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.