All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Feeling better, thanks

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I saw an Eastern medicine doctor last Monday to check out my prolonged illness and general lethargy. It’s been pretty disheartening, as you can imagine, to wake up every morning as if I’m wearing rocks instead of springs. I never want to go jogging or hiking anymore and I have to force myself to do so just so I don’t lose the ability to do it (you know, from muscle disintegration). But it’s been far from the joy that I used to feel when I went hiking. So, aside from my crazy barking cough that keeps me up some nights, I wanted to address the lethargy.

Jairan had me fill out a questionnaire and give a lot of information about myself, and then took my pulse a bunch of different ways, ultimately determining that I have a weak spleen. And then she let me check out an acupuncture needle, since I have an intense phobia of needles (which I’m now actively working to get over), and then I said I’d be ok checking it out just for one second. So she put it in, it didn’t really hurt, and then I freaked out and couldn’t deal. So she switched to acupressure, which is the same, but without needles. And then she gave me about a million tiny packets of herbs to take daily, warning me that they taste awful and that I should just take them in a shot glass very fast.

So all last week, I did these herbs and took the Wellness Formula pills she recommended, and, dog gone it, I feel better. Not totally awesome, but better.

So today, I’m going for a hike with Diva for a couple hours. Wish me luck!

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Written by normalslife

January 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm

You say you want a resolution?

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(sorry, I couldn’t resist the gratuitous Beatles reference)

So, here’s how this generally works: I write out some really general 5-year plans, then I struggle through some really far away 3-year plans based on the achievement of the far away 5-year plans, then I write some 1-year plans (again, based on the 5 and 3 year), and then I write some 6-month plans, and finally some 3-month plans, and then I review it all and go, “ok, what did I forget in my Memento-style approach to goal setting?” Usually, it’s quite a lot. In 5 years (2014, to those who want to be surprised by a year that looks very far away, but is actually right around the corner), I am not thinking about how much I’ll owe in taxes, whether I still have this 20 lbs to lose, visiting G’ma before she dies, and stuff like that. I’m thinking in huge generalizations like “have friends,” or “have a good relationship with my family.” But if I worked it from the 3-month out, I wouldn’t ever get to the bigger goals like “Hike the Pacific Crest Trail,” since that requires a lot of foresight that I typically don’t have when thinking of immediate needs…

Which brings me to why I think goals are important. When I’m unhappy with my life, goals give me a hope for the future. Instead of waking up every day and slogging through an endless march of shitty monotony, I know that I’m marching through this shitty monotony to the FABULOUS FUCKING CASTLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MARSH! OOH a castle! But if I didn’t have that castle, I’d just look at the grime on my shoes and mutter about how no one knows the trouble I’ve seen. And also, I usually start wondering why I’m in this monotony and start taking actions –often quite drastic actions– to break the monotony, which sometimes isn’t the best from a long-term perspective. Likewise, when I’m happy with my life, it’s easy to coast through the years without noticing that time is passing, waking up at some later time wondering why I didn’t hike the Pacific Crest Trail [before I lost both my legs in the Revolution/before I got married and had children/while I was still insane enough to try it]. Don’t get me wrong… everything is great with loving the time you’ve got and being present in the moment and just being happy (in fact, Buddhists would say that this is the absolute in enlightenment, and that wanting all these goals and stuff is the path to unhappiness), but I think I’ll be happier knowing that I accomplished many things and had many experiences at the end of it all. I mean, I had to decide far in advance that I wanted to bike the Lifecycle, otherwise I never would have started training in time. And some day, I will want to accomplish things far greater than the Lifecycle that will require training of years, not just months.

So, that’s goals. Or resolutions. Or whatever.

Last year, I totally phoned it in. Those goals down there aren’t goals. Most of them weren’t even things that I cared very deeply about. Not that I’ll have more attachment to my goals that I’m working on now, but you’ll see the behemoth task of goals when I finally finish them up.

Right now, I’ve done up a 5 year plan and a 1 year plan, but I was distracted and people were talking to me and doing yoga and stuff like that, so I missed some stuff. My dad and I are getting together in a few days for more hours of goal-setting. It’s always great to do the goal-setting with my dad, since he’s so ambitious and taught me how to do them in the first place. Also, he’s wildly proud of me and it’s kind of nice to have someone cheering and who I can cheer for.

And as you’ve probably inferred from the manifesto above, you should really work on your goals, too. I’ve got some handy tips about categories and what type of things to include.

Anyways, off to do yoga!!

What is “normal”?

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On this eve of the first of the new year, I get to opportunistically reflect on the things I have, the things I want, and my purpose in life. I’ve always wanted to be “normal” and have a “normal life” (though most people I know would laugh if they heard me saying that, since my life bears little resemblance to the boring slog that most people think of when they hear “normal” — something I think of more as “quiet desperation”).

Ever since I was a little kid, I didn’t fit in. I looked like a boy until I was 9 and had to get into the habit of asking for the “ladies’ room” because service staff always directed me to the men’s room. I was too tall. I had no friends. Kids made fun of me. I wouldn’t wear a “training” bra and ended up needing a real bra earlier than anyone else I knew. Boys would dare each other to ask me out and then run away laughing. I got picked last in any athletic event I was forced to participate in. “Normal” seemed like this unattainable golden state that everyone else existed in… so when I got to pick my name, I decided that, by hook or by crook, I was going to be normal.

And that’s how I got to be “Normal.” And it really fits me, I think, since I have a regular job that I go to every day at roughly the same time. I have fairly un-exceptional thoughts on a day-to-day basis. I’m not very fashionable, but I’m also not notably unfashionable. I have hobbies like normal people: hiking, camping, hanging out with friends, blogging, photography. Yes, some of my hobbies are un-normal: collecting taxidermy, listening to Cracker all the time, modeling for unconventional photos (right), camping in the desert and applying spark to combustibles.

One thing I think I want to look into for the new year is what really *is* “normal life.” I want it… but do I? And what is it to other people? So I’ve set up a Google alert and will set out to figure out what a normal life is. Wish me luck.

The Weekend with Mom : Yucca Valley, Salton Sea, and others

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OK! The time has come for the massive weekend explanation. I find it easiest to illustrate with photos, so I’m linking off to my Flickr set.

Yucca Valley
I have no photos from our visit to Deeze and Annette’s. Their house feels so much like home to me that I don’t even really think to take photos there. My mom and I stayed up late talking to them and it was so nice to see my mom genuinely appreciating my friends.

Pioneertown
Similarly, the photos from Pioneertown really were pretty lame. My mom took some pretty good ones, but she doesn’t use Flickr, so it’s a little hard to get the photos in here without some amount of effort. Plus, she doesn’t read this blog (as far as I know), so I don’t want to give her indication of how to find it.

The Walk Near PioneertownSeusscape
Mom and I went for a walk through the burned out brush near Pioneertown, CA, outside of Yucca Valley. I took some photos of plants and found two cans from when there were pull tabs that pulled off the can! One is a reaaaaly old Coke can and the other is a Coors with a bullet hole in it. I didn’t take photos of those, but they’re sitting in my car in arrested decay.
Bright Orange Flower The Lesson of the Empty Space

The Windmills

A Windmill is Very Tall

A Windmill is Very Tall


On our way down to Salton Sea and Slab City, we stopped off at some of the huge windmills that are in the mouth of the Coachella Valley. I’d never seen the windmills up close, so it was quite a thrill. As you may or may not know, Jetfuel, Connie-Lynne, and I all undertook to build windmills for the Burn this past year, but they actually completed theirs (I did not).

WindmillsWindmillWindmills

Salton Sea
This warrants a large photo:
Dead Fish
Mom and I drove off the main road and down to the Salton Sea shore (no, she didn’t sell sea shells by the shore of the Salton Sea). I was amazed (disgusted?) to find that the whole place smelled AWFUL (truly stomach turning) and it was pretty clear why after about 40 seconds of standing there: the entire shore was covered in mounds of dead fish, fish bones, and bird poo. Really, every gross thing you can imagine was all over the place there. I don’t know how to describe how gross it smelled, but it sure was picturesque:
Salton Sea
Why are all the fish dead? It’s seasonal and based on agriculture in the area. Nitrates and other fertilizer runoff causes a huge algae bloom in the Salton Sea, resulting in a reduction of oxygen in the water. As the algae consumes all the oxygen, the fish literally suffocate in the water, dying by the thousands. They wash ashore and rot.
Acres of dead fishmore dead fish
There were also a lot of birds hanging out:
Another Bird in Flight

Salvation Mountain
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen is Salvation Mountain

Crap. I have to go to work, since my mom needs to use the internet and I need to send a big file.

Also, there was this sunset:
desert sunset

Written by normalslife

November 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm

thoughts from Osho

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Someone commented on the previous post, saying I might find inspiration on his or her blog. What I did find is this:

“When you are different the whole world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world. It is only a question of creating a different you. ~ Osho

Thanks for the insight, my friend!

Incidentally, I spent the last half hour cleaning my room and feel much better. Now, to go take the dog out!! I’m sure this funk will not last my rampant productivity!

Written by normalslife

September 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm

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feeling uninspired

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My room is a total fucking mess. My bills are sitting around unpaid. I haven’t gone to the gym since last Friday. I’m not even sure quite why I’m writing this, but I have some extra time while the coffee is brewing and it seemed like I’m reaching for something… but I’m not sure what it is. I’m not breaking out a whole bunch, so I don’t think I have PMS. I think it has to just be doldrums.

What’s to be done when I feel like this? Is there some magic trick that will make me feel creative and interested and not just troubled and put upon?

Usually when I feel like this, I can battle it with some discovery or new experience… particularly shopping-related. But I’m saving money for Hawaii and Gosh Darn It All, I’m going to Hawaii. So I can’t go shopping (except for grocery shopping, which I guess I still have to do… *sigh*). Or, alternatively, I go do some social stuff, but that mostly involves money, too, so I don’t want to do that either.

Maybe I can discover cooking something new. I made the most awesome pasta with leftover halibut, a ton of garlic, broccoli, and tomatoes. I guess that felt good and interesting… but no one was there to share it with me, so I’m just appreciating my own cooking.

And just like that… AH HA! That’s exactly it… I want to do something nice for someone. Something that they’ll appreciate! I need appreciation.

Work has been pretty unappreciating these days. With one of my co-workers on a crazed power trip and my boss so busy (I love her, but she’s really busy), I don’t get much appreciation from anyone. Maybe I’ll make a presentation that knocks their socks off… or just bring Amy some flowers.

Anyways, at the very least, I have to clean my room, walk my dog, and go to the gym before work, so I have to haul my uninspired ass out the door right now. *sigh*

Written by normalslife

September 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Posted in life

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A short video from Saturday night’s set

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[blip.tv ?posts_id=1274774&dest=-1]
My camera ran out of room right after this song. If you were there, you know that this is nearly the first song (if not actually the first song). It totally killed me, but at least it’s a pretty fair recording and it’s a really great song.

Written by normalslife

September 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm