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 * The new website is going to be another day or two as we work out tiny kinks. It’s pretty damn exciting, though.

* I spent the entire day writing biographies of famous boxers for another web content freelance job. It was surprisingly inspiring to write about a bunch of guys over the last 150 years or so who held a vocation that I would describe as the absolute opposite of having an office job.

I was especially inspired by the story of Jack Johnson, the son of two former slaves and the first African-American to win the World Heavyweight Title.  To read about his against-all-odds struggle against racism at the turn of the century was unbelievable – and I immediately Netflixed Ken Burn’s PBS documentary about him on Ben’s recommendation, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. I’ll tell you how it is.

And, since I like for everything to be about me, I’ll point out that in each and every one of the boxer bios I wrote today, there was this moment in each fighter’s career when they quit their job at the factory/farm/army base/post office and decided to take the plunge and be a professional boxer. Just like that. (I won’t mention that many of their lives ended in heartbreak and financial ruin.)

* My insomnia is getting worse and worse. And although it makes my mornings painful and takes away from my daytime production, I’m enjoying the surreal hours I spend in the dark on my computer, from about 3 AM to 6 AM, scheming and planning. It’s almost as if things are more possible in the middle of the night than in the light of day. It’s like I’ve replaced my literal nighttime dreams with my figurative career-aspiration dreams. I feel like some sort of freelance writer vampire in that regard – the person inside me who truly believes that I can start up and run my own business retreats to a coffin at sun-up, hissing at the light.

* In fourth grade, it was mandatory for everyone to take swimming lessons at the high school pool. I passed everything except for the diving part and, therefore, I failed gym class that quarter. To this day, it’s been absolutely impossible for me to dive into a body of water – something deep in my brain won’t let my body jump headfirst into something. And yes, even my ten-year-old self understood the blatantly obvious and lame metaphor about diving as it translated to my larger life.

* In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
, I’d like to post a link to the speech Barak Obama gave yesterday in Atlanta.

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I’m trying out a new little feature today – a little bulleted entry that’s kind of like a to-“done” list of things that affected my day. Let me know how it goes. Is it too boring, indulgent, or both? Let’s hope for both!

  • I finally walked up to Guy Talking On His Cell Phone At The Gym. I walked up to him and I didn’t say, “Please don’t talk on your cell phone,” or “Your constant cell phone usage ruins my cardio workouts at least three days a week,” or, “The gym is for working your body, not your mouth.” But, no, I walked up to him, looked him in the eyes, and simply said, “CELL PHONE” and walked away. He then made a couple of lame comments about me to his friend but I take comfort in the fact that he didn’t have the nuts to walk up to me and say anything to my face. He’s in the running for a Douchebag of the Year Award, no question (that’s going to be another new blog feature, maybe).
  • I got in separate fights with both of my parents over politics today. I don’t like this. We’re all stubborn, and, although my parents raised me with Southern values, I was raised, geographically, in Boston. You know what that means. I know they’re wiser than me and in a way know better, but I also know that I truly feel and know what I feel and know. Mostly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about these issues with my parents and that I should have restrained myself. Mostly, it’s taking every inch of my will (will comes in inches, right?) not to have BROOD officially endorse Barack Obama in the coming days. We’ll see how this pans out – I also don’t want to bring politics to my blog just like I don’t want to talk with my parents about politics. Kind of.
  • Both of the above points obviously stem from how badly my job has been going since the big merge on January first. I no longer have time to rest or think or even take lunch (or write regular blog updates! Or write in general!) during the day, and the whole time I’m bitter about the fact that I’m working with twice the book list, twice the bosses, and the same exact pay. I need something. I shouldn’t be crying every day when I get home from work and I shouldn’t be lashing out at my parents or even at Guy Talking On His Cell Phone At The Gym, even though I’m somewhat sure he should be shot to keep his chatty genes from being passed on. I just feel very enraged these days. Anyone have New York City job leads? I’ll try anything that involves keeping most my clothes on. I’m serious. I know a few of you will write (maybe both my dad and Ben’s dad) and tell me it’s not so bad, but I also know that if I fill in one more fiscal spreadsheet, I will lose a part of my soul. I need something different. I need to lose a different part of my soul for a change.
  • Being enraged also means being emotional in general. Today I came home from work and found that Ben had cleaned the kitchen. I don’t mean that he simply washed the dishes, I mean that he cleaned even the inside of the refrigerator and, therefore, emptied about a dozen terrifying old leftover Tupperware horrors that have been sitting there for months. These horrible leftovers were so terrifying that I’m not sure I could have done it without crying and jumping up and down a little in that grossed out way. But as you can guess, when I walked into the kitchen after work today I cried. Because I am an emotional wreck with a great boyfriend.

I have been trying for over a year now to synchronize my monthly subway pass with my monthly birth control refill. The plan is just plain genius: two things that I have a tendency to forget about would work together so that I forgot neither. If I tried to get on the subway and found that my card had expired, it would immediately alert me that I needed to refill my birth control prescription. In the same way, if I first realized that I needed to refill my prescription, I would then know to renew my MetroCard.

However, things just aren’t that easy. I feel like I’ve been trying at this forever – and putting in real thought and effort. But life has a way of getting in the way of things I’m trying to do to make life get in the way less. The dream seems very far away now – and the dream of synching these two things up with my rent (Can you imagine! The genius!) seems even more impossible.

Then today, with my subway pass running out weeks before my prescription despite my best efforts and most intricate plans, I realize that I need to move on.  Give up, if you must. And I wouldn’t consider myself the giving up type.

It’s like when I tried for years to achieve an underwear drawer that consisted of 100% matching bras and panties. People in the movies do it – why should it be that difficult? I have many pairs of matching socks and even two to three matching outfits – why shouldn’t I have a collection of cute and coordinated underthings?

But it’s impossible. It’s cold fusion. It’s a wild horse with a free flowing mane that you will never catch or tame.

Basically, it’s math. The elastic on underwear and the stretch on the bras have different life spans! And do you want to throw out perfectly good pair of underwear before their time? Or throw away a well-fitting bra just because its partner in crime lost a well-fought battle against my waistline? Sure, I could purchase bras that are all the same style and color and matching underwear that was all the same style and color (maybe black or white or beige) but that would thwart another impossible ongoing life goal of mine, which is to look cute and different all of the time.

I have to get it through my head so that I can focus on other things: I will never have all matching underthings. I will never have a well-organized Tupperware set – the ones where the lids snap together so you never lose them and so that you can store then easily. I will never buy fruit and eat it all without 70% somehow going bad in the bowl, before my eyes, as if I’m helpless to eat it – not matter how much fruit I buy at the grocery store each week.

I don’t throw in the towel all that often. On a larger scale, I’m pretty sure that I will one day fulfill my career aspirations and become satisfied with my station in life. But these smaller things – these subway pass Tupperware things will never come to be. It’s something I have to come to terms with.

It helps for me to think of people I know who do have these little things under control. You know, those people with the perfect fruit bowls and weekday lingerie sets? They’re always a little creepy, right?

This weekend, if nothing goes terribly wrong, I’ll break the 100,000-hit mark. And somewhat neatly, today is the exact four-month anniversary of the birth of this thing. What I’m trying to say is, thanks for sticking around, people.

What does the future hold? I’m currently working on a new site with a new look and URL. I’ve hired a person with style and computer know-how (two things I’m sadly deficient in) to help me out and soon-ish (I have no idea how long these things take) it should be up and running.

In lame celebration of the big day, here are a few earlier posts that I had fun writing that you might have missed. As you might guess, these are not necessarily the most popular ones.

Although Ben usually writes about mixed martial arts on his blog, yesterday he wrote about a summer we spent playing wiffleball and riding bikes together (no, we were not ten). Here’s to more days like those.

People who read my blog but don’t know us often ask me about Ben and I think he remains a bit mysterious since you only learn about him from my prospective, through my eyes, on my blog. So this is your chance to hear his voice.  

You can read it here.

m&m guysOn the subway platform tonight I saw a woman with a bright, conspicuous, intricate tattoo that wrapped around her foot and leg all the up to her knee. It was of the M&M characters – the ones in the white gloves – huge, of all colors, holding hands and dancing.

Wow, I wonder how many six packs and crack vials went into that choice
,  I thought. Maybe some combination of an unfortunate life phase and a lost bet? Whatever mix of bad judgments and stupid ideas that created this perfect storm of permanent body modification, I’m sure she wakes every morning filled with remorse, the M&M men who once looked joyful now seeming to laugh mockingly in her face.

But then my eyes rose up from her tattooed leg and up to her face. There she was, eating an enormous bag of M&Ms as if they were the best and only true sustenance on earth. Each time she popped some in her mouth, her eyes would close – like seeing and  tasting the delicious flavor explosions of the M&Ms at the same time was sensory overload. It was wonderful to watch: someone who really knew what they loved.

Life lesson: something about not judging people or assuming things. Or possibly something about eating more M&Ms.