Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The New and Improved Thumb War

Sometimes I don't think my brother and I will ever grow up. Even though, he's a thirty-year old school teacher and I'm a twentysomething professional, over this Christmas holiday, we refused to act any differently than we did when we were at the ripe ages of 15 and 8. Yesterday, we spent the entire night watching cartoons i.e. the Family Guy and playing the new and improved version of thumb war that he came up with because I was beating him so easily at the old fashioned game of thumb war. For the new and improved version, we play thumb war with our left hands instead of our right, and we hold each other's arms in place with our free hands so we can't squirm out of the thumb death hold. I must admit that I kind of suck and the new and improved thumb war, but I'm sure that I'll only get better with time. I refuse to be defeated by him and I'm doing thumb exercises at work right now so that it will be strong for battle tonight.

And though I couldn't find any pictures of active thumb war battles online today, the people of Paris finally got something right as they've created this massive bronze statue in honor of the thumb. I don't know if they created it solely in honor of thumb war but I'd like to think that my favorite childhood game had something to do with it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Will Everyone Please Stop Feeding Me!

I've forgotten what hunger feels like and I kind of miss that gentle ache that lets me know when nourishment is needed. Now, all I have is a perpetually full belly that is just begging for a break from the heavy loads I force upon it and that is starting to insist on a larger waistband.

I was so not planning on this. I thought the holiday feasts would just casually come on Christmas day and that would be enough gluttony to last the rest of the year, but from the Christmas parties and luncheons at work, to the steady preparations of food at home, it starting to seem like there is some mysterious Christmas fairy throwing candy canes at my feet as though they were roses. Every room I enter seems to be filled with chocolate covered pretzels, baked ziti, fried chicken, and cookies. I mean I know it's the holidays, but there needs to be a limit on all of this feasting. At least the Berenstain Bears had an excuse for eating too much junk food. They could eat a week's worth of food and then hiberate for a month. I, unfortunately, just eat a week's worth of food to wake up tomorrow to repeat the hole vicious cycle again.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Gothic Night Revelations

Last weekend was my friend's, Barefoot in Blue, birthday extravaganza. The actually day of her birth is today, but since you can't really party on a Monday, we decided to spread the celebration over three nights of dancing and frolicking. We did the typical hip-hop and Caribbean music on Friday and Saturday night, but on Sunday night seeing as to how most everything else is closed, we wound up partying in a club on their gothic night. It was one of the most awkwardly amusing nights ever. The anthropologist in me was appreciating the gothic culture, but the still conservative, close-minded part of me was simply repeating "what the hell" all night long.

I was pretty uncomfortable right from the get go, so I was forced to get a drink, like a coward, so I wouldn't have to be so self-conscious. I used to hate those people who simply must have a drink before they could dance and let loose, but I'm starting sympathize with that sentiment because sometimes it helps if you're not all there.

Anyway, everyone in the club was rocking their look, with the dyed black hair, the very pale white skin, and the very black eye makeup. Black trench coats were swaying to Rob Zombie and the occasional glimpse of vampire fangs almost made me piss my pants, but I refused to be intimidated by the pure spookiness of their rattling chains. I was determined to have a good time, and I truly did.

What I found the most interesting about the gothic look was how it makes everyone look genderless. All that long black hair and face painting really made the men look feminine and since the men looked so feminine made some of the girls look a little masculine. I would say that at first glance at least fifty percent of the kids in that club had ambiguous gender markers, which kind of made me lose track of my own femininity and just be a genderless creature the entire night. Plus, I don't fit into the gothic aesthetic of beauty so I didn't have to worry about being hit on or coming up with lame excuses why I couldn't give anyone my number. It's so freeing to be unconscious of your sex even if only for a few hours. Our gender is something that we are forced to conform to more often than not, so I enjoy the few occasions when it gets lost in the shuffle.

Gender ambiguity aside, I had a ball. I absolutely adore rock music so I was feeling the heavy sound. Most of the songs I did not recognize, but they did play some good Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, which I was really dancing hard to. I was so excited by the change of music because my dancing world is all about salsa, reggae, and hip-hop. Anything outside of that is like a foreign movement language to me. Plus, I've never thought about going out and dancing to alternative rock before. I thought that sort of music was only for screaming to in your car or while cleaning the kitchen, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it so fun to dance to as well.

In the end, I can truly say that I can understand the whole gothic trend a little better now. It's not at all as scary as I thought. I even began to like those vampire fangs ever so slightly. I'm far from buying a trench coat or piercing my entire body, but at least the gothic sub-culture is not so foreign to me anymore and not so frightening.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

I've been wanting to redecorate my blog ever since I started the site back in July. I've gone through three different templates, but was never able to customize the webpage to my liking. Well, after 4 dozen mistakes and at least two migraines, I can smile at the awkward beauty of my new web design. I know it's far from prefect but so am I, and all the interesting flaws of my webpage mirror all of the interesting flaws about me. Besides, considering that I'm not at all HTML literate, I think my work here is close to miraculous.

I really do feel like one of those brave home owners who just aided some strange, overzealous designer in tearing down all the familiar walls of home to create something foreign and unknown. When the remodel is all over the homeowners are excited by the change, yet miss the familiar, but have to pretend to be overly excited for the cameras. That's exactly how I feel now, a bit excited, a bit sad, and a bit confused about which face to show to the world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"The River Has No Hair To Hold Onto"

No matter what I do, I can never understand poetry the first time I read it. I try reading every word slowly and out-loud in my head, but even then the words don't seem to add up to much. It's not until I read the poem a second time that am I able to get the message, which is a little frustrating because at the age of 23 I should be a better, more efficent reader. Yet I like the fact that poetry is not straight forward. That it takes a prefectly quotidian subject and tears it apart, looks at it from the top and the bottom, then forgets about and goes back to it, making me see this prefectly mundane idea in a different way. How do poets do that anyway? It's so clever and so quiet. I could never be so subtle.

Anyway, I was reading this poem "The River Has No Hair to Hold Onto" by Ralph Angel last night and was so intrigued by it. First of all, it has a great title. I mean who wouldn't want to read a poem about hairy rivers? I know I would, but no this poem was not literally about hairy rivers, and though I still don't understand the author's intention entirely (I never do to tell you the truth) for me the poem meant that somehow we all get swept away in the flow of life, forgeting the source of what makes us unique and special. We trade our real unassuming dreams, for the generic dreams that everyone else holds, wanting money, houses, cars, and things, and the current of everybody else's dreams in your head is what takes you so far away from your quiet source. There's nothing to pull on to get you back to that source, no reeds, no posts, no hair.

I thought that was such a lovely way to look at an experience that everyone knows and can personally relate to. I'm still young so I'd don't think I've been swept too far from my original dream yet. However, I feel that so many times that I was going to take the wrong path just so I wouldn't have to break the flow, so I could be and think like everyone else. It's kind of comforting, you know, to be like everybody else, just not very practical or interesting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ebay Broke My Heart Tonight!

I am overwhelmed with Christmas shopping despair, and everything was going so well yesterday. The book that would have been the prefect Christmas present for my mother was stolen from me. It was a beautiful 1st edition, 1915 book about The Myths of Ancient Egypt. It had hand-drawn color prints people. It was beautiful and would of made my mother cry, and someone had audacity to out bid me.

I was head to head with them for a while, but tonight two hours before closing, someone reached a price range, that I just could not go, and now I have no idea what to get my mother for Christmas. She loves old books and Egyptology so if you have any creative ideas, please let me know.

It's such a pity to know your limitations, and ebay puts it's all right there in first you without any modesty. They don't care how badly you want something or if you saw it first. It's all the highest bidder, and I don't know if I'll ever be extravagant enough to go all out and leave everyone else behind counting their pennies.

But it's really not about the money. I'm just sad because I could just visualize my mother opening my gift on Christmas morning and gasping at how wonderful this book was. I know she would smile while reading it, carefully turning each delicate page, washing her hands before even beginning to handle such lovely antique. How am I going to come up another gift that would realize all of these classic images. It's hopeless.