things I thought you should know.

It is inevitable: if you turn on a television within a 30-ft radius of me and there is a reality show based on some sort of man-on-man competition that involves baking, cooking, losing weight, finding a has-been celebrity spouse, or figuring out what the Jersey Shore kids will screw next, my brain will shut down, my eyes will glaze, and I with shuffle off to the couch where I will stay until the 500-hour marathon is over, covered in the filth of 3 days. (Yes, I am the sexiest woman you know).

Although I know some of you out there do not like the idea of “guilty pleasures” (sorry, Chris, I know you wanted that one banned to the tower…),but  badly scripted, highly sensationalized”reality” TV is probably one of the things I am the most embarrassed about liking. And by God, I have had every psychoanalytical,  sociological theory as for why I love it, but I think that’s just to make me feel better about watching other people bake, or sing, or chase their dreams while I am sitting on the couch, neglecting to chase mine.

I’m just always amazed at the exhibitionist aspect of it: these people are willing to bare all about themselves, whether it be taking their shirt off to show millions of Americans what it looks like to weigh 400 pounds or allowing all of the intimate details of a relationship to unfold on television–finding love, a partner, sex–while the country watches.

I never, ever watch Oprah. Seriously–the last time was probably 5 years ago. I kind of see her as a Billy Graham for the women age 25-55 demographic–the one whose words they will believe like Gospel, buying anything she endorses or recommends. I won’t lie: a lot of this bitterness spawns from my Borders days, where we would inevitably see an influx of requests for Sula, The Pilot’s Wife, or White Oleander the minute her show went off the air, sometimes via phone calls during a commercial break. And I will never fully forgive her for choosing East of Eden and having to field customers who said things like, “There’s this new book that just came out… written by a Jewish man? West of someplace…?”

But all this is an aside (perhaps a qualification) to the fact that I watched Oprah the other night–a repeat that replayed late on network TV, on one of the only stations we get. So I watched it, and felt myself getting sucked in to the show who knows my demographic so well, who knows how to play on all my weaknesses. And before I knew it, I was engrossed into the interview with Fran Drescher and her ex-husband, who split after 21 years of marriage because her husband finally came out to her as being gay.

Watching the interview was painful–hearing them talk about the innermost details of their personal life, their intimate moments, was hard to watch. And you could tell it was hard for them to talk about–that they were trying to act comfortable and OK with sharing this, but it was obvious there was still a lot of hurt there. It’s not like I’ve ever craved being famous, but in that moment, I was so grateful that I never had to be put in a position to have to do that, on stage, in front of a live studio audience. Writing in this blog is an intimidating enough medium–and there’s probably about 20 people actually tuning in here.

***

Sometimes when I write, I can understand exactly what it’s like for a musician to write a song when they know every single noting is clicking perfectly. Sometimes I can feel my brain “click” when I string together just the right words in just the right meter to get across exactly what it is I wanted to say. This feeling is such a high, such an incredible rush, and it is so, so rare to come by. Writing is like taking the strongest drug you know, but knowing that for every thousand times you try it, you will only be able to feel this thing once, maybe twice, if you’re lucky.

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One of the biggest things I miss about yoga is the concentration on breathing, and ironically, that’s the thing that I used to hate the most. I guess that was because it was the thing I had the most trouble with–reminding myself to just stop for a second and actually take the time to inhale and exhale.

Isn’t that fucking crazy? It honestly is something I have to consciously remind myself to do–sometimes I get so worked up in my thoughts and my mind and I actually stop and say: BREATHE. IN. OUT. ohdearGodwecameclosetopermanentdamagethattime. So in yoga, when I actually have to focus my entire body on the rhythm of the air filling my lungs and escaping my chest, I was annoyed, impatient, and absolutely terrified. The truth? I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it right.

I have never gotten the people who talked about the benefits of “proper breathing.” I thought it was something made up, like the benefits of fiber and the endings to The Bachelor. I had tried meditation, tried to test the calming effects of deep breaths in, deep breaths ouuuuuttt, but I always found myself thinking that whatever thing it was that allowed a person to do that was broken in me–that I was not capable of that level of calm.

I’m not going to say that I managed to perfect it in the time I practiced yoga, but I definitely got much better at it. I was able to take all the feelings–the stress, the anxiety, the apprehension–and pull it apart, break down their molecules and vaporize them into something I could push out of my body using my lungs, my throat, my nostrils. The more time I’m away from my mat, the more difficult it’s become to use those techniques in my every day life. Reason #098498 why I need to get back to the studio…

***

In a random blog draft I just rediscovered, I had written that I wanted to adopt a dog and name him Monticello. I have no idea what prompted this, but I still think it’d be a good idea. For that name, the dog would either have to be a beautiful Husky mix with ice blue eyes or a little dachshund with a big Napoleon complex.

***

Foo Foo (aka, Emma Bean, aka Emily) looks animatronic when she drinks from her water bottle. I sometimes expect her to bust out with script/song from the Country Bears Jamboree.

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I never used to think I would be an adult–well, not all aspects of it. I totally thought about when I would be old enough to drive my car wherever I wanted, listen to music, feel the sunshine or winter air on my face and drive, drive, drive–past curfews, past child/adult double standards, past the pheromone-suffocated hallways of high school and junior high.

But now, I’m sit here, bundled in my many blankets, asking D if he’s cold and then he mimics my words back to me, but not as me, as my mother. And I know he is right–I sound just like my mother. I never thought it would really happen.

But the double adult-whammy was the follow up, when, after laughing, we both somberly agreed it was time to visit my parents soon, that too much time had passed since last time. And we didn’t react that way just because we enjoy hanging out with them and love them (which are both true), but because we know that we are slowly transitioning into a new role, where we are the ones setting curfews and boundaries for them and they are beginning to dream, dream, dream of the world that comes beyond this one.

The idea of having to be an adult sometimes scares me–scares me into believing that it’s not really happening–that I am actually still 7, still unknowingly innocent, and all of this is just a dream that hopes to let my younger self to be sure she appreciates the freedom that youth gives her, because when it’s gone baby, it is gone. Don’t get me wrong– I actually like a lot of the adult responsibilities I have. And I like being able to have more of an intellectual history, enough where I now can understand why I was stupid at 17, 21, 24, yesterday…  I like now knowing that I don’t know everything, but I will probably have the information I need at least 3 days short of when it would have been most useful, and that somehow, oddly enough,  knowing that makes me feel OK.

***

God, sometimes I’m amazed–it’s like fucking madlibs in my head. I will begin a perfectly fine, well-crafted thought and suddenly, out of nowhere, the wrong, and most random word would appear. It’s like there was a glitch in the system and suddenly I find myself saying, “I’m just feeling really porcupined with my feelings right now. I mean, preoccupied.” I don’t even know the last time I’ve heard, let alone used, the word porcupine…

***

Donnie just had to explain the reason why that viral video about the ape walking like a human was such a big deal. “Oh wait, they don’t normally walk like that?” That almost tops a few weeks ago when me (and Tim) argued for 10 minutes that Sadaam Hussein was not dead. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a highly functioning idiot savant…

***

If there were Emmys for TV commercial actors, the guy who delivers the “I don’t got a gamblin’ problem; I gotta money problem” would so win.

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After it snows, I have this compulsive desire to walk on small patches of it that linger around the edges of the parking lot of sidewalk to help break it down and make it melt. It makes me feel like I am doing my part to help hurry spring and to deter the lingering effects of winter. I also love the crunching sound my boots make on the salt they cover the sidewalks with around the train stop. When the Northeast corridor train is late (which is frequently), I find myself  walking up and down the side of the track, enjoying the crackling that each step brings.

***

I want to take singing lessons so I can sound better when I sing in the shower and go out to karaoke bars.

But if it turned out I could sing well, and somehow I was discovered, I would require a clause in my contract that enabled me to record a full-length cover album of hits from 60s female singers, with heavy leanings on the Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield catalogs.

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Whenever I’m in a crowded restaurant, I always manage to hone in on the most annoying person in the room and am unable to tune them out for the duration of the meal.

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I recently heard a street performer playing “I Feel Pretty” on the flute. It took me a few minutes to recognize the tune, but when I did, it filled me with a feeling of familiarity and happiness. And then it made me wonder about the person playing it–I could imagine him or her being taken to lessons growing up as a child, learning to play a collection of popular and pleasant tunes. Thinking about that, juxtaposed with them now standing on a cold street corner in the middle of January made me sad. I’m sure this isn’t what they–or whoever paid for the lessons–necessarily had in mind.

***

Most people assume I have at least one tattoo, but I actually have none. This isn’t to say I haven’t thought about it: I have, numerous times, and even have a few ideas for what I would get. However, I’m very hesitant/undecided about the placement. But since I heard about white-ink tattoos, and saw Heather’s, I’m much more inclined to actually go for it. Not only do I like the fact they are more subtle, I like the fact that they almost look like scars (bonus fact: I am totally fascinated by scars).

4 thoughts on “things I thought you should know.

  1. I argued with Chris about the ape video too.
    “So? What’s the big deal? They walk like that
    sometimes.”
    “No. They don’t.”
    “Are you sure…?”
    LOL

    I am also obsessed with the whole “edges of the snow” thing — but in a different way. I always drive where it’s still caked on the roads and along the edges of the plowed piles, especially on corners.

    I struggle with the “I’m an adult” thing too. Frequently. Especially when I remember that I’m responsible for two children.
    “What?! Who’s idea was that?!”

  2. Apology accepted. I will allow you to feel guilty about reality TV . . . haha.

    Karen — but not ALL THE TIME. This ape had abandoned his knowckles.

  3. Foo is drinking water now and now I see what you see.

    I thought both you and Tim thought Saddam was still alive while I was trying to convince you both??? I know you were convinced that he was still alive because if he was executed it would have been a big deal. It was and you were not paying attention.

    I zone in on the most annoying sound when i am trying to sleep. Love my earplugs.

  4. I think the one most valuable thing I took from yoga was the breathing. Now whenever I’m feeling anxious or upset or even if I can’t get to sleep, I just stop and breathe for a while, and if it doesn’t completely solve the problem, it at least helps. It seems simple, but I guess when you’re busy and insane, it’s just not something you think about enough.

    Also, my friend Jessie has some white ink tattoos and they are REALLY cool. She said it was hard to find an artist that would do it for her (and that’s in LA) so I guess you just have to find someone awesome. But then, it’s worth doing that for any tattoo.

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