Category Archives: meanderings

On Language and Languages

I am of the minority in the country in which I reside. That country is the USA, and the reason I am a minority (one of them, anyway) is that I speak more than one language. I speak Polish, German, (crappy) Spanish, and (worse) French. (The parentheticals in the previous sentence are in no way meant to communicate my feelings about the latter two languages, only the condition of my speaking ability.)

It’s been a long-running goal of mine to speak multiple languages fluently. Languages have always fascinated me. I’ve made up a few. (Or a couple, more accurately.) I’ve always loved the idea of the Otherness that makes up foreign speech, and better yet when I get a glimpse into that Otherness and understand it. As I grew older, I started learning Spanish. At first it was all verb conjugations and noun genders and monotonous memorization — until Mrs. Slater got pregnant and was replaced by a teacher whose name I’m ashamed to have forgotten. The first day this new teacher walked into the room, she started babbling in Spanish. She refused to speak English to us. Everyone panicked, but she had the right of it.

Everyone is capable of learning a language. We all do it once; we can all do it again. She had the theory that the best way to learn a language is to hear it in context, to observe and make connections between speech and environment. This is what babies do. Once kids learn their basic vocabularies, they move onto more abstract conceptual language and more advanced forms of communication, but it’s no good to be able to conjugate the subjunctive tense of a random -ar verb if it has no context. Grammar without conversation is like the squiggling lines of a highway system without benefit of map. It’s meaningless without context.

All this has come up in my mind because I’ve again decided to dust off my Gaelic books. Learning Gaelic has been a goal of mine for a very long time. Part of it is the sheer beauty of the language. Another part is the connection it holds for me to my ancestors. Due to many ethnocidal policies enacted in Scotland over the course of the past three or four hundred years (and some before), Gaelic speakers now reside almost exclusively in the Islands and Northwest Highlands of Scotland. Gaelic is a rich, living language that formed the center of a community-oriented culture for over a thousand years. So many stories and legends have been lost, stories that were never committed to parchment and only existed in an oral tradition that was strangled over the course of a couple centuries. So I want to learn it. I want my children to know it. I feel like a child clapping my hands as Peter Pan abjures the crowd to show Tinker Bell that people still believe in fairies. If I clap loud enough and long enough, maybe others will clap with me. Maybe we can bring Gaelic back from the flickering fringe at the edge of Scotland that many say derisively is only the death-rattle of a language past saving. Welsh and Irish are making a comeback. Even Cornish is making a comeback. I want to do my part to save the language of my people.

So here I am, staring at a small pile of books with daunting amounts of vowels and elusive consonants that hover at the back of the throat and sometimes fade out of existence entirely depending on what the overwhelming vowels have to say about it. A few years ago, I picked them up and gave it a shot, but without audio help and the nearest native speaker being some 5,000 miles away, I floundered for a bit before conceding that I wasn’t up to the task.

Around that same time, I started picking apart another language. I didn’t have the same emotional ties to Polish as I do to Gaelic, but I did have some. I met friends because of the intriguing sound of Polish. Those friends spent a good deal of time trying to learn my language, so I figured the least I could do was try to learn theirs. I set about teaching myself Polish.

I learned Polish in the space of about two years. I didn’t know at the time what a feat that was. When I moved to Poland to study abroad, I tested into one of the highest levels of Polish classes (C1, for all you Europeans who might care). I was dismally behind on my conversational fluidity, but my grammar was excellent and my pronunciation was so good that I always got incredulous looks from people when I told them I had zero Polish background. And so I got dunked into the deep end of the language pool. For the first few months, I was over my head. I studied relentlessly to improve my vocabulary. To be conversational in English, one needs to know about 2,000 words. Many resources say that only 1,000 are really necessary, but for the sake of argument, I’ll call it 2,000. In Polish, it’s necessary to know over 7,000 in order to be conversational. I got greedy. I collected words like gold coins. I became a linguistic Scrooge. I breathed noun declensions. I prattled Polish to anyone who would listen. When servers at restaurants would figure out I was foreign and switch to English, I would speak Polish at them until they got the point that I didn’t want English.

And it worked. Even now, four years after leaving my beloved Krakow, I am still pretty fluent. Because of my experience with Polish, I am utterly grateful that that was the language I chose to immerse myself in. Why?

Polish is an intensely complicated language. Beyond the mountain of vocabulary necessary for speaking, it is home to three genders of nouns which all decline through a very Latin (think actual Latin, not Romance Languages) system of cases. Verbs change for gender. Nouns change not only for gender and case, but for status as animate, inanimate, or virile. Sentence structure is fluid and poetic. Adjectives decline with their nouns. It is due to the hard-earned familiarity with these aspects of language that I picked up German in about four months, and it is due to all of that knowledge that I have again decided to pick up and dust off my Gaelic books again.

No longer do my eyes glaze over when the word “genitive” appears in a sentence. I don’t stare helplessly, wondering what on earth a slender consonant is or what the hell it means to be a leniting vowel. Nasalized vowels and palatized consonants are no longer daunting. Through the precision of Polish pronunciation, I have a higher awareness of what is going on in my mouth when I talk: where my tongue sits with certain consonants and how changing it can affect sound; the difference between words spoken far forward in the mouth as opposed to back in the throat. I have a deep respect for English-learners; our grammar system is capricious and labyrinthine, our spelling an exercise in torture. I bow to languages where phonics is not actually the joke it is in English, where clusters of letters like -ough will make the same sound wherever they’re used rather than performing acrobatics like bough, through, thorough, rough. Where rules are rules. To quote a favorite comedian:

“Brian, what’s the i before e rule?”

“…i before e….always.”

“No, Brian. I before e except after c, or when sounding like a as in neighbor and weigh, and on weekends, and holidays, and all throughout May, and you’ll ALWAYS BE WRONG, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!”

Hmph.

To sum up, languages are interesting. (Hahaha!) In case you are wondering which ones I care to learn to fluency (or maintain), here’s a list:

-Polish
-German
-Spanish
-French
-Russian
-Portuguese
-Gaelic
-Welsh

I’ll close this windy post with something I wrote whilst on holiday in Valencia in the spring of 2006.

The more that I try to learn languages, the more I am surprised to realize that the most touching and beautiful moments are those that require no words. And for the times that do, I am reminded that it truly is worth all the pain. Every tongue-twisting syllable, every elusive vowel or unfamiliar cluster of consonants, every foot-in-mouth moment or awkward silence, that panicky deer-in-the-headlights feeling — it is all worth it for just one second. Just one second where you can tangibly feel that you have left your own world behind and become one with another. The lights come on and for an instant, you understand. Comprehension dawns in a moment where no translation could retrieve the true meaning of what you heard in its original form, untarnished, with your own two ears.

That’s why I try. And that’s why it’s worth it.

 

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What is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me…

I couldn’t help it.

I apologize in advance if this post makes even less sense than last night’s. I fail rather dramatically at putting together coherent paragraphs after days as long as this one. I did have some thoughts tonight during my cocktail shift at my restaurant. We were slow, and I was bored, and in between running food and drinks to my few piddling tables, I had a conversation with a coworker about love, specifically the kind that has longevity. We’re both engaged to be married.

One of the not-so-first things that comes to mind when I think of love is money. Strange, then that money and financial issues are one of the biggest reasons marriages end. Different views on what is a worthwhile use of assets, someone spending too much on the wrong things, not making enough to get by, etc. I can see why. It’s not easy to mesh two people’s finances together, even if you keep them mostly separate. And it’s not a topic most couples find romantic. You can talk to any die-hard romantic about …well, romance…and they might tell you that all you need is love. That love can fix any problem. I disagree. Love can help you forgive a lot of things, but there are many problems that can suck the life out of love, erode it away until all that exists is a fossil of a memory and some jagged edges.

Long lasting love (ooh, alliteration!) involves sacrifice on the part of both parties. It means putting someone else first, or giving up something to gain more. It means thinking of we instead of me (see what I did there?) and putting the needs of others at the top of a priority list. So let’s talk about needs for a minute. I have a strong theory that a relationship cannot succeed if the partners fail to meet each other’s needs the way they need them met. Needs are specific to each person, and they often require different things from each person. Let’s say two people need reassurance. For one, that might mean nothing more than a long huggle and a tender kiss. For another, it might mean hearing affirming words. If you’re someone who needs  a long huggle to feel reassured, affirming words won’t do much for you, and vice versa. It might help a little, but you probably won’t feel completely reassured until the need is met the way you need it to be met.

The tricky part about meeting someone’s needs the way they need them met is that the golden rule really doesn’t apply. You can’t simply do unto your significant other as you would have him or her do unto you, because you might have a different way of having your needs met than they do. Love is being willing to crawl outside your thick skull and into theirs. Love is finding out what those needs of your partner are and how your partner needs you to meet them, then following through even when it’s supremely uncomfortable. Some people have a really hard time expressing themselves verbally. If you’re one of those people and your partner is someone who needs verbal affirmation, it could be potentially catastrophic trying to meet that need. But if you do it, even though it’s hard, your partner will take notice. The danger comes in when one partner says, “I’m just not wired that way. Deal with it.” Especially if that person expects their partner to meet their needs the way they need them met even when they refuse to do the same.

No one ever promised that love would be easy. In fact, if you get promises about love, it’s probably the opposite.

Then again, nothing worth having comes free and easy.

…and I Fail.

Whoops. So much for that “Post a Week” thinger. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, just that I haven’t been posting. It’s okay. I don’t feel like I need the validation of my blog to prove that I’m making something happen, even if it’s slowly. 🙂

It’s been a crazy couple months. Today is the six month date for my wedding. WEDDING. Me. I’m planning one. And I’m the bride in it. Surreal. Between that, playing Dragon Age 2 (cough), working 6 days/60 hours a week, reading the Wheel of Time, working out, and sleeping, there aren’t many hours left in the day for interwebbing. Which is okay. I functioned fine before the internet took over the world, and I can function fine without spending hours a day in front of my computer now.

One thing I do want to change is the fact that I have not finished the second draft of my novel yet. It’s one of those things that is on my serious to do list. I want to start sending out queries to agents this fall, ideally before the wedding. Frankly, I’m tired of working for other people. I’m tired of my work and my financial viability depending on whether or not someone decides to tip me 18-20% instead of 15, which, since we’re on the subject, tip your servers. For real. Did you know servers only make about $3 per hour? In some states, it’s less. No, we do NOT make minimum wage hourly. Most of us average right around 9-10 bucks an hour after we tip out the bussers, the expos (the people who make your plates pretty), the bartenders, etc. For DC, that’s hardly a living wage. If you can’t afford to tip someone 20%, don’t go out to eat. Seriously. Service charges are part of the restaurant experience. If you want someone to wait on you hand and foot, you should pay them for it.

I digress. Anyway. As you can probably see, I would like to be working for me. Even if I have a publisher/editor/agent telling me which hoops to jump through, at least I’d be doing what I really love to do. So that’d be nice. 🙂

I may not blog every day or every week about how things progress with that sort of thing, but I am going to be working on it. That’s something you can count on.

 

Why I Don’t Really Enjoy Chick Flicks

I honestly can’t remember a time where I ever truly enjoyed “chick flicks.” I suppose I watched them…in high school I can recall watching She’s All That and Never Been Kissed and 10 Things I Hate About You (which really isn’t much of a chick flick at all; it’s just awesome) (awwww…Heath Ledger…waaaaaah).  Those are the only ones I really remember, though.  Even then, the movies I got excited about were the Lord of the Rings movies, X-Men (I about peed myself), and horror movies/thrillers.  Even the occasional sci-fi movie, though I was never a die-hard sci-fi girl. But I digress before I even started. Alas. I blame NyQuil.

Anyway, tonight something happened that I just couldn’t ignore. First of all, I decided to watch Sleepless in Seattle.  It’d been forever since I saw it (if I ever saw it before tonight), and I decided, “What the hell?”

I fell asleep 40 minutes in, to my own chagrin. So I started it over. I like Meg Ryan.  I also like Tom Hanks. I was enjoying the movie after I conquered my sleepiness. And then, BAM. It was over. The camera zoomed out on that giant red heart on the side of the Empire State Building, and I was supremely confused. After a beat, I thought, “That’s it?” I was beyond confused. I was bewildered. “Really? That’s it? But…what happens next?”

I won’t deny that I could relate to bits of the film; perhaps it’s that I’m in love with a wonderful man myself, but I definitely had some warm fuzzies. However, when it ended, I was left utterly unsatisfied. I wanted to know what happened later, that evening, the next morning, a week or a year later. I don’t want the ride off into the sunset endings — I want to know what’s on the other side of that sunset. It really bothered me that the movie just…truncated like an obnoxious fraction.

What if Meg and Tom decide they can’t stand each other? And if they do really end up in love, how does that happen? Do they ever take each other for granted? Does Jonah end up resentful and sullen again?

I realize that this is exactly why I don’t really like chick flicks. For one thing, they usually break up some couples. For another, they all end this way, this happily ever after shite. I guess it’s not really shite, persay, but it’s so unrealistic I want to bop them on the heads with a mallet. I think that’s why I love Love Actually — yeah, some of them end up quite happy, but not all of them. And the love they show isn’t always the romantic kind, either. There’s some anguish, there’s some pictures of good love gone bad, and there are some pictures of nice, healthy love as well.

Sigh. Maybe Hollywood has lost a bit of its magic for me, but I don’t know. What I do know is that life isn’t full of happy endings. It’s the journey that matters, every step along the way. It doesn’t end when we meet the one we love or even when we marry them. It keeps on going, marching up and down, back and forth. And that’s what I like about it. I don’t want the end credits to roll till my eyes shut for the last time.

 

 

It’s 3 a.m.; I must be lonely

Well, the former part is true, at least.  Am I lonely?  Not…lonely persay.  Pensive?  A little.  Riddled with self-contemplation?  Somewhat.  Ever-so-slightly shocked at myself?  Yes.  Yes, I am.

I’m having a girlie moment.

Gasp.  Crash.  Hiccup.

I know.  I knooooooooooooow. I’m seldom outright girlie.  The pensive self-contemplation stems primarily from that blatant fact.  In many ways, I defy mainstream, pop-culture girl-dom.  I hate pink.  (Okay, maybe not hate, but I feel it ought to be used in very, very sparing quantities.)  Chick flicks are enormously depressing for me.  I don’t want to be a princess, unless it’s the warrior kind and I get to rampage about killing monsters and saving the world.  Diamonds bore me at best, and I loathe diamond solitaires (this time my adjective is not overstated).  I would be mortally offended if my boyfriend spent two months of income on an engagement ring, and only slightly less so if he spent more than a week’s.  (He knows these things already.)

My momentary bout of girliness is coming from the mere fact that my relationship is progressing.  And it’s filling my head with all sorts of fuzzy shiny happy thoughts.  It makes my tummy feel warm and glowy (and NOT in that pregnant way, so don’t even ask).  I may have even sighed and made goo-goo eyes at Edward the Elephant in my boyfriend’s absence.  *ahem.*

On a more serious note, this feeling is entirely new.  Without going into too much detail, no one has ever been committed to me before.  Me.  I’ve never felt anything like this — the sense that someone truly wants to journey through this life at my side and wants me there at his.

And so I’m being girlie.  I’m looking at pretty colors and imagining future moments.  I’m listening to the conversations we had over and over in my head and reveling in it.

I feel like I got a belated birthday present/early Christmas present.  Because as I’ve tried to wrack my brain for gift ideas for myself (always a precipitous sort of task), I’ve returned only to the simple (if gushy and cliche) sentiment that all I want for Christmas is….well, him.

Before I turn completely into a porcelain dolly with ringlets and ribbons, let me remind you once more:

Warrior.  Swords.  Zombie-slaying, kicker of dragon asses, vampire-loving, princess of general awesomeness — that’s who you’re listening to here.  And don’t you forget it.

And Now For Something Completely Different…

…A short blurb on dog training.  Yeah, I know.  Not my normal subject matter, but it’s something I’ve been reading a lot about for over a year, mainly because a: I want to get a dog in the future, b: doing so is a lifelong commitment, and c: I want children in said future as well, so d: I want to educate myself as much as possible so that I can make those things work together.

Most commonly, I see poorly trained dogs.  All that really means is a lack of consistency.  Dogs don’t really get it if you let them on the couch 8 times out of 10 and then then get in trouble for it the other two times.  If pulling on the leash has gotten them where they wanted to go more quickly up till now, why is the owner suddenly mad about it?  All of that is just a lack of consistent reinforcement/correction of behaviors.

I’ve just read a few things both in favor of and against dominance theory.  The gist of dominance theory in dogs is that dogs are pack creatures and respond/behave best when they know their established place with the human as the Alpha.  Pretty simple.  Proponents of dominance theory maintain that so-called “problem” behaviors in dogs that range from relatively mild such as disobeying or ignoring well-known commands to moderate such as chewing, hiding the owner’s possessions, etc. to severe behaviors such as biting, aggression, and defecating/guarding on human possessions is the dog asserting its dominance over the human.

Those who disagree with that say that dogs are simply not always on a quest for dominance, and that those behaviors are either simply their nature or that the dog is poorly trained.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, saying that dogs, even the common household pets of today, are not pack creatures is absurd.  Sure, they’re not Wolfy MacWolferson anymore, but if you venture outside suburban America, there are maaaaany places around the world where strays form packs — and strays are often common mutts bred from varying breeds you would find in people’s homes.  They most certainly do form packs.  I’ve even seen it in suburban America in a neighborhood where people weren’t keeping their dogs well:  about five or six dogs gathered whenever they got a chance, and they definitely formed a pack.  It was also very evident just looking at how they moved together which dog was the leader/Alpha.  So to an extent, dominance theory is not something I would just pooh-pooh.  Dogs are not humans; they’re dogs.  Certain things stand out to me as dominant behavior, though with caveats.

Ever had a dog who wouldn’t get out of your way?  That’s something that goes slightly beyond playful behavior.  A human who acted that way would be considered aggressive, especially if you asked them politely and they refused to move.  A dog doing this is basically refusing to listen — and on a basic level, that says they don’t think they should.  Ever see a really well trained dog?  The owner of such a dog can give commands that will be instantly followed.  While I don’t think this necessarily means that the human is “fully dominant,” it means that the dog has been trained consistently and understands that obeying results in rewards.  When a dog ignores commands, it means it thinks it has no reasons to follow them.

When it comes to stuff like letting dogs on the furniture and stuff…I kind of think that’s a personal prerogative.  I personally will train my future dogs to never get on the furniture, including beds.  When they have learned that well, I will teach them specific cues that invite them onto the furniture at my discretion and that will also tell them when it’s time to get down.  If they don’t obey those, they won’t get to be up there.  Period.

What I do believe is that normal dog behavior is not “good” behavior.  Dogs growl, bite, dig, scratch, fight, etc.  That’s not ideal for a pet.  In fact, that can get your dog euthanized.  That’s why good training is so important — you’re essentially training your dog to go against its nature.

While I don’t think that mild disobedience means a dog is exerting dominance, I do think that habitual obstinate behavior does.  If a dog is peeing or pooping on your bed, biting you or family members, destroying your things (there is a qualification to this — puppies do chew, and if they haven’t been taught what they are allowed to chew, they’ll chew anything), or consistently ignoring commands, I would say that dog believes you are subordinate.  Dogs aren’t passive-aggressive creatures — those are all pretty straightforward signs that you aren’t in control, the dog is.  Call it dominance or whatever you want, but if those things are happening, you’re not in control.  With any pet, the owner should be the one in control — and I think that’s something both sides can agree on.  Most of the time control is just an issue of consistent training.

It’ll be some time still before I get a dog.  More on this later, perhaps.

Changes and the Familiarly Unfamiliar

I’m in Scotland.

I’m again confronted with the ever-familiar waves of knowing and not-knowing.  I know the fresh, washed scent of rain cleaned air, of chill breezes and the golden honey warmth  of sun.  I know the hill that holds Stirling Castle, and the Black Isle that peeks through the window from across the Moray Firth.  I know this building, but the view out the window has changed, and the flags that hang of St. Andrew’s cross, the lion rampant, the jolly roger, and St. George’s cross seem oddly disparate, though they grace walls which still hold familiar photographs.  Lone Tree on Rannoch Moor.  Buachaille Etive Mor.  Pap of Glen Coe,  Eilean Donan.  Inchkeith Sunset.  Familiar names.

The people here are now alien.  No Jordan or Julia or Nicole or Keith.  Instead there is Andres, Sandra, Howe.  Unfamiliar but kind.  As a former hostelite, they welcomed me with warmth and shared food and even tucked me in when I fell asleep on the familiar cushion of one of these black leather sofas, covering me with a fluffy duvet as I slept in a group of strangers.

The maps are well known, from John O’Groats to Skye to Aberdeen.  The voices are unfamiliar.  No Polish  do I hear, but French and English accents.  It has been…a long time.  The giant gulls call out their thoughts of the town and the surf.  Cars rumble across the Firth bridge.  The sun hides his face behind an oddly stagnant sky.

A whisper flits through me, a startling revelation.  Inverness feels like home no more. Perhaps it is the lack of sleep.  Perhaps it is the staggering mix of old and new.  It could be either of those things, but I think what it really is goes much deeper than a superficial makeover.  I’ve got a home.  Not even a physical home;  that’s in flux.  But there is someone rather than somewhere I need.  And he is very far away.  He has become my family, and where family is, so home is too.

More than anything, I wish he was here to share this place with.  Even shrouded in clouds, she has a glory and a cleanness that surpasses anything I have ever known.  There is wisdom in her aged glens, peace in her silver-smooth lochs, strength in her heather-clad mountains, and humility in the rushing of her surrounding sea.  I think if she could speak, she would tell me that she will always hold a place for me here.  And that the next time I return to her, not to come alone.

Food for Thought and Sleepytime, Too!

This week I returned from a lovely Memorial Day weekend to a vicious slap in the face from my scale.  It was unnerving.  It was glowing.  It frightened me.

I realized that:

1.  I have been eating waaaaaaaaaay too much.  By that I mean that I’ve been eating probably 1000 calories a day more than my body requires.
2.  What I eat has been too unhealthy.
3.  I am out of shape.
4.  My hinter region is the talk of my boyfriend’s work. (In a positive sense, but still.)
5.  I have gained 30 pounds since last May.
6.  Some of my health issues could very well be attributed to my lack of good nutrition in addition to the more obvious causes of stress and car accident.
7.  Something big needs to shift, and now.  Not later.

I do not want to be one of those people who ends up waddling around and feeling downtrodden about the diet that failed again.  I do not want to die of heart disease, cancer, or any other preventable malady.  I want to live a long and healthy life.  I want to play actively with my future progeny.  I would love to play actively with the progeny of my future progeny.  I want to fit into my size 6 pants.  I want my flat tummy back.  If those things are going to be a reality, I need to start making some lifestyle changes.  Not diet. But changes in the way I live my life in order to respect my body and use it wisely.

Even though I started the exercise bit before leaving for Memorial Day, I’ve kicked it up a bit since.  I’ve set a goal of doing at least 10 minutes of cardio exercise per day, but so far I’ve been doing 30.  I’ve started tracking food and calories and fitness on SparkPeople.  I’m drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.  I’m making a concerted effort to buy vegetables, fruits, and to make my own breads when possible.

Progress so far?  According to my scale yesterday, I’ve dropped 5 pounds.  Ish.  Part of that could be due to the fact that my weight upon my return had jumped up about 8, so some of the loss could be artificial, but hey.  It’s a start.  Other observations are:  since exercising every day, I both have more energy and sleep better; my tummy is flatter; my skin looks better and feels softer.

All of that is good.  Plus, I made a kickass lunch today consisting of a homemade tortilla, 1/4 cup each of black beans and sweet corn, some green chili salsa, a bit of mexican cheese, and 2 tablespoons of light sour cream.  All in all, it was less than 500 calories, and it was filling and delicious.  So good I am probably going to make it again tomorrow.  Homemade tortillas?  Awesome.  Love it.

For a snack today I had a bunch of cherries.  Then I got really sleepy.  Then I stumbled across an article about cherries.  Apparently they are really high in melatonin.  No wonder I got drowsy.

Eat some cherries.  Then take a nap.  Sound perfect?  It should.

Working Out

Turns out, it’s actually a bit of a workout.  Go figure.

After literally six weeks of laying around on my arse, I decided it was about time to get off it and try to lose some of the weight that made itself known to me as I attempted to pour it into a pair of shorts yesterday.  This pair of shorts was a size bigger than what I wore last summer.  Needless to say, the swells of flesh that so stubbornly prohibited my arse from fitting into the denim made their point.  They’ve made themselves at home, and I think I need to evict them.

Hence the workout.

I have been a bit scarce for the last few days.  At least I think I have.  Time has gone all wonky.  I really think there is some sort of rift in the space-time continuum, but that’s neither here nor there.  It is Memorial Day weekend, I suppose, which may excuse any of my scarcity (but would not excuse a rift in the space-time continuum).

I’ma go to the beach!  It’s for a whole two days, but still.  Beach.  Me.  Go.  Picture me, the whitest white girl in white-onia, slathered in SPF 100 so as to look even whiter, lounging in an olive green bikini, feeling self-conscious whilst squishing my toes in very hot sand and trying to think of ways to get my boyfriend to make out with me under the boardwalk.  Yep.  That’ll be me tomorrow.  And I’m serious about that boardwalk thing.  I’ve wanted to do that ever since I heard Bette Midler pound out that song in Beaches. My boyfriend’s plans consist of eating lots of pizza and…sandwiches.  (If you are a How I Met Your Mother fan, you will know precisely to what I am referring by the latter.)  I have only a few things on my agenda:

1.  Play a round of mini-golf.
2.  Eat some Dippin’ Dots and see if they are as good as I always hoped they would be as a child — I was never allowed to get them.
3.  Make out under the boardwalk.
4.  Walk.  A lot.  Preferably on the beach.  This is part of my whole fat eviction scheme.

As you can see, Item 1 has suffered a setback.  The setback is that I am broke, and mini-golf is seldom cheap, particularly in a high-frequency, high-tourist area such as Bethany Beach.  (Why, yes, gentle viewers!  You now know where I will be this weekend.)

I don’t think I will have the money to eat, which is okay because of that whole fat eviction thing.  It’s only two days, anyway.

Also, I think I have found a new Emmie home!  I hope.  Here’s the ad I think it placed looking for renters:

Quirky five bedroom full of awesome seeks young tenants for lounging patio barbecues, sprawling living, and unique closet arrangement.  Stuffy and pretentious dwellers caught up in matching color schemes need not apply.

It’s pretty much perfect.  Right down to the varying color schemes and oddly placed closets (some aren’t even in the bedrooms).  Wish me success!

On that note, I am off to be a nerd and play Fable 2 whilst pondering my story and waiting for the boyo to get off work.

Tired

Okay, I gotta complain for a second.  Sorry.

I am so tired of being tired all…the…time. I’m sure the long-term effects of sleep deprivation are somewhat as serious as alcoholism or drug abuse.  Possibly zombification. Basically, I’ve been living on 2-4 hours of sleep a night every weekday for the past nine months, and my body is just shutting down.  I am beginning to fall asleep pretty much anywhere, only to be startled awake half the time by pounding waves of anxiety and a bitter taste in my mouth.  I get headaches every day.  I’ve gotten three migraines in the last six weeks.  This is not normal.  This is not good.

I consider myself lucky if I manage to get six or seven hours of sleep in a night.  Even on weekends it’s hard for me to sleep soundly and wake up rested because the anxiety is so bad.  I can’t relax.  It’s been like this for months.  I only have three more weeks to make it through.  I hope I can manage it.  It’s to the point that I can’t sit down on my bed after work without falling asleep.  I managed to make it three days this week without napping like that and got a little extra sleep, but then last night I tossed and turned until 4 again, and bam, I’m back in the pain cage.

I sincerely believe that some of us are not built for mornings.  And the world is not built for us.