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the notebook

October 31, 2009


so, last sunday, i went to church again because i figured since i was interviewing for a job i'd really like to have, i should probably do some serious praying.

i've a hard time praying during a mass. it feels rude to me to be sending a prayer up to the heavens while one of the deacons or whomever is going down the list of all the things for which or the people for whom the parishioners should pray. you know...for those serving in the military, may they be safe and return home soon...for those who are ill may they recover quickly...for those who have died may they be welcomed in heaven and may their families be at peace. and then they let the parishioners have that second or two to send up their prayers. i never get mine finished in time. so as i'm forming it, the deacon or whomever it is says lord and the people join in with hear our prayer. and i'm thinking but i'm not done with it yet, so how can he hear it?

so i try to finish it, but the priest is blessing the bread and wine, and, again, i feel like it's rude to be talking to god while that's going on.

anyway. last sunday's mass was about asking for what you want. that god knows it, but you have to say it. you have to ask him for it or he won't give it to you.

maybe i've not been as specific as he would like.

maybe i'm asking for the wrong things.

who knows?

i was driving home, and that scene from the notebook where ryan gosling's character, noah, is expressing frustration with rachel mcadams' character, ali, because she can't stand up for herself, can't follow her heart, can't break things off with her fiance because her family approves of him and because she holds him in esteem. he is a good man, after all. she would have a good life with him. but she's in love with noah.

he's so frustrated with her that he throws his hands in the air and asks, repeatedly, what do you want?

i felt like god was doing that to me.

what do i want?

a good man. not a great one. he doesn't have to be great. i want him to have imperfections. i don't care if he treats the hamper like a basketball hoop. i don't care if he spends most of a sunday afternoon on the sofa watching football. chances are really good i'd do the same thing. the more sensitive he is to others, the more my skin crawls. i grew up with two brothers, both of whom have healthy egos. they got those from my father. so i'm used to arrogance. i find it amusing.

what makes a man good? he's interesting. he makes me laugh. he makes me shiver. most of the time, he listens to what i have to say. he tells me when i'm being a pain in the ass. he lets me tell him when he's being an arrogant son of a bitch. he holds me when i need to be reminded that my emotions aren't as big or bigger than me. he lets me sulk and wallow when i need to do so. he understands the necessity of that. he forces me to think of other things when i've been thinking too much. he's somewhat patient--not too much. i don't like being placated. he knows me well enough that i can be myself without any of the filters. and the same goes for him. he's fun, funny, smart, not afraid to work, values his friends, is obsessed with sports. he's spontaneous. i can be comfortable and excited around him at the same time.

i should throw in the physical as well. taller than me. fit. no bald spots. no paunches. no clammy hands. no badly bitten fingernails. i don't care that much what color hair he has, or what color eyes. i do care that he not looked washed out or boring. there's gotta be something striking about his face. i dig color. he should have some.

he doesn't smoke. he drinks responsibly. i don't care what his religion is, so long as it's not fanatical or twisted. he can use language well. not as well as i, no...that'd be pretty hard to do. but he can hold a decent conversation. and when he writes stuff down, most of it's spelled right and is grammatically correct. and he doesn't use things like u for you. i really, really hate that.

he makes more money than me, which isn't hard to do at the present time, but it might not always be that way. hell, i might finish a stupid novel before i turn fifty, which might make my bank account a lot happier, by turn making me a helluva lot happier. but still...i don't want to be the breadwinner. i grew up in old-fashioned household. i like old-fashioned.

i'm not sure i want kids. he'd be okay with that. that's a really hard thing to ask, though. when i was younger, before i knew myself, i wanted four. i still have their names picked out. but i'm thirty-six now. and i know myself. and it's hard to rationalize wanting to care for mini-mes when i can't always care for myself and i'm well-past childbearing years.

mostly, i need laughter and distraction.

i want someone who's not intimidated by intelligence and intensity. i'm not sure a man like that exists.

which brings me to the second thing on the list, just in case the first one isn't possible.

i want a career that best utilizes my talents and traits. one that pays more than thirty-six thousand a year, so that i can support myself. so that i can have my own place.

i can't be more specific on this, because really, i don't have a clue what job that might be. i just know i want something that pays better, with better hours and better benefits. i want my nights and my weekends to myself. i want less social interaction in the workplace, but not so little that i don't see anyone. i used to work at a printing company. i spent my day tucked in the back corner of a warehouse, staring at a computer screen. boring. crazy. pathetic. so i went to another job where i had no desk, no place to hide and too much interaction with others.

you want me to give you a job title, though. you want me to be specific. editor, communications specialist, literary agent...teacher, interior designer, architect. i could give you dozens of jobs that interest me. the trouble is, i could give you dozens of reasons why each of them would be bad for me.

and i really don't care what i'm doing. i care that i enjoy the work, i respect my employer and can support myself doing that work. that's it.

i want an apartment. not a house. because i'm terrified to be alone sometimes. and living in an apartment makes me feel less alone. i want it filled with things from restoration hardware, pottery barn and williams sonoma and the odds and ends i find from other stores here and there.

but again, you want specifics. so...everything in restoration hardware's mission group, which i would have to do some major digging for, because they've now discontinued it. rh's buster chair and its lancaster leather sofa. pottery barn's suede sectional sofa. the entirety of pb's celery sausalito stoneware. its moss green sausalito, again which i'd have to go hunting for. waterford's kells platinum china -- ditto. waterford's araglin platinum crystal. waterford's powerscourt matte silver.

two french mastiff puppies, named george and henry.

a sixty-five shelby and a ten shelby, both black, and an army green jeep wrangler.

a handful of girlfriends...like those i read about in stupid romance novels or see in movies like the women, which was on today.

this is the problem with dreaming...you start thinking of what you want and you get carried away, so you force yourself back to reality and you settle.

right now, i'd settle for the job that pays me well enough so that i could move out of my parents' house and some semblance of a social life.

grief happens

October 2, 2009


i saw love happens tonight. i like this movie. i like it a lot.

it's a story about a man who seems to have overcome his own grief and now preaches to others about the tools he used to do so. but he hasn't overcome it. his grief has made him bitter; he masks that as well, in front of strangers, especially when he's standing in front of those who've traveled from far and wide to get help from him.

he's forced to go to seattle to give one of his seminars. he's really unhappy about being there, and all he wants to do is get the show over with and make the deal that would rocket him into mad crazy success...the type that means national television shows and dvd releases and products that tie-in to the bullshit he preaches.

he's miserable. and then he meets eloise (aniston), a florist who's got really bad luck with men.

the only bad things i've to say about it are that there's one scene out of a whole bunch that's a tad bit cheesy and that i wish they'd used music that's not been used in movies before. i realize that sometimes there's a song that really fits a scene and not using it because someone else already did would be wrong, but with the exception of john hiatt's have a little faith in me, the songs they picked aren't that great. and even then, they used that song in the wrong place.

it's heavy. the writers found the biggest dump truck they could and loaded it up with burke's bullshit and his baggage and that of the people who've sought his assistance. it's a pretty good story, though. those writers gave it humor, too. and despite that heaviness, it's a cute movie.

love happens is rated pg-13 for some language including sexual references. its running time is one hundred-nine minutes.

having said all that...

i miss my brother. grief's a sneaky bastard.

. . .

and if missing him last night wasn't enough, i dreamt i was at a&m, back when he was in the corp, only in this dream he would've been a senior (he got kicked out before that happened, but ... it's my dream, and in it, my brother was good). he was going to be giving some class for his unit on some corp thing, and i, longing to see my brother being good, snuck into his building, to the classroom and started chatting up his fellow cadets (this never would've happened ... back then i was too shy to talk to anyone outside of my family, but hey, it's my dream, and in it, i'm being good, so ...). he hasn't gotten there yet. i chat with a lot of guys. they all say good things about him. i chat with one of his best buddies, one with whom he'd gone to high school (one who now has three children). it's sunny outside. pleasantly warm. a perfect day. and i'm gonna get to see my brother in action. i'm gonna get to see him be the badass i know he can be. but he didn't show, and i woke up before i could figure out why.

of course. why would he be there? he's not here.

. . .

(you gotta love how i go back and forth from one tense to the other. and i never have any idea i'm doing it until i read it weeks later. my mother would not be pleased.)