Tuesday, December 28, 2004

tough call

School starts for me again on January 15th. I feel like that is too soon and every time I think about going back, I close my eyes and breathe in a little too deeply, almost a shuddering breath. I try not to do this while walking or driving.

People that work with me can't make sense of this fear I have. I've had so many jobs in this company and have convinced people that I knew what I was doing in every single one (convinced being the key word). School is different. The fact that my future could be based on what one person thinks of my work, instead of a collective. With writing, there's always another publisher you can go to. With work, I can't remember ever having had only one supervisor, so there were always options. With academia, it is really up to that one damn person in each class that you take. Unfortunately, I tend to disagree with that one person more often than not. It would help if I were a little more quiet about it, but then I wouldn't be me, now would I?

My father has tried to convince me to discipline myself, to follow in my brother's footsteps a little (Jason is now a linguist in the Army, by the way, he's learning Arabic). As much as I love my big brother, we both know I'm nothing like him. It's probably one of the reasons we get along so well. I admire him, of course, but have no intention of turning into him. What's funny about this is that I learned my stubborn idealism from my father. He is the one who always used to say, "I don't care how it is, this is how it SHOULD be." He would rage on until he either changed the system or wore himself out. It's that sense of unfairness in the world that he ingrained in my heart, my brain, my spirit. Dangerous only to me, it seems.

Still, I go back on the 15th for a Psychology class and then the following Monday for Art History. Whether I like/get along with the teachers or not (include the students in that), I have to do well. It's the only way I'm going to move on and I am sick of being stagnant. I love the company I work for, but not for the company itself, but the people I've met by working here. I cannot stay here forever and education is my chosen path out.

So you'd think I've calmed down a bit, a little less stressed about it. But no, instead I've broken out into rash because of it. Luckily, it's not visible. And through this experience I've come to realize something: Benadryl when taken on an empty stomach is very much like too much vicadin. I become spaghetti and giggly and can't sleep. It's hilarious and torturous at the same time.

Someone buy this girl a drink.

Monday, December 27, 2004

no longer hasty, just rash

I am terrified of school. I love to learn, I love to read, I love to write, but I hate, absolutely cannot stand school. I am stuck up when it comes to other students and ill-prepared teachers. I once almost had a bit of an affair with the one teacher I found fascinating (I think it was the realization that his 19 year old son listened to the same music that I did that killed the idea for me, after we had been engaged in verbal and written flirtation for a few months and had coffee together). I hate school so much that I think it might actually be the reason that I have broken out into a rash. I cannot think of anything else that could have caused it. This, however, will not deter me from attending my first class on January 15th. I have already ordered the book online and read excerpts from it on Amazon. Psychology in Modern Life...from what I read I think I will actually like it. I just have to focus on the subject instead of the people around me. At least my Art History class is online, so I do not have to worry about human interaction there, except for three or four sessions, which I believe are reserved for test-taking.

With my whole new set of long-term goals...actually, I believe this is the first time I have actually had a set of long-term goals...I plan on doing well and doing whatever it takes. I am, of course, terrified that I will fail anyway. I have let myself down so many times before in this realm. It does not make sense, though. I have excelled at every new job in the company I work for. Even with little to no training, I have always found a way to get by until I can figure everything out. For some reason, it was always different in school. I felt I did not need to be as responsible, really I had complete apathy for it. I even found myself saying that there was no point in me going, even though deep down I knew I valued education so much. Sure, it pisses me off that a piece of paper is more important than merit. That someone else's opinion of my work matters more than the work itself. At the same time, I know no way around it and I realize that I actually do want that piece of paper and am unwilling to settle for anything less.

I have always been a latebloomer. I am a bit slow on the take, I guess you could say. But here I go again, to try and map the course to my chosen destiny. No one else can show me the way, but I have to pretend they can and learn their way, while secretly doing things my own style when no one is looking. I think that pretty much sums up the way I live my life. No wonder I confound so many people.

bury me with it

For me, Christmas was over after my brother left for Orange County with his wife, on the Sunday before the 25th. For many years, I have celebrated Chanukah with my dad and Christmas with my mom. My brother was always there for both, no matter which state we happened to be celebrating them in. This year he has other obligations, a whole new family to consider. A much more religious one, as well. I knew, when he got married, that everything would be different. I realized that it is simply part of growing up, but like Peter Pan and those kids in the damned Toys R Us commercials that Jason and I grew up with, I don't want to grow up. It isn't that I mind growing old, it is simply that I am far too sentimental. That the death of traditions we created in childhood is painful to me. I have also realized that this sentimentality, to the extent that I take it, cannot be healthy.

People go away. Sometimes they move or join the army, sometimes they go forever and involuntarily. I think that when you lose a lot of people in your life, to death, you begin to live your life in one of two ways. You either become spontaneous and take no opportunity for granted, or you hold on so tightly to the things you have grown to love that you practically suffocate them and it tears you apart to let them go. A particular Modest Mouse song hit me square between the eyes the other day. A song in which the singer asks his friends to bury him with various things he's attached to, from a tired old threadbare suit to the good times that have come and gone. I suppose hearing that made me realize that I do not particularly want to be buried with those dead and gone traditions that my brother and I had formed like silly habits. So I say goodbye to the tradition of going to the theater with my brother every Christmas Day, to see the worst film in the theaters. I cannot say that I am sad to never again see the likes of Not Another Teen Movie or Dungeons and Dragons, but it was nice to have something that was ours. Maybe some day I will introduce the tradition to someone else and it can start over again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

a brief history of negativity

No. You can't do that. You shouldn't do that. You're just going to get yourself in trouble. That person isn't going to like that gift, no matter how thoughtful it was, just don't give it to them. They'll think you're weird. You definitely need to do something about that weight problem/lack of education/financial irresponsibility.

Tell me that doesn't sound like failure. Tell me that the person these things are being said to isn't going to walk away with a remarkably small amount of self-esteem and a significantly larger amount of self-doubt.

I have felt like a failure many times in my life and I'm sure I could spend even more time beating myself senselessly about it, but that is hardly the plan now. Do you care to know the plan?

The plan is this:

I am going back to school. I just bought my Psychology book online for a better price than the college bookstore could offer me. The Art History text requirement isn't posted yet, so I'll have to wait on that. I intend to pick up the first book from the library, so I can review it a bit before school starts (and in case Amazon.com takes too long to get it to me). I have all the school supplies I need and I'll only be at the college once a week, so thankfully I don't have to buy a term permit (they're damn expensive).

I am moving out of my apartment. It's too expensive and the owners are a bit shifty. They have an illegal clause in their rental agreement (reading CA Tenant Law really works wonders) and they illegally entered a friend's apartment before he moved (no notice, just came in one day, luckily a friend was visiting from Germany and happened to be asleep on his couch at the time). I should be able to find an apartment for at least a hundred dollars less than the current one. Since I'll be going to school in Pleasant Hill, I will feel free to move to any number of cities between there and Emeryville (where I work).

Within the next two years I plan on finishing my AA degree and most of my undergrad work, then moving to Salt Lake City. My dad has agreed to help me find a house to buy up there, since he lives thirty minutes away. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and no one has failed to mention the percentage of Mormons living there, but I like it and, frankly,I like them. So really there's no problem.

Who knows if I'll succeed this time? Frankly, I don't give a damn. I have to move forward and all the negativity does is hold me back. So here I go.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

neglect

I have been severely neglecting this blog lately. Truthfully, I've been cheating on Some Fruits Are Spicy with a new blog in town: http://beautybitchnet.blogspot.com/. But really, folks, I had been cheating on SFS for at least a month with both http://www.darkwindow.blogspot.com/ and http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/gardenstate/blog/index.html. Yes, it is true.

Have I mentioned that Pete of the Dark Window had a dream in which I told a train conductor that Pete wouldn't be needing his suitcase off the train because from here on out we were going to live on love alone?

It frightened me, too.

The sad thing is that I really wanted it to be Zach Braff dreaming of me. Alas, no.

Oh my god, I forgot to call Revaz back two nights ago.

In any case, I have been working on a few things and trying to stick to some sort of a schedule. This is a very new thing for me.

Thing 1: Having never been very good at school (I didn't pay attention and I didn't do my homework), I have decided to teach myself...something. I am starting my re-education with U.S. History. All my friends think I am a total freak because I have rented The History Channel's Founding Fathers Vol. I, which I take notes on as it plays, and am reading both an old History book from college (ha ha) and Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060926430/002-4186185-3519261?v=glance). I am not a geek, but I do hope to become one someday.

Thing 2: I am spending more time at home. Attempting to keep my apartment reasonably clean so to avoid those mad dashes to throw everything in the closet when I have a surprise guest. This also gives me more time to read and to write (two things I haven't been doing enough of lately).

Thing 3: I have been reading many a magazine and just one newspaper. I have a subscription to Newsweek (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032542/site/newsweek/) and The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) that I just barely manage to get through before the next issue comes out. And yet, last week I insisted on picking up The Economist (www.economist.com) (which I'm still working on) and this week I bought Bust (www.bust.com) and Shop Etc (www.ShopEtc.com). The latter is a piece of shit, by the way. Shit, I tell you. Don't buy it. It's a waste of a buck ninety-nine. I mean, I'd buy it before I'd buy Jane (www.janemag.com), but that's not saying much.

Thing 4: I have been working on a site that shall be called BeautyBitch.net. It is my dream. Unfortunately, it is also currently a blog. There are a few of us working on it right now, but the work is mostly small tweaks and the occasional random review. The eventual site will be something of a place you can go to read reviews that aren't completely full of shit. You will get only honest opinions and most likely rather bitchy ones (a combination of crap product and crap salespeople brings out the best in us). I sometimes find myself writing a review that should be in Cosmo because of the language and then I have to hurt myself. Repeatedly. I am hoping to beat that out of me, but lord knows what the end result will be.

And in case you thought I didn't notice:
To the one person who actually reads this blog, I am sorry I have been neglecting you. Really I am.