Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

Hair update

Posted by thoughtful1 on January 5, 2009

I tried a new hairdresser a while ago, but at a non-Asian salon.  I got a better haircut.  So, at least for me, I don’t need to go to an Asian hairdresser.  Maybe because my hair is wavy and similar enough to Caucasian hair that I don’t need a specialist :P

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up all night

Posted by thoughtful1 on January 3, 2009

Well, not tonight.  I will go to bed tonight.  Soon…  Well, by 3.  That’s not all night – that’s still before dawn! ;)

Earlier I had thought about making myself a cocktail with some left over champagne and listening to some jazz.  Instead I am web surfing and listening to punk music I found on the internet.

Perhaps this means I’m flexible?  Ecletic?

Or maybe it means I really, really don’t want to take the trash out into the cold.

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Spirited musings

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 27, 2008

Last night I went on a decluttering/unpacking binge.  It all started with a desire to finish unpacking my grandparents’ cocktail glasses.  They’ve been sitting in boxes in the dining room for two years.  I began unpacking them a month or so ago, and I decided to finish pulling out the cocktail glasses.  I found all of them, and a few interesting serving dishes.  I washed those up and put them away.

Then I went around the condo and collected all the recyclables.  In doing so, I practically cleared off a small bookcase that is in the foyer.  It’s where I intended to put mail and keys and such as I was coming and going.  However, instead of being useful, it became a place where clutter gathers.  I decided that I could use the small bookcase someplace else and replace it with small trash bin to hold junkmail.

After taking the trash and recycling out, I returned to the dining room and took the boxes downstairs to the basement.

Now that I had more room in the dining room, I began wondering what to do with it.  One thought that entered my head was moving the small bookcase from the foyer to the dining room and using it to hold my liquor bottles.  I don’t have that many, but I have enough that they can’t all fit in the cupboard.  Happy at finding a use for the bookcase and a holding place for my liquor, I faced another set of questions:

  • Where exactly should I put the the liquor?
  • Do I put the liquor in the dining room corner?
  • Do I now put the recycling bin in the DR corner and place the bookcase/liquor where the recycling bin was, which is near the refrigerator?
  • Does it make sense to keep the liquor closer to the kitchen, or will the recycling bin be too odd looking in the dining room?
  • Will I be annoyed at having to walk further to dump stuff into the recycling bin?
  • Will I be annoyed if the liquor is further away from the kitchen?
  • If I were a liquor cabinet, where would I be?
  • Am I being too much of a perfectionist?

The answer to the last question is, “Yes, you are being too much of a perfectionist.  Knock it off!  If you don’t like where you put the liquor, you can move it!”

But, I still haven’t set up the new arrangement.  Partly because it was late I needed to go to bed and today I was busy, but it’s also because I continued being a perfectionist and kept wondering, “If I were a liquor cabinet, where would I be?”  And asking myself where I’d be if I were a liquor cabinet is kind of fun…

In the meantime, unpacking the cocktail glasses made me realize that I don’t have that many.  I have 3 that could be used as martini glasses, and they’re very nice glasses, so I would like the option of giving a not-so-well-coordinated guest a drink in a cheaper glass.  I have four wine glasses, so I could use more wine glasses.  And I have seven small cocktail glasses,  so I could use some high balls, and a few old fashioneds wouldn’t hurt.  But I want them to be interesting without being tacky.  I googled “vintage cocktail glasses,” but found mostly kitschy stuff, not stylish 50’s/60’s stuff.  It was a little discouraging.  This, of course, led to another question, “If I were a cool cocktail glass, where would I be?”

So I then googled “vintage cocktail glasses boston” and came across Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC).  They had a few suggestions for where to look for cool cocktail glasses.  One place is a flea market, which I doubt will be open tomorrow.  The other is Buckaroo’s Mercantile in Central Square.  Unfortunately, Buckaroo’s looks like it is chock full of old stuff and kitsch.  I tend to dislike old stuff, especially of the kitschy kind.  Usually not my cup of tea, but maybe tomorrow I’ll check out the place.  If I don’t find anything there, I can head over to 10,000 Villages and see if they have anything interesting.  Wouldn’t that be great – Free Trade cocktail glasses!

Of course, there’s always the cool place whose name escapes me on Newbury Street, but they’d probably be expensive.  So I’ll go there last.

But now, in addition to thinking about where to put the liquor bottles, and where to find cool cocktail glasses, I’m intrigued by LUPEC:

The Boston chapter of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) is a classic cocktail society dedicated to breeding, raising, and releasing nearly extinct drinks into the wild (a.k.a. Boston-area bars and restaurants.) Founded in February 2007 by Misty Kalkofen of Green Street and nine fellow cocktail enthusiasts, LUPEC Boston is the city’s first and only female-oriented cocktail society. The ladies of LUPEC Boston meet once a month to sample delicious cocktail creations from a bygone era, and educate themselves about the important and nearly forgotten forebroads who sipped them.

This sounds like fun.  I could meet new people and learn more about cocktails.  Plus, I like the idea of having a monthly cocktail party to go to.  And these women are serious about cocktails – I get the impression they’re old school and see cocktails as part of our culture as opposed to a way to get smashed.  They’d appreciate a well-crafted drink.

I’ll have to check them out.

In the meantime, I should go to bed.  Maybe I’ll have a bit of brandy before I go…

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Snow day blues

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 21, 2008

We had a snowstorm today.  The second one in three days.  I was supposed to go out to a Christmas party in the afternoon, but it was canceled due to the crappiness outside.  So I went back to bed.  And stayed there… for too long.

For whatever reason, I was depressed today.  It was difficult to get motivated.  I don’t remember what finally prompted me to get out of bed, but I did.  I showered, and then puttered about doing somewhat productive things, but mostly I ate.

Normally I would have enjoyed a day like this.  I would have stayed in my pajamas and sat in front of the TV.  I would have napped and daydreamed.  I would have been happy, or at least thought I was happy.  I don’t think I really was… Well, most of the time I don’t think I really was.  I think maybe I was just numb or unaware that I was depressed.  Or maybe I wasn’t depressed ;P

I was also somewhat overwhelmed today.  I had trouble deciding what to do.  There were a number of things that need to be done: tidy up the kitchen, wrap Christmas presents, start on the Christmas cookies, do laundry, vacuum, pay bills (shit!  I really need to do that… some of them are due soon!).  And, there were some things that would be nice to do: read, finish watching last season’s Doctor Who.  But, I was stuck – I couldn’t make up my mind.

Luckily, once I was up, I started to feel better.  Plus, I was exchanging e-mails with a friend, who eventually called me.  Interestingly, he picked up on my blue mood from one of my e-mails.  I’m not sure how – I don’t think I would have picked up on it – but he did.  So he gave me a call.  It helped.  It cheered me up a little, and we made plans to get together later this week.

I think one reason I was depressed today is that I’ve spent too much time alone the past few days.  I worked from home on Friday, and yesterday I was alone until the evening, when I had another party to go to.  And today I was… alone.  In the past, that wouldn’t have bothered me, but now that I’m going through a depressive phase, being alone for that long isn’t a good thing.  Maybe because it gives me time to think morose thoughts, or it makes me feel lonely, I’m not sure.  Or maybe it’s simply that I’m more depressed now than I used to be so now it’s more important that I get out and do stuff.

I don’t know….  But now I am going to make myself do some things so that tonight when I go to bed I’ll have done something.

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Because black is how I feel on the inside

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 15, 2008

I wear black on the outside
Because black is how I feel on the inside

from “Unloveable” by The Smiths

I like sad songs.  I’ve liked sad songs for a very long time, ever since I was a pre-teen, probably longer than that.  One of my favorite songs from when I was in grade school was “Send in the Clowns,” not a particularly cheerful song, but I liked it.  However, it wasn’t until recently that it hit me:

The vast majority of music I listen to is depressing.

Right now I’m listening to Failer by Kathleen Edwards.  The album evokes images of living a humdrum, worn down life in a New England town that’s seen better days.  Happy happy joy joy, I know.  But, it’s comforting me.  Sad, but true.

For several years I’ve had the sneaking suspicion I’ve been mildly depressed my entire life, but I just didn’t know it because I’ve always been that way.  I wouldn’t know any different.  But as I’ve been thinking things over, I’m coming to the conclusion that my suspicion is right.  I’ve been suffering from a low grade depression since I was a child.  And along with that I’ve been numb.  I still felt emotions, but I think they were dampened most of the time.  Or delayed.  Or something was off.

And I think I’ve liked sad songs because they expressed that sadness for me when I couldn’t.  I’m drawn to sad songs because they reasonate with something deep inside me.  I’m normally seen as cheerful and able to make others laugh, although those who know me well enough have also seen me cranky and irritable.  One time another Korean adoptee described me as being angst free.  Hah!  Even I knew she was wrong.

And now it’s coming out.  All the things that have made me depressed and numb – the adoption, the divorce, the family dynamics – it’s coming out.  I think I know why, but I’m not certain.  For the past year or so, I’ve been slowly coming to terms with how I’ve felt about things, and how I’ve been treated throughout my life.  I didn’t voice these thoughts until recently.  They were percolating under the surface, and it was too painful to say them out loud until I started to see myself through another person’s eyes.  I began to realize that I’m not that bad off, and I really, really do not need to be perfect for people to care for me.

And maybe that realization is why I’m now able to deal openly with everything that’s gone on.  I can deal with this now, and I won’t collapse.

But, I’m also angry.  I’m angry it took this long, and I’m angry at all those years wasted walking around half dead, spending too many mornings in bed, and too many nights on the couch, being dragged down.  I wonder what I could have done if I hadn’t been weighed down by this.  Would I have done better in college?  Actually done well in math and gotten my physics degree instead of messing up and switching to an easier major?  Would I have been more involved in the extracurriculars and kept up with my writing?  Would I have been brave enough to switch careers sooner, more often, figured out what I really want to do?

I don’t know, and it could be pointless self-abuse to play “What if?”  But I can’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been carrying this melancholy around.

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My organizational block

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 11, 2008

No one likes paperwork.  Well, maybe a few do, but I suspect they’re in the minority.  I am one of the many who do not like paperwork.

And I’ve noticed it causes my brain to freeze.

I am in the middle of refinancing my mortgage.  Last week, maybe Thursday or Friday, I received paperwork from the bank and the bank’s attorney to fill out and return.  Or maybe it was over the weekend.  I’m not sure.  Either way, I’ve been stalled on filling out the forms until tonight, when I panicked that I was going to hose the closing date by not getting this shit done.

I should have sat down and gone through the forms when I received them.  But when I read through them, I put it off.  And then in my mind it turned into a clusterfuck.  I just didn’t want to or couldn’t deal with it.  Objectively, they aren’t that big a deal.  The hardest part was figuring which address to put down for the current mortgage holder since it’s held and serviced by Big Corporations.  That took 10 minutes.  But my brain got hung up on the insurance certificates.  I kept putting off dealing with it thinking I needed to call the loan officer and ask if she had already obtained the insurance certificate.  And that task somehow became the road block to looking into all the other things I had to do.

And then tonight I realized I was close to the end of this week and I needed to get stuff done.  So I am up later than I want to be (again) filling out forms and feeling anxious.  I’m almost considering driving to the post office to drop these off so they get to the bank and the lawyers by Friday.

In the meantime, I have to get the condo association trustees together with a notary to sign yet another form.  All of this before next Friday.

Now, maybe this is normal behavior, I don’t know.  But I feel like it isn’t.  There was just some sort of weird thing blocking my ability to deal with all this.  Granted, some unexpected things came up that got in the way.  I was going to go through the paperwork last night when someone called me.  After the call I decided to go to bed rather than stay up even later.  I could have told him that it wasn’t a good time to chat, but I didn’t.  I wish I had.  But, even so, I’ve had three days to go through this and I’ve put it off.  My brain just didn’t want to deal with it.  It’s like I just couldn’t sit down and go through it and figure it out.  Oh, and I feel guilty about it.  I’ve betrayed some sort of rule about Being a Proper Person and getting this sort of stuff done in a prompt manner.

I don’t remember being like this all the time.  It seems to have cropped up in the past year or two.  I feel like I’m out of control – like I can’t get a handle on things.

So now, late at night, I am going to drive to the post office and mail these.  And then I need to de-stress and go to sleep, something I’ve had trouble doing the past several nights.

Oh, and I haven’t even started on this year’s Christmas cards.

I did, however, finally put files in my file cabinet:

files

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Have TomTom, will travel

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 10, 2008

A few months ago I bought a TomTom GPS for a long trip I was taking.  I have since discovered that owning a GPS means I will now venture into the previously scary world of City Driving.

I grew up in a suburban/rural setting.  I am not accustomed to the free for all known as Boston Driving.  Nor do I know my way around Boston or Cambridge or Somerville by car.  And Medford positively scares.  I always manage to get lost in Medford.  However, lately I have found myself driving around Cambridge, Somerville, and even Watertown(!).  All because I have the TomTom.

You see, with the GPS I no longer worry about getting hopelessly lost and ending up in Lexington when I really wanted to be in Back Bay.  (I actually haven’t done that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did.)  Not that I no longer make mistakes with the GPS.  Sometimes I miss a turn, or the GPS leads me to a dead end.  But, at least I know I can get out of the jam I’ve found myself in.  TomTom will recalculate my route, and off I’ll go, back on the right track.

With TomTom stuck to my windshield I have ventured forth to a friend’s condo in Central Square, a house party in Chestnut Hill, a liquor store in Watertown, a movie theater in Davis Square, and the wilds of New Hampshire.  Before I would have made these treks with trepidation and been full of stress and anxiety as I made wrong turn after wrong turn, but now I confidently pull out of my driveway and make my way through streets that range from vaguely familiar to outright bewildering and reach my intended destination within a reasonable time.

I imagine that after driving with TomTom as my co-pilot, I will eventually learn where everything is and how to get there by car.

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Peace through property rights

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 8, 2008

If you bother to read Registan.net, you may have already seen this.  In case you don’t read Registan.net, I humbly submit this bit of food for thought.

I hadn’t thought of it before, but it makes sense.  After all, I’ve heard that a strong rule of law is one of the keys to a stable economy.  It’s easier to do business if you know that any disputes you have will be settled in an organized, rational manner.  Thus, it follows that the ability to own property and have any property disputes settled in an organized, rational manner would also aid economic development.  And, money in people’s pockets tends to make them less antsy and biased towards revolution.

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One more piece to getting my shit together

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 4, 2008

Because Target was open until 11 tonight, I was able to buy a file cabinet.  It’s not heavy duty, but it is metal, and decent looking.  I just finished attaching the drawer handles.  Next up is attaching the casters.  Maybe tomorrow I can decide where to put and begin filling it.

And, maybe, just maybe, this will help me be better about paying bills on time and keeping the clutter to a minimum instead of piling up on the floor.

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Yes, Virginia, you need a file cabinet.

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 1, 2008

Last night a friend was explaining to me that I need storage.  Basically, part of my problem is that I don’t have a dedicated place to Put Stuff.  Especially papers.  He told me I have to buy a file cabinet.  I haven’t bought a file cabinet because I already had milk crates for filing, and I was waiting until I had a better idea of how I wanted my office space to be before I purchased a file cabinet.

I was dead wrong.  I am now realizing that my frugality and my perfectionism were working against me.  I need a file cabinet, even if it’s a cheap one from Target.

And here’s why: I don’t file things right away.  I pile.  The larger problem is I pile stuff on top of the milk crate. The result is that I end up with a pile of papers and junk on the files, making it that much harder for me to actually, um, file.  If I had a cabinet, I’d probably still pile crap on top, but at least I could just open a drawer and begin filing stuff rather than having to move the pile or go through it all to get to the file folders.

That was my big revelation today.

So later this week I will head out to Target and get a cheap file cabinet.

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