September, 2010

...now browsing by month

 

ProNUNciation, not proNOUNciation

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

This, one of my favorite quotes, is by a man whose name I did not know how to pronounce – that is, until yesterday.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Now, I don’t sprechen no Deutsch.  So the fact that I’ve spent the last 10 years referring to this man as “Geth” is, on the one hand, understandable – and on the other hand, totally mortifying.

Sort of like yesterday at lunch, when I ordered the “tuna niçoise” salad – and right then and there, the waiter CORRECTED me.  “Not ‘ni-swahhhhh.’ ‘Nee-SWAHZZZZZ.'”

Well, es-CUUUUUZE.

Mountains and music

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

It’s September 28, and on tap to be 92 degrees today.  While I am seriously perturbed at Denver’s unwillingness to budge into fall, the good news is that there is no snow in the mountains, and I was able to get several more 14ers under my belt this past Saturday.

I did the Decalibron – that is, I climbed Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross, all mountains over 14,000 feet high.  I don’t know that I have a goal of climbing all 54 of the Colorado 14ers, but with 12 down, I’m well on my way.

– – – – – – – –

On Sunday, I bought a piano.  I know I’m only 36 hours in, but I am absolutely giddy over this new acquisition.  For the last two nights, I’ve stayed up playing it for hours.  It’s a necessity for getting ready to record some demos when I’m in Nashville in December.

That’s right, folks: new songs are on their way.  I’m stoked (yes, I said it: STOKED) about sharing them – even if a few aren’t entirely finished yet.  Nothing like a deadline.

– – – – – – – –

I’m pretty sure that my life these days could be summed up this way:

“You climb a mountain because it’s there; you write a song because it’s not.”  -Jon Foreman

In terms of love

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Is it better to have high expectations, or none at all?

You guys have come through with some excellent thoughts in the past – care to pipe up again?

(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Meg Allison

Friday, September 24th, 2010

It’s not every friend who has starred on a reality TV show.  But then again, it’s not every friend who writes amazing songs, sings like a bird, and is gorgeous to boot.

Blog, meet my dear second-soul, Meg Allison.

Meg and I met after I saw her play at the Bluebird Cafe in early 2008.  Fresh off the show “Nashville Star,” Meg impressed me with her voice and her knack for writing a great tune (seriously, go listen) – but even more than that, I just thought she seemed like a really nice person.  So I asked her if she would go to lunch – and from that point on, she has been pure sunshine in my life.

Not this kind of sunshine, though.

In case there was any confusion.

After I had lived in Nashville for about 6 months, I was seriously considering leaving.  I was tired and lonely, and wanted to go back to what was familiar.  Meg and her then boyfriend (now husband, ow owww!) Josh sat me down and told me that they didn’t want me to leave.  They just said it: “We don’t want you to go.”  And friends, sometimes that’s all that you need – someone telling you that you’re wanted.  We all just want to be wanted.  And in that moment, it made all the difference: I stayed in Nashville for another year and a half, and I’m so glad that I did.

When I eventually did leave Nashville, I hugged Meg goodbye on my front porch.  We both had tears in our eyes, because we acknowledged that it’s not every day that you find someone who is so easy to be friends with.  Meg and I have that easy sort of friendship – the kind that allows you to be in your sweats on the couch watching documentaries, or in dresses at a pub crawl, or on stage with guitars, or celebrating at a wedding, or on the phone thousands of miles away – and no matter what happens, things between us stay the same.  She is a gift in my life.

Last but not least, Meg was present for the worst/best picture ever taken of me*.

Whooo, boy!  I could look at that one all day!

*After seeing this, you might never visit this blog again – and I understand.

Same difference

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

One of the very embarrassing ways that I spend my free time (and oh, I have a lot of free time) is making photo collages of things that are similar.

I know: BORING.  But I’m a connector, okay?  It’s just what I do.  I see things, and make connections in my brain, and then introduce otherwise unconnected people or things to each other.

Remember my vast amounts of free time.

So, here is Sam trying to be as cool as I am.

And here are me and my new friend Mike just HAPPY TO BE ALIVE – smiley and squinty in nature.

And here is a lizard in Becca‘s light, and then a scorpion in Ginger‘s.

And here I am at my desk at precisely 2:30pm 4 days in a row.  Too sunny.  Denver is just too sunny.

And… well, that’s all I have today.

In search of motivation

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I think that the best way to get me to do something is for someone to tell me that they don’t think I can do it.

Actually, here’s how it really goes.  Someone tells me that they don’t think I can do it, and I believe them.  I get sad and discouraged.  I probably cry a little bit.  I walk around with a dazed focus, like I’m trying to solve a Magic Eye picture but to no avail.  I feel helpless and defeated.

Then, I get angry.

Then, I get defensive.

Then, I get motivated.

Then, I get so staggeringly stubborn, there’s no way on earth I won’t achieve whatever it is that someone has said that I won’t do.

So.

Will someone please tell me that they don’t think I can roll over my 403b into my 401k?  It’s been on the to-do list for 3 years now.  I mean, come on.

And while you’re at it, can you tell me that you don’t think I’ll EVER get renter’s insurance?  Or perhaps that I will live without knobs on the top two drawers of my dresser for the rest of my life?  Or that I’ll eat cookies forever, and without ceasing?

Thanks.

Galloping ostrich brain

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I am alone in the office this week.  But don’t worry – being alone has never been reason for my brain to get bored.  Au contraire – being alone usually results in my brain galloping full-speed ahead, albeit awkwardly, kind of like that ostrich in “Swiss Family Robinson.”

So let me go ahead and tell you some of what has been on my mind today.

Mix up “congenial” and “jovial” and you get “convivial.”  Fantastic!

I may or may not (or may) have recently spent $800 on a variety of bridesmaid dresses from J.Crew.  Don’t worry – the losers will be returned post-haste – that is, unless I decide that I WANT a variety of taffeta gowns in Aluminum.

Waffles are just pancakes with topography.

There are few places on earth more soul-sucking than the Verizon Wireless store.

Please, Honda.  Please please please last forever.  I have no Plan B.

Home is wherever I’m with you

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I spent the weekend in Southern Colorado, just a stone’s throw away from New Mexico, at a cabin with family and friends and dogs and sangria.  The aspens were turning, giving the mountains blond patches in their otherwise dark beards.  We celebrated the wedding of Kyle and Emily amid golden leaves and vivid blue sky, and the entire event was magical.

This was Kyle and Emily skipping down the aisle while we (the band and the bridal party) played this song on guitars, banjos, tambourines, and kazoos.

Are they not the cutest?  I love them.  They are playful and joyful and uninhibited, full of love and life.  I am lucky to count Emily and her sister Hannah as the closest thing I have to sisters – you know, besides my own sisters.

The entire weekend was a joy.  I can’t wait to point you toward the official pictures, courtesy of (who else?) The Parsons Photographers… coming soon.

– – – – – – – –

Speaking of joy and magic and love, this was a conversation I had with my 6-year old nephew at the campfire on Friday night.

Annie: What are some animals that lay eggs?
Micah: Crocodiles, fish, turtles, stars…
Annie: Stars?
Micah: Yeah, stars.  All of the stars we see are star eggs – and when they hatch, it’s daylight.

I love this little boy more than life itself.

– – – – – – – –

After a long, long, many-months-long stretch of vagrant, vagabond living, I will now experience an unprecedented 27 nights in my own bed before it’s time to leave town again.

No one invite me anywhere.  No one get married.  This chicky needs to nest.

And now, for a long story

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

When I was a senior in college, I stopped every morning on the way to class at a coffee shop called the Java Bean.  Every day, I ordered the same thing: a 16 oz. cup of coffee with room.  That’s all, nice and simple.  The baristas recognized me, and I always had exact change for my coffee – $1.89.

Until one day.

I walked into the Java Bean, ordered my coffee, and opened my wallet to find $1.39.  I was 50 cents short – but these people knew me.  They knew I would be back tomorrow.  They knew that I always ordered the same thing.  They would take $1.39 for my coffee today, knowing I would be back in the morning with the difference.  Right?

“I only have $1.39,” I explained to the man at the counter.  I waited for him to waive the extra 50 cents, to tell me that the Java Bean loves me, to say, “I’ve gotcha, girl,” and send me on my way with a wink.  I waited.  I waited.

But this man knew no compassion.  He just stared at me.

Finally, he said, “Well, do you have a credit card?”

I was slightly shocked, but cooperatively opened my wallet and handed over my debit card.  I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to let me slide on out of there, cup of joe in hand, but whatever.  I didn’t invent coffee.  I didn’t invent money.  I’m just here for the buzz.

“There’s a $10 minimum on credit card purchases,” he said.

Buzz kill.

But never fear!  This man had an idea.  “You’re here every morning – why don’t you get a pre-paid card for your coffee?  If you pay for 10 cups right now, we’ll give you this punch card.  I know you’ll make good use of it.”  Yes, of course you know I’ll make good use of it – I’m here EVERY MORNING and will bring an extra 50 cents tomorrow – why don’t you love me?

“Well, okay,” I found myself saying.  My card was about to be charged $19.15 – $18.90 for 10 cups of coffee, plus a 25 cent credit card fee – all because I used two quarters in a parking meter, but no big deal.

I watched this man swipe my card, and then swipe it again, and then again and again and again – but the machine wasn’t having it.

At this point, there was a line of about 6 people behind me, stomping the ground like horses.  Come to think of it, they were exhaling loudly like horses, too – that exasperated puff of impatience.  My card continued to be no good, and finally, desperate for caffeine and escape, I couldn’t take the pressure.

“I’ll write a check!” I exclaimed.  “My checkbook is in the car.  I’ll be right back.”  I dashed out of the Java Bean, and returned to scribble a check for $19.15.  I handed it over just to have the man remind me, “Since this isn’t a credit card purchase, it’s only $18.90.”

My turn to exhale like a horse.

I tore up the check, and wrote a new one for $18.90.  The moment that I gave it to the coffee man, his dim mental lightbulb flared as he realized that the credit card machine had not been plugged in.

His “Aha!” moment was my “GAH” moment.

He handed me my freshly punched punch card and a paper cup for my coffee.  I walked to the pump pot on the counter to fill my cup and get on with my life, but the coffee pot was empty.

The coffee pot was empty.  I had just paid $18.90 and wasted 9 minutes of my life to discover that the coffee pot was empty.

I lifted the pot and marched it to the man at the counter.  “I’m sorry, but could I get some COFFEE?” I practically bellowed.

Scene?  Officially made.

I found an arm chair in the corner to sit in and stew as a fresh pot of coffee was being brewed.  I watched the clock on the wall, every ticking second matching the time-bomb in my chest.  My face was scrunched.  I was late for class, I was desperate for caffeine, and I was down $18.90.

“Anne,” the man called.  “Anne, come here.”  He had seen my name on my credit card – Anne Parsons – and was now calling me by my given name that I never go by, because if there’s anything that Annie Parsons is not, it is Anne.

“I’m so sorry for the craziness.  Here’s a coupon for the next time you’re in.”

The coupon?  50 cents off my next purchase.

Messy love

Monday, September 13th, 2010

With my Netflix membership, I wind up watching a lot of crappy movies.  “Noble Things” was awful.  “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” made me want to gouge my eyeballs out.  “Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham” was the hokiest thing I’ve ever seen.  “The Invention of Lying” was I CAN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT.

These are horrible movies.  Never watch them.  I added them to my queue out of curiosity, but curiosity killed the cat and Annie Parsons.

However, I’ve discovered a few gems that are worth mentioning.

The Greatest

Everybody’s Fine

The Boys Are Back

Last Chance Harvey

These are movies about messy people, and painful events, and broken families, and broken hearts – but also, love.  Not Nicholas Sparks love – but complicated, nuanced, imperfect love.  They leave you feeling both sad and hopeful – which, isn’t that just like life?

(Also, when I did a Google search for “‘The Greatest’ movie,” this is what it rendered:

I can’t say that I disagree.)