January, 2011

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Update: car

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Since the Honda died 4 weeks ago, here is what I have been doing:

1) Checking Craigslist incessantly for cars. I am on the hunt for something that is Colorado-worthy, will do well in snow, and has high enough clearance to get into the mountains in the summer – however, I also want something with decent gas mileage that will cruise like a champion on long road trips. It needs to have low enough miles that I will be able to drive it for a lot of years, but high enough miles that I can afford it. And I definitely want a manual transmission and keyless entry. Is that too much to ask?

2) Test driving cars on lots. I don’t plan on buying from a lot, but it’s kind of fun to explore my options. I’m finding that car shopping can be a lot like dating, if you take your cues from, you know, the Spice Girls: “I won’t be hasty, I’ll give you a try / If you really bug me then I’ll say goodbye.”

3) Feeling generally cantankerous about having a car payment. The last time I had a car payment was… basically never. This is both a life shift and a major budget shift, and in the meantime, I’m figuring out some ways to cut costs and cut corners. It’s all going to be fine, but still – who wants another bill?

4) Driving my sister Sarah’s ’94* Corolla. While she’s in Haiti, her little ruby red sedan has been parked in front of my parent’s house. This is lucky for me, because if she hadn’t offered, I’d be hoofing it. And in case you were doubting the cool factor of the Corolla, I should tell you that it’s name is Gene Parmesan. If you know the reference, you win the day.

*UPDATE: Sarah tells me that Gene is, in fact, a ’97.  My entire life has been a lie.

The most artistic Parsons

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

My sister Becca is a great gift-giver.  She puts a lot of time and thought and effort into the things that she gives people – and this past Christmas was no exception.

In addition to our “real” presents, she made everyone in our family an awesome dog portrait.  Weird?  NOT IF YOU’RE A PARSONS.

Becca knows that I like those dogs with floppy hair that falls into their eyes, so she made me this:

Isn’t that amazing?  I love it so much.  He’s my imaginary dog – the one that doesn’t care if I leave town for the weekend, or if I don’t come home for 12 hours straight, or if I don’t feed him.  He’s the best.

I think Becca should start a pet portrait business.  All in favor, say aye.

One month from tomorrow

Monday, January 24th, 2011

I don’t know which is more exciting.

I have new songs.

And I’m going to Haiti.

Seriously: explosion of confetti and excitement and exclamation points right →here←.

Ever since my sister Sarah moved to Haiti last June, I have dreamed of an opportunity to see her life there.  One month from tomorrow, I’m getting my chance – seven days and seven nights at Mission of Hope.

What happens at Mission of Hope, you ask?

Well, they have a school, and a home for orphans, and a medical clinic, and a nutrition program.  They also have a new small business initiative called 3 Cords, which employs amputee women, empowering them to make hand-crafts, cards, and jewelry.  I’ll probably get to experience a little bit of each of these things.  I’ll also probably experience tarantulas and dirty feet and mangoes and a little boy named Tee Kervins.  I can’t wait to meet Tee Kervins, just so I can say his name.

Try it.  Tee Kervins.

See?

Of course, I’m a bit nervous about being taken out of my comfort zone, even for a short time.  I’m someone who likes control and safety and rat-free apartments.  And when I’m honest, sometimes it feels easier to just go about my daily business, blind to the pain and sadness and poverty that might be found elsewhere.

But I believe that it’s important – important, and even necessary – to be inconvenienced.

And I also believe that when I am in Haiti, I will find more joy than sadness, more strength than fear, and more hope than despair.  It just might change my life.

So, back to these new songs of mine.

I recorded three new demos with some co-workers when I was in Nashville in December, and even from just a little home studio, I’d say they turned out gems.  I would love for you to hear them – and if you feel so inclined, they’re available for a minimum $10 donation.  The money will help offset the cost of this trip to Haiti – because go figure, it costs a lot to get to the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and listening, and following along with this little life of mine.  I can’t wait to tell you stories from my trip.

Until Monday…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

The dynamite life continues – sparkles and burns and all.

Right now, I am trying to turn some can’ts into cans, and setting some big wheels into motion.  Right now, I have other things tying up my creative/emotional time/energy, so guess what: I’ll see you on Monday.

With exciting news.

www.someecards.com

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

One of my favorite sites.

Warning: some are completely inappropriate.  But others… others are just perfection.

Dynamite

Monday, January 17th, 2011

2011 has exploded like a stick of dynamite.  I am bursting with news and ideas and questions and possibilities and opportunities.  I have no idea what it all means, or where it’s heading, or how, or why, or even if the ending is going to be happy and good and right – I just know that right now, there is no denying that I’m alive.

Some of these things make me feel happier than a bird with a French fry.

Others make me want to draw the curtains and block out the sun.

So I guess I’ll just get on with my day, and be thankful for the good parts, and trust God with the hard parts, and rock this awesome hair day like it’s my job.

Hips don’t lie

Friday, January 14th, 2011

It’s clear from every wedding reception/bachelorette party/alcohol-fueled error of judgment that I am no dancer.  I’ve got rhythm, but I’m all kinds of awkward in my own skin – and this is never more obvious than when I am called upon to drop it like it’s hot.

But then there’s Zumba, the “Latin-based dance-fitness program” that has swept the nation.  I am, as usual, behind the times – tons of you have been on the Zumba train for years.  Case in point, here are my co-workers Emily and Kelli rocking their Zumba moves at Kelli’s wedding, because they are out-of-control awesome.

But I?  I’ve been too nervous to go.  Listen, I may be all lips and eyes, but I’m also all hips and thighs – two things that I don’t really feel like calling attention to.

But I’ve been hating the treadmill.  And last night, I was feeling brave, so I decided to try Zumba for the first time.

Our instructor was a Colombian man in a tight shirt who spoke broken English with a lisp, and said enthusiastic things like, “This class is crowd tonight!”  And it was – the room was packed from wall to wall.

And then the music started.

And then the dancing started.

And everyone was SO INTO IT.

Everything went so fast, and just when I would catch on to what was happening, the moves would change.  These people were like border collies, so attuned to their master’s instruction that at the flick of his wrist, boom – they were box-stepping.

I, on the other hand, was like a dog in socks, stiffly turning in circles.

Zumba is full of what some might call “uncivilized” moves – swivels and shimmies and gyrations (sorry for saying “gyrations”).  If it’s true that hips don’t lie, never has it been more obvious that I’m practically a Puritan.  I tried to be as “into it” as everyone else, and to just let my body do it’s thang – which worked for a little while, until I caught my reflection in the mirror and realized I was doing the Roger Rabbit.

But this burning up the dance floor apparently burns up the calories, and I have never had 60 minutes of cardio go so quickly.

So Zumba, you have not seen the last of me – or my hips.

How to write a Nicholas Sparks novel

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

First, set the scene: waterside.

Next, choose a random hobby – coin collecting, or stained glass windows, or composing music.  This hobby will help create a narrative arc that will act as a metaphor for deeper emotional storylines.

Now, take an unlikely couple.  At first, they don’t like each other, because they’re just too different.  In the beginning, she acts like she can’t stand him.  But his boyish persistence and charming wit eventually win her over.

Both individuals must be obscenely beautiful.  She has big eyes and long, flowing hair.  He has chiseled abs and a strong jaw.  They fall into a passionate chemistry, and yes, they have sex.  If it’s their first time, it’s usually on a wooden floor – and maybe during a rainstorm.

But wait!  There is trouble afoot – war, or someone is secretly dying, or their parents don’t approve.

They are torn apart – maybe during a rainstorm.

Time passes.

They get back together – maybe during a rainstorm.

The end.  Make millions of dollars.

I trust you, blog-readers.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I have a confession: I have never listened to Mumford & Sons.

I know.  They’re, like, all the rage these days.  But I don’t even know what they sound like.

Everybody loves them and will probably murder me for not being on the bandwagon already.  Who knows – maybe if I heard them, I would promptly die of love anyway.

Julie tells me that one of my strong suits is the fact that I know what I like, I know what I need, and I know how to say no to things that don’t fall into those categories.  Other people tell me that this makes me a boring, prudish, unenlightened killjoy – but then again, they just promptly earned themselves a place on my List of Things I Don’t Really Like.

Other things on my very short List:
– Watching sports
– Going out to lunch
– The Twitter

But really.  I’m trying to be more OPEN.  Should this list actually be called the List of Things I Don’t Really Like (Even Though Maybe I Should)?  Tell me the truth.  I’ll believe you.

And if you tell me to listen to Mumford & Sons, I’ll do it. You have the power.

Earning my freckles

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I’m back in the office this morning.

And apparently, in the 7 weeks since I’ve sat at this desk, the sun has shifted.