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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
February 2020
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you’re a fraud

I’m still knitting the big black sweater.

00003

Progress.

Now for content. So I read this blog post that this introvert wrote. It’s an author with 2 blogs and a twitter account. She was writing about how much she SUCKS at responding to comments. Sounds pretty funny huh? But when I was reading it, I totally totally got where she was coming from. I know what it feels like to not click with lots of people and to not know what to say even when you do click. I know what its like to find going to the grocery store exhausting. Not because you can’t walk around a store, but because there’s PEOPLE. That SAY things to you. That you have to make EYE contact with. It’s just. so….I want to say tiring, but it’s like you’ve got this place in your gut that starts to hurt when you hit your limit and the more you keep interacting the more it hurts until you want to cry and curl up in bed. And sometimes you push yourself so much your whole body hurts from holding itself tense and you get a migraine.

The days where I have three of my family members warring and all three call me to bitch about the others, I feel like taking the phone off the hook after talking to two of them. I doubt they’ll ever realize this, but when I actually start shit, it is NEVER lightly. I like arguments, but it’s hard to deal with a bunch of them at once, even removed over the phone.

I finally realized that most people don’t find going out in public and talking to friends, coworkers and family members in any way difficult. It drove me crazy growing up because I didn’t get how everyone else did it. My mom had a lot of reason when I hit the teen years to think she was raising a raging bitch. I would get these waves of uncontrollable anger and discomfort. It’s easy now to relate some of it to the days when I’d come home from high school exhausted and there’d be five people home and she’d want …something. To go shopping or to hang out. God. Even now thinking about it I can feel how trapped and panicky I used to feel on days like that and we were so good at hanging out and being friends back then. Now I just gots me and Bear in the house and if I can’t deal then I just let the phone ring. Knitting helps too.

Well, except that I’m pretty sure I screwed up the armholes on that sweater back up there.

(Brain. Don’t take any of this personally. I mean it! You give more than you take, even when you think you are just taking. I was just thinking after reading that blog post. Hell, you know when I’m exhausted and go into hiding and I tell you why. Title is from Do Better by Say Anything.)

Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do

I wake Bear up in the morning. The alarm goes off, I get up, he sleeps until I come back and kick him out of bed. About half the time I have to come back a few times before Bear is actually out of bed. He’s heavy. It takes multiple kicks. This morning I was coming back for round two. I rounded the corner and Bear was frozen on the bed with one leg extended and his eyes popped wide open and his tongue stuck out at me. I was so startled I almost fell over. He was really pleased with himself.

There’s this admonition going around authors to reviewers, especially book reviewers who are trying to get published to “be nice” (i.e. don’t give reviews that fawning all over a book). I feel like I’ve blogged about this before. I know I blogged about the golden rule, but I hate “be nice”.

In our household, we sometimes chide each other about being mean or not being very “nice”, but it’s never very serious. What is dead serious in our house is respect, even if we often don’t use the word. You don’t put someone down or make them feel stupid or belittle their experiences. You listen when they are talking, and if you can’t, you say so with the understanding that they have the right to speak. We often don’t agree, Bear and I. We fight. Gosh we fight sometimes. The only times we have problems though are when one of us isn’t respectful. Usually it doesn’t get that far, because the person in pain, the person who would lash out at the other, is already being respected by the other. So their pain or their upset or whatever is causing an issue is given voice. Even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it is just an opinion, especially if it has basis in something very very real, opinions are allowed to be spoken, are encouraged.

I think it’s sad that it’s so common to admonish people to “be nice” over giving people respect. Respect for their opinions, respect for their experiences and goals and pains and time and effort. When it comes to reviewing, when the whole point is to spend you time and energy dissecting why you liked or didn’t like something so that others can benefit from your experiences, where does anyone get off telling someone to “be nice”?

I can’t say I’m surprised though.

(Brain, title is a quote from Alexander Pope)

2010 in review

I’ve been meaning to do this for a little while. I figure 2010 was a huge year, so it took me a whole month to review it. That seems fair to me. Remind me if I forgot anything.

Linda, considering how much of November I remember (damn that rhymes), I might be persuaded to do the blogging thing again.

January

  • Packed
  • Fought with Bear about packing
  • Bought boxes and tape for packing.
  • Paperwork. God I remember a ton of paperwork getting ready for closing.
  • Dealt with both Bear’s and my anxiety about moving and buying the house
  • Got Bear into a Whole Foods for the first time ever.
  • Stalked our house many many many times.
  • This was also the beginning of the hellish anxiety over Bear coming up with things he wants to change about the house and how much I can’t stand hearing about the unending lists of potential changes
  • Dealt with the anxiety about our loan going through the underwriting and approval and god knows what else because it took forever.
  • The joy of knowing we were cleared to close: i.e. we were gonna get our house!
  • TA’d one of my advisor’s classes.

February

  • We closed!
  • Packing became furious and concentrated
  • We cleaned the new house
  • We moved
  • We cleaned the old apartment
  • We lived on minimal computer/tv time.
  • Our house was cold and unfamiliar and new.
  • We unpacked, a little more leisurely than we had packed at the beginning of the month
  • We lit a fire in our new fireplace
  • We smoked out our living room lighting that fire and the very few that we lit after that
  • We bought a bunch of plants to make our home more homey
  • We changed out our car from a Ford to a Toyota because we hated not having cargo space
  • We had our first snowstorm at our house
  • I climbed into our attic
  • We started to get sick of Chipotle
  • TA’d one of my advisor’s classes.

March

  • Momma and Annie came to visit
  • Got a firepit for the patio
  • Used firepit to have smores
  • The storm from hell dumped a bunch of water in our basement
  • We spent many nights and days pushing, sucking and pumping water out of our basement
  • We stained/treated our deck while they visited
  • We learned how to change out a toilet
  • We figured out how our water pipes were run
  • We painted the white part of our green bathroom
  • We got the bulk of the unpacking done
  • We had a rare 90 degree day
  • The house started to feel like home
  • AJ visited
  • The star magnolia started to bloom
  • The spring bulbs came up (hyacinths, daffodils)
  • Cooper visited for the first time
  • We learned we had two dead trees on our property
  • TA’d one of my advisor’s classes.

April

  • http://www.themansguidetolove.com/
  • We learned about burning permits/permission
  • We loved the birds
  • I spent some time fighting weeds
  • Bear’s birthday gift was cleaned baseboard radiator fins
  • A little bird made her nest off our deck
  • Something ate the baby chicks in the nest
  • Spent a lot of time pimping out our old apartment

May

  • Cooper brought his family over to visit us
  • Linda gets nicknamed
  • Mr and Mrs Right threw a “get to meet the new neighbors” for us
  • I got new glasses and got contacts
  • The peonies started to bloom
  • Cooper cut down a lot of the yard in our yard until it looked like a yard instead of a jungle
  • Bear put together a planter box for me

June

  • Mr Bestie and Mrs Cranberry got married, twice
  • Bear and I got new clothes for the weekend of wedding stuff
  • Bear stressed about the weekend of wedding stuff
  • Bear stressed about my mom coming to stay for a month
  • I stressed
  • Bear got some work news
  • My mom came to stay for a month

July

  • My father came to visit
  • Bear got my mom HOOKED on Animal Crossing
  • My mom sliced open her finger
  • I found out where the hospital is by my house
  • I found the shortest route to said hospital too
  • My mom got eight? stitches in her hand
  • I showed my mom how to comb fiber
  • Bear had job continuity issues
  • We planted the extra tomato plants
  • I got about 16 migraines
  • We had money issues
  • We had people getting pissed at us (me) issues.
  • We rented a tiller
  • We used a tiller
  • BEAR used a tiller
  • My mother left after staying for a month
  • I got a new spinning wheel
  • I felt a lot better

August

  • My tomato plants became blighted
  • I finished and mailed the way way way overdue legwarmers for Pippi and Lucy. Although Lucy and The General might be wearing them.
  • Some leaves on our trees start turning colors
  • We replaced our boiler and converted to propane.
  • We played SC2
  • We paid someone to remove the oil boiler
  • We regretted it.

September

  • We started off the month with visiting my family in HOU
  • I had lunch with Bear and his old work peeps! It was awesome.
  • I spun a lot
  • I got these NASTY caterpillars that ate through my tomatoes
  • I gave up on my garden
  • We fed Mr and Mrs Right tbone steaks
  • We fed Left ackee and saltfish and then about 5 months later found out that she thought she was eating eggs.
  • We had weird sleep this month and I can’t remember anything else about it.
  • Hopefully we saved money

October

  • Bear and I started visiting Mr and Mrs Right about once a week for a coke (Bear) and a chat
  • We raked leaves. Because there were MASSES of them.
  • Bear surprised me and paid someone to come take care of the nasty nasty mess on our basement floor
  • Bear and I had the ickies.
  • I napped a lot
  • Bear and I worked our tuchuses off at work
  • My mom had surgery
  • Brain went and visited her for me.

November

  • We raked 50 BILLION more leaves.
  • Hypothetical BABY ASP!
  • I blogged every FREAKING day except Sunday because I love Linda THAT much.
  • Mr and Mrs Right came over and saved our tuchuses with their Kubota right before Thanksgiving
  • During Thanksgiving break my aunt and uncle came to visit
  • We cooked them turkey
  • I drove to the middle of nowhere to get farm raised turkey
  • I spent hours on the internet finding farm raised turkey
  • I failed to get a heritage turkey
  • I was chastised for not finding the Fkajofwijefoiwje heritage turkey
  • Apparently I should have gotten on the list 50 years ahead of time for this akofwjieofnoviwe heritage turkey
  • Thanksgiving was awesome despite the lack of kjowinefoiwefn heritage turkey
  • We put up leaf guards on our gutters
  • My awesome uncle cleaned our our gutters
  • My awesome uncle replaced a rotted board on our deck
  • My awesome aunt and uncle made ramps for the doors in the basement so now you don’t have to step up/down 2 feet
  • I gots me some new shoes
  • Bear and I watched Sherlock and White Collar in extreme fashion
  • the fall foliage was GORGEOUS
  • Gilligan and I started a love affair with Ira Glass. She started it
  • Brain said my brain was greasy
  • Apparently I remember a ton of shit when I blog every day.
  • Bear used his grill to cook stuff in a pot.
  • We moved the TV and the couches and the internet and the wiring for the house bc my aunt and uncle are AWESOME

December

  • I was a little blue after my family left
  • We turned on the Christmas lights at the front of our house
  • I had some awesome days working from home. Productive and comforting days
  • I started a new project at work
  • I read The Help by Katherine Stockett
  • Bear got me grownup luggage
  • I spent some time figuring out Christmas gifts for family members
  • I spent some time fighting with family members about gifts for other family members
  • Mrs Right took Bear and I to the airport at 430 in the morning!
  • I went home and had a great time connecting to my family as a whole
  • I saw Bear’s mom and his brother
  • Bear had a decadent break with his mom and brother
  • We got a huge snowstorm at the house while we were gone.
  • Mr Right used his snowblower and went out there and made it look like we were home.
  • We really do love our neighbors.

Killer taste.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

-Ira Glass

I blogged about this and then Linda gave me this quote. I love it. I cannot express how much I love that Ira Glass expressed this so perfectly. Maybe it’s not even that your taste is “killer” but it is exacting and the stuff you make when you first start out will most probably not meet your exacting standards.

Of course, this is me, so I didn’t stop there. I went looking for Ira Glass and found this:

I love Ira Glass now.