Wednesday, December 31, 2003


I'm thinking of making a "101 Uses for an AOL CD" list.
So far I have:
  • Door Stop (while still in mailing tin)

  • Furniture Prop

  • Window Scraper

  • Coaster

  • Frisbee

  • Emergency Mirror

  • Highway Distress Signal (light reflection)

  • Makeshift Screwdriver (regular of course)

  • Spatula

  • Prying Device

  • Fatty Bling Necklace Medallion (hopefully for Halloween)

  • Other ideas?

    Monday, December 29, 2003

    What I Did On My Sin-Filled Vacation

    Yoomi Sin, that is. Yoomi (pronounced: you-me) and I are from the same hometown. As a matter of fact, we live about a three minute drive from each other. In High School we had mutual friends but were more of acquaintances with each other. Even if we hadn't had mutual friends in high school, I couldn't have missed Yoomi. After all, it's really hard to miss a 5'9", exuberant, eccentric (read: loud and crazy) Korean girl bopping through halls resembling cotton fields. All in all, I suppose we've only become good friends in the past <> six or seven years.

    The turning point of our friendship began when, my junior year, she transferred to UW Madison. Transferring in as a sophomore, dorm space was hardly an option, so Yoomi ended up in a snooty private dorm (usually housed with athletes and what we at the UW labeled "coasties"--snobby, trendy east coast chicks). Being from the same hometown and having mutual friends really makes you want to help a girl out, especially on a campus of 40,000 undergrads. So, Yooms and I began to hang out. She got involved in Campus Crusade with me and (with her sparkling personality) made friends right away.

    Throughout the years I have seen Yoomi mature and grow in ways that I would have never imagined, and I would hope the experience has been mutual. She is one of the most beautiful people I know. Yes, she is physically beautiful, but I mean as a whole person. Yoomi has taught me so much about loving yourself for who you are and how God has made you-- not necessarily with words, but just seeing her live. She is confident and radiant, even when she completely embarrasses herself. Yoomi celebrates life. I appreciate that. She may not know it, but I have learned so much more from her than how to say "come here stupid" in Korean.

    There is a reason why Yoomi Sin is one of the few friends I still call and look forward to seeing when back at my hometown. And there is a reason why I will stay in touch with Yoomi for a long time.

    Thursday, December 25, 2003

    A Whiff of the Past

    While celebrating Christmas at my aunt and uncle's newly built (with their own hands) house, I ventured into their still-to-be finished basement. As I traveled down the wooden stairs, an urge came over me to sneak and creep, as though only things meant to go unseen lay ahead. Things not yet ready for their picturesque, Currier and Ives home.

    Softly, quietly I swept down half panel/half plaster lined stairwell. Memories flooded back to my aunt and uncle's previous houses where my cousin and I would retreat to the basement, at first to play with our Cabbage Patch Kids or Castle GraySkull, later to discuss how playing She-Ra was so much easier than trying to be a real life She-Ra. I thought about the summer before ninth grade, sitting in the basement playing the Ouija board with my cousin's clique, holding hands with Scotty Schultz when they'd turn out the lights.

    Sleepovers, stories, secrets came back to me as I descended into the unfinished unknown. Then I got to the bottom and turned to the right, where the rec room would have been and the pictures melted into concrete and cardboard. The old oven where my uncle roasted our turkey sat now cold against the back wall. To the right of it, my uncle's tool bench ran along an entire side of the basement, tools hung neatly in their places on the wall. Now I turned full-circle toward the front of the room, back in the direction of the staircase, and there it shone in the pale light filtering down the stairwell.

    Standing before me, nay, shining before me in chrome and glass and dark paneled wood of its own, glistened not a momentum of my past here, in Milwaukee, but in my own home. I heaved open the glass top and the smell of vinyl swept over me, the smell of 45s, the smell of The Beach Boys and The Drifters mixed with Tiffany and Lita Ford, the smell of huge Father's Day picnics, of play sock hops at sleepovers of my own; the smell of the past. This was our jukebox. Mine, my dad's, my mom's, my sister's. It used to sit just to the right of where I now type, a space now inhabited by an extra desk acting as a book stand for Williamsburg: Before and After and The Pictorial History of the Civil War. Today it lies in a cement tomb with its grave marker touting the name "Paul Anka."

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003

    Advantages Of Cold Weather

  • Hot Chocolate

  • Fuzzy Sweaters

  • Wispy White Snowfalls

  • Fluffy Earmuffs And Scarfs

  • The Smell And Warmth Of Crackling Fireplaces

  • The Smell And Warmth Of That Special Someone Snuggling In Front Of The Crackling Fireplace

  • The Battery Freezing In My Mom's Motion-activated Reindeer Wreath On The Garage Door So It Can't Annoy Us Anymore With Electronic Christmas Carols
  • Monday, December 22, 2003

    I wish everyday was 3 days before Christmas

    my nephew is being so well behaved!!!!

    Friday, December 19, 2003

    Trilogy Schmilogy

    "Trilogy Tuesday" was actually a rather inappropriate name for the 12-hour Lord of the Rings marathon. In truth, to call the LOTR a trilogy in print or film misrepresents the entire work! Neither did Tolkien write a trilogy nor Peter Jackson film a trilogy. Tolkien's original work had to be divided into sections for the simple fact that no printer could afford to produce so large a publication. Peter Jackson's original plan was to condense the work into one picture, when New Line Cinemas said, to his disbelieve and delight, this really needs to be three separate films.

    Therefore, people are met with a rather unsatisfactory answer when they ask me how ROTK compared to the other installments and which was the best. It's kind of like asking, "what part of the story do you like best," because in the minds of Tolkien, Jackson and myself, it is all one story. They are one entity, unable to survive on their own. ROTK is the resolution of the story. This is not a trilogy-- it is one work, segmented over time for production purposes.

    Spending the day watching all three segments was truly amazing. There's something to be said for the fluidity of watching them all together. The LOTR screen writers have been noted as saying they like to think that events from the book not appearing in the films should be seen as occurring off-screen, not left out entirely. I can understand this, being that the unextended ROTK was already 3.5 hours. So, how was the movie? It was triumphant. It was resolute. It will be better when I see it in the coming weeks and don't have idiots clapping at every single scene. Seriously people, there are going to be triumphant moments-- a lot of triumphant moments!!! Some are rather kick-butt and hoot-n-holler worthy-- but beware, clapping interferes with pertinent dialogue!!

    Ok, rant over. The theatre was gracious in allowing us to bring in outside food as well as providing some free food for us. In the end we all got cels from each of the movies provided by New Line Cinemas. Watching all three segments as the intended single entity is a highly satisfying (albeit long) process-- I can't wait to do it in the comfort of my home when the extended ROTK comes out.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    What She Would Like To Do write about Return of the King. No spoilers, just about the overall Trilogy Tuesday experience.

    What is on her heart, however, is a deep, dark, gritty truth and awe that only one King can claim.

    The past week or so, I have been reviewing the past year of my life and reveling in the wonder and the pain it has revealed. A year wrought with mind-warping struggles, self-destructive behaviors and blessed tears of redemption-- over and over and over again.

    A year of journal entries such as these:

  • It's amazing how life passes by and history repeats itself. Lessons learned are relearned, this time faster, this time much more painfully slower than ever.

    It seems I cannot love you anymore, and yet as hard as I try, I am unable to love you any less. Fly. Be released and free me from your cage.

    Oh were I like a feathered dove, and innocence had wings. I’d fly and make a long remove from all these restless things!

    Tossing and turning. Round about everything. Fly. Fly. Free me with your wings. Soar across the stars as I slumber through the deepest seas. Set me free. Free me. Set me free.

  • I cried throughout most of worship, and not tears and sobs of lament at my guilt, but joy and conviction commingled streaming down my cheeks into a smile of one who is ever a sinner and a saint, waiting for the day when I will be made completely and wholly perfect in Christ and may awaken fully to His Glory, while crumpled in His grip, unable to bear even the weight of my own shoulders much less the burden I have so stubbornly struggled to wear. I look to His promises, look to His Word, look to His cross, He is ever there. I don't know if that made sense, but that is my heart-- and so scared am I to share with anyone what might be inside, that I have forgotten to love and to be loved as His bride.

  • It's days like these my eyes barely open, my face is swollen and soiled. Stained by choices poorly taken, worn by trials, severely shaken. Its days like these when I could fly away home. Run away home, lose my way and end up in a home I created.

    And if I try hard enough I could lose myself, start all over as someone else. Someone less tortured, someone less tried, someone less prodded and singed in the fire. Someone less than who you meant me to be. You press me to be so much more. Would you still want me if I were someone less?

    Would you love me less?
    In an hour this late, have I really the option to choose another way? In an hour this dark could there be any rays? In an hour this silent is there anything left to say? With scrapping hands and fingers so raw, I claw to climb out of this mess myself, to uphold myself, to do anything myself but let you make me more myself. All my life I've settled for less. But you want to make me more.

  • The path of righteousness is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. ~Proverbs 4:18

    After all of this grey weather we've had, this verse strikes a particular chord with me. Light is one of those things we take for granted. Thanks to electricity, we have access to light at the tip of our fingers. Even at night we have light in the form of flashlights, street lamps and headlights.

    But there is a distinct difference between the hum and glow of fluorescent lights and the brilliant warmth of the dazzling sun.

    So too is there a vast difference between the empty promises of false idols and the awesome wonder of the Heavenly Son. While one is like silver plate on a nickel base, the other is pure gold with a diamond sheen: much like the band the Lover has placed on the hand of His beloved, His body, His bride. And yet, even that ring, brilliant and symbolic as it may be, is nothing compared to the radiant glory beaming from the face of the Lover as He watches His beloved walk down the aisle. And she too stares not at the congregation surrounding her, but at her goal, the One who will have her and hold her eternally; her true love.

    Too often I have been caught surveying the faces of the congregation, untrue to the One standing at the end of the aisle, too caught up in my own beauty at the moment, not realizing that any beauty I may have comes not from me, but from being loved by one True Lover.

  • A year ago today I wrote these words:

  • I never meant for you to see the anger, the cold, black malice I hide. But sometimes it just won't abide. Tears always follow fits, both yours and mine. You know I never meant to make you cry.

    But I'm so angry that I want to cry all the time. And I don't know where the person I was has gone to, but the me who took her place seems like a shadow of the shadow of the shadow of her. And oh how she used to shine. But the lights now have faded and the winter's set in. And the me that's left can't escape the grey and the clouds that hide the sun and bring no snow to purify this dingy ground, and wash the world in white. And oh how the crystals would shine when their makers let them loose and moved on eastward to release the sun for at least one bright day. And brighter than a covered day is a living night clear and cold. When the shimmering slopes and icicles mirror brave Orion's bow.

  • And Today I write this:

  • I am blessed and at peace. I am whole because I am with You and You are ever with me. You have freed me from "safe" love because, by allowing me to be able to be hurt and broken, you have allowed me to love all the more greatly, and be all the more greatly loved. Although I know that I will never truly be healed until that day You call me home; and although I may long for that day with the groaning of all creation, I no longer wish for the end of today. For today I have with You as well as yesterday and tomorrow. I now know that I need not wait for the veil of night to set on my days in this world to see with Your light. For I have seen darkness and I have felt the icy chill of emptiness, but no cavernous waste exists beyond Your ability to sate.
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2003


  • I want to make a really swanky eau de parfum and call it "7th Grade Shower"

  • Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Shane Blake!!!

  • Today also marks the Anniversaries of the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Nashville and the Blizzard of 1978, in which I was born.

  • At the anniversary of the actual time of my birth (8:20pm), I will more than likely be sidled up to the Big Screen with a hot cup of Hornburg whoopass. Which, obviously, deserves its own entry-- more to come

  • For anyone who may have emailed my hotmail account in the past couple of weeks, I'm not a jerk head and I do want to respond, hotmail just won't let me send anything out. Sorry!
  • Monday, December 15, 2003

    Putting the "Pur" in my "Purpose"
    (wait, I don't think that came out right...)

    "He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God." ~Agamemnon, Aeschylus

    On April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy stood in an urban Indiana ghetto, amid 2500 blacks, including some 200 black militants and announced the assassination of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. In his ensuing extemporaneous eulogy, Kennedy cited his favorite poet Aeschylus. He referenced his own personal, familial loss to the same hatred four and a half years earlier. In a word, Kennedy stepped into the line of fire and sought to explain that, while hatred may have a face, it has no determinant of race or creed.

    Kennedy stood in the face of a potential riot and plead, "What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black. ... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world."

    My purpose, ladies and gentlemen? To bring understanding, depth and perspective to a world skewed by hatred, violence and the pigeon-holed, biased and shackled view of safe love.

    Thursday, December 11, 2003

    Microphone Check 1, 2, 1, 2

    Actually, I usually hate mic checks. I don't mind running songs, but getting my individual volume without anything else kind of weirds me. In the end I ramble off some made up story about the light fixtures in the room or what happened on the way to the forum...

    Any way, when I was recording Andy would say, "ok, sing into the mic-- real singing." A justified addition for a few of reasons. A) Even though I've known Andy and have been good friends with his wife for over two years, he never heard me sing "for real" until this past February. 2) Andy had never heard me sing for real BECAUSE his wife and I always just joke around singing dumb stuff and making up songs as jokes. Finally) BECAUSE Andy's a really good musician and we're in Music City, surrounded by all sorts of great musicians and not so great musicians, therefore it's just more fun to joke around since people would think us pompous if we walked around singing for real.

    Needless to say, I ended up singing for real and I've heard the mixes today for the first time. Ali O asked me what I thought of the songs and I told her I couldn't say anything just yet, basically because I am my worst critic (as are most people their own worst critics). For lunch I went home and made my roommie (who I used to sing with in college) listen to the songs and tell me what she thought.

    Basing my opinions purely on my vocal tracks (because the rest of the musicianship is amazing), I said something like, "I'm trying to think if I like this song at all." To which my roommate replied, "Really? I was thinking this was good enough to be on the radio!" To which half of me thought, "Really?!?!" and the other half thought, "Is it *that* bad that it sounds like radio crap?!?!" Totally crazy.

    I think I have the order all worked out. Now to just figure out why I can't get a hold of my friend doing the graphic art! Looks like release will be after Christmas. I'll see what I can do about getting a couple songs online, though.

    For now, I'll just go back to listening to my Billboard Top Hits: 1987 CD and then maybe I'll see about renting "Mannequin" on the way home...
    I have to have a purpose by Monday. Why am I suddenly reminded of The Jerk?

    On another note: I am, at this time, listening to (quite possibly) the final mix of my CD. More thoughts on that later.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    Dumb Dumb Dumb

    For some reason it has taken me all day to be able to sign in to Blogger. Well, at least I now know it doesn't have anything to do with our work firewall.

    So, speaking of dumb-- I saw ELF last night and it was not dumb at all. Actually, there were about six or seven of us in the theater and I felt more than free to laugh heartily. My roommate, on the other hand, felt free to sing along with the Christmas Carols. Weirdo.

    Another occurrence from last night: I have said for quite sometime that olive skin coloring is great for summer months and tans, but bad for winter. Since I have olive skin coloring, my complexion does not turn white in the winter, but rather-- green. No one has ever believed me until last night when, under the never-flattering fluorescent lights of the theater restroom, my roommate final realized and admitted that I matched her lime green sweater. Boo. Looks like Kermit and I are kin after all.

    It ain't easy being green.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003


    I ripped up some pictures this morning. That's about the sound they made. I rip junk mail apart. I rip bills apart. I rip old receipts apart. I don't usually rip pictures. As a matter of fact, I don't usually get rid of pictures in general. Most of my frames have one or two older pictures behind the showcased one. I even have one picture of my cousin and I that I think is horrendous, but instead of getting rid of it, I just have it turned backward in the family album flip frame. It may not look nice, but it's still us-- and sometimes we just don't look all that great.

    Even on the random occasion that I do dispose of a snapshot, I usually just throw it away in one piece. I never really thought about this until I ripped the first picture this morning. I heard the sound it made, saw the ragged fibers along the newly made edge and it gave me a sense of power-- of freedom from this silly little reminder of a silly little event. I even ripped a couple pictures right along the silhouettes of the people inside. I almost kept a ripped fragment of myself but threw it away. I did, however, keep a ripped fragment of another friend. I may throw it away eventually, just to forget the moment all together. I may not.

    It's funny how sometimes the things we want to hold on to we have to pin down like Peter Pan's Shadow and yet, the things we want to walk away from the most cling closer to us than a heavy fog.

    Sunday, December 07, 2003

    I Think We're Alone Now

    I don't know why, but at this moment I finally feel free to talk about what's been bothering me-- openly, honestly, unencrypted (for the most part). So I'm going to leap out with reckless abandonment-- though I can't promise it will stay up forever and I can't promise it will be fully comprehensible. Here we go:

    "I cannot change the heart of anyone in the world." I'll admit that, for some reason, I was fading out of church this morning, but I did hear that line from my pastor. Hmm. I cannot change the heart of anyone in the world. I. Cannot. Change. Hearts. I cannot change you. I cannot woo you with word, song or bat of an eye. God knows I've tried. And God knows that I've failed, and always will.

    You see, you love people; I love you. You pour your heart into others, myself included. You show genuine interest in the lives of others, myself included. You make people feel special, myself included. Yet I have ignored your love of people, narrowing the focus only to myself. I have fought adamantly against being placed on a pedestal and yet, I have denied you your humanity and exiled you to that windy, merciless loft. I have been jealous of your love for others. Like Jonah, I would prefer the "undeserving" to feel your contempt than your grace and love. Like Jonah, I have failed to see my place in that crowd. Perhaps I ought to say: you love people; I love me.

    Please know that when I am angry, I am not angry at you, but at myself. When I cry, it is not because of you, but because of me. You have always been honest and I have always known where I stand. That is why I cry-- because the truth you speak and the lies I hear wage war within me. We love and yet, are not "in love." I have said, "If you cannot be hurt, than you cannot be loved." This is the root of my suffering. I am the root. "I cannot change the heart of anyone in the world." Sadly, this includes me.

    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    A certain object continually rattles through the confinement of my deepest thoughts. An object as translucent as over-used motor oil and as simple as Tolstoy. From afar it takes the shape of a ball. When examined more closely, however, one sees that it does not have one satin-smooth skin, but 2,360,458 tiny faces connected by the slightest angles, each similarly differentiated.

    This orb of a concern has been bouncing through my mind like Pong on crack; too rapid for me to analyze, too volatile for me to command. I'm just waiting for one of the paddles to miss, allowing this fast-flying affixiation to flail off screen. Game over.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Far Away Home

    Looking over the context and inspiration for each of my songs I have come to a realization: I don't really write about me. Well, I do, but I don't, not about the really personal things. The closest I've come is writing a song about my aunt's death from cancer this spring, and it basically states that I have no words for the situation.

    I can't really read my mom's take on the song about my aunt (my dad's sister). Part of me thinks that she's slightly saddened by the fact that I wrote a song about my aunt, but not about her. This gets into the whole topic of not being able to write the *really* hard stuff. How on earth could I write about my mom's struggles if I can hardly put into words my aunt from California's struggles? I think it might just kill me to write about something that close to home. I need a little bit of distance. Like the song I was finally able to write about my parents' divorce-- six years later (that actually shares the same title as this post). And how the only boys I've ever actually written songs for/about were an inconsequential friend and an old boyfriend who is now married (which was also semi-inspired by a friend's relationship at the time).

    It's not that I haven't tried. I've tried writing about the struggles and strength both my mother and my sister have gone through-- are still going through-- and the admiration for them-- an extent I can never seem express appropriately or enough. I've also tried to write songs about other people I love, the men I've loved-- I love.

    I've sat with my journal the last few nights trying to put something down on paper-- anything, so I can remember, so I can extract it from my head, so I can blot it from my heart, so I can remove myself from it and move on. Yet, it's too soon-- too close. I need time. Still, I think about it every night and am waiting for that perfect moment when I'm close enough to still remember the chills and far enough removed to be objective. It's coming. It's coming. Even if it has to be relegated to the confines of my journal ramblings-- for now.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2003

    Of Note

    Although I've been going to the YMCA for almost two years, it struck me as funny last night to see the handicapped parking spots. Then I remembered the man who uses one treadmill and places his oxygen tank on the one next to it. Then again, I do go to a Y with valet parking.

    Friday, November 28, 2003

    Choose Your Own Adventure

    Sam: "Lets face it Mr. Frodo. We're lost. I don't think Gandalf meant for us to come this way."

    Frodo: "He didn't mean for a lot of things to happen Sam. But they did."

    Growing up I read many a Choose Your Own Adventure book. However, I must confess, a majority of the choices made in my adventures were prompted by peeking ahead to discern the proper path to the desired conclusion. God, I wish life were that easy. Unfortunately, we can make all the choices deemed proper to reach our desired ends, but in the end, who knows where tomorrow will lead?

    Sometimes (ok, multiple times daily) I wish I possessed the ability to peek ahead at life in order to have the foresight with which to choose the proper path to my desired end. If only I could see what lies around the next corner, or the next decade; or if a next decade, or corner, for that matter, even exist.

    You see, even if you made it through to the end of the book, the adventure eventually ended. No matter which path you wandered down, a story already existed. No matter how cleverly orchestrated your path through the story; an end eventually lay around the turn of a page. The only way to truly create your own adventure lies not in your hands, but in your mind, in your imagination. To make our own adventures, we need not pick up time-stained books and peek through dog-eared pages to see what options suit us best. Rather, we need to dust off the too frequently abused and misused grey matter inside our own heads and dare to imagine routes to happiness and freedom not yet discovered by author or dreamer.

    Granted, a certain portion of our lives lie in front of us, pre-planned. Before we even knew breath or beat, some cartographer mapped out our futures. Our DNA, for example, plays a large part in our formation and deterioration. In some fashion, personally, or through the illness of family or friends, everyone I know has faced, is facing, or will face the affects of some form of cancer. For me, I have seen two aunts, a mom and a grandma struggle with this disease over the past 7 years. Maybe more, who knows? And these are just in my direct family; there are still the families of friends. I’ve also had another grandmother seized by mental illness, not to mention the rampant alcoholism on both sides of the gene pool (or shall I say, gene wet bar).

    I could look at this backdrop in despair. What chance have I with genetic makeup such as this? And yet, some choice still remains in my corner. In my adventure, I choose not the disabling vices of my ancestry, but their unmitigated strength in overcoming the seemingly impossible. The Choose Your Own Adventure of my life may have a set binding with predetermined outcomes, but with the means left to me I choose joy for today and tomorrow for the unknown.
    Retractable Posts

    Well, after I wrote that post yesterday, my dear, wonderful, amazing friend Ashley brought over some leftovers from her family's Thanksgiving meal--amen! Love that family. = )

    AND, I'm back at work today. Still not feeling up-to-par, but I'm here because I really have GOT to do some of this work. However, someone has already chastised me for having the gall to be sick yesterday on our busiest day and fine today. Imagine that-- the nerve of me to spend the day absolutely sick and alone while everyone else celebrated being thankful for families, friends and what not. Well, I know one thing I'm *not* thankful for right now...

    Thursday, November 27, 2003


    One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving as a kid were leftovers. My dad usually had a trip to leave for the day after Thanksgiving, so he'd take a sizeable portion with him, but there were still plenty to go around. I loved sneaking into the fridge, opening the gallon-sized plastic bag and picking out the best white meat, cold turkey to throw on some buttered bread or directly into my salivating mouth. Other Thanksgiving staples included mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, black olives, buttered rolls, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce (maybe green beans or something, but who cares about those?). Have you ever had a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwhich? yummy. If we were lucky, my dad would have made orange-cranberry muffins. I loved it when he did that. No, we didn't have sweet potatoes, something I now realize as the travesty it is, but don't worry, I am working everyday on making up for lost time.

    Shortly after my my parents' divorce, we started having Thanksgiving over at my aunt and uncle's house, which was great because I got to see my cousins more and the more family, the merrier. Not to meantion the perks of my Aunt Julie's homemade apple pie, her frosted sugar cookies made just for me and potatoes hand mashed by my cousin Mike (note to everyone out there: if you keep complaining that the potatoes are too lumpy, you'll eventually be made to mash them yourself!) There was really only one true downside to Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's house-- no leftovers. To be fair, there were leftovers, they just weren't in my fridge, they were in theirs, which is completely understandable.

    Well, this year Thanksgiving has rolled around once again, and to be honest, I don't know how my family is celebrating. You see, they're in Wisconsin (and didn't answer the phone) and I'm in Tennessee-- although I did get to spend some of last week with them. I had plans for today: go to work where we're having an extravagant Thanksgiving meal for the homeless (of which I would be able to partake, even if only from a tray at my desk), then head to one of a few friends' houses for Thanksgiving merriment. All of this changed, however, when I woke up last night, in the middle of the night, horribly, horribly sick. Therefore, I never went to work, I never went to friends' houses, I never got to partake of succulent turkey or rapturous sweet potatoes and I surely will have no chance at leftovers. As a matter of fact, I can't believe I got through writting this entire post without making myself violently sick, once again.

    Happy Turkey Day.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2003

    Could've been

    I wrote an entire post about love. About ways that love manifests itself and how it differentiates from lust. But, you know what? I don't really want to post it. I don't want some long, sappy post about what kind of love I want or need. I don't want to go on some over-emotional rant about this, that and the other thing that I have no idea about. I don't want to share that right now and I don't want to talk about it anymore.

    I want to write about completely non-emotional things, like earthworms. Earthworms used to fascinate me as a child. The way they would all of a sudden over-ride the streets after a rain so that they wouldn't drown in their little holes. How they inch and wriggle, and can heal themselves. People say Love makes the world go round-- but maybe it's really earthworms. If not, there are definitely more insects than love in this world, so maybe it's the bugs-- and no, not the love bug, dang it.

    On another note: I got my GRE scores back in the mail and, even though I got a higher score on the math part than the verbal, there were something like 67% other test-takers lower than me on the verbal and only 55% on the math. Go figure.

    Monday, November 24, 2003

    Miss Me?

    Liar. = )

    It's been a whirlwind of a week (well, 10 days). I flew back into town this morning and came straight to work-- ok, after a Starbucks detour.

    While the change in weather congested my head and lungs, 10 emotion-ridden days of running around with little food or sleep, took its toll on congesting my thoughts. As the week progressed, my mind raced and whirled, processing the bare minimum of extraneous events, focusing on specified tasks. The world around me boiled down to a steeped concentration of the next five minutes. By bedtime Saturday night, my sore feet pulsed and my pulsing heart soared. Surrounded by family and friends, loved ones, new and old, filled me with joy and wonder at the blessings of miracles.

    The two families meshed together wonderfully and everyone had a wonderful time. After the crazed week, my mind has finally gotten a tidbit of rest-- enough to know that I am content with today. Enough to know that there is joy and contentment in the world and I have been blessed with a small taste. Enough to look forward to every minute of today until it bleeds into every anticipated second of tomorrow.

    Life never ceases to amaze or surprise me.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2003

    Belle Noche

    Ah my home town! Where the streets are bordered by family run shops and restaurants with names like: Pasarelli's, Chiapetta's, Madrigano's, Infusino's, Ruffalo's, Paelli's, Luigi's, Tenutta's and of course, it's neighbor, Ron's. And don't forget Shenanigan's, the drive-through liquor store. Ah yes, I'm back where I was born and raised. A city littered with Italian mom and pop restaurants and a drive-through liquor store. O, why did I ever leave? Well... that would be a long post.
    May I Take Your Order?

    I can't do it anymore. For that matter, I don't know if I ever really did. I mean, I always thought I was doing it, but I guess I've been fooling myself for, well, almost 25 years.

    Wait, Melissa, slow down. Fill us in. What the heck are you talking about? We're not mind readers here.

    Exactly. We're not mind readers. Not you. Not me. However, for most of my life I have tried to pre-guess people's needs and reactions. Tried to look at life from every angle and determine all possible paths, or at least most.

    What? That's crazy! That can only lead to stress and ulcers and utter failure and disappointment!

    Yeah, now you tell me. Why couldn't you have said that a million years ago?!?!

    I bought super girl underwear today. (stick with me here, I'm going somewhere, I promise) If I would have bought these before, I think it would have been to boast my strength and independence, at least to myself-- and anyone snooping through my undie drawer. Today, however, I bought them because I have matured enough to know that I want to cherish my childhood, my immaturity and inability to solve all problems. I bought them not as a sign of strength, but for fun and comfort. For me. Not for anyone else.

    Today I went to breakfast. For me. Not for anyone else. And I sat in a booth by myself. And I read and I enjoyed solitude. I enjoyed taking time for me. To chill. Hmm, fam's home. Looks like time's over.

    I wish I wasn't so sensitive to the wiles of the world.

    Let me to some wild desert go and make a peaceful home where storms of malice never blow, temptations never come.~ Psalm 55 Isaac Watts

    Friday, November 14, 2003

    Bwa Bwa-dop

    Spring of '99 introduced me to the strange and wonderful world of a cappella linguistics. Over the next few years my vocabulary expanded exponentially with "behr wehr"s and "leh-deh-deh"s, not to mention hours upon hours of "oo"s and "ah"s. Whether we crammed into a teeny-tiny practice room, savored the acoustics of the stairwell or were blessed with the use of an actual classroom with piano, our group of 12-18 women occupied some room of the Humanities building anywhere from 6-16 hours a week. Come spring of '01, Acting 101 gibberish exercises flowed off my tongue as I simply recited my a cappella parts to my partner in varying tones.

    Mostly we stood in a circle, singing in toward each other. There's no sound like it-- being part of it, immersed in it. The sad part is that I never fully appreciated the succulent sound of our lovely divas until May 14, 2001-- the last time we ever stood in a circle and sang to each other, tears rolling down our faces, voices quaking from the pain of our best mix in 3 years being separated. A number of our "founding members" were graduating and moving on-- myself included.

    That summer I finally began to truly cherish the friendships made in those cramped quarters-- to understand that the harmonies clicked so well because we clicked so well. And let me tell you-- finding a mix of about 15 women that can cram into a small, hot, sweaty, stinky practice room and get along is nothing short of a miracle. Heck, it's a miracle to get that many girls to get along at a luxury spa...

    We sang beautifully together. We inspired each other. Well, they inspired me at least. If it weren't for their confidence, their sass, their belief in me (their putting up with me) I wouldn't be working on music right now. I guess I'd be in Madison, WI or Chicago, IL in some advertising job. Or I'd be across the world in a mission field. Instead, I'm in Music City, USA-- at my own sort of job in my own sort of mission field.

    Even if we are not always in touch, the women in that group will forever be with me: spinning in my cd player, ringing in my ears, breathing passion into in my heart--carrying me through every movement in the score of life.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2003

    Does anyone else get physical symptoms when they get upset by things, or am I just an anomaly? My stomach is very, very sensitive to my emotions. It gets upset with the slightest tension or grief. I heard some news about a friend tonight that really boggles me and it makes my stomach lurch and churn and I think I'm breaking out in hives.
    Night Terrors

    I swear, if I don't get a decent night's sleep soon I'm going to scream. Oh, wait, I already do scream. 3 or 4 times a night. When I wake up with severe charlie horses. Hopefully I'm just dehydrated. We'll see what a gallon of Gatorade can do... I serious here.

    Monday, November 10, 2003


    I am undeniably distracted today. My mind is everywhere but at work. There are a ton of songs that I really want to listen to, and some I want to write. Therefore, I have a bunch of stuff I should do, feel sick with almost no sick days left for the year and my phone is ringing off the hook.

    Here's part of what's in my head and trying to get out:

    She don't stand up straight anymore
    And she don't lift her chin anymore
    She just walks with glazed eyes fixed on the floor

    She don't smile too much anymore
    But she don't cry too much anymore
    She just avoids your eyes and claims she's fine.
    That's how you know she's lying.

    Friday, November 07, 2003

    I hate it when doing the "right thing" really, *really* sucks.
    Interactive Stories

    After yesterday's comments, I feel the need to expound upon the meaning of "interactive stories." Let's see if I can explain. You know how when someone's telling you a story, you sometimes ask questions to clarify or add to said story? Sure, some people might consider this "interrupting," but we like to call it "interactive storytelling."

    My friend, Ashley, and I are particularly good at interactive storytelling (or bad, given your view of interactive storytelling) on our own-- put us together, and you're lucky to ever get through the story. Actually, now that I think of it-- I wonder if conversations between Ash and I ever reach an intended destination.... ; )

    We have one dear friend who gets particularly disturbed by interactive storytelling-- so much so we've really ticked her off at times. We don't mean to, we just like to help with the stories! Ok, maybe there's also a more selfish motive of making ourselves laugh, too. Not to mention Ash and I feed off of each other-- a lot-- since we both might as well have Attention Deficit Disorder, which finds tangents delectable! ah well. There's the story on interactive storytelling.

    Thursday, November 06, 2003

    I knew a girl. Her name was Truth. She was a horrible liar.~Ben Harper

    It's not that I wear my heart on my sleeve. It's not that my face reads like an emotional book. It's not that I speak my mind. Oh wait, maybe it is.

    I used to be a good liar. Heck, I convinced my parents that I had to cut my hair in 7th grade while they were away because I was up late watching a movie the night before and fell asleep the next day while chewing gum, which subsequently fell out of my mouth and into my hair. I told them I tried to use peanut butter, but all we had was chunky, so I just had to cut my hair off. (Because obviously chunky peanut butter wouldn't work...)

    And in 10th grade I convinced my mom that they had to take me to the hospital to treat my swollen-shut eyes because I had used Visine from Mexico. Why had I used the Visine? Because I didn't want her to know I was crying over a boy. Yeah, that's it. --actually, I didn't even know that it was really an allergic reaction to a guinea pig and cannabis (haven't gone near either since).

    Now, however, my friends can even tell when I'm lying over IM! Of course, I don't try to hide it all that much. I prefer to be honest with people (to an extent-- and on a need to know/level of friendship basis). Even after years of training, I still make faces when I mess up in a song. After receiving a degree in both Communication Arts and Journalism, I still manage to stick my foot in my mouth and stumble over words (heck, I still manage to do the worst on the Verbal section of the GRE--I did better in Math! what the heck is that?!?!?!).

    I'm honest to a fault. I even find lying for the good of others difficult. I will tell you not to get those pants or at least not to pair them with that shirt. I will tell you when you have food on your face or a tag sticking out. I will randomly compliment you-- not to suck up, but because I genuinely believe it. As a friend, I will tell you what you *need* to hear-- straight forward, or hedged. Not because I'm mean or vindictive-- because I love you and I believe you deserve honesty.

    That does not mean that I don't heed Thumper's advice: If you can't say anything nice, don't say nuthin' at all. Therefore, you can hardly imagine what I keep to myself. heh heh.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2003

    Drum Roll Please...

    ok, so maybe they're not all that exciting to you... but here are a few rough pics that I might use for my CD. Remember, the title is: Won't Get Any Easier; Can't Get Any Harder.

    Thanks Matt Grace for hosting and KaeB for the photography skills!!!

    Tuesday, November 04, 2003

    I am exercising the right to not talk about that crappy thing I'll be retaking in December.

    on a more positive note: pictures coming soon!

    Monday, November 03, 2003

    Me and the DMV

    After living in Tennessee for over two years I figured it was time to get a TN driver's license. (well, it did take almost a year for me to switch to TN plates). Ah well. Plus, I need it to take my GRE tomorrow.

    So, Friday afternoon I hauled my butt down to the DMV and stood in line for a couple hours to get my TNDL. Then I proceeded to lose it Friday night. Not "have it taken away" lost-- just "where the heck did that thing go" lost. I remember taking it out to show a couple of people what I normally look like (given that I was in full pixie get-up: ears, wings and long purply wig). So, either the last person didn't give it back to me, I dropped it or it fell out of my purse in the taxi on the way home (which I think is most probable). However, the taxi drivers won't bring in items left in the cabs over the weekend until Monday night. I looked around the block that I walked Friday night, called the last person I talked to and have had no luck-- the cab co. will call me back if it comes in.

    Remember, I have to have the license to take my GRE at 8am tomorrow morning. Doh! Given my luck I would get a replacement and the cab co. would call this afternoon with my license. However, had I not gotten another one, they wouldn't call until tomorrow night or, quite possibly, never. So, I trucked it back to the DMV today and got a new one-- or rather, a duplicate.

    Ah the irony-- it took me two years to get a license because I didn't want to wait in line, and now I've been to the DMV twice in the past two business days.

    I had a relatively busy weekend. Halloween was good, for the most part-- and those parts which weren't will be duly forgotten.

    I actually got to play dress up more than once this weekend! Yesterday I had my "photo shoot" for the CD. Basically, I got "dressed up" (black strapless dress with red sneakers) and a couple of friends and I took three rolls of film in front of a beautiful building with a lot of trees and leaves covering the ground.

    I love playing dress up. I actually surprised myself when I realized that I hadn't "tried out" my make up for the photo shoot. Ah well, it worked out anyway. Getting the pictures developed today!!! yay! Perhaps I'll find a way for you to see some. (read: post them with the courtesy of Matt Grace)

    Ok, off to do work-- the messiness of my office is killing me.

    Friday, October 31, 2003

    Greatest Fear

    In honor of Halloween, I thought I'd let you all in on one of my deepest darkest fears: mayonnaise. I *shiver* and *gag* at the very word. I don't even like to pick up a jar at that store for my mom. Little packets are the worst-- they could explode at any time!

    It all started back in the day. I grew up a very picky eater. For most foods I simply ate the stripped down meat and cheese version-- no veggies, no condiments, just meat and cheese. My sister, however, was the opposite. She got extra mayo *shiver* on everything. Being the wonderful younger sister I am, I generally complained how disgusting I found that. So, one day my sister had enough and, while making herself a sandwich, chased me down, trapped me at the end of the hall and wiped mayo all over my legs and arms and any bare skin. There was probably even some in my hair. Therefore, to this day, I have mayo-phobia. ok, must stop writing before I get sick.

    Thursday, October 30, 2003

    No Way Out

    (hmmm, seems like I'm feeling trapped today)

    There's a window on the wall leading nowhere. The glass reflects two other empty walls. This window can't be opened, it can let in no breeze. It only gives the faintest image of me.

    There's a window in this room leading nowhere. I cannot use it for escape. It's sill would never suit a potted plant needing sunny rays and growing space. To look into this window is not to see a scenic view, but to barely see the barren walls across and through. To see reflected in the panes the nail holes where memories should hang. There was a mirror, there was a shelf, there was a picture of a happier self.

    There's a window in this room leading nowhere. Dusty outlines mirror in its face. There the shadow of a wreath, there the outline of a scroll, there the frame which held vows to be kept no more.

    Behind this window is a wall. I cannot break through to fresh air. I cannot see out nor be free at last. I can only see ghosts of the past.
    Wonder Where

    There's a wonderland I've seen but can never reach the same way twice. There's a hell in which I've been consumed that has drawn me through the same doors over and over again.

    This place where I now stand seems slightly familiar, but older.

    Those rocks were bolder when first we met, less weathered and worn by wind and rain. Those trees are now stronger with thicker girths and cascading branches.

    As the canopy overhead soaks in every ray and breeze, the floor beneath it fades. The pathways have been confused with the barren ground; the way out hidden.

    This place is strangely familiar-- though I have yet to see this season, this time, this moment here. There is an eerie comfort here, one you know cannot be good, but one that calls and soothes you all the same.

    I could fall asleep right here for moss and vine to grow. But life is in the waking days... therefore I must go.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2003

    Almost Tried by Emily DeLoach

    The time it goes so quickly I could never count the days / since you've been gone / seems like only yesterday

    We'd drive around for hours hearing Adam counting crows / I miss those nights / guided by the light of our lover's soul

    I've almost tried but I don't even know where I could start / I can't leave behind the hole you left in my heart

    Sometimes my memory fails me and sometimes it rushes back / your stupid jokes always used to make me laugh / I'll run across your letters or I'll smell your old cologne / It's all I've got to keep my hand from the telephone.

    I've almost tried but I don't even know where I could start / I can't leave behind the hole you left in my heart

    Hours fade into days and years / I've forgotten the taste of my own tears

    Maybe when I'm fifty I can think of you and smile / and realize you were better off anyhow / The time it goes so quickly I could never count the days / by then I'll know I'll be close to coming home to you anyway

    I've almost tried but I don't even know where I could start / I can't leave behind the hole you left in my heart
    Speaking of 180 degrees

    It's amazing how a single phone call can change your mood, veer your thoughts off course, change the day's soundtrack from barely-alert-but-peppy to mellow-and-pensive, reflective even.

    Yesterday I finished recording the last bits of my vocals for the CD. Finally, on the last day of recording, the "studio" no longer intimidated me. Finally, I stepped up to the ownership of my own words and melodies. They no longer ran me, I sat back and steered them as if I was sipping a long, smooth shiraz-cabernet on a mild Autumn night. My voice shone in rare form-- or at least finally got over that scratchy-cold and sounded more like "me." So much so that we took a few more takes of songs we'd already recorded.

    The afternoon sun bathed the horizon in warmth. By 5 o'clock I decided to take a "quick" 3 mile run before step aerobics. I ran faster than I have in months. At last, the autumn has swept aside the heavy, humid veil of summer air, alleviating undo pressure on my asthmatic lungs.

    Then I studied for awhile and finished the night off with a viewing of The Life of David Gale which made my mind rock and reel while I drifted off to sleep.

    This morning came with a brisk bite and cold slap in the face. This morning came with a phone call. The voice on the other end sobbed almost incoherently. Yet, stumbled through the words enough for me to know that my mom had to put our 13-year-old dog to sleep yesterday due to an excruciating tumor. Farewell to the best dog in the whole world.
    Doin' the Bull Dance, Feelin' the Flow

    In all of the craze over the Grace's pumpkin party, I almost forgot to fill you in on my weekend experiences. Well, experience. So, you know the phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans?" Well, I got to do as a honky-tonker this weekend and test my hand at mechanical bull riding!

    It was pretty funny. The bull is on this huge air mattress (which I thought would be fun to do back flips on-- after a drink, yep--she's a smart one folks). Then I took a running start, gave a bounce and in one bound, hopped onto that thing like a seasoned wrangler. Even though I had no idea what I was doing. I believe I also shot off my mouth before getting on the bull about wanting the guy running it to "try to throw me off." And throw he did. He whipped that bull in 180 degrees and every where in between and beyond-- and then reversed. All in about 6 seconds. That air mattress is my friend.

    I may have gotten thrown-- but I looked freaking cool doing it. :-)

    Monday, October 27, 2003


    Kristin has been caught in what I would consider hell over the past 24 hours. Julia's probably been in it as well, and her last post was about the suicidal thoughts of others. Jason is going through a quarter-life-crisis.

    Hence, I think we need some levity. So, here's a little account of the Grace's 3rd Annual Pumpkin Party last night. First we had a decadent display of culinary feats. The Graces made an enormous Harvest Pie, caramel corn, sangria, 2 dips, brie and crackers, a chocolate pumpkin torte thing, yummy, yummy treats.

    I never knew there was such a strong pumpkin-carving-cult. SarahGrace even has a carving apron kit thing that her mom made for her with the most amazing tools ever. I brought a knife, an apple corer and a little kit that I bought from Michael's. Yep, we stole the Grace's tools.

    Some people made regular old funky, scary jack-o-lanterns. Some people did the fancy patterns from one of those idea books. One couple even had a fake pumpkin. My team? We carved Matt Grace-- complete with curly hair and "I'm Blogging This" t-shirt. heh heh. We love you Matt!!!!

    Best comment of the evening by Mike: "Good idea, Graces-- get people drunk on sangria and then let them play with knives!"

    SG's response? "Hey, it's what we do."

    Friday, October 24, 2003

    There's a song that's inside of my soul. It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again~ Only Hope, Switchfoot

    I have one of these. You know, a song that I've tried to write time and again and just can't. It's about one of the longest nights in my life. So, I thought maybe if I wrote it out here, maybe I could get some inspiration~or at least get it off my chest. So, here goes story time.

    Spring semester my senior year of high school my mom was diagnosed with cancer. That summer she went through all the "right" surgeries and didn't even have to go through chemotherapy. In the process, however, we found out that she also has emphysema, which actually runs genetically in our family--I might get it even though I don't smoke. Due to her emphysema, every time my mom went in for medical treatments it would take her at least a week longer to heal than expected.

    Going away to college was particularly difficult for me because of my mom's frailty. By that time my parents' divorce had gone through and my mom was pretty much on her own in the middle of nowhere (I don't think my sister had moved back in yet). Early December my mom went back into the hospital for an outpatient surgery. Needless to say, her emphysema kept her hospitalized. My mom was supposed to come to my choir concert. She had promised. But now she was in a hospital in Milwaukee and I couldn't do anything to help. So, I called my aunt in Milwaukee. I took a bus from Madison to Milwaukee Friday night and my aunt picked me up and took me to the hospital. They moved my mom into her own room so I could stay the night with her. My aunt picked me back up in the morning to take me back to the bus station so I could make it back in time for my rehearsal and concert.

    That night was one of the longest nights in my entire life. I lay awake in a reclining chair most of the night watching my mom. They were trying a medicine on her that made her toss and turn all night. When she finally did fall asleep, the nurses came in to give her more medicine and had to wake her again. My mom has always been a strong, yet delicate figure in my life. She grew up in a broken family, moving around often because her mom could no longer afford where they were living. My mom put up with a lot of crap in our own family over the years, and even though I've seen her cry, I've seen her take care of things and pull through.

    That night my mom lay in that hospital bed attached to IVs and propped by pillows, shivering to the bone, no matter how many blankets draped over the bed. I can still picture her lithe 5'6", 105-pound body dwarfed by the cold bed and room. I can remember the blinds slightly ajar, eerie yellow light from the parking lot lamps filtering onto her pale face until they were replaced by the cold, grey light of a chilly December morning, which let an even more ashen aura into the already sickly room. This is the story that I can't get out. What it was like to watch her there, to see her pallid figure, hear her muffled moans and groans, taste the dense, sterile air. This is the fog in the recesses of my soul too heavy for a light breeze to clear. Where's a tornado when you need one?

    Thursday, October 23, 2003

    Step Inside

    This is me in brown and green and yellow and purple. This is me in words and structured sentences. This is me. You may have wondered why I haven't put pictures up. It's not that I'm lazy and don't have the equipment (ok that's part of it), it's not that I fear rejection based on my appearance, because I actually think I'm relatively attractive. There's something else, something more. I don't want you to see me from the outside. This is your invitation to the looking glass.

    Come, walk with me to the edge of the pool. Touch the rim and see as the wind changes our reflection from placid to disturbed. Come. Don't look into my hazel eyes, look through them. See me as I see me-- not always perfect, sometimes down right messed up, but still fair, still delicate, still stern, still... still... still me.

    Welcome to the looking glass where we can no longer see our reflection and then turn away and forget. This looking glass doesn't just show the present, it shows the past and is a harbinger of the future. Don't get too close, I'd hate for us to fall in. But come. Come.

    Welcome to the looking glass.

    For best effect, read with Lissssp

    Hello friends,

    Melissa was up late last night recording, so I am subbing for her this morning. My name is Cleatus and Lis and I have been friends, since, well, since I can remember. Lis is a great friend, but not my best friend. My best friend is Joe. Joe and I do manly things together like make dips for parties and exchange little-known facts about celery. Joe is a super person and is very thoughtful; he always wonders where I am and never knows when I'll show up.

    Enough about Joe, lets talk about Cleatus. Like I said, I am Cleatus. My favorite airline is Midwest Express. My favorite color, and fish, is salmon-- followed closely by a manly shade of chartreuse. I like to wear sweat suits and sneakers because they are cozy. My cocker spaniel's name is Susie. Susie is very special to me. She brings me my slippers and newspapers. As a matter of fact, I should go and read my Washington Post right now.

    see ya-- Cleatus.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    Deep Thoughts

    If I had a choice between a hot guy and funny guy, I'd pick the funny guy-- because in the long run, one or two cosmetic surgeries would probably be cheaper than all those rotten tomatoes.

    **yeah, it's that kind of morning... sorry.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    You Don't Have To Drag Me Down
    I Descend

    Fall shouldn't be green. Fall should be muddy maize and ashen golds, blazing red and burnt orange, brisk blue and deep plums. Although it has inflamed the North, Fall has yet to descend upon the South.

    Driving down the county highway upon which I grew up, a strong sense of comfort pulsated through my veins. Here multi-colored trees line the road with just enough space for you to see the fields of amber acreage roll ever-so-slightly into the horizon. The maize landscape looks deceptively dry; dry enough to burst into flame. Looking deeper down at the damp earth will tell you the only fire fit for these fields flame in the hues of the surrounding foliage.

    Here, foot prints and paw prints of runners and their companions sink into the after-rain, muddy bike trail. Here, telephone wires exist as the only signpost of modern civilization. Yes, here run horses, hear cows low. Hear the rustle of the drying leaves and remnant, post-harvest corn stalks.

    Here you can take a moment out of the hustle and bustle to hear the pulse of the earth, the milling of the wild, the very breath of Eden.

    Sunday, October 19, 2003

    Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

    I cannot recall how many hours or days it has been since my last confessional. Not only have treacherous sins of lust and desire welled up within my heart, but I have abetted those impure, immoral longings to manifest themselves into reality. You have blessed me with a strong, healthy body-- in which you, yourself, claim residency. A body that you have deemed your holy temple and I, in my impropriety have defiled. I have turned your sanctuary into a den of thieving merchants and vagabonds. Turn your purifying fire against me, purge the evil from my body, consume the dross and anoint me with water and oil once again. Flush out the impurities and whittle away the excess. Please Father, forgive me my transgressions-- lead me not into temptation and deliver me from that McDonald's Quarter Pounder and fries. Ugh.

    Friday, October 17, 2003

    I'm Fine, Really

    Right. Ok, so I'm actually inexplicably exhausted. I think I might have a cold or something, but I'm just trying to deny its existence until I actually have the time to be sick--like sometime in January.

    Good news, however, is that I recorded a few of my vocal tracks last night for my cd. Even though I'm a little under the weather (read: might as well have mono because I can't stay awake), recording went well. Thanks to my grogginess, the low notes came much easier and my stubborn insistence to get through the songs despite my cold gave me more confidence than previous attempts.

    AND-- I have to give MAJOR PROPS to Andrew Osenga my friend and producer who exudes artistic genius and dedication-- but wouldn't believe it even if you told him, because he's also humble and freaking cool (which would explain how he won the heart of his rockin' wife-and my "ickle" friend-, Alison). [Funny aside, if you go to the photos page on Andy's site and scroll down to the pic of "Andy rockin' at his reception" you can see half of my head in the foreground-- woohoo, there's my 15 seconds of fame!!!] Thanks to Andy and some of our other friends, the instrumental sounds amazing-- even pre-mixing.

    Ok, there's my rambling. Going home to the Northerns this weekend. Cousin's bridal shower, time with the fam and getting fitted for my bridesmaids dress. It'll be a quick 52 hours, but I'll try to update you, while immersed in it, on the beauty of Wisconsin Autumn.

    Last thing, with recording winding down and photo shoot to be scheduled soon, stay tuned for the emergence of a separate site for my album! Peace y'all.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Like Lisa?

    I can remember when The Simpsons first graduated from the Tracy Ullman Show onto their own series, taking the media and consumer markets by storm. I can remember all of the little Bart wannabes in their "Eat My Shorts" and "Don't Have A Cow" t-shirts. Being a fan of the Simpsons from watching the Tracy Ullman Show, I was equally enthralled with the "typical American family." Instead of touting rude comments and staying after school to fill the black board with what I "will not" do, I better associated with another member of the family.

    Yes, while all the boys were proudly brandishing their "Underachiever" t-shirts and sweatshirts, my white tee showed Lisa sitting at her desk, the word "Overachiever" arched over her head. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am an overachiever. There, I've said it.

    Big surprise, huh? Ok, not really. I made this same confession in a conversation with a friend last night. He replied, "Yeah, I figured."
    I asked, "Why, because I like crossword puzzles (having just completed the NY Times') and word of the day calendars?"
    He smiled and said, "Well that and you graduated with a 3.8 in your major."
    To which I justified, "Yeah, but I got something like a 3.0 in my other major."
    "See, you even had two majors!"
    "Well, a lot of people double-majored because Madison doesn't have minors."

    Right. Ok, point taken. Well, fine. Yes-I love words: poetry, prose, lyrics, crosswords, synonyms, antonyms, vocab in general. Superfluous is my favorite word because I think it epitomizes itself. I love words so much that I am applying to a Comparative Literature graduate program at Vanderbilt. I am not telling you this to boast. I am telling you this so that you can keep me accountable. In the end, the only reason I truly moved to Nashville is because I had told so many people, I really couldn't stay in Madison. My instinct is to keep this under wraps until I get in, or at least until I finish my application or take the GRE (Nov. 4th) but I know that if I keep it to myself, procrastination is bound to creep in and take over.

    Kind of like my music, but now I'm in the studio and hope to have my CD ready by Christmas, if not the beginning of the year. How awesome would that be? 2004-- the year of my first personal CD release and start of my Masters.

    So, there. I've said it and I've made the necessary plans. Now I have to study more for the GRE and get my transcripts. This is the first school I've ever applied to that I wasn't 100% sure I would get accepted. There was something very comforting in telling my dad and having him say, "Oh, sure you'll get in. You just have to hope you get the TA job so it'll pay for it!" Oh, yeah, paying... let's hope I get in and get to be a TA-- that's not overachieving, that's being poor. Sorry, I forgot. To quote myself, "I am not poor. I am indebted."

    Monday, October 13, 2003


    Ain't that what you want them to know? All they get of you is what they get out of the show. The rest is mine, I guess, the beauty and the mess; to hide~ Nickel Creek

    I've posted this lyric before, but it's so great and so true-- not just about a show, but about life-- hello, about blogs. I have a friend who is afraid to write how he feels because someone once complained that his blog was too depressing. Um, hello, maybe they should have said something like: man, your blog's depressing, how are you? really?

    The thing is, though, that we (at least, I) get so wrapped up in the freedom to write my deep-seated thoughts that I look back on my posts and go-- hey, sounds like I'm a melodramatic, boy-crazy loser-loner. I would like to address this misconception: I am not a loser-loner. ; )

    See, that's just the thing, I spend so much time trying to be deep here, masking my flighty senselessness, my consistent randomness. So, I thought I'd just fill you in on some of my random thoughts lately in a bulleted list, ala Julia.

    *I can't find my journal, this is bugging me--because I really, really have no idea where it is, or into whose hands it has fallen. and it's more than my journal-- it has notes and phone numbers and directions... important things!

    *I had a dream that I was listening to my cd and my family came in and wanted to change discs because the cd I had on wasn't very good and they didn't even know it was me.

    *It cracks me up that Arnold was in a movie called Total Recall (a copy of which is sitting in my mom's basement right now.)

    *I think Weird Al should make a parody song called "Pootylicious."

    *My 8-year-old nephew hung up on me yesterday when I joked that he may not deserve a birthday present. Now he's definitely not getting one. Ok, he probably will, but it'll be clothes or books or something like that-- the little punk.

    *However, I still have to laugh at the memories of my, then 4?-year-old, nephew locking our friend John, who was living with us, out of the house---twice in a row. John said: That's not funny. Colin said: I'm not trying to be funny, I don't like you!
    Kids, they say the darnedest things. You'll be happy to know that Colin has finally accepted John as a part of the family (because he basically is).

    *Decongestants make me dizzy and dehydrated. Where's my Nalgene?

    *Damn, I can't be funny here. I guess my quirky sense of humor really only works in personal interactions-- you know, when I can't so harmoniously mingle verbs and nouns and there is no "backspace."

    *Last one--Blogger's spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "blog." now that's funny.

    Thursday, October 09, 2003

    See With Your Hands

    Usually during shows I twirl programs into little cylinders, one way and then the other-- a sort of counter-roll. Tonight all I have is a ticket stub. Usually said stub would quickly find a home in my back pocket so that, by the end of the night the lettering's not worn down from the oils of my fingers, but from the friction of material on either side and the curve of my posterior-- molded perfectly to the subtle creases of denim-- maybe, if the stub's too long, the top will stick out and fray from rubbing against the bottom of my belt.

    Tonight, however, said stub sits in front of me, slipping between my fingers, my thumb memorizing every perforation, gliding over the glossy stock of blue and white and black and grey and a sort of almost-mustard yellow-- not quite maize-- all I can compare it to is the golden rod of the Green Bay Packers. But I'm not reading the seat number or headliner or date or venue. I'm not even looking down or concentrating all that intently on the ticket. Rather, I've closed my eyes so I can feel the percussion swell up from the floor and my seat and I'm trying to picture how you would hold this ticket stub--if you would risk folding it instead of gingerly bending and rolling. Then my mind wanders further--what if I were that stub?

    How would your hands feel running over mine? Would your calloused fingers even know if mine were smooth? Would you trace your forefinger across my jaw line before simultaneously leaning in and drawing me closer with your other hand- first against my hip, then sliding toward my spine, ending in the small of my back, just under the edge of my shirt-- as you guide me closer and closer still? Would you give more attention to my warm, supple skin than this glossy, multi-colored stock? Would you recklessly fold, tear and gnaw at me, or thoughtfully bend, twist and trace my outline--memorizing every dimple and curve not with your eyes, but with the tips of your fingers? Would you take me home and place me on your bed side table so you could reminisce on our time together from the time you turn off your alarm clock at the break of day until the time you lay your head back down in the silence of the night? Or, would I be quickly ushered into your back pocket~ to be inadvertently molded and frayed, forgotten past laundry day only to be tossed away with the lint-trap-residue? For that matter, if I were that ticket, would you even bother to come to the show at all?

    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    Walk Away

    If I were honest with myself, I would admit that I am hopelessly addicted to media. From radio to random WB shows to online newspapers (ok, it might just be for the crossword puzzles), to a small collection of DVDs lining the inside of my walnut kitchen wall cabinet converted to living room floor cabinet, I enjoy sound-bytes of blistering conflict swollen, broken and healed within four paragraphs, an hour and a half or three minutes. I enjoy resolution. "To Be Continued" remains my least favorite ending to a show. Unwritten sequels (or "6th-7th years") stoke my curiosity and gnaw at my finite imagination.

    To me, media entertains because it satiates my need for closure, a need ever unfulfilled in the *real* world. My mother calls me a pack rat; I call myself "sentimental," nostalgic, if you will. I don't replace pictures in frames; I just update them and keep the old ones behind the new. In my nightstand drawer sits highlighters, an old battery, a picture of my friend Barley when he was six, a picture of my parents dancing at my mom's surprise 40th birthday party and a clipped newspaper comic my mom sent to cheer me up-- in 1999.

    Its not the objects themselves (well, ok, sometimes it is) but what they stand for and the memories they stir that make walking away, or throwing them away, so difficult. My mom didn't understand how I could move so far away after college. She said, "but you're such a home-body." Sure, I got homesick as soon as my mom dropped me off at Girl Scout camp. Yes, when I moved into the basement bedroom I came back upstairs to cherish the room that I had called mine for 13 years. I cried when I closed the garage door behind me on my first trip to college and when I spent 17 days in the Dominican Republic, I got physically sick with pointed moments of extreme anxiety in my longing for "home."

    However, I don't necessarily attribute these occurrences as much to being a "home-body" as I do to the fact that I tend to cherish and savor my surroundings so much that I miss them when I am away. Case in point: leaving Girl Scout camp actually saddened me; I now miss the basement bedroom, which has since been reclaimed by my sister; moving from my college town hurt more than leaving my home town and I hope to return to the Dominican Republic someday. It's not that I need one specific home, but more that I find a piece of home everywhere I go. I don't "pack rat" possessions for the sake of ownership. They clutter my shelves and line my cabinets in order to make my current abode a sort of melting pot of worlds, of "homes." Like deliberately placing bits of my life together in chromatic order, trying to make jagged edges look seamless and intentional. This is why I have my pewter baby cup and silverware on that wooden shelf mom let me have from the living room. This is why I have that card that my best friend sent me two years ago because it reminded her of Jack Handy, and therefore me, stuck in the corner of my mirror next to last year's valentine--although I've moved twice since. This is why, rather than buying new ones, I've duct taped my Adidas sandals back together-- twice. And this is why I still sleep in the long sleeved shirt that I won the first night we ever hung out--the night my life forever changed--with my flannel cheer shorts from 9th grade. I guess I'm just not good at personal resolution, perhaps because try as I may to walk away, there's always going to be bits of earth from a path hard-trodden stuck in the treads of my shoes, the aroma of changing winds will always linger on the collar of my coat and the shrapnel the past will be forever embedded in my fingerprints.

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    Take Two

    Ok, so I know I already posted today, but I really had to let you all know about my weekend. I thought about hoping online last night, but knew one short post could turn into way too long on the internet-- especially given that I'm online approx 40hrs a week as it is.

    So, this weekend. Friday night I decided to go to a 60 minute spinning (indoor biking) class at the YMCA. First of all, spinning scares me. I have bad knees and those people always look psycho biking like that. Apparently, however, spinning can help my knees get better. Well, needless to say, I didn't die. I actually enjoyed it.

    What I didn't enjoy so much (although I laughed through it) was finding my car wouldn't start when I tried to leave. Or, rather, my alarm wouldn't turn off (it's silent and the lights just blink, thank God), but when the alarm is going off, the car is disabled and won't start. Someone tried to jump my car, but that didn't work. So, I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I thought about walking the 2.5 miles home, which isn't a bad distance (I go on a regular 4 mile walk or run) but they aren't the most "walkable" streets--read, no sidewalks and heavy traffic. So, a sweet high school girl gave me a ride home-- astonished that I wasn't more peeved about my car.

    Both of my roommates happened to be gone for the weekend, so I was pretty much stranded at home (or at the mercy of my kind and wonderful friends--thank you thank you thank you) all weekend. I had my car towed from the Y on Saturday morning (when I was supposed to be at work) and some guy had the audacity to be ticked that the tow truck was in front of his car while picking up mine. Hey, buddy--at least you can get in your car and drive off once he moves! Ah well, I apologized for getting in his way nonetheless.

    It was actually nice to be stranded and/or at the mercy of others for a little bit. Gave me a reason to take things easy-- and I got to enjoy some awesome time with friends, too.

    Here comes the best news-- I just called about my car and it's not as bad as I thought. In truth, it's better than I could have imagined. Not only am I *not* in need of a new battery, the bane of my motor vehicle life that is the alarm from hell, has been taken out! The alarm was on the blink, so they disabled it and now my car is not only ready to be picked up, original battery in place, but I'm rid of the most annoying, sensitive alarm in the world!!!!! Woo hoo!

    No more fearing passing roadsters or falling rain~ not this girl, she's alarm free (no exaggeration). I'm more than excited right now.
    If You Tarry Till You're Better, You Will Never Come At All

    Time and time again I have heard people (myself included) vow to be a better person for the sake of others and society. "I have to work on myself before I can allow someone else into my world." "I can't date anyone until I have learned more about myself." "It's not you, it's me." "I need to find out who I am."

    So often people set their lives, worth and lovability on a so-called-measurable scale--or rather a time line of ever-fluctuating standards. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that each of us holds a certain responsibility to "be all that we can be," however, I think that in this focus, we overlook the fact that we can not, on our own, mold ourselves. From the time we came into the world, wrinkly, ugly and grasping for air, to the time we finally join our maker (hopefully, wrinkly, ugly and grasping for air), our surroundings shape and influence our lives. What makes us think that we can come to a certain measurable apex of sensitivity, awareness and maturity all on our own-- or, ever, for that matter?

    We have been placed in community for a reason. We have been blessed with civility, society and communication. God said it was not good for man to be alone so he made Adam an aid, a friend. Why should relationships be any different now? Why should we think that we could ever be perfect on our own? Isolation breeds not perfection, but rather estrangement. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm tired of people saying they need to work on themselves more before allowing someone else into their lives. After all-- who's to say that we have any possibility to change without the help of others? I think the whole point of having a soul mate is finding someone who makes you better, someone who brings out in you what you could never bring out in yourself. Someone who knows your weaknesses and loves you still-- and vice versa, for all of it.

    Therefore, I'm not going to stop trying to improve, but I'm also not going to reject possible opportunities for relationships or friendships due to my inadequacies. Because if I waited around until the breach of perfection before I entered society, I might as well start building my own personal hermitage.

    Friday, October 03, 2003

    Still Not Fiction

    Yesterday Kristin asked for some ideas for wedding decorations and we came to a sort of apple theme. The funny thing is, all I keep doing is thinking of my mom. Here's why:

    Growing up, we knew a few things to do that would really irk my mom. For some reason, wiping cloth against your teeth drove her nuts. And apples. Well, more the fact that apple flesh browns. I can remember getting a candied apple from a pumpkin farm so large that I could clearly not eat it in one sitting. I remeber carefully eating one side at a time so that I could place it on wax paper in the refridgerator-- put the browning side toward the back of the fridge so my mom did not see it, freak out and throw it away.

    Something must have snapped when I went away to college-- empty nest syndrome or something, because when I came home from freshman year, mom started collecting antique dishes and had completely redecorated our kitchen in--yep, apples. I said: But, mom, you hate apples. She said: yeah, I know. Weird lady. Not only has she decorated in apples, she painted a cute little apple border along the top of the walls and has an apple spoon rest next to the fake apple pie on the stove top. She has apple potpourri in an apple bowl and burns apple cinnamon candles to accent the aroma wafting from her little cinnomon stick broom on the wall.

    Now it's moved into the living room. We have not one, but two corner hutches showcasing the antique tablewear. It's been there for years... but it still freaks me out. I mean, come on-- apples used to make her flesh crawl. So wrong.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    Clearing the Way

    I have been wanting to write something fictional for some time now; something whimsical and fantastic. In part to stretch my imagination and writing skills, but mostly because I am sick of writing about my life. Unfortunately, be it the time of year or... who am I kidding, it's the time of year, it's always this time of year- October 3rd to be exact, I can't shake a certain story from my head. For a long time I have avoided it, perhaps because seeing it in black [blue] and white might make it more real. The fact stands, however, that it is real. It has been real for seven years. Therefore, perhaps fleshing it out will give it legs and it will walk away tarrying in my conscience no longer. Consider this your due warning to the melancholy, over-dramatic material to follow. Don't worry, I usually get better after October 3rd.


    My sister said she wished they'd done it sooner. I remember her saying it. I remember we were in the full bathroom and I remember I was furious. I must have been a freshman or sophomore in college by then, which means my parents would have officially been divorced for at least one or two years. Even though I was nearing the age at which they had exchanged their vows, I couldn't understand why my sister wished that our family had fallen apart sooner. Of course, she was older than me and saw things from a much less naive point of view. Well, that, and she'd had seven more years hearing them fight than I had.

    Now, seven years from the divorce, I now look back with more seasoned eyes and wonder-- Why did they stay together for so long? Was it because of me? I had always known that my parents were separated when my mom found out she was pregnant with me and then they got back together. That knowledge made me feel special, like my birth had saved their marriage. Now I wonder if my birth simply brought 17 years of unnecessary heartache to the people I love most. I think of my nephew, who will turn eight this month and has never met his father-- heck, he's only received two attempts of communication from him at all in the past seven and a half years.

    And I wonder, did my parents' conservative 50's-style, duty-based, Catholic upbringing keep them together for the sake of the kids? Did my sister start doing worse in school not because of my presence (and natural genius) but due to the horrible home life I was too young and naive to comprehend? Did she rebel so much against them not because of youth's impropriety but because she had seen the malcontent bred by their institution and was kicking with all her might against conformity to its mediocrity? I always knew my sister was smarter than her grades suggested; perhaps now I have a better understanding why.

    I picture my dad storming out of the house and hear the thickness of his silence for weeks on end. I picture my mom crouched and trembling on the back stoop afraid of what the morning might bring. I picture my sister running away again and again and again. I wonder if these pictures were painted with the brush of my own childish selfishness. Then I picture my parents slowly dancing in the kitchen to music only they can hear and I am brought back to the reality that I am not the pivot on which their inaudible record spun~ I am a recurring and evolving theme throughout the soundtracks of their lives. Only in my own soundtrack can I be the main melody to which all other tunes relate in tension or resolution. That's good, I'd rather sing background vocals any way.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2003


    I was a cheerleader in high school. yeah, yeah. Ok, are you done snickering? May I go on now? I was on my high school squad and a competitive squad (think ESPN cheerleading). Between the two squads I had practice almost every day either throwing people in the air or being thrown, falling or being fallen on, dancing or flipping across the floor--five to seven days a week. Needless to say, I was in shape (especially when I had to ride my bike to and from practice- 30 minutes each way) but I was also incredibly sore. I would have never dreamed of getting a deep tissue massage because tension seized my shoulders and back to the point of pain on contact.

    The closest I came to a massage was having our jet black cocker spaniel puppy, Cinders, run across my back. Of late, I have been suffering from incredible tension in my shoulders and back again. I have tried soothing body scrubs*, calming teas and all sorts of stretches. Therefore I have come to a very important conclusion: I either need a cocker spaniel pup or a good massage. I think in the long run (considering cost of food, vaccinations and inevitable replacement of gnawed shoes and furniture), $60 on a good massage may not be that expensive after all.

    *note to self: vanilla orange brown sugar body scrub is revitalizing, relaxing and leaves skin silky smooth with a delectable aroma of cookies on a tropical island. However, also attracts ants-- spray shower after use.

    Monday, September 29, 2003


    \Ap"a*thy\, n.; pl. Apathies. [L. apathia, Gr. ?; 'a priv. + ?, fr. ?, ?, to suffer: cf. F. apathie. See Pathos.] Want of feeling; privation of passion, emotion, or excitement; dispassion; -- applied either to the body or the mind. As applied to the mind, it is a calmness, indolence, or state of indifference, incapable of being ruffled or roused to active interest or exertion by pleasure, pain, or passion. ``The apathy of despair.'' --Macaulay.

    Someone once said that the opposite of love is not hate, it's apathy. Just not caring. Of late, I have felt a certain want of feeling and privation of passion. However, as applied to my mind, I have also experienced a want of calmness. While feeling indifferent, I can not say that I am incapable of being ruffled or roused. In actuality, I have been rather disturbed by my lack of emotion and passion-- especially in regard to my music, relationships and work. Due to "health complications" I tend to be rather tired most of the time, replacing breathing with yawning and water with caffeine, which, unfortunately irks and aggravates other health complications. gah. They are all working together against me. Regardless, what I am trying to say is that I am generally somewhat mellow, physically speaking.

    Any way. My goal, then, remains to exist and find joy outside of my haggard shell. I felt joy yesterday. The kind of joy you have when meeting a friend or loved one at the airport whom you haven't seen for years. The kind where you can hardly contain yourself and it takes every ounce of energy to hold still until you see them-- at which point you burst out of your seat (and practically out of your flesh), running full speed to embrace them. Like the anticipation of a predator crouched, ready to pounce on its prey or a soldier waiting anxiously until he can see the whites of his enemy's eyes. Like that, except without the trepidation and fear, without the malice and vehemence, without the propriety and honor.

    It is a shameless love; an unabashed elation. If one could describe apathy as a cave so barren and hostile that nothing, not even stalagmites or stalactites could grow, this mirth and merriment stands as an eternally blossoming lea, flush and fragrant. Without the allergies.

    Friday, September 26, 2003

    Hell On Earth

    I can not think of a situation more representative of hell on earth than this fire in a nursing home. I don't know who's in more pain today: one of the seniors lying in a hospital bed suffering from burns and smoke inhalation or the Fire Chief who wasn't able to reach his ailing mother in time to save her from the flames. I think I might be sick.

    Thursday, September 25, 2003

    Not Ready For The Fall

    In less than a week it will be October. October! Hmm, wasn't expecting that one so soon- but it should be a good month. I could pass on a couple days in the month, but in general, I happen to like October.

    October reminds me of football games and homecomings, of coming home. Country roads over hung with golden reds, royal purples and fading greens flicker through my memories like an eternal Autumnal kalidescope. Man, I love County Q in the Fall-- the harvested corn fields, the flaming foilage, the pitch black sky that settles all the way to the cracked pavement so that stars seem to shoot up from the very horizon, like if you kept driving you could run right into one.

    October brings many fond memories of chilly nights warmed only by the golden glow of a bonfire, a cozy sweater and pair of jeans or a cozy new pair of arms pulling me close and warm cheek nuzzling into that sweet spot on my neck that makes me at once titter and shiver. October brought me my first love. And my second. And third. And my third, again; to flush my face with joy, mimicking the effects of that bonfire's blaze before it smolders out or a maple's limbs before they are bereft of all means of coverage. That is, until the snow comes. A deep blanket of snow and ice under which to hide until ready for the rejuvinating Spring.

    In October, Nature puts on her final airs-- dresses up to the nines and tens-- before her frozen Winter hibernation. October slaps a fresh coat of paint over the chipping landscape, making all things beautiful on the outside to hide the fact that they are dying on the inside.

    The more I think about it, I wonder if Autumn really is a glorious season, so colorfully enflamed or if it is just the shiny wax polish on Snow White's Red Delicious (or, for that matter, the cinnamon stick in her cider).

    Tuesday, September 23, 2003

    The Day The Music Died

    No, I'm not going to go into a torturous Madonna-esque rendition of Don McLean's never-ending hit. (aside: Pretty Penny by Stone Temple Pilots is on the radio right now. I love this radio station.)

    If musical talent is genetic, I was adopted. (however, the stunning physical likeness of my family would suggest otherwise) I have been fortunate enough to start working on an indie solo album of songs I've written over the past three years. I'm a very sentimental person and there's a story behind each song. That's why I am so unnerved at my incapibility to find the passion and fervour with which to infuse the vocals.

    They feel stagnant, flat, commonplace. I conceived these lyrics from some of the most pressing times in my, albeit short but, troubled life. I feel like mocking myself here and quoting Ben Folds: "Ya'll don't know what it's like being [fe]male middle class and white." However, having a priviledged upbringing, does not necessarily come devoid of trials and tribulations-- illness, lost loves, death, torturous days and nights.

    Something different has come over me lately. I don't think it's apathy, maybe it's forgiveness. Maybe I've forgiven and forgotten the past and therefore find it hard to relate to my own espousals of scorn and sorrow. Maybe the scars from the searing pain are too deep to recall, for now.

    All I know is that the last time I was singing and listening to my own lyrics I thought: this will probably be my last recorded work. And with that thought, I felt like something in me died. Hopefully it's not dead but is still wick and has a life about it and just needs love and nurishment to grow... (ten points if you get that reference).

    Ok, I guess I should stop joking around and telling people I look like Katie Holmes. Especially since last night I had a dream that I was her. Um, no thanks.

    On another (and biologically) twin-related note: I saw the twin grannies walking around today for the first time since February! It was so good to see them back together.

    Friday, September 19, 2003

    Dinner and a Memory

    Tonight a friend and I went to see The Magdalene Sisters, loosley based on the true story of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries. Apparently, Joni Mitchell even wrote a song about the injustice done there. Not what you would call a pick-me-upper, but definitely worth seeing. However, this post is not a movie review or semi-political/religious dais, it's a memory triggered by the senses.

    Seated somewhere near me in the theatre, though I couldn't tell where, was a man wearing Hugo Boss cologne. Between scenes it would waft my direction and arouse my senses. I don't think I could ever date a man who wore Hugo Boss. That is, not again.

    I met Brice on a seven week summer mission's trip on which dating others on the trip was strictly prohibited. I was generally trying to stay away from boys at the time (one of the guys, Gregg, quickly coined me the "anti-guy girl"), so that suited me just fine. Therefore, Brice and I started to like each other somewhere around week two and a half. This resulted in many a talk from the leaders about our apparent (and, for the time being, inappropriate) closeness. Once they thought they saw us holding hands and all hell broke loose-- we hadn't even been holding hands at that point, not at that point.

    Through our platonic facade, we actually became close friends. After the farewell dinner Brice and I had a long talk and decided to try long distance dating. As a going away present he gave me some of my favorite perfume (which I had complained all summer I was too poor to buy) and his old, worn-in AE cap. The next morning he flew back to Kansas and I went back to Wisconsin.

    Soo Brice sent me a package full of meaningful things he had gathered up for me, including a present from his mother! One of the items was his bottle of Hugo Boss cologne. He sent a note with the package listing reasons for the contents. For the Hugo Boss, he simply stated that I had always said that he smelled good and he didn't want to smell good for anyone else, so I could keep his cologne.

    He treated me like a princess and I wasn't ready for it. Not only was I not ready for it, I didn't feel I deserved it. Most of all, whether I deserved it or not I knew that, in the long run, I was not meant to be his queen. Even though we had only dated for a short time, breaking up with Brice was one of the hardest things for me to do. I broke out in hives, got sick to my stomach and had panic attacks about it, but I knew it was the right thing. I knew because this was the first relationship I had really, truly given up to God and instead of yelling at me for breaking his heart, Brice thanked me for following God's will for us and we have stayed friends.

    That fall, Brice started dating Katy. They have been married for two or three years. She is the rightful keeper of the cologne.

    But I kept the cap.