New Year's Resolutions, 2008

This page has been woefully un-up-to-date.

The year draws to a close. Looking back at my list of resolutions for this year, I'd say I have about a 40% success rate in completing them. Regardless of whether I actually reached all of my goals, they were very present this year, since I wrote them out. some of the unfinished business I'll try to carry over into 2008 (I started writing a letter to my host family, but I need to finish it and then get someone to proofread it; I have a website to look up doctors on, then we'll see about actually visiting one!), some I will be dropping (Get hotter is a goner, fucking white whale). This year only has two concrete goals, and one that is a bundle of abstracts:


I ran five races this year. The support of family and friends, the gung ho running buddy Dre, and Hannah's adventures make me think this a realistic and challenging goal for 2008. I'm hoping to join Team in Training and run in a fall race. Sidenote: we're going to have a CREW for the Broad Street Run this year, so I'm also psyched for that.


For a variety of reasons, but mostly because it makes me happy. I want to establish some discipline, like sitting down on a regular basis and trying to finish a story.


A."Live as if you're dying."

I have limitations, of course, when trying to pay rent, but be alive, appreciate, carpe.

B."Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."

On my laptop is a text file called "randomness" that I transferred over from my college computer. It is an electronic piece of scrap paper with poems, song lyrics, e-mail signatures, etc. that struck my fancy at some point. I have this quotation in that mix, and apparently it is attributable to Plato. It is a very simple reminder to be compassionate.

C."Follow your bliss," with the corollary that no one said this was easy.

At the beginning of the year I read The Power of Myth. An idea that stuck with me was not only the "Follow your bliss" recommendation, which we've heard by now, but also the real acknowledgement that doing what makes you happy/following your center is a difficult task, a path laden with obstacles. I was flipping back through the book today, and came upon this section which I also want on hand:

MOYERS: In this sense, unlike heroes such as Prometheus or Jesus, we're not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves.

CAMPBELL: But in doing that, you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it...Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.

D."You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

I love this, and have to remember that these words can apply to the small, the everyday, as opposed to grand scale Ghandi-level issues.

Happy new year, bitches.


Candidate Quiz

I took this select-your-candidate quiz, which was fun. Barack came out at the top, but he and Hillary had the same score. However, I'm watching the debate right now, and so far, Joe Biden resonates most with me, for having a kick-ass response on Iran.


Things To Do

We're well into Q4. Only two more months left to get hotter, write to the Salles, cook twice, learn the geography of Africa and Asia, and get a physical. Damn it. Don't be surprised if I don't update here too often, although I'd actually like to do that, too.

I now have a flickr page. You love me.

I have a bunch of other things on my to do list. Ditch an air conditioner/"exclude" a pigeon. Get winter coats and sweaters cleaned. Tailor the expensive jeans Doug bought so they fit. Have a think about what the hell I'm doing with my life.

ALL RIGHT-Y, talk to you later.


Greek Song

LIVE from the Windy City, this is Bailamos!

I recently returned from the big vacation to Greece. There are lots of pictures(90% without people) that will soon be available. I brought my bitchlog all the way there and back and did not write in it once, so I have to pick out some random thoughts from memory.

We went on a sunset cruise. Let this be a warning: if you are on a Greek isle, and you see the words "sunset" and "cruise," you will be traveling with a boatload of couples. (There apparenetly is no Euro-equivalent to Cheap Westchester Girls lured by the promise of free wine and snacks.) Our boat looked like a piarate ship, sans Jolly Roger. I was thinking it felt Pirates of the Caribbean. Then we sailed to Nea Kameni, the volcano. We hiked around in the heat, and it felt like we were heading towards the fires of Mordor. I regretted that my mind automatically tried to equate these experiences with Hollywood.

The ferry ride from Santorini to Paros was beautiful. We ate giant chocolate croissants. I was thinking: "In one of these dreams, you forgive me." But I was also thinking: "I'm supposed to feel this happy for only two weeks a year??" But I was also thinking: "Left a good job in the city..."

[Sidenote: I'm on the metra back into Chicago,[sidenote within a sidenote: I crossed out "the city" because it didn't sound right], and there's this group of friends chatting, but they boarded from at least 3 different stops. For some reason, this bewilders me. Does this happen on the LIRR?]

Paros = gorgeous and relaxing and quiet. I didn't think of much. Oh, we invented a new constellation called the Lefkes Box. It is right next to the moon.

Mykonos was also beautiful, but all the boys made me miss mine. Delos was amazing, and I love that mythology shit (I'm going to break out Edith Hamilton pretty soon.) There were friendly Germans who we should have gone out with.

Athens had a lot to see. I was having so much fun on the islands that I wasn't looking forward to it. But it was awesome/overwhelming to study all the things that have been left behind. What am I leaving behind?

I read three books on the trip, which made me happy. The Golden Gate must have been an interesting technical exercise for the author, which was inspiring in its own right, and the book was entertaining, but just not as great as I thought it would be. ***Spoiler alert!***This is largely because I can't swallow one plot point. If a bisexual man hooks up with a guy, drops him, and about a month later marries the dumped guy's sister, does everyone emerge fine and dandy? Sorry, no.

I spent the whole plane ride home reading A Spot of Bother, which was highly enjoyable and more than a little funny.

The book that rocked my world--and I'm not trying to sound like a made some unique discovery here--was Mrs. Dalloway. I loved it, and I think it's the first book where one of my initial reactions after finishing it was, "I wish I had written this!" When I was done, I went to Amazon to see what people had to say, and I was surprised by the number of people who said they read or watched The Hours so they wanted to read this book, only to be disappointed. How could you not love it?


Debbie Did Disneyland (But Now The Link Is Broken)

I've postponed updating because every time I log on, I'm reminded how I want to get rid of the home page/journal page distinction, but owing to my less-than-perfect setup of this site, I realized that will be tedious to change. Then I tried to write a macro to do it, but haven't quite cracked the code, and then I got bored with writing macros in my free time. ANYWHO...

This is just because my family and I were talking about it recently, and it makes me laugh till I cry.

Yvonne enters the blogosphere and an exciting new chapter in life!

Sorry, got to go, Doctor and Mrs. Adam request the pleasure of my company.


Hot List

The temperature's not the only thing that's HOT these days:

Damages: it takes about 5 minutes before you take over my life every Tuesday night. Gladly, bitches.

Tribe Spicy Chipotle Hummus: Why doesn't C-Town (Town) have you every week??

Vitamin Water, Multi-V: against all odds, I fell in love with you.

Launchast on Yahoo: I enjoy listening to your Cool As Folk station at work. Then I write down a list of songs I like, and go buy them. Like this, for example.

Spring Awakening: Mama who bore me, Mama who gave me, no way to handle to handle things, who made me so sad...



Sweetest Downfalls

I'm halfway through Season 1 of Veronica Mars, and it's awesome!

I'm almost done with What Is the What, which is also awesome. Even if you didn't like his first book (Raina), you should consider it. They are not at all alike.

JP's visit is over. That is the opposite of awesome.

Boiler Room was awesome because they had $3 drinks on a Saturday night, and because you don't get too many gay bars playing "Pour Some Sugar On Me," and because there was a guy there whose pet peeve was songs that are not titled the way they should be, e.g. "Careless Whispers" and "MacArthur Park," both of which also were heard on the juke that night.

I would love to write a song as pretty as "Samson."


Calculus? Ridiculous!

It's been a busy work week. You know it's not a good week when you are trying to solve a problem, and your boss says, "Well, you should be able to do it with calculus," and he is not joking.

But I can't blame my failure to meet my posting goal solely on the Purple People. I got caught up in some old episodes of The Sopranos on A&E, back when Gloria Trillo was psychobitch par excellence. I love that shit.

I also love Jon Stewart.


I'm A Judgmental Bitch

I sorta had a goal to write at least something every day this month. Aren't I off to a great start?

I've been going on some good "dates" with JP, as we refer to the phone conversations:

"I'm a manipulator; that's how my evil comes out. You're a judgmental bitch. Those are our roles."

In the words of that guy from the WaMu commercial: NAILED it! I'm looking forward to a visit in June.

I'm 50/50 on the new Rufus album.

I'm trying to keep abreast of the debates, because I don't know who I'd vote for yet.

How scary does the Creation Musem sound, and who wants to take a road trip?

I'm trying to keep up with the running. And speaking of, Reebok has this huge Outdoor/Transit campaign in NY called "Run Easy." For all I know they are in magazines, too, but I don't see that many. I have a lot of time to think about subway ads, though. First of all, "Run Easy." That's like the antithesis of "Just Do It" and every other message that sports-related brands have hammered into our heads. I could see the draw I guess, and it fits with the overall "I Am What I Am" tag that Reebok has had for a few years. I mean, maybe the way to sell sneakers is to not seem so hardcore. (That's what I found so offputting about New York sports Club. It's like, you go in to see what they're about, and they make you FILL OUT THIS CARD with your gym goals on it, how many activities you do, before you even join! It definitely scared me off.)

However, I take issue with some of the creative. "Stop and smell the garbage. Run Easy NY." Gross. Reading about smelling garbage makes you think about actually smelling garbage, and now when I think Reebok, I think of that. And "Run at the speed of chat." What the fuck does that even mean? To be fair, I actually visited the website and there is a cute commercial with that line at the end, but I don't think it makes sense as just text in a subway ad. I am intrigued by the fact that each subway ad has a code for you to text message so you can share your voice or some crap. The interesting thing is that different creatives have different codes, meaning they could actually measure which ads are generating the most interest. And if you are doing that and actually using that information, well, hat's off to you, Mr. Reebok.

I devoured Bird by Bird. After reading it, I wrote three days in a row in my pen-and-paper bitchlog. That's a pretty big deal. I am on the last of the six books I need to check off New Year's Resolution #6. Then it would be cool to try and catch up on Harry Potter, but that is my head and not my heart talking.


Change Your Life

Yvonne sent me a quiz that is supposed to change my life, but I haven't taken it yet. Typical.

I'm going to try and write more in June!



Unlock your profiles! What else am I supposed to do on my lunch break?


Song And Dance

It didn’t happen like that. I read an account of my day on the page, and it’s too linear. History: just one fucking thing after another? No, not so linear, and I lack the talent to correct it.

Shall I solve all your problems with a musical number?
I’ve been living to see you…

I would if I could. It’s my nature. And if you look at the principals in the company that plays nightly on the cold and cavernous stage, how did they get there?

We were apostles together in Jesus Christ Superstar. I watched him go down on Rapunzel in Into the Woods. He found me in the curtains.

(There are exceptions. I met one at a program for International Studies and Business. Then again, I did not love him before he asked,"Would You Light My Candle?”)

Some enchanted evening,
You will see your best friend,
You will see your best friend across a crowded room. You will have been jealous of an actress, because her character was in love with his character, and he stared at her long, during chaos unfolding on stage. Around you they will be boasting about their silly limericks, and how great her ass looks in those jeans. Then fly to his side, and touch his chin. To declare before these foolish players, “I knew him.” Months later, when your brain revolves once more to this performance, you will insist in some angry corner that the gesture also meant, “I love you so fucking much. I don’t want that to get fucked up.”

A real showstopper!


Key Question

During a light,fluffy, brownie-filled weekend in Denver, I discovered I can make Thai iced tea. I also watched the whole first season of Weeds, which has reopened the discussion of Elizabeth Perkins' crowning achievement.

The center can hold,but edges crumble like pink eraser bits. Does lack of display equal lack of emotion?


Ten Updates

It rained feathers in Union Square.

I dipped my Thin Mint in my coffee and went to Heaven for a bit.

The Lives of Others is better than Babel.

Bob came back, then went away.

Lauren is leaving.

It's easier to stay here, but it would be more fun in Brooklyn.

JP met friends and family.

My father had a birthday.

My grandfather was Irish and was married on St. Patrick's Day.

Extremely Loud...: one hundred dollars.


Talking With The Stars

Dear Diary, last night was different. I dreamt of having sex with Shakira instead of with my friends.

Justin dropped by. There was no food. We fell into middle of the couch. (One of the back cushions on our secondhand Ikea seems oversized, and it pushes you into the crevice where the cushions meet by default.) He whispered, directly into my ear,"I defy you to deny me."

"I can't. I can't." My eyes were closed.

"This just can't be summer love, you'll see."

Beyoncé and I met at the Whippany Diner.

Brian: I love that "to the left, to the left" shit.

Beyoncé: Oh, thank you.

Brian: But I'm holding back from entirely embracing this song,B,because I can't relate to it. I mean, do you really find these relationships replaceable? Did you read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and he says Phlox was a world,"with her own flora and physics,atmosphere and birds"? "She is a world I gained and lost." What about Jay-Z?

Beyoncé: If we're talking about relationships, then answer me: how do you expect a relationship born from lies ("It's about 10 minutes"/"I'm on my way") to survive?

Brian: Um, cuz papi's a rider, and I'm a roller, put us together, HOW THEY GON'STOP BOTH US?!

Beyoncé: Loser.

She sipped her tea. I finished my scratch-off.

Previously, on the slowest elevator in Midtown...

WC: Thank God it's almost the weekend.

Brian: Definitely!

WC: Did you..........go outside?

Brian: Yeah. I thought it was going to snow, but it hasn't yet.

Terrible, Terrible.



OK, Here it is. Your choice, it's simple. Her or me. And I'm sure she's really great. But Ralph...I love you. In a really, really big...pretend to like your taste in music... let you eat the last piece of cheesecake... hold a radio over my head outside your bedroom window... unfortunate way that makes me hate you...love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.


Let's Hear That One Again

I have not been sleeping.

I wanted to direct your attention to this article. I fully admit I clicked on a link to this article while checking my mail, but then again, you stalk people on myspace or read the wikipedia, so let's not get into online behaviors. But I'm gonna love myself this Valentine's Day by thinking of #3:

"Send flowers to yourself. It works for you, too! Flowers are beautiful and make you feel happy every time you look at them..."

I just pictured someone forcing me to adore a flower arrangement and saying that line in the Janet Reno Voice.


Thought of the Week

I'm off to an early lead of 2-0 in Fantasy Fatball. Lauren and I put a calendar up, and we get to initial every day we go to the gym. ALL YOUR MOMMIES.

Thought of the week, courtesy of The Power of Myth: joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.

Fat little Buddha.


In Case You Missed It

Kill Bill was on TBS. I love that movie.


New Year's Resolutions, 2007