Oct 06

Lovely low-key weekend

When will my complexion settle down? I have a pimple on my chin and mad wrinkles on my forehead. Are you a teenager or a 34-year old? Make up your mind, face!

Besides dealing with skin issues, I had a fine little lowkey weekend. My massage Friday night was very nice. The oil my masseuse used smelled excellent, sage and eucaplytus, I believe, though I could have picked two mintier ones, a grapefruity one, or one that was rosy (while I like roses in person, rose-scented items make me think of little old ladies).

She could totally tell where my problem areas were: behind my right shoulderblade – all that mousing – and between my neck and shoulder on my left side, ie, where I carry my bag. When she kneaded that area by my right shoulderblade, it KILLED, though in a good way, but on my left it just felt good. Guess it’s really tight over there on the right.

I swear I think she pushed all my cold toxins to the surface because the bug that’s been brewing all week has finally come to a head. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, though I feel better overall.

How I look on the other hand. I went to Sak’s to ask about these samples I received. The actual items are mucho dinero – like $200 for a little pot of night cream. No thanks! I did manage to wrangle some more free samples out of them, and for some reason she gave me a boatload for dark undereye circles. I’m sick! I wanted to shout. I don’t always look like this!

Saturday morning I was up early to help my friend snap some photos for promo materials for his next comedy gig. Took a lot – let’s hope some are usable.

I practiced using the “continuous” mode for the first time. Oh my God, so much fun. I tried it several times with him riding down the sidewalk on his skateboard. Flipping through the pictures quickly was like watching a little movie. I’ll have to find another excuse to use it again.

Did my beauty product run that afternoon. Besides Sak’s I hit Barney’s, and then I walked home. A beautiful but chilly day. I rested at my place for a bit before heading back out that evening to attend a concert one of my coworkers was performing in and had organized.

The performance was up near my alma mater so you’d think I’d know how to get there. But somehow I got on the wrong train and ended up in Harlem. Same street number, different avenue. I looked up from my book very confused and actually thought they had changed the name of the stop.

In the end I got to where I needed to go, and realized after that instead of a bus and a train, I could have taken one bus pretty much directly. Duh.

It was COLD that night. I had on a turtleneck, a track jacket, and a regular jacket. With my train mishap, I was a few minutes late and missed my coworker’s performance, but I’ve heard her sing before, and she was the only one I missed.

It was nice to get out and do something different. I don’t make it a habit of listening to classical music or opera, so it was good to expose myself to that. Plus I’m proud of myself for going even though I had no one to go with. I could have easily made an excuse about feeling sick and not wanting to go by myself, and just have stayed home and watched some stupid TV. But in going, I got out of the house, got some culture, and showed support to my friend and the arts. Woohoo!

Today was chore/errand day:

  • balanced my checkbook
  • switched my summer and fall/winter clothes
  • got some Chinese medicine from Chinatown (licorice tablets for my itchy throat, the only thing that’s ever worked for me; had to hit four herbal shops to find it)
  • picked up Asian groceries
  • checked out Kiehl’s (didn’t buy, must show some resistance)
  • bought some regular groceries
  • cooked this beef/vegetable/curry concoction that looks gross but tastes good and will last me another two or three days

I am also tearing through this latest issue of Granta. I think I was out of practice with reading. Now that I’ve fallen back in the habit, I feel like I’m reading faster. Or maybe now I’m just used to doing it in spare moments throughout the day – waiting for the train, on the train, a few minutes here and there at work – as well as large chunks in the early morning and evening. Now I just need to fall back into the habit of writing again too.

I realized only recently that I’m learning to live alone again. Not on my own, of course I know how to do that. I thought the only thing I had to relearn was dating, but what’s more important is knowing how to live alone well and fully, not waiting for the next Big Love to come along, or waiting for the next Big Anything.

You spend all your time waiting for the next Big Whatever, you miss all the Smaller but Still Important Whatevers that are right in front of your face.

Your pimply, wrinkly face. :)

Oct 06

Besides the plane crash, it’s been stressful

Coming to an end of a very long week. Next week is a big meeting in Florida. I’m not going but was involved with all the prep work, including helping to create two presentations and participating in a live TV broadcast this morning.

Although we read off the teleprompter, it’s still rather stressful since you’re being viewed by maybe 100 people around the country, and there’s always the chance that in all the cutting apart and piecing back together of the presentation, some slides go missing or turn up in a previous version.

Thankfully none of that happened. Now I just have to get all this makeup off and wash the goo out of my hair.

While on the broadcast, I had that adrenaline rush, and now I’m completely crashing. Plus it’s the build up of not having gotten enough sleep all week. On Wednesday I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. Yesterday I woke up at 5. This morning I turned my alarm off in my sleep and didn’t wake up till 6:30.

Plus the almost-cold thing. It never fully developed. No stuffy nose. Just the sore, tickly throat, fatigue, and aches.

So what else can I do tomorrow but get a massage. Yeah, baby! I’m trying the Aroma Balancing, which uses a combination of aromatherapy and Swedish massage techniques. Should help with the stress as well as releasing those nasty sick toxins.

I still can’t get enough of Live Alone and Like It. I just read the chapter on food, which included a case study in which a Miss V. decided to have a weekend to herself but didn’t plan anything, and so ended up puttering around and feeling bored.

A more enterprising Miss R., on the other hand, filled her weekend on her own with plans: an afternoon at the beauty parlor, a bubble bath, and making preparations for her favorite meals – well, a maid actually prepared it. Maids are all over this book, like anyone could have one.

Very good advice, I think, for those solitary weekends. Inspiration for tomorrow’s massage.

Oct 06

I love this book: Live Alone and Like It

Thanks to Anonymous Writer for posting about Live Alone and Like It back in September. I’d not have heard of it otherwise.

I’ve only just started reading it and already love it. The book was published in 1936 so it’s old-fashioned in some ways (like about S-E-X), but it’s also surprisingly timely.

I especially like the case examples, like pathetic Miss Whomever who sits around waiting for a husband, unlike her single counterparts who relish their independence, traveling and changing the world.

If I were a case study, how would I read?

Miss W. is a divorced 34-year old who lives in a charming one-bedroom in a lovely section of Manhattan. Having spent much of her young adulthood dedicating herself to one man and his family, she is suddenly on her own again.

But unlike herself at 20, she can now afford the finer things in life. Exquisite meals, theatre tickets, and trips to exotic locales around the world.

Without familial obligations, she now has time to pursue her dreams and to better herself in ways she has always wanted. While she makes do as a marketer for a large corporation, her true career is that of a writer.

As a married woman, time spent writing was seen as time not spent with family, and now, living alone, she can make her own schedule, writing as much or as little (preferably the former) as she wants.

She has also always enjoyed running, and a lifelong goal has been to run a marathon. In between her day job and bouts of writing, she trains and racks up the number of required races to be able to run next year.

She admits that at times she is a solitary being, and has chosen as her favorite activities, two very solitary pursuits. So she must remind herself to engage in more social events as well.

These can be connected to her interests, such as the NY Road Runners Club, writing classes, and volunteering for such literary institutions as the Asian American Writers’ Workshop or the Small Press Center.

Of course Miss W. is lonely at times, but she tries not to dwell too long on this. Dwelling for too long does nothing to alleviate these feelings. Nor does she enter social situations with expectations of meeting that special someone. If she did, no matter how fun-filled the event, she’d be disappointed if these expectations were not met.

At times she wishes her circle of confidantes were closer, but having friends and family all over the country gives her the excuse to travel. Boston, Washington DC, and Los Angeles are all places she visits regularly.

She can’t forget the dear friends who *are* near her. Not only are they all wonderful conversationalists, their activities are hers. She loves “tagging along” on their performances, literary activities, and children’s adventures (even better: she’s free to take leave when the adventures morph into mis-adventures).

She tries to ascribe to the philosophy of why focus on the negative when there’s so much positive to enjoy?

Of course this would be my case study at my best. And so all I can do is strive to do and be my best. :)

Some bon mots from the book:

Never, never, never let yourself feel that anybody ought to do anything for you. Once you become a duty you also become a nuisance. Be surprised and pleased, if you like, at gifts, invitations, and other attentions. Or, better still, take them casually. But don’t let anyone suspect if you miss them.

Remember that nothing is so damaging to a self-esteem as waiting for a telephone or door-bell that doesn’t ring.

The first rule is to have several passionate interests. . . .You should have at least one that keeps you busy at home and another that takes you out. Just dabbling in them isn’t enough, either. They will not be really efficacious until you’re the kind of enthusiast who will stay home to follow the first type in spite of a grand invitation, or go out and follow the second in spite of wind, sleet, or rain.

* * *

My weekend at my parents’ was pretty uneventful. But I got to do laundry and have a run on Saturday in what is basically farmland. Yesterday I ran in the city.

I think I’m coming down with something. During my jog on Sunday, my legs felt achy and not in a I-just-had-a-good-workout kind of way. I was so tired that night I went to bed at 9, then kept waking up feeling hot. Also had a headache. This morning my throat hurt and I’ve felt yucky all day. Not congested though.

I hate getting sick. The last full-fledged cold I had was in February 2005. In November I had a little sumpin but it never developed. Hopefully I can fight this one off.

So I postponed my class. It was to start tomorrow and I decided to take the one in February instead. I just don’t feel like dealing with running into the Boy between our classes, or worrying about running into him. It would be different if we were friends.

I opted for the “master” level, which is a better fit for me. Watch: he’ll decide to do a repeat and show up in my class. But by February I’ll probably be more ready to handle it. Hopefully.

Besides, I’m a little tired of my essays. After reading Stephen King’s On Writing, I feel inspired about trying fiction again. November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Yay! Though I’m not sure what my novel will be about. I’ll have to tap into my “ideas” spreadsheet.