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In the spirit of picture stories…

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I have this friend named Juliette.

juliette

We met through the internet.

internet

I’ve met some of my favorite friends through the internet.  Here is a sampling.

sla

miranda

annied

ec

allie

marijke

rebs

Whoa.  If it’s possible to meet such attractive women through the internet, could I meet attractive guys?  Why have I not signed up for eHarmony?

Anyway, this story is not about them.

It’s about her.

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Juliette lives here in Nashville – well, Franklin, to be exact.

Franklin is where I did this.

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(I know, it always has to be about me.)

BACK to her.

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She’s wonderful.  In my year and a half in Nashville, we’ve only hung out a handful of times, but she’s one of those people that you kind of wish you could hate but you can’t help but love – because she’s all these fabulous things like beautiful and creative and hilarious and talented and kind and really smart.

She makes this look cool.

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The week that I lost my job, she treated me to wine & cheese at Rumours.

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IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW, that is the way to my heart.  That, and foot rubs.  And men with good scruff.  (Clarification: Juliette did not give me a foot rub, nor does she have scruff.)

But guess who does?

HER NEW FIANCE, TODD!!!!!!!

engaged

The girl is engaged.

And I am so, so excited for her.  She deserves the best guy ever.  And it sounds like Todd is.

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I hope that through the various activities that surround weddings, I will be meeting Val and Dani and Joey soon.

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dani

(If you’re wondering what Joey looks like, well.  He no longer believes in Facebook.  Probably because internet strangers like me would go in and steal his pictures and post them on their blog.

But I have it on good authority that he looks exactly like this guy.)

amir-elsaffar

I know Val, Dani, and Joey through the internet, too – although I’ve never met them.  They’re some of Juliette’s best friends.  I hope they will adopt me.

Sometimes, against all odds, people find each other.  WE find each other.  Congratulations, Julie-girl and Todd – and thanks to all of you internet people who have turned out to be awesome in real life, too.

If this is true…

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

… then Tyler is the poster-child for marital success.

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Privileged

Monday, April 27th, 2009

I did it.  And it was the worst best thing I’ve ever done.

I have started this post at least a dozen times, and am having a hard time putting into words what happened on Saturday.

I could tell you about waking up at 4:30am, and stressing out in a traffic jam on the way to the race.

I could tell you about the last minute visit to a Porta-Potty that had no toilet paper.

I could say that miles 1-5 were fun, and 5-8 were less fun, and 8-9 was really tough, but 9-10 was easier, and from 10 on, it was sheer agony.

I could talk about the heat, and the people passing out right and left.

I could give you the amazing finish times of all of my friends, who I am so ridiculously proud of.

I could report that I came in 8,449th out of the 22,749 finishers, and 3,987th out of the 14,505 women.

Or, perhaps my favorite tidbit of information: I could talk about the friend-who-will-never-be-named who is so hardcore, she PEED HER PANTS in the last mile so she wouldn’t have to stop.

But I think that this is my biggest take-away: what an enormous privilege.  To have legs, to have a body that works, to have the opportunity to train for something far more physically taxing than I have ever attempted before.  To have the ability to run.

Even in the heat.  Even when it’s not fun.  Even when I didn’t get the runner’s booty that I hoped for.  I am ABLE to run.  Not everyone is.

And this girl is getting busy getting grateful.

I am so glad I did it.  I am so glad it’s over.  And I guess I can’t deny it anymore: once one has run 13.1 miles, she is officially a “runner.”

More to come in the next few days…

You can’t keep a good girl down

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Did Sly stop with “Rocky IV”?

Did Nadia Suleman call it quits after 6 kids?

Did having brothers named Track and Trig prevent Bristol Palin from naming her son Tripp?

No.

And in the same way, bucking common sense and what might seem like an obvious result… did the demise of my temp-job in this current economy conclude in me being unemployed for all of eternity?

No.

After exactly six weeks of unemployment – I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And not just any job. A good job. A great job. A job that makes me so giddy, I want to go throw confetti off the 440 overpass. With people so delightful, I want to bake them each their own personalized cupcake. At a company so awesome, I see it as the pot of gummy bears at the end of a rainbow – the rainbow that runs a mere mile and a half from my house to the offices.

This feels like the one I’ve been waiting for. I am so happy.

See you on Monday, Emma!

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S is for Sister-in-Law

Monday, December 1st, 2008

In September of 2007, I was cruising through Kansas as a part of The Big Trip, en route to Nashville. My über-talented sister-in-law, Ashley, gave me the gift of some pictures to use for promoting my music – we spent hours in a field, and then at a barn, and then in a parking lot with a fabulous red brick wall, taking hundreds and hundreds of images. There were wardrobe changes, there were smiles, there was fabulous hair. The Annie that was captured is hopeful, warm, vibrant.

Just over a year later, I look at those pictures and think, “I feel like a completely different person.”

This past weekend, I talked with Ashley, and told her about what’s been going on in my heart. There has been a cold wind blowing through, and the death of some dreams. At times, it has felt like my life is a stark and barren wasteland. My heart has been broken, my spirit stripped, and I’ve been confronted with my many limitations. It’s been a dark time.

And yet, somehow, hope remains. There is a resilience in my will, and a warmth in my chest.

I told Ashley that right now, I feel simultaneously the happiest and the saddest I have ever felt. Odd, but true. So we decided to try to capture that in some pictures.

Can I brag on my sister-in-law? Ashley Parsons is a true artist. Creative, soulful, truth-telling. She allows people to be exactly who they are, and encourages them to take off the mask. She has this unreal ability of using a camera to capture something more than just a picture – she captures life. She takes the time to get to know her subjects, and has a deep desire to tell their story through photographs.

I don’t know anyone else like her. And when she laughs, I can’t help but feel absolute joy.

She has become one of my best friends, one of my favorite people – and she has set the bar high for those who might someday join the Parsons family. My younger sisters and I cannot marry duds, because Jeremy sure didn’t.

Thank you, Ashley, for sharing your gifts. And of all of the beautiful pictures that you took, this one speaks the loudest to me. The happiest and the saddest I have ever been, all at the same time.



For more stunning images from the Parsons Photographers, see their amazing blog. And then hire them for all of your photography needs – you will not be disappointed.

Welcome – and please never leave

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

It’s been a long time. I was starting to think that the day would never come. But finally, after days and weeks and months of absolute agony, the moment has finally arrived:

I am in a good mood.

A genuinely good mood.

Welcome, Fall. You have been missed.

The people of Nashville tell me that this summer was mild. These words feel like a frying pan to the face – a disorienting blow that leaves me dazed, confused, and frankly, a bit pissed off. What do you mean, “mild”? This summer was the most miserable season OF MY LIFE. I didn’t sleep because it was too hot. I didn’t exercise because it was too hot. I didn’t do my hair because it was too hot. I didn’t smile because it was too hot.

You might call me a weather wimp. But I say to thee, HOLD YOUR JUDGMENT: you never see me scoffing at the people who become depressed in the dark and cold winter months – mostly because I am gleefully drinking tea and being cozy. I’ve never really liked the summer – but this is the first year that I genuinely hated the summer. I honestly do not know if I will willingly choose to live through another Nashville hot-season – not on purpose.

But the doleful summer days are now gone. Or at least – almost gone. I know that it’s supposed to get back into the 80’s tomorrow and for the remainder of the week, and who knows what next week will bring. But today, I am wearing a scarf. I am back to my lunchtime walks. I am feeling the change in the air.

What is this strange feeling?

Oh. Happiness. Long overdue, honest-to-God happiness.

D is for Dancing

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Many cool things happened this weekend. In what is becoming a regular occurrence for me, I met up with a blog stranger who turned out to be awesome in real life as well as on the interwebs. I went to the Bluebird, which never disappoints. I got my car washed for the first time in years. I imbibed a margarita AND sangria. I laughed a very genuine laugh:


Spin from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

And on Saturday night, I went dancing in the park.

Every Saturday night, a Big Band dance is held outside at Centennial Park (yes, where the full-scale replica of the Parthenon is… Nashville is so weird). Hundreds of people of all ages – from youngsters to oldies – come out to socialize and dance to the live music. From swing to tango to line dancing, people show up ready to groove beneath the stars and the twinkly lights strung around the dance floor.

Within the first 5 minutes, I was asked to dance by a physics professor. Not having any idea how to swing dance, I still said yes – and trust me. It is IMPOSSIBLE to swing dance without grinning. I promise – you can’t do it.

And when I returned to my friends, I proved that the Tennessee grammar is creeping in when I gleefully proclaimed, “I just swung danced!”

It was special and magical and good, old-fashioned, innocent fun. There is something so right and life-giving about multi-generational mingling. And partner dancing is a fabulous way to interact with others, having some really cool elements to it: leading, following, touch, communication, and of course, the aforementioned GRINNING.

I wish I had known about this before – they only do it during the summer. But that leaves me 3 more Saturdays to show up in a cute dress, since that’s what Nashville girls wear. Which makes me think: maybe I belong here after all?

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.