Saturday, August 30, 2008

Everybody's Got to Eat...But Not in my Car!

I have a bad habit of leaving my car windows open overnight - the occassional wet seat has never really broken this habit, but what I encountered this morning may! I opened my car door and started to lean in to put some things on the passenger seat...and came eye to eye with a huge SPIDER! It had built its web parallel with my door and was just lying in wait

I like snakes, but I hate spiders and my new house is full of them. One morning, I heard A nearly fall over in the bathroom. When I went to check, I learned he had been caught unawares by a spider hanging out in the toilet tissue. Now I think of that every time I reach. Unfortunately, A said the only thing that ever worked to bring down his unfortunately large spider population was Orkin, which even he hated and I consider toxic. Guess it's time to start exploring some natural spider remedies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Suzie Homemaker

Despite my mother's urgings, or perhaps because of them (and her example), I've always had home-making aspirations. I think I would love to be a homemaker, though I'm not sure I could or would give up working now that I've found and trained for a career that I love. But my recent reading list and the move have definately rekindled those thoughts.

I spent much of last night cleaning out our food cupboard, pouring mysterious Indian ingredients into glass jars, emptying expired food into the garbage or drain so we could recylce the packaging and adding my food to A's collection. We are not going to starve, this much I know. Although we may get food poisoning if we're not careful. We both had food expired anywhere from 2002 to last month. Though part of me wants to exit much of these Indian ingredients that A keeps around for when his mother cooks, I feel like putting them in my jars gave me a kind of ownership over them and now the other part of me wants to cook them. I'll probably never make food like his mom's, but at least I can try to make Indian recipes without having to buy everything myself.

So, recently reading A Dress A Day has got me interested in sewing again. E bought me a sewing machine a couple of years ago at a church rumage sale and I've never cleaned, tuned or used it, but I find myself now wanting to learn to sew. I'm all ready to take it to the shop and sign up for a class. There's something about having one-of-a-kind clothing that you chose yourself that really appeals. Being able to make 8 dresses of the same style with different fabrics and details is also amazing - talk about a different take on a work wardrobe! The financial argument in this post helped me feel good about sewing even if something doesn't turn out right. Another couple posts I really liked are this one about style and this one about packing. Oh, and yes, this is what got me obsessed with packing.

On a totally different reading list topic, I've been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. In discussing raw food with E of late, I've had trouble accepting that raw food is THE way, mostly because so much raw food travels so far (coconut, tropical fruits, etc.). It wasn't even a carbon footprint issue with me, but more of a macrobiotic ideal. This book provides both an inspiring and entertaining memoir as well as many reasons to enjoy one's local food economy. I am sad to see that I'm beyond the 1/2 way point and will soon have finished this book.

Next up, a good Madhur Jaffrey cookbook for those Indian recipes. If my boss can make great samosas using her recipes, I should be able to make a passable Indian meal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Sunday Night Turned Into

Sunday night turned into a big ole mess is what Sunday night turned into. Somehow we got to talking about the moving in and the difficulties and he got more resistant and reluctant and I got less zen and compassionate and more ... I wish I could say sassy here, but it's simply not that cute ... pissy. It was ugly. It was so bad that I was still upset Monday morning and it took hours to get through the venting process. Luckily for me, my coworker is a good listener and doesn't allow those rants to influence her opinion of me, A, our relationship, our future or my friendship with her.

I can't even remember how it started, but I remember there was some resistance to things that had been earlier agreed upon and then things just escalated. I think the piece de resistance (no pun intended) was when he said, '...and you made me miss the closing ceremonies to the Olympics to help you with this,' after he helped me do something that a.) I hadn't asked for his help with, b.) I could have done without him and c.) we both seemed to enjoy doing together once we got going. (Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment at having done it and the important fact that this task, vital for my comfort and health living there, is now completed, a week after I moved in.)

So, Sunday sucked. But Monday was back to compassionate zen. We cleaned out the fridge together, made and ate dinner and recylced a bunch of stuff. He was helpful, I was relaxed and we had a lovely evening together. So, clearly it'll be up and down for a while. I guess compassion means being compassionate about those things too.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So Much to Say

I think I could blog or talk about moving all day long for several days in a row. Tonight I realized that this is home, this is where I live. I can't really claim to live at my condo any more when most of belongings are here and I've slept here for the past week. Yes, it's been a week. I still don't have a closet, the dog only leaves the bedroom being carried, and my belongings, including half of my clothes and all of my food, are in the garage, but this is home. And I'm adjusting. I'm easily adjusting to the long, lovely drive through the country to get to my clinic in the morning and to waking up next to my partner every morning.

Not so easy are his criticisms of everyday behaviors like throwing my towel on the bed. It's hard not to come back with a sassy 'get the bed out of my office/dressing room and I won't throw wet towels on it.' That may come out soon, but for now, I'm still feeling pretty zen and compassionate. Compassionate to the difficulty that this man has making space for me in his home. Though he loves me and loves having me here, my moving in is clearly difficult. I imagine that I take up a lot more space than his previous live-in girlfriend who moved in at a very young age with few belongings and a significant power differential. I don't know if she demanded a whole room for an office, a whole bathroom for her own personal and mysterious uses, complete control over the kitchen and his sharing of the PlayStation.

I'm getting better at not thinking about her and making comparisons, but she still comes up, mostly for me. Today I asked A if the woman's shampoo's in my shower were hers from four years ago. He laughed and said he wasn't ever that hung up on her. They're his moms as are the other miscellaneous womanly things I found upstairs. Hm. All I have to say on that is never get between an Indian woman and her son.

I told A he's the first boyfriend I've ever lived with. He didn't believe me at first. I don't know if he believes it now, though it's mostly true. My friend and neighbor is 47 and has never lived with a man. I go back and forth between feeling like I'm not so bad and thinking I'm a monster for that first thought. Is there something wrong with not having lived with a partner til x age? Moot point for me now, because even if his not-really-letting-me-move-in and towel fits drive me away, I can say that I lived with him.

In any case, I shouldn't let my thoughts ramble so, I've got boxes to shuffle and unpack, things I need immediately to locate and one box that I'd forgotten about until just now that leaked water during loading, though it shouldn't have had anything wet in it. Better get on with that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sooner Than Expected

Due to unexpectedly fast and easy Internet sales of all of my furniture, I moved sooner than expected. My home is now a lovely bamboo-floored 4 bedroom 2 bath in Suburb-country-boro. I don't have a closet for my clothes yet, my computer rests on the dining table, I don't know how to get to work, I haven't yet made dinner here and Chibo hasn't left the bedroom, but I did mean here when I said 'I'm on my way home' yesterday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I'm packing for my move and find myself shuffling my stuff about. Shuffling, shifting, moving from here to there, sorting, filing, recategorizing, organizing. There's so much I can do with my stuff. I sold the couch, it's gone, so there's more room in the livingroom to lay everything out, although time is short, especially now that we've scheduled more remodeling on the other house, my new house, my new home...he wants me to call it 'our house.' I've never had trouble claiming other people's belongings as 'ours' or sometimes even 'mine,' so I don't know why this is hard for me. Maybe it'll feel more like mine when I wake up there on a regular basis and go home to there after work. Maybe it'll feel more like mine when I stop worrying that he's going to be mad if I drop something on the floor or leave a mess in the kitchen.

That's one kind of stuff, but not the kind on my mind today. Today I'm noticing, while I sit at my office hours (yes, I have office hours, again, hence the blogging, again), how much electronic shuffling I'm doing. Not the electric slide, mind you, but the electronic shuffle. I started a second Google account in order to have a profile up for my other blog that shows my name, after all, the other blog is about my business and to stimulate business so it doesn't make sense to stay anonymous there. So I shuffled info onto the new profile and off the old, I clicked and okay'd and entered the codes so that I have a new account, but don't ever have to go there, except for the purpose of writing for that other blog.

I also shuffled photos the other day - just creating folders and subfolders so that I can find photos more easily. All the while keeping in mind my idea about scanning in all the paper photos I have, so planning for even more photos going into all these folders.

I started creating groups in my Gmail account and assigning people's emails to the groups, so that I can email group emails, which I find so annoying and usually avoid, to specific groups. What to do with Jefe or Ree or A or E? They defy categorization - either that or they fall into multiple categories. The point is to simplify group emailing, or so I tell myself, and they deserve more than that or at least my ability to remember to send them something individually if I leave them off a group. And what about those people I don't remember, not just to send emails to, but truly have no idea who they are? What should I do with those people in the Contacts list that I cannot place? Deletion seems drastic, after all, Google says not to delete anything anymore, just archive it all and search. But wow, talk about clutter.

So I shuffle information and groups and photos and people, but it's a lot of work with little to show for it. The next couple nights I need to start physically shuffling, putting my precious belongings in boxes and start moving them to A's house, our house. And when they get there, shuffle his things to make room, mix some of his and some of mine and call it ours, call it home. For now, I'm going to shuffle my attention back to the tasks at hand and accomplish some organizing and shuffling here at the office, instead of shuffling my hours, shuffling my papers whenever anyone walks in the room.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lots of Words

I started a journal a long time ago when my (birth) dad was in alcohol dependency treatment. It was a collection of loose-leaf sheets and the first page was a piece of paper with my visitor badge affixed to it. I remember from that visit my dad eating fried chicken – he said his dietitian said that he could eat fried chicken as long as he took the skins off. So he took the skins off the chicken before eating it (the skins). He’s since been diagnosed with diabetes, suffered multiple heart attacks been disabled by a stroke – maybe he should have listened all those years ago. Maybe I should listen now? My weakness isn’t the skin of fried chicken – I’m not even really sure what it is (macaroni and cheese?), but if my docs tell me to quit something, I hope I’ll listen.

Not the point though, I was writing about writing… Despite my belief that my journal was simply a ‘bitch book’ full or gripes about my friends and boyfriends – he said ‘x # $ ! )’ and then she said ‘uh huh!’ – stories like that, family history for good or ill, were recorded there. Unfortunately, in a fit of clutter clearing, I burned or shredded all those pages. I still have my journal from my trip abroad, but its spine is cracked and pages have been ripped out (by me) as I transferred those entries to another format. When I told my travel buddy that I was getting rid of that journal, she was aghast – she even told me to just give it to her if I didn’t want it anymore. I don’t know what it is about journaling that gives it value or interest. I don’t know what it is about blogging that makes me more likely to do it and at such length. I don’t know if my blog/journal should be given over to my next of kin when I pass (in the news recently). And I certainly don’t know or expect that my journal will be of interest to future generations.

But I do know that writing in this format somehow suits me and that I’m much less likely to delete every past entry, no matter how painful, than I am to shred or burn paper pages. I’m also less likely to open to a random page and read, though I do read a couple entries back or look for specific information at times. I hear a lot of dieters talk about opening their food journals and reading how things were going last week, month or year. I keep a separate ‘blog’ and record of my foods, when I remember and take the time to do so, but I’ve never gone to look back at what I was eating like I might with a paper journal. I like the online format there because it calculates nutritional information about my food, rather than just being a list of what I ate which it would be if I wrote it on paper. Sometimes, like right now, I’m thinking ‘why not write it on paper during the day then transfer it to online in the evening and jot down the relevant nutritional facts on the paper too?’ I don’t think I would really do that, but maybe I’ll give it another shot to keep it on paper.

Getting ready to move, I’m especially thinking of clutter clearing and my box-o-photos is much on my mind. I wish I could just move a few completed photo albums to my new house instead of this ongoing and energy depleting ‘PROJECT.’ There are days when I think of just pitching the lot, but there are also days when I think of scanning them all in like A’s dad took the time to do, so they can be shared more easily. I am thinking of making a slide show DVD to send to friends just before our reunion next fall, so that would mean removing all those photos from my album, scanning them and then replacing them – what a chore, but how fun would it be to have sent those CDs?

My mom also brought up the albums she put together for myself and my bro’s several years ago. It would break her heart to know that I took them apart and got rid of parts of them that she saved all those years. It will probably especially hurt because she already knows my brothers trashed theirs and she thinks mine is intact. Why couldn't I just keep it the way she did it? I thought I would make it ‘nicer,’ but I never took the time to do so. Maybe I just make a couple piles in my new office – ‘To Scan’ and ‘Scanned.’ I could just do a couple at a time instead of sitting around staring at the walls. And that would help me start the sorting process for putting them into albums. Okay, I have intentions. But I also still have lots of words, lots of paper, lots of photos and lots of memories.