August, 2010

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New song

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

For me, writing songs is like kissing boys.  There might be some good luck for awhile, but then, for one reason or another, it just ends.  There is always the hope of it happening again, and that when it does, it will be fantastic – but it might take years.

Years.

Anyway.

I finally finished a new song!  It’s super sassafras, and I think I really like it.  Maybe one day you’ll get to hear it.

As for the kissing of boys, WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW.

Summer of the Outdoors

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Early in the summer, I bought the Buff.  Little did I know that it would become my trademark piece of mountain garb.

This is what I look like every time I hike: high ponytail, crooked smile, and the Buff.

It’s ridiculous.  And I love it.  People ask about it on every hike I find myself on – which means that I am officially a backcountry trendsetter.

I got my fill of the outdoors this weekend.  I climbed a 14er one day (thus reaching my goal of 6 14ers this summer, hey-ooooo!), and a 13er the next.  Yesterday, August 29, I watched people in shorts and tank tops ski down a glacier.

Colorado is bizarre and beautiful.  I’m lucky to live here.  And I’m so thankful for all of the time I’ve been able to spend outside this summer.

(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Carin Towne

Friday, August 27th, 2010

When I first met Carin Towne, I had no way of knowing what an extraordinary gift I was being given.

We initially bonded over our mutual love of (obsession with?) country music – which, living in Seattle, was a connection we couldn’t exactly afford to lose.  We started going to concerts together, and watching the various country music award shows in her living room, drinking wine and analyzing dresses and performances and bad face lifts.  Carin is witty and sassy and hilarious – my soulmate for discussing all things pop culture and entertainment.  She is an insanely talented musician, actor, and writer.  She makes me laugh until I cry.

And sometimes, she makes me do both at the same time.

Many of you remember Jeff and Carin’s spunky, determined, beautiful boy Ben – I’ve written about him before.  Throughout Ben’s fight with cancer, Carin kept a powerful online journal that was read by thousands all over the globe.  She wrote honest and compelling words about their journey.

In the year and a half after Ben’s death, Carin understandably stepped back from writing in such a public arena, as their family has been living in the reality of round-the-clock grief.  But with the launch of the Ben Towne Foundation, Carin has been posting again.

I’m not just saying this because she’s one of my dearest friends: you need to read her words.  You NEED to.  This woman knows what it means to fight, to weep, to love fiercely.  You can subscribe to her posts through your favorite reader, or sign up to have them emailed directly to you.

To say that I’m excited about the launch of the Ben Towne Foundation is an understatement.  It’s going to be huge.  It’s going to save lives.  And with Jeff and Carin at the helm, it’s a formidable force.  When you hear Carin speak, you can’t help but want to join their fight.

Last Saturday, I spent the day with Jeff and Carin and precious Ryan in Poulsbo, WA.  It was the most wonderful time.  They are the best kind of people – the kind that disarm you with their honesty, and allow you to be exactly where you’re at – even in the worst of circumstances.  They “get it” – mostly because they’re honest about the fact that they don’t “get it.”

They’re moving forward, even when it feels impossible.

Life is sadder than a country song.  But the fact that Carin is a part of mine makes me want to keep singing.

How?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I was going to talk about Seattle today.  I was going to tell you how much I love that city, how much I miss it, how much it still feels like home, how much being on the water is necessary to my emotional health and survival, how much my friends mean to me, how much I would love to live there again someday.

But all of that lovely, aching wistfulness has been hijacked by something I was reminded of last night.

I’ve been a member for 8 months, but I don’t know where the bathroom is at 24 Hour Fitness.

I know where the women’s locker room is, and I’ve gone in there looking for a restroom.  But I can’t find it.  I’ve looked everywhere, around every corner.  I’ve found the showers, the sinks, the lockers, the scales, the mirrors.

But I cannot find the toilets.

How?

At this point, I’m too embarrassed to ask.  I mean, it’s too late.  They KNOW me there.  My window of opportunity has passed, and now I’m on my own to to figure this one out.  Godspeed, little gym rat.

But I really do love Seattle.

Crash

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Salutations, readers.  Did you think I had abandoned you?

Oh please.

I should begin by saying that the sickness has left my system – literally, and glory hallelujah.  The only person that knows the specifics of my Monday is my mom, and I’m uncomfortable with even her knowing.  It was… I can’t even go there.  Let’s change the subject.

So here I am, back in Denver.

Time, catapult me out of August already.  August has spread me thinner than a hipster – and it isn’t even over yet.  I hate running on no reserves.

I’ve said before that I believe that our number one act of spiritual worship should be getting enough sleep.  Last weekend, Greta told me that she recently read that the most important factor in a woman’s happiness is whether or not she is well-rested.  How do parents of babies function?  This is an absolute mystery to me.  I don’t even own a house plant, and yet I am crashing – crashing like… why is the only metaphor I can think of “like Kanye at a Taylor Swift speech”?

See.  Crashing.

When I’m crashing, I lose creativity, and get all inconsolable about things like the cardboard box in the corner of my living room.  It’s just sitting there – but it’s just been sitting there since I moved in in January.  I don’t know where to put it.  I don’t know what to do with it.  It’s just THERE, taunting me with its displacement.

Twenty-eight years old is too old to get zits – but then again, Annie Parsons has never been a quitter.

I get irrationally annoyed at bad writing (in the interest of spying on people, I subscribe to some truly horrible blogs), and text messages in which every sentence ends in exclamation points!!!!  This is not the way you talk!!!!!  Calm the hell down!!!  You’re wasting your 160 characters!!!!!

Give my hackles a chance to settle down, and then I’ll tell you about my trip to Seattle last weekend.  Crashing or not, I can tell you right now that it was blissful.

Getting

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Yesterday: up at 4am, back to Denver, so sick I can’t even talk about it
Today: out of bed, to work, caught up
Tonight: a little better (I hope), a full night’s sleep (I hope)
Tomorrow: happy (I hope), back to blogging (I hope)

56 pounds

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

At the Denver airport last night, I heaved my suitcase onto the scale at the ticket counter, and cast a furtive glance at the damage: 56 pounds.

For the first time ever, I was going to incite an overweight charge.

But wait!  Could this be my lucky day?  The ticket man hasn’t seen the number yet.  He’s asking for my ID.  He’s handing me my boarding pass.  He turns his back for one moment, and…

I made a run for it.*

I was around the corner before he turned back around to discover my beast of burden.

I triumphantly called my mom from the security line, jubilant at my own stealth.  Ha-HAA, I outsmarted The Man!  Take THAT.

*moments like this make me wish I had my own personal cameraman to document my life.

– – – – – – – –

So here I am, sitting across from my little nymph Greta in a coffee shop, working away.  Seattle still has a way of wrapping me like a hug, and making me feel more at home than anywhere else.

Piles of style

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I’ve been bouncing in and out of Denver this summer – it seems like I haven’t been home for more than 3-4 days at a time before I’m packing up and heading out to the next destination.  Admittedly, I am the world’s worst packer, and always wind up packing way too much or way too little or way too… wrong.  In Portland last week, I unzipped my suitcase to find one pair of jeans, my running shoes, and a cardboard box of food.  That was basically it – hence the circumstances of having to wear my black racerback tank with a rainbow graphic eagle on the front.  To work.

But at least I had my baby carrots!

Last night at 11pm, I started packing for tonight’s trip to Seattle.  I walked into my bedroom and stared at my suitcase, and suddenly felt my brains sucking out of my ears until my skull was completely devoid of any logic.

“What am I going to wear?” I despaired.  “I HAVE NO CLOTHES.”

Hopeless Annie was about to win.  She was about to slide open a dresser drawer and just dump whatever contents therein into her Samsonite, and call it a night.  She was going to show up in Seattle and realize, “I have no shoes.”  She was going to be content looking like a vagrant in front of some of her dearest friends.

All was nearly lost.

But then.

Hopeless Annie was bound and gagged, and had a pillowcase thrown over her head.  By whom, you ask?  Assertive Annie.  Assertive Annie came out of nowhere, took the reins (as she is wont to do), and formulated a plan.

I do so love a plan.

I spent the next hour – yes, 60 entire minutes – trying on clothes.  Outfit after outfit, drawn from my closet – and when something “worked,” it was put in a pile on the bed.  I concocted combinations of clothing for each day in Seattle, from the shoes to the belts to the earrings.  I even made sure I had the right underwear for each pair of pants (bikini or thong? bikini or thong?).  And in my “extra” pile, I put a few pieces of insurance – the t-shirt that never goes wrong, the flip-flops I can wear if all else fails, etc.

I am ready for this trip.

I am prepared.

I think.

If this plan works – if I am able to successfully marry style and practicality from the articles that show up with me in Seattle tonight – then mark my words, I will post pictures.  Because when it comes to clothing, I generally have about as much panache as Pat Robertson has tact.

This could be a turning point.

The [weekend]

Monday, August 16th, 2010

What did I [climb]: Pike’s Peak – all by myself, and SO FAST.  Seriously, I hope this doesn’t come off as all braggy-face of me, but I scampered up the entire mountain, and barely broke a sweat.

Sir Edmund Hillary?  How about Sir ANNIE PARSONS.

What did I [burn]: the backs of my calves.  Why does this always happen?  Why doesn’t the sun wrap around to my shins, too, bathing all 360 degrees of my legs in that horrible blazing Vitamin D?  It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.  [If you get that joke, you win.]

What did I [buy]: two new pairs of Toms.  I couldn’t decide, so I bought both.  Let’s hear it for happy feet – and shoes for kids!



What did I [hear]:
the golden, dulcet voice of Jonatha Brooke – live.  Oh sweet Moses, y’all.  Do you know about this woman?  KNOW ABOUT HER.  Her “Ten Cent Wings” album is something special – trust me (and really, trust Duane, who originally spread the good news).

What did I [make]: jalapeño hummus.  My new food processor is changing my life.

What did I [feel]: so sad, and so happy.  These days, I’m feeling both, and more than ever – like the spectrum is growing, like my capacity for the extremes keeps increasing.  I wonder if this will continue as I get older – until one day, the sad and the happy will stretch out from my heart in opposite directions, hugging the globe and meeting in Madagascar.

I have a million little pieces glued together for my heart.

I don’t know that that’s a bad thing.

(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Christina B. Ward

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Friendships forged in fire can never be broken.  When you experience horrors side-by-side, the bond is forever.  When you see things that no human should ever have to see, experience atrocities that will never be spoken of again, and somehow live to tell the tale – that is what authentic, everlasting camaraderie is made of.

Sam and Frodo had Mordor.

The Band of Brothers had Germany.

Christina B. Ward and I had junior high.

[Right there might have be an ideal opportunity to share a picture of us at 13.  You’re clamoring for it, I KNOW.  But please.  Allow us to maintain a small amount of dignity.]

Long before “Ward” was a part of her name, Christina and I were girlhood pals in Montrose, Colorado.  We bonded over our love of boys, and our complete inability to do anything about it because – and I know this is hard to believe – we weren’t exactly “cool.”  “Cool” came later.  Obviously.

Her family moved away in 9th grade, and by the end of high school, we had almost completely lost touch.  It wasn’t until several years out of college that we reconnected, and she boldly flew out to visit me in Seattle.  A risky move, perhaps – because who’s to say I hadn’t turned into a sociopath?

Luckily, we picked up right where we had left off – only this time, with bigger boobs, clearer skin, straighter teeth, and better style.  Christina had just finished law school, taken the bar in Boston, and was getting ready for her wedding.  I was selling my furniture and preparing to head out on a 3 month road trip, followed by a move to Nashville.  I remember commenting during that visit that our junior high selves would be in awe of our current selves.  I hold to that.

We get along because we both like wine & cheese, and we both like karaoke.  Those things don’t necessarily go together, but then again, YOU’D BE SURPRISED.

Christina is an amazingly loyal friend, and writes some of the best emails I’ve ever received.  She and her very awesome husband are both lawyers in Boston, and as an homage to their education at Boston College, named their puggle “Dog Flutie.”  She has been known to do the splits on the dance floor at weddings.  She lives a very New England existence, which is foreign to me, but I take advantage of experiencing it as often as possible with visits to Beantown.  I have half a mind to just take up permanent residence in her guest room.

And no matter how bad life gets, we both take great comfort in the fact that we will never, ever have to go back to junior high.