a theory of equilibrium

It goes a little something like this: Life loves balance.

I'm sure it's not my theory really. Plenty of folks have probably given it much more insightful and philosophical names and definitions.

But the way I see it, if things are going really well for an individual — like, surprisingly well — then said individual will probably, in the near future, experience "shit hitting the fan," as I'm fond of saying. I'm also fond of commas tonight, apparently. And I'm much too tired to edit anything else.

All I'm trying to say is if the universe throws too many good things your way, you should be nervous. Because something hiding around the bend is bound to come along and make sure you bottom out low enough to balance out your highest high.

That is my very scientific and slightly pessimistic theory. Enjoy.


there is a god

and he must like me, because I met Stephan Jenkins on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Fla.

My feet still haven't touched the ground.

Details (more than you probably care to know) will follow...
I just couldn't wait any longer to post this.


recipe for revenge

Last night, after I'd been asleep for two hours, I was awoken by a commotion. At first I thought maybe a cat was giving birth outside my window. Then I realized... it was the skanky neighbors, having sex on their screened porch. Nasty of all nasties. I don't even know who lives there, except for it is one small house divided up into three even smaller apartments. And the yard is in shambles, with yellowing PVC pipe lawn furniture stacked outside, rotting. Everything about them is disgusting.

I couldn't fall asleep for another two hours after that... until after 3:30 a.m. And I really cherish my sleep. I woke up feeling dirty, and incredibly pissed off. And I was in a bad mood all day... until...

Trey gets home from work at 10:30 tonight. One of the first things he asks is, "did you wake up last night?" Turns out he also heard the nasty next door racket.

In a whirlwind, we concocted this recipe for revenge.

1) Combine all rotting and past-expiration things in your pantry and fridge, such as: oatmeal, ketchup, flour, relish, kidney beans, applesauce, salad, marinara sauce, vinegar, banana peels, raisin bran, salsa, grape jelly and eggs.

2) Stir until blended.

3) Pour on your neighbors front step.

4) Run like hell.

I can already tell I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight.


the letdown

This is blog post number one hundred. I've been overthinking this for days, trying to find something meaningful, or at least remotely interesting, to say for the big 1-0-0.

I got nothing. Feeling pretty drained. Feeling like a big fat blog failure.

But I'm grateful for my fabulous down pillow... and now I'm going to go bury my face in it and try to spend at least seven hours there.


if i lived in the 1800s...

Charlotte and I would have been good friends, I like to think.

"Better to be without logic than without feeling." -Charlotte Brontë

If you haven't read Jane Eyre, and you are a woman, I beg you to do so. It's a classic for a reason.

one way to scare folks

I'm running yesterday evening, and from a distance I spot this little old white haired lady walking toward me. She's about half my size and three times my age, wearing one of those neon yellow, traffic-stopping safety vests. My first thought is, how cute.

Then she gets closer, and I see that she's carrying something... a walking cane? What is that?

Oh. A giant axe. Of course.

I'm trying to follow her logic: I guess it's cheaper than having a big dog. You don't need a permit. Pepper spray, or a switchblade, might be a little easier to carry...

But as for the intimidation factor? The axe wins.

Ain't nobody on the west side gonna mess with granny when she's slinging one of these puppies.


sweet home barcelona

Watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona on Monday night, I was bitten by the travel bug for what must be the nineteen hundredth time in my life. Not exaggerating.

If you ever have the chance to go to Barcelona, go.

I should probably preface that by saying that it isn't a particularly clean city... in fact, it's more like a Spanish New York with a crowded public beach. But the seafood, the salt air, the colors, the sangria, the language, the beautiful tanned people, the markets, the architecture — it's all so damn hypnotic and
dazzling that you won't want to leave.

It's the kind of city where you look around and think, I could be homeless here. In fact there have been several occasions where I've tried to convince a best friend & former roomie, Becca, to move there with me to do just that. (Not that my other friends wouldn't be welcome, I just think she's the most likely candidate. I take that back — Danna might actually do it before Becca would.)

We could wander the city all day, learn Spanish from the natives, write poetry in coffee shops, eat exotic fruit from the market, sleep on the beach and grow dreadlocks... and look like this chick. We'd probably smell terrible, but it's Europe — no one would care.


the mad ones

There are books I feel drawn to, destined to love... like before I even pick it up, I know we'll be happy together.

Sometimes all it takes is one sentence to cement that feeling, to make me wish I had written it, to make me stop, and smile, and wonder...

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Aww!'"
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road


the messy truth is...

I'm not as clean as I should be. My mother will probably faint looking at this picture. It's pretty gross. I'm just a cluttery kind of person by nature, even though I don't like to be. I'm half pack-rat (thanks Dad) and half neat-freak (thanks Mom).

Today, instead of going to work, or lounging in bed until I finish reading The Secret Life of Bees, or watching a movie curled up in my big chair, or getting a manicure —
all things I would rather do — I'm cleaning. Kind of. I slept until 10:30.

So, I'm getting a late start. Whatever.
Just be glad I spared you the photo of my toilet bowl... that really would have geared you up for lunch.


trek the trail

Adding another item to my 25 things to do before I die list...

Hike the Appalachian Trail. Maybe the whole thing, or maybe just a week's worth. We'll see how fit I'm feeling when that day actually comes.

while on the subject of cartoons...

This Far Side one is tacked up in my office. Makes me chuckle every time.

In case you can't read the line at the bottom, the guy in the helicopter says, "Wait! Wait! Cancel that... I guess it says 'helf.'"

That will teach you to check your spelling.


thank you, random artist

I found this drawing on a random blog, and thought it was intriguing.

Really wanted to know the story behind it, but the blog was entirely written in Spanish. Figures.

It seems like an Emerson-esque idea — how "what lies within us" is greater than our past or future.

But it also reminded me of the quote, "your future depends on many things, but mostly on you."

Or I could be totally wrong.

Still, it somehow captures how I've been feeling lately better than I could with words.


from outer space to ancient china...

a weekend in which Nick (aka Nickel, aka Nock, aka Biggie, aka Bartholomew, aka Oval Conehead, aka baby brother with too many nicknames — no pun intended) comes to visit.

Here were the fun "Atlanta firsts" we fit into two days...
  • Got a good look at Saturn, complete with rings and moons, via the Fernbank Observatory (open Thursday and Friday nights, and free)
  • Ate hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the historic Ponce de Leon location (the greatest creation a dollar can buy)
  • Sampled Atlanta's best biscuits at the Silver Skillet
  • Saw the 2,000 year-old Terracotta Army at the High Museum ("Fulton Free Saturday" is the first Saturday of each month — a steal, since tickets normally cost $18)


daily dose of taoism

"If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are."
-Lao Tzu


operation atlanta appreciation

Back in January I started to make a list of things to change, to improve, to begin — under the guise of "new years resolutions" — but suddenly it's March. Plus, a list like that would inevitably hang over my head like a precarious guillotine blade, causing me more stress than it's worth.

So instead, I'm making one fat resolution, and declaring 2009 a "Year of Firsts."

I've lived within ATL city limits for over two years now, but I don't get out a whole lot. Call me a creature of habit, call me a hermit, but I can very easily keep myself busy just doing things around the house, and I'm perfectly content to go to my same favorite restaurants time and time again, ordering the same things.

And so begins what I've dubbed "Operation Atlanta Appreciation." It is a simple premise: every week I try to do at least one new thing, or go to one new place around the city. I'm sure some of these outings will be exciting, and some will be less than noteworthy. Either way, I'll be sure to write about them and keep you informed.

sunday night nor'easter

Sunday night — after an especially good pub meal of fish and chips, dessert-posing-as-appetizer pumpkin fritters, and raspberry-flavored French beer — Ryan, Matt, Laura and I made our way home. Ryan was busy grumbling about how much he hates winter in Boston, and I was busy rambling about how the snow flurries, when you looked up at the street lights, were like handfuls of glitter falling from the sky. Typical. But if I had to shovel it five months a year, I might not find it quite so magical either.

Living up to its namesake, March arrived roaring. We woke up Monday morning to this — the view from Ryan's third-story Brookline brownstone.

We ventured out for pizza — me in my sneakers, stepping carefully — and a few Trader Joe's essentials. I kept thinking my flight home would get canceled. I was wrong.

Yesterday, back in Atlanta, it was a sunny thirty seven degrees. A tiny bit of snow remains in the front yard, guarded by the Welcome Duck.