who the heck knows anything, anyway

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

past few weeks recap

Recently, I:

--watched Prometheus, and it was amazing. If you watch it and have no idea why I feel this way, ask me. I don't want to be spoily.

--finished a work project.

--survived finals week.

--took on another freelance project. It's a horror monologue! Looking forward to channeling a little Poe. This is my first project for stage, too. A little intimidating, but it's the kind of challenge that gets me excited!

--started reading The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevsky is, sigh, wonderful. 

--began working out 3x a week (consistently!)

--moped about a little.

--haven't drawn enough.

Other things:

Work and I have a complicated relationship. When I'm overloaded with school and contract deadlines, I can't wait to be done, can't wait to take a break. Once I finish and have a few minutes to breathe, I'm bored. So I jump right in to the next project, because the alternative is wasting hours refreshing pinterest and twitter while dissatisfaction pokes me in the stomach repeatedly.

I am not the biggest fan of living in limbo. It's an uncomfortable place, full of self-doubt; breeding grounds of the nebulous "unknown" that prompts feelings of helpless rather than excitement. Looking forward to Christmas when things should settle a little.

I might go climbing tomorrow. I haven't been climbing in a long time, and I miss it.

I've been feeling very anti-social. I'm kind of ok with it. Life stress has brought me back to reading as a method of coping, and I'm looking forward to spending ALL DAY Thursday with my face all up in The Brothers Karamazov. It's my book day. I'm proclaiming it now so I have dibs. Dibs on myself.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

we get by with a little help from our friends

Life is terrible and wonderful all at once, every minute, and I find it confusing and difficult to handle sometimes.

Gonzo, I need your existential guidance. Let's split a cigarette on the front porch and think about space and belonging, and then we can go back inside and be funny blue whatevers and no one will be the wiser.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween: Where the heck did it come from?

I made a crazy discovery today. Pre-note: this is not really the most academic post, so don't go citing me or yelling at me for not being scholarly.

It's popular to claim that most holidays we celebrate now are appropriated pagan celebrations. But Halloween is super interesting in this sense. Our first impulse is to claim that Halloween--All Hallow's Eve (the night before All Saints' Day, which is the day before All Souls' Day)--was purposefully placed on October 31/November 1 because that's when Samhain took place. Only, wait a minute! The Roman Catholic Church and the Irish Catholic Church were very different establishments back in the day. The Irish Catholic Church--the establishment you might assume would do the appropriating--celebrated All Saints' Day on April 20. So it's pretty much accidental that the two became related. Doesn't that BLOW YOUR MIND?

Dia de los Muertos was more intentionally moved--it's related to an Aztec celebration that occurred in August (for the whole month). The Spanish Catholics, known for being a bit, ah, zealous, pushed the celebration to All Souls' Day.

Ironically, the Irish and Scots are the ones who we can thank for bringing Halloween to the US. The English were bigger fans of Guy Fawkes day, so Halloween didn't get to the US until the mass Irish immigration in the 19th century. Obviously, being the best holiday, the traditions spread, and that's why we get to celebrate the best day ever. Although, thanks to globalization, if we hadn't gotten it then, we'd probably have gotten it via Dia de los Muertos. Yay! Holiday celebrations! And now you know.

Although you know what? This brings up some other questions: first, how can people actually think they know anything about history, ever? It's awful. I'm reading this book that is otherwise brilliant, but it claims that the Church in Ireland very intentionally appropriated Samhain. As we can see, that's (likely) not correct, but the only way you could know that without the internet in the 1980s is if you actively pursued medieval Church history in addition to your studies of pre-Christian Irish mythology. That's kind of an impractical expectation. And these are scholars! So, it's awesome that we have the internet now, but here's the terrible effect of that oversight: now I'm skeptical of the whole book. What conclusions are being presented as fact but, in fact, are not? This is an issue I come up against regularly, and it's why I can't wait for the transhumanists to partner with private industry to make a chip for my brain that allows me to learn every language. When I can read primary sources all day long, I will be a happy camper. Though, even then, you're reading one person's perspective on a fact. I suppose the only way to make any semi-solid conclusions is to read a bunch of primary sources, compare them, and assume that the things they have in common are the ones most likely to bear weight. History, man! It's totally confusing!

Now that I've said all this, please know that this is not a paper that's going into a journal. This is me writing a blog post, after researching for about an hour on the internet, and using primarily, yes, Wikipedia. So take all this with a grain of salt, but also know that Wikipedia is awesome, and I would never repeat dubious material without pursuing it fully and honestly. Plus, this way, you can just google "wiki samhain," "wiki halloween," "wiki dia de los muertos," and "wiki all saints' day" and get all the same info, only in a more long-winded and less enthusiastic format. :) Knowledge for free is The Best.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Twitter, etc.

Ah, sweet October, my favorite month. Oddly, Halloween, which is my absolute favorite holiday, has been screwing me over regularly, post-childhood. But, in true Halloween spirit, I refuse to give up. I will decorate my parents' house, I will wear a costume, I will drink apple cider and hot toddys for days, and it will be as awesome as possible, considering the circumstances. Since the beau and I are apart this year, the sexy Lewis and Clark costumes will have to be put on hold (dang), but I promise I'll have pictures of my solo costume invention on the bless'ed day.

Now, for some updates! They're not that important, but I'm telling you anyway:

1. For some of you, this one's kind of important: I've changed my Twitter handle from @TalesnTeacups to @killianczuba. I've been debating this change for a while. It seems like a good idea, especially as I start to submit stories. I think Twitter is awesome, and I would love for people to find me on it easily. Plus, I don't want to get famous, decide I want to own my name, and then find some douche has already stolen it. If you want to jump on @killianczuba_ebooks, go ahead (*cough*Dan*cough*). It would be hilarious. For those of you who were following @TalesnTeacups and are worried that you won't see my stuff, the change is automatic, so you don't have to re-follow me or anything.

2. Wordstock is this weekend. I'm not sure if I'm going. Are you going? I love Wordstock in theory, but they've always been kind of disappointing in practice.

3. I *am* going to Deborah Reed's reading tonight! Because I love her. She is too amazing.

4. I bought a wedding dress. LOL

Alright, I think that's it. I should go eat some breakfast. Not sure why I haven't done that yet. Oops!

Monday, September 17, 2012

just beachy

I went to the beach this weekend--Rockaway, Cannon, and Ecola. The Oregon coast is probably the best coast, not that I'm biased or anything.

 It was 65* and absolutely beautiful. And tide pools are the way to my heart. It was a much needed break from Real Life.

Ok, business:
As you can see, I am still in the states. Daniel is abroad, workin' hard at his awesome new job and impressing everyone with his mighty brain. I am not going to get into why we are in two such drastically different geographical locations, because it's a long and complicated story that makes me grumpy. But we are fine. As a unit, we are awesome--and that's really what matters. :)

Since I'm not really in a chatty mood, I turned comments off. After this, it should be back to blogging-as-usual. Thanks bros.

But, back to distractions, look at this table I painted! It used to belong to my great grandparents. I've always loved this table, but the finish was in terrible shape and made it look dingy more than artfully-antiquey, if you know what I mean. Sorry about the color quality--all I have is my cell camera (Daniel has the nice one).

Here it is, all sanded. I forgot to take one before I sanded it, but it was uniformly that dark brown that you see in the detailing on the sides.
Before painting it, I coated it with some stuff (the name escapes me) that will make dipping it really easy if I ever want to strip the paint and get it back to the wood base in the future.

Again, color apologies. It's now a light, buttery yellow up top and a cool, winter gray on the bottom. As you can see, I am a sucker for the current color-block/paint-dip trend. I think it looks great. (It's even better in person.)

One last thing: look at this hilarious tiny lemon from our backyard! It's about the size of my pinky nail. The tiniest ripe lemon!

Ok, now I'm off. Gotta go study up on Lugh and the Dagda for work. Woo! Nothing says Escapism like Celtic Mythology and a butt ton of grad school homework. ;)

Monday, September 3, 2012

End of Summer

We leave very, very soon. Tomorrow will be a flurry of last minute laundry and errands and packing. If I think about it for more than a second, I get kind of overwhelmed. Instead, here are a bunch of pictures from a trip to the lake like THREE WEEKS AGO!

It was a great day--lots of swimmin'--even if I *did* have to spend most of the afternoon on my laptop (I know! I know!) DOING HOMEWORK (OMG I KNOW).

So, yep. Lots of errands to run still. I don't want to talk about this whole "moving experience" in too much detail before we get there, because, again, thinking about everything makes me want to vomit. Give me a week or two to decompress (and finish my next grad school packet). Hopefully we'll have new pictures of our flat, too! Though it miiiiiight not be furnished. We may be sleeping in a pile of blankets on the floor for a while. I'm ok with it. It's carpeted! haha.

Alright. Now for the obligatory photo of my cat:

More pictures next week! Or whenever we have internet! YEAH!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

no more worrying

“We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” --Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast. 


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Things I Like Right Now

1. Gravity Falls. 4 Eva. I can't wait until it comes out on DVD so I can buy it and watch it as my pre-sleep lullaby while I'm far away from home in the UK. It takes place in Oregon, you understand. It is the story of my life.

2. Comics. All of them. A few I read this week (as a reward for finishing all my homework): Saga, Prophet, Marceline & the Scream Queens, and Are You My Mother? (links are to first issues in the run--or, in the case of Alison Bechdel's book, Powell's--in case you want to read them!)

3. Breaking Bad, even though it is stressful and I sometimes have to play bejeweled while I watch because I am bad at handling tense situations (yes, even when they are entirely fictional).

4. The new F. Scott Fitzgerald story that was in this week's New Yorker. It might be my favorite piece of his that I've read (if you read it, you'll know why). I can't believe the New Yorker rejected it the first time. Haters.*

5. These roasted potatoes I made this morning.

6. The idea of being an expat. Not for the change in politics (come on, you think the UK is much different? You are hilarious), not for the "foreign cuisine" (LOL), or fashion, or even the health care (though that one is pretty sweet).
First (and most romantically): it's an automatic "in" to the old-school novelists club**. The only way to be more like Papa is to be an expat in Paris. I will happily settle for the stomping grounds of Lewis and Tolkien, those cuties.
Second: it's a label that will be automatically applied to me that, for the first time in my life, does not feel like an insult/backhanded compliment. It does not matter what you look like, what nationality your parents are, or the state/country you were born in. It is simply a fact. It means you moved from the land where you are a citizen and are currently living someplace else. The reason doesn't matter. Despite having some association with exile (self-imposed or otherwise) it does not feel politically or socially charged. Most labels don't work this way. You can't even own a certain kind of computer without people labeling you and then using that label to judge you. "Blah blah blah" you hear me ranting. "I hate labels." Nah, dudes. I just hate mean labels, or any label that can become mean. But that's why I like "expat". It feels pretty unpolarized--at least in this day and age.

7. Burritos.

8. Butts.

the end.

*further proof that Magic Realism has pretty much always been under-appreciated or misunderstood. But this is a happy list, so I shan't get into that right now.
**which is a club that exists exclusively in my mind

Friday, August 3, 2012

who the heck knows

Moving. It has been an...experience. Does that sound bitter? Good. It's supposed to. I'm in kind of a bad mood.

Let's start with the neutral:

--Our schedule over the last week was like this: Pack. Moving Truck. Train back to Seattle. Fly to Philly. Wedding. Fly back from Philly. Move the rest of the stuff to Portland. This all took place over seven days. 

The negatives (or: Why I Bave Been So Angry/Tired for Weeks--the short version):

--Visa trouble. 

--Tons of tiny little hang-ups that have added up to Energy-Draining Pains in my Butt (ex: thinking our cat ran away the day we had to drive down to Portland with a moving van*, having important documents arrive at our old address the day after we didn't live there anymore, Comcast being butts, UPS being butts, the British Consolate being butts, butts just everywhere, SHALL I CONTINUE?)

--I have another grad school deadline in 6 days. I'm not as behind as I was last time, but I'm not as ahead as I'd like to be, either. And the stress of a deadline is nice for productivity, but the stress of Real Life on top of a deadline is, frankly, not.

--Because of all the crap going on, I had to ask work for a project deadline extension. I hate being the person who can't get things done on time.

There have been other little things that would, in my normal mood, have been blissfully forgotten a day later but have, in this case, added to my frustration tumor (ex: woman on airplane dumps water all over me/my computer, does not apologize). 

Now, the positives:

--My parents are awesome. If it weren't for them, their generosity (letting Daniel and I store all of the stuff we can't bring overseas with us for 3 years, and letting us live with them for a month), and their happiness at having us here, we would be sunk. We would be homeless. Or possibly living in a storage unit with all of our crap.

--My brothers are funny. I enjoy being around funny people.

--Daniel has not left me, despite my crankiness. In fact, he's been downright understanding. This is helpful, because it makes me less grumpy when the people around me are nice.

So, yes. This is what has been going on. I haven't had any time to draw, I've barely had time to read and write. Why am I doing this? Partially to vent (sometimes you just need to air out the feelings), and partially because I know my bros who read this are curious about all of the moving stuff, how we're doing, etc, and I don't want to (a) lie or (b) talk about all of this negative stuff to a bunch of people individually. I'd rather puke it all up at once, and then move on to positive things--like bike rides, and berry picking, and fantasizing about the wallpaper I'd like to get for our apartment**.

I promise, I have been thinking about intellectual things, but either I lack the energy to post about them, or they're secrets. I like having intellectual secrets. They make me more valuable. I plan on sharing them all, but only in my work. You have to read my futurebooks to learn all the secrets.

*she had, in fact, locked herself in a closet. But the front door AND door outside were both propped open, and we had checked this closet once already, so I was not saved the trauma of thinking my derpy little indoor baby had gotten lost on Capitol Hill and I would never see her little fuzzy face again. Since this incident, I have adopted some strange, overprotective-parent tendencies, as well as developing a whole new guilt complex that makes me feel bad when she's alone for more than five minutes. Totally healthy.

**Speaking of our apartment: our plans have changed since we've talked to some of you. We're now moving at the end of August/beginning of September, so we'll be in PDX for a while. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

moving: not easy! ha!

This whole moving thing has been a lot more difficult than expected, in a variety of directions. D and I have been "kept busy" by visa applications, apartment hunting, and strange piles of paperwork, all in addition to our regular work/school stuff. It turns out that grad school + moving is not my favorite thing in the world. I'm glad I started school when I did, but it maaaaaay have been a better idea to try and defer until January. Oh well! Nothing like a little extra pressure around a deadline, eh? Yesterday I had a little weepy moment over a coat. (I think the coat was a metaphor.)

Things we still have not figured out: absentee voting (important); exactly how the British government functions (confusing); how we're actually going to get everything done (mystery).

Welp, I have like +100000 more packing to do, and homework due in about 3 days, and a work assignment due in a week, and a family thing this afternoon, so I guess I should get off my butt. Just wanted to give an update (especially for my dad, who is good about reminding me when I haven't blogged in a while). Before I go, as a reward for reading words, here are some pictures from July-so-far!

pretty city

Obligatory cat picture: Flannery is sitting. Like she thinks she's a human or something.

aw yeah


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


our days look like this

1. Daniel and I are re-reading The Great Gatsby because we are very cultured.* It's pretty good. Some parts are AMAZING! and then other parts are like "Really, F. Scott? Really? You just spent god-knows how many words saying nothing. Homework: go read Dickens and then try again."
I'm allowed to make this statement because I am in grad school.

2. I got assigned to the Celtic Myth team at work! There was much rejoicing. There was also much purchasing-of-books. Through some kind of magic boon of willpower, I refrained from buying the super expensive/hardcover ones.

3. I finished Zadie Smith's White Teeth yesterday. It is one of my new favorites, and I highly recommend it to everyone. Everyone! I'm just gonna go ahead and call Smith brilliant right here, and I mean it. Those of you who regularly hear me yell about books know this is a big deal. I don't often make it to the end of a book and think "I would possibly consider selling my soul to the devil to write like this person," but Smith wooed me good. Now I just have to sit down and write a paper about it. Aww yiss. Paperz.**

4(a). We're going to start packing soon.
4(b). We don't have a flat yet.
I haven't worried about either of these things today, which is a neat by-product of having a job and school to worry about. I also took a nap.

5. Daniel is the best.

6. My cat is also the best, though sometimes she smells bad and refuses to eat her expensive wet food.

7. That's pretty much all the update I've got. Numbers 1-3 were really the salient points here. Maybe 4, since many people are wondering when we're moving, etc. (Answer: August? Probably? Meh.)

*actually: because I never read it in high school. My class just watched the movie--the Robert Redford one--and then read...something else? that was American? It was Junior year. I remember Mark Twain and Zora Neale Hurston aaaaand Stephen Crane? Poe, maybe? Did we really just skip from Twain to Hurston? This may have happend. I have no idea. High school, man. Dark times.
**full disclosure: I am, in fact, looking forward to writing this paper. It's short, and it's about narration, and I loooooove talking about narration.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Killian-less in Seattle, day 14"

(guest post by Daniel)

"Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald*, I quite agree, it is a lovely day for a tea party."

"You look positively famished. Another scone?"

"Beg pardon? My mental state? Don't be silly, I'm fine. Now where did Wilson get to..."

*Flannery, AKA F. Cat Fitzgerald, AKA The Dowager Countess Snugglepaws

how am I awake right now?

Alright. It's done. I'm home*, I'm doing laundry, I ate a hearty breakfast. The only thing non-pajama-wearing on today's agenda: Powell's. I will leave there many dollars poorer and one well-stocked reading list richer. Then, I'll return to the Casa de Czuba and work. I will work on my job, I will work on my homework, and I will work on packing (my life is one suitcase after another).

The last ten days were so absolutely, incredibly odd. For every evening spent socializing and stepping out of my comfort zone, there was an hour of sleep and relaxation lost;  for every motivating craft talk and amazing reading, there was a quiet, growing panic working its way into the back of my mind; for every minute of blissful removal from real life, there was (rather, is) the consequence of returning to real life after totally ignoring it for ten long days. Basically, for every positive, there was a negative.** But I learned much, I ate relatively well, and I slept little. (Somehow, that seems like an apt prediction of what the next two years of my life will look like.)

Today will be a good day, I think. Maybe? I've got a killer hangover*** and no idea where/how to get started on all the things I have to do, but that's hardly going to stop me. You know, as long as I can get my crap together and stop with my forgetful abandoning of tasks (witness: the half-emptied dishwasher, still open, sad and alone, which I forgot I was working on until this minute).

Also, I'm pretty sure that if I let myself stop for a minute, I will pass out for at least18 hours. And--let's be real--I don't have time for sleep.

*sort of. I mean, I'm back at my parents' house. I don't get to go HOME home until tomorrow night.
**just like a good scene. haha
***let me tell you: the residency will give you a hangover regardless of alcohol intake. I haven't had alcohol for days, yet I feel like I've just come off of the all-night bender of a lifetime.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Residency: 1/3rd Complete

This residency thing is insane. I'm still trying to decipher exactly how I feel about it, but I think a good estimate is that it is proving equal parts useful, interesting, exhausting, and trying.

This is exactly what I've needed in the following ways:
1. I'm getting my butt kicked by genius faculty. I can't believe I can only pick four of them to work with directly over the next two years. Then again, I get four of them. (this place, man. everything's a dichotomy)
2. I've met a ton of people, and a few of us became instant bros. I've also reconnected with a few old bros.
3. It's got me stoked to get to work. Stoooooooked.

This is less than ideal for me in the following ways:
1. I never seem to get enough sleep, so I just somnambulate around, making small talk that may or may not make sense.
2. I'm homesick. I miss my cat, my room, my beau. I miss my shower, my desk, my closet. I am tired of looking like a bum who wears the same clothes every day and never learned about combs. On top of it all, I can't work very well here. Some places have good chi, and others don't. A futuristic dorm room with a prison bed and fluorescent lamp does not have good chi. (but, like I mentioned, dichotomy alert: it's beautiful outside, and I've felt wonderful when I've had daylight breaks to lounge on the lawn and read Zadie Smith. I don't think I've gotten this much vitamin D in years)
3. We still have four days of workshopping--three until my own piece is done--and this is my least favorite aspect of the residency. It's nerve-wracking. I know next semester will be better because I know what to expect, but it's painful to learn so much in so little time, and to not be able to fix those problems in the work you submitted a month ago. Instead, everyone can use these new tools of enhanced observation (which, reminder, I now possess, as well) to tell me how much something is blah blah blah buzzwords when I, too, can see these problems myself from a mile away. It just makes me feel like an idiot, and I'm not a fan. I decided (in no small part because I hand wrote all of my workshop notes to my peers) not to revise my feedback, to get it to them from the newbie perspective I came with. If Killian-sans-all-this-knowledge encountered certain hurtles or excitements in reading the piece, then chances are that other, less info-saturated folks might have similar comments. Since most people don't want to be elitists, hopefully they'll appreciate my proletarian advice.

All in all, it's a good thing. I'm learning more than I thought I could, and meeting more than I thought I would, and sleeping less than I probably should. It's a perfect recipe for inspiration and a side of mental breakdown, but I hear that's the standard fare at this sort of event.

Please forgive misspellings, etc. According to my trusty SleepBot, I have an 11hr 38min sleep debt, and it's only gonna get worse. Three days down, six days to go, and it feels like I've been at this grown-up summer camp for months. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but each day feels like many. Events from yesterday? I would swear they happened two days ago, at least). That's the other thing that happens here: there's a crazy time vortex that sucks you up into a realm where dates are totally meaningless and then spits you out ten days later. The shock of returning back to everyday life is, I hear, practically medical in definition.

Ok. Sleeping now. If I hurry, I can get seven whole magical hours in tonight. PEACE OUT.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

grumpypants mcgee

Guys. I'm totally losing it. This living-in-limbo thing is so distracting that I can't focus on any task (except, you know, stupid things like dishes) for more than one minute. Facebook is boring and no one ever updates, AND YET: I have checked it--and Twitter--like 10,000,000,000,000 times today. I opened about 7 tabs of letting agencies/craigslist equivalents and then looked at flats for about three hours. I have already looked at all of these flats. I have looked at some of them about 5 days in a row. I can't stop. My mouse moves of its own will!--just clickin' on stuff, showin' me homes we can't have. It's insane behavior, much like when we decided it was time to get a cat and I spent 3 solid weeks scouring Petfinder.

Obviously, it's going to work out. We'll find a place. It'll be nice--or, at the very least,  inhabitable. It'll have things like "windows" and a "bathroom". It'll likely be near the City Centre* and Daniel's work, in close proximity to Pieminister (aka my real new home), and within walking distance to absolutely everything. We'll have our cat, we'll have our favourite** mugs, and we'll have the thrill of getting to know a new city. However, much in the way I could not pry my eyes from Petfinder this past January, I will similarly remain plagued by anxiety and doubt until the day we have a place on lock-down. I've been trying to get excited about the move, but I can't. I'm not upset about it, either; I just know that I need to start mentally moving before we physically move, and I can't mentally move if I don't have the promise of a place to live. I need a floorplan, or a few pictures, or even a weak description and a little pinpoint on a map--anything--a little piece of something that can become a focal point. From there, I can start dealing with the issues I have heretofore acknowledged that I will feel but have not yet actually processed: like leaving my family, riding in lots of airplanes, and you know what this list is really long so let's not get into it.

Also, I think my Nexus 1 is dying, and that is terrible. I don't want to get a new phone. That's way too much change for me, man. WAY TOO MUCH.

Oh, yeah, Residency is next week. NO BIG DEAL.

It's cool, though. I'm gonna go nurse a mug of sleepytime tea, read more White Teeth, and ignore my feelings some more. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, guys. It's super effective!****

*that's how it's spelled, because we're moving to Classyville**
**although this same country, which possesses such lovely words as "colour" and "favourite", also has towns named things like Crumps Butts and Crotch Crescent. SO CLASSY.
***it does help loads that we've been there before. 
****until it isn't anymore and you word-vomit all over your blog with long-suppressed feelings

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remember when you were a kid and you'd be all like "YAY! SUMMER! No school, no job, no responsibilities! I can hang out with my best friend EVERY SINGLE DAY and bum around the skate park and be broke but not give a flying crap because, man, it's summer and we can just we can just watch Almost Famous in Danielle's garage every night."?

Awesomely, I can still conjure up those memories. I can't really remember the feeling, though. You know, the feeling of not being busy and liking it.

Summer has been the busiest season of my life consistently for years. This one is no exception. Trying to balance sanity with the demands of work/school/money/family/friends/moving to a foreign country is going to be, um, well, the word "challenging" is probably an understatement. I need to stop looking for flats before we have a moving date because watching all of the good ones disappear might be more masochistic than I can even handle.

Fortunately, I got to play with Declan this weekend. My cousins are the cutest frickin' kids. I have to say: I'm very lucky to have my family. Both sides are supportive and amazing, and I'm going to miss the heck out of afternoons like this.

Hopefully next weekend is as bright and beautiful as this one was. Littlest bro (bottom picture) danced at Folk Life today. He was awesome! And Daniel's making dinner tonight! I like it when that happens. See? I'm keeping it positive. I may have a few mental breakdowns in the coming weeks, but it's nothing D and I can't handle. PLUS!!!: getting a haircut when we go down to PDX for Matthew's graduation. It's gonna be SHORT AGAIN. I'm stoked. Don't know if you could tell. Pictures will be provided eventually (as I've said before: blogging from P-town? it rarely happens).

Food time! Over and out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

hum drum update doop

Man, deadlines are so helpful. I'm just gonna throw that out there. I love deadlines. They are like jumper cables for your brain. Vroom vroom.

In other news, I updated my comic recently. You can view it here. Daniel and I took the weekend off--almost entirely for reals!--and went hiking with some peeps, hung out at Remedy, etc. And I spent about 6 hours of Sunday making a comic, because, you know, weekends. It was actually quite relaxing, and provided some much-needed flexing of the drawing muscles. I've even been feeling the itch to paint a little bit, but that's way more labor- (and prep-) intensive, and I don't really have the time for it right now. Writing is consuming my life. (Note: that is a good thing. A very, wonderfully, spectacularly good thing.)

I do wish that we could find an apartment. We can't technically look right now (I mean, I am certainly allowed to bum around and check places out on the interwebs, but not for keeps) because moving dates are up in the air, etc, but with the summer months approaching, I'm starting to get a little antsy. Hopefully it's silly of me to think that the summer Olympics will at all impact our ability to find a nice, affordable place to live (*cough*in the area we want*cough*), but... there it is. Who knows. Regardless, I'm getting excited about finding a new home--some place we can cozy up in for three years--one with new walls for our art, and new drawers to put spoons in. I'm going to miss our Seattle home (our building is the prettiest!), but a fresh start is becoming more and more an exciting notion. (I'm even looking forward to going through all of my clothes and trinkets, deciding what things to store and what to give away. All I need is the time to do it! snort.)

Writing's been going well this week. I should be able to spend the next few days polishing before I send my beginning-of-a-thing off to Workshop Assignment Land. I'm fairly nervous about the residency and how my writing will be received*, but most good workshops are full of warm individuals who want to help you improve, so that's exactly what I'll hope for. I am pretty darn excited about my study proposal for the term, so hopefully that works out. So much Magic Realism.** I am obsessed.

Speaking of lovely, bookish things: I put Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red onto my proposed reading list. I read it once in undergrad and thought it was breathtaking, so I'd like to read it again. I opened it up today and re-read the first intro chapter--sometimes words, or pairings of words, are so beautiful that become emotionally overwhelmed. In fact, it wasn't until I picked it up that I had any success with writing today.*** Whatever it is that I'm working on is not nearly as beautiful (at least at this point), but that does not cheapen the inspiration.

Also, Daniel is reading A Moveable Feast. He totally loves it, and his new crush on Hemingway is downright adorable.

**novels AND nonfiction analysis. oooOOOOoooh!
***1000 words by 7pm! And at 5pm I only had 54. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

getting back on the [work] horse

There's this trend I'm noticing where I pretty much don't blog when I'm staying at my parents' house. This is likely because the days there are all GO GO GO and squeeze-in-a-nap-when-you-can-'cause-wake-up-time-is-6:30am*. Now Daniel and I are back home, still exhausted, but happy to be in our own little place again. The cat's happy to be home, too. She and Watson almost became friends. Almost.

So, basically, life is crazy. In Portland, I: went to the eye doctor; purchased glasses for my broken, nearsighted face**; bought an e-reader***; put lots of public domain books on said-reader; bought too many clothes at Target; bought more clothes at H&M (why do I even let myself go to these places??); got my hair did; replaced my lost ID****; hung out with a bunch of friends, but was sad that I didn't get to see all of them; watched the dog/chickens/guinea pigs/brothers; didn't sleep enough.

Today we got back home in the a.m. and were able to get a little bit of work time in, but tomorrow is the day to really swing back into it. Already, I've had moments of near-panic (quelled by...magic?) wherein I discover that I HAVE DEADLINES AGAIN. Big, important deadlines for work AND school. What the heck is happening.

I think the hardest part so far is trying to establish some kind of routine. Since I got my "real" job, we've been traveling non-stop (the last time we were home, it was for 18 hours--between getting off a plane from Ithaca and then driving down to PDX. I do not recommend it), so my poor, organization-deprived brain has been scrambling to figure out the difference between Work Time, School Time, and Down Time. It feels a little like asking my netbook to run twenty programs at once. My eyes may be flashing frantic ERROR alerts as we speak. Anywhoo, I bought a binder this evening for to keep track of a bunch of my financial stuff, and new staples for the stapler, and caraway seeds so I could make black bread tomorrow. I'm still working through how to best organize my time, but I think 24 hours at home and a rudimentary filing system (1 binder and some dividers. very professional) will do wonders.

So, want to see the insane swimsuit I bought at H&M? I have no idea why, but I saw this from across the store and I just knew we were meant to be. It makes me feel like a Bond girl.


Swimsuit - from H&M


Fully lined swimsuit with long sleeves, front zip and partially open back. Zips on sleeves.


this is obviously not a picture of me. I am a sickly ghost-color, and not nearly as leggy.

Alright. I've got a date with Kait and the library tomorrow, and bread to make before that, so I'mma peace out and go sleep for many, many hours.

*not because anyone will intentionally wake you up at 6:30--but that's when the zoo awakens and, unfortunately, I don't sleep as soundly as my brother Matthew 
**I should be getting them tomorrow! YESSSS
***a li'l Sony e-reader. It runs on Android, so it's just like using my phone! And it handles PDFs spectacularly. Also, you can hand-write notes in the margins. Pretty great, considering all of the traveling I'm about to be doing and the mountains of research I've got looming over my head.
****WHICH COST ME $40 BECAUSE NON-DRIVERS ARE ABUSED. (replacing a driver's license is $26.50, but a regular ol' state ID is $39.50. RIDDLE ME THAT, BATMAN)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Our lives just got totally insane

Some of you may have noticed an odd internet silence on my part over the last few days. This is because Daniel took me on a surprise trip to Disneyland. I am not even kidding.
(note: some of these are with my phone camera, and some are with the Fancy Cam. I bet you can tell which are which.)

Then, the second day we were there, we got engaged. ALSO NOT KIDDING.




(it's a little small, so we're getting it re-sized this week. I sported it on my right pinkie for most of the trip. haha)

Yep. Now here's the rest of our trip! WHEEEEEE!

When we got home, Kait had made us this banner!  

It's the most adorable thing in the world (they look like TEA BAGS), and we're going to make sure to take it with us wherever we move...which, ahem, brings us to crazy thing #3. 

We're probably moving to Oxford! The UK one, not the Mississippi one. Not sure when yet, but don't worry--the States will be keeping us for at least a few more months. Mmmm, I sure can't wait to apartment hunt for around the same time as the London Olympics!**

Thanks for all of the love and support through these last super ridiculous months. It looks like some of our waiting will be coming to a close (only to be replaced by new things to wait for, but I'm not going to complain about a little novelty). 


**sarcasm. Oxford, we have been told, will be very busy this August. It's not far from London, plus they'll get  run-off tourism, etc. Please cross your fingers in hopes of us finding a nice (*cough*affordable*cough*) place!!