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I think I’m ready to stay at home for a little while.  I’ve had a really great time on both of my recent trips, but it felt so good last night to fully unpack my bags and settle into my own bed to sleep.  Home has been a little neglected while I’ve been gallivanting.  I’m looking forward to taking a little time to catch up on the housework, maybe even get the plastic up on the windows, get moving again on my Christmas projects.  Oh, and more job searching, cuz Lord knows this underemployment thing got old a long, long time ago.

Speaking of which, while I was in Pittsburgh this past weekend, I got to hang out with JohnJohn, his wife Ivy, and their four month daughter.  JohnJohn and Ivy are the other people besides PJ I know who are also fans of Max Scheler, who’s book Resentiment I finished a little while back.  I had been able to talk about it some with PJ when I was in Philadelphia, but I still had questions, and things I wanted to bounce off of someone who knew Scheler better than I do.  JohnJohn and Ivy fit the bill excellently well, and we got to talk a little philosophy while having dinner at an Irish pub while the baby (a future social butterfly if I ever saw one) people watched from her car seat.  JohnJohn also told me that he’s figured out what I should do.  He thinks I should write a book.  I mean, obviously I’m a pretty good writer, and the sheer fact of having maintained a blog for over five years now demonstrates my ability to have a sustained writing output (though maybe if I were a better writer I would have found a better way to word this last sentence).  So he thinks I ought to write a book, and become a famous and successful writer, which will solve my employment problems, and also possibly provide the funds to, say, visit friends a little more often.

Frankly, one of my childhood dreams was to be an author.  Of course, this was heavily influenced by my favorite reading material, all of which seemed to feature independent-minded young heroines who were determined to be writers.  I taught myself how to type when I was in grade school by typing out an improbable story about a young woman who wakes up one morning in an unfamiliar and deserted house in which everything is arranged in a luxurious perfection that exactly conforms to her every preference and desire.  If I were to write that story now it would be skewed as a horror story, but at the time it was my fondest daydream.  However, I never got far with that story or, frankly, any other story because I am horrible at sustaining a plot.  I just lose interest after a while, my characters sort of meander away from the impending crisis, and the story never gets finished.  When I confessed this, Ivy pointed out that I could write semi-autobiographical creative non-fiction, like Kathleen Norris.  Sortof like blogging (except I don’t take any liberties with reality while blogging, except to leave certain things out), but book-length, and more thematically united than my randomness that has you reading about my knitting projects one week, swing dancing the next, and philosophy the week after that.  Lord knows there are enough bloggers who have gotten book deals, though usually they have a larger readership than my little backwater bit of the internet.  But, you know it’s an idea, a rather seductive one, and so I thought I’d ask you guys what you think:

I also got to hang out a lot with KJ, which was so lovely.  It’s wonderful to have another person around who likes to think about things the same way I do, and talk about them too.  We spent every morning in our hotel room talking, knitting, and just being together.  One of the things KJ often does when I am with her is challenge me in various ways to think about the direction I am going in my life.  Last time we spent time together, she encouraged me to think about getting out of Dayton by going to grad school elsewhere.  This time we ended up talking more about romantic relationships, and the various patterns both of us have slipped into.  However, the challenge was to think more about the ways I present myself.  The main point seemed to be that I should wear make-up, and also not cut my hair until I have attained the body shape I want.  I tend not to wear make-up, partly because I don’t want to be bothered with it, and partly because I can never remember to wash my face before going to bed.  But it’s true that even just a little can make a big difference in how others perceive you.  Last night after I got home I ended up pulling out my make-up supplies for the first time in months.  And then this morning I used it.

The funny thing is that already today I’ve been able to really tell a difference, mostly in the way younger men have responded.  Today our IT guy came in and immediately told me I looked “so nice and relaxed.” Plus The Shy Engineer has been in and out of our office all day today on various thin pretexts.  At one point I had both him and The Cute Guy Down The Hall admiring the Coke Zero can fort I’ve been building on the side of my desk, arranging the cans in various ways, and speculating on how they could make an arch over my desk with cans.  It was all rather geekily adorable.  I don’t want to chalk up too much to a little colored dust smeared around my eyes and some colored lip gloss.  It’s true that all of these guys are quite nice to me on a regular basis, and The Shy Engineer in particular seems to make a habit of often visiting the office on very thin pretexts.  But it was still a new level of personal attention.  I’m torn between being pleased, and laughingly bemused at how easily influenced they are.

In other news, there was also some dancing in Pittsburgh… and I had a lovely, lovely time, as always.  This time the Good Dance Fairy seemed particularly fond of me.  Both my first and last dances of the weekend were with one of the best leads I’ve ever danced with.  I had had exactly one dance with him two years ago, but it was such a fun dance that as soon as he told me his (rather unusual) name, I immediately knew I’d lucked into the very best Good Dance Karma ever.  I danced until my legs didn’t want to move anymore, and then I had one or two more dances.  I can’t wait to go back again next year!