Archive for March, 2011

March 31st, 2011

» 24 Books: March 2011

March sucked. Really, really sucked. I have a lot of words for how and why, but none I particularly want to share right now. Here’s what I read/listened to:

  • How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff, read by Kim Mai Guest
  • The Big U, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Redwall, by Brian Jacques, read by Ron Keith
  • The Fifth Elephant, by Terry Pratchett
  • The Stranger, by Albert Camus, translated by Matthew Ward, read by Jonathan Davis
  • The Beach, by Alex Garland

2011 Book Count: 15
January: 6
February: 2
March: 7

March 10th, 2011

» Limbo

Over six months ago, I downloaded a much-hyped little indie xbox game called Limbo. It is beautiful and clever and a bit creepy and exactly the kind of game that I adore, and I twisted my boyfriend’s arm into trying it with me. He’s not a big video game player, so I felt pretty damn excited when he tried it, and again when he liked it well enough to continue playing. Between one thing and another we let it languish for a long, long time — but last weekend we finally finished! I don’t want to give anything away because (I know I’ve been over this a million times, but you’re going to hear it again) I loved the experience of finding it all out first-hand. It’s just an awesome game: the gameplay, the art, the story. If you liked Braid, I think you’ll like Limbo too. Same spirit of puzzley goodness.

So, other than that, and everything I’ve been going on and on about on the horse blog, I moved. It sucked, but a LOT less than it could have because I have some REALLY really really amazing friends and family, and have I mentioned that they’re amazing? Thanks again guys. The gut-wrenching process of packing, and moving, and moving, and moving, and cleaning — it’s already starting to fade to a distant, hazy memory of suffering. (I have to admit — though the night before the actual move I was seriously nauseous and convinced the world was going to end, the morning of I got this absolute rush of adrenaline and crazy, and for the beginning part of packing the truck I felt totally happy and high as a kite. That wore off eventually and by the end of the day I wanted to die, but that will surprise no one who’s ever moved.)

So now here I am in this great new place, and I’m suddenly socked with this cannonball of a realization that I somehow have to fit all of my personal belongings, which had previously been tucked away in the vast warren of closets of my old one-bedroom apartment, into this one small bedroom. In the process of packing I did send off boxes and boxes of stuff to donate — lots of books, clothes, and home decor — but I’m still left with this feeling that I have too many things and not enough space to put them in. I will be combing back through my drawers and bookshelves, and I’ve invested quite a bit in organizational stuff for my closet, but I’m fast coming up on some harder decisions.

I moved on a Saturday and I kid you not, on Monday I had people asking me if I was all unpacked. Talk about guilt. Talk about being buried suddenly under this crushing sense of failure. Maybe people are just trying to make conversation, and I’m all too aware that I’m unusually emotionally vulnerable lately, but man. That is one I didn’t see coming, the expectation that I would move on a Saturday and be unpacked by Monday. Like it’s that easy, like why don’t I just take some stuff out of boxes?

When I moved into my first apartment I thought a lot about how I wanted it. I considered the flow, I plotted stuff out on graph paper and made little furniture representations so I could look at arrangements without really having to rearrange. I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed about when I had a place I could paint, about elements of my ideal home, about one day having somewhere permanent. I couldn’t afford much but I did what I could and started taking notes for One Day. I made my bedroom a No Electronics zone: no computer, no tv. I did leave my sewing machine there, but as part of my crafting and writing desk — my little place for inspiration and creation. The rest of the bedroom was a space to breathe and decompress.

Man, I loved living there. I learned so much about myself in that apartment.

I’ve always liked to see moving as an opportunity to self-reflect, to try to move closer toward my ideal life, but this, now, is no gentle invitation. This is a demand that I stand up and reinvent myself. So I have been trying to take a good hard look at my life. I am trying to hold onto only the things that I love and that make me feel good about myself. I’m trying to rediscover the path to what and who I want to be. I’m trying to free myself to fit in this smaller space. I know it can be done. It’s just one foot in front of the other. One box at a time.

This is not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life, but it’s where I am. And that, I suppose, makes it the perfect place to start.