I miss this space. I've closed down my personal presence on the web to just a few spots, but I want this to still be one of them. So I did another review today, and also published months' worth of posts that had been saved as drafts when it was moved here from Vox. Too bad the image files from the earliest posts and from so much of 2007 were lost, but that's what you get when you sloppily play web nomad.
There are so many repeating patterns here; and not all of them good ones. Making the decision once again to work on being fully myself, with no one else's labels or expectations to live up to, well, maybe I'll break some of the patterns this year, after four years and one day of trying my best to just keep going for others while giving up on myself. So here's what I want to share before I get started on that.
The solstice occurred around noon yesterday, so that makes today the first full day of summer. I need this summer to be a restful one. Last summer was enormously stressful and painful, and the past few months have just been tiresome.
I don't know if I get to take the summer off from stress, anxiety, or being inflicted upon by the drama of others, but I've decided to claim a few spaces of personal peace, just in case. One is my closet. Half of it is empty right now, and therefore full of possibilities. I could put any old thing I wanted in there, and it would just be mine, in my own space. I kind of need that.
Another is this bit right here. When it got to the point where even writing was stressful, I knew something was amiss. Since I am compelled by nature to continue writing no matter how I feel about it, then I gotta have a place to do it where I'm not even keeping my own score. No point, no plan, no goal at all, except to write something in it every single day.
It was a good evening. We got Chinese food and went to the Long Branch promenade to eat it. Only, as there was a crazy bad storm earlier, the benches were too wet to sit on. So we sat in the car facing away from the water to eat--you can't really park there so you're facing the right direction. I learned how to operate my new phone, and then we walked up the promenade, which becomes a boardwalk after a short way, and kept going as far as you can go right now until construction bars the way. It's being transformed into an upscale condo-and-shopping HQ, but regular locals will always maintain a presence; walking, jogging, going out to the beach to fish.
There are bicycle patrol cops rolling past, and two new sports bars facing the water. We looked at the monuments to all the presidents who used to hang out there in the summer, and peeked into the hotel lounges. If we make this a weekly practice, maybe we'll actually go into one now and then. But mostly it's just good to be outside, inhaling the breeze, listening to the rhythm of the tide.
For want of a brain, the point was lost.
Last night, and the night before, I dreamed of having a sort of encounter with a strange man. I don't remember much about either dream, except that nothing much happened, just all that essence and feeling and intent, but if this is the start of Manweek? All I can say is, where have you been for the past 6 months? Why are you at least a full week ahead of what might be termed a reasonable schedule? And can you try to hang around, please? Everyone said that turning 40 is hormonally unpredictable. Sheesh.
Oh! I remembered the original point from an hour and two Lost Posts ago. It was that within the past year, every single human in the universe has become a wizened social commentator, all full of sarcasm and faux irony and junk, and even though I rise above all that, they have sort of sucked the material dry. And aren't you tired of looking for some news each morning, only to find it's all about Tom and Katie, or Blond Brad and whoever, or that Surprise! eyes chick who ran away from her dull, non-sex-having fiance? See? How wrong is it that we know this about him?
So. Manweek. Is it here to stay? (good lord, if I only knew then it would come back and stay for approximately 27 days of every 30.)
Hey, don't argue with Science.
40 really is the new 30. (the link has been lost, sorry.)
One thing the article mentions is how we act younger than our parents did at our age. In my case, that probably isn't true, at least with my mother. She was always youthful-acting, until a couple of years before she died, at 53. But she maybe looked older at 40 than I do, even though she was thought of as lovely and young-looking. Sadness and stress took their toll all her years after that, though she tried to always be light-hearted, loving, and fun. I want to believe my hardest years are behind me, instead. I've got a lot of living to do.
I do live nearly 8 miles from the beach now, or maybe 7 if I go that other way. And according to my non-native standards, I'm sadly about 1.5 miles west of what I'd call properly "at the shore." But summer rain is still the same here; if it rains while very warm out? It smells like fish. Ocean fish. I opened the windows this morning to get some fresh air after three days of really humid hot weather, during which the a/c was running, but that never feels fresh to me. It's supposed to rain off and on all week, so I was hoping the a/c wouldn't be needed. However, fish. I'd forgotten that happens since it feels like forever since last summer or any summer, for that matter.
It's really not unpleasant, even though you tend to only smell fish when they're dead. Let's say it smells like water in which fish have been swimming.
Honestly, having spent my first 35 years in the midwest, I still think it's pretty cool.
I coined a word just now.
Illiterati: People who frequent internet news forums, willing to offer an opinion on any and every subject no matter how little they understand the matter or how much they've actually read about it, and who post these opinions in one tremendously long, unbroken paragraph, generally filled with spelling and grammatical errors, many examples of poor and twisted logic, and incorrectly-cited or downright false statistics.
But yeah, sometimes I can't resist challenging them either. It just burns inside you now and then, doesn't it?
It's been quite a family sort of day. Up and out of the house fairly early for a donut treat, and a triple-crazy treat; iced decaf flavored milky coffee! Wild times, man. Then shopping for the little one's birthday (Darth Vadar voice-activated mask, electronic color change light saber, walkie talkies, kid binoculars, crash dummy smash-up car, and a little tool set for building a wooden birdhouse,) and some groceries, and we got two baby rosy barbs to round out the aquarium, which was in need of a little youth and color. This evening we drove up to Menlo Park Mall (28 miles north) to have dinner at the Rainforest Cafe in honor of the June birthdays.
Then we had to cruise through the Apple Store, and now we're back home but there are three boys in my bedroom, who, along with their dad, are searching for educational meaning in some Chinese movies, by watching the dvds in the matching Apple Powerbook, over there on the futon, and the dog is in here, and I'm so exhausted of noise and people that I have my ear buds plugged in but am not even listening to any music. I'm just sort of pretending to tune out my surroundings somehow, without having to use alternative noise replacement.
The situation probably requires some Stan Getz, but I'm holding off for now.
I won this dress from eBay today: (photo is from a year later)
--with shipping it came to $9.85, so I'm happy about that. Only I think it needs me to weigh 5 pounds less in order to fit well, so I have to actually make some sort of effort regarding that issue, which I've been avoiding. I knew today would not be a healthful one for eating, though, so I plan to start being conscientious tomorrow. Also? Today took all the money in the world, people. Days like this don't come around often.
Okay, Chinese chick screams; I launch iTunes.