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So I’m listening to this book on CD in my car and i’ve had a couple thoughts.

1. She writes, “A bird never doubts his place at the center of the universe” – isn’t that just the perfect description? Maybe that’s what I’ve always loved about them, their complete lack of self-consciousness. Birds do exactly what they want to do all the time… except the little scientist voice in my head that sounds exactly like prof jim mountjoy says that birds don’t do whatever they “want” because they are controlled by instinct, so they are doing what they have to do, there is no real choice involved.

2. (possible spoiler?) Near the beginning of the book, a young man dies and she describes the way people had to wait in line for over an hour at the wake. It reminded me of Matt’s funeral which also involved waiting in a very long line, some for over an hour. And for the first time, I considered what that really meant – how many people must have attended to make a line that long. And then I thought about how people say things about wishing they could attend there own funeral, and the anxiety people express over how many people would care if they died… And I thought that Matt would have been satisfied with our final farewell to him.
I’m still processing Matt’s death and absence, but lately I’ve been able to think about it with more peace and acceptance – (translation: i don’t cry every single time i think of him).
I guess I have found some comfort in focusing on how awesome he was and how many people were lucky enough to know him … and how he will always be young in our memories. Matt is free from the pains of life, the pains of aging, the possibilities of disappointing himself and others. He can’t hurt anyone and no one can hurt him. I recognize that you can read that from two different perspectives – he is gone forever and that sucks OR his story is complete and he is free from fear, anxiety and pain. But really it’s both, all the time.
I have come to accept that Matt had an awesome life with a great family, friends and lots of crazy experiences and now it’s over – like every great book has to come to an end, even if it’s much shorter than you’d wish, and no matter how much more you want to hear about your favorite characters. The story is done and the author has died.
But of course, people are different than books – for one thing, you can’t reread people. I can’t go back in time to re-experience my time with Matt. And I could never love a book as much as I loved Matt. I would give anything to be able to talk to him again.

3. So maybe these two thoughts don’t seem to go together, I can see that.
Except that, like the birds, Matt never doubted that he was the center of the universe 🙂

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pet count: 5 rats, 3 toads, 2 birds, 1 garter snake, 1 guinea pig, 1 desert lizard, 1 tough goldfish

job count: 0

made cookies yesterday, didn’t have an egg, messed with the recipe a lot, ended up with really really soft “tropical fruit oatmeal cookies”, we eat them for breakfast, richie likes them

just roasted a pork tenderloin marinated in a mixture of thai fish sauce, garlic stir-fry sauce, olive oil and paprika, it turned out delicious. paired it with couscous and sweet peas for lunches for the next few days.

our bathroom is so close to being done, just have to hang the door and window frames and put up curtain rods etc, its very exciting to be able to shower and bathe at home!!!

here are some pictures:

easter quiches

bunny cake for easter (its a family tradition, and btw i let piper decorate it)

a duck at lincoln park zoo

i’m subbing today at a typical chicago public high school. the kids have been pretty good, and just a little bad to see what i’ll do (as usual i try to react as a “teacher” should, but a lot of times i don’t even realize that i’m grinning right back at the troublemakers… the big secret is that the troublemakers are very likable and it’s hard for teachers to be strict with them)

i’ve been very apprehensive about subbing lately, but after i got here this morning all the anxiety vanished. i don’t know why, but i do tend to forget that i do know what i’m doing, that i can make students respect me as an authority figure, and that i really enjoy my days as a sub.

still waiting to hear about the other full-time job i really want at a certain chain of stores that sell used books… they just took possession of a new store in the south burbs and it would be so awesome to work there!!! plus it has benefits!

but i definitely shouldn’t forget that i really do like subbing (ok, i still don’t like having to go to bed early just in case you get called in and never knowing what days you’ll be working – but thats really not as bad as i make it seem in my head, its sort of an adrenalin rush actually!)

p.s. best names of the day: Mahogany, Ofelia, Twanica and Viridiana (i’m not mocking, i love the creativity)

ok long time no blog…

our bathroom is ALMOST done, apparently i’ll be showering here by sunday night (happy easter!)

then we just need to get the hardwood floors finished and get some real furniture and move in all of my stuff and the house will be done! i kind of can’t believe it and it makes me a little nervous to actually think about living in a real house

Richie has taken the small garden i imagined and turned it into a massive project – predictable but still, a little anxiety-inducing considering how much work big gardens can be…

i’ve been sick and having lots of allergy problems and its been a real drag, hopefully that will get better soon since the heat’s off and the windows are open etc… plus we’ll get the ducts cleaned after the house is done and that may help.

i’m waiting to hear about a job i really want and it has benefits so if i get it, a trip to the allergist will be priority 1 (followed by the dentist…)

yeah so basically i’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for all these things to happen… and that doesn’t make for good blog fodder, does it?

🙂

yesterday i brought the mice over to my brother’s place for seana and the kids to have, and i took their giant aquarium with two huge goldfish in it (named cloak and dagger) – actually i packed up all their stuff and then i was going to swing by after the green party fundraiser to grab the fish

piper was pretty excited about the mice and she handled them so carefully, i really love that little girl. When i came back at 11pm to pick up the fish, little piper was still awake, so i got a big hug and squeeze 🙂

i bet the fundraiser was fun but i discovered to my horror that i had no drivers license or other form of ID on me! i dont go to bars much and i rarely get carded so i have no idea how my license even got out of my wallet! So guess im going to the secretary of state’s office tomorrow…

so dani and i went out for hot dogs and cheese fries at that funny little bar attached to Clark St. Dog – they’ve renovated in there and its awesome! then we went to parrots and played some pool, they put in real dart boards and took out the electronic one which is a little sad for me

then i got the fish and came home and richie and butch and i set up the tank which was a ridiculous process involving carrying bowls of water from the kitchen into the tv room and pouring them into the 30 or 40 gallon tank…

woke up earlier than usual because i’m trying to get myself back on a “school day” schedule in order to start subbing again. Went downstairs to discover that the front door was wide open and the screen door still propped open, as it apparently had been left ALL NIGHT after richie brought in the aquarium and other stuff from my car. we are so lucky to still have a television…

so closed the door and went to the kitchen. did the dishes. put a pork tenderloin to marinate in the fridge in olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice, cumin and seasoned salt with a little fish sauce (fish sauce is my new favorite thing). took care of the pets and watched some DVR.

then i made sour cream pancakes with a sauteed apple topping for the boys and myself.

then i put the pork in the oven to roast, made cranberry pecan stuffing, parsley potatoes, and broccoli and put it all together in tupperware containers for richie to take for lunch for the next few days 🙂

now i’m just chilling until i have to go grocery shopping and do the laundry 😦

so i guess this quarterlife crisis concept is a real thing now?

i actually think its a valid stage in life to discuss. I know that i have been greatly comforted by adult family friends telling me that the time in their lives right after college was the most difficult stage they’d ever experienced.

i have also found the time after college to be supremely difficult. I lost friends to death and moving abroad, I ended up living with my folks more than I wanted, I had an awful long-term relationship, I made some bad choices (some good ones too i hope), and it’s just been HARD.

Plus I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. When i try to shake off my mother’s feminism, and both my parents’ ambition and dedication to their jobs, I find that my desires are for a loving partner, a comfortable home, and a happy family. But how could i possibly aspire to just being a housewife? I can’t shake off those pressures to be “successful” for long, but will trying to fulfill them ever make me happy? it hasn’t worked so far…

lately i do feel as though i’m getting somewhere with this whole adult thing. i found the man i want to spend the rest of my life with, he has a house that he shares 50/50 with me, we have pets and plans, and i feel more comfortable being myself than i have in the past. I have quit smoking and reduced my other bad habits, including my temper. And i am actually happy to be getting older this year!

As the economy ravaged my emplyment plans to be a teacher, it has also reduced the pressure on me to be successful and get a job my parents can be proud to tell their friends about. And with that pressure reduced, i can relax – i can let myself be in a temporary position. i can be comfortable finding out that i will probably always be able to get some kind of administrative assistant job and that i have become a good employee. i certainly wasn’t always, but I am now. And that’s something – to know that you are more responsible and nicer to yourself than you were at 23…

and who knows? maybe half price books will be the perfect  home for another Huizenga?

well we all know that NPR is basically the best thing ever, but this morning when i had to awaken at the brutal hour of 6am and come to work, NPR gave me yet another gift – Salt Marsh Diary, written by Mark Seth Lender

copyright Salt Marsh Diary

“…The Mystery of Great Blue Heron and his mate is not solved by science or by sovereignty. They appear, they vanish, they reappear. If the feel of the marsh is emptiness and even the air is still that is the time for patience. Do not hurry. Make no sound. Walking, use stealth. Watching, do not move. When Stillness pursues what is Still, all things are revealed.”

what a wonderful thing to hear on the radio in the harsh early morning!

and what a wonderful thing to suddenly realize that there are nature and birding blogs that i never thought to look for!!!

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