September 29, 2013

deceleration

gala 2013 happened. not gonna lie, just happy it's over.

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otherwise, last weekend:
get up at 4:45 because there's a weird noise that you end up realizing is probably your neighbor sawing down a branch from the nearby pine tree? which I assume was tapping against the house in the wind and driving him crazy? then put on your coat and boots and go outside to pull the faucet protector off the hose spigot because it keeps banging against the side of the building which is conveniently right next to your sleeping head
feel mostly good that at the last minute you and your friend decided to bail on the race you were going to do in central oregon where you would have been leaving your house at 4:45 and putting your bike on the car and driving two hours and then bike racing and then paddling an inflatable kayak 4 miles down a river and then eating a burger and driving two hours home. sorry to miss the race but not sorry to be home in pajamas
make pumpkin pancakes
eat pumpkin pancakes

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watch like six episodes of arrested development
finally finish playing bioshock, the last battle of which takes you like eight tries which is why you haven't finished it already even though you got it on your birthday
watch more arrested development
make soup and put it immediately in the freezer without eating any
talk to your boyfriend on the phone
feel really great about your sudden ability to lay around
go for a run in the rain and then laugh when ten minutes later the sun comes out for the first time all day
go grocery shopping

this weekend:
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sleep in until 8:10, a truly remarkable feat given that your natural wakeup time has become something like 5:50, which is just not right guys
eat most of a bowl of oatmeal, drink most of a pot of coffee
go to target and smile at all the halloween decorations and talk yourself out of buying all of them but feel sorry that you talked yourself out of the giant foam wigs

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seriously, I gotta go back.

make one hundred things in the kitchen because for some reason you are in hardcore nesting mode. this includes a batch of chicken stock made out of the 5 or so pounds of chicken feet you've had in your freezer since a butcher day in june

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they are a truly horrifying and hilarious sight, like a pot full of tiny witch hands. but the chicken stock is incredible and since chicken feet are mostly bones the stock is so thick with bone marrow that it turns practically to jello in the fridge
watch a documentary about china
mark an extra salome cello part because one person in the section likes to have her own stand and you are nice
feel kinda mad at whoever did the parts in 1990 because the phrase markings in some of the string parts are messily whited out and you have to re-ink a lot of the music

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do a dramatic reading of the special weather alert with your friend
watch the rain

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spend probably half the time working, which sucks but what can you do, you've spent every day of the last week marking parts for 10-12 hours a day and there was no time for anything else practically
spend an hour and a half standing at the stove making tomato butter, which is worth it
buy all the pumpkin flavored things at the grocery store
fondle a bunch of lego minifigure packages at target because you and your boyfriend are playing a ridiculous and complicated game where you each have been assigned certain lego dudes to find and there's an elaborate point system and elaborate rules and he was gracious enough to give you an extra day to buy yours
correctly choose the lady robot lego, which you have been joking is going to be your half of the topper on your eventual wedding cake, which is also kind of not a joke
drink pumpkin beer because you have a problem, a pumpkin problem


things made recently, a non-definitive list

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stuffed tomatoes (from this recipe)
tomato sauce (one batch of regular; another with roasted garlic & red pepper)
tomato soup
roasted tomato soup
tomato butter
chicken stock
butternut squash soup in your PRETTY NEW CROCKPOT

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which you bought because your old one had a hairline crack down the middle and every time you used it you suffered from terrible crockpot anxiety, certain that your house was probably burning down

things you could use real bad right now
a haircut
a massage, mostly hands and right arm and neck -- being a music librarian is hard sometimes
a raincoat
more pumpkin beer GUYS WHAT

September 14, 2013

a lot of anxiety. so much. I wake up too early and I'm shaking and I go to work at ridiculous hours because I can't sleep and there's too much to do and I'm constantly riddled with terror at doing everything wrong. I got into the car the other morning at 5:57 to go to work. the sun wasn't even up yet. I joked that in a couple of weeks I'll be heading into the office at 2 AM. I'm not sure I was joking, actually.

there's too much to do at work, an engulfing kind of too much, more too much than ever, an impossibility. and somehow it just gets done, because it has to get done. this is a problem in the nonprofit world in general, I think: we do the impossible so much that it becomes routine. but at such a cost.

the days of sun are punctuated intermittently with rain. the sun rises later, sets early. the leaves on the tree outside my kitchen window, harbinger of seasons, dry up and fall. I drive to the barn in the early morning fog and the pine trees loom in the sky, eerie and beautiful and so, so oregon.

in the garden the tomato plants, one by one, are taken by blight. it has been a good crop; jars and jars of soup in the freezer, sauce in the fridge, oven-dried tomatoes packed in oil. tomato sandwiches -- oh, tomato sandwiches! toast and tomato and an obscene amount of black pepper, the meal of late summer.

sometimes my anxiety is so bad that it's difficult to breathe, and yet somehow I continue to wake up and get out of bed and put on clothes and go to work. it seems like a small thing but it is so much more than I could do in the darkness last winter. september is a hard month, but somehow I keep moving forward.

far from here -- too far -- there is a very good-looking guy who tells me every day that I'm beautiful. I miss him constantly.



a year ago today, excerpted:

this is so so hard to write but if I don't write it I will forget it.

your phone call today: how you are staying, how maybe it's because you're 'a scaredy-cat' but at any rate you are not ready to leap.

we both cry on the phone. I explain that you will have to be dead to me, that there is no other way. 'maybe I'm just in europe,' you say, but that can't be true for me, it can't, and still I wonder what it is you mean when you tell me to 'find the middle place' between hope and death.

'I've made my bed and now I have to lie in it,' you say, and I tell you how terrible it is that you perceive your life this way, but you are not ready to hear it, not ready to change it, not ready to change. no one can get you there but you.

I tell you that I will love you a long time, that I will always be there for you, that you can call at any hour, for any reason, always. I cry while I'm saying it; I can't get it out.

I don't want to hang up the phone, because hanging up the phone means forever. is forever. for the last fifteen minutes of the forty five minute call we cry on the line. at one point all we do is cry. neither of us can talk. you've already told me that you've spent the whole morning locked in your office with your coat thrown over the window so nobody outside can see you inside, crying.

although I also understand you, I continue to think you're the stupidest person on earth to deprive yourself of all this.

when there is nothing more to say, we cry. there is nothing else I can say to convince you. I can tell you I love you over and over again forever, but it's done. I'm sitting in a ball on my bedroom floor, shaking.

'thank you for everything,' I finally choke out.
'you too, jess,' you say.
'I don't want to hang up,' I say.
'okay. I'll do it,' you say.
'I love you,' I say, at last.
'I love you too,' you say, your voice full of tears.

'goodbye, jess,' you say, garbled, crying.
'I'll talk to you someday,' I reply, and it is over.


what I have now is what I deserve, deserved: love that is sweet and easy, that is a constant source of comfort and peace, with a person who is open and honest and compassionate and kind, smart and silly and beautiful. and though I would not for one second give him up to have you back, g -- not for one second -- but wherever you are, g, I am thinking of you.



I keep wanting to come back here and I don't know how. I can't seem to figure out how to sit down and write anymore.

September 2, 2013

long overdue

I went on a little adventure this weekend. I wanted to go last weekend but I ended up with a four-day headache and also I was so stressed that I spent much of at least one day feeling like I was either going to cry or hyperventilate. it was fun.

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wild horses in fields, wild horses on the shoulder, wild horses in the road (!). a road that turns from city to suburb to pine trees to the mountain (oh, the mountain), then to dry grasses and shrubs, yellow earth, huge blue sky. hills and hills and hills, and rocks, and nothing else. on a bike ride -- finally, a bike ride -- I pass a few lizards and then one beautiful coyote, loping across the road in front of me. at night there is only sky, and with almost nothing lit up nearby you can see thousands upon thousands of stars. and the milky way -- the milky way! I had forgotten it was even possible to see it. a shooting star streaks past and I remember to make a wish. a good one.

waking up and having a cup of coffee, gazing out into the hills, everything quiet, nothing in particular to do except figure out whether to bike or hike or read: I need much, much more of this.

it's funny, although I live just 90 minutes from the pacific ocean, I normally don't feel at all like I live "out west." (by the way, even after eight years, I still find it jarring and weird to hear people say "out east.") so it's really gratifying to drive a couple hours and crest a hill and suddenly realize, hey, this is it! I am in the west for real now. there are tumbleweeds -- that's how you know.

I drove home yesterday feeling very relaxed and fulfilled and good, ready to tackle my life again. but 60 blocks from home or so, I was again sweaty and restless, and suddenly it was as though the mantle descended. lately there's constantly the feeling of being almost literally physically stuck inside my life. I got home and unpacked the car and here it all was again: too much to do, and the dread and anxiety around doing it. I tried to push it aside. I'm still trying.

but seriously, guys. look at this nonsense:

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