November 25, 2012



Every year we call it down upon ourselves,
the chaos of the day before the occasion,
the morning before the meal. Outdoors,
the men cut wood, fueling appetite
in the gray air, as Nana, Arlene, Mary,
Robin—whatever women we amount to—
turn loose from their wrappers the raw,
unmade ingredients. A flour sack leaks,
potatoes wobble down counter tops
tracking dirt like kids, blue hubbard erupts
into shards and sticky pulp when it's whacked
with the big knife, cranberries leap away
rather than be halved. And the bird, poor
blue thing—only we see it in its dead skin—
gives up for good the long, obscene neck, the gizzard,
the liver quivering in my hand, the heart.

So what? What of it? Besides the laughter,
I mean, or the steam that shades the windows
so that the youngest sons must come inside
to see how the smells look. Besides
the piled wood closing over the porch windows,
the pipes the men fill, the beers
they crack, waiting in front of the game.

Any deliberate leap into chaos, small or large,
with an intent to make order, matters. That's what.
A whole day has passed between the first apple
cored for pie, and the last glass polished
and set down. This is a feast we know how to make,
a Day of Feast, a day of thanksgiving
for all we have and all we are and whatever
we've learned to do with it: Dear God, we thank you
for your gifts in this kitchen, the fire,
the food, the wine. That we are together here.
Bless the world that swirls outside these windows—
a room full of gifts seeming raw and disordered,
a great room in which the stoves are cold,
the food scattered, the children locked forever
outside dark windows. Dear God, grant
to the makers and keepers power to save it all.

-- Thanksgiving, Linda McCarriston

November 19, 2012

recently:

a wine and goat-cheese filled lady date (typical)
gossiping with the symphony librarians
stocking up on my holiday pantry (pumpkin, mint marshmallows, more pumpkin)
prom 2012, the company holiday party

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(four of us in our original prom dresses)

a catch-up chat with one of my great ladies
a seriously excellent saturday evening date

today:
egg sandwich
pinterest binge
peppermint tea
a chapter of wild
dvd fireplace (you gotta make do sometimes)
a batch of homemade chicken broth, a pot of chili, many jars of spicy lentil soup
christmas list: finished
world's wettest two mile run, I think I am still drying off
surprise fancy coffee delivery from my lady date <3
video game consoles powered up and attached to the tube for upcoming tetris world championship
bath + apple cider + bourbon = good
nail paintin'
fuzzy blankets
twinkle lights

vacation is awesome.

November 16, 2012

modern-day frustrations

I realized over the course of this week that I haven't been receiving all the texts people are sending me. I knew I was having trouble with my outgoing texts but I didn't realize I was having trouble getting them too. I had a few people tell me in the last few days that they've tried to get in touch and I haven't responded. I feel a weird and semi-embarrassing sense of loss over whatever messages I've missed and will probably never receive. where do they go?

I hacked into my phone back in the spring and I tried to do it again today -- it's been pretty constantly crashing and being an asshole over the course of the last two months -- and now I may or may not have totally broken it.

so all of this is to say that if you've tried to get in touch with me over the last few weeks and I haven't answered it's possible that this is why. and more importantly if you try to get in touch with me now, your messages are probably going straight into the ether. likewise I am unable to contact anybody. it's a good time. I like the idea of forced solitude but maybe it could have waited a day or two.

now back to my regularly scheduled ... whatever it is I talk about on this blog.

November 14, 2012

recent pandora musical requirements
accordion
jazz
in french

overheard at the office, spirit week edition
'if I have to fill out an incident report form that says fell backwards off of giant blow-up piranha I am not gonna be happy'

some things I've done this week
built a mini-golf course in the staging studio
asked a guy out with an artichoke
knit a giant mustache
successfully raced an 8K, the farthest I've run in I think 8 months. without anything tearing, popping, or otherwise failing on me

another thing that happened
yup

current status
so fucking exhausted in every conceivable sense of the word

November 8, 2012

yesterday, late afternoon in the office, I suddenly heard a familiar melody float from somewhere down the hall. I sat in my office for a beat or two, trying to place the tune, and then realized it was the debussy rhapsody. I got up and followed the sound to our graphics station, where the interim chorusmaster was studying the piano part.

"I played this in college," I tell him.
"Ah," he says, "so you are a clarinetist." we sit and listen for a moment, the opening peaceful, plaintive. "I'm playing this when I get back to virginia," he saiys "with some teenage kid." the music picks up, drops back, picks up, drops back again. "this part sounds like debussy," he says, "but this part back here was very unusual."

I stand with him through the whole piece, remembering how frustrating that time in my life was, my senior year of college, how I entered the concerto competition at the last moment, without a pianist, only because a professor of mine talked me into it. I didn't feel ready; I was suffering from a terrible depression, and on top of it I had been browbeaten a little by my clarinet teacher for not being ready enough to compete. I walked into the competition knowing I wouldn't win, and then won.

clinton and I sat and listened to the whole thing and just before the end I put my head in my hands. "I can't believe I ever played this," I said, in awe, despondent.

it feels like a small tragedy, to have had that skill and lost it. I try not to look that fact in the face, ever, because it's too big and too hard and too sad.

what it looks like

when you're not depressed it's really hard to understand people who are. because the hardest thing about depression is that there's all this stuff that you know you have to do, and it's stuff that isn't even that hard, but somehow you just do not have the energy.

yesterday I woke up five minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off, and I was still so tired and I thought no way and reset the alarm for an hour later. but then I spent the next 30 minutes in bed feeling riddled with guilt over how I was just there in bed, and not even sleeping, and so probably I should just get up, but I was so tired that I couldn't.

when I finally got up, I cast around pathetically trying to figure out what to wear. I didn't feel that good so I skipped breakfast and just brought a banana in my bag. I showered but didn't dry my hair. all I wanted in the world was to get up and drag all my blankets and pillows into the living room so I could curl up and watch TV all day. instead I managed to put clothes on and clip my hair back and put some things into a bag and go to work. all the while I was thinking that these are ordinary things that to an ordinary person not struggling with her mental health would be easy, thoughtlessly easy.

for me the worst part of depression is not the being sad. I am sad a lot, but not so sad that I'm crying all the time or anything. the worst part is the way everything becomes so heavy and impossible. depression makes everything hard, and on top of it for me there is absolutely no way to shake the "I just have to snap out of this, WHY CAN'T I JUST GRIT MY TEETH AND SNAP OUT OF THIS?" feeling. there is so much guilt about everything right now. I feel so bad about myself, which just contributes to everything feeling sad and impossible.

when things are good, even I can't imagine what it's like to feel like this.

November 7, 2012

four more years

"No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love."
-Barack Obama

November 5, 2012

a recent middle of the night meal
a bowl of trader joe's o's
two pieces of deli cheddar cheese
marshmallows

some tasks I have run for our giovanni
hot and sour soup delivery
hot and sour soup delivery
drive to and from spray tan
hot and sour soup delivery

things I fantasize about when I consider taking the whole week off at thanksgiving
staying in bed
watching korean tv
pajamas
hot chocolate
sleep
knitting
no human contact

what I will probably actually be doing the week of thanksgiving
running projections for a disney show with the symphony and trying to look professional while I sing along under my breath

a decent metaphor for my heart
two and a half years ago I was knocked down as I was trying to maneuver several hundred pounds of hay. on my right thigh I have a scar from being forcefully slammed into the lip of the little truck I was driving. it's a visible dent, the width of maybe two fingers. it's fully healed, just dented. if I push on it, it produces a very dull ache.

I believe this is how this thing with g will always be: a thing that will heal with time but will somehow, also, always hurt.

recent google searches
how to build a balloon arch
balloon arch tape
red chuck taylors
fraggle rock theme song
piriformis spasm
bob woodruff hairpiece
peter dinklage

single word said recently to the opera timpanist which subsequently made him crack up
frankenberry

top 5 favorite candies, as requested by the timpanist
cadbury cream eggs
laffy taffy (strawberry or cherry only, none of that banana-flavored shit)
charleston chew
valomilk
gummi sour apple rings

bottom 5, as requested by no one
peeps
candy corn
jelly beans
red vines
necco wafers

backstage noises I have been asked to make in the past seven years, onomotopoeia style
boom
rumble
ding
crank
bang bang bang

the general consensus
still sad

a probably true thing
I'm going to have to write my way out of this.

November 4, 2012

kamsahamnida


when I was a kid on the day the clocks changed I always wanted to call the time at 1:59 AM and listen to it. this is how we used to always refer to it -- "calling the time." to call the time you dialed 410-844-1212. you could also call the weather, 410-936-1212. When you called the time, a mechanical sounding man's voice would say, "at the tone, the time will be one. forty-eight. and forty seconds." and then there was a beep. ten second increments. when you called the weather you could listen to a meteorologist give the temperature, followed by weather report for today, tonight, and tomorrow. it was always updated. it never occurred to me as a child to wonder about these services. they just were. I thought everybody had them. then I moved to central new york and there was nothing quite like them. I wonder if they still exist and who made them. vestiges of another time, when a robotic voice was the last authority on what time it was.

now we all have cell phones.

yesterday I woke up at 8:30 at the house where I'm catsitting and watched an episode of korean TV while ruby, the cat, incessantly licked my arm. the night before I had come in at 1:30 and washed my eye makeup off with olive oil because of course I didn't bring over makeup remover. after my episode of korean TV I threw all my discarded clothes into a bag and walked out to my car in men's underwear, barefoot. then I went home and curled up into my chair and watched about 10 more hours of korean TV. I watched so much korean TV that when I went grocery shopping I accidentally only bought foods that are suitable for bibimbap, including kimchi. when I went to sleep I dreamed that I thanked someone in korean (the only korean I could be counted on to say if I suddenly found myself in seoul). what can I say except that I have hit the wall at work where all I can think about is how good it would be to sit around and do absolutely nothing. I have lost my will to move. korean TV is good for that, somehow. also, bibimbap is tasty, even if when you say "bibimbap" you mean "a weird trader joe's wild rice mixed with a bunch of chopped up vegetables and hastily tossed with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil." I got a daikon radish and kimchi, so I mean, whatever.

the real thing is that I don't have any motivation for anything at all. this is a familiar wall. over time I have learned that there is no way to surmount it except to somehow survive until there is enough time to sit around and do nothing for a few days. it's like I have a hidden reset button. all my fuses are blown, man. I had to give up running last week because of the crazy charley horse and now I've reverted to fuck that shit because really, fuck that shit. except I can't shake the guilt about how I'm not doing anything I should be doing (hanging out with my horse, responding to the friends who have sweetly emailed me to ask me if I am still living, etc).

I wore a silk dress I've had for five years today to the matinee and four random strangers stopped me on the street to say "amazing dress." so, thank you for that small token, universe.

November 3, 2012

I recently have been haunted by this feeling that I should not have stopped fighting for the person I loved. I know, let it go, jess. I feel really sheepish about it. but it just kind of sits there in my brain, this nagging sensation that this shit was not quite over. I really can't decide if this is denial or if this is some tiny intuitive smart voice of my brain/heart/god/universe/whatever that maybe is trying to get me to get up already and fight for the thing I believe in.

I seriously don't know about this. I find that as I sit around trying to 'move on' or whatever that the feeling I most often have is that I'm abandoning something important. the sensation is very overwhelming. the feeling is why am I just sitting here

a lot of times I kind of just sit around hating his girlfriend, quietly in my mind.
yes, you. I know you're out there.
I derive some energy from that anger, which probably makes me a bad person but honestly at this point I'm really not that interested in caring. I mean, it's ugly of me. I know that hating her isn't fair but who ever said life was fair. what happened to me wasn't fair either, but here we all are, hanging out on this blog where for some reason this is all I can talk about.

actually last night I dreamed that the three of us were having a conversation and for some reason even though we hated each other (and, let's face it, probably hate each other in real life) she and I were holding hands. meanwhile he was saying these terrible mean things to me, which is actually a nightmare I have a lot -- that people I love are relentlessly saying terrible things to me, despite my deeply hurt feelings -- and when I tried to hit him I couldn't (another dream trope) so instead I threw my shoes at him.

the moral of the story, in case you missed the memo, is: I loved somebody and now he's gone and frankly in the context of the rest of the world, so what. but there it is. here we are.

I mean there's also

one of my coworkers fell in an early giovanni rehearsal and broke her back and her absence, along with the absence of her partner, one of our stage managers, has been this enormous gaping hole for the rest of us that we have tried to band together and fill, because we really love them and not having them around was the equivalent of losing about five regular people. the only way we coped/are coping was by grasping onto each other. and coffee.

another one of my coworkers found out in the same weekend that her brother had committed suicide in a state park in nevada back in july. she found out when some hunters found his car, long abandoned.

the wife of yet another one of my coworkers just had to have surgery on her colon to chop out some cancer that they just found like two weeks ago.

my best friend can't find decent-paying work and is way behind on bills and working three jobs and heartsick and terrified and I can't do anything for her but tell her I love her and send her nail polish.

and on
and on
and on

early this week I got a bad cramp in my calf in the middle of the night, only I was so tired that I didn't fully wake up to stretch it out and so I guess my body just let it keep cramping and I couldn't walk on it for three days. it still hurts. this sort of thing seems to happen every time I start running again and after awhile it is really hard to keep getting up and moving forward. like, I really shoudl be stronger than this. but I get up, get knocked down, get up, get knocked down. later in the week I woke up in the middle of the night feeling outrageously sick and spent most of the morning throwing up every twenty minutes.

I tell myself this sentence a lot, resilience is a skill. I believe it but sometimes I am also like, fuck you, platitudes and turn over and stay in bed for another half hour, because it won't stop raining and it seems like everyone is just suffering and suffering and I am so tired and my heart is so sad and there are moments when I feel like the only person left on earth.

there are other days when I run two miles around my neighborhood listening to french language tutorials via podcast and I think that eventually I'll sort this shit out and the sun will come out and somebody will buy me flowers and my heart will stop being a brick of ice and my leg won't spasm randomly in the car anymore and I'll have time for my horse and I won't feel so guilty about being so bad at everything. but those moments flicker by. there isn't any way to tether myself to them. I just have to kind of let them pass and wave and say hey, thanks for coming and hope maybe another one will come by soon.

so, in other words, it's november.