April, 2008

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A very fragile ecosystem

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

It is truly embarrassing to hear the words, “Annie, please don’t blow your nose on our embossed napkins.” But today, this was my reality. A co-worker caught me with my face buried in a company napkin, and then politely requested that I use something other than their expensive serviette as a depository for my snot.

Allergies are alive and well here in Nashville, and I am fighting the good fight. I partake of imitation Zyrtec or Claritin, and occasionally the miracle drug Singulair. However, since Singulair has been linked to suicide, and I can be depressed enough on my own thankyouverymuch, I try to keep my usage down only to when I wheeze.

Yes. I do wheeze. It’s incredibly sexy.

I am allergic to the down comforter on my bed, but I desperately need its warmth at night. As the girl with the self-diagnosed and self-named CHAT (Cold Hands All the Time), my extremities would freeze and fall off if I didn’t sleep under the insulation of goose-down. The trade-off: I wake up with puffy eyes and a scratchy throat.

My apartment is freakishly cold, though. I’m sure that I will be grateful for this come the sweltering southern summer – a seasonal experience that I am dreading with every cell in my body – but for now, I wake up and it’s 50 degrees in my bedroom. I refuse to turn on the heat, since a) it’s getting up to the high 70’s in the afternoons these days and therefore, the use of heat seems so wrong, and b) I’m a cheapskate.

Maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to the humidity in the air. I could solve this by turning on the AC, but again, see letter b above. I have told you of my obsession with washcloths; in my apartment, it takes 5 days for a washcloth to dry. I suppose that the possibility exists that there is mildew flying around in my air, and slowly rotting my lungs.

And attracting COCKROACHES.

This morning, I saw the second cockroach of my life. The first was about 2 months ago, crawling across my kitchen floor. I had never seen anything like it, and reacted in the only way I knew how: with a piercing shriek that rattled the windows and surely woke the neighbors. This time, I was more prepared. I karate-chopped that roach with a sturdy flip-flop, and killed it until it was extremely dead. Take that, HAB.

All of this is to say that I cannot find balance for my body, for my home, for my health. And my reality now includes cockroaches. And I just wanted you all to know.

Mortification

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Since I sit at a desk all day long, I find myself clicking out into the internet. I click and click and click until suddenly, I realize that I have no idea how I got to where I am. Like when I came across this. And also, this.

But the other day, I was so happy to arrive here.

This is the funniest story I have read in a long, long time.

So I forwarded the link to my sister, and then we engaged in a little Facebook chat about it:

Becca: It reminds me of a story my friend told me. Except she was in bed with her cousin. And it was pee. Real pee – not even lemonade.

Me: BUT THAT IS THE TOTAL OPPOSITE OF THIS STORY.

So this is hope

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair)

I’ve done my fair share of crying since I arrived here in Nashville. Everything about this transition has felt so different (i.e. worse) than I expected, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was going to stay for very much longer. My parents have a big, empty basement in Kansas, and although a decision to live with them would essentially be to enter a menagerie (there are 4 large, long-haired dogs in that house, not to mention the fact that it’s ANT SEASON in the Midwest), the appeal of free rent and someone else to make the coffee sure sounds good sometimes.

But this week, I have felt differently.

Attribute it to the fact that I feel like I am finally establishing a routine here. Or that I’ve decided that my job isn’t half-bad. Or that I now know how to get to Target, Ross, and at least 5 wine shops. Or that I’m back to walking 6+ miles each day. Or that I heard that Trader Joe’s is arriving in September. Or that I’m scheduled to record some demos in May.

Ironically, you might even credit the fact that in my life, Cupid tends to work for the devil.

(I joke…

But seriously, he does.)

All of those reasons, marinated in the truth that God gives strength to the weary and hope to the hopeless, have added up to a revitalized version of Annie – a form of myself that I haven’t seen since probably mid-November. I am experiencing a surge of expectation and contentment.

Weird. But welcome.

And so I roll out my new welcome mat at my front door to greet Miranda tonight. This is my new city. This is “home.” At least for now.

Professionals in the South

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Me: “Could you come back this afternoon?”

Her: “I don’t know – I might could.”

Burn burn burn baby burn

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

So much for all of those big words about being so above slick, commercial pop-country.

I fought it. Lord, how I fought it. I spent more than a year rolling my eyes in disdain and superiority. I scoffed at the media attention she received. I changed the station every time she came on.

But then, I went to the CMT Music Awards, and I saw her perform.



Yes, the hair was out of control. Yes, there were pitch problems. Yes, there were hip swivels and a wannabe-badass-diva façade. There might have even been a chest-pound at one point for emphasis. And sadly, the bridge includes the line, “Coming back around here would be bad for your health,” which, I’m sorry, is just a lame sentence.

But… um, you guys? This is such a catchy song. In fact, everything that this girl has written is absolutely infectious. Lyrically stunted, perhaps. But she’s still in high school, so I’ll cut her some slack. After seeing her perform, I got her entire CD off of iTunes, and have been blasting it every night after work.

The word on the street is that she started off as an Abercrombie & Fitch model. Can I overlook this? I believe that humans are capable of transformation, so I will try. In the meantime, I think that Taylor Swift is living every girl’s dream: catwalk struts amid screaming fans and pyrotechnics.

Or is that just me?

This is me

Monday, April 21st, 2008

(I know, I know – I couldn’t stay away. However, this is just a brief resurfacing – I intend on taking some more time off from the web – but I felt compelled to share this. Hi, by the way.)

In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a brief “about me” blurb. Everything that I say in those 3 sentences is absolutely true, and points to the larger truth of who Annie Parsons really is.

However, it does not represent the entirety of who I am. This blog – or any piece of writing, for that matter – cannot convey to any reader all of the complicated nuances, dichotomies, shortcomings, triumphs, and caveats that I, or any person, might embody. Humans are tricky, and complex, and bewildering creatures. How can mere words convey the depth and intricacies of a girl such as myself?

That said, it has been brought to my attention that in real life, I am “not the person” that I often appear to be through my writing.

Well. This will fall short, I’m sure. But perhaps I should try again.


My name is Annie. I’m the daughter of two amazing and smart individuals, the second of four children, and the archetypal oldest child, who had girlhood dreams of being a veterinarian, a florist, a mom, and a member of Point of Grace. So far, none of those things have happened – but I’m not ruling any of them out just yet.

Music, emotion, and words are three very, very big parts of my life. I cannot separate them. These are the things that make my heart beat, strengthen my feeble wings, and, last fall, gave me the determination to leave my beloved Seattle in search of something that I still cannot name. I now call Nashville “home,” although my purpose here remains a mystery.

For as brazen, intrepid, and callously courageous as I can sometimes be, I battle some very real fears and low self-esteem on a daily basis. I wonder if I will ever be free of body image issues or insecurities.

On a typical weeknight, you can find me in my workout clothes and greasy hair, alone in the closet organization aisle of T.J. Maxx. On a typical weekend, you can find me in my workout clothes and greasy hair, alone in the closet organization aisle of T.J. Maxx.

Someday, I would like to get married. But when I sit back and ask myself, “Why?” currently my most honest answer is, “So I can register for a really expensive trash can.” Maybe that means that I should not get married. I am addicted to living alone, anyway.

In moments of desperation, I have been known to succumb to the motto, “Life sucks, and then you die.” But then, I am reminded that I serve a God who is in the habit of bringing life out of death, and has overcome this world that we live in, full of pain and disappointment and injustice. And then I have a resurge of the will to live, and to live life to the fullest.

Somewhere between a young heart and an old soul, I find myself writing about this life. I love Jesus, melodies, harmonies, and red dresses. Wine & cheese is my love language.


This is me. Not all of me. But a glimpse of who I am right now, and what makes me tick. Take it for what it’s worth.

I am a work in progress. Proceed with caution.

Detox

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I am particular. I am complicated. I am high-maintenance.

I readily admit these things about myself. But in recent weeks, I have been reminded of these things by those closest to me. It doesn’t feel good. I become defensive and sensitive, and rapidly look for other things to distract me or fill me or cheer me up.

But then I step back and realize that these things are true, and perhaps I have not had my priorities in order. I talk about my feelings instead of releasing them to God. I seek to control rather than trust. I smile sarcastically and entertain and feign confidence, when all the while I am shriveling up inside.

And so it’s time for a bit of a detox.

This blog has been a big part of my life for over a year now. Some wonderful things have come out of its existence, and I am absolutely grateful for the friendships and connections I have made. But I think that I’ve made it too important in my life. I’m going to take a little break from the blogosphere – a few weeks? A month? I’m not sure. I’ll be back when it feels right.

During this time, I’m also giving up alcohol and carbs, which will assuredly make me into a stark-raving bitch. Be glad that I’m going underground.

Things I will continue to do:
1) Go to work.
2) Go on walks.
3) Eat fruits and veggies and protein.
4) Talk to my mom on the phone.
5) Write.

I will also continue to read your blogs daily, so keep at it.

I am not suicidal. I am not homicidal. Please do not feel the need to send Search & Rescue after me – I will emerge on the other side of this in one piece, I promise. But in the meantime, I am craving some quiet, and the space to feel – good or bad – and rest for my weary, weary heart.

I’ve heard that after the darkness, we often emerge with a newfound creativity, life-force, peace, and sense of purpose. Here’s hoping.

Let The Big Silence begin.

The Last Lecture

Friday, April 11th, 2008

“Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.” -Randy Pausch

The agony

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The next time that you receive a piece of mass mail in your mailbox, I want you to hold it in your hands. I want you to caress it, and turn it over, and draw your finger along its edges. I want you to admire the way that it has been sealed with care for your benefit.

Because if you are thinking that the company that sent it had a machine do all the work, then you are wrong.

YOU ARE WRONG.

The possibility exists that the company that sent you that piece of mass mail did so via their temp-receptionist, a girl in a pencil skirt with a very expensive education and many questions about her potential. She might be wearing high heels that are running her rapidly down the road toward bunions. Perhaps she is working on a countertop surface that is unusually low, and therefore, bending at the waist to seal each envelope.

And then reinforcing the seal with Scotch tape, since the glue isn’t doing it’s job.

She might have close to 200 booklets to weigh individually, since they are of varying sizes. This may take her several hours – hours of carefully NOT bending the corners of the booklets, and carefully NOT putting the letter in the wrong envelope, and carefully NOT letting the heaping stacks of papers topple to the floor. Devotedly. Lovingly. Just short of kissing with tongue.

And she might have woken up this morning with a stiff neck and sore shoulders and a need for a massage that she will seek in any way possible. Don’t massage schools need “subjects”?

I have an idea: you can pay me $20 to rub my shoulders.

To Chi or not to Chi?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

I wore a dress to work today, and that always makes for a good day.

No, I’m not going to go all “the hills are alive” twirling or anything, but there is definitely something about wearing a dress that makes me feel a little more put together, a little more credible, a little more capable.

However.

The dress cannot make up for the hair. I showered last night, and crashed into bed with a wet mop. Since I own a $12 flat iron from Bartell’s Drug Store, I have decided that I would rather not even use it than spend a long time trying, only to have it wig out (har har) like a sea anemone.

And so today, my coif is unruly – smashed on one side, wild on the other. I’m currently utilizing both a barrette AND a rubber band to wrangle it into submission – but now I just have a 1” ponytail, which is super attractive. The ponystub is so hot these days.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I ordered a Chi today. God as my witness, it was on major discount. But still. I’ve turned into THAT GIRL who drops a significant percentage of her paycheck on a hair tool.

Yikes.

I hope it’s worth it. Ladies, do you affirm my decision?

Actually, I would only like to hear from those of you who are going to say “yes.”