who the heck knows anything, anyway

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. :)