26 July 2010

thoughts on today

I think these pretty lilies in the new background look a little scary (THEY'RE GOING TO ATTACK!!!), but I really liked the green circles.

I am really tired and my brain is having a lot of trouble getting prepared for my piano lesson tomorrow. We will leave Austin tomorrow in time to be in Dallas by 9AM, Steve for his meeting and me for my lesson, and to repaint the complained-about front door of our condo.

On our weekend trip (more later), Steve took us all to Castaways and I got a heavenly soft LUX shirt-dress nightie, pink paisley pants by Elevenses, a beautiful pair of pink and green wings (my Love says you can always use a good pair of wings), a navy shirt to replace my falling-apart one, and a milk bottle to put red wine in.

I am making this stew for dinner. I hope the Bulb Hunters don't hunt me for borrowing their picture:

After an unexpectedly late night full of much driving and singing last night, I am going to eat a ton of it and drink some red wine and go to bed this evening at about six o'clock.

22 July 2010

I want candy

It occurred to me today that an adult is only a child who knows how to control itself.

Of course, I know. Of course. I've just never defined it that way for myself. But it's true. Adults (and I guess I'm speaking for myself here) are just as whiny, it's just they don't whine out loud (most of the time). We all just walk around controling our inner child, I suppose. It's just a funny way of thinking of it that struck me today. And I don't know about anyone else, but I have conversations inside my head a lot of times that go:

"I want that."
"Maybe tomorrow, or after you've accomplished something."
"But I just want it now."
"No! Just walk away."

And then I finally agree with myself and walk away and find something else to be happy about, but isn't that weird?

I wonder if it happens to anyone else. It happened to me in Whole Foods today, by the soap, by the cheese, and then again by this display they call Candy Island. I felt like I was firmly monitoring a child, and then I realized it was just me.

I don't usually use the word "suck."

There are some groups of people whose manner of living life and expressing themselves is so different from my own, that I know that about 95 percent of what I say around them is sure to be completely misunderstood. It's really discouraging, so I just end up hardly talking at all whenever I am with those sorts. Which is fine; I don't have to talk, but when I don't, I'm afriad of being thought to be bored or snobbish. When I'm with my best friends or my family, I am one of the most talkative, witty, even outspoken. But with some people, I can hardly comment on the moment, much less tell a story, and the more I talk to them, the less they respond and the stupider I feel.

It's not that I'm not uncomfortable around new people. Sometimes with mere acquaintances you know you're on their wavelength and they're on yours. I'm just talking about people who are extraordinarily difficult to get to know, and in the meantime, you're pretty sure of being 5 percent understood. How does one overcome that? And the worst of it is, in my current situation, I know that I'm the one who is hard to get to know, I'm the one who is strange and unfathomable and misunderstandable. And there's really nothing I can do about it. I never wanted to be normal, but I didn't realize that being from an out-of-the-ordinary background could be so inconvenient. Most of the time it's more than worth it, but other times it kind of sucks.

19 July 2010

words, words, words

How many trillions upon trillions upon gazillions of words have I heard in my lifetime? It must be equal to the number of stars in the Milky Way, and maybe more. My first thought is, no wonder I speak this language, the English language. How could I possibly help it, with the sheer number of words have been thrown at me again and again and again?

I picked up a pencil to doodle on some paper, and words came out onto the paper, filling it in a very short time. Words, random words, and phrases I've heard that I'll never forget. Simple things, but the sort of combinations of words that always stick in our minds, like "Two plus two equals four." Movie quotes: of the millions of them stored in my brain, fifteen or twenty poured out from the pencil almost without my knowledge or permission.

"My clumsy hand!"

"Clumsy me!"

"...odds and ends to buy..."

"Just charge everything to good old Mitch. He's loaded."

"Katie Scarlett O'Hara!"

"He's got his tiger."

"What goes on in that pea-brain of yours?"

"I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?"

"Why anyone would wanna be an orphan is beyond me!"

And then, from a note I saw today in my aunt's kitchen, written by my cousin to her mother:

"Take some to work. Tomatoes, rice, potatoes, salt. Yummy and fresh!"

Writing is one thing, and that happens to have stayed with me and come out with the rest, in pencil, but it really is the spoken word that dominates our lives.

Obviously, we could speak any language easily if we could hear it that much! That is rather comforting, since I aspire to learn so many. Not that I will ever be able to hear any of the languages on my list that much, but it comforts me that speaking them would be so inescapable if I could. I'd love to go on a fast from English, but it pours and pours and gushes around inside my mind. French trickles and sometimes flows, Spanish attaches itself, unbidden, to everything, but German has not quite found enough room.

On n'habite pas dans une paye, on habite dans une lange. (One does not live in a country, one lives in a language.)

This quote was somewhere in my very first French textbook. How incredibly true. Language changes the objects around you. When you first start learning a new language, a bad (but normal) habit is to translate each word in your head to what you know it means in English, instead of letting the new word become it's own symbol of it's meaning, if that makes sense. How different the world becomes when, instead of thinking "Tisch means table," you look at a table and SEE ein Tisch. Different to see das Fenster and not the window, after all. And these are only objects that we use to live our lives. What about life itself, it's complexities and feelings and flow? All tongues have humanity in common, but if everything is represented by different words than you're used to, there really is some slight difference in your reality. Some people would say words are words, that a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. That's quite a compliment to the rose I guess, but by any other name it would not be a rose!

It's something to think about.

17 July 2010

dreams & reality

People keep getting after me to post agian, and I guess the only reason I had not was because time has been moving so fast that I thought I just did. Things have been happening. There have been places to go and people to see, audition pieces to learn, and not much time to catch my breath. I have been trying so hard to be effiecient with my time- and being even remotely efficient takes a lot of thought for me- that even my dreams have been hurried and hectic. I remember trying to use one dream as efficiently as I could.

A few nights ago I dreamed that my grandfather died. A few other things happened in the dream too, but his death was the main thing. It was handled so strangely by the family, I can't even tell how, but I just remember thinking, "This is not how our family usually does things; I think this is a dream." As the dream continued, I became certain I was dreaming. You'll have to forgive that I was not too sad anymore about the death from then on, knowing I would wake up and it would never have happened.

Still in my dream, I ended up randomly at my normal HEB, a good place even in dreams. I thought, "I know I'm dreaming, but in reality we're out of bread, so even though this is a dream, I better get some bread while I'm here, so that when I wake up, I won't have to make another trip to the store."

Back to reality for a second: This dream also happpened the night after I broke one of my favorite bottles of perfume. It smashed so hard on the tile bathroom-cupboard floor that I could not even hear the shattering sound. That put a damper on my day for a while, so that night, when I realized I was dreaming, I also thought, "Since this is a dream, maybe I'll wake up and my perfume won't be broken anymore."

"No," my dream-self said, "That happened while you were still awake." I had to take this chance to try to save my big, pink Ed Hardy Love Kills Slowly, and I said stubbornly back, "But I got bread, even though this was a dream. Let's just say that that bottle broke during the dream, so now it wont be broken." My dream self wouldn't have it.

I always hear that when people have lucid dreams, they use them to try to do something that they would never be able to do in reality, like flying, or kissing someone they secretly love, or punching a teacher or colleague or someone they can't stand. I always thought I would do that too (not so much the kissing one--I don't have to be in a dream to kiss my Love, although I would) but the punching one is especially exciting. I've flown in dreams without knowing I was dreaming before. But no, I did not try to do any special thing, I just wanted to fix something I broke and be more efficient with my day by not going to HEB twice.

When I woke up, I did not have any bread for toast, my grandfather was still alive, and my bathroom still smelled strongly of fruity, pink floral top notes.