September, 2008

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Good thing I drive a jalopy

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

I don’t really watch “The Biggest Loser,” although I have a couple of times – enough to remember Dan Evans. Dan Evans, of season 5. Dan Evans, who lost a heroic 136 lbs. Dan Evans, the aspiring country artist. Dan Evans, whose CD entitled “Goin’ All Out” is being released today.

Dan Evans, whose mega “Goin’ All Out” tour bus hit my little Honda yesterday.

It’s not unusual to see a tour bus on the streets of Nashville – this is Music City, after all. But most artists tend to keep a low profile – it’s hard to tell who might be inside the bus. Not Dan Evans. His face is plastered all over his bus, along with his name – although, due to poor typography and a serious lack of spacing, I read “DANEvans” and thought that his name was indeed “Dane Vans.”

It wasn’t until the bus hit my car and the DANEvans decal was 18 inches from my face that I realized, “Oh, I was wrong – this is DAN EVANS, not DANE VANS. Charming.”

Blame it on traffic. Blame it on narrow streets. Blame it on a bus driver who was dreaming some seriously big dreams, attempting to navigate his way around a corner. But my bumper was the casualty. Scrape. Scratch. I honked my horn, rolled down my window, and yelled up at the driver, “Did you just crunch me?” He said, “Yes. I’m sorry. If you pull straight forward, you should be fine.”

Surprisingly, he was right. I pulled straight forward, and after the intial RASP of two bumpers separating, I was free from the wreckage*. And DANEvans went chugging merrily on his way.

No autograph or anything. The nerve.

*The “wreckage” consisted of a couple scrapes, but nothing cracked. Bumper, here’s a lesson that my heart has learned time and time again: the bastards can beat you up, but they can’t keep you down. You are bruised but not broken. And you will live to see another day.

J is for Jumper cables

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Sometimes, my heart needs them.

Sometimes, my mind needs them.

Sometimes, my will needs them.

Sometimes, my faith needs them.

Thank goodness for my mom.


Who serves as the jumper cables to YOUR soul?

Courage

Friday, September 26th, 2008

It is impossible to be courageous without first being afraid.

It is impossible to be courageous without first deciding that you are willing to fail.

It is impossible to be courageous without first accepting the possibility that your very best efforts might truly prove you to be inadequate and out of your league.

– – – – – – – –

But it is also impossible to fulfill your potential without being courageous.

And should your fears be confirmed with nothing short of a swan dive into glorious failure, then you gain the freedom and liberation of knowing that it’s okay to be insufficient on your own – for the strength of One much larger than yourself is made perfect in your weakness.

So take a chance. I know that I’m about to.

Choosing

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

We are all responsible for our own happiness.

Not to say that life isn’t going to throw us some catastrophic curve balls, or major disappointments, or unjust circumstances. These letdowns are inevitable, and if you haven’t been hit yet, then you will be someday. Pain and discouragement are a part of life, and there is no way to evade or avoid or ignore them.

I look at my life, and there are a lot of things that I would like to change. A lot. I could list them, but it wouldn’t change the fact that they are.

But we always have a choice – a choice of how to respond to what life offers.

So I choose fortitude. I choose hope. I choose courage. I choose gratitude. I choose contentment. And yes, today, in the face of the tedious monotone of a desk job that I am over-qualified for, of the nebulous unknown of my future, of a limited bank account, of the temptation of discouragement and forsaking, of my many inner-demons and growing edges and ugly ducklings that have never blossomed into beautiful swans, I choose happiness.

Because if I don’t, then who is going to do it for me?

Passing gas

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

For those of you who do not live in the Nashville area: currently, we are experiencing a gas shortage. A gas crisis. The city is out of fuel. Blame it on Hurricane Ike, blame it on the government, blame it on people being worked into a frenzy and hoarding fuel – whatever the reason, the gas pumps are bone dry, and have been for several days. Occasionally, a partially-full tanker truck will refuel a station, but the outrageously long lines of cars quickly deplete the supply.

Last weekend, I took a chance and used a half a tank of gas to drive to Chattanooga, hoping that there would be fuel there. I was able to fill up, but then used that same half tank to get back to Nashville. Luckily, I work just a mile and a half from my house, so the gas should last me awhile. They say that we might have gas by Friday – although there’s no telling how much they’ll charge.

Most of us who live here have seen this – I know that several of my bloggie friends have already posted it. I believe that it displays the sentiments of most people in this city. Beware some harsh language, but what do you expect?
It’s Hitler.

I is for Imagine that…

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

My weekend was packed with sundry events of note. For starters, on Friday afternoon at work, I took the elevator and made small talk with the other passenger – a complete stranger. He told me that he was throwing a party that night. I told him to have fun.

That night, I donned a red dress and met up with my friends Joy Beth and Julie to go to a cocktail party that Joy Beth had heard about. We arrived, and the guy from the elevator was hosting it. Imagine that.


My friend Kristen flew in from Seattle, and we drove down to Chattanooga on Saturday for a bridal shower. As we drove over the mountains, we talked about what it might be like if the brakes on my 18-year old Honda were to fail. We searched for runaway truck ramps, and pictured ourselves actually utilizing one. I am the queen of hypothetical situations – blame it on the fact that I am a planner and, generally, a pessimistic projector, always imagining the worst-case-scenario, no matter how outrageous – and so now I know where to find every runaway truck ramp on Lookout Mountain. Just in case – imagine that.

I left Kristen in the ‘Noog, and on my way back to Nashville on Sunday, I stopped to hike a portion of the Fiery Gizzard trail. It felt like Church in the Woods; I walked and climbed and prayed and sang and listened. I also imagined myself slipping off the trail and careening down an embankment to the creek below, breaking both ankles and having to crawl back to civilization, stopping only to check for non-existent cell phone service. It didn’t happen. But WHAT IF IT DID? It’s good to think through one’s options and wilderness survival plan, so imagine that. Not that I have any survival skills. I don’t even have a Swiss Army Knife.

The weekend wrapped up with some late-night laundry at Josh’s house, while watching “Young at Heart” with him and Meg. If you haven’t seen this movie, do. Just do. It will make your spirit glad – you will laugh, and cry, and grin unreservedly. In a culture that so emphasizes youth and beauty and glamour, to have old people singing and dancing their way straight into your heart… imagine that.

If it makes me cry, I’m allowed to post a second time

Friday, September 19th, 2008

via FailBlog

Pub crawl

Friday, September 19th, 2008

For as much as I talk about missing Seattle, a night like last night happens, and I am so happy that I live here.

Sure thing

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

This is my nephew Micah. He is 4. He is one of my favorite humans on the planet, tied only with his little brother Tyler.

Micah has always been advanced when it comes to speech – he has a large vocabulary, and is not afraid to use it. Recently, during a game of Candyland, he lectured my mom about her “options.” He has been known to pick up and then repeat phrases that he probably never should have heard, such as:

“That cat crapped on me.”

“Good Lord!”

And my personal favorite:
“Screw you, Jessie!” Said with much enthusiasm and gusto.

Lately, due to some unknown source of inspiration, Micah has been bringing back a great expression.

Micah, do you like trains?
“I sure do!”

Micah, are you excited for school?
“I sure am!”

Micah, aren’t these cookies delicious?
“They sure are!”

An earnest and ardent affirmation. I love the way that Micah embraces life wholeheartedly, and expresses his unbridled excitement. I want to be more like him.

I sure do.

Moving "massage" from a want to a need

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Our bodies don’t always do what we want them to. This is terrifying.

For as long as I can recall, I have carried tension and stress in my neck and shoulders. I remember being 6-years old and going to see a chiropractor – I was complaining about back pain in kindergarten. As I’ve gotten older and my life has been filled with adult responsibilities, questions, and anxiety, the pain has only increased.

I tell myself to relax, to breathe deeply, to roll my head down to my chest and stretch out the muscles, willing myself to let go of the tension. But my body just doesn’t respond – it doesn’t listen. I walk around in a state of permanent rigidity and strain. This pain is exacerbated by repetitive movements that I do daily: typing, playing guitar, holding a phone to my ear. It’s hard to know how to change my lifestyle in order to improve my discomfort.

Recently, the pain has been spreading. I’ve been having headaches, and my jaw feels permanently locked and tense. Again, I tell myself to unwind, loosen up, calm down… but my body refuses to comply. I want to take out my muscles and stretch them like rubber bands, forcing the kinks to be pulled back to a healthy form.

Last night I went to the store to look for muscle relaxants. One time, we gave muscle relaxants to our dog, and she peed all over the big comfy chair – but frankly, this is a risk I was willing to take. I asked the pharmacist if they had anything over the counter, and she looked at me like I had asked for cocaine. “No,” she said. “Those are available by prescription only.” So I found the next best thing – Excedrin Back & Body – and took 2 before bed.

This morning, I still hurt.

How can I force my body into submission? I wish that I could will away the pain, or refuse to let stress take up residence in my muscles. But the body has a mind of its own – and unfortunately, it’s not MY mind. The body and the brain are divided by the Great Wall of China. And it’s a scary thing to feel out of control.