Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I woke up 12 minutes late today. The alarm didn't ring, I think I forgot to set it. Luckily the internal clock was working and it was 12 minutes, not two hours.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lunch at home

So I did something today that I rarely do: I went home for lunch. The drive is about 25 minutes each way. I get one hour for that leaves about ten minutes to eat.

I had two somewhat stupid reasons for doing it -- bread and my cell phone. I left my cell phone on the charger at home. Not that big of a deal but without it you think, what if there's an emergency, what if I miss someone's text. So *sigh* I went home and got it (one person had texted me, but they had also e-mailed me, so what was the point of that?). Second reason, there was some delicious bread my mom had bought that I had wanted to pack in my lunch but didn't. And at 11 a.m. bread started to sound really, really good.

I was speeding slightly on the way home, lucky to avoid a wreck in a construction zone, which I would have seen as a punishment for this frivolous trip.

Twenty or so minutes past that I was finally home. Work is a hotbed of stress. Home is a light-filled quiet oasis of tranquility. The dog didn't even notice I was home until I went upstairs, then she offered her usual greeting and hung around as I warmed up beef stew. The bread did indeed taste good soaked in the stew. What I really wanted to do after lunch was go upstairs and take a nap.

But I didn't even have time to eat my orange before I left again. I did some more speeding down the highway, listening to Fresh Air and hoping I wouldn't be late, and I wasn't. I walked back into work at 12:30 on the dot.
Listened to this Fresh Air piece at lunchtime and was oddly spellbound by it:
Playing with unexpected flavors and scents plays a big part in (Grant) Achatz's kitchen. Some of Alinea's dishes are served alongside a pillow case with tiny holes in it, designed to release certain fragrances while diners eat.

"We've done firewood ashes, we've done leather, we've done grass," says Achatz. "There's a lot of smells that you can't necessarily consume. You're not going to go out and chew on a baseball glove. But, in a lot of ways, a lot of smells that aren't necessarily edible smell good, and they remind you of certain aspects of food. So making those associations with what smells good or smells a certain way and pairing that with actual edible ingredients is one avenue that we take creatively."

It's amazing that someone can design that kind of experience for a meal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Liked this open letter to Sinead O'Connor on A Nun's Life blog, after O'Connor apparently said she was "in the peak of my sexual prime and way too lovely to be living like a nun":

I feel bad that this essence of a nun’s life has eluded you and that the joy and meaning that you seek seems to have been reduced to sex and a stubbily companion. While both of these things can truly be awesome, they are not what makes you who you are as a person. That starts from within.

Had my nails done yesterday. Woo, sparkly!

Here's my screensaver this morning:

Hard to believe I was there six weeks ago. But hurricane weather makes me think twice about my dream of living on the beach.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's my day off, why the heck am I on a computer?

I just realized I have nothing interesting to link to now that I don't read TIME magazine anymore. Should I resubscribe? The other day someone asked me what I thought about the Gadhafi situation in Libya. I said I really didn't know that much about it. *So embarrassing* since I work for the news! But not international news. Still, one should at least have some understanding of world news just for awareness, even if it's not a big part of my work.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I wish I wasn't addicted to

- Skittles
- Texting

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some things I scribbled down in my journal last night:

Maybe what is lacking is a way to express myself, truly. If I could just have one moment of honesty with the world I would be happy. For that moment, anyway.

I think if one person could just see me for who I really am and see some goodness there I would be happy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The week

So I made it to Saturday. I complained to just about everyone I know about having to work the weekend shift last week, then a regular five-day week this week, for a total of seven days in a row. The outrage. But is it really that big of a deal? I've done nine days in a row. And it's not like this is required of me that frequently.

But it did put a squeeze on my time, moreso than usual. I went out, tired, after work last Saturday, Thursday and Friday. The reasoning being if I don't force myself to go out after work then all the relationships I've built will wither up and die. I would try to pick things up the next week and it wouldn't be the same.

Is it so selfish to ask for a day to myself? Where I don't feel like a work robot? Where I don't feel obligated to be somewhere or that I have outstanding chores to do?

The past couple days I haven't even felt tired, I've felt that exhilaration that comes when you push through the tiredness and don't even care anymore.

Anyway, now that I've vented a little I feel better. I will clean the bathroom today (because it *really* needs it) then take some time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. "Enjoy" is a verb I need to become acquainted with again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The weekend

A weekend of going to work...I think I'm used to the weekend shift by now. I tried not to think about the softball game and mornings of sleeping late that I missed. On the weekend you're more in control, which is both a good and bad thing.

I went to see "Underworld" at the Plaza Classic Film Festival yesterday. Silent film from 1927 with live music accompanying. Characters named Bull Weed, Feathers and Rolls Royce. Loved it. Watching a silent film all the way through is a unique experience. I haven't done it since film class in high school (and probably won't again until next year's film festival). But it's funny how you don't really miss the dialogue all that much. Isn't there some statistic that says 90 percent of communication is non-verbal? You can tell what's going on very easily.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm making rosemary and lemon chicken and spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce for dinner tonight. I squeezed the lemon juice by hand and bought fresh rosemary for the marinade. Hopefully it will be good. As for the sauce, I did buy canned tomatoes but the basil is fresh.

As I've said previously, it's nice not to work on a Thursday. Everything quiet. I don't feel the same urgency to do the household chores.

I'll write an update on how the dinner came out.

Update, as promised: The chicken came out quite good, if I do say so myself. Tender, lemony, the rosemary adding a nice note of flavor. Spaghetti was decent, though I tend to like things spicier. Some fresh parmesan made it better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Unbroken

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The title is quite self-explanatory. And yet the story holds sharp turns, surprises, and descriptions of circumstances that will make your eyes pop out, all told through the unflinching prose of Laura Hillenbrand.

Our hero Louis Zamperini is a resourceful, mischievous, pie-stealing child of Italian parents in Torrance, California, and after that a college track star. He's even good enough to earn a spot in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

But then the war begins and this becomes a different story, one of B-24 planes, the Pacific, and the Japanese.

The story takes a turn for the astounding when Louie's plane crashes, killing all but three aboard. How does he survive six weeks on a life raft in the Pacific, when food and water rations have run out, sharks are below and Japanese bombers threaten above? It seems literally impossible, forcing you to wonder, What are the limits of the human body? And even if the body survives, can the mind and spirit?

After that it becomes a POW story. It's different to hear the story of World War II from the eyes of a POW. The war to Louie becomes years of cruelty with no end in sight, in particular from one Japanese man who is bent on torturing him. News of battles is from new POWs and smuggled, translated newspapers. "Resilience" as a word doesn't begin to capture what kind of inner fortitude Louie and the other POWs needed to survive daily beatings, starvation, disease, and psychological torture.

And finally, there's redemption. Louie comes home from the war, begins drinking heavily, is tormented by nightmares, and is on the brink of divorce from his new wife. But his story couldn't end like that...could it? Again Louie averts a disastrous fate.

This is a fantastic work of nonfiction that deserves its spot on the bestseller list. It's a great story that is told very well -- with beautiful, flowing prose, and in a way that is inspirational but not saccharine. I am buying Laura Hillenbrand's next book.

Monday, August 08, 2011

I'm back at softball again. I didn't think I ever would be :-). After one season I'm OK to play right field and catcher (but only if the team doesn't have enough players, lol).

One can't be good at everything in life.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Movie meme

via feeling listless

1. Movie you love with a passion.
Say Anything. "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that"

2. Movie you vow to never watch.
Black Swan. Too creepy.

3. Movie that literally left you speechless.
American Beauty. Will never watch this movie again if I can avoid it.

4. Movie you always recommend.
Cemetery Man.

5. Actor/actress you always watch, no matter how crappy the movie.
Russell Crowe / Toni Collette.

6. Actor/actress you don’t get the appeal for.
George Clooney / Jennifer Aniston. Don't these two play the same character in every movie, really?

7. Actor/actress, living or dead, you’d love to meet.
Kate Winslet / Daniel Radcliffe.

8. Sexiest actor/actress you’ve seen (with picture).

Gerard Butler.

9. Dream cast.
The Hours.

10. Favourite actor pairing.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

12. Favourite decade for movies?
Toss-up between '80s and 2000s.

13. Chick flick or action movie?
Chick flick. I think action movies can have so much "action" it's mind-numbing.

14. Hero, villain or anti-hero?

15. Black and white or colour?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The end

So the Boyfriend is no longer. The relationship terminated. Actually, more like dissolved slowly over the last months. In the end I didn't know which was more painful, keeping it going and feeling pretty miserable or ending it and being ALONE again.

Of all people, J.Lo had some wise words about a break-up: "To understand that a person is not good for you, or that the person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me."

*Ugh* I think there is a point where it simply *cannot* go on longer. It seems inevitable for it to end. Trying to stop it is like trying to stop gravity. That's hard to accept, though. The good times of the relationship were really good. They made being alone seem like hell in comparison. On the other hand, the low times made being alone seem liberating. There's a simplicity to being single, a simplicity that seems welcome after awhile.

Part of the problem was I never felt like I could be my most natural self with him. He never saw me in glasses or frumpy work clothes, rarely without make-up. I pretended to be interested in beer, because he was. I didn't go into my long analyses of current events that I do with my friends, afraid I would bore him. I didn't talk about religion, afraid of the conflict it would cause. I never showed him this blog. To be fair, I suspect he may have also altered some things about himself trying to meet my expectations (which some might say are too high). I guess this is part of every relationship. But I suppose a long-lasting relationship means the person accepts you for what you are, mostly. What you are naturally is what pleases the other person. Like the song, "I love you just the way you are..."

We were far apart in many ways ... and I ignored it. We had different expectations for the relationship. In the end I was waiting for an "I love you" that never came.

Were the sweet times worth the hurt? Right now it seems like they just make the pain worse.

I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm rejected, I'm angry. I'm punched in the stomach. The biggest question: Can I be happy being alone? I think the answer could be yes but it's going to take a while.


You know what? I get annoyed with people who say they hate El Paso, too. I get so tired of people saying I wish El Paso had [insert quality of life feature] like [insert bigger, wealthier city]. Or people here are so dumb, or rude, or you wish they spoke English and blah, blah, blah. *Of course* there's room for improvement, but if you're going to criticize, at least make it constructive. And if you really can't stand it, you can always move.