Looking on the bright side

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Rent (not the musical)

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Recently, I was at Target, and I saw a stainless steel toilet bowl brush.

The first thing that I thought was, “I want that one – it’s so nice and shiny.”  Then, I thought, “It’s too expensive – I’ll just buy this plastic one for $2.99.”  And I did.

See, stainless steel toilet bowl brushes are designed for home-owners, people who never move, people who do not have to think about spending $15 on something that in a few short months, they will just want to throw away – because who is actually going to lovingly pack up something designed to scrub feces?

I am an unrooted, unfettered, tumbleweed of a girl.  I have never owned a home – at the rate I’m going, I may NEVER own a home – and in the past 11+ years, the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one domicile is TWO. ENTIRE. BLISSFUL. YEARS. in a studio in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle (in Washington, in the United States, in the world).  It was a 1920s building, with crystal doorknobs and coved ceilings and hardwood floors.  Shoot, I loved that place.

But prior to that, and ever since then, I have moved every 12 months or less.

My constant moving, nomadic lifestyle, and sporadic homelessness have led to the occasional identity crisis, the random revelation, and the frequent emotional breakdown to my mother.

But while I have a deep soul-ache for a sense of rootedness and home (oh mercy, do I ever), there are a lot of great things that come along with being a gypsy of a renter.

When the hot water heater breaks, someone else fixes it.  When the window needs replacing, someone else does it.  When the horrible neighbors raise their ugly voices, you just move.  When your mom gets cancer, you just head to Colorado.  When the housing market crashes, you just don’t even care.  You never need to talk about the most boring terms imaginable like “HOA” or “APR” or “HUD” because when you ask yourself “WWJD,” you realize he would just wander the earth loving people*.

Some people think of renting as “throwing money away”; I call renting “exchanging money for freedom and flexibility.”

Maybe someday, I’ll find myself in a situation/season/city where buying a home would make sense – and in that event, I hope that the house has a breakfast nook and plenty of closet space and at least one interior brick wall.  But for now, I rent.

And at least this way, I don’t find myself justifying $15 on a toilet bowl brush.  Seriously, America.

*Not solid logic when it comes to renting vs. buying.  But definitely a truth, in and of itself.


Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Well, what can I say. There you are, chugging up the hill, successfully pulling the heavy load – and then in one brief moment, the balance shifts, and the load is pulling you.

Life is a cosmic tug of war.

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So, tug.

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Laughing Cow now makes blue cheese wedges.

If you don’t like blue cheese, you won’t like them. Then again, if you don’t like blue cheese, it’s time to accept the fact that you just don’t have good taste. Then AGAIN again, Laughing Cow is made of “cheese product” – so why do I admit to loving it anyway?

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Do you know Holly and Meagan? If you don’t, you should. I (finally) met them in person on Sunday night, and they are the deep sigh of relief you breathe when you realize your soul is safe.

It’s a rare thing for me to fall head-over-heels in love with people so instantly. We’re already scheming ways to see each other again.

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– – – – – – – –

I am not in control – even when I think I am, I’m not.  I cannot force the world to spin a certain way, nor can I force anyone else to act or think or feel any way other than the way they are going to act or think or feel.

But I always have a choice for me.

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“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Christopher Robin to Pooh

Bailing (water, and out of Nashville)

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Now, you know I love me some Nashville, but two weeks is a long, long time to be away from home.  After 14 days of suitcase-living, I will board a plane tonight, and head westward back to Denver.  I am grateful for the time I’ve had here with my Tennessee family, but ready to get back to my ever-loving routine.

I hope the thrice-stolen Honda is still parked where I left it.

For those of you who don’t live in the area (or… don’t pay attention to the national news), you may not know that this weekend, Nashville got 18″ of rain – over 25% of the average yearly amount in just two days.  Having lived in the Northwest, I thought that I was used to a lot of rain – but the storms in the Southeast are truly astonishing.  I have never, ever seen so much rain in my life – for 48 hours, it was unrelenting, turning the streets into rivers and basements into swimming pools.  Everything flooded.  Buildings went floating down the interstate.  People were being rescued from their homes in canoes.  So many people lost so much.

But I watched the people that I love jump into action on behalf of others.  Bailing water from basements, checking in with each other to make sure they had what they needed, braving the flooded streets to give each other (um, me) rides…  It reminds me that in my two short years in Nashville, I somehow became a part of a true community, one that tangibly demonstrates servanthood and selflessness.  I saw it offered to others, and I felt it offered to myself.

I am ready to leave today.  But I will never get used to saying goodbye.

Michael J. Fox

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

For the past couple of days, I’ve been starving for dinner by 3:45. Since my little temp job is from 7:30am-3pm, it’s very convenient – I can heat up some leftover curry that I cooked in the crock pot over the weekend, put on my sweats, get in bed, and watch “Oprah.”

I can’t believe I just admitted that.

Here, I’ll go a step further: yesterday, I also had a glass of boxed pinot grigio.  At 4pm.  In my bed.  With my curry, and “Oprah.”

But y’all.  Did you WATCH “Oprah” yesterday?  How much do we love Michael J. Fox?  A hundred million times.  I’m going to name my first-born after him.  Yes: JFox Parsons.

This man’s attitude and outlook on life is inspiring.  Parkinson’s is causing his body to turn on him, and he has lost control of so many basic physical abilities.  He talked about people staring, and the inability to keep his limbs still.  But he is continually thankful, continually hopeful, and continually positive.  He sees this disease as a gift – the thing that has caused him to appreciate his life, his family, his wife, and everything that he does have.

I have a lot to learn from him.

His quote of the show: “Happiness grows in direct proportion to your acceptance, and reverse proportion to your expectations.”


Monday, February 2nd, 2009

It is Monday morning, my weekly A-Z series is over, and I am left at a loss. What on EARTH am I supposed to do on Mondays now?

Well, I could always talk about money. Get excited.

I got my W-2 for 2008, and found out that I made a smaller amount of money than I thought possible to live on. I opened it up, and started laughing – but in a victorious way, because I LIVED!!! I totally survived on the most miniscule amount of money I’ve ever made – and I did it with style. I should publish my findings in a book: “How To Be Fabulous (While Utterly Destitute).” Actually, let me save you the reading, and save myself the writing, and just break it down into the basics:

1) To save on food: free sample dinners at the grocery store.
2) To save on toiletries: shower once every 3 days.
3) To save on car payments: drive a long-paid-off 19-year old car.
4) To save on entertainment: just go running instead.
5) To save on everything else: T.J. Maxx.

It’s tiring to be poor. But it’s kind of fun, right?


And now, I will spend the remainder of my day researching welfare.

Let the good times roll

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Hi, remember me? The girl who used to blog… before she went on vacation and slopped off? Do I even remember how to spell ennymohr? Well, don’t you worry, my pretties. For your entertainment (and my narcissism), I am back in internet action.

My Colorado adventure was much needed, and so, so fun. Old friends, good food, and great scenery – I mean, really – what else could I need? When I arrived back in Nashville on Friday, I had a deep sense of sadness as I once again realized that I don’t know where my home is. Montrose? Seattle? Kansas City? Nashville? I just wish that everyone that I love could live in the same place. But I don’t think that’s in the cards for me – and I imagine that many of you feel the same. Gone are the days when people would spend their entire lives in one location – and I am grateful, really, since I feel like there is a lot of world to see and experience. But it comes at a cost, and every time that I choose to return to see loved ones, I am also choosing to eventually have to say goodbye.

But as my sister Becca says, “I am not homeless – I am homefull.” Many homes. Many places to belong. Many people to love, and to be loved by. And that is a good feeling.

So, let’s focus on the good.

Nashville feels like a bright and sunny place today, 1) because it is bright and sunny (and sickeningly hot, but who’s pointing out the negatives?), and 2) because I had a great re-entry weekend, full of friends and food and getting my apartment back in order. I love that. Organization. I walk into Storables or the Container Store, and, completely over-stimulated with ideas and a fiery passion for arranging my “stuff,” I practically have a seizure. I thrive on structure. Some day, I am going to start the Annie Parsons Center for Home Organization, Life Management, and Badassery (APCHOLMB). It’s going to sweep the nation. Watch out, California Closets.

I am wearing a cute dress today. I wore it last night, too – but you just can’t get too much of a good thing.

I met a new kindred spirit friend, and she is lovely and amazing and hilarious.

I decided to become a real Nashville musician, so I have a show lined up. SCREAM.

It’s good to be back online. :)