Thursday, January 29

Hair Everywhere

If you have seen me in the recent present -- you may have realized that my hair is long now. It is approximately 7 inches from the top of my butt crack. I'm enjoying the length; lots of fun things to do with my hair these days AND I have a fantastic blow dryer that makes drying a breeze (ha ha).

But I must admit -- sometimes I hate the hairs themselves. Individual hairs are beginning to invade everything. Once the hair has left the mother ship it is free to roam about the house, the bed, or Tom's undershirts, or socks, or the sink, or the shower wall, or the washing machine, and on and on. I am not going bald. In fact, if all the hairs I find everyday were still on my head, I would not be able to lift it. When we lay in bed Tom has to pat my head in order to keep hairs out of his mouth/eyes/nose. And now all these free hairs are starting to gross me out. It's as if we two are microscopic beings living on a hair brush.

However. I must press forward. 7 inches to the butt crack (which is my end goal (ha ha)); that will probably take me until the end of the summer, or longer. We'll see which comes first: the butt crack or a hair cut.

Thursday, January 22

Midwinter Slump

This is absolutely the most god awful time of year. The excitement of the holidays has come and gone. The excitement of snow has also fled. Now, the days are tedious. The weather sucks ass. The drag of winter extends out into what feels like (and may as well be) eternity. It's no surprise that when people retire and become closer to death they move to some place sunny and pleasant, like Florida or California or Arizona. Who wants to waste the remaining years of their life shoveling snow? Or scraping off the windshield? Or just feeling fucking freezing down to the bone?

Not me. Not you either. Don't lie.

I am currently in the hibernation stage of my midwinter blues. I just want to stay in my house in my bed in blankets and sweaters. And within my house, I don't want to do anything but sleep and eat and watch tv -- with intermittent periods of reading. Some people might call this SAD. Literally. "Seasonal Affective Disorder" is a mood disorder which also has a catchy acronym. Do I think I have it? Who doesn't. (Maybe not snowboarders/skiiers -- they are freaks.) SAD affects most normal people to some degree or another; people who are otherwise mentally picture-perfect during the good time of the year. "Good" being summer or spring or even fall. Basically any time of the year that IS NOT January/February. At least in November and December you have the loveliness of the holidays to cheer you up and surround you with presents and friends and family. In January nothing is going on except MLK Jr Day. Not that this isn't a great holiday representation wise. It's just not a super-fantastic-wish-time kind of celebration.

I think I will maybe buy one of those UV lamps and see if that shakes me out of my hated slump. Go towards the light...

Wednesday, January 21

'Finished' List

You know what I should do?

I should start a list of all the books that I read each year -- because I can't tell you how many times I would like to brag about what a wide and diverse selection of books I have completed and am unable to pull from the dregs of my memory the titles of said books. And that way I can keep track of books I loved or hated or didn't finish. Yes, I will even keep track of the ones I don't finish. I think I'll buy one of those "book journals" in which you write the title, author, and a little blurby blurb about 'your feelings.' What a good idea.

So, go list go.

Tuesday, January 20


That is it.

I am officially done (for this week, at least) with going to the gym. I feel like being lazy and lazing about the bedroom. We're leaving for Las Vegas on Thursday and I just don't feel like working out. When we get home, I'll do better. I'll go every morning and eat right and shape up. But for the rest of this week, exercise is persona non grata. Don't worry -- I'm not giving up -- but weeks and weeks of working out as well as weeks and weeks of a stagnant scale piss me off. So before I hate myself completely, it's time for some r and r.

Monday, January 19

In Bed

All day in bed today.
Skipped the gym.
Opted for sleep.
Breakfast in bed.
A little television.
A little kissing hugging snuggling.
A little laughing tickling loving.
A little sleeping.
More sleeping.
Sunlight in the window.
Sunlight in the bed.
Up just in time for work.

I loathe my laziness.
But I love our bed.

Saturday, January 17

Driving Therapy

I have a family history of driving. If we went on vacation as a family, we drove. Sometimes, on weekends, we would all jump in the car and start driving around -- not really sure where we were going. We'd end up at a lake or in the mountains or at a lake in the mountains. One time Mom and I took a windy road up a mountain, only to become slightly stuck. I was super scared at the time, but we made it back down safe and sound and with a pocketful of hilarious memories. After my senior year the two of us went on a road trip to the west coast. We drove A LOT and it gave us a chance to talk and think and just be. My mom started to teach me to drive when I was about 13. I didn't just jump on the road; I began with backing the car out of the driveway and back in. Then, I progressed to driving on back roads on the way to and from Granny's house. I have been driving for longer than most people, which is what makes me a great driver (no tickets, no accidents -- minor parking lot incidents aside) and what makes me love to drive.Driving is therapeutic, especially at night. The quiet, dark landscape. A good song on the radio. Headlights beaming the way. Little traffic, little stopping. Just speed and constant movement -- that's the key. Whatever may be wrong -- something at work, something at home, something personal -- try going for a drive alone and in darkness. The rolling car allows for thoughts to become still. The mind stops pacing and becomes settled. It settles into, not necessarily "clarity," but peace.

Friday, January 16


We were talking tonight at work about scary movies or scary stories we had heard. It was harmless -- simple exchanges between us to fill the time. And I thought nothing of it; telling them about frightening books or dreams of my own.

But by the time I arrived home, all the things I had heard were lurking in the back of my mind. I wasn't thinking about them directly. The thoughts would slip past my consciousness and then back into the shadows. Tom was not yet home and the apartment was quiet. Still. I tidied up the bedroom. I walked into the closet to hang up shirts. As I reached up my arms I began to feel creepy and exposed. I turned around and looked out at the empty room. Nothing there, nothing to worry about. I held my breath and steadied myself to walk back out to the room and keep my back to the closet. I bent down to throw out the water bottles by the bed and stared at the dark space known as 'under the bed.' I looked over my shoulder to see the closet. Nothing. I threw away the water bottles and then went into the bathroom to organize the clutter on the counter. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, transfixed. Didn't Bloody Mary come out of mirrors? I thought I heard the front door open and close and ran to the stairs. As I peeked over the railing, waiting to see Tom walking up, I peeked over my shoulder again -- just to make sure nothing was behind me. And no one came up the stairs.

Eventually I turned on the TV in order to drown out my own fears and scary thoughts. I'm an adult, am I not? Shouldn't I be brave and think nothing of trivial things like ghosts or zombies? I've always hated being home alone because I get freaked out by the teeniest thing. And the worst thing is that even now, as a full grown human, I feel like a child, afraid of my own thoughts and imagination.

Thursday, January 15

Curious Indeed

I have now seen 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.' And I can sum up the movie in a few words: (don't worry, I won't give anything away) Brad Pitt is good. Cate Blanchett is better. The beginning feels long. The end is beautiful.

I think it's worth it to go see, despite the length. The message (or theme or lesson or whatever you want to call it) of the film seems to be that love is an experience worth having, regardless of the end, regardless of pain, regardless of circumstance, regardless of selfishness. In order to have a full and happy life, we need to open up to new experiences and new people so that we can learn more about ourselves and die, if not necessarily "happy," at least content that we lived life and loved many.

Wednesday, January 14


Well, Tom's job is changing and he will have different days off than me for a little while (hopefully) if not permanently (hopefully not). So, I've got to think of some fun hobbies for me to start up on my days off whilst he's away at work so that I don't a) eat the house; b) sleep away the day; or c) spend all our money. Because, you see, I get incredibly bored without anything to do or anyone to do things with. Here are some of the things I'm thinking about taking up in hopes of continually bettering myself and learning a new skill.
  • a painting class
  • cello lessons
  • piano lessons - again
  • a ballet class
  • pottery

Here are some of the downsides to any of these options.

  • I don't know how to paint and am a horrible artist
  • I do not own a cello and I can't really see how this skill set would produce anything worthwhile for quite some time
  • I already know how to play the piano and I don't think my teeny tiny hands are going to grow in the next litte while
  • I am way out of 'dance' shape -- like WAY
  • I can't think of any negatives, per se, of pottery, just that it was last on the list because it was the last thing I thought of, which must mean something...

Despite the potential shortcomings of any of these choices, I must choose one. Because I must prevent overeating, overspending, and oversleeping, as aforementioned. Of course, maybe it would be best to just lose myself somewhere and write all day. Hmm, I hate it when things change and the inevitability of choice enters the equation once again. Routine can be so comforting - but I guess I should just kick my own ass into gear.

Tuesday, January 13


I hate undone projects around the house. Whether it's ongoing chores or a one-time thing, I can't stand seeing them lying around, mocking me. I have bursts of ambition (usually the day before I actually need to get the thing done) and when the day comes, I will look for any sort of distraction to keep me from doing it. And I really WANT to do them because I want the house to be nice, but I also want to have fun or take a nap or watch tv or go see a movie or go out to dinner...pretty much anything else. Oh well. Here are some things I'm trying to get done this weekend:
  • Unpack books and put on bookshelves
  • Take down Christmas tree and decorations
  • Put up shelves in the garage and fill them with various crap
  • Organize the mail
  • Build the table we bought at Ikea a month ago
  • Do the dishes
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Get a car wash

Hopefully nothing interesting (or uninteresting) will keep me from completion.

Monday, January 12

Ring Ring

Remember the game "Telephone?" You know, where you say something to the person next to you and then it gets whispered around the room and at the end everyone laughs at how much the sentence "I went to the store" turns into "I think you're a whore." Hardy har har.

Yeah, not so much funny as an adult.

I know that gossip is an inevitability. Everyone does it, even those who are the carriers of best intentions. But the problem with gossip is that the only way to stop it, is to STOP IT. Being someone in the chain of misinformation doesn't help the situation -- so the only thing one can do is just hang up the telephone. No chances to right wrongs, no chances to correct any missaid or misconstrued sentences. You just have to be upright and honest and stop.

As a young teenage girl, I totally had a problem with gossip. I loved it; loved to spread it around, loved to hear it, I had to 'know' everything about everybody. But as I matured through my school years, I put it aside. I preferred honest interactions that were uncluttered by unobserved nuances of who or what a person did or didn't do. This isn't to say that I became perfect, I enjoyed (and sometimes still enjoy) a juicy tidbit of information. I'm just saying that when it came to my dear friends, people I truly cared about, I dropped garbagy gossip at the door.

And the thing I hate the most is people who haven't done the same. It isn't 'fun' anymore to play Telephone. The differences get bigger and bigger as the chain gets longer and longer, but it isn't about who wore what wrong color on that particular day, but rather, people's lives and feelings. Entire friendships can be lost on a split-second misheard or misunderstood phrase. Maybe for some people the excitement is worth it, but not for me. So here is my apology to everyone in the world that was ever hurt by gossip; said by anyone, anywhere.

I'm sorry.

Sunday, January 11

I Want It

I want this now.
But I will have to wait.
Don't worry --
My love will not diminish.
Dooney & Bourke
Medium Chiara Bag in Plum
How plumilicious.

Saturday, January 10

Lacking Ambition

I often worry that I'm not doing enough with my person. Like, I should be getting ready to do something uber fantastic, and sometimes the fear that I am not doing -- or not even close to doing that something -- grabs me and renders me useless. I am a classic overachiever; I always take on too many projects, finish few, but do well on the ones I do finish. I worked a full-time job (40+ hours per week) while taking 17 credit hours each semester which made it possible for me to graduate with a BA in English after 2 years. As a teenager I did 2 hours of ballet 3 times a week, as well as play rehearsal, and choir - all while maintaining honor roll status. When my mom was sick my senior year of High School, I added the role of 'mother' to my repertoire to care for my brother. This included transferring him from one babysitter to another on my lunch, picking him up after school, dropping him off at 5am before I had drill team practice, and still keeping up my extracurricular activities like drill team, dance company, theatre, choir, and so on. I can take on a lot of responsibility. And it doesn't kill me -- it only makes me stronger.

I feel like I'm running to live up to the potential that was instilled in me at a young age. And it's not that I resent that feeling, rather, it pushes me. That feeling is what makes me ME. It makes me get out of bed after only 5 or 6 hours of sleep. It makes me work harder than other people. It makes me think faster. It makes me more creative. Most importantly, it makes me reach further and further for that invisible goal line. But I hate the feeling that I'm falling behind. I'm 25. Shouldn't greatness be coming my way already?

I guess all this blah blah blah is coming from a vague mid-twenties crisis. I like my job; it pays well and I love the people I work with. But it does not fulfill my need for "it" (whatever that may be) and I find myself longing for fame and fortune. This year I am supposed to write a novel. I have already started it, but I am scared to keep writing because completion will mean that potential (more like, inevitable) failure is just around the corner. Everyone says, "I want to write a book" but that doesn't mean they have anything interesting to say or that they can write worth a damn. Besides, writing a book seems so cliche, right? The chances of being the next "great" are so slim, models are envious.

BUT. The beginning of the year is the time to cast aside all doubt and plunge headfirst into bettering one's self. I intend to better my writing by writing writing writing and reading reading reading. If I want to be the next "great," I believe that I can will myself to become it. I can do anything, except open my own jars...

Friday, January 9


Here is something I hate:

I'm at the gym and I'm in trekking class. I'm in front of the fan because I get so overheated that I will get sick and pass out if I don't have circulating air on my face. I am running, no, sprinting. And I am sort of gasping for air. Slowly, my breathing catches a hint of stink. The hint eventually turns into a decisive point -- and where is it pointing? To the guy next to me who has apparently passed gas while running full speed.

This is disgusting on several levels. First of all; I am running. I am breathing deeply and each breath feels like it might be my last. Do I want my last breath to reek of ass? Second of all; his farts were super stinky ... like a dead animal. I'm thinking, what is this man eating? He smells like he's about to rot. Thirdly; where is the common courtesy? The treadmills at my gym are upstairs and fans are kind of scarce and the air is hot and muggy. Can he not just a) hold them in or b) at least jog away to expel his disgusting puff?

I admit, I was pretty rude after the first fart was followed by many and I realized that apparently his jogging was compressing his bowels and that he would be releasing gas the entire HOUR LONG class. I started putting my hand up to my face under my nose. I would take my towel and whip the air in front of my face. I would roll my eyes and make a slightly (but really more than slightly) disgusted noise. I would turn my head away in a most determined fashion. I hope he got the hint. The hint being: if you are farting, it's time we were parting. And hopefully he was appropriately embarrassed and will think twice about his treadmill etiquette.

Thursday, January 8

Out and About

Lots of goings on at our house today:
  • Lunch with college roommate
  • Niece's birthday get-together
  • Dinner with out-of-town childhood friend
  • Late-night flick with work buddies

Hopefully I will have time for a quick cat nap...Tom asked me why I booked so much stuff on one day -- but honestly, everything just sort of fell into place this way. It will be a day of catching up with loved ones, gossip, reminiscing, and fun. What better way to spend the day?

Wednesday, January 7

Hilarity in Random Places

What follows is a totally benign conversation between me, my husband, and my sister-in-law on MSN messenger. I was on the laptop and he was at the desktop but we were in the same room. Tasha was at her own house.

Tasha says:
Kellie is going to come down around noon tomorrow so we can go sledding if anyone wants to come
Johanna says:
like, at your dad's?
Tasha says:
or at a real place, cause it was warm and Dad said his hill is deteriorating quickly
Tom says:
Johanna says:
Tasha says:
I commented about my dad's bday a while back and said at least if you are going to lie about your birthday, Go Younger!
Tom says:
Johanna says:
that's funny
Johanna says:
stop that
Tasha says:
What are your plans today and tomorrow
Johanna says:
i went to tai pan with my mom today and i got this great mirror for the living room for $35
Tasha says:
I love tai pan!
Johanna says:
and then we're going to see a movie later
Johanna says:
and tomorrow i've got lunch with my college roommate
Johanna says:
and then dinner with jonah wright
Tasha says:
Johanna says:
and then a movie with my work friends
Johanna says:
yeah, haley
Tasha says:
Aren't you coming to Ken's party?
Johanna says:
what time is it at?
Tasha says:
Johanna says:
oh, we can still go
Johanna says:
lunch is early and the dinner is at like 7
Tasha says:
and the movie is a midnighter... I guess...our days end at 7, lol
Johanna says:
lol - the movie's at 10:30
Johanna says:
Tasha says:
Kenley helped me clean the house last night til amost 930 and it is still a huge mess!
Tasha says:
so when you guys come over, just look past the disgusting mess
Johanna says:
how dirty can your house be?
Tasha says:
I have been in pain all week with the endo, and Aaron worked 6 days in a row...
Johanna says:
Tasha says:
It's probably the worst it has ever been since we moved in
Tasha says:
I am going to take some ibuprofen and lay down, talk to ya later... take care
Johanna says:
okay- see you tomorrow
Tasha says:
Tom says:
Tasha says:

Tasha has left the conversation.

Oh god. I laughed until I cried. Tom told me that he was just going to keep saying "penis" until she responded - but Tasha, being his sister and having grown up with his obssessive antics, just ignored him until the very end. And promptly logged off. I love my family.

Tuesday, January 6

Sinking In

Our new apartment has a crazy hot water heater. I can fill up the entire bathtub with boiling hot relaxation. I love to dip my feet in, then slowly lower the rest of my person into the steaming water. My toes turn red and then eventually the rest of me is red as well; a lovely shade of pink, like I'm blossoming. I will lean my head back. I will read. I will put one foot out to regulate temperature. I will close my eyes and drift away. I will listen to the rustling echo of turned pages. I will watch myself become gooey like melted chocolate and lose my mind in written words.

Monday, January 5

Personal Grooming

Do you remember in 'Clueless' when Josh asks Cher "Do you know how many hours a day you spend grooming yourself?" This is an interesting question I am asking myself. A brief list of some things I do on some days:
  1. apply makeup
  2. shower
  3. blow dry hair
  4. brush hair
  5. do hair (i.e. ponytail, curling, waving, you know 'doing')
  6. paint nails
  7. file nails
  8. trim nails
  9. get a pedicure
  10. whiten teeth
  11. brush teeth
  12. wash face
  13. moisturize using anti-aging cream
  14. get dressed
  15. put on lotion
  16. shave various areas
  17. pluck eyebrows
  18. wear perfume
  19. wear jewelry
  20. sleep
  21. pop zits
  22. use nose strips
  23. dye hair
  24. trim hair
  25. use hairthings like headbands/scarves
  26. curl eyelashes
  27. pumice heels

Doesn't that sound ridiculous? I mean, I don't do all that shit every day, but goddamn; that seems like an awful lot. I'll have to think of something I can cut out...maybe the sleep. Sometimes I hate being a high-maintenance low-maintenance-appearing female.

Sunday, January 4

Bangle Me

Okay, you can ignore this post on shopping.

I have a difficult time finding jewelry that I like because my taste is very particular and tends to be very expensive. Unfortunately, I have been plagued with this since I was a small child -- I always liked the most expensive thing, despite not knowing how much it was before I desperately fell in love with it.

And here are some expensive things that are absolutely fabulous and that I must have despite bank breaking or excess of bracelets...neither of which are true. Okay, that's a lie. But please.
Look at these beautiful things.

That last one is my personal fave. Looking at it makes me want to cry I want it so bad. You don't happen to have $120 lying around, do you?

Friday, January 2

Quick - To the Movies!

This is a great time of year because lots and lots of fantastic movies enter the scene in hopes of winning an Oscar. I totally love the Oscars and I love to see as many of the nominated movies as possible. Of course, at this point, we don't know exactly who/which will make the cut - but we can get a pretty good idea. Here's what's on my list:
  • Revolutionary Road
  • The Reader
  • Milk
  • Gran Turino
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Doubt
And just for fun, I also want to see these:
  • Yes Man
  • Madagascar Escape 2 Africa
  • He's Just Not That Into You
So, yes, I'll be a bit busy over the next couple of months with film-going and then Oscar-watching. Eee! I can't wait.

Thursday, January 1


Resolutions for 2009 -- in no particular order.
  1. weigh 105 pounds
  2. finish writing a novel of fiction
  3. start writing a novel of non-fiction
  4. write a book of poems
  5. write every day
  6. read every day
  7. run a marathon
  8. work on my correspondence
  9. travel
  10. finish projects from 2008
  11. organize the mail
  12. take ballet classes

Wish me luck.