May 2007

I haven’t felt like I have a real home in a while. I just move from place to place, and mostly I enjoy that. It is always funny to go back to the places I’ve lived, and feel like I’m coming home. Part of why I move from these places is that they don’t really feel like home, which is why it is sort of odd to feel like they’re home when I come back after moving.

Today is my first day on my vacation back to Denver, and I feel giddy. I’m having a lot of fun running around to my old haunts, and this whole trip is going to be a bit like that.

Some of it is seeing old friends. Most of it I don’t think I could even define.

Tomorrow I’ll spend a lot of time in Boulder. I have a few things I want to do, including stop at the store of my favorite teas, The Tea Spot. I will probably stop in a running store, see if they have any sunglasses I like. (my last pair broke, poor things.) Somehow shopping is easier in Denver. Well, that isn’t much of a surprise. Big streets, big parking lots. Old cities are charming, but sometimes they’re a pain in the ass.

Despite how much fun it seems to be here, I think I’ll still be happy to go home to my new home. Home is where Tempest is? Close enough for me. My new home isn’t without charm, after all.  Regardless of how I feel about my new home, it is not going to impede my giddy excitement about this trip, I can tell.

bike in boulder


The start of my vacation supposedly started when I bought my ticket, but I’ve been working extra hours to conserve vacation time, so it certainly hasn’t seemed like a vacation. So maybe it started when I finished packing last night and had care all set up for my cat. Or maybe it starts when I get to the airport and past security, since all you have to do at that point is sit and wait and the rest is taken care of?

Getting to the airport was a breeze. One glance at the check-in line, and I decided to shove my camera in with my laptop because it wasn’t looking like a good option to check anything. The bag I’d planned on checking is easily a carry-on, so not as comfortable, but doable. Got through security quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the gate wasn’t set up yet, and there were 30 minutes until boarding would even start, 60 minutes before we were to take off. Okay. A quick wander of the small terminal brought me to the oddity of a place called Potbelly, where they serve vegan delights such as soy lattes, steel cut oatmeal (only until 10:30am) and bagels, which might or might not be vegan. I got a soy latte, and wandered the 100 yards back to the gate.

Where, only 40 minutes before we were to take off, 10 minutes until we were to board, it was starting to seem suspicious that there was no one behind the counter. The area wasn’t very full of people waiting either. I overheard some guy complaining about how he wasn’t going to get “there” until 10:30 because his flight was delayed and he’d miss his connection. I overheard someone else talking about ice storms, and a flight delayed from 9am until 12:30. Wait…

So I scooted over to the woman who seemed to be talking about my flight. I asked, and sure enough, there had been absolutely no reason to leave my place by 7am. The flight was delayed almost 4 hours.

So, here I am, back at home, waiting for my vacation to start. Except now it really does feel like vacation already. Birds chirping, the place is clean, the bags are packed, I need only to wait another hour or so until I head back to the airport for a leisurly 12:30pm flight departure.

hockey balls

I really love the patterns formed by shadows and light. I’m just drawn to them. That is one reason I love sunshine, of course, and also why I love the light of early morning and late afternoon. The shadows are long, the light is soft. And it can make the most ordinary things seem interesting.

light on the shades

After getting almost no sleep last night, taking a nap this afternoon was a welcome treat. I woke up to the lights flickering from a storm moving through the area. It didn’t last long, but while it was here it was impressive – wind, rain, thunder and lightening. I love storms, the wildness. They make me contemplative, which I wouldn’t think I’d need, since I seem to overthink everything, but the storms tend to send my thoughts in new directions, so it feels like a good thing, a new type of contemplation.

I’ve been struggling to find balance. I’ve probably been struggling with this for a long time, but lately it is more immediate kinds of balance. Cutting myself off from people versus being too dependent on them, on externals, when it comes to my own ‘inner peace’, or even just my ‘inner stability’. I’m tired of the recurring depression, of feeling like it is out of my control. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I feel hope that I might gain control of it, though. It hasn’t been easy, and I have probably just started, but…hope. It is better than opening a present, it is more like watching those first new shoots of green poke from the ground.

I was in NJ this weekend, hanging out in person with people I’d been avoiding hanging out with online. It was good for me. I didn’t have a ton of fun while I was there, but I had a few really great conversations, and overall it was awesome to spend time among vegans. It is relaxing in a way that is hard to explain. You don’t have to ask about the food, the soap you can use without feeling a twinge of guilt that you didn’t bring your own cruelty-free stuff with you, all the while wondering if bringing handsoap with you doesn’t send you over the edge into the realm of fanatics. No matter how different you are from other vegans, there is that safety in being among people who understand how important it is, at the core, to be vegan. No explanations needed. It is freeing.

So the weekend was both less and more than I expected, and probably exactly what I needed. It was good to reconnect. It was good to take a different look at some assumptions I’d been making all along. Luckily I’ve been getting used to taking the hard look at myself and accepting things I don’t like. I can change my future reactions and interactions as long as I learn from my past.

I’m still getting used to being back on the east coast. For some reason it is much more lush than I expect, even though I’ve been here since August. Maybe it is spring, maybe I had gotten used to the spare winter version of nature. I’ve been noticing on my own patio, and more so in my friends’ backyard in NJ, just how loud the birds are. They weren’t that loud in Denver, I swear. I know this is partially because I didn’t have so many trees around me in Denver. Again, the lushness of the East. It seems exotic to me, somehow, as funny as it sounds to describe NJ as exotic. Welcome to the jungle…

flowering plant

Wearing a headache that comes from thinking and talking about things that hurt to think and talk about, I let myself not think after I got home from work. Mental stasis. It was good. I read (I know, hard to believe) another vampire novel. Well, I started another one, anyway.

I wandered outside and noticed that the pre-dusk light was actually that perfect light. Bright but muted, filtered with the slight haze (pollution, but we’ll ignore that for now), soft in the way it is in the late afternoon, early evening. There is a tree/bush off my patio that has these white flowers right now, and the light inspired me, so I snapped a bunch of pictures.  I love my new lens. Bokeh is my one true love.

Just as I turned to go inside, I noticed a little twig caught in this pipe thing on the side of the condo. For some reason I was fascinated, and as I started taking a picture of it, I realized that the whole perspective of looking straight up the side of my condo, was really interesting to me.

Weird, really. I don’t know why I find the oddest things intriguing.

For some reason this makes me think about what might shape this. I didn’t realize it until a few years ago, not to put into words, but I have a mild version of what is best described as face blindness. I think I recognize the faces of people I know really well, but it could be compensation – the better I know people, the better I know their mannerisms, voices, movements, and that’s how I recognize people in general. This isn’t to say that I can’t recognize someone I know in a photograph, because I do. But if all I have to go on is a photograph before I’ve met someone, I can almost guarantee I won’t recognize them from that photograph in person. Oh, if they had two heads, it would make them stick out of the crowd, and I’m pretty sure I’d recognize them then.

I used to think this round about way of recognizing people had to do with the fact that my vision started going somewhat bad when I was about 11 or 12. I needed glasses for a while, but didn’t want them, and my mom didn’t force me. My grades stayed up, I just sat in the front of the class to see the board. Eventually that got too difficult, so back to the eye-doctor. I was 13, I think, and my mom knew I’d hate the glasses, so when I asked if we could do contacts, she agreed.

Until the past four or five years, though, my vision would change rapidly after I’d get a new prescription. This frustrated me. I liked to be able to see, especially after I started driving. I would ask my eye doctors about this, and they never had a clue until four or five years ago. “Do you read a lot or use the computer a lot? Anything requiring focusing on something close up?” Um, yeah, pretty much everything I do in life, except drive, requires close focus. “Get a cheap pair of reading glasses and wear them when you’re doing anything close up, or even somewhat middle distance, like focusing on a computer. Or take your contacts out to do those things.” This cuts my prescription in half, effectively, giving me a middle distance prescription which does not strain my eyes for the middle and close distance focusing. Turns out that all those years, I was correcting my vision for distance, and spending so much time focusing closer that my eyes would essentially take a step backwards.

I was a bit pissed to learn this, because I could have prevented my vision from getting quite as bad as it is now. But at least I found out eventually, and my vision has stayed really constant since then.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time not quite being able to see faces until they were fairly close, and I assumed that was why I didn’t really recognize faces. I learned differently, by chance, about a year ago when someone linked in face blindness in response to random musings I posted on a forum about not recognizing people by their faces.

I am nothing like some of what they describe, and I’ve never been diagnosed by anything official. However, some of the description is remarkably accurate for me, albeit in a mild way. So, the odd is explained.

Is this connected to other aspects of how I “see” the world around me? Who knows. Here’s the side of my condo, though. My world though my odd eyes.

condo looking up

Have you ever heard a cat do that throaty meow with a mouth full? That’s what I heard this afternoon.

I can hear her meowing as soon as I come in the building. She keeps talking as I unlock the door, and then she starts sounding desperate as I open the door. She’s been home, alone, all day long, and now it is time to be fed! No bathroom breaks or anything but a beeline toward her foodbowl is allowed until this important task is completed. She’s like this in the morning too, though she can’t claim loneliness then – just desperate hunger, in her perspective. She doesn’t stop her demands even when she knows I am getting her food for her right then. It would be sort of embarrassing to have to warn guests that she’ll probably wake them up at the crack of dawn, claiming that she’s starving to death, except my friends tend to have cats and dogs that are just as demanding, so it is just par for the course.

She also wants me to be near her while she eats. So today I headed to the bathroom after feeding her, and she followed me, mouth full, meowing pitifully to get me to follow her back to her eating area. It is a funny sound, and it definitely drives home the fact that at least half of her claims of hunger are really just her wanting attention.

Spoiled? Nah. But in my mind she wears a tiara.

In her mind I’m pretty sure it is a full crown.

tempest bathing

I have so many things I should have been doing tonight – yoga, laundry, working on some pictures. I need to order some prints, but I need to get the pictures done up properly first. I should be motivated, but I can’t seem to sit down to get it done.

I was reading online today about how people are more exhausted than they used to be – big surprise there. Except the article was about the long hours people work, the smaller number of breaks they take…I don’t work more than my 40 hrs/week, at least not if you look at the average across the month, so I don’t feel like it is work that has me exhausted. No, it just feels like life.

Despite the ability to do most of my shopping online, if I choose, it seems like life takes a big bite out of my energy stores. Battling traffic (I’m a poser – I have a 20 minute against-traffic commute), coordinating schedules, trying to make connections so I can line up or hire a cat-sitter. And the tub! But enough about the tub.

And, of course, one answer to this might be to just get more sleep. Where is the fun in that? Seriously, I’m like a little kid when it comes to bed time. “10 more minutes!”

At least I gave up my work-day latte. My 3 week anniversary of that little feat was today.

Well, here’s something I bet you didn’t know: Barbie is a total lush. I have proof!

barbie is a lush

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