Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yes, this is what we do in the cubes.

While my sister and I may live and work across the country from each other, we still manage to maintain a healthy level of communication. Well, maybe healthy is not the right word for it. Just wanted to share this excerpt. And yes, this is considered a normal exchange between her and I.

On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:36 PM, Theresa L wrote:
i wonder if i can never keep potatoes for very long before they get squishy is because it is simply too warm where i live. and apartments don't generally have basements/root cellars.

From: Rachel
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:10 AM
To: Theresa L
Subject: Re: potatoes

It's probably because you do not have the correct atmospheric conditions to sustain the quality of the potato's life. By which I mean, the potato is unhappy. Due to his unhappiness, he kills himself. Therefore his quality and his quantity of life are both decreased greatly because of your unfavorable atmospheric conditions. The remedy? Hire a comedian. Potatoes love to laugh. This will increase their quality, and thereby their quantity, of life greatly.

On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM, Theresa L wrote:
However, I believe the potato is already at least comatose if not completely expired by the time it arrives at any person's home. Therefore, I'm not sure how much comedic relieve would assist in elevating their quality of life, because they are already headed into the downward spiral that culminates in our stomach, or la poubelle.

From: Rachel
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:33 AM
To: Theresa L
Subject: Re: potatoes
I must disagree. While the very nature of a potato's being does, on the surface, seem to mirror that of a dead or dying corpse in its stillness, there are many facets of a potato's nature that extend well beyond the visual expression of life. I implore you to avoid being one of those who assume a lack of movement means the extinction of life.

p.s. To answer your original question, my day is going well. Guess we got a little off topic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I must profess my love.

He is my soul mate, my spirit guide. I wake up in the morning and he is always there. There is never a note on the pillow, "Sorry, Had to get up early, talk to you later." He does not leave his dirty boxers on the floor in a pile. He does not use my razor to shave. He never leaves toothpaste scum in the sink. Sometimes he leaves behind a little mess on the kitchen counter, but it is only because he knows I like to be reminded that he was there.

When I am sad, he cheers me up. When I am empty, he fills me. When I am happy, he only adds to my excitement. He gets me through hard days at work, and pulls me out of bed in the early morning with a warm embrace. He works with me through thick and thin, always just sitting there, waiting for me. He never complains. Some days he is a little bitter, but always finishes with a hint of sweetness. He is excellent to share a cigarette with.

He often reminds me of the days when I needed him most. The days when I was running on fumes, an hour of sleep here or there, lessons to prepare for, papers to write. Who always had my back? He did. Who met me early in the morning, at lunch, and again at 3:00 every single afternoon to keep me going? He did.

He lets me cry into him. He lets me laugh and jostle him around. He lets me sit silently, fuming or just thinking. We never argue. His usual silence is an anchor that I hold onto very dearly.

People try to tell me we spend too much time together. They tell me I am addicted to him, that I am only hurting myself the longer I stay with him. But they are all wrong. They don't understand. People fear his darkness, his intensity and complexity. Not me. I know it comes naturally to him, that it is not an act. Me and him, we're on the same wave.

When I distance myself from him, I become weak. My world becomes dimmer, emptier, sadder, and achier. And I know he is just there, waiting for me. So I always run back, full of sorrow that I would ever think of leaving him.

I like him because he is strong, and I have made him that way. After years of trial and error, we have come to understand how to make every day perfect:

8 scoops, fresh ground, for 6 cups.

Oh, Coffee. How I love thee.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stuff and things.

I just started reading Walden, Or, Life in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau. This being said, I should mention that I have "started" this book three or four times now, but I think I am ready for it this time. I believe it definitely takes a certain mind-set, and even perhaps a certain commitment, to read this book. Maybe I feel like I'm ready simply because I've been freaking out a lot about money lately (who hasn't?) and Walden is proving to be, if not a ready provider of solutions, a source for some reprieve from money woes.

Granted, I'm not very far in. And I realize that there are people out there who spend their lives reading and living out this book. Not that I could be one. But it is interesting to think about a life in the woods.

Perhaps I could not make the leap to life completely out in the woods, but I do think it's important to at least TRY stepping out of our social expectations of what a "normal", "quality" life is. I've been thinking about this a lot as I read about the housing market and hear about my friends buying homes. For the most part, all I have seen are articles about buying homes, when is the right time to do it, etc. These articles all are written on the assumption that one should be buying a home, that it is expected, normal, and something we all will do at some point, it is just a matter of when. However, I did run across a very interesting article in the New York Times the other day that definitely caught my eye.

This article takes a different approach - it focuses on the men who wish they hadn't bought that home, the people who have become home-buyers and grown to regret it. In a time when all I hear is "renting is a waste", "now's the time to buy", I really like seeing the articles that are on my side. Now, whether my side is the result of logic or rather the result of an immature need to escape any real responsibility in this world, I'm not exactly sure. That is a different conversation altogether.

But my point is this -- I am at an age where I see many people around me rushing towards what they believe is the American dream. Which is fine. But I have to wonder - are they doing it because they want it, or because they think they are supposed to want it? Great, no new revelation here --- I'm sure many a 20-something first entering the real world asks him or herself these questions about her own life or the lives of her peers, but this is the first time I feel I have been observing it from the outside.

I live in a tiny TINY studio apartment, with a record player, a laptop, and my cat. No couch. Just a few chairs. My freezer is not big enough to fit a frozen pizza into. I can't remember the last time I went out to a dinner that didn't involve a hot dog or french fries. I keep my apartment heated to a toasty 58 degrees in the winter. I am not bragging. Nor am I asking for pity. It's the state of my being, for now, to live frugally for the most part, to throw money away on expensive coffee when I feel like it, and to find reasons to be happy living an existence that cannot rely on stuff, things, and gadgets. And who is to say whether it is good or bad to live this way? I am not passing judgment on those who have the means to buy homes, buy the good feta cheese, and heat their homes to a normal temperature when it is -30 outside. I am just trying to examine what it is that makes these things so appealing. What is it that makes us, as humans, WANT so many things?

Hell if I know. Just something I've been wondering. And just so you don't get the wrong idea, yes, I probably will drive to a cafe this afternoon and put $3.00 on the counter in exchange for a poorly-made but oh-so-delicious latte. But I will recycle the cup.

rachel audrey