That’s life

Life has returned. My memories are back in the closet, not forgotten, but filed away. Time to move on.

Writing is going well. Not enough time to do it lately. Seems it’s all run this errand, pick that up, and of course the ever present necessity to get to the gym and move so I don’t hurt so much. Haven’t even cleaned the house in I don’t know how long, and it shows it.

Today I’m keeping to my life commitment. Heading out with my brother to the comic book shop. Say hi to the guys. Hang out. Talk. Be a part of the world. Got to keep in practice with that, at least a little bit, or I’ll forget how to do it.

Been feeling very alone and lonely. The two don’t always go together, but right now they do. In the wake of my reaction to the news about L, I feel friendless. Want to change that, but I find my physical condition works against me. Last time I tried to schedule a get together with potential friends I woke up with laryngitis. Shit happens. Just the excitement of looking forward to getting out and meeting people can make me ill. Do that enough times to a potential new friend and they lose interest in pursuing a friendship. Seen it happen.

And I don’t like this double life I live. The reality is, my health isn’t good. I do fall ill very easily. I’m not strong. But then there’s my gym life: the nods and notice I get while working out. Maybe they’re not all dyin’ to do me, but they do acknowledge I work hard (beginning to think that most of the smiles I receive are ‘she’s a tough old bird’ type of thing). Most people drop out after an hour of exercise. Most people are shocked and think two hours is extreme. Oh, god, I could never make it for two hours! Then they look me up and down, decide that maybe not all physical strength translates into slim, tight bodies, and put me in that ‘healthy as hell’ category, which I do not deserve to be in.

…At least my physiotherapist understands.

Speaking of, looking forward to seeing him next week. Realized a long time ago our sessions are half physio and half talk therapy. Why can I do that? Why am I so open with someone like him, yet so closed if I see someone called ‘therapist’? One of those mysteries about myself I’d like to solve. …I need him on both levels right now. Despite my physical movement, I’ve got some pain building up. And although I don’t know what I’m going to say, I do know I’ll probably bring up L.

Been a few months since I’ve been able to get my hair done. Upshot is, I’ve got grey showing. Maybe for the first time in my life. A couple of silver hairs by each temple. I’ve looked at it closely in the mirror. It’s not unattractive. In fact, I find myself more distressed by the shaggy outgrowth look I’ve got right now than those grey hairs. …Don’t think I should wear my hair this long. It looks strange on my face. A 20 something tousled hair style on a 50 something woman. But what am I supposed to do? That’s my hair. It just looks that way, naturally. Hope to get it all spruced up before September.

Have not worn my orthopedics, despite the cooler weather. Do not want to wear my orthopedics. My cheap tennis shoes (with added insoles) are lovely: they give me plenty of support, and they don’t bite my feet at all. Plus they were a quarter of the cost of my orthopedics. But I’ll need to get back on that. No use in doing it in August; this entire country goes on holidays. Another thing to write in for September.

Bought some cheap eye gel and dark circle remover. Cosmetics that promise the impossible. But I figure any improvement is an improvement. And I’m guessing it helps to just go through the motions. Applying lotions, massaging them in – that’s a form of self love. I care enough about myself to do this, it says. Or at least that’s how I see it. So, I’m doing it, and hoping it will buy me a few years of looking not so tired and worn out.

Have let myself off the hook for tomorrow’s exercise. My bro is on me to read the final chapters in his book, one of the comic book guys leant me a run of stories by George Romero, and of course I have my own writing to get to. Today will largely be shot, between traveling to and fro and all the time spent visiting. Tomorrow is my make-up day: do the writing I should be doing today, finish up those comics, and start reading my brother’s work.

Wish these things didn’t always pile up on me.

…Wish I could just say no like so many people have said to me. I’m too busy with my own shit. Deal.

And that takes me right back to who I want to be. Do I want to be that person who’s always too busy for friends? Do I want to show the people I care about that I care about them, or will I just perpetuate that lip service shit my family gave to me? It always comes up for me at times like this. And I get angry, and pout, and whine that it isn’t fair, isn’t fair, isn’t fair…

But that’s life.

It Felt Appropriate

WARNING! WHILE THE AUTHOR IS IN NO WAY SHITTING RAINBOWS, SHE IS PRETTY DAMNED HAPPY. DEAL WITH IT.

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AAaaaaaaahhhhhhh! I have an entire week to let my feet rest before returning to Amsterdam. If I felt like dancing, I would get up and do a jig. As it is, I’ll say ‘Ah!’ with satisfaction, take another sip of coffee, and lick my lips with pleasure. It’s good to be home.

Our last day in Amsterdam with J was the best. The weather was sunnier and warmer, the wind less biting. Saturday in Amsterdam – ANY Saturday in Amsterdam – is busy. The guys had their fill of museums and gardens and Dutch kitsch, oh my! so we took them off the beaten path and out to Vondelpark. We popped for some more travel passes for the two of them, then hopped the 2 tram to the Rijksmuseum which is just a stone’s throw from the entrance to the park. We strolled through the park. The Dutch were out enjoying the day and the crowds of tourists disappeared. We stopped for a cup of coffee at Blauwe Theehuis, a little kiosk place that’s been in the center of Vondelpark since the dawn of time. With the guys low on cash it was all about just enjoying the time they had left in the city. I was actually a bit glad they were so broke; J’s boyfriend had no manic knee going because he was busting to get out and do something. That frontal facade that you can get in this type of situation – J’s boyfriend didn’t know us before this visit – melted away. He and I spent quite some time dropping social niceties and really talking. I saw his hyper smiling vanish and get replaced by somber, almost tearful memories. We shared some personal pain with each other, and grew closer because of it. We wound the day up with a delicious meal at Sherpa’s, a Tibetan food place that’s outstanding. Then a slow walk back to their hotel, a somewhat teary good-bye with many hugs, and it was time to go. The train pulled out of the station just before sunset, so our short trip was one of gorgeous colors and silhouettes while we rode in style in first class. No, we didn’t pony up for it. The goddess intervened; we were sent a promotional package with some advertising in the mail. The package included two free upgrades to first class within the next 30 days, so we took advantage of it. Got to say it might have done the trick; my bro thinks we should upgrade our chipcards to first class status if it’s not too much more money. Wider seats, more leg room, and plenty of arm rests. Plus not too many people travel first class so there’s always seats available, unlike second class.

Despite my bro at times driving me up the wall (he DIDN’T, by the way, try to buy shoes on the way to the train yesterday), despite the pain in my body from so much walking, I’ve been so happy these last few days. So happy to see J again. So happy to rediscover how easy it is to get around this country. So happy to think that yes, I CAN get out and do things. I CAN shop around Amsterdam for a day and come home. I CAN manage to find my way in the train station without getting lost. It’s been very affirming.

I’ve even been called pretty. I know, I know! That’s completely petty. Still. It makes me feel good.

May has begun and I guess the weather has finally taken its bipolar medication because in less than a week it’s scheduled to be up in the 20s and stay there. There’s just enough time to take a day for our feet, then my bro and I have to kick it into gear and get ready for the warmer weather. He’s on anti-mosquito patrol and I’m on tomato watch. We don’t get many mosquitos here, especially being on the 4th (or 5th, depending on how you count it) floor. The ones we DO get, however, seem a bit dizzy from their journey to this altitude and are doubly determined to get some of your blood to calm down and find their way out. So my bro wants to fashion some mosquito netting around the windows. As for me, my little tomato seedlings are now stout, hardy plants that will need new pots in the next week. My assignment (since I’ve chosen to accept it) is to find new pots and do the transplanting. I’m happy to have the occasion to putter around on a small scale like this. Just enough gardening to give me purpose but not enough to take over my life. Perfect.

Feels like I got a real shot in the arm of sunshine and lollipops just before heading into summer. Great! If it can carry me through the drudge days of heat and sweat I’ll be very thankful.

And maybe – maybe – I’ll get back to actually creating something rather than just talking about creating something. Turn on the studio. Get those final cuts of my new trance. Been thinking long and hard about pans and effects these days. Keep going back to my source of all great trance: Sven Vaeth. First thing I need to do is turn the studio on and play with effects. Make some choices. Then we’ll need to pull apart our lovely living area again and squash our new dining area so the studio can have some breathing room because I already know one thing: I want both mixing boards hooked up to give me maximum room. I recorded in on my small board and was limited to 16 tracks but my recording equipment can handle 24 tracks. That buys me 8 tracks for special runs, edits, punches, and cuts. Since both my small board and my big board have problem channels, hooking them both up ensures I can pick out the best channels to use. I may even be able to do some voodoo wiring and increase my effects channels. Sick.

I don’t usually use that word in that context. I’m not 20. But hey! It felt appropriate.

Have Brain; Will Travel

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I slept in today ’til 7:15. That’s a recent record; been waking up between 5 and 6 each and every morning whether or not I want to. Fine and dandy; our artificial planet bobble of daylight savings time is coming up anyway. Gotta train a bit for that. Yeah, I said train. I train for everything. Choo-choo!

Monday has become a day of rest. No swimming, no language class, no commitments or doctor’s appointments. I am free to do whatever catches my fancy today once I’ve gone through the language homework with my bro. Dat’s good. I need a day of rest.

Turned on my computer this morning to find posted a picture of me at Ben’s party. Geez, I’m glad I insisted on getting someone else into the shot. It was taken out on the balcony, on my third beer. I have the HUGE annoyance to deal with this morning of realizing that my dark hair fades away into the background in a picture like that. When I was super blonde, I hated that happening to me in the sun. Now I’m brunette, and it happens in the dark. Can’t fucking win with that one, can I? And I always – ALWAYS – fucking see a picture taken at the right time and in the right lighting to give the impression that I have NO hair because mine is too light or too dark or too whatever to show up in the frigging thing. So there I am, smiling like an eejit (an Irish idiot) and my eyes are all out of whack. I’ve got this freaky thing with my eyes; a very long technical name attached to it, but what happens is this: the pupil of my right eye doesn’t react to light at the same speed my left pupil does. So I have this picture on line right now where my left pupil has contracted from the flash but my right pupil is WIDE open. It makes me look freaky and weird. It’s all I can see in the picture, pretty much. That and my no-hair. But hey! I did notice that I didn’t have the huge dark streaks of exhaustion under my eyes that I think I carry around all day long. My smile was wide and I looked like I didn’t care too much that my hair wasn’t great or that I didn’t wear make-up. I looked like I was enjoying myself. And I was.

Lane swimming yesterday was a new experience in queues. Never had a swimming queue like that before; I was sharing the lane with 12 other people. It was not the most zen experience in the bag! My tempo was dictated by everyone else’s tempo; I had to slow down and speed up to try and keep the same distance between myself and the next swimmer. It was something I was a bloody GENUIS at compared to the guy behind me. Had to pull up and let him pass me; if he’d hit my feet or allowed his soft belly flesh to come in contact with my feet one more time I was gonna scream. I mean, ew! It was soft HAIRY flesh, too. Double ew. And relativity came into play; on Thursday morning swims I could use the middle lane, between the fast and slow swimmers. Yesterday I had to keep to the slow lane; the middle lane was too fast. I tried it, and held the line up a bit. So duck back under the floats and scuttle back to the slow lane for me. Still managed to swim enough that I crashed out for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

I got me mini-days going right now. Wake up early, write or exercise or cram my head with Dutch, then snooze for a bit in the afternoon, then up again ’til nighttime. It’s working, but I’m not a big fan of it. My second day within my day is groggy, since I’m still not allowing myself an evening coffee. And I feel like, come on! I can’t even go for an eight hour stretch? Not cool. I know super geniuses tend to do that: short sleep and cat naps. I am NOT a super-genius. I don’t think. Or like to think. My IQ is high enough I could be called that but really! My idea of a super-genius is Wile E Coyote: clever, yet stupid at the same time. And damn if I didn’t grow into that! I guess when I become a super-rich super-genius, I’ll have to commission Hanna Barbera for a new Road Runner cartoon, one in which Wile E has grown wiser as he’s aged. I want to see him finally catch the Road Runner…and then let him go, because Wile E realizes he doesn’t want the chase to end, that THAT is what he’s been living for. And in the end, I want to see Wile E smile as the Road Runner takes off because Wile E knows the Road Runner is gonna keep teasing him and stretching his creativity. 🙂 Yeah, that would work for me.

I want to put this down in writing….So, you can all get out your tiny violins while I play put-upon narcissist for a moment.

It’s goddamn difficult being smart. I know it’s got to be frustrating to not understand quickly, to be slow. I’d hate that: I hate ANYTIME I don’t pick things up right away. But it’s also fucking hard to be smart, and have people EXPECT shit out of you, too. I think my parents didn’t do a good job dealing with this in me. I heard, growing up, that I was afraid of success and THAT’S why I failed all the fucking time. But you know what fucking success was in my house? Everybody staring at you and expecting you to have all the fucking answers, all the fucking time. Say one thing – ONE THING – that wasn’t dead on 100% correct and you FAILED. Continual goddamn fucking pressure on everything. And then, to make things worse, later in life I did learn things very well and NO ONE LISTENED TO ME. Like, all the wrong answers I’d given in the past made them think I was worthless, my knowledge was worthless, my experience was worthless. Didn’t matter if I graduated at the top of my class or got the highest scores in the state. I’d made mistakes in my past, therefore, I couldn’t be trusted in the now to give anyone a correct answer. In many ways, my family made me feel like Wile E Coyote. Elaborate plans, but I was always chasing things I couldn’t really catch and I had NO support when things blew up in my face. And that went on so fucking long that everyone saw me as Wile E, too. Too many fuck-ups over the years to ever be taken seriously again. I’m some fucking cosmic comic relief in my family. Things are too bad? Oh, let’s talk about HER last thing. We’ll all feel better about our lives after hashing out how many mistakes SHE makes. Fuck that.

I found the above pic online. Forgot the tag lines “have brain; will travel”, but I think I’ll make that my motto. The words and the image associated with Wile E just fit my life. Brilliant, but a little crazy. Obsessed. And always, always, planning.