Can you take a vacation from a vacation?

Man, sorry I’ve been so boring lately. I feel like the most exciting thing I have to say right now is that I think I might be iron deficient…I feel like someone is pushing backwards on my forehead all the time.

Also, I have a crush on almost every character in Entourage, including the women.

I’ve been trying out a lot of new recipes lately. You will all be relieved to know that I figured out I don’t hate ALL green beans, just HOT green beans. When they are steamed and then served cold (maybe with a little vinaigrette) I adore them. And marinating chicken in yogurt works really well and makes it super tender. Yummers.

I just lost an Ebay auction because I wasn’t paying attention, for something I really wanted. I hate Ebay, I really do. So addicting.

I am way too excited to try the new orangey flavored tea frappucino thing at Starbucks. Ever since they took away my beloved pumpkin spice latte I get all happy when new drinks come out, even though they always suck. At least this gives me a reason to look forward to November.

Mr. E and I are going camping this weekend and I am very excited to fish. Most people find this odd, because I have a deep seated fish phobia. But I’m not phobic about fishing at all. Maybe that’s since I never catch anything? It’s just hard for me to relax unless I am doing something with a purpose, real or not. Hence, fishing. You’re doing something, but not really.

In other more exiting news, I am leaving on the 4th to spend two weeks in France. The flight sucks, but at the end of it I will be in France! I can’t wait.

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I Kind of Can’t Believe I’m Admitting This…

but I had a dream last night where I made out with Nick Lachey.
A lot.

I never even knew I liked him!

Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve always sort of thought he was cute, in that beefcakey steroidy white frat boy from Ohio way, but I always thought I shouldn’t think he was cute because it was just too obvious and also does he maybe seem not all that super smart? So I’ve just refused to admit it.

Apparently my subconscious cannot be deceived.

However I would like to point out I don’t own any of his “music” so all is not lost.

Not Cool

Yesterday I finally forced myself to start sorting through all the crap in our garage – the crap we shouldn’t have moved here and don’t want, but can’t get rid of because when we look at it a quick mental assessment reveals that collectively we spent about seven frillion dollars on said crap over the past few years and if we just go and throw it all out then it’s official – we’re the two stupidest money wasting stupids in the universe. VHS tape of “Cold As Ice” starring Vanilla Ice? Check. Pair of decorate and useless dutch wooden shoes? Check. Lamp I stole from Mr. E’s Grandmother’s house and now hate, but can’t get rid of because hi, I STOLE IT FROM HIS GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE AND NOW I WANT TO THROW IT OUT? Sigh. I’m not a good person.

Anyway, it’s not a super fun job, by any stretch of the imagination, and when I was moving the bed rails of the worlds crappiest bed that I can’t use because it’s broken but can’t get rid of because maybe maybe maybe West Elm will take pity on me and heed my strongly worded letter and give me back my money for the worlds crappiest bed, um, underneath the bed rails that I picked up and moved, there was a SCORPION. A SCORPION.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I’m not an anti bug person, but yikes. I draw the line at scorpions.

Two days later, said scorpion is still under a glass in my garage. Probably sending out homing beacons to all his scorpion friends.

Not a lot of garage cleaning has gone on since.

Thinking

I do a lot of my running on the treadmill. There are always people who want you to know that it’s not as good as whatever else you SHOULD be doing but I consider it to be one less obstacle between me and exercise and in the War Against Fat – removing obstacles is important. Should I make my own salad dressing three times a day? God willing, sure, but if spray on salad dressing means I eat salad at every meal instead of tater tots then spray on salad dressing it is. I try to let some things go.

But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter of fact about obstacles

That usually when I slog out my miles on the treadmill I listen to music and I watch TV (with closed captions on) at the same time. It distracts me. But now things being what they are I no longer have a tv in front of my treadmill and I can watch DVD’s on my computer but lordy Netflix has been slow lately, so I’ve got nothing. Nothing but music and my own thoughts, and I have noticed that actually, when I am not distracted by a tv show and reading and I am just running along, I get some really excellent thinking done. I plan out my day and I think about what’s going on in the world and I think about all the shit I’d like to get done in my life. And today while I was running I was thinking about how I am a perfectionist, and how it only recently occurred to me that being a perfectionist isn’t such a great thing. It’s not as if you achieve perfection all the time because you are a perfectionist. Nothing’s ever perfect. Being a perfectionist just means that you have to live with the constant nagging feeling that if you work a little harder and kill yourself a little more, you’ll get to perfect. You never will, and being a perfectionist means always chasing that dragon. Because nothing ever does turn out perfectly it means you never worked hard enough. It’s constant failure, essentially. Nothing is ever good enough for me. Not my body, not my job, not my family, nothing.

I’m not sure that a leopard can change its spots and all that. I’m sure I’ll always be a tinge on the anal, uptight, controlling side. Even spray on salad dressing and running six times a week on a treadmill are failures I have to explain away. But I’m trying. I’d like to be able to let more things go, to not have to explain my reasons to anyone, to be happy with “good enough”, to not let a fear of “not perfect” paralyze so much of me. I’d like to be a casual confident person who doesn’t give a shit about salad dressing.

I am not a godly person, and I’m not an alchoholic, and excuse me if I have flung about this next bit in a manner in which it’s not meant to be used. But today as I was running, this just came to me, and seemed to be so something I need to take to heart:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

If I could do just one tiny part of this – if I could accept, or not even accept, but even just identify, the things I cannot change about myself, my life, the world, I think it would be an amazing step for me.

I Wasn’t Wrong

I’ve spent the last ten years trying to get out of the Midwest. With no offense to the people who live there. I understand why people do. I even understand that some people love it. I was just never one of those people. I was never meant to be there. It didn’t feel like home to me.

But after so long spent trying to get somewhere else, somewhere different, after swearing I would be happier “anywhere but here” for years, and after selling California to Mr. E time and time again, (who grew up in Michigan and went to college in Minnesota and thought both places were already pretty ok), I started to doubt myself. I started to wonder if maybe I was buying into some kind of weird California illusion and really all places were pretty much the same and I was just an unhappy person and maybe no place was THAT great and I should just suck it up and learn to love Nebraska.

Nope.

I was right.

I love it here.

The Beach Boys did sing about a kind of fantasy, but I’m here to tell you that now that I’m here I remember what I used to know, that that fantasy is kind of true. Really, even though it’s all just little stuff: Sitting in a crystal clear lake on a hot June day with my husband and my best friend, or eating ripe blackberries from the farmer’s market. Buying cheap red wine at Trader Joe’s. Seeing mountains out my car window. The cute picture of me on my Costco card.

It feels like we’re on vacation somewhere great, but we live here. And it’s pretty fucking awesome.

The weird thing is that as soon as I saw the mountains in Utah I thought – holy crap, who knew I missed mountains so much! And I started to grin and then I knew for certain, in a way I almost never know things, that it was completely the right thing to do, to move here. So far the people are so friendly and it’s been sunny and hot every day and Mr. E and I wandered around Safeway like idiots pointing at the pineapples for 2.99 and the red peppers for only a dollar each. I just really love it here already. I don’t even know if I would say it was all worth it or try to explain it away. I still think I needed the journey here, but holy crap, am I glad its over.

In other news I had to stay off my ankle for two weeks, I ate the worlds worst food while traveling, and therefore I lost a pound and am now at my lowest weight ever. So who the fuck knows what’s up with that.

I would Not want to Stay. But. Empty Houses Make me Nervous. And I Hate saying Good Bye.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Elizabeth Bishop