What are your New Year's resolutions? Do you think you'll stick to any of them? If so, for how long?

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Despite the multiplicity of my blood-chilling flaws, I really only have one resolution this year: Get the fuck out.

I'm going to finish school, I'm going to make some money, and I'm going to be either in Portland or packing and making the U-Haul arrangements by this time next year.

You heard it here.  Hold me to it, friends and lovers.



chairs in the Cristal Room of Baccarat, Paris

With my cherry-wood dropleaf table?  OH yes.  

A cheaper way to go about doing this might be to get some aluminium chairs like these--


--spray them with clear lacquer, hand-blow a bit of black glitter on them, and spray them with a clear, high-gloss coat of that crap you put on lawn furniture.  What is that stuff called, again? 

I've repainted Grandma's plant stands with them pieces of furniture with it so far, and plan on doing her old lawn furniture and a log for Elvis with it, too.  And Dad did the interior of the birdbath.  I'll have to ask him how it went.  It looks great, it dries to waterproof (important for Elvis, who poops indiscriminately with regard to the topography), it comes in all sorts of colors, and it takes like an hour to do.

Or you could just skip the glitter and go with the high-gloss coat.


In other news, I went to visit my table the other day and was astonished to find that I could live without it.

It was lovely, it was charming, it was a wonderful size and shape and color.  But I could live without it.

It really threw me.  So much so that it was something of a cause for concern: wanting that table had given me something to work toward, a reason d'etre, even, and now, lacking that, I am back to seething in my own malcontent and buying little baubles.

Well, enough of that.  I have made my resolution for the year, and I will live in its shade.  In the meantime, I had a dream the other night that I decided it was time to clean out all my jewellery-making supplies, make what jewellery I wanted, and organize the rest of the materials and put them away.  (Right now they're all sitting in white plastic baskets atop the gentleman's chest in my room, which my mother and I call the bead chest, since the entire thing is packed with beading stuff.)

In addition, I have a dangerously bulging file in my filing cabinet labelled "Neat Stuff to Make into a Scrapbook Someday," and yesterday I bought (on the advice of God, through a best-of-three coin toss) a self-adhesive photo album.  It will be the first of several, I suspect, but it saves me hours of gluing and explaining, and I will be able to store the book in the file drawer.  
I won't (or can't) explain it, but it's one of the things I need to do to move on--to become that grave, silly, wise, funny, kind, beautiful woman I need to be to be ready to handle Oregon.
  There are things I can do to get ready that do not cost enormous quantities of money.

The self-adhesive album is the first unnecessary thing I've bought in a while that I feel has been money well spent.

That and that new Neutrogena foundation.  That's good stuff.


Do you remember when I decided I wanted to add some white-trash to my wardrobe, and you told me in a way that made it clear that you didn't care for it and felt I was being ridiculous that I had succeeded?

I've decided I like it anyway, so I'm going ahead with it.  Remember that enormous, hideous pink bag I had?  I've gotten another one.  Next: cork wedges.

Also, you're a twit.  Go trim your beard, clown.


(no subject)

It has just occurred to me, for the first time in my (extensive, variegated) work history, that I might not be able to pass a drug test if I were given one now.

It's also the first time I've done something illegal without feeling any sort of guilt or remorse or regret about it.  And I wouldn't, I think, even if I had been caught and convicted and forced to do jail time for it.  The law against marijuana possession is so contemptible that I can't even be bothered to get upset over it.


(no subject)

Alabama Guy has now written me a touching email saying that he loves me.

I've been watching this oncoming train for a while now, but still: shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

I love him, too, of course, but I suspect that what he means is that he is in love with me.  I'm going to have to do something about this, and I don't want to.


Something else has changed along these lines, too.  I don't want him to be in love with me; I don't want him to be attracted to me.

This has not previously been the case.  Up until I noticed this development, I was excessively pleased by male attentions, and I do mean excessively: they could make my week, even if they were casual and from a total stranger.  I felt that when I had male attention I had power, and I was perfect--desirable rather than an undesirable.

And there was no grey area.  I was either a goddess that all men wished (or should have wished) they could have access to, or I was some non-human species, alien to the world.

So male attention, whether I reciprocated or even wanted it or not, was tremendously important.  I honestly can't say whether I still feel that way, but I know I don't feel that way about this guy.



The question you asked me a while ago about whether I am in the habit of assuming that everyone is as miserable as I am returns to me these days, asking if it might be invited in if it promises to behave itself.

I've now had two--three?--different friends over to the house where I was cat-sitting this holiday, and they all agree with me that 1) S., one member of the couple who own the house, is an impressively talented decorator, and 2) that she has achieved It--she has Arrived at fabulous, and may now rest on her beautifully arranged laurels.

This is because of the kitchen drawers.  The kitchen cabinetry is made of white-painted solid wood, with glass fronts, and that is impressive enough if you're into that sort of thing (I personally am annoyed by the lack of water pressure at the kitchen faucet), but the kitchen's point of ne plus ultra is the drawer runners.  The drawers themselves are just as solid as their facades, not the usual warped particle board with shitty vinyl covering in a wood pattern, and the drawers pull out of their slots without any bumping, catching, or sliding--or noise.  They're totally silent and totally smooth.  The three friends and I agree that this, this, is the true sign of wealth.  Fuck Christian Louboutin.

Honestly, the house is lovely.  It's a tiny, single-story Tudor cottage, with a Spanish-style courtyard surrounding the back, on C______ Avenue.  I'd love to have a house like it some day.  I envy S.--tall, pale, beautiful, elegant, witty, red-headed S.--her home and her money, her beauty and her ability and means to surround herself with beautiful things.

S. wants to have coffee with me tomorrow to talk about her husband's alcoholism and the possibility that they might divorce.

I wasn't particularly surprised by the news (though I was by the invitation): cat no. 2 chewed one corner of, among other things, a prescription for Antabuse in C.'s name, and last time I housesat the bedside table in the room where I slept, S.'s room, was littered with books bearing titles like Ending a Co-Dependent Relationship and When Enough Is Enough and Nice Girls Finish Fat.

(The bedroom in the finished basement, where C. sleeps most of the time, is devoid of such paraphernalia, and larger, but I don't like sleeping down there anyway: C. tells S. that he leaves their bed in the night because S. tosses and turns, but in deleting my own cookies from the basement computer*, I have seen the list of his.  My guess is that C. is an asshole whose veneer of suave chivalry has cracked from long use in close quarters; he seems to favor exclusively porn featuring white men hurting or humiliating women of minority races.  At least with regular porn you can pretend the women are enjoying themselves--as long as you don't look at their faces--but his choices all seem to point to a man who longs to abuse those classes he feels are beneath him.  "Martha the maid has to take a facial for a paycheck," "Submissive black sluts in surprise anal fuckings," that kind of thing.)

S. is probably nearly 50, or just over, though expensive skin cream and regular hair appointments make her look 37, and her attitude of not giving a shit about age makes you wonder why youth is supposed to be important anyway.  C. is a retired U.S. general who now works for Lockheed Martin and travels extensively.  She met him in her home state of Kentucky, I think--or maybe they both lived there once--and the two of them moved away from their respective families (C.'s ex-wife and his two adult children, S.'s mother and sisters) to the pretty cottage.

I think that must be why she wants to have coffee with me.  I think maybe she doesn't have anybody else--at least, not out here--except the half-crazed 29-year-old, broke and fat and tragically uncool and living with her parents in a trailer out west of BFE, who comes into town to housesit her cats for her.

You are the only person I've ever met who is, apparently, not as miserable as I am (hence my habit of assuming everyone is, which I view as being akin to assuming that everyone I know has a pulse), so perhaps it's time to ask you your secret.  How do you remain happy, even with your troubles?  You must have troubles, surely; everyone I've ever known has them, and some of the people I most admire have some of the troubles I think of as most basic.  What is it that makes you think, "Life is good enough that I think I'll keep doing this living thing a little longer"? or "Yeah . . . this is good"?


* I was using their computer with their express permission and knowledge, by the way.  I'm "Let's see what kind of makeup this lady wears" creepy, not "Let's see what kind of porn this dude likes" creepy.

(no subject)

I've been so late for two haircut appointments recently that I've had to reschedule both.  I was more than half an hour late to Idee's house Wednesday when we had a time deadline to see the Tutankhamen exhibit in Denver.  I quit my last job because it was making me hate myself--in no small part because I was 10 to 20 minutes late to work nearly every single workday--and now I'm telling myself that I can have a fresh start, a better job, a less stressful life. 

But I don't know that I really believe it.  I've been putting off looking for jobs, I think, without realizing that I'm doing so.  If that's the case, it's because I'm afraid I'll be late to the interviews.  I'm afraid I'll be late to work.  I'm afraid my run of bad luck--self-created and external--when it comes to jobs will only continue, and I'll end up in something horrible and shitty again.  I'm afraid that getting a job will make my life worse, not better, and I'm avoiding facing something I need to do--become Not Late--not because I'm afraid I won't be able to do it, but because I'll have to face life, pay real attention to it, and what if I hate it?


It's a cool sort of authorial wankery, I think, to write a series of stories in which you use one word at least once in every story.  The problem, though, August Derleth, is that batrachian is not a word that really . . . fits in with any other words.  Even when your diction is fairly ornate and your tone is fairly formal, batrachian really jumps out and strangles its readers.

But not in the way you want.  When you're writing a collection of monster stories that all hint at a single, horrifying conclusion, I can see how you might be tempted to use a uniform tone, but, since I'm pretty good at vocabulary and still had to look up the word batrachian, I somehow doubt that every single one of the narrators in 20 freaking stories saw the horrifying apparitions which for the rest of their lives would haunt their restless sleep and felt BATRACHIAN! spring immediately and irreversibly to the forefronts of their minds.  

Because batrachian is not a very horrifying word.  In fact, after it shows up in eight or nine stories in a row, it starts to get pretty funny. 

I don't fault you for the idea, of course.  A person with great, lantern-like eyes and no chin and a rubbery, downturned mouth, and gills, really is rather disturbing.  But you could have described them as " froglike" or "reminiscent of a toad" or "distinctly amphibian," and it would have been decently creepy without sounding comically, ostentatiously delicate about the whole thing.

Also? frogs and toads don't have gills.  Just sayin'.



Buttercup is marrying Humperdinck in little less than half an hour, and I'm tired of talking about it, so I won't bore you with the epic tale (rhymes with fail) of Evil Weirdo Grandma's search for an appropriate kitchen table, but will instead sum up:

She found one.  It's in her price range, it's cherrywood (what she wanted), it's of exactly the (rather weird) dimensions she wanted, it's in the style she wanted, and it has two drop leaves (which she wanted) that are ridiculously easy to put up and down.

Those are the reasons she should have liked it.  My reasons for liking it are these: it's an actual kitchen table, not some modified TV tray, but it's not obtrusively big or ungainly; I can move it without having to slide it or requesting help; it's a hand-made antique from the 1880's; it's a gorgeous burgundy color rather than brown (I hate brown); it has a secret drawer in one side of the center part; the drop-leaf struts are made of solid iron, are obviously from the 19th centruy, and have a manufacturer's name on them; and the piece is in perfect condition--no wobbling, ill-fitting joints, or anything. 

It also represents the first time I have ever actually liked a piece of wood furniture.  I normally hate wood furniture unless it is painted (see, supra, my problem with brown), but I looked at this piece and saw the decorating scheme of an entire cottage spin out around it, and I liked what I saw, and understood that someday I must also own an escritoire.  I want to feel this way about a potential spouse.

Instead, this thing between the table and me is more like one of those movies in which one dude asks his best dude friend to take out his, dude 1's, girlfriend while dude 1 is out of town, and his best dude friend falls in love with the girlfriend and has to deal with the fact that he can't have her even though she clearly loves him and he clearly loves her.

Yes, this is with furniture, but I'm telling you: this table loves me back.

But the table is $220, the shop where I found it doesn't have layaway, and I'm unemployed.  And now one of Evil Weirdo Grandma's evil friends has decided, sight unseen, that she wants to buy it.

(Is this an old-person thing, these extremes in furniture shopping--not liking anything you see even when it's exactly what you say you're looking for OR deciding you will purchase a rather significant piece of furniture without even bothering to look at the thing?  Is Grandma's friend just extremely rich or extremely impulsive, or both?  Is Grandma just a loon?  I know the answer to that one, at least.)

So I'm probably not going to get this table, and that sucks.  I could honestly use it, and, more, I honestly desire it.  And I love feeling desire, because I almost never do: I make most of my purchases--and life choices in general--from boredom (the necklace from Wal-Mart, the tailored vest from the Arc) or a feeling of necessity (toilet paper, mascara).

If anyone feels the desire to buy me a table, feel free.  If not, though, I've gotten to see something I genuinely, intensely liked, and it's been a really cool experience.



Undertaking a bit of a revamp here at chez Monsters.  Please be patient while I go through a period of making everything look a bit crappy.