A compromise compromised.

Earlier this month I took on a challenge which was a self-designed compromise from the more daunting, national challenge of National Novel Writing Month.  I knew I couldn’t complete a 50,000 word novel this November, but declared I would, instead, complete two chapters of my graphic novel (which I now speak of rather freely… hm, go figure.  So much for self-propelling mystery!) Well, to put it bluntly, I was crazy.  There is no way I’ll have two chapters done by the 30th.  This story has been unfolding just fine at its own lazy pace and I would only screw that up by forcing myself to write words and draw pictures that aren’t coming of their own volition, when they have been doing so quite nicely prior to this.  Yes, it’s an excuse, but those are allowed on occasion.  I will hereby compromise my challenge and say that I would like to complete ONE chapter this month.  Just one.  It’s a compromised compromise, but it’s still a challenge.

All right, now that business is out of the way, I have a few other things.  First of all, don’t take this as sounding ungrateful, but I am really creeped out by how low gas prices are getting.  I drove past a station that advertised $1.85 a gallon today, which means that other places in the country are probably getting down near a dollar.  Yes, it’s great, it’s cheap, we can all dust off our hummers again, but it’s still freaky.  I feel like I’m living back in the late 90s.  And who the heck likes the 90s?? (Okay, Alex, I know you do.)

Next, I had another dream about my late cat Pepper again last night.  This one was a different kind of sad, though, because of how realistic it was.  Usually when I dream about her (which is often) she has somehow been resurrected, enjoys full health, and seems perfectly unaware that she was ever dead, to both her and my delight.  But last night she was weak, small, and frail, just like she was in real life before she died.  In my dream she barely had the strength to jump up onto the bed, so I picked her up and she crawled under the blankets where we cuddled.  Just like real life.  I feel like I write about these Pepper dreams every time they happen (which is often) but I did a search to link to some past ones and couldn’t find any.  Maybe that is a good idea for a blog-reader-challenge.  Locate the Pepper Dream Posts!  Whoever finds any wins… a photograph of Pepper.

I had a few other things to say but I think I’ll save them up for days when I have nothing.  Which, you’ve come to know, is most of the time.

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Grown up thumbs and hot gums.

You would be proud of me. I did it. I ate sushi. Of course it was the vegetarian kind (yeah right, like I would ever put raw fish in my mouth!) It comes as part of a series of growing-up moments for me, or maybe I should call them horizon-expanding moments. Earlier in the day I learned about CSS code, enough that my head was exhausted by the late afternoon. Every 26 days or so I wear makeup. I sometimes get a radical hair cut. I have set a schedule to water my houseplants. I regularly exercise willpower to prevent myself from getting a kitten. I drink coffee now. Sometimes. The other day I thought I had a gray hair but I was mistaken. It will come, though. It will come.

sushi face

sushi face

Also, I have to confess something. Remember my bedroom, and how I love that it’s the hottest room in the house? Well, sometimes it is actually too hot. Sometimes I think it might be near 100 degrees. I wake up sweating, the covers long since cast to the floor. I wake up and touch my dry tongue to my dry lips and think, “Am I awake or dreaming this?” Sometimes I hear men yelling violently from outside my window, and my coworkers suggested that possibly this is really only a feverish delusion caused by the heat. In the morning when I open my bedroom door I’m met with a burst of cool air like the kind in those gum commercials. My entire life is a gum commercial. A hot one.

Correcting consumerism.

It began innocently enough.  Shawn was playing an instructional DVD which was teaching about light and color in digital art.  I made the comment that I would like to learn how to use Corel Painter, and my mom said, “Well, Christmas is coming.  Maybe you would like that program for a gift?”  We already have Painter, so I began to think what else I might like for a gift.  An ipod?  Computer accessories?  New clothes?  My mind settled for a moment on one thing, and I announced, “I think for Christmas I would like a digital video camera.”  Because it would be fun, to have one of those and make silly movies and capture the memories and what not.  But is it something I need?  Not at all.  It’s something that would be outdated in a year and I would be unhappy with it and want the newest model.  Don’t believe me?  I have a video camera.  It’s sitting on the top shelf of my closet because it’s not cool enough, it’s not digital, it’s not new.  I have an old ipod and heaps of last season’s clothes and stacks of books that I’ll never read, music I never listen to, and computer gadgets I never use, and I’m sitting here thinking of what I want next?  As if I need anymore stuff?

My good friend Rachel posted some great videos on her blog that kind of snapped me back out of my consumerist trance.  She posted the first three but you should watch the entire series.  They are informative and convicting.

My church has been talking about this thing called Advent Conspiracy, substituting compassion for consumerism.  Even if you’re not a Christian it’s worth a look:

Another three-thought post.

Look! I’m French.

You have no idea how long it took me to translate all of that.

Okay, you’re right, I didn’t do it. According to my stats (can’t a girl love her stats?) someone accessed my blog via Google’s translation option. I really like to think that someone is reading the French translation of my blog. I like to think that Nanette from Bordeaux, qui n’est parle pas anglais, is sitting at her desk with a warmed croissant and probably a cat purring in her lap, browsing the unremarkable contents of my blog with fading interest. She lets out a yawn–which sounds the same in French as it does in English–closes her laptop, and carries on with the rest of her day.

Nanette. Is it weird that I just invented a reader? What if she is real?

Well, onward ever upward. After much excited internal debating as to what I would spend my Economic Stimulus check on (Would I get a new computer? An electric guitar? Computer accessories? A plane ticket?) I have finally arrived at something: I will buy a new exhaust system for my car. It’s really not optional at this point, and unfortunately my stimulus check won’t even cover all of the repairs. And unfortunately, it’s not as fun as all of those other things I was dreaming about, but I guess that’s part of being an adult, isn’t it. Maybe in that way it is actually more exciting than those other things. Show me another catastrophe–I can take it!

I pulled one of last summer’s mix CDs back into the rotation today and heard the song that has long since become my breakup anthem for all breakups past and future. Sit down, Kelly Clarkson, this is Liz Janes. Take a lesson.

“Tremble at the hope of my true love’s promise/you are not my true love. His promise is not dependent upon my belief/but upon his word only. His word is so true/oh why did I ever choose you? You are killing all of my wonder.”

Well, I love that. It’s better than any bitterness–it’s hope, but with an edge. Why did I ever choose you, when I’ve got someone so much better? It isn’t spiteful, but it’s honest. Ex-boyfriends, you never really stood a chance in this competition. Yeah! Listen to it: Wonderkiller, by Liz Janes.

A fourth, disparate thought would be too much for one day, so here I’ll end it. Enjoy your Lost finale tonight!

Things I think but never do.

I am thinking about buying an electric guitar. I was at Holly’s house on Friday night and I mentioned this to her, and she offered to sell me a Les Paul but only after we spend some time guitar shopping and making sure that I have found the guitar that is right for me. It’s good advice, and if I wait long enough my electric-guitar-urge will probably subside just like my bass guitar one did. Here is the thing: what I really miss is playing the drums. All you melodic instruments can tempt me, but the drums have clenched my heart strings.

Giving up music for Lent hasn’t been nearly as hard as everyone seemed to think it would be. I’ve actually been enjoying the silence immensely, and survived a four hour round trip drive this weekend without any tunage (since Juno says it, can I say it?). Sometimes I listen to public radio and have listened to more political analysis than may be healthy. I have listened to some messages by Ravi Zacharias which require an ample amount of attention (an amount I was never able to muster in college) but which get me fairly excited about theology and philosophy. I wish I was friends with someone like Ravi Zacharias, actually, someone who is familiar with all kinds of philosophers and yet remains grounded in his faith. It’s encouraging at the same time that it is challenging.

I feel like my brain is ready for some real exercise. Oh malaise! I’m thinking about signing up for some psychology classes. I’m thinking about learning Spanish. I’m thinking about starting to exercise and eat healthy. I’m thinking about buying an electric guitar.

Sleepy boring sleepiness.

When I was an underclassman in high school I used to fall asleep on the couch every evening before dinner while my parents watched The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.  It was a very teenage thing for me to do, to sleep like that.  Tonight I had a repeat of that experience, and the familiar sound of political commentary took on a soothing tone as it blended with the song of the trumpets transitioning news items and simultaneously transitioning my dreams.  I would have guessed my mother was sitting on the other side of me, thumbing through the TV guide.  But she wasn’t.  I was alone, it was just another nap.

Didn’t I tell you that the every day details aren’t too riveting?  Today I had the urge to staple my clothes with a stapler.  I don’t know why I felt this way, but fortunately I didn’t give in.  Wouldn’t that be fun, though?  To staple right through your clothes?  I should get a job at a thrift store.

Halloween costume idea: Fried Hard-drive… scary!

I spoke too soon: my computer is dead, dead, dead. It is gone. I’m less upset about losing all of my files (I have much of that backed up) and more worried about how I will begin writing my novel on Thursday (tomorrow!)

Now I have a third expense to weigh. Hawaii, crown for my tooth, or new computer? Suggestions are welcome…

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