Wednesday, December 29, 2004

So, it's Been a While

I haven't written anything anywhere since before my birthday-- which, by the way, thank you all very much for your incredibly non-Christmasy well wishes.

Here's the general update: Christmas with the fam was good; cold, but good. Actually, my mom and grandma thought I looked sad on Christmas morning. I said I wasn't, but perhaps I was (and I know they'll read this, so here's the explanation). I wasn't sad about what I did or did not receive, I was sad about what I was unable to give. I had a lot of grand ideas for gifts (that I will not give away here since it's bound to be read by those parties to whom I wished to give and perhaps someday might still be able to give) that never actually materialized. They weren't fancy gifts, just things I wanted to be able to do. That's all. I wasn't sad with them, but with me because to me the present thing is more about giving than receiving. (yes, yes, I know, thank you Tiny Tim) And presents are more about the thought put into them than the dollar value. So, I guess I was just sad that my thoughts never materialized and I wasn't able to show my family how much I truly love them. I mean, it really is the little things that mean everything.

Right now I have a lot of those little things swimming around in my heart and mind.




Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Preamble to a Birthday

Today is not my birthday. Tomorrow is. However, tonight I am having a small group of friends over to mark this lovely occasion. Last night I slaved over my family's traditional birthday rum cake-- which came perfectly out of the bundt pan this morning without any finagling or cutting it away from the sides of the pan, exciting me beyond words. Tomorrow night, on my actual birthday, a friend is having a Christmas party and promises to have a cake for me, as well-- a very sweet notion, but I almost wish she wouldn't.

It's not that I'm completely bitter or anything. I mean, I like Christmas and all, but when it comes to my birthday, Christmas celebrations tend to steal what little flame my birthday might have had. Over the years I've shared my birthday with Christmas/Holiday celebrations, winter dances, final exams and graduations. For once, I just wish I could be selfish and say my birthday is mine. Last year I sort of did this by devoting the whole day to the Lord of the Rings "Trilogy Tuesday" marathon. And what a glorious, butt-numbing day it was!

So, tonight I'm having people over. We'll sit around, chit chat, eat cake and other tid bits and just relax, because that is what I want to do with my birthday. I want to slow down. I want to break the cycle of going out for birthdays and simply stay in. I want a low-key night with good food and good people. That's my idea of a wonderful birthday. In fact, the very thought of the stillness of it all sends joyful shivers of excitement down my spine.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

One dreams of being blessed with great friends, but in awaking to the reality of them finds the dreams wholly unsatisfactory. Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I remember my grandfather as a brilliant engineer who used to watch debates on CNN and C-SPAN while we kids roamed around the house. Though generally slow to speak, he surprised us time and again with quick, witty barbs. As years racked up and passed him by, however, my grandfather slowly fell to the dimming effects of Parkinson's disease. His quick wit came off the shelf less and less until his hibernating lucidity pinned it forever to the far back corner of the shelf. In the end the disease sapped him of all energy, mental or otherwise until he could hardly recognize us, much less summon quick anecdotes.

I can hardly measure which left a greater pang, seeing the gears in his head grinding away only to stop stubbornly on the tip of his tongue or the altogether vacuous expression of an ever-ebbing memory. So often I looked into his eyes to be met with an impish glint of mischief. Over the years that sparkle morphed into something else. Instead of dimming, like one might automatically assume, the light in his eyes seemed to diffuse from a glint to a gleam to an overall glaze, as though they simply reflected another light, not unlike the moon reflects the sun. Yes, in the end his eyes shone not the story of his years, but a mere echo of the soul that once extended to the tips of his every limb.

Though technically my grandfather by marriage and therefore not linked by genetic makeup, I nearly understand how it must have felt, for I too sense a form of sanity slipping through my fingers. Too often I feel my eyes glazing over like a deer caught in the headlights of life. Whether it be the ubiquitous act of walking into a room only to completely forget the purpose of doing so, the easily understandable act of typing the wrong password into one of my many email accounts or the more heinous crime of missing a loved one’s birthday, I find myself stepping on the virtual toes of this dance partner called memory day in and out.

And yet, others often accuse me of grandiose acts of nostalgia and sentiment. My mother went through yet another box of my left behind, but not forgotten, wares and relics hibernating in her cellar. In it she found old pompons, a diary from my cheerleading trip to Ireland, books I had written and illustrated in grade school and notes and birthday cards hailing from the beginning of time. Some objects she finally wrenched through my imaginary protective shield, enabling her to throw them away. Others, however, still emanated the spell of my sentimental value, charming her into keeping them for yet another day or year.

Perhaps this is why I find little room to remember menial things today such as my locker combination or home zip code. My memory banks simply cannot contain it all. Years of treasures, pages of stories and reels of homemade movies hold them captive. You see, the fact of it is this: I do not so much cherish sentiment as much as sentiment has long since besieged my heart and mind, stubbornly refusing to let them go and making room for the new only when they have finally become old.


For what you label sentiment, captivates my every step.
Binding history round my soul. Ne'er to let this prisoner go.
To live the moment, yore's lessons borrowed
For every today turns yesterday tomorrow.



Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Least Wonderful Time of the Day

As I groggily rolled out of bed this morning I had a running commentary going through my head about the blog I needed to post regarding my disdain towards waking up. Surely waking up heads the list of my least favorite times of day, right? Then I worked on my budget and finances... oy. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new winner.

I think I'm going to go drown my sorrows in a homemade mocha consisting of cheap powdered hot chocolate mixed with the sludge that oozes from our staff kitchen coffee pot.

Stay tuned for more on this subject...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Open the Eyes of My Heart

We sang this song at church on Sunday. I learned it in college and it tends to bring a certain meaning to my worship times. It reminds me of different times in my life and many times of worship. The song used to be one of my favorites. I used to smile at hearing the opening chords. When I was down, hearing the song reminded me of happier times.

I spent one summer on a mission trip where we sang praise songs every morning. That summer the song made me homesick; made me cry. Whenever I hear this song, I retreat to my own little world. Over the past few years I've hardly heard it, but when I have, it has filled me not with joy or homesickness, but awe and fear. To be perfectly honest, I'm terrified to, as the lyrics beg, "see You."

I don't want to see God. I mean, I do, of course and I long to see Him-- when He has brought me up to Glory with Him. At the thought of seeing God, I find myself less like Thomas, boldly asking to touch His side, and more like Isaiah, crying, "I am ruined!" I know that Christ has "bridged the gap" between God and man, but I am still afraid.

Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing, the one that had me fearing morning lightening bolts for forgetting bedtime prayer-- literally. It was that God who scared me away from religion at all. Who wants a god who will strike him down for simply being human? And yet, though my frequent sacrilegious humor would suggest otherwise, it is that God I still fear.

I think it's healthy to fear God, though perhaps not to the extent that I sometimes do-- and not nearly to the extent that I most often find myself where I forgo any fear at all. Jesus is not my buddy. He is not my pal. He is my friend, yes. But He is also my King and my Savior and my Lord. He deserves reverence. He offers grace and mercy. We deserve death. He offers adoption into His family.

Just as adoptive parents ought not lord it over their adopted children, neither does God lord His adoption of us over us. Just as adoptive parents do, God cherishes us as His children and as gifts. As the Christmas season draws near and I think of so many gifts that will be opened and tossed aside, I think about the gift of adoption. Adoption is gift to both parent and child. It is a gift to be cherished and revered.

This isn't to say that the parents and children don't still get in fights; that the children don't still disobey and the parents don't lose their tempers. It isn't to say that the children won't go afoul, go astray, have a hard time looking into their parents' eyes when they've lied. Too often, my human state leads me to many a situation where I lie not only to my adoptive Father, but to myself, thinking that it'll be alright. After these situations, I find myself like that disobedient child, looking at the floor, kicking the dirt.

Unfortunately, these situations happen so often that I find my head easily bowed, not out of reverence, but fear and shame. Fortunately, my Father is not ashamed of me and there is no fear in Him (for He is Love and there is no fear in Love). What I am thankful for, then, this Thanksgiving, is not only my adoption and my redemption and His forgiveness; it's that He lifts my head and allows me to look on His splendor, allows me to be bathed in His beauty while I would have wallowed in my filth. For, even when I am terrified of asking to see Him, even when I don't want to see Him, He wants to see me.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Just Curious-- A Poll

How many people would actually want my CD?
Even if was just a somewhat ghetto copy (aka--price negotiable)?
Leave a comment, even if you've already told me.
Thinking about options here, kids.
Kamikaze Animals
or
There's My Hubcap!

Few random things today.

  • There is a large pale yellow dog (perhaps a lab, but probably a mix--still cute and playful looking) in my neighborhood who thinks it's fun to chase my car and run, particularly, in front of it. Excuse me doggy, but I don't want to hurt you, so please stop trying to meet your maker via my tires-- they're not that great to begin with-- my tires, that is.


  • Last night a deer ran out in front of the car in front of me. In five o'clock traffic. In a completely non-wooded area. From a school parking lot, even. It was a doe, I could tell that much. And a little too far from home. Looks like they ought to put a deer crossing sign next to the children crossing sign.


  • This morning on my way to work I saw a hubcap laying on the sidewalk, half emerged in some bushes. Someone might need that.


  • Last night I finally put a light bulb in our final living room lamp that has been light bulb-less since we moved in May. Subsequently, my roommate knocked the lamp over this morning and broke the bulb. I actually thought that pretty funny.


  • I love that I've gotten to know the people who work at the gas station. They treat me so well.


  • The lady who calls me "baby" (in a very southern-motherly way) at Arby's doesn't seem to be there any more. So sad.


  • I like soup.


  • And sleep.

  • Monday, November 08, 2004

    A sparrow flew overhead, its tawny underbelly grazing a wayward leaf. Surely this dainty creature meant to escape this frigid clime. Perhaps the sudden onset of winter caught her as much off guard as your suddenly cold demeanor caught me. As she wheeled through the sky I wondered where she might land. I wondered her intentions, or if she even owned the capability to intend at all. More than likely she merely wound around the world on instinct, chasing the sun like the moon rising and setting without pause or recourse, day after day, night after night.

    I wondered your intentions, and conversely, if you wielded the desire to intend anything at all. Perhaps you just float through life on whims and instincts, chasing skirts as an Autumn gale chases sienna leaves, leaving the trees naked and bare; leaving them cold and alone.

    Above me, the sparrow alit on an already stark branch, the end of which jutted out in a jagged mess-- presumably some damage from one of the many recent storms. She sat there. She didn't sing or preen. She just sat there. Once, I almost thought she looked at me; almost thought she was wondering what I was wondering. Almost.

    You sat there. You didn't apologize or make excuses. You just sat there. Once, I almost thought you looked at me; once I almost thought you wondered what I was wondering. Once. Almost. Almost. Once.

    And I sat there. Staring. Staring at her. Staring at you. Never looking at myself. I never wondered what I intended or what I was truly wondering, deep down in the honest depths where I loathe to go. Never. Not almost. Not once. Never.

    Then she flew away. And you flew away. So I sat there, naked and bare, cold and alone as the trees in winter. Not because of her. Not because of you. Because of me.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Um, uh...oops

    I'm wearing red, white and blue. Today. Election day. Not on purpose. Gives new meaning to the term "Freudian slip."

    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Dear Mother Nature,

    I hate to sound resentful or insolent, but Autumn ought to be gilded with a few gusty winds and loads of brilliant sunshine, not dull, dreary, overcast skies day after day, night after night. Forgive me my rebuke, but I do believe you may have mistaken Autumn for Spring.

    Sincerely yours,

    Lady M

    Tuesday, October 26, 2004

    what's going on over there? Posted by Hello

    Heeeeeeere's Elmo! (little costume part-ay last weekend to preview Halloween this coming weekend)
     Posted by Hello

    Monday, October 25, 2004

    Yen

    I have been craving pizza for days now. Even the consumption of some the other day did nothing to sate this desire. And yet, I cannot bring myself to actually purchase some pizza. Therefore, I will sit here with the food I have and glower and dream of crust and sauce and toppings of splendor.

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    A Cold and A Broken Hallelujah

    It seems the most draining and most exhilarating times of my life can be punctuated by a cold and a broken "hallelujah." The root of "hallelujah" in Hebrew is "hallel" which means "to praise." There's actually a difference between "Allelujah" and "Hallelujah." "Hallelujah" means "praise him" and "Allelujah" means "I praise him." (if parsing and memory serve me correctly) It may not seem like much of a difference, but it really can be. For it is in those most dark and disparaging times when one must cry out through humility and shambles, Hallelujah! For here it is a challenge, a proclamation, a demand, not only to ones' self, but to others as well "Praise him!" It is in these times that we need reminding to praise. It is in these times that I do not readily come to him saying "allelujah," "I praise him" that I must be reminded, "hallelujah," "praise him." "Hallelujah Ha-melek" "Praise the King."

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    For once in my life I was actually chastized for using my "filter."

    Last night I picked my car up from the shop and ended up adding an oil change onto the tab. I sat around talking with one of the guys there and another customer while another mechanic changed my oil. We went through the normal exchange of pleasantries: Are you from around here? No? Where are you from? What brought you here? yadda yadda yadda.

    After giving some of my explanations the two men responded as though I had given them the shaft. They said they could see a lot more going on, they could see the wheels turning in my head, spinning furiously, only to have me spit out an abrigded edition in the end. Perhaps it actually just takes me that much effort to not say everything that I'm thinking! That's probably it. Filters take a lot of work. Phew.

    Maybe that's why I don't write as easily on here any more either. I know that, whether I like it or not, every word must be strained through a necessary filter lest it come off too brash or garrish and land me into another intervention with those who have yet to attain a greater understanding of the fine nuances involved in the art of blogging. Hence, if you see my wheels turning, don't look away. Just know I wish there was more that I could say.

    Monday, October 18, 2004

    Dependence and Departure from Reason

    The past, oh (thurs, fri, sat, sun, mon...) five days have been relatively interesting relying on the kindness, generosity, patience and transportation of my benevolent friends. My car's been in the shop since Thursday, as you can probably devise from the above. I'm not very good at relying on others, so it's been a good lesson. And the lesson is: I need my car. Ok, ok, I need to be a little less independent at times. But I'll probably forget that once I have my car back which will hopefully be today-- however, I still need a ride to the bank to get money and then to the shop to get my car. Another lesson is in a source of dependence that I could use less of-- that of falling back on family for cash flow. Sucky. I hate it. Strong budget, here I come. At least I'm not overdrawing any more-- that's a step in the right direction, right? I hope so.

    Any hoo- I've also decided that I'm going back to being random. This blog was created to be both an outlet for my inappropriate humor and a pressure release for my over-analytical brain. I've been doing too much of one and not enough of either. So, here we go.

    I got honey in my hair this morning, which is sad because I could have used more in my oatmeal.
    I haven't missed not seeing the sun rise, I hope to go back to not seeing it rise sometime very soon.

    I'm wearing an awful lot of pink and brown today.-- I guess you could include my brown hair in that.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love hearing "Friday I'm in Love" on the radio, but it still weirds me out when it's played on a day that's not Friday. Maybe Katie Couric heard it today, too and that's why she said it was Friday this morning. We've got a long week ahead kids.

    I sent in a resume for a Proof Editor position, but didn't proof the cover email-- which had errors. Yeah, good job, kid. :-P

    I'm off to finesse an article into saying something else.

    Over and out.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Till Death Do Us Part

    In all my quarter-life thoughts about marriage, this is not a phrase I have spent enough time contemplating, or at least not in the right way. I have recently realized that in spending a considerable amounts of time weighing the gravity of the lifetime commitment of "to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do us part," I have overlooked the eternal ramifications of "for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

    A week ago, one of our chaplains lost his wife to a long battle with a particularly rare form of cancer. He's taking it very hard, as well he should. He's lost the women who he fell in love with at first sight. I've heard the story once or twice, but it's just as beautiful no matter how many times I hear it. While visiting his home on break from college, he saw her from afar and asked his brother, "Who is that girl?" Then he said, "I am going to marry that girl." She was only about sixteen at the time and he was about nineteen, but in the years to come he pursued her and they had a beautiful, long, devoted marriage.

    The past couple of years have been really hard on him, you can see it in his face, hear it in his voice. When she was doing well, so was he, but when she went through rough patches, it was his face that stood as the weatherworn billboard of their trials. Hearing him talking about her and the faith he has had throughout this entire process encourages me greatly, which I suppose is why I have felt such a devastating loss at her passing.

    To hear and see him speak is to understand how much she truly means to him. In her passing, I've come to realize that sometimes there are bonds so strong that death simply can't "do us part." In thinking about love and marriage, I find myself hoping for something that will last the strains of life, I've never given thought to enduring the strains of death.

    In light of all this thinking, I've also been carving out some little lyrical snippets, here's a bit:

    I said I would hold you, have you till the end
    Promised only death would do us part
    Now I know those solemn vows were mere lies upon my lips
    For even death cannot tear me from your heart

    It's not fair. It's not fair. No one asked my opinion
    It's not fair. It's not fair. No one had my heart in mind
    No one told me today would feel like the end of time
    No one told me I'd be buried in your grave

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Less Is More

    That's my excuse of the moments as to why I haven't been writing very much. I could give you the day-to-day updates, but who wants those, right? Don't say you do. I won't believe you.

    Just know that I'm home safe and sound and had a wonderful time with family and friends. Work has not let up any more, but hopefully I will have something to say soon.

    ~til then.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Actually Busy

    Sorry I haven't written! To be honest, I've actually been rather busy and when I'm not, I haven't the energy left for contemplation. Sad excuse, really, but it's true.

    I'm also trying to go about writing a different way. Not necessarily the content of my writing, just my commitment to it and composition of it. I'd like to extent an inky tentacle into journalistic avenues beyond these pixels. I'm simply trying to reevaluate my style and substance. Perhaps I've spent so much time pondering those haphazard alleys that I've left barren the street on which I'd grown up. Forgive me. I have no news regarding these exploits, but be assured that when I do, you'll be the first to know.

    Speaking of where I grew up, however, I'm heading off to my mom's house tonight for about 5 or 6 days with a quick overnight jaunt. Therefore, please do not be angry with me if I do not check in as much-- however, seeing as how I'll have a little less to focus on, I might just be writing more! Guess we'll find out.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    Sound Byte

    I'm trying to drown out stripper music with Enya. Is it working? ~Courtesy of yesterday's yoga instructor

    Sometime between when I was going last winter and when I started up again a few weeks ago, a *ahem* "gentlemen's" club has set up shop below my hot yoga studio. Thus far I haven't noticed too many obstructions, aside from the stone fountain and metal barricades around the grey-carpeted entrance aisle blocking off prime parking spots. I'm not sure if it's even in full operation yet. Regardless, it still ticks me off to have to walk in front of it to get between the studio door and my car. Kind of kills the yummy, peaceful, yoga-produced vibes, you know?

    If you don't know a lot about yoga, specifically Bikram yoga, let me educated you a little: it takes a lot of concentration. So much so that we hardly ever get to listen to any music, just the instructors prompts and guides. Granted, there are a few classes where the instructor practices along with you and you just listen to music, but those are generally for people who really know what they're doing. Even having other people in the room can be a detrimental distraction-- especially for us prideful sorts. Everything from the breathing to holding the poses to resting takes introspective concentration, being aware of your body's needs and gently pushing it to and stretching its limits. Needless to say, this becomes increasingly difficult with bass thumping up through the floor in to which you're supposed to imagine yourself rooted.

    Even more so if you begin to wonder if you're rooting yourself onto the top of someone else's pole.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    And I Quote

    "Much research shows us that the neurotransmitters we thought were confined to the brain are also present and working throughout the body. It's a connected system. The individual is like a triangle, with the body, emotions and mind at each point. If you alter one angle, it affects the shape of the others." ~Exercise Your Bad Mood Away

    If this is the case, I think I might fall into the category of some sort of obtuse triangle. Nope, no signs of an equilateral or Pythagorean triangle over here. Well, most of the day, at least. You see, it's true what they say: exercise helps regulate moods. Endorphins and Seratonin levels increase with exercise subsequently increasing one's general sense of well being and creating a greater sense of joy and peace. Unfortunately, since I've been working out at night, I only get this effect for a few hours before bedtime! Hopefully with a steady routine, I'll be able to see some of these benefits more regularly throughout my day. At least that's what those who see me before 5 pm are hoping! ; )

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    The Levity of Brevity

    I recently wrote a post about crushes, highlighting that the majority of the charm of a crush lies in its inherent brevity. By the looks of this News in Brief snippet, I believe The Onion agrees.

    CRUSH LASTS ENTIRE BUS RIDE

    CINCINNATI-- Administrative assistant and bus rider Perry Stoddard, 25, developed a crush that lasted the duration of the Metro line bus trip from Seven Hills Road to downtown Monday. "Oh my God, she is stunning," Stoddard said, staring at the petite, bookish brunette sitting two seats ahead of him. "And she's reading The Idiot! I wonder if she has a boyfriend. My parents would love her." Saddened by the woman's exit from the bus two stops before his own, Stoddard resolved to get out on Court Street and find someone else.



    ah the beauty of it all.
    I Fell In Love With A Drummer
    hmm... actually, I did, but that's a story that may never actually materialize in this medium, sorry. Nope, probably not.

    What I am talking about, however, is Wilco. Yes, friends, it was glorious-- and I think I love Wilco's drummer, Glenn Kotche. Most days, I'm lucky if I can keep a beat on my steering wheel without swerving into the other lane. Any man who can play the drums and the xylophone simultaneously has my vote for hottest man on earth. Seriously, kids. So. Hot.

    The concert was pretty packed. A friend struggled from the front of the crowd to meet me at the entrance gate. Being of the shorter variety of homosapien, the further I got into the crowd, the less I could actually see. Therefore, after a dismal attempt to wend our way back through the masses toward the stage, my friend and I decided to hang around toward the middle-back and actually have a little breathing room above and around us, while still being able to hear the concert well. Unfortunately, no one informed the drunk girl in front of us about a little thing called "personal space." She would literally lean back onto us even though she and her friends hoarded a luxurious amount of air and ground for themselves. Eventually I just pushed her off. They left shortly after that.

    Then there were the girls behind us that were yelling over the music to have a conversation (the girls/guys in front of us did this, too). What I wanted to do was suggest to them that they'd have to yell less if they moved further away from the music. What I did was cover my ear closest to them with my hand and try as hard as I could to focus on each individual instrument along with the entire entity of sound they produced. After that, they quieted down, either due to their own personal increased focus on the music or perhaps my little hint (which wasn't an attempt at hinting, really, but an attempt to let them continue talking without ruining my experience). The only other distraction were the jailbait, who somehow got into the 18+ concert, bopping around in front of us, but at least they were thoroughly engrossed with and enjoying the concert themselves.

    Distractions aside, the performance, as expected, left me astonished and amazed. The music swelled and rippled through the graveled parking lot, up my roots and into my stems, imposing its varying tempos into my willingly pursuant pulse. It all too easily overthrew my natural rhythms, beckoning my heart and mind into an adulterous fling of melodic proportions. Mesmerized by the influx and interchange of instrumental tones and textures, my eyelids grew heavy, though my teeth sunk into my fleshy lips, the corners of my mouth released in upturned ecstasy and my heals sunk deep into the ground to counter my soaring soul. Mixed in with the deep, sensual waves of sound floated bright, crisp levity both in verse and discourse, a sort of respite from the riptide that constitutes a majority the band's very aura. After two encores the band finally fled the stage for good, leaving those of us behind to mourn uprooting from our spots no longer fearing floating away in a gust of elation due to the deflation created by the inevitable end of an inspirational evening.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Told You So

    Besides the fact that I told you so, here's another reason to check out Andrea: Relevant valued her thoughts enough to publish them.
    Don't Hate Me Because I Get To See WILCO Tonight for $7

    ok, I lied. You can go ahead and hate me. But just for tonight, k? k.

    ~kisses

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Friends Friends

    Just thought I'd let you fine people know that we have a newbie in our midst. My darling friend, Andrea, (the hot blonde, well one of them, in the picture of my beautiful friends) has decided to enter the blogosphere. She's a freelance writer, a stunning fashionista and an all around wonder. Let us welcome her with warm and loving arms as she shares with us her Mercenary Madcap Life!

    Thursday, September 16, 2004

    Walk Of Shame

    In college I was introduced to a campus phenomenon entitled the "Walk of Shame." (for some reason, I hear the low, echo-y, booming voice of "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday" when I think "Walk of Shame" in my head) The "Walk of Shame" isn't just an action, it's a look. It's Saturday night's perfectly painted eyes smeared across Sunday morning's (or rather, afternoon's) swollen, hungover cheeks. It's black pants and lace tops amid pajama bottoms and sweatshirts, high heals dragging across unfamiliar sidewalks where many sneakered feet find well beaten paths. It's a hung head and shoulders slumped with a weight heavier than any backpack on campus, because, of course, it couldn't be a "Walk of Shame" if it wasn't also an attitude. Thankfully, I didn't have the kind of social life that ended in walks of shame; at least not of this sort. See, I've come to realize that even if they aren't from frat parties gone awry, my life has nevertheless seen many walks of shame.

    In thinking about this walk of shame concept, I recalled a story from my college pastor's own education at a Christian university. His walk of shame included dress clothes and pajamas as well, but with pajamas in the minority. You see, at this particular Christian school, the Sunday morning cafeteria teemed with well-dressed Christians analyzing the morning service. Showing up in pajamas, a sure sign that you had slept through church, warranted many stares, whispers and quite possibly, an intervention from your concerned brothers and sisters. However, my pastor would simply try to get around this uncomfortable situation by sleeping through church and then simply getting dressed up for lunch!

    Isn't that just like us, instead of fixing the "problem" we simply slap a coat of paint on it and call it a done deal. There have been many a morning (and afternoon and evening, as well) that I wish I could cover up my social iniquities by simply changing my clothes, washing my face or slapping on a new one. And there have been many an occasion when I've tried.

    My walk of shame doesn't always have a stock shape, size or situation. My sense of shame mostly occurs from letting others down: not being the successful genius my parents hoped, not being the creative creature my heart cries out to be, not lifting a finger in the pursuit of godly life. Of course, all of these are overstatements. My parents are proud of me (um, I think), I do try to be creative and my God knows that I am a faltering child, yes, but one who is trying in earnest-- giving at 100% of the 60% I have to give. And, as I was reminded this past Sunday, even through all of this, my faux pas, my downfalls, my inconveniences and embarassments, God says He is not ashamed to call me His. And when I forget, He says it again.

    "You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve," said Aslan. "And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content." ~Aslan, Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 4

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Postulations
    Is that a word?

  • Have you ever wondered what God was thinking when he decided to take the human body's largest organ, wrap it around the outside of everything and then make it part of the excretory system?

  • Has the department of transportation ever thought about putting some sort of gritty texturizer in the paint they use to make white lines? Haven't they ever thought it somewhat dangerous that the so called borders of the streets are the slickest parts in the rain?

  • Is it possible that maybe my decreased field of vision is not so much due to heavy eyelids but rather heavy eyelashes?
  • Shouldn't I have more questions to justify making this a list, let alone an entire post?


  • Do I really have to go to my meeting?


  • Unfortunately I know the answer to that last one.
    Toodles.

    Monday, September 13, 2004

    Basically so Paolo will Quit Whining

    I usually attempt to abstain from "here's how my day-to-day life is going" posts simply because I feel that they are my fall back for when I've run out of ideas to expound upon, stories to tell or just need to rant, rave or whine myself. But, since I guess some people actually like hearing the update on life-in-general every once in a while, here goes.

    Let's see, where to start... Well, for the past 5 months I have been trying to hold down two jobs in order to whip my finances into shape. Initially the plan proved prosperous. However, since my energy level, sanity and pocket book have now started to suffer at the hands of said second job, I have sadly-yet-thankfully turned in my two weeks notice and will return shortly to a life of singular employment. I will miss the cool people I worked with and I will, of course, miss the discount, but being out of the store will severely deplete my desire to obtain everything (and therefore deplete my wallet) in the first place.

    Another step in mollycoddling my health and sanity has emerged in the form of a holistic doctor who has taken me off of sugar (processed, I can still have honey and fruit-- except cantaloupe), yeast, mushrooms and dairy in order to flush excess yeast from my system which can cause many of the illnesses I have been fighting over the past few years. Once we've determined what has and has not been caused due to too much yeast, we can decide how to properly treat everything that remains.

    For those of you who don't know, I have had some extensive therapy in learning to avoid concentrating on what I "can" and "can't" eat, so this "diet" or "regimen" could prove rather tricky for my thought patterns. I'm also afraid of any weight-loss effects that this regimen may have, because any drastic weight fluctuation in my body tends to mess with the aforementioned thought patterns, etc. Plus, it sucks that I can't just pick up any food and eat it after I've spent so long learning that I can! I'm looking forward to the health benefits this could have, but I'm also looking forward to being done with this part of the treatment. Plus, I'm never very good at not wanting something people tell me I can't have-- I'm rather obstinate that way.

    The last step in this healing process is being able to focus on exercise again. I'm going to be going to hot yoga regularly in order to help aid my body in its cleansing process, as well as tone my body inside and out. I'll get to go to the YMCA more now, too. I'm not completely out of sorts physically, but it really is amazing how much better one feels when one can work out on a regular basis.

    Finally, school's started up again and with my work load cutting down, I'll hopefully get to focus more on my youth group girls. I miss them a lot. It's been hard not being able to hang out with them.

    In other words, with my second job gone, I'll have a few extra hours a week that have already been filled and then some-- but I'm looking forward to it. Plus, now I don't have to worry about working the day after Thanksgiving and can actually have entire weekends free to get away or laze around at my will, not to mention being able to read, write and relax more in general. Let's just pray this all works out for the greater good.

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    It's Just a Little Crush Not Like I Faint Every Time We Touch
    It's just some little thing, not like everything I do depends on you*

    And so it begins, my aforementioned long post in the works. I'm going to investigate a topic I don't think I usually deal with here on P.R.E.-- relationships-- like, the guy/girl kind-- more specifically, my own and in plain, black and white terms. Hmm, I wonder if I can actually write an entire serious post without metaphors or allusions... probably not. We'll see.

    Consider this Part I.

    Today's vocabulary (sponsored by dictionary.com):

    Crush n:
  • A usually temporary infatuation.

  • One who is the object of such an infatuation.


  • Infatuation n:
  • A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction.

  • An object of extravagant, short-lived passion.


  • Attraction n:
  • The power or act of alluring, drawing to, inviting.


  • Admiration n:
  • Wonder mingled with approbation or delight.

  • An emotion excited by a person or thing possessed of wonderful or high excellence.


  • Crush v:
  • To squeeze, so as to destroy the natural shape or integrity of the parts

  • Humiliate or depress completely

  • Make ineffective


  • The noun "crush" and I have long been near and dear bedfellows. Over the years, I have fallen into many a silly schoolgirl crush. I find crushes fun because you never know when they'll hit, or why. I have crushed on boys because of their musical talents, their beliefs, their writings, their wit, their humor, their compassion, their overall style and let's face it, just because they're cute. However, I've noticed the sources of my crushes delve much deeper than I at first believed. Don't get me wrong, an amazing smile and sparkling eyes can still bring home the jitters, but I've realized that there's more to it than that.

    You see I've found that what intrigues me more than those pearly whites and glimmering blues is what makes them surface in the first place. In other words, I become attracted to a boy, not necessarily with the defined "extravagant passion" but because he is extravagantly impassioned. The true foundation for my crush is not the characteristics displayed but the ideology behind them. Something in their writing, wit or style exudes a quality that, whether I understand it or not, I respect. Take "A" for example: a political science major I liked a bit my freshman year of college. Whereas I could have cared less about politics at that time, I sat and listen to him talk at length about governing issues simply because I was so entranced by his fervor for the political sphere. However, no matter how zealous he was about politics, without having more in common, the frequency and quality of our conversations ebbed away, along with the passion-induced sparkle and gleam that allured me in the first place.

    Hence, we get to the "temporary" aspect of a crush, because for something to truly be a crush, it must be temporary.

    You see, crushes tend to occur on people whom we know very little-- which is the basis for my theory on "New Girl/New Boy Syndrome" in which the new kid on the block gets more attention than others because she/he is fresh, uncharted territory and imaginably (though on the average, improbably) one's perfect match. Since you hardly know this person, he/she has yet to fall short of your figmented mate. Until you truly get to know him/her, the new kid gives flesh to your ideal.

    Since crushes are then, by definition, temporary they're only "good" until the new car smell wears off, after that, it must ebb into either admiration or the abyss. Maybe that's why I like crushes; they allow you to investigate, to dip a toe in the water. In the long run, little crushes (n) act as buffers from big crushes (v). But that's another post for another day.


    *Titling format inspired by Dave.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Man, I'd Nearly Forgotten...

    how much I absolutely love mind-rotting WB television. I should have more time on week nights to rot my brain from now on. Woo Hoo!

    Hopefully I'll get some time to be creative and find some muses as well.

    Cheers to free time!
    Happy Anniversary

    wow, so, um, happy September everyone. Didn't realize it'd been so long since I'd written. I have a long post in the works. So long, I think I'm going to have to break it down into a few segments. I can't really throw that all at you at once.

    Today has been not a very good day thus far thanks to one particularly stupid company claiming that I owe them money that I don't. I don't say that I hate much. I hate them.

    For nearly the past week I've been dealing with some not-so-pretty side effects of quitting a Rx cold turkey. It's not something I'd recommend, but given the circumstances, it was the best decision I could make for myself at the time. Besides, no matter how much they're messing with me, I still claim the side effects of withdrawal aren't as bad as the side effects of consumption.

    Despite all of these negative things that seem to be looming around me right now, I actually had a really great weekend. A friend blessed me in an enormous way. So much so that I haven't found the words just yet to thank my friend. I have not simply been blessed with this friend's gift, but even more so with this friendship and that blessing has rendered me speechless in its wake.

    Oh, what about the anniversary mentioned in the title? Yep, today's my anniversary. Three years ago on this very day I made my big move to Nashville. Just me, a loaded car and Long Line of Leavers on repeat. I almost feel like I should order some La Paz in commemoration of my first meal in music city-- but it just wouldn't be the same without Kat. (I'm ok with you all being completely lost in that last sentence)

    Friday, August 27, 2004

    You came to me
    first draft

    i sped to this place as so often i have
    supposedly seeking your face
    straining my ears for a still small voice
    i missed you screaming my name

    Among the lifeless bound to remain
    my flesh succombed to its fate
    hardly warm and losing steam
    callousness seeped easily in

    i could not move
    i could not be
    until
    you came
    to me

    there i lay
    alone in my fears
    yet never alone may i be
    when i'd tried till forgetting
    just why i began
    that's where
    you came
    to me

    you've found my open hiding place
    you've seen the mess i've undertaken
    things aren't always lovely
    they're hardly what they seem
    yet, even here
    you came
    to me

    until you came to me
    i could not move
    i could not be
    until
    you came
    to me

    To Know is to Be Known

    It's peculiar. No matter how many times I've flown in and out of Midway Airport in the past three years, I still feel like I'm in a weird new place every time I'm there. I know Nashville's airport well enough by now, and thanks to numerous trips or necessary bus stop layovers, I'm well acquainted with General Mitchell in Milwaukee and the great big hub that is O'Hare. I actually have rather distinct memories of breakfast at one particular O'Hare McDonalds. It's like it calls to me: Eat a breakfast sandwich, you know you want one, add on some hashbrowns! Yes, being in airports means McDonalds breakfasts, Chili's dinner, Cinnabon desserts and a Starbucks latte (soy of course) to wash it all down. Basically, being in the airport means sucking it up and kissing the ring of the don that is corporate America.

    Last night I actually got a little handle on Midway, though. Well, I remembered where the doors were to get out-- hey, it's an important thing to remember, right? Otherwise I'd still be there! Any way, I found the doors and as they automatically opened in front of me I could feel the wet blanket that is Midwest August air envelope my lungs and smother my flesh in a mere instant. Perhaps I've been in the South too long. I'd forgotten how incredibly humid it is up here in late summer. Instead of being simply next to Lake Michigan, one feels more like they're slowing walking at the bottom of it. All. The. Time.

    Moving on. One of my very bestest friends in the world picked me up and we stayed up talking for an hour or two (drive included). She had to work this morning, so she slept on the futon and I had the bed. It was weird to not share the same room with her-- seeing as how we shared a dorm room one year and have fallen asleep talking even on a single bed before. But she didn't want to wake me (she's a dear), so she slept on the futon. It poured last night, alleviating some of the humidity-- but there are more storms to come. I suppose I've pulled this routine a number of times now. Coming in Thursday night and having LJ's place all to myself while she's at work on Friday before coming home and hanging out. It doesn't seem unnatural to be alone in her place-- and this is the third place of hers in which I've pulled this trick.

    I love how much we know each other. Just as one can assume my refridgerator will echo from the click of the light turning on when you open the door, I know that LJ will always have food-- more than likely of the organic variety. It's also a given that when LJ comes to visit me, we will make at least one trip to the grocery store to pick up supplies to make meals for the weekend. No matter where we are, we usually have pancakes at least once, with peanut butter and syrup (you can try to fight it, I did for years, but it's actually really, really good). AND I know that somewhere LJ has a stashed soda reserve, too-- which is perfect since I've cut back on my coffee intake but am still a fiend for caffeine. What I didn't expect was Diet Pepsi Twist-- usually she's more of a Diet Coke or Diet Cherry Coke girl.

    This is a perfect example of why I love my beautiful friends, even though LJ isn't in the picture below. We know each other and understand each other-- and yet offer each other twists in our daily routines. We can be open with our weaknesses as well as our triumphs. In short, my friends aren't just beautiful on the outside. As a matter of fact, it's what's inside that makes me treasure them most. To quote an amazing movie that I recommend everyone rush out to see:

    You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? That idea of home is gone. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place. ~ Andrew Largeman in Garden State

    My friends are my family. We all miss the same places and have the same experiences. The imaginary places that we miss, however, are in the company of each other. In having shared experiences, we've not only shared our lives, we've shared our souls-- that's what makes us friends. That's what makes us family. That's what makes it beautiful.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    No Noun Required

    Some days, I am in love.
    Not with hes or shes,
    Nor any distinct or unremarkable, tangible dream.

    Love need not abide
    in the sight of a person,
    Nor the smell of a place.
    It need not even dwell
    in the feel of an item running
    through lotioned fingers
    or beneath calloused heels.

    No, love need not
    be defined in nouns
    scattered throughout one's visual plane.

    It just exists;
    without rhyme or reason
    without subject or destination.
    Both without and within
    when it comes to my soul.

    Love needs not my recognition
    nor my peace of mind
    for its existence.
    But today, thankfully
    I can see Love abiding in me
    And He has shown me abiding in Him.


    Friday, August 20, 2004

    Well, He Knows Me

    My computer desk sits in a corner of my office facing the wall. To my right and along the same wall, stands my door, usually slightly ajar in order to keep the heat in my office. In the center of the office, perpendicular to my computer desk is my "real" desk which usually receives little attention except from the piles and stacks of papers strewn across its surface. On the other side of that, basically the opposite corner from my computer desk, is my plant. Technically, it's my bosses plant which he received as a gift when he began working here nearly three years ago. I, however, seeing the poor treatment it received in his office, stole it and adopted it as my own.

    I used to have an amazing system for watering my plant. Once a week Robert would come in to read to me. (Robert is in his fifties and just began to read a few years ago) Robert and I would sit in the chairs along the wall in front of my "real" desk and he would read a passage from the Bible that he had been working on, adding my help when needed. Being on that side of my hefty "real" desk called my attention to my plant, so when Robert left, I would water it. However, Robert's visits have become more sporadic and, therefore, my plant has suffered due to my Pavlovian watering-reminder trick.

    Of late, I have been making a concerted effort to remember my poor plant. It is starting to flourish again, perhaps it'll even flower again soon; it used to have flowers all the time. I finally got around to a superficial pruning today. There were a lot of dead leaves and the further I pruned, the more I realized how it could benefit from a real repotting and removal of dead shoots attached to live ones-- how it could grow even more if I just gave it some more space and took off even more of that extra baggage.

    I'm as sure that I've used the following illustration before as I am that I will use it again, so let me bring it to the table. In C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chronicles of Narnia, Book 5, Eustace Scrubb becomes a dragon and tries and tries to peel away at his own scales to reveal the boy he knows lays hidden inside. Eustace was trying to prune himself. However, it wasn't until he let Aslan tear deep into his scaly hide-- piercingly rending his pride and vanity, that he could finally find the boy he was meant to be; a boy different from the one he himself had remembered or imagined.

    You probably know where I'm going with this. Often times I feel like I'm offering up my life for God to prune, but only to the point at which I'm comfortable. Perhaps this isn't actually allowing God to prune me after all, much less give me a good repotting-- rearranging my own idea of who I am and who I was meant to be. I think God wants to prune and repot me, to give me an overhaul. I hope I am brave enough to let Him tear into my pride and see myself as He sees me, as I was truly meant to be and then continue to be that person.



    "But who is Aslan? Do you know him?" [Eustace]
    "Well--he knows me," said Edmund. ~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 5

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    When I was a kid I was really random.

    But now that I've grown up, I'm still random.

    the end.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    An Attempt at Redeeming One Lost Post

    Here goes:

    There's a poem that has been eating at me lately. A whole work, really, that I long to hold in my hands and pour over time and again. It signifies a life, or rather many lives, that I have been fortunate enough to never know. And yet, I feel like there are still many lessons to learn from these lives, these tales, these heroes and heroines in their own right, in their own world, even if not in their own sight.

    I don't remember if it was assigned to me in high school or junior high, but I do know it has stayed with me ever since. Though I could not fathom the significance then, these poems were embossed on my heart, on my very soul. I was privileged enough to hear the poet, herself, read them out loud. I can still hear her strong, sober voice telling tales of children who do not always come home to milk and cookies. She didn't just tell us of their tales, she wrote each one from their own innocent, yet jaded, young-but-learned perspective. Gwendolyn Brooks wrote Children Coming Home in the 1990s. It is raw, emotional and heartbreaking. It currently only exists as a section in her compilation, In Montgomery and Other Poems, which I have on hold at the library and can't wait to get in my hands; to caress the spine as though it were the hardened face of each abused or ignored child in hopes of comforting just one for at least one moment.

    One of the poems that has stuck with me most superficially seems to have nothing to do with me at all. Delving deeper, however, I realize that it has everything to do with me. It can teach me pride and respect and love. It can teach me mercy and grace and patience. It can teach me how to live. See what it might teach you.

    I AM A BLACK

    According to my Teachers
    I am now an African-American.
    They call me out of my name.

    BLACK is an open umbrella.
    I am Black and A Black forever.

    I am one of the Blacks.

    We are Here, we are There.
    We occur in Brazil, in Nigeria, Ghana,
    in Botswana, Tanzania, in Kenya,
    in Russia, Australia, in Haiti, Soweto, in
    Grenada, in Cuba, in Panama, Libya, in
    England and Italy, France.

    We are graces in any places.
    I am Black and A Black forever.

    I am other than Hyphenation.

    I say, proudly, MY PEOPLE!
    I say, proudly, OUR PEOPLE!

    Our People do not disdain to eat yams or
    melons or grits or to put peanut butter in stew.

    I am Kojo. In West Africa Kojo
    means "Unconquerable." My parents
    named me the seventh day from my birth
    in Black spirit, Black faith, Black communion.
    And I Capitalize my name.

    Do not call me out of my name.


    Reprinted from In Montgomery and Other Poems, published by Third World Press (2003).

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    In case you were wondering

    I've written two wonderful posts this week: long, extravagant-- mesmorizing really (and humble, I'm sure), only to have them lost with a flick of the wrist. Therefore, you get this for your post instead. sorry. I'll try harder next time. Or maybe I won't. I'll leave you with this thought:

    I'm confused. Oh, wait, maybe I'm not.

    peace.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Sounds Like Someone Has a Case of the Mondays

    My roommies and I have started having weekly Bible/book Study on Monday mornings in order to get the week started off right. However, seven o'clock came way too early this morning. When my alarm went off at 6:30, I thought I had just lain down my head. That was a sad, sad thought. But, now I'm awake and at work. I'm still sleepy, but whatcha gonna do, right? Anyway, to top it all off, the air's busted again-- has been since Friday or Saturday, so it's a little warm here in the office-- however, I'm the only person who's actually happy about this-- I'm tired of being frozen out! Well, I'll also be happy if it doesn't last too long or get too hot. Ah yes, conditional love... gotta love it.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    Attention K-Mart Shoppers

    So, for those who know me, it's no surprise that I like to shop.  As a matter of fact, I use shopping as a coping mechanism.  Shopping, or even browsing around a store soothes my mind.  When I'm particularly stressed, bothered, nerve-wrecked or ulcer-inducing upset, shopping tends to take my mind off of things for a little bit.  Needless to say, I've been shopping around a lot lately.

    Winter

    was it really
    years ago
    did you need me
    well, I'll never know
    I'm sorry for clinging
    I'm sorry for wanting more
    my heart was there for you pounding down your door
    maybe it was timing
    maybe I was too much
    running behind you pushing my love
    well, you weren't ready
    and you said you thought I knew
    but I was taken with your beautyI was lost inside of you
    winter made a sound
    maybe next time if you need meI’ll be around... I'll be around... I'll be around
    I'll be around

    I never meant to swallow you
    you never were my savior maybe just my lover
    maybe nothing more

    now one more winter
    has passed so silently
    and I'm tired of longing
    that you'll come back to me

    winter made a sound
    maybe next time if you need me... yeah… you'll need me
    and winter made a soundI know… if you need meI'll be around… I'll be around… I'll around
    I'll be around

    ~East Mountain South

    Tuesday, July 27, 2004

    I heard somebody say
    Today's the day
    A big old hurricaine
    Is blowing our way
    Knocking over the buildings
    Killing all the light
    Open your eyes, boy, we made it through the night

    Forgiveness~ Patty Griffin from 'Living with Ghosts'

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Rolling Thunder

    Have I ever told you that the longest I was ever in one school was through college?  Yep, all four years.  My mom still lives in the house into which we moved when I was seven months old, but due to different conveniences/opportunities, I switched schools every couple of years throughout elementary and then junior high and high school were only three years each.  So, college was the longest I ever stayed at one school.

    I lived in the same bedroom in which my parents placed my crib until the eighth grade, at which time I moved into the basement bedroom until I left for college and even then I came home to that room the first couple of summers.  I lived in the same dorm room for two years and then the same apartment for the next two.  I just moved out of my apartment in which I lived for the past two of the nearly-three years I've lived in Nashville.

    I like Nashville.  I like the town and the people.  I like the friends I've made here and the families of which I've grown to feel a part.  But sometimes things happen and no where is big enough or small enough to hide from what/who you don't want to see.  I definitely get a wanderlust, a feeling of restlessness, a rumbling threat of thunder and lightening stirring in my soul and this is part of what's happening now.  I'm not done with Nashville for good-- but I could definitely be done with it for a month or so.  You know, just long enough to get away, heal from some hurtful things and miss the loving ones.  Now if only I could just unleash the storm.



    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Nosing Around

    I know I've written before about the amazing memory/emotion triggers in the human olfactory lobes, but I've become overwhelmed by them once again, and therefore must reiterate.

    Since I've "grown up" and left home, I've become acutely aware of what surroundings, sounds, sights, savors and of course, smells, provide an overwhelming, unexpected comfort.  A few weeks ago, when I started this post, I experienced this comfort from the oddest place, the pet store.  Now, I suppose a lot of people may find pet stores comforting, what with the happy puppies wagging their tails and the little kittens who long to curl up in your lap or wrap themselves around your shoulders.  For me, however, it was the mere smell of the pet store-- an odd smell I've always equated with bird seed, although I don't like birds-- the sight of chew toys and squeaky rubber balls, the sound of bubbling fish tanks off to the side.  All of these things reminded me of home, of security and of times of joy and love.

    See, my dad bred, raised and trains dogs-- still does.  Actually, he should have a litter of pups any day now.  Even though the pet store I ventured into a few weeks ago is some large commercial place, it reminded me of the small store we'd go to on the north side of town to pick up large bags of special dog food and rawhides and anything else.  I'd wander around that store while my dad took care of business and that smell of bird seed I guess just infiltrated my nostrils and clung to my mental sensors like barbecue to your ribs or peanut butter to the roof of your mouth. 

    I bring this up again today because I've found another trigger, another haven in the storm: the library.  I've never sat down and thought about how much time I've spent in libraries until a couple of days ago.  I mean, sure, I spent most of my junior high after-school afternoons in the library, but that was because they wouldn't let transfer students ride the bus anymore, even though it stopped at my street anyway (the border went right down the middle of my street and I lived on the "wrong" side and therefore had to transfer to go to my school).  So, when I didn't have an after-school activity or friend's house to go to, I would simply walk to the library and wait there for my mom to get off work; two hours later.  Needless to say, I rarely had a hard time getting my homework done in those days.  On Fridays the library closed at 5pm, so I had to wait in the lobby or outside until my mom could get there thirty minutes later.  (Think winters in Wisconsin---brrrrrr--froze my little tukas off)  yay for after-school activities. 

     
    But the library thing goes back further than that.  In my day care, we would have "library day" each week when we would walk down to the downtown library and get to check out a book.  We would always have a waiting list to check out "The Dark Crystal."  The library was beautiful-- divided downstairs with a balcony second floor so you could look down onto the first.  Thinking about it, I get the feeling Belle might have had when the Beast gave her his library.  I don't think I've been there since high school.

    In college I would bury myself in the "cages" as they were called-- the little desks lining the stacks of the Memorial Library in I needed to get some serious reading, outlining or other homework not requiring a computer done.  Most times I'd bring my headsets and just lose myself to the world around me.  Sometimes I'd sit in the almost-silence of rustling pages, scribbling pens and the harried breathing of my fellow crammers.  Between classes, I would sink into a large leather chair in the Art Library-- sometimes to study, sometimes to simply fall asleep until the bells rang once again. 

    Even now, when I want to run away I find myself heading to a library.  Oft times I pretend to look something up under academic guise.  Usually, I just want to be in the near-quiet of the anthology-padded walls with the smell of old bindings wafting through the air and the sporadic sounds of catalogue viewership as another traveler finds rest in the form of this tranquil haven. 



    Monday, July 19, 2004

    Noted Absurdities
     
  • During an argument, a Florida man swung a 3-foot alligator that he was keeping in his bathtub at his girlfriend.  You know, if she was dating a man who kept a 3-foot gator in his bathtub, she may have just asked for that... Read more

  •  
  • Closer to home-- This morning at the gas station, one man was buying another man's coffee.  The cashier asked the man fixing his coffee what size it was so she could ring it up.  Not only did he not remember what stack he grabbed the cup from, when she told him it was written on the bottom of the cup, he held up his *full* coffee cup and tipped it over to look underneath the cup.  She meant it was written in the brown trim *along* the bottom rim of the cup.  Poor, coffee-spilling guy-- he must not be from 'round these parts. 

  •  
  • I went to bed at 5 o'clock last night.  wow.



  • Thursday, July 15, 2004

    The Rant That Was

    About 2 hours ago I was planning on logging in and publicly lambasting my bank. I was going to convey how they have continued to screw me over time and again in the past six months. I was going to warn anyone from ever doing business with them. I was going to suggest anyone that might even be employed by them to find another job, because they would surely go under due to their lack of customer service and over-all suckage. Basically, I was going to rant and rave until my poor little fingers grew numb from flailing and the tips bloody from violent typing.

    Then I went to said bank and they reimbursed me for all the money they had screwed me out of in the past four months and apologized profusely, guaranteeing to repeal any further mishaps, as well. Therefore pacifying the beast that was a fervent rant and calming the post that could have been. But at least I'm happier now. = )


    And yet, I know this feeling all too well...
    If I had a car I'd drive straight into the window of a bank I owed money to ~ Ryan Adams

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    Awwww, Someone Believes in Me!!!

    The following is an email response among our group of college friends:

    "All right with K officially engaged and off the market-- whose next to drop? Smart Money's on C.... but I have the dark horse [Lady M] to come in by a hair...

    Who wants in on the pool?"


    Aww, it's so nice someone still believes in me. Wait, "dark horse"... is she calling me fat?!?!?!? heh heh.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    The Importance of Understanding Your Jewish History

    A friend once brought to question how to interpret the following section of the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. My friend admitted that he does not always forgive in a manner worthy of proclaiming this verse, a realization to which I myself have come time and again. We pondered the consequences of our lack of forgiveness. If I haven't forgive others, does that mean God won't forgive me? Have not all my sins been already forgiven on Christ's Cross?

    The other night, in reading a book by a woman, Lauren Winner, who first committed her life to Orthodox Judaism and then later converted to Christianity, I was once again faced with the necessity of understanding Jewish history, culture and religion in interpreting any part of the Bible. Winner states, "On Yom Kippur, Jews confess their sins, both privately and corporately. Before the holiday begins, they go around asking the forgiveness of everyone they have wronged; the Talmud [oral Rabbinic works believed to have been given to Moses on Sinai] teaches that God forgives the sins we've done against Him freely, but He will not forgive the sins we've done against our neighbors until they have forgiven us first. One Jewish prayer book puts it this way: God's forgiveness for us is our forgiveness of other people running through us."

    So, to pray to forgive us as we forgive others, is in reference to seeking forgiveness. As others seek forgiveness of us, we are to seek it from God. It is a confession that we need forgiveness, that we must seek it from God and from others. It is an acknowledgement that every Lord's Prayer may open our reconciliation, every day may be our day of atonement, our Yom Kippur.
    Update

    Just so y'all know, there's no need to mail any rusty knives to me. I'm golden. But thanks to those who offered! Crazy kids.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Something in the Water

    Don't know what it is, but there's a virus going around potential Nashvillian relationships. The male species tends to catch it first, which somehow disables any phone usage on his part. The girl, subsequently, fights it off for a few days and then has a major physical reaction to this retched virus. I'm seeing it all over the place folks, and it ain't pretty.

    The few outbursts I have witnessed have seen varying outcomes from "let's be friends" to "I'm swearing off relationships for good!"

    Hold on to your possible significant other and purify all liquids, seal yourselves into quarantined areas if you have to until the epidemic passes.

    Lady M, P.R.E. News, Signing out. *krrrctch*

    Monday, June 28, 2004

    No More Metaphors

    It's funny how we communicate best
    Best in code
    Best in costume
    Best in show

    It's odd how we dance our best
    Best in darkness
    Best in shadows
    Best in masquerade

    Yet, you slip off my mask
    Let it tumble to the floor
    Cup my metaphors in your hands
    And blow them from your palms

    My brow once hidden
    by feathers and pearls
    Unfurrows in the warmth
    Of light 'til now unbeheld

    Luminance not from bulbs or orbs
    But from blinders removed
    Revealing light found not in pictures
    Found only in what is.

    Friday, June 25, 2004

    The Evil Side of Lady M

    I try, in general, to exercise kindness and sensitivity towards others, peppered of course with playful sarcasm, but with no harmful intentions. And, of course, there are those times (hopefully not too often) when it might be more beneficial to be beaten with a large, barbed wire-wrapped stick than to try to talk to me. However, even in these times I try to maintain civic duty and lock myself away until the proverbial full moon sets.

    Aside from these infrequent bursts of savagery, inside me dances a dervish, little imp who loves nothing more than mischief. This is the Evil of which I speak. Granted, it's not a true evil. It's more the kind of evil that tempts the dieter to a piece of tiramisu or the Atkin's affectionado to some tortilla chips.

    It's this impish part of me that smirks at the sight of a "Student Driver" sign on a car. I ALWAYS want to mess with the student drivers. Not really because I'm that mean... ok, maybe, but more because, well, it'd be a life lesson. Not every car on the road will be nice and eventually there will be no sign announcing to the world that you could use some leeway. So, I'd be doing them a favor, right? Good thing I was borrowing my friend's car today. hehehe

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    To All Friends and Lovers

    This past weekend was actually rather relaxing. If I hadn't had a morning Board meeting, this would have been my first Saturday since I started my second job that I haven't worked at all (except for when I was away in Ireland and just getting back). So, I got to spend plenty of time outside basking... oh wait, no I fell asleep inside for most of the day. = ) I was sooo tired I almost couldn't get up that evening for my friend's birthday bash, but I'm so glad I did!

    It was such a wonderful night. Good friends (old and new) holding down the porch on a beautiful summer night, grilling out, sharing stories and celebrating our friend. (have I mentioned that my favorite summer meal is cheeseburgers on the grill? one of the only times of the year I really love them, actually) It was such a family atmosphere-- regardless of the fact that his family (who I love!) was at hand. We, as friends, built a family- brothers and sisters, quite and boisterous, mellow and wild. We mostly all go to the same church, which is a bonus because we got to bring that familiarity into the "sanctuary" the next morning.

    Speaking of, church was great, too. We had a sort of non-traditional service (surprise, surprise, we meet in a warehouse--ha) where our pastor gave us a visual picture of the freedom and grace we've been discussing over the past six months through snipets of the movie, "Les Miserables." We sat around round tables and discussed questions before hearing more from our pastor. It was a beautiful picture not only of grace and freedom, but also community as we sat there sharing muffin crumbs and morsels of insight.

    Then I finally got to relax outside some Sunday afternoon, reading and listening to Damien Rice before going to see Shrek 2 in the company of a delightful friend (after which I returned to a home of roommies watching 50 First Dates, which I quickly joined in on!).

    Plus, I got to talk to my dad some on Sunday for Father's Day, and that's always a bonus.

    Thursday, June 17, 2004

    We nearly galloped down the curvaceous path toward the sea. As we descended, the ground shot up to our left, long grass pouring over dunes and hills. Some walked in groups, some in pairs, some in solitary silence.

    Upon meeting our destination, each person wandered quietly from stone to stone, examining the ground, the sea, the sky. Hexagonal shapes jutted from nature's floor, some slate grey, some molten black. These six-sided stones formed perches and gullies, mounds and ravines to the wonder of all. Yet, over all of it came the song of the sea. The sweet, gentle, rolling murmur that whispers you are home, you are safe, you may rest.

    Indeed we rested for a moment that seemed like a lifetime gone by too quickly, taken too soon. And still, the waves rumble in our minds, in our souls: you are home, you are safe, you may rest.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    Hot and Tired

    It's nearly 9pm and I'm still at work. It's ok, it's actually cooler in here right now than in the middle of the day, I think-- you know, since the a/c's been out for a week now. Yeah, good thing we're not in the sweltering south. oh, wait...
    Weather Pixie says it's 81F outside. Last reading from Ms. Carolyn's thermostat: 90F, and her lights have been out and blinds shut for the past five hours. I think my room's one of the coolest in the offices because I don't have a wall of windows, but Ms. Carolyn's office feels pretty cool right now. Don't worry, I'll leave soon. I just want to get some copies run while no one's around to die of heat stroke from the copier's kinetic emissions.

    delirium is setting in. must. escape. heat...

    Sunday, June 13, 2004

    Kristin stole this idea from Kandy. Then I stole it from her. Thanks ladies! She's so cute. = D

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Cheap Excuse for a Post

    melissa, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.
    Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to "catch up" with yourself.
    Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can "size up" situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to "lose touch" with the immediacy of the problem.
    Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you "learn from experience" and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.
    You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the "larger whole."
    With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can "see where you want to go" and even be able to "tell yourself," but find that you are "fighting yourself" at the darndest times.

    taken from http://www.mindmedia.com/brainworks/index.html
    an idea which I stole from my friend Emily. (not EM-- Emily)

    Let me know if you think they're on to something.

    Monday, June 07, 2004

    I can't play Pooh to your Christopher Robin

    I caught a movie on TV this weekend, Beautiful Girls, and just kind of got sucked in. That's always how it happens, isn't it? You have to be to work in two and a half hours and you get sucked into a movie that ends with just enough time for you to almost get ready, if you really hurry.

    Well, in this movie, a guy goes back to his small hometown (which I really think was in Wisconsin, one of the guys had a Milwaukee jacket... go figure) Anyway, it's a look at growing up and all that entails-- leaving ghosts behind, forging into the future. One of the story lines involves a 29 yr old man and his 13 yr old neighbor who he considers "waiting for" because she's so amazing and can only get more amazing.

    Then his friend makes him see that maybe this is just another sign of him not wanting to grow up. However, the girl picks up on it all, and asks him to wait for her anyway, just 5 years until she's 18. At this juncture, the man has to come to grips with what is real and what he would like to believe. He gives her this great analogy of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. Pooh was a product of Christopher's imagination and when he grew up, he didn't need him anymore; didn't need the 100 Acre Wood, at all.

    A sentiment seems to be floating around about the 100 Acre Wood that is the Blog-o-sphere. Jason's moved on, Matt's done, Dave's mulling it over. I can't say I haven't pondered it myself, that I haven't felt the pages slipping by one after another; that I haven't feared the monster at the end of this book.

    With every scrolling page I seem to follow the bouncing ball further toward the end of the 100 Acre Wood. I'm not ready to see the light yet, but I know it's coming and that day looms ahead with grief and joy. As I sit here, I wonder if I can enjoy life outside the Wood, and yet never leave its pages. I wonder if a caged bird really ever has a song.

    Aragorn: What do you fear my lady?
    ├łowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them. And all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.


    I wonder what my true song will be and when that day will finally come.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Where Once Stood Servants of the King

    Centuries of tales and mourning seeped from every nook and cranny as we stood amidst the ruins of Castle DunDrum. Built as a fortress and manor in 1111, now all that remains are a few walls and pillars, semblances of rooms and towers. What once may have been a dirt floor has been overgrown with a carpet of plush green grass. Weeds and wildflowers sprout from the crumbling tips of what may have presumably been a guard wall.

    We climbed haphazardly, almost irreverently, along the remaining stones. Our companions were soon dwarfed in appearance from atop a curved staircase or two. Even from the court floor, however, the surrounding landscape and countryside could not be dwarfed. From across a crystalline bay, mountains loomed over us as silent guardians, fortifying yet foreboding.

    While my friends and companions cheered in revelry at the marvelous site of it all, I couldn't help but meander off by myself in ponderous sadness. No where in the States will ever be this old, will ever hold this much history. There will never be a day when someone can stand on the ruins of my livelihood and romanticize at what it may have been like. You can see it already, consecrated battle grounds turned places of woredrobing worship; graveyards overrun by the green of 18 holes.

    Perhaps this very ground once felt the foot falls of royalty and servants alike; troubadours and soldiers. Once a queen stood here, peering out over her realm, over her people for whom she wept and fought and loved. Perhaps the walls miss hearing the echo of voices, of royalty, of servants of the King. If nothing else, perhaps we were sent to minister to this place and be ministered by it. For on that day, at least, those walls once again echoed with voices of the Court. It reminded us of our purpose for there we stood, servants of The King.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    Prepare Yourselves

    I probably won't be around for a couple of weeks. Crazy. See you next month!

    hugs, kisses and chocolate chip cookies.

    Monday, May 17, 2004

    The Issues At Hand

    A) After moving all of my junk this weekend, I have decided that it will take at least a couple of years for me to forget the pain and agony of doing such enough to attempt to do so again. Thankfully I had some really great help! (amongst others)

    B) Even his wife calls him MattGrace.

    C) And The Most Urgent Issue At Hand
    I leave in TWO DAYS for my mission trip to Northern Ireland! I have all of my packing yet to do, but I'm not that stressed. Well, except for one thing-- I want to limit the CDs I take to about 10 (10 CD works so that a 2 disc set still counts as 1). I want a mix of chill, rejuvenating and energizing. Help me please!

    Here are my definites:
  • Over the Rhine- Ohio; no explanation needed

  • 100 Portraits- Five Wise Virgins; this CD is all about love and mercy and being the bride of Christ- It's amazing

  • Kalgren-- the EP I have of them unless I get the full CD in the mail before I leave; Just because I don't think I could go that long without listening to my dear friend, Christopher. Oh, and they rock. Check 'em out-- seriously

  • Will Hoge- Blackbird on a Lonely Wire; This was originally on the "possibles" list, but then I realized that it's too energetic not to take


  • Here are the others from which to choose:
  • John Rutter- Requiem; this work is amazing, very relaxing and spiritually rejuvenating

  • Patty Griffin- Impossible Dream; I just got this and am still breaking it in

  • OR Patty Griffin- Flaming Red; This CD is so amazing and can be listened to for energy or relaxation

  • Fleming and John- The Way We Are; I'm still breaking this one in too, but Ugly Girl makes me laugh so stinking much

  • Fleming and John- Delusions of Grandeur; a charged work that can be used to provide much energy

  • East Mountain South- Self Titled; Spiritually revitalizing and very chill.

  • Matthew Ryan- Regret Over the Wires; Dark, brooding and thoughtful

  • MadHatters- No Jacket Required; These are my a cappella guys and it's just fun, but I don't know if I'd listen to it that much

  • Ryan Adams- Love is Hell 1&2; Now available on 1 CD, I actually have the 2 EPs. It's very chill and I listen to it to fall asleep a lot


  • I'm sure there are others and I'll be updating this list as they come to mind. Suggestions are definitely accepted, too.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    Co-Worker Lurker

    Yes, that's right. I have a co-worker lurker who has been reading my blog for sometime now. Yes, I know you're there. I've known of your lurking for some time now. I've been waiting for the right time and day to call you out, but that hasn't come, so I'm doing it now. Quit lurking and say something already. You might as well, since I already have you figured out. Besides, I must be saying something of interest for you to keep checking back multiple times a day. Unless you're just spying, in which case, that's not nice; it's weird.

    love~

    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    p.s.

    I switched out one of the songs on purevolume. click the "songs" link on the sidebar.

    much love.
    Kingdom Flora

    I have been blessed with my own office. Not a cubicle, not an entryway- an office, with a door and all my own space. The door is good because it keeps all the heat generated from my space heater in my own little space. The door also makes it easier for me to concentrate on work and allows me to play music without the fear of disturbing others. One thing my office does not have, however, is a window-- no, the one in my door leading to the hallway does not count, neither does any form of Microsoft.

    Driving into work this morning, I fell in love with late spring. Sweet floral fragments wafted through my open car windows. Valiant knights of the Flora Court lined my blacktopped carpet, lifting or bowing their regal arms to herald my every rpm, their plumage ruffled and roused by last night's invigorating thunderstorm. Oh the storm! Streaks of brilliance lit the sky, bolting here and there in frenzied excitement, followed or preceded by bold claps of authoritative splendor interspersed with the gentle rhythm of the tumbling sky.

    Last night I fell in love. This morning it happened all over again. My heart would burst with tears at the thought of it all: the pulse of the warm rain, the majesty of the Kingdom Flora, the sweeping kiss of the sun against my skin. And yet, I would cry no less to be torn from it, to sit in a cage free of bars, free of sunlight, free of any breeze of fresh air at all. Overhead the fluorescent lights mock me. The computer screen glows in mechanical triumph. My eyesight fades, my love grows dim. This is no world of life and growth. It is a chamber of cold, dank, out-dated technology.

    I am blessed with my job and with my office, and yet, I have never felt more a dungeon prisoner than when I walked in this morning after my fatal tryst with the Kingdom Flora.

    Friday, May 07, 2004

    Long Time Coming or Better Late Than Never

    I have had this dull throb of an ache in my head, on my shoulders, throughout my entire soul, really. I have it since about my junior year of college. Throughout the years, the pain has grown increasingly stronger, heavier, deeper. Over the years, sandbags of pressure have been added to this burden. Gradually the ride I had once mastered began to master me. No longer was I on the throne bellowing orders and being heralded for every raised pinky. No, now I was amid the throng of minions, bowing before an unrelenting beast of a god. Whips flaring at my heels, constantly reminded me of my two choices in this hell, just ahead the nine tails or underneath their fury. I have been pushing boulders uphill and lugging unnecessary weight for years.

    Today, however, today I have reached the apex of my mountain and what a beautiful sight it is. For at the top of this mountain were a pair of scissors and piles of plastic roughly hewn. I have flung my excess burden on those piles, sacrificing them on the alter of financial responsibility and now begin my slow and arduous journey down a long, winding path down the other side. It may take years, but they will be spent dutifully striving toward that peaceful, debt-free paradise at the end of the trail.

    Tuesday, May 04, 2004

    It Should Be Warm

    This back and forth warm/cold weather is really doing a number on my health here. My boss said someone referred to what we're going through as a "blackberry winter." Since neither of us had ever heard of this before, I decided to google it. Here's a definition to my liking:

  • blackberry winter -- A period of cool weather in spring, usually May or June, when the blackberries are in blossom." For several days there is cold disagreeable, cloudy weather, and often a touch of frost.'" From "Whistling Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions" by Robert Hendrickson (Pocket Books, New York, 1993).


  • Yeah, it SNOWED a couple of weeks ago. SNOW. In TENNESSEE. IN MAY. We don't even get snow in the winter, much less the spring! Today the weather is supposed to jump back up to the seventies and then be in the eighties this weekend. I hope it stays there. Be warm or cold. This back and forth thing is not to my liking.

    Wow, what has this blog come to? I'm talking about the weather. Next up: How about those Cubbies? bah. Hopefully something creative will sprout up here sometime soon.

    Thursday, April 29, 2004

    I Am I Don Quixote The Lord of La Mancha

    So, I just picked up Patty Griffin's latest album Impossible Dream, the title of which kept taking me back to my first high school musical experience in the Man of La Mancha. I was, of course, a meager peasant in the chorus, but hey, my makeup for the show included making myself look really, really muddy and dirty.

    Any way... one of the major theme songs of the Man of La Mancha goes To dream the impossible dream, to right the unrightable wrong, to bear the unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go...etc. We also sang this song for choir the next year. Every time I saw the title Impossible Dream, therefore, I thought of this song.

    Come to find out... at the end of "Top of the World," an amazing song in itself, there's a small clip of this very song! I feel so cultured. heh. I can't wait to see Patty this weekend. It's going to be a great weekend of concerts.

    Friday night: Switchfoot and Johnny Lang (and perhaps Wyclef Jean)
    Saturday night: Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin (and possibly Josh Rouse)
    Sunday night: The Strokes

    I'm not going to say I'm working for the weekend here... but come on, why not?

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    Scatter-brained

    I could give you a recap of my weekend, but no one wants to hear that except Nate (hi Nate), who wants me to tell you I met a real jerk of a guy named Nate. Well, that's not going to happen. I met a ton of really cool people this weekend, girls and guys from the tumultuous world of UW A Cappella, and yes, Nate was one of them and no, he's not a jerk like he'd have you believe. ;-) The girls and guys were all awesome and the sound people did an outstanding job.

    Speaking of jobs, I've started my second job working retail at The Loft (with a great boss who's married to a wonderful blogger) I had my first real shift last night and I'd have to say it was fun getting outfits put together for people. Someone even told me I was a great "up-seller" since I found her matching shoes and a darling purse to complete her ensemble. I don't even work on commission, I just really like to accessorize. My roommates used to laugh at me because even my pajamas are coordinated. I blame this all on my mother who never bought me "clothes." Nope, not her, from her I got "outfits." Outfits that were all interchangeable. I don't consider this a bad thing at all, but perhaps that's why I have so many shoes.. yes/no? Accessories make the outfit! Notice that they aren't "excessories."

    Ok, enough of that.

    My mom, aunt and nephew came to see me in Madison while I was there. We had breakfast and walked around looking for a sweatshirt for my mom. I could have used a sweatshirt, too, at the time-- brrrr. Turns out, my cousin and his wife were also in town that day, although we didn't know it. They participated in the annual 5-mile Crazy Legs run. Colin (yes, I have a nephew and a cousin named Colin) ran and Marci walked. Marci would have run, if she wasn't scheduled to give birth in 3 WEEKS!!!! Dang, that girl is crazy. I intend to be hand-fed in bed that close to giving birth, not doing some 5-mile walk. So, it's sad that we missed them. I could have seen her cute belly!!!

    I also didn't see my best friend who lives in Madison. Or anyone not involved with a cappella, really. Sometimes you just have to do that or else you get worn too thin, you know?

    K, I'm off to do stuff. How have y'all been? I've missed you.