1) I work for a company that values good coffee, and shuns the typical bitter office grounds. I’ve completely stopped making coffee at home, because there is an endless supply of the good stuff here at work.
2) Greta left the world’s best video message on my Facebook wall last night. If you’re my Facebook friend, you should go watch it right this second. If you’re not my Facebook friend – uh, what are you waiting for?
3) I spent 4 ½ hours recording vocals last night with Josh and Meg. Piece by piece, little by little, I am putting together songs. How many people get to do that? Okay fine, BESIDES in Nashville?
4) Tonight, I am seeing my entire family in Kansas City – everyone but littlest sister Sarah. Because you want to know where Sarah is? Read this. And now tell me: don’t YOU feel lucky, too? I am so proud of her.
5) After this weekend, I will have earned a FREE FLIGHT on Southwest. And you know what that means: 4 free drink coupons.
Before getting roommates this past December, I lived alone for 5 years. I cannot remember a time that I was ever scared to live by myself. But last night, I started to wonder… why?
I’m still house-sitting, and when it was close to midnight and I was in bed working on the computer, one of the dogs sat straight up and started growling. He made his way to the doorway to the hall, and then started barking ferociously.
I knew that someone was in the house.
I knew that he was coming down the hall.
I knew that I should have made Charlton Heston my president.
I sat there frozen as Lucky the dog ran down the hall and out to the living room. Then everything fell silent.
That’s when I got TERRIFIED.
Because I started hearing whispers – like the smoke monster from “Lost.” So not only is there someone in the house, but he is a Jedi of canines, and is putting Lucky into a trance, and if he can do that to a yellow Lab, then what can he do to me? I’m going to wind up with a tracking device injected into my neck, brainwashed, telling people that my name is Kiki Van Alsteen and assassinating foreign officials.
But instead of finding myself a weapon and going on a man-hunt, I told myself that I was crazy, and turned out the light. And fell asleep completely petrified – like, blankets-pulled-up-to-my-chin, eyes-squeezed-shut, peeing-my-pants scared.
Can you say “avoidance”?
This morning, I forgot that I had to go to work. I was in the middle of a dream that Taylor Swift was holding her CD release party at my old Music Row apartment, and thousands of people were lined up on the sidewalk outside my home (I was going to make them take off their shoes at the door). My alarm kept going off, but I guess that I kept snoozing, because when the dream reached a crescendo and the other Annie had won a lunch at P.F. Changs with Taylor Swift herself, I was already a half an hour late for work.
But none of that is important. Behold! Today, I have a video.
As I mentioned yesterday, I am house-sitting / dog-sitting this weekend. Sleeping in a king size bed is weird. I like my little double mattress. The king bed just feels so… huge, and excessive, and unnecessary, and lonely.
Oh! But it’s not lonely when you have two gigantic Labradors to share the space!
Gah. I will never understand people who let their dogs sleep on the bed (sorry, Becca, and all you other crazy dog people).
Don’t get me wrong – I love dogs. I LOVE them. But there is a reason that L.L. Bean is still in business, and I’m pretty sure that it has nothing to do with their multi-colored fleeces. Although the Christmas 2006 Parsons family might beg to differ:
Whoa. Didn’t mean to quit blogging. But it happened for a second.
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I was invited to spend this coming Saturday on a pontoon boat with 30 other people.
I would rather streak across a golf course.
Many of the people who are going to be on the boat read this blog, and I want you to know that truly, it’s not you – it’s me. Nowhere on my list of favorite things does it read “sun,” “heat,” “burn,” “sweat,” or “stranded with no escape.”
Incidentally, these are all of the same reasons I hated summer camp – although I can emphatically say that the number one reason I hated summer camp was the fear of getting my first period away from home. (Sorry for saying “period.” Oh, and sorry for saying it again.)
Instead of doing something summery and boatish and what some might call “dreamy,” my Memorial Day weekend plans include the following:
– Pet-sitting for a former co-worker (uh oh)
– Cleaning out the 12-year old black lab’s eyes on a daily basis (the owner showed me how – and I’m serious, I might vomit every day)
– Seeing Lori McKenna at 12th & Porter on Friday night – oh, sweet bliss!
– Babysitting for very cute twins on Saturday night
– Holding babies in the church nursery on Sunday night
– Welcoming Julie back from the Caribbean
– Welcoming Nashville Miranda back from Argentina
– Hanging with Erin Castioni – which could quite possibly lead to all manner of spontaneity. I mean, remember last time?
On Friday night, I attended a memorial service of a dear friend in Seattle. While there in the church pew, celebrating the life of and grieving the loss of this amazing woman, another friend took my hand and placed it on her pregnant belly to feel the baby kick.
One friend is giddy about a new love interest in her world. Another is dreading the inevitable breakup she will soon have to initiate.
And after a gorgeous spring day – the kind that confirms that Seattle is the most beautiful city on the planet, and nudges my spirit saying, “Remember what it’s like to smile?” and in which I got sunburned cheeks from being outside at Green Lake and along the waterfront of Shilshole – I spent the evening with, and felt the incomprehensible sadness of, my sweet friend who is living in the ruins of having lost a child.
Death and life, the end and the beginning, profound joy and severe pain; contrasting events juxtaposed in the most poignant way. It made me feel so small.
And I was re-reminded: the only way to find life is to live in the present. To be emotionally gutsy enough to feel whatever we need to feel, come what may. To attempt to live in gratitude, no matter the disappointments or frustrations or non-ideal circumstances. To find the gift in the “right now” – because life, ready or not, is going to hold a vast spectrum of events, emotions, stages, chapters, seasons.
We have to be present. We have to. Because in this life, longing is inescapable – but to be available right now is to be open to hope right now.