Thursday, June 30, 2005

Organic, etc.

I am loving living in the city. In the metro area, there's at least a million people, and I love everything about living in a densely populated area (except for people getting hit by cars). I love being with my extended family, these wonderful people I only see once a year, I love sitting in "my" bedroom and chatting with one of my favourite cousins on AIM -- the cousin who is in the next room on his computer, the one who plays guitar like a genius and calms my soul with "Frail" whenever I ask him to.

I love people-watching. I went to my sister's Thesis Support Group with her, at a coffeehouse downtown; I took a book along, but during the near-hour we were there, I only read 21 pages (normally, I'd've been 80+ pages into it by then), because I was too busy watching people, wondering who they are, and trying to guess where they're going, if they're really in love with the person they're with, what they're thinking.

I was introduced to the Whole Foods Market the day before yesterday, and I cannot wait until I permanently live closer than 2 hours from it. I went back yesterday, just to take in all the beautifully arranged organic produce, to smell the area with fresh cheeses, to look at all the organic body care products (and to sample a greek olive from the olive bar, of course).

In this area of the city, there are so many brick houses, and I love feasting my eyes on them, especially the ones with trees surrounding them, branches draping themselves over the roof. The house in the dreams of my heart is old red brick, with sage-green trim or shutters, one story with an attic, and trees in the front yard as well as the back. The driveway is stone, and there's a hardwood floor and a fireplace in the living room, and the bedroom is painted this blue, with sheer white curtains. But the best thing in that house by far is someone, someone who loves me, someone with dark hair and dark eyes, someone with a sense of direction, a purpose, someone who is calm and steady, gentle, and patient with me when I get upset. Someone who loves going to church as much as I do. Someone who will sleep in with me some summery Saturday mornings, when the soft wind makes the curtains billow gently, and breathes over our skin like a wish passing by; someone who wears the wide gold band that matches the one on my hand. This has so long been a dream, the wish of my heart, and I pray it won't be too much longer before it is no longer a dream, but sweet, sweet reality.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

City life

Today, I saw a person get hit by a car, a car leaving the side street I was approaching. There is no way to describe the sickness, the panic, the utter horror and devastation felt in my soul when I realised in my brain what I had just seen. My eyes knew immediately, but it took my brain a second to wrap itself around the concept -- that what the young driver had hit and slammed on his brakes about was not a bird, not a squirrel, but a human being, an 11 year old boy wearing a blue and white basketball jersey. When I first saw the twisted bike under the car, I thought it was a stroller and felt like I'd been punched in the stomach by Mike Tyson and I couldn't breathe. We pulled over to call 911, but by the time my aunt had gotten her cellphone out of her bag, there were already two other people on their cellphones. I wonder how the little boy is doing now, at the hospital, and I wonder how the driver is -- how he's coping with the fact that he hit a human. I wonder if his hands are shaky, if his whole body feels all quivery the way mine still is.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Funniest thing I saw today:

An eyepatch with a message on it, with an arrow pointing to the other eye: "I'm with Blinky."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Shimmy shimmy

Juan: When I was in Florida, I thought of you.
Dänika: (Oh, how sweet!)
Juan: Yes, because one day I was there, and there were SO. MANY. gay men.

Sunday, June 19, 2005




I WILL be fine.

Balancing on the edge of the sun-dappled deck before I hurtled my body into the sunlight to snare some Vitamin D, I realized I can be happy about tolerate, maybe even enjoy a little (let's not push it) today (even though this morning, I wished I could sleep through the whole day and wake up tomorrow not feeling so sick).


Because I hung onto a pair of jeans that are now a size or two too big for me, and I can pull them off without undoing the snaps and buttons. They're perfect for today, when I feel sick and hungover and need a pick-me-up in the vanity department -- having to continually hike up my pants is a good little boost.

Because I don't have any classes this summer that I have to do homework for. I don't have to get up early every weekday morning and sit through classes I don't particularly like. Access to the Internet without having to research for a paper or feel guilty about using the computer for means other than schoolwork.

Because I'm proud of myself for treadmilling this morning before breakfast.

Because I can play around with my watercolours and my journal.

Because we have snails in our garden pond (and tree frogs who congregate there every night, and a huge fuzzy spider who I'm convinced is hiding out somewhere in the vicinity of the bench, which is why I haven't sat there for five days and am constantly on the lookout whenever I venture out by the pond.

Because I have a crazy mom who brought the accordion upstairs and was playing in the hallway outside my room this morning.

Because even though the sun's out and it's hot HOT HOT, there's a wonderful breeze, and it makes the leaf shadows dance around on the deck.

Because our rosebushes are in bloom. When we moved here, there was a huge woodpile north of the house. After we cleared it, rosebushes sprouted up, and they have gradually taken over the whole garden (again) -- they're the best-smelling, loveliest roses.

Because in a week and a half, I'll be catsitting, and will finally have something done to this craaazy hair.

Because if my cousin can take a hint, this summer (and fall and winter and spring and summer...) could be really interesting and fun.

Because my Dad is alive and isn't dizzy anymore.

Because I got to see two of my favourite people yesterday. :)

Friday, June 17, 2005


(darn, now I have that Cranberries song stuck in my head)

Last night, one of Dad's cousins drove upstate to see us; he's a night owl, so whenever he comes here, he shows up late in the evening, and used to stay until 3 AM or so, and then drive back home. This morning he left about one-thirty, but I had to get up at a quarter after five (AM AM AM), so that was plenty late for me. I'm going to go back to bed in a little bit, just because I have to drive Dad somewhere (2 hrs each way) this afternoon, and I want to be alert. :)

Except for the whole getting up after not having enough sleep, I liked being up that early. We drove down deserted country roads, dew on the alfalfa fields sparkling in the sun; fluffy cloud remnants still hung in the valleys. I LOVE it -- it's like the clouds like to come down and nestle close to the land during the night (and "The stars are God's daisy chain," I know, I know, leave me alone). It's very fairy-taleish and magical, and it always makes my imagination even more vivid.

Day before yesterday, I got an invitation to a bridal shower for Erica, who was one of my friends when we were growing up. She's the second one of my friends to get married in the past 8 months; it's so strange, sometimes, to think that we're that old.


I want to get married. I only know one person I would even consider marrying (and by "consider, " I mean "YESSSSS! When? This afternoon? I'LL BE READY!"), and I haven't seen him since last year. I'm done dating stupid guys -- or, rather, stupidly dating [stupid] guys; I'm tired of it. What I really want to do is not date around, but wait until the guy who's interested in me is the right kind of guy. Why waste my time and energy and affection on someone who isn't worth it and/or isn't in it for the right reasons anyway? Bah.

Why do I want to get married? Some things that are attractive to me are the stability, the security, being able to always be with the person I like the best out of the whole world, the person I love deeply, and who kind of likes me (just checking -- are you still awake? heh ;) . ...those are just a couple things on my leeeengthy list...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I'm not comfortable with my brothers' driving. It's not that they're bad drivers, per se, just that they're horribly inexperienced and don't really pay attention at all (I know, I sound like my mom when I learnt to drive, but there's a reason their insurance rates are, like five hundred dollars every-1/2-year higher than mine!!). Last night I was told that Joe was going to be driving Dad somewhere today, and expressed my trepidation, but Mom assured me everything would be fine. I know I still had that look on my face, though, the "I'm a Better, More Experienced, Older Driver" look.

This morning Joe came into the kitchen: "Where are the keys for the Jeep?"
Mom: "Aren't they in there?"
J: "NO!"
D, shouting from the next room: "They're IN there! They're by the, uh...the...uhhh...uhhhhhhhh....the PARK REVERSE NEUTRAL OVERDRIVE THING!"
J: "Dänika, you mean, the SHIFTER?"
D: "Whatever. Still a better driver."

Monday, June 13, 2005

can lightning bolts strike me from a galaxy far, far away?

With "Return of the Jedi" playing in the near foreground (I'm mobile! The laptop and I are in the living room), stealing most of my attention while I try to formulate something that isn't too boring, I have to wonder: Except for the redeeming presence of Darth Vader, Han Solo, the phenomenal soundtrack, and light-sabres, why do these have a cult following? Who on earth cast Mark Hamill (and why do the Ewoks scare me so)? And, more recently, why-oh-why was Hayden Christiansen cast as Anakin/DV? I couldn't stand him in Episode II (the little brat), and I still haven't seen Episode III, because I'm in no hurry to have to suffer through a couple hours of his stilted acting and any more cheesy love stuff (though one killing one's spouse isn't cheesy love stuff, I know) and DID YOU KNOW that he had to wear huge platform shoes so he'd be tall enough for Darth Vader's outfit? Isn't that a sign that they should've cast someone else? How about Ben Affleck?

Kidding. But not much. Oh, the mental picture...

I've never been a science-fiction buff, but I did harbour a little bit of Star Wars Appreciation (SWA) following a movie-viewing with my former music professor, who showed me how intricate John Williams' score is, how each character has his or her own theme, and how just by listening to the music, you can tell who's onscreen, and what's happening in the film. And, I've been told, at the end of the most recent one, when Baby Leia is onscreen, Leia's theme plays. But still, my SWA extended only to the soundtrack, I just realized.

I just heard Darth Vader's ragged breathing, as Luke removed the mask, showing the hallowe'en-style makeup job on his dad, and I had to laugh, because I remembered one of my favourite skits on "Whose Line is it, Anyway?" Something to do with Famous Movie Lines, the Rough Draft (they just don't pack quite the punch):
Brad Sherwood took the stage, did some convincing DV-type breathing, and then croaked out, "Luke, I am your second-cousin twice-removed."

(Right now, one Ewok partying at the end, providing the percussion by whacking the top of the Storm Trooper's helmets, is eerily reminiscent of Patsy doing the percussion for "Camelot!" in "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.")

Most "classic" movies I don't harbour an appreciation for, I just realised as I was typing this up: I can't stand "Gone with the Wind" (except for Clark Gable), "The Wizard of Oz" I hate, and there are many others on the Everyone's Favourite Classics! list that I don't like.

But give me a French movie (or an old Gregory Peck film) any day, and I'm happy as a clam.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The First Do-It for the Summer: Watercolour!

I've always wanted to learn how to watercolour. I love the hazy, soft, Impressionistic look of the colours on a good, heavy paper, and how people can take paint of any sort and smear it on a canvas and have it LOOK LIKE A FLOWER, OH-MY-GOSH! amazes me. I figured I've put it off long enough (I ain't gittin' any younger), borrowed a watercolour book from my mom's friend, and bought the supplies yesterday.

I still cannot believe I forked over $14.99 for ONE paintbrush -- this, coming from the person who hates parting with her money in increments over $10 (unless it's the Amélie soundtrack which I'd been wanting for a year), can sniff out the clearance section of any store from just inside the door, and hardly ever pays full price for anything. You can call it Miserly and Cheap if you want to, but I prefer THRIFTY and SENSIBLE, thanks.

The watercolour book I borrowed is just perfect for me; the author keps emphasizing the need to relax, don't worry about wasting paper, don't have high expectations of what my beginning creations look like; they don't look like anything I've seen, because they were painted by me, and I'd never watercoloured before! So yesterday and today, I've had a blast, swirling colours around on the cold-press paper, loving the creation of new colours as the primaries blend and dance around the page.

Thank God for the "Recover Post" feature! It just saved my butt from having to try to remember what I said in this post!


This, THIS, is what I remember Saturdays being like...sleeping in until the birds outside my window wake me up, cool damp air making my curtains breathe; taking the morning slowly, still in my pajamas, taking time to look out the window while I'm sitting at the computer, checking my favourite websites one by one, instead of simultaneously opening them all in six browsers (to save time). Knowing that I don't have anything more pressing to do today than listen to CarTalk and play with my new watercolours, making the colours waltz across the pebbly paper.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

As per your request

I've been told I should update more frequently; something confirmed by the numbers of my readership/site hits trickling away. I haven't done writing on this journal for a few reasons: I've begun a paper journal; I'm under the influence of Kathleen Pequignot; I paint and collage the pages first, then write a bit about my day. It's interesting, and I like looking back at what I've done.*

Lately, my days have been full of my family, which makes me impatient for the end of this month, when I'll be catsitting in Minnesota for a week. I love my family, but recently everything I've done has been with them, and I need time to myself, time to get away and be my own person with my own plans. I've been working for Dad, filling out and balancing ledgers; I have two months left from last year that refuse to balance, even though I've used 50'+ printing calculator tape on them, and when these finally work out, I start filling out the ledger for the accounts this year.

I took Dad to his doctor's appointment yesterday; I liked the office. It was on the top floor, and the room was much wider and longer than usual. I studied the colour charts of the brain, and had the 2.5' tall model skeleton dancing to "I Could Have Danced All Night" until the doctor came in. The neurosurgeon listened to Dad for a few minutes, asked a few questions about Dad's symptoms, about the continually poor eyesight (he's still wearing the patch), about the ringing in his ears, about his dizzy spells, of which he still has 20+ episodes a day. The doctor said that he had hoped these symptoms would have corrected themselves by now, but since there's no change, he's referring Dad to a neurologist, who can give him exercises to combat his vertigo, etc. So after five minutes, we left the office, with an appointment 11 AM tomorrow. Hopefully we'll go to Borders afterwards; otherwise, I'll feel gypped, for there isn't anything else to compensate for the 1+ hour drive each way.

We've been trying to sell Dad's office and shop for over a year and a half now; the first realtor with whom we'd listed it did a rotten job, so we tried to sell it ourselves for a year, and then last week listed it with a different realtor. Tuesday morning they listed it online, and yesterday a man came to see the building -- not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. We met him one of the times he came to the office, and he seems perfect for the building -- he's a photographer, his wife weaves, and a friend of theirs is a potter, and they want this building as their studio. He made the realtor an offer for just a few thousand less than we were asking, and believe me, we were ready to take it, but when Mom and Dad met with the realtor this morning, they were told that the man had stopped in late yesterday and changed his offer -- he's giving us the full asking price. Yeah!!!

I've been maintaining a wheat-free (and mostly corn-free) diet for almost a week now, and it's nearly impossible to describe how much better I feel. I have more energy, my skin is clearer and softer, I have better concentration, and I have no desire to eat wheat...but it is daunting at times, especially when I'm away from home for a meal and trying to find something I can eat that is preservative-free, wheat-free, and meat-free. Enter, stage-right: The ever-glorious Zone bars.

* The other reason is that the thoughts I've been journalling about are too much, too much inside my head and in my soul for me to write about here; they're locked safely away.

Monday, June 06, 2005

And one, and two, and up, and down.

I usually exercise quietly, just the thumping of my feet on the treadmill or loud exhalations keeping time with the music that's supposed to keep my attention off the fact that I have 20 minutes left in my workout. Today, though, I realized it must have sounded odd to anyone who happened to open the door to the basement -- I had "You've Got Mail" in the vcr, headphones clamped on my ears, and occasional quotes slipped their way out of my mouth between inhalations:

Example 1:
"/thump thump/ Kiss me, I'm going to be your wicked stepmother."

Example 2:
"/pant/ I am; I'm having my eggs harvested."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Inspiring me today:

43Things. I am obsessed with this website! You can make a list of your goals, check off the ones that you've met, connect with people across the world who have the same goals as you (or are willing to help you out!), and give and receive "cheers" -- cheering people on to reach their goals. I received my first "cheer" almost immediately after I added "Be in a movie with Ewan McGregor" to my list; I've also gotten cheered on to "Live in NYC" and "read the classics." There are many people from the USA, of course, but so many from other places -- the UK, Australia, Greece, Spain...I love it!