Dec 21, 2007

in and out of boxes, continuously

Two hours ago everything was fine. I was happy.

But something has been bothering me.

Where is that photo?

That one photo.

All photos being packed carefully away in various places.

With the absolute favorites all piled loosely together in one particular box.

As it's always been.

But established patterns got thrown off.

I became overwhelmed with all that I inherited from my dad.

Namely his photos. His millions of books and pieces of paper and mechanical drawing tools.

His bottles of windex.

His bottles of wine.

His jars filled with nuts and bolts (and sometimes just jars filled with smaller jars).

His furniture.

His millions of business cards.

His plaster-of-paris death mask of his own face.

His method of perspective.

His endless recipes and personal notes on everything.

His literal shoes.

His figurative sweater.

(and on and on)

Just boxes upon boxes of another person's life.

Cherished. And too much.

So I decided to move.

I just wanted to halt what was happening.

With all of these boxes.

I needed more space, yes, but, really, at that point (with all the dad-related boxes that had accumulated around me) I just wanted everything to be in boxes.

To make all things equal.

So I packed up everything and moved to another apartment (down the street).

This was so each kind of box could be unpacked with the same measure of (practicality, love, detachment) attention.

It was around this point that I met my boyfriend, Tom.

And I began ignoring the few left over dad-related boxes (as well, moving-related boxes).

Really, any boxes.

I was "living my life"

And I was in love.

And it went like that for a few months.

Then one night Tom was robbed and nearly killed in our neighborhood.

And we had always been so mindful about local criminal activity.

Really. Truly.

We had discussed the situation so many times.

Almost too many times.

But it was in the air.

So when he got attacked, lots of "things" were lost, shuffled around and ignored. But none of that mattered.

He made it out alive.

Which is incredible.

So, somewhere along the way, I lost a photo.

So what.

It's a picture of my mom and dad walking down a familiar street taken by me when I was little.

Just of them from their knees down.

I'm not sure why it's so important to me.

It's somewhere.

One day it will fall out of a book.

Or be found in that one last box I have yet to unpack.


Dec 16, 2007


I'm about to turn forty.


I'm not really feeling it.

I just edited this, but - the more I write forty the less it means. The more it seems misspelled.


Huh. Nope. Nothing.

Nothing has happened yet.

My left knee does hurt a little when I sit like a geisha for too long.

And (these days) I have what can only be described as more manageable acne.

And each year has brought me a better understanding of my hair-do.

But that's to be expected.

Admittedly, I've weighed less.

Though, to be fair I've weighed more.

I've felt worse than I do right now.

I've been closer to death.

More confused.

Less informed.

More focused.

I've been less responsible.

Now, I'm irresponsible, unfocused and informed.

In the past I've been less restrained, yet more repressed.

As well, less tolerant, and more anxious.

I've known less while I've assumed more.

I've had bigger problems, more money, less savings.

I've learned things, abandoned what I've learned and come back again.

That is, I've known that I was right, then (with time) realized that I was wrong - then (with more time) realized that I was right in the first place.

(and that sort of thing takes at least thirty-five years).


In ten years I may feel differently, but right now I wouldn't want to go back.

Except if I could go back to childhood knowing everything that I know right now. And do it all over again.

And only under those conditions.

Some part of me believes that that's possible.

It must be.

Next time.

As in, next time I turn twenty I won't worry about turning forty.

If only I had known..

Dec 12, 2007

other kitchens, other lives

Today I looked through a magazine that had this whole five page thing (photos, personal accounts, recipes) on this couple and their ground breaking new kitchen.

I realized that these guys have the basic floor plan for what is my existing kitchen.


Life is funny like that.

Unlike me, they (the couple in the magazine) own their space, have a disposable income, time, and photographers.

None of that mattering, at some point, while reading this article, I moved in (into their kitchen).

I live there now.

In other news, I should be shopping right now. At least part of me thinks so. I still have my boots on (melted mud-snow puddles are forming beneath my desk as I write this).


I can't get comfortable just yet.

Because I know I am supposed to go out and shop.

But I don't want to shop.

If I did, I would shop.


And by shop I mean grocery shop (I've barely begun the other kind).

Why can't there be three or four of me?

One who would do the errands. The other two or three who would do everything else.


I don't enjoy it.

I went Christmas shopping once so far. If you can call scrolling through Zappos during my lunch hour shopping.

It was a successful mission.

(so far, this season)

I got my boyfriend some nice new warm boots which I already gave him (the weather dictates necessity).

Zappos. It really is overnight.

The boots arrived yesterday. He wore them today.

All day. Out there in the bad weather.

Bad wet weather. Melting snow. Icy sidewalks.

It messy and cold.

But, for at least his feet, it is warm.

And dry.

And cushioned (that's important).

I will use Zappos again.

Zappos = immediate.

It's too easy.

This is why I've never used Zappos before.

This is why I will use Zappos again.

I'm taking my own boots off, now.

I'm going to push off grocery shopping one more day.

What the hell.

Their kitchen (the guys from the magazine)? STOCKED. With everything.

Mine? Not so much.



Pizza? Deffinitely.

Dec 8, 2007


At some point last night I fell asleep while watching television.

Oprah must have come on in the form of a rerun - and it integrated into a dream I was had where someone was talking about me to Oprah as though I had serious problems with something.

I woke up to my boyfriend asking me if I needed anything.

I should have gotten up at that point and said,

Yes, lets go out..

I didn't. But I should have. Because, right then I had had enough sleep.

Because I have a problem with leaving the warmth of my apartment these days.

The Oprah dream was so real.

In other news - a plug for Picante on Division in Wicker Park:

We love you.

And your sign that explains (so straightforwardly) that you no longer make tamales (because they take too much time to do it the right way - and refuse to do it the wrong way).

Integrity. Got to love that.

Dec 7, 2007

bad, it's not good

I was trying to remember something the other day.

What I was trying to remember was insignificant. But that's why it was so important to me.

It's very insignificantness* was the driving force.

I was focused.

Since my journals are in a box underneath many boxes in my utility closet (all the boxes being heavy) I had to rely on memory to do this.

What I've learned is that I can recall the smallest details about things that happened decades ago.

Brains. They're just fancier computers (in most cases).

But minds and brains - aren't they different things?

Whatever. It's all in there.

I've heard it before.

I was never old enough for it to be remarkable.

(until now)

In any case, I remembered what I was trying to remember - and everything else.

This kind of activity takes time. Mulling things over while trying to not think about anything else (electing to become preoccupied with something insignificant) - requires focus, requires not reading, not watching movies, but only cleaning, only mopping, only folding (as well as a few sheets of paper, a pen, both yellow and pink highlighters, and beer).

Consequently, I'm now indignant about certain things that happened (fifteen) years ago (all over again).

Because what was good was good. But was bad is bad.

Was. Is.

And bad is not good.

It's a pot best unstirred.

My mind.

I know this now.

It's sweet and sour.

It's olive oil, lemon juice. A couple sprigs of parsley.

Or cilantro.

(maybe some horseradish..)

* not a word