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(Bosom) Friend Fridays: Greta Weisman

Friday, July 29th, 2011

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know about Greta.  I mean, she has her own tag and everything.

Greta is the most delightful little pixie of a friend – she loves bubbles and snowflakes and fairy tales and red lipstick and goat cheese and sand dollars and road trips and songs and cowboy boots.  When I have an insignificant thought – such as, “I think ‘bureau’ is the most beautiful word” – I tell her, and she loves it, and she gets it.

It’s such a good thing to have someone who gets you.

Now, you all know that I’m a stodgy curmudgeon.  Greta is very, very different from me.

She cartwheels…

and frolics…

and twirls.

I don’t really do any of these things.  But still.  Somehow, she gets me.

Greta spent the last 3 weeks in South Africa, and just returned to the States on Wednesday.  Getting a text message from her when she landed was like getting a beer after a long hike, or a breath after a long submersion.  SHE IS BACK.  Finally.

I have several best friends, but Greta is the Best Friend.

If you know her, you love her.  Three cheers for Greta Weisman!

Up on the roof

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Guess who’s here?


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.


Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Yesterday morning, I woke up wishing to think of a word that contained all 5 vowels.  “To me,” I thought, “that would feel like winning the lottery.”

I never claimed to be cool, people.

A few hours later, when Greta was driving me to the airport, we were behind a Toyota Sequoia.

SEQUOIA.  Boom: jackpot.

– – – – – – – –

Blogging will resume once I have had a chance to settle back in to my Denver life.

Excerpts from recent emails with Greta

Friday, July 24th, 2009

You can guess who said what.

– – – – – – – –

I will never, ever understand why God thought insects were a good idea.  I mean, they rhyme with “in sex.”  Which makes no sense.

It turns out beat boxing is kind of super cool and attractive.

Isn’t it strange that “obvious” and “oblivious” are so close in letters, but so far apart in meaning?

dat eez cuz onlee kool emo geekas unnastan the funnee.

Sometimes I just want to press a button under my arm and shoot upwards into space.

I called 911.  (I love calling 911.)

I wish I could pull up a sidewalk square and see you pop up underneath.

– – – – – – – –

Missing this friend today.


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Behold, the return of the deadbeat blogger!

I mean, seriously.  It’s embarrassing.  I have been like an unfit mother – one who leaves her kids in the car while she hits up the Safeway for PBR and tampons.  I have abandoned this blog in the parking lot for far too many days – and in the meantime, not written a single word of ANYTHING.

But really, can you blame me?  I was busy fulfilling MY LIFE DREAM.

If you’ve been reading this site for longer than two minutes, you’ll know that I’m a songwriter, and that the jewel of my heart (um, yes, I just called it “the jewel of my heart” – so?) is the Bluebird Café.  Back in October, when I was invited to play there (can we all just squeal one more time?), June 21 felt so far away.  But before I knew it, my parents were flying in, Greta was surprising me on my doorstep the day before (listen – can you hear me scream?), I was trying on 96 different outfits, and then, all of a sudden, staring out at the lights.

This is what it looks like when dreams come true.  (Thanks to Deb for the picture!)


And this is what it sounds like.  (Thanks to AnnieBlogs for recording!)

And here are best friends.


And here are just a few of the most wonderful cheerleaders.


And here are amazing parents.


And here is a man with a mullet in a SweetTarts shirt.


Because this is – where the blogs end strong.

L is for the Long Answer

Monday, October 13th, 2008

“How are you doing, Annie?”

A simple question – it could be passed off as small talk if it hadn’t been so intentional, so perceptive. And immediately, a few of the tears that had been hanging in the corners of my eyes for weeks just… let go.

She knew – she had sensed it. And the fact that she was able to read between the lines, and dig a little deeper, and ask the real questions, caused me to drop my suit of armor. She didn’t settle for the stories (Twin old ladies! Tour buses! Type from home scams!), the humorous and perky front that I so often put up, because she knew that she had permission to ask for the truth.

As some silent tears spilled, so did reality: deep wounds, and true fears, and the loss of hope, and the abandonment of some important dreams. The quiet death – the death that happens behind a smile. She was sensitive and responsive, intuitive and caring. I talked for a long time, and she listened. At the end, I apologized: “I’m sorry, I just spilled a TON.”

“That’s okay,” she said. “I wanted the long answer.”

To have a friend who wants the long answer is sometimes the most meaningful, humbling thing in the world. Thank you, Greta, for being the very best friend I could ever hope for.

– – – – – – – –

By the way, L is also for LABOR: between stripping/painting/refinishing my bedroom furniture, multiple runs to the hardware store, spray-painting some bulletin boards, rearranging my bedroom, baking cookies, hanging out at a bonfire, hiking 7 miles, grocery shopping, discovering Leiper’s Fork, showering and doing my hair (trust me: NOT an every day occurrence), going to church, attending a wine & cheese party, and catching up with Julie, I would say that I accomplished much this weekend. I even ran a 5K with this Annie – but that is the short answer.

Here is the long answer.

C is for the Cooking Frenchman, and Cheese

Monday, August 11th, 2008

On Friday afternoon, I returned home from work to find an enormous box on my front step. I ripped into it, and found a birthday present sent from none other than my favorite Greta in the whole world. It started with a birthday card that played “Mmm Bop” when I opened it (she knows me too well), and, among other things*, she included a CD with the words: “With love, from the Cooking Frenchman.”


I popped it into my computer, and this is what I found:

The Cooking Frenchman from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Life complete? I have a Cooking Frenchman extending an open invitation to Paris for wine & cheese – so I think YES. My favorite line: “Actually, my real name is Maxime, but people call me Max – and this is very cool.” Max, you fabulous man, you can expect me in Paris very soon.

*And by “other things,” I mean an illegally-shipped bottle of French wine, and a trio of Parisian cheeses that had gone un-refrigerated in the mail for 5 days en route to Nashville. I opened the box, and was OVERWHELMED by the smell.

Now, granted, French cheeses are typically stinky – and the longer they are left out of the refrigerator, the “riper” they become. But honestly. Could it possibly be safe?

Watch and see – that is, if you can focus beyond my angelic halo-glow. Why am I in front of the bright window, and only in one corner of the camera? Oh, the beguiling mysteries of my ways…

Will she survive? from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Obviously, I blogged today. So yes, I lived. And a mighty congratulations to those of you who succeeded in watching these videos while at work. Lord knows that’s where I’m posting from.

Bienvenue à la maison, hooray!

Monday, July 14th, 2008

What I mean is “Welcome home,” but I’m pretty sure that means “Welcome house.” Dang it.

It’s been a long haul, but the day is finally here. After 5 weeks of gallivanting through Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland), GRETA IS COMING HOME TODAY!

I say “home” like she and I live in the same place, but the truth is that I don’t know the next time that I will see her. Separated by 2,500 miles and the Continental Divide, it’s not like her return to the US will be met with me at the airport and an immediate outing for wine & cheese (she’s probably wine & cheesed out, anyway – AS IF THAT’S POSSIBLE). But simply knowing that she is within Verizon reach is a huge relief; apart from my mom, she has been my main long-distance support person for the past year.

In fact, when she returns, she will find several voicemails from me – things that I just had to tell someone in the moment, and it just made sense to call her. For example, there was the time about a month ago that I was down to $24, and happened to need both gas and groceries. What to choose? I opted for $20 of gas and $4 worth of airplane-sized vodkas. Greta simply HAD to know that.

Her blog and her long emails have done a good job of keeping me abreast of her adventures, her rendezvous, and most importantly, her meals. I have been living vicariously through her pastry consumption. She and her darling sister Heidi have had some amazing experiences, and I can’t wait to hear more about them.

Upon her return, she will be walking back into “real life,” which, for her, currently holds more than its fair share of hardship, stress, and pain. But I know that if anyone can deal with some enormously tough circumstances with grace and aplomb, it is Greta Freaking Weisman. Welcome home, Greta girl.

Life support

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Every now and then, a friend comes along that makes you think, “How did I ever make it this far in life without this person?” For me, that person presented herself a few years back in a 5’2” curlicued package.

I do not know what I would do without Greta.

She is as good a friend as they come. Loyal, feisty, creative, whimsical, and wise, she has been nothing but life support for me for the past several years. When I left Seattle back in September, she continually kept in touch throughout all of the little everyday moments: the thumb-twiddling at work, the ins-and-outs of relationships, the fears, the victories, the silly stories. She buoys my spirit, and naturally understands me better than almost anyone in the universe.

She has been in Nashville visiting this weekend, and despite all that we have done (late-night wine drinking, the Bluebird Café, the honky-tonks downtown, long walks through pretty neighborhoods, the Grand Ole Opry), the best part has been simply our conversations. Greta is a person who is articulate and emotionally intelligent, and our conversations are nourishing and soul-filling and so good for my heart. She gives me the space and the freedom to be exactly who I am, and yet has the rare ability to draw out my desire and will to be better. To try. To hope.

These days, I need that a lot.

Objectively, she is truly one of the most beautiful people that I know, and while I should feel like a gigantic, clumsy oaf standing next to her dainty, feminine, stylish self, I mostly just feel great about me. She really loves me, and I love her, and this is the kind of friend that I want in my life forever.

The most rulingest gift ever

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Greta gave me the world’s greatest gift. Of all time. Of the universe of life.

She designed it – one for me, one for her. Sorry, ladies – this is not available in stores.

How did I ever manage to wrangle such amazingly rad friends?