Try, Try, Try Again.

I realize that I've said this several times over the years, but I'm going to try to be back here more often. And by more often I think I mean... maybe once a month would be nice?

A lot has changed in the three and a half years since I originally conceived of starting this blog. I'm older, for one. The adorable kitten I mentioned in my first, tentative, slightly melodramatic post is now a fully grown, slightly pudgy, diva of a cat who, like most cats, wants her dinner now-god-dammit, even if now is only five minutes after breakfast. That initial post, and several others like it, is now hidden in draft mode, because I need to decide if I think that I want to show the full history of aborted and half-hearted attempts to start and finish something for once, please, just once in my life. I got fired from my miserable job in food service, which wasn't much of a loss but still threw me for an incredible loop because, when the day was done, I didn't know who I was without that place. I spent twelve months unemployed, trying to fight my own anxiety and ADD to get in applications, get through interviews, and finally get the job I'm in right now - a job where I feel appreciated, and occasionally even needed, and where I am valued. Where I work 35 hour weeks standard, and don't have to spend all of my time wondering whether it will be a 45 hour or 80 hour week this month. I finally have the structure I'd always been searching for, and I'm taking advantage of it to build myself a schedule that allows me to actually take care of myself for the first time in... well, probably ever.

Some things haven't really changed much. I still have a tendency to make stock, forget to freeze it, and remember it two months later, when I clean out my section of the fridge. I had nine kinds of cheese in there this morning, too. Actually, I probably could have done a whole "12 Days of Cooking" out of the contents of my refrigerator - and don't think I haven't thought about it. My bedroom is still a mess, mostly because I have more stuff than I can really fit in it. I still fill my car with trash roughly once every two weeks, and I still fail to complete most of the projects that I start.

I'm more mature than I was then. Possibly wiser. Definitely have a more realistic sense of direction to my life than I did in those first, fumbling posts (more on that later, I'm sure) back at what seems like the appallingly young age of 24. I have no idea whether the title and URL I chose back then will have any meaning in the life I'm currently living, but given that I will probably only be able to post on weekends there's always the possibility of relevance. Whether I've reached a point where I can consistently update a blog remains to be seen... but let's try, shall we?

(Hoping to get another post out this weekend. We'll see how that goes. But welcome back, Internets. I've missed you.)



Boston in the early summer absolutely drowns in lilacs. It's lousy with them, the whole Watertown-Cambridge area in which I spend 99% of my leisure time smelling exactly like it's been dipped into perfume. The amazing and truly magical part of it all is that at this point in the year it can be impossible to actually see the blooms, since they're mostly dead and fading. Walking down the street, especially Brattle in Cambridge or, surprisingly, the Watertown walking trail (which runs parallel to Arsenal St for a substantial distance), is like swimming in it.

Is this what I've been missing for the last few years? Is this what I gave up when I started driving to work almost three years ago now? Shame on me. Walking today I got to see historic homes for more than fifteen seconds a piece; saw a wild rabbit, eyes wide and nervous, eating weeds in a front yard; and realized that one house not far away has some bronze sculptures in the front yard that remind me eerily of the Korean War Memorial in D.C.

Did I realize at one point that the defining scent of a Boston summer was lilac? Was it a realization that I'd had before? Have there always been so many people out with pets and kids and significant others and friends on the weekends? (Has it always been so awkward watching a Bostonian try to talk to a stranger? Yes.)

I spent last summer holed up in my apartment trying to get my mind back in order. The summer before that I was halfway between driving everywhere and walking everywhere. (The post below, from my first - abortive - attempt to share my specific kind of joie de vivre with the world, suggests that I felt pretty much the same way about walking then as I do now.) I've missed this.

I feel alive when I walk places, alive in a way that few other things match. (Horseback riding, sailing...) Headphones in one ear to help keep a certain sense of continuity when cars pass or other unnatural noise starts getting in the way, a sense of direction, and the time to not care how long it takes me to get there - these are the ingredients for a good afternoon, for me.

I can't imagine a world in which Boston on Memorial Day doesn't smell like lilacs. Right now I'm sticky with sweat, and the sunburn on my back is juuuust starting to itch. I have a slight headache because my eyes are light-sensitive. All I want is to take a shower and drink ice tea in the dark... and I feel fantastic. Today was definitely a good day, and here's hoping it's one of many this summer.