Monday, October 25, 2004

keeping it all together

the world is actually organized around the notion of catering to busy people. i've ordered organic vegetables to be delivered once a week so that i don't have to use my time standing in the grocery store, choosing veggies. i have a babysitter who picks up my child when i can't make it home in time. on wednesdays, i pick her up myself and we go to gymnastics together. we get good, quality time together with dinner, the nightly bath, a round of pbs kids (the child is frighteningly brilliant at that website), reading stories and talking before bed. and it all hangs together. frighteningly easily, actually. life is good. and i'm ordering someone to clean this week. what could be better? the fact that i can drop off my dry cleaning at work on mondays and pick it up on thursdays. that's pretty good. and the ubiquity of mobile phones. i like that too. it's really not so hard, this having it all...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

oracle night

i just finished paul auster's oracle night, a slim novel that i devoured in a matter of just a few hours. it swept me in and held me fast, making me question reality and time and the future, just as his character, Sid, did. i hadn't been so taken in by a novel in ages...not since the corrections, i guess. it' s one of those books where you feel wistful that it's over and that you read it so greedily and didn't savor it in order to prolong the experience. but, i just couldn't stop reading, nor could i slow down.

it had a very interesting premise...does writing contain some element of prophecy? can the things we write come true? do we tap into something when writing? some line to the future? even when we speak of the past? it's a fascinating question.

also fascinating were the stories within the story. when the main character is a novelist it gives a freedom exploring various stories that he is exploring. very, very interesting.

the novelist in the novel buys a special notebook, a portugese notebook, and it lures him in, making him able to write like he hadn't written in ages. since i always feel that the notebook in which i write has special significance and i choose them carefully and by holding them and feeling them in my hand, that aspect spoke to me, tho' in the novel there is a sinister element to it as well.

i may have to go reread it already. it's one of those books.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

no time for sleep

it's so strange, looking back over my agonized posts, as i waited to hear whether i got the job. once it happened, it happened so quickly. the fourth interview, the offer, the signing of the contract, the celebratory dinner, the first day, the first week....and now i'm well into the second week. elated. loving every minute of all of the new things i'm learning and people i'm meeting. the agony of the wait somehow worth it in the end, for what was awaiting me. challenges. growing, stretching myself and finding myself worthy of having been chosen. finding it hard to sleep for an entirely new reason...because my mind is racing with new things, thinking them through, processing them. and in that, there's no time for sleep. and it doesn't feel so bad.

Friday, September 24, 2004

force of nature

for the past ten days, the weather has been wild and changeable. one minute the sun is shining, brightly illuminating the red autumn leaves, the next the wind is whipping stinging lashes of rain that are falling from a dark, black cloud that appeared swiftly out of nowhere. they say it's what's left of hurricaine francis when she reached this side of the atlantic, but i think it's me. the weather has completely accurately reflected my own feelings and moods over the past ten days. i am sunny and optimistic one moment, the next spiraling down into the depths of black despair. someone even asked me one day last week, "what is this weather you've brought?" so i'm not alone in thinking that i'm the one causing it.

who is to say that it isn't true? haven't we all felt human emotions powerful enough to cause atmospheric rifts?

this morning, it is calm and clear--no wind as of yet. there are a few clouds around the fringes of the sky. and that's exactly how i feel...

to rat or not to rat

i'm pondering setting up another blog to devote to my exposé of the middle layer of fat that is strangling microsoft. everything i have to say about it is true, as i myself have been the victim of some particularly nasty bits of that fat. however, would it really do me any good to dredge it all up again. if the guilty were exposed for the rats that they are (and curiously, the name of the biggest fat rat in my case rhymes with fat and rat...). yes. it might be rather cathartic to let the world know what happened. in hopes of keeping it from happening again to someone less strong than i.

i heard today that the rats who were complicit in the whole sordid affair are rather afraid that i will go to the press. i have thought of that, but haven't done so. yet. knowing that they fear it just might make me do it. oh, to rat or not to rat...that is the question....

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

a minor yoga addiction

i've been doing yoga videos to try to calm my nerves for about a week now. i'm utterly uncertain that it's calming my nerves, but i am getting a good workout, so it can't be all bad. the other method i've tried--to calm my nerves, not get in shape--is drinking copious amounts of red wine and the occasional martini. that's rather effective at the time, but rather not so much afterwards when my head is aching and clouded over worse than ever. this waiting to hear whether a potential employer wants me, it would be ok if my time weren't, so to speak, running out. i will be paid one more time at the end of this month by my former employer. so, it would be IDEAL if i were starting something new Oct. 1, so that there aren't any missed paychecks, so to speak. why can't they answer, already? i nailed the interviews--all of them--i shined, i was dazzling. they must want me, so why is taking so long? guess i'd better go do that yoga video again....

me & my daughter Sabin in Istanbul Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

what makes me nervous

i was asked twice in the interview process "what makes you nervous." it was a question that stumped me. i can't think of many things that make me nervous. i should have said, "waiting." waiting to hear whether i got the job or not. waiting to hear if there's an offer. waiting. it's interminable and making me damn nervous. not even yoga helped. the only thing that will help is a contract in hand or an email offering one or a phone call. arrgh! don't these people know what it's like out here, waiting? not even a trip through the garden, gathering flowers helped me. i'll have to resign myself to being a basket case until i hear...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

of omens & destiny

Just read Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist and so the notions of following one's destiny, listening to one's heart and reading the omens are weighing heavily on me. Especially as I am potentially about to have to make a decision about a job offer. A job which will potentially change our lifestyle significantly--longer hours, less time with Sabin, leaving early every morning and coming home late every evening. I'll be one of those people whose weekends mean the world to them. However, it's potentially worth it--an awesome company and unlimited potential for the future.

I'll admit that I'm having trouble hearing what my heart says about it. My mind tumbles with thoughts...was I fired so that I would be open to this particular opportunity? Is this the path I'm being guided to? What is the right thing to do for me and for my family? Is this the right job for me or do I think it is because I need a job? Am I too dazzled by the prestige of the company itself? Will life still be enjoyable? What should I do? The noise of all those questions in my head is so loud that right now, I can't read the omens or hear what my heart might be saying to me.

Part of that is to do with the interview process itself. Three grueling interviews over several weeks with a total of ten different people involved. I am wiped out by that process and so I don't feel that I can adequately think about it and sort it all out yet.

I'm going to go do yoga, clear my head and be alert to omens for the rest of the day. And hope for an offer. Knowing exactly what they're offering might help clear away some of the confusion.

Monday, August 09, 2004

on inspiration

it's weird how writing is for me. when it flows, it flows and when it doesn't, there's seemingly nothing that will make it come. i am waiting for inspiration to strike on a couple of creative job applications. i think that the pressure i feel to be creative and inspirational is the wrong kind of pressure at the moment. what i need is the deadline pressure (they're not due 'til sunday)--that's the right kind of pressure for me. maybe i just need to slog through it and and see what comes out. i'm often surprised, pleasantly surprised.

Friday, August 06, 2004

strangely emotional

i'm reading clinton's my life. already from the first few pages, i am feeling strangely emotional. reading along with tears in my eyes. last night, as i was beginning it, it filled me with such a feeling of despair and hopelessness at bush. he has no such lofty ambitions to help people and make their lives better. he's a child of privilege who thought it was his due to be president. clinton came from a poor family and made something of himself because of the kind of person he was. he's displayed human fallibility, but who hasn't? what kind of man are we stuck with now? when clinton was in office, there was a sense that he had making the lives of real people better at the forefront. there's no sense of that with bush. he has only his own power at the forefront. it's depressing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

rainy day ponderings

strange. it doesn't seem like nearly two months since i've opened this. much has happened in between...a fabulous vacation in turkey with jens-prince and sabin, much work as a freelancer, some technolution translation, many dinners, many bottles of wine, much rain and grey skies (so much for the danish summer). but, now i'm back. i'm still in the healing process after being fired. a bunch of new clothes from noa noa helped my self esteem. i'm applying for jobs--everything that looks even remotely interesting at novo. i want to work for a company with a conscience this time. no more soulless microsoft.

we are, at last, putting our living room in order. we've lived in this house for 3 years now and never really did much with the living room. i sped up the need to do so with a little fire a few months ago. now we have a new ceiling and floor and so we have been inspired to paint--coffee cream--an absolutely lovely, warm shade that reminds you of just that--coffee with cream. in the process, we moved all of our books upstairs. it was great to be reminded of the wonderful collection of books we have. i placed all of my favorites closest at hand to my low leather reading chair. i am going to have some enjoyable times there this fall and winter with a cup of steaming milky tea and a good book. in fact, on this dreary, rainy (is it really summer?) day, i think i'll head up there right now.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Lifestyle Magazine

I was at an afternoon party two weekends ago. It was held near a lake on the grounds of the summer residence of the Queen. There were platters heaped with chocolate-dipped strawberries and smoked salmon sandwiches with a sprig of arugula and slices of melon and cherries. Glasses of champagne all around. We were celebrating the launch of a novel, after all. Everyone there looked the part--breezy summer skirts and sandals, the men in khaki shorts, the children in stylish, but ecological cotton and linen (mine included). It struck me that we looked like something out of a lifestyle magazine. And I don't think it had been conscious on anyone's part. I guess that's how it is to be thirtysomething at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We've bought the lifestyle that's been sold to us. And strangely, I think it's actually making us happy.


Verlyn Klinkenborg says in his Rural Life that "A garden is just a way of mapping the strengths and limitations of your personality onto the soil." When I first read it, I was amused by it. But, lately, as I find myself increasingly drawn to getting rid of the weeds that keep insinuating themselves in all of my flower beds and vegetable rows and my herb garden--I find that I am learning exactly what he means. Until recently, I didn't care much about weeds. As long as the flowers appeared to be stronger and the veg could fight its way through the weeds--I was happy. But now I have discovered the therapy that is the battle against weeds. I had let the garden get rather shockingly weedy--just as my life had become choked by too much that was unwanted. I couldn't see the flowers and the productive, useful plants for all of the weeds that were in the way. It was definitely a limitation of my personality that I allowed it to happen--my life to be metaphorically covered by weeds. But now, slowly, I am clearing them and the flowers beneath are starting to enjoy the sun and getting ready to bloom. And it feels wonderful. And meaningful to have found myself in the garden. Finding my way back to myself and what's important by mapping my strengths into the soil.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Reagan Nausea

I am utterly nauseated by the eulogizing of Ronald Reagan. It's nauseating from afar and it must be a veritable nightmare for anyone with functioning brain cells and access to a television in the US. The man has effectively been dead for 10 years, just get it over with already. Admittedly, I had one moment of being moved watching CNN International this a.m.--a shot of Gorbachev paying his respects at the coffin--hand outstretched, lost in thought. It seems that he has some legitimate ownership of the grief. Whereas the rest of us--why do we have to be subjected to a litany of airbrushed (typical Hollywood) half-truths as to the grand effects of Reaganomics.

I realized during a course a few years ago at ASU that Reagan was a defining president for me--but in a negative sense. The president of my childhood. The president whose thoughts and policies I defined myself against. Even as early as his shooting in '81, I was in the 7th grade and my entire class had to stay after school when I asked brightly (and not without hope) in response to an announcement that he'd been shot, "Is he dead?" This did not please the wizened Mrs. Walker and she doubly punished me by making me unpopular with my classmates, since the entire class had to stay after for my statement. No wonder he was the defining president for me. It makes me feel a bit sad, really, to think that Reagan had any part in defining who I am.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Pure Circumstance

Being a person who has chosen, for love (a worthy reason indeed), not to live in her home country, it is strange that I do not allow myself to feel completely at home in the country in which I have chosen to live. But, I didn't necessarily choose to fall in love with a Dane in particular, thinking "oooh, Denmark." We were in Macedonia, so it would have been an odd place to go looking for a Dane. It was pure circumstance. Of course, with the twat [please pronounce this to yourself using the British pronunciation--it will sound much better to you, I promise] who is currently running the US, I am not necessarily sad that I don't live there. But, the whole thing leaves me with the sense that I don't really belong anywhere. I hate the notion of being a "citizen of the world," so that doesn't work for me. Where does one belong in a globalized world? What is home? Is it where your family and friends are? Your work? Your love? Your child's kindergarten? Your garden? Your language? I guess it's all of those things and they all happen to be situated somewhere in particular country somewhere. By pure circumstance.

A sense of calm

You would think it would take more than a week to get over being fired, especially when the firing came as a complete surprise to you. However, it's been merely a week and I am calm, composed, at peace and yes, happy! How is it that you don't know what your life is like when you are so caught up in the midst of living it? It takes something major to jar you out of your complacency and shed light upon your existence. And what I've found is that I was incredibly stressed out. There are a few things I have learned: 1. My headaches were definitely related to my job. 2. My strong, constant desire for a drink was definitely related to my job. 3. I am happy now that I no longer have that job. My life is ripe with endless possibility now--whereas one week ago, I was entrenched in a negative, cynical place. It's all gone now. Replaced by a sense of calm and a return to myself. What a wonderful feeling.