Fatal Knickknack Attraction

My knickknack collection could rival a small local museum, I’ve got interesting rocks, a cast iron nutcracker in the shape of a squirrel, little glass bottles that I have never been able to open, even the tooth of a whale.  All of these things serve absolutely no purpose in my daily life, other than the fact then when I’m tipsy I pull them all out like some sort of drunken,

Some of my Vital Belongings

late night show and tell.

“and this antique compass is made of solid brass! Fascinating, right?”

They provide no real purpose, but I very much enjoy their presence in my life, until today when one of them actually brought me to tears.

I was in a frenzy, the kind I get into once a month or so where I feel the strange urge to partially, not completely, organize my life.  I was arranging my books on the shelf when it happened, the stone Buddha head that resides there rolled out of place and hurled itself in the direction of my guitar stand.

Let me assure you that I screamed bloody murder.

First of all, why do I have a stone Buddha head? No idea.  All I know is that I purchased said object in an antique store where I was probably looking for, you guessed it, more knickknacks.

So, this useless piece of stone that barely holds up books smacked into my acoustic guitar, dubbed Bruce, leaving a nasty mark in the finish before it hit the floor. I immediately was all business and panic.  I shut of the blaring Velvet Underground and grabbed my old friend Bruce to assess the damage.

Now make nice, or else.

It didn’t look good, but it didn’t look too bad either, facing my uncertainty as to the condition of my dear guitar, I did what any irrational person would do in my situation, I cried.

Holding Bruce by the neck I sought help from the only person around, my roommate Mark.  I stood outside his door crying and didn’t even knock, just called his name.

“Mark?”

“Yeah?”

“I hurt my guitar.”

I went in and he was sitting on his bed.  Gripping the neck of my guitar I told my terrible tale and showed him the damage.

“Oh my God,” said Mark, “it’s fine.”

“Are you SURE?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” his face clearly showed how entertained he was by the situation, “Are you crying over that?”

I nodded.

“It’s not even that great of a guitar.”

I cried harder.

Long story short, Bruce and I both pulled through; and I set out to weed out my knickknack collection, which proved to be harder than I thought it would be.  I mean, I’m obviously going to keep the old tequila bottle housing the needle that gave me my first tattoo, but how could I be rid of my glass manatee? Or the rock my friend brought back for me from Bonnaroo?  Looks like I’m going to keep my dangerous, knickknack-loving lifestyle. At least until the next incident, then they all go.

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Single Ladies Don’t Get Bedhead, But Bachelors Do

Sometimes, it’s really great to be of the female persuasion.  For instance, just last week I was moving a dresser with a good girl friend of mine, and as it turned out, all we had to do was smile big and pretty and it moved itself.  A cop and a construction worker took it upon themselves to tie the dresser to roof of my friends little car using every inch of a 50 foot rope and made a big show of checking all the knots so that we could safely drive the dresser 3 miles.  It was all we could do to not fall into the kind of giggle fit that really reminds men that women are, in fact, a completely different species.  I’m thinking that every girl has a story similar to this, and it is common knowledge among females that the right pair of jeans will get you a free mojito any night of the week.

Men don’t really get that as much, but what they do get is the bachelor lifestyle. A lifestyle

A little peek at my big mess.

I’m pretty sure I subscribe to even though I’m not a man.

Once upon a time, one of my best friends lived in a house with a ridiculously high amount of single ladies, and let me tell you I am not the same kind of creature as any of them.  Whenever I went to visit her, each bedroom door I passed revealed a made bed that was definitely not being used as an extra shelf.  Beds that these kind of girls vacated at early hours (before 9) to eat an actual breakfast wearing actual sets of pajamas and get things done that in no way had to be done yet, and then take mass trips to the gym in coordinated outfits.

I once walked into that house to attend what I thought would be a party and the amazing array of cocktail dresses and heels put my cotton/denim/sandal combination to such shame, that I took my 6 pack of beer and walked out for fear that it would offend one of their many bottles of chardonnay.

Being single, I tend to live life like most of the men I know, a lot messier than you think.  If I’m not sharing my bed with someone else, then chances are that I’m sharing it with any  number of books, clothing, my laptop, possibly a guitar, and most definitely some knick-knacks.  Aside from this fact, it is also true that my bed is never made and I sure as hell don’t sleep in pajamas. Truth be told, I may or may not have decided that it’s worth the effort to remove my skinny jeans before falling into bed, depending on my blood alcohol level.

Combine all that with the fact that you will almost never see me in the kitchen before 9 cutting up a grapefruit and sprinkling it with non-fat sugar while wearing lip gloss, and I’ve got the bachelor life down pat.

So yes, I drag my spinster self out of bed a lot later than necessary, but I rock the bedhead and I rock it hard.  It is here that I make the distinction between all those single ladies with their hands up and the true bachelorette who would put her hands up, but she’s come to the realization that she’s a slight mutation of the species.  Besides, she’s holding a free mojito.

My Lips are Somewhat Sealed

As you probably guessed, I fancy myself some sort of writer.  As a writer, you are supposed to have many things to say, to get across, themes and emotions you want your readers to tap into.  As someone who is constantly yammering away about everything from how incredible the color green is to why my toes are better than yours, I can have an awfully difficult time sitting down and writing.  Countless entertaining things happen both to me and around me on a daily basis, and I can be entertained by just about anything.  It makes me sit and think about my method of separating out the useful from the useless.  My college professors would be proud to hear that I am questioning meaningful communication, so let’s not tell them.

Recently, I came across an article that offered ten ways to make me a better writer,  and hidden in the list of inspirational ideas telling me to be more grateful, spend more time with children and stand on my head whenever possible, was one that caught my eye.

Spend one whole day being silent.

Simple at first, but thinking about it in depth stopped me cold.  Silence.  That means no texting, Facebooking, or impromptu visits from friends which inevitably end with a jaunt down to our favorite dive bar, no in depth communication aside from a point, a smile and a nod.   Therefore, silence leads to loneliness, a different kind than most are used to.

Supposedly, this day of complete silence is going to help rid you of your inner egoist.  Not being able to share your thoughts when you think they are relevant or important will do that to you.  There are so many people I can think of that I’d love to watch do this; and in truth, I include myself.  I relish the moments when I watch someone swallow back something they really want to say; the facial expressions are priceless.

Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil...

I think taking a day of complete silence would make one more self aware.  Unable to communicate the way you want to, you may become very aware of what little you are communicating.

For me, I feel like it raises a whole bunch of questions.  For instance, can I talk to myself? Can I talk to my cat?  Because that often happens and I’m not so much of a cat lady to think that he actually understands what I’m trying to get across to him, most of the time.   Does this include laughing loudly?   Also, is the random stream of cuss words that I direct at the furniture that trips me everyday considered communication that violates the day of silence, because I know that will happen at least once.

Being unable to yammer and ramble to my hearts content may cause some interesting situations in my brain.  Anyone who knows me is very aware of my powers of speech and the extent they can reach.  Regardless, I think I may take this 24 hour leap of silence, at the very least it will be something to write about.

Puddles are People Too

I was a puddle earlier today. In fact, I was running a fever; and when my temperature is up not only do I get sweaty and snuffly, I cry over everything.  So I was a sweating, sniffling, teary-eyed puddle of a human being while trying to explain to my boss, that yes, I was a puddle, but I was certainly a puddle that could serve coffee.  I will never forget the look on his face as he slowly backed away.

Women can turn into puddles like nobody’s business, but nothing can induce the sort of meltdown that a chick flick can.  I have so many problems with chick flicks its not even funny.  It’s like a nutritionist harping on the dangers of fast food.  But just as I like to sink my teeth into a really greasy, nasty cheeseburger every once in a while, I much more often like to rot my mind with the ice cream of the film industry.

My first problem with the chick flick, is the lead chick in it.  Be it Meg Ryan or Kate Hudson, they hook you in; and why?  Well, they are usually successful and oriented in their career with no time for a real romance even if they believed it existed, or maybe they are on their way to becoming a more put together person, unsettled in their perfect life, or the constant source of support for their close-knit circle of girlfriends that meet weekly to laugh and drink blush wine.  Whatever the case, there’s just something about her, this leading lady.  Coincidentally, if I hear that phrase one more time in my own life I may shove the free beer I’ve just been handed up someone’s nose.

Oh Scarlet, there's just something about you....

From there, the movie progresses through its usual paces of cute scenes, hilarious hi-jinks and life lessons for everyone that happens to watch it.  However it chooses to get there, it always ends with love and truth prevailing over all the evil forces that threaten to stifle it, and the quirky girl who can be quite a pain in the ass getting the unexpected guy of her dreams.  Maybe I’m just pessimistic at the moment, but they really do get our hopes up with the shameless acts of love, don’t they?

I talk a lot of mean stuff about this genre I suppose, but just yesterday I was tearing up 17 minutes in to Return to Me, and it wasn’t much longer before that I had settled myself down with a glass of whiskey and watched the ultimate chick flick, Gone with the Wind, and okay yeah,  Dirty Dancing is great.

So I guess I have a guilty pleasure, it’s taken me a while to come to terms with it.  At least I’m not hooked on J. Lo movies, which are their own particular and terrible brand of chick flick I suppose.

For all you men out there, maybe I’ve scared you off with all the teary-eyed, love story bull schiesse; but I doubt that, because I know right now you are thinking of a chick flick you actually enjoyed.

So my fellow puddles, I say to you, rot your mind once in a while.

The Five Minute Dash

Yeah, blueberry mud mask on your night in. Lookin' good....

I’d like to take a moment to examine the amazing dynamics that accompany pre-date jitters.

We’re not just talking about any kind of date here, we’re talking about the impromptu I’ll-be-there-in-five type date.  The kind that sneaks up on you when you haven’t showered yet and you’re ready for a night in, complete with the acts of stuffing your face with chocolate, lounging in an old tee shirt and picking out a movie you will watch while pretending to fold laundry.

If you’re like me, then there’s anywhere from one to four types of social media open on your desktop, including your trusty cell phone.  So halfway through your scrubby, half zoned in, personal pizza party, you get a notification that someone wants to get a hold of you.

But this isn’t just any notification, its the one you really want to get, but sure as hell  weren’t expecting while you are looking and acting like something less than your usual put together and dashingly cute self.  So, you casually shoot the breeze, share funny tidbits, pull out the clever self you put away earlier, and it seems to be going rather well.

On your mark.

So, let’s be honest, you may be reading into each exchange a little more than nessecary, but that’s ok.  It actually is going well. Then one of the two of you makes the leap.  In this case, it’s you.  Yeah, you went there.  Maybe you suggest sharing a favored substance, or a movie, or a drive, but you definitely put it out there.

Get set…

Then there it is, that phrase that is awesome and terrible: “I’ll be there in five.”

Go.

You haven’t even made it to the end of that short sentence and your pants are half off, you know exactly what shirt you want to find and have your toothbrush ready to go.  Then you’re running through your apartment shocking your roommates as you brush your teeth, buckle your belt and spritz yourself in the hopes of smelling better all at the same time.  The goal for the impromptu date is  to look good, but look like you sit home alone looking that good. Not like you just raised your heart rate twofold in the effort to look presentable.

So, here comes the  finish line, you’re at 4.5 minutes.  Sitting there, flicking your lighter impatiently and you know just how you look in the pants you’re wearing. “Oh what? yeah, I always smell this good.”

From what I hear, everyone has gone through some form of this impromtu date dash.  Not me though, I always look this good.

Wanted: Ragamuffins

An old photo of some ragamuffins

 

Ah, responsibilities.

Everyday I do my best to forget that I have them; and this is not by acting out in huge drug induced crazies (or is it).  It’s just how it goes sometimes.  I’ve got two jobs, and both allow me a certain amount of liberty.  As an employee in a bakery/coffee shop, I’m surrounded by caffeine all day and as a freelance writer I can write where I want and when I want, as long as it gets done and done well.  Other things, like straightening out health insurance and remembering to send this there and blah blah blah, tend to get done a little slower.

So, I intend to get my ducks in a row over the next couple of weeks so that I can let them wander all summer long.

Maybe this is a result of my New England upbringing, or maybe it’s my ever present need to just plain grow up, but in the summer, I tend to go a little nuts, and in doing so bring who ever is around along for the ride.  Whether it’s meeting my friend early at a diner, so we can commiserate over our mutual hangover, or running down the road in the middle of the night carrying a potted plant that will eventually die in my kitchen and cause me immense guilt.  I’ve even gone so far as to make the guy I’m dating hug a tree.  The world around me heats up and all I want to do is run around all night and sleep on the beach all day.

I turn it to what I call a “ragamuffin,” which I learned is also a breed of cat and a subdivision of reggae music.   In this instance, it’s a ragged, disreputable person, or a dirty child in ill fitting clothing; and it sounds about right.  The term ragamuffin also boasts such wonderful synonyms as: waif, tatterdemalion, urchin, and guttersnipe.   As a fan of the English language, I approve.

Now, I’m not exactly disreputable, but the dirty child thing may work.  Whatever the case may be, I think I’m going to take this term under my wing.  Maybe my reputation is intact, but there also is dirt on my feet and it’s quite possible I slept in a field last night.

Well, the world’s heating up ever so slowly and I’m looking to let my inner tatterdemalion out.  Who’s with me?

Me, in a Tree

Here I go.

Onward onto what feels like absolutely nothing at the moment.  But it isn’t.  Nothing can only come from nothing, and the slight effort I’m putting into these words right now will surely yield something for me in the future; if only the fact that these are the first and more are sure to follow.  Anyway, its much better than being up at one in the morning, 30 Rock on in the background, looking at 12 interesting shower heads on StumbleUpon.

It’s moments like this, where I’m trying my hardest to accomplish jack, that I tend to forget that my life is crazy.

My father says that I live in a tree.

I take this to mean that I live a life that is far from ordinary.  I don’t really see it, but he’s my father and has pushed bounds on things that range from car engines to sexuality, so I’ll take his word for it.  He says this often, usually after I tell him that I got to ride the train for free with a wink from the conductor, or that a man approached me in a bar to ask if my nose was crooked (to which I responded yes).

I am a single woman in my 20’s, learning everyday that the hype surrounding single women is ridiculous and caring far too little to do anything about it.  I use my friends bathroom and I see a Cosmo that threatens to help me find the man of my dreams in 30 days or I mention a masculine name to my mother and she asks if I have a romantic connection with him or worse still, my brother says I’m too picky.

But the single woman thing actually doesn’t bother me; I’m just surviving like anyone else my age and alone would.  Trying to work towards a career, paying off massive student loans (kinda), and being way too pensive.  Spending week nights drinking cheap beer trying to make memories like they’re going out of style.

So I run around my town like I own it, I sneak in smoking cigarettes out on my roof, I sleep on the beach whenever possible, I experiment with my hair after a break up and I’m slowly covering myself with tattoos.  I like my tree.

In fact, I like it a lot.