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Archive for December, 2009

Happy Tweet Year

Twitter is supposed to be a social-networking device. A good way to send out minute-by-minute updates of your daily life to all your friends and followers. For someone like me, however, the site takes on a bit of an alternative meaning. You see, I have over 30 followers, but only one of these is a person that I actually have any real contact with in my life. And I actually prefer it to be this way. I use Twitter not because I feel that the world needs to be updated on my every word and thought, but because I like to have another easily accessible creative outlet– however mild of a creativity this may end up being. I use Twitter as a miniature blog of sorts. A way to release an idea that may be nagging me in the middle of class. Or as a means to remind myself of something funny or cute or possibly painful that happened during the day.

That being said, I find it amusing to look back on my year in Tweets. It maps out some of the ups and downs of the year, and points out some of the more prominent themes in my life, i.e., cats, music, school, etc. Looking back on my Tweets reminds me of those exact moments that constitute the basic idea of this blog…the fleeting moments when you realize the joy or the specialness of some common everyday occurrence, and you take the time to note it.

So, without further ado, here is a year’s worth of Tweets from DrBee_to_be to you. I hope you find them as witty and insightful as I intended them to be ๐Ÿ˜›

Beginning Feb, 2009, in chronological order:

  • I’m back, dammit.
  • Found a plush opossum at Goodwill. It scared the cashier.
  • Movie Gallery closed…now where will everyone in Meridian-Kessler get their porn? Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Dad says he wants more stimulus at the pig trough.
  • Thanks Hugo Brinkman now my back hurts. It’s a good thing you’re cute.
  • It’s a good news day!!!
  • I was just tricked into enjoying john mellencamp.
  • Girl Scout cookies are SO overrated.
  • I wonder why food tastes better in the shower.
  • Chips for dinner at 1am….typical.
  • Latenight Pilates Afterthought: it’s always fun to see a bunch of guys practically dying in pilates class. Weenies.
  • Today we texted Google to ask, “What’s ‘taters, Precious?” But Google didn’t know ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • I think it’s about time to get panties in the mail.
  • These sunny evenings really make me want to knock out the back wall of my dining room.
  • Gorging myself before heading to Trader Joe’s.
  • I’m ready for the first epic thunderstorm of the season.
  • I get to see one concert a month til the end of summer! Yay!
  • I love bats.
  • Doing a little research in anticipation of the impending Decemberists concert…
  • Didn’t think this day could get worse but it has. Exponentially so.
  • I notice some trees already turning color. But it seems like summer just got started.
  • I cant help it, that Airborn Toxic Event song sucks me in EVERY TIME.
  • It’s so hot, there are melted kittens all over the floor.
  • My boyfriend is floating in the nethersphere. If you see him please tell him: pizza party at 6 and I’m getting an A in chemistry.
  • Sometimes I wonder how half these movies get on my Netflix queue in the first place…Definitely, Maybe? Definitely Not.
  • A dolphin’s brain, in relation to the size of its body, is larger than the brains of chimpanzees and great apes. Second only to humans.
  • I wonder what lovely person left home-grown cucumbers and tomatoes on my porch this evening???
  • Is it lame that I anticipate textbooks in the mail like Calvin anticipated his beanie? ….no I don’t think so ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Today’s events make me thankful for everything that i have. *sap alert* ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Headed to the fair for farm animals and fried food!
  • You know its going to be a good day when you get running water at work!
  • I can hear kelly clarkson from my house. Ugh. Quick go inside and close all the windows!
  • Already today: hot air balloon race, goat lips, garage sale-ing, and munching in the garden. Time for a nap before this day begins. (more…)

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Christmas Eve, 1987. Reading, Pennsylvania.

Our house in Reading had four bedrooms. I have no recollection of my parents’ bedroom. I slept in a small room on the first floor; Angela and Theresa in the bunk and I in my own little wooden bed with the plastic-coated mattress. Upstairs was a finished attic space which Jennifer and Cindy shared.

Also upstairs was an unfinished attic space which housed the boys. They always seemed to get the short end of the deal when it came to divvying up the bedrooms, but they never seemed to mind. I remember their room, the boards on the walls, and the orange and brown plaid sheets on the beds. If I hung around for long enough there, one of them would give me candy just to get me to go away.

On Christmas Eve we were sent upstairs to wait for Santa. It was a family tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve, which meant that Santa would appear at a pre-appointed time during which we kids would all have to gather in the upstairs room waiting while he dished out the goods. That evening I lay on Jennifer’s bed and watched out the window for Santa and his reindeer. I could see Rudolph’s nose blinking far away on a distant hill. It never seemed to get any closer, but I knew it was Rudolph.

Mom and Dad called to us that Santa had left, and I rushed down the steps, completely convinced that I had just missed him.

I sat on the floor in front of the console tv and ripped into my presents. I remember quite clearly opening a large box which contained my brand new, shiny red tricycle. Unlike the big trikes my brothers would race in the basement, this one was just my size. And since I was the youngest this meant that no one else would be allowed to use it. I relished this.

Christmas Eve was the one day of the year when we were allowed to stay up as late as we wanted to play with our new toys and eat candy. Somehow this never seemed to work out so well as I dreamed it would, as I inevitably ended up being carried off to bed, having fallen fast asleep after a mere hour or two of celebration.

********************************

Merry Christmas!

May you celebrate with such joyful abandonment

that you have to be carried off to bed.

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Vestigial Me

Surviving my first semester as a pre-vet undergrad was no overwhelming task. I remember a time not too long ago when I wondered if the science-based classes were going to be too hard for me. Having had few science classes in high school, and those being not quite of the par of what most high schools offer, I never had any idea of whether or not I was actually going to be capable. It was similar to my first semester in taekwondo: I would watch those who were training to receive their black belts, and I knew that if I ever had a dream of getting to that point then I would have to be able to do everything that they were able to do. And they were able to do many things I could not.

I had no idea if my abilities would ever be adequate.

But that is the beauty of taking things one step at a time. First you learn the basic steps. You learn the simple maneuvers and you become comfortable with the atmosphere. You adjust to the difficulties you never knew existed, and you look ahead to the next challenge. The pivotal point comes when you break your first board. It’s a moment when you can’t turn back. You can’t go back to not being able to do it. You can’t go back to not knowing if you are capable. From there you can only move on or stop.

I’ll never be able to go back to the point when I didn’t know if I could break wood with my bare appendages. I’ll never get back to the point when I question my ability to calculate the de Broglie wavelength in nanometers of an electron with a mass of 9.11 x 10^23 and a velocity of 2.2 x 10^6 meters per second. And one of these days I may or may not ever be able to get back to that point when I don’t know whether or not I will ever be able to give open heart surgery to a western lowland gorilla on the jungle floor of the Congo. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย It’s all about taking things one step at a time.

That being said, my greatest challenge of the semester wound up being my transition back into the “real world.” As classes finally wound down early last week I first felt the obligatory joy, which melted into an inexplicable apprehension. The more time that passed when I did not have to be in a specific place doing something specific and seeing the same specific people at the same specific time, the more restless and empty I felt. I had poured my entire self into doing well in my classes, which I did, but I felt abandoned as my rigidly scheduled life disintegrated before me. As silly as it sounds coming from someone who has interests and passions as diverse as my own, I suffered a certain degree of identity crisis that day and for several days following. I found myself completely unable to study for finals for the good first half of last week. I didn’t do much of anything but brew in existential angst. I didn’t know what I was possibly going to find to fill the next three weeks until school started again. Someone asked me at one point last week what I do for fun, and I had absolutely no answer to give. I honestly did not know.

My balance had been knocked askew by my ambitions over the course of the past few months, and I hadn’t even had the time to notice. I’m not sure how or when the haze began to lift, but I slowly began remembering all the things I had been setting aside in order to focus on my studies. I remembered what it feels like to want to draw for hours on end, or to have the time to watch a movie without feeling as if it were just another task. It took some time and it wasn’t easy, but I finally began to feel some life in those phantom limbs of mine. And I’m delighted, at last, to have a few weeks to devote to myself, to reshape what I hadn’t even realized I had lost.

And so, as a response to no one in particular, regarding the question of what I like to do for “fun,” I’ve come up with an answer all my own…

Dear Anyone,

I never quite know how to answer the question, โ€œWhat do you do for fun?โ€ Iโ€™d much prefer it if someone would ask, What do you do for joy?

For joy I spend time each week with my family, catching up on our daily lives and small personal victories and dramas. For joy I put on my favorite playlist and get lost in my latest drawing. For joy I cuddle up in bed at night to watch a documentary on my laptop. For joy I spend a lazy hour or two in the library or a bookstore, soaking in the overwhelming possibilities and diversions.

For joy I take a summer evening stroll up the Monon with someone special, stopping off in Broad Ripple to eat or grab a drink out on a patio somewhere. For joy I take on a new creative project, whether or not it ever ends up getting finished. For joy I feel the spontaneous need on a mild spring day to feel dirt on my hands and grass under my feet. For joy I own a porch swing, and a fire pit, and a bicycle, and a telescope, and a tent, and a picnic basket.

For joy I go to the dollar theatre and see whatever was popular four months ago. For joy I stop off at the IMA to visit my favorites and to see whatโ€™s new. For joy I grow flowers in the summer. For joy I count turtles basking along the canal. For joy I curl up in an armchair on a rainy day with a good book. For joy I take a weekend road trip to somewhere not too far, but far enough. For joy I get dressed up for a night at the symphony. For joy I ask someone to teach me something new. For joy I write, in my journal or my blog. For joy I watch thunderstorms passing through.

For joy I daydream, and wonder about small things and big ideas. For joy I take naps on a free afternoon. For joy I try to take note of every pleasant sight, smell, sound or feeling wherever I am and whatever Iโ€™m doing. For joy I like to share a familiar experience with someone I care about; to experience my love of something special vicariously through fresh eyes and a fresh mind.

For joy I take the time to be myself, because that is how I find joy in sharing.

Sincerely,

Me.

black belt test


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A Moment

You appeared there

before me

Cradled between glass and cloth.

Four feet from the floor I perched

Transfixed

You perched

Transfigured.

Seconds fleet

I cried for what I could not contain

Beyond my skill

Beyond the scope of imagery

Your face

the warmth of some celestial being.

The gold pane lifting to the sky

My pain

cascading from the ceiling

For you were

You seemed, unreachable

Untouchable

A moment

as tenuous as longing.

On my left on your right

Light

A city

as foreign to me as any other

On your left on my right

Dark

A room I said

reminded me of Europe

Europe

where I’ve never been

Europe

where you wanted to take me

But this was only a windy city.

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