PA, hair, and hunger

Monday’s PA reminds me a lot of this one.

So I’m thinking about my hair. It’s quite an achievement to have hair this long. So I’m wondering if I really should cut it. Maybe I should just get some bangs. But not traditional bangs, because those look doofy. Just shorter hair in the front. Or something. Does anyone have hair styling tips?

I know Sean likes my hair long, so it might be nice to leave it that way. But my family all says they liked my hair chin-length better. Decisions, decisions…

In other news, I was running late this morning and didn’t have time to grab a Slim-Fast for breakfast…and I’m hungry :P I’m thinking about just having a regular breakfast after work and then saving the Slim-Fasts for lunch and dinner. It could work. Of course, that raises the question of where to go and what to eat. I was thinking of the Student Center, but that involves moving my car to the parking structure. I could just stop at McDonald’s on my way home, but that’s not as healthy. There isn’t a huge difference, but there’s enough of one. Sigh.

I’ve got some things on my mind; maybe I’ll write about them a little later.

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Good to know

Is it safe?

Absolutely. Astroglide‘s water-based, non-toxic formula is completely safe. In fact, Astroglide has been enjoyed, and we do mean enjoyed, for nearly a decade. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ever stop testing it ourselves.”

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I voted!

I also wanted you all (yes, all three of you) to see how freakishly long my hair is. I’m thinking about getting it cut to chin-length. That will be quite a change, but it looks good that way…so we’ll see. First I need to get paid again. I’m running out of money ;_;

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Art work

I just discovered that Christopher Baldwin quoted me in his update for today’s Bruno. It’s kind of flattering to see that he and I are on the same wavelength about art…although that wavelength is sort of depressing.

For my own records, I’d like to quote my original message, Chris’ response, and my response to his response below. To add some background material for those who don’t read Bruno, the main character in this webcomic is a woman artist who I don’t usually agree with, and yet she is perfectly rendered as a character, as a person. Right now she is working in a strip club. She felt that it was something she had to do, something she had to face. I was responding to this, and the fact that her friends were being overly “understanding”. But then I just went off on a tangent. I know, hard to believe…;)

My Original Post

I wonder if Bruno is going to get tired of her friends being “understanding” about her stripping. They all seem to make the same kind of uncomfortable jokes, e.g., “Oh, you’re dressed to go out [to the strip club], I see”, and they are invariably wrong.

Okay, so it’s only happened twice…but more than once is enough!

I also wonder if she’s going to start making enough money stripping to quit her corporate job. If that happened, I’m not sure she’d be any happier, seeing as how she says she hates her “jobs“.

Whatever happened to that online editing she was doing? Did I miss her quitting or something? (I found that job fascinating because I would love to do that myself, but the only way I could really find to do it would be to start my own business. I couldn’t find any information about joining someone else’s.) Anyway, she seemed much freer when she was doing that–she could travel whenever she wanted to and still have steady work.

I suppose she could always become a “working writer”, but that seems to often cost more than it pays out. Many literary journals have submission fees, and then there’s postage, and often you only get paid $15, if anything. (Really!) I was actually surprised that she wrote a novel first, before establishing herself as a writer through short stories published in literary journals. My writing teachers all tell me that that is the way to go :>

Another option for Bruno might be a newspaper reporter or copy editor, but these positions typically require a degree. I wish she’d find a way to go back to school. Not because it’s what everybody does and therefore she should do it, but because it opens up so many opportunities. I feel bad that she’s 28 and stuck in these dead-end jobs. I mean really, where is she going to go? It seems like she could only move laterally, not up the ladder.

And the reason for wanting to move up the ladder are not so that you can make more money, period. The reason is so that you can have the freedom to do more with yourself…which unfortunately costs money in our society.

I wonder if Bruno’s depression doesn’t partially stem from the knowledge (assumption?) that where she’s at right now is where she’s going to be for the rest of her life, unless 1) her novel is insanely popular; 2) she goes back to school. That may be why she was so afraid to send off the book…that act signaled her entrance into the proving-ground.

I wish she had married Stanley, because then she could just live however she wanted to without worrying about money. Then again, that may be why she didn’t marry Stanley…she wanted to make her own happiness.

Pride, ethics, ideals, and the need to do more for yourself than just put food on the table are all hard things to juggle…

Christopher Baldwin’s Response

As someone posted on the bulletin board about bruno:

I was actually surprised that she wrote a novel first, before establishing herself as a writer through short stories published in literary journals. My writing teachers all tell me that that is the way to go :)

And you know, if you want to make money, that’s the way to go. I mean yeah, I am so frikkin’ poor, and money problems depress me more than probably anything else in life, I worry a lot. But I love art. I love it. And I don’t like short stories. It’s not about being “purist” or some high-brow crap. I love art. And to create it in any way other than from in me, something that i value and cherish, dampens and ruins it for me. I have a job as an illustrator for two years and have done a fair amount (and still do) of freelance. And it’s no good. i really think one of the worst thing that’s happened to art in this country is that the really good artists go into writing movies or television, or the good artists go to marvel comics or disney. I think that only the exceptions, not the rules, have been giving the real breath of life to most of today’s mediums. Yeah, fine, the Sopranos is a good show. But I can turn it off without any remorse. I can’t say that about reading Horricks’ “Hicksville” or watching Miyazaki’s “Totoro”. And every person who tell you that this is “the only way”, means it is the only way they can imagine to reach a certain goal. First, there may be other ways, and second, they may be imagining that everyone’s goal to be the same as their own.

Hell, if any of you have created a body of work which you have pursued out of beauty and love for it, and feel it would be welcomed by not enough people to ever get “seriously” published, feel free to send me a copy, maybe i’ll do it, or maybe help walk you through it and help sell it. I don’t know. Just, if you draw comics, and love it, fuck marvel. fuck disney. Eat rice and beans and give the world something worth reading.

And most of all, don’t listen to a word I’ve said, because I’ve been nothing but discouraged and depressed lately about ever escaping my 9-5 due to creating something “beautiful”. Bruno will never make me a living, and nothing else so far seems to either. There’s a joy I’ve only felt in that freedom of creating something which means SO MUCH to me, but it can also carry a hell of a price. And if life is (among possibly a few other lofty goals) to be happy, when does the misery of poverty and no free time to enjoy life catch up to you?

My Response to His Response

I am very flattered to be quoted…and on the front page no less! Of course, my smile :> isn’t exactly a :), it’s more of a smirk…I thought I’d point that out because I’m not sure I agree with my writing professors that “that is the way to go”.

I truly enjoyed what you wrote this morning, Chris, and I must say that I share your feelings on the subject. I’m currently getting a degree in English with a creative writing focus, and I’ve been focused on the short story–basically because those are all I’ve ever written. I tried to write a science fiction novel once, but I ran out of material in about three chapters. I think either the short form is all there is for me, or I need to grow as a writer more before I can handle a novel.

In any case, in my earlier writing classes we were asked to write one short story per week. These stories could be pretty much any length, but they typically wanted at least six pages. After two semesters of this I grew so frustrated that I wrote a short story about artists who were forced to “manufacture” their art forms in order to make a living. One of them killed himself because no one understood his paintings, and another, a journalist who really wanted to do creative writing, ended up having to chronicle the whole thing for the paper. The story was mediocre, but it was how I felt at the time, and still do, to a certain degree.

I sometimes feel like the people in my writing classes are on the “right track” and I’m just some sort of poser. I write when I want to, and that doesn’t seem to happen often enough for me to “establish myself” through short stories in literary journals. It’s kind of depressing, but at the same time I just can’t bring myself to “do what it takes”. Sometimes I wonder if I have any right at all to feel this way, or if I’m just being lazy.

I’m actually kicking around the idea of an online “coterie” of writers. Coterie, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a word from the Renaissance, and it refers to a group of artists who get together and read and help each other with art. Back then people would often write epic poems or plays together, not worried about who got credit for it. No one got credit, really, because it was underground–unpublished save through manuscripts that were passed around privately. No one got profit, either, which is why this was mainly a phenomenon occurring in the upper class. The lower classes couldn’t afford such leisure.

But I think the Internet can be–and is already, to a certain extent–the great equalizer. Even though the bubble has burst, there are still ways for people to get webspace and share ideas. I was thinking of using my personal website as a jumping-off point for writers (and other artists, eventually) to do the same sorts of thing as people did in coteries. We would all just get together and put up what we were working on at that time, and talk about it and see what we wanted to do with it. There would likely be no profit, unless we ended up putting out a publication, but that wouldn’t be a concern at the beginning. The concern would be the discussion, which I feel is missing from most literary journals. To submit to a journal, your piece pretty much has to be done. They often won’t tell you what’s “wrong” with it when they reject it.

So anyway, that’s just an idea I’ve been mulling over…I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to upgrade my webserver so that I can do that (currently I can’t run scripts, which I would sort of need for a forum), so it’s all up in the air at the moment.

I think forums like this one sort of serve the same purpose…but not really, because they are generally targeted to a particular, ongoing piece of art. Elfwood is also something like what I’m talking about, but not really. I want to establish a teaching, learning community, where everyone’s voice is important and valid, but where everyone respects each other, too.

Ah, pipe dreams…

In the meantime, I’m wondering how I’m going to finance all this, and what (if anything) my English degree will do for me in the Real World. I think I will be falling back on my Linguistics degree, really…so that’s my Regular Job. It’s a good thing I like linguistics. But I do wish there was some way for artists to produce work that is appreciated by people without having to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Anyway, Chris, I just want to say that it’s inspiring that you keep doing Bruno and your other projects, even though you feel that you won’t be able to make a living that way. I’m glad you can follow your heart, and respond to things with your gut, and present a new world to us every day. It’s really amazing that you’re able to do that.


So yeah. I have been thinking about that e-coterie, quite a bit. That’s part of the reason this site is set up with nonfunctioning “comments” areas. Someday, when I feel like coughing up more money to pay for cgi, Perl, and whatnot, I will expand my site so that people can comment on my work, and hopefully someday post up their own to be commented on. This is really a dream that I don’t want to die. Hopefully after I graduate and I’m making a decent amount of money, I’ll be able to afford it.

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Poor Hai :>

hnphn (5:38:00 AM): how is the collector’s edition of spider-man?

Alindrea (5:38:04 AM): nice :D

Alindrea (5:38:09 AM): oh, check this out: http://brunostrip.com/bruno.html

hnphn (5:38:10 AM): what’s in it?

Alindrea (5:38:14 AM): there’s a comic book

Alindrea (5:38:17 AM): and a lithograph

Alindrea (5:38:26 AM): and a DVD about Stan Lee’s mutants and monsters with Kevin Smith

Alindrea (5:38:37 AM): and it’s all in a nice box :>

Alindrea (5:38:52 AM): btw Bruno is stripping now

Alindrea (5:39:03 AM): she says it was something she felt she had to do…:P

Alindrea (5:39:29 AM): I’ve never really found her all that attractive, but apparently she’s supposed to be

hnphn (5:40:58 AM): ahhh… that explains the comic =P

hnphn (5:41:19 AM): btw, reread what you wrote and pretend that i hadn’t a clue you were talking about spider-man for like a minute or so

Alindrea (5:42:09 AM): I suppose that would be confusing…unfortunately I don’t really see an innuendo

Alindrea (5:42:18 AM): unless you think perhaps everything is crammed up into Bruno’s “box”

Alindrea (5:42:24 AM): but that’s rather crude, not to mention impossible

Alindrea (5:42:26 AM): sure, she’s easy

Alindrea (5:42:31 AM): but I don’t think she’s that loose

hnphn (5:42:35 AM): ummm… not innuendo

hnphn (5:42:43 AM): just confusing and like “what?!?”

Alindrea (5:42:47 AM): hehehe

Alindrea (5:42:50 AM): well, you asked

Alindrea (5:42:51 AM): :>

hnphn (5:42:53 AM): yeah, i know

hnphn (5:42:55 AM): but i mean

hnphn (5:42:59 AM): i open up a comic strip

hnphn (5:43:06 AM): with a naked woman and a half naked one

hnphn (5:43:12 AM): then you talk about lithographs and comics

Alindrea (5:43:15 AM): lol

Alindrea (5:43:17 AM): I forgot

Alindrea (5:43:21 AM): you’re male

hnphn (5:43:26 AM): lol

hnphn (5:43:33 AM): thanks?

Alindrea (5:43:38 AM): hahaha

hnphn (5:43:52 AM): gah

hnphn (5:44:00 AM): it worries me when i get that “you’re an honorary girl, hai”

Alindrea (5:44:05 AM): ROFLMAO

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Diet-Mode, and Initial D

I slipped in the garage door–I still sometimes think of it as that, even though technically it’s the office door, and there isn’t a garage door there to speak of at all–to be hit by the scent of cooking bacon. Yum. Dad was cooking, and as I moved through the kitchen to deposit my bags in my room, I saw that he’d not only made bacon, but had fried two eggs over easy and slipped them onto two pieces of toast. Da-yamn. Breakfast food is altogether too good.

Unfortunately, I’m shifting back into diet-mode after a weekend of revelry. I didn’t stray too far from the Holy Path of Slim Fast, but I did end up eating two Not-So-Sensible Meals each day instead of having two shakes and one Sensible Dinner. Well, that, and I ate some cake. But not much! :>

Anyway, no breakfast food for me. I had my breakfast shake already, and right now I’m enjoying my scheduled snack bar–chocolate peanut nougat–and a mug of sugar-free cocoa. This diet is so chocolate-oriented…it’s perfect :> Actually, though, I bought some shakes of different flavors last time: banana cream, strawberry, vanilla…oh, okay, and dark chocolate fudge. I’m not a freaking rock you know!

Right now I’m grooving to Initial D music. I started reading the first manga from TokyoPop last night, and finished it up this morning at work. And yow. This stuff is great!

One of my friends–was it Hai?–sent me the first couple episodes of the Initial D anime one time, and I watched it till about halfway, got bored, and deleted it. Of course, since then, Hai has shipped me the entire series, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’m just saying, the manga is that riveting. I didn’t think I was interested in the subject at all, but I could hardly put it down. And to think, I never imagined that I would be this fascinated by a bunch of boys racing cars around in the mountains of Japan :> (In one section, a character says “Come on, Racer X, show yourself”. I thought that was hilarious :D)

Apparently the names are translated wrong…which sucks. I appear to have the bad translation, since the girl’s name is “Natalie” in my copy, and her name is supposed to be “Natsuki”. Bah. Well, at least the main character’s name isn’t changed, and I can understand the story…but still, I suppose I should be happy I have fansubs of the anime ;P

In other news, “Bunta” is one of the coolest names ever. I’ll have to use it somewhere. Of course, people will think it’s a Star Wars reference…

Well, I have a story revision due on Thursday, as well as other things. I forget what. So I should probably get started.

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Ninjas!

Geibu

This would have been an AIM Buddy Icon if I could make it smaller without it looking all crappy. Ah, well. 3y3 /\/\ |\|0t l33t.

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Three years old

Today is Connor’s birthday party. If world history is demarcated by wars, my family history is demarcated by birthdays, holidays, and events. Those are the times when we take pictures, after all :)

He’s going to be three. It’s really amazing to think that that much time has gone by. Connor at three…which means that Sean and I have been together for four years, since we started dating approximately a year before he was born. How time flies…and yet it seems like Sean and I have been together forever, that four years is really too short to describe our relationship. It also seems like it’s been an eternity, since throughout most of that time we haven’t been able to see and touch each other every day.

Long distance relationships suck.

I packed a few things today. There are two months left, but I have a lot of stuff, so I figured it might be a good idea to go ahead and start. I put all the VHS tapes and all the journals and photos I’m keeping into two Colorado Prime boxes, and carted them down to the basement. Now, of course, I’m tired, and my room doesn’t look like I’ve even made a dent in it…but you have to take things a little bit at a time, I suppose.

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A love story

Twenty-five years ago today, my parents were married.

Mom was 29 and Dad was 32 when they exchanged vows at the courthouse, pledging their lives to each other. They’d met seven years before in 1970; Mom and two of her friends had just come to Lexington to start what they hoped would be a “nursing tour” of the United States. The University of Kentucky Hospital was only meant to be their first stop. But their plans were fated to change the very day they moved into Rolling Ridge apartments. Dad and his friends, who also lived there, spotted the girls unpacking and offered to help. They all became fast friends.

The group spent more and more time together, and it wasn’t long before Dad and Mom started dating. Through the years, they lived in various other apartment complexes in Lexington before finally settling down in an expanded trailer on a large lot flanked by a creek in nearby Nicholasville, Kentucky. They gardened together in raised beds built from wood or snuggled into old tractor tires. Dad built a strong plank fence across the front yard. They raised three babies; their first was me, the only girl, followed a year later by AJ and two years after that by Ben. Dad fiddled in the workshop with his inventions and Mom cut up diaper boxes to make word cards to teach us how to read.

Their marriage wasn’t easy. Dad was an electrician, a journeyman wireman, and he often had to travel to get work. He’d spend days, even weeks, away from home. Mom worked three twelve hour shifts on the weekends so that she could be there for us all week. They probably spent more time apart than they did together those first few years.

When money had stabilized enough, they bought their first home–the house we still live in now. The ranch-style home with attic and full, 14-foot basement was quite a nice change from the comparatively small trailer, but the yard was smaller and not as private. The next sixteen years, up until the present day, were spent making improvements to the house and yard. The basement garage was converted into an expansive workshop with built-in shelving and work benches. The upstairs garage was transformed into an office, complete with a half-wall hallway and a fireplace. The bedrooms were painted and recarpeted. The family room received new hardwood flooring. Dad built two rooms, a lounge area with a pool table and a “soundproof” band practice area, in the basement.

An orchard was planted in the side yard, and a line of large pine trees went up across the front of the yard. The above ground swimming pool was torn down, as were the trees in back, and the land was built up to level and held by a retaining wall. Dad built a long fence across the back, and they planted pine trees along it. Dad built a barn to keep the new riding mower and the gardening equipment, and they stacked up railroad ties into seven planters for “square foot gardening”. Mom planted flower beds in various spots around the house.

They not only improved their standard of living, but they improved themselves. Dad kept inventing, until finally he created a tool he thought he could market. They officially started selling in 1987; Mom typed each file on individual notecards and stored them all in a cabinet until we finally got a 486 in the early 90’s. As the business grew, Dad stopped having to leave home for work, and soon even Mom was able to stop working at the hospital and devote herself to the business full-time. Now the two of them spend their days doing what they want: taking care of their home and family.

It’s been a long road for them, though, and there were quite a few bumps along the way. Out of respect for their privacy I won’t go into them in detail here, but suffice it to say that my parents are two of the strongest people I know to have overcome the things they did. In the long run, they came out on top and continue to do so, but it’s not because of luck. It’s because they work so hard on everything they do, including their devotion to one another.

The love between them is obvious. The other day I asked my mother what she and Dad had in common. She spoke at length about things they both liked, and then moved on to deeper things, such as how he made her feel. He supports her, and respects her, and loves her, and she is so impressed by his skills and intelligence. While she was talking about the love of her life, Mom started crying tears of joy. It was so wonderful to see that, because it was exactly how I feel whenever I start talking in depth about Sean.

I asked my dad, too, and his respect and love for Mom were the first things to come out. He admires her for the way she handles everything; she’s the great organizer of the family and gets things done. And he’s impressed by how loving and caring she is, and how she takes care of everyone. At the end of his list, Dad smiled softly and said, “I love her because she’s her, you know?”

And so we threw them a party. I wrote each and every thing they’d told me down onto slips of paper with hearts and flowers on them and put them in a silver box alongside shining confetti and ribbons. I baked a white, heart-shaped cake and several tiny cupcakes, and Faye iced them and arranged them all on a white platter with a silver border. I decorated the cake with long, sparkling candles and the cupcakes with confetti.

I put a box of frozen fish in one bag and a package of bacon in another, since Mom said they both like fish and bacon. I had them open those presents first. I also wrapped up a refrigerator magnet with George W. Bush on it, and I had them open that next.

Then I had them open the box and read all the slips of paper. And finally, they each got to read special notes about what they each liked about each other, all written in silver ink.

We all adjourned to the office after that so Connor could see one of his birthday presents. His birthday is today as well; now he’s three years old. Mom and Dad got him a nice big wooden toy chest. His real party is scheduled for tomorrow, and that’s when his cousins (the kids of Faye’s siblings) will likely come, so today was something of a small celebration. The real focus was on Mom and Dad (or, “Grandma and Pa-Pa”, as I’ve sort of become accustomed to calling them).

It wasn’t a huge party, or an elegant affair, or anything. But it was nice, and Mom and Dad both seemed to really enjoy it. I wish I had done more, but at the same time I think they liked what I did do. I’d wanted to show some pictures of them together when they were younger, or make a scrapbook, but pictures of the two of them are few and far between, and Mom has all the scrapbook she really needs on DVD (I burned all our family photos to one disc for her awhile back). Still, I wish I could have done something more. Perhaps at their 50th, I’ll have enough money to do something really special.

God, I love my parents. I love my family. I love being here with them and spending time with them and doing things for them. Part of me wants to catalog everything about them. I feel like I should write stories about everyone and keep them forever. And I want to do that. Family history is really special and fascinating. My mom is getting interested in the Straub side of her own family history, and she’s finding that all the people who knew about her parents are aging or gone. All of that knowledge is being lost. I want to immortalize my parents, my family. They’re just people…but they’re so very dear to me. I want them to go on forever.

But I’ll be gone when Faye gives birth to their new baby. I’ll be gone when Connor starts going to school. I’ll turn into one of those “visiting relatives”…it just isn’t the same as being there.

I wish there was a way I could fulfill my dream of living all over the place but still stay close to my family. I suppose one solution would be to set up a “home base” here and then work out of that, but I don’t know how that would work, or what job I would have that would send me all over the place anyway. And what about Sean? What would he do?

Someday, we might end up living up here, but for now we need to be in Georgia. And as excited and happy as I am that I am finally going to be with the man I love, I can’t help but feel this deep sense of loss. I almost feel like I only recently started to really understand my brothers as adults, as people…and now I’m leaving before any further growth could happen.

To my family: I love you all so, so much, and I’ll miss you more than I can say. I will always think of you, and I will visit as much as I possibly can. Our lives are intertwined, and I want to keep that with all the fierceness of my heart.

Only love could take me away from you.

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Money.

I don’t have enough of it.

I probably need a job that pays more. Or more hours. Or something. I’m working an extra shift on Sunday, but that’s not quite good enough. My next paycheck will pay off my credit card and hopefully leave a little money left over, but a couple hundred dollars isn’t really that much money. I probably won’t be able to save it.

Sean doesn’t particularly like my penchant for buying gifts on holidays. It does involve parting with money, which is bad, but I love giving gifts and making people happy, which is good. He says he’s willing to deal with it. I have to learn to deal with the way he works with money, too. He’s intelligent enough to basically have a balance on his credit card all the time, but know that he will be able to pay it off later. To me, that’s really scary. I don’t like seeing a balance on my own credit card. It makes me uncomfortable to see that I owe someone money for something I already have or have done. Especially if it’s just a group of small things. I inherited this from my parents; they only buy stuff when they have the money right on hand for it. Sean’s way of dealing with money is not dangerous; he doesn’t charge more than he can afford to. But it still feels weird to me.

Finances are a big concern for me right now. I don’t know how we’re going to afford everything. I wanted to have a big fun party for our wedding and invite friends from all over, but I don’t know if we can afford that now that we’re going to Japan for our honeymoon. That’s going to cost a lot of money. I’m definitely not planning on putting everyone up at an estate like I was going to, but even then, the reception will get expensive if there are a lot of guests. I’m really not sure what I’m going to do about it. Hopefully over Thanksgiving, while I’m visiting Sean, I’ll be able to look around and find some options for us. I’ve pretty much exhausted the online resources, with little success.

Money…

I feel like Sean is going to have to bear the weight of everything for awhile. That really isn’t fair. But as I keep saying, I don’t know that I can get a job for just two months. I guess I could get a “holiday season” job after I get back from Thanksgiving…but that would be just one month! Still, I suppose they would hire me, and I guess it would be better than no extra income.

I just want to be productive and useful…

Well, I guess I will definitely look into some sort of holiday job in retail. I’m not bad at retail. I’m no Dotty Brooks (she is so enthusiastic!) but I do care about the customers, and I try to be as helpful as possible. So maybe that would give me enough money to finance my move and maybe a month of job-hunting…maybe.

And speaking of job-hunting, I need to revise my resume again so that it doesn’t give my potential employers eyestrain…Thomas told me that it should all fit on one page, and so I scrunched things down quite a bit. The layout looks nice, but some of the text is pretty small.

I wish I had some idea of what I’m qualified to do, besides teach English as a second language. I guess that’s what I’ll end up doing. It’s not that I mind that, but I would really like to do some language analysis. I’m good at it, damn it.

*sigh*

Well, I guess I’ll stop rambling about this. As Sean always says, “Things will work out.” I should stop stressing :> It messes up other parts of my life.

Time for Saved by the Bell! Wh00t!

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For Kevin

それは漢字です: 核兵器 (This is kanji: kakuheiki [nuclear weapon])

それはひらがなです: すし (This is hiragana: sushi)

それはカタカナです: マリワナ (This is katakana: mariwana [marijuana])

No, there is no particular reason I chose those words…why?

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Fight

I don’t know what my problem was yesterday. I got home from work and settled in at the computer, all ready to rip some .avis, but first I had to clear off some hard drive space. So I was juggling DVDs, shifting anime onto them, and while I was doing that Sean was talking to me about Macross and Asian politics. And I don’t know what my deal was, but I just couldn’t get interested in anything he was saying. In fact, I found myself getting more and more irritated that he kept plunking out these seemingly random facts. It was obvious that he was surfing around and telling me about what he was seeing, but for some reason that annoyed the hell out of me. I don’t know, we do this to each other a fair amount, so it shouldn’t have been that big a deal. Maybe I was just stressed out because I have a stupid, busy work paper due on Thursday–not that I was working on it. But whatever the reason, I really don’t have an excuse. I ended up just not responding to anything he said. Each comment made me more and more annoyed. Finally he said something like “Well, you’re AFK or something, so I’m going to go get lunch.” I responded, likely after he was already gone, “k. I’m going to take a nap.” And then I logged off.

Guiltily, I must admit that not being signed on was a relief to me. I finished off my backups and did finally fall into bed. I slept soundly until around 7:45 pm, and then I woke up, startled that I’d slept so long, and logged back on.

“Sorry about earlier. I was irritated for no reason,” I said to Sean.

“I’m pretty annoyed. I guess it’s something about today,” he responded.

That was my first clue that I’d hurt his feelings, but it really shouldn’t have been.

I mean, come on. I basically ignored him, and then took my first opportunity to leave while he was AFK, leaving him a terse note. You don’t treat your fiance like that. What was I on?

We had a few things to say to each other after that, nothing big and monumental, and then at around 10:30 I wanted to go back to bed to rest up for my shift this morning. I first asked, “When are you going to bed?” When he didn’t respond, I asked “Are you there?” Upon his affirmation, I said “I’m about ready for bed.”

His response? “Okay. Night.”

See, we have this thing. He calls me every night. Unlimited minutes after 9 on weeknights, and all day on weekends. We go to bed with each other. We’ve done it for months now, maybe longer than that. I find that at night I have a hard time falling asleep without him. His presence is calming to me, and it makes me feel secure and safe to be all sleepy on the phone with him. The fact that he wasn’t going to call, and didn’t express any sadness over that, told me that something was greatly amiss.

“You’re not going to call?” The question had barely left my fingers when I followed up with “Are you still mad?”

“I’m working on a post.”

“Oh.”

“And yes, I’m still pissed.”

“Oh. :(”

I still wanted to talk to him, so I tried to justify what I’d done, or at least let him into my head a little more. I basically said something stupid like “I read what you wrote, I just wasn’t interested in any of it.” Yeah, that was about the gist. Good job, Heather; 10.0 :P

Sean responded, “You’re making it easy for me to stay angry.”

“:/ I don’t want to make you stay angry,” I said. “We’ll talk later, okay? Because you’re busy?”

“Yeah.”

I hate it when he’s so curt and short with me. When he’s closed himself off completely. It shows that at that moment, he doesn’t feel that he can trust me with his feelings. And he had every right to feel that way. I’d treated him so badly.

So finally I wrote “Good night, sweetie. I love you.” Then I logged off without giving him time to respond, because I knew he wouldn’t say “I love you” back. Or at least, I assumed that. I didn’t want to see a simple “Night.” That would have been too much.

I got ready for bed, but found myself restless. I snuck back online, to the AMRN IRC channel (#amrn on irc.freenode.net), and opened a private window to Kevin. “Today sucks,” I said, or something to that nature. “HF’s mad at me.”

I went on to explain the problem and how it was all my fault. “He has a right,” I said. “I just don’t like it :P” Talking to Kevin about it helped a little…but not really. When things aren’t right with someone you really can’t solve it by talking to someone else. I wound up crawling into bed resolved to call Sean and at least tell him that I was sorry again, since I hadn’t reiterated that during my moment of stupidity. I wanted to hear the sound of his voice, at least.

The phone rang three times, and then his voice mail picked up. I hit “1” to avoid hearing his recorded message. I wanted the real Sean. “Hi, sweetie,” I said after the beep. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you like that. I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you. Night.”

It still wasn’t good enough…but I didn’t want to bother him by calling back. I hung up, turned out the light, and lay there flat on my back under the covers, eyes closed, trying to fall asleep. My mind was full, and I couldn’t get comfortable. As I curled into the fetal position, all I could hear in my head was maybe he’ll call back maybe he’ll call back maybe he’ll call back

If he did, I don’t remember.

Being stuck in limbo like this is some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I hate having him mad at me. I hate being the one who’s hurt him. Limbo is a cycle of despair. I need resolution.

I told Kevin that I was confident that things would work out. And they will, I’m sure. There is only a tiny doubt in my mind, and that’s enough to add to my misery, but on the whole I know that I love Sean and he loves me, and we’ll work through this and become stronger together. But the interim! The interim is what kills me.

Hopefully I’ll see him soon.

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I hate busy work.

I hate busy work.

I hate busy work, and I hate classes that are full of nothing but busy work.

My Shakespeare survey course feels like something I could have taken in high school. I have a paper due on Thursday that is pretty much a rehash of what we’ve talked about in class, though we are free to “expand” on the ideas. I don’t feel like rehashing what we’ve discussed in class. I wish I felt like reading the material, but that’s another story entirely.

I’m getting very excited about my honeymoon. You may not realize this, but I love Japan. I love Japan! Did I mention I love Japan? Because I do.

We haven’t finalized any details yet, but we’re looking at Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima. I would love to go back to Hakodate, but that’s way up north, so it might not be possible. We’ll only have nine days to do all of our traveling. That seems like such a short amount of time, but then I remember that I covered many, many cities in just two weeks last summer, so maybe it’ll all work out. Then again, I don’t want the honeymoon to be hectic like the school trip was. I’d like it to be comfortable and relaxing, but still allow us to see lots of sights. I hope it all works out.

Today, I’m going to begin the agonizing process of ripping all my VHS tapes (except the copyrighted stuff, of course) to .avi. I will then compress these nicely and burn them to DVD. It will be a joyous occasion, full of trumpets and streamers and other joyous things that joyous people use on joyous occasions. (I don’t know; I don’t go to parades.)

My Japanese textbooks are leering at me from across the room. I really need to get them out and start working with them again. I did a little bit over the summer, but not very much, really. The card table they’re sitting on is currently full of VHS tapes that I need to rip; I’m promising myself that once that’s done, I’ll dig into the Japanese. It’s such a daunting language, though. Three writing systems…oy. And it doesn’t help that the grammar rules are totally different from those of English. Still, if we’re going to be in Japan in March, I really should bone up on my m4d sk1llz, so I can at least order dinner.

すしをお願いします! (switch your encoding to Japanese, if you haven’t already)

I want to watch a DVD, but not any of the ones I own. It’s a sad state of affairs. I should write my Congressman.

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Lethargy

It feels like it’s been a long week…but one of my two classes didn’t even meet all week. I guess lethargy is just as tiring and obnoxious as having things to do all the time. Or maybe I just never have enough to do. I’m not sure.

In any event, I don’t know if I’m happy it’s the weekend, or if I’m annoyed at all the work I’m thinking that I have to get done. BLEAH!

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