a smile as small as mine

January 31, 2013

there are people who get to look on that view every day. i'm privileged that i got to see it once.

i've not been doing well. more often than not lately, i go through my days feeling as though i am either invisible or a laughing stock. i am reminded of how i felt in my childhood and adolescence, and i had a hell of a time getting through those days. i don't like remembering them.

today, i bothered to paint my nails--they don't often grow well and rarely are long enough, but i've managed to get them to grow a little bit past my fingertips. they're about to start splitting or breaking. i've got three or four different bottles of opi lacquer on my bathroom counter. for some reason today, i felt compelled to pick one up and paint. i'm horrible at this, by the way. my hands aren't steady enough to do it well. so, the polish looks okay, so long as no one looks too close.

like me. i'm alright, until you get to know me. then... i'm too moody and too serious and too this, that and the other thing.

i don't know how to talk to people.

i'm tired of being weird, a.k.a. strange, as in "not comfortable or at ease; constrained."

there are stickers in austin that insist people keep the place weird. portland, oregon has them, too.

people seem to think being weird is the way to go, and yet my weirdness isn't embraced by anyone.

sometimes, i can't even wrap my arms around it.

i wouldn't mind the invisibility or the ridicule so much if i could embrace my imperfections all the time. but sometimes, when i'm met with so much adversity from without, it makes it harder for me to shrug off the adversity i battle in my brain.

right now, i feel as though i am constantly beseiged.

so today, i painted my nails, and drug my fat ass to the gym. i showered and dressed and put on some make-up--nothing crazy, just mascara and lipstick--with the hopes that spending a little more time on myself might reinforce the battlements somehow. so stupid.

i could use some kindness. and not just that kind you get from your facebook friends. but the sort you see in those random acts of strangers... so if you're the praying sort...

my mother's got this page-a-day that she no longer flips. it's kept on january twenty-seventh's quote, a poem of emily dickinson's:

they might not need me;
but they might.
i'll let my head be just in sight;
a smile as small as mine might be
precisely their necessity.

random quarter

January 22, 2013

do you know what the problem with having an eight-year-old blog is? you run out of things to say. or you spend more time racking your brain for something new than you do on actually writing the new post. i like writing random quarter posts the best, but they take forever. still, they are my favorites, and so i thought perhaps since this is so, such a post should be used to mark the occasion. which means i've to come up with twenty-five new things to tell you about me. i am not, however, going to reread every rq post to ensure that i don't repeat myself. and some of you are newish here, anyway, so...

one. i wear the same size shoe as my mother, but i am four inches shorter than she. thank you smoking for stunting my growth. seriously. i would not want to be five foot eleven. that would suck.

two.  the only band i plan on seeing in concert this year is the airborne toxic event--which i have seen twice now--at house of blues houston, which happens to be my favorite concert venue.

three. somehow the psychedelic furs' love my way got in my head. i have no idea how that happened.

four. i have not been to the gym in four months. and it shows. oh, how it shows. and yet the horror of my flabbiness is not enough to motivate me to drag my fat ass in there.

five. i have no depth perception. i've mentioned this before. i'm doing it again because it causes me great trouble. like, while walking in a crowded mall, trying to guess how far away people are from me and whether my projected path will intersect with theirs and when and how do i change my course as to avoid this... calculating this stuff when i have no concept of feet and yards and all that crap, when everything is flat is a huge inconvenience and annoyance, and i'm not always good at masking that annoyance, so people often respond with, "what the hell is your problem?!" so many things come to mind. 

still. it's not quite so bad as this.

six. i should be working on my novel right now. or doing laundry. or finishing cleaning out my closet. or reading east of eden. or mucking out my car. instead i'm sitting here typing this thing. 

seven. i don't much care for reality shows.

eight. my favorite food is bread. i think i'm allergic to it, though, and i probably wouldn't need the gym so badly if i didn't eat so much of it, but i don't care. more butter, please. 

nine. in nine weeks, i will be forty. fuck. 

ten. i do not like cats. and this isn't because i am horribly, horribly allergic to them. i wouldn't like them even if i weren't.

eleven. i signed up for a singles event. a viewing of the film safe haven. not because i want to see the movie or because i'm hoping for a good outcome having attended, but because i'm curious to know what kind of guys would willingly volunteer to see a nicholas sparks film. should make for some good people watching.

twelve. i cannot stand jim harbaugh. i don't like how he treated alex smith this year, how he seemed to have such confidence in him last season and then, post-concussion, relegates him to backup quarterback status. that's pretty crappy, if you ask me. but i can't stand the ravens all that much, either. they beat up my patriots. i'm a little pissed. still, i do love michael crabtree. so i'll have to root for the forty-niners. and oh, how it pains me to say this.

thirteen. i am not religious. at all. perhaps if i were closer to god, my life would be very different. he's like the gym. i know i should go. i know i should strive to be better. but at this age, does it really matter all that much?

fourteen. i miss san antonio. but i'm certain if i were to go back there, i would be annoyed at its growth and so-called progress.

fifteen. i want to go to austria. and ireland. i can't decide which one i want to see more.

sixteen. i can't decide if i want to go to graduate school. a part of me thinks i'd be hiding and wasting time, and i do those things so well already. paying twenty grand to do them so more seems beyond wasteful.

seventeen. i get really bad dizzy spells. daily. they scare me. probably because i eat too much bread and avoid the gym too often.

eighteen. i've started to forget what being in love is like. 

nineteen. i used to love to drive. i don't anymore. in fact, the less i'm in a car, the happier i am.

twenty. i suck at saving money.

twenty-one. i wish there were more great books out there. i want more good love stories in my library, and am seeking recommendations.

twenty-two. every now and then i'll try to pamper myself with a day at a salon--haircut, manicure, pedicure, facial. and halfway through, i'm chomping at the bit to get out. so BORING. 

twenty-three. i can't sleep more than four hours at a time anymore. it's irritating. 

twenty-four. i can't blow bubble gum bubbles.

twenty-five. i don't wear yoga pants except to sleep.

one day

January 15, 2013

why i wanted to read it: because i LOVED the movie. because it's a beautiful story about emma and dexter. because usually books are better.

what i liked: SO many things.

she plucked the cigarette from his mouth. "i can imagine you at forty," she said, a hint of malice in her voice. "i can picture it right now... you're a big man in a small car with a tan like a basted turkey."

"so shall we change the subject, then?" (p. 6).

"so if i'm so awful--" his hand was on her hip now.

"--which you are."

"then why are you sleeping with me?" his hand was on the warm soft flesh of her thigh.

"actually, i don't think i have slept with you, have i?" (p. 7).

"what are you doing later?"

tell her that you're busy. "nothing much," he said.

"so, shall we do something then? me and you, i mean?"

wait 'til she's asleep then sneak away. "yeah. alright," he said. "let's do something," (p. 13).

(in a letter from dexter, in which he asks her to come to india) have a look around and at precisely twelve midday you stand directly under the centre of the dome with a red rose in one hand and a copy of nicholas nickleby in the other and i will come and find you, em. i will be carrying a white rose and my copy of howard's end and when i see you i will throw it at your head (p. 47).

"what's up with you?" said emma, without looking up from dostoevsky's the idiot.

"i can't get into it."

"it's a masterpiece."

"makes my head hurt."

"i should have got something with pictures or flaps."

"oh, i am enjoying it--"

"very hungry caterpillar or something--"

"i'm just finding it a bit dense. it's just this bloke banging on about how horny he is all the time."

"i thought it would strike a chord." she raised her sunglasses. "it's a very erotic book, dex."

"only if you're into little girls."

"tell me one more time, why were you sacked from that language school in rome?" (p. 75).

(in a conversion with his ex-wife) "we do all love you, dexter."

"no reason why you should," he mumbles, embarrassed.

"no, maybe not. but we do" (p. 407).

what sucked: the length. the last fifty pages or so dragged a bit. but the last few pages made up for that.

having said all that: of the handful of books i've read lately, i've liked it the best. SO good.

the phantom tollbooth

January 14, 2013

why i wanted to read it: because in fifth or sixth grade, we watched the film version, and i remember liking it a lot. ever since i watched it, i wanted to read it but never got around to it.

that's the whole movie, boys and girls. just so you know.

what i liked: "here in digitopolis, we have our meals when we're full and eat until we're hungry. that way, when you don't have anything at all, you have more than enough. it's a very economical system. you must have been quite stuffed to have eaten so much."

"it's completely logical," explained the dodecahedron. "the more you want, the less you get, and the less you get, the more you have. simple arithmetic, that's all. suppose you had something and added something to it. what would that make?"

"more," said milo quickly.

"quite correct," he nodded. "now suppose you had something and added nothing to it. what would you have?"

"the same," he answered again, without much conviction.

"splendid," cried the dodecahedron. "and suppose you had something and added less than nothing to it. what you would have then?"

"FAMINE!" roared the anguished humbug, who suddenly realized that that was exactly what he'd eaten twenty-three bowls of.

"it's not as bad as all that," said the dodecahedron from his most sympathetic face. "In a few hours you'll be nice and full again--just in time for dinner."

"oh dear," said milo sadly and softly. "i only eat when i'm hungry."

"what a curious idea," said the mathemegician, raising his staff over his head and scrubbing the rubber end back and forth several times on the ceiling. "the next thing you'll have us believe is that you only sleep when you're tired. (pp. 186-7).

"you'll find," [the mathemagician] remarked gently, "that the only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that's hardly worth the effort. (p. 198).

it's clever and whimsical. full of imagination.

what sucked: it can be pretty ridiculous, and i couldn't help but wonder, throughout my reading of it, what illicit substances the author might have ingested to influence the crafting of this tale... but then maybe i should've read when i was younger.

having said all that: i'm not too keen on it.

fifty shades of grey

January 8, 2013

why i wanted to read it. i didn't. when polling my friends and coworkers for potential books to read for this little quest of mine, my store manager told me i had to read it. and far be it from me to ignore a direct order from the boss lady.

what i liked: "spend the night with me."

"and not touch you? no"
(p. 227).

"is that all you want me for--my body?" i whisper.

"that and your smart mouth," he breathes
(p. 316).

the tension between anastasia and christian. they've got good chemistry. i like anastasia. and i like christian, too, i suppose. to an extent.

what sucked: the length. no way in hell did this book EVER need to be anywhere near five hundred pages long. i was ready for it to be over a quarter past three hundred. way too many sex scenes. i'm an aries. and like most aries, i'm a pretty passionate chick. and those sex scenes, they do what the author intended for them to do (and that's all i'll say about that). but i don't need to read about every single instance the lovers choose to get it on. what moves me in this story is the conflict, not the friction.

having said all that: i liked it well enough.

dash and lily's book of dares

January 7, 2013

why i wanted to read it: because they wrote nick and norah's infinite playlist, which i loved. because i like that the authors alternate chapters. because i'd expected it to be a quick, engaging read, and i wanted to start simple, because half the books i've chosen for this month are HEAVY.

what i liked: "if you tell me, i will leave you alone," i said. "and if you don't tell me, i am going to grab the nearest ghost written james patterson romance novel and i am going to follow you through this store reading it out loud until you relent" (pp. 146-147).

"i'm persnickety," i confessed. "not, incidentally, to the point of being snarly. but still. delightful and persnickety are not a common blend" (p. 153).

"lily," edgar thibaud said, oozing sincerity. he took my hand in his. my hand, now oozing sweat, quivered from his touch. "i'm so sorry about your gerbil. truly. i would never knowingly harm a sentient being." his lips placed a contrite peck upon my knuckles.

i happen to know that edgar thibaud graduated from killing gerbils in first grade to becoming one of those fourth-grade boys who use magnifying glasses to direct the sun to fry worms and other random insects in alleyways.

it is possibly true what grandpa's buddies have repeatedly told me: teenage boys cannot be trusted. their intentions are not pure.

this must be part of mother nature's master plan--making these boys so irresistibly cute, in such a naughty way, that the purity of their intentions becomes irrelevant (p. 156).

"what have we learned, lily," mrs. basil e. asked me as she poured me a cup.

"taking too many sips of other people's drinks can lead to disastrous consequences."

"obviously," she said imperiously. "but more importantly?"

"don't mix drinks. if you're going to sip peppermint schnapps, only sip peppermint schnapps."

"thank you" (p. 178).

the dash fellow never showed up to see his snowman. i would've shown up if someone had built me a snowman, but i am a female. logical (p. 199).

and the premise of the story is cute and clever: girl leaves a red, moleskin notebook atop a copy of franny and zooey with a dare inside. boy finds notebook and accepts the challenge. but the greatest dare, of course, is getting to know one another. 

what sucked: the last forty-seven pages, otherwise known as chapters seventeen through twenty. that i was just starting to really like the story when it took an incredibly ridiculous turn and never righted itself. nor was it a quick read like nick and norah's tale had been. nor are its characters anywhere near as likable as nick or norah. 

having said all that: i liked it well enough. but i did not love it. the whole time i read it, i was confident that someone would choose to adapt it for the big screen. and sure enough... perhaps the film will do the story better justice than the book did. of course, the film version of nick and norah's story was abominable. so i'm not holding my breath.

random quarter

January 1, 2013

one. i like chocolate martinis made with creme de cacao better than those made with baileys. i hadn't realized this until yesterday.

two. so about half the chapters i've written shame me. i read them, and i think a college english student could write better. and this is all i have, really. my voice and my ability to craft a sentence. and without them... without them i feel like i have nothing to offer anyone. not that many have ever heard my voice. that i pretty much keep to myself. it's my solace. i save it. but the writing... i spent four hours at pappadeaux's this afternoon reading over the first ten chapters or so, and i hate that i've put so much effort and still have so much more to invest. i just want to be done with it, so that i can make some attempt to support myself and accomplish something of merit.

three. there are so many things i wish i could forget. and there are things i've done my damnedest to forget that i can't let go of. memories i've tried to quash by tossing out everything physical that's paired with them. and sometimes, i wish i'd kept those things. like keeping them would make it okay that i can't let go of the remnants. or won't. whatever. maybe i hold them because there was some bit of good there... maybe it's because i liked myself in that moment. or wish i could go back and redo, and my mind keeps trying to recreate a better scene or something. i don't know. i do know i wish this weren't so.

four. i wish i could love life.

five. wishing is so incredibly stupid.

six. i don't understand why a sixth-rank team competed against an unranked team in the rose bowl. i don't understand the bcs. i know i've ranted about that before, but that system continues to be an enigma to me.

seven. i have managed to keep my room straight for a whole week. it's a MIRACLE.

eight. i could use more of those in my life. my mother would probably say i've been given an abundance of them.

nine. i feel like i lack so much. i'm never more aware of this than when i am alone.

ten. i'm watching the vow. i'm pretty sure if i'd married a guy, then suffered a traumatic brain injury and couldn't remember my life with him, it would freak me the fuck out. but i also know that i would want my parents and my husband to be amicable to each other. to operate on the same page. to make a unified effort to bring me back, no matter how estranged i might've been from my family prior to the accident. i wouldn't appreciate being pulled in so many directions.

eleven. i was in love once. it didn't take long to fall. i liked so much about him from the moment i met him that it was quite easy, actually. the way i thought it ought to be. and the first time i watched that stupid movie, in that scene where leo tells the woman with whom he works about the first time his wife told him she loved him, that it'd only taken her two weeks... that's how long it took me. and for most of the time since, i've told myself it couldn't be, because it was only two weeks... you can't fall in love in two weeks... you've confused it. but when i saw that scene, i wept.

twelve. and i know i can't feel quite like that again, but it sure makes dating hard. i'll go out with a guy, and i'll think i should feel some semblance of that... not exactly that because, of course, i can't have that again (and if it were meant for me, i would've been able to hold onto it the first time). maybe it's too big for me. maybe the lord saw that and thought she's needing something a little bit more tangible. but, still, i want some semblance of it, even it's smaller. and i haven't felt that for a guy in some time. it makes me sad. makes me regret that i couldn't hang onto it the first time.

thirteen. waiting sucks. SO much.

fourteen. sometimes i feel like i should settle. and i hate myself for that.

fifteen. why do i watch movies that make me cry? GAH.

sixteen. so now it's the proposal. i'm spending new year's day watching romantic cinema because apparently i'd much rather watch sap than write it. if only i could get paid to do this.

seventeen. i can't stand malin akerman.

eighteen. my only new year's resolution this year is to read one hundred books. (not necessarily those banned books that i said ages ago that i was going to read, though

nineteen. i'm out of godiva. that sucks, too. but not quite so much as waiting, because while i can't speed things (those collisions leo keeps going on and on about in the vow), i can speed to the liquor store. not that i'll be doing that today.

twenty. i'm gonna try to do that whole sixty minutes of play thing that professional athletes keep going on and on about in those nfl advertisements. i might not be able to accomplish it each day (which is why it's not going to be a resolution), but i should play more. maybe i'll invest in one of those wii things  so i can do that stupid dance game. or maybe i'll just put some cds in and dance until i collapse.

twenty-one. why, oh why must the television broadcast shit like trailers for texas chainsaw massacre? i'm trying to relax here!

twenty-two. the tidbit i like best about the proposal is that bit about margaret's tattoo and her reasons for getting it. in two very short, well-crafted scenes, the viewer is given great insight into her character. i love that writing can do this.

twenty-three. i've been drinking way too much coca-cola lately.

twenty-four. i worry that others perceive me to be high maintenance. which means i must be. and i try so hard not to be.

twenty-five. i can't stand bradley cooper, either. UGH. (and upon reflection, it occurs to me that perhaps i've mentioned this before. at least once. it bares repeating. again.)