Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pushin' Up Daisies...

Geez, it’s Thursday and I haven’t yet written a blog entry for the week. That’s just sad. Alas, once more, I am at a loss for words. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that it all seems rather irrelevant. Okay, let me try to explain where I’m at.

I feel a certain detachment from my life right now. Not the bad sort of I don’t give a fuck what happens kind of detachment, but rather the somewhat zen-like All the world’s a stage sort of detachment. I see my life unfolding. I see where I am. I see how I’ve gotten to where I am. I even have a sense of where my life is headed to. And it all seems vaguely familiar. Like it’s all written somewhere. Like I’m just playing it out now. I am the actress, the writer, the director; everyone on and off stage. I am all of it and none of it at the same time. And it’s okay. It’s crazy, exciting, terrifying, ironic, tragic and altogether fucked up, but it’s okay.

See, I told you. The words don’t even begin to cover it.

tall penguin

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Penguin Girl Meets Wallflower Boy...

The club looks more like a high school dance. The boys are lined up against the wall while the girls flitter in the centre. The only difference is they can all drink now.

She sees him. Red hair. A shy smile. Eyes that don’t shy away from her gaze. He holds a beer bottle in his hands as if he must keep them occupied. She pictures their day job; typing computer keys, pushing pencils and papers. He’s a geek. She likes geeks.

He nurses bottle after bottle while she dances with random men. They grind themselves up against her, hoping she’ll not mind their wandering hands. She glances over at him. He’s been watching her.

She pushes aside man after man, waiting for him to find his way onto the dance floor. She turns his way and sees that he is gone. Her eyes search the crowd looking for his burgundy shirt. And then suddenly, she feels a warm body slide up behind her. A hand slowly creeps around her waist. She presses her body back into his and falls into a rhythm. He smells the way she thought he would. She leans her head back to the side just enough to meet his eyes. They smile.

tall penguin

Friday, January 25, 2008

Without Words...

This week, the words have not come easily. I have started many a blog entry and filed it in my drafts, deciding it didn’t express what I wanted to express. There are so many thoughts swirling through my head this week (aren’t there always?), so many questions (still more questions?) and I just don’t have the words for them. There are moments, experiences, conversations happening in my life right now that I don’t have words for; that would be tainted by any attempt on my part to encapsulate, analyze or otherwise ponder.

It’s a strange thing for a writer to be without words. To have entered a space where the words don’t even seem to matter much. Everything I write seems trite compared to what is actually occurring. There is a sublime madness to my life right now. It is as though I’m stepping outside myself and watching the movie play. And it’s funny. Tragic. Scary. Wonderful. Inspiring.

And so, I watch.

tall penguin

My kind of crazy...

"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love "
~Robert Fulghum~

I would agree with Mr. Fulghum. I have often felt that true love is based on finding someone who matches your particular brand of crazy. We all have our own brand of crazy: our own baggage, our own tools (or lack thereof), our own way of being and moving in the world. And when you find someone whose brand of crazy is compatible with yours, you call it love, true love. And you live crazily ever after.

tall penguin

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I watched Juno tonight. I cried. I remembered how much I love Kimya Dawson. And that's all I have to say about that.

tall penguin

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Missing the War...

When I was in the lowest of the lows this past summer, I cried almost every day. I remember coming home after making it through a day's work and collapsing into a sobbing ball on the floor. There was something so completely visceral about it. It came from the depths of my soul. It was old. It was raw. It was pure.

As difficult as those moments were, they were real. And I miss them.

tall penguin

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Being truly single...

For the first time in my life, I'm not in a relationship, nor am I consciously seeking one. I know, you're recalling my New Years intention blog where I stated that this year I'm calling in "the one". But that's on my back burner. I'm not avidly seeking anything. Neither am I attached to an outcome.

Since my teens, my thoughts have been consumed with seeking love and relationship. If I wasn't in one, I was thinking about finding one. I was grading every male I came into contact with, taking mental notes, trying to figure out if we'd be good together. But now, I'm just me. Just me being me with people, enjoying people as they come along into my life, male and female alike. It's refreshing. It's freeing.

Until recently, I never appreciated what being single means. It means I set my own schedule. It means I eat potato chips in bed at any hour of the day. It means I can delay doing laundry as long as I like, because it's only my underwear and sock needs that are of concern. It means I can enjoy the company of whoever I like, whenever I like. It means I can make money, save money, spend money, according to my budget and mine only. It means I can stay out all night and not have to answer to anyone. It means I can cook or not cook and it doesn't matter. It means I can clean my house and it stays clean. It means being able to laugh, cry, scream, jump up and down, curl up in a ball or do anything else I please without any one else's feelings to worry about. It means being able to explore who I am, without worrying about what someone else thinks. It means being me with me. And I like it.

My greatest fear in life has been that I will end up alone. That I won't find someone to have a family with or share life with. That fear is being confronted daily. It's not as scary as I thought. I'm finding most stuff isn't.

tall penguin

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Both Sides Now...

I've looked at life from both sides now,
From up and down and still somehow,

It's lif'e's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all.

~~Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

We all carry around illusions in this life. Perhaps it is a belief in god or the supernatural; perhaps it is the image we have of a hero, a celebrity or a loved one; or perhaps it is the way we see ourselves. I am starting to think there is a time and place for illusions, that maybe they serve a purpose in our evolution. That the stories we tell ourselves have perhaps kept us sane for a time, kept us looking ahead, kept us company on the stark cold journey through life.

I have systematically confronted illusion after illusion in the past few years, many quite publicly through this blog; others in the privacy of my secret world. Each time I stare down an illusion and see it for what it is I am humbled. I see how that illusion has both helped and hindered me. I see how it has laid the path for the woman I am now. I also see how my life is at a loss without it. I see how facing reality, how confronting my personal mythology lays me bare, lays me open, lays me naked and vulnerable.

And so, I will carry a few illusions with me for the journey. I will allow myself a few stories for the ride. I am human and to be human is to weave a tale. It is the gift and curse of language. It is what bridges us from the animals to the next step in the evolutionary chain. And who am I to interfere with that?

tall penguin

Monday, January 14, 2008

Seeing Other People...

I kissed a girl this weekend. Not just a peck kiss but a full-on mini-makeout kiss. And I enjoyed every second of it. Yes, I was drunk. But not so drunk as to be unaware of what I was doing. Even when I’m drunk I have a very acute sense of my surroundings and an inordinately strong sense of responsibility. I have yet to do something when I’m drunk that I wouldn’t consent to doing when I’m sober. So, I kissed a girl and I liked it.

It’s a funny thing really. Having grown up with such a strong black and white box within which to put everything, I find that nothing really goes into that box very well. Nothing is as clear cut as I was raised to think it was, even sexual attraction. The idea that we, as humans, are clear cut hetero or homosexual is really quite unrealistic. It seems to me that such distinctions are quite arbitrary. While there may be innate or inborn tendencies to be attracted to a particular sex, I also believe that the largest sex organ is the brain and well, once you create a story up there, it can filter down to other parts of your body and before you know it, you’re attracted to someone you never thought you could be attracted to.

All these experiences of late are really showing me how much goes on in that three pound universe we call the brain. I am challenging beliefs, rewriting stories, confronting illusions. I have yet to find anything in my mind that is real. It’s all so very subjective. One thought leads to another which leads to another and the story practically weaves itself. It’s wildly amusing and oddly disconcerting. Sometimes it makes me want to laugh and sometimes it makes me want to cry. Often, I do both.

tall penguin

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

I did something stupid tonight. And I knew it was stupid when I did it. I watched myself from outside my body doing the stupid thing. I said to myself, "Look, there she is, doing that stupid thing again." But I did it anyway. And then cried after about how stupid I was to do it.

Now I laugh because I know the girl that did it isn’t really who I am. She’s just a girl learning the ropes of life, trying to find her way back to herself, to who she really is. And when she knows better she’ll do better. Until then, I’ll watch her do stupid shit and I’ll be there to carry her home after she does it.

tall penguin

Monday, January 7, 2008

Notes to Self...

The last few months has entailed a lot of exploring for me. Here’s a few of the things I’ve learned:

Don’t date co-workers. Never. Ever. No matter how cute, irresistible, charming, wonderful, etc, etc, they are, it just isn’t a good idea. People tried to tell me this. I didn’t listen. Oh well, live and learn.

Nobody has it together. I’ve been seeking different people’s input and advice in recent months attempting to understand how others see things and also because I figured people with more experience would probably be further ahead than I am in their understanding of the world. Not so. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that no one really has any clue as to what they’re doing, why they’re doing it or what to do next. So, I’m in good company.

I don’t have to be nice to everyone, all the time. In line with one of my New Years intentions, I have been given many opportunities of late to express my anger, and also to be clear on what I want or don’t want in given situations. Sometimes, just saying no is sufficient. I don’t owe people explanations. Neither do I owe people multiple chances to be part of my life. Some people don’t deserve second chances. And I reserve the right to make that call.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

tall penguin

How to Start a Cult

This is a hilarious video on how to become a cult leader.

tall penguin

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Father Figures...

My father is a man of action. He shows his love by doing things for you. Growing up, he was a good provider. He worked without complaint, tended a garden for our food and maintained home and car with diligence. If I needed a ride somewhere, he would jump up without question and take me where I needed to go.

Having been raised in a typical post-war Italian family my father learned to work hard and speak little. As he expressed a few years ago during an incredibly emotional time in my life, “My parents never taught me how to express my emotions. We never talked about things. So I never learned how to do that for you.” It was the most honest, vulnerable and painful statement I’ve ever heard my father make.

Growing up with this situation was difficult. My father was silent most of the time. I never knew what he was thinking. I would talk and talk and talk sometimes in the hopes he would offer his views, his feelings, his disdain, anything. I would’ve taken anything. But instead, I got silence.

Something hit me yesterday as I was speaking of my father to a friend. I realized that my relationship with God had been no different. The emotionally unavailable father I had in person was no different than the one I had in spirit. I spoke to God every day. I shared my life with him. I tried so hard to get his approval, to get his feedback, to get the universal pat on the head that would make everything all right. And like my father on earth, my heavenly father returned my petitions with silence.

And I wonder how many people want to believe in a God as they want to believe in a father who speaks to them, cherishes them, responds to them. I wonder if we have created God in the image of the parent whose love we seek. I remember many times having thought my prayers to God were answered, just as I envisioned having lengthy exchanges in my mind with my father where he responded to my queries and concerns. Both were my own creations. I saw what I wanted to see.

My father is more present now. As he ages, he mellows. Some of the walls are coming down and he is talking more. Can’t say the same for God.

tall penguin


They stand, staring at books. Books on shelves. The titles blur together like the bottom row of an eye chart. There is a store bustling all around them, customers filing in and out, cash registers opening and closing and music blaring off into the background. But all she can hear is the silence that lingers in the air between them as they stand, staring at books.

She hopes the words from the books that line the shelves will seep into her mind and reach her tongue before the silence deafens them both. Yet they do not. The words sit idle.

Her hands twitter at her side like hummingbirds. She hopes they will spontaneously lift her out of this moment, out of this store, out of this life. But here she stands, here they both stand, staring at books.

tall penguin

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Intentions...

Ahhh…New Years Day. The day after the revelry of the night before, where we swear that this year things will be different than the last. Now, I don’t like the word resolution, probably for the same reason that I hate the word journal, it reminds me of a grade school exercise and I feel like I’m 8 again. No, I like the word intention. Somehow it seems more adult and almost zen. So, here are some intentions I’m setting this first day of 2008.

  1. To find a new job. Something part-time two to three days a week that pays more than $14 an hour, that is relatively stress-free and that is within a short commute from my home. Ideally something in the health field, maybe the hospital system.
  2. To call in “the one”. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sounds all fairy-tale like. But I was leafing through this book the other day at work and liked the idea of calling in a relationship rather than hunting it down like a piece of meat. My sense is that there is someone out there who’s getting ready for me as I’m getting ready for them and it really is just about calling them in. Okay, now don’t tell me that’s the “Law of Attraction”. Maybe it is. If so, I guess this year I’m going to test it out. So fine, I’m a hypocrite.
  3. To stay at a comfortable weight. This summer I lost 35 pounds due to stress. I’ve since gained back about 15 pounds of that. I feel pretty good where I am right now. I think this is where I want to stay. I’ve got back my little Buddha belly, which I love. The extra padding also gives me a little bit more up front which is always a good thing. I like looking like I have a woman’s body. I like my curves and my child bearing hips. I even like my little dimples of joy that scatter my thighs and behind. It’s all good.
  4. To get angry when I feel angry and learn to express it in a healthy way. My last beau was kind enough to point out that I tend to cry when really I’m pissed. And that I should express my anger rather than getting teary. He’s right. Tears have always been a safer form of expression for me. But I’m learning to tell people when I’m pissed with them instead of breaking down in tears, or worse, turning that anger on myself. I’m learning to punch pillows and use my words to express myself. Oh, and use the F-bomb more. I do love the F-bomb.
  5. To save enough money to take a trip this year. Don’t know where, maybe India. Maybe just Montreal or New York. But just to be able to save enough to take care of my bills while I’m away, and to enjoy some time off would be a huge accomplishment for me. This intention is dependent on number one coming through so we’ll see what unfolds.

Okay, that looks like a pretty comprehensive list. A little career/financial, a little love/relationship, a little health/personal growth. Looks like all the basics are covered. Now, off to live this year, one day, one moment at a time. Starting with a walk in the pristine snow that has just fallen. My, how pretty it is.

tall penguin