Sunday, August 30, 2009

self-fulfilling prophesy

on my crowded and disorganized bookshelf, i have about a dozen or so mostly empty journals. each was started with the best of intentions and each began more or less the same way -- with an entry apologizing to my future self for discarding yet another journal in the vain hope that this one just might be the one i finally get through, cover to cover. but without fail [or rather, with abundant fail] i leave each new journal behind with only a few months worth of entries a piece, some forgotten circumstantially and others forgotten forcibly, discarded because of the shameful Judy-Blume-ish confessions within. looking over my past few weeks worth of blog entries, i'm quite tempted to cyber-chuck this beast altogether. despite the difference in medium, i'm finding my paper journaling habits are being unwittingly duplicated for all the world wide web to see.

in my noble attempt to return to a regular rhythm of writing, i've turned to this blog for lack of inspiration to write anything else. as a result, the past several entries have been written in moments of weakness, times when my focus has been nominal and my sense of shame dulled down by too many hours of reality television. and though i know i shouldn't make excuses, dagnabit i want to make excuses and last i checked, this was my blog. so there. [reaaaal mature, jess.] i would love to get to the point in my journaling when i don't feel the need to constantly apologize for the last thing i wrote but sadly, i can't even accomplish that in my private journals much less this public one. i blame my constant and overwhelming desire to be perfectly understood, an unattainable desire if ever there was one.

i know i nagged y'all for comments and then apologized for nagging y'all for comments so please take the following explanation with a grain of kosher salt: when i get no feedback i.e., no comments, my mind goes BANANAS! i imagine all that's being thought of me and about me and though i've managed to keep it from defining my general self-worth, it continues to effect the way that i blog. as a result, i'm plagued by the need to beat my imaginary critics to the proverbial punch so that before anyone can think to themselves, "damn, homegirl is CONFUSED!" i'm able to acknowledge and articulate my confusion at length first, not to prove any of my hypothetical naysayers wrong per se, but rather to prove me more right. granted, as i already explained the last time, i know that my lack of response is most likely my own fault and yet STILL when i sit down to write, i feel panicky and can't bring myself to write about anything other than me and my own cuckoo craziness. it's sick, i tell you -- SICK! almost as sick as the stupidly long sentences that have overwhelmed this paragraph. nevertheless, i'm hoping that by exorcising these nagging abstractions via this [*fingers crossed*] final demonstration of neuro-vomit, maybe juuuuust maybe i can one day channel my neurosis into the discussion of something other than the innards of my buzzing brain. thank you for your patience in the meantime and please, don't feel overly obligated to respond. we've all got to work together to snap me out of this mess.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

too late to 'pologize?

okay, so that last entry was probably kind of an a-hole move. the one before it kinda wasn't awesome either. how do i know this? not only were the two comments left apologies [you're forgiven, by the way] but several of my real-life blog reader friends have also made a point of apologizing to my face, not only for not commenting [you're also forgiven] but for the sad state of affairs reported in the entry before last.

i usually pride myself on limiting my public declarations of internet emo but i think i need to both humble myself in the sight of the Lord and of the computer screen. sure, i've still got the know-how to not post vaguely accusatory passive-aggressive one sentence bursts of emo all up on my FB and twitter statuses [statusii?] but let's face it: this blog is totes emo. it reeks of emo. it's all "wah-wah-WAHHHH" and "boo my feelings got hurt" and "daggumit i wish i had a boyfriend" and whatever what not. somebody really ought to wrangle up one of these dudes. it's intense.

so now it's my turn to apologize to y'all: sorry friends. i can't really blame you for not commenting when i write a veritable novella every time i sit down to has this junk out. i rarely have the patience to read anything more than 3 paragraphs long so i realize i'm asking a lot of the few readers i have as it is. it's hard enough to get through each entry, let alone muster up the brain juice to respond accordingly. and per the whole "boo-hoo i'm single" thing, if i'm honest about it, my desire for romantic companionship is mostly a desire for the convenience of having said companion. it would be really nice to have a man-friend just so that i could have one and people could get off my case. i don't know how it is for you fellas, but for us ladies any inquiries into our love life [or lack thereof] are usually followed up by recommendations for how to resolve the affliction of singleness. i would elaborate on this notion further were it not for my aforementioned resolution to be more concise with my blogging. i will just offer this closing lil nugget of comfort to those who were understandably concerned about my seemingly fragile emotional state: i'm really okay -- fantastic, in fact! i love my life, i love my friends, and not having a dude is about as tragic as not having a million dollars. both of those things would be nice to have but i'm doing more than fine without 'em.

Friday, August 21, 2009

so analytical

being the savvy techmological mind that mine is [mmhmm, you heard me] i utilize the most sophisticated modes of analyticalnessiocity to keep track of this here blizzery-blog. according to the great statistical minds over at google analytics, my blog traffic is down 18.6%. needless to say, i found this information to be both disturbing and not awesome. i happen to know that i have 3 blogger followers. not that impressive. so i hopped on over to my good friends at google reader to see how i was doing on the subscription front and they informed me that there are all of 23 of you out there subscribed to my humble cyborg-journal. this boosted my morale significantissimally. nevertheless, it's been days since my last post and i've yet to receive the satisfaction of the only currency worth cashing in here in the blogosphere -- that's right chil'ren -- the comment.

no comments! i poured out my heart [or at least my brain cells] and still nothing? i was having a bit of a carrie bradshaw moment [what with the mac laptop and all] and i couldn't help but wonder: is it me? did i say too much? did i get too emo? should i have followed my instincts and ommited all the whiny "waaaahhh i'm single" bulldookey???

and then i though -- no wayyyyy y'all! my whiny emo material is golden!!! BUT -- only after a little tweaking. and then it occurred to me -- maybe my subscribers are only getting the raw first draft! they're reading my writing in an embryonic state so maybe they just aren't reaping the spoils of the many rounds of painful whittling and adjusting that takes place in the minutes [*cough* hours *cough*] following the first publishing.

now you might be thinking to yourself -- why not just edit thoroughly BEFORE you publish? sure. i COULD do that. and in fact, i DO do that. ["do do". hee hee.] the fact of the matter is i'm a terrible proof reader of my own work and always have been. i can edit and tweak my writing within an inch of its life but even then, there will always be a typo or three that sneaks out. i know it's painful to be confronted with the reality that i am not, in fact, a flawless writer [breathe, my babies, just breathe] but it's time y'all knew the truth. and it's also time that you subscribers learned that you may be missing out on the best version of my work and it's worth checking back once or thrice for the director's cut.

and thus concludes my shameless plea for comments. feel free to indulge or deny me my sweet validation. know that i'm working on acquiring the techmology to track y'all down one by one so that soon enough, i'll be able to call you out in the STREETS! [don't think i wont, neither]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

brain brain grow a way

i've been back in 'merica for exactly two weeks now [almost to the hour] and yet i still haven't been able to collect my thoughts enough to put together any kind of coherent european reflection together. this inability to articulate my travel experience includes but isn't limited to written, verbal and indeed even internal forms of expression. this is largely due to the fact that i managed [in typical 'me' form] to fill up my schedule with a flurry of activities and obligations. time not spent actually 'doing' things is subsequently filled up with purposefully mindless drivel [i.e., reality television, internet social networking, celeblogs, etc.]. i'll top off my long list of excuses with the obligatory jet-lag card and a surprise 48-hour weekend cold [replete with residual mucus that my body is still trying to exhume -- *cough*! *hack*!]. nevertheless, i'm pressing on in hopes that the simple act of putting fingertips to keys will awaken the creative beast within.

[*cricket* *cricket*]

hmm. well, i guess for lack of more innovative means, i'll just answer the line of questioning that gets asked more than any other: are you sad to be at home? do you wish you were back? in a word, my answer to both queries is no. then again, i never really got homesick during the whole two months away. i got a little churchsick [both in that i missed my church and that i got really sick of the gaudy churches there] but for the most part, i didn't ever really feel like i wanted to be anywhere other than i was. nor do i currently wish i was anywhere other than where i am. europe is beautiful or whatever, but when the puget sound is in your backyard, it's hard to complain.

i guess one of the grad students from my program put it best when he said "i take my body with me wherever i go" [or was it "everywhere i go, i take my body with me"?]. something to that effect. the point being, i am where i am wherever i happen to be. i avoid the senselessness of the greener grass syndrome whenever possible and try my best to be at peace regardless of my circumstances. the only area of my life in which this pursuit seems near impossible is [wait for it... you guessed it guys and doods!] in regards to relationships, or rather the persistent and glaring lack thereof.

in europe, it was the ubiquitous public displays of affection [public displays of pawing, more like]. in fact, i wrote a short poem in response to one such visual assault:

this is the millionth couple i've seen making out in public.
they are swaying.
i want to die.

now that i'm back at home, it seems that in my time away, just about all of my friends have wrangled themselves up a significant other or three. who knew it was MY presence that stood in between them and a relationship? perhaps my analysis is a bit too self-involved? hmm. irregardless, i'm back home and feeling very third/fifth/seventh/odd-numbered wheel-y. it certainly doesn't help that the second most common line of questioning since i've gotten back is "so are there any dudes? any euro hookups?" and i find it very difficult not to laugh in the faces of my well-intentioned friends. particularly my well-intentioned NON-single friends who seem to be rubbing their happiness in my face [jerks].

i hate feeling this way and as my longtime readers may know, i don't particularly enjoy waxing poetic about the perils of singlehood, though it may seem otherwise at times. [it's a little too livejournal, both in its lure and cliché grossness if you catch my drift.] nevertheless, i sat down to write and lo and behold, my fingertips took me here to this well worn place once again. i have no morsels of hope to offer, no particular epiphany to pass on... just to say that blah blah blah, whine whine whine, being single feels like disease, wah wah waaaaaah. gah. i better hurry up and publish this before my sense of shame catches up with me lest i delete it all and/or vom all over my pretty laptop. *sigh*...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

reflections on rome, part 4

after two solid weeks of moving about through four different countries and attempting to navigate four different languages (only one of which i spoke more than three sentences of), i somehow find myself back in rome. this is the first time that i've spent more than three nights in any one place in over two weeks and truth be told, i'm only really beating my previous record by a night anyway. i had intended to spend two of these last nights in the famously beautiful cinque terre but i couldn't muster the energy (or justify the spending) to do so.

i guess i should backtrack a bit and at least give you a cursory review of my travels so far.

the day after my program ended, my best friend lydia and i took a train to florence. upon getting there, we found that it really wasn't that different from rome and by that point both of us were thoroughly museum-ed out so sad to say, we ran out of things to do rather early. i'm sure if either of us were more industrious travellers or if either of us were the sort of travellers who are awed by sightseeing we could've easily filled up our short weekend. however, us being us we didn't and so we switched out our train tickets so that we could spend a few extra hours back in rome with my beloved roommates before heading off to athens. i know it seems strange, switching up travel plans for just a measly couple hours with relatively new friends but that's just a testament to how incredible my friends are. though it meant lugging my ridiculously heavy backpack through nearly unbearable heat twice in that one short day, it was well worth it as far as i'm concerned. a few stolen hours, the procrastination of time apart, all for the price of an only slightly sweatier shirt that had already been soaked through anyhow. a bargain in my book.

after rome, we were off to athens to meet my other best friend, eunice. we arrived late in the night and only realized on our busride to our hostel that we didn't even know how to say 'hello' in greek, much less anything else. our kind hostel concierge gave us an abbreviated lesson in the language so that when we left to mykonos the next day, we knew how to say a proper 'thank you' for his kindness ('efharisto!'). the ferry ride to mykonos was long and really felt more like a turbulent flight than a boat trip. the payoff for our rocky travel was the sight of the beautiful island where the three of us spent our birthdays, my birthday was on july 20th and both lydia and eunice were born on the 21st. we spent a day at the beach and though i had braced myself for the topless women, i was not prepared for the trunk-less men. i was going to say the 'bottomless' men but as i found out first hand, they weren't lacking in bottoms or, umm... yeah. let's just skip on to san torini, shall we?

san torini was also quite gorgeous and unexpectedly sparce by our account. we were told that it was twice the population of mykonos but failed to take into account how easily mykonos is outdone (to give you an idea, there are only 31 taxi cabs on the entire island). the big event was our obligatory donkey ride down the poo-smattered steps. it was quite rocky, incredibly stinky, and i just about broke my hand from the death grip i kept on the saddle's metal handle. sadly none of us got to have a romantic sisterhood of the travelling pants encounter with any dashing greek men but c'est la vie i guess? but i'm getting ahead of myself. athens, london, THEN paris.

the three of us went back to athens where we made the arduous trek up the mountail to behold the famous acropolis. sadly, i think my month-long roman saturation of ruins may have tainted my experience and the slieu of sweaty tourists certainly didn't help either. the real athens highlight for me was the custom made greek sandals i got from the famous poet sandal maker on agias theklas. this little shop is world renown for it's simple designs that have been sought after by celebrity and royals alike. with the utmost care and attention, they measure the sandal to your feet, nail in the straps where they fit best, and all for the bargain price of 27 euro. the pair i got was named after john lennon, who some forty years ago got the design that became his namesake and had his feet fitted by the poet sandal maker himself, the father of the man who fitted mine.

in athens, eunice and i parted ways with lydia and headed off to london. of all the cities in my month of travelling, london was the city that i felt the most immediate affinty towards. perhaps it was the seattle-like gloomy weather, maybe it was the quaint boutiques and shops, or MAYBE it was the influx of delightfully gangly, nearly irredescent, deliciously nerdy english boys and their adorable accents. who knows? whatever it was, i felt at home.

after london, i left eunice to meet up with one of my roma roommates in paris! we did a whirlwind tour of the city in three days and hardly got to see everything there was to see. we got a good glimpse of monet, said 'waddup' to the mona lisa, and climbed up the ennumerable steps to the semi-top of the eiffel tower. we did a few other things (including but not limited to a devastating encounter with a maggot who we found AFTER we had finished two.thirds of our salad) but mostly it was just quality time spent together topped off by a tearfilled goodbye.

and now, finally, i'm back in rome. it's much lonelier here without all my program peeps to keep me company. i really think i fell in love with the group during our month together as they showed up in my dreams almost every night since i left them. it's only in the past few nights that they haven't been greeting me in my sleep and in a weird way, it only makes me miss them more. still, it's nice to be in a city i'm familiar with, free of a set agenda of things to do and see.

that's all i have the energy and time for i'm afraid. i've already kept a hostel mate waiting far too long for the computer. i'll try to muster up some more substantive reflections upon my arrival back at home in (and i can hardly believe this) just three more days.

i love you all. i miss you all. i'll see you so soon.