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Sunday, 30 December 2012

I could write a bad comic

So... what an unexciting last few days (and future day ahead, might I add). Yesterday afternoon we went to the cinema, to watch a film I wasn't very fond of (instead of Les Misérables, which will have to wait until a future date). I had no idea we were going to the cinema, leave alone know at what time, and it was at least a little uncomfortable to munch and hurry through the last bits of my lunch so we could get there on time. Nevertheless, it was something to do, and it's not so bad going to the cinema. Going to a family get-together with the same people (more or less) from this Christmas' reunion. On the brighter side of things, the conversations weren't quite as dreadful. I don't have much else to say that's even mildly nice about the whole thing, so I'll just point out I was rather bored and leave it at that.

Today, we would have gone out for lunch but we didn't. Aunt A would have normally come to let me know and ask what I'd like for lunch (which is my cue to go into the kitchen and fix myself lunch). She didn't tell me we weren't going out for lunch. She told cousin I and offered him lunch. I wasn't too hungry and I had food in my room (leftover granola bars from the days when AOB was around, plus A's Christmas presents), so I stayed in my room well past lunch-time. That's when aunt A asked if I wanted to go grocery shopping with her. I said yes, mostly because I needed some antihistamines to fight my renewed allergy to cat hair. Aunt A has a problem with shopping, and it's not just the fact that she buys things until there's no place to put the new things. It has to do with an underlying naughty child attitude behind it.

At the supermarket, she wanted to change soap brands. It matters not what soap, except that it was two different kinds and both were liquid. She opened the caps to smell them. After failing to close one of the bottles, I closed it and she nevertheless opted for picking a new one that hadn't been tampered with. Now, she refuses to buy things that look tampered with and I'm sure most people will avoid such products. While it's the big company that can afford to lose, the less astute buyers are the ones stuck with over a litre of soap leaking out from their grocery bags. I pointed out to aunt A that if she opened a bottle she should buy that bottle instead of taking a new one, but it was hopeless. You can tell Karma is a bitch (here, I'd write at least two or three plotlines for Cyanide & Happiness comics about a woman named Karma) because both the new bottle she changed and the other bottle of soap leaked and made a small mess on the way back.

Cousin S came over for dinner, which in this case meant sausages, rice aunt A made, salad, and a very salty (almost inedible) mole sauce aunt A made. I took care of my own salad. Earlier I'd helped put away the dishes that were in the dishwasher. There were quite a few dishes but I figured aunt A could take care of it, so after dinner I retreated to my room to continue watching The Phantom of the Opera. Aunt A asked me to help organise the kitchen, but she said it in a rather ugly tone. I felt as if I were a house maid and I'd somehow forgotten to do the dishes like I'd been instructed and she were "politely" reminding me of my duties. Treat me like Cinderella? I'll be Cinderella, but I'll reserve the right to bitch about it. I did pretty much everything except put away the leftover rice in a container and throw two things away, which aunt A took care of. She pretended to be busy helping even though she was evidently not doing an awful lot until she just gave up and went to her room. Leaving me to deal with cleaning the kitchen counter, the small oven and grill the sausages were cooked in, cleaning the pans, putting away the dishes in the dishwasher, and cleaning the mess left behind by the salty sauce. When I was almost done, only just preparing to clean the stove (which I was hoping I'd be able to do before she got back and started telling me about how I was going to scratch it with sodium bicarb, hot water and a wet cloth) she came back into the kitchen to tell me to leave the stove for her to clean later. I explained I was already midway through cleaning it and I'd sooner get it all over with. She attempted to excuse herself saying her back hurt (what do you suppose she would have done if I weren't here, eh? I'm 80% sure it was a bad lie). I told her to go lie down and ultimately decided not to use the bicarb, lest that strike an argument I was in no mood for.

When I was done I made a mental note to remember to pick up new rubber gloves (mine have a hole in the right thumb) and came back to the phantom. Mum called. She asked about our preparations for tomorrow and I explained that it's looking like it will be just an ordinary day chez les A because reasons. Mum's sad that I won't get to run and chomp down grapes, and sprinkle people with champagne and make silly fun things. She suggested I cook something delicious and while that normally would be an invitation for fun, I do declare living with aunt A and uncle A has downright sucked the fun out of cooking. 

Cooking used to be something enjoyable, something to look forward to. But when mum suggested I make turkey breast I grimaced and thought of ways to talk her out of it before someone outside heard. I don't feel like cooking. I don't have nice knives, big chopping boards, or proper ingredients. Asking for so much as a new potato peeler would be trouble (aren't the things here good enough?), and choosing anything at all to cook would be a headache. Turkey? Uncle A's vegetarian (or so he says). Forget about him... how about I make a nice stuffed turkey breast wrapped with bacon? Oh... but the cholesterol in bacon... No good... What if I pick x and  y vegetables? I can just imagine aunt A talking about how she doesn't like them or how she only eats them in some very specific way. I can just imagine cooking and being given strange looks (at best) and impertinent remarks about how I'm not doing things whichever way aunt A decided is the right way. All so after that I can be stuck doing the dishes because I sure as fuck won't get much help in that department. 

Should I get grapes so we can all eat a dozen at midnight? I don't really like grapes, and I'm not sure aunt A, uncle A or cousin I would engage in such silly activities as trying to munch down grapes in a hurry to do other things. Eating them slowly as we all look bored trying to remember which grape corresponds to which month and talking about our predicted next year is a somewhat depressing thought... By then, back home, we would be doing other things, like running out the door with suitcases. But it's too cold to go out and no one would come out with me so what would the point of that be? How about drinking champagne where we put our jewellery? Drink champagne? Am I insane? Aunt A's got diabetes to worry about, I'm sure getting just any champagne would be an issue for uncle A, I don't even suppose cousin I drinks champagne and what am I supposed to do with a bottle, all by myself? Yellow underwear? I'll try to remember. New clothes? It will have to be just a new t-shirt (if that at all). I can put a few coins in a shoe, and that's about it... I'd ask for soap to blow bubbles with but who's going to join me? Pray tell me: what would the point of any of that be?

If I can make it through the night and back into my room without breaking down I'll call it a victory. I have shit to do. I only just finished a hexaflexagon for cousin I (I sort of feel I owed it to him, though I'm sure he couldn't care less). I've yet to write on the book I intend to send SmTn, and I've yet to ask cousin I if he wouldn't mind sending it. I haven't translated my résumé and I haven't asked for ThPr's recommendation letter. I haven't written a statement of purpose and I haven't sorted out the health insurance plan that will cover me next semester. I've done fuck all to get a driver's license, by the way. And I so don't feel like doing any of it. For the most part, it's all I can do to watch make-up tutorials, to browse through make-up items I'd like to have but can't in any way justify having, to watch The Phantom of the Opera with the headphones SmTn sent me for Christmas and try not to think too much of my little one or how much less miserable she'd make this whole situation just by existing and breathing softly, near me. 

[Day after edit]
Thank the stars for AOB. He told me about Mr. Nobody and I got to watch it last night. It's a film unlike any I'd seen in a very long time. It's wonderful. I can't elaborate on that last statement properly. It was all I could do to tell AOB "Thank you." I couldn't convey how much I'd liked the film, nor how badly I'd needed such a distraction last night. I couldn't thank him as effusively as I would have liked to without sounding at least a little strange(r... than usual).

I didn't forget

My little one, my little darling, I didn't forget. You are in my thoughts. You are in my heart. You are in my memory. Crying now is very inconvenient. I am sorry I can't make you justice.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sleeping in is not always a good thing

Woke up after 11am for the first time in a very long time, and the whole reason I even woke up at all is that cousin S called. I didn't even go to sleep that late... I just slept on and on and on for almost twelve hours. I can't say I feel rested, though.

One of the dreams was a very convoluted nightmare. It involved a psychopathic girl who wanted to hurt me and kept thinking of strange scenarios and situations to make me uncomfortable and sad. All I can remember now is that at one point she bit on one of my nails and would not let go and that at another point she might have killed herself blaming me for it. When I woke up from this dream I realised I was lying on my back (I usually lie on my belly to sleep) and I was still in a state where looking in a certain direction and opening my eyes were dangerous lest I see this girl standing near me. 

There was also a dream where, after a long time living in another city, I went back to school1. To study. Many of the people I remember were there. I was late for class. My parents had driven my sister and I to school but it was past 7 (maybe 7:15) and class began at 7:00. When I arrived I saw a maths teacher I felt like I knew, but come to think of it I don't: he was middle aged and had grey hair and a grey short beard with a moustache. They were working on some team-building exercises where we had to sit behind someone else and help them up. I was deemed to weigh 200lb and was told to help the morbidly obese girl up. I did. I'm not sure if this is the same dream where I spoke with Jdt about leaving L1 and others some greetings (birthday and Christmas messages) and not getting any sort of answer. I felt awkward about it. Also possibly a part of this dream, I was in a car driven by one of the twins, with about 4-5 others. We all had quite a bit of baggage and were headed to the driver's house. I'm not sure what I was doing there to begin with.

Then there's a dream where I was at some kind of a fair in what looked like an imitation of a small town in a hotel or amusement park. Tiny winding streets, busy shops. Cousin I sat on a bench. I walked around looking for something to buy, though I can't remember what. It was dusk.

On a separate note, damn the side of me that still seeks EBF out.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Something's up with Jack

Mum's spidey sense is onto my blues. She's worried and wants me to tell her about it. I... I don't want to. I don't want her to worry. I want to lie and I know it's pointless. I want everything to be fine even though it isn't so she won't have me to worry about. I don't even know what else to write in this post without repeating myself. 

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

... and back into the fire

Maybe BCN was a grouch and LC6 is insufferable, but I'm quickly growing tired of how it was here. It started with my Christmas presents for the others, which had been under the tree long before the other presents and were completely ignored by aunt A when she packed presents to deliver at BCM's. I asked if we weren't taking them. She said no. They only packed their presents. To this day, they're still unopened and are now an inconvenience. Fine. When I got back from the Christmas celebrations at 1am or whenever, I came to my room and found the bed undone, which was at least a little annoying, but fine. Then so be it. I arrived to an undone bed the first time, it was silly to expect otherwise. 

It continued with uncle A talking about the PhD he wants me to get and the health insurance paperwork I haven't gotten around to just yet, and now telling me about how to make tuition less expensive (not possible the way he's thinking of it) and how to use the graphing calculator... 

Just as I was settling on doing as uncle A said and familiarising myself with the new calculator, aunt A asks if I'm going to have lunch. What's there to eat? Rice. And do I care for leftovers from yesterday. I suggest pasta with tuna and tomato sauce, and I get to it. Aunt A doesn't offer to help but does question my choice of pot to boil water in. When the pasta is ready I tell aunt A and help myself. She said she'd get to it, and only just started putting pasta in her plate when I was almost done eating. When I was finished, rather than leave her alone in the kitchen, I decided to wash the dishes and the stove. Earlier this morning when I left the plate I ate breakfast from to be washed, I noticed the sink full of washed plates and asked if we weren't putting them in the machine anymore. Aunt A said we weren't, and to wash the plate I was bringing by hand, so I did. I started cleaning the stove and aunt A said I was going to scratch it with a paper towel because it wasn't wet. I argued this wasn't possible and went on until the stove looked clean enough. I then started on the dishes, first washing and setting aside what could be recycled, including the two cans of tuna. Aunt A stopped me on the way to the recycling bins because in this house they don't ever recycle aluminium and her argument this time was that if the men who pick up the trash cut themselves with the cans they will sue the homeowners (which is preposterous). I did as she said, somewhat reluctantly, and then set about washing the dishes. When I had only two glasses left to wash she remarked I was supposed to be putting the dishes in the machine, so I did. 

*Nazgûl shriek*

Film reviews and thanks

I've only just remembered I'd forgotten to make a review of Gypsy, starring Bette Midler and my newfound girl crush, Cynthia Gibb. I already knew the plot, and it sounded dreadful. I still had to watch it when the chance presented itself... I had already been let down by the television series of Les Misérables starring Gérard Depardieu and John Malkovich: I could not watch so much as 10min of it because the direction (at least, that's what I'm blaming it on) was just awful. At any rate... a great performance is a great performance, a great actress is a great actress and I'm now starting to understand why Bette Midler is looked up to. I'm sorry to find nothing much became of Cynthia Gibb, though, in retrospect, it's just what you'd expect from the girl who played a Louise. The last thing I'll say about the film is that "Little Lamb" made me cry.

An astute reader will notice I spoke of reviews, plural. The second film is one I watched today, one I'd been looking forward to: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was everything I could have hoped for, though I'm now a little sad I haven't re-read the book lately because I seem to have forgotten a lot of things. I, er... couldn't help but remember that LesMisGuy was re-reading it... way back when... But that's a topic for another post. I also stumbled upon the thought of where I'll be when the last film in the trilogy comes around: finishing the degree. Uncle A mentioned the PhD he wants me to have today when we went over pictures of cousin S's graduation ceremony (and, might I add, hideous robe). *sigh*

Rather than push the subject of uncle A's expectations, or the calls I have to make to finish settling everything I need for next semester, let me point out that cousin S went with me to watch the film. He knew I'd been looking forward to it for a long time and asked me if I'd like to go, even though that meant watching the film a second time for him. It was the second best Christmast gift of all. The best gift is his too, as he bought me a gift certificate to buy show tickets with. Shows? What shows? Wicked coming next January is in the list of shows I'm looking forward to. I mentioned how Mary Poppins is coming and he asked a bit disappointed if I wanted to go. When he brought up the subject again I mentioned (with gross exaggerations) how expensive the tickets were and how I'm sure there were not a lot of tickets left (there aren't). The exchange made me sad. 

At any rate... thanks, cousin S. Thanks for the only a present not in my Christmas list, a thoughtful one I'm sure I'll enjoy. 

For the other gifts, thanks everyone. Thanks, BCN, for giving me solitude, independence and rest. Thanks, BCM and family, for nice clothes that look my size. Thanks, cousin I, for chipping with one item on my Christmas list. Thanks, cousin S, for buying most of the other items. Thanks, aunt A and uncle A, for everything else. Thanks, Yep2, for going out with me. Thanks, aunt LM, for the first homely breakfast I've had in months. Thanks, AOB, for coming to see me. Thanks, SmTn, for being lovely. Thanks, old man and mother, for sending a little printable independence (read: money) my way. 



Sweet little one, it's almost that day of the year again. I miss you so much.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

On Christmas and children

Merry Christmas, blog.

I'm sure I had more to write about at 1am but I certainly didn't have the will to stay up even longer, leave alone think coherently and type. I woke up at 7:30am yesterday, mind you. 

I don't have a mind for celebrating Christmas with a family that is not my own. I'm far too awkward for small talk and I can recognise polite attempts at friendly conversation unable to say anything of interest. I particularly dislike the fact that round these parts a reunion is an invitation to discussion, often of unpleasant things. Why, during dinner there was a morbid discussion of all foods unpleasant, and soon after that (or a little before) they'd been stuck discussing politics. On Christmas! The nerve! I also took offence at the mention of "a long beard and earrings" as the definition of a gay man's look. I think I saw cousin I disagree too with the corner of my eye and mentally high-fived him. 

When we made our way to the next Christmas celebration at BCM's I was relieved by the sight of children. LC4 and LC6 were there. LC6 followed me around, LC4 wanted to tell me all about some thing or other and it was refreshing. Even though I don't like children. In a way, LC4 and LC6 are an exception. LC5 is a nightmare. Where LC4 is sweet, LC5 is scheme-y. I know there's an age difference, but LC4 doesn't use tantrums nearly as much, and they're not a way to manipulate his parents. Rather, they're just an outlet for whatever feelings he's built up. LC5 is insufferable. Nevertheless, LC5 has two lovely friends. They're brother and sister, twins, and they're very sweet children. They both took easily to me and started talking to me, telling me things and were eager to play. What I'll bring out of this is the following: Sunday afternoon they visited at BCN's and they played. Since there were two girls and only one boy and they were at a girl's house (and not just any girl's house, a fucking princess' house), at least the girls were bound to end up playing with the plastic necklaces and fake nail polish. The lovely thing is that the boy played with them too. I don't think it has anything to do with him secretly being gay, transexual or anything of the sort. Rather, the girls were playing and he wanted to play along. He saw no harm in wearing a necklace or helping paint the girls' nails. I celebrate this mentality. Go back to the last paragraph about beards and you'll  know how badly I wanted to high-five this kid.

Bottom line? I don't like children. But I certainly prefer nice children to many adults. Kind of like I prefer animals to people. Now that I'm back at aunt A's, it really is comfortable to have the cat and the dog around. It's exciting to see they're happy enough around me too.

Less on Christmas, more on children, I suppose. I told you I would have had more to write about had I stayed up at 1am.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Words, words, words. I'm so bad with words.

Didn't write about talking with SmTn on Friday, did I? He's wonderful, I don't need to point that out. I missed talking to him and I still do because we didn't get to talk as much as I would have liked. I'm glad we got to talk, though, because I noticed an e-mail from him had arrived on Thursday telling me he'd be online that night, except I didn't know what night he meant and was certain I'd missed it. Mum called when I was in the middle of talking to SmTn and then hung up when she heard me typing. By the time I stopped talking to SmTn for a while to go have dinner BCN was a little upset and I fear in the combination of causes one of them might have been my inattention to him and his family since they got  home. I was busy talking to someone (read: FnTtn).

Yep2 just dropped me off at BCN's. He picked me up on Friday night, he invited me to go out for dinner and a concert/event/thing with him and his friends and then drove me to aunt LM's place, where we both stayed the night. I can't say I loved his friends, or the event. I particularly disliked something about the girl introduced as his ex-girlfriend... as pretty and nice as she was, something struck me as a tad bit on the conniving side. Maybe it's just me. Anyway... I started out feeling very embarrassed about the whole thing. I felt he was annoyed by having to drive around so much to see me, I felt he didn't want to be stuck with me tagging along, I felt I was a burden. He's too nice. I didn't feel that way at all when I was with him but I did have the uncomfortable realisation that I don't fit in with his friends and that I'm nowhere near sociable enough to pull off talking to strangers. Even talking to people I know is complicated. I can tell when I just have to butt in on someone talking because I can't shut up and I can't even make smart remarks. I just interrupt and talk for the sake of sod all, because I felt like it. I then feel awful. It's happened with BCN, his wife, Yep2 and his friend from today (read: everyone, in other words). 

I'm too sleepy.

Note to self: write about being a decent house guest, being thankful, and not being able to fucking write or even talk.

[Morning after edit]
So... on more awkwardness? Yesterday I had an urge to send Yep2 a text message thanking him for everything. I thought about sending aunt LM a similar message but decided not to "because we'll talk tomorrow on the phone anyway." I'm supposed to call aunt A and uncle A to check in and to say hi and I should be able to thank them too... but I don't quite feel like it. Somehow, Yep2's gestures (driving for hours on his beat up car, buying me coffee when he has to sell his things to have enough money to get by, going out with me even though he's exhausted, putting up with my social awkwardness and defending my choice not to drink) mean more to me because I know he can't afford them so easily. It's not that aunt A's, uncle A's, aunt LM's, BCN's or his wife's gestures come easy. It's not that they're less useful (if anything, they're more important and useful). I just... I don't know. I have to push myself to think of thanking them and then I can't quite go through with it, whereas I just thought I'd thank Yep2 and did it without a moment's hesitation. 

As for the others... well, I help around the house a lot at aunt A's, and I help paint her nails sometimes, and I give the dog a bath, and I cook sometimes and... and... er... well, I can't be bothered to call. I'm helping at BCN's with at least some of the cooking, a tiny bit of the babysitting, and I'm trying my best to be a good house guest. I even bought a bottle of honey to replace the one I ruined in hot water and an oven mitt to replace the one I burned a hole in. I'm not entirely sure if I burned the kitchen counter with a hot pan. I want to think "no" but I can't remember that stain being there when I first got here and I can't help but think that they couldn't possibly have done something so silly... so it falls on me. That one I can do nothing about, I'm afraid. I do intend to buy a new glass shade to replace the one I broke at aunt A's, but it requires a trip to the store I can't make with aunt A. 

I did get aunt A, uncle A and aunt LM thoughtful presents, for what it's worth. 

Now... let's see... what else did I want to write about...? According to my list, nothing. So maybe I'll stop here. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wait, what?

Here I was, happily looking at serving sizes for lentils and facebook updates when I suddenly remembered a scene from my dreams last night. I sat on a bench next to AOB (at least, I'm 90% sure it was him) and rested my head on his shoulder, which I meant as a loving gesture. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat and I kept my head to myself after that. It was... strange, rather, knowing we were together (though I suspect it was a new development) and yet not feeling very comfortable with expressions of affection.

Continued...

Nothing to do with the dream, I want to go on writing. Let's start with my feet, which are killing me. You see, I walked 14.6km (as Google kindly converted for me) in about 4 hours. It was nice, except for the fact that I had less than comfortable-enough walking shoes and had time to develop blisters and pop them while walking. Said blisters, of course, are still painful today because that's how "your feet hating you" works. By now, you should be wondering why on Earth I went out on such a long walk. I can tell you that the extra-long distance is not due to the fact that I have a terrible sense of orientation and I somehow got lost. I drew a map in advance and it served me well. "A map?" you say? Where to? Well, I was looking through make-up online the night before last and decided that I had to have a particular eye-shadow, so I looked for the nearest store carrying it and it's 6.8km away. I decided that if Google maps said it only took 1.5h to get there, I might as well go. It didn't quite occur to me that it equalled 3+ hours of walking to go there and back. The thought that my shoes weren't comfortable enough for such endeavours. 

That's how you know I have a problem with make-up. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Psychiatrist's field day

I had a dream last night where AOB kissed A and sent her these love e-mails through me. It was awkward, being in the middle of the whole thing. It was awkward knowing A could never be serious enough about it. It was awkward receiving the e-mails and deciding not to read them, leaving them to A. It was awkward. There's also a bit about characters from The Big Bang Theory swimming in the sea, trying to make their way to the shore. It was dark at night. When they finally made it to shore there were sand-sculpted chairs they could gaze at the sky from. 

In my head today, Monsieur Periné's "La Muerte."



Tuesday, 18 December 2012

There is poetry in the sea

Before I completely forget about it, let me put down in writing that I had two dreams last night. One where several teachers and instructors, including my 11th grade maths teacher and last semester's chemistry instructor, were in some sort of reunion in a balcony. They were all wearing beige knit sweaters and most of them had glasses of wine/champagne in their hand. I distinctly remember the chemistry instructor giving me a hug, which was fairly sweet considering I don't really know him. The other dream involved a young man I was with. Except we were all a bit younger... and by "we all" I mean him, me and at least 3-4 others. We were by the sea and this Indian-looking young man ran to a small pier. The water level had risen so much it was a good 30cm or so below the surface. Nevertheless this young man liked to sit on the pier and the sea didn't deter him. He just walked right to the water and let the sea take him over. The sea swirled him around a bit, and I remember following him a bit afraid to get wet but ultimately giving in to both fear and the water. Somewhat hopelessly, key word "somewhat." It was strange. 

Reasons to write this post include AOB, EBF and a brief university update. Not exactly in that order, though... come to think of it... that's just about the order I'll end up using....

Tomorrow. Too sleepy. And procrastinate-y. 

[Morning after edit]
All right, then. AOB.

 [Nigth after edit]
AOB? Yes... AOB. Wonderful man. Wonderfully weird, almost impossibly considerate. I initially thought it would be awkward having him around for so long, to be with him for such extended periods of time. Turns out it was actually very refreshing. Not just because he's smart, and funny, and interesting to have conversations with. Not just because he's my age and we had things to do, not just because we share so many interests and we could go from film to conversation to random websites seamlessly in a random, yet somehow ordered, fashion. It's in the small things. It's in the silly things. It's in the fact that we sat to talk or watch a film and our stomachs grumbled and we were both comfortably embarrassed and embarrassingly comfortable about it.

Last night he said I was awesome. Well, not exactly. Actually, let me use his own words: I'm kinda twisted... in an AWESOME WAY! That's going in the "compliments I take seriously" folder, which you might already know is almost empty. It... almost felt as if he'd said something else. All I can say is that I am very happy to know him and very proud to call him a friend.

While we're on the subject of friends... it's EBF's birthday today. I'd come up with a congratulations message a few days ago and I was afraid I'd forget it. Indeed, I did. All I know is that it involved a mixture of "Merry Christmas" and "Happy birthday" mixed together in what others might read as drunken nonsense. I settled on "Merry birthday and a happy anti-Jesus day to you, sir." It will sound silly (because it is silly) but I always try to come up with an original way to congratulate him. I want to somehow celebrate knowing him, being his friend, and it becomes increasingly hard as time goes by. He thanked me and we talked a tiny bit before he said he had to go to sleep. I don't suppose we'll talk again until Christmas, or New Year's... if that. 

I almost don't want to mention the fact that he seems to have become painfully normal. 

*sigh*

So much for that. The last bit of news is that I have finally completed my schedule for next semester and I have SmTn to thank for perspective because even though I didn't write about it, I was fretting. And having it all worked out makes everything seem like less of a big deal. I still need a job, and I still need to contact ThPr about another recommendation letter, and I need to translate my curriculum vitae and I need to write a statement of purpose and I need to finish sorting out my health insurance plan for next semester. But in the just gone present, making my schedule was due and it turned out all right in the end.

I'm not even embarrassed to admit I indulged in looking at make-up I'd like to buy (but won't because I don't have that kind of money).  I have done fuck all today and I'm tired. I could try to arrange plans to meet N1 or something... but it's all I can do to plan printing out a map so I can walk to the nearest grocery store to buy whatever I need to cook dinner for BCN and family. They're running quite low on groceries now. I can't even think of a proper menu. What a horrible state of inability to do anything.

I'm blanking out. I'm off to watch YouTube videos. Sorry I couldn't do AOB justice.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Nested dream: LesMisGuy

I'm forgetting very quickly already.

I remember I was writing about a dream involving LesMisGuy on a piece of scrap paper while talking to LesMisGuy. In the dream I was writing about I still hadn't finished my maths degree and I was deciding on what to do for my last semester. This somehow involved a choice between going to Russia or Cuba to some kind of conference. LesMisGuy advised me about it and somehow chose to do whatever I was doing so we'd be together. We went to Cuba and I remember people from summer school being there. I remember a flood. I remember agreeing to meet people somewhere for dinner. In the dream where I wrote about it in tiiiiny handwriting on a piece of paper while talking to LesMisGuy I alternated between a paused and rather awkward conversation and writing. At one point, while I wrote and we were in one of those awkward silences, LesMisGuy just blurted out "I fancied you. What happened?" I somehow had time to tell EBF about it, and he was waiting for us at a coffee shop where he was buying something to drink. I met EBF there, while he was ordering, and had LesMisGuy come too. We all ordered something to drink and eat. LesMisGuy was visibly uncomfortable. I was excited. 

In an unrelated dream I can't remember properly from the night before last SmTn and I were a couple. It was a strange sensation, knowing we were together and had been for a while and yet not quite believing it. Strangest of all (and related to the synesthesia AOB's little brother associated to my obsession with smells) I could not remember SmTn's smell (which I'm not even sure I know) and it bothered me.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Young people

I was out with cousin Yep2 today. It was refreshing. Last night I spoke with BCN, which was nice until it wasn't. I mentioned how annoying I found uncle A's pushiness and he disagreed (which is the perfectly reasonable thing to do) but I instinctively retreated to my room and didn't come out again. There's something amiss in his relationship and I foresee a divorce in the not so distant future. There's also a very uneasy vibe about BCN that I won't dare name now because it's too harsh and I'd rather think it's all in my head.

Back to Yep2, sorry about the name, I had no way of knowing but it was exciting to find he's as happy about LGBT people, gender equality and otherwise "modern" thinking as I am. I was happy to hear about how he lived with two other couples, one of them a gay friend and his boyfriend. Like nothing. It was refreshing. When I mentioned wanting to go to a pride event he went on to say how cool he was with gay men. Where homophobes see men wanting to check them out, he sees men who won't try to hit on his girlfriend. And it's a beautiful thing. I won't go into detail because the conversation went to places I would not have imagined, but I was happy to have an honest, open conversation with someone trustworthy, smart and interesting. We were out all afternoon (from about 5pm to midnight) and I really enjoyed myself. Even if all we did was go out for a burger and then hang out while we drank coffee. Especially because all we did was go out for a burger and drink coffee.

I let BCN know I'd be going out, but I didn't think to tell him I'd be late (leave alone so late) because I didn't think I'd be that late, I didn't realise it was that late and by then I couldn't reasonably expect to call without waking him up. I'm a bit sorry about LC5 because she would have been so excited to see me when she got back from school and must have been very sad and disappointed not to find me here. I did, however, manage to pack the Christmas presents as I was asked and leave them hidden in the same bags they were in. 

I didn't get much else useful done today. I'm growing ever more terrified of shit I have to do by a certain looming deadline. You see, there's a medical test I need performed and I need proof of it. But I can't send it until Sunday (best case scenario) and I need it by Monday morning (for registration). As it stands, there are still a few seats left in the courses I want to register for, but it can't be said that they will still be available come Monday. It can't even be said that if I send the papers before Monday they will be seen before my registration time comes because it's fairly early (earlier than offices open, at any rate). No... wait... I might only just be right on time, if I get results on Sunday... Let us hope for the best. For now it is all I can do to be sorry I didn't try to reach BCN, nor answer his "have fun" when I told him I'd go out with Yep2, ask to be driven to take the test and be very tired indeed.

I... *sigh* still owe the blog a proper post about AOB. I don't suppose I'll catch up with myself any time soon. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

AOB

There's quite a lot to be said about the guy who will fly to come visit you, who can mentally go over body fat percentage charts in his head and tell you you're overweight with a straight face, who can mention women's privates torn for childbirth without flinching but be embarrassed telling you about having his fly undone in public.

And by you I mean me. The man in question, of course, is AOB. The woman too tired to go on typing is me again. Sorry. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

So. Tired.

I'm exhausted. I woke up relatively early to set things up for AOB's departure. After we dropped him off I worked a little cleaning the floors, leaving his sheets and towel to be washed and tidying up in general. We met everyone for lunch and made a 2 hour trip to go to a Christmas attraction. We were back sometime past 9pm. I had cookies to bake, so I got to it. I finished baking and packing the cookies sometime after 1am. I've since been looking through important things I might've forgotten. I wanted to write a post about AOB but it will have to wait until whenever I'm less tired. Sorry.

Goodbye AOB, it meant a world to me.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Still just a stub

I had a dream last night where N1 had been in France on vacation. She had a boyfriend, like she does now (good for her!) and she'd ended up meeting Darren Criss (except that wasn't his name in the dream). They'd gone out on a date and kissed, but N1 had come out of the whole thing saying she liked her boyfriend better. 

On wishes

This won't so much be a short essay as a reminder to try and write one later. I was talking with AOB about what I remembered from a film that apparently doesn't exist (at any rate, it can't be found from the descriptions I can type into Google): the idea that wishing for something can only happen while that thing is out of reach. AOB offered that it may not be true when what you want is a continuation of what you already have. I'm too tired to think too much about it, but I want to go on elaborating on this and relate it to the previous posts.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Wait, I think I know where the thoughts about Cyrano were headed

I almost started typing this in French and then decided I don't quite have the patience to make up for the vocabulary I don't have and the grammar I don't remember as well as I'd like to.

I almost started a post about a great number of things and for now I just settled on writing about Cyrano. I've been watching quite a few films with AOB, you see, and today we started Cyrano de Bergerac when we were done with Le Havre. Besides telling AOB his "whatever you want" is as annoying as the stereotypical girlfriend's (which I regretted as soon as the words left my mouth because I meant it to be playful and almost sounded insulting), there was only one thing on my mind: the thoughts of Cyrano I buried last time I watched the film. I think I'm starting to uncover their memory. I was relating the whole thing to LesMisGuy. Again. Or rather, still. And I may have finally started to understand why: part of what held me back that night was the lack of words, and it's quite like it is with Roxanne. She's not content with a silly "I love you" and a lustful kiss: she wants more. AOB exclaimed she was very demanding. 

There are two sides to this statement. On the one hand, one could argue it was already quite clear Christian fancied her and he shouldn't have needed to woo her any more. On the other, one might think he only lusted after her and she needed to feel more than that before she gave in. 

Perhaps it's not about Cyrano, all that much. Perhaps it's about me, and Roxanne, and what this need for words implies. Am I too demanding? EBF agreed romance could be too much to ask for. Is it hopeless for me to want stronger guarantees that the feelings are there and will be there for more than a fleeting, lustful moment? Are my demands, perhaps, what make the feelings fleeting? 

Would it be fair to say Cyrano loved more, or loved better, because he was so eloquent and vocal about his feelings? Couldn't you make a case for how cowardly it is to hide behind words when you don't dare push the message across with actions? 

Avant tout, merci

Depuis trois jours je voudrais écrire dans le blog, mais je n'avais pas du temps. AOB est arrivé le mardi à 23h et j'étais occupée. Alors...

Avant tout, merci.

Merci à AOB pour venir me visiter. C'est une grande gesture. Il a déjà remarqué que je suis seule à Tmp et il a fait beaucoup pour m'accompaigner.

Merci à mon oncle A, qui m'a donné de l'argent, sans lui avoir demandé, pour sortir avec AOB. Il m'a donné beaucoup de l'argent. Bien sure, je ne projet pas de l'utiliser tout... mais, ça m'a donné la possibilité d'être sortie avec AOB sans inquiétude. 

Merci à mon vieux homme, qui m'a envoyé de l'argent aussi. Je lui voudrais envoyer un e-mail parce que j'avais besoin de l'argent pour acheter des cadeaux pour Noël... il n'y avait pas besoin de ça: il m'a envoyé mon cadeau tôt. 

Merci à A, qui m'envoyé un cadeau de Noël avec AOB. Maintenent ai je des problèmes pour lui envoyer un cadeau aussi, mais je lui remercie d'avoir choissi des cadeaux speciales pour moi, des cadeaux prévenants. 

Merci à SmTn de m'envoyer un trés joli e-mail. Je lui adore. C'est tout simple.

Avant tout, merci. Je ne peux pas plus ècrire, je suis trop fatiguée. À plus tôt.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Starting a school

I had a dream last night where N1 had told me all about a small school LesMisGuy had set up. He'd been left alone in an apartment and he decided to make use of it. He started teaching small children. Some woman in her thirties wrapped huge Easter eggs in foil while he taught.. I was in the same room as he was for most of a day. He didn't talk, his students were taking an exam. I don't remember exactly what I was doing, except for the memory of white folded napkins/small towels, but I know that I was trying to help him. He never talked to me. I didn't look directly at him. N1 told me his school was doing quite well. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wishing

I almost forgot about it completely but still had the lingering feeling that there was something to remember when I woke up. I had a dream where ThPr guided me and other dream maths grad students to SmTn's homeland, with SmTn included in the group. I remember getting on a plane, and I remember a bus service in the airport. I had to stop to buy shoes and hurried to make the bus. I remember telling SmTn about it. We had been talking most of the way, until we reached the hotel where we were going to stay in and they started to show us to our rooms. Then, he disappeared. I supposed he needed rest and went home, not really needing a hotel, but then when the first lecture started, I didn't see him either. I supposed that somehow all of us but him had "gained" time and he needed to sleep to adjust his schedule. It makes no sense to me now. The lecture was a continuation of a lecture I'd been to before. It was by a professor who'd been working with applications to biology. I can't remember any of it, but it was actually very interesting. I remember they called the Indian boy we shared a house with in summer school to help. He forgot something and couldn't.


The others with us were quite young. Among them, a girl who asked to borrow a camera and computer I'd brought with me. I thought she'd use it to talk to her parents, but she used it to fool around.


The song I woke up to is "Wishing you were somehow here again" from The Phantom of the Opera.

One for the dream bank

So... a few things. I couldn't quite go to sleep without writing down a dream I had last night, or the night before that (I'm no longer sure) where I was at sea. There was a lake, or an enclosed sea, with an outlet to a bigger sea that housed lots of big fish. Now, I looked online and there's nothing of the sort to be found. Big fish invariably turn rounder and longer, while the ones in my dream were quite flat and not so long, relatively speaking. The fish in my dream were at least 3m long, at least 1.5m wide, and about 30-40cm thick. While I seem to remember them having eyes on different sides of their face, eyes as big as dinner plates, I remember seeing them from above and it looked as if they swum flat (like a flounder). It could be that all I could see was their shadows... For what it's worth, these fish were dark grey and had a somewhat prehistoric feel to them. As does everything hidden from modern science for a very long time. The peculiar thing about these fish is a particular fish who periodically (every night, perhaps?) left their home and swam out into the bigger sea.

I don't know why. I don't know where it went nor why it returned. I don't suppose there are good reasons: it was a fish. 

I remember being in the water, at night (though it wasn't impossibly dark out) and being able to make out the shadow of the wandering fish near me. It scared me, the way most sea creatures do, the way big sea creatures would, the way big animals in general did. 

I wanted to commit this dream to the blog because it's pretty, in a way. I'm sure it must be somehow influenced by Life of Pi. At any rate, it's the sort of dream I'd tell SmTn about if I'd had the chance to but I haven't heard from him in quite a while now. I wonder what he's up to... 

In other news, AOB is arriving tomorrow night. The thought makes me more angsty than happy, but it is what it is. Uncle A asked about it the other day and I couldn't help but realise, only too late, that while I asked for aunt A's permission even as AOB told me he was coming I completely forgot to even mention it to uncle A. Not that I had a lot of chances to, I do try to be by myself a lot lately. But goodness... it's his house, too, you know. What a fuck-up... 

For the most part, I've spent the last few days getting Christmas presents ready. I've still to get aunt A's present. If BCM can't help me go buy the things I need and I can't go with AOB I might have to wait until I'm at BCN's to try it and I will most likely end up spending more money than I want to (aunt B said she'd borrow the tools from aunt A but hasn't). I'm in no small amount of trouble getting BCM's, her husband's and uncle C's shirts done. Turns out getting LC4 to draw on more than one shirt at a time is a tall order. He upset me today. He couldn't focus on anything. I let him play a bit. I asked him to please continue helping me. He wouldn't. He needed to rest playing. I said no. I'm getting quite annoyed by his obsession with electronic games. He doesn't ask, he takes without asking and when he's feeling politer he demands: "I want _____ !" His way of escaping me asking him to help me paint was telling me he wanted chips. When I said no he looked like he might throw a tantrum. He finally settled for watching the telly, which poses no problem even for extended periods of time. 

Is it really asking too much? Is drawing such a horrible alternative to the telly? He's not like this. It's usually much easier to coax him away from bright screens. I have only tomorrow, if that, to finish the shirts. If I can't make that deadline I'm screwed because I don't know if I can ask LC4 to help me with AOB here. 

I don't actually know what I'll do when AOB gets here... We can go to the amusement park one day... and to the museums and to walk around another day... and if it's not too much to ask, to a certain museum on another day. That doesn't really cover the other two days he'll be here. I also need to make cookies, and pack them, and I don't even have the ingredients. I'll have to ask AOB to go grocery shopping with me... perhaps we could just walk to the nearest main streets and get lunch, followed by grocery shopping and an afternoon baking, if he doesn't mind terribly. 

Before he gets here I'm hoping I can give the dog a bath, clean the garage (aunt A missed the spot where the cat pooped out of the box and it now smells), clean the microwave oven... again... I've yet to finish sorting out what's in the other room, not to mention the mess that is my room at the moment. I fortunately don't have to worry about making his bed. If I can manage, I'll try to give the house a quick mop with the mop I managed to clean on Friday. 

In the I'm quite proud of myself news, I scored 100/100 in the biology final exam. I'm afraid it was partly luck, but it still feels good. In the I really don't deserve to be proud of myself news, there's a lot I haven't done: I haven't told  uncle A I'm leaving as soon as AOB leaves; I haven't called my aunt L, who I'm visiting, to ask if I can stay with her (even though I absolutely totally told her I'd just stay with N1 so I don't get in the way for her... which was wrong for reasons that became obvious almost as soon as I said it and even more so when mum pointed it out); I haven't sorted out my CV; I haven't contacted ThPr (nor the lady who should've gotten his first letter); I haven't made 100% sure I'm all set for next semester (this actually scares me: I'd hate to find out there's something very wrong somewhere that went unnoticed and it's now obviously too late for anything). 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Oh, Cyrano!

No matter how I go about it, Cyrano de Bergerac can always make me cry. 

All day today, all I accomplished was selecting gifts and starting to paint cousin S's shirt. It turned out to be quite a bit harder than I expected, but I am satisfied with the results so far. Oh, wait! I also managed to paint my nails again. No small feat when you can only use one and a half opposable thumbs. 

At any rate, after fetching myself dinner and doing at least some of the dishes I decided to watch films. I started off with The Phantom of the Opera because I couldn't resist it (I don't suppose I ever could) and still didn't feel sleepy, so I watched Cyrano.

I naïvely thought I was approaching the film from a completely different angle. The first clue evidencing the contrary lies in the fact that I couldn't stop thinking of LesMisGuy. Granted, I think I didn't associate the film to LesMisGuy until he mentioned having learned some of the lines, and that's not what made me cry in the end. In the end, I cry because Cyrano dies just like I cry at the end of Big Fish. Every time. 

The thoughts that distracted me mostly belong in the realm of hopeless romance no doubt fuelled by Cyrano's. I couldn't help but notice, for the first (useless) time, that I said I'd like to meet Shakespeare and LesMisGuy swooned me talking about literature. I'd had time to wonder earlier this week: what if he just really liked me but was afraid of getting hurt? I tossed the idea out, deeming it too stupid to be considered seriously. But then... as I watched the film I wondered if LesMisGuy wasn't, perhaps, an elaborate concoction of characters, including Cyrano's. I must confess this idea made a lot more sense before I busied myself crying. The idea goes that he's insecure and would therefore deny himself a love life. I may be projecting.

It will continue to be a shame... I'd grown to like him so...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Oddlone

Woke up quite late today (10:30-ish). Ventured into the kitchen to fix myself breakfast. The internet said oats and fresh fruit are good to help cuts heal faster, so I had oatmeal, an apple and a few vitamin gummy bears for good measure. Didn't see aunt A. I retreated to my room to eat and came back out to wash the dishes. Still no sign of aunt A. I showered, dressed myself and changed the band-aids on my fingers. Still no sign of her. By the time I was almost done getting ready (noon) uncle A and a friend arrived. I greeted them and washed a dirty plate I'd forgotten about last night. I went back to continue getting ready. I heard everyone, including aunt A, talk about some fairly big reunion. Aunt A said a friend of hers was late. They mentioned going out to pick up BCM, LC4, uncle C and aunt B as well as some friends of aunt A and uncle A. I was ready, so I sat in the living room in case anyone said "O.K. Let's go." but no one did. Aunt A left to go pick people up and said goodbye to me. Uncle A's friend left too. I retreated to my room. I heard uncle A setting himself up for lunch (as he does on weekdays). A friend of aunt A's called. I tried asking uncle A if he knew the caller ID, but got no answer. I picked up anyway. I took a message. I'm starting to think uncle A left too. 

No one's talked to me, except uncle A asking about a machine you can put hot water and your feet into and aunt A to say goodbye. No one's said anything about plans for lunch, though we usually go out for lunch on weekends. Normally, aunt A would have come into my room to let me know the plans for the day so I could get ready. Nothing of the sort has happened. Can't help but feel that this is all rather rude on everyone's part. I thought I had another word for it but I forgot what it was before I wrote that last sentence down. 

My thumb appears to be healing well, thanks in great part to mum's tea tree oil. I poured some hydrogen peroxide on the cuts before re-applying the oil. The cut on my middle finger closed up very nicely. The deep cut on my thumb did too. The slanted cuts didn't close as neatly, but they're getting there. None of them looks infected. The hydrogen peroxide bubbled quite a bit, but the wounds weren't visibly inflamed or red. They were just a little tender, which is to be expected, I suppose. 

The cat is keeping me company. 


I'm hungry, but I'm in no mood to eat. 



I'll just go back to the internets now.




You know, I followed an impulse and opened Skype, because maybe talking to the old folks would help matters some... but then I realised: What an I going to tell them? Am I really in the mood to talk to them, tell them about the cuts and, more importantly, tell them all about how everyone's out for lunch but they left me behind? There is no explanation. It could be just hormones messing with me a little, but I want to cry and I keep holding myself back because to let on that I cried whenever they got back would somehow be humiliating. Fuck.

[1:50pm edit]
I'm feeling cold, so I decided to make myself some tea. As I walked to the kitchen I noticed uncle A, who had been outside all along. He told me cousin S is inviting LC4 and ne to go ice skating tomorrow, Not a word about today. Not even the polite "Have you had something to eat?" This is all so... uncomfortable.

[4:10pm edit]
Mystery solved. There was a baby shower I'd just up until now completely forgotten about. Still... you'd think they might have mentioned where they were going... it would have only been nice to have them offer "How about you have _____ for lunch?"

I am my mother, apparently

My accident happened the way I imagine most accidents do: you're doing something seemingly reasonable and suddenly an obvious but up-until-the-very-last-moment-unforeseen risk takes over.

While aunt A was away today I did the laundry, cleaned the fridge and set out to make the other room guest-ready. I noticed a piece of glass that perfectly matched the missing piece in the ceiling fan light and decided to put it on. How hard could it be, after all? All I had to do was hold the piece in place ant tighten the screws around it. Well, quite hard indeed, because I broke the piece and managed to cut all around my left thumb in three different places. There's also a smaller cut on my left middle finger, but it's my thumb that got me worried. I's cut in three places around the base of my thumb and it took a long time to get it to stop bleeding. Two of the cuts are slanted but fairly shallow. The third is a bit deeper and positioned just so that I can't bend my thumb without it gaping open. I hit myself twice, on the wounds, just to make matters a bit worse.

I looked for advice online. Everything seems to indicate that the worst that can happen is scarring (hardly noticeable in that spot unless it's particularly bad) and an infection. It's the latter I worry about. Though I rinsed the cuts with water, I didn't think to use sop or wash out debris that could have gotten stuck inside. The internet tells me that jagged cuts are particularly prone to infections, because the dead tissue that doesn't line up neatly could rot and get trapped inside. I looked at my health insurance information and looked up the nearest hospital that could stitch me up. I considered telling aunt A, but she had a gettogether to host. I thought of telling BCM, uncle C and aunt B but instead I just told them it wasn't so bad. Aunt A still knows nothing. the band aids on my thumb are far from being unnoticeable. I'm hoping that come tomorrow I can leave out the band aid on my middle finger and somehow hide the ones on my thumb. This would all be a lot easier if I had an excuse to wear gloves... 

For now, it's lucky I managed to finish the laundry, vacuum the other room, pick up the glass shards, fold my clothes, make my bed, make AOB's bed and shower without bleeding profusely...

*sigh*

A true let down is that I now am one Christmas present short. I'd left the shirts that I intend to paint with the dirty laundry, by the bin, in my room. Because apparently the paint won't stick or something unless you do. Wel, quelle surprise when I counted them and found one less than I'd bought. It occurred to me it must have fallen in the bin and gotten picked carelessly by the woman who came to (not) clean and I now resent her a little. How could she not notice that a whole bloody new shirt was in there?! To make matters worse, the garbage truck came by today and the loss is permanent. That leaves me one present short... I've decided, unless I find something better for someone else, that it will be cousin I's. I didn't know what to paint on his shirt in the first place... It still upsets me. I'm on a broken budget, you know...

Oh, and by the way? Uncle C told me aunt A found the missing slipper in the washing machine (could have just as well been the dryer). Told ya.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Gaaaaahhhh!!!!!

So... cleaning lady was here yesterday and... well, she really didn't clean much. Microwave oven was still dirty after someone re-heated pasta with tuna and tomato sauce days ago. Blergh. Plus, the horrible tofurkey sausages uncle A eats, which have a peculiar smell of their own that seeps into the microwave's walls no matter how much I scrub or what I scrub it with. This morning, I woke up after a long night's sleep (I fell asleep rather early last night while aunt A and her friends played cards). First thing, I thought I'd make myself some breakfast. I though't I'd heat some of it in the microwave oven and was greeted by the dirt in it. The only thing left to do was to clean it. Might as well do it now, because it would otherwise go on being dirty until whichever other time I chose to clean it.

Aunt A walked in on me cleaning the microwave oven to ask about a slipper.

Here one might make a small parenthesis to wonder if aunt A took my cleaning as an insult to her housekeeping skills. All I have to say to that is that I don't have to eat anything that went into a filthy microwave oven if I have an alternative and rather than be mad at me she could at least not fucking put food in it without the cover.

She has quite a few of them, you see, and they were all apparently very dirty because she said she'd just washed a few (with the laundry... which didn't include any of my clothes, but we'll come back to that) and one of them was missing. I asked if she'd looked behind the washing and drying machines. She said she had. She started telling me about how the dog must have taken it to munch on. I offered it was unlikely, as she's too large to hide anywhere to munch on the slipper without us noticing her. Besides, I said, in the time I've been here I haven't found her stealing flip flops or slippers to gnaw on, and she would have had easy access to them in my room. Aunt A was outraged that I'd chosen to defend the dog. She prefers to be mad at her and I'm sure she'll yell at her mercilessly first chance she gets to get it out of her system. I know she doesn't like the dog. I know she resents the dog. It's still very unfair to give the dog such treatment. 

Aunt A goes without pouring her any water for days. She cleans the cat's dish, but not the dog's. She treats the dog as a garbage disposal giving her all food in the fridge that's about to go bad "because dogs won't eat anything that can harm them" (bullshit... I don't need to tell you, do I?). In general, she just crosses the line between not caring very much about the dog into downright animal cruelty because the dog should not be subject to such neglect and fits of rage. Both the cat and the dog need training. Aunt A's and uncle A's failure as trainers and petkeepers does not entitle them to yell at them and be furious when they find they've misbehaved. To be honest, I've seen the cat be  naughtier, scratching on furniture and littering out of the box, and she doesn't get such a bad reaction from aunt A. To the point, it's their fault they misbehave and if years of looking after dogs and cats haven't taught them good training skills they lose all right to yell at them, as I see it. 

I offer an alternative hiding place for the missing slipper: the drying machine. It wouldn't be the first time something slips aunt A's mind and it would only be a little poetic if it were a slipper that did. It bothers me that she jumps to blaming people when she knows full well it could have been her fault it's misplaced. I won't go to check until I go do my laundry.

And why should I go do my laundry? Well... because aunt A decided to leave mine out. You see the day before yesterday we went out with aunt B who bought some fabric softener. I decided to get some too so I could try to wash a rayon dress mum said I could try to wash at home (to avoid the dry clean bill that cost 10 times what aunt A thought it would). I explained that's what it was for. But aunt A decided it meant I wanted to put softener in my laundry and I'd have to do it on my own because softener gives you cancer/has chemicals (which must be about the same thing in her mind). When she asked me where the softener goes in the washing machine and I explained, I said (again) that I only intended to use the softener for the one dress. She called me silly. She called me silly! Like she'd gone ahead and done the laundry without including mine because I'd told her to! Even now, she's doing the laundry without asking if there's something I'd like to wash (like she hasn't noticed the pile of dirty laundry overflowing the basket). 

I'll venture a guess: she didn't want to do mine and jumped at the first excuse she could think of/misconstrue. I'll do my laundry later. Most likely tomorrow afternoon when she's away. Tonight, I'm afraid, aunt A is hosting a game and I can't clean as I'd like. If anything, I'll give the fridge a clean when we get back from the gym. If we go to the gym. She's fuming right now, slamming on every door she uses. Let her be mad. I'm doing nothing to appease her if she's being horrible. 

That leaves the subject of how on Earth I'm going to clean everything I want for AOB's arrival. I want to vacuum his room thoroughly and mop with a mop that's clean. Aunt A mopped the kitchen yesterday to lift a sticky spot and I think aunt B and I thought the same thing: "You're cleaning with that? I'm sure you're only making the floor dirtier." Tells you something about the cleaning skills of the lady who came here yesterday. I don't know which one it was, there's two of them, but they're neither very good. 

See? Aunt A is  now yelling at the dog. For barking. Didn't take long.

At any rate... I need a weekend to my own devices, to clean the house, to do my laundry, to give the dog a bath, to clean the fridge, to try and think of a way to clean the fire hazard looming over the stove, to organise the room AOB will be staying in. I'm not sure it can be done and it bothers me.

Among other things bothering me? Being broke. Aunt B was telling these stories about how her children always find ways to make money and get scholarships and move on in life. I commend them. It's not who I am. I'm far from being useless but I'm just not good at making money. I took offence when aunt B said that the soul of a teacher was something reproachable and something her son had to get over with because she didn't want her son growing up poor. I took offence at the implied "Why aren't you making any money?". Well, because I'm not getting paid to do the things that keep me busy. I don't get paid to clean the fridge. I don't get paid when I do the laundry. I don't get paid when I give the dog a bath. I don't get paid when I wash the dishes. I don't get paid for cooking. I don't  get paid when I clean the microwave oven (because it's as if I never did). 

The old man offered to send me an early Christmas present in the form of putting some money into  my account and I told him not to because I don't want him using up money he could need.

I couldn't ask for an allowance here, though uncle A mentioned I should be getting one. I don't dare ask for money to go out with friends (well, to go out with the one friend when he gets here... I don't know how we would have sorted this out earlier). Once when I went to an amusement park with BCM, aunt A said she'd pay for half of the ticket and BCM would pay for the other half. She gave me a little money to spend in the  park, too. She never paid BCM (from what I can gather). I ended up using the money she gave me in something else because BCM wouldn't take it. As it stands, I almost feel like aunt A will include even the groceries I've eaten into a bill I'll be charged with as soon as I make money. 

I'm afraid I'll have to take money out of the wallet where I keep what I owe BCN just to pay MrInteresting the money he lent me yesterday. It's not much, and it was spent on school supplies, but it falls on me to pay it back (if he lets me) and I've heard no offers. I haven't heard of any offers besides transportation to go out with AOB either. Aunt A offered I could take AOB to the fancy restaurant/cinema place but it's bloody expensive and I can't afford it. 

I would tell you about how social skills saved the day in the form of MrInteresting helping me pay for the lab goggles right before the chemistry lab final exam... but I don't feel like it. At the moment, I only feel like cleaning and even that will have to wait. For now I'll just change into gym clothes. Just in case aunt A decides to go later.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bad time to procrastinate (not that there's ever a good time)

I have two final exams tomorrow, biology and chemistry lab, and I can't for the life of me study for them. I finished reading the last chapter we were supposed to cover in biology last night. I thought maybe today I'd go over the reviews again, or I could work on getting more flashcards done. I finished half a flashcard and saw nothing of the reviews. I finished the lab report due in today but took no note of the other assignment we could turn in for extra credit and so I didn't do it either. I started looking at some of the old work from the labs, but I didn't look very thoroughly and I didn't do any of the work again. I just sort of looked at the first two or three and thought "I'll get this right, it's too easy" and then stopped.

I have only watched one YouTube video. A make-up one. I spent some time looking for swatches of Chanel's Rouge Allure in Évanescente. Still not available anywhere I could buy it. Swatches look very different and it's pretty much impossible to correctly guess the right colour because most pictures were taken in artificial light. I locked myself up in the bathroom to play with the make-up I have to try and mix the lipstick shades available to me to match what I thought the Chanel one should look like. I achieved a lovely shade of peachy, nude pink which made me happy whether it matches the Évanescente or not. I couldn't stop myself there because I had already seen the catwalk pictures with the silver smoky eyes and I conveniently had just the right shade of silver. It didn't quite look right so I added some kohl eyeliner in black. I was wearing no foundation (and needed it, I'm quite pimply at the moment) but I was happy. As soon as I was done I wiped the whole thing off, brushed my teeth trying not to wipe the lipstick mix off and came back to my room.

At the next procrastinating opportunity I decided to go in to trim my brows. The time after that I plucked my eyebrows, because I might as well. It's still relatively early (9ish) and I completely gave up on working or studying. Instead I just left the biology textbook by my bag, in case I decide to look through it tomorrow (I won't). I might even forget to pack my carefully designed flashcards but I don't want to pack them right now because that would be useful and I don't want to do anything productive.

We went to the gym for a bit,  had lunch with uncle C and aunt B, went shopping for cleaning products with them and then aunt A left me here while they went to pick up LC4 from school. Before we left I showered and did nothing productive. After we got here I sat on the computer and did nothing productive. I considered doing the laundry and decided to put it off until at least tomorrow afternoon/night. I looked up ways to clean rayon fabric to decide whether or not I'll ruin a certain dress if I wash it by hand instead of sending it to the dry cleaner's. On Friday I'm planning to clean the fridge and the room AOB will be staying in. On Monday I'll give the dog a bath. Sometime in between I'll do my nails. I'm considering not studying for the next final exams. I don't feel like I need to, and I don't really want to.

I might convince aunt A to get her hoard of clothes out, that she may select whatever she wants to give away so I can make some room to organise things a bit. I suppose my plans to tidy up are at least a little bit in contradiction with the current state of clutter my room is in. At first, I made sure to keep it neat and tidy. I gave everything a place and kept it there. I had a system. I had discipline. I stopped keeping up and right now I quite prefer the mess. I prefer the undone bed I can jump back into at any moment. I prefer my shoes lying ready for me as I leave the room. I prefer the last clothes I used on the floor, ready to be used again if they're not yet too dirty. Room like brain.

Except for the Christmas gifts I haven't packed yet, there's nothing Christmas-y in my room and it's in the back of my head lately. Yesterday (or was it the day before...?) aunt A was looking at a shoe catalogue. She decided she needed new shoes exactly like a pair she already owns except in a different colour and this company is the only one that makes shoes that fit her, or so she says. When she showed me the catalogue she'd marked about a dozen pages. It struck me as a little scandalous. She said I had better get started on my Christmas list. I asked her to explain (though I know what she meant and what she was going to say). Uncle A looks at the lists of everyone and then decides what to buy for each. I might have nodded with an "Oh..." and left it at that. 

I don't need anything. If I were to ask for anything I could make good use of, it would be a bottle of foundation. If I were to ask for things I don't quite need just yet I would ask for some night cream (I have two small containers to run through first). If I were to ask for things I'd like but don't have any immediate use for, I'd ask for another nude pinkish lipstick, a gel eyeliner and black eyeshadow. I suppose one might cover these with a gift card to my preferred make-up store. Asking for clothes seems a bit silly (unless it's an xkcd T-shirt... which, given I'm on the path to losing my nerd side could backfire spectacularly). I noticed that a Mary Poppins musical is coming to town, but tickets are very expensive and I'd never ask for something like that. In the end, it occurs to me that I'd only ask for money to buy things for other people, money to go out with AOB, or things I could send home.

I can already guess what I'll get from my first two requests. Aunt A will try to dissuade me from buying foundation because the powers that be tell her it's only safe to apply the tinted sunblock she uses to one's face. I will be told to ask for something I don't need. I won't be able to think of anything that won't make me miserably guilty. I have nowhere to wear make-up out to! I bought a cheap (but absolutely perfect shade of) red lipstick I have nowhere to wear to. I can't reasonably buy pretty clothes I won't wear. I don't want to ask for books I won't read. I don't need to change the archaic phone I was given. It still works just fine. 

When I think about it a little too hard, the idea of luxury and Christmas makes me want to cry. Mum only ever asks for things she needs. A new pair of pants because the old ones are no good. A new cream to help lighten the pigmentation on her skin. An oven to bake turkeys and pastries she can sell this Christmas. The only luxurious and rather unnecessary item the old man got her once was a German cuticle cutter. Very expensive. She's had some old German nail clippers, cuticle cutters and nail files she was given when she was 15 and having such things was luxurious. The cuticle cutter was lost. Whether or not aunt A has it (here, I'm afraid, one must read "stole it") remains to be known. I have to admit I did on an impulse once went searching for it. I know I couldn't find the nail clipper aunt A has had for years, and I've heard her speak of "an old cuticle cutter" so I can only assume she keeps those someplace I didn't look. I wish I had the money to buy mum a whole set of fancy German nail utensils (?). I wish I could send her the perfume she asked for in full size. I wish I could send her a face primer, foundation that matches her skin and lipsticks meant to suit her (as opposed to aunt A's leftovers). That's what I want for Christmas. 

Mum grew up eating buttered bread when her school classmates had sandwiches with meat inside them! She's a bloody saint! It was all I could do to send her a marked down, fairly elegant-branded blouse. It is all I can do to send her dried cranberries with AOB so she can cook with them without paying the outrageous prices.

I want nothing for Christmas if it means I have to choose a luxury item. If I'm not to have a luxury item, it's all I can do to pick something I won't use so I can put it away until later, when I can give it away. I don't think I'll be allowed to ask for money and I don't dare ask for it. 

An idea haunts me: back home the old man would tell my sister and me that we had a limited amount of money and we could pick presents within the limit. Goes for Christmas and birthdays alike. Both he and mum worried that it wasn't enough and considered paying more than they had planned when my sister or I ran into an item that just made us smile so but exceeded the limit. 

Choosing a present was a special occasion. One of the few times in the year when we got to buy things for pleasure (though we usually went for things we needed). For a long time, until they decided my sister and I were too old for it, they made sure we always had surprise gifts for the morning after Christmas. Things we'd looked at or mentioned liking but didn't get the chance to buy. It feels a bit like writing this Christmas list thing restricts me an awful lot more than the budget ever did back home. 

After thinking hard and browsing the web for a bit, all I've settled on is a lipstick mum ran out of and I know is a great colour for everyday looks. Could I ask for a gift certificate? I would get my foundation and the lipstick to send home. Could I ask for more than one gift certificate? I could get clothes to keep, clothes to send my sister, a foundation and a lipstick to send mum. I'd need an allowance to save up for other presents. I'm afraid a gift for the old man would be harder to get. I'd need a gift certificate uncle A and aunt A knew nothing about. Or the chance to get great discounts they knew nothing about. What I want, I suppose, is the chance to buy presents that aren't for me. Period.

The message doesn't elude me: if I want that, I need a job and if I want one that pays handsomely I'd better do as everyone's saying. Can't help but have a nasty feeling towards the branch of engineering as a whole if that's the cycle. As it was pointed out to me today by uncle C and aunt B, you get a degree and try to look for a job, but won't find one unless you have experience. The only substitute for experience they'll take is someone's word that they know you. It's no less unethical said in so many words. It's just "the way of the world" and they were a bit nicer about saying it, in a not-so-imperative kind of way. They pushed the angle of "take it as a chance to meet people your age, with similar interests" and were very sweet about it. The idea still makes me want to cry.