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.
The Skinny

I got skinny. I don't exactly know how or when, but I did. After all of my years of trying to diet and work out and unhealthily obsessing about my weight, I've finally trimmed down. But the thing is, I'd kind of given up trying. I've been working out just because I like it and eating pretty much what I want whenever I'm hungry.

Maybe my wants have changed. Maybe I'm not as hungry as I used to be. Maybe I actually look just the same as I have for years but am now starting to see myself from an outside, and therefore less depricative, point of view. The other thing is that I'm still about 7 pounds above my "ideal" weight, but I kind of think I'm a little too boney as it is, I can't imagine looking all that great with seven less pounds.

I think a lot of life events happen this way. You strive for them, obsess over them and then, when you finally relax, you find yourself in the thick of it all. Then you might find out that what you wanted may not have been what was best for you to begin with. I even do this with religion. One of my greatest downfalls in my Christian life is trying too hard-- binding my self into a legalistic, works-based mindset-- which then gets off-set by a rebellion and abuse of grace, leading to sin, repentence and then back to legalism.

Then I read in Psalms: Be still and know that I am God.
It's like He's saying: calm down, relax. I appreciate your trying, but I will give to you what I will, when I will. I am the true artist, not you, and all of your arts are rain-spoilt water-colors to me. You are not the story teller, I am-- but I will reveal to you an inspiration so great, the world does not have enough words to describe, nor colors bright or deep enough to depict. Let Me move your hand. Let Me move your heart and before you know it, you will be here with Me, in the most beautiful tapestry you could never imagine.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

hmmm, I think I lied. However, I have been dredging through a lot of childhood stories that I have compressed deep within the wells of thought and time. Perhaps I will do some "pre-blogging" in my journal tonight and have a piece for the morning. Or, perhaps I will just smile to myself as I reminisce on planting and harvesting the small garden plot in our back yard with Pa (my grandpa).

Then I'll laugh at the fact that I actually wanted to pocket the green onions straight from the ground and run to the side of the house so my mom couldn't see me eating them. This is also the man who gave me my first sip of beer~ I think it was Pabst Blue Ribbon, gotta love Wisconsin loyalty. God bless him, I hated that bitter sip so much it kept me from the stuff for a long, long time.
I wrote a post yesterday but decided not to publish it. There are some things that are even too personal to share here. Plus, I'm not completely sure of the accuracy of all of my statements and claims: and I do, after all, have a certain journalistic integrity engrained in me (even if most of today's journalists don't). But I feel another post coming on. Stay tuned today.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Of Love And Water

For about three summers in junior high I took diving lessons a few times a week. In all this time I really only worked on variations of three basic dives: forward, backward and inward (where you jump backward and bend toward the board so that your back ends up facing the board as you go in straight). The backward dive was my favorite and the inward my nemesis, a fear which took years to overcome.

After conquering my fear of the inward dive I tried to progress to the next level: a reverse dive. This dive was kind of the opposite of the inward, where you jumped off the board forward, brought your feet up to your fingers and let the front of your body drop backward so you would enter the water facing the board. After several attempts to brave the reverse ending in me just jumping feet first into the water, I was finally able to pull my legs up into a pike and release my torso, ready to plunge into the water hands first. Except, I didn't. I did, however, land flat on my back (think of a belly flop, except, on your back--ooo) and get, not only a very red back, but the wind knocked out of me and an everlasting fear of the reverse dive.

This is how I've sort of looked at romance and love. It took me a long time to screw up the nerve to attempt the tricky, twisting maneuver into the deep waters of affection, and when I finally did it was a total flop, leaving a stunned me to be fished from the murky depths and resuscitated. Since then, I've been able to stick to my basic dives, but have avoided anything more complicated than an inward, which eventually faded into a deterioration of most of the diving skills I had ever learned. (so don't ask me to do any of them now).

Today, however, I have a secret-- and I say this with trepidation and fear: I am in love. You know what? It's still kind of like that back flop. The wind's been knocked out of me and my flesh tingles and sears from the encounter. My stomach lurches, tying itself in knots trying to cease the incesant beating of millions of butterfly wings. I sit here at my computer and look at my turned down bed with longing and uncertainty. My eyes and body long for rest, but what if this is only a dream? What if it's all over when I awaken in the morning? Although it would be the greatest, most unimaginable dream-- to wake up to cold reality would be death-- like emerging from the womb to be plunged in ice water that debilitates all functioning organs, closing the curtain on a life just begun.

However, I have a faithful lover who will not let go of me so easily. He is a jealous love who knows my fears and my wrongs and loves me any way. He will not let me run away. He is strong enough to fight my battles, but instead, he is the strength I have to fight them myself. With him by my side I do not have to be afraid of falling asleep cold or waking up alone. In fact, with him by my side, I need no other reason to lay my head down and rise again to a new day.

With that I say, good night.

Friday, September 12, 2003


I grew up in a family that "doesn't talk about that." It doesn't really matter what that is, we just didn't talk about it. The closest we came to discussing serious issues or problems were flippant remarks bandied across the dinner table. Rather than address and resolve the proverbial "pink elephant in the room," we turned him into the family scapegoat, he was such a good little pet.

It's no wonder, then, that I have a contradicting desire to hold everything in and spill my guts at the same time. First of all, a bottle can only hold the volume of it's afixed design before it overflows (or breaks), so there has to be some point at which I have used up every nook and cranny of this jar of clay and can cram in no more. However, I don't want to blurt out my deepest darkest thoughts to complete strangers like an unfortunate victim of Turret Syndrome.

The goal, then, is to know what tidbits to release, when and in what fashion. I could tell a whole story of how I feel without really ever giving you any details of what actually happened. It's an art of vague vulnerability, like a water color painting that's been left in the rain, you get a hint of what was there~ see the color scheme, possibly a hint of the scene, but each and every deliberate brush stroke has been diluted by the weeping heavens. Streams of blue and red may have even run off into the streets and gutters.

Most people may note the what-may-have-once-been-a-splendid-portrait left on the road side, ruined by negligence and torn from carlessness. Some may consider it an eyesore, littering their precious environment. Others still may walk right by, never looking down or to the left or right, but straight ahead, intent only on their destination.

Every once in a while, however, someone, in a vain attempt to dicipher the once-vivid image, might pick up that painting. If it's still wet, they might find their fingers stained with muddy purples and greens. Even if only for a little while--until they reach the nearest bar of soap, they will carry a piece of that painting with them. Others may try to reconstruct the painting, and though it might come close to the original, it will never be, because even the original artist can not paint the same picture twice. It will be flavored, instead, with new visions and biases, with different brush strokes and textures.

These people may never find a substance astringent enough to lift the colors which have imbedded themselves in their nail beds, their life lines, their fingerprints~their very identity.

Each of us carries a bit of each of these people within us. My hope is that you will feel welcome, no matter which type of person you feel like at the time, because each post is a new painting and might catch the eye of some and irk others. Come in, get dirty or stand back and observe~ just come back, you never know what will be here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

If you're looking for me, you've come to the right place.