Coming Soon (Thirteen Things)

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“And yet she dared not express…

“And yet she dared not express the hate and fear; she locked it within herself, where it coiled and recoiled upon itself, coagulating into the thickness and darkness of guilt and depression.” ~ Oliver Sacks, Awakenings

Here’s the game: Grab the book nearest you. Right now • Turn to page 56 • Find the fifth sentence • Post that sentence with these instructions • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST book.

[please don’t get put off just because I added a ‘meme’ tag]

Thirteen Wishes I Wish Would Come True [#32]

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My participation to Thursday Thirteen has been sporadic at best, but I was inspired this time by a comment my father made, when he pointed out that one of my stated wishes had recently come true and that it might be a good idea to try wishing for things more often. I’ve made many wish lists over the years and have rarely looked back to check whether they have all come true. But moving forward, my thinking has always been “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. So I’ll ask and we’ll just see!

1. My first wish is that I’ll wish for the right things. I always worry that “you always get what you wish for” and sometimes that turns out not to be so great after all. I’d like my wishes to bring me and those I love more happiness, health and prosperity, so I guess I’ll take it from here.

2. My next wish is that I’ll figure out what it is that makes me truly happy and be able to combine plenty of whatever that is in my life from now on.

3. I wish that I could in some way ensure that my parents are well provided for as they grow older.

4. I also wish that my parents will live long lives so we’ll have plenty of time to get together and share special times together.

5. One of the things I keep wishing for in my mind is that I’ll figure out what it is I want to do for a living that will be fulfilling, will allow me to pursue other interests, and will be a very good source of income. I also deeply wish this epiphany will come to me as soon as possible and that I’ll have the courage to act on it. In fact, I wish for courage, period.

6. I wish I could figure out where I most want to live in the world and have the courage to choose that place and finally really feel at home.

7. I wish to live in a place where everywhere you look there are beautiful and inspiring things to see so that when I walk out of the house (which I will want to do often) I can walk in any direction for hours on end and feel uplifted and enchanted as opposed to dispirited.

8. I wish, with every single cell in my body that the feeling of constant mental and physical pressure and tension that has always been with me would lift once and for all. I wish I could stop taking medication for the rest of my life and live in a perpetual state of contentment.

9. I wish I would really believe, wholeheartedly believe that I DO deserve better, and that doing better could actually benefit those I care about, as opposed to taking anything away from them.

10. I wish I could do more to make a difference for the environment and for the well-being of all living creatures on the planet.

11. I wish that the wall I have always put up between other people and me would no longer feel necessary, so that I could be more sociable and not feel so awkward around people all of the time. I also wish I could stop worrying about or anticipating what other people might think about me.

12. I wish that Fritz and I could get along better, it saddens me that he seems so unhappy with me. I wish I knew what I should do to make things better for both him and I.

13. Finally, I wish… I could stop worrying about ending up alone in my old age. I wish I could just trust in life and know, really KNOW that life (or God or the Universe or whatever) truly will provide in a way that is best suited to me.

Of course, there are many more wishes I could, and probably will make. But I think I’ve covered the essentials for now. Sending it all out to the universe… we shall see what happens!

Thirteen Things that are Keeping Me Busy [#31]

Well I know I haven’t been terribly communicative lately. I don’t really notice time going by but then when I get phone calls and emails from my loved ones saying “are you ok?” I know I’m overdue to post something. Since it’s already Thursday today, that means it’s time to make my list of thirteen things. Here goes:

1. I’ve finally discovered eBay. I mean really discovered it. Because of course I’ve known about it for years and bought plenty of things there. But now that I’ve finally become a seller, I can really appreciate what a well-oiled machine it is.

2. Finally! The cat scratching post arrived this morning! The UPS guy dragged me out of bed shortly after I’d set a “snooze” on my alarm clock. The post took 30 seconds to put together and it’ll probably take as many days for the kitties to feel safe to approach it. Fritz, in true Fritz fashion spends all his time sitting in the box it came in, but I managed to lure him onto the post for a short while with some catnip. Clearly, I’m more excited about having that thing in the house than they are.

3. No, the UPS man and I are not having a thing. Anybody who knows me will probably agree that it’s not likely anytime soon for me to have a thing with an large man who wears a brown uniform for a living.

4. And besides, one thing that’s clearly not keeping me busy is any kind of preoccupation with dating, romance or anything remotely sexual. After all these years of being desperate to find the ‘man of my dreams’ it’s such a relief!

5. Oops, just got a notice from eBay saying one of my items didn’t sell and do I want to re-list it? Yes I do but clearly I need to work on the listing, title and/or price if it failed to attract any bidders. Brb. Eventually.

6. Done. Here’s the link to my item in case you’re interested. If you click on “View Seller’s other items” link on the right towards the top of the page you’ll be able to see all my things that are currently for sale. Plenty more where that came from.

7. Just got back from the post office. Had a couple of eBay items that needed to get posted today. The post office is right next to the farmer’s market and at this time of year there are hundreds and hundreds of pine trees waiting for homes. Smells wonderful. That’s about as much Christmas as I’ll be getting this year and that’s fine with me.

8. The whole MacBook story has become a real saga. I ordered a MacBook (13”) last week and then canceled it because didn’t think I’d be happy with the small screen. Now the funds are frozen on my credit card. That kept me busy on the phone for a couple of days. Said to Apple people: “so let me get this straight, because I wanted to buy one Apple computer and then changed my mind now I’m not allowed to buy another Apple computer? Is that how it works???” Grrr. It’s giving me plenty of time to think and yes, I’m really really sure I want the MacBook Pro. Even if it costs an arm and a leg.

9. Then I got this really helpful Apple guy. He’s suggested different configurations to try and save me $$$ but I’ve realized there’s nothing doing: it’s the 15” or it’s nothing. Actually… can’t be nothing because now that I’ve decided to upgrade, there’s no going back. So Joel (that’s his name) offered me $100 (CAD) off and express delivery for free. For all my troubles he said. Which is awesome. So awesome I’ve developed a thing for Joel. Only when can I actually purchase my computer please? Master Card people? Hello?? Can I have my money back now please?

10. Did I mention that selling stuff on eBay is a lot of work? Take it from me, it’s a lot of work. But it’s fun work. First you have to take good pictures of the stuff you’re trying to sell. Then you have to write a glowing description of the stuff in question, only you can’t make it too much like an advertisement, because you have to actually tell the truth about what you’re selling. Coffee stains, scratches, discoloration and all. Talk about truth in advertising. And then you have to decide on a price to start the bidding at. Now that’s the really tough part.

11. Sun goes down around 4:30 these days. Drives me nuts. I get out to go to the post office around five o’clock and there’s people milling about everywhere, just getting back from work and doing their groceries and whatnot. It’s weird. Usually darkness means the streets are deserted. It’s all so confusing…

12. I really put in an effort and got out there on Main street (St-Catherine) and asked shop keepers for their discarded boxes and tissue wrapping paper so I could ‘re-use’ and also ‘save on costs’ but I caved today and called a supplier. There’s only so much begging I can do. I have 25 flat 12” x 12” x 5” boxes and 480 kraft colored (i.e. unbleached) wrapping tissue sheets coming my way. Kraft paper however, is impossible to find. They’ll only sell it in 900 foot long rolls and at 30 lbs each. Maybe I should order a roll and do a kraft paper decor in my home. Kraft paper wallpaper. Every single item in the apartment wrapped in kraft paper. Yes, even kraft paper cats. And then of course, I’ll have to make some kind of kraft paper object to sell on eBay.

13. I will use up each and every one of those boxes to send my sold items on eBay. Even if that means having to buy more stuff that I can sell again. I just can’t have those boxes lying around here forever. But then of course I’ll end up using up all the boxes and have to order more to package the extra bits of new stuff I’ll have lying around, and so on and so forth.

Thirteen Things on My Mind Today [#30]

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I have a lot on my mind today but it seems to revolve around a few basic themes…

1. Someone bought my scanner on eBay this week, which is great news! Only figuring out how to pack that thing securely and not charging an arm an a leg more than my misguided original quote to ship it is giving me a headache.

2. Waiting for the phone to ring any moment now. The guy at the UPS store said he’ll call me back. UPS sells packing materials. UPS also does the packing for you (if needed). And hey! UPS delivers too! Fancy that!

3. I think I’m finally starting to get sick of my cookies and apple crisps. They’re giving me heartburn now, which is actually a good thing. Makes them less appealing for sure.

4. Not sure if that extends to all sweets yet. I’ll still have to bake a banana bread tonight so I don’t have to toss out my bananas which will also be a good test to decide whether I should rule out all sweets or not. If my tummy still hurts after scrumptious banana bread, that means I’ll only be able to eat small amounts once in a while as opposed to pigging out every day. Gee, why would anyone want to do that?

5. I look at my body out of clothes and it looks fine. Curvier than ever and some might think I’m pregnant, while others would think Rubenesque but I’m sort of okay with it. It’s comforting in a way. But when I put on clothes, it’s a whole other story.

6. Speaking of clothes, I’m wearing my new cashmere sweater that just got delivered by the UPS man today. It’s soooooft. And it fits great now, and will just be looser later when everything shrinks back to normal. It’s a Chamois color which is a neutral somewhere between beige and brown. At J Crew they call it Vicuna which I thought was a made-up name until I looked it up. I want to start a collection and buy them in a whole bunch of other colors, but I’m exercising restraint. So far.

7. One reason I need to exercise financial restraint is I’ve decided it’s time to seriously upgrade my computer equipment. It’s been on my mind for a couple of years, but it’s a tough call to make. This eMac, given to me by my mom some years ago has been really great (and completely free!), and I still look upon it fondly, though it’s so slow I want to tear my hair out sometimes. Hanging on to it also means I’m stuck in the stone age and lost in the land of incompatibility.

8. As it happens, I walked into the new Apple store downtown this week and I’m determined to get the absolute latest generation of MacBook Pro. With all the bells and whistles. Up to 2.53 GHz, up to 4GB memory, 15-inch screen, loaded with Leopard and so much more, if I start listing all of it, I’ll sound like and ad. But do feel free to check it out here. oh yeah baby, that laptop KICKS ASS. How much bells and whistles I actually get will depend on whether I can get a great deal on eBay or not. I might have to “settle” for 2.4 GHz and 2GB (which is totally upgradeable). Yes, Macs are expensive but they’re just so worth it. I would have a serious identity crisis if I had to switch to anything else—I’ve been a loyal supporter and user for close to 30 years. Who said I can’t sustain long-term relationships?

9. I’ve never owned a laptop before. I wonder what it’ll be like doing stuff on the computer from all kinds of different locations and not having to sit in this same spot in my living room seeing the same things in my peripheral vision every day. If I were a cat, that much change would freak me out, but I’m not a cat, I keep reminding myself.

10. UPS guy sure is taking his time…

11. I have great music on my playlist, but all the folksy blues I listen to most of the time is depressing the hell out of me. I may end up finding motivation to go to the gym just so I can run to all those speedy groovy beats I’ve got loaded and ready to go on my iPod Shuffle. I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to run at first, but that’s beside the point.

12. I have to kick my own ass up that hill and go to that gym already. I mean… not right NOW, but like, this week. I’m really good at finding stupid excuses not to go. Like: #1 I have to buy a new lock. #2 they don’t provide a towel service??? Boggles my mind. #3 It’s such a depressingly ugly place, I’d rather go to my regular gym which is stunning. #4 No way I’m going to my regular gym with all this extra weight on me, have to go to a gym where I don’t care what I look like. See how that goes? Catch-22. Keeps me home and eating cookies.

13. I’m calling back the UPS guy.

After the call: UPS guy totally made my day. They’re coming over to pick up the scanner tomorrow since I don’t have a car, and they’ll pack and ship it, all for less than my original quote and with faster service too! Isn’t it great when things work out well? :-)

Thirteen Reasons I’d Rather Stay in Bed [#29]

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In a conversation with my dad yesterday he commented that I haven’t posted about what’s going on in my life or how I’m feeling lately. My excuse is that I’m busy with writing my NaNo novel. But mostly I prefer not to examine my feelings too closely right now, and what better escape is there than sleep?

1. I missed taking my night meds (incl. lithium) two days in a row this week. Have no idea how that happened since I have a ‘foolproof’ system in place. As it happens, I’m also PMSing and my entire body is hurting. Sleep cures that better than Advil does.
2. As a consequence of missing my meds, I went into withdrawal which means, among other things, that I’m totally spaced-out. I’m back on the meds now, but it’ll take a few days for my blood levels to stabilize. Makes me feel like I’m a drug addict and it sucks.
3. I finally did go sign up at that cardio gym (hurray for me!), even though they have that retarded rule forbidding tank-tops. I promised myself I’d go the next day (yesterday) but of course I didn’t. Must sleep off the guilt. Must also sleep off the guilt of not going today either.
4. The gym is becoming crucial because I don’t fit into anything anymore, save for my yoga pants. I’ve caught myself wishing I could fit into my ‘fat’ jeans again. When I’m sleeping I never think about that sort of thing.
5. When I look at my body in the mirror, I think it looks fine. Even if I do have a belly that makes me look pregnant instead of my usual 6-pack (yeah, I’m totally exaggerating). Pregnancy is so not for me. Quick, have a nap before I start thinking about it too much.
6. Since I’ve spent the better part of my earnings on clothes (I know, that’s retarded) which are several sizes smaller over the past few years, I’ve decided I will not buy myself a whole new wardrobe (I think that’s reasonable). Sure, I have my yoga pants for now, which, incidentally, sure are comfy to sleep in but…
7. The plan we’re working out with my shrink, my psychologist and the insurance co. is for me to reintegrate my job progressively starting the beginning of January. I can’t very well wear my yoga pants to the office day in day out 24/7.
8. I hate working in an office environment. Hate is a light word. I have nightmares about it. One of the rare occasions when sleep isn’t the best solution.
9. My shrink canceled today’s appointment at the last minute. The same one I had asked to book in mid-November since I have time-sensitive issues I need to talk about. One of them being I don’t feel like I’m ready to go back to work yet. They’ve rescheduled me at the end of December, by which point it’ll be much too late. I’ve already left a message begging and pleading to let me see her sooner. Begging and pleading is frustrating and humiliating. Sleeping? (Almost) always comforting.
10. My psychologist decreed this week that we need to spend a portion of our sessions talking about work and how I am preparing myself to go back. I don’t want to talk about work. Don’t want to talk about work. Did I mention I don’t want to talk about work?
11. I know I shouldn’t be eating so many home-made cookies and desserts if I want to fit into my clothes again any time soon, but then if I regain my svelte body again, I’ll be able to fit into my work clothes again and then I won’t have an excuse not to go back to work. That kind of twisted rationalization makes me feel tired. Nap, anyone?
12. Things are generally going well with my NaNoWriMo novel, and I’m way ahead on the word count, but I’ve finally hit a slump and it feels like everything I’m writing is just stupid and meaningless. It seems like there’s no plot and that my characters are boring and unidimensional. I know it’s just a phase and I have to keep at it, but it makes writing—which is usually something I love to do—not fun at all. I figure if I sleep a little bit more, I might get better ideas?
13. There’s nothing like a soft purring cat (or two) lying next to you when you’re sleeping. It’s like a little bit of heaven.

Thirteen Things About Lists [#28]

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1. I love making lists. I make lots of lists. I’m just not so good at following them.

2. There are some lists that sometimes end up on my night-table: that kind helps me get out of bed better than alarm clocks do.

3. I always put too many items on my lists. Always. If I have ten items, I’ll get six or seven done. Three items: I’ll only get to #2. If say, there are 579,457 items… I’ll get to 579, 448 maybe, and then I’ll feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.

4. Everybody knows that there are always too many items on any given list. You are therefore not actually expected to tick off every single item! Now that I know it’s one of the great laws of the universe, I accept it the same way I accept the weather—if you can’t change it, why sweat it, right?

5. I have a list I’ve been meaning to write all week: “Things I Want to Sell on eBay”. I’ve been putting it off because then I’ll really have to take the plunge and just do it already. Which leads me to the following list I need to write first:

6. “Reasons Why I’m So Resistant to Becoming a Seller on eBay”. I want to do it, I’m excited about doing it even; it’ll mean less clutter, more cash, more cash=more possibilities for buying more things. All good right? So what’s my problem? I need to write it down on a list because…

7. I use lists as a form of therapy. I also use them during therapy sometimes.

8. Lists help me understand and visualize things much more clearly than letting stuff rattle around in my brain.

9. I find lists are very revealing. When I find old lists from years ago, I can usually recall what the list was for, what I was doing just before I sat down to write the list, and even what I was wearing and eating that day. Ok, maybe not all of that, but it’s amazing how much information a seemingly random list like say… “Things I Ate Today” can actually reveal.

10. I keep different kinds of notebooks for different kinds of lists—shopping lists or the day’s tasks for example—those go in a no frills spiral bound notebook from which I can just tear out pages. For lists of things that I want to refer to frequently, or that I want to keep on record for a while, I use various mediums. I have a list of 600+ books I want to read which is forever growing (obviously that’s one list I’ll probably never get to the bottom of!) there are several versions of it: part of it is on my blog, most of it is on my Amazon wish list (until I figure out a better system), and I also keep track in a Moleskine notebook of the titles and authors I’ve read so far. That’s definitely a work in progress.

11. I have a special kind of list that I call the Job Jar. Here are several posts where I wrote about it. That works well on days when I’m indecisive or have time on my hands but am not particularly motivated, or in need of being reminded of things I don’t do often enough. I can pick out one or more items from the wish jar to fill up an hour, a day, or a week, or a whole month even with all kinds of projects. That’s also a work in progress because I can keep adding (or removing) items as I go. It’s a nice way to mix things up.

12. I love how flexible the list format is. Lists can be completely utilitarian and quickly jotted down on bit of scrap paper or the back of a napkin, or they can hold all our greatest dreams and aspirations and be written in a beautiful journal with a special pen, they can contain the elements of a story or even “tell” the story as a page in a printed book and of course on the web:

13. I have to end this list about lists with a list, what else? Here’s a list or reasons I need to finish writing this post about lists ASAP and get on with the program:
a) call in grocery order
b) have a nap (maybe)
c) pay for and put away groceries
d) eat dinner (maybe)
e) watch t.v.
f) make cookies
g) cuddle with cats
h) cookies and milk
i) visit some blogs
j) pj’s, wash face, floss, brush teeth
k) read in bed
l) lights out
m) try to fall asleep before 2 a.m. (maybe)

Painting: Joan Snyder. Found on ArtMoco.