sour yet healthy humble pie

Lately we’re having the in-between-y cold and then hot and then cold again weather, which means it’s springtime in Richmond.  The bradford pear trees are blooming, and daffodils in basically everyone’s yards, but not much else.  The past week has been packed full of too many activities to mention, so I’ll choose three highlights:

1. Seeing an actor from the Poe Museum act out some stories and poems at Walkerton Tavern (details to come on the Midnight Society blog)
2. Helping Dan fix the NES so that we can be a full-on force to be reckoned with in Dr. Mario
3. Watching The Hudsucker Proxy for the first time, and enjoying it thoroughly

We are making steady progress in our attempts at having dinner with various friends, and tonight’s subjects are Matt and Jenny, with whom we will tackle dinner at the always-delicious Mekong.

I’m almost finished reading A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by John Wesley, and it’s challenging me on so many levels.  Taking responsibility for exuding love at all times is something that’s fundamentally hard for me, as I’ve mentioned before.  Wesley’s views on all sorts of things made him one of the most famous preachers of all time, but that one simple point in particular really affects me.  Like all human beings, I get dealt various levels of trouble to deal with daily, and I can choose to either repay it with more trouble, or with love.  Everybody’s contributing some attitude; some offering to this place, and I want my share — what I give back — to be love.  Realizing that the change needs to take place in my heart and not in my actions only presents an intimidating task.  But what’s important is the motivation.  No matter how much I bungle things or trip over my own coattails, other people can sense a kind gesture when they see one, and they can smell sincerity if it’s there.  I want to aspire to be that way: transparently sincere.

“Askin’ ain’t gettin'” though, as Pork points out, and I have to agree.  The work is yet to be done.  The work of figuring out how to translate good intentions into kindness, patience, and gracefulness.  So far I’ve got the calmness part down, but that’s not enough.  I need to be about it instead of talk about it.

Recent mistakes are starting to make a lot of sense, and to point out things about myself and help me grow, as mistakes often do.  I am thankful for them.  I’ve changed so much in the past six months…year…five years…ten years.  I’m beginning to get a sneaking suspicion that this “growing up” thing won’t be over when I’ve made every last tweak to my nature that I see necessary, or when I’ve had kids, or when I’ve traveled the world, or when I’ve become a wrinkled old sage.  I have a feeling the process never ends.  That makes me happy.

I hope to document this process more both in ye olde regular blog and in protected posts.  To the few of you who have been with me since the days of Xanga, you’ll remember protected posts from those times.  Since the regular blog is just a place for me to document things and for people to get updates on what I’m up to, I won’t bog down that area with too-personal details for all the spam-bots and internet trolls, etc.  Protected posts will be accessed with a password, so just let me know if you want one and you’re on the road to getting Too. Much. Information.

Lastly, Synergeo got an awesome grant but we have to raise enough money to match it ($10,000!) by May if we want to actually get the grant.  The board has been working really hard on it for months, and now there are just a few thousand left to raise.  You can help three different ways, and I will blog about those hopefully later today.

hand-power and awkwardness

Attn: old-school Richmonders. Here goes your adolescence. The place where I got my first hair dyes and pyramid-spiked belts gets bulldozed.  I suppose cities have to grow and change, but I don’t like to dwell on it.  I also don’t much like change.

Before I get any farther into this blog and you get any farther into your day, check out Mandy’s flickr.  She’s been posting some amazing photos lately, some of which are super old.  Especially check out the 1999-2001 set, which I’ve titled “when she was goth.”  Also don’t miss out on the update to that set, which I like to call “that one time when Joey bought a hearse.”  I love Mandy.

I’ve been so tired all week that even going to bed at a decent hour last night didn’t help much. After that crazy weekend, I still continued it on Monday night (quite against better judgment). We had Daron over for a dinner of barbecued chicken, creamed corn salad with chevre, and roasted string beans. The power went out on our block, and after sweltering for a while on the back porch, we decided to head to the bowling alley. I’ve only bowled like four times in my life, so I’m awful, and you can imagine how my talents intensify on a diet of bowling alley beer. It was a sordid affair on all accounts, I think, but some of the most fun I’ve ever had as well. Our raucous blend of dancing, singing, high-fiving, clapping, gutterballing fun made us fit right in with the frat boys that frequent the bowling alley on a Monday night. When I got home the power was back on so I was able to get to sleep in relative comfort, but my stomach was killing me again from laughing so hard.

Last night I was determined to have an infinitely more chill evening, and was finally successful. Cleaned up our dinner mess from Monday, did some sewing (finished a dress!) while watching Interview With the Vampire amidst the usual inadvertent exclamations of “hot damn!” due to pale guys wearing satin, and headed to Prabir’s with Talia for a little bit. There we had good conversation and some chips and salsa, and all was right with the world. To bed well before midnight, and at least a tiny bit repaired today.

But now on to more important things…the links that have been piling up.

  • Tetris, but IRL! The apocalypse is nigh! Talk about the perfect birthday gift.
  • Finally, the Celluloid Pantry recognizes one of my favorite scenes of all time.
  • Nicole has been blogging! In particular, I’m excited that she went on one of my favorite trips, the Savannah – Charleston route. I love seeing people get as into Savannah as I am. Sadly, they didn’t like Charleston, which I also love (the cemeteries there are better), but there is definitely a difference. Also, the photos of the place she’ll be at in Japan are beautiful.
  • Looks like Maddie needs to save up $328.
  • Tatooine vacation?!!! Don’t tease me.
  • Almitra finally did some photoblogging. Excellent (and very telling, no doubt) photos of the girl who’s always the life of the party.
  • Bubble wrap simulator = need or want? NEED, definitely.
  • I have this cookbook, of course. “You can always tell a lady by the way she eats in front of people – like a bird.” As outdated as the statement is, guess what? It’s still true. Nobody but Ashley Wilkes likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite, and let’s face it. He’s not the right guy for you anyway.
  • I’ve been digging the zombie-themed stuff at Folded Pigs Porcelain.
  • Also, just my steez: beautiful but too-expensive stuff at Louise Black Designs.
  • Another reason for not understanding why everyone else isn’t obsessed with exploring abandoned buildings. The romance. In fact, check out the whole set.
  • Liza Kate’s photos and determination to have this summer “rule her life” have been inspiring me lately.
  • Kind of the best rug I’ve ever seen. This needs to replace the red shag rug upstairs.
  • The perfect table umbrella. Except for the fact that it lets light through. That is bad.
  • Eek! A new magazine dedicated to what I’d rather do than almost anything else: Organize.
  • Old barns! Another favorite thing about driving around in the country.
  • Next audio book to tackle: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
  • And speaking of that guy
  • NYC introducing free wifi in parks! Good news. Promising news.
  • Holy air guitar, Batman!
  • Most of the time I just post this stuff from Appalachian History over on the Midnight Society page, but this was too quotable to be left out of my regular blog.