Her Green Figs

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

24 February 2008

Congrats, Joss!

About the book (from the author's own website)

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the very literal family skeleton stays buried or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neat and on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 14-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne.
The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

05 July 2007


Today's schedule:
6:30 wake up, brush teeth, get dressed (where are all my shorts?!)
7:00 drive dog to river and walk 5 miles
8:30 feed dog, eat cereal, glare at messy kitchen
9:00 nap with dog
10:30 shower
11:00 iron clothing (I haven't ironed in YEARS!)
11:30 blow-dry hair, makeup
12:00 lock up dog, get cash from bank, find parking
12:28 (for 12:30 date) stand at entrance to restaurant and wait
12:36 glance at time, pick up free paper and read, even though I've already read it
12:43 start to do paper's crossword in pen
12:52 walk back to car, drive home--confused, disappointed, annoyed, embarassed
12:59 uncage dog, eat chicken, wander house thinking how much needs to be done and how I don't want to do any of it
1:45 email date expressing fear of having missed him, hope for his well-being, resignation to his likely disinterest, and suggestions for repair
1:55 flip on some movie. Feel bad for having accomplished nothing during day.
2:20 nap
6:05 wake, call Mom to make plans for her to drill sergeant my ass for getting this house cleaned up
6:25 read response from date, written partly in Latin (surprisingly attractive), explaining absence due to termites but mostly humiliation for simply having forgotten our plans. Believe sincerity of regret but wonder at intelligence of pursuing relationship anyway. Feel bad for having accomplished nothing during day.
6:35 even though not really hungry, eat 3 cold tacos while reading chapter 3 of Wise Blood. Feel bad for having accomplished nothing during day.
6:52 realize that I have an article due on Monday, have no draft, thesis, interview appointments, or photos and freak out
7:05 return to computer to research/draft article
7:06 look at eBay
7:08 look at Reuters and BBC
7:13 look at livejournal of troubling (and possibly troubled) young woman I know who keeps attacking people I like
7:14 email. Feel bad for having accomplished nothing during day.
7:28 post day's events to Blogger in hopes of divining some wisdom.
7:29 Gain no insight. Feel bad for having accomplished nothing during day.

31 March 2007

Screwing Up Left and Right

and Up and Down
and Forward and Backward

Nothing tragic, but all sorts of little stuff.

I was supposed to judge a cooking contest. I got the directions and the address and wrote it in my Palm. I got up an hour early so I could take the dog to the park and tire her out so she wouldn't mind staying in her crate all day. I didn't leave enough time, but she got a decent run. No time to make coffee for me or dry my hair or find the instructions for the judging though.

I stopped to buy petrol for the car, even though I didn't really have enough time. CRAZY prices, and I didn't fill up all the way because I'm really poor.

Couldn't find my friend's house so called him when I was 10 minutes late and realized I was on the completely wrong side of a major road.

Smashed a CD case to splinters accidentally.

Drove right to the place, parked way far away, walked up to sign in and was told there was nothing for us to do. We arrived at 10:18 for a 10:00 call. As it turns out, the call was for 9, but I screwed up.

The town was having a festival, so we walked around a little and it was a little infuriating and packed with all the usual festival craft show crap. When did festivals start being all about bullshit crafts?

Hiked back to the car and drove to another, smaller, town and ate at the diner. It was fine, not great (except for the cole slaw and the peach cobbler which were excellent).

Friend asked for story about mysteriously visiting ex two weeks ago. I told a longer story that inspired me to burst into ugly tears which inspired my friend to burst into sympathetic tears which made me feel much much worse.

Drove home. Received a registered letter of foreboding horror from my insurance company. Didn't open it.

Tried to nap; failed.

Cooked a steak; was pestered by dog while eating and couldn't enjoy it.

Was invited to "get shitty drunk" with friend, but would rather stay home and feel sorry for myself.

Cooking peach cobbler. If it burns or sets fire to the house, it will round out my day perfectly.

26 February 2007

I Suppose I Might be a Dog After All

From The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell, " Retracting the commissure in dogs signifies submission or fear. Sometimes it has a similar significance in humans: some researchers believe that human smiles evolved from the submissive grimaces seen in many primate species. We're all familiar with happy smiles but think of all the smiles you've seen that were related, to some degree, to nervousness. Perhaps you, like me, have smiled when you wished you wouldn't, anxiously awaiting test results or submissively seeking favors from someone in authority. Primates also have a similar expression, somewhat akin to a nervous or submissive 'smile,' termed the 'open mouth bared tooth display,' which is associated with relaxed, friendly, social contact."

Two people have given me grief about looking "unhappy" at choir events. I've been accused most of my life of looking miserable. I'm also told that I frighten people. Think these may be related? Perhaps I am a bit of a dog, like those jerks in junior high said.

24 February 2007

Great Saturday

1. Watered shrubs all night, so went over to house at 8 this morning to switch the soaker hoses. While I waited to pick up J, I climbed into my new bed and read three Jill McCorkle short stories. It was delightful.
2. Picked up J with sausage biscuits at 10:13 exactly, as requested.
3. Shopped for dog toys at Target.
4. Drove out towards Sumter to find the dog. Got a tour of SC's cocaine trade transfer point.
5. Met, played with, confirmed accurate analysis of my new dog, soon to be renamed Guinness.
6. Visited J's mother and watched them play Nintendo Wii. I could really have fun with one of those!
7. Ate lunch at a famous diner: smoked sausage, biscuits, macaroni casserole, best coleslaw ever, butter peas, and peach cobbler. The coleslaw and cobbler were nearly worth the trip on their own.
8. Sang the Carmina Burana through twice.
9. Bought new gym clothes and ingredients to make my own peach cobbler.
10. Edited and submitted first article for paper.
11. Made peach cobbler (not so good! too much baking powder, not enough sugar).
12. Invented new cocktails: fennel-infused vodka, pink grapefruit juice, tonic, chipped ice; gin muddled with cantaloupe plus black pepper vodka and peach liqueur
13. Watched Ray.
14. Cuddled under electric blanket.

21 February 2007

I Just Done a Line

of Chunky Chips Ahoy! like the cartoon ones on TV who sing and are surprised when they are eaten. They are dreadful, awful, bland, salty, powdery, crumbly disks of nonsense and only qualify as a "treat" because they have 80 calories each. RIDICULOUS! NAUSEATING!

Today in class I assigned some group class work and my students proceeded to talk so loud about so many unrelated things for such duration that I really lost my patience with them. I encourage a friendly, easygoing, fun atmosphere, but I still expect them to shut the hell up when I'm trying to teach. Apparently, I expect wrong.

After class, I came home and played in the kitchen. I loaded and ran the dishwasher (everything's dirtier than when it went in again) and scrubbed the counters and stove then I cleaned out (most of) the fridge (I put off emptying and washing the yoghurt maker container again) and scrubbed it down. I emptied the chicken soup out of the stock pot and into freezer bags and froze them. That's when the fun began. I baked chicken in cabernet with lots of thyme, two who cubano peppers (sadly, no anchos at the market today), and two quartered onions. While that cooked, I browned ground beef and sausage with a bunch of oregano in the washed stock pot and pureed carrots and celery and green peppers and onions and garlic and bunged that on top of the meat. I topped that with 7 cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste and cooked it down to a good colour and consistency. It's a bit too salty, unfortunately. While that bubbled, I simmered a can of tomato sauce with salt and pepper and thyme and pureed carrots in a small saucepan. While that got going, I pulled the chicken out of the oven and shredded it in the food processor (with the companion onions and peppers) with a can of black beans. I used that and a pound and a half of shredded Monterrey Jack to roll enchiladas. I made 12, four to a casserole. I topped them with the sauce and sprinkled a little more cheese on top. They're sitting in the fridge ready to heat up, except I gave one dish to K and M. I had some of the bolagnese for a late lunch with some rotini. It's looks better than it tastes.

Rehearsal was putrid. I feel really ugly and stupid and hated nearly every time I'm there. And yet I keep going back. K even moved away from me several times, going so far as to trade seats with someone. I realized a couple of Sundays ago that I am a MUCH better singer, and a happier one, when she is not there. I think it is because I respect her skill a great deal, and she has never once complimented me on any part of my musical ability. She talks about other people's musicianship probably 70% of our conversational time, and the omission of comment on mine is enormously telling and hurts me deeply.

I have been approved to adopt a DARLING little pup from the pound in a neighbouring county. She's younger and less trained (not at all trained) than I had wanted, but she really seems to be calling my name. I have people lined up to give me a doggie bed and water dish and leash and collar. I'm hoping someone will have a cage to share. They are quite expensive. The thoughts of handing her a toy or scratching her head whilst I grade papers makes me smile. I think she will be good for me.

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19 February 2007

Tomato Slaughter

I have three trays of seedlings going... about 250 plants (peppers, tomatoes, oregano, aubergine, tobacco, flowers, weeds) and they make me really cheerful! They're so healthy and vigourous and ambitious. They inspire me. The tomatoes have gone a bit crazy though, they're too tall for the dome, so they're bending and weaving about and the poor peppers interplanted aren't getting as much light as they I'd like, and the tomatoes are confused, so I thought I'd mini-stake them with wooden plant labels and cut up red satin ribbon from my Valentine's package. Well, tomato seedlings are more brittle than I expected. I'm afraid I savagely severed a few of them. Luckily, I bought rooting hormone earlier today, so I tried to get them back in the grow sponge. Fingers crossed. I feel bad about it. I trimmed out the new leaves on top of them so they'll (hopefully) grow a little sturdier and stouter.

The pepper plants look lovely! short and dark and glossy and determined. Also looking good: aubergine, coriander, nicotiana.


18 February 2007

Books Everyone Should Read

According to my students (sometimes they make me want to cry):

The Odsisye
To Kill A Mockendird
Bowel Wolf / Bewolf / Beaowolf
Angels and Demonds
Herosheima (if he means Hiroshima, good idea!)
Winning Everyday by Lou Holtz
everything by Zane
Night (yay!)
Clifford the Big Red Dog
The Autobiography of Marilyn Manson
Huckle Berry Fin ("the only book I read in highschool I understood")
Canneberry Tales

Then, of course, there's the thoughtfully annotated list from my favourite student, the stripper. It's great. Really, really great!

14 February 2007


I am in so much pain that:

I cannot catch my breath,
I cannot stop myself from trembling all over,
I am moaning and crying aloud,
I have no problem imagining what it means to be inspired to rend garments,
and I just prayed.

12 February 2007

What Animal Are You?

Don't know how we got on the topic, but KM and I were discussing which were our (various people and us) animal selves. Her husband thinks he's a grizzly bear, but he's really a brown bear. She mentioned pumas for herself, but Gummy Bear is probably more accurate. She asked me and I think of myself mostly like a bushel burlap sack of waxy potatoes, but that's not an animal, so I asked her to pick my animal. My Valentine's-Day-week-self-confidence has not been bolstered by her choice of "elephant." I asked her if this was because I'm humongous and clumsy and dumb-looking and old and slow. She said it was because I am "wise" (gag) and "frightening and clumsy looking but really quite gentle." Super, right? I think I'll slit my wrists now.

So, I guess I should come up with an aspirational animal now, so I can work towards something instead of dwelling on my elephantine qualities. Giraffe would be okay--tall and exotic and graceful, or flamingo--strange and attractive and festive, or panther--sleek and rare and powerful.

Blast! Go take this test (http://www.animalinyou.com/survey.a. It says I am an elephant or walrus or possibly a hippo. I don't want to be any of those animals! Here is its description of elephant: "An elephant personality is a person whose deliberate movements exude confidence and calm in all aspects of his or her life. While maybe not the king of the animal word, it is surely a member of the royal family. With an imposing physical presence and kind, spiritual demeanor, it moves easily through life where few barriers can hold it back. There's a touch of cool in the stoic elephant that's appealing and reassuring. In all probability this composure stems from the knowledge that they have no natural enemies; for even the lion and crocodile personalities pay homage by giving them a respectful berth. Only the unpredictable tiger has been known to trigger any semblance of anxiety in this otherwise fearless animal. But even the sober elephant is prone to tantrums, proving to be enormously disagreeable if it believes it has been wronged. And for the record: elephants don't forget. Fortunately these moods are rare and confined mainly to the male of the species, but when an outburst does occur, all should evacuate the area until the drama has played itself out. When elephants set their minds to something, they don't waver in their commitment until the task is complete. Their intelligence, combined with a formidable personality, gives them a terrific advantage in business and social affairs while their communication skills make them first-rate leaders. Trustworthy and honest, they always let others know where they stand with regard to their feelings. Their vocal skills make them excellent singers and musicians, and their sober natures align them with the classical arts rather than contemporary music. In business, they are usually found in leadership roles as CEOs or company presidents. And although they're highly paid, they are never ostentatious with their wealth. If you think that it's just the elephants' size that impresses its lovers, you'd be mistaken. Sure size matters, but it's more than just physical prowess that has given rise to the legend of the elephant lover. Certainly it isn't for their looks; elephants are somewhat underwhelming with their plain gray appearances -- it's because elephants are able to inject so much emotional and physic energy into a relationship that lovers find them so compelling."

That doesn't sound so bad, I guess. Their description of walrus doesn't fit me at all, but I have some characteristics of the hippo.

Oh right, we got on the subject because we were trying to decide if Kirsten Dunst was more like a shrew or a vole and whether there was any difference.

05 February 2007

Niggling Comments Keeping Me From Sleep

1. "Have you ever tried any of those dating Web sites?"
"Well wouldn't that be way to help you feel a little better about things?"
[Uh, no, pretty much exactly the opposite. The only man interested in me whatsoever is unattractive, whiney, morose, pathetic, charisma-free, tacky, and married. TO YOU! Oh, and except for the married part, he's exactly like me. Nobody wants to date somebody like that. I found this pin on Cafepress the other day and really thought about getting it for myself. I have absolutely nothing to offer in way of pleasant temporary romantic partnership to anyone. So no, I don't have a listing on Match.com.]

2. "Did I wake you?"
[Even though it's 11:45 on a Monday night] "No, I'm in the car. What's up?"
"Why are you in the car?"
"I think I may have forgotten to lock the front door at the house, so I'm going over there to check. Any maybe get brutally murdered by a neighbourly crackhead."
"You really should think about maybe calling someone when you do stuff like that, so that if you're never heard from again, they could at least tell the police that, last they heard, you were driving to the ghetto at midnight."
[Who in the hell would care or possibly even notice if I were shot in a bungled burglary at my own house in the ghetto?!] "Yeah, well, I figure the less evidence I leave the better."
"Right, well, whatever. I'm calling to tell you..."

I have not finished my syllabus for the new course I'm going to try to teach starting next week. Nor have I read the book.

I have not packed anything, which will be a real problem for the movers I have scheduled to come in two days.

I do not have the money to pay both the plumber, who will be working tomorrow, and the movers, who are supposed to come Thursday.

It is unlikely that I will get any classes to teach this summer.

The nearly perfect job for me is currently open at an itty bitty school about 45 minutes away. It's a real 4 year school. I can't apply, since I can't even get admitted to a PhD program, much less finish one.

There is a job open at an unaccredited historically black college with 10 students and collapsing buildings that requires only the MA I already have. There's an excellent chance that it pays worse than I make as an adjunct at the tech school. Plus, am I not the whitest white girl who's ever lived?!

I read a story about two girls, missing for a month, recently found, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, in a car parked off some rural road in suburban DC. Peaceful suicide. My first reaction? Envy.

01 February 2007

Snow Day

It snowed today for the first time in about 4 years. Nothing special, but it does mean pancakes! I made basic baking powder (not yeast) pancakes filled with chopped pecans and fresh blueberries and topped with sweet butter and wildflower honey, served with warm vanilla milk. Yum.

A couple of days ago I made chicken enchiladas, except they were so good I never got around to making the sauce and we ate them dry. One and a half chicken breasts broasted in cabernet with black pepper and toasted garlic with one enormous ancho on top and three quartered onions stuffed around the sides. All that went in the food processor with a can of diced tomatoes, some salt, and a couple shakes of Crystal until shreddy. Put that inside some big ole tortillas with some Monterrey Jack and baked until crispy. Next time I'll make the sauce first.

Grad school application turned in.
Music critic job applied for.
Claim submitted for stolen car.
Dishes cleaned. Floor swept.

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06 January 2007

Green figs, indeed!

I haven't gardened in ages. My brother and I made a Mother's Day bed for our mom a couple of years ago, but it was 6 months before that when I last had my own garden to work. Today, I got my hands dirty again.

It was 75 degrees and sunny here, and Mother Nature DEMANDED that I go outside. I've spent the last week ordering seeds (mosty veg) and plants (mosty small fruit) and planning my new garden. Today, I raked out the paths I think I'll do in the back kitchen garden, and planted two blueberries I got for 75% off several weeks ago. That was so rewarding that I decided to tackle bigger projects.

I dug up 3 dozen border bricks from around a lame bed that I'm extending by 700% and moved them over to outline a new path.

I dug up 6 azaleas that have no place in my kitchen garden and moved them to the front of the house to fill up the lawn and screen the road.

I extended the shrub border at the front corner (it's a corner lot) with more 75% off shrubs: 1 viburnum, 3 spirea, 2 berberis, 3 buddleia, 2 weigela, 2 cotoneaster, plus 1 tree (Japanese maple) and 1 grass (penisetum) and those azaleas, of course. I cannot WAIT until July to see how much they've filled in. Once I cut in the new driveway, I think I can fill in the rest of that wedge with transplants from friends/relatives (nandina, hydrangea, other?) and perennials. That's a lot of lawn I won't have to mow!

The soil in the front yard is gorgeously textured and rich! It was a cinch to dig and seems to require no amendment. I'm THRILLED. The kitchen garden area was much harder to dig (in part due to the 3-4 remaining stumps and associated roots, one of which I chose to plant the blueberries near).

I wish I knew which box (still umoved and unpacked) contained my seeds and related gear. I've got tons. Somewhere.

Soon I will be planting 11 new blackberry bushes and some scuppernongs (if I can find some I like) along the back fences (6' wood picket--VERY private), then filling in the front of those with squash and beans and cukes, and tomatoes, and peppers, and eggplant, and herbs, and carrots, and spinach, and cabbage, and Burssel's Sprouts, and collards, and shallots, and garlic, and horseradish, and peas, and beans, and leeks, and fennel, and okra, oh my. There's an old clothesline I haven't bothered to take down, and now I think I'll use it to trellis watermelon or pumpkins (or both). Great solution! Oh, and I'll probably scatter zinnias in there with the food. And nasturtiums and marigolds?

With the state of my seed order and the state of my brand new kitchen and the size of my new dining room, I can't wait for people to hang out at my house all summer eating really well.

I want a few more things for the kitchen garden. 1. I want to fill in the paths with rock or something similarly permanent (outlined by the brick I'm tearing up from the old, ugly path). 2. I want more blueberries. 3. I want a banana tree or three. 4. I want 3 fig trees (green-ripe figs, of course!). 5. I want to trellis kiwi over/around the ugly ugly shed. 6. I want to build a new arch over the back gate (wider, taller) and plant it with the jessamine I got for 70% off (which is blooming today!!!) and a hops vine. 7. I want to dig up the liriope along the old path and use it to replace the lawn in the front. It's not so very much to do, all things considered. Course, this presupposes that I do a good job starting my seeds (ordered new Park's "Bio-Domes"!) and get everything in the ground properly and the weather cooperates and a few other things.


26 September 2006

Phrases That May Kill Me if I Read Them One More Time

90 student essays to read and grade. Kinda makes you want to gouge out your eyes, really. These are your average argumentative essay and largely uncompelling.

It doesn't matter if the paper is about boats or pets or euthenasia or abortion, these are the two phrases that, if I read them even one more time, I may just fall over dead from linguistic exhaustion.

"In today's society..."

"due to the fact that" (seldom followed by an actual fact)

Could I put in next semester's syllabus that I'm going to subtract one point from students' final grades every time they use one of these phrases?

24 September 2006

In Which I Outsmart Myself Yet Again

Hey, guess what? I can NOT earn my measly adjunct salary and still receive unemployment benefits because, even though this salary is not quite half of what I used to earn, it is still more than the unemployment would be. I'm allowed to earn as much as 25% of my benefit which is only $75/week based on the maximum benefit of $303/week. Thus, by adding those extra sections to my semester's schedule, I self-eliminated my chance to get paid for doing nothing. Damn! As sorry as I feel for myself with my horrendous drop in cash, I am alarmed also at the astoundingly low expectations for everyone else's salaries. I'm amazed that people can get by on so little and yet I struggle with so much. I need a budget. One that factors in my new $375/month COBRA payment. I have to stop paying rent and really move into my house. Jeez. I really could have used that extra $300/month. I really could.

I need to sell a book.
Or this condo.
Or my other car.
Or drugs.
Or all my furniture.

Dear god, what am I going to do?!

13 September 2006

Response to Horoscopes

"Before you go anywhere with your dating life, you have to learn to speak up. Remaining silent about your needs doesn't help anyone, least of all you. Get some gumption and your self-confidence will grow."

"Share your feelings about your most important values with someone you respect. This will help you clarify your own position. "

Two horoscopes today tell me to confess my innermost desires and not to shy away from allowing them to be romantic. So, in case you're wondering, I desire he who is tall, dark, handsome, insular, artistic, almost more in love with his buddies and brothers than he is with me, protective, confident, scruffy, hungry, kind to animals, flirtatious to children, friendly, good-timing, slightly lazy, employed in a field I respect and understand but in which I do not excel, well-endowed with lips and balance, funny, witty, content. And if he could possibly love me, that would be even better.

11 September 2006


My house has been broken into four times in the last two weeks. I was perfectly aware of the risk and willing to accept it when I bought into that neighborhood, so I wasn't surprised or much upset until this last time. This time they took my big, fancy, expensive, never-used grill off my back porch. This makes me mad. I'm quite happy to buy all new lawn equipment and bicycles and power tools like they liberated from my shed, but taking my grill is going too far. I've gotta call the insurance company.

I met the nicest cops this last time. They stuck around and chatted for almost an hour when they came to write up the report. They confirmed that I'm doing almost everything I can for the house: lights, curtains, etc. I did order a security system, though, which I'll install tomorrow once UPS brings it. The cops also suggested that I really really need to move in. I know that. They agreed that a dog would be smart too.

And I've been thinking about getting a dog anyway. I thought I wanted a chocolate lab (mixed with beagle, if possible), but I took this breed matcher quiz thing on the Animal Planet Website and they had some other suggestions, though the lab is a good match for me too. I'll need a fence though.

Tomorrow I WILL WRITE THE WORKSHOP for Wednesday. I've put it off for 9 months, so tomorrow really is the very last possible moment. Go me. I can't wait to get it over with. I can hardly say how very much I don't want to do it, though putting it off for 9 months should give you a clue.

I want to take Thursday as a little vacation, which I will have earned by doing the stupid workshop. I want to drive down to the beach and sit in a chair and read a book and let the wind whip my hair and coat my face with salt and then I want to walk for miles up and down the shore looking for sea glass and porpoise. However, I have invited MGBF to join me, and, if he goes, we will have a cooler of fancy snacks and swim then dinner at the Post Office. A different experience, but also nice. Since he doesn't seem to be talking to me much anymore, though, he will likely not acknowledge my invitation. Either way, I can stop at my favorite roadside farm market on earth and stock up on pimiento cheese, tomato pie, and pecan bars.

Who needs to paint walls and pry up the weird asbestos lining that was under the cabinets Dad and I ripped out on Saturday.

EK will be coming into some money soon and intends to buy a toy car. We have planned an evening where *I* drive it out to the rural county he administers and then we two go to this roadhouse I saw once, made out of an old metal cotton gin. I liked the idea so much I wished I could run it myself, but I was also too chicken to go in without a "passport." EK will be my passport, and I may bring MGBF if he ever speaks to me again.

By not speaking to me, I mean that he won't answer text messages, voice mails, or actual calls, but he will kiss me good morning and good night and be enthusiastically gregarious when I run into him.

I had a Scarlett at the Barbecue moment today, sitting outside my classroom with a crowd of beautiful young boys crowded around chatting and cracking jokes. I almost expected one of them to get up and bring me a dessert. One of those boys is this semester's student crush.

I wonder if I could keep guinea hens within the city limits? What would my theoretical chocolate lab do with that?

01 September 2006

I Really Need a Boyfriend

Went out after rehearsal Wednesday night with NBF and Dr. Bitch. Had a most surprisingly nice time, though KM pointed out that my good time probably had something to do with the bottle of Rosemount Shiraz I drank during rehearsal. Excellent point.

As it turned out, HeartThrob's band was playing and he looked even better that usual, what with his green hoodie and grown out Beatles hair. The grin goes a long way too. NBF admitted that he would like to see me happy, and if HearthThrob and I got together, he would get over his disgust at HeartThrob and be happy for us. Then he lent me his arm and held my hand and drove me home.

Oh, and MGBF bought me a torch in my favourite colour "for when your power goes out" and is "having something made" for me out of something he bought in London.

See why I need a boyfriend?

26 August 2006

What's Left? Locusts?

Somebody tried to break into my house the other night. I wasn't there of course, but when I came by the next day, the pane of glass next to the deadbolt in the back door had been punched out (though, since I have double-keyed deadbolts, they still couldn't get in). However, they pried the latch off the shed door (lock is untouched) and cleaned it out. All my lawn and power tools are gone, so are both my bikes, and all sorts of little tools and lots of little stuff. It could have been MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH worse! We will be considering this, at most, an annoyance.

I have finished my first week of classes. They're going to be good. One student even came up to me after class to say how much she enjoyed Friday's class and shook my hand. Wow. The grading is going to be a bear though--100 of everything all at the same time.

I have to teach this awful library class too. I wish I could get out of that. It's going to be horrible. I don't want even to think about it, much less outline it and make the slides and plan the lecture and, yeah... I just don't want to do it.

23 August 2006

Home Early

I'm home early. Pint night was good though. First time a witty Scotsman has asked me to go home with him in awhile. Bought me a drink too. Though EK bought the three others I had. BB/MGBF kissed me right there across the bar too and asked me on a roadtrip (buying trip) for next week. I would really enjoy that. And he might even let me drive his car. I'd really enjoy that too.

It is way too early in the evening for me to feel this drunk. Sick drunk. Bad drunk. Sour drunk. Bleugh.

13 August 2006

Come on Baby Light My... FIRED?

I got fired on Thursday. Officially, I was "let go" because the funding ran out, but I know that's not true. However, I also know that I didn't do anything terrible enough to have gotten me fired either. I was completely blindsighted by the whole thing. In fact, my boss asked me in the morning if I would meet with the architect of our new space to discuss carpeting and paint sometime next week. In the afternoon, he asked me to leave. Terribly terribly mysterious.

Anyway, good riddance. I hated that job. I liked the paycheck and the benefits, but I hated the job.

So, what to do now? I have 20 some weeks of unemployment insurance payments coming to me, and that will be nice. I'm most inclined not to seek another position until that time is up. After all, I've earned that money and I don't really enjoy having a job anyway. I guess I'll call tomorrow and figure out what those checks are going to look like. Luckily, I also have my requisite 3 months salary sitting in my money market account (I think) and CDs maturing every 3 months for a couple of years, starting in December. I'd be quite content except that I just bought (haven't even made the first payment yet) and am trying to renovate this huge old house. Anyone who has undertaken such a project knows just how you seem to leak money from everywhere once you start working on a house. Renovating makes me feel poorer more quickly than just about anything else.

My horoscope for Thursday, the day of firing said, "You're more sensitive than usual right now, so keep to yourself. Try to write something yourself." I also wrote a friend about wanting to sit in a hammock with a stack of books and a bottle of gin instead of working an icky job. I think there may be something to the answering of wishes.

KM gave herself royal blue highlights last week and it made me so jealous I could have screamed. I have said, since I was a small child, that I would look fantastic with Cookie Monster colored hair. Several years ago I announced to everyone that, if I had to do chemo, I would first give myself the blue hair I'd always wanted and enjoy it until it fell out. I was a little disappointed when I didn't need chemo. So, last week I ordered clip-in hair extensions so I could be as cool as KM in a small way. Course I can't do that. I also can't just order one set of extensions. At the moment, I'm wearing purple ones and they're fabulous. Since I now don't have a respectable job to be respectable for, why not go on and do it for real!? I could take this chance to dress my nose piercing properly. I won't do this, of course. I actually like my nose piercing with just about any sort of style. On the right person it just looks "interesting" even if you can't agree to "pretty", instead of "punk." I miss dressing punk. Doesn't look so cute on a fat girl though.

That's something else I could do with my 20 weeks of half-pay for no work.

But wouldn't it be so incredibly amazing if I could come out of that 20 weeks with an agent, or (dare I say) even a book contract? I don't need to write the whole thing. I need to write a fantastic 3 chapters. I can write a fantastic 3 chapters. It's just a matter of deciding WHICH 3 chapters. I have material for at least 6 books in my head right now.

BB/MGBH ditched me Thursday night, when I really needed him, because he did not make me the priority I thought I should be, and I decided that I wasn't willing to involve myself deeply with him until I was a higher priority. Therefore, we're "just friends" again. This is probably better.

OH! Went to Pint Night on Wednesday and BB/MGBH and EK spent good time telling me about how I absolutely HAD to come later this month because HeartThrob's band is booked. Neither of them thinks he's a good match for me, EK really dislikes him, and here they were encouraging me to go see him. I am intrigued. And I'll definitely be there.

09 August 2006

2 Memes

The Book Meme

One book that changed my life:
I don't care if it's a trendy cliche--"He's Just Not That Into You"

One book I have read more than once:
I read "Moby-Dick" every Passover. Not that I'm even Jewish.

One book I would want on a desert island:
I could amuse myself for YEARS with the OED (the one with the magnifier)

One book that made me laugh:
"A Short History of a Small Place"

One book that made me cry:

One book I wish had never been written:
None. I just don't read such things.

One book I am currently reading:
"Dirty South" because I have a raging crush on Nick Travers, and possibly his writer, Ace Atkins.

One book I have been meaning to read:
Oh. So. Many. I am working through all of Michael Malone's work gradually.


The Five Things Meme

Five things in my freezer:
1. Hot Italian sausage (for collards)
2. Lime popsicles (for tequila shots)
3. Phyllo
4. Vegetable stock (made largely from pumpkin, I think)
5. Shredded cheddar--it makes everything better

Five things in my closet:
1. My lilac silk Ralph Lauren suit.
2. My horse race hats
3. My nylon-stringed guitar
4. My taupe silk honest-to-god Chanel scarf that my grandmother gave me
5. Lots of very pretty underthings I never ever seem to wear

Five things in my car:
1. Rehearsal CDs
2. A dozen pecans
3. Two wrought-iron fireplace tool sets
4. A cheap paperback dictionary
5. My golf shoes

Five things in my purse:
1. A paintbrush
2. Emergency anti-vertigo pills
3. My PDA
4. Matches
5. Whatever Michael Malone book I'm reading

Five people I tag:
1. Yeah, I don't really do that.

08 August 2006

The Styrofoam Ceiling

I had a very disorganized and comfortable day yesterday, and I got a lot accomplished. I drove way the heck out to the edge of town to pick up the power cable I accidentally left behind on Thursday, then I drove all the way back to my new house, realized I needed more adhesive, so drove most of the way back to the edge of town to go to a different hardware store. I got fireplace tool sets at a VERY DEEP DISCOUNT. I certainly never would have spent $150 each on them. I would spend $20. Now I'll have a set for each of the three fireplaces I anticipate using (LR, DR, MBR--wish it could be music room too, but that flue is collapsed).

What a good thing that I picked up double-sided foam tape on a lark there in the adhesives section. As it turns out, I should eschew the adhesive and just use the tape.

Most of yesterday, I hung the new ceiling tiles I bought to cover up the disaster that was my MBR ceiling. They are imitation tin tiles (you know, all embossed and a common retrofit to a significant minority of all English pubs? Instead of tin, they're made from recycled styrofoam egg cartons. Tin ceilings are not exactly appropriate for my house, but they are a more acceptable evil than are the cracked, textured, half-repaired nonsense that are my current ceilings. These styrofoam tiles paint up with latex and then stick to the existing ceiling. This has worked pretty well in the MBR, which ceiling was poorly covered up with luan and drywall screws. And? Stained the color of tupelo honey. It reminded me of a ski lodge, if the lodge were more like an ice fishing shack, and if the builders of the lodge shack had been mentally deficient in more than one way. If I hadn't run short of egg carton ceiling tiles, my ceiling would now be a restful shade of lilac. The part that IS restful lilac is lovely. I still don't like tin ceilings in my house, but it's so much better!

I, cheeky lass, emailed the company that supplied the tiles to ask if they wouldn't discount my purchase of 300 more tiles (arranged end-to-end they would reach... 500 feet)and they gave me a small face-saving one. I'm grateful, nevertheless. To re-ceiling 5 rooms, I'll spend what on supplies what it would cost to drywall one. I can deal with fancy ceilings at a cost savings like that.

When I'm not hanging ceilings at my new house, I'm teaching myself to play my piano. I can almost play a dumbed-down version of part of a Rachmaninoff concerto now. I can't play anything that doesn't have the names of the left hand notes written in (otherwise, I have to keep translating them into treble staves so I know where to put my fingers).

The conference was a success, I think. I felt good about it and some people had some wonderful things to say and there were no disasters, but I've been too exhausted and afraid to open my email yet and see if there are lasting repercussions.

BB/MGBF is not taking calls or returning text messages. I am disappointed.

GothGirl told me last night, in the middle of saying something else, that I looked really good, that I had a new sparkle, and asked what it was. We had a longish conversation about my need for a boyfriend and the qualities of a suitable candidate. It was somewhat satisfying. We also ordered super-nachos and lemon icebox pie by delivery and THAT was VERY satisfying.

I really really really want to get into my house. I need to get the plumbers in to do the bathroom/water heater/washer/dryer/kitchen rough-in so I can move in. Really need to do that. Yup. Really do. Hoping EK will come up with a brilliant solution to my bathroom design woes though...

02 August 2006

Why I Love My Town

I moved "home" a year and a half ago, for many reasons. Largely, I'm very glad I'm here, and it's been quite awhile since I really felt this much at home anywhere. Today, I got to show off my town to a friend from elsewhere, and it's the first time I've really done that since I've been back.

This morning, I picked up a friend and former colleague of mine from Washington. He is the keynote speaker in the conference I'm throwing tomorrow. He's brainy and thoughtful and well-read and an accomplished critical thinker, so more challenging and more rewarding than other people who might have visited.

We went to the cool University-area coffee house and chatted. I saw one person I know. Next we drove around a little of downtown Columbia then met my boss for a tour of the SC State House. Our VIP host was a jerk and an idiot. Also? an attorney, of course. I skipped most of the tour to answer phone calls about the conference. Next, we went to Piggie Park which was a successful choice. Then my guest and I toured the Robert Mills House which I enjoyed a lot more than I expected, though I'm so jaded about museum work now. Everything about this tour was so very small town or small, well, just small. Good, though.

I dropped off my guest at his hotel (running into a former student of mine in the lobby) and came home to take off my shoes and check email. Email yielded a major disaster, and that was fun, but GothGirl called too and we had a nice chat.

I picked up my guest and we went to the Pub where I was loudly and eagerly greeted by BB/MGBF. Seeing him makes me happy. I don't feel that way very often and it's a real treat. He embraced me and held on long and deep and strong and I wouldn't at all have minded staying there forever.

Had dinner with my systems colleague and his wife. They are great people. I would like for them to be good friends of mine. They're so very couply though. I'm not so keen on that. Not until I'm part of a couple again anyway. Even then, maybe, though! I am having a good time being single with my single friends who aren't using each other as temporary substitutes for a relationship. I haven't seen that sort of behavior in quite awhile.

I hope tomorrow goes well. Even more, though? I hope it goes comfortably. I want to feel good about it even if it's not everything I wish it would be, since I'm sure that I wish it would be more than other people would imagine possible.

After tomorrow? I'd like to take a short roadtrip with BB/MGBF and be comfortably silent and safe and happy with him. I don't care what we do. I don't care if we do anything. But I would like to be with him.

I would also like to hang my new ceiling, which arrived today, because, after that, I can buy a new mattress and set up my new bed. However, I'd prefer to do that AFTER I spend some time with BB/MGBF.

01 August 2006

Lookit My Dead Bat!

It was stuck to my window screen. Poor bat. Its final flight involved me flicking it with a popsicle stick and it sailing gently downward into an azalea bush. Poor bat.

30 July 2006

Reasons I Should Have Skipped -- part 2

19. I'm trying to force BB to be an ultimately unsatisfying substitute for what I really want/need instead of letting it be the good thing that it could be and I know this and don't stop it. I don't really want that and neither does he. Stop. STOP!
20. My voice (and attitude) are better suited to cabaret work than to church work.

Reasons I Should Have Skipped Church This Morning

1. I was in a bad mood.
2. I only woke up partially before I went.
3. No breakfast.
4. I had to sight read the anthem.
5. I also skipped last night's (choir) party.
6. I couldn't focus my eyes properly.
7. Everyone else had his or her robes from England and I had to wear spares.
8. Everyone else had his or her folder from England and mine is who-knows-where.
9. Everyone else had his or her hymnal and mine is buried somewhere at BB's.
10. My two least favorite altos.
11. Nausea.
12. Almost August in SC.
13. I was the only one on the second alto part in the anthem, with a low F sharp that I just don't have in me.
14. All manner of prayers of thanksgiving for the safe return and joyful ministry of the choir in England... except for me.
15. I accomplished NOTHING yesterday so my mind is still all cluttered with that tension.
16. Huge public display of affection from BB when he saw me, signaling everyone that he hadn't seen me since they got back. Shows just how unimportant I am to him. He was clearly glad to seem me and proud to show it, but not enough so to have looked me up a week ago. It's so great to be a convenient distraction.
17. I'm not home in bed with someone feeling safe and cared for; I'm at my house, alone, watching a movie that makes me sad, drinking disgusting soda and avoiding the same work I avoided yesterday.
18. Being fussed over by my favorite soprano and wishing that it were BB instead.

29 July 2006

My New Kitchen

My cabinets are ordered. They look like this:

The sink arrives next week (from Greece!). It's a bit small, but so pretty!

Interior Dimension: 22"L by 17-1/2"W By 7" H

Exterior Dimension: 23"L by 18-1/2"W by 7" H


The faucet arrived yesterday. It's enormous. Rather larger than I expected and also larger than any normal faucet. I hope it doesn't look silly.

All that will go into slate tile countertops (I think). I picked up some samples this morning and they're just beautiful--veined in mica and copper with that yummy steely blue background. Examples:

I'm leaning towards 6 inch tiles on the island and 12 inch tiles on the two wall runs. I also intend to get a few copper tiles to mix in on the island. I think. We'll see.

21 July 2006

What Dreams Have Come

I just had the funniest dream! The choir had come back, and came straight from the Airport to the church to sing one of the big cantatas or song cycles. I brought my piano with me and parked it near the table with the crab dip. I waited for them to get out of rehearsal, but only some of them did. I saw JP and the older parishioner members and kept waiting. JG waved and smiled and said an enthusiastic "hello," but BB, following her around as usual, said nothing, and it crushed me. Still I waited, and still the rest didn't come.

I'd had enough. I couldn't figure out how to get the piano back in my car (I'd driven up the steps to unload it in the room the first time, but it was now too crowded to drive my car in the room. I just hoped for the best and left. As I was walking along the side of the cathedral, someone came quickly and noisily down some sort of open outside staircase. When he was still at least a whole floor above me, he pleasantly said, "Hey there, Figly, great to see you!" then ran on down and by me. I saw a flash of pasty white skin, covered surprisingly thickly in dark manly hair underneath his flapping brown bathrobe (just the color of my new walls). I expected it to be The Conductor, who is nothing but unpleasant to me so his words made me stop and turn around to look. It wasn't The Conductor. It was HeartThrob. Who isn't supposed to know my name, much less take the time to greet me pleasantly.

He ran back the way I'd come, but stopped at doors different from the ones where the party was and flapped his arms and talked gibberish. A smallish Asian man greeted him and tried to suppress his ravings. I turned away.

A little further down the side of the cathedral (btw, this wasn't our regular cathedral), I was under a bridge with my dog (I don't have a dog) and there were a bunch of skateboard punks I knew a little. They asked whether I'd ever been to Israel and if I hadn't grown up in England. I didn't find out where they were going with this because my dog wouldn't sit and one of their dogs (chocolate brown, mine was black) wouldn't stop harassing his butt. I couldn't talk to them unless my dog was settled, and he wasn't, so I didn't find out anything more.

Don't criticize me for napping. I needed it. I finalized my cabinet order this morning. The counters are going to be lovely. I found cheap slate tile. Which might also look good on the fireplaces!

What does this dream mean?!

20 July 2006

Just Another Thursday

Yesterday, I let my iPod read me "The Life of Pi," for 9 hours while I painted trim in my living and dining rooms. The trim was charcoal grey and navy blue, respectively, so, by "painted," I mean "primed." One more coat of primer and one coat of glossy white should do it (I really hope). It was a relaxing (not restful) and productive day.

I also painters' taped the outline of my new kitchen cabinets and island on the floor so I could practice walking around in there without crashing into things and knocking imaginary blenders and fruit baskets and coconut cakes to the floor. I think it's going to work. I'm meeting with the first kitchen designer again tomorrow morning to redraw the plan and (probably) order the cabinets. Hurray! The second kitchen designer's estimate was, ready?, FOUR TIMES the price of the first. Guess who's getting my meager business?

Last night, I had a nightmare. Or, more precisely, I had a "night terror," though this distinction is terribly misunderstood. I do not have many scary/unhappy dreams. I taught myself to be a lucid dreamer when I was in high school, and one of the benefits is that I take control and responsibility for my dreams and do not ordinarily allow bad ones. One of the disadvantages is that there is one fewer place in my life where I just "let go" and see what happens. So, for whatever reason, I had a bad dream last night. It involved cabinets (stop laughing), my mother, the ghost who lives at the top of the servant's staircase in my new house, and me waking myself up by screaming and finding my pillow completely soaked from somnolent sobbing. I was much too frightened to go back to sleep. I went into the living room and read some Harry Potter, but I didn't feel much better, so at 3:45 in the morning, I got in my car, drove over to MGBF's house and slept in his bed. I was afraid to be alone.

That didn't exactly start my day off well, waking up alone in somebody else's house after not enough and very troubled sleep. The morning continued, unpropitiously, with a tiny pink worm (NOT a stem!) on the blueberries I'd put on my Cheerios and already half eaten and then with me spilling balsamic vinaigrette all over everything in my briefcase (including my computer--right in the speaker port) and spending my first half hour in the office mopping it all up. Also? I'm wearing the ugliest outfit! I don't know what I was thinking. What a day.

I did, however, finish my judging gig for B4B (Blogging For Books) today, and it was a real pleasure. It is such a blessing that there are so many thoughtful people in the world who are so good at playing with words. Reading these entries is like going to a potluck picnic where, I may not ask for all the recipes, but I love gazing on the long table filled with different dishes. Some people bring family recipes, some make something suggested by Gourmet or Redbook, and some people stop by the deli and get a pound of macaroni salad. At least one person will enjoy every dish on the table, and I love seeing it all laid out in a crowd. I'm so happy to have been invited. Thanks to everyone who wrote something, thanks to Kim for reducing my choices to 7, and thanks to Joss for hosting.

One more "office day" is nearly over, and I have yet to commit my workshop outline to Powerpoint. Way to procrastinate. I did, however, wrangle the letterhead, business card, and Web template out of our graphic designer. He's wonderful, the logos are powerful, and the products are beautiful. The benefits will be large. I also got my secretary started on catering estimates for the conference and purchasing nametag holders, so it has not been a wasted day at all. However, I have to leave for the retreat on Sunday and I have not prepared anything for my presentation there. I really don't want to go.

18 July 2006

All Those Stupid Questionnaires in One Post

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
And various uniformed military. In several countries.

2. What color are your eyes?

3. When was the last time you went sledding?
A couple of years ago, with Suzanne and Bernadette, before lunch at The Cozy.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
With someone else, unless I'm sick or angry.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
I suppose.

7. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
All Angie, all the time.

8. Who was your first crush?
Tony. 4-year-old Kindegarten

9. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
More than one.

10. Have you ever been ice skating?
I was on my college team.

11. How often do you remember your dreams?
Sleeping ones? Often. Unfortunately, I'm a lucid dreamer so I often create them in addition to remembering them.

12. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Thursday night before everybody left.

13. Can you name 4 songs by The Beatles?
Yes, and sing their harmonies.

14. What's the one thing always on your mind?
My unresolved romantic urges.

15. What talent do you wish you had?

16. Do you know anyone in jail?

17. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Often enough to have a couple of scars.

18. Have you ever been punched in the face?
No, but I've been slapped and kicked in the face.

19. Do you own any stuffed animals?
Billy, my bullfrog.

20. Do you have a major crush on someone?
Of course. I've written about him below.

21. Do you miss someone right now?
I am terminally nostalgic and lonely.

22. What are you listening to right now?
The Kojo Nnambi show.

23. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry?
River Phoenix.

24. What color underwear/boxers are you wearing?

25. Where do you work?
The library, the church, the Airport campus, and my home office

26. What ended your last relationship?
Debilitating mental illness.

27. What food do you crave right now?
Chevre on ginger nuts.

28. What was the last TV show you watched?
Daily Show.

29. What is the last thing you ate?
Raspberry NutriGrain Breakfast Bar.

30. Are you on any medication?

31. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Whatever side is farthest from the door.

32. What color shirt are you wearing?

33. What is your favorite frozen treat?
Kroger brand holiday special Peppermint Ice Cream

34. How many tattoos/piercing do you have?

35. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married?
I imagine myself STILL married.

36. Have you ever done something to instigate trouble?
Yes, and it's childish and I should stop.

37. Do you like your nose?
Yes, but is it possible that it is changing shape?!

38. What color is your bedroom?
Lilac and chocolate.

39. Where do you live?
Columbia, SC

40. Are you an aggressive driver?
Yes, but a very good one.

41. What color is your car?
One green, one blue.

42. What do you smell like right now?
Rosemary and sage.

43. What is your favorite color?

44. What character from a movie/TV most reminds you of yourself?
Aspirationally? Anything Mary-Louise Parker plays. Realistically? They don't put people like me on TV.

45. Do you enjoy giving hugs?
Not quite as much as I like getting them.

46. Do you own a digital camera?
A few and they're all either misplaced or missing parts.

47. What books, if any, have made you cry?
I'm a recovering English major. My answer to this is far too long to interest anyone.

48. Are you a jealous person?

49. 69?
Yes, but I have major reservations about its efficacy.

50. What shoes are you wearing right now?
Black leather strappy sandals.

51. What is your major weakness?
Charismatic men who call me "Sugar."

52. Do you suffer motion sickness?
Often, even while sitting in a club chair on the ground floor of a building on a permanent foundation.

53. What's the best pizza?
Goat cheese, pancetta, basil, cantaloupe, and black pepper.

54. Longest relationship?
4.2 years.

55. Are you afraid of thunderstorms?
Take me to the beach during a thunderstorm on a full moon and I will do absolutely anything you want or can dream of. And I howl.

56. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Or dead.

57. Have you ever given or been given an engagement ring?

58. What was the last gift someone gave you?
A manila envelope stuffed with original refrigerator art by my nephew.

59. Who would you call first if you won the lottery?
My attorney, of course.

60. Can you cook?
Better than everyone I know except Drew.

61. What is your favorite jelly/jam?
Black currant.

62. Can you swim?
1990 European Youth Champion in 100m backstroke.

63. What is your first memory?
Trying to convince Tony P. that I was strong enough and smart enough to lift up my parents' (brick) house with one finger.

No, I think that it is sitting on my hospital bed with one of the nurses and turning Tootsie Pops into little ghosts with tissues, a black marker, and a roll of suturing thread so that I would have something to distribute when the other kids on the ward came by to Trick or Treat.

64. What item would you like to have buried with you?
I don't want to be buried (I'd really prefer to evaporate or desiccate very very quickly), but I'd like to be surrounded by my years of correspondence with Elizabeth. Unfortunately, she's named as my literary executor in my will, so her job will be more difficult than she may have anticipated.

65. What are three things you're dying to have right now that would make everything just about perfect?
The ever elusive book contract, a size 8 figure, and the right man.

Everybody Loves Me

Between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, FIVE people told me they loved me. Five people who each rendered me speechless when they did it. Five people who have either not done it before, haven't done it often/long enough for me to be used to it, or who are under no obligation to do so in order to protect potential future claims for organ transplants. I am not accustomed to being loved.

But since I'm on a roll, here are some people who *I* love but upon whom I do not rely for future organ match:
The Threesome Twosome
Goth Girl
Elizabeth (even if she won't talk to me) (for almost a year)
High School Sweetheart
Greg (potentially)
my colleague's sculptor professor friend
my colleague
Daniel (there is also the potential to be IN LOVE with him)
Janice et al
Little Ed (though he's also an organ transplant type)
Susan (no, the other one)

I may be falling in love with a little with SW. As a matter of fact, today he is meeting up with a former non-gay boyfriend of mine from high school. William may be the most suitable beau I've ever had, and I still adore him, and I think he's probably even better suited to me now than he was then. MGBF is particularly keen to hang with Will so that he can hear stories about old me. This makes me both impossibly nervous and thoroughly charmed
at the same time. I HATE giving up the control over the stories, but I also hate missing them--I can hardly imagine what stories Will has! However, this is also the first time (I think, can that be?!) I've been involved with someone who was so sweetly curious to understand who I used to be that he would seek out my old friends on his own. I don't know what to do!

I absolutely cannot fall in love with MGBF. This might should teach me something about why I always end up with self-involved straight men for whom solicitousness never reaches beyond perfunctory. Maybe I shouldn't be so worried--I get hurt either way.

Yesterday, I cleaned my apartment, painted the living room and dining room of my new house (first coat only), and talked to England on the phone for three hours then sobbed in my car for half an hour and drove home. I cheered myself up by drinking a bottle of wine, washing and setting my hair, and reading Harry Potter then sleeping on clean sheets. It only worked a little. Today, my horrible boss keeps mentioning how sorry he is that I didn't get to go on the trip, but how useful it is that I'm still here. How could he possibly think this would do anything but make me feel wretched?

Pleasing Manifestations of Solicitousness:
Asking what I like/think/want
Ringing me up to say "good night"
Offering his arm only when I need it (physically and/or emotionally)
Casually touching me when he refers to me in a group conversation
Putting my things in places where they cannot be broken
Describing me favorably to strangers
Following me home when I'm driving while tired/sick/sad
Taking responsibility for my chores
Thinking up ways to make my life easier/better
Remembering little tiny ephemeral comments or incidents and recounting them significantly
Refraining from discussing subjects that upset me when I don't need to address them
Seeking out my analysis/expertise for his own concerns
Making me feel safe
Complimenting me
Noticing details about me
Requesting my time and company
Celebrating our relationship
Looking out for and reminding me of my safety and happiness