Measured Extravagance

2001-03-03 - 11:14 p.m.

This will be mostly blog (with a bit of biscuit) tonight, especially since the postman brought nothing but bills (and because I felt like clearing out my notepad):

"Scientists examining clay pipes near the home of William Shakespeare have discovered traces of marijuana, cocaine, camphor, and hallucinogens. After reading "Midsummer Night's Dream," I don't doubt it. People don't turn into donkeys unless the author is on something." - Mike Reed, Man About Murfreesboro.

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Special congratulations to Jessamyn and Secra, who not only command the adoration of the masses but send them my way.

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Phelps recently mentioned to me a mutual friend's yearning after a menorah in the shape of a hammered metal biplane - which reminded me that I don't own a menorah, although I've been tempted often. I'm waiting for the right convergence of price and desire. Most of the art menorahs that strike a chord with me are way out of my range, and it's not as though I observe Hanukkah anyway - but still, I can't resist looking. This moose menorah is kinda cute - but not for the price of six sushi dinners...

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"Because of this journal habit of almost three years, I carry around a sense of impending output, a sometimes nagging itch which reminds me that soon I'm going to have to get what's happening into this here electric space." - Steven Amaya, Evaporation

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This may be the most entertaining statement of purpose (or lack thereof) for a webring that I've ever seen. Which means I can't make up my mind whether I want to join it (I adore the manifest but am not crazy about the image the name projects) - which, by definition, means I fit the core requirements to a T. (Note to self: you have got to stop taking yourself so seriously!)

Got there by clicking on Mo's journal quote of the day. That's two good click-throughs in a row, as yesterday she steered me to Jolene. (It might have perhaps been three, but I already read Dora, who provided an extra bonus this week in the form of a guest entry by Jessie.)

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He's smart and sardonically funny and a complete stranger to me, and he put me on his list of favorite diaries. On the one hand, I'm a cynic about the whole "favorites" thing - I filled mine up not because the twenty listed there are my absolute all-time favorite must-reads, but because I'm thrilled with how it functions as a compact notify list. Some journals aren't on my diaryland list because they're already hugely popular, or because the writer updates regularly (or rarely) enough for me just to bookmark it, or because of privacy considerations, or because they're already linked to other journals I regularly read and can just click from there, lazy wench that I am.

All that said, I'm still flattered. So, thank you, Mr. Bitterness, whatever your raison de lire may be.

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I laughed myself silly reading Miguelito's guide to wine. About a chardonnay: "Goes well with: seafood, Barry White, Astroglide." Mmm, mmm, mmm. And how can you not love a man who fits "rumaki" and "Prozac" together into the same sentence?

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I once wrote a personal ad that read "SAF, 22, seeks peace and quiet. Go away."

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Rehearsed the duet this afternoon with L., after which she made tea and shared with me the box of biscuits (the English kind) a student had given to her as a thank-you after their successful recital yesterday. We talked quite a bit about community and personal boundaries - something that's been on my mind quite a bit lately, what with trying to establish new friendships in Nashville while sustaining old connections and indulging my online vices, all while craving more time chez moi for the husband, the cat, and the avocations. I might could "just do it!" and do it all, if I thought I could be sorta kinda content with being sorta kinda friends with a lot of people and sorta kinda good at an assortment of things. As a recovering control freak, I'm getting better at accepting that many of my relationships and skills have to remain at a superficial level, because I don't have the talent, time, and/or inclination to improve them.

Singing is a prime example of this - I don't have the pipes to become a world-class singer, but I could definitely place myself into the semi-professional circuit if I studied and worked at it. But I haven't, don't - and won't. I do want to rebuild the quality of my voice, take my sightreading ability up another notch, and improve my ability to lead and carry weaker singers - but I'm not really willing to do much more than woodshed my own parts and the occasional vocalise in the car in between errands. Even more important, I don't want to commit more than one evening a week to rehearsal.

That pretty much restricts me to remaining a mid-level amateur - and there's nothing wrong with that, except for the pangs of jealousy and longing I can't help feeling when I hear repertoire I'd love to perform (but isn't likely to be offered to a church choir), or attend a chamber group concert. I always have to remind myself that the last time I sorted out my priorities, music wasn't on the short list. On the slightly longer list, yes, but not the "this is what I'm going to focus on NOW" list...

...which has proven still to be too long, which is why I've got to make more decisions about which activities I want to postpone or jettison entirely from my life (while remaining realistic about what I'll actually do - I could swear to walk a mile and study conjugations and limit myself to ten minutes online per day every day for the next three months, but it ain't gonna happen).

It helps when I want something badly enough - when I'm in a funk like the one that's plagued me for the past fortnight, I don't truly want anything except to be loved and admired - which is a worthless goal in and of itself, because when I'm in that mood, it's meaningless to be loved and admired just because I'm me, I want to be adored because I'm brilliant and entertaining. When I'm that mood, I want to be scintillating and compelling without having to work for it - which is pathetic, since it boils down to whining after something I'm too lazy to earn, and because respect means so much more when it's for something true.

Which means that if I want to astonish people by leaping over buildings with a single-bound, there's no way around those hopping drills, even though I know there's observers I could fool were I to enlist the forces of prestidigitation. The problem is, it is more fun to make the actual leap, it's just getting myself to the point where I'm not falling on my keister because I'm too busy swivelling my head at every other circus act in town.

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Speaking of new friendships, I did finally select my Canonical name for use with the Nashville Scholars. It's going to be "no sister of his" as soon as the proper rituals take place, which will be sometime later this spring. It's been a while since I checked the society's homepage, so I was slightly taken aback when I saw my photo there tonight. While it's a passable likeness, I feel I'm better-looking in person. Vanity, thy name is Duthie. (Mechaieh wouldn't give a rap, she's got better fish to fry.)

And on that note, beauty sleep, here I come.

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