Friday, April 28, 2006
Timshel by Robert Fulghum
A rabbi and I once engaged in a friendly intellectual hockey match trying to choose a single word to summarize human wisdom. He submitted a Hebrew term - timshel. It's found in the oldest story in our comman literature - in Genesis - the book of beginnings.
After being expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons. The elder was called Cain. He was the first man born outside of paradise.
In time Cain grew up and cultivated his land and brought the first fruits as an offering to God. The offering was rejected. Jehovah explained to Cain that he was tangled up with evil - it lurked around his door. "But," Jehovah said, "you may triumph over evil and have abundant life."
That's a crucial sentence - the last thing Jehovah says to Cain.
"You may triumph over evil and have abundant life."
The critical word is the second one, the verb - may.
Timshel in Hebrew.
This term has vexed scholars and theologians for a long time. It sits in the middle of a passage considered one of the five most difficult in the Scriptures to translate and understand. In context it has varied meanings, especially in this interchange between Jehovah and Cain.
Timshel has been interpreted to mean "you shall" - that's an order, a command. Timshel has been interpreted to mean "you will" - which implies predestination. Timshel has even been interpreted to mean "you cannot," which suggests hopeless dependence. All of these interpretations define a relationship with God that leaves little freedom.
My friend the rabbi feels that the practical meaning of that passage of Scripture concerns vitality - meaning "Don't be dead," or "Don't be a passive victim - be active - be alive." He reads it as good advice: There is this problem with evil - you really should deal with it.
Carry that one step further - if you should, then you may.
To interpret timshel to mean "you may" is to use a word that implies the possibility of choice. This is not a matter of theological hairsplitting. I think a strong case can be made that human beings have at least acted as if "you may" was the correct interpretation - acting as if our destiny is in our hands.
Whatever we may think or believe, what we have done is our story.
You don't need to be a theologian or belong to any particular religious group to enter this discussion, but you do come down somewhere on this issue of what's possible in your life by how you in fact go about your life. You live this truth, one way or another.
In modern English, timshel means "it may be," or, simply, "maybe."
Maybe. There's our word.
The wisest answer to ultimate questions.
A word pointing at open doors and wide horizons.

I do not believe that the meaning of life is a puzzle to be solved. Life is. I am. Anything might happen.
And I do believe I may invest my life with meaning.
The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise.
If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.
I believe that human freedom may be stated in one term, which serves as a little brick propping open the door of existence: Maybe.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Jonny says:
How many days is it now to Nickageddon?

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
Are you containing your excitement well?

Valancy Jane says:
14 days, five hours and 56 minutes.
Not that I'm counting or anything.

Jonny says:
Of course.

Valancy Jane says:
And no, I'm not containing it well.

Jonny says:
Good for you. There's no reason why you should.

Valancy Jane says:

Why Exactly Does The Internet Love Me So?
Last night I came home to a package on my doorstep.

The luscious and exquisite Mlisso sent me pens for going back to school, and such WONDERFUL PENS.
I heart you forever and always, Mlisso!!

And it got me thinking.
Yesterday Hank called me to tell me that his son had been born.
I felt so privileged and lucky to be on the list of people he called from the hospital.
And I think back over the past almost two years and FEEL SO DAMN LUCKY.

Without The Internet, I wouldn't have the cow lights you see pictured here, which are hard to see around the glow of Miss Kendra's fabulousness and nipple tassels.

Without The Internet, I'd never have laid my lips on Ikey's nose.

Without The Internet I'd never have heard 'Rezzie giggle, and believe me, that's NOT to be missed.

Without The Internet, I'd never have laughed at a comment from Jonny while on the phone with one of our board members, which might not be better for my career, but is for my soul.

Without The Internet, I wouldn't have my new favorite earrings, or my new favorite scarf and hat.

Without The Internet, I wouldn't have laughed myself silly at a book of Woody Allen.

Without The Internet, I would never have known that a man named Nicholas Moroder existed, much less known how sickeningly happy he could make me.

Without The Internet, I wouldn't know any of you, and if you think I don't SHUDDER at that idea, then I'm quite behind on telling you all what you mean to me.
Your friendship has meant SO much to me.
I want to collectively tattoo your names on my butt, but for space reasons, I may just abbreviate it to I heart The Internet.

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Happiness is ........
........... a note from Bethany saying she's looking forward to being my sister in law. She prolly has no idea what that means to me.

........... an email from my best friend in high school, Lissy. I've missed her like crazy, and our wild child days.

.......... actually sending it.

Blogging, The Next Generation.
Hank and his lovely wife have another beautiful baby, bringing their total now to four. Two heartbreakingly gorgeous daughters and two precious (in a strapping, manly way of course) sons.

Go say congrats!

Letter To A Friend Of The Family (Inspired by 'Rez, and yes, I will really send it.)
Growing up, I was always watched you, far more than you might have realized. I would often pretend to be busy with something, but I was listening to every word you said.
I admired you.

As I grews older, my admiration grew into a crush on you. And a few years ago, when an odd twist threw us into a long drive in the same car, where we talked of everything under the sun, I was reminded of why.

Watching you, that teenage crush, it shaped part of me still to this day. You carved an image in my mind of what a really nice/decent/GOOD guy was like. It's affected what I've sought out in love, what I knew to look for.
Don't worry, this isn't a love letter. Teenage crushes pass, and I'm eversohappily in love with a nice guy of my own generation.
This is a thank you note.

I just wanted you to know all this.
I'm not signing this, not because I want to remain anonymous (frankly, if you don't already know, it would probably take only minutes to find out and I really don't mind in the least if you do), but because my identity isn't nearly as important as the sentiment I want to convey.

I've decided on the tattoos I'm going to get this summer.

On the left wrist will be the word timshel. It's hebrew, and I'll tell you more about that tomorrow, because I'm going to borrow the words of Robert Fulghum to help explain it's significance to me.

And this morning I decided what I want on my right wrist.

Roger used to say QED a lot, as a joke in our polictical discussions with our adorably paranoid friend Ryan. As I was taught, QED stand for the latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum" which literally translates "that which was to be demonstrated." Our teacher said that in this context it meant "Thus it is proven."

I think about this phrase a lot when I think of Roger. 9 years later I find that despite the heartrending despair I felt at the loss of him, I am now more impacted my his life than his death. By his words than by the silence since.

He wrote me a letter in my yearbook a few months before he died. That yearbook has since been irretrievably lost, but it doesn't matter, I remember every word. Everything he wished for me in that letter, everything he saw for me has come to pass. With unerring accuracy he told me what I needed. He told me that life was short.
I clung to his words because they felt like promises.
And when beautiful things happen to me, I feel a sudden sense of familiarity, and I think back on his words with a new understanding.
He was right.
That which was to be demonstrated, now is proven. In me.

I Sent My Mother A Friend Request On Myspace.
That's all.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Happiness is ......
........... a chance to hang out with my soon-to-be sister-in-law, just the two of us, and to discover that she's REALLY funny.

I was almost rolling on the floor when she pointed out some really ugly feather purses and said she'd wanted to give one to each of her bridesmaids in a different color and tell us that she REALLY wanted us to carry them in the wedding and when I said I wanted the yellow one that looked like it was made of Big Bird and that I wanted to add googly eyes (slightly askew) she said that I should 'feed' it little bits of grass during the vows, maybe roam down the aisle picking up rose petals to feed it, and shushing people.

I heart her utterly.

Trust My Cousin To Ask REAL Questions.
1. Worst damage you ever took in a fight? My virginity, if you call that a fight. If you don't, then I'm not sure offhand. Hmmmm. Well, less than I inflicted, that I know. I'm surprisingly tough.

2. Most money you ever owed a utility company? Whatever my bill is now.

3. Last time you got kicked out of a bar? It's been awhile. Prolly the time we discovered that Josh is allergic to tequila and I had to carry him out and it looked as though my brother was molesting him. (It just looked that way. I think.)

4. Longest time you slept in a car? Couple days on a road trip, I think.

5. Most fucked up nickname you've ever been given? Turtleneck. I don't want to talk about it.

6. Worst job you ever had? Telemarketer for binoculars.

7. Shortest job you've ever had? Timeshare telemarketer. Jeanette and I both got hired, and two hours into the training, we already hated it, so we told our boss we wanted a break to get a soda and we just drove home. They dutifully mailed us a check and a W2 for like $16.50.

8. Longest romantic relationship? Hmmm. I was with Jadon on and off for almost three years. Actually together? Prolly JR.

9. Shortest romantic relationship? That could be called a 'relationship'? Hmmm. I tend to dump men after 2 and a half months. If they last beyond that, it's SERIOUS.

10. Food that you would eat til you puked? Eh. I don't like anything THAT much. 'Cept liquor a time or two.

11. Food that even looking at makes you puke? Raw egg yolk. *shudders* I can't even watch people eat it. I also don't like watching people eat lobster or crab legs. After having owned crabs as pets, to me its like watching someone tear into a kitten with a butterknife.

12. What music saved your life? Martina McBride as a kid.

13. Person you miss the most in the world? Roger or Liz. I would say Nick, but I'll see him soon.

14. Worst movie you've ever seen? *laughs* It was adult in nature, and that's all I will say.

15. Best movie you've ever seen? Hmmmm. It's not a movie, per se, but the video clip Nick sent me.

16. Craziest stuff you've ever done sober? I think this blog is kinda a running list of that.

17. Ever almost die? When my mother was four months pregnant with me and I blew up her ovary. Almost got trampled by my horse once, and I've had some scary car accidents since.

18. Ever fistfight a member of the opposite sex? Yeah, couple of times and WON.

19. Best place you have ever lived? My current apartment.

20. Worst place you have ever lived? With my parents.

21. Bad habit you have? Just one? Well, I subject my blog readers to memes.

22. Noise that makes you want to punch people? Mean spirited gossip.

23. Your favorite tattoo? Haven't gotten one yet, but I've got a few in mind that I wanna get this summer.

24. Least favorite tattoo? One I saw in a picture on the wall of a tattoo place. It looked PAINFUL, and that's all I will say.

25. At your poorest, were you a ramen noodle or Mac and cheeze afficianado? Mac and Cheese. Good stuff.

26. Most money you have ever spent on a single meal? Couple hundred bucks, I imagine.

27. Best gift you ever got? Love.

28. Best pet you ever had? Hmmmm. Can't decide between Snicker my horse, Callie my cat when I was a kid, or Maximus my current kidden.

29. Ever run from the cops? Yes.

30. money or love? Love. Duh.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane: I love you.

Thérèse: Yeah, I really can't say it enough either. I love you.
Heck, I even loved you in that life where you were a parasite and caused my demise.
*giggle *

Valancy Jane: Sorry about that.

Thérèse: Oh well hey. You had to live, I suppose, and it was my time to go

Valancy Jane: I loved you even in that life when you were a thorn in my side, metaphorically. And the one where you were a thorn in my side literally too.

Thérèse: Hehehehehehe.
I love the past-life game.
Ya know, we haven't really played in a whle.
while. not whale.
Well, actually, we've never really played in a whale, either.

Valancy Jane: Yes we did.
Don't you remember?
We were fish.

Thérèse: *gigggle *

Valancy Jane: And we played this game in a whale.

Thérèse: We were fish, and played this game, while in a whale.
Well, if anyone ever did, you know it's us. *shrugs matter-of-factly *

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "So. How's life?"

Bunny - "Well, you know how when a mother bird has young chicks that just keep peeping and peeping for food and she looks ruffled and exhausted but she just keeps feeding them, because she KNOWS what to do and so she just keeps at it? But then you know how later when she's teaching them to fly and the baby bird doesn't get it the first try and lands on the ground and she just gets hysterical and looks like she's just gonna fly in 18 directions at once and dive bombs the ground and people and the baby bird, shrieking? Getting ZezZee off to college, it's kinda like that."

So Then 'Rezzie Said .......
........... (confirming her best-friend-forever-on-the-internet-and-kinda-in-real-life-too status) "There is so much fun to be had in this world."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
17 More Days. And I Won't Wish Them Away.
I will sprawl across the whole bed, the whole couch. And stretch.
I will watch girly movies a lot.
I will neglect hair removal.
I will throw my dirty clothes on the floor.

I will not live in the future.
Even if the future seems like heaven.

Today is a beautiful day. I wish Nick was here, and I probably will tell him so in a very long phone conversation tonight. But I will also tell me about all the nice moments of today that I didn't waste.

17 more days until Nick get here, and I won't sleep/wish/will them away.
'Cause the present is pretty damn fine.

Medicating With Plants
No, not like that.

To say I love flowers would be a huge understatement.

Several months ago, I discovered that by laying down just a few bucks for flowers, my mood would drastically improve.

I decided to always have fresh flowers in my apartment.
One of the best investments I've ever made.

Anyway, I'm so rich in flowers at the moment (*blows a few kisses*) that many of them are spilling over to my desk at work.
As we speak, or as I type rather, there is an Easter lily just to the left of my monitor, with one flower dripping into my peripheral vision.
On the counter of my desk is a pot of (rightfully) vain yellow tulips.

And so I've decided something, and I'm going to throw out some unsolicited advice to all of you.

Keep flowers on your desk.
They do wonders for your soul.

It's Gonna Be Big.
It's just a glimmer in our eyes at the moment, but soon you will all get a chance to love her as I love her.

Lola blogs.

Yeah. That Lola.

Monday, April 24, 2006
Things I Love About The Video Clip Nick Sent Me (and no you can't see it, you'd totally PUKE from all the love).
That he didn't shave.
That boy + couple days of beard = EDIBLE.

The way he says the word 'home'.
The fact that where he's refering to as home is HERE.

The 'I love you' count is six.
How much fun it was to count the 'I love you's like Scrooge counting his coins.

The only thing sexier than how he looks is what he says.

Happiness is .........
........... how Nick's smile starts on just one side of his face and then spreads.

........... Lola and I pretending to be talent scouts at a show audition, scribbling notes about each actor, and having them TOTALLY buy it. Acting to actors and having them believe it? That's FUN.

........... my baby Bug is gettin' married. To a guy who makes her so happy, I can hear it in her voice all the way from northern California.

The Painful Dress. Painful to the eyes, that is.
Ok. There are no words to describe this Painful Dress. It's worse than that one Miss Kendra and I found.

Bethany and I were at a fitting for her wedding dress (NOT the Painful Dress)(Bethany, you look like an angel in your dress, you're gonna make my brother CRY when he sees you) and thats when we saw the Painful Dress.

Let me list the ingredients.

Orange satin.
Brown taffeta.
Salmon taffeta.
Hot pink taffeta.
More ruffles.
Ruffles that crisscross the other ruffles.
Blue and green beads.

Put that in your mental blender and you've got a pretty accurate mental picture.
The best description I can give is that it looks like someone got drunk and tried to pull a Scarlet O'Hara curtain dress from the drapes of a 1960's movie set of a old western whorehouse.

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "Lola. *panics* T - minus 15 minutes until they get here and I just found out all the games I had planned were done at her last shower."

Lola - "It'll be ok."

VJ - "Eight girls. I don't know them. I don't even know if they know each other. Here. For hours. And I have no idea what I'm going to DO with them. What do I DO, Lola?!?!"

*VJ and Lola look at each other for a minute*

VJ and Lola - *in unison* "We need more liquor."

Lola - *grabs her keys*

VJ - *dumps another bottle of tequila in the margarita mix*

Send Music. And Tell Me I'm Pretty.
Bettina is dead.
My work buddy/computer.

After a short illness she was gone, taking all my music and pictures with her like secrets to the grave.

When I came in this morning, she's been replaced by a sleek black flatscreen, which runs better and faster and clears up all kinds of desk space. Naturally Boris (the heartbroken printer) and I hate her and will for at least the rest of the day. (Then I'll love her and she'll tell me her name.)

Bettina, when our love was new.

Please, send a kind word to Boris, and music and pictures to me. I feel naked with a music library of like 7 songs.

Another Actual Conversation
Bethany - "Oooo, why didn't I do mini-skirts for the bridesmaid dresses?"

VJ - "Because you love me."

Friday, April 21, 2006
So Then Lola Said ........
........... "Put on your kimono and lets get out of here."

I'm SO In Love With My Life. Seriously.
Today didn't start out promising. My computer is on life support and and it's crazybusy today and I'm still sick.

But almost without exception, each person I've talked to today has just made my day better and better.

Mlisso is sending me a present.

And Lola emailed me with the address of a warehouse and to inform me that we'll be auditioning for a show there tonight. No idea what show, don't care.

Admit it. YOU'RE in love with my life too, aren't you?

Another Actual Phone Conversation
Bunny - "So I was thinking about years and years from now, when you've got the house*, about how we could still all do Christmas there, with all six of you and spouses and kids. You know you can rent like EVERYTHING. RVs, tents, tables. Just use all the patio space around the house, park the RVs in the yard and get a few gym memberships in case you need more showers."

VJ - "It would be like a circus! Literally!!"

Bunny - "Yeah, just rent everything and let the chaos reign."

VJ - "And you know me, I can't see chaos without wanting to kick it up just a notch. I'd rent an elephant for one afternoon. Just because."

Bunny - "You'd be the coolest aunt."

VJ - *laughs*

Bunny - "We're gonna have the nicest lives, aren't we?"

VJ - *huge grin* "Oh yes."

*Bunny bought the house I grew up in. I'm gonna buy it from her someday, once all the boys are gone off to school.

The Luckiest Girl That Ever Was.
It's me.

Bunny just called.

She wanted to know if -
  • she could pay for my college registration.
  • she could run the errand of picking up the food for Bethany's shower tomorrow
  • she could also bring a big arrangement of sweet peas (my favorite flower) to decorate for the shower
  • I wanted to join the family for a small constuction project, adding a secret passageway to the house.

How did I get so lucky as to be loved by such perfect people?

Nick Is Threatening Me.
He threatened that he's the snuggliest man alive.
He threatened that I'll get sick of all his kisses.
He threatened that he'll adore all my pets.
He threatened that I'll get tired of hearing "I love you."

He's threatening with my own personal version of heaven.
And all I can think to say is hit me with your best shot, baby.

Happiness is ........
........... straightening and cleaning your desk. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Another Actual Exchange Of Emails
Lola - *gasp* you haven't seen my hair yet!!!


Lola - Nobody notices until they see the back. It's a totally different style. Its really short and spiky in the back and sticks out.

VJ - I can't wait to see it!!

Lola - And it is shaved underneath and PURPLE. :-D

VJ - I so hope you're NOT kidding.

Lola - I wish I wasn’t kidding too

So Then Jonny Said ....
........ "If a banana did a striptease, would it be suicide?"

Another Actual Conversation
Jonny says:
OK...well...**looks around the room**
name my stereo.

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
name my window.

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
name my green shirt.

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
name my red shirt.

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
name my box of Prozac.

Valancy Jane says:
Dr. Price.

Jonny says:
name my broken espresso machine.

Valancy Jane says:

So Then I Said .......
......... "I can't feel my left foot. Hmmm. I should prolly ease up on these cough drops."

The Bidding War. For My Love.
I shouldn't use the real company names, should I?

Ok, just so they don't show up on google searches, we'll call them 'rhymes with Bentel' and 'AND but with an M'.

They're competing as to who can cover my desk with the most swag.
I love it.
I egg it on a bit, admittedly.

It started with the pens.

The rhymes with Bentel guy started keeping me well stocked in rhymes with Bentel pens for my desk.
The AND but with an M guy saw it, drove back to the office and came back immediately with a box of AND but with an M pens.

When we put up the AND but with an M plaque in the lobby, the rhymes with Bentel guy complained. I told him to get me a prettier rhymes with Bentel plaque.
He overnighted us a bigger, shinier one.

And it goes on and on, who can drape me and my desk with more of their logos.

Currently rhymes Bentel is winning, but I won't admit that to them.

All that to say, who out there needs a rhymes with Bentel travel mug? Even at the disturbingly fast rate that I lose them, I've still got an overstock.

Miss Cleo.
No, not that Miss Cleo.

My new rat. She DOES tell fortunes too, though, just very quietly.

Someone asked me if I was weirded out by their tails, but that never bothered me. The male rats with their GIANT BALLS, that made me rather squeamish, however.

Cleo is a very sweet little girl rat, who knows her name and loves her ball and me. Yes, already.
This is not her, but she looks just like that.

If you have any questions for her, let me know, and I'll put her in her blue crystal *cough*plastic*cough* ball and ask her for you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Actual Searches That Lead People Here.
idolize women - Feel free to do that around here, buddy.

relationship of Tigger and Roo - Ok, something about this question concerns me.

piercing of earlopes for stress - Whatever blows your skirt up, just so long as it's YOUR earlobe.

motorcycle riding in a miniskirt pictures - This seems like a better way to relieve stress than piercing your ear, but that's just me.

happiness - If you can't find it on google, where CAN you find it?

"ape costume" - porn - There is a shocking lack of porn on my site. It's a wonder anyone reads it, frankly.

Another Actual Coversation
Recruiter - "Hi, how are you?"

Receptionist - "Sssh. This is my favorite part."
*stares at a tv that isn't turned on*

Recruiter - *looks at the tv*
*looks at the Receptionist*

Receptionist - *suddenly laughs hysterically at the blank tv*

Recruiter - "You're a strange young woman."

Receptionist - *cocks head* "No one has EVER told me that before."

Happiness is .......
........ finding out that there is a 2000 character limit on myspace comments.

........ having the French Exec stop at your desk when he hears you playing the song "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" and tell you the sweetest story about what that song meant to him when he was 17.

Thérèse Says I Should Blog About -
- Things to do when you have a twenty-minute wait, some string, silly putty, two different-coloured markers, a mirror and a target.

Easy. A string necklace with silly putty beads, polka dots, and a target pendant. Then admire yourself.

- How to Haggle

I'm so qualified to answer this.
I'm such a good haggler that in Mexico I make the vendors cry. And then they ask me to marry their loser brother. Or themself.

Don't start low and meet in the middle. You lose all sense of what it's worth. First, determine EXACTLY what it's worth to YOU. That way when the vendor tries to convince you that the materials or handiwork is worth more, (which how the hell do you know if it's true?) you're sticking to a unchanging standard, what it's worth to YOU. Feel free to tell him/her that.

Walk up and offer what it's worth to you.
DON'T change your price.
No matter what he says, keep repeating your price.

Take the money out of your purse and hold it in your hand.
Let them SEE it.
Money they can SEE is worth more than any number you throw around.

Keep repeating your price, holding the money in your hand.
Try to carry small bills so you can give him/her exact change.
Cheating a man is like taking a bandaid off. The faster you do it, the less he's likely to mind or make a fuss.

Don't change your price unless you feel it's a matter of pride to him that you make some small concession. In that case, it doesn't matter how little it is.
If you hit a snag, even an offer of fifty cents more will often seal the deal.

If all else fails, smile sadly, set the item down and walk away.
This is their worst nightmare and they won't let you get far.

- Ways To Kill A Former Friend Who Deserves DEATH

Well, without having ANY IDEA who you could mean, 'Rez, I'll just have to work off the cuff.

Arm the crickets.
Throw a boat anchor in his bike's spokes as he's riding.
Release a spider plague.

A massive crush and a massive cold, it's a strange mix.

I moan and then I smile.
I'm all loopy and distracted, might be the daydreams, might be the 37 cough drops I've already had this morning.

But anyway, I thought I'd ask the Internet.
What's your(mother's, grandmothers, etc...) secret cold remedy?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
More Than ........
  • church bells
  • cats toys
  • pencils
  • pennies
  • clove cigarettes
  • BBQs
  • twilight
  • washing my car with the power hose
  • airport lights at night
  • making a baby smile
  • tan lines on my feet
  • the first whiff of the ocean as you get close
  • animal cracker boxes
  • kicking my shoes off as I come home
  • greek salad
  • licking an ice cream cone frantically before it melts all over you
  • driving under a cloud shadow, then out again
  • huge coffee mugs and tiny teacups
  • my blog (yeah, I said it)
  • walks at sunrise
  • brand new markers
  • sketches of house floorplans
  • ironing shirts
  • night blooming jasmine
  • cilantro
  • compliments on my phone voice
  • wrapping presents
  • a long soak in the tub
  • polishing silver frames
  • water so cold that my breath clouds above it as I take a sip
  • washing my hands in warm water
  • old people's stories about their first love

I love Nick more than all these things.

But I also love all these things more because of Nick.

And yes, that's what this was about.

Happiness is ........
........... the lilies on my desk. Thanks Fred. They smell like heaven.

........... the song on my myspace.

........... this picture.

........... animal cracker boxes.

........... did I mention Nick loves me?

And I Think This Perfectly Sums Up The Relationship Between My Boss And I.
He called out as I walked past his office, did I have a minute?

I walked in, tripping over a chair leg.

He smiled.

I grinned nervously.

He gave me a chunk of stock options.

I smiled and walked out, tripping over the chair leg again.

Monday, April 17, 2006
The Easter Parade.
Thats what I call the stream of invitations to local churchs this time of year.

Every couple of days I get another flyer with an invitation to join them for 'dynamic worship' and 'relevant messages.'

I like it when I'm home to greet them.

*raises eyebrow and eyes the flyer*

"Shadow Mountain gave me a bible. Foothills gave me a starbucks card. Jesus loves swag."

The Internet's Worst Kept Secret
I love Nick.

I mean, it's been written all over his hit counter since the beginning.

It was July 7th, 2004. I found his blog and read all his archives and sent him an email. Then I started my blog, because I wanted him to see me like I'd had the chance to see him.

Almost two years later I can tell you that whatever else this blog has come to mean to me, it might as well have been titled "Letter to Nick."

Almost two years later I'm in love with him. And miracle that life is, he loves me.

Almost two years later, we've found the distance between us intolerable.

He's moving to San Diego.

May 12th.

With a one-way ticket.

To be mine.

P.S. How could I NOT love him? Look.

Friday, April 14, 2006
Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

I'm head over heals for a certain someone. Lucky for me, this other person feels the same way. Unfortunately we're separated by quite a few miles for an extended period of time. I can't wait to be with this person and I might just fall apart before then. How do I keep it together?

Another Certain Someone

*standing in front of the mirror trying on two almost identical pairs of black heels*

*bites lip*

*twitches nose*

Dear Certain Someone,

Miss VJ is of the opinion that long distance both sucks and blows at the same time, and makes it a practice to never be far from the object of her affection for too long.
The only cure I'm aware of, darling, is to not be far away from them anymore.
In the meantime, I suggest channeling the energy into something productive, like knitting or picking up all the trash in a three mile radius.
As soon as you can, hurry home and rejoice in the joy of never taking for granted being within touching distance of that Someone.
Kiss that Someone once for all the times you wanted to while you were away. If they feel the same way about you (and I happen to know they do, 'cause I'm magical that way) they'll relish each and every one. Making up for lost time can be FUN.
And then never go away again.

Miss VJ

*shakes her head at the mirror and chooses another pair of black heels*

*nods at the mirror*

*closes the door to her shoe closet and walks across to her purse closet*

Next question, please.

Of COURSE It Was Me, Dufel.
I was just trying to enliven the card, and give the other people that signed it something to wonder about.

I handed it to your mother right after I signed it. I was hoping to see her eyebrows raise. No luck as far as I could see.

But at any rate, I got the exact reaction from you that I was hoping for.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

It's a bit hard for me to admit this, but I'm infatuated with you. And I've been wondering how to approach you for the longest time, but couldn't think of any questions to ask to get you to talk to me. So I was wondering if you could give me a pointer or two.

Thoughtfully, ?

*sitting in a seashell shaped bathtub, that appears to be filled mainly with bubbles*

*holding a glass of champagne which also appears to be mostly bubbles*

Dear Thoughtful,
First of all, DAWWWWWWWWW.
*blows a kiss and plenty of bubbles too*

Secondly, here are some questions you could ask me that would DEFINATELY catch my attention.

"There appears to be a nameless kitten aboard my yacht. Could you help me lure him to the food I put out?"

"Would you like me to autograph my novel you're reading?"

"The free tutoring center is two blocks down this way, right? I wouldn't want to be late, the children are counting on me."

I trust this will jumpstart your creativity.
I wish you, and I REALLY mean this, the best of luck.

Miss VJ

*lifts a foot up and surveys her toenails*

*leans her head back on a pillow*

Next question, please.

I Have A Show Now.
You know me, I don't watch tv.

I'm not snotty about it, I rot my brain in plenty of other ways. I don't think tv is evil or anything, it's just that when I moved into my apartment I told myself that if I ever sat around two nights in a row wishing I had cable, that I'd get it. It's been well over a year, and that's never happened.

But thanks to Lola, I am in love with a show.

American Inventor.
Ok, so the show is like the American Idol for inventors.
Doesn't sound fascinating, but I swear, it's BRILLIANCE.

Some people, you can just SMELL the crazy.
And some of the others, I'm crazy in like with.
I have a feeling none of this will be funny unless you watched it, but I'll attempt to convey some of the magic.

From Last Week -

The Couple. The Sweaty Guy and Her. Theirs was a simple love. He would talk, she would look at him and at the end of each of his sentences she would look momentarily confused and then turn and smile blankly and brightly at the camera.
And would he ever talk.

"How did I get the idea for my invention? Well we were sittin' on the porch watching the sunset and it was a great day, we'd just come back from the casino...."
*blank and bright smile from Her*
"How'd we meet? Well, I was in this diner and she said she was a truck driver and I said, 'no you're not' and she said 'yes, I am' and I said 'no you're not' and she said 'yes I am' and I said 'no you're not' and she said 'yes I am' and I said 'show me your truck.'"
*blank and bright smile from Her*
*Sweaty Guy turns to her*
"Baby, you mean the world to me, you take me to all my doctor's appointments."
*blankest and biggest smile from Her*

I want them to live next door to me. I want to hear them talk. I'm so in like with them.

There was also the Centerpiece Lady.
She had photos velcro-ed to her boobs and she twirled awkwardly, which has now become a dance to Lola and I. "Do the Centerpiece!"
"Available for weddings, showers..."
I was heartbroken when she broke down.
I desperatly wanted to see more.

From This Week, (they ever so sweetly treated us to a double episode)

My hands down favorite was the Bladder Buddy Guy.
He had a pouch thrown over his shoulder, that contained a large cape of sorts, in the style of a garment bag.
He explained that you put it on and peed into a pouch inside. Then you folded it up and put it back into your carrying pouch. With the urine.
He had no idea how creepy he was.

"I tried it out at a bus stop by my house. The people there definately knew I was doing something out of the ordinary under there, but they didn't know what," he said triumphantly.

But the line that really slayed me was when he was telling the judges that they could be made in many colors and styles. With a flourish he revealed a sample and said, "If you really want to do something fancy you could use leather and rhinestones!"

I turned to Lola as they flashed his name, occupation and hometown across the screen and said, "After the leather and rhinestones line, was it really necessary to tell us that he's from New Jersey?"

And the Stick, pardon me, Wand Guy. Yes, that complex presentation is for the stick, pardon me, wand in his hand. The judges kept saying, "It's a stick." And he kept saying, "Wand. And it could have, like, LASERS in it."

And of course the old lady who pitched some 'enviromentally conscious' idea while wearing a fur coat. Without a trace of irony.

And anyone who watched the show is no doubt in love with Francisco. If you didn't shed a tear when they gave him the $50,000 check to help develop his bike, you have NO SOUL. I really thought Mary Lou was gonna walk around the desk and cuddle him. I would have.

So Then I Said ........
.......... "Oddly, thats the second time, at this intersection in Lola's trailer park, that I've come this close to being hit by a car going like 40 mph in reverse."

Thursday, April 13, 2006
It's Still About Control, Of Course.
Isn't it always?

The problem has always been there, but the way it manifests changes.

As a teenager, it came out by not eating. Only one teacher ever called me on it. Maybe because she was a sub and rather than watch me waste away a little every day, she saw me every couple of months, so the difference might have been more apparent. One day when I walked in her jaw just dropped. I told her it was because of a dance show, but that was a lie. I had a good teacher who worked very hard to keep that sort of pressure off of us. She'd actually quit working at a very upscale studio because she didn't feel right about keeping her dancers rail thin.
I had a lot of excuses.
I could be very convincing.
Baggy sweaters were in.
My goal, quite specifically, was to get rid of the crease where my butt met my thigh. I looked everyday for improvement. I weighed myself twice a day at least.
But us McIlhenney girls are hippy creatures, and while my eyes might be receding into dark pools on my face, and my cheeks disappearing, I still had an ass.
I called it 'watching my figure.'

Eventually, I got tired of being tired, and I realized that the passing out (and the bruises from the fall) were going to give me away. That was ok, I could find plenty of ways to be self-destructive.

In later years, I abused food in another way. I felt I deserved nourishment, and felt nobody was gonna give it to me but me. So I indulged myself ridiculously. With more than I wanted. More often than I wanted.
I called it 'being nice to myself.'

This left me with a rather thicker figure, as one can imagine. Nothin' I couldn't still work, I'm still mad-hot, but it's not really ideal.

In the last year, I've rediscovered my childhood love of cooking. I've been cooking healthy and tasty food. The sort of food I really like and that makes me feel better.
I call it 'balance,' but in truth, it's just adding one more layer of control.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to NOT be terribly aware of everything I put in my body. To pig out sometimes and rely on my healthy habits, rather than agonize over everything.

I have the healthy habits. I'm aware that it's ok and good even, to indulge sometimes.
But I don't trust it.
I agonize.

Even now.
Even now when my life is dreamy-perfect. I'm in the healthiest place emotionally that I can ever remember.

But yesterday I felt guilty for eating two slices of pizza. Yesterday I had to face the fact that I hadn't done more then snack for a week. (I'd called it 'proactive' because I wanted to lose some weight before being in a bunch of pictures at my brother's wedding.) That I'd made a show of cooking while talking to someone, and after two bites, it all still sits in my fridge. And that the only reason I was eating now was that my stomach was upset from the aspirin I'd taken on a empty stomach.

And the only answer I can think of right now is to exercise even more control. To trust myself less. To measure out exact portions and force myself to eat no more and no less. And then to try to force myself to think of something else for the rest of the day.

Will it ever be easier, less work, less forcing, less control?

I HAVE to sort this out.
There are teenage girls that look up to me.

Happiness Is .......
...... when the cute as a bug cleaning lady tells you that you look nice today, and the pregnant girl in RMA asks you for help finding a name for her son.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Sorry, it's hard to be creative when you're in pain. In related news, make an offer on my damn ovaries. No reasonable offer refused.
[[what were you doing last night at ten?]]
Tucking myself into bed with a long letter and a wide grin.

[[what color shirt are you wearing?]]

[[have you made out with anyone in your sidebar links?]]
A lady would never 'snog and blog' as JMsy would say.

[[do you have "a thing" for anyone in your sidebar links?]]
I have a thing for ALL of them. I only link to people I have crushes on.

[[how many friends on your list do you know in real life?]]
I've met five in person, talked to 13 of them on the phone, and plan to meet them all in person someday.

[[do you hold grudges?]]
I've tried. Generally I don't have the attention span for it.

[[have you ever had your heart broken?]]

[[do you have a good relationship with both of your parents?]]
*laughs* And that's all I have to say about that.

[[most recent movie that you have rented?]]
I rarely rent, but I think it was Love Actually. Mostly the girls just bring stuff over, or dive into my strangely large (and strange) collection of VHS.

[[name three things you have with you at all times:]]
Cell phone, chapstick and a book.

[[would you rather give or recieve a massage?]]
I guess it depends on who on/from. But I LOVE getting them.

[[name a teacher you had the hots for:]]
Oddly, I never really had a crush on a teacher. My drama teacher was cute and amusing, but thats about it.

[[how much cash do you have on you right now?]]
Maybe $5-6.

[[whos the 4th person on your recieved calls list?]]
LOU! Er, Loretta, as we call her now.

[[what's the main ringtone on your phone?]]
Love Shack!

[[what time did you wake up?]]
5:15am. I immediately called someone who did not wake up.

[[what were you doing at midnight two nights ago?]]

[[how many ex's are on your sidebar links?]]

[[do you like having your hair pulled?]]
No, all those years of having really long hair, which people seem to think is stretching, jerked on constantly, I don't really care for it.

[[favorite city?]]
El Cajon, sadly enough. Ensenada is my second home.

[[name something you can't wait for:]]
May 12th.

[[last time you saw your mom?]]
Over a year ago.

[[do you get along with your siblings?]]
Yes, very much.

[[the one thing you want most:]]
World peace. Yes, REALLY.

[[last thing you said out loud?]]
"Shush, I'm winning, I mean WORKING" to one of the execs.

[[last person you hugged and/or kissed?]]
Hmmmm. ZezZee?

[[last thing you spent over $100 on?]]
My rent.

[[what kind of shoes are you wearing?]]
Purple suede clogs that my kidlets wrote all over with sharpie pens. I heart them.

[[what's the last piece of clothing you borrowed from anyone?]]
Loretta's sweatshirt which I think I still have. Sorry.

[[i really wish i drove...]]
A convertible vintage VW Bug. It's been a dream since childhood.

[[most visited webpage?]]
You're readin' it.

[[last person you text messaged?]]

[[do you have an air freshener in your car?]]
Yeah. Peppermint, but I think it's dead.

[[do you have any plants in your room?]]
Only in the fish tank.

Letter To John
This is long overdue thank you.
All those years ago, when I blatantly hit on you in the middle of the workday, I had no idea you would become such a treasured friend. And there is one aspect of our friendship, that I don't know if you know how much it meant to me.
You were the first person I ever admitted to about the sexual abuse of my childhood. And not just because you were the first person with the perception and guts to ask me point blank.
You were also the first person I ever trusted to be able to handle the answer.
You have no idea what it meant to me, that you could look at that much hurt and not flinch. And to envision a me without all that pain.

You gave me a picture of myself, John, that was truthful yet hopeful.
It was the foundation of the peace I've since built.
Thank you.


Which Princess Bride Character are You?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Send Bouquets Of Freshly Sharpened Pencils Please.
I'm going back to school.

I heard someplace that college is a good idea and thought I'd be the first to jump on this hot new trend.


I'd been putting it off for so long because I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up (other than useful and an inch taller).
But I've decided, after a pep talk from Bunny that included an analogy with Tigger and 'Roo, that I'll figure it out as I go, and the important thing is to just start pluggin' away.

And so I am now Lola's first enrollee in her new job as an enrollment counselor for Ashford University.

Not only will I be taking my classes online from work while getting paid, I might even be able to get my boss to PAY for the classes. I like this plan.

And so I will be working toward my Bachelor of Arts in Organization Management, with a concentration in Liberal Arts.

I like the idea of studying history, but I asked Lola what on earth would I be able to do with it.
She said that most people with that degree either teach or go into fields like the FBI or the CIA.

I laughed hysterically and said, "Loes, hun, can you picture ME in the CIA? Can you picture my blog?
'So Then The Serbian Ambassador Said....'
'Another Actual Secret Negotiation'
'So Then I Said ...... Here's your briefcase full of money, it's all there, gift wrapped and tied with a chiffon ribbon bow and a sprig of lavender. What? WHAT?'
'Greetings From The Safe House'
'Happiness is .... naming your new sniper rifle. Macy. I love her ...'
'So I got fired (at) for my blog today. I just don't understand why the (russian crime) boss was so angry about the pictures....'"


At any rate, wish me luck and send me new highlighters.

Happiness is .......
......... having a Coworker (She of the Lovely Curls) who just seems to KNOW which mornings you are really going to need a Monster energy drink, and brings you one each time.

......... Lou and Coco, in hats, as my desktop wallpaper.

......... the daffodil from my window box garden, in a vase on my desk, that's lasted happily for like a week now.

........ (and I apologize 'cause this is prolly too much information, but) finding a new deodorant that works great, is lightly lavender scented, all natural (seriously) and donates a share of it's profits to clean up polluted rivers. I smell pretty and so do rivers. I haven't racked up this much good karma since I switched my toilet paper to the brand made from recycled paper.

So Then I Said .......
.......... "We almost got thrown out of Robinson's May for the 'no shoes, no shirt, no service' rule. I don't want to talk about it, really."

Monday, April 10, 2006
I'm In.......
......... this boycott, naturally.

I trust that there is no need to justify or explain it.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

Hello i am a very confused girl. And my question is very simple. How would you know if you already love a person of the opposite gender? I mean romantic love? The kind of love that makes you want to spend your life with him? How can you distinguish if he was just really special or there is love? I have the vaguest idea about love. Can you tell me all about it!

*practices the tango, in a long red dress with slits up the side and very high heels*

*hums to self*

Dear Confused,

Robert Fulghum once said that everything anyone has ever said about love is true, just not all of it is true at the same time.
And I think this is true because there are infinate kinds of love out there.
Take any adjective and it's a type of love.
Friendly love, unfriendly love, book-love, movie-love, music video love, blue love, red love, yellow love, sweet love, sharp love, hippie love, snuggly love, sticky love, etc.

And sadly, there's no catalog to order your love from.
Some would say that wishing for one kind is great way to get another kind, but I just think the odds of getting one out of a billion kinds of love is just always pretty slim.

So it's really more a matter of examining the sort of love you've found, and deciding if it's what you wanna keep and nourish and build.

Does it light you up?
Does it make your world, your life make more sense?
Does it scare you a little, but not a lot?
Is it the love YOU want?
The answers to this questions aren't all you NEED to know, but they'll pretty much all you CAN know at the beginning.

Go read about it, write about it, but by all means EXPERIENCE it, as you find it. Love is an education at the very least, and so it is NEVER wasted.

Best of luck! (although love IS the best luck)

Miss VJ

*grabs a red feather boa from a hook on the closet door and throws it around her neck*

*hums louder*

Next question, please.

Stolen from Coco.
My favorite place to be is: in a day dream.

I am: a starfish.

I love: so many things.

I am afraid of: lava lamps and MRI's.

I wish: every day.

I would like to ban: hmmmm, I'm so satisfied with life right now that I can't think of anything.

I am annoyed by: Well, I kinda wish my spine wasn't giving me issues right now.

My favorite song is: At the moment, I'm listening to Here With Me by Dido. Someone knows why.

I am most vulnerable: when I love someone. But that's everyone, right? Vulnerable to someone bringing you joy, bringing you pain, you can't be vulnerable to one and not the other.

I am happiest when: I am loving and being loved.

My best trait is: my humility. *giggle* Ok, but seriously. Hmmmmm. I love people. Quite thoroughly. And with relish. And sometimes mustard.

I can always be counted on to: make you laugh.

Everyone thinks that I am: "glowy," "happy" "smirky" and *vague upward hand gestures* to quote the people around me lately.

They think this because: it's true. I AM all of those things. Lately.

I'd like to meet: a bigfoot. I WANT them to be real.

Life is: a surprising and magical thing.

Love is: Life, distilled.

Marriage is for: grownups.

Fast food is: only good for the toys in the kids meals.

Let's go: on a road trip!

Just get it: On? *coughs* Sorry. 'Started in here?'

Sex is for: everyone, at some point.

Sex is best: ................ I have nothing to add to that.

I am most healthy when I: take care of myself. The grass is greenest where its watered.

Generally, I: smile.

My worst habit is: underestimating myself.

I am known to be: unexpected.

My weakness is: Books, booze and boys.

I am hungry for: Wisconsin's finest export.

I'd be very happy if: .......... "if"? There are no if's today.

So Then I Said ..........
........ to Lola and ZezZee, "Ah, flashlights, elevators, 'Lola, put the rabbit DOWN,' applauding the car, 'I jumped in the shiny,' the giant mud puddle, the slime people, 'No sir, we've got plenty of room,' flowers on the board, 'We LIVE here,' black holes, David's socks, screaming down the dock, 'Lola, THAT button calls the police and the fire department. Don't push it again,' ducks, wrong way arrows, 'Those damn numbers,' and 'It's ok. We'll make bail.'

I love hiking with you."

So Then I Said .........
......... "I took 5:45am quite personally this morning. It came to spite ME."

Friday, April 07, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
CFO - "So. You behavin' down here?"

Receptionist - "As much as I ever am."

CFO - "That means no, doesn't it?"

Receptionist - "Of course."

CFO - "Let me know if you're ever behaving down here."

Receptionist - "I have my moments....."

CFO - "....... rarely, I imagine........"

Receptionist - "...... here and there......."

CFO - "....... few hours ..........."

Receptionist - "........ maybe ......."

CFO - "..... while you're asleep........"

Receptionist - "Oh. NO. Not then. I NEVER behave in my sleep."

So Then I Said .......
.......... to ZezZee, "Change of plan for tonight. Forget the 37 kitchen knives and the lawn chair. Bring the pepper spray and sensible walking shoes. Yes, I'm completely serious."

We're going moonlight hiking with Lola.
Envy us.

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "I lost another pair of sunglasses. They're prolly still in my purse, but I can't find them."

Bunny - "You know, your mother has a pair of sunglasses that she's had since around the time you were born."

VJ - "Yes, and have you ever looked at the inside of my mother's purse?"

Bunny - "No."

VJ - "It's no wonder. Nothing out of place, no gum wrappers, no bobby pins, no lint, even. It's so clean you could use it to transport a kidney for transplant."

Bunny - "Wow."

VJ - "I know. I mean, if you looked in my purse right now? You'd find half a tree worth of misc wadded up paper, bouncy balls, and two raw potatoes."

Bunny - *laughs*

VJ - "No, I'm actually serious."

Two People Asked Me About This Today, And It's Not Even Lunch Yet.
They asked what my favorite animal was, what I would be if I could be any kind of animal.

And as a woman with -

*counts on her fingers*

- 22 pets, it can't be that shocking that I don't have just one that I could answer with.

And since I think that this is usually a question of imagry, I'll explain what appeals to me, and why.

I like how the longer you look at a tidepool, the more you see.
I like that you have to respect everything you touch because it might be alive.
I could see myself as a little crab in a tidepool, holding tightly to MY rock in MY tidepool when the waves came, taking a neighborly stroll when the pool was warm in the sun.

Image credit.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a horse. It was about freedom, really. A horse can't be caught by a person, only lured.
Horses are quiet, tolerant creatures. The understand each other best while saying nothing.
Sometimes, like when they're startled, or you're trying to pour the other half of your orange soda in their mouth, they lose all that legendary grace, but become all the more endearing for it.
I wanted to run where ever I pleased like wild horse and sometimes I still do.

Image credit.

I've become fascinated by owls in the last few years. To me they embody the sort of wisdom you come by only by quiet and intense observation, the sort of wisdom I want. There was a white owl that lived near my old house and one moonlit night it swooped by me so close I could almost touch it. I wanted to call out after it, and ask it what it knew about me, but of course it's never that easy. There are little owl statues and things all over my house.
When I'm old and wise, I want a pet owl. I think we could wile away the afternoons nodding at each other knowingly.

Image credit.

And of course this is me, in a way.

Image credit.

I'll always sympathize with the lobsters.............

Image credit.

....... but I AM a butterfly.

Image credit.

And today I'm a starfish. Cut in half but it'll come back. Sounds horrible and sad, but it isn't in the least. I'm ridiculously happy these days. For a billion reasons. One in particular that I'll tell you about soon. It has something to with this specifically, and something to do with this generally.
Feel free to guess, unless you actually know.

Thursday, April 06, 2006
So Then I Said ..........
......... "Am I allowed to LIKE myspace?"

More Than ......
the big brown jug I always keep full of flowers on my table
digging my toes deeper into the sand because it's hot on the surface
tearing a page out of a notebook perfectly
flowers in my hair
tracing the whiskers on my stuffed mouse with my finger
flexing my toes just because I can
my favorite silver spoon with the engraved A on it
all my daydreams about where the spoon came from
the first chapter of 'Rez's and my novel
cool guacamole on a hot rolled taco
seeing shades of my brother in my cousin's son
the smell of old books
gingerbread cookies
the fact that Mau uses the drawer of my easel as his bed
the echo of my footsteps in the cool emptiness of the train station downtown
the butterfly migration
paper lanterns
the way flowers look as if they are painted brushstrokes even in real life
free night and weekend minutes
leftover chicken
watching Mick slide down the bars of his cage and catching himself with his beak on the food dish
Aimee Mann, Abra Moore and Sarah McLaughlin put together
Bjork, even
the fact that someone glued pennies to the sidewalk near my house
the fact that someone actually pried some of them up
the way creamer changes coffee
making my grocery list
making avocado soup
sewing buttons back on
toys from the quarter machines
the tea aisle
standing on the bottom bookshelf to reach the books on the top shelf, glancing around guiltily for the bookstore employees
sliding in my socks on the kitchen floor
turkey and avocado on sourdough
finding words or handprints in the sidewalk
letters in my mailbox
licking my fingers
and coffee, even this morning.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
So Then I Said ..........
......... as I held in my hand an opened bottle of Fuze, who's label promised me Chromium, Citrimax and L-Carnitine, which I never even knew I wanted/needed, "Ick. It smells like an auto parts store. *sips* Ack! And tastes like tin foil."

And in true VJ fashion, I still drank the entire thing.

And Then......
.......... Lola drops everything
and takes the seat on the couch between you and the door
and explains the plot of a french movie
but never shushes you for talking over it.

And then you slam the door in the face of a man who wanted to jam his foot in the door
both literally and metaphorically
and you only get away with it
because it surprised him,
a fact you find both insulting and delicious.

And then Bunny slips away from her busy life
to toast you with a late night pastry
and to tell you that you weren't stupid to have ever thought he was nice
but what does it matter now anyway
because now you are free and oh-so safe.

And then Nick tells you he's proud of you
when all he knows is that you're proud of yourself.

And then you flick the crumbs off the couch pillow
and eye your friends over the rim of a mug of mint tea,
noting in your head that the shape your mouth must take to sip from a thick mug
is the shape of a grin,
And then you realize that 'happily ever after'
is already here.

So Then I Said ........
......... "Time to run for it, I guess," as I stood barefoot by the lobby door in my white shirt and my velvet pants, with my satin shoes tucked safely in my purse, looking out at the rain.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I Learned A Valuable Lesson About Friendship From A French Boy I Couldn't Stand.
He was an exchange student at our house one summer.
He criticized everything that was even vaguely American, followed by an explanation about how the French did it better.
I thought him insufferably arrogant and rude, and I'm sure he thought the same of me because I didn't want to hear what he had to say. I thought he'd come to learn about America, he thought we'd invited him so we could learn about France.

One lazy afternoon, I suggested a game of Monopoly, next to the big sunny window in the living room. Mostly because I didn't want to talk, but I didn't want him to go home complaining that we were rude or ignored him. While I can certainly be competative when it comes to manners, I'm really not competative in board games. Which was a good thing because I was losing badly, but I dreaded the comments I was sure he'd make, about how he based his strategy on the French economic system or something.

And thats when I rolled and landed on his newly hoteled Boardwalk. Obvious bankruptcy for me. I cringed.

He looked out the window at something pointedly. I looked to see what he was looking at and felt the board nudged. I looked down and my little silver piece (the man on the horse, I remember) was two spaces down on a piece of property I owned.
I looked back up at him, and he was straight-faced and rolling the dice for his turn.

I learned something, not just about cultures or people that summer, but about how we can all get along. That's its often not about our differences or how we express ourselves, because then we'd be hopelessly lost, but that all its really about it keeping everyone in the game.

For the rest of the summer, we'd finish each arguement with a grin.

And then came the day he was due to leave, and we were standing in front of that same window. It was awkward, I didn't know what to say.
"Go back to your precious France and leave me to soak up my California sun in peace," then sticking out my tongue, that just seemed too snotty and American.
A kiss? Much too French.

So I looked pointedly out the window. And when he looked, I snuck in a hug.

Another Actual Conversation
Owner with a Sense of Humor - *opens bag of chips*

Receptionist - *makes puppy eyes*

Owner - "Oh here. In fact, do you want a sandwich?"

Receptionist - "Oh, you don't have to bother-"

Owner - "Hold on, one sec."
*disappears in the conference room and reappears a minute later with a turkey on rye, bag of chips and iced tea*

Receptionist - "Wow. Somebody REALLY wants a card on Boss's Day."

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss,

I love chocolate but I have lactose issues, when chocolate and I are together I end up bloated and I keep making annoying noises in the back of my throat. I don't think chocolate and I will ever really work together.

What's your advice?

Mr Name and address undisclosed.

*sits on a low stool in front of a dressing table so covered in frills that it's hard to see anything of the table underneath*

*brushes her hair with a silver hairbrush*

Dear Undisclosed,

A love that should be nurturing and pleasureful, yet is painful and unhealthy, could there be anything more tragic?
I suggest you invest more in your other, less glamorous but more nourishing loves.
And you never know, someday it might be different.
Here's hoping!

Miss VJ

*leans forward, flips hair over and brushes it upside down*

*flips up and tosses hair back*


*smiles at the mirror*

Next question, please.

Letter to Coco
Dear Coco Bean,

Of all my kidlets, each of which I love for being their own dear selves, it's obvious to everyone that you are the most like me in personality, in the way you treat the world and the way the world responds to you.
The path you take, the sweet love you give so easily, the faults you battle, the hurts you face, I know them so often as my own.
And to have any part in helping you to grow up happy and whole, it rights old wrongs and heals old hurts in me.
And while you'll always be your own dear little self, you've given me back pieces of myself.

I love you.


Monday, April 03, 2006
Of All The Awards I've Ever Gotten.....
......... the one I like best was at summer camp when I was voted 'Most Talkative.'


That's right, by every kid in camp.

And it wasn't by nomination or multiple choice, either.

They all wrote my name in.

If it had come with a big trophy, I'd put it in my window.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Ms VJ,

Someone just explained a disturbing dating system to me. Apparently what he does is find eight girls he likes, and do sort of a 'Survivor' thing where they have to pass six dates with him, and then they can officially be his girlfriend. Even more disturbing, he says no one's ever passed.
My first reaction was "OK, that seems kinda...chauvinistic to me, but being a bit of a feminist, I may be oversensitive." After thinking about it, it changed to something like "Arrogant insensitive jerk. Who the HELL does he think he is?" But after thinking about it a bit more...don't we all do something like this when we're inbetween relationships? It's not like I haven't liked multiple people at once, or dated someone purely for my own personal pleasure purposes. Maybe he's just being more honest about the whole twisted dating system. Would a girl be...I don't know...diminishing herself by getting into a situation like the one described?

Opinion Trolling

*files her long nails which never seem to get any shorter for all the filing*

*holds out her hand with the back to her, considers, straightens her ring, and files a bit more on the left ring finger*

Dear Miss Has Opinions But Don't Look Anything Like A Troll,

I'm of the opinion that no dating system is better or worse than the spirit in which it's done. Which is why when someone tries to tell me about some new and improved dating system, I flop down on my canopy bed, pull a mask over my eyes and hum Cyndi Lauper tunes.
The only benefit in such a plan is the feeling of proactiveness that one might feel from taking charge of one's life. That's it, and not even a particularly effective way to do it as they tend to be more limiting than anything else, but *shrug* as long as they don't wanna date me, it's none of my business.
And I gather from you letter that THATS the rub.
And if it feels chauvinistic to you, then in his case it prolly is.
It's that simple, darling.

Miss VJ

P.S. I love you, darling.

*puts cotton between her toes*

*begins to apply a deep rich red polish*

*twitches her nose as she concentrates*

Next question please.

Happiness is ....
........... my new shoes. They make me wanna dance. There's also another pair I bought that I can't find a picture of, little green satin flats with embroidery, that make me wanna cuddle them and sing, "Ooo-ooooo, crazy love, wraps around my heart, refusing to unwind...." to them.

........... this bed. I'm gonna buy it. Actually I've decided to redecorate my bedroom, in a sort of modern morocan theme. It's even gonna have a little painting nook by the window. I can't wait 'til it's done.

........... this site. Incidently, if you can find the one thing on that site I'd actually make and wear(laughing at it's tackiness the whole time) I'll send you a prize.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

I've just been invited to a wedding. I'm excited to go because the bride and groom are my friends (obviously), but don't have a date. I'm sure I'm going to run into many acquaintances who will pull the "Oh God you're STILL single? Why?" routine. It's annoying and I don't like it. What are some great ways I can field these questions and make then feel like the slime they are for asking me the same thing over and over in a different way?

Not Looking Forward To Another One Of Those Evenings

*sorts through a stack of small but thick envelopes, sniffing each one*

*sniffs one twice and tucks it into the pocket of her robe*

*waves the butler away with the rest of the letters*

Dear Looking Forward,

I suggest a sly dig in the ribs, as if they're in on a joke with you and saying with a giggle, "Yeah, exactly, *wink, wink* why would any girl wanna be single, especially at a wedding with all this champagne and eligible men in suits? Oh the humanity!" and laugh again as if you've laughed about this with them many times.
Don't hesitate, don't appear to ponder, don't in deed or action imply you're taken that ridiculous question a bit more seriously than it should be taken, which is about a serious as the meal choice on your RSVP card (althought Miss VJ suggests the fish, least likely to stain).

Have a drink and an eligible man in a suit for me!

Miss VJ

*turns around and the sound of tearing paper is heard, then the shuffle of pages*

*a grin wraps around Miss VJ's face so wide you can see it from the back of her head*


Next question, please.

Another Actual Conversation
Nick - "I had a dream last night and you were in it."

VJ - "Really?"

Nick - "It was weird."

VJ - "Why, what weird thing did I do?"

Nick - "Nothing, actually."

VJ - "Really? That IS weird."