Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Envelope Seven!

Today I got envelope number 7 of 17. From Katie Whittier. She said her creativity had worn out, but she lies because the envelope was just as creative as anyone else's!

It's greatly interesting to see how much the contents of the envelopes reflect the personality of those who are filling them.

I was telling Kylie and Sally that I was trying to remember who all I sent them to but I can't really remember. There are some I remember, of course, because I am either eagerly awaiting the return of their envelope or else they have said to me "I'm working on filling that envelope". But there are still three I can not'll be a surprise to me if I get them back!

Dreaming About Toys

For my Psych 403 class we have to keep a dream journal. I'm excited about it because I LOVE my dreams. I have crazy dreams that could keep any type of psychologist busy for days.

Lately, I have discovered a theme: toys. I keep dreaming about toys. My stuffed animals, Russian nesting dolls, Legos, board games, etc. My dream world is filled with toys.

They don't just sit there though, I interact with them and they interact with me. We don't talk to each other but we just have a complete understanding of what it is the other is doing. When I was a little kid playing by myself my toys didn't talk out loud. They talked in my head. I guess they're still doing that.

In one dream I had to marry this angry man and I was asking for help. All my stuffed animals showed their solidarity by jumping off the shelves and falling to the ground in protest of what was going to happen to me.

In another a set of Russian nesting dolls was planning a secret strategy to rescue me from this forest in which I was lost.

In another--and by far my favorite--an army of 50 yellow Lego men dressed in brown rain gear were firemen and going to set free 13 goblins from an old wooden chest. The best part is that the leader of the Lego men was "naked" and none of his underlings would take him seriously until he got dressed.

In these dreams I was young. Five in one, ten or twelve in the others.

Is that why I'm dreaming of my toys? No. I think I've figured it out. I think I am one of God's youngest children. Maybe even the youngest. If only you could see inside my heart, you'd know what I mean.

I also think it's because in my real one real ever rescues me. I always have to do it all by myself. Thank heavens for Eddie-Phil, Galoomph, NeeChee and all my other stuffed animals. At least I know I've got that army in my corner.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Think I’d Rather Be Boiled Alive in a Vat of Wildebeest Urine.

Strange title you might think. You’d be right. Sort of.

Envelope 6 of 17 has arrived today from my friend Christina (Bobina-Yolanda-Hoop). It is brilliant! I have to admit that thinking of a title for this entry was rather difficult. She sent so many beautiful quotes (like the one in the title from Chef)! Here’s a sample:

But that was during the war when sushi was called “liberty lox”. Grandpa Simpson

Didn’t Jesus also say “Blessed are those who pull themselves up they their own bootstraps”? Stephen Colbert

If you really love him, you’ll rip his heart out in person. Drew Carey

You are not in charge of how big a wuss I am! Malcolm in the Middle

There are many, many more, but that’s a beautiful sample.

My favorite quote, however, is a Christina original. It was written on an origami figure she made for me: Supposed to be a monkey, looks like a sloth.

Thank you, Christina! You have made a very exciting envelope for me! I do have to ask, however, what was the option to being “boiled alive in a vat of wildebeest urine”?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It's hard to listen to a hard hard heart
Beating close to mine
Pounding up against the stone and steel
Walls that I won't climb
Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you're gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm holding on underneath this shroud

Its hard to know when to give up the fight
The things you want will just never be right
Its never rained like it has tonight before
Now I don't wanna beg you baby
For something maybe you could never give
I'm not looking for the rest of your life
I just want another chance to live

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm holding on underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm holding on underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm still alive underneath this shroud
Rain Rain Rain

Acting Day 2--or Why Can't I Cry Like Kylie Does?

Kylie and I were driving back from Clarkston after picking up Teddy at his great-grandparent's house, when the song "Lean on Me" came on. Kylie and I started singing with all our voices and I said to her, "This is a song for me and you!" Happily singing away I suddenly realized that Kylie was no longer singing. I looked over at her and she was crying. I gave her as good a hug as I could while she still drove the car and we laughed.

I felt it too. In my heart. The great love I have for my friend, Kylie, and how safe I feel with her around. My heart just doesn't let me express it the way hers does. And I admit, I'm a little jealous of her ability to cry.

This leads me to my acting class. Today we had to honor our partner in someway. The first girl got up to honor her partner. She honored him with a dance. Now, she was a bigger girl but when I saw her moving, I felt that she had found peace with who she was. I wished I had that peace because I still look in the mirror and label everything that is wrong. I stood there, watching her, with a giant smile on my face and felt such love for this girl (who's name I haven't yet learned) and for who she was and for the way her body moved as she danced.

The day of honoring was so beautiful. It was strangers who were opening their hearts to each other to say "You made me feel accepted...and loved...and safe." Next class will be another day of honoring as we didn't make it through the entire group.

My turn to honor Delaney. I had made a bunch of sock monkeys and in my attempts made a sock thing. I don't know what it was but I thought to myself, "I'd better keep this because no one else will like it." But, today, I gave it to Delaney. I explained to him that he made me feel that I could trust him to love this sock thing because he made me feel loved and safe. If someone can make me feel that--all my geekiness, self-doubt, self-hatred, etc--then he could surely open his heart to a sock thing.

Delaney's turn to honor me. He played a song, then pulled out a sheet of drawing paper and some markers...and he drew a picture of me. The song was so touching...and the idea of someone drawing me was so beautiful. This is when I wished I could cry like Kylie does. I wish that I hadn't spent so much time telling myself "You can't cry. You have to be strong. Others will see that you are weak." Others were I am sure Kylie is right now as she's reading this...I could feel it in my heart, but no tears would rain down my cheeks.

Afterwards we hugged each other. And at the end of the class I also hugged James Napoleon and David. It was safe. It was one human reaching to another one and saying "You're not alone in your struggles--although I don't understand all that you're going through, I do understand what it's like to have heartache."

"Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend. I'll help you carry on."

Acting class, teach me to trust my feelings and not fear them. Someone love me and teach me that I am worthy of romantic love. Kylie, teach me to cry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

From Terror to Intrigue

That’s how I said it to Daniel. I think it’s a great descriptor.

The door was locked so I had to go around. When I got up the stairs I found James Napoleon—handsome kid that he is—and I found out that he was going to be in my same class. That helped, sure, but when the smell of the classroom came into my nostrils I knew it was going to be bad. How can anyone be comfortable in this classroom?

The room started to fill up. Some people I knew, some I didn’t. As the time got closer and closer, my panic grew. “Just drop the class! No one will know! It won’t matter!” But soon the class started and I felt that I should at least give it a go.

As Kelly explained the class I felt my nerves building up again. How am I going to do this? I’m such a giant geek I just don’t know why I’m here.

The business out of the way, the class started. We all stood in a circle quietly for two minutes, not talking, just looking around at everyone. It was a bit nerve-racking…but as I let go of “what are they thinking of me” and instead started seeing how beautiful everyone is, then it became an experiment in diversity. Everyone…so different. Tall, short, fat, thin, brown, blond, whatever…each possessing a certain beauty.

Next came an exercise to choose a partner. As per usual, I was chosen last. My partner is Delaney. He’s also a bit of a writer, and I know him, so that made it easier and less intimidating. For a moment anyway.

First exercise. I was the “Giver” and I was to give comfort to Delaney without using words. We sat on the floor in front of each other and I put my hands on his shoulder and I sent comfort from my eyes to his. I felt him relax and at the end of the two minutes of sending comfort, I felt better. I felt a little more relaxed about the class.

Next exercise. Change places. Now Delaney was giving comfort to me and I was receiving it. Now, some of you know me better than others…here’s what I’m going to say: I always need hugs. I rarely ask for them. Delaney’s intuition led him to hold me in his arms. At the end of the two minutes we were breathing in the same rhythm. It was very comforting! He made me feel safe in an environment that had, just a few minutes before, made me feel terror!

Third exercise, turn to your partner and tell them what frightens you most of all. Not “I’m afraid of spiders” but that thing that is so deeply a part of you that it follows you everywhere you go. What? Use my voice and admit out loud the thing that scares me? Admit this to a stranger? I can write it down on a scrap of paper…but to say it out loud to my partner and subsequently the other 22 people in the room? How can I do that? And I had to go first. Suddenly I heard my fear expressed from across the room. That gave me the courage to say it. I used my voice, my mouth, and all that is in me to say to Delaney, “I’m afraid to be alone.” (Immediately after I said it I wanted to explain, “But it’s okay. I’ll be fine. I’ve got good friends. It hurts and all, but I’ll be okay.” I suppose that’s just another wall we build for ourselves, the “I’m okay” wall that keeps us from letting people in.) This fear was echoed all over the classroom. And when it was Delaney’s turn, he said the same thing. With the time left in the exercise Delaney and I hugged each other. We’d both said it out loud. We’d both admitted to this fear that everyone has.

Kelly was saying that everyone has the desire to be loved. And we all have the fear of being hurt. Everyone feels that. I am not the only one. She said that we stand at the same door and beat the hell out of it hoping that the person on the other side will open it and love us. I do that. I know I do. I stand there beating at the door, “Open it! Open it and let me in! Love me! Love me, damn it! I am worthy of love!” It’s the same door I’ve been beating on for years and years.

When the class ended I felt that I had learned something. I LEARNED! I am not alone in my fears. Everyone feels what I feel. Everyone wants to be loved.

I know that there will be many more exercises that are going to push me out of my comfort zone. I know that there will be days that I will cry because I just can’t take it any more. I know that there will be days that I’ll hate this class. But at the end of it…if I can LEARN something, it will be worth it.

Happy Birthday from Jen!

Envelope five of seventeen has arrived! It is from Jen Urena. She said that she wasn’t creative enough to fill an entire envelope so she sent me a birthday card and some cow stickers. Cow stickers! If that’s not creative I don’t know what is!

Thanks, Jen!

BTW: Dr. Pepper is the best, Jen. I understand your giving into the taste sensation!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

An Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery Mailed in an Envelope!

Today I got envelope number four (of what is now seventeen)! This particular one didn’t have a return address so I’m going to attribute the envelope and all of its wonderful contents to Dave. There are a few hints inside of it that even the lowliest of CSI enthusiast would have to agree just lead to Dave. Or if not Dave himself then at least to the Eames-Harlan household.

I LOVE the little key chain dog whose motto is: Happiness is lying on the couch!

There was an item that caused somewhat of a ruckus. Inside the envelope was a gold scrap of paper that caused me to spend most of the morning singing, “I’ve got a golden ticket!” much to Kylie’s chagrin. (Poor girl puts up with so much!)

Thanks Dave! (Or whoever you are!)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

An Evening Walk Fraught With Danger

My mom worries about me all of the time. But, she doesn’t know what I do half of the time so it saves her great worries. Besides, she doesn’t even need to worry at all due to the fact that Kylie has taken over as Maaike-Worry-Over-er.

For example, Kylie has me call her when I get to my destinations on long trips. Which makes sense; I consider it a simple courtesy and appreciate it when my friends do the same for me. She gets mad at me for not wearing my bike helmet and for driving in the middle of the street. Or when I talked to her on my cell phone while riding my bike, which was rather difficult to do, I might add.

She worries about me after dark.

This is where today’s story starts.

I told her that I wanted to go to the arboretum to get some leaves to press. It was about 7:30 in the middle of August. Summer. Right. It’s light for quite a long time. Anyway, she instructed me to stop playing literati, to go to the arboretum before it gets dark and to call her when I get back. She said to be careful of frat boys. I told her they wouldn’t be in the arboretum; they’d be in the bars (it was a Saturday night). I promised to be safe and not talk to strangers and tie my shoes and look both ways before I cross the street. All that stuff.

I entered the arboretum and was immediately greeted by TJ and Tennille Adams. They had been taking photos. Soon after that I saw a bunny. Then a couple holding hands. Then more bunnies. Then a family. And more bunnies. Then some blondes (that was probably the most unwelcome of my encounters). And, on the way out, more bunnies. Even a baby bunny. Cute as heck.

Leaves pressed, I returned home and when the door was safely locked behind me I gave Kylie a call. “Kylie, it was a trip fraught with danger. There were families and bunnies EVERYWHERE!”

She laughed.

I admit I love the fact that Kylie worries over me. It makes me feel loved and cared for.

I’ll just have to make sure to tell her and mom different things so they get an equal share of worry, but no one has to carry the full load.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ballerina Cow From the Secretary of Cookies

Got my third envelope today! It’s from Ginger! She sent me the world’s most graceful ballerina cow. And a bookmark! Did she know I collect bookmarks or is she just a good guesser?

So far that’s 3 out of 16! Cool. The women in Moscow are totally kicking everyone else’s butts! Of course, women in Moscow are just a slight bit cooler than everyone else anyway!

I wonder who will be the first GUY to respond? I vote Eric as he has already told me that he’s working on it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Now I Don’t Have to Corral My Bazongas Into a Stupid Orange Haltertop!

This is a direct quote from Kylie—and a prefect way to introduce the second envelope that I have received from the sixteen I sent out!

In Kylie’s envelope there were a lot of cute little things and also a lot of esoteric stuff that would make her and me laugh like hyenas but just confused the bejeezus out of the rest of you. Like her having included four orange strips of paper with the following words written on them: Orange, Corral, Haltertop, & Bazongas.

I have also decided that I need to send out one more envelope…to Sally’s husband, Dave. I didn’t realize that he would have had so much fun with it, but I was wrong. And also dead curious as to what he’d send back!

So, thanks, Kylie! I look forward to filling that envelope and sending it back to you!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sally! Where Did You Get Jesus Tape?

On a recent whim I started reading different craft books and one of the books is 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity by Jeffrey Yamaguchi. It’s simply a book of suggestions…not so much patterns and recipes. Anyway, number 29 was to fill a regular sized envelope so full of different things (I like “random crap”) that you have to use tape to close it. I thought that was a pretty spiffy idea. So, I did it. I sent out sixteen envelopes with a self addressed envelope so they could do the same.

But this is the best part:

Today I got my first envelope back! It was from Sally. I just have to say before I even opened the envelope that the tape Sally used to close it featured different pictures of Jesus. Sally, oh dear Sally, where did you get the Jesus tape? I think I must have some! When I rode my bike home it felt like Christmas. I read my other boring mail first, saving the best for last, and when I opened the tape things just spilled out of the envelope! It’s beautiful! It was seriously the best thing ever! Sally knows the inner me so very well…she sent me a magnet that has a girl with curly hair sitting with a dog and the caption reads, “Life is tough. I recommend getting a manicure and a really cute helmet.” That is SO ME!

While I’m waiting for the other fifteen envelopes to come back to me (I’ll keep you posted as to the return ratio!) I’m going to fill the self-addressed envelope Sally sent to me. But first I’ve got to Google Jesus tape.