Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween


We aren't dressing up for Halloween this year, so I am including a picture of the family from last Halloween. It was nice that Julian got to be the cow for once.

Labels:

Last Day of Freedom

I am not sure how much blogging I will be doing in November. I would like to think all my creative energy will be going towards writing a novel and that I will be so spent by my own brilliance I will be spending the few free moments I have lying on ravaged on the sofa (I know, it sounds dirty when put like that, it's supposed to).

So, this post is really just a clearing out of the mental inbox before a really big project.

A few days ago, Kristen posted a meme on her blog and called me out. She knows I am a sucker for a good meme and a sucker for someone saying they expect/want me to do something; try as I might to rebel, my good girl nature takes over and I soon find myself typing out all sorts of infor about myself that, if I think about it, I can't imagine any of you really care to know. so, without further ado, let me present

If This Blog Were Harper's, This May Be The Index

or

Alimum Answers 47 Questions For Your Amusement

  1. First name? Alison
  2. Were you named after anyone? Yes, actually. The film Love Story came out a little over a year before I was born and the name Jennifer was extremely popular among girl babies (why parents would be so desperate to name their daughters after a woman who dies of *cancer*, I am still not sure about). So my mom wanted to name me Jennifer and my Dad said, no, absolutely not. Other names that were suggested were Gretchen (too German, especially when paired with the surname of my father) and Abigail (too many Bs when paired with the aforementioned surname). A friend of my parents suggested Alison, spelled with one L, sortof after Ali McGraw (star of Love Story).
  3. When did you last cry? Yesterday while reading the book Love You Forever to Julian. I always get choked up at the part when the son sings to his dying mother. Heck, I am getting teary just thinking about it now.
  4. Do you like your handwriting? I like writing things out, but I do not like the way my handwriting looks. The cursive looks sloppy and the printing looks too neat. I wish I had really funky handwriting. I type very fast and I think I have gotten spoiled by the computer (sometimes, when I am writing, it is sometimes hard for my brain to slow down enough for my hands to keep up).
  5. What is your favorite lunchmeat? I don't really think lunchmeat is the sort of thing one would pick favorites of...um...turkey, I guess.
  6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? It really depends on the circumstances under which I met me. There are days when I would think I was the most helpful, friendly, cool person in the world, and other days when I would think I was the biggest, most pretentious geek, snot, dork I had ever met.
  7. Do you have a journal? Yes, but I have fallen off the journaling wagon. Having a child did that. Now I have this blog to, at least, try to force me to write stuff down.
  8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.
  9. Would you bungee jump? I haven't thus far. It doesn't sound terribly appealing to me, but who knows, if the stars and moon were aligned just right, I may.
  10. What is your favorite cereal? Cold cereal: Cheerios or corn flakes. Hot cereal: steel cut oatmeal.
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes. You will stretch out your shoes prematurely if you don't unlace them first.
  12. Do you think you’re strong? I am deceptively strong. Seriously, ask me to lift something.
  13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Butter pecan or rum raisin. But really, most flavors are good (I am talking traditional flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry...if presented with flavors like tutti frutti and bubblegum, I will just go without).
  14. Shoe size? 6.5/7 American (depending on the manufacturer), 37 European
  15. Red or pink? Pink, but it depends on the shade.
  16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I can only pick one thing? Alright, my perfectionism and the subsequent lack of confidence caused by my inability to be perfect.
  17. Who do you miss the most? I really can't begin to answer this one.
  18. What color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? White t-shirt with black cats on it, black pants, navy blue slippers
  19. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? Sure, why not?
  20. Last thing you ate? Kiwi fruit
  21. What are you listening to right now? The sound of the fan in my iMac.
  22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I'd be a dark colored crayon, probably one of the reds or purples, one of the ones which looks darker than it actually is, but is still a lot darker than most of the other crayons in the box.
  23. Favorite smell? Depends on the time of day. Chocolate, coffee, curry, baking bread, sandalwood.
  24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Fred
  25. The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? SMART. But, usuallythe whole package which hits me all at once: smart, funny, kind, talented, physically appealing.
  26. Do you like the person you stole this from? Well, of course I do. Would I read her blog if I didn't?
  27. Favorite drink? Water, coffee and red wine. I can't pick just one.
  28. Favorite sport? Baseball
  29. Eye color? Brown
  30. Hat size? I think I am a 7 1/4. I think.
  31. Do you wear contacts? Sometimes. But 98% of th time, I'm wearing glasses.
  32. Favorite food? I don't have a favorite food. I eat a lot of Trader Joe's granola bars, avocados, and peanuts, so maybe that qualifies.
  33. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy. I generally can't stand suspense-I have been known to hide in a closet during particularly tense scenes in films/moments in ballgames. also, I have a very good imagination and don't need anything to encourage it in the middle of the night when I hear a creak.
  34. Summer or winter? Both.
  35. Hugs or kisses? Both
  36. Favorite dessert? Depends on the day. Tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake, bread pudding.
  37. Who is most likely to respond? I dunno. I hate tagging people. Um...Jill
  38. Least likely to respond? Everyone else. I'd love it if you did, but I won't hold my breath
  39. What books are you reading? I've been trying to read Versailles, but it may be too post modern for me right now.
  40. What’s on your mouse pad? I have a Persian rug mouse pad.
  41. What did you watch last night on TV? Daily Show/Colbert Report (How cool is Barry Manilow?)
  42. Favorite sounds? All thing watery-waves, rivers, rain.
  43. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
  44. The furthest you’ve been from home? India, in terms of geographical distance. In spiritual terms, there have been moments when I have been so depressed I didn't think I'd ever find my way back.
  45. What is your special talent? I am an emotional virtuoso. Which is another way of saying I am not very good at hiding my feelings and I am very good at taking things personally.
  46. Where were you born? Chicago.
  47. Who sent this to you? Kristen. Evil, evil Kristen.

Labels:

Monday, October 30, 2006

Makeup and Mirrors

Confidence is a strange thing for me. I tend to believe that if I am not perfect, than I have failed. All I see when I look in the mirror are my flaws (the acne which is worse than any I have ever seen on an adult woman, the five leftover pounds from pregnancy that won't move off my thighs, the jawline which really should be less strong, the shoulders which should be less broad). It isn't just my appearance over which I obsess, I also am highly critical when it comes to my abilities, my intelligence, my personality, and, yes, I always find that any and all flaws are grounds for self critique and hatred. It is exhausting, this exacting standard by which I measure myself (and to which I can never measure up) and the subesquent lack of faith this inspires in me.

Whenever I get down about my physical appearance, I try to remind myself of one very simple truth: beauty is not merely skin deep, it is pretty much achievable by almost anyone. Of course, I have my doubts about this some days. And then, sometimes, I mention my belief to other people and get a resounding "so not true" and then wonder if maybe this is just massive arrogance on my part.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to read (in an article about the proliferation of same-sounding, blonde-girl pop records) the following sentence:
If there is one thing we have learned from great Hollywood makeup artists like the late Kevyn Aucoin, just about anyone without severe craniofacial deformities can look TV sexy with enough lighting, spackle, tweezing and shellac, if they are properly blow-dried and in a comely mood. Add D cups, rhinoplasty and peroxide, and the world is your birthday pony.
What I find amazing is that anyone takes much pride in their appearance at all. Or rather, I can't imagine why anyone would think their "hotness" means anything more than their willingness to invest in maintenance to a degree that others are not, it's like taking pride in having a really nice lawn--sortof understandable, but do you really think it makes you different from other people?

I wear glasses most days and really only wear makeup if I think it is professionally necessary (i.e. will I be dropping off headshots at my agent's office that day or will I be running into someone who may cast me in something a few months from now?) Some days when I am getting ready for an audition, I look in the mirror and I almost see what other people tell me they see and I think perhaps I ought to make the effort and do myself up regularly. However, deep down, I am not sure if it would make a difference in how I see myself.

When I was younger, I was made to understand (by my high school drama teachers) that I was a character actress, that roles like Juliet and Portia would be played by pretty girls so I should just forget about even auditioning for such roles. It didn't matter that some people called me "beautiful" because, you see, I wasn't "pretty" (which in the 80s meant too ethnic and too goth-though we didn't call it goth back then). Add this to my flat out fear of auditioning and my lack of confidence in my abilities and suddenly my lack of motivation as an actor makes quite a bit of sense. I tend to beat myself up when I think of all the things I didn't even try to do as a teenager and young adult because I was so afraid of failing, so afraid of being told I had no talent or that talent was superfluous in my case, I still could never get the role. So here I am, at 34, realizing that not only are there roles I will never play because I am just not right for them (Blanche Du Bois, for example), there are roles that I, perhaps, could have played when I was younger if only I had believed in myself, but now I have grown too old for them.

I envy the girls who believe so much in their own beauty that it doesn't even matter if it is true or not, their belief makes it real (even if an objective look at reality would reveal their lack of pulchritude). I wish I could have been like that twenty years ago, ten years ago, yesterday. I can't help but wonder how many more opportunities, doors I will not even recognize as such except when I look back and see they have closed, I am denying myself because I still can't find it in my heart to take that leap and have faith that I may fly.

Labels:

Friday, October 27, 2006

MMMMM Doughnuts

I'll admit, when I first heard about deep fried coca cola, my response was, "Ouch! My teeth are hurting just thinking about that!"

But as I think about it some more, I am having a change of heart. I mean, I can't be the only person who has noticed that sometimes chai tea has a spice profile that is oddly similar to coca cola. It may be the cloves. So how bad can a dessert made from a batter of sugar, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipped cream, strawberries, wheat, and butter be? It actually sounds oddly appropriate for the holidays.

I till can't say for sure that I would try it. The idea of Deep Fried Coca Cola makes me pause in a way that, say, Holiday Spice Doughnut Holes does not. So the problem is really semantics. However, since language is what makes us human, I can't change the fact that I get caught up in words.

Of course, the idea of how sweet these things must be still causes my teeth to ache in sympathy. I imagine that compared to these, Krispy Kremes taste salty.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A is for Alimum

Which Gashlycrumb Tiny are you?


A is for AMY who fell down the stairs.
Take this quiz!


I think this is the best quiz I have encountered thus far. I found it on Bookshelves of Doom.

Of course, it does not bode well for me as we have two flights of stairs within our living space which I must navigate often (I counted, I climb between 30-40 flights of stairs every day).

For those who know the home in which I once lived, people who are saying at this very moment, "But you had those concrete stairs in your old building. Not only were they steep and forced even the most in shape of us to pause in order to catch our breath, those were the same stairs at Ignatius, only these were painted green whereas those were red. Things must be so much easier now", I say to you in reply, "Yes, it is true, I no longer live in a catholic church on the school floor, and while it is true that I am no longer having catholic school flashbacks (because the stairs were red underneath that green paint and it was chipping in spots) and no longer have to haul a squirming toddler and two bags of groceries up 57 stairs, those stairs in the old place were not in my home, they were in my building. On an average day, I only climbed between 6-10 flights of stairs. I am doing way more stairclimbing now that stairs separate the computer from my bedroom from the kitchen. I am having to see a chiropracter to address the chronic hip injuries which are exacerbated by all of this up and down."

The really sad thing is that Julian is a total daredevil and does not learn from his falls. He thinks the stairs are the coolest thing ever. Even the promise of Gymboree cannot lure him away. I'll bet if he took this quiz (if he could read and all) he would get the exact same result.

As a postcript, I should add that I just went and took the test for Julian (I had to guess on some of them, but as his mother, I felt pretty confident about answering that he has no history of fits or epileptic seizures). This was his result:

Which Gashlycrumb Tiny are you?


D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.

Which goes to show that you never can guess about these things. Fred will have to take the test and we can better determine what is going on here. It is interesting to note that my child, like me, has difficulty with movement and gravity.

Please, no comments about how I am a bad mother for taking this quiz for my child. If you only knew how accident prone I was or how much time Fred spent in the emergency room (or a full body cast) as a child, you'd be curious about this as well.

Beanstalks and Bedtime


Right now, Julian likes having Jack and the Beanstalk read to him over and over. We have a few different versions. The one in the photo comes with little cardboard figures that you can use to "create your own story"--we usually just look at them and say "oh, there is the giant, what does the giant say?" At which point Julian says, "Fe Fi Fo Fum" before descending into a fit of giggles. It is pretty simple (Mom tells Jack to sell cow, Jack sells cow to old man for magic beans, Mom throws beans out window, Jack climbs up beanstalk that has grown overnight, Golden Goose begs Jack to rescue it, Jack goes down beanstalk and chops it down, Happily ever After).

The other copy of the tale which we have is a bit more complex. The Goose never asks to be rescued, the Giant seems far more terrifying and ominous, and there is a Singing Harp which calls out and alerts the Giant of Jack's thievery. In this version, Jack is chased and the beanstalk breaks as the Giant is climbing down (so instead of being trapped in his castle in the clouds, he falls to the ground and is swallowed up by the earth). Then Jack's mother says "oh, this is your father's Harp and Goose which an evil giant stole from us long ago", Thereby making it okay that Jack took these items which were not his (because they were supposed to be his and would have been his if the Giant hadn't stolen them first) and alright that his actions caused the untimely death of the Giant (because he was an evil, thief anyway).

As you can probably tell, I am not a huge fan of either tale. Really, I prefer tales that don't involve trickery ("magic beans for your cow"), thievery (the Goose, the Harp), or death (the Giant). So every day I try to read Julian Miss Spider's New Car or The Color Kittens, but he isn't interested. Of course, that is this week, next week, it will be something else.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Crazy Ambition


You know, I hate the fact that every critic praising the new Battlestar Galactica makes such a point of saying that it is "not really science fiction", as if they need to prove to their readership that they are too cool to watch science fiction, because, you know, no one cool likes science fiction. At least, that is the fiction of American society, that only loser geeks like science fiction. We have to stress that Star Wars, The X-Files, Star Trek (all its incarnations), Quantum Leap, and now Battlestar Galactica, are all "not science fiction" in order to maintain the fiction that "no one cool likes science fiction".

Yeah, I totally hate that. Except I am having problems of this sort myself right now. Not with regards to my television viewing, but with regards to my writing abilities and what I plan to do for NaNoWriMo.

My problem is that I want to be the next Salman Rushdie. Or A.S. Byatt. Or possibly Mary Gordon. Or Alison Lurie. Or a whole bunch of other writers who write what could be referred to as "serious fiction." In addition to the writers I want to be, there are a whole slew of writers I do not want to be: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Agatha Christie, to name a few. Why? Well, because I suspect that people wouldn't respect me, that they would call my work stupid and facile, that they would make a great show of telling people that they were too "smart" and "cool" to even bother reading my work, that the opinions of anyone who read my work were less valid because of their declasse tastes.

Except for one thing. All those writers have written many books and have tons of fans. Yeah, it's true, the literary community doesn't respect them, but is that so important? Isn't that just the literary version of "I'm too cool for Doctor Who"? Why wouldn't I want to be one of them? So there would be a lot of people (many of whom will never actually write novels of their own) who looked down on me and said I wasn't a "real writer", big deal. Is writing "genre fiction" such a bad thing? Do I really care if literery snobs think they are too good for my work? Wouldn't I just love being Terry Pratchett, Ursula LeGuin, J. K. Rowling, Holly Black, Sara Paretsky, Douglas Adams? In fact, wouldn't I pretty much sell a limb to be any of those people?

If I could deal with being a chubby, ugly, brunette, sci-fi fan in high school, I can deal with being the writer of genre fiction.

All this assumes I can actually complete something, and that is a pretty gigantic assumption at present.

For those of you who are just desperate to read more of my work, I wrote this piece of Harry Potter fan fiction awhile back (around 35,000 words). Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who New

Julian is almost two, which means in 8-12 years, he will be embarrassed by me. He will want me to drop him off at the corner so his friends don't see he had his mom in her 20+ year old car (because there is no way our car won't live that long) drop him off. He is going to feel this way regardless of what I do, even if I am a cool mom (because no matter how cool I am, I won't be cool enough to overcome the fact that I am his mom), even if I am a smart mom (because we live in America, smart is embarrassing), even if I am a hot mom (especially if I am a hot mom!) So, I have been thinking, maybe I should actually give him a reason to be embarrassed. I mean, if I think my behavior is embarrassing, I won't be hurt if he does too, right? I'll become a vegetarian (the sort who goes on and on about how evil meat is, the sort that makes you want to go eat a raw cow out of spite), I'll start wearing really ugly handmade sweaters (think Toni Collette in About a Boy) and, to top it all off, I'm going back to basics and embracing my deep and abiding love for science fiction.

Of course, this is just my way of rationalizing all the time I am spending watching the Sci Fi Channel. Here's how it happened: A few weeks ago, I was home on a Friday night.

Digression: Doesn't that sound so offhand and casual? So blase, so cool, and, yet, by adding the "few weeks ago" modifier, I make it sound like "home on a Friday night" is an uncommon occurrence for me, an occurrence so rare it is worth blogging about in its own right. Whereas the reality is that I am usually home on a Friday night, it is the rare Friday night when I am not home, and even then, we are probably having dinner at my parents' house which is practically the same thing except the food is better.

So where was I? Oh, yes, that's right, home on a Friday night and looking for something to watch on television. Of course, being a Friday night, nothing seemed to be on.

Digression: Who makes programming decisions at television stations? I swear, you can just hear these executives saying "No, people go to parties and out on dates and to bars on a Friday night. No one but losers and families stay home on Friday nights. Why not just schedule a Full House marathon for every Friday from now until the end of time and call it a day?" I mean, yes there are some people who actually go out on Friday nights, but a lot of people don't. It is nice that Monk and Psyche were on on Fridays, but those were not on this Friday night of which I speak.

Alright, so we were home on a Friday night and the only thing which was on which looked interesting was Doctor Who.

Digression: I used to love Doctor Who when I was younger. My love for Doctor Who is one of those things that falls into the "goes without saying, not even worth mentioning" category, like my love for Monty Python, Ursula LeGuin, and chocolate. (Yes, I just compared Doctor Who to chocolate.) I can talk for hours (and probably will at some point-consider yourself warned) about the social, cultural, and philosophical implications of Doctor Who. My favorite Doctors were Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, and Tom Baker (in that order). I feel one of the meanest things that Public Television has done is ceasing to broadcast Doctor Who.

Of course, it wasn't the old Doctor Who, but the new Doctor Who. Fred asked if I had known about the new Doctor Who and I said I did, but since I had seen the strange tv movie on Fox ten years ago, I was a bit afraid to venture into any new Doctor Who experiences, preferring to live in the seventies and eighties. They could keep their swanky special effects and high production values, for all I cared. But, as I think I have made abundantly clear, nothing else was on.

OH MY GOD! We came in about ten minutes into the show, there was a huge trampoline like thing with a face talking to a blonde girl with a nice bum. I know enough about the world of the Doctor to know that the chick with the cute figure had to be a companion, but that was pretty much all I could figure out. Alright, so then trampoline thing manages to get her soul into the blonde girl and looks in a mirror and says "Oh No! I'm a Chav!" Which cracked me up. Then she goes and meets up with the Doctor and within minutes she is kissing him. Kissing! On Doctor Who!

So obviously, this is not the Doctor Who of my teenage years. I mean, with all due respect to Lalla Ward, the idea of anyone kissing Tom Baker is, um, yucky. But this Doctor is pretty cute.
Digression: Maria and I talked about this new Doctor and she agreed he is cute. I had a brief moment of panic when it occurred to me that this actor may, in fact, be younger than me. Maria pointed out that it will eventually happen that they will cast an actor who is younger than us to play the Doctor. True, but not this one. I have to accept the higher production values, some plot choices that are influenced by the X Files, and a cute actor playing the Doctor. Is it so much to ask that the cute actor be older than me? Apparently not, as David Tennant is slightly older than me. Crisis averted. Of course there is the other crisis, the crisis that some Doctor Who fans grow up to be successful actors and actually get cast as the Doctor. But I digress from this digression and, really, we don't have time to talk about my acting career, or lack of it.

Anyway, the episode takes place in a hospital run by the nurses, who are nuns and also happen to be human sized, bipedal cats. They can cure every disease, so it seems, and we soon find out it is because they are growing people who are infected, people who are trapped in pods (just like the Matrix), but from these experiments they learn the cures for many diseases. The lab humans are covered in pustules which can be passed by touch and, of course, they break out and mayhem ensues throughout the hospital. We find out (because Trampoline Lady's brain takes a brief foray into the body of one of these (dare I say?) lepers) that all they really want is to hug someone and be loved. The Doctor saves the day by drenching himself in all the cures concocted by the Sisters of Meow Meow Healing and then, I swear to you I am not making this up, he cures the lepers by touching them. Time Lord as Christ figure!

Of course, I am totally hooked. The problem is that Sci Fi isn't merely showing the new Doctor Who, they are showing the second series with the new new Doctor. Which means I am a year late and a Doctor short.

I'll admit, the fact that the sets don't look like they are old refrigerator boxes is going to take some getting used to.

And you thought I was going to do what everyone else is doing and talk about how great, fabulous, culturally relevant Battlestar Galactica is, didn't you?

Labels:

Monday, October 23, 2006

That Time Of Year, Again


Last November, I unofficially tried to do the NaNoWriMo with the Black Dress piece. In addition to it being unofficial (i.e. I didn't register) there were other factors which made the whole thing not count, in my opinion. It was non-fiction, it was a piece on which I had begun work in the spring of 2005, and it had already morphed into a multimedia project by that point. Unofficial though it may have been, I now have many photos (I have quite a few I haven't edited yet, so let's just say I have around 100) and 41,159 words for the Black Dress project (really, come visit the blog, if you leave comments I may be encouraged to upload more photos and text as a means of procrastination) and I wrote another piece (this one fictional) which I had briefly considered interweaving with the story about the black dresses (though I have since changed my mind about that) which has a word count of 13,863. So last year's NaNoWriMo gave me two unfinished pieces (though not everything was written last November) which desperately need to be rewritten and edited. But finishing can be so hard. In fact, for me, finishing is damn near impossible. Even if I didn't have a toddler, even if I had time, I am pretty sure finishing would be difficult. For example, I wrote a play in the spring of 2001. Had a few readings. Got ideas. Did a complete rewrite. Had another reading, got some criticism which was not terribly constructive and decided I shouldn't be writing plays. Or rather, I decided to wait until I was inspired. And here we are, five years later, the play is nowhere closer to being worked on than it was back before motherhood took over my life. Anyway, my point is that writing 50,000 words isn't really my problem, it is knowing what to do with the words once they are written.

So we are days away from another November and another NaNoWriMo.

I tell myself that it would be different if I registered and made it official this time around. I am telling myself that I can totally write 1,500 words a day even though, lately, I can't even seem to find the motivation to write on this blog. It isn't like I don't have ideas. I have too many ideas and, often, can't seem to make them all fit. I remind myself that it doesn't have to be linear or make sense, at least, not to anyone else. I am telling myself that these 50,000 words will be different.

Time is a bit of a concern. My mother recently suggested that I would make myself a lot less miserable if I put my acting and literary ambitions on hold until Julian starts school. She pointed out that this time is fleeting and, really, I am just stressing myself out too much. Of course she is right, but I know that I will do this anyway and I will still time from somewhere in order to do it. Then I remember that we are going out of town the first weekend in November. That is a few days gone right there. Julian's birthday is the 18th and I have to plan the party. And then there is Thanksgiving.

Who decided November was a great month to write a novel?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fog



It is too painful to write right now. Or rather, life is too much and I can't find a way to make it sound witty, charming, intelligent.

Moving was overwhelming. I tell people that it nearly killed me and I am not kidding around. There were moments when I was positive I would never recover from the experience. The violent sneezing alone had Fred worried.

But slowly everything is beginning to adjust itself into a semblance of real life again. The books were taken out of wine boxes and placed upon bookshelves. The clothing which had been piled in a mound in our bedroom found itself folded in the emptied wine boxes (we still do not have the drawer space which we had in the built in closet at our old place, and while we have lots of closet space, most of it is not in our bedroom). Fred and my mom planted bushes which will someday grow tall in our front yard (I do not care about gardening, but it is nice to check stuff off our list of THINGS TO DO). The things we have left to do which do not impact on our life in an immediate way, so it is possible they may not get done for some time and that will be okay.

But as things shift into normalcy, I start to let go of the panic which has kept me going for the past month and a half. It becomes painfully obvious that I am exhausted. I realize how raw my nerves feel, as if I can literally feel the endings are exposed and my skin almost tingles with the constant irritation of the air brushing past. I find myself bursting into tears for no reason. Even the simplest request or suggestion shatters my veneer of calm and I literally don't know what to do.

I haven't been running or doing yoga. The show I am understudying has opened and the whole experience has made me realize I am not ready to be acting again (in a nutshell: the experience isn't worth the time commitment at this point in my life...but maybe that is this show, maybe I would feel differently if it were a different show? Hard to say). I can't blog or write anything meaningful (but I am still having ideas, which in some ways is even crueler than just having nothing at all). What little energy I have is saved for the job I can't put on hold and Julian is quite the little task master.

Then there is the sneezing. I may have mentioned it. Around the first week of August, I started having pretty extreme congestion. I thought it was because our old place was dusty and packing up our belongings was kicking up a lot of the stuff. Then my eyes started to itch, even when I was outside, and it just seemed to be getting worse. We moved into this house and we tried to clean up all the dust, but I didn't seem to get better. I would open a box of moldy smelling yarn and feel my throat begin to itch as I was stopped by a fit of sneezing. Clearly something had to be done. So today, I went to see an allergist. I told him everything (my history with eczema, the way my throat itches whenever I drink carrot juice, the way I have felt congested since I got pregnant, the constant sinus infection) and I had my skin pricked and poked. And the findings? I am not allergic to anything. I have non-allergic rhinitis, which is the medical way of saying "you are clearly congested, but we don't know why." Maybe I'm congested because of the move, the change of seasons, breastfeeding, but really, there is no clear explanation for what is causing me to go through so many boxes of Kleenex. I get to try some nasal spray and see what works.

So, here I am in the new house and I seem to have lost my groove and I don't think running off to some tropical island is going to help me get it back. However, I still have lots to talk about (Dr. Who, the book I just read, Tithe, and mean people, to name a few things about which I have some thoughts) so have no fear, my need for attention and my love of expressing my opinion, not to mention my lifelong romance with the English language, will have me right as rain in no time.