Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a little double talking

i mentioned the writing blog that i'm apart of the other day, and i think that once in a while i'll repost some of the assignments here.  this makes me feel crazy vulnerable, but whatev, doing it anyway. 

written on 4/16/2008 at the mark kozelek concert in seattle's townhall

i'm in love with life.  i dread reading this at another time when i don't have a crush on life.  that's the best way to describe it, a bit of an infatuation with the way things are.  

it's odd how at certain times in my life, and even certain days in the present time, i am devastated by who i am.  whether it's the sin in my life, or my relationships and their current status, i usually find something to beat myself up over.  not tonight, not today, and hopefully not tomorrow.  

i want to come to every concert here.  it's like a sanctuary, but also a little like a courthouse.  big stained glass dome in the ceiling.  huge half moon arches, thick columns, and dark brown pews all facing a modest stage.  behind it there is a pipe organ looming.  seems as if it is waiting to devour the entire room.  


a smallish man stands playing his guitar.  balding, and wearing a suit jacket a size too small.  bright green asics light up his feet.  dirty jeans.  graphic tee.  singer/songwriter uniform?  

for sure.

his name is david bazan, and i feel quite thrilled to be within earshot of what he has to sing.  

i can't wait to see mark.  last time i saw him i thought i was in love.  i hurt so badly to be in love.  i forced something that never should have or could have happened.  

a lot can happen in three years--my brain still wants to take the same paths-- but i am no longer willing to be someone else to gain the love of a man.  there's nothing worse than being loved--but as someone very different from yourself.  

i'm navigating new seas these days.  don't cover up--don't shed the things that make up pieces of who i am.  with every piece i lose, i become more willing to conform to an ideal.  

i am not ideal.  i am a creation, a painting right in the middle of being painted.  sometimes i get frustrated and try to add or take away from what has been created by the brush already.  vulnerability, being seen, in all my unfinished awkwardness--seems impossible.  

how do you love without at least trying to hide some parts--how do you lose the pretense?  

how do you love without abandon?

how can i ever feel comfortable, all the while knowing the capacity for pain?

what makes loving a man different from loving a friend?  i easily love those who come and go from my life--but i think i expect a man to love me, and no one has yet, so it's humbling and scary wondering, "will you be my love?", and if not, what is wrong with me?  

and then realizing it doesn't have to be something i am lacking.  Lord, sweet, Lord, i so often doubt who you are to me.  my head knows you not only want the best for me, you've planned the best for me.  why is it that i think you don't know my heart?  i guess i sometimes assume my desires are selfish--that scares me that maybe what i want is not good.  

david is still singing.  he just mentioned seeing a video of himself on youtube and feeling badly about himself.  i love hearing about other's moments of insecurity.  makes me feel marginally more normal, and a smidge less insecure.

concerts are a funny thing.  a lot of times i secretly find them silly.  unless i have some emotional attachment to the music, then i'm able to sit and let it sink down into the memories from every other time i've heard it, or times that it has played over an important moment in my life.  

Jesus, i get confused about our purpose as your followers.  who am i supposed to be in order not to give you a bad name?  

what is it about singers and the act of singing that is so intimate?  maybe because you can't help but be honest.  it is the sound of the person you hide--fully seen.  very romantic when done without the affectation of fear or influence of others. 

i'm not sure why i have written through this entire opening act.  i am full to the top--things to say--fears to speak out loud, and vanish into whatever place spoken insecurities go to die.  

i live in seattle now.  dreams are funny, and the realization of them even funnier.  what do you do with the joy of achieving a desire?  it seems to seep out at the most unexpected times.  like today, with me having a crush on life.  


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

out the door

good morning.

i'm about to head out the door with one of our girls, and then jess and i are headed to the gym. but just wanted to say 'hello'. i still have to put on some shoes, brush my teeth, grab a water and my bag, and find my most likely misplaced keys. in six minutes.

but here's this:

ingrid michaelson--keep breathing

just a quick little something on a tuesday. looove.

Monday, August 25, 2008

new dreams and other things

just recently jess and kelly (a friend of jess' from charlotte, and a new friend of mine as well) started up a writing group.

one of our assignments was to write about our perfect day. i have tipped, turned and twisted this project a million different ways trying to find a perspective that made sense to me. i still haven't really figured out what a perfect day would look like, and i am fully aware that i am reading way too much into this project, and i think i will end up writing a very literal list of things that would make up a day i could really appreciate.


all of this to say, that this project has gotten me thinking about a possible new dream. my grandparents live in oklahoma. my grandfather is a savvy little business man. and i do mean little, he's about 97 lbs. not really, but maybe. after my time here at new beginnings i would really like to talk to my grandfather and see if he has a little plot of land that he'd want to give me, or even allow me to pay off over time.

i have no idea what the next few years will hold (obviously) but, when i think of having a few acres and building a house just big enough to live a quiet life, it seems really right, and exactly what i want. so i am mulling over these things.

or maybe i'll find an old place like this, and fix it up.

but yeah, i have grand visions of a really simple life. not sure what i would do for a job. maybe i would really just go full steam ahead and grow some veggies and get a potter's wheel, and become an actual gypsy. oh and a few horses, for sure.

when i left remuda last year, i really hoped one day that i'd be able to adopt the horse i had for equine therapy. his name was ernie, and i loved that smelly guy. many times i would almost be late for an appointment because ernie would see me walking down the path and come over to visit.

so, ernie, be warned, i'm comin' for you one of these days.

that's where my thoughts are taking me these days. for now, though, i am going to continue sitting on our deck thinking about what to make for dinner tonight.

love each of you, and maybe go ahead and book your tickets for oklahoma:)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

i love this.

stuff white people like

my sad little white girl life all summed up in one list. a few of my personal favorites:

girls with bangs:

But for white people, this simple haircut makes a bold declaration by saying that the wearer is artistic, deep, and has probably dated a guy in a band you like. Of course, as with many things loved by white people, simple often means expensive and these haircuts usually cost upwards of $100.

being offended:

It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive. When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples. Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference.

scarves:

But not all white people wear the scarves for temperature reasons. A well made scarf can be an essential part of a white ensemble, allowing for all-important differentiation from other white people wearing the exact same clothes as them. Thus allowing them to be picked out of the crowd for dating or mocking purposes

“I like the guy in the white American Apparel shirt with the glasses.”

“Which one? there are eight.”

“The guy with the keffiyeh.”

“Oh yeah, you’re right. He does look smarter and more political than the other guys. He’s clearly more sensitive to wind, so he’s probably more sensitive in general. You should totally date him.”

outdoor performance clothes:

The main reason why white people like these clothes is that it allows them to believe that at any moment they could find themselves with a Thule rack on top of their car headed to a national park. It could be 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday when they might get a call “hey man, you know what we need to do? Kayak then camping, right now. I’m on my way to get you, there is no time to change clothes.”

bad memories of high school:

Virtually every white person you meet was a nerd in a high school-it it is how they were able to get into a good arts program and law school. As such, their memories of high school are painful, but not tragic since they were able to eventually find success in the real world. Exploiting this information is your one way to ticket into the heart of a white person.

michel gondry:

In putting together the canon of directors that white people like, we must include Michel Gondry. He directed such white classics as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Oh, that’s right Charlie Kaufman, Gael Garcia Bernal, AND Dave Chappelle - could it get any better for white people? Oh yes, it can.

You see, Michel Gondry got famous by directing videos for The White Stripes, Massive Attack and Bjork. These are three bands that, at some point in their lives, all white people have thought were cool.

standing still at concerts:

Music is very important to white people. It truly is the soundtrack to their lives, meaning that white people are constantly thinking about what songs would be on the soundtrack for the biopic. The problem is that most of the music that white people like isn’t really dance-friendly. More often the songs are about pain, or love, or breaking up with someone, or not being able to date someone, or death.

So when white people go to concerts at smaller venues, what to do they do? They stand still! This is an important part of white concert going as it enables you to focus on the music, and it will prevent drawing excess attention to you. Remember, at a concert everyone is watching you just waiting for you to try to start dancing. Then they will make fun of you.

The result is Belle and Sebastian concerts that essentially looks more like a disorganized line of people than a music event.

If you find yourself invited to a concert with a white person, do NOT expect to dance. Prepare yourself for three hours of standing reasonably still. It is also advised to get a beer or (if legal) a cigarette so you have something to do with your hands. Although it is acceptable to occasionally raise one hand and point just above the stage.

making you feel bad about not going outside:

Usually, they will see that you are preparing to enjoy your life and they will say “hey, lets go for a hike in the park,” and most people will say “hey, thanks but I’ve been working all week and I’m really excited about watching this game,” and then they will respond “don’t be a lump on the couch, you’re wasting your life away, etc…” If you ignore them, they will eventually go away.

And much like most things with white people - they win both ways. If you decide to go with them, they feel good about getting someone off the couch and “into the fresh air,” and if you don’t decide to go, they can spend their entire time outdoors saying “boy, this is great, X doesn’t know what he/she is missing!” and running on a mix of self-satisfaction, Odwalla juice and muesli.

coffee:

There is no doubt that white people love coffee. Yes, it’s true that asians like iced coffee and people of all races enjoy it. But I promise you that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. You could kind of tell they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyways until they liked it - like cigarettes.

White people all need Starbucks, Second Cup or Coffee Bean. They are also fond of saying “you do NOT want to see me before I get my morning coffee.” White guys will also call it anything but coffee: “rocket fuel,” “java,” “joe,” “black gold,” and so forth. It’s pretty garbage all around.

If you want to go for extra points - white people really love FAIR TRADE coffee, because paying the extra $2 means they are making a difference.

really and truly, funniest thing ever. you should go explore this website, because there are many more hilarious ones on the list. soon, i will be exploring the "stuff christians like" list per jessi's recommendation.

Friday, August 22, 2008

uh just two of my favorites

video

these two guys make my life a little sweeter.
scratch that. a lot sweeter.

[a quick project shot by jare]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

forgetful

okay. i just had a really, really bizarre day.

but let's just talk about tonight. about 4 or 5 months ago, i bought myself a ticket to see radiohead. i have looked so forward to it, but it really snuck up on me. in fact, i had forgotten about it until yesterday morning.

after a weird day, i had even considered scrapping going all together. but, i knew i would really really really hate myself if i passed this up. after a longer than expected doctor's appointment with our new girl, and a quick trip home to let beulah out, i sort of reluctantly set out.

the venue was an amphitheater.

let's just talk through this. i have to really love a band to ever want to see them at an outdoor venue. in the rain.

when i go to a concert, i want to sit, with a cup of coffee (ideally), and be able to scribble down some thoughts while i listen to whoever is playing. now, let's be clear--i realize that i am seconds away from being classified as geriatric.

so, all of these things were running through my head as i started my drive. a few other thoughts were crossing my mind, like,

"i should make friends who will go to concerts with me"
"then i could drive in the carpool lane"
"washington people are really mean in a traffic jam"
"did she just flip me off?"

i finally got off on the exit, and naively assumed that i was seconds from parking and waltzing in to the concert. about 40 minutes later, i finally saw a sign for the whiteriver amphitheater. 5 miles.

i don't think i had gone 5 miles in the previous hour. i cursed.

long story short, i finally made it. remembered how funny/weird/awesome concert goers are, and how much you need another person with you to laugh at the dirty couples making out on the ground, or the abrasive drunk guy who keeps tripping and falling on you.

but, in situations like that, i always find it to be much more adventurous when you do them on your own.

my favorite moment of tonight was when they sang 'talk show host'. arguably my favorite song of theirs.

talk show host

everything about tonight felt a little like 'close encounters of the third kind'. numbly driving out to a field in a long line of cars, getting out and standing with 20,000 other people, all staring at big orange lights.

too tired to tie up the loose ends of this entry. thanks to jess, i don't even have to take beulah out before bed. such luxury. it's been a great night, and it's good to be 24 and get to do fun things like tonight. even if i am a really old 24.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

jessi's happy birthday/writing mix

  • the album leaf--twenty-two fourteen
  • beirut--rhineland (heartland)
  • cliff edwards--when you wish upon a star
  • elliott smith--between the bars
  • elmer berstein--boo who?
  • iron&wine--love vigilantes
  • joanna newsom--the book of right-on
  • dances with wolves--score
  • kate havnevik--nowhere warm
  • bill withers--use me
  • my morning jacket--hopefully (acoustic version)
  • patty griffin--long road
  • pete yorn--EZ
  • rogue wave--salesman at the day of the parade
  • rosie thomas--sell all my things
  • sia--day too soon
  • sigur ros--heysatan
  • sun kil moon--exit does not exist
  • pride and prejudice--darcy's letter
  • sara groves--loving a person
just a crazy/hazy/mixed up mix that's fun and will hopefully help give you even more inspiration as your write!  love you very much.  can't wait to bake a cake with you today:)

Friday, August 15, 2008

blocked

i just watched an interview with steven curtis chapman's family on good morning america (via youtube).  it is truly heartbreaking.  they have been on my mind since the accident, but seeing this just leveled me.  

we have another girl moving in.  it feels so much different than with our first three girls.  mostly because i got here after those three were already settled in, and there was a rhythm in the house. 

my sweet friends barry and stewart have been here this week, and that was so fun.  they are on a fun adventure riding across the country, and so we got to have them at the house with us for a few days.  we rode up to port angeles yesterday so they could hop a ferry to canada.   

after a tumultuous few weeks around here, it will be nice for things to settle in and get a new rhythm going. 

we'll see how that goes.

i feel like i have been spinning my wheels emotionally.  and spiritually too, for that matter.  as i sat outside this afternoon, and tried to write, i ended up pitching a fit in the general direction of the Lord.  it seemed so valid in the moment.  

time for the olympics.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 09, 2008

ehhhh..keepin it real

in the last few days our house has been preoccupied with the photo booth feature of SB (my computer's name). video blogs have been made, hilarious versions of 'so you think you can dance' routines have been absolutely enjoyed and watched repeatedly.

we celebrated jess' birthday last night with a good ol' fashioned slumber party. it was so great. but i will tell you my favorite part of the whole thing. me, nick, jess, marilee, thadd, and rotating babies yelling out trivial pursuit questions and answers. it really brought me pure joy, and i do think that we should all live at a commune. (apparently in carnation).

now, let's talk olympics.

more specifically, let's talk this guy:

bob costas. i love him. i love anything he narrates, and i love when he does the background stories for olympic athletes. i have great memories of watching the '92 olympics in barcelona with my brothers--it seemed like it was on all summer.

maybe i'll ask him how he feels about communes in carnation?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

just thinking

i don't know if you have ever seen 'about a boy' with hugh grant, but in that movie, hugh's character has a lot of free time on his hands, and discovers that he has to divide his day up into units.  each unit comprising of 30 minutes.  

well, here you go:

"I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units. It's amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I'd ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in? "

during my odyssey of solitude, that was the month of july, i lived life a little like this (or a lot).  

last week, when the timeline for working at new beginnings home became more clear, i automatically began translating my time here into units.  a checklist of days.  

this is not the manner in which i want to live this life.  

seconds that add up to a minute, waiting on that minute to become five.  wait on today to become tomorrow so that maybe i'll get what i'm hoping for.  what i want.

what is it that makes me want to rush through periods of time?  and to be honest, i still don't feel like i am wanting to rush through the rest of my time here at new beginnings, i truly love this sweet little life we've got going.  

i think more of my struggle right now is, i am in the waiting room of life.  

knocking on the door, and waiting for someone to answer.  who will it be?  

it is not my intention to bring this around to the old "treasure every day" sort of life lesson.  

i'm not sure what my intention is, to be honest.  okay, here's what i think i might be trying to say:

i have no idea what i am working towards in the grand scheme of my life.  
right now most everything seems like a series of blurs.
nothing is seriously long term.
i am not married to someone forever.
i don't have children that will be around forever.
life seems temporary.
so--how do you live life in an effective and meaningful way when you don't know what your life is really going to look like?


Monday, August 04, 2008

i would rather

well, i had been working on this other, more serious, and probably slightly confusing entry, but instead, i will inform you of the minutia filling my day thus far.  

roll over, hear dog whimpering to be let out.
thought process:  just give me five more minutes, maybe fifteen.

it's amazing how magnified minutes become at 6am.  

6:30am, wake up to an excited puppy, who promptly pees on my foot and licks my face off.  
outside for potty and play.
i sit in the backyard, in my pajamas and bathrobe, and check my emails.

randy (jess' dad) comes out on the deck for a smoke, we exchange good mornings, beulah seeing randy, pees on herself.

i stay outside until my desire for coffee is inescapable.  come in, make coffee.  at this point, randy realizes his flight is today, not tomorrow.  packing ensues.  

turn back and forth between the today show and the waltons.  say good morning to jess and babes.  beulah pees on herself.  

i shower.

randy heads to airport.  

beulah sleeps.
babies pretend to sleep.
jess and i play relaxation game, and pretend to schedule (or i just pretend, jess really does).

beulah wakes.
i walk around.
laundry.
preparing new girl's room.
lunch.

both babies up.

nick comes in, beulah sees him.  
pees.

a few phone calls, and now i'm back outside.
checking my emails.

Friday, August 01, 2008

good morning, salsa

well, it's still midmorning here, but i wanted to get a head start on tonight's dinner, so i went ahead and made the salsa for our mexican feast this evening.  

up until a couple of months ago, i had never made guacamole or salsa, but had a passion for both.  so, i thought maybe for those of you that like these 2 delicacies as much as i do, you might want a couple of really good, fresh recipes.  here goes:

salsa
3 tomatoes, diced
1 large white onion, diced
3-5 tomatillos, depending on size
1-2 peppers of choice, depending on how hot you want it, you could leave them out all together.
1 whole bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes, squeezed dry
4-5 garlic cloves, again, depending on taste, i like me some garlic
2 cans original rotel
salt sparingly
a good bit of fresh pepper

chop everything, open a couple of cans, throw it in a bowl, grab some chips, and you're good.  you can really add or subtract most of these things according to your own taste.  

also, with the peppers because the crazy salmonella scare, nick just grabbed some canned jalapenos and i chopped those up instead.  i think it turned out fine.

guacamole
4 good sized avocados, scraped from skin and blended 
1 large red onion, diced
1 large bunch of cilantro, rough chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tomatillos, you really don't need them, but i like 'em
4-5 cloves of garlic, using garlic press
2 juiced limes
salt and pepper

okay, the only thing i know for sure about this is that the avocados have to be all kinds of ripe.  otherwise you will have little cubes of them, instead of it being mushy and mixing with everything else.  eh.  i use a little melon baller type of thing to get all the avocado out, and then use a hand mixer to mush it up.  then i chop everything else and mix it in with a spoon.  

now, i really hate to add a lot of salt to anything, but let me tell you, this will be gross if you don't add enough salt, so try not to be shy, just keep tasting it, cause you don't want it sickly salty either.  lots of pepper, too.  

i hope you enjoy these, cause we will be tonight!

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