December, 2010

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The last blog of the year

Friday, December 31st, 2010

My sister Sarah recently introduced me to DJ Earworm, who, at the end of each December, creates an epic mashup of the top 25 songs of the year.

They are ridiculous.

I know I love country music, but Earworm makes me want to be a pop star SO BAD.

Check them out – 2007, 2008, 2009, and as of this week, 2010.

No better way to ring in the new year – that is, aside from celebrating Mel & Jesse’s wedding tonight.  I’ll be in a silver dress and sparkly heels.  It’s my last night in Nashville before pointing my wheel west tomorrow, and driving for one million miles back to Denver.

[I just read that sentence out loud to Julie, and she, in all seriousness, asked, “Is it really one million miles to Denver?”  The sweetie.]

And not to set all of you ON EDGE for my entire one million mile drive, but this week, while idling at stop lights, the Honda has started smelling like burned rubber.  Diagnoses?  My suspicion is that the clutch is going out – and if that were the case, should I… not drive away tomorrow?

Check back in 2011 to find out what has become of me.

Oh thank heaven for 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I’m a humongous fan of New Years Resolutions, although I can’t think of one that I’ve ever actually accomplished.  I think that my issue is the fact that I think up these lofty, abstract goals, like “do nicer things,” or “pray more,” or, you know, my constant companion and perennial favorite, “be hot.”

2011, though?  It’s going to be different.

Why, you ask?

Because I am doing away with my theoretical wishes, and have come up with 12 concrete goals.

And when Annie Parsons sets a goal, she achieves it (case in point: the “Twilight” series).

Here they are, in no particular order – my 2011 12:
1) Shoot a gun.
2) Go out to dinner by myself.
3) Travel internationally.
4) Climb at least 10 14ers.
5) Stop eating the same thing for lunch every day.
6) Sing somewhere in Denver.
7) Send 52 hand-written letters.
8) Read Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.”
9) Take an honest-to-goodness vacation that lasts an entire week.
10) Snowshoe.
11) One that I’m keeping a secret.
12) Be hot.

Sorry.  Old habits die hard.

“Thirty-five boxes can’t be wasted”

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Just when you were starting to forget it, I’m bringing up the song again.

In response to my video, Lärabar sent me the most wonderful package containing, among other goodies, 4 boxes of Cocoa Môlé.  That’s 64 bars – I’LL NEVER GO MÔLÉ-LESS AGAIN!

I love Lärabar.

The progression of last night’s in-flight conversation

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

“Can I put the arm rest up?”

“Sure.”

[spilling over into my seat]  “I’m still a big girl.  But I’ve lost over 200 lbs.”

“Wow – that’s incredible!  Congratulations – what an accomplishment.”

“No more seat-belt expander for me.”

[high-five with a 70-year old woman, initiated by yours truly]

“I’m Pat, by the way, and this is my husband Bobby.”

“Hi, Pat and Bobby.  I’m Annie.”

– – – – – – – –

“Are you from Nashville?”

“No, but I work for a company that’s based there.  I’m heading back for work, and a friend’s wedding on New Years’ Eve.”

“The company that you work for – do they rate well in customer service?”

“We do, in fact.  It’s one of the things that we’re known for.”

“Well, I tell you what.  You need to move to Mesa, Arizona, and teach those nincompoops a thing or two about customer service.  I have never met such dolts in my life as I did in Mesa, Arizona.  Or as many Ethiopians as I did in the Denver airport.”

– – – – – – – –

“How did you two meet?”

“We were in high school.  I had a girl friend who wasn’t allowed to car-date unless it was with another couple.  So she begged me to go on a double-date with her and her boyfriend, and Bobby here.  I couldn’t stand him.”

“What?  How could you not stand Bobby?”

“I don’t know, I just couldn’t.”

“Okay, go on.”

“My girl friend liked the guy she was going with, but her family told her that she couldn’t marry him, because he wasn’t a Christian.  So she wrote him a Dear John letter.  But, you know what?  She died of typhoid fever.”

[gasp]  “That’s terrible.”

[somber]  “Yes.”  [gung-ho]  “But after that, Bobby called me up to ask for a date with just me.  And I said yes.  And we’ve been together ever since.”

– – – – – – – –

“How have you made marriage last for 49 years?”

“It’s give-and-take.  Always give-and-take.  I love him so much, I hope I die before he does, because I could never live without him.”

– – – – – – – –

“Bobby has had a kidney transplant, two knee replacements, and open-heart surgery.”  [fumbling for his meds]  “I hope we make it to 50 years before he dies.  Want a sugar-free yogurt-covered pretzel?”

“Sure.”

– – – – – – – –

“Have you met Mr. Right?”

“No, I haven’t.  Not yet.  I hope I do someday.”

“Oh, you will.  A girl like you can’t last much longer without being snatched up.  Blows my mind that it hasn’t happened already, actually.  Men are idiots.”

“Thanks, Bobby.”  Smile.  For real.  Big smile.

– – – – – – – –

“Girl, I’ll tell you what.  I can already tell that you have common sense – which is more than I can say for most people in this world.”

“Well, thanks, Bobby!”

“You do.  You’ve got it.  Common sense.  And pretty eyes.

I need to use the restroom.”

– – – – – – – –

I’ll be honest: at first, I felt tempted to open up my laptop and cut off conversation with them.  But I’m so glad that I didn’t.  Pat and Bobby reminded me that life is precious and fleeting, like a vapor, and that the only thing worth passing on is love.  I don’t know how to reconcile the notion that “life is meaningful” with “yeah, but everyone dies” – but this couple, towards the end of their relatively quiet, non-glamorous years, somehow made me believe that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

I think I should switch them.

Everyone dies.

Yeah, but life is meaningful.

Extremely, intensely, marvelously meaningful.

Denver 2010ver

Monday, December 27th, 2010

When I moved to Denver a year ago, it was on an open-ended basis – I moved to be close to my family as my mom underwent cancer treatment, but had no idea what the future would hold. I decided to live it up and soak in every bit of Colorado that I could, since I didn’t know how long I would be here. I ran hundreds of miles all over the city, and went to concerts, and climbed mountains, and got involved in a church, and made some friends, and felt grateful every single day to work for a company that made it possible for me to live close to my family during this time.

And now, it’s been a year, Mom is doing awesome (cue the confetti, for real), and nothing is “officially” holding me here in Colorado.

But I’m going to stay anyway.

I’m going to staaaaaayy exclamation point!

I’m going to dig in here, and see what Denver might have to offer me, and what I might have to offer it. I’m going to move forward into the unknown, even when it’s tempting to go back to what’s familiar and comfortable.

Because trust me, both Nashville and Seattle are tempting, wonderful, good options. I have people who love me, and people that I love, and opportunities and connections and community and a heart that bursts at the thought of any number of amazing memories. I wonder if I’m crazy to make a life for myself in yet another city, when I already have ready-made lives in other states.  In a way, it’s scary to think that I’m deciding against these wonderful places that I love so much, because, as Tom Petty says, “Well, the good ol’ days may not return / And the rocks might melt, and the sea may burn.”

But, you know – I’m learning to fly.

And I can honestly, wholeheartedly say that I love my job, I love the mountains, I love my family, and I love a good adventure. Why NOT stay?

This is a good decision.

But friends?  Please come visit me.

Songbirds

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

My friend Haley Shaw is utterly lovely.  She sings like an angel, and is wicked smart and real, and is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen up close.

I’ve been listening to her song “Iowa City” on repeat this week.  It’s good, y’all.  Real good.

There are these two other girls in Nashville that I don’t know, but I wish that I did, because I’m pretty sure we would get along smashingly.  If you want to hear some great music, check out Sara Beth Geoghegan’s “Tired of Singing Sad Songs” and Emily DeLoach’s “The Lucky Ones.”

– – – – – – – –

Merry Christmas Eve Eve.  I’ve switched to morning workouts, and haven’t worn a stitch of makeup since Sunday.

That’s all of my news.  Do YOU have any news?

Forgive again, begin again

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

It’s never too late to learn how to forgive, over and over and over.

Today is another one of those days.

Yet another Southwest thriller

Monday, December 20th, 2010

On Saturday, I flew back to Colorado.  I’ll be with my family through Christmas, and then fly back to Nashville for another week – because apparently, I enjoy being a geographical ping-pong ball.

I flew Southwest (like I always do), fell asleep the minute I boarded (like I always do), and slept for the first 60 minutes of the flight (like I always do).  When I woke up in my aisle seat, I noticed the middle aged couple sitting to my right.

They were well-dressed, albeit in a gaudy sort of way – he in fancy cowboy boots, she in a leopard-print shirt and a lot of gold jewelry.  Her hair was meticulously highlighted, which I noticed because she tossed it a lot.  They were loud and spirited and obnoxiously physically affectionate, drinking airline cocktails from plastic cups as they canoodled.  It didn’t take long before I couldn’t take it any more, so I pulled out my laptop, put on my headphones, and started watching a movie with scenes that I secretly hoped would make them uncomfortable: “Alive.”

When all else fails, subject your neighbors to true stories of flesh-eating survival.

Suddenly, the woman made a grand sweeping motion with her hand, and her open bottle of Finlandia cartwheeled off the seat tray and into her lap.

What happened next was immediate.

Her feet remained firmly planted on the floor, and her shoulders pressed to the back of her seat, but her hips?  It was as if some invisible cosmic god reached down, grabbed her by the belt loops, and yanked: the woman’s pelvis thrust straight into the air.

“I am soaking!  It’s everywhere!  It’s all over my seat!” she shrieked.  And then some choice expletives.

And because compassion for the crazy can be a challenge, I stared straight ahead, willing the corners of my mouth to stay still, stifling laughter.

From the corner of my eye, I watched the man use the little Southwest napkins to clean up the vodka from her seat.  This was easy because her pelvis remained skyward – one of the more gauche things I’ve ever witnessed.

But just when I thought things could not get more awkward, the man began to use the napkins to dab up the front of her jeans.

And as soon as I thought up the phrase “crotch blotter,” I knew I had to write this one down.

O-Emma-G

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Fanciness, merriment, and roistering.

Bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with cheese.

And then, as if the night couldn’t get any more awesome, KARAOKE.

And even better, twirling at ROBERT’S.

I didn’t even look like a hobo.

Today, though?  I totally do.

Lordy.

Holiday hobo girl

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

This is the week, the one that happens every December, the one that I always tell myself that I’ll do differently next year but I never do.

It’s the week before Christmas, which always seems to be busier than the week of Christmas.  Parties, people, events, high heels, big hair, sugar, wine, beer, money that slips away like a hand full of water.  It’s the most fun, most crazy-making week.

I haven’t worked out since Sunday, which makes me feel completely deranged.  There is a pile of clothes, shoes, coats, and bras on my bed, and I just keep pushing it over to climb under the covers at night.  I haven’t been getting enough sleep.  I’ve eaten cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  My toenail polish is chipped.  I haven’t responded to emails and texts and phone calls (I probably owe you one – I’m so sorry).  My level of busyness is making me a gigantically cranky stress ball.

Tonight is our company holiday party, and last night, I pulled out the dress I was planning on wearing.  It’s wrinkled and dirty from last year.  Why do I never learn to have the dress dry-cleaned at the end of the season so it’s fresh the next year?  Now I’m going to look like a hobo.

So yes.  If you see a cranky, deranged woman in a stained satin dress wandering the streets of downtown Nashville tonight, hobbling in her high heels because of her broken toe and carrying her lipstick in a bindle instead of a purse, that’s me.

Or it’s Mindy McCready.

It’s either Mindy McCready or me.