Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why I'm not letting it go to my head

And now for something truly important. It's been a while since I've done a hair post, hasn't it? Presented in inane-text-conversations-with-my-sister format:

Me: I think I got a 70s shag haircut! Ack!

 My sis: Color too?!

 Me: Nope. Still the same as when you saw me two days ago.

Sis: Looks reddish.

 Me: Phone camera+bathroom lighting.

Me: Do you like it? 

Sis: I like the color.

Me: It's the same!!

Then, unrelated to hair, but related in the fact that it took place later that night, which you can tell because I'm wearing the same shirt (and not because I always wear the same shirt), this picture:

I was going to say, "presented without explanation," except, well... 


a. This is me wearing yoga pants and attempting headstand at a dinner party.
b. I had to change after I split my real pants attempting to demonstrate frog pose. (For your edification.) I don't remember how it came up, but it did, ok?
c. SINCE I was now wearing yoga pants there seemed to be NO REASON NOT TO attempt headstand, and again I don't remember how it came up, but it did, ok?
d. There are only two situations in which I will ever do headstand, and one is in a yoga studio with calm nerves, steady breath, and a centered mind, and the other is drunk and in someone's living room.
e. When I am calm, steady, and centered, I have never once fallen out of headstand, but drunk and in someone's living room, it is perhaps unsurprising that my first attempt ended with me crashing spectacularly down on my left shoulder and side. (I totally get the word "tipsy" now!)
f. FOR SOME REASON (and also posterity) I agreed to go for this second, more successful attempt (with the help of a spotter this time, because ouch).

Moral of the story: INVITE ME TO YOUR DINNER PARTIES. But you should probably move your furniture out of the way first. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Enough is enough, except when it's Not Enough

Lately I've been struggling with the idea of how much is Enough. I read this blog post on poverty, which led me to this blog post on what being poor really means, which led me to a tangle of complicated emotions. Frustration at how easy it is to fall into the hole that is poverty, and how hard it is to climb out of it. Roiling, burning indignation at the stereotypes so often associated with the poorest of the poor (laziness, lack of motivation) when in most cases these stereotypes are not only untrue, but the exact opposite of true. And, finally, it has to be said, relief that I don't have to worry about where my next meal will come from, or whether to pay the phone bill or the electric bill this month. Upon reading these posts, I recognized and was grateful for the fact that in this sense, I truly do have Enough. I have enough money to buy food and gas. I have enough to buy fancy coffee in paper cups when I want to without feeling overly guilty about it. I have enough to pay rent every month on an apartment I live in alone in one of the most expensive rental markets in the country. I have enough to have a cat and even to pay for pet insurance for the cat so that if something terrible and expensive happens to her she won't have to die because I can't afford to save her. For me this last bit seemed like the (completely arbitrary and also ridiculous) tipping point of Enough-ness. E.g. You know you're not poor when...you can afford insurance for your cat. Yeah. 

However, no matter how grateful you may feel to have your basic day-to-day needs met, it's impossible to have a mental discussion with yourself on Enough-ness without also looking at the other side of it; the Not Enough. Not enough to travel or go on vacation, except maybe, if I scrimped and saved and wiped out my emergency savings fund. I could scrimp and save to build it back up again, but it might take me a few years. I have enough to pay my monthly student loan payment, but on the income-contingent plan the amount I am required to pay barely covers the interest, and not much else. At this rate I will quite literally never pay off my loan. At the current rate it would take me 38 years just to pay off the principal. Once you add interest in you can see how 38 years turns into quite possibly never, but I can't afford to pay any more than I am. Not enough to contribute to a retirement fund so that I can one day afford to retire, and in the event that I can't, no guarantee that anyone will actually employ a person of retirement age and few specialized skills when there are so many younger and cheaper alternatives. 

Basically, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of knowing that I have everything I need at the moment, while still being utterly terrified about the future. Knowing how quickly Enough can slip into Barely Enough or its cousin, Almost Enough, and how from there it's a rapid descent into the mire and muck known as Not Enough. The even scarier prospect of Not Enough becoming a relentless cycle of Never Enough. 

The mental gymnastics required of this dichotomy are, frankly, exhausting: I am fed, warm, and clothed. (I might not always be fed, warm, and clothed.) I have Enough. (I will never have Enough.) I am grateful. (I am terrified.) 

If anyone else wants to chime in, I am interested in knowing, in broad terms: Do you feel like you have Enough? Do you sleep at night?                    

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why it's time to play cat-ch up

To every mean commenter who ever gleefully wished me a long life of singledom in the company of the many cats I would surely acquire...

...thank you. We are quite happy.

She came with the name L.B., an abbreviation of a moniker she surely did not deserve, and so now I call her Ellie. 

This is the position in which you will commonly find her. She doesn't like to play, particularly, but she does enjoy flopping down wherever she may be, rolling, stretching, begging for a scratch, and proffering an inquisitive paw. 

She is a cuddler and an affectionate head-butter, with a purr like an engine idling. Her eyes are blue-blue and her yowl can rupture eardrums. She is a grande dame of five and a half years.   

She has a tiny little pointed head, a round, soft tummy, and a skinny little mousey tail. Her fur is very, very soft.

Here is a video I posted on Facebook of her coming home for the first time. Featuring: me having a ridiculous, one-sided, and also high-pitched conversation with a cat, and Ellie's trade-marked baby-like cry of displeasure. I love that the song playing on the radio in the background is called 'Home.' 


She would like everyone to know that her attitude has much improved since the awful car ride of terror.

She is not much of a bug-killer, as she nearly stepped on the slow-moving bug I attempted to point out to her as she obliviously butted her head against my gesturing hand in an effort to get petted. But she does cuddle up with me at night and sleep through until morning. I think I'll keep her.    

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why your positivity makes me feel meh

Sometimes my sister bugs the shit out of me. If you have a sister, you know this is true. I love her and all, but sometimes it's like, how are we related, again? 

Recently she sent me an e-mail with a link to this video, saying: i wish you would get into this stuff, power of positive thinking and all that... always makes me feel better, and it fits in with yoga n all :)   


Don't even...don't even watch that video, guys. I mean, do, but, like ten seconds is probably enough. I think you get the point here. 

I responded: Umm, sorry, all I can think of when I see that is this:


Do watch this video. It's only 8 seconds long.

Her response: to each their own lol!

Today she texted me, asking what I'm planning to wear (to the theatah) on Saturday. I said I didn't know, given that I currently hate all my clothes shoes scarves jewelry hair and face. Which, come on, is funny (and also happens to be true).

She replied: At least u have a positive attitude

And then it was like...
Yeah, like that.

Did I miss the memo where it says sisters are no longer allowed to complain to each other about having nothing to wear? Are we also not allowed to complain about men or how weird/annoying our parents are? The next time her dog pees on my bed and couch within a 12 hour time period do I have to compliment her on how effectively he was able to communicate his displeasure at being left alone for ten goddamn minutes? Sorry, I didn't know we were playing the glad game.

Oh, in other news, I got a cat. An awesome one. Pictures forthcoming, as soon as I take them.