0
(because Alder is a lawyer and he has connections!)

All the ibuprofen, hugs, and sympathy I could ask for: $0

Being pushed beyond my personal comfort zone, way past my physical limits, crying and blubbering halfway through my skiing lesson, and ending up sliding down the bunny hill on my butt in front of everyone: priceless

There are some things money just can’t buy.

For everything else, I have a charming family to take care of me. And there was a lot of that happening this last weekend. I went skiing at Mount Hood Meadows. I actually made it down the Buttercup run about three or four times before collapsing in a fit of tears and begging that someone help me down the rest of the way to the comforting yuppie-filled lodge. After 5 hours and endless cycle of falling down, getting back up, skiing two feet and falling down again, I had enough. I was using muscles that I didn’t know existed. I mistakenly thought I was only going skiing for the day but little did I know that to my body, it would feel like I was rollerblading, hiking, doing countless pushups and sit-ups, and other strenuous activities that shall *ahem* remain nameless all in the same day. By the end of it all, I could barely move. Thank goodness my companions- Alder, The Wife, and Bubble Boy- didn’t judge me too harshly. They all had to learn to ski at one time or another too so I’m pretty sure I got some genuinely sympathetic hugs and encouragement when I bawled like a baby.

The next time I go, I will be in better shape to deal with the difficulties that a newbie skier faces. I’ll know what I’m in for. I’ll know that it’s normal to fall down for the umpteenth time even after I thought I’d mastered the basics. And I’ll know that I’m only a relatively small hill away from a warm drink- with or without the alcohol- depending on how the ski lesson is going....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm comforted knowing I'm not the only one

Miss Fish, here, talks about the sound that her heartbeat makes when she's falling asleep. She says it sounds like soldiers marching. And I agree with her. When I was a child, I used to be terrified of going to sleep. For a few years as an adolescent, I needed glasses but I didn't know it. At night, my eyes would try to focus in the dark but they constantly moved in and out of fuzzy focus. As a consequence, everything in my room either moved or looked like it was breathing. I used to imagine all sorts of things waiting in the dark for me to fall asleep. One of those items was a large white toy box with soldiers on the sides. These soldiers all stood at attention with sharp bayonets raised high. This toy chest was located in the basement in the romper room and at night, because I could hear my heartbeat thumping over and over, it wasn’t hard to imagine these soldiers marching up the stairs towards my bedroom. I imagined these little one and a half foot tall men marching with wooden legs, mean sneers, and bloody bayonets. They never made it to my door, but that didn’t stop me from being afraid.

I was such a weird kid. As further proof, my favorite movies when I was five were Flash Gordon, The Dark Crystal and Stephen King’s Children of the Corn. At five, I remember being instinctively drawn to that particular horror movie with its premise that children killed their parents (and anyone over the age of 16) and tried to run a small Kansas town all by themselves with some supernatural psycho religion overseeing everything. My father finally taped over the movie, claiming that it was a bad influence, but the damage had already been done because I had memorized every scene and could reenact it playing any part. I read almost everything else King had written by the time I reached high school.

Even though I try to read and watch as much horror as possible and the toy chest is long gone, the thumping never went away and to this day, I'm still afraid of the dark.

Monday, February 13, 2006

In my mansion of memory, this will hold court in the Japanese garden

Sometimes when I'm out on a stroll, I like zero in on a particular sight, scent, or other moment tied to one of the senses and memorize everything thing I can about it so that later on I can recall it quickly when I’m having a bad day or when I just need a second to peacefully relax. What follows is a recording of the important details I recall from Sunday’s walk:

The way the water flowed naturally in and out of deep ridges cut over several centuries in the rock floor along the beach.

The outline of that perfectly balanced rock you fashioned on the cliff and the way it stood against the backdrop of the sky.

The soothing rhythm of the Kalapuya drum and the way your wrist bounced back and forth.

The wide ringlets in your hair that shone beneath the February sun and seductively called to me.

The smell of your hair as I buried my nose in the back of your neck.

Friday, February 10, 2006

My Sentiments Exactly

Thursday, February 09, 2006

One true love? I only get one?!? Valentine's Day and Polyamory

I had a few minutes in between classes & work last week and I ended up spending it in front of the daunting display of Valentine’s Day cards at the store. Leave it to polyamory to make even the simplest task of card shopping incredibly difficult! Cards that use phrases like "be my true valentine" or "my heart belongs only to you" are simply out from the start. As is “there will never be anyone else but you.” Um, I can’t guarantee that… but I can say there is no one else like you in the world and my love for you is distinctly unique! What IS wrong with loving more than one person? What's wrong with expressing love for those multiple relationships? If everyone involved is a consenting adult (emphasis on the consenting and the adult part), why is this so wrong?!? Why did society decide this was the acceptable norm over dating one person and moving from relationship to relationship over and over again? I don't get what the big deal is.

Now let me say this: I’ve never been one for the “wordy” cards. You know the kind- the front page is filled with a paragraph or long verse, and on the inside, there are several paragraphs on either side. Sometimes these cards even have multiple pages that could be considered a small novelette. I’ve always preferred to write my own message even when I do find a card that expresses my exact sentiments. I just like to be personal. Polyamory has only reiterated that fact- I just have to pay close attention to what I’m saying and how I say it.

So what I’ve ended up doing this Valentine’s Day is work on two very personal gifts that don’t have a Hallmark stamp on them. While one could say that I am forced to think outside the box when it comes to love sentiments, I consider it a blessed opportunity to declare how I feel about each person that I have romantic feelings for. It’s nice to have to face that degree of specificity and intention. They get two highly personalized valentine’s that are sincere and from my heart (and if they’re really, REALLY lucky, these valentines will include lots of macaroni, glitter, and crayon scribblings).

I’ve spoken to my Beloved and made my intentions clear that I wanted to acknowledge the holiday with both him and The Wife. The holiday falls during the regular work week and so it’s impossible to be around them on the actual day since we live 2 hours apart. So it was totally possible that the holiday could be ignored all together. I was worried about dealing with the day at all- I mean we aren’t exactly in a full on poly relationship yet as a triad- but I came to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore it and essentially ignore my feelings as a result. I’m in love with him and I utterly adore her and it’s my right to express my affection to them even if many issues go unresolved at the moment. I only hope that we find an appropriate balance for the current situation.

In searching for some personal stories on the web about polyamory and Valentine’s Day I came across this excerpt from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, dated February 2004:

“Valentine's Day for the polyamorous is similar to Christmas for big families. One has to make sure to give each child a gift that is special and individualized and yet also feels equal to the gifts all the other children receive. Luckily for the polyamorous, though, all the myriad relationships they need to maintain are with adults. Unlike children, adults are occasionally coherent about communicating what they desire and generally will respond to disappointment without screaming, refusing to breathe, or running away from home. It may be hard to believe, but fully grown humans have the potential to behave in a mature fashion in [multiple] romantic relationships.” [oh, let’s hope so… although I haven’t tried the breath holding tactic yet. That just might work if I can actually turn my face blue! ]

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Blogging the good stuff

In no particular order this week,

I jumped on the scale for the first time in 3 months, was shocked that I hadn't gained but maybe 2 ounces, and resolved to return to a more healthy way of eating so I can hit my magic happy weight number in the next four months (that's 12 pounds and 8 ounces away).

I gave away one of my favorite purses to a coworker today. She's coveted this purple velvet Old Navy purse of mine since the first day I brought it to work. I don't use it very often; still it is one of my favorites. Yesterday, she asked me to bring it in so she could copy the pattern and make her own. On my way home, out of the blue, it dawned on me to just give her the purse. Impulsively I decided to do so and letting go felt so natural. It must be the budding Buddhist in me that wants to let go of material possessions and attachments. Sometimes less really is more.

My architecture quiz was returned to me and not only was my score above the undergraduate class average, but it also surpassed the graduate student’s scores too. I done good, real good.

I bought a dress at Goodwill for $4.49 (price tag listed publicly so the parents know I'm not buying frivolously). This is the first dress I've owned in ten years. I've always been afraid to wear dresses for fear of how wide they make my hips look. This new dress ain't half bad. I'm going to wear it this weekend, with a small amount of trepidation and be willing to deck anyone that laughs at me. Oh and did I mention that the dress is a large? I've never owned a dress without an X listed on the size tag before. EVER.

In a shocking turn of events, I impulsively went for a walk on Sunday. I am a slightly impulsive person but usually only when the activity appeals to the hedonist in me. Having a sudden urge to exercise? That’s a new one.

Monday, February 06, 2006

From My Cold, Dead Hands

Alder Dear, that's the only way you're getting back your Pink Martini CD!

I must say that I was impressed by this local band's sophomore album. I had never heard of them before catching a couple snippets and pictures on fellow blogger sites. I loaned (loaned, borrowed, stole, whatever...) the album last weekend from Alder and it was the perfect background music to some bleak afternoons filled with nasty winter storms and an even nastier chest cold.