Monday, July 6, 2009

I Moved Again

::Mandatory Preamble::
The events discussed in this moving journal relate to both moving and of tidings unfortunate. If you find yourself in a mood unprepared, or unwilling, to digest a spot of sadness then I recommend you put this down and come back later - at a time more suitable. I believe in laughter and make light, as much as possible, of events that are otherwise. I do this as a choice and not to be obnoxious (however, if you knew me as a 7 year old with a dinosaur jokebook you might easily believe that being obnoxious is second-nature). Finding something positive in things negative is what I try to do. So, this journal is dedicated to the notion: if it's not a comedy, you might still be able to salvage it as a dramady.
Oh, and of course... if you're happier to be without these e-mails then let me know and I can revise the mailing list. Conversely, if you haven't received this e-mail and would like to receive future messages I will be happy to amend the mailing list.

Things to Ponder...
When living Life, one has chance to ponder many things. Some things to ponder are frivolous, which is not to say unimportant: can I still eat tacos after they've been fire cooked; can I fit that whole cookie in my mouth, at once; Is buying a Nintendo Wii an acceptable expenditure after a break-up? Of course some things pondered bring to mind serious health risks or ring eerily of the lesser adventures of Scully and Mulder: what Is in my sink that, when dishes are left in it for a while, manages to Etch glass permanently? Should I be showering in the water that comes from the same source as the mysterious glass-etching sink water? Is it just the sink bacteria from dirty dishes left out longer than publicly acceptable that etches the glass of my dishware? Is that thing I just squished really a spider or is more like a light-armor plated tick crawling up my torso? Then, with any life, come the tasks for which there is no room to ponder and yet I find myself pondering upon anyway: Do I really have to start packing my apartment? Can't I train the boxes to pack and move themselves? Should I turn the gas utility on at my house before or after I move in? Invariably we find the answers to be roughly as we thought: no; yes; yes; no one knows because it seems to only happen to me; I'd rather not know but maybe someone reading this will have a better answer for me; see previous answer; armor-plated tick (I think); yes; no; before, if I want hot showers in my first week of moving. Then there are the questions of purpose and pedigree and other p's of portent: What is best in Life? I believe Conan said it best... To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women as you stuff whole cookies in your mouth. Nom nom nom...


The first year of graduate school has ended and only one totally haiku e-mail was sent. Let us give thanks. Oh, first things first. I have moved. My new address is:
(my privacy clause in my blogger contract prohibits the releasing of this data...)

For those counting, this marks legal residence number 17 in as many years. My current nesting fantasies center around staying at one address for 2 years or more. Oh, and whenever I walk through certain sections of Target I can't help but think I need throw pillows for my futon. Throw pillows, really? In the middle of one of the very intense nesting urges I called a friend out in California for a little anti-shopping therapy. I don't need throw pillows. I truly do not. They serve no purpose. And yet I can't help admit that they sure would add a nice accent to the living room. Ugh... If you'r reading this, you may receive random calls from me asking for your assistance to guide me away from the "Home Interiors" section at Target. (my thanks for Mr. Mack's voicemail for being the first to take this hit)
But... back to the new house. The current location is ab-fab (minus the ants longer than my thumbnail and the abundance of spiders and the mowing). It's a two bedroom house with a garage, washer/dryer, central air, roof, driveway, clothesline (in olden days, that harken back to tymes when people visited ye olde shoppe and Dickens was a fast-paced novelist, people used to dry their clothes on long hemp-cords that hung outside of their homes where little sun-particles magically mated with the water particles causing them to leave my clothes), recycling, nicely painted walls, front AND back yards. It's a nice place, very homey. It's no larger than the previous apartment but it is free of domestic abuse neighbors, leathery-skinned old men driving lawnmowers attached to chairs, and the old landlord. Of course, there's the reduction in energy costs promised on this new home that make the move very appealing.
I moved about 3 weeks ago now. Most everything is still in boxes. Calculus (summer school) and my new Nintendo Wii seem to take some prime daily schedule real-estate.

After a Break-Up... If it's not a comedy, you might still be able to salvage it as a dramady.
Life after a break-up is complicated. This complication arises from the immediate lack of complications that are present when dating ends. Now I'm forced to find new ways to occupy my time. Did I mention calculus and the Wii? Putting Life back together after such a dramatic event finds me celebrating the little victories all over again. For instance, just the other day I folded my clothes. What else happens after a break-up?
Let me tell you about the virtues of random crying. First, your friends love it. Imagine a quiet Middle-Eastern bistro set to the peaceful backdrop of redneck central, with 4x4 dualie pick-up trucks growling blackened smoke from their custom dual exhaust pipes pointing up to the great fume absorption sponge in the sky, our ozone. Set in this bistro, where red sauce smells quite sharply of Chef Boyardee and the waitress has never played a game of Memory in her life, your friends will look upon your crying over a break-up as emotionally machismo and daring to brave the socially awkward gaps in conversation with random and scathing comments about engagement rings and commitment. Ne'er will your locally grown friends chide you for this behavior that was once thought to be girlish. This is a new time, and you're a new man breaking gender barriers at speeds greater than the sonic boom of the break-up itself. The woman's movement adores you for bringing a fresh blend of nambypambyism to today's modern male.
Oh, and you find spaces on your bed that you hadn't discovered since the last time you were single. Once again... the bed is the right size.

17m:36s of eau du grammont...
     A conversation with a supportive gramma is an ameliorating experience (thanks to Ms. Kubo  for helping me study those big words). When breaking up, much is in turmoil. Physical habits, day-to-day habits, emotional and even spiritual habits are altered or affected by the presence of someone, and then again through the immediate removal of that person's presence. Reminders of that time are everywhere and can sneak to the deepest feelings in our bodies; mine sneaks to the center of my chest. That feeling finds it way to the center. It takes root, and as alarm-clocks are irritating reminders that it is time to leave bliss, so too are those rooted feelings. Every altered habit triggers that alarm-clock. Every stupid song on the radio. It's so easy to learn sadness in a hyper-romantically-aware culture. There are two cures to these blues: 1) comedy (of the non-romantic nature) and 2) eau du grammont.
     When comedy is the cure, my antidotes are "The Lonely Island," "Lego Batman," and "Flight of the Concords." Be warned now... NO SONG on the Lonely Island album is safe for work (and that's one main reason it is hilarious) or safe for mother's or grandmothers. The second cure, seems to be 17minutes and 36seconds of Gramma.
     Sometimes a Gramma is just thing I need to pick me up when I'm feeling blue. I've tried, for a few days now, to find ways to best describe Gramma. Is it her voice, her grace, her general Southern charm all mixed with a hint of the frenetic and wild-eyed artist? It occurs to me then the best way to describe Gramma, aka. The G-Ster, is through food and charm. Imagine a Rube-Goldberg assembly-line contraption that starts with fresh pea-can pie (it's pronounced 'pecan' everywhere outside of Texas). Those pies roll over about 10 feet of airport baggage claim conveyor belt technology where they fall into a large glass distillery. The pea-can pies are smashed with large auxillary hammers and broken down into the smallest particulate construct of pea-can pie, the lesser pea-can pie measureing approximately pi centimeters across. Now the process requires the distillation of the lesser pea-can pie crumbs to the essence of gramma (or... eau du grammont). Add a Texas flag, one brick from the Alamo, and sugar cookies from the bakery at 2411 N. Zarsamora (in San Antonio). Combine these ingredients with the pea-can pie crumbs and voila. You have, in your hand (though I recommend you put it in a bottle first and the hold it because its a liquid and it'll get all over your hands and then people will wonder why you talk like my gramma and that would be a hard one to explain... trust me) eau du grammont. So, what that fantastically distracting metaphor alludes to is, though I'm sure it was totally obvious already, that I love Gramma. After 17 minutes and 36 seconds of talking to her, she made me feel like a million bucks. If you ever need a self-esteem boost, just call my Gramma (1-800-THATS-MY-GRAMMA). She'll hook you up yo.

It's Time to Put Those Things Aside...
I was going to take this space to write about an interesting, informative and hopefully inspirational conversation I had with a student a few months ago. He was failing my class through what appeared to be a practice of over-extending himself with a plethora of commitments. He was calling it quits on my class before the class itself ended. He hadn't taken the final, nor had the due-dates passed for several important assignments. He carried with him deep grief and regret about not doing more to excel in my class and apologized to me personally for his lackluster behavior. Shame and guilt were his companions and I could see them resting heavy on his brow. It saddened me to see this. Though I try not to be emotional with students, his guilt and his shame have very much been my own throughout much of my Life and so I could relate to his heavy head: guilt, regret and shame over heights not achieved and over hurt-feelings caused along the way. Because his companions are my companions too, I asked him if he might take the time to set aside shame and guilt. I asked this of him because I know that shame and guilt never solve a problem. They have never helped me pass a course and it was very clear they were not helping him. I told him that these feelings will always be there when he wants to visit them and that if he puts them down for a bit (to pass my class) he can puck them up again when the work is done. Nothing will be missing and nothing will be taken from him, not even shame and regret. So as I read the title of this section I think of the engagement ring that sits in a box, on a shelf. And I still don't know when the time will be to put that aside.