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Right now: eating Fruit Discs, the delicious supermarket-brand knock-off of Fruit Loops, half-watching Say Yes to the Dress, trying to read the articles my prof. sent me on interpersonal theories of suicide and re-checking the various jobhunting sites which have become staples of my internet history. So basically my life has become a mix of scrambling to cobble together some kind of professional future and then battling the waves of anxiety inherent in that effort with foodstuff, TV, internetwandering and shopping. Oh, shopping.

Now, I had previously thought I would abandon my department store gig at the first offer of anything in an office, where I can wear non-rubber soled shoes because I get a chair and there would be paper work and computer systems involved. After further reflection (and a minuscule, vaguely insulting raise – I now make *almost* a dollar more than minimum wage, isn’t that nice?) I’ve decided to stay put until I find a job in the actual field I want to enter, which is social/health services. After all, even if I found something in, say, a technological start-up company which was nice enough and paid more than I make right now, I would just keep job searching for the job I really want anyway, and then if I found it I would have to leave pretty soon after accepting, which I don’t like to do. Or maybe my reasoning makes no sense and I’m actually just super lazy. Whatever. This way simplifies things for me and makes me feel more focused.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been taking advantage of said crappy retail job to slowly build up the material trappings of an adult life. Probably from watching too much What Not To Wear, I’ve become much more interested in dressing less like a fourteen-year old and more like an adult. Until very recently I didn’t own any clothes at all except jeans and t-shirts, any shoes except sneakers and tennis shoes (and my beloved red Docs), I had a bookbag and a couple of rundown, old purses with missing hooks, zippers and handles.

So I’ve been slowly building a wardrobe which is respectable as well as true to my style – which I’m only just discovering anyway, so the timing is actually pretty good: had I done this earlier I would probably want to throw it all out now anyway. I’ve gotten a couple of nice shirts, a pair of nice, comfortable flats. My most recent acquisitions, which I am proud of to an inappropriate degree:

– A big giant purse, which is nice/adult enough to take to job interviews, work, etc., but also exactly what I wanted personally – big enough to fit my netbook, journal, agenda, wallet, etc., but casual (cotton, mostly) with sea-side colors (white, beige and mostly sunny-day ocean blue – I look at it and want to go swimming) – with a zipper and five different pockets. Came to $5.17 thanks to a sale, a coupon and my employee discount.

– A pencil skirt! Now, I always thought that I hated pencil skirts, because I am rather slim and thus always looking for things which will give the illusion of curves – big fan of a-lines, here – and I always thought that pencil skirts made you look narrow and flat. No thanks, right? Wrong! I loved each skirt I pulled on – I still don’t quite understand it myself, but I think it has something to do with the high waist and the way your hips look when you walk. I went with a dark gray with a black belt which I found in the clearance rack – not too tight or trendy, hits just below the knee, overall guaranteed to be appropriate for almost any job and yet still, I think, quite flattering. Cost after various discounts: $8.39.

I can’t believe I ever hated shopping.

ps: I would have pictures up, but my sister’s camera is dead (well, was killed after a bad fall….accidental cameracide) and my father took his camera with him when he fucked off to wherever, so I am camera-less. If I do get a hold of one I might come back and add pics later, because I really do think blog posts look quite bare without them.

yours,

– Tuesday

But interview I must, so I spent all morning going over and over my appearence and carefully re-editing my resume only to have a random representative completely ignore all of that in favor of asking me ridiculous questions. I think it went okay, though. I think I do pretty well in interviews overall. Ok, so I’ve only actually had three. But all three went okay. I think. Well, I didn’t get the job at the first one and the other two are still in the air. But still. I mean, I only resent them, I don’t actually crash and burn. Mostly.

This particular session’s Awkward Moment came when she glanced over my application and saw that I had actually put hours in the “availability” section. My hours go mostly (I have class and all, afterall) from the time the mall opens (a few hours before the store itself would) to the time the mall closes. This was not enough, I learned. “You have to be available all the time.” She tells me. “Are you available any time?”

Me: “….yes, I can do that.”

So I had to cross out that entire line and write “open” instead. Eek. But other than that things went smoothly. Also, I dressed perfectly, and so for once I could look around and silently mock everyone who under and overdressed. Losers! I don’t think the interviewers noticed dress much, though, really.

After all that I went I bought myself a little prezzie to celebrate. Or comfort. Something, I don’t know. I wanted a necklance, dammit! It was steep – twenty bucks, after taxes – but I don’t regret it. It’s so purty, basic and pretty. It’s a clef note on a simple, flat, square silver charm.

old Baltimore postcard

Well, my mom freaked out a bit and shipped me across the country for a week. Good times! This was actually a few weeks ago – when I disappeared entirely – because when anything blogworthy actually happens I inevitably lose all ability to properly write.

Here’s the official story behind Baltimore Funfest 2008 (I promise to work on the name): My two-years-older-than-me sister, who lives in the all-around adorable Charles Village area, contracted a bacterial infection of some sort. Because I am, sadly, jobless as well as school-less for the moment, I was sent to be a sort of nursemaid. Also, to spy on her and report any lies back to my mother.

I resigned myself to traveling without being able to see any of the city – that is, I expected to stay locked up in a stuffy room for the week, looking longingly out the window and angsting and cooking – but turns out Big Sis wasn’t so sick, after all. And the week turned out to be really enjoyable. I’ve been to Baltimore before – three years ago as a birthday/graduation present, but I wasn’t even eighteen yet and we simply didn’t do as much. Granted, we didn’t hit up the bars this time, or anything like that, but there was less fighting and more going out. My sister and all her friends hate the city with the fire of people who live there. They refused to stop bitching about the how early things close and the occasionally faulty sewer systems. And boy, you don’t want to get them started on the crime/general sketchiness. I just thought everything was so pretty and quaint – hell, even their ghettos fascinated me (just like in the movies, ma!), and a lot of the city still looks like the the above postcard. So much brick and wood! Down here everything is concrete and plastic and plaster. Which, ok, maybe better in the long run, but nowhere near as pretty.

I’ve been putting off writing about the trip because I haven’t got any photos yet, and I like those. A lot. Too much, because I took over two hundred and there wasn’t enough time to get them downloaded in the pre-airport scramble. I’m waiting for Sis to snail mail them to me, and then the posts will flow (I’m sure).

 washington memorial

The picture above is actually from my first vacation. The Washington Monument Memorial is in a place called Mount Vernon (a lot of nice shops and restaurants/cafes). When I went up to it a Random Guy (who, looking back, may or may not have actually worked there) charged me a dollar to walk up. Somehow, this seemed like it might be fun to me. What a mind trip! If you’ve ever wondered what it might feel like to be buried alive, I suggest you try walking this thing. I nearly had a claustrophobic attack, and then you start wondering how stale this air is, and your faux!asthma kicks in, and you wonder how a paramedic team would get anyone out of here and there’s panicking. All of this while the two year old just ahead of you is doing just fine. But the top was really pretty, anyway.

Except this time it’s not “aw, look at the wittle baby illness!” It’s more like “Arg! Something’s trying to kill me!”

Ok, maybe it’s not quite fatal, but it’s all throat-hurt-y and stomach-nauseated-y and I can’t eat or drink anything without gagging and my nose is all kinds of stuffed and I can’t stand at all without feeling dizzy and every time I close my eyes I feel like I’m on some lame, shaky Disney ride. Bleh.

I blame exercise. This is totally what happens to people in my family who try to get fit. They go half-deaf, or they get thyroid infections.

You know, I probably shouldn’t try to post here when I’m all woozy and drugged up. I mean, look. But I had to, kind of, because my grandmother called and when she heard I was sick suggested a home remedy: sliced onions in a bowl, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey and enjoy. Yeah, I’m supposed to have a couple of tablespoons of that every few hours. It’ll cure me right up, she says. OK, grandma. I just want to remember that. In case this Tylenol/Zyrtec/Nasal Drip cocktail mix thing I’ve got going on decides to never start working.

Maybe I should add some VapoRub.

 

I’ve been going through some old and not-so-old files. While trying to bring my inner creative writer back  to life last year, I had come across a writing prompt which directed me to write a letter to my ten year old self.

~~~

“Hey, there. It’s me, future-you, but I’ll stop and let you take that in. You’ll accept in a second and then…we can continue.

 

I’m an adult now, and I know you’re impressed. I’m almost nineteen, so I’m an adult plus one, or something like that, and I know you’re going to start wondering soon why I talk not much better than you, so I’ll let you know now – I’m not answering that question. Or any, for that matter – no, just sit there and listen. Or read, I’m not sure how this works.

 

Because I’m not here to give you extraordinary insights into the future – no, it’s just the regular insights for you, kid. Let’s start, though I warn you it’ll be clichéd: don’t be afraid. Now, wait, I warned you. I’m just going to have to race ahead with this, aren’t I? Speak up, even though it feels you’re missing something everyone else has – it turns out everyone’s missing the same thing and you only get it by bluffing you have it. It’s a bit fucked up, but so are most things and that’s something else you should now – God’s a strange sort of guy; OK, overall, but you can’t expect perfection from anyone. You actually can’t expect much of anything from anyone, so for God’s sake try and keep that in mind, this time. I’m trying to give you an advantage, please.

 

Let’s cheer this up a bit. The only way you lose in life is if you die.

 

And don’t get so fucking angry. And write, and don’t hang on to some outdated (yes, I’m telling you it is) fucked up notion of modesty, because you can’t afford it. And draw a bit, because you weren’t half bad at it, or won’t be, and don’t worry about cursing because no one really cares. And talk how you write, and work hard, eat right. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Don’t ignore clichés, though they’ll grate against your very nature. Being thin is a plus, not a bad, and curly hair can be cool, too.

 

Anything else and I’ll be clinging to the past a bit too unhealthily even for me, so I’m off. But for God’s sake, take in some of this, will you? This is me, speaking from an experienced vantage of sorts. Take advice, it’s dangerous, or will seem so, but just do it, for me?

Ok. Well this is getting a little weird, so I’ve really got to go. Good bye – take care – chin up and all the rest.”

 

~~~

I kinda wish I had magically gotten such a letter when I was ten, but then I’ might be successful and well-adjusted, and I kind of like this weird space I’m in of “so…have I failed at life, or can I still get, like, a C-  ?“.  So, hurrah for figuring things out the hard way, or something (and, see? I told you I was really a cheese-lover, and it’s true).

a week old) but I just like it

My dog woke me up ungodly early as usual, so I went to check the nest. All four of the little idiots had managed to tumble out of their nest. These are obviously not the brightest little birds in all the bird kingdom.

OK, to recap: we found a bird’s nest with little eggs, and then little birds inside. We became obsessed with our feathered neighbors. We put a garbage bag above the tree (which is unusually scrawny) to protect them from the summer sun.

 

We picked them up when they fell out of the nest. We picked them up again. And again. We speculated that the nest was far too small, and the birds perhaps a little slow.

Which brings us last night, or early afternoon. We decided to go with my mom’s idea of a sort of platform beneath the nest, as it became obvious that the birds would keep falling until one or all were dead. We put a small towel inside of a sleeping bag and then wound it around the branches and things underneath the nest.

 Every single time we checked the faux!nest, another bird (or two) would be somewhere in the folds. Is this normal? I put them back each time with my gardening gloves. We’ve wondered whether it might not be better to simply leave all the birds in the larger, probably safer faux!nest, but animals are very strange sometimes, and I’m afraid the mother won’t recognize/feed them if they’re not in the nest where she left them. So, back on top of each other they go.

This morning when I checked, the nest was completely empty. All of them landed in faux!nest, though, which was a relief and also kind of cute.

Aw, they’re getting little wings. That makes them slightly less repulsive. I think I’ll call these three Vera, Chuck and Dave.

The nest looks rather comfy from above – the only problem is that the birdies sometimes get lost in the folds, so I may have to make it tighter.

It\'s Faux!Nest, savior of all things falling baby

One more baby for the road –

I’ll call this one Eddie. And all four little baby monster-dinosaurs are accounted for, hurrah.

UPDATE: One of the little birdies died. Yes, it’s sad. I’ve decided that it was Eddie, so now it’s just Vera, Chuck, and Dave.

Almost a week ago we discovered that a young bird couple, clearly insane, had decided to build a nest in one of our front yard trees. On Wednesday the nest (which by the way is awesome and made of twigs, leaves, gum wrappers, an old potato chips bag and random pieces of paper) had four blue-white tiny little eggs inside. Aw. On Saturday I went out to get a picature of said eggs and found this:

 

Like, OMG, nature!! The baby birdies are pretty hideous. They look like something ate some baby birds and then threw them up half-digested. Aw.

While I was snapping pictures, perched rather precariously on a crappy plastic stool we have, MamaBird came swooping out of nowhere and tried to kill me. Luckily I did not die, which would have been beyond awkward (“so what happened” “she, uh…she fell off a small crappy stool while trying to take pictures of her tree” “ah, one of those”). MamaBird then hung around one of the nearby branches, looking at me like “Bitch, I will CUT you.”

My entire family – but particularly myself, my mom and my dad – have been following our little bird family’s progress a little obsessively. We’ve discovered that this is not, in fact, a broken family – both mom and pop are around. We’ve filled the old fountain up with water. We put a bit of garbage bag over the dead branches over the nest, so as to protect the little birdies from the scorching sun and the rain.

I’m still trying to figure out what would drive any living thing to try and make it out here – I realize I’m not, say, in the inner city or anything, but still – I can’t help but worry about what they’re eating, where they’re finding water, ect.. I feel invested in them now. Bleh. I still need names – if there were three babies and not four I would name them Vera, Chuck and Dave (hat tip the Beatles). Actually, I might do that anyway. The father, of course, is Captain Jack Sparrow (although actually, I have no idea what type of bird this is). Hey, how about one more hideous baby picture for the road*?

tunnels? tulips? trumpets? no, baby birdies!

 

*when I showed this to my little sister she said, “What the hell? What? What are these tulips?” I don’t know whether I was more amused by the fact that the babies do look more like tulips than birds, or by her genuine distress at being shown a picture of some tulips.

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