A Little bit of Blue Grass, Arnulfo Leguizamo (notes notes) texts from Cambodia, &Mad Men

My Best Friend Teaching the kids English in Cambodia

Today I woke up at the crack of dawn to join my boyfriend, Matt for his shift at his work. Just to clarify, so nothing is misunderstood, I am not working with him, I simply went with him. You’re most likely wondering why in the world I would up at 6:15 in the morning only to sit for hours at The Black Sheep.———–

———-> (Which is a specialty coffee shop in South Saint Paul… I know, I know, South Saint Paul is no man’s land. I assure you that people live here)

The reason why I chose to do this is because we are going to Rochester this weekend and The Black Sheep is actually on the way there. I didn’t want my boyfriend to have to drive 30 minutes back to Minneapolis to pick me and then drive to Rochester after waking up early and working all morning… I try to be considerate.

Here and there.

I’m finding my morning to be not very productive. Thus far I devoured a Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich on a biscuit that had herbs in it. (I think?)

I had the Columbia (Arnulfo Leguizamo) Which is the cup of Excellence Winner. (Notes, Notes, Notes, Notes, Notes, Notes, Notes, NOTES)

My best friend, who is currently in Cambodia doing humanitarian work (you know teaching English, farming, working in Orphanages, using squatty Potties, battling the rats and lizard that want to cozy up next to her at night and taking showers from buckets) Texted me this morning from her i-pod.

When she was in China a year ago (doing the orphanage thing there) she found an app. where you can text people for free from overseas.

It was/is so excellent hearing from her… AND She told me she loves riding in Tuktuks which is a motorcycle type of bike.

She lives life. My little Adventurer…

And… I’ve managed to watch a few hours of Mad Men.

I suppose I was productive in the sense that I ran a some errands for Matt.

I did this because-

1) I love him.

And

2) I love driving his car.

It is much nicer than mine and the deer that haunt the highways don’t like running into his car like they enjoy running into mine.

That’s right, deer run into my car… I don’t run into them.

When I climb into his car the first thing I do is move the seat up as far as possible. I have to in order to reach the gas and brakes.   He is much taller  and my little nubs of legs are not like the stilts that are connected to his ginormous feet.

The only problem about borrowing his car is that I always forget to put the seat back to where Matt has it. The reason why this can be problematic is because Matt can’t even get into the car after I’ve driven it… Most people would be unable to, with the seat tucked up next to steering wheel.

I did bring Homework but i’m not entirely sure I feel like doing it this morning. I need motivation and maybe another cup of that Columbia. I’m just so happy it is the weekend an that I’ll be getting out of town with my favorite person… Mr. Red Beard.

I got a new Job. I work at Blue Ox Coffee… Which is splendid. I feel a bit overwhelmed by everything I have to learn. It is one thing to drink specialty coffee and another to make it… I mean you have to dial the shot in and tamp it not crookedly

(NO CHANNELING)

and after that you have to pre-infuse the espresso and make sure the shot doesn’t

‘channel’

(Did I mention NO CHANNELING?)

and pull it for the proper amount of time… And that’s just the espresso.

I’m happy to learn all this though. It’s an incredible opportunity.

At any rate, I should stop procrastinating and perhaps try to get something done… Like watch another episode of Mad Men.

We are all a bit Grotesque

Have you ever read something and imagery of the words were so powerful that the passage stuck with you for a long time? This past week that is what has happened to me. I read the book, Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson a few years ago. Since reading it, it is something that changed me and has caused me to reflect on my own life from time to time.

 If you have ever read this book you know it is uncomfortable to read. It strips human nature down to its barest form and shows us for whom we really are. The very first chapter in the book is called ‘The Book of the Grotesques’.  Below is a selection from a part of the passage.

The Book of the Grotesques

… In the bed the writer had a dream that was not a dream. As he grew somewhat sleepy but was still conscious, figures began to appear before his eyes. He imagined the young indescribable thing within himself was driving a long procession of figures before his eyes.

You see the interest in all this lies in the figures that went before the eyes of the writer. They were all grotesques. All of the men and women the writer had ever known had become grotesques.

The grotesques were not all horrible. Some were amusing, some almost beautiful, and one, a woman all drawn out of shape, hurt the old man by her grotesqueness. When she passed he made a noise like a small dog whimpering. Had you come into the room you might have supposed the old man had unpleasant dreams or perhaps indigestion.

For an hour the procession of grotesques passed before the eyes of the old man, and then, although it was a painful thing to do, he crept out of bed and began to write. Some one of the grotesques had made a deep impression on his mind and he wanted to describe it.

At his desk the writer worked for an hour. In the end he wrote a book which he called “The Book of the Grotesque.” It was never published, but I saw it once and it made an indelible impression on my mind. The book had one central thought that is very strange and has always remained with me. By remembering it I have been able to understand many people and things that I was never able to understand before. The thought was involved but a simple statement of it would be something like this:

 

   
  That in the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful.

And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them.

It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.

10-10-11 Muddy Waters

It was last night I was asked if I was a vampire.  I walked out of the restroom into the dimly lit interior of the hallway at Muddy Waters. It was there I found two flamboyant gentlemen staring me down. The thought crossed my mind to keep going but of course instead of being sensible, I stopped, turned, and raised my brow.

“We couldn’t help but notice the light was off while you were in the W.C.”

Did the guy think he was British?

The man addressing me was all of 5’ 7”, light sandy blonde hair, dark rimmed glasses, and a beard that would have made a lumber jack proud. His high pitched voice did not match his features.

“Yeah, were you going to the bathroom with the light off?”

The second one addressing me was taller. His feet shifted from side to side as if to compensate for his cumbersome girth. His beard was thinner, ear stretched.

“The light was on, I assure you gentlemen of that,” I said patiently.

“No” came the squealing answer from man one.

This time I couldn’t contain my smile.

“Are you making fun of my albinism sirs? Perhaps I just have good green practices.”

For a moment all was a wide eyed silence and then a noise rose about me as the gentlemen began to laugh.

“You skin really is a luminous color!” The cumbersome one said, a repulsive gasping noise escaped his tiny childlike lips.

“BUT REALLY!” Squeaky said, “We figured you must’ve been a vampire.”

This is my life. These are my encounters. I discovered I am what weird is attracted to. If I was a refrigerator the magnets that would stick to my cold, white hard surface would be the most unconventional characters one would ever hope to meet. Or perhaps they would hope to not meet such people.

I’m the person who finds pink shirted men sleeping in the back seat of my car.

I’m the person who spills scalding hot beverages every time they are placed into my small hands.

Grace is not something I am capable of.

My mother must have known this about me.

I used to beg to be a ballerina. At night I would lay in my small bed and dream of floating across light wooden floors in slippers, white hair pinned up in a perfect coiled bun atop my small head, and my body, bathed in pink. Mother, knowing better and wishing to save in Medical Bills, never enrolled me in those lessons I wanted so badly.

What I am able to handle is awkward situations. I seem to thrive when thrown in the deep ends of that which is unconventional. Most people would cry at the injustice of such oddity. It is the pool I swim in without water wings. Normal makes me feel as though I have need for a life vest.