Her Green Figs

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

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

15 July 2006

Home Alone

So, I'm not in G. I'm home alone while all my daily friends are de-jet-lagging over pints as I type this. I was still hopeful yesterday that I would be able to hop on the bus at the last minute, but I wasn't allowed. Instead, I went to a kitchen design appointment and to 3 decorator warehouses and to the liquor store (Pimms! I found Pimms!) and to the grocery store. Then I came home and boiled/cleaned my pipe, filled it and emptied it to astonishing effect, and watched most of season 1 of Weeds on DVD. As you may remember, I LOVE Mary-Louise Parker, and this program does not disappoint.

In a couple of hours, I'm going to show off my new house to a crowd of friends/neighbors. Gotta get over there soon to clean up for that. At the moment, there is all kinds of evidence of my relationship with my painter. Things should be boxed and closed and tidied.

WHAT if HeartThrob is at tonight's party?! Wouldn't that be something? Night before last, BB told me about a recent coversation with my HeartThrob, who is thrilled that BB will be managing the bar where I hang and where HeartThrob's band plays. HeartThrob suggested that they learn "Afternoon Delight" to perform with the band. He'll sing tenor, BB will (obviously) sing Bass, FrizBlob will sing soprano (ick), and they just have to find an alto. BB (obviously) knows what part I sing, since we work together, singing, so I'm sure he was up to something with mentioning their alto need. I, cool, coy, asked, "where're you gonna find someone willing?" Instead of replying, "well, if you ever want to displace FrizBlob, you might want to take me up on my helpful arrangments," he said, "we're all choir dorks, I'm sure we can find one somewhere." Of course, I've already iTuned a new recording so I'll be prepared.

I'd love to make out with some fine man tonight in Charleston.

13 July 2006

T Minus 26 Hours

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to G with the rest of my ensemble. This makes me very sad. I have prepared shopping lists for a few of them, and attached US cash, so, if they think of me at all while they're there, they will know just what it is that might alleviate my homesickness. Fruit Pastilles and Yorkshire pudding mix will help. A little.

I might go get my passport out of the deposit box tomorrow morning just in case though.

I have not allowed myself even to pull out my suitcase, much less to pack it, "just in case."

I AM looking forward to a great party though, which is a nice consolation prize of sorts, though the two events are completely unrelated. I should get another set of friends anyway. For spares. Or for enhancement, really.

EG and C are taking me with them to the beach for a week in September. I think I actually wished for this exactly, and I'm a little creeped out that it's happening. I'd really love it if I had a boyfriend to take with me though. I don't care that this means that I have to cancel a week of class. I probably won't. I'll cancel Wednesday or Friday and drive back into town for the other day. That's a fair compromise. I told them I would cook and entertain and bring greens. They are thrilled. I am thrilled.

I'm having lunch with AW and MH.

11 July 2006

43 Things That I'm Thinking About

1. Violet cannot possibly be anyone's natural eye color.
2. My brand new grill came without the knobby thing to turn on the extra burner.
3. Power painters simply do not work.
4. It is entirely possible that I could fall in love with a man who does nothing other than to leave me a voicemail that says, "I'm taking your power painter to the hardware store tomorrow to see what they suggest. I'm also going to pick up some more tape and drop off the overdue library books I found in the dining room. Call me when you get home to say good night."
5. Do I not notice any more when STRAIGHT men are nice to me? Or are they just not nice to me? If so, why?
6. Zits that hide in hair are cagey little devils.
7. Johnny Depp is WONDERFUL. He's awfully good as a (Disney) pirate, even though I prefer him as a Celtic pirate (Chocolat).
8. 45 minutes of Johnny Depp being a pirate would be better than 2 hours of Johnny Depp and a whole lot of other people I don't care about running around in some silly plot (though the costuming was quite nice).
9. 44 oz. of Diet Cherry Coke is NOT EQUIVALENT to 8 hours of sleep.
10. 31 is probably too old to go to work after just 3 hours of sleep.
11. 31 is NOT too old to stay up all night smoking, playing 20 Questions, lying around on a stranger's bed, and googling real people we know.
12. Apparently, $84,000 is not a lot of money after all.
13. A 3% raise is practically invisible and doesn't even buy one nice dishwasher.
14. A part-time salary that is HALF my previous full-time salary becomes really uncomfortable once I've spent the $84,000 that was in my bank account(s).
15. I need another $84,000.
16. No, I WANT another $84,000.
17. If I don't go to England on Friday, I could go to that party Saturday night and find myself a handsome and smart and talented straight man over whom to swoon.
18. I'm still swooning over the handsome and smart and talented and immature and addicted and sloppy and already taken (though not formally) man I already know about.
19. I have lost my talent of picking paint colors. My taupe turned out to be caramel and my misty lavender turned out to be very Dr. Seussical. God only knows what the green for the kitchen is going to look like!
20. People are actually registering for my conference. Now I actually have to go through with planning and staging it. Darnit.
21. Swearing at church, even if it's in the choir room and even if it's Anglican, is still frowned upon. Whoops.
22. 44 oz. of Diet Cherry Coke DOES equal having to go to the bathroom often.
23. I really do enjoy days when I attend four entirely separate social events, all of which are planned fewer than 60 minutes before they occur.
24. I can really sing!
25. But I should memorize the words to more songs.
26. People like me! They really like me!
27. I am desperately in need of a good snog.
28. If I don't go to England on Friday, I can see all three of my aunts, one of my uncles (the only one who counts), my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephew on Sunday.
29. If I don't go to England on Friday, I don't have to work on Sunday.
30. My new house is HUGE. I hope I can arrange for it to be consistently filled with people both well known and new.
31. Nobody can make a living adjunct teaching in SC technical colleges.
32. One semester's adjunct salary will buy a refrigerator and the reupholstering of one chair.
33. I love having a man's energy in my house. I'd forgotten.
34. I should smile more.
35. I am not that special. Lots of people have travelled the world, know when to use sesame oil, play multiple instruments, speak multiple languages, can navigate LC call numbers, know how to set a proper table, recreate with prescription drugs, renovate their kitchens, read good books, and have $84,000.
36. I'm probably overdoing my purple thing.
37. Most people are really bad gift-givers.
38. I really love to drive and I'm really good at it.
39. I miss driving a manual transmission.
40. I've been practicing being vulnerable, but I'm still not very good at it and I don't really know how to practice it more.
41. Spectacles DO make their wearers appear more thoughtful when they are worn less often than constantly.
42. I should finish that story about W and Miss Anne and give it to MS before she moves all the way across the country.
43. EH could probably be a pretty good friend if she doesn't move and I make the effort.