Thursday, March 30, 2006

My roommate/renter is a slob

I awoke naturally at 9am and turned on the tv. I went back to sleep and dreamt about being chased by alligators. The change of programming at 10am woke me up because, although I like the theme song, I hate the show. Changed channels and dozed for another half hour, in and out of consciousness. I got out of bed at 10:30 and made for the bathroom. Made, then turned on the shower. I brushed my teeth while the water warmed up. Lathered, rinsed, did not repeat. Towelled dry then booted the computer. Dressed while computer booted and checked the date on my watch. Checked a few blogs I still consider "special" then resumed homework. Started lunch at 12:30. Tots go in first while the oven is still heating. Chicken goes in when fully warm. Glass of tea while waiting. Refilled tea and ate in front of tv for 1pm rerun of last night's Daily Show. Checked the date on my watch. Rinsed dishes in sink and refilled tea. Resumed homework. Phone call from dad about new laptop. Saved homework to floppy disc and gathered books. Read a couple of emails and did the crossword. Checked traffic and the date on my watch. Set VCR to record shows. Fixed hair, brushed teeth, inserted contact lenses, donned nicer shirt, grabbed wallet. Shoes, keys, out the door. Traffic was unbelieveably good. Ate banana in car in parking lot while listening to NPR. Stopped by professor's office to inquire about tonight's lecture and if he can help me get a job. Printed lecture notes then put $1 into vending machine without receiving soda. Horribly, horribly long lecture. Checked the date on my watch several times. Drove home ok, nice new lanes on highway. Quick rinse in shower while computer booted. Snacked on pretzels while researching dad's laptop. Sent him the spreadsheet and checked the date. Read blogs. Wrote blog. Crawled into bed with book around 1:45am and eventually fell asleep.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Deceive me

It seems clear that as a source of happiness, romance leaves a lot to be desired. And perhaps the Dalai Lama was not far off the mark in rejecting the notion of romance as a basis for a relationship and in describing romance as merely "a fantasy... unattainable," something not worthy of our efforts. On closer examination, perhaps he was objectively describing the nature of romance rather than providing a negative value judgment colored by his years of training as a monk. Even an objective reference source such as the dictionary, which contains well over a dozen definitions of "romance" and "romantic," is liberally peppered with phrases such as "a ficticious tale," "an exaggeration," "a falsehood," "fanciful or imaginative," "not practical," "without a basis in fact," "characteristic of or preoccupied with idealized lovemaking or courting," and so on. It is apparent that somewhere along the road of Western civilization a change has taken place. The ancient concept of Eros, with the underlying sense of becoming one, of fusion with another, has taken on new meaning. Romance has acquired an artificial quality, with flavors of fraudulence and deception, the quality that had led Oscar Wilde to bleakly observe, "When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends up by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance."
The Art of Happiness, 111

Monday, March 27, 2006

Everyone has hopes

>From: "Emily"
>To: forlorntexan
>Subject: say hello
>Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 12:43:01 +0800
> How are you?We haven't talking for a long time.
> You said you will be finish school in may,then you will come to
>china find job,Is it right?I have an adea:I don;t want to work in
>yangshuo,so I want to leave there,maybe I can coming with you when
>you come to china exception HongKong.Because I don't have
>Passport.Of course I need to your idea.I think if you come to china
>for work,the best city is Shanghai or Guangzhou.
> So what do you think?can you send E-mail to me soon.Thank you!
> emily

I am sorry I have not talked to you in a long time. It is a busy time for me at school as I near the end. You are correct that I will finish in May, but I do not know when I will come to China. I hope it will be soon but it is not certain. Now I am sad because I wanted a job here that I did not get, but I keep trying.

You have the right idea about Shanghai or Guangzhou. Those are very good cities for business and I very much enjoyed my visit to Shanghai in the same summer when we met. Sometimes the decision is not for me to make, where I will live and work. Although you could not come to Hong Kong, I would be a lot closer to you, which would make me happy. We have a saying, "Only time will tell."

I will try to write to you more often.
-(my name here)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

As I was saying

I hate how the weekend comes to a crashing halt. Not that my weekends are all that different from my weekdays, but there is a physical quality to the weekend that comes to an end and makes a demarcation between days. The passage of time is most, if not only, noticeable then.

I didn't get the job, so I release the mojo to from whence it came. I got too excited about it, hopes too high, told too many people. I wanted it, thus it could not be.

I saw the invisible girl. At the mall. Tough to describe, but since I'm often the invisible man, I recognized her. A young teenage girl, not particularly attractive and clearly not comfortable in her skin, let alone her fast-food chain uniform. She passed me by but made eye contact that I recognized as saying, "I know you don't see me. Nobody sees me. But I'm here." I replied in kind, "Takes one to know one."

I've had some stupid dreams. A while back I dreamed that I was on the olympic swim team. (Young tinyhands was an excellent swimmer and springboard diver, though never olympic-caliber.) The stupid part of the dream was that Bill O'Reilly was the team coach. I remember that I could hear him clearly underwater, though I don't remember what he was saying. More recently I dreamed about being on a particular reality TV show, The Rookie, and I was fired. Instead of getting into a taxi, I was led into a giant hanger that turned out to be his own private airport. Not just a plane or two, a whole airport. I wandered around the bar at the end of the terminal before going back to my gate to sit down. Hiding behind a newspaper, also waiting for a flight, was Fergie. Her security people were really nice though.

And finally, though I may disagree with what you say, I will defend your right to search google and unfortunately end up here using the phrase "boobs are gross".

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lessons Learned

So it would seem I've been dumped. Pre-emptively, I suppose, though I never had any intention of completely severing all communication without warning. I like to think I would have been a bit more tactful, but I guess we'll never know. Although you didn't ask, I'd like to take a moment to tell you what you did wrong and, lest you think it's petty and small of me, I'd like to remind you that you're the one who emailed me first...
  • I'll be the first to admit that I've been out of the "game" for a while, but I don't think a date was ever defined as sitting on your couch editing your term paper.
  • Watching HGTV without talking? Not a good date.
  • Talking to your cats more than you talk to me, when I'm sitting 2 feet away on your couch? Also not a good date.
  • Hooking up your surround-sound system? My pleasure, but not a good date.
  • Baggy jeans, no make-up, hair-undone is understandable on a day off but not on date night.
  • Many guys would be put off by talking about your biological clock and how you're ready to start having babies. (Not me, however. That's a freebie.)
  • Referring to your cats as "fur children" once is cute. Repeatedly doing so will make me wish I were allergic. (And they are obese.)
  • Yes, you work with kids all day long, but leave the baby-talk at the office.
  • Ok, I realize that working 12-hour days, 13 out of 14 days isn't exactly your "fault" but I'd like to inform you that you're officially too busy to date.
Anyway, I hoped we'd stay friends even though you don't like any good food. And no, I don't think I'm perfect either. I know I creep most people out. The good news is that I've opened a branch in Dallas for creeping people out up there and I'm off to a good start.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Seven Years

Most of the time I enjoy writing at right angles to the direction of travel. Occasionally the road whips around pretty quickly and what I've written becomes suddenly parallel to reality and I begin to fear that the two will intersect. True, I've let a few of you into my reality, bits and pieces of it anyway, but I don't have to tell you what a comfort anonimity can be in my line of work. (Like a warm blanket.) And now you're wondering, which way has the road turned this time? In your direction, though not necessarily to you.

I see you struggling. I want to throw you a line, but I know you'd never reach out to me for it. I think I know you better than you'd like to admit and yet we're total strangers. It's a little funny to me, the idea of a familiar stranger, but that's the way I think sometimes. I apologize if you see yourself here and it makes you uncomfortable. I've gotten into trouble in the past by posting conversations or snippets of conversations. The funny thing is that I've gotten into trouble even when I keep the other party anonymous. So realize that if you see yourself here and don't want anyone to know, you don't have to say anything. Someone else might think it's her (or him, but that will be unlikely in a minute). After all, I read a LOT of blogs, so there's always room for doubt. Heck, you probably won't even read this, so I don't have to worry about it.

But know that I worry about you too. I kind of enjoy it, since it makes me feel somehow useful to a life in which I'm just a familiar stranger. So ask, and it's yours.

♪ Spinning, laughing, dancing to her favorite song
A little girl with nothing wrong
Is all alone

Eyes wide open
Always hoping for the sun
And she'll sing her song to anyone that comes along

Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin' to the ground
Without a sound

Crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That's all her own

Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin' to the ground
Without a sound

Spinning, laughing, dancing to her favorite song
A little girl with nothing wrong
And she's all alone ♪
- L. Alexander (recorded by N. Jones)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anxiety:Anxiousness as Love:_____

I get nervous because I anticipate. I Hope. I want it to be there so much that it makes me sick to my stomach. More than mere butterflies. (Normally I'd suggest something along the lines of Mothra, but that would be confusing Heterocera for Rhopalocera, and I get enough complaints about being obscure and confusing. I'm sure you appreciate the distinction among Lepidoptera.) Although it seems like my entire happiness rests on that one outcome, let me assure you that it doesn't. I just allow myself to get completely wrapped up in the moment. More often, the impending moment(s).

I'm not specifically trying to be a Buddhist, there are just things about that practice that I like. On the other hand, I'm still faithfully observing the Catholic tradition of Lenten abstinence. I think people who know me get confused about some of these things, such as practicing two different religions (albeit badly in both cases) simultaneously. One of the other things the confused often ask me is, "So you're really into Asian chicks, huh?" I'm not really sure how to clarify that for people, other than by explaining that it's not so much that they're Asian, as that they're women. But I'm off on bit of a tangent...

I can't seem to stop wanting, be they people, places, or things.

Things are getting easier for me. Not wanting them, that is. I don't know, maybe it's my mid-life crisis/realization kicking in, that I'll never be the richest this or the most-well-off that. And I'm okay with that. Places are tough. There are places I want to be. To be there, not just visit. More than snap a couple of pictures, make a travel video, and bore the pants off of everyone who visits. (Whatever it takes to get you out of those pants though...)

People is a tough one for me too, but it's getting easier. Another sign of maturity perhaps, the realization that my happiness doesn't depend on anyone else and the comfort with which I'm alone. But I do want someone in my life. More importantly, I want her to want me in her life as well. I want to be wanted, I need to be needed. That isn't currently the case. She doesn't anticipate my arrival. She doesn't entice or otherwise allure. So we'll have a talk. Sooner, rather than later, since it's the right thing to do. Not saying would be the easy way out, but the longer I wait the more likely I am to screw something else up. I'll find a nice way to say, "It's not going to happen because I won't settle for you." I sometimes laugh to myself that I'd say, "It's not me, it's you. I want a piece of artwork, but you're just a piece of work." But it's just a laugh inside my head. And I'm not that guy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

i = cos(xπ), where x = all odd integers.

Warning: I need to dump from the notebook. This should not make sense to anyone...
[Ed. note: The warning was originally "this may not". Second draft was "this will not"]

I want to grab you by the shoulders. More than likely I'd shake some sense into you, rather than kiss you, but I'd probably chicken-out either way so don't worry. It's just the mood I'm in, and it will pass, but it's very uncomfortable. The room is stuffy, my shirt is too tight against my skin, my neck is one solid vertebra, my head aches endlessly. I don't know why you think I'm strong enough to cart around your crazy in addition to my own. I can barely manage it alone and you just pile it higher and higher. If time is infinite and reincarnation exists, we have been and will be born into infinite combinations. You have been my parents. I am your lover. We have been enemies. We will be indifferent to each other. Try to imagine your current enemies as lovers you knew in a past life. Start with lesser enemies and work your way up to the worst person you've ever known. With this meditation, you should remember that just as you wish good things for your current best-friend or lover, so you once wished that for your worst enemies. Eventually you should be able to envision wishing happiness for even your enemies. Why is the easiest question to ask and the hardest to answer. Why? Because there is no answer. Why? Because no matter what I say, you can continue to ask why. Why? Because there are water particles in the air that refract the short end of the spectrum in all directions, such that the blue portion of the incoming light appears to be coming from everywhere. Why? Because the wavelength of the light is in just the right proportion to the size of the molecules suspended in the atmosphere. Why? Because God made it so. Why? Go to hell. Bringing God into it now seems like such a cop-out to me. Because you lack the ability to comprehend means that some divinity must therefore exist? Rhetorical question. *sigh* Yet another woman blogger pounded against love's shoals. Wouldn't it be funny if _____? Well, maybe not funny ha-ha. If your cats could talk back as much as you talk to them. If you noticed half as much about me as I do you. If I hadn't asked you out. If I weren't who you I thought I was. I almost typed 'if you weren't who I thought you were'. You're not though. We could still be friends. You talk such a good game that sometimes I just want to grab you by the shoulders...

Friday, March 10, 2006

One week later...

Cercis canadensis 'Redbud'
Cuphea hyssopifolia 'Mexican Heather'
Tradescantia fluminensis 'Wandering Jew'
A weed

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This is the interesting entry

Lord help me if I could think of anything to say. It was too windy to take pictures out of doors, always a good fallback for writer's block, and I'm too honest to post something old and pass it off as new. I've got LOTS of stuff in the notebook, and I'm adding more and more every day, I just haven't been in the mood to feel like sharing it with you.

Some of the stuff from my notebook is now too old to even qualify as current events. Example: "I'm glad the NBA All-Star hoopla has died down, so we (Houstonians) can go back to not giving a shit where Eva Longoria was spotted."

I heard on the radio this afternoon that they arrested a couple of kids in the Alabama church arson case. If I heard correctly, they said the first couple were just a joke, then the others were to confuse authorities. Umm, I'm confused at the first one. A joke? Like a knock-knock or a dirty limerick? I guess they're going for the insanity defense.

I recently broke my glasses. Well, a screw that holds one of the nosepads came out and disappeared into the carpet. Like a good engineer, I reattached the nosepad not with a paperclip but with a 1cm bit of twist-tie. (And my trusty needle-nose vice-grip pliers. God I love those things.)

There was a career-fair recently at school, as there is every semester. The translation of career-fair for you foreigneurs (don't you put an extra-u in that word too?) is that a number of companies set up booths in an auditorium while students/prospective employees go from booth to booth handing out resumés (translation: CV). It's generally pretty fruitless, since you spend at most 2 minutes talking to someone who probably doesn't know what specific opportunities exist at his own company while your resumé goes into a pile to either be shredded or entered into a database that no one ever accesses again. However, when you're looking for a job you do anything and everything you can.

I was suddenly aware that my interviewing abilities may have atrophied a bit. I'm pretty sure I walked up to at least one booth/potential employer and instead of shaking hands I may have given him either a bip (bumping fists one atop the other) or a dap (punching knuckles). Not exactly business etiquette, but then neither is the section labelled skillz on my resumé.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The return of Not My Cat

I swear it's Not My Cat!

Not My Cat has been spending a lot of time on my patio lately. Not My Cat likes to lay in the sun and sleep, but Not My Cat usually wakes up and runs away whenever I notice that it is around. Friday, Not My Cat was lounging on the bench while I ate lunch. Instead of running away, Not My Cat dozed lazily, keeping one eye on me and one eye on my tater tots. When I finished lunch, Not My Cat was still there, so I went upstairs to get my camera. I crept along the floor behind my sofa, stealthily approaching the window hoping that Not My Cat wouldn't run away too quickly. Not only did Not My Cat not run away, but Not My Cat posed for a few pictures before slowly rousing and slinking away. I was prone on the floor, mostly concealed by the sofa propping myself and my camera up on my elbows like a real-life nature photographer on the Serengeti. Not My Cat clearly saw me and humored me for a few minutes, but the implication was obvious, that were I actually a real-life nature photographer on the Serengeti and were Not My Cat a lion I wouldn't be here to blog about it. Thus today's lesson, courtesy of Not My Cat, is that I need to work on my stealth-photography skills.

And perhaps not to smell of tater tots when approaching from upwind.

[Note: More photos of Not My Cat can be found in the usual place via the link to your right, my left.]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

You're not LISTENING

Eschevaria derenbergii 'succulent'
Cercis canadensis 'Redbud'