Inhabitant

Now that Patrick and I are back from our excursion through New Mexico, I have settled back into my Denver routine. I didn’t really realize I had one until I went about my normal activities and it seemed almost strange to have Patrick back at home again. Now I have a job and a daily set of things to do, plus the odd errand and/or fun evening. At last I could say I’m content. (…..Except for how excited I am to go back to Cleveland for Easter!!!)

Speaking of going back to Cleveland… we’re visiting for Easter but also later this spring for Patrick’s work. His work will pay for him to have a place to stay downtown, and when we were discussing this I said, “But how will I get around?”
Patrick (joking): “Use the amazing local transit system.”
Me: “No, seriously! I don’t wanna be holed up downtown without a car.”
Patrick: “Um…. What?”
Me:
Me:
Me: “….Ohhhhhhhhh. Oh… I live almost downtown here. I can just… walk to places… Just like I do here….”
Patrick: “Thank god, you figured it out. I actually started to wonder if you got hit in the head.”
But as I explained to him, when I picture downtown Cleveland I picture almost nothing! Having spent little actual time down there out and about (instead I was always in a car or only walking a few blocks), I can only picture certain streets or buildings and I have no concept at all of the general layout or the nearness of coffee shops to hotels.
The other crazy thing was, thinking about walking around downtown Cleveland made me a little nervous. I don’t know my way, there might be sketchy characters, etc… And yet again it dawned on me that I deal with those same things right where I live now.

Apparently, I have become a city girl. I did choose our neighborhood for its proximity to downtown/stuff, but for the most part I have to say I was unwittingly transformed.

This past Saturday was fairly nice out (unlike today, when both Patrick and I are home thanks to a snowstorm shutting down our places of work… Not that I’m complaining because DOUBLE SNOW DAYYYYY!!!) so I went to get myself a cup of coffee in the late morning. Walking back with the sun shining, hot cup in hand, and people out around me, I felt a sense that this was kind of, a little bit, maybe, my neighborhood.

The reason I went out to get coffee that day was more my craving for a little walk than it was for caffeine (okay, but caffeine did play a huge role). And more than geography or getting out, even my personality has become more “city-fied”– when I first moved here I found the constant brushing with strangers exhausting. But now I chat with strangers in line. I recognize people I’ve seen around the neighborhood and say hello. I’ve gotten better at making new friends. I give directions to people who ask me (and they must ask me because I look like I know?!!?). I’ve also learned the art of when and how to ignore the world, for example, wearing my headphones on the walk home from work.

All of this makes me want to inhabit Cleveland just as fully as I inhabit this neighborhood. To always make an effort, explore, and meet people. It sounds pretty cliche, like pictures of girls with blonde ponytails standing on a rock, the background for some quote about “adventure” underscored with an arrow. But actually trying to live beyond one’s comfort zone is a worthwhile challenge, and one which I am determined to undertake even in familiar places.

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Hullo again

I am afraid that if I don’t post something–anything–on this here blog NOW I never will and all will be lost!!!

Yeah… Kind of melodramatic, maybe, but… It’s been so long. Seriously. And you know how sometimes it’s been a really long time since you’ve seen someone, and they ask you what’s up, and you’re like ohmygosh when was the last time we talked? It was before I started driving and working and listening to the Beatles and being obsessed with the fifties and superhero movies way too much has changed what do I even say
and then what comes out of your mouth is the most inane little detail of your life (“Ya know, same old. Went to the dentist yesterday”) and it sounds drastically boring. Then you want to poke your eyes out because in reality you really like this person and want to just jump right back into having fun debates about books or long late-night discussions about the meaning of life. Why, society, why?!?!

That’s how I feel about blogging at the moment. Like I’ve been away too long and will have to start by giving you the rundown of my life most recently, when in reality I kind of just want to jump all over the place and get back to saying exactly what’s on my mind.

Which, it turns out, I inadvertently did. *coughs*

In conclusion, I have returned.

Excelsior!
-Pen

 

thanks for that little status update, but this isn’t Facebook, and I’m not your laundromat.

The guy in the booth behind us, to his friend:
“I’m wearing my last pair of clean underwear.”

TMI, man.

Methinks this is clear evidence that Facebook is eating people’s brains.

I am too tired to explain the connection, and get into a whole long post. Grr. I think I’m becoming ill.
Not “getting sick”. “Becoming ill”. You know, some dumb jerk once made fun of me for saying “uncouth.” Where was that and when? Oh, now I remember. HSYM. Ag.
And the only reason they thought uncouth was so weird was because they did not know what it meant. Seriously? GET A LIFE. and a BRAIN.

Au revior from a sore-throat me.

Gotta get on back to the animal zoo

(“Oh, No! Somethin’ went wrong….”)

There is this place that Mom and I drive past every weeek on the way to Irish dance. We call it “The People Zoo.” It’s this little tiny courtyard thing between two big office buildings, and it has tables where you can eat outside. One time, we passed it and saw like five or six people all pacing in the same direction, talking on their cell phones. They were walking the exact same way, holding the phone up to the same ear, etc. And the weird thing was it was like they were so absorbed in their own little world that they didn’t notice that they were in this zoo thing, or that they were all like clones or zombies, glued to their phones. (The cheetas at our zoo always pace so much, because their enclosure is very small when you think of how fast and far a cheetah can run, and so they’re really OCD now. There are dirt paths where they just keep walking and walking and wearing the grass down. I wish they would redo their enclosure, but they just started working on the elephants’ , so I guess they’ll never get around to the cheetahs. However, I’m getting off subject….) Anyway, it reminded us of the zoo, so we always look to see if there is anyone in the people zoo. Now that it’s cold we see them less and less, but that is how it’s done in the real zoo as well.

I hope I never become enslaved to technology. I like to think that I never will, but there is always that lurking possibility. It would be so easy! However, that’s why I try to make sure when I’m using the computer, it’s for something thoughtful or creative, or to write/work. For example, the websites I use the most are Apricotpie, email, and this blog itself. Maybe my blog is a bit frivolous of me, as I try to be frugal with my time spent online, but at least I am writing and thinking, trying to share ideas and experiences. Actually, though, I think blogging has helped me be more observant. Whenever we go somewhere, I kind of stare away all the conversations and stuff that we have in case I want to share them here. It’s got me to try and write more essays, to describe with clarity. So it’s actually like a writing excercise. Except I do it anyway, so the improvements on my writing is a bonus.

I used to always listen to music from Youtube whenever I was online. Now I try to only do that when I need something to set the mood for whatever scene I’m writing in one of my novels, or when I am actually just listening to music. It’s harder to write poetry when there is a song in the background, becuase then somehow the lines of poetry end up fitting the music, and then the cadence and rythm isn’t quite right when you go back to read it. It’s harder to think with music constantly in the background. Plus, I just read something in Newsweek about silence, and how it’s helpful. I’ve read a lot of things about silence. Not to mention that the constant noise makes it harder to focus and let God speak to you. So I’ve been trying to incorporate more silence into my life as well. Or even just quiet. I suppose there is never complete silence, with the dishawasher’s hum, or the clacking of these keys right now, Mom and Dad talking, Poncho singing war songs in the basement, or even the sound of oneself breathing. But that is still enough room to think and to listen.

I feel that my thoughts are very scattered. Partly, this is due to the fact that I’m still rather ill today. Besides, there is so much to say on a subject such as this, but I don’t feel like ranting aimlessly either, for fear of boring you. Maybe I need to split it all up into different categories, like Silence, Internet, Phone, Facebook, Email, Listening, etc. But that would take forever. Hmm…. I think I’m gonna call this a day for now and write more on this wide subject tomorrow, or whenever.

Peace and Nolliag Shona,
–Pen