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.