Write something

Write something.

Write write write something. Anything. Use words to conjure up pictures in other people’s heads and yes maybe even your own.

Stop asking why. You know why. You have to do it. It’s as much an instinct for you as blinking and breathing are. Can you imagine how awful it would be if one day you woke up and you couldn’t muster the energy to blink or breathe anymore? Your eyeballs would shrivel up in your head and you’d die. That is going to happen to the interesting part of your soul if you don’t write something soon.

Take a sip, loosen your standards.

Write write write, what can we write about?

Last night on Radiolab they were talking about laughter and how Aristotle thought it was our ability to laugh that made us human and apart from the other beasts. But Aristotle, while boasting a badass name, was wrong. Laughter is certainly a weird thing when you really think about, physiologically, what is happening during a fit of laughter. But laughter isn’t a uniquely human thing. Why would it be? Animals laugh and play and experience joy, too. I figure the only thing that makes us truly human is our capacity for self-sabotage. May science prove me wrong.

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Is there a medication that kills ennui? Or transforms it into courage?

Actually, I don’t think ennui is what I have. I have the opposite, sort of: So many huge things I want to do but seemingly no time at all in which to do them, which creates a kind of crushing suffocation and a world that both zips around you and never seems to change.

So, what, like, mushrooms?

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I’ve been thinking of all kinds of one-sentence bios for myself lately. Or are they epitaphs? Maybe that is the same thing.

• Incapable of sitting like a lady

• Liquid courage, solid shame

• Unimaginably bad at fantasy football

• Cannot pronounce “library” without total emotional and mental focus

• Hack

• Completely, breathlessly, incontrovertibly in love with adverbs

• Never even touched a banjo :(

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I saw “Boyhood” a few weeks ago. The only movie I’ve seen in a theater all year. It was lovely. I know everyone knows that already. Richard Linklater is my spirit animal. These are random thoughts. I got giddy when I saw the Lamar Sorrento painting on Ethan Hawke’s wall. That kid playing Mason could not be cuter and the adult playing Mason could not be cuter. Patricia Arquette’s boobs could not be bigger. I know that before I am able to accept it, my own boy will be bigger than I ever imagined. It’s terrifying, in the way a roller coaster is when you are at the top of that first peak. I suppose I am lucky in that I like roller coasters.

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I’m not dreaming lately. I hate hate hate that.

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I saw someone from my deep past last weekend and I went up and said hello and he wouldn’t even look at me. It was painfully awkward. I tried to talk to him and he kept looking past me, into the distance, obviously wishing I’d just go away. I left feeling like complete shit. He won.

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The older I get the more my family breaks down. Lately some things have happened that I’ve not even been able to fully process, much less address. This one thing I had in my childhood that set me apart from so many — this solid, loving, close-knit family — has dissolved. It breaks my heart. I know nothing is permanent, but damn.

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I’m tired of layoffs.

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I miss taking photos, constant photos. You see the world differently when you are behind a lens. When you get out of that habit, the world goes a little flat.

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I haven’t traveled anywhere in a good long while. I was supposed to take a road trip recently and it fell apart in spectacular fashion and didn’t actually happen. We are going to the Smokies in a couple of weeks for a little bit, but I am pining to see something new, to breathe the air of a place I’ve never been. I want to know why no one will just pay me to wander around aimlessly. I would have made an incredible trust-fund kid.

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Wrapping up a random post is difficult. It’s 1 a.m. and the boy will be up at 7:30 and I’m really doing myself no favors by staying up, considering the insane workday ahead of me.

Let’s end with a photo of this guy, whose smile could power a grid. He’s in such a big way lately. So many new words and phrases and such a sweet attitude most of the time. My heart.

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Sick-day blogging, whee

I stayed home from work today. Blame it on not getting home from work until 1 a.m. and then being up half the remaining night with an angry stomach. I have powered through days on three hours of sleep more times than I care to recount but today it was not happening. I fed my baby breakfast and kept him away from sharks and live wires until naptime, and then I went back to bed. Sadly I did not get to sneak in another nap the entire rest of the day, but sick days are not the same once you’re 31 and have a kid.

I spent the day wrangling Holden and counseling him on how much more effective words would be than the VERY LOUD whine-grunt he uses to lodge complaints. The sound seriously plucks at something deep and reptilian within me that makes me want to smash things. But in positive language developments, he now says “I love you!” fairly enthusiastically when prompted, thanks to that crazy dog I complained about. He can also locate the dog’s heart when asked. Touché, dog. You taught my kid how to love. Sorry I complained that you were too happy, yeesh.

To be honest, I am only blogging at this late hour because I’m procrastinating going downstairs and going to bed. That is how tired I am. My exhaustion and my laziness are doing battle and you, dear reader, are the real winner here.

What else can I type-blab about?

Oh, we saw a groundhog across the street the other day. Is it THE groundhog?! I don’t know. It never came close enough for me to play nature tracker* to compare and contrast its traits with the photo I have. Obviously, it’s likely that there was more than one groundhog living around here, so even if one of them was hurt or killed, there could be others. But we have decided, officially, to believe that this is the groundhog one of our neighbors tried to murder, and that he fought off death valiantly, and that he is going to eat the shit out of some garden veggies for revenge.

* kudos to you parents who got the Dinosaur Train reference. Pteam Pteranodon 4 LYFE!

Things that are annoying and should end immediately

• Ombre hair
• Mariah Carey videos where she tries to seduce the camera
• Videos on Instagram
• War and poverty, duh
• Bread with DHA in it (AKA fish bread)

I used to have this perception of adulthood…

… as being this time of settling into wisdom and really coming into myself and becoming comfortable with this crazy thing we call life and getting to carve out time to be better and feel better and do better. But adulthood has been nothing but nonstop, exhausting insanity, like some fucked-up round of Whack-a-Mole that never ends, where the little dudes are not only popping up but popping up in flames that spread and the faster I thwack them, the more they spit fire at me.

Or like opening a vein temporarily that just ends up bulging and pushing and pushing and pushing because the needle is never satisfied and, oh, what is your other arm doing, because we’re going to need to use that one too.

It sucks. God, it sucks. And I am bad at it. And I want to stop doing it. Can I opt out?

Deep thoughts while cramming taco salad into my face in the workplace lunchroom

You ever notice how Pepsi machines put the Diet Mountain Dew button above the regular Mountain Dew? Probably not because I’m sure you never patronize Pepsi machines. But if you ever stroll past one on your way to a Coke machine, take a look. I have a theory that it’s because that is the only fucking way they can sell Diet Mountain Dew — to trick people into thinking they are buying a regular Mountain Dew.

This is crazy this is crazy this is crazy

That’s what keeps running through my head as I’m going through the business of making this move. I just keep picturing Clark Griswold clapping his hands together and saying it over and over.

So here is where we are and where we have been.

We found a house! After three weekends of searching plus ALL THE INTERNET RESEARCHING, we ended up deciding to go with a house on a tip supplied by Sarcastro. (Apropos of nothing, I miss Sarcastro’s blog.) It’s cozy with a sweet little porch, a bay window, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a deck out back, and a bonus room/den/office area, complete with a perfect little spot for the cats to shit. You would not believe how difficult it is to find a house with a good spot for cats to shit. And there is a little laundry room with tall shelves for me to store all the crap I will inevitably drag along with me since I won’t have enough time to sift through everything and chunk much of it.

We had this other house we really loved but it wasn’t a 100 percent deal and we decided we needed to go ahead and push the button on something definite before we left town. I was getting pretty discouraged with the house hunt* and just needed to feel like we had something we could rely on so I could go ahead and start making moving plans. I start my job Wednesday, after all, and much of the packing and moving is going to have to happen while I am 200 miles away. This makes the control freak in me want to barf.

So I am going to Nashville tomorrow night to stay with Matt and Amanda. And then I report at 9 a.m. to the new job. I’ll come back to Memphis Friday night to continue packing and then back to Nashville Sunday night. We won’t actually move into the house until around the 11th so that it going to be pretty rough. I cannot imagine being away from my baby for a week but that is the reality of the situation so we are going to just do it, I guess. We will figure out the details as we stumble toward them.

It’s exciting and scary.

Here goes.

* We had an appointment to view a house at 10 a.m. Sunday. The landlord told me over the phone that 10 a.m. would be good because the family would be at church and we could poke around the house. I assumed he would clear all of this with the family. We showed up at the scheduled time and knocked on the door. A lady answered and was flabbergasted at our presence. I told her why we were there and she said no one had communicated anything with her. “We still live here!” she said with complete exasperation. She was in a nightgown and I heard kids in the background. We got back into the car and suddenly my phone started blowing up — it was the number of the landlord. I finally thought maybe I had gone to the wrong house when he texted, “R U gettn close I am here waitin.” I called back. Turns out he had just gotten there after us, I guess. I told him the tenant had no idea we were coming. “Who answered the door?” he asked. “That big fat lady?” Aaaand scene.

I am no Ernest Hemingway

… but if there is one thing I have learned about photography (or at least how I like to do it) that is different from writing, it’s shoot sober, edit drunk.

A Day in the Life: 1.26.12

Some day in 14 years when I am scolding Holden for eating Jolly Ranchers and putting his expensive braces at risk, I am going to wistfully think back to when he was a wee babe and wish for simpler times when I could hold him in my arms and get a grin out of him just by smiling wide. I know my memory and its tendency to function as a black hole (I have already forgotten much of what we did all day during the first month of Holden’s existence), and it’s going to be hard to remember what our days were like when he was this age.

So on Thursday, I photographed pretty much everything I did all day, figuring it would be a pretty accurate representation of our average day. Fun with mundanity. Or FUNDANITY!

This slideshow probably won’t make much sense without captions, since my phone takes such HORRIBLE pictures, so to see the captions you have to select full screen and then click on the first picture. Captions should anchor at the top right after that. I think.

Why is it that…

• babies can sleep soundly with their heads at 90-degree angles from their bodies, but they scream in agony the instant you take them out of the bath tub because of the slight change in temperature?
• I am 30, a homeowner, and a parent, but I feel most like an actual adult those times when a light bulb goes out and I know I’ve got a backup bulb stashed away?
• the women on the network morning shows dress in tiny tiny tiny dresses year-round, even when it’s cold out? And hooker heels?
• Google is fucking up my world? I mean, I know they’re allowed to and I never really thought the “Don’t be evil” thing would hold sway forever. But still. Why can’t they just chill with the stupid? Who is in charge over there right now who’s making these Facebookesque decisions?
• people post text-heavy shit on Pinterest? It’s a visual pin board. If you want to bookmark text posts, use that handy “bookmark” feature on your browser.
• It’s nearly February and I haven’t worn a single sweater this entire winter? WHAT IS WITH THIS WEATHER?
• I bought a house that isn’t in walking distance to any restaurants or grocery stores? There’s a corner store a couple of blocks to the west, but some dude was shot and killed in that area a few days ago. Besides, all they have is crap food anyway.
• I look even more supersized now than I did when I was nine months pregnant, despite having lost 10 pounds (during birth) and breastfeeding around the clock?
• my feet are constantly getting mangled from unseen pieces of glass or wooden splinters that apparently litter the kitchen floor, no matter how often I sweep?
• Mitt Romney is allowed to call Barack Obama “detached from reality” without the entire country collectively laughing in his face and then ignoring him for the rest of the year?
• my dad has an epic mancrush on Newt Gingrich? He has really liked him for as long as I can remember. I don’t think they would get along in real life.