March, 2009

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All in the name

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Facebook has these silly quizzes that are always circulating: Which city do you belong in?  What kind of a dog would you be?  What kind of cocktail are you?  Which TV mom would you be?  Let it be known that I do not participate.

But last night, a friend of mine completed one I hadn’t seen before: What should your parents have named you?

And the answer that it gave her?  ANNIE.

And then!  The description of girls with the name Annie: You are nice, caring, and you love being with your friends.  Boys drool over you and you are hot stuff.

You know it, Facebook.

Marching on

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Hey, remember when I used to post every morning, Monday through Friday – and not at all on the weekends?  Well, listen up, my little parakeets: those days are over.

I don’t know what days are upon us.  But the fact of the matter is that my life is different.  I don’t know where it’s heading, but I can feel change a brewin’ – and I don’t think that the posting will happen as predictably (i.e. every weekday morning by 11am).  But don’t panic, and don’t cry – I do enough of that for the lot of us – I could never quit blogging.  I’m just saying that sometimes, I might post a lot.  And sometimes, I might have a couple of quiet days.  And sometimes, I might post late at night.  And sometimes, I might post on a lunch break.

That is, if I get a job someday, and thus have something called a “lunch break.”

Speaking of, I do have a little job lined up for this week.  I’m helping a former co-worker get his new financial company up and running, which translates to “preparing paperwork,” which translates to “data entry.”  I am grateful for a little bit of income, especially while I am crossing my fingers for some other things to work out.

By the way, many of you have checked in with me lately and asked about how I’m doing financially during this time of unemployment.  Let me say this: it’s very wise to have an emergency fund.  Very, very wise.  Start saving.

But also, if that fund isn’t very big, it’s really cool to see the ways that God provides for your needs.  Some of you have been a part of that – you know who you are, even if I don’t.  And so it seems strange to say this on this blog, rather than privately, but this is the only way I know how to communicate to you: thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  I am humbled, and so incredibly grateful.

Now, it’s off to my new temp job.  The Temptress lives again.

But also, before I sign off, guess what: yesterday, I did two things for the first time.  I ran 11.2 miles.  And then I went to Waffle House.

Kristy girl

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Sometimes, someone you’ve never met can give you the biggest gift.

Kristy Behrs of Wreckless Photography has been a second soul to me. She lives far, far away in California, and although we’ve never met face to face, I feel that we have a bond – an understanding – a trippy connection that bridges the distance. I am continually in awe of her eye, her sensitivity, and her genuine spirit. She recently solicited the ideas of friends and strangers and admirers to spark her creativity; she got some fabulous suggestions and challenges (definitely read through them!) and, with eyes wide open, has been on a hunt.

I’m honored to be first.

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The first three calls were funny

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The first call came at 12:45am.

“Hi, I’m wondering if you still have the cat mailbox?”

Um, what?

“The cat mailbox! I just saw the ad on Craigslist.”

Excuse me?

“Posted about a half hour ago – it’s darling.”

Lady, it’s the middle of the night, and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Do you have any idea how many people in Middle Tennessee have been waiting their entire lives for a free mailbox in the shape of a yellow tabby cat? 27. TWENTY-SEVEN PEOPLE have called me in the past 15 hours, responding to an ad on Craigslist that I did not post – but that clearly stated my name and phone number.

This is worse than a “Call for a good time” scrawled in a bathroom stall.

cat

Nicked floor (in the nick of time)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

So there I was, cutting apart the Costco salmon fillet that I had just taken out of the oven.

When I came back from Kansas City at Christmas, my mom took 6 individually vacuum-packed frozen fish and stashed them in various corners of my suitcase – and these precious little gems have been carefully rationed for the past 3 months. This was my last one. I had already prepared a fresh, leafy, green salad, and was slicing up the salmon to crown the top.

Unfortunately, I was feeling a little loosy-goosy.

And before I knew it, the knife FLIPPED out of my hand, cart-wheeled through the air in the most rapid slow-motion known to man – and, with the speed of a feline (and the instinct of a genius), I jumped sideways, flinging my legs and arms wide.

Jesus loves me, this I know:

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The knife – BOOOOOING – landed tip-first in the hardwood floor. RIGHT WHERE MY FOOT HAD BEEN ONE SECOND EARLIER.

Good thing Mel was right there, always prepared with her camera. I did not move. This was the moment, LIVE.

Oh my word, I need medical insurance.

Avoiding lists

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I write every day.  For me, it’s like drinking water, or breathing air – I have to do it, or I feel like I’m going to fade away.  Sometimes the things that I write get posted here, sometimes they turn into songs – or scraps of songs, sometimes they exist for my eyes only.  And for the past 10 days, I have the beginnings of Word documents that I cannot take past the first 3 lines.

I’m pretty sure that this is writer’s block.

Why did I say “pretty sure”?  I am POSITIVE that this is writer’s block.

And I’m not even TRYING to write anything!  I mean, this is just me, sitting down, ready to express something – anything – not working on a book, not working on an article, not having a deadline… just wanting to have something to say.

I could write a list of what I did this weekend.

I could write a list of what I would have tweeted HAD I been a Twitterer (which I am not, and will not ever be).

I could write a list of my motivations to keep running (except at this point, totally discouraged and tired and OVER IT, there is only one: calories burned).

I could write a list of the various havocs wrought on my body from running (sore muscles, difficulty bending knees, callouses, both pinky toenails working their way off, and as of yesterday, sports bra chafing on the rib cage)

I could write a list of why I want a miniature pig.

But instead, I’m going to take my post-running-10-miles, broken-down body outside on a slow walk.  I’m going to see what I see, and pray, and trust that inspiration is going to hit me again one day.  In the meantime, just read this.  Because ladies, we’ve all been there, right?

Julie made a great joke

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Me: How can they tell how old an eagle is?

Her: They measure its crow’s feet!

Karen

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I took myself on a walk this morning. Some days, it is so easy to feel the love of God – in the dappled sunshine, the cool, crisp air, the chirping of the birds. My bouffant ponytail bounced on top of my head, and I soaked in the hope.

It’s hard to believe what is happening thousands of miles away, in Seattle. After almost two years of fighting pancreatic cancer, a dear friend’s mother died yesterday. She was far too young. And my friend is far too young to have lost her parent, her best friend, her confidant – a woman who fought valiantly and with such dignity.

Death used to be just a distant rumor. I’m sad to think that those days are over for me. I am learning how to stand beside friends as they lose family members.

Not exactly waxing poetic

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I apologize for the lack of substance on this blog this week.  I promise to resume some substantial, witty, entertaining posting someday soon.  But until then, this is all I have for you:

– I’ve filled out 3 March Madness brackets.  In one of them, in honor of Andy Bernard, I chose Cornell to win it all.
– This year, I remembered that a 16-seed team does not mean that “16 out of 16 times, THEY WIN!”
– I made mango chicken curry in Duane’s crockpot for “Lost” last night – but I added couscous to the mix, making it all an oatmealy-consistency.  Failure.  But at least it was curry-flavored oatmeal?
– Speaking of “Lost” – oh my word.
– I love interviewing the East Nasty of the Week each Wednesday night.  I’m practically Barbara Walters.
– If I were a man, I’m pretty sure I would grow a beard.
– I’m really sad for Natasha Richardson’s family.
– Last week, I found a watercolor of an owl that I made when I was 6.  It is RAD.  I framed it and hung it over my bed.  Not to toot my own horn, but I was like a young Picasso.  Toot, toot.
– For some reason, no one reads my blog on Thursdays.  It is very strange.  Readership plummets on Thursday every single week.
– A kick in the ass is a step forward.
– It is noon, and time to get dressed.

A new day

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

“If you had no job, you could be so productive!”

This is basically the biggest lie since “There are no cats in America.”

I believed it. I fell for it. I spent my working days fantasizing about all that I could get done if I didn’t have a job: reading, writing, exercising, cooking, cleaning, organizing – in general, getting it DONE, and becoming the woman that I’ve always dreamed of being.

But there is a problem: when one has nothing on her schedule, no time constraints, no responsibilities – not to mention, no income – then it’s hard to do ANYTHING. Laziness begets laziness. In theory, I now have all the time in the world to do things – and so it’s no big loss if I don’t do it now. So I don’t really do anything at all. Except make cookies. And check our mailbox everyday at 2pm.

My mind, completely un-stimulated, has been a dry well. I have had nothing to write about – no creativity whatsoever. PZC says that his best writing is done when he’s supposed to be doing something else – and I agree with him. When I sit down with the grand expectation and intention of writing, and I have no time constraints, and no deadlines, and nothing to prod my brain, then I usually wind up with nothing but a blank page.

Last night, Julie and Mel came upstairs to find me in the child’s pose on my bedroom floor, silent and depressed. All of our friends had gone home after our St. Paddy’s Day barbeque, and I was feeling so sad I could hardly stand it. Why? Why does sadness sometimes hit me out of nowhere, like an Atlantic swell?

They got down on the floor with me, and scratched my back, and made me laugh, and then we all talked about our lives, our hopes, our disappointments. In the end, because I have the best roommates in the universe, we prayed together.

It’s a new day. I am grateful to wake up in it. And I am hopeful for what it might contain.