Saturday, April 29, 2006

The first time I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Pete was on an afternoon outing with a family friend who was also a pre-op transsexual, someone I had always known as Stan and was learning to call Dee. Memory records no context for the museum trip, but even still today I recall vividly standing in front of the painting "Hitler Masturbating" just as it came to me exactly what it was that my companion was going through. I can't say if it was something in the painting that triggered recognition, but I stared at that sinister snowscape and figured out just how little I really understood. (At the time I was still just a little too young to know both who Hitler was and what he was doing in the painting. This was, however, the same trip where I fell deeply in love with the massive "Hallucinogenic Toreador.")

Thursday, April 27, 2006

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The children's museum in the town where I grew up had a touch tunnel, a convoluted carpeted pitch black vault navigable only by fingertips. I hated the point where the ground disappeared, where a cautious hand outstretched reached nothing but open air, where a not-so cautious knee slid, burning, over the edge. Without any visual cues there was no way to catch myself, to keep from falling in the hole. Each time I emerged it was bruised and shaken, no longer confident in the buoyancy of my bones.

I worry over what we are ruining, whether things will ever grow back up in our footsteps, whether we leave poison behind. If I could I would build you a city from pirate's gold and cotton candy, keep you there safe and far away from anyone who might want to slide under you and take what doesn't belong to them. I want to put marks on our foreheads so that all who pass know that we breathe only metaphors, that our fingerprints might burst into flame, that we will give those who might trespass copies of T.S. Eliot poems and soft kisses.

Sometimes I think that the only way to feel like I'm filling up my skin is to paste myself inside, to spread what's there thin like a too-small serving of jam on the last piece of toast. If I could force myself out to my edges and fix myself there, some problems may find themselves solved.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

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One of my cousins is pregnant again, which means that I've been fielding the usual volley of well-meaning but exasperating, "so when is it going to be your turn?" phone calls. I've stopped responding with the usual put-upon sigh and insulted justification of my lifestyle, because I've finally realized that there's nothing to justify. Which isn't to say that I've quit violently rolling my eyes about the fact that some members of my family seem to see me as a character in a not-very-funny romantic comedy, just waiting for someone to roll in and show me that all I need is love and maybe some Valium. It's just that I've always quietly gone my own way and they've always loudly tried to make me quit it, and at some point I've really got to stop caring. That point, I think, is now.

(By the way, I keep meaning to thank all of you who showed up at my apartment on Saturday night only to have me open the door and screech about cake at you for not slapping me silly. I'd have deserved it. This is why I don't eat sugar.)

And anyway, at this exact moment I am incredibly bored with everything in the world, which probably has a whole lot to do with the fact that I am eating candy corn and have not thumb wrestled anyone in weeks. I want to run away to the south of France and change my name to Diana and affect a British accent and a limp for the next six years. I want to read Somerset Maugham stories to hermit crabs and I want to try on all of my clothes and what I don't want to do is have to explain to anyone why I want to do any such thing.

By the way, have I told you lately how much I object to the smell of white tulips? I'm really not a fan.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Because I have recently fallen into the habit of declaring things that are probably good for me to be for suckers, I went out again last night instead of staying home and sleeping.

You know what I'm going to start using in conversation more often? The word "pulchritudinous." Be on the look out.

After Josh and I missed the fashion show at CHAC we wandered over to Chop Suey to catch the Divorce and an impromtu dance party by some people wearing what 80's fashions would look like if you traveled forward in time and tried to describe them to someone. This includes but is not limited to a blue felt hoodie with clip-art diamonds all over it. No joke. It was Chop Suey's fourth anniversary party, featuring The Spits, who turned out to be a bunch of middle aged guys in costumes tossing firecrackers. Which isn't to say that they were exactly bad, just...unexpected. Unexpected in a moshing-and-firecrackers-and a hat shaped like a bug sort of way. Y'know.

And anyway, most of the time the best part of going out is clomping home through empty streets, a familiar ache in my right calf because that's the side I tend to rest my weight on and accidentally kicking myself in the ankle every third step. It's in those brief walks that I feel most myself, content and untouchable, ready to walk into my empty apartment and fold myself into my rumpled blankets. I'm still rocking the heck out of my twenties, and anyways, playing it safe and staying home is for suckers.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

When I was in college, we joked about how it wasn't really a party until someone set themselves on fire.
Last night, on my balcony, Manuel and Robert set themselves on fire. Actually, I think that perhaps they set each other on fire. I'm not really sure, because I was too busy readying myself to run for a smothering agent in case they screwed it up.

We'll talk later. For now, you ought to know that I threw a party that was, apparently, truly a party.

Now I remember why I only do this a couple times a year.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My apartment is currently filled with the smell of panic, of the "holy crap there are a zillion sexy people coming over tomorrow and I'm completely unprepared, due to the fact that I've been out every single day for the last two weeks" variety. (Yeah, I know, how sad for me that there are all these fantastic people around to hang out with. I've turned into Cat.)
So you would think that the logical next step would be to, um, stay home and prepare. But I have just now declared that preparation is for suckers, so I'm going to a party in Belltown instead. If it doesn't look like I've vacuumed tomorrow, that's because I maybe haven't.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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And now and again I find myself conducting an idle Proustian review of the curves of the spines I have known, regretting not spending more time trailing fingers over the humps of certain vertebrae. Sometimes it might be a good idea to turn off the nostalgia machine.

I don't have to think about where I'm going when I wake up late at night because my feet automatically lead me straight for my wall of glass, where those same fingers trace the distant outline of the Space Needle. Often it is at that point that I feel a need for donning shoes and clothes, for feeling wind and damp and Seattle air.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Right after I posted last night my power went out. I'm pretty sure that was the universe telling me to get away from my computer and try not to set my hair on fire lighting candles, because it stayed out for a good long while afterwards.

So tonight I'm all hopped up on candy corn and peeps and Cadbury eggs, and since I so rarely eat sugary things I'm pretty much vibrating. I ought to go out with the bartender and crew to see the Posies--heck, right now I could probably run downtown like the roadrunner--but I just kinda feel like hanging out here. I'll probably crash by 9:00, and if anyone comes over they'll find me asleep on the floor with a handful of jellybeans. Which is really terribly undignified.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The giant orange kitty showed up on my balcony tonight, meowing at the back door to get into my apartment. I still have no idea where it actually belongs.

I'm tired tonight, and all of my edges are showing. The mail brought a package full of the usual miscellany from my grandmother, but also a beautiful ring that my grandad had made for me. My grandad is a quiet, hard drinking man, and I often forget that I am his only grandchild and that he loves me just as thoroughly as my grandmother does, just in a reticent engineer sort of way. I'm an unbelievably lucky girl to have the grandparents that I do. This is the first time that I can remember that he's ever given me a gift, and I'm undone.

Which isn't to say that I haven't been slowly unraveling all day, because I have. There are situations that I need to confront and just don't have the energy to take in hand, people for whom I need to lay out my cards. Tobes reminded me today that I'm supposed to be learning the fact that attention does not equal interest, and also that all interest isn't good interest. "Mouse," he said to me at one point, all self-important, "sometimes people think they're being clever when they're really being mean. And mean is what you need to keep away from, because you're made of glass." I'm too delicate, he says, but he means it in a mostly good way. And the problem with being friends so many years is that I can't deny the things he says because he's usually right.

Dear monsters under my bed, please go away. Love, me.

I've been having the same dream about elliptical and circular orbits lately, still convinced that I need to figure out what happens in the intersections.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

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Unsurprisingly, last night's "quick trip to the bar" turned into "waiting until Jake got off work at midnight so that we could go to a different bar and stay out too late again." To my credit I stuck to two drinks for the whole night, and making new friends is totally worth being sleepy at work.

My mother and her best friend were pregnant at the same time, and ended up having myself and Melissa about a month apart. Today I got a phone call, letting me know that Melissa is getting married next February. I'm thrilled for miss M, of course, but I find this really interesting in a purely anthropological sense. If things keep going at the rate they're currently moving along, I'll shortly be the only single one of my large, extended posse left.
And I just don't know how they do it, my friends, how they manage to sit still long enough to decide any such thing. It's been posited that I've developed a case of lifestyle ADD, and at the very least I do decide every three days to move somewhere else or cut all my hair off or be Scooby Doo. I'm back into my spring-and-summer (ok, and fall-and-winter) schedule of doing things five or six or seven days a week, and making three new friends each time I leave the house.

At some point, I think, there was a memo sent out, and I was probably out somewhere and missed it.

In the meantime, there are things. I'll be having a party next weekend, and between now and then are a couple of shows, three bouts of volunteering (once at the ballet), and possibly an Easter dinner. I don't really celebrate Easter, but I totally celebrate ham, and some of the new friends I've made in the past couple weeks have invited me along to share in the fun.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Halfway through my walk home I passed a man out mowing his grass. The edge of the lawn was level with my lower ribcage, a nice quirk of geography thanks to all of our hills. He was wearing headphones and so was I--I was listening to Rilo Kiley--and as I passed he stopped his lawnmower, so as not to spray me with clippings, and gave me two thumbs up. I smiled and answered back with my own thumbs.

Lord, y'all, this is a busy week. Tonight I'm having dinner with Manuel and then late happy hour with Steph and Ryan. Tomorrow I'll be in Belltown, with probably a quick trip by the bar afterwards as requested, to say hello to Jake. Thursday, there's happy hour with the Metrobloggers, and Friday is the Band of Horses show. I plan to abstain from fried foods until late Friday night, just in case they interfere with Band of Horses for the third time. If you need me, I will not be home.

All of which is, of course, awesome. I'm not sure who this girl is, but I'm having a lot more fun than I did when I was the girl who lived in Florida.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

There is a huge fluffy orange cat that seems to have decided it lives here. It started out just hanging out by the front door, rolling around and being cute and trying to duck in the door before I closed it, but now it's started ambushing me from bushes and staircases and behind the neighbor's motorcycle. I'm not prepared to take in someone else's cat, so I'm really not sure what to do.

Thursday I met up with Josh for the Fruit Bats show. I heard all about Amsterdam, frites were had, and the band tricked us into an encore by ending their set 3/4 of the way through. I didn't realize that passionate feelings about the Fruit Bats were possible, but apparently I continue to underestimate their drawing power. Since then, I've pretty much succumbed to the headache of death and feeling a little bit like I have the flu, although I did make it to the space store yesterday and then out for Jean's birthday. I haven't played Clue in a million years, but apparently I'm nowhere near competitive enough to win. I also have no spreadsheet-based strategy. My friends are terribly nice great big nerds, and I love them to pieces.

Whenever I'm doing laundry and it's time to head back down to the laundry room, I become convinced that I've left my keys down there. There is no reason at all to think any such thing--I've never locked my keys in the laundry room before. It happens, nevertheless, every single time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One of my favorite parts of Boston was all of the history there. It hit me in ways that all the history in China didn't, likely because it was the history of myself, because it held answers to the secrets behind my own fingerprints. And since I'm nothing if not an obsessive navel gazer, they were welcome answers. I'm pretty sure I have to figure out my own secrets before I can set to really understanding yours, which is at the bottom of it all my point. I think.
At any rate, in the few days I've been back, strangers have told me even more stories than they usually do. You don't know it, but I'm keeping all of your stories until I get a chance to look behind your fingerprints too. You can't get rid of me, no matter how hard you might not try. Sorry about that.

Part of my restlessness has broken out in concocting elaborate outfits, some of which I'm actually wearing in public. If you see me out looking more put together than usual, it's because my brain just won't stop spinning and I'm trying to find outlets for it. (In case you were wondering, my favorite piece so far for spring is a very delicate pale pink corset. I have no idea what to wear with it, but I love it, and if any of my ladies want to come over and help me be less sartorially retarded, I'd appreciate it. I'm fully aware that I won't always be able to pull off things that are very tight and the same color as my skin, so I'd like to get some use out of it now.)
Now that I have a tambourine you're welcome to invite me to come play it in your band.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

To celebrate the fact that we are girls, Caroline and I spent about seven hours--from about 9:00 to about 3:30--in my other favorite bar last night. We take our drinking seriously, people. I've closed down bars before, but never actually hung around in one after it was closed. Felt like one of the cool kids. The crowd of regulars was amusing and obligingly complimentary, I may have made a new friend, and Caroline and I are now going to start having delusions of rock star.
It was exactly the sort of night that I've been complaining about not having enough of.

So today is a day for recovery, and a day for trying out a new recipe. Tomorrow will be a day for going to see the Fruit Bats at Neumos. Things are currently pretty rocking.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

So, how do you guys feel about grapefruit? Because my mother seems to be harvesting her fruit trees, and she's sent me this big box full of grapefruit. And the thing about that is that I don't actually like grapefruit, and I'm honestly unsure what to do with them.

As a result, there's grapefruit here for you if you want it, or if you can give me a good enough reason to haul some to you. (A good line to use is, "hey samantha, come over and see my new puppy. Oh, and could you bring some of that grapefruit along too?")

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dear everyone,

I came home last night, after a flight that was an hour and a half late, exhausted. The lovely Ryan came to pick me up, because I have lovely friends. While we were in line to get on the plane the people in front of me asked what sort of mechanical errors had kept things on the ground back here in Seattle. You could see the agent thinking hard about whether or not to answer the question, before finally saying, "I don't know, they didn't tell me."
That is the answer I preferred to hear.

Boston was, as I've already told you, wonderful. By the end of my day of walking I found myself giving directions to other people, and half the people I passed looked like people I already knew. Jude and I talked and talked and talked, and a bus driver asked me to mail a letter for him. (And holy christ, I can order the best cannoli I've ever had online!. Well, in July I can. The world is a good and bright place.) As we were leaving for the airport the sky started to cloud over and by the time we got there it was raining, ending the unseasonable 60 degree weather that the city was using to seduce me. Boston: 1 samantha: 0

Now I am home and not planning to go anywhere for a little while at least, and I can already tell that once I've had a little bit of sleep I'll go back to being restless and slightly malcontented. That's how spring goes around here. I want to be going out and drinking beer and talking to strangers. April is already looking to be another busy month, full of shows and parties and inappropriate behavior. You'll be able to find me right in the middle of all of that--I'll be the littlest one, and I'll be smiling.