Encyclopedia of a Boring Life

Morning Pages

Current Jam: “Distress Signal,” Tiger’s Jaw

Do you ever feel like, if you had fewer interests, your life would be so much easier to construct? If you could just narrow down the things you thought were cool, things that you wanted to try your hand at, you would be a more complete person?

I apologize in advance: this post will come off as manic stream-of-consciousness, much like an insane person blabbering at a cornhusk doll… or maybe a can opener. Since my brain is still technically on the a.m. side of things, I’m treating this post like a batch of morning pages, a la The Artist’s Way.

For a long time I’ve been having, for lack of a better description, a crisis of creativity. I’ve been super busy, not carving out enough time to nurture some self-discovery and imaginative exploration, but yatta yatta yatta – I’m always super busy. I heap commitment after commitment onto my schedule, until I feel like Stretch Armstrong, but on the verge of cracking because instead of staying limber, he’s been left in the blistering heat in the backseat of a black Toyota Camry in Orlando for three months. So it constantly catches up to me. I’m frequently anxious, stressed, unsatisfied, exhausted, and ultimately guilty because I do this to myself.

There isn’t enough time or space or energy to dive into all the things I find fascinating. What’s worse, the second I express a particular interest to someone, I’m usually met with a two-fold experience: 1) oh you are? Well what do you think about *insert commonly known or obscure – how would I know which is which? – practitioner of said craft*, and 2) judgment when I admit that no, I haven’t.

I was helping set up stuff for a local play the other night. I’m not an actor, not much of a live theater goer, but a lot of my friends here are, and why wouldn’t I support them? At one point, Ralph asked me if I was an “artsy” person… not only did I not know how to respond, but before I could stammer out an ineffective answer, Sheryl brightly dropped in, exclaiming that no! Of course I wasn’t! Ralph was simply fooled by my nerd specs and my beanie…

I know Sheryl. She doesn’t mean any harm when she makes comments like that. I think at worst she suffers from a head-mouth disconnect, her foot perpetually skirting her lips. I love her, she’s a great person. Now, with all that preamble shoved your way: what the hell, man??

Ok, ok, I know I’m really sensitive about that shit. I suffer from an insane amount of fragile, barely-held together, pride. But it really made me wonder what kind of facade I present to the outside world. I work at a fucking art museum, for chrissakes, yet I’m perceived as what?

And ok, ok, I shouldn’t give a good god damn what people think of me. Just because I don’t flaunt my poetry, my prose, my doodles, the various projects I undertake or burgeoning ideas for new ones, doesn’t mean I don’t wade in creative juices (…ew…). But, I *do* care what my friends think…. I care what my family, my amours, think. And often, I feel as though I’m surrounded with people who are smart as shit, confident, and simultaneously, incredibly judgmental. Which is messed up, man. Why would I show you anything I try to do? The act of creation is submitting to an intense level of vulnerability, and you’re gonna shower that tentativity (yes I just made up that word), with snarky commentary? Fuck that.

I post on here, but even that tenacity has wavered so much lately that I often consider the point of this thing. What’s its purpose, for me? It used to serve one, but I’m not sure that it does anymore. My albeit brief foray into online publishing (here and beyond) hasn’t yielded much in the self-affirmation department (though I suppose it has – ever so slightly – improved my vocabulary, grammar, and vernacular intent).

Sometimes I’m no better, either. I feel that inclination to judge, and not only do I struggle to quell it, but again I feel guilt because I try to be an empathetic person, and that combination? That critical predilection? It does not bravery make, it does not bravado inspire.

And then I think, there’s more to it than this, just this, this sense of imposteriness. It must be some manifestation of life’s regrets as I make the final lap in this decade (the big 3-0 is right around the corner, less than 3 weeks out). I regret not finding a niche when youth made failure (more) acceptable. Sometimes I look at the wrinkles encroaching on my plump, freckled, otherwise youthful visage and wonder if I’d been less lazy, less prone to fantasy (which seems to yield little tangible fruit), and more prone to action, to swagger, to unabashed self-confidence in the face of limited artistic skill, if I’d be happier, more fulfilled, less anxious. If I’d feel better equipped to lead the life I dream of (in which I’m generally like 5 inches taller and don breezy boho inspired frocks that don’t actually swallow my petiteness whole). If at some point I would have untapped a uniqueness.

Yeah yeah there’s time, 30 is not 40, is no 50, 60, and so on. Don’t worry I’m self-aware enough to recognize the absurdity of this wallowing prattle. There’s limitless hope-inspiring online fodder to quell my very un-unique, accomplishment-dawdling fears (here and here, for example). As always, I just needed to get it out of my head so that I could get on with my day, i.e. be distracted from the task(s) at hand by something else, for a change. (There’s your purpose, L’s!) Yeah… I’m not convinced. *closes laptop on a resigned shrug*


Random Thought: Augmented

Current Jam: “Family and Genus,” Shakey Graves

If I,
If I ever wander on by
Could you,
Flag me down and beg me to
Drop what I’m doing and sit beside you

Few things matter more to me, than
when you send a song my way,
something you heard in passing that
made you think of me.

or, even better, the moment it cued on
your pandora or
your spotify or
your google play –
perhaps a spark lit, a twinkle nicked, and I came
smiling into view.
Maybe a slight skip dropped into your step, because
you thought of us suddenly sharing the same strip of sidewalk.
Sharing a memory as it’s born before us.

I’d do the same – connect to you,
wave across that tight rope of time and space and
bring you closer to me, even if it’s only for 3:23.


Music > Poetry?

This started out as a haiku and then it just kept going, idon’tknow.❤

Poems are stark, when
they don’t have notes to hold on-
to, don’t you think?

Lonely little words,
stuck dancing stag, without a
partner to waltz with.

You could say it’s sad,
phrases forced to soldier on.
Heartbreaking, really.

But then again, I
can’t read poetry without
humming in my heart.

Not so solo, then
are they? Supporting instead
a “silent” partner.

Leaves on wind, floating
on an invisible high
they’re singing inside.





I could look at pictures of you all afternoon or
videos. Maybe it’s
The way you stare at the camera, bare or
even when you look away. You’ve got some kind of smize and

Sinewy arms and
stark tattoos and
dimples beneath beard hair and
time ticks away and still I could
crawl over every millisecond of your exposure.

I keep thinking of Patricia Arquette in
True Romance (you know the movie, with
Christian Slater and
Elvis and
Gary Oldman – I know I never recognize him, either)
and she coos at Clarence,
“You’re so cool. You’re so cool.”

Widow peaks and
combat boots and
knuckles, wrinkled and worn despite your youth and
dirty and beautiful.

And I keep humming Tigers Jaw, that one song that Ben
sings and he coos at me
“It’s a cruel world / but it’s cool” and

You and I I think we think the
same but somehow sometimes things get trapped in the
space in between and it’s like
we talk in different dialects, but still that’s ok –
it’s cool

because you radiate in my world and I can’t explain why but
I think, I don’t know, but I think I don’t know if I could handle more of you.

Random Thought

Few things matter more to me, than
when you send a song my way,
something you heard in passing that
made you think of me.

Current Jam: “Meet me in the woods” Lord Huron

Sunday Morning

“You are the leaves at my feet.
You are the hum of electric heat.”

Current Jam: “Hum,” Tigers Jaw

I’ve been craving attention. Emotional, yes, but physical too. I’m not even talking about sex, per se (though that would be nice). I’m talking about intimacy. Lying on the couch with an arm slung around me. Someone to come up behind me while I’m poring over whatever, to rub my shoulders and ask how my day went. Watching shitty TV together. I miss those little moments.

So I dunno here’s a poem about mornings and breakfast:

Wake me up gently,
Whisper my name with your
powdered slopes.

Smile into my neck,
make me stretch.
Lengthen my limbs, pull until they
push into yours.

Skate through my hair.
at that freckle, the one
you love. The one that’s always
flirting with you,
coyly catching your eye,

Slowly sink,
drink me in.
Make a river out of me.
Make me
rush –
Gush —

Good morning, my love.
How did you sleep what did you dream?
Tell me as we
come back to earth.

I’ll make us breakfast hot coffee pressed
black just how you like it,
black as that night that snuck past us,
left us unawares, tucked, until the sun-
ny side eggs sizzle up.

What was that?
Oh of course I recall
what you like and how.
Tit for tat, mon deux,
you give to me I’ll give to you.

The Shadow

“It’s the shadowy whisper that brushes my leg
Or sends you shooting it through my brain
It’s the way you back up into my veins

it’s a cruel world / but it’s cool”

Current Jam: “Cool,” Tigers Jaw

Hey Guys, all aboard the brain train.

So, occasionally the research I do for the museum sends me down some…. ahem, cray cray rabbit holes. Case in point: I am currently digging up artists whose work falls somewhere within/around the ven diagram queer/utopian/distopian. Which eventually led me to the discovery of Greasetank. Google away for some visuals, just make sure you’re no where near impressionable youth. Because it’s some heavy shit.

WTF I love my job. I love what I do because it occasionally brings me up close and personal to alternative, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes weird, stuff. In discussing his work (and the vehement reactions against it), Greasetank references Carl Jung’s notion of “the Shadow”: “I believe there’s a largely unexplored region in the human psyche, something Jung called “the Shadow,” that many of us are reluctant to face. It isn’t pretty, but it must be examined at if we’re to gain control over it. Until we do, it exerts its influence in secret, which can lead to real-life violence of all kinds.”

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist. He’s considered the founder of analytical psychology. His concept of the Shadow is essentially how Greasetank describes it: it’s an unconscious aspect of the personality, which the ego doesn’t realize is there. It’s our internal nemesis, our “dark side.” Since we tend to ignore those ugly parts of ourselves, the shadow exists in this liminal realm of our subconscious. However, Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”

Oh how I relate to that.

So anyways here’s a poem I wrote the other night during a flurry of creative activity fueled by insomnia:

That shadow; it follows me everywhere I go.
is it mine? Perhaps so…
ohwhoamikidding I know you. Old “friend,”
you strut along side,
always toe-to-toe in stride
Each night creeping,
You prowler! Plotting, scheming.
Changing shape whilest wickedly grinning.

What are you wearing today, surreptitious self? Let’s take those
skeletons out of the closet; fuck, off the nearest shelf.
Let’s break open the wardrobe, play real-believe:

Layer after layer, apply them
thick like
caked makeup over wrinkles.
Bolt them in behind cotton and lace.
Suffocate them, choke, almost, until they’re
ready to explode.

Where are you hiding, Shadow? Bound to me, strapped fast to my throat?
Emotional ropes, you
assault my surface and below and I
let you.
let you “tease,” “misuse,” and “abuse,”
But that’s not all of me; another ruse? A store-bought brand, a copy?

What say you, Shadow? What game to play today?
Trace those trails down my cheeks, connecting black, runny dots between pleasure and pain
While you slumber in my shadow,
Head in my hands, swaying away in my haunted hotel.

You called me cold, because I wouldn’t unlock for you. You stuck, treading,
Because my swell wouldn’t break

I’m sorry, but there was too much at stake

Clever chaos

Yeah… yeah… that’s it… that’s how I live my life…

I… have to share this story with you, gentle readers. Mainly because it exemplifies the occasional idiocy under which I operate. Ok, here we go:

My buddy Dan’s birthday was coming up. Well, in reality it had already passed, but he went out of town, so we were having a small, belated celebration. Since I only moved here a couple of months ago, I still don’t know my PA friends all that well. I haven’t gleaned the nuances of their personalities yet, at least not enough to feel adequately informed when purchasing them gifts. But this, at least, I knew: men love carrot cake. Practically all men love carrot cake. (I don’t know why, either, but I swear, start a poll amongst your Y-chromosome-bearing buds: it’s uncanny). I knew for a fact that Dan fell into that majority, because I asked him a few weeks back (the topic came up in conversation, and I made a note of his answer). Well, I worked at a European style cafe over the summer, owned by a girlfriend of mine (check it out here; and if you’re ever in Gainesville, Fla, GO TO IT IT’S GREAT!). She happens to have an amazing recipe for carrot cake, so naturally I stole it (for good, not evil! I swear!)

Since all of my jobs happen in the later hours of the day, my circadian rhythm is a few hours later than the typical 9-5-er desk jockey. So I concocted this cake in the wee hours of a Friday morn, trying and failing to refrain from eating a sizeable amount of the batter. As it baked away I danced around my apartment, attempting to work off a massive sugar high. I waited until the next evening to frost it, since Em, Dan, and I were planning to meet up around 8 for scary movies (and cake! Little did Dan know…. mwahaha). I intended to take out the butter and cream cheese to soften while I was at work. Unfortunately and predictably, I forgot, scatterbrained as I dashed out of my house, already 5 minutes late. By the time I returned home I had a few short hours to get everything finished. I had planned to bake a loaf of bread while I was icing away, so I preheated the oven before jumping in the shower, and placed the butter/cream cheese on the stove to shake the fridge chill off. Squeaky clean, I returned to the kitchen, slightly dismayed but not all that surprised: they were still a long ways off from becoming adequately warm. Then, I had what I thought was a Eureka! moment: I decided to place the packages of cheese, with the wrapped sticks of butter on top, on the racks in the pre-heating oven, only for about 30 seconds! I cracked the oven door, silently congratulating myself on a life-hack-well-done…. until I reached to take out the first stick of butter, which swiftly rolled out of its paper and onto the floor of the now 425 degree oven.

I imagine Benny Hill playing on my life soundtrack as I panicked. Despite the idiocy that got me into this predicament, I am mildly proud at my subsequent quick thinking: I grabbed a pair of tongs from my utensil drawer directly adjacent to the stove (look at me, efficiently organizing my kitchen!), and after 3 attempts, removed what was left of the butter blob, slammed the door and turned off the oven, all without igniting the puddle of fat pooled beneath the heating elements. I glanced guiltily at the loaf of raw dough patiently awaiting its tasty metamorphosis. There would be no freshly baked bread tonight. Not without inciting a neighborly riot from the smoke filling my apartment and the caterwauling of my well-meaning detector. As my heart rate slowed, I actually looked around to see if anyone witnessed my slapstick (guys…. guys I live alone). And then I said, aloud, “Ya know? I’m kind of glad no one saw that, because that was pretty embarrassing but… I’m gonna tell that story later, because it was actually pretty funny.”

FullSizeRender (3)

I did manage to salvage what was left, and that turned out pretty fuckin’ BOSS, if I do say so myself. *wipes dirt off her shoulder…. then steps ankle deep in a puddle of muddy water.*

FullSizeRender (2)


Current Jam: “Quiet Little Voices,” We Were Promised Jetpacks

Coming up for air

….Hi guys.

It’s, ah, it’s been a while. You look good! I know, I know, I never call, I never write. Life’s been busy as shit lately, 95% of it for the right reasons. I’ve been swept up in work and various career-related pursuits. I went to my first museum-related conference, I presented my own research at a conference for the first time, and I’m quickly becoming proficient in setting up and running tents at booze festivals, as well as orchestrating cider sales, drink in hand. It’s very stressful. Constantly thrust into a situation where I don’t innately know how to do something, constantly having to wing it until I get the hang of *insert random task here*… but it’s good. Despite the occasional frustrations, and the wavering confidence in the face of novice-hood, it’s good. All of these instances are like little building blocks, and I’m slowly constructing a valuable skill set. And even though I often feel like an idiot, I’m trying to remind myself that soon, I won’t.

So… obvi the job front has stabilized… I now have 3, count ’em, 3 gigs. The museum is the bulk of my time and energy. Oh how I wish the cold card cashola would rain down as much as the career experience, but thems the breaks. Luckily, living in a small town means (apparently) that word-of-mouth is actually a thing. My director got me in touch with the campus box office, and our education and public outreach guy directed me toward a local cider bar. Much like a Millet-ian gleaner, I’m trying to cobble together enough work to make ends meet, and slowly whittle away at the mountain of debt I’ve incurred since graduate school. The cider bar is a particularly fun extra: I’m back in the food and beverage industry (which I missed!), I get to tend bar, learn about making cider (which I like exponentially more, now), and simultaneously work and enjoy area food and drink festivals. At the last one, I made friends with some like minded punks at three beards brewing, and orchestrated a sale/collaboration with Rusty Rail! BOOM!  L’s is crushin’ it!!

Overall, I’d rather be busy than not, but of course having my hand in so many fires… pots… how does that expression go? No time to Google – soldier on! – can be at least confusing, at worst exhausting.  I’ve always been on the scatterbrained side of the mental organization spectrum. That predilection only intensifies as more balls come into my court (Jeez, I’m all over the place with those spinning phrases today – ha, see what I did there?). Ergo, keeping focus on the task at hand is difficult when half of my attention is trickling onto the next 5 things on my to-do list. Unfortunately, the pitfalls of a short attention span seem to be affecting my writing most of all. Not only do I feel as though I have no time to write, but any time I do carve out, well, case in point: I’m trying to write this post while in the back of my mind I’m considering what to make for dinner, when to go to the gym, the million little projects for the museum, finances, and whether I can swing subleasing my apartment to move in with a buddy to further gain a foothold over the aforementioned monies.

I guess that’s everyone’s life. We’re all constantly being pulled in a million different directions. It bothers me so much, though, because of a seemingly innocuous assumption that strangers make when they meet me and find out what I do:

Person A: *sips cocktail* “So what do you do?”

Me: “Oh I work at an art museum as a curatorial fellow at the moment, I want to be a curator.”

Person A: “Oh, so you’re an artist?”

Me: *ashamed* <– (but why??) “Oh, no, haha. I can’t draw or paint well or anything.”

Person A: ……

Me: *takes big ol’ slurp of cocktail* “I mean, I like to write, that’s my main creative pursuit.”

….Are you pickin up what I’m puttin down? I know that part of that assumption stems from people who don’t have an intricate understanding of what curators do, but it’s still not all that far from the truth. Most curators I’ve met started as visual artists in some form or another, and their careers evolved as such. It makes me feel like a bit of an impostor that I’ve never been very artistically inclined (that gift fell to my sister). That I enjoy writing is not a stretch, either. I like to tell stories, whether I’m crafting a post, surrounded by friends at the bar, or creating an exhibit. I like to verbally explore the nuances of our humanity and how they inform the intricate nature of our relationships to each other. But…. when I don’t feel like I have time to devote my chosen craft, or I can’t maintain my attention to it when I do make the time… well, then can I honestly say that when someone asks? Plus, I take intense pride in whatever it is I choose to do; whatever it is, I want to be good at it. I’m not that a great of a writer at this point, but the only way I’ll improve is to keep plugging… and yet it’s become clear that I’m not determined to keep it a priority… so what does that mean??

I was particularly distressed by that brain train the past few weeks (incidentally, during that giant gap you’ll notice between this post and my previous one). Luckily, my friend group in this town has quite the creative bent, be it visual art, film, acting, music, etc etc. I finally admitted my fraudulent feelings to the University’s resident print-making TA. Thank goodness, she knew exactly what I was talking about! “Think of it like writer’s block,” she said. “Sometimes you have to step away and funnel those creative juices into something else for a little bit. That’s totally normal, don’t worry.” As I pondered her much appreciated words of wisdom, their relevance rang truer and truer. Maybe the writing has taken a backseat, but I’m still creating! I’m learning guitar (finally!), I’m cooking so much more than I have in years (the fruits of my labor to follow soon, perhaps, gentle readers). I’m even crafting a teensy bit, in an effort to live on the cheap as creatively as possible. And, um, DUH – my job, my chosen profession, is about as creative as you can get. I guess that’s a transition I haven’t acclimated to yet, but when I finally realized that, I got kind of excited. My storytelling will most certainly continue, I’ve merely adopted a new medium! Eeek – perhaps, in a way, I am an artist (of sorts)!

Another ego bruise of the interpersonal variety came nipping at the heels of the dip in my professional confidence. The short version is, I snagged attentions from someone who was utterly and hilariously out of my league for a hot minute, there. It had no long term potential, and so pragmatically I knew the situation would run its course. Well, it did. The severance was perfectly amiable, but it was still a form of rejection, if a mild sauce, baby kinda one.

I will always have shaky self-esteem, I think. I’m a real sensitive gal who constantly needs reminding of her worth to the world. So I was a little bummed (Plus, the lower half of my mug looks like it’s eating itself right now; thanks perioral dermatitis, argh. C’mon, Face! You’re not helping!). However, I handled it as I initially intended to handle it. Calmly. While 2012-2014 L’s would have flown off the handle or self-destructively wallowed, 2015 L’s retreated a bit, licked her wound, slapped a band aid on that bitch, and got over it. My emotional sea refused to form a tempest… and that… that was an immense relief.

For the past few years I felt out of control of myself, completely at the mercy of the external world, that harsh mistress, that sadist. But these days? I feel…. I feel normal again. It almost chokes me up when I think about it, because I was so afraid that I would never, ever feel that way again. I thought that’s just how I would be, and I hated myself because of that expectation. I now know from personal experience that self-hatred viciously affects how we handle, well, everything. The negativity becomes cyclical: we hate ourselves, which in turns influences a string of crappy choices, and then we hate ourselves even more when we reflect on those choices. I wish I knew how to break that cycle. I’m not sure what changed for me… I guess I just had to dig through some crazy, and eventually break through to the other side. I don’t miss it, but I don’t think I’d go back and change it, even if I could. All those little things that happen to us build who we are. We’re all just walking parfaits, chock full of sweet and savory, and perhaps some salty, layers.

Anyways, to top off this all-over-the-place post, I finally had a day off yesterday!! I rolled over at noon, jumped out of bed in my birthday suit and shouted, “Today, I am beholden to NO ONE!!” I took a luxuriously long time to leave my apartment. I painted my toes (who cares if they’ll be hidden beneath boots for the foreseeable future!), listened to the latest episode of my new favorite podcast Lore (it’s perfect for a pre-Halloween atmosphere, go listen to it! go now, I’ll wait!), I scoured Target’s clearance rack for lacy underthings (these days I can only justify a purchase of a *new* clothing item if it falls in the underwear category). I found my favorite seasonal brew at Weis, and spent the afternoon in the company of new friends on a sunlit porch.

And now? Here I sit, finally putting in some quality time with you, gentle readers. No, I suppose things aren’t that bad, at all.❤

Current Jam: “Bad Blood” Ryan Adams cover of T-Swift. I have been listening to this entire album since it came out… had I gotten off my ass and posted something sooner, this wouldn’t seem so behind-the-pulse. Oh well.

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