June, 2007

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Making my heart break, and then grow back 3x as big

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I stole this from my brother and sister-in-law’s blog. I am convinced that nothing will ever bring me more joy than these precious, hysterical little characters.

Home is where the chair is

Friday, June 29th, 2007

The events of the past two days have been momentous. In a feat nothing short of heroic, my mom, my friend Scott, and I moved me out of my apartment in a single day… almost. There are still various items of detritus scattered throughout my old home, but mostly, we’re finished.

Miraculously, every single piece of furniture (aside from my vintage flowered chair and copper-doored cabinet – those stay with me no matter what) has been claimed, either by friends or through Craigslist. We met the nicest Craigslist family in the universe yesterday, and they bought several of my things. When the woman asked where I was moving, and I told her about my solo cross-country road trip, her eyes grew wide with dismay. Admonishing me to carry not only mace but a gun, she turned to my mom and asked her how she felt about my safety. When my mom shrugged it off, the woman turned to her daughter and said, “At least you only got pregnant.” A priceless moment in parenting.

If there is anything that I hate about moving, it is moving out. If there is anything that I love about moving, it is moving in. I now abide in the most darling, tiny basement apartment of some wonderful friends, and I always love setting up shop in a new place. I am so excited about how well this will work out, and am looking forward to establishing a new routine here.

I mentioned that this new place is tiny: a bedroom, bathroom, and baby kitchen (fridge and sink). The ceilings are low (Scott said, “Good thing you’re not a mammoth woman” – indeed, for many reasons), the windows are little, and the doorways are narrow. But nothing, my friends, is as tiny as the shower. Shaving my legs is going to be physically impossible in this stall; my experience last night confirmed this. Imagine me with my leg… wait. Never mind.

I have the best mom and friends in the world. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in various ways throughout this ordeal – and when I say “ordeal,” I am serious. I hate feeling unstable. But I guess I should get used to it – this is only the beginning.

Pictures of my new little home:

A sign?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

On this, the last night in my apartment, I used the very last of my Glad tall kitchen trash bags. Two years have come and gone, serendipitously timed in correspondence with the 75 pack box.

It’s been real.

The fear of following through

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I am convinced that it’s really easy to have dreams, especially when we keep them at a safe distance. How many years have I talked a big talk about moving to Nashville? Probably 10. And it’s been sweet and easy to dream about going – but actually going? That’s another story.

Yesterday I sent out a letter to all of my co-workers announcing my impending departure from my job. I spent a long time drafting this letter, and saying the things that I wanted to say, and yet my finger paused before pressing “Send.” Finally, with the push of a button, off it went, sealing my fate.

On Thursday, I will move out of my apartment. Many of my possessions are in boxes, sorted into various piles: yard sale, Goodwill, post office, keep, trash, beg someone to buy. It’s an uncomfortable place for me to dwell – on the unstable ground of vagrancy – but it’s the way it will be for awhile. Chasing dreams is not always comfortable.

In the past week, I have been in various studios at different points, recording for several projects: my own country stuff, music for a church project, a HIP HOP TRACK (seriously)… I have dreamed for years about recording in a professional environment, and yet when I finally arrived at my chance, headphones on and microphone in place, I found myself hesitating out of uncertainty. What if I make a mistake? What if it sounds bad? But even in that moment of doubt and risk, the tape is rolling and I open my mouth to sing.

It is one thing to have dreams – it’s another thing entirely to wholeheartedly pursue them. But you guys? I am having such a good time.

Lo siento

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I have been very bad about writing this week – I am so sorry. Some major things are converging in my life at the moment, including several recording projects, a move out of my apartment, a visit from my mom, some odd interpersonal things, and the death of my grandmother on Sunday. I promise to write more about these things as soon as I can find the space to breathe.

In the meantime, just so you have something to focus on, I would like to direct your attention to one of my favorite bloggers, Clive Thompson. Who knows why I am so drawn to this guy? He writes about science and technology, two things that I don’t know much about… maybe that’s why I love reading his blog so much.

I’m not going to lie – geeks are hot. I have a thing for guys in good glasses, nerdy and oblivious to their own charm. There is a reason that the term “adorkable” was coined; granted, the reason is Adam Brody, but still. I have a cyber-crush on Clive, and I’ve never even seen a picture. He is intelligent and witty and curious, and explores otherwise dry subjects with charisma.

This is my favorite of his entries.

Homeward bound

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

On Thursday night, a long-time dream of mine was fulfilled. I finally, finally saw Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in concert.

I’m going to bare my soul a little bit here. When Faith rose out of the stage (in a one-piece, sequined, halter jumpsuit, no less – now THAT is confidence) to sing her opening song, “Wild One,” I started crying. I’m not one for hysterics, especially over something as trivial as celebrity – and indeed, that was not what was moving my spirit. Rather, it was the fact that I first heard that song when I was about 12 years old, and it was one of the first songs that really sealed the deal between country music and me. I couldn’t help it – I just cried. I love that song, and it somehow reminded me of a home that I have not yet experienced.

For 3 hours, the entire show cocooned me. To me, it felt like worship – to be in a place where I was completely surrounded with the music that I have loved for so many years. I didn’t have to think or analyze or evaluate; I felt at home.

During a killer version of “Stronger,” full of amazing backup vocals and plenty of soul from Faith, it dawned on me: if I want to be a part of the country music business as a backup singer, it is not up to me. It is not riding on my voice or my charisma or my look or even my connections and relationships. This dream is such a long-shot that it takes all of the pressure off of me, and loads it straight onto a higher power.

Now, I am not a big believer in “meant to be.” I think that our lives can take many different forms depending on the choices that we are free to make… and I am sure that God has bigger fish to fry than “Annie’s dreams.” But as I was reminded in My Utmost For His Highest this morning, “Nothing happens in particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in him. Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere which asking is perfectly natural.”

And so I am praying. Although I cannot say why, I can no longer deny the tug in my heart that is pulling me toward Tennessee. I can’t turn off the voice that is calling me away from Seattle. I am moving forward with equal parts confidence and trepidation, heading toward the unknown with nothing but a “sense” that there is something out there for me. Things might not turn out the way that I have envisioned them, but I’ll be damned if it’s because I didn’t try.

It’s official: I am moving to Nashville in January.


Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

The Honda is on the fritz again.

Recently, I walked out of my apartment to the sight of the tailpipe hanging precariously off of the muffler. One little tap of my toe, and the tip of the pipe went clattering to the asphalt, effectively circumcising my car.

And here, all along I thought she was a girl.

After an initial inspection, the kind men at Dr. Don’s Automotive told me that the muffler is “rusting out.” Also, it “needs a left front wheel bearing,” and the “right front shock is leaking.” I no speaka mechanic, but I do understand that these things are NOT GOOD, and if I choose to drive despite these warnings, I am literally in serious danger of a wheel “falling off.”

So while I wait for the day when I can get my car into the shop, I am on foot, traipsing from Ballard to the U-District to Fremont to North Seattle. On Monday, I walked 6 miles, and then ran 3. Yesterday, I walked 8. This morning, I have already logged 3.5, and have another 3 ahead of me this afternoon. On Friday, I will drop off my car in Ballard, and then hoof the 6 miles to Shoreline.

I have had many offers for rides, but to be honest, I like to walk. In the days before cars, people walked everywhere, and as a result, had hours upon hours to think. And in all of the thinking that I’ve been doing, the best thought I have had is this:

If things can be “discombobulated,” why can’t they be “combobulated,” or even just “bobulated”?

Your cashier was Dwight Schrute

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Me: “I wish I had the recipe for this soup.”

Cashier: “Do you have the internet?”

Me: [long pause] “You mean… the World Wide Web?”

Cashier: [solemnly serious face] “Yes.”

Me: “Um… yeah… I think they have that on the computers these days.”

Victory speech

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

First of all, I would like to thank God for creating bodies and physical activities. I could not have done this without you.

I need to thank my dear mother, first and foremost for giving birth to me, and secondly, for recently gifting me with some high-quality wicking shirts and shorts. It made this entire morning so much more enjoyable.

Anna, at Road Runner Sports, for fitting me with my new Adidas, and convincing me that the Super Feet insoles really are worth it. You’re the best!

Thank you to the pouring rain and mud, because no one wants to be the kid with the blindingly neon white shoes.

I can’t forget the Olmsted brothers, who had the original vision for designing Seattle city parks such as Green Lake.

My legs, my legs! I know that I had said such cruel things to you and about you in the past, and yet you remain loyal and reliable. I do not deserve you.

And finally, to the endorphines. You kicked in around mile 2, and stretched the 2.8 goal into a respectable 3.5, therefore convincing me that even after several months of hiatus, I’VE STILL GOT IT!

Climb every mountain

Friday, June 8th, 2007

With the recent purchase of both new hiking boots AND new running shoes, I woke up this morning not sure which pair I should break in today. But then I remembered my CamelBak that was also waiting to be inaugurated, and since I love that oh-so-satisfactory click it makes when the mouthpiece magnetically sticks to the chest strap, my decision was made.

I drove to Mt. Si this morning, ready to conquer the mountain by myself. If hiking alone sounds like the beginnings of a bad nightly news story, you’re probably right. Even I had visions of a creepy man stepping from the woods onto the trail all Ethan-style, ready to whisk me to a shack in the woods to perform weird experiments on me. But luckily, Mt. Si is the equivalent of Green Lake on an incline, and so there were plenty of fellow hikers and trail dogs.

Given that three of my top five worst fears are a) falling from high heights, b) chipping a tooth in the process, and c) being eaten by a bear (and to be honest, I don’t know what the other top two fears would be – those three pretty well encompass my greatest fears), the outdoors might sound like the last place that I should spend time. And indeed: as a child, I was a lazy bum and the anti-outdoorsman (much to the chagrin of my hiker parents), preferring the comfort of my own bed and access to a VCR over dirt and pain (yes, dirt and pain). But in recent years, I have turned over a new leaf, and have been spending more and more time in the wilderness. Hiking, backpacking, camping, I do it all. And I even have the gear to prove it. I am strong and have endurance and don’t even have asthma attacks. I put the “active” in “attractive.”

Um. Right.

When I’m honest? Perfectly honest? My attitude toward the outdoors hasn’t exactly changed. I still cannot stand blackened toenails, sunburns, peeing in the woods, bugs and vermin. I hate feeling dirty, and that gross salty residue that is left behind after sweating. I hike not to commune with nature. I hike with high, futile hopes of my tush standing at attention.

And so this morning, I practically sprinted the 4-miles up the mountain, never letting anyone pass me, but me doing the passing. I was the passer in this operation. I broke a cardinal rule of those nature-loving hikers, and listened to my iPod the whole time – country songs about one-night stands (We ain’t done nothing wrong, we’ve just been lonely too long…). Even with my new boots, my left heel was ground into hamburger (that pesky size 8 foot), and required some serious tender-loving care at the summit.

But you know? The summit was beautiful. Thousands of feet higher than when I started, the clouds were rolling away like an ocean tide, and all was peaceful. And even as I killed the ants and threw rocks at the chipmunks to keep them away from my gouda and crackers, I was glad that I am a hiker. Maybe this nature thing isn’t too bad after all.