if this is the truth, I want to turn away


is not the same as thinking, goes nowhere:
I think I am thinking as I chew on the same cud
of fears and regrets, but it's my soul I gnaw,
while time has gagged, so that the past and future
choke together as the bleak field expands
to include whatever the eye of God would see
if it dared look. What I pray for is not this.
And if this is the truth, I want to turn away.

Ask what that cow has to look forward to,
what thoughts she might have but of ruin and the sweet
calves she barely remembers, taken away
so soon that they have blurred together and bawl
and she can hear their piteous voices echo
in the still air and terrible sunshine shimmer

[by David R. Slavitt, from The Seven Deadly Sins and other poems]


it was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty

I love... mild sedatives

Right now I want... nothing so much as a reasonable opportunity

I feel like... maybe I need a little more sleep than I got last night. Like, maybe an hour or two more.

I hate it when... I break a fingernail doing something silly, like getting into the car

I fear... being the last one to the party

I'm lonely without... the person who used to put me into overages on my data plan

I need... a little caffeine in the morning

Today I... poured half a cup of tea on myself when I forgot how to drink

Tomorrow I'm... hoping to do better, since I won't be wearing something that will camouflage brown liquid quite so well

I just... had to plug in my computer, because I forget to do that when I'm finished for the night and it was on 7% power.

I want to meet... a sane, decent, supportive business person.

I'm hungry for... black raspberry Jello

I love it when... I get the kind of surprise that came this morning: an email from a college friend who I thought had fallen off the side of the planet

I'm afraid of... moths. Who knew?

I'm listening to... gentle snores and myself, giggling

I'm wearing... gray leggings & a black t-shirt

I wish I was in.. a slightly alternate reality

I want to get... out of Dodge this weekend. The MFing car show is coming.

I can't... get no ... satisfaction

I'm nervous... about the potential effects of my actions on people who shouldn't have to pay the price.

My Mom thinks I'm... smarter than I really am

My Dad thinks I'm... better than I really am

I'm happy when... inside matches outside (or they're pretty close to congruent)

I'm sad when... it feels like what others are seeing is just an interpretation that I'm allowing them to view

I'm disappointed that... I forgot to put chocolate milk on the grocery list

I wish I looked like... myself at age 23

[grabbed from a forum on this site; the title quotation is by Jonathan Safran Foer, from Everything Is Illuminated]


what is the student but a lover courting a fickle mistress who ever eludes his grasp?

  1. What did you enjoy most about kindergarten?
    finally getting to go to school, after years of wishing to do so but being prevented by my age, which seemed brutally unfair.
  2. What did you enjoy most about elementary school?
    learning. Doing assignments. Writing. Taking tests. Reading. Studying.

    My favorite subject was English
  3. What did you enjoy most about junior high/middle school?
    boys! And everything that I'd loved from elementary school, too--I was still me, only a little older.

    Subject-wise, I loved Science.
  4. What did you enjoy most about high school?
    boys. And still the school stuff.

    Subject-wise, I was probably most into Politics and Government then. "Social Studies."
  5. Which grade or year of school was your least favorite and why?
    Fourth. My teacher was a strong, independent woman...who happened to be pregnant when the school year started. Her condition became complex and required bed-rest, so she was replaced by a long-term substitute who was not unfamiliar to those of us who had attended that school before. While she was not without skills, she was definitely not capable of handling a fourth grade class with particular ease or finesse.

    Most of that year was a waste. I remember spending vast periods of time by myself in the coat room (a sort of anteroom in the back of the classroom), tucked up on the floor beneath the coat-hooks, reading from my library books. I was "allowed" (i.e. encouraged, forced, whatever) to do that when I was through with my assignments and my presence was no longer needed in the classroom. Because I was one of the few "smart kids" in the class, I would usually finish early and "distract" the others, so I was sent away and ignored so that the others (the "dumb kids") could be taught. It wasn't fair or effective or decent in either direction and caused all sorts of hurt feelings. But, hey: I'm sure it only helped foster my love of reading, right?
  6. What percentage of your classmates do you still have some real interaction with at least once per year?
    Thanks to FB, I probably communicate with 5-10% of my elementary through high school classmates at some point during each year. Sadly, the number of communications per person increases each year as the number of classmates decreases. I miss my friends.

[from The Cat, who got it here; the title quotation is by William Osler]


empty blue light weird on the tile floor

"Your fate awaits outside the door"
Said the strip in the Chinese Fortune Cookie at the office
Strange knock--at the door?
Open the door once--nothing
Close it--stir the soup--back to the poem I am trying to understand
Strange knock again--is it really my door?
Fumble with the lock, checking it, tugging
Door open--no one--but empty blue light weird on the tile floor

[Elise Cowen, '"Your Fate Awaits You Outside the Door"', from Poems and Fragments]


he wasted his wishes on wishing

My name is: well known to nearly anyone that I know might be reading this

I am: waiting for some correspondence that is both overdue and highly anticipated

Right now, I feel: sleepy and sore

The sounds I hear are: a running refrigerator and gentle snores

Around me, I see: a whole lot of books, some comfy furniture, and family photos

I feel most connected to this person--she knows who she is

I think it's weird that: there have been no comments on the blog in so long. I know y'all are reading, but I swear you just don't care anymore.

It bothers me when: I realize that I have been distracted enough to neglect basic courtesies

The best thing about my personality is: probably unknown to me. What I think is best may just be so-so, and what's particularly awesome may be something I will never truly recognize.

My worst quality is: likely the same sort of thing, thank goodness

My favorite part about life is: connecting. Sounds weird, doesn't it, from a cave-dwelling grump?

This is attractive in the opposite sex--honesty

Sometimes, I wonder about: my ability to attract the honest

I usually get bored while: in meetings, and end up saying something aloud that's best left unsaid

I'm afraid: that I will never get out of the bad situation I'm in, that I will be miserable there until it's too late to change.

If someone hates me, I: would imagine I'm at work

I admire: my high school prom date that didn't happen

I wish: "I wish I could do anything but the things I always do
No matter how I try to sing along
Something is always wrong
What? I wish I knew"

I feel exhilarated when: I talk with a good friend I've known since high school. He has no idea how much and how well his continued presence shapes my life.

I appreciate: gradually, like wine and real estate

I'll never get over: Las Vegas

The best thing to happen this week was: this afternoon's haircut and color, followed by playing doting friend and adviser to a good friend's big-change haircut, followed by an incredibly delicious dinner (during which we both madly over-ate), followed by a walk in the sunny evening, a visit with a friend, a lot of talk, and a fond hug.

I feel good when: one of my friends tells me about his job search worries and hopes, and confides his feelings about dating and the unsuitable women he's met lately. We come from very different worlds (in a lot of ways) but he's like a brother to me and I love that he trusts me with things that are so important to him.

If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be: that over-educated does not equal unsuitable for employment

Some people are just so: narrow-minded

I'm optimistic about: my possibilities, all evidence to the contrary

An event like this would enchant me: a fancy-dress party where I knew almost no one, where I could dress up and enjoy the whole thing but not feel like I was at all the center of attention. I enjoy all the glamour, but not the fuss.

I yearn for: real hugs

I'm jealous of: my ex-boyfriend's girlfriend (or something like that)

I trust: rarely, and only with proof

My intuition is usually: pessimistic, and true (romantic attachments being the obvious exception to any rule)

One time, I spontaneously: did something that can't ever be admitted on the Internet

I haven't had this feeling in a long time: reciprocation

I am proud of: my friend who made a big change today

I would never be seen wearing: those weird furry boots that look like animal hooves with rubber soles. I think they are SO ugly (hence the name).

The strangest dream I ever had was: well, who knows? It's not as if I record them. I had a weird one recently, involving arriving at a friend's pool party, getting out of my car (it was whisked away by a valet), only to discover that I was wearing nothing but an oxford shirt missing most of its buttons (only the lower two were there) and a pair of panties. It was incredibly odd, not at all "dirty", and not based in anything that I can think of, reality-wise.

I am annoyed because: I have no idea where I stand, as is the case more often than not lately

I feel most beautiful when: I'm laughing

I couldn't care less about: most peoples' opinions of my personality

My favorite kind of movie is: action/adventure

I often get distracted by: reconstructing the past, wandering down paths already wandered before

I am eager to: get the F out

I'm glad that: I'm at least started in that process

I feel guilty about: very little. I gave that up along with a lot of other things about ten years ago.

This really hurts: my face, and now my head

I've finally made peace with: a former coworker whose opinion actually matters to me

I'm most talkative around: people I know very well

I was so embarrassed when: she told me things that I never wanted to know about her very personal life. "Too much information" is not a concept that she understands.

One feeling I hate is: regret

One feeling I love is: appreciation

[from a forum on this site; the title quotation is by Shel Silverstein, from Where the Sidewalk Ends]


life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do

Why is it in my nature to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed until midnight or later every night, but dragging at 8:whatever time I get up in the morning? I cannot be sleepy this early, so I can't get to bed, so I can't get enough sleep. It's like high school all over again.

Don't even get me started on the weird stuff I eat and the times of day that I'm hungry. All these visits to the dentist haven't helped at all, either.

People have been telling me for a long time that I'm "smart." I'm pretty sure that I don't even know what that means anymore. The sort of things that I know are losing relevance. We had a good run, though.

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend last night about how far we would go for money. It was (obviously) a totally fanciful discussion of where our ethical boundaries lie. Through that conversation and the mental wandering that I've done since then, I've come to realize that I am to some extent lucky. Many of my limits are external, thanks to my law license--I don't have to really think about a lot of gray areas, because I couldn't take any action (or leave any action undone) that could result in sanctions or the loss of my license. I just couldn't. What that says about me is another topic for another time.

Some of my morality comes by way of my upbringing; I am constitutionally unable to risk seriously disappointing or hurting my parents. Or even having them "find out"...things.

So, what's left? Is there any room for bad behavior?


In response to taking some flak for my reading habits last week, I decided to keep track of exactly what I read last weekend. Even I was surprised by the total.

Friday: finished two novels that I'd started earlier in the week, finished a book of poetry that I'd started the last weekend, and was halfway through another novel. Plus two magazines.
Saturday: finished the novel that I'd started Friday, read a book of poetry, and finished a mystery that I'd been rereading--and was partway through another novel. Plus another magazine.
Sunday: finished the novel that I'd started, read another book of poetry, and started another novel. Plus another magazine.

Total: 4 1/2 novels, 3 books of poetry, a mystery, and four magazines. In 3 days.

I've just discovered something truly heinous. Some websites no longer allow for the possibility of "sending" or even "emailing" information or content to oneself or others--it is now called "socializing." I don't even....

I've ordered a new winter coat. In part because I need one (my old black leather darling is getting scruffy and beat up, and is also more than a little bit too big) and in part because this is apparently the time of year to do it: it was less than half price, so even with shipping it was more than $200 less than I expected to pay for it. It should arrive within the next few days. I just hope the A/C is cranked when it shows up, so I'll have the psychic means to try it on!

My fixation on Nightly News with Brian Williams continues. I'm now working my way through some clips on YouTube. I particularly love this one, created by Jimmy Fallon's crew for the Tonight Show--in part because my nerd-girl crush features heavily.

[the title quotation is by Walter Bagehot]