30 December 2011

there and here

A week passes more quickly than I would have thought possible: a few parties, a few conversations, a few laughs, and it is time to get back on a plane.

I am home.

I am going home.

I'm never really sure.

This is the first time I have had anything but negative feelings about returning to Universe City.

My mom and sister and I laughed until we couldn't breathe over things that no one else would think are funny. This is the problem when people talk about sense of humor: it is so unpredictable. What I think is hilarious is often only funny to my mom and sister. The three of us are a sight when we start laughing together. We fall over laughing, clutching our stomachs, silently shaking because we cannot get air. This week I wondered what happens if you pass out from laughing too hard. I assume you stop laughing once unconscious?

Some of my favorite people on earth made it here or I made it there to spend a few hours together this week. My little nephew laid on my stomach playing his leapfrog this afternoon. I tossed both kids over my head onto the couch. "They like us!" my sister and I exclaimed, after we left.

But then there are parties tomorrow night back in Universe City, and my own own bed, and my little car, and a routine into which I fit.

My heart is forever here, and forever elsewhere.

29 December 2011

driving directions

One of the things that I most appreciate about driving in the Mitten is how far ahead the signs warn you of what comes next.

A sign that says "lane ends; merge left" in State of Happiness means, "if you have not already moved left, you are about to be run off the road."

The same sign here in the Mitten means, "think about getting over sometime in the near future, but don't worry, you have time."

State of Happiness firmly believes that you should already know where you are going. If you don't, why are you here? Also, can you pronounce the names of key rivers and towns? Because if not, well, we wonder about you. Not to be rude, but maybe you'll want to go back where you came from. We have so many new people here already, since they heard we were cool. We are a little overwhelmed.

I am a newcomer myself, of course. I am part of the problem.

28 December 2011


Again with the late night and the lights, but this time not alone. The baby went to bed hours ago, and T. and I are talking through the big and little issues of life: friendships and economics and, of course, boys.

We've been doing this for almost fifteen years, since the days when we led bible studies in the dorm together.

Sitting here now, we can't quite remember what we talked about then. There were seldom boys in the picture. (I don't know why; we were hot!) We talked, back then, about our families, our classes, our ideas, our life crises. We think. We talked about justice.

We've come a long way since then. We are wiser and calmer.

And yet, we've lost something, too. We've lost the simplicity that these issues used to have, and the earnestness with which we addressed them.

I'm not sure whether that is a net gain or loss, but I also don't think I would go back.

27 December 2011


Every year I end up, at least once, sitting alone in the dark with the Christmas tree. I should go to bed earlier, but it is one of my favorite moments of the year. The lights are beautiful, and the house is quiet, and I can think.

Some years I write. This year, my journal is too far away, off downstairs, but Webster is right here, and so I am writing here.

Every year I wonder what will be different the next time I sit in the dark with the Christmas lights, and what will be the same.

I am wondering that right now.

26 December 2011


The bad thing about coming back to the Mitten three times in five months is that I have absolutely no vacation time left for anything else. I have no vacation time for this trip, frankly, but I am here anyway.

The good thing, though, is that my nephew and niece are no longer afraid of me. It was so sad in August when it took them days to accept my presence and they never really liked me.

I threw them in some leaves in October, and that won them over.

Now they will climb all over me, and even let my parents leave the room without horrific screams as if being left with me is the worst fate imaginable. The little one will just turn up nestled in between me and the back of the couch when I'm trying to take a nap.

I like those munchkins.

25 December 2011

Christmas, day 1

Today is the beginning of Christmas. I know that it is supposed to be the beginning and the end, but we don't play that way. We stretch out our celebration as long as feasibly possible. And since my sister just arrived in the Mitten on Thursday and I on Saturday, we have a long way to go.

My blond-haired sister is pretty.

She forced me to say that, on pain of death or dismemberment or denial of access to those almond cinnamon rolls she has planned for tomorrow morning. Or something.

But she is also pretty.

We determined that today was our Christmas Eve. We baked. We frosted cookies (I won't even get into details about how we ended up putting two chocolate chips on the chest of a gingerbread woman - there are no adults here).

In the morning, the kiddos will show up for our annual Christmas breakfast, and we'll go to a party, and it will be the real first day of Christmas.

Although we did get a good start today on eating ourselves sick. So there is that.

24 December 2011

sales pitch

Note to the guy trying to sell airline credits cards in the Gone West airport: while flattering, telling me that "the only people who qualify are really cute young women... And you qualify!" will earn you a smile, but not a sale, thank you very much. (And I would have smiled as I said no even without your borderline creepy attempt at a compliment. It's only polite.)

23 December 2011


I've never really understood the fight to keep Merry Christmas and only Merry Christmas as the December greeting.

Merry Christmas is nice, when you celebrate Christmas. I get a little thrill out of saying Merry Christmas, because that means that it's almost Christmas, and, for me, Christmas is one of the most beautiful, enjoyable times of the year.

But I also realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas. And why should they? They aren't Christians. It's only fair that if someone celebrates another holiday, they should get to be wished happiness on their holiday, too. Why should Christians (or people who celebrate Christmas) have a monopoly on happiness on holidays?

In a place like the community I grew up in, back in the Mitten, it's okay to wish most people Merry Christmas.

Here in Universe City, many people don't celebrate Christmas. Why would I want to wish someone a Merry Christmas when it means nothing to them? It's like wishing someone a happy Wednesday on Tuesday. It doesn't mean anything.

Since there are other holidays around this time, it makes sense to me to be more general. Why would I assume that someone celebrates the same holiday I do?

I know that there are people who get very upset at the idea of not saying Merry Christmas, like something is being taken away from them. And maybe it is the traveler in me, but I don't get it. Why should the fact that someone else has a holiday take away from mine? Why should treating someone else with respect hurt me?

22 December 2011

Cookie Count

For the last five* or so Christmases, I have had to institute a Cookie Count for all days around the holidays that are not actually party days. Party days are exempt.

A Cookie Count is exactly what it sounds like: I make a little tick for every cookie I eat in a given day. It starts to get scary sometimes. I can eat a lot of cookies. When I have to make a cross-tick and then start on the second set of five, the day is just a complete loss.

The Cookie Count is not, strictly speaking, a weight-management tactic. It's more of a sugar-management tactic. I am not a doctor, but I can only surmise that adding half a cup or so of sugar to your body every day for the month of December is not that healthy.

Most years, my cookie consumption goes like this:

I'll just have one cookie here after lunch.

Hm, that was good. Maybe one more.

I haven't had an orange-frosted one yet.

Oh! Those three were all Very Good Icebox Cookies! I haven't had an almond one yet!

I'll just grab one more - or maybe two more - almond cookies on my way back to work. It's better to end on the almond flavor.

And that's just lunch, never mind post-breakfast snack, mid-morning snack, pre-lunch snack, mid-afternoon snack, pre-fighting class snack, post-fighting class snack, and bedtime snack.

You see the need for a Cookie Count.

So it's very strange that this year I have had almost no need at all for a Cookie Count. I've eaten plenty of cookies when I brought them to parties, but only a few on my own. In fact, I have had to remind myself to bring a cookie along for morning snack these last few days, because otherwise they are going to end up going to waste.

It isn't that I don't like cookies. I like them fully as much as I always have. I think there are actually two things going on. First, I have finally reached that age where eating all the junk food you want to eat no longer feels good. (TRAGEDY.) Second, I am way way too busy to sit around my house eating cookies.

I feel kind of lost without my Cookie Count. And furthermore, I feel much too old. This self-control thing is totally overrated.

* Prior to the last five years, I just ate all the cookies I wanted.

21 December 2011


I'm having an evening of inertia, the kind where I sit glued to the couch because in getting up I would inevitably start the chaos of doing all the things that need to be done before I head to Michigan.

I always kind of figure that I don't have to feel guilty about evenings like this if I started the evening with fighting class.

I remember from last year how the class dwindles in the week before Christmas. Everyone is off traveling or at parties, and so the instructor ditches the weekly scenario and we do knife fighting instead.

Knives are harder that you would think. I fully forget how to use them between every class that we have. You have to stand the right way, and move the right way, and hold the knife the right way, and it's not all intuitive. The result is always the same: tired legs and tired shoulders.

And by now we all should know that tired, when used with regard to fighting class, means quite painful. Somehow even now, 16 months into taking this class, I still find myself, some mornings after class, looking at the stairs up to my office in horror. I have to lift my legs high enough to walk up those?

20 December 2011

over yet

In my head, Christmas has already started. I have purchased presents. The tree is glimmering over there in the corner. There are cookies in the freezer.

So why why why is this week plodding on so slowly and normally? Isn't it over yet? Can't I get on a plane and fly to see my momma yet?

I cannot quite wrap my mind around all the boring everyday things I must do. I do them, of course, because they must be done, but they feel like an intrusion.

More of life should involve just sitting and being: staring at Christmas lights, talking about life with a good friend, stopping for chai on the way back to work.

More of life should be like Christmas.

19 December 2011


I was walking back from picking up my new contacts, right at dusk, when a man walking ahead of me turned around and asked me where he could find the nearest pub.

He was carrying a leather briefcase over his shoulder, and bulging bags in each hand.

After I directed him two blocks over to the two pubs I could think of and then called him back to say that there was a restaurant with a bar just around the corner, he said, "I really want a cocktail, not a beer, but I couldn't think of anywhere else to go."

He nearly ran to catch back up with me.

"I'm not weird," he said.

"Oh, I'm not worried," I told him. "I do kung fu."

"Are you carrying everything you own?" I asked him.

"No," he said, "but I soon will be. I'm going through a divorce. 21 years. We have two kids. They are 20 and 16, and they are doing great. I'm not doing so well. My friend is supposed to come pick me up, but I didn't like where I was waiting."

I left him at the entrance to the merrily lit restaurant with colorful lights hanging over the empty outdoor tables. He set down one of his bags to squeeze my right hand in his left.

"Thank you," he said.

18 December 2011


I just spent the evening fighting with a virus on my computer, because nothing says relaxing evening like downloading malware removal software.

Fortunately, I have Webster, my friendly iPad. Most of the time, he is an indulgence. I don't actually need an additional computer-type device, and I'm developing an obscenely 2011 habit of watching Fringe on my computer (downloaded) while playing Scrabble or playing on the internet on Webster.

Today, however, he was supremely useful, because I could read about how to fix my computer while my computer was not functioning. Mere hours later, both computer-type devices are working again, although I am suitably chastised for my prior refusal to pay for anti-virus software.


M. and I were worried about having enough food to feed the people we had invited to our party and so we kept buying more and more yesterday, in two trips to the grocery store. As a result, we have enough left-over food to feed a small army. An army the size of a soccer team, maybe, if they were really hungry. A large family, at least.

There are two unopened containers of hummus in the fridge, and I have three jars of cookie butter. It's disturbing, actually, that there is so much food in our house that will probably go to waste, since neither of us intends to host anything else any time soon. I think I'm going to have to bring it all to the ravenous hordes at work.

You know how workplaces are. Food just disappears.


I am experiencing that Sunday night moment when you wish you had gotten up earlier in the morning because it's past bedtime now, and you are not remotely tired.

party on

Sometimes throwing a party is exactly what you need. Not just for the result, which is conversation with interesting people, but also for the process of getting ready.

M. and I spent the day shopping and cleaning and baking. Such simple, basic tasks, putting together food for friends, but they were exactly what I needed right now. I needed to scrub the sink. I needed the whir of the vacuum. I needed to roll the dough into balls. I needed something that did not require thought.

And then I needed the bustle of a full house, of friends who came to me. One year and four months after I moved to this silly town, it's nice to know that I have friends who will come to a party. That, and it's just nice to see them.

16 December 2011


I took a load of party goodies out to the car, and came back inside for another. My arms were piled high with cookie trays and cookie containers as I walked out the door.

There are about six steps down to the decking that constitutes our driveway, and I only made five of them.

The cookie containers landed face-up on the decking, and I landed on my knees. My knees hurt.

I was running a few minutes late (I got to the party 4 minutes late), so I salvaged the cookie containers, packed up the car, and went to the party. It wasn't until I unpacked the cookies that I realized that some of them had cracked into pieces from the fall, even though they had not fallen to one side of the container to crumble.

It wasn't until even later that I realized that I had to pull my tights away from my knee to detach them where blood had stuck them to my one scraped knee.

The last time I recall doing exactly this, I was eight and carrying my baby sister. She was fine. I still have the scar.

15 December 2011

holiday break

I firmly believe that adults are being cheated. I need a holiday break. You need a holiday break. Everyone needs a holiday break.

I have some friends who are affiliated with schools, and they are all finished or just about finished until next year, while the rest of us trudge on to work every day.

I am clearly in the wrong profession.

In my head, it is already Christmas, and I should be resting and enjoying festivities.

I just wish the rest of the world would catch up with me. Everyone should have two weeks off at the end of December.

14 December 2011


I take a break from the overwhelmingly large number of cookies I am frosting to tell you the following interlinked stories:

A couple of days ago, I somehow brushed against wood that deposited about eight or ten tiny splinters at the bottom of my right pinkie. They were too small and soft to get out with tweezers and I could not manipulate a needle with my left hand, so I had to leave them until they got inflamed enough that my body pushed them toward the surface and I could just squeeze them out. I got the last ones out this morning.

The whole situation reminded me of the jiggers we used to get in our feet in Liberia. (I am not even kidding. That is what they are called, even though it sounds off, somehow.)

One of my parents would sterilize a needle and dig them out of our feet, which didn't really hurt much, in my opinion, but my brother went through a stage where he would not allow it to be done. In the end, we (I say we. What I mean is: my mom) took him up to the ELWA hospital to have a jigger surgically removed.

The ELWA compound of my childhood memory is all little white houses on a road leading to the beach. We were staying in the guesthouse, and after my brother's surgery was finished, the doctor sent him back to the guesthouse to recover.

I think they actually put him under. It took him a while to wake up.

R. was sleeping on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds when my mom decided to leave to go get something. She left me alone with him.

Since we left Liberia when I was 10.5, I assume that I was 9 or less at this point, and R. was 6 or less. For some reason, I think he might have been five. Or, um, three. Or I don't really know.

While our mom was gone, R. started waking up. He was incoherent and thrashing, and I remember bracing my feet against the floor and my back against the bed to keep him from falling out. It seemed like forever before mom came back, even though it was probably only a few minutes, and I felt this great sense of responsibility for making sure that he was okay.

13 December 2011


I promise that I am not the Grinch Who Stole Christmas (I baked cookies! I decorated! My roommate and I are throwing a party!), but I really dislike the majority of Christmas music that is played on the radio. I actively seek out the non-Christmas stations, which as we get closer to Christmas is harder and harder, and that results in my radio more and more often being tuned to dance music at unearthly hours of the morning. No self-respecting party music station plays Christmas music, but party music is also rather jarring before 8 am.

I would pay good money for a radio station that only turned to Christmas music on Christmas Eve after 5 pm.

12 December 2011


I don't like what I wrote on here yesterday.

I don't like it because it broke my cardinal rule of writing: the only person you can make fun of is yourself.

I have edited it to be gentler and truer, but I can't find a way, as tired and late-at-night as I am, to reflect what I really meant, which is that I have a great fondness for the very different varieties of people of Universe City, and sometimes they make me laugh, but what I am laughing at is not them, but the interaction between the smallness of my life and the differing smallness of theirs. Great humor can result from that clash.

I still don't like it, because I don't think that woman would think my comment about not being back was funny.


Some things that I never can remember:

1. Whether or not there is almond flavoring in my house. (I currently have three bottles of almond flavoring and two of coconut.)

2. Whether or not there is money on my coffee shop card. (Every single time I order coffee, I say, "I don't know if there is money on here," and every single time my coworker points out that I say that every single time, and there is always money on there.)

11 December 2011

this is universe city

I went to the holiday market with a friend yesterday. It was full of locally made products to buy for friends and family. B. and I wandered around for an hour or two, looking at whatever caught our eyes.

I bought adorable presents for my nephew and niece, and at some point I went over to look at a rack of earrings.

The purveyor of the shop, after an exchange of pleasantries, said to B. and me, "I saw eternity once. It was amazing."

I just continued looking at the earrings, leaving B. to deal with the fallout from that comment. I think he said something like, "That must have been fascinating. How did that happen?" because then the woman started talking about the combination of (natural!) South American drugs that brought about her epiphany.

Her friend came over to her, put her arm around her, and said, "We're really glad she came back."


I do kung fu, or I used to, before my knee stopped me, but I have never seen a kung fu movie, and so after the scheduled feature this evening, S. queued up a kung fu movie.

I promptly fell asleep, and when I woke up an hour later, all I could do was go home to bed.

Someday I will watch a kung fu movie.

10 December 2011

little box

When I came home, right at 5, the mail carrier was outside his truck, doing something to our mailbox. I paid him no mind. (I realized just now that I am only assuming the mail carrier is a man. I have no idea. I did not actually see the shape of the mail carrier because it was dark and I was coming up over the scary rise that is the entrance to my street. In fact, I have never actually seen our mail carrier.)

After a Friday evening out, I came home late and found out why the mail carrier was out of the truck: he had to wedge a little box into our mailbox.

The little box was addressed to me! I was excited, because I was not expecting anything in the way of a package.

Inside was a card from my friend D., in New York, and two boxes of Maggi Cubes.

D., you are awesome.

And the Maggi Cubes were held in place by pages of the New York Times. Especially now that the Times costs money to read online, money that I cannot seem to get around to paying, even though I theoretically am not opposed to the idea that news costs money, I more or less just stopped reading it.

Don't think I am above flattening out those pages and reading them.

08 December 2011


The internet seems to be full of people writing about hair today.

Let's talk about hair.

Disclaimer: I can't really presume to talk about any hair but the kind I have.

I possess some seriously stereotypically white people hair. It is dark blonde, almost brown, unless it is highlighted, and right now it is as long as it's ever been, which is approximately down to my boobs. You are welcome for that visual image. (Weird and random thing about having hair this long that I never knew until I had it: it can get caught in your armpit. Again, you are most welcome.)

I like my hair this long. I think it suits my face. When my hair is shorter than this, it can tend to get larger and make my face look too round. The weight of it when it is long helps keep it from getting unruly (in the sense of random little pieces sticking off in their own directions). My hair takes a lot of shampoo and conditioner, but it doesn't need to be cut very often, so I figure that is a fair trade.

My only real hair issue is that, growing up, I always wanted dark curly hair, like my mom's. I still kind of do, although I think darker hair wouldn't really fit with my skin color.

A while ago, I mentioned to my dad that it bothers me a little to have long hair because of the connotations. Long hair is perceived as feminine, which has both positive and negative repercussions, and I'm not sure I like either set of them.

Women with long hair are taken less seriously in a professional context, I think, because long hair is girly.

Women with long hair are taken more seriously as dating prospects, I think, because long hair is girly.

Part of me wants to just chop it off, to spite the stereotypes.

My dad pointed out that, for most women whose hair does grow long, it doesn't grow long forever. At some point, hormones change, and women's hair will no longer grow as healthily as it used to do. I might as well enjoy having long hair, he said, while I have it.

Which is true, since I do like my hair.

But then I read again about all weight of expectations that fall on women because of their hair, especially black women, and I get annoyed all over again, and I once again want to chop my hair off in protest.

I have no right whatsoever to talk about hair of a type that is not mine, and I'm not going to, and I know that there are a million issues that play into this that my occasional reading on the issue cannot begin to address, but for what it's (not) worth, here is the perspective of one white girl who grew up in Africa and has seen a lot of hair on people from Africa and of African descent: I think natural hair on black women f-*^%# rocks.

07 December 2011


One thing I need to do, soon-ish, is buy a real winter coat. I do love my KLM flight attendant coat, and it is generally perfect for the mild winters of the Pacific Northwest, but it does not hold up in temperatures anywhere approaching 32F/0C degrees. I shiver, in fact, to the point that if I have to walk around or conduct a conversation outside in near-freezing temperatures, I cannot stop my whole body from shaking.

I've been inside now for half an hour, and I'm still chilled to the bone.

The funny thing is that earlier today, when I was scraping the frost off my car in the morning, I thought smugly of how this weather they call cold out here isn't that bad - I didn't even need to button my coat!

Oh, life. How it loves to mock me for my hubris.

06 December 2011


I like Tuesdays. They might be my favorite day of the week, other than Fridays. Fridays have an advantage because they end with some freedom, but Tuesdays are nice, too.

I like Tuesdays because they are relatively slow days at work, so I can catch up from Monday.

I like Tuesdays because I don't have fighting class in the evening, so I have several whole hours to do whatever I want.

Probably most of all, I like Tuesdays because one of the bakeries in town makes a swiss cheese and red onion bread on Tuesdays, and I'm developing the habit of stopping by there for coffee or lunch, buying a loaf of bread, and sitting in the bright little annex for a few minutes.


05 December 2011


I was just talking to my friend D. about eggs. She likes them. I don't.

Well-cooked is the only way I can handle eggs. They gross me out a little.

Eggs are useful. They are great in baking. I like them as a contributing factor to things. It isn't that I can't touch them, or that I don't use them.

And when I lived in Rwanda, omeletes were one of the few non-goat foods I could reliably get, and they had protein, too. I ate an omelete "bien cui" many a day.

Then I went to Liberia in 2006, and the eggs tasted off. Many people said they could not taste this, but I could. They tasted tinny. I could even taste it in baked goods.

But my slight distaste for egg goes back well before 2006. It may, in fact, be directly related to that one time as a kid in Liberia when we took an egg out of the fridge, broke it, and found inside a perfectly formed dead little chick.

Did you know that eggs turn into chickens?

Well, obviously.

Yet my mom, all through my teenaged years, told me over and over that THESE eggs, the ones we buy in the States, cannot turn into chickens, due to lack of fertilization.

But it turns out that once a kid has buried an unborn baby chick in the back yard after it died in the cold of the fridge, it is hard to convince that kid, or the woman she becomes, that eggs do not turn into chickens.

04 December 2011


I have been known to watch tv while reading a book, chatting with people online, and catching up on Scrabble games on my iPad. This level of multi-tasking means that I am practically no longer capable of doing one thing at a time. Not that I ever could do one thing at a time.

This one time, in Kenya, I went to a conference where we all took a test about our learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, auditory. I scored approximately a seventy billion on the V and the K, and about a 4 on the auditory. (Although I have since realized that I probably could do better on the auditory if I ever needed to, but I never needed to, in school.)

The result of this, according to the presenters, is that in order to process information that comes in on the lowest scoring style (i.e., auditory, for me), we frequently have to go through one of the other styles. Which pretty much explains everything about my life: why I listen better when I play sudoku, why I wrote so much during college classes, why I fidget in concerts, why I roll napkins or fiddle with silverware or light my fingers on fire with the candle when I am sitting at a table in a restaurant.

It isn't that I'm not listening, it's that I am listening, and the fidgeting makes me remember.

03 December 2011

nothing doing

This girl tried to cut me off in traffic today in Gone West and I didn't let her, so she flipped me off and I laughed at her.

That pretty much sums up my day.

Between the Cultural Event and a very early morning start on the drive to Gone West, I was operating yesterday on less sleep than I would have guessed I could possibly tolerate, particularly with a long drive and meetings. I felt sick with tiredness a couple of times, but I just ate more food to try to assuage my stomach pain. (Somewhat effective, right up to the point where all the junk you've been eating makes you feel sick.)

Eight hours last night did not catch me up, but I still managed to keep my place in line in the crazy holiday shopping in Gone West (it's all about the elbows) and finally get those decorations for my office.

I love the days when pretty much nothing can get me down: not realizing that I can't buy those clothes from the clearance rack because I forgot the coupon, not the hypoglycemia of wandering around too long before lunch, not the driving back to Universe City through two hours of fog in the dark on the highway, not even the girl who flipped me off.

02 December 2011


Going to the Ethiopian restaurant in Gone West seems inevitably to result in overeating. It just has to happen. There is so much deliciousness, so many perfectly blending flavors, that I just keep eating and eating.

My roommate in law school and I used to admonish one another to eat through the pain at Ethiopian restaurants. It is just so good.

The dessert place afterward may not have helped, either.

"I always want to get dessert," my friend said, "and no one ever wants to get it with me. They are always complaining that they are too full."

She found the right crowd today. We ordered four rich, nutty, chocolaty desserts for the five of us, and I was responsible for cutting each one into fifths. It is hard to cut round things into fifths, but I managed. By the end, I gave myself the smallest pieces. Not because I was generous. Not because I didn't like the desserts. It was because my distended stomach was far too full.

We have ridiculous problems in this country.

i am getting sleeeeepy

I've gotten in this habit now, and it feel weird to go to bed without adding to the blog (even if it is 1:16 am and I have to leave for Gone West at 6:30 and I am the slowest person ever at getting ready in the morning). (Hi! I am blogging about blogging. Tedious.)

I have mentioned how my roommate works for an organization that organizes cultural events. Periodically she has extra tickets, and I go. Which I did, tonight.

And I was reminded once again how you can't take me anywhere.

First of all, why do they give you a program and then turn the lights down? Words are for reading. I kept putting the program up near my eyes to read about, I don't know, the instrument that person was holding (very expensive, very), and I had to strain my eyes. This can't be good for them.

Second, why is there not enough room to change your leg position without kicking the person in front of you? Am I supposed to be able to sit still for hours? Are there people who can do that?

Third, why would you start a concert of quiet music at 8 pm? That is like asking me to take a nice little snooze. Calming music, soft seats, dark room, evening? That sounds an awful lot like my bed.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I love cultural events. I am full of culture. It's just that it doesn't go so well with my ADHD when the cultural events are so soothing and quiet, and it's a bit of a let-down after a fighting class where the instructor spent the last ten minutes (running over time, making me nearly late for the cultural event) yelling at me to punch the focus mitts harder because he knows I can, and he wants me to do it right.