Today a dear friend of mine, who is not nearly so dear anymore, brought up an interesting point: I don't work, I don't "do" anything, so how come I don't blog a hell of a lot more often? And I was like, hello, to my mind I already write a damn lot. See how much my English has improved? The proof is in the pudding! In my defense, I do 'do' plenty of things in my day, and here are but a few:
1. I brush my teeth.
Okay, raise your eyebrows. Roll your eyes. Snicker under your breath. I'm not saying this takes up hours, but I am doing a lot of it lately. Well, to clarify, I have been brushing my teeth since I've had teeth, and for me it's a mostly enjoyable experience. I have a small thing about clean teeth, I like and appreciate fresh breath. But recently I bought some new toothpaste, the kind with the mini breath-strips in it that dissolves when you brush. Neat, right? It's so great that I find myself going back for some extra brushing time more than is really necessary. In the mornings I like to brush my teeth in the shower. This is because I am a very messy brusher. I never knew I had a problem until I lived in a dorm and everyone else had clean chins. Meanwhile, I have foam dripping all over my face. What am I doing that's so wrong? But no matter, in the shower messes don't matter (except that my skin is really sensitive, and any part of me that comes into contact with toothpaste turns bright red). So this morning, for example, during my first brush of the day in the shower, a glob of the paste landed on my chest before in even reached my mouth. Jason pointed this out to me, so I wiped it off mine and onto his (my husband and I always shower together, it's the only place we can have serious conversations). I thought it would be neat to be able to see the actual dissolving process of the mini breath strips. But then we stood there watching the blue glob in his chest hair for a really long time, and nothing happened. Quelle disappointment! So now I think maybe they're actually little pieces of candy, and this doesn't bother me too much. In fact, as soon as he left for work, I snuck back in the bathroom and brushed my teeth again.
2. I think about future careers.
There's is something about a long stint of unemployment (note: not because I can't get a job, but because I can't work. That sounds dumb, but I am technically 'disabled') that really makes you think hard about ever going back. I mean, what do I really want to do with my life? If plans had gone accordingly, I would have gone from graduation to a job in my field almost seamlessly. And the job I landed was a great job that I would have found challenging and rewarding, and would have made a great stepping-stone. But it was not meant to be, and lately I find myself wondering what else there might be for me. Today I have decided that I can really see myself as being the lady in the casino in a long sparkly gown giving out those oversized novelty cheques to the big jackpot winners. I don't know how well it would pay, but my guess is that it must pay at least a little more than sitting at home and writing blogs all day long.
3. I take walks.
Well, I used to anyway. This week I've been doing a lot of sitting because I have another blood clot in my leg. Yup, I'm only 23 and I've got my second clot in as many years, so apparently things are serious enough to restart the process of doctors trying to guess what I have. But for now I'm just doing the baby aspirin thing, because I have to clear things up with my surgeon first, and I keep getting more bad news on that front. But anyway, my leg is swollen and very sore, so I would need a cane to do any significant walking, and significant walking is discouraged since a blood clot could dislodge and shoot into my heart or brain. And I'm pretty sure that's not much fun. If I do get a cane, I'll have to wear a big floppy hat with a feather in it, and play 70s porno music everywhere I go for comedic effect. Otherwise it would just be sad and pathetic, and I am so tired of being sad and pathetic! So I haven't been for a good walk in a while, which means all the old ladies on my street are more bored than usual. You see, I live in the middle of Seniorsville, and every time I leave my house, I feel old eyes on me. They are peeking out from behind their curtains, or not bothering to conceal themselves at all out on their porches. They know when I leave, and when I return, how long I was gone. And they keep notes and discuss it amongst themselves. Sometimes I try to sneak out so when they eventually see me returning they'll all fly into a panic, and just knowing that can be the most exciting part of my day. It's even better if I can come home with bags filled with unidentified objects, the contents ambiguous but suggestive. And the best was in the summer when I used to go outside barefoot (barefoot!), man, what a scandal! We would turn up the Beastie Boys, play games, chase each other around the yard. It was so much excitement for the old fogeys that they all had to go to bed much earlier than usual for a while, and yet they hate to because we often go out for drives after dark, and they'd hate to be out of the loop the next day. So by this point of my indoorsiness, they might all think that Jason has killed me and stuffed my body in a closet or something. They're probably sniffing around, trying to detect the odour of decay...gosh, I hope their hearts can take it!
4. I clean some random thing.
My house is always tidy. Well, almost always. But there is always something I can tear apart and reorganize, and that is something I just loooove to do. It used to be my passion only during exam time. Man, if I had a paper to write or a final to study for, you can bet your ass that I knew where all my pens were! And I would categorize the stuff in my closet by colour (which looks neat but isn't very practical). Now I don't have to wait for exam time to get down to business, I can do it any day. There are certain areas of most homes that can always be tackled in the event of a sudden urge to clean: your husband's sock drawer (is it just me or do men have some sort of genetic inability to roll up their socks?), the cupboard where you put your pots and pans, the drawer where you put your makeup, and the infamous junk drawer. Sadly, I do not currently have a junk drawer since I do not currently have any junk, or any spare drawers, but I do have an additional space that I adore organizing: my artsy crap. It's more than a drawer, it's a whole half a storage unit that's massive, floor to ceiling. In it, I have a bin full of scrapbooking supplies (stickers, markers, glues (hot, white, stick, glitter), cut-outs, foam shapes, felt letters, and all kinds of other stuff that I am equally embarrassed to admit to. I also have wrapping supplies, because I believe that any gift is automatically 10% if you wrapped it real pretty. I have all kinds of gift bags, and wrapping papers, ribbons, cellophane, and tissue paper and curls and tags and bows. I make my gifts look so good that the leftovers of my wrapping supplies become my mother's scrapbooking supplies. I also have stationary (I am maybe the last real-letter writer left of my generation), thank you cards, boxes and boxes of photos, because I never have enough photo albums, decorating stuff like crepe paper, balloons, construction paper, and of course paints, and chalk, and about a medium-sized forest's worth of paper in all shapes, sizes, and colours (although I have yet to see the pink trees where these are coming from!). So that's always an organizer's dream to dig their hands into, and a good hour's worth of really hard work. Hurrah!
5. I clean up after my nosebleeds.
Now, up until the year 2001, I had had exactly 1 nosebleed before in my entire life. And it was given to me by my youngest sister, Jan, who was sitting with me in a cardboard box (we were ages 2, and 8, respectively), and I was making such realistic car noises that she was squealing with joy, and she threw her head back to let out a tremendous giggle, and crack went my nose. Of course, being the eldest, my Mom probably yelled at me for letting someone crack me in the nose, and that I should have known better, and I should be setting the example. But that was it. And then something happened in 2001 that caused on onslaught of nosebleeds that I would not wish on my worst enemies. Sadly, I have become accustomed to waking up in a pool of blood. I have certain shirts designated 'nosebleed shirts' (although admittedly many of these are shirts that Jason purchased before he met me, and were at some point going to meet a violent fate). So by the end of any given day, I probably will have bled somewhere, and blood is a real bitch to get out of EVERYTHING! So I use the stain master at Tide.com on a fairly regular basis, and this actually probably takes up more time in my day than even brushing my teeth!
6. I dispense some sort of advice.
Everyone eventually comes to Jamie for advice. Friends have broken hearts, or crappy jobs, or annoying parents, and even if I can't help, I can always listen. And that's cool with me, I mean, I did go into psychology, right? Obviously I have some sort of aptitude for this, and since people keep coming back, I gotta believe it's not just for those brownies with the Bailey's Irish Icing that I make. Plus, now that I can't really leave the house, I'm readily available! I can't even get away if I want to!
7. I read and I write.
On the reading front, I always have a book on the go. I have a list going of all the 'classic' novels that I want to read, or at least feel I should read, and I am slowly making my way through it. Because I have a bad memory for the things I've read, I now write a synopsis when I've finished a book. So far this year, I've read 80 of the books on my list (but quite a few others that don't deserve to be on the list, but sometimes you just need a crappy pop-culture book to cleanse your palette after the likes of James Joyce!). Jason thinks I read just to feel superior to him (he started 2 books this year, and will never finish either of them). That's complete bull though, because I read to feel superior to almost everyone. Just kidding. I just like to read, and Jason shouldn't complain, because it took him all of 1 hour to read the synopses of Charles Dickens, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Homer (Homer!), Gogol, Thomas Hardy, Nathanial Hawthorne, ...well, obviously I could go on X 80, but you get the picture. He sounds snotty without having done the work, so why is he complaining?
On the writing front, well I have lots of things on the go. I started this blog thing in October, and I think it's funny that anyone should ready this stuff. I also have a personal journal that I only wish I had started much much sooner, because it's really funny to look back on your own history. I have 5 books of my own poems, a guided journal that I'm constantly working on, plus I write a tonne of letters and emails almost every day. And I have a lot of unfinished stories that I add to when I can't sleep. And I have 2 lists that I am constantly working on, the first being 'One Million Things that Bother Me', and the second being 'One Million and One Things that Make Me Smile' (I always want there to be more goods than bads!). The first hundred items were a breeze, but it's hard to keep it going. Currently, I have 2126 items on the first list, and 4789 on the second. Maybe some day I'll post some, because Jason says they're always good for a laugh.
8. I cry.
Finally, no day is complete until I've bawled during Oprah. I never really watched Oprah until a couple of years ago (probably when Rosie went off the air), and I still don't NEED an Oprah fix, but if she's on and I'm around, I'll watch. And odds are, I'll cry. I'm a crier. I cry all the time, at books, at commercials (especially those touching Bell commercials they haul out around Christmas time), at my friends' problems, at my frustrations (particularly when making pie crust), really just whenever. It's like I'm pregnant, except I'm not. Whoa there: do not, I repeat, DO NOT start spreading that rumour!
So there you have it, I am a deceptively busy girl. So go on, get out of my hair!