Friday, January 28, 2011

The Packing Adventure, or Tales of the Winter Move

We're moving this Valentine's Day.

I feel like I should have epic background music for this...
in manner of soundtrack of the Helm's Deep charge in The Two Towers.
I mean, the boxes block out the sun!

Technically, we were supposed to move last December. But since we were renovating the new house, we had some last minute difficulties. So, the new date was 1/14. Oh, did I say middle of January...? I meant, 1/31... Wait, no - 2/4... No, 2/14. Definitely, 2/14. No, really. Because we called the movers and everything. :-P

Boxes Galore

But basically, I wanted to tell you the story, so you understood this important fact: I HAVE BEEN PACKING FOR A MONTH. Gasp!

Things I Learned While Packing

1. I am the Queen of Book Packing. (And yes, books did come first. In case you were wondering.) I can fit more books in one box than anyone else in the family. Muahahahahhaha.

My room - the first victim of my messy packing skills

2. This is not always a good thing....Because sometimes, the boxes I pack are too heavy to lift. Whoops!

3. I may or may not have created an Excel spreadsheet labelled "Shelby's Library.xlsx" that lists each book I own by title, author, and which box I put it in.

4. I currently own at least 248 books. I find this number shockingly low.

5. I do actually want all those (expensive) English textbooks that my mom wouldn't let me donate years ago when I graduated from college. (Don't tell her that, though.)

6. I now dream of bookcases. I used to have one like this...

(Actually, basically, I just left it on the sidewalk, but since it was NY,
the bookcase was gone in the morning.
So, I'm guessing that someone found it and is enjoying it now.)

...but I donated it when I left New York.

Those tiny boxes at the top of the heap are really cute.
I have no idea what's in them.

7. When you share a room with two younger siblings for twenty years, you require an insane amount of toiletries. Like sunscreen I took to summer camp in 5th grade...which expired ten years ago. Like old unlabeled post-braces retainers, which might have belonged to any of us. Like hair gel that my little brother used to make his crew cut stand up circa age eight. (I have pictures, but I am holding myself back. Mainly because that same little brother recently found my blog and asked me about some other pictures I posted here. (Love you, Clint!)).

8. I am not allowed to pack anything fragile. I broke one mug and three wine glasses. Then my mom bought lots of packing paper, bubble wrap, and styrofoam peanuts, and then she shooed me towards the books in the living room.

These are stacked higher than my head, btw.

9. This whole writer thing goes way back. Check out this school project/poster we found in the back of a drawer downstairs. We've dated it back to the first grade.

I won't lie. It made my day when I found this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Brazen Life, or 2011 is going to be epically awesome. :-D

Okay, I know that the definition says brazen has roots in brass,
but I always think fire.
(Maybe because dyslexia runs in my family. Brazenly -> blaze. Totally possible.)

In 2011, I want to live brazenly.

Yes, this is the resolution post. I'm been putting it off again and again. I have my reasons. I'll show you those reasons in a sec. Actually, those reasons kind of explain why I've decided to pick this resolution.

(Disclaimer: in this post, you'll soon see exactly how odd and insane it can be inside my head. Be afraid. Be v. afraid, and maybe even run away while you still can.)

Anyway, in 2011, I want to live brazenly. Unapologetically. With boldness and flair and the kind of wide-open passion that is practically contagious. I want to be vivid and real and bursting with verve. Like that Thoreau dude, who said he wanted to suck the marrow out of life.

Thoreau = The guy that Robin William quotes in Dead Poets' Society

That's what I've been meaning to say for weeks, but every time I sat down to write, these little doubts crept up:
  1. I can't write a resolution post. Everyone has written a resolution post. In fact, everybody wrote their resolution post maybe three weeks ago, and you're just completely behind the 8-ball. (Obviously, I decided not to care.)

  2. Brazenly may not be the best word. I mean, it has a negative connotation.
    1. Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity. See Synonyms at shameless.
    2. Having a loud, usually harsh, resonant sound: "sudden brazen clashes of the soldiers' band" (James Joyce).
    3. Made of brass.
    4. Resembling brass, as in color or strength.
    tr.v. bra·zened, bra·zen·ing, bra·zens
    To face or undergo with bold self-assurance: brazened out the crisis.

    [Middle English brasen, made of brass, from Old English bræsen, from bræs, brass.]

    brazen·ly adv.
    brazen·ness n.
    (But I totally love this word. Just the way it sounds. I'm a sucker for words with "z" in them. :-P)

  3. Unapologetically really isn't the best word either. For one thing, I'm not even totally sure it's a real word. Also, what if people think that I'm one of those punks who never apologize? (But this word has been beating in my head for the past few weeks, right along with brazenly.)

  4. What if people think I have no self-esteem? I mean, if I'm spending a blog post on all my doubts, it's probably not hard to believe that I get paralyzed by them. (But that's just not true. Sometimes, I'm a little too confident. To the point of even sounding very sure when I am completely BSing. For example:

    Me: "No, Mom. Of course you didn't leave your purse in the car."

    Mom: "Are you positive?"

    Me: "Absolutely."

    Mom: "Then what's this behind the seat?" *pulls purse out*

    Me: "Oh. Oops. Hahahahaha."

    And yes, this is a true story.)

  5. [This one happened more recently.] I can't write a blog post about all the voices in my head! People will think I'm neurotic like whoa. (But I'm pretty sure most people I know guess that I'm a little neurotic anyway. It kind of goes with the writer territory.)
It's safe to say that I seriously over-think everything.

But remember the Internal Editor demon? It's like he's come away from the revision desk and started following me around in regular, every day life. He shows up not when I'm doing things, but after I've done them. For example, I'll send an email. Then I'll reread the email, biting my fingernails and wondering, "Why did I have to write that line? That's a stupid line. What if [the recipient] think I'm [insert negative adjective here]?"

So, when I say that I want to live brazenly, I mean I want to gag the Internal Editor. I want to cut through all the chatter in my head (see above) and chart my own course.

I want to be bold. Brazen even. Like these guys:

I'm not gonna be taking up skateboarding or diving off freakishly tall ladders, but I totally want to be the little girl circa 3:46, who can parallel park her training-wheeled bike in one smooth skid. And how cute is her bow? :-P