December 28, 2008

Fatally attracted to books

Two weeks ago I exacerbated my problem of deciding what to read next by buying more books. In the last twenty four hours, I solved the problem. Once I finished the book I was reading, I started three new ones! Both of the books I bought that day, and one of the books I bought today.

I bought more books today.

But I also did laundry and picked up a little around the apartment, so it wasn't an entirely pointless day.

I also grabbed a list of independent bookstores around the city, which I will use to not only (no doubt) further pad my already stuffed bookshelves, but I will also surreptitiously (and maybe overtly) job hunt.

December 27, 2008


So there's this incredibly nice mall here. Incredibly nice. All the fanciest stores. And since the Boy-Creature gets an employee discount at Nordstrom, we end up there about once a week, it seems like. Today we were there to pick up a pair of pants he had altered, and to check out the ties, cufflinks, and sunglasses for the forty-eight-thousandth time. He'd also heard there was some new Hermes cologne that was supposed to be really nice. So we went to the Hermes store.

That's how nice this mall is. There's an Hermes store. Complete with scarves, swimsuits, and saddles.

They even had a Birkin bag, right there in the case. And I got to look at it!

Boy-Creature always insists that I look at the bags and try on the four-thousand dollar dresses. He figures, when's the next time I'll get the chance? I usually don't want to. I realize it's unlikely that I'll ever have those things, so what's the point? Still he insists. So I had my hands on a $24,000 orange crocodile Birkin bag. It was lovely.

Afterwards, as we wandered out into the post-Christmas crowds again, I have to admit I felt all flushed and giddy. Boy-Creature said, "See? You know you want one. If you had the money, you'd get one."

But I disagree. They may be lovely bags, but there's plenty of other things I'd want first. Like a house in the French countryside, and a flat in Paris. I'd rather eat caviar in Moscow or ride across Australia on a motorcycle. I don't want to buy things, I want to see things. I'll traipse all the way around the world before I drop that much money on one little bag. Even if it is a bag that increases in value after you buy it. I've got a different idea of what's valuable.

December 22, 2008

A little bit bah humbug

Tonight I watched "Practical Magic" and "Imagine Me and You" and missed my family so much it was hard to breathe. I also worked on knitting my blue angel sweater and loaded software on the shiny new macbook, but I'm a multitasker.

Practical Magic is my favorite book. I don't even know how many times I've read it. Sally's my favorite in the book, I suppose because I think I'm the most like her. But the Aunts are my favorite in the movie. I like how unapologetically they live. My favorite line in the whole movie is when Aunt Frances says "My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not always a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." That's what I want. To live courageously. I've worked in offices for almost seven years now, and I already know at the tender age of twenty two that I want to get as far from the 9 to 5 cubicle life as I can. Hopefully before too much longer, I'll be able to. Even if it's just flogging my guts out in a bookstore somewhere. I'd even be happy with Borders or Barnes and Noble instead of a cool independent store. As long as I'm surrounded by books, I'll be happy.

I've been thinking a lot about little ways to work in living artfully around the stupid cubicle job. Like dance classes. And circus classes. I was looking at nearby circus studios in the area earlier tonight. Thinking about what I might like to do next. The thing is, I don't want more hobbies. I want things to build my life around, and that includes a career. I used to joke to Dad about dropping out of college and going to circus school instead, and he always seemed to like that idea. I think a big part of it is that he liked the idea of me being in Sarasota. I still think he had some secret wish that I would go to Florida and be a Gator like he was. But sometimes I wonder if I should have done it, if I could have done it.

Just run away and join the circus, like everyone else secretly dreams of doing but never really considers seriously.

Those are the worst kind of dreams. The ones that get dropped without a second thought, just because they don't fit at first glance. But I want to fill my life with them. I want that kind of life that makes people say "How can you make a living doing that? That's not a real job." I never wanted a real job. I picked my major and minor, and my school even, specifically to avoid anything too real. But reality has made its way, so it's up to me to shove it back in the box.

One circus class and short story at a time.

December 14, 2008

The siren song. It calls to me.

My dad and stepmom came to see me, but they left this morning. I had a pretty uneventful day of holiday commercialism planned, but I spent five minutes driving around the crammed parking lot and decided I really didn't want to be at the mall. I nearly never want to be at the mall, so no big surprise there. Regardless of how much I need a new pair of jeans.

Back when Boy-Creature and I moved into our humble abode, there was one time when we ended up aimlessly driving around the neighborhood. We came across a children's bookstore that I always meant to go check out. A couple years back, I found the first three of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books for a dollar each at my favorite Half Price Books in Dallas. They weren't terribly special. Actually, they're old library discards. Not first editions or anything. But they were old, and I love them.

Now every time I find a used bookstore, I wander through the kids' section, to see if I can add to my collection. I haven't found any yet, so today I thought I'd go back to that bookstore.

Long story short, I couldn't find it. It was months ago, and I'm not even sure what road they were actually on, or how far down it was. But I found another used bookstore. Adams Avenue Bookstore. I browsed every single shelf. I looked at everything, just because I love bookstores so much. This one was great. It's in an old house, with shelves in every room and closet, even all along the stairs. And I left with two new books, because I don't have enough trouble figuring out what to read next. Should I finally get around to One Hundred Years of Solitude, or my big, fancy copy of The Illustrated Brief History of Time and the Universe in a Nutshell? (I was seriously geeking out when I bought that.)

And these two new books are serious contenders. Miles Harvey's The Island of Lost Maps and Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon. They both seem like they'll be fabulous. But at the same time, so do the other books waiting patiently on my shelf. There's a Charles de Lint I bought months ago, and two Umberto Ecos! But once again I have no idea what to read.

I wish I could read them all at once. Can I quit my job and read now? I seriously thought about asking the bookstore guy if he needed any help around the store. I think about that every time I enter any bookstore. And I will continue to do so until I quit my job. Maybe one of these days I'll find a better option. Fingers crossed.

December 3, 2008

Plotting and scheming

This is something you'll most likely come to learn about me.

In things like blogs, I tend to be vague at first, and then come back and explain a day or two later. Explaining time.

Post-college life isn't going the way I'd prefer so far. Granted, it's going pretty much exactly the way it does the average post-college kid. Like I said, most boring job in the world, which has nothing even remotely to do with what I want to do with my life. I went to college to lead a ridiculous life, but so far it's a pretty normal one. And nobody can fix that but me, so I will.

I've been thinking about this for a month now. Because a month ago, the most boring job in the world, which was a temp job, offered me a permanent spot, and a promotion. After two really crappy days of wrestling with the decision, I told them I didn't want the promotion. But the economy sucks so bad, I can't not have a job. So I stayed on in the same position I had. But somehow, I stepped into my supervisor's job today. Somehow I ended up taking that promotion, even though I told them I didn't want it. So now more than ever, I need more ridiculous in my life.

They're a great company, but it's not for me. They're aiming for Fortune 500, and I never even imagined sitting at a desk for a living, unless that desk held an antique typewriter on which I'm writing the next Griffin and Sabine. Corporate life is the last thing I want. I'm convinced I'd be endlessly happier scribbling and knitting and dancing as fast as I can while still making ends meet. But like I said, economy, blargh! But it's only forty hours a week, and it's pretty mindless work. Even with the promotion. So I've been plotting and scheming, and my brilliant plan is taking shape.

This new spot automatically comes with coming in later and leaving later. So I've got more time in the mornings. Which means I can fit in an hour of writing every morning. EVERY MORNING! I realize every aspiring writer says they're going to do that about eighty-three times before the handful that actually succeed manage to build up a habit, but consider this my eighty-fourth time. So bright and early tomorrow morning, I'll be scribbling.

The other part of my plan is to work on the rest of my life. First and foremost, I need to dance again. I'm not myself when I'm not dancing. I came out of the womb dancing. So I'll be dancing again, and I'll do all I can not to stop.

Beyond that, I need a life. I moved halfway across the country when I graduated, and after almost six months here, I still haven't really made any friends my age. I've made a handful of older friends at the knit salon, and Boy-Creature's friends are cool, but they're his friends, not mine. So I need to get out more. I need to see more and do exciting things. Like field trips for semi-adults (I'm so not an adult yet.). There's so much going on in this city, and I haven't done enough of it. So I'm going to do more of it.

I'm going to do more of everything.

December 2, 2008

It begins

I've decided recently that my existence isn't ridiculous enough. Like many recent college grads, I've found myself in a boring job that I only took because it was the first one to come along. A little part of my soul shrivels up in agony every time I have to utter the words, "I work at an insurance company." That shouldn't be allowed in the life of a twenty-two year old. Especially for one who chose her major and minor in college deliberately so as to avoid real life for as long as possible. So this will be my chronicle of my attempt to outrun it.

Starting now.