May, 2007

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Home sweet home

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

As I am wrapping up my time in my charming, cozy little apartment, I have been feeling very sentimental. So I decided to document my home. Something to show the grandkids… or watch on repeat while I’m living out of my Honda, crying over the reality of living out of a suitcase for MONTHS AND MONTHS ON END.

Therefore, I bring you my very first movie of my very first home of my very first life. Please forgive my shakey hands and lack of computer prowess. And a special thanks to the exquisite Wailin’ Jennys for the soundtrack.


I couldn’t get naked fast enough

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

The title? That’s the end of the story. Now, let’s start at the beginning.

My Memorial Day weekend was among the top-most-fun weekends ever! My friend Jenn from Denver, who I had not seen for probably 6 years, came to visit. I suppose that there was potential for awkwardness, given how long it had been since we had seen each other and how far I’ve fallen into moral sewage, but luckily Jenn is right there with me. :) Our friendship was instantly rekindled, and we had such a blast.

The theme of the weekend was LADY DATE 2007, and we milked it for all it was worth. The parking gods were with us; we got rock-star parking everywhere that we went. We wore dresses on 3 separate occasions, went out for amazing food, shopped til we dropped, rode a ferry in the sunshine, took pictures, went to the Woodinville wineries, and even watched a Mandy Moore movie while eating ice cream and potato chips. And brie. And cookies. It was pure bliss! When you are single, you must celebrate it, because it truly is such a gift.

On Friday, Jenn emerged from the dressing room at Anthropologie in a kelly green dress. “Oh no,” I said. “I KNOW!” she replied. And then we had the fateful moment where we freaked out and twirled around, simultaneously delighted and horrified at 1) how perfect the dress was, and 2) how much money she now HAD to spend because the dress was just THAT great. She bought it because she is worth it. And apparently this message is brought to you by L’Oreal Paris.

It reminds me of my friend Sarah who, after ending her engagement and then watching her ex-fiance wed another, pawned all the jewelry from various ex-boyfriends and bought herself a diamond necklace. Simply rad.

I bought myself roses last week, which is something that I swore that I would never do. I can buy myself other flowers, but roses are off-limits, I thought. Roses should only come from a guy, right? Oh pshaw. Life does not always turn out the way that you plan, and when it doesn’t, you have to be ready to break the rules.

And so yesterday, when I was staring at my computer screen with a headache and a backache and a brain ache, I picked up the phone and called the number on the coupon. I scheduled my appointment, showed up a few hours later, charged the Visa (because this was an absolute necessity), and entered the darkened room of the masseuse.

And the end of the story? You already know.

a) Shoes, and b) Sharing the wealth

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Certain events of this weekend have opened my eyes to some weighty issues surrounding a) what I need, and b) what I own. As in, a) what I have too few of, and b) what I have too much of. As in, a) shoes, and b) everything else.

Let us begin with a).

Seriously, I need shoes. I need shoes in the worst way. I need shoes like Lindsay Lohan needs an intervention. I was struck with this today when I put on a brown shirt, and went to look for brown shoes, and realized that I don’t HAVE any brown shoes. Are you kidding me? How do I not own a single pair of brown shoes? And how did I not know this before?

I don’t get excited about shoe shopping, and I really don’t get excited about spending money on shoes. I avoid those men in suits at Nordstrom for fear of their judgey-eyes sidling across my footwear, making a mental note of my cheap taste and low standards. Five years ago, I bought a pair of elevated Mary-Janes at Target (God bless Mossimo), and have since eBayed them. Twice. Let’s be honest: it is very embarrassing when people start noticing the duct tape on the soles of your shoes – I need to get over this pair and move on. But they were $8 on the internet! No Annie. It is time.

I recently tried on a pair of heavenly comfortable Kenneth Coles, but gasped at the sight of the price tag. So, again, I went home and eBayed the same pair. $30 – take that, suckas! Well, the joke wound up being on me when they arrived and they were KNOCK-OFFS (the audacity), and therefore nowhere near the comfort level of the originals.

My feet are torn up, blistered, bleeding, and becoming contorted due to the cheap-ass shoes that I am shoving my feet into each day. My knees, my hips, my heels are screaming at me all day, every day. Even my running shoes are demolished, and rub me raw every time I wear them. Good Lord, at this rate I might develop bunions!

sick. and. wrong.

I need a sudden wind-fall of $500 to simply silence my barking dogs, and preserve my knees and arches. I need a pair of running shoes, a pair of hiking boots, a pair of basic black shoes, a good pair of heels, and a pair of cool sneakers. Ah yes, and a pair of BROWN shoes. And I need to dish out the money for good ones.

Now, on to b).

How does one person accumulate so much junk? As I have one more month in my apartment, I am starting to sort through the detritus of my life. The name of the game is “SIMPLIFY.” If you want any stuff, I have stuff. Let me know what you want to take off my hands.

Applicable quotes

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

“We are not going to succeed in everything we attempt in life. That’s a guarantee. In fact, the more we do in life, the more chance there is not to succeed in some things. But what a rich life we are having!” -Susan Jeffers

“When anger fills your heart, when in your pain and hurt
You find the strength to stop, you bless instead of curse,
When doubting floods your soul, though all things feel unjust,
You open up your heart, you find a way to trust,

That’s a little stone, that’s a little mortar,
That’s a little seed, that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters,
This kingdom’s coming.” -Sara Groves

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” -Unknown

They read my mind

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

It’s a coffee maker! It’s a toaster! It’s a skillet! It’s… it’s heaven!

I present to you the Elite Cuisine 3-in-1 Breakfast Cooker… apparently designed specifically for me.

Words innocent pedestrians should never have to hear…

Friday, May 18th, 2007

… from me, the driver, who, after the mayhem, felt it necessary to roll down the window, look into their terrified eyes, and offer,

“I AM SO SORRY – that was absolutely MANIACAL.”

The defacing of a neighborhood

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

There is nothing like waking up to the gentle sunshine on your face, the birds chirping through the trees, and the racket of a jackhammer outside your window.

All across town, the scales are falling from the eyes of Seattlites, and the truth is being illuminated. People are becoming aware of a grave deficiency here in our fair city: a serious shortage of townhomes. Otherwise reasonable people are migrating to the dark side, and destroying winsome older homes in favor of multiplexes and clapboard. Truly, townhomes are cropping up like rabbits in the springtime, and my neighborhood of Wallingford is in no way immune.

One morning last summer, I walked out of my charming 1920’s brick apartment building, full of character and humble fortitude, to find the house across the street gone. Bulldozed. Flattened. Nothing but rubble. When did that happen? I missed the old house. True, it was a bit dilapidated and probably moldy and rotten… but I liked to believe that it had good bones, and could have been resurrected with some tender loving care. A Craftsman home should never be torn down – it’s like shooting a bald eagle. Or a unicorn.

Over the past year, in the place of the charming old decaying house, I have watched a 4-plex take shape. But not just your run-of-the-mill townhome: this place is a palacial monstrosity, an anachronistic Cair Paravel, complete with faux stone walls and steep-sloping gables. No amount of landscaping is going to make this chateau less conspicuous; it is atrocious.

Just last week, they tore down the house next door to the recently developed eyesore, intending to build another multi-residence home. It makes me sad.

But you know what would redeem it all? If they tore down MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE. There have to be at least 20 people living in that single-family dwelling place. The drug dealers. The obscenity screamers. The crooks who were arrested for having 33 stolen side-view mirrors in their basement. I blame my frequent car theft on them – or at least on some of their “clients.”

They deserve a townhome.

When you dream, dream big

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

It is a very good thing to have dreams. In fact, I think that it’s imperative that we talk about our dreams, and foster them, and get encouragement from the people around us, and then run like hell after the desires of our hearts. God puts those desires there for a reason, you know…

In that spirit, what do I want to do with my life? What am I passionate about? I want to dabble in a million different things, and see many dreams come to fruition. Uh oh – I don’t know that I was meant to hold down a job…

One dream that has been constant since I was a very little girl: I want to be a backup singer. I want to live in Nashville, and sing in all sorts of “behind the scenes” ways. I think that my voice is best suited to be a support to others who actually have true charisma, and what would be better than getting to be super-mysterious and sing all the fun parts with none of the fame? I want to write country songs about unrequited love.

I want to travel to New Zealand, and hike and lay on the beach. Italy is beckoning, too – mostly because of my love of food and wine. And organized crime. I want to backpack across Europe. I want to drive from Seattle to Alaska along the coast of B.C., and see a real live moose. I want to sleep in a mud hut in Africa. I want to make it to Hong Kong. I want to do a major Road Trip USA, and drive through small towns and see who I meet. I didn’t used to, but now I think I might want to see Hawaii.

I want to be a graphic designer, which yes, I know, would require me learning how to be a graphic designer. I want to be a photographer. I want to learn how to actually use my Macbook for all sorts of media purposes. I want to build my own website (keep an eye out for www.hootenannie.com).

I want to be a florist. More importantly, I want to deliver flowers and make people smile all day long.

I want to be a bartender in a small, dim, pseudo-European bistro. I would make delicious gimlets and small talk, cocktails and friends.

I want to be a published writer in some capacity. Articles? Stories? A book? It will NOT be poetry, since my sophomore English teacher told me that my poem about sandpaper was trite (“So rough, making things smooth…”). Dream killer. Naysayer. :)

I want to get a group of women together and read our junior high journal entries out loud. The shame, the disgrace! It is a great comfort to me that no matter how bad life gets, no matter what happens or what shit hits the fan, I never have to go back and repeat junior high.

I want to have opportunities to wear dresses. I love dresses. Please, for the love, someone throw a party or something – I want to wear a dress!

I want to flip houses. I want to take old, run-down, beaten up structures, and revamp them into homes. I want to pick out kitchen appliances and flooring and colors for the bedrooms. I want to take a sledgehammer to a wall.

I want to be an event planner, a business woman in a suit, a professional organizer. I want to be financially savvy, and to know enough about money to help other women. I want to go on business trips and network and mingle and work hard and succeed.

Just once, I want to win at Trivial Pursuit.

I don’t know that I want this, but let’s just say that I think it would be good for me to spend at least 2 weeks backpacking out in the middle of nowhere. No makeup, no showers, no mirrors, lots of dirt and blisters and spiders and grit. Survival.

I want to run in a race, even if it’s just a 5K. I used to think that I wanted to run a marathon, but even I, in my “dream-big” state of mind, know that just isn’t going to happen. God gave me weak knees.

But God also gave me child-bearing hips, and I intend to use them. I want to be a mom. I want to have lots of babies and raise them to be really good people. I want to have a little tribe that I can love and sing to and rock to sleep and load into an Audi wagon. I wonder what they will be like?

I want to be an excellent, healthy, life-giving companion to a really good man. I want to fully trust, and be trusted, and be committed through the good times and the bad. I want to be married to my best friend. I want to witness the beauty of seeing things through.

And I really, really want to be comfortable in my own skin.

I believe that I was meant to do a great many things. Watch and see – just maybe I’ll accomplish everything that I dream of?

Three thoughts

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Today, I am struck with all of the things to come, and all that must be done in the meantime.

I woke up a little bit early this morning, allowing me enough time to go for a walk before going into work. Morning walks are unusual for me – typically, I walk in the late afternoon or early evening – and I must admit that I enjoy the different vibe that the AM brings. By the afternoon, my brain feels full, and the day is running at such a frenzied pace that I am barely keeping up. But in the morning, things are quiet, simultaneously ponderous and purposeful, permitting my mind to really engage my thoughts. Here’s what was filling my mind this morning.

First of all, as you might guess from the pictures, I had a fantastic time with my family in Colorado. It was too short, as it always is, but it was a taste of what I will experience this fall when I have more flexibility to be with them. What a gift to actually LOVE being around one’s family! Not everyone does, and I know that, and am grateful for the gift that each of them is to me.

When I am around Micah and Tyler, my heart feels like it’s going to explode. These two little guys have opened my eyes to how much love I am capable of feeling – and they don’t have to do anything at all. They just walk around with their tiny baby-toothed grins and chubby hands, their vivid imaginations and funny faces, and I am slain in my tracks. If I feel this much for them, my nephews, I have absolutely no concept of what I will feel for my own children. My heart simply cannot fathom it.

Secondly, I am struck with the urgency of my time in Seattle being short. I have been operating under the assumption that “Of course I’ll be back to Seattle – probably in January!” But honestly, I have no idea. In the event that I wind up not coming back, I want to spend as much time as possible with my friends – so my calendar has been filling up with ALL SORTS of social things. This is great, until I hit the point where I want to just hole up in my apartment and nest.

The more that I think about it, the more I am leaning towards staying away for awhile – spending the fall on the road as a vagrant, but settling in Nashville or Kansas City in January. I think that I have to. I have to do something different for awhile. But I guess that time will tell… nothing is certain right now. I might fall in love with a rodeo cowboy in Cheyenne, and never make it out of Wyoming. There’s no telling.

Third of all, if I truly am going to move, to MOVE move, then how in tarnation do I do that? What do I do with my stuff? It’s too expensive to get a moving truck, or even one of those pod things. How do I start over somewhere else entirely? This is how: I sell everything big, mail a couple of boxes of linens and kitchen appliances, and put my little flowered chair and wine rack on the back seat of my Honda. That’s it. I guess that it’s not that complicated when I actually think about it.

It could be fun to sell my stuff, and then get different stuff somewhere else. :) I’m always up for new stuff… But I will definitely keep my flowered chair, my wine rack, and my little copper-front cupboard. And my copper toaster, and copper blender. And my light-up globe. And my sharp knives. Everything else can go. Except my bedspread. And my clothes and my laptop and my books. And Netflix – I will definitely keep them up-to-date on my address.

Holy cow. If I’m actually, actually moving, there are so many Seattle things that I need to do! The Seattle Art Museum, the Woodinville wineries, Snoqualmie Falls, the SPACE NEEDLE! All of these things that I always assumed I would get around to doing.

Looks like the summer will be busy…

Micah, Little Love

Saturday, May 12th, 2007