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just said less

22 Mar

I worry all the time that my life narrative won’t make sense if I don’t write down now what I’m feeling and what I think about how I feel and what I think I should feel about that. But when I’m tired or lazy, or when I miss a day of blogging when I thought I wouldn’t, I like to zoom out a little, take a step back and remember that I wouldn’t have liked myself very much anyway if when I’m forty-two I find journals from my twenties and read that I’m unsatisfied with my job, I spent the weekend watching Netflix, and I’m too emotionally invested in One Direction as a quintet to dwell much on Zayn’s hiatus. So, I mean, it wouldn’t be terrible if I just said less.


barely avoiding a lake

13 Mar

the friday five

1. Anna closed her eyes and fingered through a stack of old paintings, portraits of hands in all colors, palms up, waiting, wanting.
“I know you’re lying, Jerry,” she said, exasperated,

Is what I would have written for Fiction Friday if I knew what to type after that last comma. Whatever. I already have a little story-type thing with someone flipping through a stack of paintings, so this is all it’ll ever be anyway. How about you think of something new, Jen! Be original! Write better!

2. Earlier this week I was telling Buffalo about my dreams. Lately, I’ve been going places, I told her. Faraway places. Places I’d never been. My dreams usually take place in the same familiar areas. My parents’ home, my grandparents’ home, my elementary school, work, the parking structure at UHM. Last month I dreamt I was in rural America waiting for a city bus. I told Daniel about the woman/man with the pen of goats and sheep directing me to the street over, lined with bus stops. I waited and waited, but my bus didn’t come. When it became dark, I saw a line of headlights streaming toward a little house down the road. They were school buses turning in for the night. I waited outside while I went inside (I KNOW!) to ask to borrow a bus to get home. I promised to wash it and bring it back the next morning, and I was given the keys. For never driving a bus, I was lucky I didn’t die. I was speeding through the countryside like I didn’t have a break pedal, just barely avoiding a lake. Just ahead of me was another school bus, driving along just fine. I followed as best I could, then I woke up.

3. This is a thing I drew today.

4. Tonight Daniel and I are going to the auto show with my parents. Some of the cars are nice, I guess, but nothing really exciting ever happens at these things. They advertised free pizza on the radio, but last year there was only pepperoni, and it looked like it’d been sitting out for a while. My husband will be happy to see the cars, so I can be too. And unless someone hooks us up, this is probably the closest we’ll get to SEMA.

5. This is a blurb and a photo from Daniel who wanted to help when I said I was one short of five:

Cat naps, scaredy cat, curiosity killed the cat, cat nip, cat scratch fever, cat got your tongue. I thought those were all made up idioms until I met Zuko. For her they are all too real. I envy her for some like cat naps and cat got your tongue, but others are dangerous like cat nip. Overall, Zuko, you’ve got it good.


12 Mar


“The ocean… It looks full and heavy.” She rolled down the passenger window for a clearer view.
“Water on top of water,” she mumbled to the wind as she watched the waves tumble toward her.

breaking blouse

6 Mar

the friday five

1. This is an idea I stole from Sarah Dessen who used to do this on Fridays, but hasn’t since 2013, I think. She writes books, a lot of books, and she has kids, so she’s probably pretty busy. It wasn’t long ago that I wanted to write books for teens. YA was, like, my thing and I was excited about that. I think I can still relate to teenagers pretty well, but I just don’t have the guts to write something I’d want seventeen year-olds reading. (Also, I don’t have the willpower to finish a novel. ALSO, I really want to write super depressing adult things, and if a teen reads it, it’ll probably seem dumb/make things worse.

2. Daniel’s scrolling through Yelp on his phone for dinner ideas. There aren’t many places I’m okay being at on a Friday night, so I’m constantly scrunching my face at his suggestions and asking that we go another time instead. But I honestly think I’m saving him the trouble of driving there and deciding for himself that THESE CROWDS ARE TOO MUCH. So, you’re welcome, Daniel. And yes, I would be okay with picking up sushi from that little place down the road and watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix tonight. In our underwear.

3. My go-to simple black blouse is breaking. There’s an almost-hole just to the right of my belly button, and I’m going to cry! Okay. I’m not going to cry. I might be a little upset for a while and complain about all the other simple black blouses I’ll buy online to replace it and inevitably shove in the back of my dresser when it doesn’t fit me like my old one, but I’m not going to cry about clothes. Not unless there’s nothing else to wear and everything makes me look so friggin ugly. But I don’t know what to do about this. I really don’t.

4. I am now the owner of a 40-ounce Hydro Flask. HOLY MOLY it’s big! I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting the same size as everyone else. On my walk up the hill to work today, I had it tucked beneath my arm in my little blue tote bag, and I felt ridiculous. Maybe I should buy a backpack now. It’s just so big, and it makes me feel so small… I’m just super self-conscious about it, but I’m definitely not thirsty. So, that’s good, right?

5. And here’s a little doodle face: 03062015

burn them all

5 Mar

retroblog thursday
I have a folder of some of the drawings I haven’t thrown out yet and some things I’d been meaning to write about, things I just wanted to have written somewhere, or things I wrote and think are really dumb now. I can’t decide if when I have kids I will hide my art and writing somewhere to be found when I’m dead or burn them all right away.


congested ramblings

3 Mar

Sitting at my desk with a mug to my face and too many hours left in the workday to even count, I contemplate pho for dinner, or something warm and comforting. If I’m coming down with a cold, I hope it passes soon. It’s in my nose now. My voice is tired and hoarse enough that I’ll send emails instead of phone Rob downstairs, who reads my blog now and will say something about this. I wonder what he knows, what anyone knows, or how private a person I really am if I document my life like this online. And it’s fine. I mean, it only bothers me that no one else I know writes about the minutiae of each day like I do, like we all used to on Xanga after school while sitting on AIM waiting for specific someones to say hey, just hey, and not worry that when he does, you’ll have to think of something more to say. I bought a Hydro Flask the other night, and it will be here by the end of the week. I’m concerned about carrying it and what it means that I will, that I have one now, and it’s really not important to me that my water is cold.

stay out of trouble

26 Feb


retroblog thursday

An obnoxious and clearly fictitious Xanga excerpt from April 22nd, 2005:

And the coast was clear. I grabbed my bag but ditched the books. After all, you can’t rebel and do your homework at the same time. The five minute passing time between third and fourth period when the security guards headed down toward the cafeteria seemed like the perfect opportunity. Who was I to turn down the chance for escape? I hurried past the entrance and made a mad dash down the street. The bus stop was less than a quarter of a mile away. I kept running until I saw the bus pulling up behind me. Without catching my breath, I jumped in the monstrous vehicle and galloped toward the back of the bus– not without first throwing four quarters at the driver’s face. I felt bad about bruising his eye with the metal pellets, so I apologized a second later. This man was assisting me in my juvenile delinquency– I at least owed him that.
“Buy yourself something nice,” I said, tossing him an extra quarter.
“Thanks, kid,” he said. “Stay out of trouble.”
He smiled as if he knew. It was as if he knew that I was on my way to defile the house of a mere memory. The tools hidden in the pockets of my backpack nearly burst with anticipation. The red spraypaint had been tucked away in the corners of my closet for years, waiting for the chance to be used to be used on a suspecting victimizer. When I reached my destination, I performed my retaliation ritual for the first time. Though I’m sure it didn’t hurt as much as he’d hurt me, the act was indeed cathartic.
I made it back to school in time for lunch. Know one even questioned my absence. I wouldn’t be surprised if they told me they hadn’t noticed. I’m used to it. I finished off the rest of the horrible school day and came home to tell you about it.