Sunday, May 18, 2008

Too Much Ticky Tacky?

Hey all you faithful readers, those few of you who still come to this site, hoping for updates, only to be disappointed with a whole lot of nothingness. To those of you, and you know who you are, I can only say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have updates - housing, love life, political affiliations, favorite tv shows, new books, new shoes, news in general, y'know, updates.

So, I did it! I made it, made the move to Eden Prairie and am now living away from mice, away from squirrels, away from all things urban and downtown, smack dab in the middle of suburbia. This is a bittersweet move for me, as I'm discovering how much I really loved being in the middle of the downtown Minneapolis scene. Being urban overtook me much like a carbon dioxide leak, I never saw it coming. I didn't know how much I appreciated the cityscene till I was gone from it, literally stuck in the middle, of what feels like nowhere. There are some things I really miss, like getting anywhere on a $5 cab ride, that great two story Target I frequented at least three times a week, that even greater Marshall Fields (oh, excuse me, Macys) that carries Izzies ice cream and has a bookstore, the ease of public transportation from the middle of a hub, Pizza Luce via delivery on speed dial, feeling so urbane sophisticate ala Mary Tyler Moore as I'd walk down Nicollet Mall on the way home, the busy, bustling way it buzzed with people (who me, like alliteration? Surely not!). There are other things, however, I'm oh so glad to leave behind, like said taxi cab drivers when I'm on my bike, malnourished, crazy-eyed squirrels who will stab you as soon as look at you (or rather, die in your kitchen), mice that scurry every time you turn on a light, and even when you don't, the warm welcome I never received from my "spiritually superior" neighbors, such close to proximity to the bad memories of a certain church and the lack of anything green, pretty, safe or quiet.

I love my new digs - please don't get me wrong. Everytime I walk into my new living room, bright, clean and pretty, I am amazed at the night & day transformation of my space. I don't think I realized how pitifully dusty, dark and dirty my old apartment really was. Ew. I'm an idealist, an optimist, the kind of person who's Mary Sunshine outlook strives to make anything work, no matter how bad, and who's doe eyed Bambi-esque naivete will fail to see something wrong with a situation while I still hold out hope for making it better. I can see, clearly now that the cobwebs are cleared, just how rose colored my glasses were at this last place. It really was a dump!

But the new digs - well let me just say I've never seen a prettier backyard, what with our shaded, sprawling lawn, perfectly manicured garden and pink plastic flamingos. Yesterday, as I was grilling turkey brats (ala suburbia in my Gap linen pants, tank top, cashmere cardi & overpriced J.Crew flip flops), I realized that our grill totally faces the wrong direction - it needs to face out into the yard, instead of looking at the house (though the house aint that bad either). I woke up late (ahhhh, Saturdays) and rode my bike along the shaded trails that run alongside all the roads in our development (which I've appropriately dubbed Wee Britain). On my ride, I stopped at not one, not even two, but six garage sales. I bought books, and a new bookshelf, and a puzzle, all for about $20, and chatted with the neighbors, shook hands and kissed babies. It's like I was running for president of our own little slice of Eden Prairie heaven. Then I came home and baked pies.

Oh, I'm happy where I'm at. I'm getting settled in, unpacking, putting things in their place, wondering where to hang the Birawer, or how I'm going to fit my clothes in my closet (even if I had a Hollywood Hills Crib straight out of In Style, that would be a problem). All in all, the new digs are great. Lovely, suburban, and great.

On to more and better news - I'm in love with the West Wing. The TV Show, not the actual White House Office (having never been there). A while back a friend loaned me season one, saying it was the best show she's ever watched. Pretty tall order if you ask me. Now, four seasons in, two celebrity crushes later, a wave of patriotism has overtaken me and I am in flippin love with this show. It's intelligent, well written, the characters have depth and are developed with a panache that draws you into their stories gradually, building a foundation upon their roles and then frosting that with their personal lives & stories. It is funny without being slapstick or nonsensical, it's loaded with nuances, references and tidbits of American trivia and pop culture that are just enough to keep you on your toes, or at least keep the subtitles on. It makes you think, makes me cry, and has inspired me to once again believe that we can have a strong, moral, intellectual, capable and yet human leader in the White House who will lead this country in all things good and holy. I'm not exactly holding out great hope for our next Presidential Election, but watching the West Wing has at least inspired me enough to cast off my cynicism and tired, beaten attitude regarding politics and investigate who these staunchly partisanal candidates are in front of the American people right now. If they're all we have, at this moment, I better learn who they are, what they believe and where they stand, because there is no excuse for not casting my vote just because the pickings are slim. Indeed, all this, just from a canceled NBC drama. Let's see Friends do that.

Let's see, on to next: Love life. Nonexistent really. And sadly lacking any potential on the horizon either. Having dumped the UCE, then having made the grossly unladylike mistake of drunk dialing him two weekends later, I am back to holding radio silence where he is concerned. He's finally respecting my wishes and not initiating contact either. Yet a day doesn't go by where I don't think of him, oddly. Here's the thing - we were never really that close. He never told me he loved me, or even came close to feeling such affection for me. I don't love him, and never did. So, why, why, why do I miss him?

Well I think the answer lies in not so much missing him, as much as missing the thought of him. The thought of having a guy around, someone who liked me, who wanted to kiss me and who would on occasion, take me to go do fun things like dinner or a movie. In retrospect, though, all but the kissing wasn't that great (and even there, it takes two to tango, so, maybe it was all me!). We never did fun date-like things, like museums, or games, or bike rides or picnics. It was like pulling teeth to get him to spend time with me at all, much less to do anything other than stay home & watch a movie (and as I'm sharing all this now, I'm realizing how humiliatingly sad and pathetic it's making me look).

So, really, what was there to miss? Well, I guess the thought of maybe, possibly, kind of having someone around. I need to remind myself of this, everytime I think of him. I don't miss him, I miss the potential that he could be around. But sadly, he never was and he's still not, so c'est le vie, life goes on.

And a good life it is. One in which I'm thankful for so many things. That spring has finally sprung. That summer will soon be here. That I have the prettiest, greenest, most parklike trails in which to ride my bike to work. That at the end of the week, I still have a job. That the Lord loves me, even though I refuse to fit into the American Christian woman mold that so many women find their identities and solidarity in. That he loves me even when I find that mold irritating and annoying and rebel against what that kind of woman is supposed to look like, and try to forge my own way to share Him, know Him and love Him without giving in to listening to Point of Grace or KTIS or reading books with the words Purpose, Praying Woman, or Bless in the titles. That He loves me even when I accidentally drop the F-Bomb or sneak a cigarette while out with girlfriends. I'm thankful that I have a great mom, of whom I'm proud for all her hard work raising a creative, wacky little autistic guy. And that I have a great Minnesota mom, who reminds me all the time that I'm loved and am part of a family! That I have funny, quirky little kids around me whose eyes are filled with wonder and whose hearts are filled with silliness and whose feet love to dance and run and skip and jump. That I have friends who listen, laugh, support and moderately tolerate me. That I have a voracious appetite for books, and God has seen fit to bless it through Amazon's Super Saver Shipping program, of which I'm a bountiful partaker. Or something like that.

There are so many things to be happy for, and to be thankful for, and (without sounding too Christianese) I really do lead a blessed life. As I ponder and think on all these things, I think I, and we all, really, ought to remember the Chinese, and their loss, of parents and children and homes. We ought to remember those in Myanmar, and ask God to heal them, physically, emotionally, fiscally and their land as well. I want to never forget the faces of Darfur orphans, only now learning what it is to be read to, or held, after months of severe, death causing neglect and ostracism. These are all people that need our prayers, and our support. We have so much, in this land of ticky-tacky suburbanism and wealth. I can see that, even now, in my big-ass backyard, with dinner grilling behind me on the bbq, and my nice tv in my nice living room waiting for me downstairs. May I always be grateful for what God has given me and never be so tied to it that I couldn't part with it at the drop of a hat, and may it never cloud my mind from remembering those with less, or loving on them at any opportunity I get.

Till later, sionara from the EP. Trin

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