all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (can you smell chips?)
There are some anniversaries you don't really mark exactly--little things that end up changing your life. This was definitely one of them,

I know it was summer, and hot and humid, and I was miserable being outdoors, alone, and out of place. To add insult to injury, I was 13. Beyond that, I couldn't give you a month or day. I can only assure you that I, a relative unbeliever and firm devotee of air-conditioning, believed that the last place on Earth I wanted to be was at a Youth Group cookout.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

I can tell you that a giant came from out of nowhere, sat down, and started talking to me, and that I firmly believe my life since then has gone differently than it would have otherwise. At the time I was hideously embarrassed and didn't know what to do with myself, which I must admit has been something of a common theme over the years. Besides that, I can't really remember much. You would have to ask him what we talked about, or why he came over in the first place. I'm sure I used to know, but time and handling have long ago worn away the details.

I can tell you that it was a good summer, despite the heat, and that I looked forward to Youth Group for entirely secular reasons. I was happy. I was learning just how much it was possible to like and love someone who was almost a total stranger, someone completely unrelated to me by family ties. I was forming the relationship that, in its way, provided the basis for all the friends I now think of as an extended, informal family--people you have to love even when you can't stand them.

Not all of those relationships have gone through quite so many strange permutations as that first one has for me, of course. If they had, I'd be lucky to have any friends left at all.

Nothing good lasts forever, of course, and some of the following years were miserable, terrible, awful, no good years between us. Oddly enough, I can't remember a lot of the details there, despite my dreadful self-involvement. With a few notable exceptions (like an abandonment complex you could house a pretty good-sized bureaucracy in), those days have passed away into the obscurity of time, and the related recriminations with them.

On the other hand, some of those years were good. I learned that I like to make my friends laugh, that I can be kind without being weak, and that what I love more than anything is really awful jokes and the men who tell them. I don't know what he remembers about the good times, but I bet we can agree on which they were.

The past couple of years (or is it three? so easy to lose track) have been, to my mind, almost unalloyed good. I don't know what to say about that except thank you, because I'm sure that I've only gotten more difficult, not less, since that first muggy summer evening.

This summer, just as miserably sticky and mosquito-infested as that one I remember, I'm 23. I don't know what happens next. I don't know it will be like when I'm 33, looking back. I don't know if we'll be close or speaking or just two people who drifted apart long ago. I do know that no matter what happens or how complicated the relationship, family is family, and I know that I am damn hard to get rid of.

I do know that I am deeply, humblingly grateful for all the years between then and now, for the friendship of a man who has so much influenced who and what I am. I would not trade a minute of it for something easier.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (can you smell chips?)
Busted out my little sampler of Seraglio again, as it was much too warm and muggy today for Dorian. Boosted with a little spritz of rose water this morning, it lasted like a dream--I was still catching little whiffs of it almost twelve hours later--and it wasn't too heavy for the weather, which I ended up spending much more time in than I expected. I really ought to buy a bottle of the stuff, and I'm only holding off because a) all signs point to an interesting update sometime this month and b) theoretically this perfume has spices in it, as well as yummy rose, orange, and almond. I'm terrified that my little vial is a freak, and that the real thing will be heavy on the spice instead.

In other news, I'm apparently not getting enough sleep, despite the fact that it's summer break and I've got no job. Today the circles under my eyes were so dark that I ended up putting on some concealer and hoping it wouldn't melt off my face, just so [livejournal.com profile] wyrmscrest wouldn't think the Zombie Apocalypse was upon him when we met for dinner.

Despite the lack of job, I have found a couple of projects to keep me busy. For one thing, I'm helping out with a North Carolina Governor's School fundraising effort to help offset the tuition for future students, so that no one will feel they can't apply because of financial hardship. All of my GSE friends ought to be hearing a lot more about that sometime soon. The other thing I'm doing is a systematic overhaul of the robes for the children's choirs at our church. They're the same robes I wore when I was in children's choir, and they're definitely showing their age. In addition, they look to have been hand-made in the first place, and in some places the level of finishing could have been higher. So, I'm going through and mending ripped seams, sewing velcro back on, taking up sagging hems, and tacking down facings. I anticipate this being a somewhat long but satisfying project. There's always something nice about concrete results.

Anyway, it's time to put my poor eyes to bed. My brain, as usual on these occasions, will probably lag far behind.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (so happy together)
Mood seriously improved (from a little sad to awesome) by the application of Tim Burton and friends. As an added bonus, ran into Kris while we were standing around deciding how to proceed in light of the damp and the chill.

Alice, friends, bonus surprise friend, dinner, lots of talking and gossiping and laughing. Pretty much exactly what I want out of break.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (stephen fry = awesome)
Am ridiculously full of this delicious garlic soup. And two corn muffins, since it turned out our bread was turning blue. Now, I'm watching A Bit of Fry and Laurie and kicking back, because I'm still tired from yesterday.

Yesterday sucked. Lab was really long, with two dissections and so many sketches to make that my fingers felt like they were about to fall off. Dissections are bad enough by themselves, especially when one of them is an earthworm, but we also had to handle and sketch tarantula exoskeletons. Between the spider reaction and the smell of formaldehyde, I spent pretty much the whole morning on the edge of vomiting. Lecture wasn't too bad, but then the Art History test swallowed my brain, chewed it up, and spat it back out. I think I did ok on it, but I was just absolutely beat by the end of the day.

Luckily, I did find the strength to haul myself back out of the house and over to Raleigh, because hanging out with Chris was exactly the mixture I needed of relaxation and fun to salvage the day.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (everything connected)
It's so nice to be wanted. To have one person who I don't have to chase down for a conversation or company, who actively desires my company and invites it.

But this one person? He's nice, but he's not the one I would have chosen, if I had to pick just one out of my whole acquaintance.

An old friend once told me that it was easy to forget that I actually liked him. I am intimately acquainted with that feeling of late. It is very, very easy to feel as if you have no value when you are treated as if you have no value, or as if you are a curiosity or a temporary amusement at best.

Especially at a distance, actions speak volumes, and words hardly at all.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (so happy together)
Men.

I do not understand them. In fact, the men I am most intimately acquainted with are the ones I understand least. Could somebody please explain that to me? I mean, I love them anyway (how could I not? they're wonderful people), but I don't get them. Sometimes I feel like things would be much easier if I could just peer inside their heads and see what they're thinking. Or maybe if they came with a translator.

In other news, still single, since apparently these days I attract exactly the wrong sort of guy for my tastes. That's another thing I'd like explained, please. Why do all these clearly inferior specimens persist in thinking that I might sleep with them? Because frankly, I don't think I'll ever be that desperate, and if I ever am, I hope you all will do the kind thing and put me out of my misery.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (so happy together)
Isn't it wonderful to have friends? I have had two surprisingly lovely (if not terribly productive) days because of mine. And I'm starting to feel a little bit more balanced again--clearly, I need to remember how refreshing male company can be.
all_strange_wonders: (rise and shine)
Dreadful dreams. Thanks brain, hate you too.
all_strange_wonders: (hmm)
I'll miss being able to sleep all the time when Monday comes. I will especially miss it on Tuesdays, when my day starts three hours earlier than any other day of the week. Stupid biology lab.

On the other hand, I shouldn't grumble too much, because the only other section of Bio 112 was at night and it had a lab on Mondays right through Choral Society, and I need this class to get my A.A. So it definitely could have been worse.

In other news, my big bottle of Dorian finally came, so now I can smell nice without restraint.

In other other news, I had lunch with Kris today at City Beverage. Lunch and company were both excellent, although I think we may have made out poor waitress a little crazy waiting for us to leave.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (enlightened self-interest)
Have just discovered that one of my friends is planning to engage in activities that are setting off my angst-o-meter on their behalf.
*sigh*
Really, really hope above-mentioned friend will not come to me for comfort if I am righ. Have had enough of other people's angsty whining for a little while. Am thinking about making myself a little sign to carry around that says something like "Seriously, it's not that bad". Apparently my wells of sympathy and patience have run dry. Cannot imagine why this would be.

Also, now so used to having no social life that having people in town to hang out with feels strange and alien. Of course, other side effect of little socialization is that even friends can be deeply irritating. Possible pattern emerging, must gather more data.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
So for me Twilight-the-movie swings between hilarious and SRSLY THAT IS SO CREEPY STALKER RUN AWAY. Then there is more laughing and then more EWW CREEPY, with a healthy dose of Did They Really Just Say That. Most of the writing is on par with, say… Sanctuary, a show which suffers from having SciFi's crappiest writers (and even SciFi's finest are only, y'know, fine) working on the scripts in a sort of half-assed way. I keep wondering who the hell managed to get paid for this drivel, and then remembering that they probably lifted at least half of the dialogue straight out of the book. That at least answers the bad script question.
Also, Bella has missed every single Significant Look exchanged in her presence during the movie so far. ALL of them. That takes some kind of actual talent.
And OMG THERE IS A SPARKLE NOISE.


In other news, do you ever read something, think something terrible and snarky, then think "Oh my god, don't say/type that, that is your FRIEND. Having friends is NICE and saying (whatever) is DEFINITELY NOT", but then continue to be secretly amused by this terrible snarkalicious thing you almost said?
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (curiouser and curiouser)
*sigh* Time to get back to work. Had a lovely, relaxed day after yesterday's frantic running about. At the farmer's market I got beeswax tapers and had killer hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow from Dolly Mama, then had a lovely wander around the church bazaar. As a nice bonus, I talked to Kris on the phone for almost an hour and a half this evening.

Now all I've got to do is decide whether I want Lord Peter or Repo for background while I draw.

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