The Journal of effika.
I promise I'm not on anything, but I may be a bit dehydrated.

A friend posed a question to me recently— when did I realize I was me? I'm not certain I have an answer for that, but it did lead me to think about how self-aware I was when I was a child.

Somewhere around 5-7 years of age was a very nice stage where I was self-aware enough to be me, but not so much that I muddied it up with thinking. I laughed, cried, played, and ate as I felt I needed to, didn't concern myself with what others thought, enjoyed my friends when they were enjoyable and didn't feel bad when they were being persnickety. In those years, if I wanted to hug someone or hold hands, my friends and I did so and didn't think about what our other friends would say.

After age 7, though, something changed. Around that time, comparing myself to my peers became paramount. Everything I did was being scrutinized and judged by others (kids are cruel), so I had to figure out what they were looking for and act accordingly first. Most of the time that failed. (I was a very awkward child and didn't figure out how to effectively "game" social systems until I was fed up with being a dork in high school.) Life since that point has been about deciding how I will react.

I am under a lot of stress right now, and I wonder if I would be happier if I could go back to that mindset I had when I was 5-7 years of age: simply existing with the give-and-take of life, not having to think about it constantly.
Twitpic 06-07-09 17:16
I think we're about to get some rain. on Twitpic

My phone has a camera that is just as good as the one I used to take artsy photos with back in high school (they're laying in my dormant DeviantArt account that I can't remember the password for) and it is with me constantly. I used to see cool things and wish I'd had a camera. Even if I did have my camera, the bother of hooking up my camera and uploading the pictures and sharing them would often be enough to outweigh my enthusiasm for the moment.

One thing I love about using twitter (and twitpic) to share photos with is the immediacy of posting. When I'm excited about something cool happening right now, my friends will get to see it right now too.

It's also reminded me to look for cool things around me, and that's never a bad habit to get back into.
There is a difference between love and being in love, and I'm not sure it's one I'm ready to think about right now. I feel like it's very easy to make some wrong choices here, and I'm going to have a million little ones before I decide to worry about that larger one. I feel like I'm just going to be signing away my life for a few decades no matter what.

I guess I'm just going to sit here in limbo until I'm ready to think about love vs. in love, or I become too disgusted with one option.
It Ejected! 05-24-09 06:12
My broken car stereo has had the slow CD from the Foo Fighter's In Your Honor stuck in it since February of 2007. Last night, the stereo finally let it go!

Now I just need to figure out what I'm OK with getting stuck in there for another 2-ish years.
Colorado Springs Trip 05-19-09 10:30
Today is odd. I'm back from my trip to Colorado Springs with my improv troupe! Pictures eventually, although they're not really spectacular. The landscape was great but I mainly focused on people that none of you know, and even then took very few pictures.

Anyway, today is odd. I am back to normal life but I think I still want to be on vacation. I realize I just spent a weekend with a ton of people (and 20+ hours in a car with 2 of them) but it feels lonely in the apartment right now. Jay has gone back to playing Fallout 3, and the cat is asleep. I suppose I got used to being surrounded by 8 people at all times.

I also miss the water. The water in that area is delicious right out of the tap. Here, it tastes of fish and mud (and arsenic). I had a water bottle with me constantly there, cheaply refilled at the tap. Here I've got to run it through a filter and ice it down to be palatable. Yuck.

The trip itself was filled with many unintentional adventures, right from the start. The troupe took two cars to Colorado, since we had 9 people and one of those had a final he had to take in the morning. My team had 4 people and we didn't need to wait on anybody to take a final, so we decided to leave at 6am for the 10-11 hour drive. At this point, I think I'm just going to drop into bulleted points. I suck at narratives.

Friday

  • Kenny was late in arriving to the departure point, as he decided to double-check the directions Sam gave him with Mapquest. Mapquest does not know that you can't actually get to Sam's house from the street it is addressed on. I talked him back on the right street.

  • The windshield wipers on Sam's car were behaving anemically. Sam thought it might be battery trouble, but luckily we just had to tighten the nuts on the wiper arms. The Saturn has the same trouble, which was the only reason I knew what to do here.

  • We had a low tire, so we decided to inflate it at the gas station, but the first station had a broken air pump. The second station we went to worked just fine, though.

  • Sam made gorp, and I brought M&M's for it. This sustained us through most of the trip up. I also brought bottled water (also useful) and pb&j fixings for lunch, plus a smattering of other snacky foods.

  • We make a slightly wrong turn in Wichita, and wind up in Emporia, KS. We had to double back west and north on some smaller highways before getting to I-70 in Junction City. This added about an hour onto our time and $5 onto our toll.


    Sam had been making comments that the landscape didn't look that familiar to him, but we dismissed those comments until we started seeing signs about Topeka. We knew Topeka was not supposed to be on our route at all. Thankfully I had good cell phone coverage and Sam and I were able to use Google Maps on my phone to figure out where we were and how to get where we needed to be. Eastern Kansas is absolutely beautiful this time of year, however, so it was not a complete waste of time.

  • Windmills are scary and beautiful and alien and breathtaking all at once.

  • I discovered I left off the one CD I wanted to listen to when I drove on my compilation disc.

  • Jay got a speeding ticket in a small town on the way down to Colorado Springs.

  • All at once the mountains were upon us, and I was happy. Central Oklahoma is rather flat, and I miss the hills and trees of Eastern Oklahoma that I grew up with. The view outside our hotel room is of a hill that has trees on it, and this pleased me greatly.



Saturday

  • I found a yarn shop and a park with a great view to knit in while the players were in workshops that afternoon.

  • Dinner was a conundrum. We'd all eaten a very late breakfast at a nice little diner, but we had no idea what to do about dinner. We wanted to try something local, and Kyle suggested the Moroccan place across the street from the hotel. It looked sketchy as sketchy could be, but my friends convinced me to let the health inspector rest for an evening and at least try it out.


    It was spectacular! The food was simply amazing, and the atmosphere very mellow. We sat on the floor with cushions and ate with our hands. At the end of it, we had hands smelling of rosewater and orange oil and were very relaxed.


    Getting an exceptionally delicious meal with great company when you're not expecting to have one is one of the better feelings in the world.

  • We watched a bunch of improv troupes perform in the evening in a musty, dusty, theater. Kenny didn't feel well, and a few people were tired, so Kyle and Sam and Andrew took him back to the hotel for some rest. After the first block of troupes was done, I was too exhausted to stay awake any longer so Jay took me and Scott (who was also exhausted) back to the hotel. Jay then went back to the festival, wondering why Kyle's car wasn't at the hotel.


    Nobody was in my hotel room, either, even though 2 out of the 4 people who left should have been there. I then spied a note from Sam. Even though it states that everything is OK, the fact that they've left to go to the hospital worries me. (Originally, that note simply read "AT ER" so kudos to Sam for knowing that would panic me.) I got a hold of Kenny, who had some asthma problems. Everything really was OK, but the adrenaline surge kept me awake. After they got back to the hotel, we realized everyone who had a key to the hotel room was at the hotel, and Kenny and I stayed up to wait for Jay.



Sunday

  • Kenny had a few prescriptions he needed filled, so Scott took him out in the morning. The pharmacy didn't open until 10am, so they came back. Kenny and I left after lunch and before our troupe's performance for the meds, thinking it would take 30 minutes or so max. We spent 30 minutes trying to find a non-existent Walgreen's that is supposed to be just a few minutes up the road from the theater before heading to the one we were certain we could find. Filling the prescription was speedy, but we got back to the theater with very little time to spare.

  • During all the driving around to find the pharmacy, the car started to overheat. It apparently does not like to be driven at 25mph for extended periods of time. We drove around on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the windows rolled down and the heat on full-blast to cool off the engine.

  • The troupe did perform, and while it wasn't their best-ever performance, it was definitely enough to impress.

  • After the performance, Jay, Caitlin, and I crashed at the hotel. One car had left to go back to Oklahoma that night, but four of us had no pressing need to be back so early or to drive through Kansas at night. Sam went to spend time with his relatives, but once the four of us were back together (and 3 of us caught up on naps) we had a great time talking in the hotel. Since the main event we'd come to Colorado for was over, I had a very heavy sense of waiting for the next leg of the journey, but talking to everyone kept my mind from it.


Monday

  • We had a much less eventful drive back. At one point the Stabilitrak got confused over a low tire, but airing it up fixed that. Conversation during the trip back was much less frequent than on the way up, but what we had I enjoyed. I did a lot of knitting and thinking, and I think my life is going to get very complicated in the next year or so.



Would I do it all again? Definitely. I love road tripping with these people, and next year we'll try for Chicago.
I've got off work the rest of the week and Monday and Tuesday of next week. Why?

I'm going to Colorado Springs this weekend! It is over 10 hours away by car! There is an improv festival and I will visit yarn shops!

I will make sure to post lots of pictures and possibly a write-up on it when I am back, but twitter has completely ruined me for long posts. If you'd like real-time updates (AND WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DID FOR LUNCH TODAY) while I'm gone, add me-- I'm effika there, same as here.

In other news, it is nice to have local people to talk to again. I didn't know how much I missed the service Paul (not elowel's) provided as an ear I could talk to without embarrassment. (I hate it that I talk of people in terms of "services" they provide, but I'm terrible with people anyway so I figure that's par for the course.) We spent the evening wandering around town chatting, and my mind is so much freer for it today. I think he felt better too, which is nice as well. (I'm still with Jay, by the way. Jay is pretty awesome but sometimes there are things I can't talk to him about easily.)
Note to Self: 05-11-09 17:00
Every time you eat sugary things, you regret it. Stop eating sugary things. You don't really like them anymore, and will be fine with a few grapes or an apple instead.
Divorce. :-/ 04-22-09 18:57
Two of my friends are getting a divorce.

They're being very civil about it. Honestly, I'm not surprised-- they both wanted extremely different things out of life right now, and it was becoming apparent to everyone she was seeking solace elsewhere. He'll probably be out of the state in a few month's time anyway.

They threw a great party last Fall when they got married. At least everyone got that out of it.

I'm just bummed majorly right now about this. I've felt weird all day, and then I came home from work this evening and found out about everything. I'm also one of the last to know, it seems, but I'm often the last to know about social things. Sometimes I can trick myself into thinking I'm close to people or I'm everybody's pal. Bleh. This bad news is just poisoning all my thoughts tonight.
Phones 03-21-09 10:16
I think I've figured out why I refuse to get a new cell phone, even though the one I have is just barely meeting my needs (and soon won't if the battery continues to decline in performance). Getting a new phone means moving all my contacts over. I don't dread the monotony of it, or the challenge of trying to figure out if my 5-years-old unpopular cell phone can upload its contact list somewhere.

I think I dread the pruning of old friends. People I haven't called in years but I still have on speed dial. People who have changed area codes. People I wish I'd kept in contact with, but can't even find on Facebook. Those are the numbers that I won't put into my new phone.

I'm already a little bit depressed over realizing Paul (not elowel's Paul) is completely not a part of my life anymore, even when I try to include him. I suppose thinking of old friends in general is the next step from there.
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