Monday, December 21, 2009

I am Tanya the Banana

When I was little, I did a lot of singing to myself.

Based on the impersonations my mom has done, I’ve gathered that I had a sweet but persistently nasal voice as a child. I chatted with everyone around me, made up songs, acted out scenarios and the like.

The first time I procrastinated to my own detriment, I was in 1st grade. I waited until the night before to start my book report about seals, and had to stay up until 1 am finishing it. (When my mom reads this she will mutter to herself about me telling random people on the internet about how she made me stay up so late. Don’t worry mom, it’s just us here.)

In grade two, I completed a literary masterpiece that was a testament to the long-winded nature that my burgeoning personality would someday actualize. It was 23 pages long, about a talking, walking banana named Tanya. She went on an adventure that would put even the most adventurous of the fruit family to shame. (I feel like the most adventurous fruit would be a kiwi. Not the most rugged perhaps, but certainly willing to embrace a come-what-may outlook.)

One Halloween, my dad channeled all of his creative prowess into transforming his sweet, nasal daughter into an all too realistic rendition of a vampire for Halloween--complete with a trickle of blood at the corner of my mouth. I went to one house, saw my face in their hallway mirror and ran home crying because I scared myself.

This stuff may be evidence that I have been a wordy, sensitive-souled oddball since day one; that as children we are pint-sized versions of whatever we are meant to become as adults. The same way a seed holds all the potential for whatever tree it will become.

I truly marvel at minds unlike my own. Bring me your orderly, your methodical, your shy huddled masses yearning to interact free. I want to study them because I don’t get it and I want to so bad. That’s pretty creepy, I know. I can’t fathom a world where people don’t know how to verbalize their feelings and articulate their interest in another person. I want to body swap and see it firsthand.

So does this mean it’s all there already? If I woke up one day and decided I wanted to be a professional organizer, or a mechanical engineer or a shy cemetery security officer it simply couldn’t be? As much as I’d like to denounce that, proclaiming that with the power of will and determination at the helm I steer my own destiny, I’m just not sure.

I think no matter what, I’m going to be a clumsy girl who dreams up stories about adventurous inanimate objects and accidentally leaves her car keys in the toe of one of her heels behind the bathroom trashcan. I don’t see an end in sight to eating dinner in the bathtub, or making friends with strangers who are semi-unwilling.

Because we used to eat rice crispy treats for breakfast. And my favorite song as a kid was Buffalo Soldier.

Because the rules don’t always have to apply and when I was little somebody told me I was just fine the way I am.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

you silly girl

I really wish I was more domestic.

I wonder if there is a chance I was born sans a gene, or if perhaps I had a traumatic incident with a vacuum cleaner when I was young. And maybe I just blocked it our entirely and the answer to my quasi-lack of adult life skills can all be explained by a vacuum tube and an overly inquisitive nature. (I hope so, therapy is kinda pricey.)

My boyfriend laments my messy, messy ways. Rightly so, we are currently sharing a space and no human should have to live alongside a monstrous pile of clothes that consumes human children and small dogs, in which I have affectionately named, The Vortex. I insist V and I have history, so it's too late to give him the boot now. He says I'm just lazy.

I don't want to believe I'm just a lazy POS, case closed. I feel like I have arguments to combat this claim. Sure, there's all that jazz about holding down two jobs and making it through school and blah blah blah..but I'm talking about real, concrete examples.

I mean, I'd definitely chase after an ice cream truck in a heartbeat if I felt my inalienable snacking rights were being threatened. In college, I singlehandedly spearheaded the planning and execution of themed party ensembles on more than one occasion. And in the face of my mother's refusal to get me a rodent pet as a child, I posted a rebuttal list on the door of my bedroom entitled, "Top Ten Reasons Why Hamsters are Great!" Just the right balance of proactive and passive aggressive, I think.
See, Anthony? I'm not lazy. These endeavors required forethought, careful planning and most importantly--passion.

Okay, maybe not so much the thing about the ice cream truck, because that doesnt involve planning-- that just requires passion for ice cream.

But still.

the writing's on the wall

The way I see it, there are at least a couple flavors of old people.

((Dad, I'm talking about really old, senior citizens...not you. You can't be really old yet if you are proficient and particularly current on the latest social networking trends.))

That said, I say at least two because I believe there may be hybrid variations, the ones that dont quite fit neatly into these categories (see new age marathon conquering power walkers who's silver lining is that they are in waaay better shape than their adult children...pun intended.) Nonetheless, I am standing by these two main types.

Some oldies are sweet, kind, virtuous and patient. They speak soft and deliberate gems of wisdom, and are rarely surprised by life's little woes. They like the kinds of slow and steady skill activities that I have no patience for. That is: everything in the sewing category including knitting, needlepoint, patchwork-quilt making and the like.
Baking, golf, tending garden, long and drawn out walking tours. I would like to add penuckle to this list but I haven't got a clue what it is or how it's played, so I can't. I just know they like it.

Which brings me to the other type, and my concern. Some oldies are stubborn, ornery, and firmly steadfast in their belief that things in their day were considerably better than the day we live in now. Nevermind the major technological advancements that have prolonged life and eased human suffering... and the Internet kind of made a splash... those are baby games compared to the advent of prohibition and flapper-chic. They complain, cajole, prejudge, and constantly insist that their soup is too cold no matter how scalding hot it really is. (Please see for a version of this that is an entertaining example because its not our blood relative).

Point being, I feel like I've inadvertently sealed my fate in 'which oldie are you' catagory. I think a quick rundown of some facts about me will illuminate everything:

I lack patience
can't play penuckle
I look funny power walking
I'm prone to whining
I love soup

My only hope is

its like looking into a crystal ball of doom.

who moved my cheese?

I feel like when the question of 'which are you, 'glass half-empty or half-full' kind of a person comes up, I have the kind of internal struggle-reaction that should be reserved for capital punishment debates and anti-abortion protests.

I always feel obligated to gingerly reply, "why, half-full of course!" because its the upbeat, pro social, and seemingly expected response (sort of like how people ask "how are you?" but really don't want to know the answer. If you answer anything other than the allotted, "fine thanks," or "okay, and you?" people look at you like you hyper-disclosed a dark and twisted fetish involving barnyard animals).

Shunned is the pariah who dares admit that he or she sees the world as a tall, bitter drink half-drained.

One time at work, a group of bar regulars and I were discussing who saw the glass as what. Regular #1 proclaimed his sunny, shiny, glass half-full with assured confidence. The others sort of looked at each other for a sec, then followed suit as per the pariah rule outlined above. When it was my turn, I faltered, torn between wanting to appear a productive member of society and my natural inclination towards being a mildly self-deprecating, sarcastic little punk. Punk wins.

I'm not sure if it's half-empty, but I'm pretty sure my glass has a hole in it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

look mom, no hands.

i did some fairly extensive blog reconnaissance before deciding to take the plunge into interweb gut-spilling.

My newly appointed friend/life-coach Tommy encouraged me to do it as a way to flex my writing muscle. My main concern was first, what will I write about...and second, will I inevitably be grouped into a category of people who have taken to blogging as a way to share one of the creepiest forms of affection known to man: the collection of personal characteristics people assign to their pets.

The last person I want to affiliate myself with is the chick who devotes 3 hours a day to cataloging how many times her cat scowled at her when she broke the news about changing kitty litter brands. Or how different meows coupled with different blink patterns obviously mean different things. Pet Fluffy's Online Shrine.

Those people are terrifying.

Tommy assures me that this type of affliction isn't contagious, and I think that means if I'm not one of those kooks already and all my shots are up to date, I'm not in any imminent blog-related danger.

But back to the recon I did. I came in with an open mind and heart, and stumbled into the 'Blogs of Note.' As I clicked through the them, I slid further and further into the deepest, darkest and most random corners of the internet.

Blogs devoted to civil war memorabilia, horse grooming, zany animal pics, angsty poems. Art History discussions, political rantings, personal rantings, incoherent ramblings.

If you've ever gotten lost on facebook, myspace etc you might know what I mean.

Like when you start on a friend's page, and then bounce to someone else who you don't know but want to see their pictures closer (to criticize them more thoroughly, obviously) so you click on them, then the next thing you know you are on Lupita Jackson's page perusing her awkwardly-angled baby shower photos from three summers ago and suddenly snap back to reality and go W T F am I doing with my life???? (see if you need an idea of what kind of people we're working with here)

Nevertheless, I still want to do this. Despite some of the oddities I've noted, I think it will still be fun.

Tommy said to write about the mishaps and misadventures of bartending.

I shot back, "Look, I'm more than just bartending! I'm deep ok??!"

Ok, maybe this won't be deep. But I can tell you one thing you won't ever see here, and that's an apology for "random musings and the like." I was slightly peeved that in each blog I explored, the author felt the need to justify his or her self-described 'musings' with a humble disclaimer about this being "just a little place for me to ramble about whatever thoughts I have at the moment."

Truth is, i treat just about any forum as such. And I don't plan to warn you that random thoughts will follow. That ruins all the fun.