October, 2009

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Announcing…

Friday, October 30th, 2009

I moved to Nashville because I am a songwriter.  But truth be told, at the time that I moved, I could count the number of songs I had actually written on one hand.  More “brooding” than “brilliant,” I was never one of those children who composed music at age 6.  The decision to write was just that: a decision… that I made when I was 23.

Then I moved to Nashville, the songwriting Mecca of America.  I had nothing to go on except a hunch that words and music and expression made up a very important sliver of my heart, and that I had a passion and desire to get better at piecing them together.

In the last two years, I’ve been learning a tiny bit of what it means to write.  It’s been scary – to admit to myself that I might have something worth sharing, and to open myself up to the possibility of looking like a total loser.  I have felt both in equal measure – because nothing says I’M ANNIE PARSONS! like emotional highs and lows.

But here I am – a completed EP in hand.  Words and music by… me.  Songs that, I believe, stand on their own – and brought to life by my dear friend and producer Joshua Stevens.  They’re a small offering, but they’re mine – and I can’t wait for you to hear them.

Check back on Monday to order your copy of my EP, “Wish That I Was”!

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Late Wednesday

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Well, well.  You people sure love your grilled cheese.

Thanks for all of the suggestions – I can’t wait to try them!

Now… any chance you have ideas for oatmeal?  My requirements: not from a packet, low in sugar, tastes good.  Anyone?

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A quick update on the reading front:

I finally, FINALLY finished “Eclipse.”  It was 620 unremarkable pages, with about 9 good ones toward the end.

Then, I read Don Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” in two days.  It was fantastic, and inspiring, and made me want to cry and choose differently and live a good story; incidentally, Abby on “The Biggest Loser” has the same affect on me (who is with me on this??).

Now, I am reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which I received as a gift for my birthday back in August.  This past summer, I saw previews for the movie and my heart stopped in my chest – boom: arrested.  But I did not see the movie because I wanted to read the book first.  I always like to read the book first – it stretches my mind more, and gives me the freedom to create the images of scenes in my own imagination.  So, currently, I am having my heart stopped by sentences instead of visuals – although I fully intend on seeing the movie later.

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Southwest is having a mega-sale on fares right now.  Too bad that none of the dates are when I need tickets – because I could stand to get some good deals.  Something is not right when I live in Nashville working all week long just to spend every penny on tickets away.

Steered in a positive direction

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For as much as I love cheese – which, trust me, my devotion is infinite and everlasting – I rarely eat grilled cheese.  Chalk it up to just another childhood overdose – I never eat peanut butter & jelly, either.  Grilled cheese lost its appeal before Clinton took office.

Which is why it was shocking that yesterday, I had the chance to eat a grilled cheese for lunch – and I jumped at it.  Like, I literally sprung out of my chair and made a beeline for the kitchen.  See, my co-worker Delaney is a dazzling maker-of-all-foods, and she brought a griddle!  To work!  To make grilled cheeses!  And if this woman makes something, it is a guaran-freaking-tee that I will love it.

I’m serious.  Remember how Ritz Cracker Cheese Sandwiches are my secret shame?  Delaney has actually taken these bite-sized wonders and made them into a gourmet snack.  She shakes some sort of herby goodness all over them, and I swear, they could be served to the Queen of England.

After experiencing this woman’s brilliance yesterday, I can positively say that I am back in the saddle when it comes to grilled cheese.  She has renewed my hope, my faith, my confidence in the sandwich.  Thank you, Delaney, for pointing me toward the truth.

Now, to make my own.  I’m looking for grilled cheese tips, if anyone has any…

It’s the little things

Monday, October 26th, 2009

I’ve mentioned Zach before – my crazy friend who recently moved from Seattle to Nashville, who lived on the JAM House floor for awhile, who now has his own place in East Nashville but we still like to see him, etc.  Zach is one of a kind – like a snowflake.  Or a fingerprint.  Or a tracking device in a stray dog’s neck.

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Last night at church, he caught my eye across the room.  In a sea of people, his face was a little bit higher than the rest, stretching his neck to catch my attention.  It reminded me of Goldbug.

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The thought of Zach as Goldbug gave me the giggles.

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I couldn’t wait to tell him.  But after church when I got the chance, it turned out that Zach had never heard of Goldbug.  I went on to explain anthropomorphic animals and “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” and the worm that drove the apple car – and Zach got excited and we high-fived.

Ain’t got time to blog

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

You know that old spiritual, “Ain’t Got Time to Die”?  Right now, I’m hearing it in my head – but changing it to “Ain’t Got Time to Blog.”  Also, a choir of white people is singing it, which adds to the weirdness.

In a way – a way I cannot pinpoint aside from the subject of “counterfeit” – this reminds me of a horribly unauthentic Irish pub in Overland Park, Kansas, called Paddy O’Quigley’s.

One time, just out of curiosity, Jeremy and Ashley and I went.  It was pretty much as bad as we thought it would be – in a strip mall, fake brick walls, neon signs for Michelob Ultra.

But it was all worth it when we found out that Becca thought it was called Patio Quigley’s.

That just makes me happy to remember.

Have you seen that girl?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Lately, I’ve been missing this girl:

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The one who smiled genuine smiles, no matter how crooked.

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The one who went adventuring, even when it was scary.

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The one who believed good things.

The girl who walked 10 miles at a time in the name of exploration.  The girl whose heartbreak inspired action.  The girl who wrote letters and songs and silly poems and messages in the dirt on car back-windshields.  The girl who aimed for “story” instead of “security.”

But last weekend, I found her again for a little while in Boston.

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It was nice to see her again.

Staring out the window

Monday, October 19th, 2009

On my way back from Boston last night, flying between Chicago and Nashville, I looked out my window to the west.  The gloaming light was punctuated by the remains of the sunset, blazing melon and pink, both and the same, swirling like tie-dye.  As we headed further south, the colors settled into a solid stripe of vivid orange, dimming into a hazy rust, and then, eventually, just darkness.

I don’t know that I will ever shake my wanderlust.

Gone to Pleasure Bay

Friday, October 16th, 2009

So much has happened in the last day.

First of all, the helium balloon.

WHAT.

Is this the weirdest story ever?  First of all, that this Jiffy Pop contraption actually existed – and in someone’s backyard, no less.  Secondly, that the entire country was thrown into a frenzy when it was reported that there was a 6-year old boy inside, adrift.  And his name was FALCON.

When I found out that he was okay, that he had been hiding the entire time, I was in the airport getting boarding a flight to Boston.  My mom called me and told me that they found him hiding in the garage attic.  And when I hung up the phone, I got all teary – because this is amazing?  This is the best news ever?  And I am PMSing?  So leave me alone.

But then!  I arrive in Boston to the news that it’s gotten even weirder!  The family had been on “Wife Swap” – the show that makes Jon & Kate look like Ward & June Cleaver.  And when asked why he didn’t come out of hiding when he heard his name being called, little Falcon said, “You guys said we did this for the show.”

Oh, snap!  Right there on “Larry King Live.”

I’ll choose to just be happy that he’s okay, because this could turn into a circus.

Anyhoo.

I’m in Boston!  And this is the weather.

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It’s putting a damper on my plans, since today was meant for some solo exploring outside on foot while my friends are busy.  But you know what?  I’m going to do it anyway.  Here’s where I’m going to go walk in the freezing rain right now:

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Doesn’t that look like fun?  Walking out into the middle of the ocean??  Around PLEASURE BAY?

And now that I have spent 20 minutes creating a map with arrows that, at this point, is useless to anyone but me, I just want to point you toward one last thing.

My littlest sister, Sarah, is in her last year of nursing school.  The things that nurses know, and know how to do, blows my mind – the medical realm is so far outside my small scope of knowledge.  Last night, she wrote a post about an experience that had me riveted.  I can’t believe how much she has experienced, the lives she is making a difference in, and the incredible path she has chosen.  I am bursting with pride.

A day away can transform uncertainty and renew the spirit.
-Maya Angelou

A collection of thoughts

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Controversial foods that I happen to love:
Olives
Mushrooms
Beets

Controversial foods that I happen to hate:
Tuna
Pickles
Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the worst. It makes me think of cauliflower ear.

I have a serious addiction to chewing gum, but I ran out about 8 days ago, and have yet to buy a new pack. Every morning after my two cups of coffee, I reach for a piece of minty freshness, and realize that my purse is empty. I spend the rest of the day going through withdrawal. Why I don’t just go buy a new pack of gum is beyond me – maybe I’m trying to prove my ruggedness of spirit.

Speaking of spirit, last night, I mentioned my “melancholy spirit” to Zach, the friend from Seattle who now lives on the JAM house floor (JAMZ?). He told me to not to call it that – because there is a difference between “spirit” and “temperament,” and that my spirit is actually quite fiery. I think that’s true – and it was nice to hear from an outside source.

Also last night, I sang background vocals for one of PZC’s grad school projects – he set up a makeshift isolation booth in his closet, and I sang from there while he and Zach sat silently in chairs in the middle of the bedroom. Occasionally, one of Paul’s roommates would poke their head into the room and find us thusly. That thought is making me laugh today.

I go to Boston tomorrow. If Seattle is my true love, then Boston is my crush. Seattle is to Edward as Boston is to Jacob – although, no, I still have not finished “Eclipse,” so I don’t know how it’s all going to end, and who knows – maybe Bella will wind up with a werewolf after all. At this rate, I may never know. I don’t fully believe that she has “just friends” feelings for Jacob, no matter how many times her annoying narrative voice insists upon it. I kind of want to take the book with me on the plane, but what if I still don’t read it? It’s a huge, heavy, embarrassing novel to be toting around and flashing to strangers if I’m not actually going to read it.

But I want to know how it all ends.

Don’t tell me, though.

A song I haven’t heard yet

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

When this life, this world, this Whole Thing is all over, and we have the chance to look back on the story that was our life, I honestly believe that we won’t experience it as a narrative, but that we will hear it as a song – the most beautiful, sad, triumphant song ever written, played, or sung.

I may not be able to dream up a story that could convey the simultaneous joy and sorrow that swirl together in this life – it’s too complicated, too nuanced. It’s both dulcet and raucous, soothing and raw; words could never get it just right.

But I do believe that music could.

THAT is why I love music – because our stories cannot adequately be told through words alone.

And all those songs that I have ever started and then abandoned, with no idea for which direction to take them? One day, they’ll come together like puzzle pieces. I will see the picture I can’t see now. I will hear the songs – complete, whole, perfect, and true.

I believe that.

The work that has been started is going to get finished, and the song is going to end with the most beautifully complicated, conquering chord ever (and never) imagined. We will hear notes that have yet to exist to our ears.  Everyone will sing along, instinctively knowing the harmonies and the counterparts.

And most likely, Alison Krauss will sing the descant.