go postle.

pardon my dust. i'm turning it into glitter.

Hi, I'm Chris. If you subscribe to the MBTI, I'm an INFJ. I put myself through school for a seemingly useless English/Creative Writing degree, but writing is my passion and that's what I want to do when I grow up. Still figuring out what comes next, and pretty much everything else, so I'm feeling kinda adventurous. And yes, that's exactly how my OkCupid profile starts out. Why mess with a good thing, eh?

The site's a work in progress. I'll be adding content over time, and hopefully eventually it'll evolve into something halfway interesting. I'm glad you're still reading, though. Usually by this point I have to show a little skin to keep 'em interested.

what's past is prologue...

       so this could easily be my last post here. it's a weird feeling -- with nearly a decade spent in xangaland, this little blog covers a full third of my life. i went back somewhat arbitrarily and read a few of my older posts -- it kinda floored me how much i've changed over the last ten years. god, i was such a naive little dork. haha. it kinda makes me wonder what i'll say when i look back after another ten years, then i realize that that thought has always been a source of hope for me. i could never have predicted back on 12/07/2003 the paths the next decade would take me, but i like the fact that my sense of adventure has remained constant. my beliefs have shaken and shifted tremendously, but i've always found some small measure of hope in the unknown. mingled with fear, sure, but where's the fun if it's not a little scary?

       so what's left here, what will likely be shut down in another month, is a rather emotional account of my twenties. emotional, of course, because writing and music have always been my greatest releases, so you've always had to bear the brunt of it. my twenties weren't quite roaring, but i don't think anyone would argue if i called them tempestuous. and i think i'm finally starting to grow up a little. i'm not nearly the whiny bitch that i used to be. or at least not as much the whiny part.

       it feels very much like moving out of an old house that you've poured so many memories into. i have had the odd pleasure of creating a digital home here, complete with a very real family, and i can still feel the spaces where i felt like this was the only place that i did belong. like walking into a black room and being at peace with the darkness because you knew the space so well you didn't need a light. i don't think i ever took the time before now to reflect on how profoundly many of you have changed my life.

       i'm happy that i'm already connected with several of you on facebook, but if we aren't yet, please feel free.

       and i'll definitely miss being kween. no, i've hardly done a thing with it for ages, but it was so much fun writing those little challenges and reading everyone's responses. i was only there for about 3.5 years, and i am so glad that garett asked me to do it. god, i miss him. and i'm starting to feel way too sentimental with this. i'll not even mention the, what, five other semi-secret xanga sites i've had over the years. one with terrible stories. one with a workout journal. haha. one with sermons that i preached back when i did that sort of thing. and there were others, but i can't even remember them off the top of my head.

       getting ready now at work for the end of one school year and the beginning of another. it's crazy time since we have zero break between the two. scheduling med students and getting grant requests ready and worrying about orientation for the new residents and making sure everything's in place for the senior residents' graduation. their final evaluations are on wednesday, meaning tomorrow is going to be slammed and i should get to bed or i'll be dragging all day, but i don't really want to stop typing because then that will be it and xanga will be no more. and even if they do save it i think this is probably the right time for me to bow out anyway. it's time to move on.

       i love you all; you've been amazing. but i'm not breaking my staff or drowning my books just yet. i've decided to set up a proper website, complete with my own domain name. i'm still entertaining ideas on the latter. and yes, this means i'll have to write.

       laters.

tap tap tap...

       is this thing still on?

       it almost feels like one of those awkward meetings after a long time where you don't really have anything to say but you could talk about a lot of meaningless things if you wanted to and you don't really have the energy but you're going to anyway.

       as of today i'm kinda giving up on the whole home-gym thing -- broke down and bought a membership... at my job. ahh, university gyms... i'm going to have to behave myself. but after another stuttered attempt to get back into the p90x routine i decided i needed a place. i do well when i have a place. p90x is an incredible program, don't get me wrong. kicks my ass. but it's a lot easier to sit down on the couch when you're already right in front of it. so now i have a place. i didn't even tour it first. haha. but because i work there it's $12.50/month... yeah. i'm kinda excited.

       the job is going well, though. there have been a couple teeth-gnashing moments, but i love the autonomy and i'm good at it. already have the big annual event behind me (which was crazy stressful the week of but it went well and now i know what to expect next year) and right now my big project is adding a fellowship program. it's very busy. lots of work. the job in general, i mean. but the days go quickly, which is always nice, and i have so much more energy at the end of the day compared to when i was dealing with patients. as far as jobs go, it's not bad. but definitely not a long-term solution either.

       ummm... other things have happened. heh. the pseudo-boyfriend is more like just a friend now. i saw him this week for the first time since the end of january. it was really good to see him, but it felt... different. otherwise, lance had been the bulk of my social life since well before i moved to durham, so it almost feels like i'm at square one in a new town. i've never been very proactive at the whole real human interaction thing. people are a lot of work. and disappointment is exhausting. i decided to try a bit harder when i started to routinely catch myself having conversations out loud with myself or the cat. being in my own little world at work exacerbates that problem. i've had a handful of other dates, which have been largely good, even if they just get me out of the apartment to be social for a bit. but i'm getting tired of weekends spent playing minecraft or ...watching netflix. no, i've not been writing. surprise.

       it's not quite "survival mode", but it's almost that. i'm not depressed, just bored/lonely. i'm going to be 30 in a few months. four months and five days. it's not a happy countdown timer. when i turned 27 i thought i was going to be ok with 30. 28, i noticed some lines but the creams sorted them out. 29, i started losing my shit. i'm not as panicked about it as i was a few months ago. it's not like it's going to be a difficult thing to do. and i don't really have much of a choice in the matter. i don't want to be alone, though. i'm considering another trip to nyc if i can afford it. weeeee'll seeeeee.

       laundry time. it's exciting.

happy new year!

       i think i'm giving up on the other blog. i'm so over it i'm not even going to bother turning that into a link. currently working on my tenth year on xanga and no matter how many other blogs i start (so many) i keep coming back here, even if infrequently. capital letters are overrated. and writing is so much work. here it's all natural, effortless, stream of consciousness. i barely edit. and i can ramble. it doesn't even matter if anyone reads it. it's not really for anyone else anyway, and that, i think, has been the key to my longevity here.

       so the holidays. those were fun. happy days. speaking of which, i saw "mrs. c" in some terrible play that my parents took me to at a place that attracts old has been actors to perform in a dinner-theater environment (buffet, of course) for people who think such things make them cultured. i may have had a better opinion of it had the writing not been as bland as the steamed broccoli. i think i saw another gay person there, though. i couldn't be sure. but yes, i went home, which was immediately a marked improvement over last year's christmas spent alone. i was glad to be there (home, i mean). i didn't get to see nearly as many people as i'd hoped, but the family time was nice. it felt short, but it was designed to be, and i was feeling slightly homesick for my couch and kitten. speaking of couch... well, i'll get to that in a bit.

       new year's was kind of awesome. it had been a while since i'd attended a proper new year's party, but fortunately my kinda boyfriend is good at throwing such things. it was also the first time i ever had a real kiss on nye, which is a little sad, but i suppose it was also nice to have one of those too-rare "first time experiences". anyway, i got properly sloshed and went to bed somewhere around 6am. and i'm really hoping those videos don't turn up on facebook or youtube.

       i still haven't decided whether i'll do any resolutions this year. i only vaguely outlined some in 2012 (in mid-february, too) but i guess now i only have to feel vaguely guilty about not keeping any of them. except in 2011 i had a proper list and kinda nailed it. perhaps that was me making a decision just then. dammit. now i have to write resolutions. i'll do them later. right now it's bed time.

the month the world ends...

       so about a month ago i signed up for this home delivery of local produce. it's not a co-op, but that's the easiest way to describe it. basically it's a business that goes to the farmer's market for me, negotiates a price, and delivers 1/2 bushel of amazingness to my door either weekly or every other week (the latter is my chosen option). i did it because i like the whole local and organic thing, and it gets me eating a better variety of veggies. so last week my box contained about a half dozen beets. i have hated beets since my mama tried to feed them to me from the little gerber bottle. nasty ass $h*t. so tonight i broke in one of my christmas presents that came early from home (since i'm flying home this year my parents sent some gifts ahead of time to avoid extra baggage on the way back -- this box was unmarked and i opened it expecting something else and -- voila! -- christmas came early). let me tell you -- i already love this thing. i went through a sweet potato, a red potato, and a beet in a matter of a couple minutes. and then, in my quest for better health, i deep-fried it all. hey, i am in the south. and omg. the beets were my favorite. ha! so good. the recipe is on my pinterest. not that it's much of a recipe.

       so yeah... going home for xmas. first time in two years. kinda ambivalent about it, but it's only for 4 days (not including travel days) and it is christmas. and it kinda sucked not really having one last year (on top of being all beat up from my wreck). i'm very much looking forward to sunday morning when my parents go to church and i can play the piano to an empty house. i miss it so much.

       it kinda scares me how much time has passed since i've been here. in nc, i mean. not that i have anywhere else to be. i was just looking back through some of the things that i keep track of and was surprised. "good lord, that was over a year ago?!" i remember when i first experienced that somewhat frightening feeling it was at my first full-time job at 'the candy factory'. i quit not long after. there were a lot of things going on at the time, not the least of which was that i was in the thick of grappling with my sexuality (i started coming out at the end of that year). that was december 2008, and there's another of those "has it really been that long?" moments.

       but i might be starting a new job soon. not the one they snubbed me on. another one. possibly better. a good spring-board job in a looks-impressive-on-a-resume sort of way. but i don't have an offer yet, so we'll see, but it is a very good chance. i just hope i like it -- or at least can endure it. and that it pays decently. i'm poor.

       i'm also bored. good thing the world is ending in thirteen days.

more of the same...

       longest i've gone in a while without posting. i wonder if anyone still even checks this. last couple months have been kind of a blur with the rest. things happen, the clocks keep ticking. glad the freaking elections are over. very glad at most of the results. marriage equality in three more states and another struck down an outright ban. and the man who might help make that a little better is back in the oval office. looking at the map, it's kinda funny--if you draw a horizontal line across the middle, all of the states with equality would be north of that line. i'm definitely in the wrong half.

       nothing really exciting happening for me personally. i've otherwise been kind of a lump, increasingly the hermit except for relatively infrequent outings with lance. it's been almost a year with him, for what it is. actually a year a week from tomorrow. work is the same. i was all but promised a promotion, then they gave it to someone else last minute. that sucked. kinda renewed my eagerness to leave, and i told my boss as much. she offered me something else a few days later but it would have been a nightmare so i turned it down. she told me she didn't blame me. still thinking i'll finish my second year there (may 2013) then move on, to what i have no idea. even if i make it to my ideal places, then what? i think it'd be exciting for someone who was more driven and disciplined. i wish i was that. trying to save money at least, and not doing a terrible job of it with what i have, but i'm also starting to want to buy things. like a keyboard. a nice one. like this. i miss it so much. i haven't played properly in 2+ years. i played once about a year ago, drunk, at a friend-of-a-friend's. this song.

       what else. did a month on lumosity.com and got up to the 94th percentile for lumosity users in my age group. whatever that means. also trying to get in some quality livemocha time before my gold key runs out. really stupid, not using that. fortunately it was only $10 (normally $100). no, not writing. even though it's nanowrimo. it's killing me, that. did gym-pact for a while, but glitches were pissing me off. still made all my pacts, though, for about a month. got me back into workout mode, so i did p90x again for a week and haven't done anything now for about two. trying to find the will to keep moving in so many ways. i'll let you know how that goes. anyway. i know you'd love to read more about my exciting life, but it's past time for bed. laters.

and now for something completely different...

       i wanted/needed to work on another "proper" post tonight (you know, the ones with capital letters), and while i'm nowhere close to being in the mood for that i wanted to write still (regardless of how wise that might be). so i'm currently sipping a gin and tonic and contemplating the meaning of it all. one of the few small comforts lately has been the opening of an abc store almost exactly one mile from my apartment. i only know the distance because it's on my favorite jogging route and i always run to a point on the trail (which doubles as a sidewalk) just short of the store's location before turning and giving myself a short walk-break. don't pay attention to anything else visible on that. it's pathetic. i only started running again this month and i've gone out twice so far. started running again because i couldn't make it through a single p90x workout after my little post-vacation slide (after being somewhat of a machine before it, easily knocking out 5 workouts/week). and i need to. getting fat(ter) again. but yeah. totally trying to become an alcoholic before i turn 30, especially if i'm still stuck in the south. considering i'll start feeling the buzz from a beer before i'm even half-way through it -- i've got a lot of work to do. and you have to admit that a guy who can mix drinks gets extra hotness points. lord knows i need all the points i can get.

       i say that without even thinking of my little mini-vacation last weekend in charlotte to see the lovely jay brannan. he only performed for an hour, but it was everything i hoped it would be. the rest of the trip was a bit more so, but i won't get into that here. i try to maintain some illusion of being a good girl. it really was a good trip, though. finally made it to the penguin and sampled their amazing fried pickles, even though i was told while there by one of the instigators of those shenanigans (who maintained a breathtaking 6-pack despite the fried pickle consumption) that there had been some drama a few years before and that the famous pickles of yesteryear were now being fried at a newer restaurant about a block over called the diamond. i'll have to do that one on the next trip. the restaurant, i mean.

       oh, and my moods have been evening out, thanks in part, i'm sure, to help from my old friend sam-e. i swear that stuff kept me alive in college. i'm also noticing that the desire to strangle coworkers and patients has mostly diminished to more incidental levels. a catty edge still lingers (or was that always there?) that has almost gotten me in trouble a couple times after i made patients reschedule because i wasn't in the mood to deal with their crap, but i was very proud of myself for largely keeping my cool today when a septuagenarian thought he knew more about current ophthalmology billing and coding practices than i do. the silly bitch. he'll get his bill.

       i'm trying to avoid a much larger topic, though, and it might be inappropriate to mention it at the bottom of a somewhat irreverent post, but it's also the reason i'm trying to talk about anything but. there aren't many that read this blog that i know personally, but of those who do know me and my family i'll ask that you keep this here, between us, at least for now, simply because i don't know if they're telling anyone yet and i'm sure they don't want to be bombarded even though the news will be spreading soon and they inevitably will be bombarded. but my brother and sister-in-law lost their baby today. she was 7-months along, due early october, and we were all very excited. for my brother's birthday this year i bought him a huge wooden block set because the best memories that we have of our childhood are of the two of us playing these games with our father where he would build these impossibly high towers of blocks and we would try to knock them down. and i know he wasn't even born yet, but it's mostly because i know how happy they were and i know they already had dreams for him and now she has to go to the hospital tomorrow and go through labor to deliver him and i just can't imagine...

       keep them in your thoughts, if you would.

       *update* nevermind. apparently they had sent a mass email to their church before i even knew about it. yay family.

implosion...

       so. i'm entirely aware of how silly it is to be giving you an update on the last ~month and how i was affected by a vacation. perhaps it's also silly that i was so deeply affected by it at all. but i was. it's been a weird six weeks. very moody. the first day back to work was probably the worst. i had a quiet anxiety attack on the bus on the way there, almost quit while i was there, then came home and drank wine until i fell asleep. that kinda set the tone for the following month, which was most of the reason why it took me so long to get those travelogues out. i was swinging in a way that would make carrie fisher proud. fortunately i'm evening out now, getting (slowly) back into an exercise routine, even writing a bit. instead of having to bite my tongue every day to keep from telling my boss that i want to leave, now i only have to do it about every other day or two (which is closer to normal). it was definitely the implosion that i feared.

       but what i didn't expect was that i'd still feel it this far out. that choice, i mean. the one about either imploding or exploding. and i'm starting to think that i might be able to do both, go backwards from black hole to supernova. ha. maybe not quite that. but i feel like i'm finding a little hope again, fleeting though it might be, and i'm trying to take advantage of it. for starters, i've created another blog, and i even use capital letters: digitalglair.blogspot.com. no, it's not misspelled. the first few results on google combined with the homophone (and the simple fact that it's a homophone) should convince you of how perfect the choice is. there's only one post so far, written today, but combined with my mad marketing skills (i.e. shameless self-promotion) it already has over 180 page views. i don't really expect it to go anywhere, but perhaps the simple act of writing somewhat outside of myself (i.e. not these rambling, emotional posts) will get me back into the writing groove. and i'm sure the ad revenue i expect to receive will at least let me buy that pack of gum i've had my eye on at the food lion down the road.

       so we'll see where this goes. no, i still don't have a plan. kind of have a vague goal of completing my second year at the clinic (may 2013) then moving on. i told myself when i moved here that i don't want to turn 30 in north carolina and i'm still holding tightly to that. i have to do the two year thing, though, because at that point i'm reimbursed for 75% of my accrued paid time off (i still had over 100 hours after taking my vacation) as opposed to only 50% anytime before that. it doesn't go up to 100% until the five year mark and --- fuck that shit. at that point i'll also have a little less than $4,000 from the required state retirement contributions that will help get me settled elsewhere. and at this point there's only one major thing (apart from myself) that could throw a wrench in the works, but i won't get into that here just yet, if at all. it's one of those potentially major life choices that i might regret later, but by may of next year it could be moot. anyway.

       i'm going to try to update more. i promise i'll try. at the very least i'll be updating the new blog more often. i really want to take another stab at this writer thing. i'd all but given up on that, if you couldn't tell. i hope it lasts. k. bed time. later taters.

travelogue part two...

      (find part one here)

       again, this is largely for my own benefit. it's taking me a lot longer to write this than i expected, though. i'm not sure why i'm resisting it so much. perhaps there's too much lost in translation between feelings and words for what was such a visceral experience. or that by forcing myself to record it i would feel like the adventure was over, done, and by procrastinating that end i keep it alive? but the details are already slipping, and i need to get it down, so by way of preserving it i must also end it. what high drama for such a silly thing!

       so... new york. i believe i left off just after i hopped the greyhound from detroit. i had the option to fly (my parents even offered to purchase the tickets), but i had never taken the greyhound (or any other public long-distance bus) before and the arrival/departure times for the greyhound were more convenient than any flight, so i thought i'd be a little adventurous. little did i know it would be no small adventure. the ride to new york was largely forgettable aside from the enormously tall (fortunately only tall) young man next to me who cleverly (yet clumsily) set up his video gaming computer on the arm rests in such a way that he was able to manipulate the controls beneath the system from his lap. which didn't seem strange until just now. there was also the adorable eastern european couple on their way to nyc who were likewise first-time riders on the bus and whom i tried to help with hand gestures and mimes at our midnight layover in cleveland. mostly, though, i slept, or tried to.

       the bus arrived in newark mid-morning on friday june 22. after navigating the mildly confusing newark penn station and purchasing my train pass (with some cellular guidance from my patient host), i finally met dan on the steps of a jersey city courthouse. it had been two years since i'd seen my good friend and the first thing i noticed was how frickin' skinny he was. that right there made me want to stay, if that was the effect the city had. i took a quick and necessary shower, then we went grocery shopping for lunch. chicken pesto with sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts with a light side salad and some sweet filipino bread from a bakery around the corner. then we went downtown.

       i geeked out for a while. i admit, i was being a tourist. there were pretty people everywhere. and they knew how to dress! that was strangely one thing i didn't remember from my first visit to new york city in 2000(?) -- the people. weird, right? back then i was so focused on not wanting to look like a tourist and trying to blend in that i must have not looked around much. granted, at the time i was also a repressed little mormon boy who didn't want his parents to know his little secret, so ogling was out. poor dan was probably embarrassed by me making up for it. i also didn't remember how gay the city was, but pride may have had something to do with that. anyway, after getting dizzy being led so expertly through the subway systems we arrived at the mid-manhattan library where we attended a literary makeover event hosted by three drag queens who made participants up to resemble large characters in fiction. dan got to be the brutally desirable blanche dubois, but the real brutality was the number of trees that were murdered to get the makeup off his face. that in itself was an adventure. a fun one, though, and afterwards we stopped by a street vendor for felafel. yeah. it was slightly scary and romantic all at once. i mean, the guy pulled the felafel out of a mysterious drawer in his cart. it was the first time i prayed over my food in about five years. it was so good, though. probably came frozen from sysco, but it didn't matter. we ate on the nearest damp steps we could find, then boogied over to hell's kitchen for some experimental theater at ars nova (after looking at the map i realize it's only a couple blocks away from the holiday inn i stayed at my first time in the city). the show was interesting. i don't remember the guy's name. but he performed this little concept album to a synchronized film. i liked his voice (and he was kinda hot in a grungy chav way), but the lyrics were a tad high-school poetry. all the same it was kinda magical, like this was the sort of place ideas could be tossed around and formed and eventually set loose on the rest of the world.

       we made a late start of it on saturday, wending our way from journal square to central park west where we hoped to snag a couple tickets to shakespeare in the park (as you like it). after standing in an impossibly long line where we were serenaded by a saxophonist, treated to a show by young men working out in the park, and entertained by our own (rather pathetic on my part -- i don't do well when put on the spot) games of 20 questions and categories, we finally made it up to the box office where we received the news that they were sold out. no worries, there are a million things to do in nyc. so we walked down to the bethesda fountain, which neither of us had seen in person before, then made our way out of the park to another subway that took us south to soho where an assist from yelp introduced us to mooncake foods, a yummy little asian restaurant. from there we walked to the leslie-lohman museum of gay and lesbian art, where we experienced a bit of the lgbt history at the hudson river piers, after which we walked to the piers themselves and strolled through the hudson river park, appreciating its many views. it was definitely owned by the gays. this is where i started getting a little depressed about all the physical beauty around me, but there was a moment, when standing at the end of pier 45 (the one the "hudson river park" map centers on -- when we were there you couldn't see much green, it was just wriggling with half-naked men) and looking out over the hudson to hoboken and jersey city across the river, the statue of liberty out in the bay, and the new world trade center rising above it all -- in that moment, listening to the river lapping at the pier, surrounded by "family" -- it felt, well... ok, don't laugh, but steven chbosky said it best... i felt infinite.

       after the visit to the piers we made our way to hell's kitchen again to visit a vodka infusion bar called vlada. it was tasty. i had ginger pear and dan had something with kiwi. it didn't taste very strong, but both of us were feeling it a lil' as we left and made our way to flaming saddles. it was the first time i'd done it, but i believe the kids call it bar-hopping. saddles was a fun one, where the hot bartenders dance on the bar a la coyote not-so-ugly. there we split a frito-pie right out of the frito bag. by then we'd had a few drinks, so of course we wanted ice cream, too. there was a place we wanted to try, called holey cream (naturally), so we walked a ways down the block only to discover it was directly across the street from the bar we were just in. then we thought it was a good idea to have something called a donut ice-cream sandwich. yum. from there we made our way to a comedy club and i have no idea where it was or what it was called. somewhere in midtown, i think. and on our way there we noticed that they were making it rain over a shop so we stopped and were told by a nearby cop that it was heidi klum shooting some hair commercial. so yeah, we got to see heidi klum, which was cool. anyway, we made it to the club and saw a sketch/improv show that had some funny moments.

       sunday in the park with dan. well, i'm getting a bit ahead of myself. it was another later start. dan had some work to do sunday morning so i occupied myself chatting with some locals. eventually we made our way to a nice little street corner where the 2012 pride parade would end (i say nice, but i'm rather partial to my own personal street corner about a half mile east). the subway ride there was packed, but in a fun way. cute guys and rainbows everywhere. it was hot and we were dehydrated and i ended up with a crazy burn (and now some crazy tan lines), but it was the perfect climax to the trip. it wasn't much more than a parade, i suppose, but it was my first pride and i couldn't have picked a better place or better company. it was all extremely uplifting and we screamed ourselves hoarse and clapped our hands raw. and as if we didn't get enough sun at the parade, afterwards we made our way north to chelsea one last time for a stroll on the high line, a former elevated rail turned into a city park that afforded beautiful views of the city and came complete with its own zoo. we walked the whole thing, from 16th to 30th, then climbed down and made our way back to the subway station.

       it was a war of emotions on that last, quiet train ride from manhattan back to journal square. on one hand it was all the energy and excitement of the weekend coursing through me, on the other it was the weighty realization that it was over, that in a very short time i would be making my way back to north carolina. granted, part of me was ready. i was tired. it had been a long trip. i missed hermes and central air conditioning and not living out of a suitcase. i used these to convince myself that i was ok with leaving, but i couldn't deny that something was changing. yes, defying gravity was running through my head. while on that train i distinctly remember feeling like i was being given a choice -- with all that had happened, with all the energy i was feeling, i could either explode or implode. i knew i would do one or the other. i could take the energy and run with it, let it change me, let it turn me into the person i felt like during that weekend -- a person i desperately want to be. or i could go back to the old ways, sitting in my apartment and folding in upon myself, dimming into nothingness. it was both an exciting and scary thought, but mostly it was scary because i had a feeling i knew which one i'd end up doing.

       back in jersey city we ate at a little filipino restaurant (can't remember which) that i knew would keep me in the back of the bus all night. fortunately it didn't. it was scary, but tasty. or at least what bits i ate were. the walk back to dan's was beautiful -- it was just a really pretty day. i tried to focus on getting my stuff together, making sure i wasn't forgetting anything. it was a way of not thinking about leaving. dan walked me back to journal square, where my train to newark was just arriving. we said a quick goodbye and i jumped on. i hate goodbyes. i get that from my mother. when we talk on the phone she has never once said goodbye, always just "i love you." i always end up rushing them and then i regret it later, which of course i did. the ride from jersey city to newark seemed impossibly long, but before i knew it i was there. i almost got lost in newark penn station again, and it was by happy chance that i was stopped by a woman who asked where the path trains were who gave me directions to the greyhound station in return. the bus was 30 minutes late, which freaked me out when i had only a 30 minute window at my connection in norfolk (they ended up holding the next bus for a little while). it was also already fairly full. i sat in the first open seat i came to, which happened to be right next to a really cute puerto rican guy. now i generally hate it when strangers strike up conversations, but i was still feeling the energy of the weekend and i was determined not to implode, so when he checked his watch as we were pulling out of the station, i commented on it. a couple hours later we were making out.

entr'acte...

       i'm having white chili and drinking white wine, neither of which are white. the wine is a blend called "insomnia", which seems fitting since i've had about 12 hours of sleep since sunday. catching up on trueblood and vegging -- this week has been the perfect depressing antithesis to last week's mania, but a vacation from the vacation is acceptable, right? i figure i'll take it easy this week then work on that whole getting my shit together thing next week. you'll know what i mean by that when i post part two, which won't be now. i guess i'm still collecting myself, still getting used to the shock of being boring old me again, while also trying not to let this spark go out. that's the thought that depresses me most -- that i'll just go back to being me. i can't let that happen.

travelogue part one...

       so this is more for my benefit than anything else. i have a weird memory and pieces of the last ten-ish days are already slipping, and i want to try to capture a little of what i've been feeling here. so i'm back in good ol' north carolina. after so long a journey i was starting to feel ready to be back, to sleep in my own bed, to not live out of a suitcase, and to have hermes back on my lap. but with the exception of hermes (i definitely missed him the most), the excitement for the rest is already fading and i haven't even had a chance to sleep in that bed yet. for illustrative purposes i'll give you the geeky example of frodo returning to the shire after destroying the ring and finding that he didn't belong there anymore, then i'll take the example back again because it doesn't quite fit: neither did i love this place to begin with, nor is it that extreme a change. but something in me has definitely shifted. somewhere between the deceptively shiny handrails on that first train ride from newark to jersey city and the guy i made out with on the greyhound coming home, i picked up the nyc bug.

       to preserve order, though, i suppose i should recount the first leg of my journey before getting to the rest. it was the largest part of my journey only in length of time, spanning 6 days from june 16th to the 21st. i flew up to detroit where my parents, brother, and sister-in-law (hereafter referred to as "sis") picked me up from dtw after their own 12-hour drive from kansas city. we ate at a typical sports bar in plymouth then drove to my aunt and uncle's house in brighton where we spent the night before the seven of us (aunt and uncle included) set out on what would become largely a labor of love and a practice in patience at which i was only mostly successful. i'll run through the events fairly quickly, and i'll post photos later once i get a chance to sort through them all. between the ones i took and the ones my mother sent me there are probably around 500 from this trip.

       sunday june 17th. father's day. spent a good chunk of the day driving. with a pregnant sis there were frequent stops, which we all relished for the chance to stretch our legs. we made what was supposed to be a quick stop in frankenmuth to look at the old-fashioned (though not old) german architecture and visit the christmas super-store, bronners. we had a $20/plate chicken dinner at the frankenmuth inn, the only part of which i really enjoyed was the $3 side of warm german potato salad (it's one of my favorite comfort foods -- seriously, try it). after spending about 4 hours in the tacky town we made our way up lake huron where at one point we stopped at a very pretty little beach to enjoy the scenery. eventually we arrived in alpena, where we drove around the old family maple farm and briefly visited my great -aunt and -uncle. my great-aunt ila at once reminded me so much of my grandmother that i became somewhat emotional, but my aunt's humor, the same sarcastic ornery-ness my grandmother had, made me realize that i have that part of her in me as well. it was a very filling thought.

       monday june 18th. we drove to sault ste. marie in the upper peninsula to visit the soo locks, which were pretty cool, but we were there for about 30 minutes and it seemed like the rest of the day was spent driving, largely due to my uncle's insistence on taking the "scenic route". when we returned to the hotel that evening i needed to get away from the family for a bit so i ran 3 miles along the lake huron coast in pouring rain. it was glorious.

       tuesday june 19th. mackinac island. easily one of my favorite psuedo-natural places in the united states, and my favorite part of this leg of the journey. no motorized vehicles are allowed on the island, so my favorite thing to do is rent bicycles and ride the 8-mile circumference of the island, which offers beautiful rocky beaches full of little stone towers built by visitors, amazing knarled old trees, natural rock formations, and tons of wildflowers. combined with the constant breeze off the lakes (both michigan and huron), even a hot day there is pleasant. that night we drove to traverse city and i went 4.5 miles on the treadmill shortly after arrival to work off some steam and energy and my ass.

       wednesday june 20th. caleb's birthday. again, most of the day was spent driving down the western side of the state, where we first visited a beach to dip our toes in the lake, then the sleeping bear dunes and the silver lake dunes, the former for its scenery, the latter for the recreational vehicles. i wasn't terribly thrilled about going in a dune buggy, risking life and limb, but it was my brother's birthday and my mom made me go with him. it was a freakin' blast. not only did i receive a nice micro-dermabrasion treatment from the sand flying in my face, i also got us airborne a couple times in the buggy. i was covered head to toe in sand the rest of the night, though.

       thursday june 21st. my last day in michigan. we went to the tigers game in detroit, which was fun and hot and sun-burny and a little bit long, but they won, then we ate at the hard rock cafe and walked around downtown detroit a bit. it was a little sad how dead it was compared to how it should have been. here i parted ways with my family, which i was very ready to do at that point, and i hopped a greyhound for new york city, completely unaware of what was waiting for me there.

       so tune in next time to hear all about it... i'm going to bed!

       (click here for part two)

look to the western sky...

       i'm still having aftershocks from all the gaygasms i had sunday night when i saw wicked at the durham performing arts center. they were no kristin and idina, but elphaba was still impressive at least. yes, it was my first time. i wasn't expecting it to be terribly true to the novel, but i was still surprised by how different it was. the harry potter films taught me to appreciate both for what they are, and the nice happy ending of the play was a welcome change. i was also impressed by how perceptive the writers were in divining and building upon certain themes/metaphors that were glossed over in the novel, particularly that of disillusionment, but i suppose that isn't exactly a new thing to the oz universe. i was a little disappointed that g(a)linda was left a bit flat. and the staging seemed cramped at times (maybe the venue?). but the guy who played fiyero was a major hottie. and "defying gravity" made me happy wee. a lot. i hadn't seen the tony performance before, so i had no idea what to expect. i kinda freaked out. i screamed and whooped and jumped and cried. it did my heart good to be in the theater. it had been over two years. it's a bittersweet feeling, similar to the one i used to get at concerts when i was younger, wishing it was me up on that stage, traveling the country with beautiful people having crazy fun on a crazy schedule. ahhh, dreams...

       the gaygasms were tempered a bit tonight, though, when the silly, ignorant, and hateful people of north carolina very unfortunately passed amendment one. it's not a new disappointment, nor is it an entirely unexpected one, although there was some justified hope from polling before the election. it's just a sad reminder that i really don't like people very much. and that this is just another place i don't belong. but i'm particularly sad because people who thought it was another chance to gay bash have just potentially stripped thousands of children across the state of health insurance and have removed some pretty crucial protections from women in abusive situations. it really was a stupid, nasty thing. i just hope the supreme court gets a move on and decrees that all the homophobes can go fuck themselves.

       but i just finished season three of rupaul's drag race and the queen i was rooting for from episode one took the crown, so that helps a lil' bit. it was a double fist pump moment with a little squeal for good measure.

       bed time. hope you're all well. and don't forget yo' mommas this weekend!

apparently my camera phone picks up infrared. that's kinda cool...

       so i just realized that i'm a little bit drunk. perfect time to post! :) don't worry, it's not a wallowing sort of drunk, just a quiet saturday night watching tv and cuddling with the kitten sort of drunk. coke and vanilla vodka. i'm not even through my first glass yet. granted, i'm not so drunk that i can't type. but i am using the backspace a lot.

       still loving having my own space. i find that i can have so many more quality conversations with myself. and i had some fun with my first painting experiment. nothing amazing, but they're mine and i kinda like them:

(click for the larger yet still camera phone quality version)

       i went to the library today to write. i was there for at least three hours and all i did was chat with garett and buy some overpriced dried apricots from today's amazon local deal. i dunno, peeps. starting to feel like i'll be an office bitch in north carolina forever. *shudder* all i've wanted to be was a writer or a musician. the music career didn't quite pan out and it's starting to feel like the other won't either. so what am i now?

       i'm loving the spring rains. not loving the allergies. those are new to me. i think the pollen here was genetically engineered to be fucking annoying. but i've always been a water person. i love the sound. i love showers. it's kinda funny considering my astrological elements (depending which calendar you subscribe to) are earth (virgo) and fire (leo). but i guess i love all four. hence the paintings. partly also my love of harry potter. yup, i went there.

       otherwise not much going on. i work and i read and i try to forget all the dreams i had for myself. hmm. sounds like it's time for bed. ninight!

being artsy...

        yup. still alive. a few things have happened since my last update, so i'll quick catch you up then run back to the million things i should be doing right now. no, i haven't been writing. actually, this is probably the first thing i've written since my last post, not counting emails. just don't have much to say. dan says i should write just to get myself in the right frame of mind, which makes sense. so here i am. if this counts. it feels a little strange, like being a little wobbly when riding a bike for the first time in ages. i've gotten too used to keeping silent.

       but to update: hermes and i have moved. it was kind of inevitable with the car situation and the roommate situation. i had been more or less passively looking at places online when i stumbled across a place which had been previously recommended to me by a coworker but had crazy wait lists to get in. just ran across it on craigslist, which i almost never look at because it's a little too skeezy. the guy was trying to get out of his lease for whatever reason. so i jumped. it's closer to work, right on a bus line that goes straight to my office and stops at a grocery store in between. and no roommates. went to look at it one sunday and i was moving in that next saturday. kind of a crazy week, that one. so i've been here about a month now and still have boxes to unpack. i've been working on some of that today. also have been having fun decorating the place. trying not to get too carried away, but i've already spent too much. i really need a guy who's good with money. anyway. trying to make the transition between college apartment and young professional, with moderate success. maybe i'll post a couple pictures when i'm a little more settled. the only downside has been that i'm not in raleigh anymore. i'm now what they call a "durhamite", living in durham, nc. it's the north point of "the triangle" (which is kinda funny since i live near a neighborhood called "southpoint"). so the three friends i made are still in raleigh, but i like my new little town so far.

       one of the larger things i've been working on in the apartment is stuff to put on the walls. i had a couple unframed pieces, one of which i've framed and it's gorgeous. the other is going to cost about $100 to frame it cheaply, so i'm gonna wait a bit on that one. that was a slightly larger than poster sized charcoal drawing of a slender but muscular young man by a friend i grew up with. she gave it to me before i told her i was gay. and yes, that one will go over my bed. but i've also ordered a few other prints from deviantART that i'm excited about. while i was doing all of this, though, my artistic side kinda kicked in and i got the bug to do some of my own. i never have before, and i can't draw worth a darn, but i'm not bad with color and there have been some pretty amazing painters in my family. so i've ordered some art supplies. =) we'll see how that goes. i'm starting with acrylics. i'm hoping this will help a bit with the lull in creativity i've been experiencing.

       i'm also now on my second week of P90X. i had been doing well with running around my new neighborhood, but it really wasn't enough. i have been so freaking sore. i barely even got sore when i went to the gym. this program hits you in some crazy ways. it's pretty intense, and i think i can stick with it. already noticing a difference. plyometrics tonight. it's a bitch of a workout, so i'd better not procrastinate any more.

       i hope all of you are well. i haven't been around much, but i'm going to try to be a little more. i really need to write. yes, i'm aware i say that almost every time. ok. later taters.

Currently
Rob Me Blind [+Digital Booklet]

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what i'm doing...


        when it comes to writing, one obstacle for me is in realizing that the audience doesn't know what's going on in my head. they haven't been as saturated in the world as i have, they don't know the characters, they can't divine intentions. i suppose it's just as true for any sort of communication. you don't know what i'm thinking or feeling. the words will have a different effect on you than on me.

       i've been criticized for not updating more often, but i'm not sure that i accomplish anything by doing so.

       anyway.

       oh damn. adele just came on the starbucks music thingy. i'm gonna get all melancholy now.

       i was going to share some resolutions this year, but i'm finding that by not sharing i've actually accomplished more. so instead of sharing what i intend to do, i'll tell you what i've been up to: i've discovered a deep love for livemocha.com. it's amazing. i'm learning french and brushing up on my spanish. on the docket are german, latin, greek, and italian. you know, just to get me started. oops. i shared intentions. french is actually a lot easier than i expected. i was inspired by some french exchange students that ride one of my busses. and i love french cinema. and food.

       what else? i'm getting fat. i think i've gained about 5 pounds since the wreck. trying to work out still on my own, but it's simply not as much as i was doing before. i've been... lethargic. that's a good word for it. i need to make some changes, and i don't mean just in fitness.

       got my tax return. all of it went to the bank, minus a little treat to myself in the form of really good tickets to see wicked in may. very excited for that. also bought tickets to go to michigan to see family for the first time in over a year, then on the same trip i'll swing back through nyc to see dan for the first time in about two years. crazy, that. i'm excited, though.

       oh, and i went to a little local writing workshop. the facilitator is a local writer who is actually able to support herself as a writer, so that was encouraging. i sat down today to do some writing, so i better get to it. no idea what the hell i'm going to write, though... blank pages are scary.
 

i'd ski to work if we had snow...


       i love snow patrol. have i said that before? oh, yes, only about a few million times. perhaps not here, but trust me -- i have. i'm listening to their new album now. i probably shouldn't have bought it, but it was $9.99 on iTunes and i needed it. and, of course, i was right.

       i got a lawyer today. finally. i had emailed him that week after the accident but hadn't heard anything back (granted, it was the holiday), so i called today and he said he'd do it. so glad i got that law insurance. cheap, and this ticket alone will probably make it worth it. so at least that will be taken care of. i'll probably still have to pay something, but it's just that much less to worry about. still don't have a car, which is getting hard. the bank denied my loan application because of too much debt (student loans) and not enough income and a bad history from my younger days. they said if i'm able to pay things down a bit they'd reconsider in six months. which really helps me out now. so i'm still not sure what to do. meantime, the rides thing has been working out fine with the roomie. but i don't know how long that will last. i'm hesitant and otherwise scared to ask my dad to cosign on something. he won't want to and he'd give me hell for it. and yes, the thought is still there of an escape. i know it's stupid. i still really want to do it, though. i'm kinda just moving along until something stops working and forces me to address it. i have no idea what else to do.

       i still need to do the whole resolutions thing. eh. i'll get to it. it's still january. early to bed, with a 'lil reading before. ninight.


meh...


       i'm sitting in starbucks in durham, nc, a willing prisoner. my ride to and from work is at his second job. i'm here until 11p, but i get free coffee and time to write. or at least i'm supposed to be writing. i say that a lot, don't i? guess it's why i'm not really a writer.

       so that little paragraph was written about two hours ago and i haven't written a single word otherwise. i think i should just stop writing altogether and pick it back up when i'm confident enough to string a few words together. because right now i just hate it all. it's not good. i'll stick with what i'm good at -- being the office bitch. for ever.

       i'm gonna go read now.


twenty eleven...


       so this is where i do the same thing everyone else is doing and look back at the year to see how i did with my resolutions. because i'm masochistic original like that. so here they are:

  1. body. ahh, the same resolution that's on everyone's list. and one that, yes, will still be on my list for 2012. all things considered, i did pretty well. i got back into the groove of working out and stuck with it for the most part. i averaged about three times a week, and when i was there i worked hard. but it's a little depressing when i look at the pictures i took before i got a gym membership and compare them to now. really haven't changed that much. some, yes. there's a difference. but not a big one.

  2. write more. totally bombed this one. i barely wrote a thing. in fact if anything i think i'm getting worse. i don't want it any less, but reality has been hitting hard lately. future's a little too hazy right now.

  3. chillax about getting older. i have been, to a point. there's still an ever-present awareness of the fact that i'm pushing 30, am dirt poor, have no life, and am not really any closer to getting one. but thanks to a retinol night cream and a tone-correcting spf by day at least the wrinkles are minimized.

  4. move out before my twenty-eighth birthday. check. even if it wasn't the best of ideas.

  5. i really need to be better with money. not doing too well on this one, considering how much i spent over the last month (mostly on myself). i am getting the credit under control, though. slowly.

  6. boyfriend. i dated 21+ guys in 2011. still cuddling with hermes tonight.

  7. get out more. i did. not necessarily to the venues i'd prefer. but i definitely havent been hermitting as much as i used to.

  8. read more. yeah. definitely did that. still a lot of things to get to, though.

  9. go to bed earlier. well, i've been forced to with my job and having to get up at 5:20 every morning. but i haven't really been getting more sleep.

  10. travel. other than the move, sadly no. but the move counts for a little, right? i drove through tons of places i'd never been on the way here.

  11. expand my horizons. oy. not really. but in some ways, i guess. kinda. not really.

  12. piano more. this one just makes me sad. :(

  13. invent a time machine so i'll be able to fit all these ridiculous things in my schedule. check.



settling down...


       kind of a melancholy morning. i awoke with a two and a half year itch on the brain and i've been obsessing over it all morning, dragging myself across the coals that should have gone out a long time ago, but they're still hot as ever, if not more so. i don't have many regrets -- just a couple that i can think of. i regret not visiting my grandmother more during her brief stint in the nursing home (meant only to be a post-surgery rehab) before she died. and then this, which is probably the more painful and all the more maddening because of its vagueness even to me. and no, i'm not going to talk about it any more than that. it's just where i am right now. it hurts. well, it always does, but some times more than others.

       fortunately, though, most of the other physical hurts from the accident are fading. there's still some stiffness in my neck and some pain in my left shoulder if i sleep on it wrong. i'm going to try to run a little today and see how that goes. i haven't been able to do that for two weeks and i'm starting to feel fat. i've calmed down considerably since my last post, thanks to some sense-talking friends and a lot of really deep breaths. a lot of those. but i wouldn't say that i'm calm yet, either. i haven't made any progress on getting a replacement vehicle, but i did test drive one this week. i was really excited for it until i took it to a mechanic who told me that i definitely should not buy it. too many things about to go very wrong. so trevor and i have worked out a way to carpool to work, which we probably should have been doing all along, and we've made a trip to the grocery store, but other than that i have to rely on the lackluster public transit in raleigh. still freaking out a little that i recently had to start repaying student loans and now i'm going to have a car payment too. i've put my gym membership on hold and was able to work something out with the student loans so i'm not paying so much, so it shouldn't be too bad. but i'm very ready for the whole thing to be settled so my stomach won't be in so many knots.

       on the plus side, i haven't been eating as much, so maybe that will help to balance the lack of gym attendance. my breakfast has been sitting in front of me for about an hour and i can't work out a way to eat it yet.

       i'm a little relieved that 2011 is about done. it was kind of a crazy year. more tomorrow, i'm sure. i hope you're all well.

some of the things i'm freaking out about...


       so. heh. having trouble starting. still ok, at least physically. the soreness is working its way out, the bruises and scrapes are healing. faster than i expected, actually. the car was totaled, but i knew it would be. trevor is taking me in on monday to pick up the check. it's not a lot, but it'll be a decent down payment. but that's where the other stuff comes in.

       just a bit overwhelmed. i don't know if it was the sort of reevaluation that comes with a close call or simply that i caught sight of an escape hatch -- but my mind won't stop. and now i have a choice. i can plug that insurance check back into a new car, take out a new loan on a new (to me) car and work for the next couple years to pay that off (probably to repeat the same thing over again). or i can take the money and run. the latter is infinitely more appealing. really, infinitely. and there's so much possibility. but it's scary as hell. and it's before the year mark that i was aiming for. keeping my current job and sitting on the cash isn't an option when the area public transit trip planner from my apartment to my current job suggests either a departure time of 11pm the previous evening or a 4-mile walk beginning at 4am to get to the appropriate bus stop. i didn't even try looking at return times. putting that check on the back burner for a bit and getting a new job at a public transit accessible location here in raleigh is somewhat attractive, but then i'm otherwise carless. no, a car isn't necessary, but certainly handy. and it helps with the whole getting a boyfriend thing when not having a car in a smallish city is kinda lame. but, really, i don't want to stay here. i don't. part of me does, sure -- the part that doesn't like change and is at least grudgingly willing to settle, the part that is scared to death of trying to forge a new life. lord knows that was a semi-private little hell i wouldn't mind waiting to experience again. but it might mean going somewhere big where i don't need a car to get around. maybe another shot at finding a place i belong. anyone in a big city know where a guy with an english degree and not much else can get a job?

       any way you crack it, my life was changed on tuesday night. and i wasn't ready for it. whatever i do, i have to decide soon. trevor's help with rides won't last forever. and the end of a year is one of the better times to get a car if i give in and decide to do that. oy. just oy. i've been obsessing about this all day. really, i've thought of nothing else except during dinner when i watched half an episode of torchwood, and i'm no closer to a solution. what do you guys think?


Copyright © 2018 Christopher Postlethwait