30 November 2008

Holding Back

Just this evening I came upon a lovely and fascinating site of photographs (via ErosBlog) and the first thing I wished I could do was share it with Mr.Aloof.

Of course I didn't. But it's pushed me to write a post I've been avoiding- one about how I miss Mr.Aloof and how it's been on my mind quite a bit. In fact even now, I'm dithering while writing this. I'm checking other things on the Internet. I'm watching Six Feet Under on DVD.

I think it's having all of this time on my own.

While Mr.Aloof was fairly horrible at just about everything when it came to me, the main purpose or role that he served in my life was to be there, on the other end of the computer screen, to talk to, to share things with, to bounce things off of, etc. Now, finding myself not only with lots of time on my hands, but also spending a lot of it looking at random things on the Internet, so many things cross my path that I know he'd like or be interested in, that I could share that interest with him.

I miss that.

Of course, when I think to myself that, "I miss him.", I counter that thought process with trying to be very critical about what is there exactly to miss. Yes, I miss that presence on the other end of the computer screen. And I miss the extremely infrequent yet powerfully stimulating intimacies that we shared. But as I say, those were infrequent. And I can't say that I miss the neglect, the abuse, the lying, the not being there. None of that I miss.

But for some reason, I dwell on the thought that I miss him.

I should also add, that he has emailed me on a semi-regular basis of every month or so. He sends me three sentences. One of which is always a question about "am I well?". Which really means that there are only two sentences left for him to make any sort of difference, which of course he doesn't.

Every time he has emailed me, I have sent him back the same thing. A reply saying that idle chatter is not appropriate, and that unless he is prepared to discuss the destruction and loss of our relationship and friendship (and specifically, his role in the destruction and loss of our relationship and friendship), that I have nothing else to talk to him about. At which point he disappears for another month or month and a half, and sends three lines again.

I know in his asking me 'Are you well?' that he hopes that I am so that he can find his absolution. Absolution which I am not prepared to give him as long as he denies me my own. So I also tend to include some line in my response saying that I am not well, without elaborating.

I know that those who know me think I should not be replying at all. But I can't do that. Maybe I will be able to at some point, when I tire of this new routine. At the moment, I don't get what I want. So I reply, but I don't give him what he wants. I hope that he will change, but he won't. But I can't stop that tiny tendril of hope. That people will become the best that they can be. That he will stop being afraid of himself, and the world around him. That he will embrace life, and grow up. I believe that people can change. Of course, they have to want to change, and they have to believe that it is possible to change.

I want him to change. I still want for him to be what I saw he could be. And I am angry and sad that not only may that never happen, but that I bought into it, and then lost something fairly precious in the process.

Sometimes I just want things to be how they were, and then I remind myself that I want no such thing. I feel impotent. Stuck. I know I think about it too much. Think about him too much.

I think that I miss him, and then I think that I only miss an idea of him, that was never him at all. But then I just fall back into thinking that I miss him again. And I vaguely dread that next three line email, when his name appears in my inbox and I'll hope that he'll have changed, and I'll open it with my heart beating just that bit faster, only to be crushed again by disappointment.

25 November 2008

Reflecting on Thanksgiving

Today the preparations start in earnest and already it's gone a bit pear shaped. Yesterday when I went to the store to get the frozen turkey (15 pounder!!), I forgot to get the cranberries with which I was to make relish today. Then this morning, I have called the butcher who said the chickens were a bit late in being delivered so they aren't koshered yet and won't be ready until the end of the day. So my shmaltz making is now delayed.

The only thing that has gone okay so far is that I got the challah I needed yesterday and have cubed it and set it out to start drying for the stuffing. Which is important, don't get me wrong. And getting the turkey was also a big deal and it is currently sitting in my neighbors fridge because there is no room in my little one and that is also very important, so it's not that anything has gone completely and spectacularly wrong yet, but I'm worrying.

Tomorrow then, I need to make both the apple pie and the pumpkin pie(s?) and the cranberry relish. I'm still hoping to do the shmaltz today, and possibly the cranberries but we'll see.

I also need to clean up the downstairs and in fact completely rearrange it and get tables and chairs from my neighbors at some point. This dinner has turned into a seating of eleven- which is the largest sit down meal I have ever prepared, let alone a Thanksgiving one, scary!!

So in all of this however, I cannot help but think of my Aunt frequently. See, my idea of the perfect Thanksgiving is one that she prepared. The way the stuffing tasted, the way we sat around the table. It's all very specific to my family and really, my Aunt. She's been gone now just about ten years and I have to say that Thanksgiving has never, ever been the same for me since. It was always something I looked forward to and loved and when she died, it seemed like my love of the day and the food went with her. Because it just wasn't the same when my other cousins did it, or it was at someone else's house.

And I have come to realize that Thanksgiving is an extremely picky holiday for every individual. One that is shaped completely by whatever you were used to or given. It's funny to me that while most Thanksgivings are similar, in reality, they are so completely different. And you know that it's true, because if you have ever been to 'another' Thanksgiving, you probably thought to yourself, "Yeah, that was okay, but it wasn't like xx." And of course it wasn't.

So now I am starting to think that holidays are horrible things. In a way they are sort of 'for the children' but then what about when the children grow up? What about when the older key members disappear? How can a holiday represent anything but sadness while you think about all the people who are no longer with you? Although saying that, there were other relatives along the way who disappeared from my Thanksgiving before my Aunt. My grandmother for starters, and my Uncle Al and my Aunt Edith. There was Dolores and Michael- although they didn't join us for our Thanksgiving, we always saw them the next day. All of these people were gone before my Aunt, but it is my Aunt who has made the biggest impact on my memories and my sorrow. Probably because I was closest to her.

I have said before, that I believe whole heartedly that had my Aunt not died, I would not be where I am now because I would have made a fundamentally different choice about where I went to graduate school- and so much of my current life has followed on from that one choice. So her presence, or lack of presence has had a hugely influential presence in the flow of my own destiny.

But I would give all of my documented success and failures and knowledge gained up for the unknown if only I could have her back.

Even though that isn't how it works. I do miss her. I wish she could see me, and how my life has turned out. I wish she was still here as an extended part of my family network and support. Thanksgiving isn't the same for me without her, without being with her.

I miss her.

23 November 2008

Another Week Another Blur

Well, true to the last post, another blur of time is upon me. Honestly, it's confusing where it all goes. Although the week was punctuated with some fun and activities, when you aren't working- or building towards something substantial, it just seems wasteful.

I managed to finish knitting a pair of fingerless gloves for S who lost the first pair I made for him. I hope he is not so careless with the second. I was tempted to run a string from one to the other, as you do for small children so as to pass them through the sleeves so they can never be lost, but we'll see how it goes without I think. I have a feeling he won't be so quick to lose this pair.

On Wednesday, me and three friends went to a taping of the Graham Norton show which was really a lot of fun. It was interesting to note how much of the 'show' actually gets cut to make the final product. I'd say there was at least an hour and a half or more of actual taping but this is all edited down to only thirty minutes- and a chunk of that is the song at the end by the guest musical artist. So really, there's loads of entertainment that just ends up on the cutting room floor. Shame really, but then it makes it worthwhile to make it to the taping- since you get to see it all.

On Friday I went to a comedy gig on a boat with S and his parents, and before that we went to dinner which was fun. S's parents are the main reason that I am putting together Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, since they would be here, and I figured I'd be free, so I could actually do it. It should be good. I have nine confirmed people and it may pop up to eleven. I've got all my dishes planned, and a schedule laid out of what I need to do when. I'm looking forward to it, even though it's quite a bit of work. It's the first Thanksgiving I've ever done myself!

Then yesterday S and T and I went bridesmaid dress shopping which was a slight disaster. Time to hit the Internet again. It's not something I've done before, and it's slightly ridiculous- there are all these dresses but so few samples so how can you justify spending that much money on a dress you can't even try on?? Well, I can't. We managed to try on a couple, but not nearly enough. So back to the drawing board in a way.

Today the weather is gray and more gray on that. There was a smidgen of wet snow in the square across from my house but I assume it's gone now as it's been raining intermittently since I got up. I'd like to say I plan on not leaving my house today but later I'm going to S's to have dinner with him and his parents and also to retrieve the canned pumpkin and cream of mushroom soup and fried onions that I need for my Thanksgiving preparations that were specially brought over in a suitcase for the purpose. All things I can't get here.

This week upcoming I have trips to Stamford Hill planned for ingredients, a haircut, a shopping delivery, at least one shopping trip, lots of baking and cooking, a free lunch, a table delivery (or borrowing as it were), and of course some cleaning up when all is done!

18 November 2008

Life Without Structure

None of this 'unemployed time' is going quite how I thought it would. I was worried I would get bored. I was concerned I would have too much time to think, or would become depressed. Instead, I find that I am frequently busy socializing with friends and that the lack of structure to my days, or my week, means that to me, time is simply flying by at a very quick pace.

This reminds me of when I was in school. A single semester, which is only four months used to feel like it would take forever. So many things would be packed into those slight four months. Intrigue, learning, social politics. Those four months seemed like an entire year if for example, I compared it to my 'working life'. Working life seemed to pass quickly. More quickly than school life at least. But this is nothing compared to my new unstructured life. This new state of existence sees entire weeks simply disappearing with me not knowing exactly what I did or where it went.

Not that I'm having a bad time mind you, just commentary really. And an explanation of sorts. Because in this whirlwind of passing time I find that I have become more flaky and more unreliable in terms of getting back to people and making commitments, even though I know have all the flexibility and time in the world to ensure that I can accomplish whatever I want. I'm not entirely sure why this is the case, though I assume it's up there with my original intention to go to the gym every day compared to the fact that I have only been twice.

I'm clearly a gal who needs structure. Well, given my bdsm leanings, it's not really a surprise is it? I function the best under expectation. I am the most productive when given motivation. And for me, motivation rarely comes from within. External sources are for more attractive and therefor affective.

I suppose the point being, I'm going to try and get a handle on my complete slump of laziness and try to establish some sort of structure for myself, even though I expect this exercise to fail miserably.

In other news, and to counteract this period of nothingness, I am preparing my very first Thanksgiving for nine people next Thursday. I'm very excited about this endeavor- though I'm a little bit nervous since Thanksgiving is such a family specific activity. I prefer my Thanksgiving to be a very specific way which is based on how my Aunt did Thanksgiving. I've been to other Thanksgivings and they simply haven't been the same. So while I'm quite looking forward to making Thanksgiving the way I think it should be, I'm acutely aware that the other Americans in attendance will feel a slight twinge of nostalgia for something other than what I will be providing.

Still, I expect it to be a pretty good evening full of very tasty food and pie. How can that be bad exactly? We shall see. If I remember, I'll get a photo of the the final result for posterity.

09 November 2008

Briefly Poignant

I saw this today on PostSecret and because images don't stay there, I thought I would copy it and put it here because I think it is so very true, and this particular illustration is interesting and lovely.

06 November 2008

Disgusting Tools

Well, as I said in the last post, there were two things I probably wanted to blog about. The other one is a bit serious and I'm not entirely sure what I want to say about it yet, so instead I feel the need to talk about the disgusting thing that is the toilet brush.

Now toilet brushes have always confused me a bit- all those bristles. I mean, okay, obviously that's great for scrubbing stuff off, but it also seems perfectly suited for getting stuff stuck in. And how are you supposed to clean the toilet brush??? In general, I have avoided the use of the toilet brush. I have one- I may have even bought it, but I don't use it. I figure maybe the cleaner uses it, or maybe other people use it, but I pretty much never touch it because I can't really work out what the benefit is to it.

Although at some point, I was over at S's house and we were talking about the idiotic design of the British toilet. Something I wrote about a long time ago. So I think I was remarking about how the toilets here are simply designed for skids. In fact, it's practically impossible to poop without 'leaving a mark' as it were (and don't get me started on the floaters). So we're discussing this when S says, "Yeah, that's why you have to have the toilet brush to scrub it away."

Really? I mean, to stick a brush on some fresh skids will probably remove it, but it won't remove it into the water, it's going to remove it straight into those bristles! And then where does the brush go? Back into the holder sitting out in the bathroom. So really, you aren't getting rid of anything, in fact you're just spreading it around and keeping it forever.

Bearing all of this in mind, I have still avoided the use of the toilet brush fastidiously, but unfortunately a couple of weeks ago I was still at work and had to use the toilet and of course, there was a skid. I tried to paper over, I tried the double flush, but it just wasn't working. And sadly, I felt I couldn't leave it like that so I decided to attempt the toilet brush.

I tell you, it's exactly as I said, and I think I was gagging as I tried to sort it out before giving up and putting the semi-soiled brush back in the holder. I did notice, the next day, that the brush seemed to be cleaned somehow, which I guess meant someone else used it, the very thought of which is making me feel vomitous all over again.

Seriously? The British need to just get better goddamn toilets. Or come up with better ways to clean them, for a toilet brush is surely a tool of the devil.

04 November 2008

Blurry Remembrances

Well, last week didn't turn out at all like I planned. I wrote something substantial here last Saturday and have been quite since then. Last Saturday saw me heading back to Croyden for a friend's birthday dinner which was good fun, though I can't say that my opinion of Croyden has changed in the slightest. Having to go twice in one week makes me think that really, if I never go again in the next year, that would be fine. It's soul sappingly bleak.

Monday I was all settled in to start my week of 'things to do' when in the afternoon I got a call from my ex office asking if I could come in for three days as they were desperate to have some work done and oddly enough, there was no one to do the work.

*pause for dramatic effect*

So I did that. I sucked it up and took their money and worked the three days while friends of mine laughed at 'how long it took' for them to realize they'd made a mistake. Still, it was just three days and I don't suspect there will be more in the near future. But money is money so that was fine.

However, it completely threw my plans for the week and everything had to be rescheduled and squeezed in. This included plans on Thursday night to attend 'games night' at Sweet Torments with the other couple. So I brought a bag to work, dashed off by 5pm to make it to their place by 6 where we all changed into some appropriate fetish attire, had some dinner, and got a Streetcar to drive to the club. Which was cool, but I was a bit miffed that most people were not 'dressed' for a fetish night, it was more like a munch with games at a club. And the club was cold. But nevermind, because the games were fun and at least I wasn't alone being dressed, just in the minority. And by the end of the evening there were a couple of cute young things running around mostly naked, so eye candy is always welcome.

We got back to their place at some point past midnight and proceeded to mess about the three of us in the bed, but then she was tired and happy for us to continue in her absence which involved some flogging, spanking, biting, many many orgasms, and sex. Hard to go wrong entirely except that he and I didn't get to bed until past four in the morning and I needed to leave before 9 because Heathrow was coming over for our third date.

Yes, can I book it or what? So Heathrow (the new name given by my friends because of my staying at his place by Heathrow during the scuba) was supposed to come to mine for lunch and we were going to cook a Korean food feast and watch the movie Tampopo which is one of my most favorite movies of all time. Of course given my slow start and work during the week, I hadn't been able to research or go get the food required so I was rushing about in the morning, exhausted and with huge bags under my eyes, though luckily we pushed it back a bit and Heathrow didn't get to mine until 1 and by then all was under control, though I was exhausted.

And we had a lovely, lovely day of cooking and eating and movie watching I have to say. Now what I can't say, is exactly what's going on with us. Are we just friends? Just getting to know each other? Is there potential there? And how frustrating is it to talk to someone about rope scenes and rope bondage and yet not have them make any slightest suggestion of laying a finger on you. And let me just say, this guy is good. Like known around in circles as good, and I for one am intrigued. But in the meantime, we chat and chat and chat and chill out and have a good time, so that's fine. Slow progression suits me probably. And I'm not bothered that things are slow, I'm just confused and that's different.

Saturday my friends M and T came by to help me eat leftovers for lunch and the weather was so awful we all just ended up sitting around my house chatting and watching television until it was dinner time so we went out to the grocery store to get pizzas and had dinner as well. Seemed appropriate for the weather, and Sunday I never even bothered to get dressed.

Yesterday I was pretty busy all day taking care of 'things' and today I'm also pretty busy though I don't feel like I'm taking care of very much and tomorrow I have an interview with a place that doesn't necessarily have a job, but asked me in for an interview so I need to give them the hard sell. Or the chat up really, where I act all eager and pliable and shit. No, it should be good though. Practicing my interview skills is fine, and an opportunity is an opportunity.

Then the rest of the week I need to crank on this private job I've managed to secure building a 3D model and I'm also arranging a second private job building a 3D model, so this is all good because it's money coming in, but I need to actually find time to do the damn work which is not as easy as you'd think given my current unemployed status! Ridiculous.

In any case, that's the catch up around here, which should allow me to start writing the posts that I keep meaning to, like how toilet brushes are Satan's gift to the world and how I've hit a bad spot of really missing Mr.Aloof.

So on that, I'll leave you with an image of our feast.

02 November 2008

Placemark: Twisted Monk Mac and Cheese

Many times I have gone looking for this recipe so I thought I would bookmark it here so that I don't keep having to find it again every single time. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesy goodness. Yum yum yum.