Saturday, December 27, 2003

Did Santa bring you everything you asked for? I hope so. I got a lot of really nice gifts this year. I'm a lucky girl.

I spent a lot of the holidays seeing movies. "Something's Gotta Give." "LOTR: Return of the King." "Cold Mountain." "Big Fish." I was especially excited to see "Big Fish" because I'm such a huge Tim Burton fan. I think our world views are very similar. The only person I know of outside of Tim Burton who has that much whimsy is my friend Frank. I wish the world really were that beautiful and magical. I have to say that even though it was very realistic and often moving, "Cold Mountain" left me....cold. I'm sorry but I just didn't believe in the relationship between Jude Law's character and Nicole Kidman's. "Return of the King" was great but very long. And the ending was kind of a letdown. Sort of like the day after Christmas. All this buildup and then everything sort of fizzles out. "Something's Gotta Give" was better than expected but too long. I love Diane Keaton. I hope I look that good at that age.

So many more movies to see. I need to get back to reading, though. My friend Greg and I will soon be starting our New Year's book for 2004: THE TALE OF GENJI. It should be delicious pain.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Before I temporarily sign off for the holidays, I'd like to extend a few wishes for the New Year....

For my mom...that she have lots of fun remodeling her new place
For Greg J....that he get some peace in his family and finally write the next great American novel
For Sara...that she be recognized as a great manager
For Anna....that things continue to go well in her relationship
For Frank...that her baby dreams come true
For Brad...that school continues to fulfill him
For Vieve....that she meet the man of her dreams
For Dave and Lora...that they will learn how to use the phone :) (I miss you guys!)
For Maya...that her first year of marriage be wonderful
For Jen...that school goes well and married life continues to be great
For C.B....that she find a job that fulfills her
For Greg P...that his family problems get ironed out
For Brandon...that he comes out of his funk and finds a hot boyfriend
For Guillermo...that he find a great job and great boyfriend
For my extended family...that we get to see each other more often and in a meaningful way
For Brian C...that he recover from heartbreak and that he continue to have success in work
For Greg W...that his new relationship continue to grow

For everyone...a peaceful new year both inside and out

Merry Christmas! I love you guys.

Friday, December 19, 2003

My co-worker Matt just said to me, "You're crazy. But you're fun crazy."

Is that a compliment? I'm not so sure. I go through life pretty convinced I'm crazier than the average person. I have a weird outlook on life and I sometimes suffer from depression. And I always seem to have unreasonable expectations from life and people. My boyfriend reassured me that I am not in fact crazy. That he knows plenty of people crazier than me. But that doesn't reassure me either. When do you go from merely eccentric to crazy? Matt also told me that I am more outspoken than most Texan women. I "tell it like it is." I think sometimes I tell too much. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut and not let every thought and opinion that runs through my head out into the open.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Well, it has finally happened. I am the proud founder of my own country! My friend Genevieve introduced me to this fun simulation game called Nation States. My country is called the Republic of Fleurin. We are classified as an "inoffensive centrist democracy." How charming! I'll let you know how my nation develops. In the meantime, you can read more about it at the link I've posted to the right. This is just the sort of work diversion I've been looking for.

Monday, December 15, 2003

So, we caught the bastard. But it seems a little anti-climactic. Maybe if we had caught Saddam in a minor skirmish or battle where he was surrounded by henchman coming out with guns blazing. Don't get me wrong. I didn't want any casualties. But seeing Saddam on t.v......he just looked pathetic. What glory is there in capturing a pathetic sickly beaten-down old man? I believe 100% that he should be tried in his own country for crimes against humanity. I think one of the absolute worst crimes in the world is to betray or harm your own country. But I don't even feel a huge amount of anger towards Saddam anymore. Just disgust, really. I'm sure he gave up without a fight because he's just tired and sick of running. Not a particularly glorious end to Bush's war. But everyone seems happy and at least Saddam won't be a threat anymore. If he ever was one. Now if Bush could just find Osama. The one who ACTUALLY perpetrated a crime against the U.S.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Here's a fun fact about me: my favorite Christmas song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I like the part where it says "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow." Sometimes that's what we have to do. Muddle through.

I went home for dinner and it was very hard to come back to work. I dreaded it. I walked into work this afternoon to the depressing sound of my least favorite shelvers bickering over who would have to shelve a cart of children's videos. They both refused to do it and walked off. I sighed and dragged the cart of videos out onto the floor. I found that the children's video shelves were completely packed. So, I spent an hour shifting ever shelf and making room. Not exactly fun work. And not exactly my job. But I was trying to be a team player. When I was finished, I told the two shelvers that I had made room for them and now they could shelve the cart. Guess what? It is 7:45pm and the cart is STILL sitting there. Sigh. Add that to all the whiney customers who chose to argue with me about 20 cent fines and demand to know why their copy of the "Da Vinci Code" hasn't come in yet and you'll see what a lovely day this has been.

One part of working at the library that I enjoy is the fact that I am totally capable and equal to the task. There is nothing I can't handle about this job. And that's a great feeling. A lot of times at the museum, I didn't know what was going on or how to do my job. I never have that problem here. So, I keep "muddling" through. But, I have to ask, muddling through to what?

I started THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE last night. Maybe I'll get some answers. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I think I may be having a minor crisis of faith. A crisis in my faith in God because sometimes it is hard to trust that everything happens for a reason and that there is a master plan. A crisis in my faith in others because I feel my expectations are too high and I always get let down. And people never react in the way that I think they will. A crisis in my faith in myself because I'm really unhappy with the way I've been acting and I hate my physical appearance right now. It's like all of the uglies and nasties inside of me have come out. I'm grumpy, irritable, quick to anger, prone to depression, susceptible to envy. All the things I most hate about myself. And I've also lost my Christmas spirit. I'm not a well woman. But I'm hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Well, hell has finally frozen over. Greg and Andy have posted their latest comic endeavor, "Lockjaw," on their website. You can get there from the link on this page. Then, head to "Other Comics" to check out my comic strip debut. Maybe I should sue over my physical representation. Do I really look like that?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Here is a nice Storypeople story called "Purple Madonna:"

One time on Hollywood Boulevard I saw a young girl with a baby. It was a crisp winter morning & her hair shone dark purple in the sun. She was panhandling outside the Holiday Inn & the door clerk came out & told her to be on her way & I wondered if anyone would recognize the Christ child if they happened to meet. I remember thinking it's not like there are any published pictures & purple seemed like a good color for a Madonna so I gave her a dollar just in case.
So, this is the definition of success that I use to try and guide me:

"The definition of success--To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded."

-- attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but author unknown
I wrote in a previous blog about the distress I feel about people not seeing me for the person that I believe I am. Of course, our self-image doesn't always match the image that others have of us. In fact, we can often be deluded about the people we are. I would like people to see how much I really love and care about them. Strangers can bring me to tears sometimes with their stories and struggles. I may not always show it but I genuinely care about the world and want to make it a better place. My ex-boyfriend once said to me that what he liked most about me was my good heart. I hope that others see that.

However, I fear that I often show people the worst side of me. I am quick to anger. (though also quick to get over it) I am prone to fits of depression and impatience. I can be very self-centered and egotistical. I have been known to suffer from envy. I can get very caught up in my own issues and forget about others. These are all things I'm very aware of. And I try to work on. Especially my anger. I'm not afraid of confrontation. But the weird thing about me is, I don't mind getting into arguments with people but if I ever feel like I've hurt someone's feelings, that is the worst thing I can think of. Even if they are perfect strangers or people who deserve my anger, I can't stand the thought of hurting someone. I don't mind them getting angry at me just not hurt.

My friend Ellen sent me this survey today where your friends fill out a questionnaire about you. It is very insightful because you get a chance to see how people view you. So far, I've been described as a "militant do-gooder" and "trendy hip." I enjoyed the description of me as "glam nerd." That's about right. I've always felt I was kind of dorky. I was especially pleased and flattered to have my best quality described as my "belief in the good" and the fact that I'm "caring about others and very generous." It makes me think that maybe sometimes I DO show my better side to others. My parents tried to teach me to be generous and I've always believed that "to whom much is given, much is required." As soon as I find my favorite quotation, incorrectly attributed to Emerson, I will post it here to show you how I try to lead my life. But seldom succeed.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Great gifts people have given me that cost little or no money:

mixed CD/tape (Brandon is the best)
handpicked flowers
a random card
cartoons from Ellen and the Disappointed Fairy she gave me for graduation
bath and beauty products handmade by Amy H.
hugs, kisses and general love and affection
time (i especially like it when someone spends time with me doing things that he might not want to do but knows that I really want to do...hint hint bill)
fixing things in my house or on my car
unsolicited compliments
handmade clothing, scarves, mittens or a quilt (if I ever get married, I want someone to make me a quilt like Dave and Lora got)
original artwork

My friend Chucky came into the library one time and told me to give him my car keys and not ask questions. I trust him completely so I did. Later, I went out and there was a framed poster and a card in my car. He just did it to cheer me up. For no other reason. And it totally made my day.

I think maybe it's true that the best things in life are free. Or almost free.

Monday, December 01, 2003

The holiday season is officially upon us. I put up my decorations yesterday and all of my presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree.

I love to buy present for people. It is one of the great joys in my life. If you choose a present really well, the look of joy on someone's face when you surprise them with it is one of the greatest things in the world.

I like receiving presents as much as the next person. It is always interesting to see what someone buys you because their view or idea of you is reflected in the gift. My friend Dave is a great gift buyer. But he says I'm easy to buy for. Maybe. If you know me.

I've never been comfortable with asking for specific presents. I prefer that people buy me what they feel motivated to. And the things I usually want are pretty expensive and I don't think it's right to ask for things that expensive since everyone has money problems. If I had a choice, I would forego all the big gifts at birthdays and Christmas and take lots of little surprise gifts throughout the year. Gifts for no reason. I love receiving random cards in the mail. I love getting flowers for no reason at all. I love little random gifts that surprise me and make my day. I don't need big flashy gifts (although maybe once in blue moon they are fun). If someone takes the time to make me something, I usually love it. But it really is the little random gifts and surprises that truly make me happy.