Thursday, May 7, 2020

I Don’t Sleep Well to Begin With...

So either the added drama from every single angle this virus is pitching combined with the intensely mundane daily things that occupy my time really have messed with my slumber. You?

A few nights ago, Justin Bieber was mad at he. He hightailed it onto his bus and shut the door. I threw up my hood and walked off. No clue what went down between us because I don’t know much of him except “My momma don’t like you, and she likes everyone.” Who dis about?

Last night, I was invited to this fancy party at which a hundred acquaintances would be attending (read social anxiety for stupid small talk). I brought this little pooch I could carry around with me as a talking point. However, I didn’t talk to anyone but bobbed and weaved my way through the crowd until it was time to leave. It took a while. Don’t know whose dog it was. Mine is 70 lbs.

There are many more. These are the two most recent. And these vivid, over-the-top dreams happen in the hours right before sunrise. Additionally, Illinois has 24 more days of social distancing and mandatory mask wearing. YAY US!

P.S. Of the seven books I’ve read in the last 8 weeks, the best have been Trust Exercise, A Ladder to the Sky (most despicable antagonist in recent memory), My Dark Vanessa and Olive, Again (I missed her something terrible).

P.P.S. My comments are fucked up. Someone can leave me a comment but I can not reply on my own blog. Help!!!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Update Response to Jamie:

Being in a more relaxed state (Indiana) versus Illinois, we were able to dine out for the first time on Tuesday. Something normal! So tired of being hyper-aware of others proximity to me at every turn. I really liked Vanessa but agree that i was happy to have it over as well. Wow, your dreams all take place at night! That’s interesting. Mine seem timeless, not day or night. But I’ll try to be aware of that tonight. Hang in there too.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

My Best of 2019*

We’re talking books, that is! This was an exciting year outside of the literary sense as well.

*Not necessarily published this year

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
Normal People
The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells (not the erotic novel with the same name)
Daisy Jones and the Six
Ask Again, Yes
Three Women
Disappearing Earth
Crossing to Safety
Tin Man
Women Talking
Night Boat to Tangier

With two weeks left in the year, there will be an update no doubt. Recommendations anyone? Happy reading to you and yours!

UPDATE: I forgot a great one I just saw in my bedside drawer. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. So good!

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Vagabond Song by Bliss William Carman

“There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood— 
Touch of manner, hint of mood; 
And my heart is like a rhyme, 
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time. 

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry 
Of bugles going by. 
And my lonely spirit thrills 
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills. 

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir; 
We must rise and follow her, 
When from every hill of flame 
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.“

Encountered this brisk, first day of Fall.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I Have Small Talk Anxiety

I am so conflicted about my high school reunion this weekend. 
There was a picture taken at our ten year reunion long ago, which we recently passed around our group text chain of ten. Five girls and five guys. 

The ten of us had wide, youthful smiles. Babies, really. Some of us married. Only one couple of the ten of us. Our eyes big and clear and looking ahead. The rest of our lives was out there waiting. We looked happy together.

The same ten from that ancient picture get together at least yearly. In the scheme of things and as rapidly as a year passes especially as we get older, I feel I just saw them. A mini-reunion every year.

This brings me to my inner conflict. 

“So what’s new?”

This question bugs me for some reason at my age and gives me great anxiety. If I haven’t seen you in one, five, twenty-five years and that’s the question you ask? 

I never know where to start so the only answer that comes to mind is, 

“Oh, you know. Status quo. Same old stuff!”

And of course, that’s not true. Tons of shit goes down daily. Who doesn’t if one has a family and responsibilities? Ask me something, anything, more specific!

There was a time where I was fabulously proficient at making idle chit-chat. I had to be because times called for it. But that was oh, so long ago.

Thinking of Saturday, I will be looking at a group of people I haven’t seen in years who are all going to ask me a variation of this same question. Or so it feels to me as I sit here contemplating what to do.

It fills me with anxiety. It just does. I already feel the “fight or flight” response kicking in.

So I asked my hair stylist while in her chair yesterday if I have to go. She said no.

I asked my husband, “Do I have to go to my reunion?”

“I don’t think so. Is it mandatory?”

No, it is not.

I asked three of my closest friends if I have to go. Same response from all of them in one fashion or another, do what I want.

The thing is, I am feeling guilty about it because I said I would go. I also paid $40. Which is nothing compared to the Uber fees I will incur riding to and from the city out to the venue.

It’s not a money thing really. It is an anxiety issue. Or at the very least a “I’d rather be doing anything else” feeling. It is sitting in my gut quite heavily.

For me, it’s about finding comfort and peace and being where my heart wants to be and that is not at my reunion this weekend with old classmates that I don’t keep in touch with because maybe we didn’t want to after all. 

It feels forced.

I will most probably see “The Ten” around the holidays. They will give me shit for not going and I will have a handful excuses on the tip of my tongue. And of course, they won’t buy what I am selling. But it will all be all right anyway.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Tuesday Edition)

I know. I know. It’s Tuesday!

Having an extremely hard time finishing books. Anything really. I am distracted. Wonderfully, horribly distracted. A little bit grumpy, too, if I am honest. Not really liking this combo, but what’s a girl to do? Read my way out of it?

I recently finished two books.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

This was my book club’s selection. These book club members are teachers, psychologists, marketing content…I got distracted again…

This is what I emailed to a book friend yesterday describing this book:

“This was my book club’s pick. What a literary group they are! It’s like Mr. Bridge or Mrs. Bridge. Did you read those? Or Seinfeld. Nothing overly dramatic happens, but you’re glued to the mundane. It’s about relationships, marital and otherwise, day-to-day working academics, college professors, writing! All the things you love! It is wonderfully written. Kind of Stoner-esque without the sex. I enjoyed and found it incredibly compelling. I recommend!!!”

I will definitely tackle another Stegner. Boy, does he write characters well!

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

I decided to pick up this one because I very much liked Sunburn. I have had bunches of driving time lately, so listening to a thriller was in order and needed to balance out simultaneously reading Crossing to Safety, which requires treading carefully.

I found this one engaging and satisfying! Actually, I fell asleep last night listening to it through my pillow and had to replay a large chunk this morning. I was in a need to know now mood.

Newspaper columnists, forbidden relationships, a couple of murders, coverups and, of course, everyone manipulating everyone. 

Fairly light and exactly what I needed.

So now what?

I need to eat breakfast then exercise because my class reunion is this weekend. I also need to finish The Most Fun We Every Had by Claire Lombardo, which I set aside to read my book club selection. Halfway through and liking!

Looking for an audiobook recommendation to fill some time? Got any?

As always, I have a stack of books next to me. They give me comfort. I touch them a lot.

What are you reading these days? Anyone?

Hosted by The Book Date

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Are You Like Me?

Last night the sky was clear and deeply dark. In your world, too?
I saw its trail down the lake’s length from my bedroom window at about 2:00 (positionally, not the time) and ran down the pier illuminated like a runway, arms spread wide, into its glimmer.

It sure did look full. I knew that it wasn’t. Mother Nature was saving her last bit of waxing for tonight. 

And you better believe I will be out there. Sitting at the end of the pier. Maybe a glass of wine in hand. Maybe after having several. Definitely with bells on. 

So my question to you is this…
Do you do what I do? Do you look up at the moon and think about who else took the time to find it and think? Think about anything, or think about the people who would take the time to search it out? Think about who is connected to the same show?

You don’t know what you don’t know until you do.