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I actually started this in the morning, but had to run out of the house to make it to work  on time, so you are getting it (1/2 hour after my bedtime) now.

Task two today was to list the 5 things I spent the most time doing this week, how much time I spent doing them, and whether or not they were worth it…

So, in terms of time consumed:

Number one time-suck = work. 40 hours over the last week, of course. And yes, it was worth it, if you consider that I am still allowed to live in my house and I have about $7 whole dollars left to spend before Friday. High times, friends! Not really worth my time if you consider that I could and should be making quite a bit more. Que sera, si?

Number two: time treasured – I got to hang out with my dad, which has been a very nice time indeed. It’s been so nice to catch up and to.. I don’t even really know how to explain it… feel like I’m making up for lost time? Getting back something I didn’t really know was missing?

Number three (not counting sleeping!) – Either writing this blog or doing things related to it – the tasks, taking pictures, having some fun quickly editing them, etc. I think it’s been worth it. It’s not something I would want to do every day for the rest of my life, neccessarily, because it does take a large amount of time, but it’s fun, and actually quite a challenge to keep up with the goals I have set for myself. Also, I can taste vitamins (and calcium) until well into the afternoon everyday, which isn’t all that pleasant, but is probably worth it in the long run.

Numero Quatro – Reading. I’ve read most of the book “Infidel” in the last week. I’ve been reading it every night before bed, and on the bus, and at my lunch break, and in the mornings on my days off. I used to read this much all of the time, and it was – what should I blame it on – lack of time, lack of energy or lack of interest?… for some reason I had stopped reading. Or I should say I had stopped making the time to read. This is ridiculous for two reasons; first, I love to read, and find it one of the most relaxing things that I can possibly do; secondly, because I love love love love love to learn, and it seems no matter what I read I am constantly learning.

Five – Squaring things away. Admittedly, I did this mostly at the beginning of this past week, and since my dad has been here I haven’t done any… but I was tidying, going through all of my junk, and either getting things categorized or junking them. But that leads to interesting dilemmas, too… for instance, I have a shoebox full of little tiny marmalade jars of seeds that my Granny collected from her garden. When she moved to BC, we went through them one by one and she told me a little story about each jar and the plant the seeds came from. I know it’s silly, because they weren’t really worth it for her to hold on to, but they have a lot of value to me. They came from her garden which has been there much longer than I have been alive; three generations of women (including myself) have had their hands in that soil, turning it over, weeding it; the garden is the strongest childhood memory I have of my Granny – grossing her out with worms, watching her, bent over for hours in the sun and shade, tending the delicate life there; I learned the difference between annual and perrenial there – not just the plant, but the context, and the real meaning of the words; I see her when I look at the jars, because I know each seed was harvested by her, each bottle labled carefully with the name of the plant, and I know that in her mind is a perfect storehouse of information about each species, and how it will thrive and where it will fail – it’s benefits and losses. When my Granny moved to Calgary, there were wild lillies of the valley growing on the plot of land where she was going to make her home and build her family. Those lillies are still growing in the backyard today, generations of plants that became interwoven, somehow, with my own family. And somehow, holding on to these jars of seeds, those little capsules of life just waiting for a drop of water to awaken them, connects me to those lillies and to a time before I was born. They are a part of the legacy my Granny has left me, whether she knows it or not. So, squaring things away isn’t a waste of time, because it makes me think about things that I too often forget. I am not just getting rid of things; I’m remembering why I hold on to some things that don’t appear to have much value from outside eyes.

That’s five!

I spent some time people watching yesterday and thinking about this. I think these would be my alternate lives:

1) Bohemian Chic : my friends would have dreadlocks and we’d hang out and talk about politics and get excited but never really do anything. Everyone would know how to play the guitar but not really know how to read music. If it played on the radio, we’d hate it. I’d live in a loft somewhere downtown where the bricks were falling off of the building and the glass in the windows is so old it would be hard to see through. I’d grow a few small plants and smoke pot on the fire escape to free my mind. To get into the building, I’d usually have to step over Jim, the drunk in the vestibule. Tea shops would be a frequent haunt of mine, and I’d reek of patchouli. I’d probably be considering getting a very prominent tattoo.

2) Upper Crust : I’d shop mostly at places like Club Monaco and Banana Republic, and never be seen in public looking less than utterly composed. My fiancee would work downtown and we’d meet for Starbucks, but I’d find him terribly boring. He would, however, make good money. I would frequently wear pearls and get my hair done every two weeks. My nails would be Prada and my purse would be Gucci. I would stop automatically at doors, because someone had better open it for me.

3) Struggling Writer : Again, I would live and work downtown. Probably at a Starbucks, and I would spend a lot of my time sitting in coffee shops trying to pound out that perfect prose. “Proximity of infatuation” would be my favourite go-to metaphor, and I’d glare at people, trying to see if anyone was looking at my laptop over my shoulder, afraid that the next Hemmingway-brilliant-prose would be on my screen, and stolen before I could publish it. I would write a series of short articles or stories for a local newspaper, whatever I could do to scrape by, but I would also be working on a novel. My friends would be pressuring me to get a “real job”, but my boyfriend would love my independence and read the newspaper along with me in the mornings.

4) Children’s Book Illustrator/Writer : Not that I know kids all that well, just yet, but I have always secretly wanted to do this. If I couldn’t make it as a Designer, I would turn to this. It would be so so much fun.

5) Stewardess : I would just fly all over and have home bases in different major cities. I’d be available for any flight, so I’d get to go interesting places. I wouldn’t care much about starting a family, because I’d have a lover in at least two different cities, each drastically different from the other. I’d love them both desperately, but when pressured to settle down, I would move on, and disappear from their lives forever. My favourite thing would be to get caught in the rain in a foreign city – it would be one of the few times I truly felt alive. I would consume books at a phenomenal rate, and the only living thing I would have to take care of would be a cactus that sits inside a window sill that looks out onto a London street. I’d sit there with it and watch pigeons.

I stole this from Facebook – of course. But it’s a neat little assessment of life, I think – I always like doing these, because even if the answers are boring for other people, it’s always kind of enlightening to think of things which you usually just gloss over. I always leave feeling a bit refreshed – I suppose that’s why they’re so prevalent… everyone likes to talk about themselves… haha, actually, that’s the basis for most blogs, isn’t it? People liking to talk about themselves, and other people being snoopy!
Maybe it’s not that bad, but here are some things you might not have known about me:
1. What bill do you hate paying the most?

Probably my phone bill – I always feel like I’m getting ripped off, whether it’s because my plan isn’t as good as someone else’s, or I didn’t use all of my minutes in one area but got charged for using it 5 minutes before it came free… there are a million things I hate about cellphones – I wish it was just a flat rate, like a landline… but I also refuse to get a landline. Catch-22 I suppose.

2. Do you miss being a child?
Sometimes, I still am a child.

3. Chore you hate the most?

dishes!!!

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?

My house – gnocchi by candlelight. Haha… it was cheesy. But cute.

5. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?

My thesis project… I actually think I had better projects, and I’m p.o’d that it turned out the way it did. I would actually go back and punch Lawrence in the face (no, not really) and tell him, “hey, guess what? I’m over the conceptual design part now, and I need to get working on the actual design – stop confusing the issue!!”

6. Name of your first grade teacher?

Mrs. Black. I’m only saying this because we had a hamster named Blackie. Does that say something about me? I remember the hamster and not the teacher… hmmmm

7. What do you really want to be doing right now?

I’d like to be downtown already, walking around… but I’m PROCRASTINATING (arg, I hate it when I catch myself) because I don’t feel like having a shower, but have to, or my hair will resemble a hedgehog for the rest of the day… if you ever have a problem with skipping showers, just cut your hair short – all of a sudden, you can’t miss even one in the morning, or you look like a heroin addict.

8. What did you want to be when you grew up
A farmer’s wife, because then I could have all of the animals I could ever want. I even envisioned a farm with a lion roaming about, among the geese, sheep, horses, dogs, chickens, pigs, cows, and barn cats. You name it, it’d have been there. Unfortunately, I haven’t met any really really rich, complete pushover farmers yet. I’m working on it.

9. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
I didn’t chose it, it chose me. It’s a black hoodie covered in dog hair. Later I’ll wear something more appropriate.

10. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

It’s 6am! What the heck! I thought I turned off all of my alarms! Yeesh! Back to sleep!…. zzzzzz
11. Last thought before going to sleep last night?

I was reading… I woke up at 6, when the alarm went off, and I was still holding the book, and the light was still on, so I am guessing my last thought had something to do with Ayaan Hrisi Magan.

12. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Hmmm… the first person to pop into my head was Jason Lee. Otherwise, I’d probably have to seriously consider some famous and genius architect… but that requires more time than I have.

13. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?
Three of my vehicles have been crashed, one of those I was not in the vehicle, and in all of them insurance ended up paying more than I had originally paid for said vehicle. No one was even mildly hurt (not even a sore back) in any of them, even though the vehicles were a write off. The Big Guy was watching out for me, I guess! 🙂
14. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer?
Absofreakinglutely.

15. Get up early or sleep in?

well, resolutions to get up and how much better I feel when I do… sleep in!

16. What is your favorite cartoon character?

Buggs Bunny, I think.

17. Favorite thing to do at night?
Read. Watch some ridiculously indie band at Broken City. Sleep.

18. When did you first start feeling old?

When celebrities became younger than me. Last night I saw an album cover of the Doors, and I thought – “Holy Crap, Jim Morrison was a  kid!” Yikes.

19. Favorite lunch meat
Honey maple ham, or Montreal smoked meat

20. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart?

chips

21. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?

no, not at all. I am going to get married, and I am ready to fight the entire world to keep it together forever.

22. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?

El Crimen del Padre Amaro. It’s sooooo super cheesy, but it’s sweet, and sad, and I can’t help it, I am a little bit in love with Gael García Bernal.

23. What’s your favorite drink?

The pineapple concoction PC has come up with as a Crystal Light replacement – mmmmm!

24. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
car?

25. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives?

DH, but only because I’ve never seen the Sopranos

26. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?

Cheating

27. Do you like the person that sits directly across from you at work?
I’m going to have to say this is Emily, and I absolutely love her. If nothing else good ever happened at P1, there would be Em, and it would’ve been worth it!

28. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes?

Nope

29. Last book you finished reading?

Flowers for Algernon – for the one billionth time.

30. Do you have a teddy bear?

Teddy Rabbit

31. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?

Over a scorpion. It crawled out of the tap in Guatemala.

32. Do you go to church?

nope… I should consider it, but Sundays are my only day to sleep in, usually! What a bad excuse!

33. How old are you?
28… 29 in 3 months and a few days! Yeeps!

Before I head out the door.

Boy, did I sleep in today! Yikes! All the way to 1pm. I suppose that’s good, I must’ve needed it. And my dad got his presentation done, which is good, and I got my stream done.

Today I’d like to see about getting a new piercing for my lip – I’ve been using the labret type with a backing and I just hate it. It’s painful. So I improvised and went and got some nose ones from Claire’s which worked ok, except that they fall out every time I sleep, and I’ve slept twice now, and there were two in the pack. If you do the math that’s pretty expensive. I’ll see if I can’t hit up a piercing place today.

The only task that I specifically had on today’s was to get my dishes done – one I didn’t share with you earlier because I figured that’s not really something that everyone needs to know about – everyone in the world is probably better at doing their dishes than I am. I just hate doing them. No, wait. That’s not true. I loathe doing my dishes. I’d rather have my teeth pulled out. Honestly. I would. So my dad did my dishes this morning. Tres cool for me. 🙂

Today I am spending the day with my dad. I think we’re going downtown to investigate Stephen Avenue and maybe Kensington, if we have time. Tomorrow he has a presentation to give, which he finished today. I won’t be able to go to it, as I work, but I think he is coming to my design meeting, if he can. Tomorrow we are getting everything all together for our submission to NREL, as I understand it. We just finished up selections on Thursday. I’ve taken a couple of steps back from the SD – it wasn’t a huge commitment, but I was letting it suck up time that I should’ve been putting elsewhere – on getting things like this done, for instance, and actually looking for work. Plus, I hadn’t been able to attend meetings regularly because of my work schedule and taking the bus, which was turning into more hassle than it was worth.

Anyhoo, enough of that! I may post later today if I get some neat-o pictures, but it’s looking kind of grey out there right now. We’ll see!

Have a great Sunday – maybe do something that could get you into just a little bit of trouble, if you have the opportunity. I might!

Cheers!

Christa

Tomorrow’s Tasks

1) List 5 alternate lives – these can be anything I want.

2) List the 5 things I spent the most time doing this week – how much time did I spend? Were they worth it?

dad and pop

Those thank-you letters are going to have to wait. I really do want to write them, and write them properly. And so they’re going to go into standby mode for a couple of days. I’ll let you know when they are written, but I won’t be posting them for a while, since a couple of the people I will be sending them to are reading this blog, and I’d like for them to receive the thank-you’s in the mail instead of just reading it here.

The thing that I had planned to do, and making it happen: The Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. Tonight my dad and I went and bought a couple of two-litre bottles of Diet Coke and a pack of Mentos, and drove to the alley behind my work and checked it out. The real deal: It does work, and it was fun. Three little Mentos can blow out half a 2-litre of Diet Coke! What the heck?

Here’s why: the caffeine, potassium benzoate, aspartame, and CO2 gas in the Diet Coke and the gelatin and gum arabic ingredients of the Mentos all contribute to the jet effect. In addition, the MythBusters theorized that the physical structure of the Mentos is the most significant cause of the eruption due to nucleation. When flavored Mentos with a smooth waxy coating were tested in carbonated water, no reaction occurred, whereas standard Mentos added to carbonated water formed a small eruption, by their claim, affirming the nucleation-site theory. According to the MythBusters, the surface of the mint Mentos is littered with many small holes, allowing CO2 bubbles to form very rapidly and in great quantity, in turn causing the jet of foam. This was further supported when rock salt was used as an effective substitute for Mentos.

. . . . . – Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_Coke_and_Mentos_eruption) diet

pop

Something in another language :

I learned how to say “later”, “stop” “clock”, “yesterday” and “sorry” in sign language. I’ll show you later, if you like. 🙂

Tomorrow’s Tasks

1) Take a break – don’t do any tasks, but try to do at least one constructive thing.

2) Think of those 5 imaginary lives… 😉

Just a warning that I will probably not be able to write for the next couple of days, as I have my dad visiting from out of town. Don’t worry, I will keep up the Stream and I will also be updating the tasks every day, so that you can keep up. I’ll see if I can keep up with the tasks myself.

Have a great weekend!

I used to share a house with a guy who went quickly from being normal to being a complete and utter wreck.

He became Fear. I became Procrastination.

I don’t mean that he embodied fear, or myself procrastination, but we both certainly demonstrated several defining characteristics.

I’m not going to disguise his name. His name was Jeff. I think, that if I saw him on the street today, I would spit on him. Or, at least I’d like to believe I’d have the guts to. In reality, I’d probably dodge down an alley or even just turn and run.

What happened was this; when I was about 25, I lived in a house with my then-fiance, Zak, and two other guys – Jeff and Derek. Things between Zak and I deteriorated, and he ended up moving out, leaving me with the other two. I didn’t know Derek that well, and Jeff had always been a bit unstable. I just had no idea how unstable he could be.

Over the next several months, I found out. Jeff went from being the guy who gets drunk a little too much to being the guy who is constantly drunk. He started (or at least revealed that he had always been) taking over-the-counter and prescription drugs to get high. He started talking about suicide. He played angry music, and started fights with other guys. I started to get a little bit scared.

But, hey. I’d known Jeff for two years, and I knew him well enough to agree to live with him as a roomate, right? His name was on the lease, along with mine. This must be just a slump, a temporary thing. He was still working and making really good money, and his business was his business. So I had nothing to worry about, right? But I was still a bit scared.

Things quickly escalated. I’m sure that I could go through it point-by-point, if I tried really hard, but from this distance, it’s hard to see exactly how things got from A to B. First, it was borrowing a couple of dollars here and there until payday. Then it was borrowing my car. Then on payday, he had to pay these other things first, and he’d be sure to catch me next time, it was only twenty, only a hundred, only a couple hundred dollars. And then it was rent. And then it was the next month’s rent. I started writing lists, keeping track of the money he owed me. It was escalating quickly into more than a thousand. And I couldn’t say no, because I was afraid of not getting any of it back.

Let me explain why:

There were times when, if Jeff wanted to take my car to go to the bar. At this point, he would already be drunk. When I refused to lend him my car and offered to drive him, he would be angry. He had, at various points, stolen my keys, used a screwdriver to jimmy open the lock, actually cut the wires under the steering wheel to hot-wire it, punched and cracked a spider-web into my windshield when I wouldn’t get out of the driver’s seat to let him drive, and, at an intersection (with me driving) had taken the keys out of the ignition and thrown them out into traffic.

I simply didn’t know what to do. But I did know that I had nowhere to go, and that if I left, I was saying goodbye to the money he owed me. I didn’t know then that I would be much, much poorer in a few years, and that it would be okay. That life can be both poor and good. And so I stayed. I tried to compromise.

It was like trying to make a deal with the devil. The more I gave, the more he took. Until I had nothing, actually nothing, left to give. He had taken everything. It was as if, one day, I woke up in a barren land. But, I am forgetting one major step.

There was an incident. One night, Jeff, who didn’t seem to be drunk, or out-of-sorts, suddenly exploded at our other roomate, Derek. I didn’t know why. I wasn’t sure if it was over the GameCube they had been playing, or over something Derek might have said that I didn’t hear… I couldn’t see any reason. And it wasn’t exploding, in the way normal people explode at provocation. It was a full-on attack.

In a matter of seconds, it went from the three of us sitting in our respective places, to a scene where Derek was holding his hands in front of his face in defence, Jeff was astride him, fists clenched and holding him down, and me, behind Jeff, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt.

He was in such a rage, that I had torn his shirt to shreds before he got off of Derek. It was the only part of him that I could hold on to.

Jeff went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife, threated to kill himself if anyone followed him into the basement. Derek and I were absolutely stunned.

After a few moments, I cautiously went downstairs. To this day, I wish I had let whatever would be, be. Jeff had cut his wrists. He had the phone, the only phone in the house, in his hand, and he was not holding, but brandishing the knife. I talked to him, and he answered. This went on, until he finally passed out. I called the police.

When the police arrived, Jeff was awake again. He put up a fight and gave one officer a black eye. They took him away, and one officer, not much older than me, told me that I shouldn’t be at home when he came back. Derek said “*#E&@ this” and was gone by the morning. I went to stay at my Granny’s, bringing my dog and cat along with me.

The next day, Jeff was all apologies. He didn’t know what got into him. But every single thing I ever felt for him, any kindness, any respect, any understanding, was now gone.

But it was now just me and Jeff, in a house we had rented with 4 people, and he wasn’t pulling his weight. My “loans” to him had put me in a place where I simply couldn’t afford to move out. I didn’t have enough to even buy a decent meal.

And then our electricity was cut off.

Over the last 6 months or so, I had been steadily paying my portion. I can’t speak for Derek, but I do know that I was up to date. But there was a deficit of $400 or more. It was a large house, it consumed a lot… Jeff had never paid a cent.

I was stuck in a house, with someone I couldn’t trust… just telling this is bringing back memories I had long ago shoved away – times I came home to find my dog tied to the couch, instead of being let outside to “do his business”. Times I would come home from work, to find Jeff passed out with his face smeared across the wall in such a way that you just knew he had passed out against the wall. I once was getting into bed and found a large puddle of urine beside it, and blamed the dog – even rubbed his nose in it – only to find out later than Jeff had been trying to get into my empty bed to sleep, and had been so drunk he pissed all over the floor.

I was living with the worst kind of animal.

And so… the electricity. One day, I arrived home and couldn’t turn on the lights. Nothing worked. I checked the fuse box. Everything seemed ok. Jeff had no explanation. The bastards at the electricity company must have f’d up. Do you know that I actually believed him?

I made phone calls. We were in debt. It was in my name. I had trusted him. I got angry. He got angry back. I blew up, He promised. I conceded.

The next week, there was no electricity. I was now living out of a cooler. I was buying items to eat that didn’t need refrigeration or heat. I quickly learned to buy things that he didn’t like, or he would eat my food. Little Caesar’s $5 pizzas became a staple – two meals for five dollars.

This is not an unemployed person we are talking about. Jeff was making more money than I was. I didn’t understand exactly why things were the way they were… but… wait for it, folks, I had become PROCRASTINATION, and he had become, to me, at least, FEAR.

One day, I did a dirty deed, and went through Jeff’s room. I pulled out the few books he had, I went through his scrimpy provision of underwear… I found nothing. Something had to be wrong. Finally, under his mattress, I found his paystubs. He had been making more than twice as much money as me.

One evening, after work, at about 11pm, I thought to myself, “Hey, I bet the neighbours are asleep!” I took extension cords, as many as I could find, and I hung them out of my window to the outside world, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t steal my neighbor’s electricity to cook rice. The thought of eating something warm was just too attractive. I just couldn’t face Jeff. He always made me feel too demanding when I asked when his paycheques were coming, when anything was happening… I lived off of Little Caesar’s $5 pizzas for longer than I care to admit.

One electricity-less afternoon, I was taking a bath. Baths have always been one of my major indulgences. I blame the Romans for inventing the Aqueducts. I blame them for their bath houses. But… this particular bath ended very abruptly, not with Jeff coming home drunk, not with anything I expected, but with my landlord, calling through the window “Christa, Christa! Are you OK in there? Answer if you can hear me!”

There was something in the way he said it. Maybe it was the fact that he wondered if I was ok. Maybe it was the fact that if I was there, I might not be ok, or that I might not be able to answer. My landlord, who probably had greater worries than me, the white girl in Canada, was worried. I opened the door. He surveyed the damage. All of a sudden I was looking at it through his eyes. I hadn’t been able to see everything Jeff had done, because it had all happened in little bits. And I don’t mean just to the building itself. There I was, standing in this broken-down kitchen, which I had once painted with such care, making a home… in the living room, which I had carefully selected a colour for, and removed the wallpaper, layer by painstaking layer, until I could paint it again. I had made a home, and Jeff had brought it all crashing down.

When my landlord walked in, he saw holes in the walls from fists. He saw that the cupboards had been pulled out of the ceiling. He saw bloodstains on the carpet. He saw how awful it was. He asked Jeff “How can I rent it like this? Who would want to rent this?” Jeff had no answer.

I finally confronted him. I told him about the paystubs I had found. I told him about the things that I had been through to keep us up. He admitted to being addicted to cocaine. I won’t ever forgive him.

That may sound harsh. It is harsh. It’s the way it has to be. This is not an addiction that this person overcame. This is nothing that he has ever said he regrets. Not even when I allowed him to stay in my life after my escape.

I owe my escape to my Mumsy, and Neil, who never knew the complexities or the absolute horror or living that way (and even this can’t seem to capture it) – but they gave me the means to escape, and the confidence to try something new.

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I should mention, at this point, that Jeff had been doing coke, and who knows what else, for who knows how long… I would offer this as an excuse, except that I find it inexcusable, and hold him in the lowest of low regards.

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And so… we arrive at the second part of today’s tasks

My Champions

The first one has to be revised to “My Mumsy and Neil”, My Granny, and “Myself”. I am not going to meet the goals set for today because I haven’t got the time to write the thank-you letters, but I will write them. The story took a lot out of me, though, and I think it’s time for me to go and get ready to do something new!

Te quiero!

Okay! So today was rushed, and I am just now getting home at 10:30 from work and a meeting. I have to leave the horror story until tomorrow, or I won’t make my bedtime goal.

But I will take the time to name my champions. They are:

My Mumsy, My Granny, and Myself. Three generations of champions. Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to tell you why. 🙂

Weird – as I sit down to write this, it is exactly 7:37pm; twleve hours to the minute since I started my morning post.

I just submitted my sixth (total) electronic email. I am trying to send emails to companies that I haven’t already papered, first, but that might prove kind of pointless, as after six, I am already running into repeats. I think what I will have to do is put together a coverletter, resume and small example package and actually go and flyer some of these places – maybe on Monday. I think I’ll put it on the list.

Alright, so I have some letters to write…

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fear

Dear Fear

You suck. All you are is a big bag of air, a bully, promising to knock me down. The crazy part about you, is that when I stand in your shadow, like that little chihuahua, I am too freaking afraid to move and get out of the danger zone. What’s the deal? Worst case scenario would be that the chair comes crashing down and gets me, best case is I get out. But if that chair is coming down, it’s going to get me for sure if I’m just petrified underneath it!

This is what people have to say about you :

You’re a master at emotional abuse! (“The only thing we have to fear is fear it’self – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” —- FDR – First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933)

You’re like a fire, and only after you leave can growth start. (“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” — Frank Herbert, Dune – Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear)

You talk the talk but you don’t walk the walk. You just trick me into making bad choices. You make others seem worse than they are, so that I have to choose you. (“What are fears but voices airy?/ Whispering harm where harm is not. / And deluding the unwary / Till the fatal bolt is shot!” —- Wordsworth)

You’re just a quick fix when I should be willing to work for a real solution to my problems. (“What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope.” —- Publilius Syrus – Moral Sayings (1st C B.C.))

I need to get my friend Courage to kick your ass. (Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it.” —- Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944))

You lie. (“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”—- German Proverb)

So guess what? Maybe I am still afraid, and that’s okay. I have a lot of things to be afraid of. But that’s not going to stop me from moving. I’m stronger than you.

Sincerely,

Christa

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Dear Procrastination, procrastination

I have just finished writing a letter to Fear, and I am not sorry to say that I have decided to end my relationships with both of you. You’re both selfish and immature. Especially you.

I am sick and tired of you leaving dirty dishes around my house, and the dog poop in the yard really should be picked up more than three times a week. You never get resumes out, and you watch too much TV. The dog needs to be walked more, and you promised to knit me a scarf – it’s getting on to summer! Also, there are still empty boxes waiting for you to fill them so that we can get rid of some of this junk, and the pop cans need to be returned to the bottle depot.

When I come home from work, I don’t want junk food for dinner just because cooking something isn’t worth it if we don’t have company, and please will you eat the vegetables I bought before they go bad, or the meat before it gets freezer-burnt? I hate throwing out food!

Go to bed earlier! When the sun comes up, it doesn’t mean go to sleep – you aren’t a vampire! And speaking of which, you should really get out of bed a bit earlier every morning – I think you’d actually appreciate the extra time. Maybe you’d look a little better if you spent more time on your grooming!

Also, you should call your mother more, and your grandparents won’t be alive forever, you know. When the bird screeches, why don’t you just feed it instead of waiting until it drives you nuts?

Everything you do drives me crazy, and I’m just not going to put up with you anymore!

Well, maybe just on weekends.

Please, don’t call me – you’ll just make it worse.

Christa

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Dear Monkey

evilmonkey2

As Procrastination’s pet, I thought I should let you know in person; I am kicking him out, for good, and he will be taking you with him.  Tell Procrastination that when you’re properly trained again, you and he can come and visit.

Christa

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Tomorrow’s task is to tell a horror story about my enemies, and boy have I got a doozy! It’s a true story. I’d write it down now, but then I’d be getting ahead of myself.

And also I have other things to do.

Tomorrow I will also list Three CHAMPIONS which always build me up instead of knocking me down. don_quixote1

I also have to send out five resumes, and I have a meeting in the evening. See you after the Stream (of Consciousness – but that’s getting too long to type every time) at around 7:15am instead of 7:30; I am liking the new schedule, but I’m finding those last 10 minutes a little too rushed after such a great start.

i love earth

It’s 7:37am. I’ve finished my stream of consciousness, my lunch is packed, I’ve drank half a cup of coffee, and I’m trying to think of three things that are blocking me from getting what I really want. It’s too early for this. But I have a headstart on yesterday, and I don’t think I have to take the bus to work today, so both of those are bonuses.

I did fail to go to bed at 11pm last night. It was past 3 again when my head hit the pillow. I’m sure I have a good excuse, but the brain fog is keeping me from thinking of it just now. I may have another coffee… Did you know that until about a month ago I had never had a cup of coffee, with the exception of a teensy McDonald’s one in the LA airport on a layover on the way to Guatemala when I was 15? Now I have one every two days or so. I suspect that number will rapidly double as these morning sessions go on.

Oooh, yeah. Wear green today. *Special note.

See what a stream of consciousness does? It lets your mind be a lot more random than usual. Also, it allowed me to add eight new things to my list of things to do. Right now they are sitting on a Post-it, glaring at me. They’re all good ideas with bad morning breath. I’ll disperse them throughout the week in a minute, here.

So. Three things that are holding me back. I suppose I would have to say that they are:

1) Fear. Of rejection, of failure, of not fitting in or not being liked. Of letting my bad habits take over and ruin things for me. Of starting new, unfamiliar things. Of finding out I really, actually, suck, like that bully in my head keeps telling me.

2) Procrastination. I always think that I’ll just ride something out. I need a shove. I wait for God to kick me in the a**. I’ve demonstrated this characteristic over and over. When I was younger, it was easy; my parents pushed me into things – I had to move up through gradeschool, to highschool, go to church, to youthgroups… college got a bit harder, making decisions for myself, but I still had them really backing me up. Then I went to Europe – the first big decision I ever made for myself, and it was on a whim. It was worth it. Then I moved here, engaged, both also almost on a whim. And I started to kind of float, waitressing, just existing. Until I was coaxed into taking Interior Design – then I swam hard. Then I graduated, and it was like coming out of a riptide and into a swamp. The market is dead, and there is no one to push me, except for myself. And look – I’ve started to sink. Damn you, Procrastination! Keeping the analogy going, I think it’s time to stop swimming; it’s time to start diving for pearls.

3) The Monkey. This one’s private, but he knows who I’m talking to. So does He. Goodbye, Monkey!

So. Now, I am going to take my multivitamin, put my camera into my purse, have a shower and start breakfast, put on something green, and get the dog outside to poop. If I have time, I’ll try to get a headstart on today’s resume quota.

Here’s this afternoon’s task. Now that I’ve identified my 3 Enemies, I will stew about them for 9 to 10 hours. Then I will come home from work, and write a really nasty letter to each of them. I am even allowed to swear, but I’ll censor that with fancy #*$<-type writing in case you have delicate sensibilities. To prepare you further, one of tomorrow’s tasks is to write out a horror story about one of those enemies. It can be in the form of a person, like, say an authority figure who encouraged that fear, or a time when procrastination led me to something really bad… I’ll be thinking of that today, too. I have a few in mind, from finding my Diary yesterday.

Hasta luego!

C

PS. I hadn’t mentioned it, but throwing out that diary feels like throwing off a chain. It’s sitting in the garbage next to me, right now. I tore all of the pages out. It is destroyed. I can point at it and laugh, and it can’t do anything to me. I don’t know why I’ve carried all of those bad things with me for the last three years since I stopped writing in it.