Archive for August, 2007

28
Aug
07

I guess I’m a pigeon

I cannot tell time accuractely by looking at the sun. 

I can, however, tell time by the flock of gray pigeons that flies from rooftop to rooftop every afternoon outside my office.

In the mornings they’re dispursed around Saratoga, but I know that when I see them gather together and fly in formation it’s 3pm.  Set your watch by it.  If I were a pigeon kidnapper, I would put out my nets at 3pm and just wait.  I’ve wondered why they do it.  My best guess is that it’s the height of the afternoon heat and there are hot air currents rising off the street that they can ride?  Does that sound scientific enough? 

I know that pigeon watching doesn’t sound that exciting, but I get a little shot of adrenaline when the flock flies near my window, their white underwings flashing.  Flapping wings, sharply changing direction in synchronized flight and landing on the chimneys across the street…

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Knowing that they’re animals acting out of instint is one thing, but also knowing that they were made for this is another.  That’s what makes it beautiful, and my being present to watch them act out their nature and purpose is my treat.

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At this point in my life, I’m not fortunate enough to be working in a place that I was made for.  I do have faith that the place is out there, and when I think of that place my heart surges.  I guess I’m a pigeon who hasn’t found her flock yet.  Just working on setting out my net and catching them at the right time.

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22
Aug
07

my succulent little garden snail

Mike: Good morning, Roz, my succulent little garden snail. And who will we be scaring today?
Roz: Wazowski! You didn’t file your paperwork last night.
Mike: Oh, that darn paperwork! Wouldn’t it be easier if it all just blew away?
Roz: Don’t let it happen again.
Mike: Yes, well, I’ll try to be more careful next time.
Roz: I’m watching you, Wazowski. Always watching. Always.

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It’s not that Monster’s Inc. is my favorite movie, but I LOVE the character of Roz, the cranky office manager.

When I first saw the movie, I laughed harder at her more than anything else — and I wasn’t even in the work world at the time.  She’s a classic character and I believe we all know a Roz.  As my job goes, I interact with at least two Roz’s a day.

Inflexible, small minded, difficult, quick to judge and slow to give grace.  If you left all your Roz’s in a room, they may line up by age or height, just to feel more organized.  They’d join together in a chorus of eye rolling we-know-better-than-upper-management grumpiness, but they’d stay in that room until their tasks were completed.

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In my experience, Roz’s are great once you’re in.  Prove to a Roz that you’re a real person with sincere intentions and she’ll hook you up with all sorts of great stuff. Once the Roz of a client company likes me, I can count on an extremely long term relationship from her.  So while I can list all of her negative attributes, I can also say that Roz is loyal, reliable, unwaivering and refreshingly real.   She probably has a tomato garden at home.

The Roz’s that I know give me a chance, everyday, to love the unlovable. 

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21
Aug
07

loving hot tamales until it hurts

Hot tamales are my favorite candy.

They pale in comparison to my favorite food, popcorn, but I’m never torn at a candy counter where hot tamales are found.  In fact, I have a little handful of them sitting next to me right now. 

Who wouldn’t love to crunch through the translucent, waxy outer-shell, sinking your teeth into the gummy center?  The spiciness, the sweet hotness of it all!

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About a year ago I went to the dentist.  While cleaning my teeth, the hygenist leaned back and asked, “So, do you like sticky candy?”  I don’t remember what my exact answer was, but I was all insecure for the rest of the visit.  Yes, Pam the hygenist, I do like sticky candy!  I love it more than any other candy, but c’mon, it’s not like I swish with it before going to bed at night. 

It’s hard when what you love is what hurts.

For me, I only hurt because I love something.  When I’m apathetic, there’s no sense of loss.  But if I’m truly invested in something – anything – my heart aches most when that thing is broken.  It’s why I still hurt over my not-so-perfect relationship with my late father, why I hurt over broken friendships and it’s why I hurt while working.  It’s more than daisy petal pulling loves-me-not romanticism, it’s deep seeded abiding love that can ache more than just about anything.

What are my options?  Stop caring so that I can stop hurting?  Stop eating hot tamales so that Pam the hygenist will like my teeth next time?  We know the answer to this one — note the aforementioned hot tamales next to me right now. 

17
Aug
07

replacing mules with thoroughbreds

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My first bed out of college was an air mattress.  I slept on it for a couple months until I did the “big move” and my real bed showed up.  Rolling off the side of the air mattress to get up was apart of my normal morning routine.  My alarm clock sat on the floor next to the mattress.  Nothing could break, because nothing could fall.  My view of the bedroom was from the carpet up.

When my real bed came, it seemed so extravagent.   I replaced the useful, ugly mule air mattress with a slicker, thoroughbred ‘real’ mattress.  With a slight twinge of sadness I rolled up the air mattress and tucked it away. Forgotten.

I didn’t really need a real bed. 

Look, I still live in a one bedroom apartment.  Three rooms total and one hallway.  Even if I wanted to live extravagently I couldn’t!  But I’ve realized that I still have this American need to keep growing growing growing.  I look around and think about how I’ll be able to upgrade this or that someday when I make more money.  Maybe it’s in my best interest to live in a confined space — I can’t fill it with ‘upgrades.’

I check my heart.

I check my heart for vital signs.  Am I upgrading because I am greedy or am I upgrading because I need to in order to feel as though I’m progressing in life?  Even though I may not need the upgrade itself (new chair, computer, TV, etc.) do I need to upgrade so that I don’t feel stuck?  Upgrading for the action, not the item.  That’s the sticking point, that’s where my heart is, and that’s why I occasionally upgrade. 

I still have an air mattress and I really like it!  It’s tucked away in a closet, the ugly and wonderfully useful mule that it is. 

14
Aug
07

I’m #1 so why try harder?

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I imagine this guy’s name is Rusty.  Or Anthony.  Whatever it is, can someone look up his phone number for me?  I would like to tell him of the joy he’s brought me, wearing that little shirt of his.

Rusty’s t-shirt would go well with Tiffany’s tsunami, no?  (see ‘title of this blog’ page)

For some reason I’m drawn to sayings like this on Rusty’s shirt.  The self awareness, the sarcastic selfishness of it.  I wonder if they only make these shirts in sizes XL and up because if a super thin person were to wear it, they’d run the risk of someone thinking they were serious

But maybe Rusty is serious?  Maybe he’s referencing how well he can drive a remote controlled car or how well he shucks corn?  Maybe it’s not about how he looks, but silly me, that’s how my mind works.  And I bet yours does too.

12
Aug
07

upright toothpick collections

Maple trees lose their leaves early around here. There are a couple that I pass on my way to work that are already turning yellow and orange.

It’s been quite hot recently. And HUMID. I feel trapped when it’s hot and humid, even when I’m outside. It feels like I’m stuck in a tight lidded jar, filled with fog and left in a hot car. My cries for help simply bounce off the walls and are absorbed by the water vapor. Even if people could hear me, they couldn’t help because they’re stuck in their own humidity jars.

My solution is to dream of autumn, my favorite season by far.

There are two parts to autumn. Just hear me out on this one.

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The first I’ll call “new autumn.” It’s the first few weeks of the season when the leaves are turning bright yellows, reds and oranges. The grass is still bright green and gardens are plump with ripe vegetables. You can wear a t-shirt and be comfortable outside.

The second part I’ll call “old autumn.” It’s been a couple months and the bright colors have faded to burnt reds and browns. Forests begin to look like leafless, upright toothpick collections. The grass has stopped growing and the air is brisk. Tuck your t-shirts away until April and put on a pot of coffee.

During old autumn, life feels as far from my humidity jar as it can get. Here in eastern New York there is always the possibility of snow, but the kind that only sticks to the grass and creates dark brown muddy patches underneath swing sets. “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” is asked out of courtesy during most conversations. “Well, that will be nice,” is heard shortly after.

My autumn is old autumn. It’s a season that’s reaches maturity and slips silently to winter. It’s curious that such a chilly season can make me feel so snug.

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08
Aug
07

having ice cream all the time

August 7th.

A forgettable Tuesday.

I have forgettable Tuesdays about once a week.

In the full throws of my daily routine, Tuesdays come and go as just another hurdle in my sprint to Friday and the weekend. To me, there’s something special about every other day of the week. I mean, even Wednesday afternoon is the “Friday side” of the week.

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I don’t remember driving to work this morning, but I must have because I suspect I performed my job once I arrived. I can’t be sure. Surely, my manager would’ve called if I hadn’t.

Put on a t-shirt, leftovers for dinner. Close the windows because it’s more humid outside than in. Trap in the smell of the leftovers, open the windows. The struggle for thermo-homeostasis in my apartment is never ending.

The Yankees are playing the Blue Jays in Montreal in that dreadful, echo-y, astroturf dome. The fans in the stands are spaced apart like freckles. Very forgettable. (But in a sparsely populated stadium, it might be easier to get on TV. Pros and cons, pros and cons…)

These are the days that I forget, but also the days that I long for. I crave my routine when I’m out of it. It’s like having ice cream all the time. It would be humdrum, but a day or two away and you’re thinking, “Mmmm… ice cream! I really like ice cream,” then diving into a bowl with renewed love for an old friend.

I am my everyday, imperfect self on forgettable Tuesdays.

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