the wrong side of the bed

Saturday, September 29, 2007

it is not like years ago

i don't know for sure what made me think of these two and a half things

1. the boy i had a crush on in high school sang "nightswimming" during a choir concert. he would laugh when i was sarcastic even though the other boys were determined that girls were not funny. i cannot tell you how many times i listened to that song.

2. the same kids were almost always in my classes, thanks to tracking, so i am not sure how this happened, but it happened in eighth grade. i'm kind of remembering that we did some kind of class jumbling thing for a few weeks. we were working on group projects for our social studies or history or whatever class. in my group there was a kinda goth, kinda skater boy in my group, and i did not know him at all. there was also a girl named melody and a kid of some sort who i cannot remember.

i knew melody* because she had the locker next to mine in gym. she wore matching bras and underwear. they were always satin and dark colors like burgundy and forest green. she also wore thigh high stockings with garters. it was very hard not to watch her changing. this was during the same period of time that i would change clothes without ever actually fully undressing. so, yeah, i remember melody.

the kinda goth, kinda skater boy was kind of dismissive of me because i was such a dorky loser. from about 6th grade through my first year of college i wore the baggiest clothes that i could find in as many layers as i could tolerate. thank the heavens for grunge or high school would have been so unbearable as to have done me in. melody was nice to me because she knew me from gym, but the boy acted like i wasn't there and didn't really care about my input. without any contribution (or suggestion, because i was very shy) we ended up naming our country after the album green. after that we made ecology a big theme for our country.

do you remember those binders that had the extra, flexible plastic layer so that you could slip photos our paper into the outside? am i describing that well? at my school mostly only girls had them, but this goth skater kid had one. there was a picture of a girl that i knew and it turned out was his girlfriend. we had a very awkward conversation establishing how i knew her. my sister was briefly hospitalized for depression when she was in high school.** all of the kids and their families had a therapy session together once while my sister was there, during which his girlfriend confessed to her mother that she drank "a beer." according to my sister, she did a lot more than that, but, seriously, you don't end up in some kind of weirdo psychiatric treatmenty kinda place for being 13 and drinking one beer.

after he found out about my sister, i was suddenly much cooler.

1/2. there was a statue in my hometown that was supposed to be someone standing on the shoulder of a giant, but it was really more of a statue of a child coming out of the armpit of a man with his arms outstretched in the air. when we were driving around, as teenagers do, my friend clare and i would sometimes sing the relevant bit of the song "king of birds." we knew, don't worry, that is not the origin of the saying.

* i just tried to google melody by what i remember her first and last name to me. i'm not finding her. maybe her name wasn't melody... i did have a my little pony with that name, so maybe i am getting them confused.

** she didn't really need to be hospitalized. about a year later, there was a big scandal about those kinds of hospitals engaging in scams to get money from insurance companies by accepting patients that were not actually in need of care. whatever. it is still a good story, i guess. an even better part of the story is that my sister, while initially delighted to be there eventually exploded during family therapy saying, "it's dorotha's fault i'm here! dorotha's the one who should be here!"

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Monday, September 24, 2007

sodium vapor

it was nice out when i got home from work, so i went on a short walk. it took encouragement from my friend sean who assured me that people weren't going to wonder where i was going if i set out rambling along with no goal in mind. yes, i get that no one cares about what i am doing as much as i do, but i also get that sometimes they do. the missed connections section of craigslist, for example, leads me to believe that sometimes strangers are watching. there is also the evidence that i notice other people and make snap judgments about them. while my soul mate could be out there stalking me from afar and then posting about it, it is more likely that some little troll like myself is staring at me and mumbling accusations and criticisms under her breath. despite all of this, sean was convincing and i went for a walk to nowhere.*

i'd like to say that on the way back i saw something that made my whole day seem worthwhile, but i didn't. i did see some pretty yellow leaves that reminded me of the church parking lot that i used to pass on my way to campus. it had very slick, black asphalt. the accumulation of yellow leaves, especially when it rained, made a nice contrast. when i saw these leaves and remembered the other leaves i also remembered another parking lot. when i was in high school, our parking lot had yellow lights. classes started at 7:25, but i always got to school well before that because i was compulsively early to everything when i was young. it was often just dawn when i would get to school. i loved the way the lights looked against the sky. i especially loved it if the lights went out when i was in the parking lot. sometimes i would wait in my car until they did.

when i was in elementary school, just like every other kid, i loved new boxes of crayons. crayola were the best because they weren't too soft and because they had enough pigment for the colors to be dense and vibrant. when we did chores for money, i would use mine to buy new 64 crayon boxes. my parents, my dad especially, did not like this because we always had plenty of crayons, but there is really nothing like a brand new box. i would pour the crayons out onto the floor and arrange them in different groups.** all blues, all oranges, all reds. then i would rearrange them. blue, orange, red, blue, orange, red. i would put the brightest blue next to the brightest red and the darkest blue next to the darkest red. or i would put a bright yellow with a dark purple. i would arrange yellow, green, blue, purple, red, orange. then i would move orange to the front. i would do this for hours. then i would test the colors on paper and rearrange them again. sometimes a color that looked dark was actually pale when you used it (cornflower). sometimes a pale color was much denser than it looked (periwinkle). i would spend hours determining which color was my favorite in different groups and which was my favorite overall. spring green gave me a weird, uncomfortable feeling. instead of making a crayon that color, why not just use less pressure to draw? raw sienna and burnt umber sounded more mysterious than i thought browns should. i would use up those two crayons quickly because i had to check them a lot. is it still named raw umber? is it still just brown? how can i tell which is burnt and which is raw? i didn't like warm colors much at all, and not surprisingly, the only red i could handle was a very cool magenta. i struggled with the oranges. they all looked so similar so none outshone the others. i didn't care for yellow either, but my favorite was goldenrod, even though it was named for a flower that made me sneeze. things like "green yellow" and "yellow green" made me wonder why there wasn't "red purple" or "purple blue." i think there may have been a "blue green" but no mirror "green blue." i liked the blues and purples the best. indigo was nice. midnight blue was nice. it was between the two. "midnight blue" seemed very romantic to me while indigo seemed a fuller color. i really did like indigo the best, but would try to believe and try to make myself believe and really want to believe that i liked midnight blue better. sometimes it worked and sometimes not.

i used to draw pictures of myself over and over again. i drew myself in a dress with big puffy sleeves because, like anne of green gables, i thought they were fancy. sometimes i would just draw a doll that was really a drawing of myself, but i knew it didn't look much like me so i would pretend to myself that it was trying to draw something else. instead of giving myself brown hair and peach skin and hazel eyes, i would use only the greens, for example. i would line them up from yellowest to bluest. then i would start a part of the drawing, always the hair first. when i was done with that, i would switch to the next crayon. next feature, the next crayon. i would rotate through as many times as it took. if i ended up having two things next to each other that were both in the same color then that is how it had to be because there were rules.

there isn't much point to this, but i feel like i am supposed to pull it all together into a lesson. mostly i was just thinking about the color yellow, which i have changed my opinion of since i was a child, and crayons. i guess that i could say that a friend told me to do things i enjoy, but that i have a hard time thinking of things i enjoy. the same friend also told me to make a list of things i like about myself. i said that i appreciate color and he rejected it. i'm supposed to say that i am smart or not a fuckwit or whatever. but, i enjoy colors and i am glad that i do. it is something i like in other people. no one else in my family really does. i would say that my dad is indifferent to it, my sister is confused by it, my mother is terrified of it, and my brother is accepting of it.*** honestly, my mother would live in a clear world if she could. my dad could survive equally well in a hot pink and lime home or a navy and gray one. my sister would chose to live in a monochromatic world, preferably maroon or forest green. my brother, perhaps because his wife is from san antonio and he lives in new orleans (two very brightly colored places) is the most comfortable and daring harried other than myself.

on the flip side, i think i am scared of order and uniformity. blank surfaces and empty spaces make me nervous. a navy bedspread, beige walls, a mahogany nightstand. there are not enough places to look! i could stare too long at one thing and not have something else to pull me away. i need a variety of shapes and colors to fight for my attention. i can fixate on one thing too much. i can become obsessive. look at all of my collections! when i start i can't stop. imagine having all of my focus on you. as pleasant as it may sound to have a dorotha devoted to you, it is not actually pretty. better that i should have many of you to sort through. 64 of you.

still don't know how to end this post. here.

* i came up with a reason in case anyone asked.

** i can't remember if this is my story or sean's. once, at the toy store where we worked, a little boy was playing in the vehicle section. he was putting all of the buses together. when his mom saw this she started shouting, "he's grouping! he's grouping!" which i think would have been more impressive if he weren't pulling them from a bucket of nothing but buses.

*** i get that it is weird to refer to color as an it. i mostly mean that my family doesn't think much about color, but if they did, they mostly wouldn't. but, color is not an it.

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9:12 PM | link | (3) comments

Saturday, September 22, 2007

rather than fix the problem, let's just post this

my job requires a lot of driving. sometime i enjoy it. yesterday, in addition to this sign, i also saw a sticker on a car of an american flag shaped butterfly (or a butterfly filled with an american flag). i understand an eagle, but a butterfly?

february 21st is also, as demonstrated by columbus, wisconsin elementary and middle school students, the united nations international day of peace. the display of pinwheels in the lawns of the two schools was much nicer to see than the usual nationalistic displays. i'm not sure how the butterfly fits into this.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

cool kids

tonight my friend penny* and i were discussing our friend anne. i commented that i had called her on saturday but never heard back even though i thought she was planning to. i have tried to get in touch with anne a few times since then, too. i remarked to penny that she could easily be dead. penny noted that if we were going by the last time she had spoken to anne, she could have been dead since may. we wondered if anne were actually dead we would hear about it. would anne's parents know how to reach us or even if they should try? i think they would put some effort into finding me, but maybe not. i know that if penny were to die i would hear about it through my friend david. likewise, if i were to die, david would tell penny.

after penny, i talked to my mother. she was agitated when i told her this. she doesn't know how to get in touch with my friends. if something awful happened to me she wouldn't know what to do. if i died, she wouldn't know who to invite to the party. she also wouldn't know who to call if i fell ill with spinal meningitis and needed to be taken care of. when we were kids, she had a folder that she wrote information on. somethings were in the folder, but a lot of it was actually on the folder.** contact information for families, friends, and neighbors. my mom doesn't have that for me anymore and she needs it.

if you want on the list, please let me know. i will send your information to my mom. you will not be invited to my funeral otherwise. anne, you do not need to email because 1) you never email, 2) i assume you would want to know, and 3) you are already dead and it isn't like someone is going to drag your corpse to the funeral. but i hope you aren't dead because that would make me look like a real asshole.

* not real names

** on the phone earlier, my mom called it the orange folder, even though i am fairly sure it is green and has always been green, even though it is not the original green folder. sometimes i almost believe my mother when she says she is color blind. the only problem is that it has always been a green folder and she should just learn to call it that even if she can't distinguish the two colors apart.

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9:59 PM | link | (1) comments

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

dorotha who sits*

last week i didn't finish anything i needed to get done at work. the same for monday of this week. tuesday when i left my desk i still had things sitting there from august and i moved the most urgent of those in my chair so that i wouldn't be able to put them off. today i sat on them. i never looked at them. i just sat. it felt weird, but it didn't hurt.

my scheduled work hours are 8:00 - 4:30, assuming i don't have night meetings. today i left at 4:45. i would have stayed later but, thank god, i had a party to go to! my roommate's workplace was having a "talk like a pirate day" party. even though i think pirates are soooooo 2 years ago, i decided to attend because, well, my pool of friends is on the decline and it isn't getting any more promising. there were only a handful of people, but i actually knew two of them through friends.**

i was nervous before i got to the party. i'm scared of people. sometimes they bite and stuff. but, i went anyway. i wasn't a huge fuck up. i did talk to a few people. i managed to ask people questions about themselves, though not quite as much as i should. i tend to dominate conversations despite my social anxiety.

the funnest part, however, was somehow upsetting/hurting/annoying my roommate's boss. i have no idea how. i asked her if she liked the button i was wearing, erroneously assuming that, because my roommate had pinned it on me when i walked in, maria had either made it or that it had something to do with their company. it would seem that i was wrong, but i have no idea how. maria said she would tell me when we "weren't in front of the children." i am hoping it involves swingers.

this happened after i had already been there for around 2 hours, and i did not stay for cake.

*let me just say that when i searched my blog to see if i have ever used the above as the title of a post before, i came up with this. i am pretty funny. fuck you if you don't think so. i do wonder what that post was about, though.

** in the who time i have known them as friends of friends, i have never talked to the woman part of the couple as much as i did tonight. i have still barely spoken to the man. it turns out she is quite nice.

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Monday, September 17, 2007


do you ever hope and hope that something will happen that has zero chance of occurring? this afternoon i am going somewhere that will ultimately likely be useful, but certainly not in the short run.

on another note, thank you to a friend who has helped me come up with a reason to make toys and trinkets. you will get a lovely present for thanksgiving.


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Sunday, September 16, 2007

close your eyes tight and make a wish

after a failed evening out, with a horribly humiliating premise to begin with, i came home at 12:34. not the same as 11:11, but almost as good, and sometimes maybe better. this time, however, not good or better.


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Saturday, September 15, 2007

sunny p

beef o'brady's was everything i hoped and more! actually, it wasn't. i was hoping for something less hygienic, but what can you do. the meeting didn't suck as much as i thought it would. i actually left sincerely a couple of times. altogether, nothing to blog about.

when i got home, i talked to my friend carole for over 2 hours. i think it is strange to have that much to say to another person. on the other hand, i spend much of my day talking. it may be my single most favorite thing to do.
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Friday, September 14, 2007

if instead of red, my voicemail light flashed green, would my life be any different?

i'm not sure.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

living life

once again i would like to remind everyone that i must eat at a restaurant called beef o'brady's. additionally, i will be eating there on a friday evening with volunteers from a suburb of madison. my life is thrilling.

i think i am going to try to drug myself to sleep tomorrow evening around 9:00. my roommate takes prescription sleep aides. or i could just use antihistamines. they make me very sleepy.

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11:31 PM | link | (1) comments

proud to be an american, where at least i know i'm free

do you remember that song? i think the choir sang that at ever event that we had during my entire time at mccullough high school. it kind of made me sick, but i knew all of the words. it was a rough time being liberal in the houston suburbs.

yesterday i was working with some volunteers out in one of my communities. we were talking about a flyer (flier - each spelling is acceptable). we print our fliers/flyers with english on one side and spanish on the other. she said that she regretted that we had to put spanish on the back. i said that i did, too, thinking that she meant that they should be on the same side and then we would have more room for different content on the back.* then she said, "this is america, speak english. i wouldn't go to your country and expect to be allowed to speak english."**

situations like these hit me out of the blue. when i was a grad student, the differences of opinion that we had were, from a more distant perspective, pretty minor. if i thought someone was totally wrong, i would just go on the attack. if my extended family says something that troubles me, and they almost never do, my brother and sister an i engage them in a battle.

so i froze and the color drained from my face. the volunteer that did not make the comment noticed and tried to smooth things over by saying that they were just "venting" between each other and that they would never say that in front of the girls they mentor. she said that people are better than the sound. i looked right at the woman who made the comment and said, "yes, people are better than they sound."

what am i supposed to do in a situation like that? she is a volunteer and i am doing a job. i couldn't freak out in my normal way. and i am not cool-headed enough to explain things to her her rationally. later i thought that maybe i should have said that i am part native american or something and fully agreed that people should speak the language of the country to which they immigrate. you know, rather than engage her in some more complicated argument.

anyway, what would you do? how would you handle something like that?

* i regretted the entire flyer. the design was horrible. i honestly thought that she was talking about the fact that there was no space for a rip-off interest form, which is driving me and my volunteers batty.

** i seriously doubt that if she went to another country, say japan, she would expect to learn that countries language.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

i cannot believe that i am 31

i think there is a reason that my little brother calls me little sister. it isn't a particularly flattering reason.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

even if i ate meat this would gross me out

i am going to a dinner meeting on friday evening to a place called Beef O'Brady's.


8:23 AM | link | (1) comments

Sunday, September 09, 2007

becoming my mother

when i was a kid, my sister and i loved to watch "little house on the prairie." it came on before dinner time, and my mother was always cooking when it was on. she would watch a few minutes here and there. even watching a third of the show at the most, she would still cry every time.

i have been watching episodes of "ugly betty" online. i cried at one of the episodes just now. i don't care what you think or i wouldn't have told you.

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11:21 PM | link | (2) comments

i wandered lonely as a cloud

i am recycling old notebooks, but going through all of them first to save blank pages. i found the little diary in which i wrote poetry in high school. (i was depressed! cut me some slack! at least i don't do it anymore.) i am getting rid of it and wonder why i kept it so long. also going away are notebooks from both undergrad and grad school. it would seem that i am a pack rat.
2:37 PM | link | (2) comments

Friday, September 07, 2007

drivin on 9

my job involves a lot of driving around in madison and surronding communities. for the past three days i have gotten lost. on wednesday i missed an exit to marshall and had to drive an extra 10 or 11 miles before there was another. on thursday i made about a thousand wrong turns in deforest. i get lost there all of the time. in my defense, their street signs are hard to read (black and white with a strange, crowded font) and i think i need new glasses anyway. today i missed the 12/18 exit going to cambridge. on the way back, i went the wrong way on 12/18 for about 2 miles. i have no idea how i can get lost so easily. it makes my job challenging, but at least my teensy car gets good mileage. driving around, especially given the absented mindedness and confusion that sends me way off course, gives me a lot of time to think, which is often quite horrible given my often morose nature. today wasn't so bad. a little bad, but suprisingly okay. i thought through some things and made a couple of decisons, one of which was to make an optometry appointment.

anyway, the best part of my drive today was passing a truck weigh station that was actually open! in my experience they are almost always closed. not only did this one ask that trucks stop, but as they left, there was an electronic message board that said, "okay go ahead." cracked me up. i tried very hard to remember it, and i did. i also tried to remember the lyrics to a country song that i caught when i was scanning the radio signals. i think the song had the word "bone" in it, but that is all i can dredge up. like skeletal bones, befofe your mind takes that trip to the gutter.

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10:43 AM | link | (0) comments

The next time you feel you're all worn out remeber life is just a story, don't you doubt

so, a couple things. i don't want to make it seem like i am a treat to date or something. i can drive people away with my tenacity and neediness. whatevs. there you go.

also, i am in love with jeff lewis. so there. he cheered me up a bit this morning. take that!

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10:30 AM | link | (0) comments

Thursday, September 06, 2007

if looks could kill I'd kill the men whose looks would kill you if looks could kill

so, i have previously blogged about the first person i kissed. the way he won me over and the way he let me go. when we started dating, he delighted in the fact that he stole me away from my roommate, who, honestly, at the time did not seem to care until i was being stolen. gary was mean to me, manipulative, fed on my insecurities, and seemed to take delight in telling me that i was just not good enough. why did this make him so appealing? (answer: i am really fucked up.) everyone i know who has known him is awed by his meanness, even his close friends.*

there is a funny part of me that is certain that i will prevail when presented with the challenge of turning someone who is just not into me** into someone who will stay with me forever. i am pushy and it makes things worse. i seem to be especially drawn to situations that i know will end poorly. gary was never going to like me and i knew it pretty early on. the mix tape was the only thing nice that he ever did. he was dismissive of me. i was always quiet and depressed around him.*** i thought he and i were alike because we were both so miserable. i thought maybe we could be miserable together. i worked very hard to be miserable with him, even though i was plenty sad on my own.

i don't think i am yet over gary. not because i love him or something, because i definitely don't and never did, but because being rejected by someone so horrible makes me feel like i must be even worse than that. how could something beastly reject me? wouldn't i be a good enough option? how could he think i wasn't? he did, and part of me regrets not convincing him of my worth because it makes me doubt the parts of me that might be good. additionally, any person who could be enough for him must certainly have been superior to me. this person must be more than me. more everything than me. more everything good and maybe even more somethings bad that then become lovable quirks.

* sean had no beef with gary. he liked him because once gary kissed him on the forehead. i have never understood how sean could feel this way about someone who actively tried to make my life worse.

** i can decide whether to link to the amazon page about the "just not that into you" book or to jeremy's posts about it, so fuck it. no link.

*** now i am more loud than quiet. probably a bit less depressed, but i think i cry more often.

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11:25 PM | link | (4) comments

when i type in neuropsychologist, spell chekc wants me to use parapsychologist

i have other, more distressing news, but i will tell you about my brain instead. i get to go to the neuropsychologist on october 3rd. the testing will take 4-6 hours. i'm not really sure what i will be doing and the woman who scheduled my appointment was not terribly forthcoming with information. i am happy to go and they can do whatever they want to me. within reason.

i'm afraid that my medications keep me up past my bed time. i am always exhausted, but when i go to sleep, i don't actually go to sleep. i need to stop taking my pills before i go to bed. even though the label on the side of the container indicates that i may experience drowsiness. big fucking lie. i plan to be a zombie tomorrow, which is great because i have to chair a meeting at 8:00 pm and then possibly go home and bake a cake.

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