Archive for September, 2005

September 29th, 2005

» quiero

This morning I learned all about how to argue over the bill in Spanish.

I want to pay.”
“No, I’m going to pay.”
“I have a lot of money. I’m going to pay.”
“No, I have eight pesos. I’m going to pay.”
“How many pesos do you have?”
“Eight. No, nine. Eight or nine pesos.”

“Do you want something to drink?”
“How much does a beer cost?”
“Three pesos.”
“I only have two pesos.”
“That’s okay. I have five pesos.”
“Okay. Let’s go drink a beer. You’re going to pay.”

Luckily for those situations where you don’t have a friend with five pesos, I learned in an earlier lesson how to hold down conversations with pan-handlers. It was vaguely disturbing, actually, the implied racism.

“Good evening, sir.”
“Good evening, miss.”
“Excuse me, do you have two dollars?”
“No, I don’t have two dollars.”
“But you’re American.”
“No. I’m Mr. Jones, from Mexico.”
“Bye.”

I don’t know how to spell or read anything, though, since I haven’t done any of the reading bits of the lessons. They tell you explicitly not to do them in your car, which seems sound advice. I’m doing the Pimsleur program, and while I think I’m going along at a good clip it’s also frustrating. It’s entirely different from the way I learned German in the classroom; I don’t understand the parts of speech and I don’t know standard rules of conjugation or anything. I mean, I’m figuring some of it out, but it’s completely not focused on that. It’s also frustrating realizing how much I have left to learn, and how much I already know in German. It’s very tempting to switch back to that — to work on perfecting my slipping knowledge there. I know Spanish is more useful in America, but I already know so much German. I don’t know.

I spent an hour on the elliptical yesterday, which was nice, though I feel a little bad that I just did the 1 program twice rather than pushing myself with the 2. I’m just now finally getting over the soreness of Monday’s ass-kicking. Never again will I take a few weeks off and then go full-on back into lifting. Ouch. I desperately need it, though.

I’m going to miss the elliptical when I move out. I’m considering buying my own, though it’s a huge space commitment when it’s likely any apartment complex will have a fitness room with one. I don’t think I can afford a gym membership at this point, as much as I’d like one. That and cable are luxuries I think I’ll have to forgo; the internet is teetering on that line too.

Rosh Hashanah starts Monday at sundown. I’m not remotely Jewish, but I think I could use a new year celebration right now, so I’ve been gathering recipes. Ginger plum sauteed chicken thighs, sweet and sour succotash, orange honey cake, cranberry nut rugalach. Though I’m not a big fan of walnuts and I read somewhere that nuts are to be avoided on Rosh Hashanah; something about the Hebrew letters and sin. That’s probably a pretty strict orthodox thing, though.

Last night I dreamt I was going skydiving with Katie and Kim and about fifteen other people. To get to the right height we all clung to a rope ladder dangling from the bottom of a helicopter. Much of the dream consisted of rising; I was at the bottom of the chain of people, enjoying the big openness of the sky and the clouds. But instead of making it all the way up to the proper altitude we started going back down. We ended up all being draped out on the ground (there was some brief concern on my part, as I was at the very bottom of the stack of people and so would be the one impacting the ground first). Someone up near the top of the chain had made the mistake of looking down, which had freaked him out and so we’d all been unable to go. You were never supposed to look down.

Katie and Kim and some of the others and I all piled into a big SUV and took it back to Katie’s house, where we were going to hang out with about half the group of would-be skydivers. Katie was in her robe in her kitchen and the mid-morning light was coming in big and warm and bright and she was laughing about something, alight in that way she has, and we hugged and it was lovely and just what I needed.

September 28th, 2005

» baa

Okay, I’m following the trend. Jacked from Katie and Kim:

Chances are people you don’t even know are being introduced to your blog/journal every day, either randomly or through someone else. In addition to recent entries, people can get to know you better by what you posted in the past. With that in mind post a link to your entries on this day exactly six months ago, nine months ago, a year ago, and two years ago. If there was no entry on that day, link the closest date.

6 months ago: We were having a quiet Easter, during which I was not hung over from a party involving an enormous pig in the middle of someone’s living room.

9 months ago: I’d just found out the release date for Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. Steph had known it for a few days but didn’t tell me. I haven’t forgotten, yo. I was just getting ready to go visit Katie and the CA crew. I can’t believe that was only 9 months.

1 year ago: I shamelessly prostituted myself for help getting an i-pod. There were zero takers; I ended up buying it on my own.

2 years ago: I wrote a curse poem about an old teacher. I also hadn’t yet started using movable type, apparently.

* * *

ETA: Daaamn but movable type has been running SLOW today. Not sure if it’s a temporary blip with the server being cranky today or if it’s another more serious server/mt issue rearing its head here. Please oh please oh please be temporary blippage. (Not like a ceasefire from this obsessive updating wouldn’t be a relief, I’m sure.)

September 28th, 2005

» rambling rambling

My dad got the job! I’m fantastically excited for him. He finds out today, I believe, when he starts; next Monday or Wednesday, likely. It sounds like a fairly perfect position for him (though of course you don’t find out a lot of the important things until you’ve been in it for a little while).

Yesterday evening Mel and Alex dropped by on account of a smoking car, so we all hung out and had Subway and watched House and SVU. Well, Alex had milk and slept through the shows, but that’s an infant for you. He gets lint between his fingers. It’s weird thinking what must be different about baby body chemistry that he’s a little lint factory. His skin is much smoother and softer and well-moistured than an adult’s, which I suppose is it. Lint probably takes one look at the unfriendly dry valleys between my fingers and says No way, man. We’re outta here.

Last night I dreamt that he and I were getting married. I don’t recall why — it was an arrangement of some sort, a casual affair between friends. I suppose it’s because I’ve been thinking about him lately. It sort of goes in cycles. I don’t miss him, which sounds awful. But I do miss the idea of him sometimes. Someone who wants to spend all day wandering through museums with me, all interlinked arms and crackpot theories and brief, stolen kisses. Being so swept that goodbyes become forever affairs in doorways. Hugs that never ever end.

And it’s all very nice to think of, but I don’t need it, and most of the time I don’t particularly want to bother with it either. I can as easily imagine myself without someone as with, long-term. I like the me-ness of now. It’s like — there’s a space in my life for someone else, but it’s little. It’s a small space, and I think it could grow to fit the right person, but it’s not a hole or anything. There’s nothing missing.

Ditto on the child front. I don’t know that I’ll ever want one. I can’t even decide right now if I want a pet; much of the time I don’t. I think about it sometimes, about how it might be much nicer to come home to a cat or a waiting dog than to an empty apartment, but then I think about all the messy parts. I think about all the chewing and urinating and shitting and vomitting and hair and stink. That’s kind of awful too. That the idea of having to deal with hair all over my clothes for the rest of my life is enough to make me think twice.

It is what it is, I guess, at least for today. Ah OCD.

September 27th, 2005

» ‘and the truth is’

Yeah, so that part where I wasn’t as sore as I expected? That part turns out to not be true. Seems like every time I get up from my desk I’m stiffer than the last. My poor abused ass. And quads/thighs/etc.

And wow, suddenly and viscerally I miss horse riding. I remember when we first started out my sister and I would come home from lessons and sit on the couch and put our feet up on the coffee table (filthy mannerless children we were) and watch in fascination as our legs trembled of their own accord. Never before and never since have I had that happen — worked a muscle so hard that it shook unstoppably.

It’s the horses I miss. It’s the perfect quiet clear utter peace of closing your eyes and pressing your face into that warm neck and just breathing. There is no other such clarity, not that I’ve found. I step into a stable and it all just melts away. I miss my funny affectionate old boy, he with enthusiasm for all creatures.

And I’ve become unexpectedly melancholy. I hadn’t meant that at all.

Work’s nearly over. Which is good, because my eyes feel dry and abused. Too much staring at a screen all day. They’re all blood-shot, god knows why. At least the burn on my neck’s faded to a thumbprint size. I got a new waving iron at Ulta this past weekend. I ought not to’ve, but it was on clearance for $17 from $89 and it seemed too good to pass up. We’ll see how much I use it in the next few weeks; maybe I’ll end up taking it back. Maybe the burn is a sign. I’ve never been a big believer in signs, though. Unless they suit what I’d like to believe in the first place. I suppose that’s how everyone is. You see what you expect.

September 27th, 2005

» clothes & cuisine

I find that exercising is at least 50% wardrobe.

I came home yesterday afternoon exhausted and shuffling and squirming mentally, trying to find excuses. I don’t want to. I’m tired so I shouldn’t. Blah blah blah. So I thought: Okay. I will compromise and get on the elliptical and do the interval program while watching Desperate Housewives. Then I’ve gotten in activity and found time to see the show. Once I was dressed, though, well. I’d gone to all the trouble to get everything on, and now that my hair’s shorter it makes a swingy little exercise-inducing ponytail, and it seemed a shame not to get a more aggressive use of the time.

So today I’m pleasantly sore — though less so than I’d expected, having spent the remainder of the evening moving about a little shakily. Half that was maybe muscle exhaustion from really working out for the first time in over a week (after a few weeks of general slackitude), but I think at least half was just straight exhaustion. I spent yesterday and now this morning stubbornly denying that I’m not feeling well. I think it really is the sore throat of tiredness, though, and not the sore throat of virusness or anything that could be remedied with pills or syrups or drops of any sort, more’s the pity.

Also I feel sort of disgusting and house-sized. I think it’s just the usual that comes with the territory, but I’d forgotten it a little. I can’t be too put out, though; I’m thrilled to have it back. Relieved, elated, etc. We’ll see how long that lasts. I give it this time, tops.

Last night we had this really fantastic chili blanco, with chicken and white beans and mushrooms. If I remember when I’m home I’ll put up the recipe; it was terrifically easy. Especially since I skipped the bit where you’re supposed to roast peppers, since we didn’t have the sort the recipe called for anyhow. I’ll also put up the caramel apple salad recipe — it’s this mix of diced apples with cool whip and butterscotch pudding and pineapple and marshmallows and peanuts and it’s dangerously addictive and so fluffy and tasty that I just want to cuddle it and eat it forever and ever. And now I’m making myself hungry. I had shredded wheat and a banana this morning; I’m not sure what to expect as far as staying power goes. I’ve found Kashi Go Lean, as much as I adore it, doesn’t last as easily to noon as oatmeal or my smoothie. I’m not sure why; it’s got enough protein and fiber that it should.

Speaking of food, Origami Sushi on Saturday was wonderful fun. From least favorite to most: The California roll was okay, but I’m not a huge fan of crab. The pickled ginger, however? Lovely. The shrimp tempura roll was good, which I’d expect of anything fried with mayo in. Warm and mild. The spicy tuna was my favorite. The spicy was of a different quality than what I’m used to in Mexican and even other Asian food, which I liked. I’ve really been enjoying experiencing tastes that are entirely outside my frame of reference. I found I liked most the crunchy bits in the rolls — I think mostly it was cucumber. It’s a nice additional texture. My boss was delighted I’d tried it, since last winter we talked about how I never had. (I said then that I expected I’d try fish before the year was out, and I was quite right.) He’s said we’ll go in the next few weeks, and I’ve promised to try eel. So, that’s: a few varieties at least of fish; mushrooms; peppers. Anyone have any other foods they think it’s a travesty I don’t like? (Apart from olives. I tried; it did not fly.)

Note to self: Set VCR for House; 8 p.m. on 9.