Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tonight's the night the world begins again ...

Long post warning! 

I’m taking (another) break from Freud and sucking on a hot-pink candy cane. Kindle un-downloaded it again and I lost all my notes, making me most irritated. After re-downloading, I had to take a break when I started over thinking the candy cane consumption. Honestly. Is there a reason to second-guess why I prefer starting on the non-hooked end and working toward the hook? Am I repressing my inner kink? Really, the only deep dark secret I have is my HUGE woman crush on Adele. I would so switch teams to date her. My gosh. I would like to invite you to take a second to consider the SKILL that this woman has, her growth from ‘19’ and ‘Chasing Pavements’ to her heartrending ‘21’ and ‘Someone Like You’. Her cover of Bonnie Rait’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ gives me the chills. ‘Save the Best For Last’ and ‘Make You Feel My Love’ rock my world. ‘21’ has been my personal theme album since about August.  I distantly remember scaring a young man by singing ‘Best for Last’ over and over in his car, like a type of hymn or a prayer.  It was simple and perfect. Additionally, the woman has soul and metal plated lady-balls. In an interview she had this amazing quote when someone asked her about her appearance –

Just wow. Maybe I’m less than 85% straight after all.

Christmas questing is a fun adventure, but is hard work. I have driven hither and yon and now I’m at LindyFocus after all the holiday hoopla, staying in a hotel room with dancers far more talented then me, as usual. The thing that kept me going on the road yesterday was driving with the radio WAY up. I jump between stations like a pro – starting with NPR as my default, and changing to Top 40 or Country when they start losing my interest or hit a commercial. I sing loudly in my car and drum on the steering wheel. I love my car for its confessional-esqe quality. I can yell at myself, sing with anger, vent, plan, argue, and rehash the day’s events – all in the most privacy I think most non-carpooling adults can get.

Christmas with the Ellis/Waddell side of the family was perfectly peachy, other than a car being broken into at the catering store, falling off of the sofa, and general unease. However, some wine time and giggles later, we were all able to relax and fall into the holiday. And open presents. I love it when people love the presents I give them! I think almost everyone was excited about his or her gifts – Pappy was excited about his sriracha and Nanna was thrilled about her toothpaste (she really loves this particular type, and I gave her other things too). And did I ever get spoiled – my dragonish nature was thrilled with some new necklaces – including one that Nanna has had for years and wanted me to have (super special). I also got a cool way to display them in my room – a necklace tree. And Andi gave me a book that may be the only thing to push me through my current book. It’s taking me forever to digest. But I am going to finish it, and my new book will be waiting! I book nerded out when I got it!

Christmas with the Crouse clan is always an involved affair – first the Christmas Eve family reunion where there is a meet and greet with the relatives you 'know’ but aren’t too close to, the questions about your job, your relationships, why you aren't married, when you will have children, and avoiding inappropriately flirty kin. There’s so much food the tables seem to groan under the weight. The next day there is a huge Christmas dinner, the house is always over-filled. Then the presents, last item of the day, are handed out and unwrapped in frenzy of paper and bows.  I got some perfume I love, lip balms, and some lovely fuzzy socks.

The entertainment for the occasion was  ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘Big Bang Theory’. Dad nearly turned purple at some of the physics jokes (although he did not like being called an Oompa Loompa of science), and Grandot loved the ‘I Love Lucy’ DVDs I got her. Dad did inform me that if indeed Dr. Sheldon Cooper existed, no matter my dating track record, I was not to bring him home to meet the family. EVER. I think part of his problem is the difficulty he has seeing the eccentricities our family already has in huge quantities.

I have major problems with noise, as anyone who knows me well is aware. I really can’t deal with being yelled at or being around things that are obnoxiously loud for long periods of time unless I am allowed a beer to settle me out a bit (hence my problem with Newspring, very loud and no bar). Christmas always tries my patience, due to the noisiness in the two families – Dad’s side due to deafness and both parties feeling the need to shout, and Pappy’s Fox News obsession on mom’s side. It also means I have to yell. I don’t like to yell. It makes me feel irritated and … mean. Especially when I have to yell at older people. Even to say hello. Yelling brings back painful memories of others and myself in less then ‘perfect’ situations. It also makes me feel like I’m being irrational. So I tend to be quiet in Elkin, so I don’t yell or clash.  Sometimes being around certain family members makes me feel the need to code-switch – but more of a persona code-switch then a linguistic one. There are different expectations and beliefs and I just don’t seem to quite fit the space they had carved out for me anymore. The mere THOUGHT or JOKE of me getting a tattoo sends the family at large into a kerfuffle.

Needless to say, being in Elkin with no WiFi for miles and miles and nothing but cows has been restful, in a way. I like being with my ‘people’ to relax. And an adult beverage doesn’t hurt. LindyFocus is a bit trying as well, even for a extrovert like me, mostly because the sheer number of people and trying to make myself fit somewhere and know enough people comfortably to impose my mediocre dancing on them.

In other news …

This isn’t a New Year’s post – it just happens to coincide somewhat with the resolution-making season. I was going through an old college journal (when I actually wrote with pen and paper everyday – heavens!) And found a half-finished ‘25 things to do before 26’ list. Obviously, I giggled a little, but then I looked at some of the things I had and had not accomplished since I originally undertook the writing of the list. I have edited, updated, and have decided to give myself a formal deadline for accomplishing the following 25 items.  Goals are always good things, and I can’t wait to see how far I get on this list, and if I can actually finish it.

1. Get a tattoo
            Really, this is a matter of committing to one of the MANY ideas that I have in my head … and designing it. I have several ideas for placement, and color, and I just need to pick my first.  Some days I think I have it set – and then I get a new idea or see something fabulous on Pinterest. My top two are literature related – one is a snippet from a Dr. Suess book and another is a snippet from Jane Austen. Also, I have to hide it from my family for the rest of my life. At least the grandparents.

2. Run a 5k
            I’ve wanted to do this since I was 16, and I’ve never actually signed up and run it, although I’m sure I could. Was cancelled, being rescheduled.

3. Run a 10k
            Same as above, but twice as hardcore. And I’ve registered. Zod help me. Wimped out. Rescheduling.

4. Donate hair to Locks of Love
            I have never been able to get my hair long enough to do this. I figure with another year of growth, I’ll have enough hair to not be totally bald after 10 inches gets taken off. This mostly involves me learning to be patient then any other major feat.

5. Go to a movie alone
            Sounds silly, but I’ve never actually done it. I usually just wait for the DVD.  Did it! Completely cheesy movie, and did it to kill time on a day off. Wasn't that bad. Will do again. It was really NBD. Why did I wait so long?

6. Have good pictures taken (personal, not necessarily boudoir)
            There are maybe 3 pictures in existence of ME that I really like. I just am not photogenic. I am tired of family displaying TERRIBLE photos of me and un-tagging FaceBook photos constantly. I never had a ‘senior’ session either. A friend said a boudoir session would be fun for me, especially after I finish my 10K. I’m not too sure. However; I will get some nice photos done, that I’m proud of. I may wear normal clothing. I may wear lace. Who knows!

7. Own and wear at least one piece of pretty, nice lingerie
            I may not need a bustier, but gosh-darn-it, I want one, and I want to wear it. I have bought brides pretty lacey things. My turn. Maybe a corset?

8. Maintain a blog with some regularity
            Working on this one, obviously.

9. Wear a 2 piece at the beach without a cover-up

10. Read 25 banned books
            I picked these. You can research why they were banned, if you’re curious. I found I’ve read more than I had imagined already, thanks to my PCA education and my stubbornness.
            Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
            Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
            As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
            Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
            The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure
            The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
            Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
            Howl by Allen Ginsberg
            The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
            Lysistrata by Aristophanes
            Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
            Things Your Father Never Taught You by Robert Masullo
            Waco: The Davidian Massacre by Carol Moore
            And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
            Beloved by Toni Morrison
            Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
            The Awakening by Kate Chopin
            Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
            Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
            The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain
            Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
            Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez
            Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
            The Color Purple by Alice Walker
            Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

11. Yoga
            Ever since my doomed class, I’ve been afraid to go back. I will conquer this fear. And I will become a flexible goddess of the downward dog.  EPIC!

12. Pole Dancing
            I have always wanted to take a few classes. Have you ever seen how athletic and graceful people who use this dance as an art form are? I saw it on America’s Got Talent (guilty pleasure of Julie’s) and have been fascinated with the idea of trying it ever since. There are some places that offer fitness classes in Greenville. LW and JL seem down ...

13. Choreograph and film a dance routine
            I want to be able to pull up a decent video of me swing/blues/whatever dancing on YouTube and say – Look, I don’t suck!

14. Improve my accuracy with my firearm

15.  Cook for and pull off a dinner party for 8 or more
            I don’t have the space in my townhouse for this, but I’ve always admired my aunt’s ability to pull off a cloth napkin affair for our big family with no major panic on her part. I want to be able to do it as well. I will have to do some major brainstorming to figure this one out. Maybe someone will let me borrow their kitchen for my birthday?

16. Give up caffeine for a month
            It will suck. But I really need to detox and see if I can function without it. I’m thinking a summer month. SO did it. SO over it. Love my coffee. Drink it black now, mostly.

17. Go on a vacation with a group of friends
            Even if it is only for a weekend at the beach or a road trip to the mountains, the goal is a multi-night, non-catastrophic stay. With photographic evidence. Dance events do not count, after I gave it some thought.

18.  Complete a home improvement project on my own (or with help from ONLY the Lowes guys)
            I will reject help. I will make the improvement. It will be awesome. I pity the man or woman who tries to tell me otherwise. This does NOT apply to painting. Painting is meant to be done in a party-type way.

19.  Play a sport for fun
            Team sports freaked me out as a kid, and still do to some extent. I want to actually have fun playing a ‘sport’ and not panic about the score too much. Or my total lack of skill.

20.  Find my signature cocktail
            I will be a more creative bartender and will expand my repertoire – and find the cocktails that I love to order. Yay Pinterest for getting me started.

21.  Go to LEAF
            I love it, and I forget to schedule it before it gets obscenely expensive. My friends aren’t typically into this type of geekery either, which makes it more difficult for me to find people to go with, but I will balls up and go alone if I need to. Mmmmm, LEAF.

22.  Go to a Ren Faire
            Always loved the idea, but have never been brave enough to actually go.

23. Draft a grant proposal
            Had to throw something intellectually difficult on the list, right?

24. Start and COMPLETE a piece of artwork/craft
            Finishing is the difficult part.

25. Be entirely debt free
            Not that it’s too much – but I want to have the knowledge that I paid it down and took it over myself.

Extra Credit videos - 


  1. "14. Improve my accuracy with my firearm

    Actually, there's quite a lot of explaining to do there. :P