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Apparently I am sane and normal, with an added dose of surreal. Ha.
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I took The Golden Compass daemon matching test.  My results?

"Your profile reveals that you are: Softly spoken, shy, passive, flexible, depdendable.  You are therefore matched with the Aeschylus Daemon. Your Deamon Aschylus is one of 5197 crow Daemons within the total Deamon popiation of 126699. Aeschylus is a male Daemon, as human and Daemon pairs are usually of the opposite sex."

I love that I got a crow, but the profile conclusions are interesting to me.  I dont see my self as shy and passive - do you?
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Vacuuming has always been the chore I hate most. I would rather scrub toilets.  I would rather wash floors (sometimes I actually mop the kitchen without first vaccuuming it). I would rather clean up after the dog.  I think it's my dust allergy and aversion to loud noises, in combination, but whatever it is, I hate vacuuming.

Vacuuming has now been surpassed - my new least favorite chore is packing.  Packing isnt a chore, you say?  Hi, welcome to my life - I pack more often than I vacuum, and I probably pack more than most people vacuum (not you, Eliza, but your love affair with the Dyson is awe-inspiring).

I dont mind packing the electronics and entertainment, because that is rote by now: laptop, power cord, USB mouse, digital camera, camera cable, Ipod, Ipod cable, cell charger, etc. + books equal to number of days away, maybe some knitting, my planner, address book w/ stamps. and whatever work I will need to reference.

It's not the toiletries - I keep a kit packed in the bathroom, and just have to wing it into the suitcase. 

It is the clothes - thinking about clothes makes me cranky.  My identity is a little muzzy right now, which makes my disguises fit less well.  Throw in some confusion about how this trip will be spent, a dose of body issues, and some I-hate-to-shop-but-things-are-wearing-out, and it's a recipe for disaster.

(Of course the irony is that if I was taking a good-size duffle rather than a roll on suitcase, I could just put every item of clothing I own in the same bag).
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I feel very Donna Reed-ish today - I am making French Onion soup, just blocked a sweater I am knitting (I may put up pictures later, since it looks like fairies armed with shiny sewing pins have captured an enemy), and will be altenately working on my thesis and pushing the vaccum cleaner around. I even have Betty Rubble's hair!

(I have made the Betty Rubble comment a couple of times - my roommate's immediate response was "At least Betty is hot!" [personal profile] madgenius just looked at me carefully, then laughed and laughed).
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I'm grounded.

I need to send my advisor a complete draft of my thesis by Friday night (night being defined as ending anytime before 8 am Saturday morning, Eastern Standard Time). I have not done any thesising in quite awhile, so it's time to focus.

My aunt Mimi suggested today that I could always blame them, citing pressing family obligations.  Pressing is the right word - as in gang-pressing, a lovely old custom where captains who needed crews would prowl near the harbor, kidnapping poor souls who woke up the next day onboard, far from land, with a new job and life ahead of them.  I love spending time with my family, but, damn, are they capable of derailing my day(s).  I explained to everyone, including my grandmother, that I am grounded to work on my thesis.  They dont necessarily like it, but they understand.

Outside of family life, I have also been being very social, which is delightful.  Delightful, and complicated.  I need some time to myself to recharge, so until Friday night/Saturday I will be grounded.

Speaking of which....
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My inner brat is playing a new game, noting who seems to realize that, for the first time ever, they are seeing me without glasses. 

I dont expect people to notice, but it is funny to see who is paying attention and who is oblivious. So far only two people who knew I was getting LASIK done have mentioned anything.

Heather, Joyce, or Jeff could tell you whether or not it's a real change, since they have seen me this week, but I notice it. 

This highlights how disconnected we all are, but also gives me permission to wear the same clothes three days running (if I ever want to, I mean). 
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Best line from my sent-mail folder:  ". . .when you have the attention span of a roller derby squirrel on a sugar high. . ."

I stumbled across that while searching for an old message with a login code I needed.   It made me laugh.    (And the person I originally sent it  to reads this, Hi! I hope you're as amused as I am!).
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Have you read Pam Houston? Cowboys Are My Weakness Pam Houston? I have loved her work forever, and picked up a copy of a little more about me (which I first encountered at the Homer Public Library) during my used book binge three weekends ago. I have been reading it in bites, randomly flipping it open when I have a moment. Reading her essays about following strong, silent men into foolhardy situations has always helped me grapple with the realities of my time with that exboyfriend - I did dumb, dumb things under his influence, but not because he "made" me do them.  He just enabled me to sneak up on that line - camping at 30 below , learning to rappel by dropping hundreds of feet off a gold dredge, and walking out above the Nenana river on steel girders - which I would never have found without him. I love seeing her evolution, and realizing that she has kept that boldness even after letting the disastrous men go.  She inspires me to be a little braver and a little more honest about my loves and dark desires.

Tonight, in a little more about me, I am reading an essay entitled "The Morality of Fat," and she has this whole American female ambivalence about weight just nailed.

Pam gets right at the thing that makes it so hard, asking why we tie goodness to thin-ness and badness to being above some imaginary, arbitrary number.

It is comforting to realize that I am not the only woman who "will never look in the mirror and feel okay about my body; and I will never, ever be at a weight, no matter how much I might one day lose, that I will consider ideal" (p. 144).

On the other hand, it also enrages me to realize that I am not the only person who wonders, "Will I ever stop measuring my self-worth according to whether I wear a size 10 or a size 14?" (p. 145). 

As Pam asks, "Why do we waste so much of [that] energy thinking about how much we weigh?" (p. 139).

I am in an interesting place on this debate myself - I cycle through phases. Sometimes I am good at acceptance.  Sometimes I can look at losing weight as a healthy lifestyle choice.  Sometimes I want to eat Cincinnati since I am so depressed that I will never get back below some evil, imaginary number and thus redeem myself in the eyes of the world.  Today, I am fretting about the upcoming visit from home mostly because I already feel flawed - it is harder to resist criticism cloaked as concern if I am already feeling bad about myself. 
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My musical tastes (or more accurately, aversions) and the way I drink my tea (with milk and sweet) would label me as hopelessly plebian in the Victorian England I have been reading about.

Even today, my musical aversions draw skeptical glances.

I dislike much classical music and most heavy (read: discordant) industrial-style music, for the same reasons. I have always thought they just sound frenzied and anxious. Listening to these musics makes me physically uncomfortable.

I thought this was my own unique skewed perception, until reading Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice, where Holmes describes Mozart as "frenzied gaiety and weeping put to music. The agony . . . is at times unbearable."

Nice to know I am not the only one.
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I was chatting with Adam tonight, when he started to tease me about something (I cant even remember what, which shows you how cruel he was not being :).  My immediate response in light of my earlier conversation today was to say, "Stop! I am not accepting that I have any flaws today.  Like Mary Poppins, I am practically perfect in every way!"

This is what happens when you pick up your philosophy of life listenning to a CD your two year old cousin picks out on the way to the zoo (Mary P. was my favorite as a little girl too).
redzils: (Default)

On dancing: I have been to three belly dance classes here. This makes me a regular (there seems to be a fairly large cast who cycles through but not a lot of full-time regulars). I am enjoying the company and the classes. We do about an hour of yoga and evil abdominal exercises (some of them are hard but mostly they are ridiculous: i.e. put your legs up in the air in a “V,” then lift your butt off the mat twenty times). Then everyone changes into dance togs (skirts, cholis, hip belts) and we dance. In Virginia I am the fattest belly dancer. Here I am one of the thinnest ones and the most modest – feeling hopelessly overdressed is providing a good push to start wearing stuff that shows my belly in class.


They are working on zils, which is excellent practice for me.  They are mostly practicing straight triplets (right, left, right, repeated endlessly). I think it’s the hardest rhythm and also boring, so played some 3-3-7 during the warm-up and soon Rowan had me playing a counterpoint to the rest of the class to demonstrate how well the rhythms mingle together. It was cool to realize I can play against other dancers without losing the beat (I am so musically untalented that it took me over a year of dance to realize that you can hear an eight count, so this stuff makes me gleeful). I also get a kick out of the fact that Rowan asked to borrow our mnemonic for that one: “Got to dance. Got to dance. Got a chicken in my pants.” (if you zil on the syllables it makes up a 3-3-7).  She is now calling it “the chicken-pants rhythm,” which I love.


The nicest thing about being an itinerant belly dancer is that you can walk into a community just about anywhere. And belly dancers are, in my limited experience, fabulously nice.  I get a real kick out of the women in this class, and love having the girl time to counter my days with the all-male F&G crew.  They also have massive connections to the community so can answer all sorts of questions, like where to go for a haircut (this actually sparked quite a debate). Hanging around with them is sort of like instant-friends-just-add-drum-music, which is perfect for an introvert like me. It is looking like I will be able to perform with them at least once this summer too, which should be fun. There is no way that I am ready to demonstrate belly dancing as a soloist (even to friends and family), but I really do like performing with a group. It is sort of like donning an alternate personality for an hour, and I really like her.


Interestingly, I think I am becoming her (my bolder self) slowly.  I no longer want to throw up at the idea of dancing in front of people and am making real changes in my life to do what I want (rather than what is expected).  This spring was a turning point in this process of accepting myself.  For example, I had spent years not cutting my hair, since it would make me “look fat.” Eventually my patience for that argument wore thin; fat is something you are or you aren’t. Whether or not I am fat was not the point, and changing my hair was not going to change my figure. When I realized that, I had Marcia chop off all my hair. And I love it.


Along those same lines, I (pretending to be bold) invited the world to my belly dance performance in April.  I was originally self-conscious about my bare belly but self-aware enough to realize that the tank tops and jeans I wear do not conceal much beyond actual flesh. No one who has seen me fully dressed would be surprised to realize that I am curvy and a little soft in the mid-section. So, I invited my social group (only one of them came, but that is a separate issue, labeled “Where are my people?”).


At several points this spring, I have found myself thinking, ‘Geez! If only I could have been bold enough to do this (show my belly to other humans, rock out at the wedding with the little people, wear stupid hats in public, tell people “No” or “Let me think about it”) when I was sixteen, everything would have been easier.’  I am just glad I am figuring it now, rather than regretting it when I am 84. I must say, I knew that twenty-four was going to be a good year, and in that sense it has been. I am getting back to who I really am inside.


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November 2010

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