the good in my day: october

October 30, 2014

getting off work on time. earphones (because i just had to sit in front of the baby who cried the WHOLE way to georgia). the medic. coligny beach. chatting with the bartender at proof. my nephew. my bed. weezer (because it was that, aerosmith's eighties rock ballads or adele's sad shit). reading dickens' our mutual friend in the courtyard before work. ed sheeran's lego house. chatting with the soldier boy. the chat i had with my general manager... her reinforcements are sometimes miraculous things that help to restore my sanity. the mornings i've slept until ten (lately i've been waking up most every night at around four a.m. and then again at eight... so those extra hours of sleep are a welcome blessing). dinner with josh and dianne. the two claires. knorr butter noodles. pansies. bodycology bath products. fireworks. trick pony's pour me. the judge. george strait's run. martina mcbride's anyway. the sky on the way to work today: there was this fantastic smattering of white, white clouds shaped like a giant's thumbprint right over the sun. caterine. sarah, the car salesman at the toyota dealership here in town. cherrie's kindness and willingness to alter my work schedule. fudrucker's. leigh's counsel. tylenol pm. the edits i made to the first chapter.

having said all that... i'm damned glad this month is O V E R.

the day phineas (may have) died

October 25, 2014

the world at sunset

October 19, 2014

home. at the waterway. (sorry for the grainy quality... old iphones do not good cameras make.)

somewhere in utah... near mount green, i think, on the way to the abbey.

savannah. sneaking a rooftop view.


and... on the other side of the world... madrid... i think.

home again.

but my favorites (and you might've seen them before) are these:

 college station. kyle field of old.

 huntsville, utah. the abbey.

santa monica. the pacific.

descending... again

October 17, 2014

i haven't wanted to write about this. i wasn't going to. i've been trying for the past few weeks to distract myself: i left texas for a long weekend in the deep south; i spent several days immersing myself in dickensian london to reacquaint myself with some of my favorite characters; i've worked; i've played; i've watched movies; i've taken aimless drives along some of my favorite backroads. i've sought the counsel of some of my better friends.

maybe that's part of the problem. some of my better friends haven't been good friends lately. several weeks ago, one flew in from tennessee for a long weekend; i met her for dinner one night and then again for tea the next morning before her lunch meeting. and everything was fine. it was fine. until she had to broach the subject of what i will do with myself once my parents are no longer here. and i had this godawful panic attack. it was horrible. i had to excuse myself. had to step outside and sit in the sun and pinch my arm until it nearly bled to alleviate the tension in my being. i'm crying right now remembering it.

because i don't know what i will do. i don't know. i don't want to think about it. friends are supposed to lift you up. i don't have that many. and this one, she's always, always been a source of comfort to me. i've always felt so blessed that she should want to call me friend. i know she hadn't meant to upset me. i know she hadn't. i know what brought about the conversation was her concern for her own mother's well-being. and i know she was concerned for mine. i know all this.

i don't know how to talk to people. i've said this before. i can't begin to tell you how much i hate conversing with them. i loathe it. because i'm so awful at it. i would rather not do it at all. and all this stems from a horrible, horrible childhood i can't overcome. i hate that, too. i try. i try so hard, but it can't be done. i make myself go out. i make myself say the words. and then i beat myself senseless for saying the wrong thing. again.

for being the wrong thing. for not playing the stupid, stupid games. i've never understood why they must be played. i'm supposed to be a bitch to the boys i like and sweet to the ones i don't? what the hell is that? it's so rare that i like a guy that i'm excited when i actually meet one i do like. and i like being excited. it's so much better than the alternative.

the other day, i asked another friend to tell me that i'm not nothing because i don't have a man or children and live with my parents and work in retail. to remind me that i'm not nothing. i know i'm not. but i'd forgotten. again. because i am incapable of doing those things that make a woman womanly. of standing. of holding my ground. so she did. she spoke of several of her friends who were married and unhappy. of the fact that some of her happiest friends are single.

you know what sucks? i get to that point where i don't want... just that. i don't want. i'm not ashamed to say it. it's kind of nice being there. i can tolerate that so much better than i can tolerate this. and then some boy will come along and remind me that wanting's not so bad. i'll like that boy; i won't want to be a bitch (and trust me... i'm quite capable of bitch. my mom says i've got the go-to-hell look patented, and i'm sure she's right... i can feel the fury on my face when i unleash that look). i'll be sweet to him. because it's so rare that that's what i want to be. this, of course, isn't want the boy wants. and i'll have to start all over. again.

i'm tired of fighting. i'm tired of having to do this by myself. just once... one time i want a man to fight for me. to fight with me. i want to know what that feels like. not this.

i make myself go out there. and then i come home to this lovely brick house in this lovely neighborhood with all its glorious greenery. i round the corner. i turn onto our street. i pull into the driveway. and i have to pretend to my parents that i'm fine. again.

our mutual friend

October 16, 2014

why i read it: the first time? a man (a literature professor) made me. the second time? another man (some dude i met in a bar) made me, though he would say he did not.

what i liked: in these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the thames, between southwark bridge which is of iron, and london bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in (p. 13).

he had no net, hook, or line, and he could not be a fisherman; his boat had no cushion for a sitter, no paint, no inscription, no appliance beyond a rusty boathook and a coil of rope, and he could not be a waterman; his boat was too crazy and too small to take in cargo for delivery, and he could not be a lighterman or river-carrier; there was no clue to what he looked for, but he looked for something, with a most intent and searching gaze (p. 13).

thus, like the tides on which it had been borne to the knowledge of men, the harmon murder--as it came to be popularly called--went up and down, and ebbed and flowed, now in the town, now in the country, now among palaces, now among hovels, now among lords and ladies and gentlefolks, now among labourers and hammerers and ballast-heavers, until at last, after a long interval of slack water it got out to sea and drifted away (p. 40).

"my respected father has found, down in the parental neighborhood, a wife for his not-generally-respected son... but if he amuses me, i can't help it... when my second brother was going to be born by-and-by, 'this,' says m.r.f., 'is a little pillar of the church.' was born, and became a pillar of the church; a very shaky one. my third brother appeared, considerably in advance of his engagement to my mother; but m.r.f., not at all put out by surprise, instantly declared him a circumnavigator. was pitch-forked into the navy, but has not circumnavigated. i announced myself, and was disposed of with the highly satisfactory results embodied before you... therefore i say that m.r.f. amuses me."

"touching the lady, eugene."

"there, m.r.f. ceases to be amusing because my intentions are opposed to touching the lady (pp. 148-149).

"i tell you, my good fellow," said lightwood, with his indolent laugh, "that i have nothing to do with swearing."

"he can swear at you," eugene explained; "and so can i. but we can't do more for you" (p. 151).

"besides, that lonely girl with the dark hair runs in my head. it was little more than a glimpse we had of her that last time, and yet i almost see her waiting by the fire to-night. do you feel like a dark combination of traitor and pickpocket when you think of that girl? (p. 163).

"if it was me that had the law of this here job in hand," growled riderhood with a threatening shake of his head, "blest if i wouldn't lay hold of her, at any rate!"

"ay, but it is not you," said eugene. with something so suddenly fierce in him that the informer returned submissively: "well, well, well, 'tother governor, i didn't say it was. a man may speak."

"and vermin may be silent," said eugene (pp. 171-172).

a man's figure paused on the pavement at the outer door. "mr. eugene wrayburn, ain't it?" said miss wren.

"so i am told," was the answer.

"you may come in if you're good."

"i am not good," said eugene, "but i'll come in" (pp. 233-234).

there's much more, really. but it's a big book, and i don't have time to expound on all the goodness.

what sucked: it's a BIG book. nearly eight hundred pages. and like any dickens novel, it is chock full of incessant, trivial detail. sometimes that man takes a helluva long time to make his point.

having said all that: when he does get around to making that point he makes it quite well. the premise of the story is pretty good. the subplots are, with the exception of one, so much better. if you can manage to trudge through the muck and the mire of the seemingly inconsequential (because those details that seem to be silly DO prove to have merit in the end) bits of the story (and i know how big that if is), i think you'd be glad to know the outcome.

the fall film challenge bonus round: my list

October 15, 2014

one. any film featuring music by louis armstrong. how to make an american quilt.
two. any starring anne bancroft. home for the holidays.
three. any featuring music by frederic chopin. inside llewyn davies.
four. any awarded an oscar for best costume design. gladiator.
five. any starring elaine stritch. a farewell to arms.
six. any awarded an oscar for best foreign language film. amour.
eight. any starring richard harris. the guns of navarone.
nine. any film currently (or soon-to-be) shown in theaters. the theory of everything.
ten. any featuring music by john williams. war horse.
eleven. any with a color in the title. the blues brothers.
twelve. any starring lauren bacall. to have and have not.
fourteen. any with a number in the title (sequels do NOT count;
i.e. no men in black three). seven psychopaths.
fifteen. any awarded an oscar for best actor. one flew over the cuckoo's nest.
sixteen. any awarded an oscar for best art direction/production design.
how green was my valley.
seventeen. any awarded an oscar for best sound/sound mixing. from here to eternity.
nineteen. any shot in scotland. rob roy.
twenty. any featuring music by thomas newman. the debt.
twenty-one. any with a one-word title. her.
twenty-two. any shot in vancouver. the a-team.
twenty-three. any starring robin williams. awakenings.
twenty-four. any film of your choice. what if.
twenty-five. any featuring music by hans zimmer. pirates of the caribbean: on stranger tides.

the fall film challenge bonus round

one. any film featuring music by louis armstrong.
two. any starring anne bancroft.
three. any featuring music by frederic chopin.
four. any awarded an oscar for best costume design.
five. any starring elaine stritch.
six. any awarded an oscar for best foreign language film.
seven. any shot in georgia.
eight. any starring richard harris.
nine. any film currently (or soon-to-be) shown in theaters.
ten. any featuring music by john williams.
eleven. any with a color in the title.
twelve. any starring lauren bacall
thirteen. any shot in massachusetts.
fourteen. any with a number in the title (sequels do NOT count; i.e. no men in black three).
fifteen. any awarded an oscar for best actor.
sixteen. any awarded an oscar for best art direction/production design.
seventeen. any awarded an oscar for best sound/sound mixing.
nineteen. any shot in scotland.
twenty. any featuring music by thomas newman.
twenty-one. any with a one-word title.
twenty-two. any shot in vancouver.
twenty-three. any starring robin williams.
twenty-four. any film of your choice.
twenty-five. any featuring music by hans zimmer.

same rules apply. the original film challenge post is here. latecomers are welcome.

georgia and south carolina

October 7, 2014


the first three are of savannah, the fourth of charleston, and the last of coligny beach.
i'm not feeling very descriptive today, so that's all you get.