July, 2010

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(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Miranda Runcie

Friday, July 30th, 2010

When I started this blog at the dawn of time (2007), I really didn’t think that anyone apart from my mom and the dozens of boys who loved and wanted to wed me were reading it.

I was wrong.

You want to know who was reading it?  A complete and utter stranger named Miranda Runcie.

The way I discovered that a girl named Miranda Runcie was reading my blog is a very long story – too long for one post.  But if you’re ever in the room with both of us at the same time, you should ask us.  We’ll look at each other like an old married couple, kind of laugh and sigh, and then take turns telling the sequence of events.  It includes Daniel getting shot, the nation of Ecuador, a man named Nacho, me skipping communion in irrational tears, and that old abandoned amusement park of the internet, MySpace.

People who know the story can vouch that these are legitimate details (and I am happy to report that Daniel is alive and well).

When I moved to Tennessee, Miranda was there to warmly welcome me.  Our friendship developed quickly and naturally.  Having beat me to Nashville only by a few months, she and I began to navigate our new city together, making friends along the way and becoming part of a community that I now cherish so much, my heart could explode.  I discovered some of the best people of my life with Miranda by my side.

She is adventurous and well-traveled, fluent in Spanish, and very tall (I once heard her described as “vertically gifted”).  She likes to go on walks as long as I do, which is great because then we can talk for a long time – and she is a great person to talk to.  Miranda is really wise – a restful presence – and I trust her judgment and insight.

Not long ago, I learned that she recently discovered her 8th grade time capsule which included a VHS of her describing herself.  Apparently, she looked straight into the camera and solemnly declared, “Some people might say that I’m an untamed spirit.”  Sometimes, my own vision of that announcement plays on a loop in my head – 8th grade Miranda proclaiming herself to be an “untamed spirit.”  And then I giggle, because I know that 8th grade Annie would have loved 8th grade Miranda, too.

Some friendships truly are meant to be.  And the day that you hear the whole story of how we met, you will surely believe in this kind of divine happenstance.  I mean, a man named Nacho played a part!

And anytime nachos are involved, it can be accepted as destiny.

Horrid, rotten teeth

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

You have no idea what a numb-face I am right now.

Three miserable cavities down.  Many, many more to go.

Oh yes.  The initial number was seven, but they are spreading – spreading like tweets about “Inception.”  This is some kind of mysterious, contagious decay that moves from tooth to tooth, and if I don’t get these fillings, like, yesterday, then my whole mouth is going to fall off.

I had to apply for a CareCredit credit card to cover the cost of this dental work.

I hate it when things feel out of my control – when I’m doing all the right things, being responsible with my health and hygiene and finances, but it doesn’t make a difference.  The shaft cometh regardless.

Damn you, shaft.

(And yes, I know – things could be so much worse.  I am counting my blessings – and I have more blessings than I have (horrid, rotten) teeth.  But I just want to wallow for a second, okay?  A GIRL NEEDS THE OCCASIONAL WALLOW.)

Education, Fascination, Ovulation, Copulation

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Don’t think for one second that I would attend a class called Sex, Lies, and Rattlesnakes and not report back.

The seminar was led by a spunky lady who let us know early on that her aim was to “educate and fascinate” (which, incidentally, is going to be the title of my next song).  As an opener, she had people call out some common reasons why humans might be afraid of snakes.

Shifty eyes!  Flicking tongue!  Slithery!  Venomous!

Of course, the whole time, I wanted to scream what I found to be the most obvious answer: LUCIFER.  But I held my (non-forked) tongue.

The first thing I learned is that the dens that rattlesnakes hibernate in are called “winter hibernacula.”  By default, this means that there will need to be a line in my rattlesnake song about Dracula.

Beyond that, the majority of the hour was spent learning about the sex lives of rattlesnakes.  How they do it.  While I heard words like “ovum,” “ripe,” and “gravid” tossed around, pictures of snakes doing the nasty were flashed up on the screen.  Apparently, July and August are mating season in Colorado, so on my upcoming outdoor excursions, I plan to be on the lookout – now that I know what to shield my eyes from.

Male rattlesnakes are drawn to the females by scent.  Research shows that males that follow a straight line trajectory, rather than slithering all over kingdom come looking for something better, are more likely to find themselves a pretty, nice-smelling, kickass she-snake.  I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this translates to human English.

The mating lasts anywhere from 1.5 to 12 hours.  Eventually the female becomes restless and drags the male around until separation occurs.  That is straight from the PowerPoint, my friends – and the reason my song will end with the line, “Ovulate, copulate, now separate – I’M SERIOUS.”

Snippety snippets

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Just a few things I would like to mention…

Toad’s haircut

Remember Toad?

SHE GOT HER SUMMER HAIRCUT!

She’s still the happiest little Piggy Toad on the planet.

Speaking of “Toad”

I saw this dead, flattened frog in the parking lot at work.  I took a picture of it.  I don’t know why.

The fact that I noticed this, photographed it, and am now broadcasting it to the whole wide world all of a sudden makes me feel all kinds of awkward.

“Glass & Wood”

Allie writes such good words.

There are some things I need to let go of – the broken AND the good.

I’m trying.

Jon licks the wound

I used to believe Heather B. Armstrong to be the funniest person on the internet.

But then Jon went and licked the wound.

And just like that, the queen was dethroned.

(I know – this was almost a year ago.  But I still think about it all the time, and still LOL out loud.  It goes like this: LOLOL.)

Mark and John are here!

Also, Bruce!  But he wasn’t in the picture.

These men are the greatest.  Seriously.  They’re totally a big deal, but they still treat me like I’M the big deal – even though my hair looked COMPLETELY FLAT on top.  Horizontal.  Kansan.  I could balance an egg on that noggin.  Someone get this girl a teasing comb, stat.

And last, but most certainly not least…

I am signed up for a seminar tonight called Sex, Lies, and Rattlesnakes.  This is my own special way of “getting out there” – so don’t judge me, people.  I might wind up sucking the poisonous snake venom from your leg someday.

“Don’t you think it’s time?”

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Last night, I was working it at the gym with my iPod on shuffle, when this song came on.

Lazy Summer Love by annieparsons

Honest to goodness, I had all but forgotten that I ever wrote it.

This old demo made me remember what it felt like to write songs before anyone ever told me I was doing it wrong.  When I had an idea, I just wrote.  Unreserved.  I didn’t “know” enough to “know” what was wrong with my writing – which is what made it ME.

I miss that me.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written anything, music-wise.  I don’t even want to say how long, for fear of no longer being able to call myself a songwriter.

But I’ve been getting inspired again (why does it take senseless, underwhelming man-drama to stir it up?  And yes, that is all I’m saying).  I have ideas. I even think they’re good ideas.

And I want to write them.

These ideas have been bothering me for awhile now – like a stray hair that gets stuck to your shirt somewhere between the armpit and the elbow, brushing against the back of your arm, out of sight and out of reach.  Phantom pains.  Rogue apparitions.

It’s time for them to materialize.

So I’m telling you.  I’m going to write them.  I’m going to finish them.

Hold me to it.

Just don’t tell me how to do it.  This is going to happen my way.

(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Karmen Koehn

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

When I first moved Denver, I was sleeping on an air mattress in a cold and empty apartment, waking up to the knowledge that my friends were 1,200 miles away, my mom had cancer, and it was -17 degrees outside.

On my very first Sunday night back in January, I found myself at a tiny church where no one talked to me.  This would be an apt time to mention that church-goers (myself included) have a lot to learn about the whole “welcoming” thing – but that is neither here nor there.  The point is, after the service, as everyone was milling around in their little huddles talking to each other, I slowly stood up.  I wrapped my scarf around my neck.  I pulled on my parka.  And I walked outside into the night alone.

“Is this your first time?” came a voice from behind me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

She laughed.  “Well, it’s my fifth – and no one has ever talked to me.”

Neither of us ever went back to that church.  But that’s how I met the fantastic Karmen Koehn.

Karmen is one of those rare, easy souls who makes time together feel effortless – even for this introvert.  The first time that we hung out, I invited her over to share the only two things I had: boxed wine and leftover – leftover – DiGiorno pizza.

She still wanted to be my friend.

With a background in ministry and art, Karmen’s path has taken her all over.  She was raised on a farm in a Mennonite community in Oklahoma.  She went to John Brown University in Arkansas.  She spent 6 years living in an African-American neighborhood in inner-city Chicago.  She worked at a car dealership in Kansas.  Now, she is a full-time graphic designer and marketing guru downtown Denver, finishing up a grad degree, and hanging out with me.

She has been to Australia.  She has hiked a good chunk of the John Muir Trail.  When we went hiking in western Colorado, she scraped up her shin something fierce – and didn’t even cry.  She knows how to throw a football.  Her middle name is Chantall (don’t you think that’s worth mentioning?).  And she makes awesome art like this.

… which our friend Scotty then had tattooed on her arm.

She is amazing, and has been such a life-saver for me here in Denver – a safe friend in a sea of strangers.

See?  Nothing is ever wasted – even unfriendly church-folk*.

*Not an endorsement.

Crave

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I know, I know.  Things won’t make me happy.  No matter what I get, things will leave me feeling empty – empty like a Kardashian brain.

But let’s just say that it’s Lent, and that for Lent, I gave up frugality.

Here’s what I would buy:

Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life.

This shirt in every color.

Cocktail shaker.

Fingerless gloves.


A tiny clock.  (What?)

A puppy.

A piano.

A Scout.

It’s a good thing I have sensible, prudent things to spend my money on, like cavities and car repairs.  This is saving me from the world of disappointment I would surely discover if I actually got a tiny clock.

Wake up

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Something filled up my heart with nothing,
Someone told me not to cry.
But now that I’m older, my heart’s colder,
And I can see that it’s a lie.
-Arcade Fire

I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.  I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.
-Jack London

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
-Jesus

Up on the roof

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Guess who’s here?

GRETA!

Last night, we were walking around Wash Park, and looked to our right to see… a roof-top band!

They noticed us taking their picture, and yelled for us to come up.

Yes.  They yelled for us to let ourselves in through the front door, go down the hall to the staircase, climb to the attic, and then clamber out the window and up to the roof.

And thanks to my new-found Spiderman climbing skills discovered on Mt. Evans this weekend…

… well.  Needless to say, we bonded.

Yes, I played the trumpet.  No, I don’t know whose lips have been on that thing.  But how could I resist?  It was a real live HOOTENANNY.

(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Kelley Kirker

Friday, July 16th, 2010

When it comes to most friends, the moment that you met them is nothing but a memory, subject to revisions and amendments and those blurry edges imposed by time.  But what if the moment was an actual SNAPSHOT – captured forever, frozen in history?

This?  This was July 5, 2008 – the exact moment that I met the fabulous Kelley Kirker.

We were at a “Cinco de Julio” dinner party hosted by Debbie Barnett in her backyard.  I had lived in Nashville for 6 fairly lonely months, but that night stands out in my mind as a turning point – the first time I felt, “Maybe I could belong here.”

Still waiting for that moment in Denver.  Probably because Kelley Kirker doesn’t live here.

Kelley is one of those precious, effusive friends who it is impossible not to like.  If you don’t like Kelley Kirker, it’s because you have a shriveled raisin for a heart.  No offense.

Kelley makes people feel good about being themselves – picks up on their uniqueness, and highlights it in a “You are the coolest person ever!” kind of way.  She breezes through life, comfortable in all sorts of situations, making OTHERS comfortable in all sorts of situations – and her laugh is enough to create peace in Afghanistan, I am convinced.

My favorite memory of KK is the Halloween that she dressed up as a Sister Wife right after the raid of the polygamist compound in Texas.  Again: no offense.

Imagine my delight when I got hired on at the same company that Kelley works for – we now get to share life (albeit virtually) every single day.  How great is it to be able to work with one of your dearest friends?

And by the way, before Taylor Swift was Taylor Swift, Kelley Kirker was already wearing dresses and cowboy boots every day.  Taylor, please.