Vulnerability.

Like many others, I spent this past holiday weekend bonding with seldom seen family members and gorging on turkey. Watching football with my brother-in-law, “helping” my sister compile the centerpiece, and hunting down the wily family cat with my 7 year old cousin Sophia. After dinner my sister and I took her two dogs for a stroll through my parents pitch black neighborhood. Flashlights in hand, we ended up in a giggle fit with Sophia, chasing after her and squealing, “stay with the pack!”

As per usual, my intrinsically concerned aunt inquired after my well being as we shared a glass of wine post-pie. I gushed over the good things and confessed some of the less-than-good things. I can’t help but be honest with her…. eventually. It’s like she emits truth serum through her pores. She silently listened (another thing I love about my aunt; unlike so many people in my family – myself included – she doesn’t interrupt!). When I paused for breath she asked some very pointed follow up questions, and so began the cathartic/unpleasant process….

My aunt could be a therapist. She can take any overly-complex explanation and break it down to its purest points. It’s unsettling! It makes you realize how hard you try to maintain and fortify that facade to the outside world. There are few people who can break through that barrier, and I’m always slightly surprised every time she does…. so effortlessly.

The next day she sent me an email:

“Hey Laura,

It was good to talk with you yesterday. I thought you might like this Ted Lecture ((She loves Ted Talks because she’s smart AS HELL too)). It was very helpful to me, and so, I thought you might find value in it as well.”

Check it out here.

If nothing else, it’s a good reminder that we are all deserving of love, and we are all enough.

Current Jam: “Changes” 2Pac

Quirks #6/7

6) I’m not bothered by a chipped manicure. Much like a Grecian nose or a meticulously chosen denim tear, it adds character to one’s appearance. It’s like that visual aversion to new, starkly white sneakers, a la Jerry Seinfeld. I don’t dislike a fresh manicure, but I’m not immediately distraught by the first hint of decay…. Maybe that’s just my justification for being too lazy to fix it… EH whatever.

7) On that same vein, I really like observing others’ hands. They can tell you a lot about a person. Perfectly groomed nails bespeak a detail oriented persona, gnarled tips can indicate a nervous countenance. You can separate a manual laborer from a white collar paper pusher; an accomplished cook from a rugged rock climber.

This is from my days as a line cook…. I’m 3rd from the left…

It’s not just the way they look, but how they are used. They can be as expressive as the human face. Por ejemplo: my new boo has lovely, masculine hands. Clean, short nails. Small calluses. Nimble fingers. Actually, I first noticed them in photographs, not in person. I found his hand placement to be… carefully calculated. His mitts emit this combination of a strong grasp and a gentle delivery, like the epitome of exercised control. Of course, I couldn’t tell you someone’s life story just by analyzing their extremities. I can’t read palms or anything. It’s a general impression I get, merely one piece to a person puzzle. An intriguing piece…

This is my friend Ed and his sexy mitts. Nums, right?

Now that I’ve brought this to your attention you’re gonna be staring intently at everyone’s paws today. Haha, you’re welcome. Consider it an exercise in deciphering body language… Have fun,

Current Jam: “Steady On” Shawn Colvin

It’s Tuesday and I don’t know where I am.

Well, that’s not entirely true. More like the sensation of an out-of-body experience. To the point that I can’t string together a coherent narrative this morning. So instead, I give you another LL brain train:

!) I work in a pretty big building. 2 floors, 3 wings. You can hardly find a quiet corner to fart without inadvertently running into another warm body. I don’t consider myself rude… I’m just… internal. But there’s a very “Jimmy Jones”-esque aspect to the work environment here. At least that’s how I perceive it, being from a socially-awkward-beyond-social-media generation. Every time I approach another person in the hallway, I feel obligated to meet eyes with them and produce a sincere smile. A “hey! hope you’re having a great day here at Insurance Company! I know I am!” And god dammit, sometimes I just don’t want to smile at/acknowledge people! I’m not a morning person, I never have been. Maybe that scowl on my face is because I’m philosophizing or trying to hold in that fart because I can’t find a place to let it out! Stop making me feel like a jerk because I don’t want to visually make out with you right now! LEAVEMEALONE!

@) Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a really satisfying stretch, I feel compelled to make a weird, gutteral noise. We’re talking pushing your limbs to the limit, back arched, silent scream face on… and then you just let. it. out…. yyyaarrrghhhhiijrlkfjlgkn;vjn!!!! I made my desk mate Jeffrey jump this morning. I think I sounded akin to something from Where the Wild Things Are.

#) A lot of my colleagues are getting the sniffles lately which seem allergen-related. We have a nurse on site, who basically tells us to clean our desks with a damp cloth before we leave everyday. That’s all well and good. I actually rub down my desk a lot because I’m a neat freak… but then I wonder, why do we have a cleaning crew?….that reminds me. When I was in non-injury claims, one of my favorite games was to bring in brightly colored glitter and sprinkle it on the carpet in a slightly inconspicuous spot. And then wait to see how long it took for the cleaning crew to vacuum it up. The longest streak you ask? Honestly…. I think the green pile is still there… ew, right?

$) I will occasionally seek out this Zappos commercial because it makes my heart happy.

%) hey, here’s my fridge. Breakdown to follow:

A) The best fortune cookie I’ve ever gotten: “You laugh now, wait til you get home”. Cryptic, no?!

B) My big sis, the hubs, and their 2 doggies, Mac and Nala.

C) My old line boys found this picture in some local magazine and dubbed it ‘Laura, age 50’.

D/E) The photo: the entrance to my parent’s neighborhood (I said consummate V’s! Jeez, guy wouldn’t know majesty if it came up and bit him in the face…). The quote: “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his” – Oscar Wilde
G) HETERO LIFEMATE: The invite is to E’s wedding, the postcard from her home state West Virginie. Follow the purple arrow for an ooooolllddd photo of us… back when we were thin and had hopes and dreams.
H) Birthday Haiku from my sister:

Laura-loo, luscious lady

will cook up some tasty eats

hot babe, bad-ass chef!

I) I drew that… when I was in a very special mental place… that’s all I’m gonna say… Oh, and my friend gave me an A+++++ on it.

J) My good buddy, surrogate brother H. Carl. He will cook/drink you under a table.

K) Jameson throws all the bartenders in the ‘ville a “Ball” of sorts every year…. I tagged along the last time and promptly called into work the next morning.

L) Paris. Andy Warhol exhibit. Before security made us put away the camera.

One of my favorite parts of moving to a new place is setting up my fridge nicknacks. It’s like the best combo of collage and memory lane. Maybe it’s because I attach so much sensory experience and memory to food… is that fattening?

Current Jam: “Victory” Trampled by Turtles

All of us lonely, it aint a sin
to want something better, then the shape you’re in
the rain came at the break of day
your light in the windowpane, said come on in

Too tired to write.

But not to fall asleep apparently….

Seriously, I have so many thoughts circulating right now. So, SO many. But I know myself well enough to know that I can’t categorize them now. If I tried to write about it, it would just be an incomprehensible stream of consciousness. So my reminders for the coming week: the depth of my psychoses, fears of falling in like, coming to terms with a lack of life experience and a depression that pompously scoffs at a privileged childhood.

So back to what I was doing: suited up (for me that means PJ’s and a zipped up hoodie), headphones on (ps I live alone….), lying on my bed HEAD BANGING TO AMAZING JAMS.

Current JAM: “wait so long” Trampled by Turtles. ON REPEAT. That’s right.

Me to my brain:

Fuck you and yo couch!

Musings/Nausea

That’s right, it’s a tag team type of Friday. Metaphorically scratching my chin, pondering Life’s questions. And I have a stomach ache. I’ve decided to blame this morning’s* massive cup of coffee for both the belly rumblins’ and my general jittery-ness (real word? whatever, it is now)…

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about happiness. That curious state of being, so difficult to quantify or define. From a logical point of view, I feel as though I have all the trappings of a happy life: family, friends, a well-paying job, security, a budding romance, and future plans… and yet I’m constantly surprised by these moments of hollow discontent. I was bombarded on the way home from the gym last night. Incredibly odd timing, since I normally coast on that endorphin high for at least a few hours. My windows down, an upbeat song on the radio, on my way to meet my new boo, and yet there I was, teetering on the brink of a depressive episode. Maybe I should qualify that statement: it’s not as if I was on the verge of a crying jag or anything. Luckily, I was somewhat able to objectively evaluate the swelling emotion, able to contain it much better than I have been able to in the past. I picked it apart as best I could… and then it hit me…. like an ‘AH DER!’ moment. I’M FUCKING BORED. I almost laughed out loud that I hadn’t really considered the effect that ennui can have on your life experience. It hovers below the surface, taints everything with a slightly gray hue, like an audible sigh that you don’t even notice you’re making. I will always have a soft spot for my hometown. I love the familiar feelings I get from visiting my favorite places, seeing my favorite people. But it, finally, is not enough anymore. I have to go. Logically, I’ve known this for a year if not longer, this is not any kind of epiphany. And for me, the saddest thing is that, I don’t want to lose that familiarity. But I know I have to in order to grow, in order to be happy.

Le sigh.

Current Jam: “Mario la O” Ry Cooder

*I was supposed to post this this morning, but I felt my boss creepin’ over my shoulder…