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Ins-and-outs

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Lately, I’ve been using this space for a lot of personal processing, and just realized that I’ve neglected to update you on some of my actual goings-on. Yes, I am just that pompous to believe that the world is desperate to know about the ins-and-outs of my everyday life – so without further ado…

1) I cut off my hair: 10+ inches on the salon floor, leaving me feeling like a sassmuffin. My hair hasn’t been this short since 2008, and I’m ready to go even shorter next time.

2) It’s hard to tell what’s been the worst expenditure of the past week: head gasket repair, new clutch, 4 new tires, bill from the ER, or dental work. When it rains, it pours. And I cry.

3) If you want to believe in magic, watch “Searching for Sugar Man.” I haven’t been so captivated by a documentary in ages.

4) Today, I’m wearing a grandma shirt. No really, it used to be my grandma’s. It’s a red and black silk houndstooth print with a high neck and puffed long sleeves that cinch at the wrists. It’s the most old lady thing in the world, and I kind of love it.

5) Lissie’s cover of “You Can Go Your Own Way” is haunting and beautiful and completely transformative of the original. And I know what you’re thinking: you wonder if this means that I saw the movie “Safe Haven.” And the answer is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

6) The things I am currently most looking forward to: eating here in March, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity next weekend, and Greta’s arrival tomorrow night. Praise be.

Wherever you are, I hope that it’s warmer than it is right now in Denver. Someone put me on a beach so fast.

Runaway train/bus/thoughts

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

These days, life is like a runaway train.  It’s like that movie “Unstoppable,” except – spoiler alert! – that train actually stopped.  It’s not still barreling out of control through Pennsylvania.  Not that I’m barreling out of control through Pennsylvania, either, but…

Okay.  Analogy over.

All I’m saying is that life has been busy and full, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.  So maybe it’s less like “Unstoppable,” and more like the bus in “Speed.”  And I’m Sandra Bullock, somehow, so far, successfully navigating my way through a complicated network of roads, and thinking that I ran over a baby, but it wound up just being a baby carriage full of pop cans, and for the moment, we’re all just catching our breath.

First of all, I have news.  The Hooker House has a new addition: Becca and I have a new roommate.  She has moved into the room that used to be my home office, and if you’ve known the Parsons for any length of time, then there’s a chance you know her, too.

Her name is Hannah, and here she is as a child.

I know.  Things are about to get really good.

In other news, I’ve barely been sleeping in my own bed.  After six days at Sundance in Utah, I spent the first half of this week in Minneapolis for work.  This morning, I was supposed to fly to Seattle for a dear friend’s wedding, but Denver’s heavy blanket of snow canceled the flight.  I was rescheduled for an afternoon flight, but just got the call that they canceled that, too.

I’m not going to Seattle.  Frowny face.

My bedroom looks like a dirty bomb exploded.

I’ve switched to cash envelopes.  Dave Ramsey is really proud of me right now.  (Sidenote: I talk about Dave Ramsey like he’s a real person.  Yes, I KNOW that he’s a real person – but he doesn’t know who I am.  I talk about him like we have a personal relationship, and I imagine his reaction to all of my financial choices, sort of like when I was a kid and I imagined the various reactions to everything that I did by all seven members of the Baby-Sitters Club.  Mark my words: one day, when I’m debt free, Dave Ramsey will know who I am.  Oh yes.  He will know.)

I’m sure you’ve seen this video.  But I just have to make a point of saying that I have watched it over and over, and think it’s the greatest ever.  Dang, I miss “Veronica Mars.”

Tomorrow is my half-birthday, which means, yes, I have 6 months and 1 day left in my 20s.  I can’t wait to be in my 30s.  I’ve waited my whole life for my 30s.  People in your 30s, it’s the greatest, isn’t it?  Tell me that it’s the greatest.

And now, it’s time to figure out what my Friday is going to look like.  If it’s not going to include a trip to Seattle, then I’m sure it will consist of exciting things like “going to the gym” and “cleaning the kitchen” and “swinging by the dry cleaners.”  A little bit of snow has never scared Subaruthless.

Sundance

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

After six days at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, I’m back to normal life on Hooker Street in Denver – where the upstairs neighbors are loud, cars get stolen from right in front of the house, and Greebs got sprayed by a skunk on Monday.

In some ways, I would very much like to go back to the glamorous.

But in more ways, I am so happy to be home.

Having never experienced such a saturation of famous people all in one place, I have to say that it was bizarre. For all its intrigue, celebrity culture is… unnatural. And from what I observed, often it’s not the celebrity who is strange (in fact, most of them struck me as lovely and normal people), but their handlers; the entourage and staff can make things awkward for everyone else. There’s a lot of “protection” of the “talent” that goes on – and yes, I’m sure it’s for good reason, but when you’re a very average girl from Colorado who drives a Subaru worth less than the painting on the wall and are dutifully abiding by the strict order not to freak out, is it really necessary for someone’s publicist to treat you like trash?

That said, I had such a blast. It was a very cool opportunity – something I would never have otherwise had access to, as it was heavy on the wrist bands and badges and credentials. My team was offering our product as part of a gifting suite (you know, where the already-privileged get more stuff for free), and it was a treat to see so many faces that I recognized from television, movies, and music.

And on that note, here are my Thoughts and Opinions on People I Don’t Know At All.

Helen Hunt is stunning. I’ve always thought of her as “average-to-pretty,” but in real life, she is positively luminescent.

I hope to age like Blythe Danner more than I hope to age like Neil Young.

Kirsten Dunst is cute, but not as cute as Greta.

William H. Macy is a 60-year old hipster – and he somehow makes it look cool.

Emily Blunt has flawless (no, really – flawless) skin.

Michael Cera has a mustache. Oh dear. Even without a mustache, I kind of can’t do the Michael Cera thing.

I thought that Lake Bell was Amanda Peet. Good thing I didn’t say that out loud. She was very sweet, and generous with her smile.

The All State guy is a presence. I mean, we’re talking about President David Palmer, people. I wanted him to record my voicemail message, but couldn’t get up the guts to ask him.

The most beautiful person I saw all weekend was Melanie Lynskey. Yes, the friend from “Coyote Ugly.” Yes, the friend from “Sweet Home Alabama.” Yes, the eternal friend-in-the-background who I wish all the spotlight she could ever want. Given her company at Sundance, she might seem a strange pick for “most beautiful person,” but I stand by it. She was absolutely lovely, in a very accessible way.

The nicest person I talked to all weekend was Kevin Sorbo. You know him as Hercules. I know him as tall and strapping and – by comparison to everyone else around – supremely normal.

Elijah Wood is as Frodo-ish as you would expect Frodo to be.

Kate Bosworth is sharp around the edges – all knees and elbows and shoulder bones. I hope she eats a hamburger soon.

The two people that I really, really wanted to lay eyes on but never did were Liv Tyler and John Krasinski. Actually, I DID see Liv Tyler – but it was only from behind, and the only thing I thought was, “She has skinny calves.” So.

I came home with some awesome free swag of my own, a love for Park City, and solidified friendships with my co-workers. All in all, I say SUCCESS.

And now, back to real life: emails, working out, and eating things other than “blackberry braised venison” and “lime-butter scallops” and “lamb three ways.” So – that’s a bummer.

The art of the non-sad

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Last week, Carmen left a comment on one of my posts that completely resonated with me:

For the last 1.75 years I have eliminated all sad music from any playlist I can control and axed sad movies. Guess what. IT IS AWESOME. I am all about melancholy, but some seasons require axing all extraneous sadness. I recommend this. You’ll love it. Get trashy movies and books, action and stupidity, and fill extra moments with hilariosity.

I could not agree more.  Last spring, when I was going through the darkest season of my life to date (which, in some ways, continues today), I watched a devastating, raw documentary called “Dear Zachary” that just about did me in.  I cried for days, and walked around with puffy eyes in a dark haze that just wouldn’t lift.  Right then and there, I chose to take a break from sad movies, music, and books.  Life is heavy enough – and while I definitely see a time and a place for sharing our tragedies and our struggles and our heartbreak (because you know I love a good wallow), there are times when we’re just not strong enough for it.

For me, right now, sad stories and words just crush me down, down, down – like a trash compactor*.

So I’ve cleared my Netflix queue of anything dark (aufedersein, Holocaust), and am skipping the sad songs on my iTunes (sayonora, um, most of my music), and have abandoned Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” (for now) in favor of more delightful, fluffy reading.

Here are my recommendations for a few non-sad things to be consumed.

Watching
I am loving “Parenthood” on DVD.  I’ve caught episodes on-and-off over the last couple of years, but I’m starting at the beginning and working my way through.  What great, lovable characters, and relatively true-to-life situations.  For all of my bad boy crushes (Tim Riggins, anyone?), when it comes down to it, I’m just looking for a man like Adam Braverman.

The Human Experience” is a fantastic documentary about man’s search for meaning.  The filmmakers and their mission completely charmed me.  Soak it up.

And I’m pretty sure that “Being Elmo” is going to be so sweet, so poignant.

Reading
I bought Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” at Target, and trust me: this book will cure whatever ails you.  Except maybe kennel cough.

A few years back, Rod bought me “I’m Down,” and I still laugh when I think about certain parts.

Also, my good friend Annie Downs is currently blogging a 31-day series on courage, and I’m loving it.  Mostly it’s just because I miss Annie Downs all the way to Scotland, which is where she is currently living, and getting a virtual dose of her every day in October is doing my heart good.

Listening
This one’s tough for me, since I’m obsessed with songs that gut me – I am masochism personified.

I have had to curb my repeat-listens of Jill Andrews’ “Sinking Ship,” because oh man, it’s cutting deep.  She has this line that’s like, “You told me lies with your hands and the truth with your lips,” and I’m like, “Oh my word” because she must have read my diary.  And then she says this thing about, “I’m searching, now not finding a better part of me, ’cause I want it back,” and that’s it.  I can no longer function.

So maybe don’t listen to that one.

But definitely listen to “Heart of the World” by Lady Antebellum.

And Sara Groves‘ latest, “Invisible Empires,” is just… so good.  “Open My Hands” is a current favorite track, as well as “Obsolete.”

And you should for sure listen to songs by Marc Scibilia.  I don’t really know how to get your hands on his music, but go on a hunt to find “Something Good in This World” and “How Bad We Need Each Other” and “Ain’t My Home.”  This guy knows what’s up.

What about you – know of anything non-sad that we should check out?

*When I was younger, I SO wanted a trash compactor in the kitchen.  Only our rich friends had them, so I associated the trash compactor with wealth, luxury, and ease.  The moral of the story is: kids, please dream bigger dreams.

Itty bitty tidbits

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Something I Googled this morning:
Is kennel cough contagious to humans?

Because – bad news – Kodi has kennel cough.  And also – bad news – it is.

– – – – – – – –

First, “The Pianist” came from Netflix.  Then, “The Piano” came from Netflix.

What in the world.  Why did I choose to watch these back-to-back?  I’m so depressed.  If you happen to know something happy, please share.

– – – – – – – –

I’m so bored of my running playlist (Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” is only SO inspiring – although, let’s be real, it’s pretty damn inspiring).

What are the best songs to run to?  I’m thinking of utilizing this.

– – – – – – – –

Sometimes I miss Nashville so much, I can hardly breathe.  The next day, it’s Seattle.  Today, both are very much true.

But right now, in this moment, I choose to be present in this city, on this day, with these tasks, and these people.

I believe that the future holds good things.

But I also choose to acknowledge that the present holds good things.

It is a choice, you know.

Friday fun facts

Friday, July 15th, 2011

What do you do when it’s Friday, and you have no real brain space or time, but you still want to say things?

You just say them.  All in a row.

Like this…

I got a haircut.  No more mermaid hair – although, correspondingly, no more dead head.

If you have ever prayed, “Dear God, please can there be a movie that combines “The Sandlot” and “Signs” and “Independence Day”?” then guess what.  Your prayer has been answered, and it’s called “Super 8.”  I LOVED IT.

I’m taking the first week of August off of work.  No plans – except to climb as many mountains as I can, and do fun things, and turn 29 years old.

Tom Petty is proof that a man doesn’t have to be attractive to be sexy.  That is just the strangest phenomenon.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to a professional lacrosse game.  I’m never quite sure which sport is lacrosse, and which is rugby, and which is polo.  I feel like all involve grunting?  Time to do some research.

I don’t think I know anyone in Denver with a truck.  Does anyone in Denver have a truck?  (I know – that is the question that every truck-owner doesn’t want to answer.  Except I’m SO nice, and I make very good cookies.)

Lately, I’ve been missing Seattle so much I can barely breathe.  I haven’t been there in almost a year.  This is so wrong.

But it’s pay day.  This is so right.

Where it counts

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.”
-Han Solo

West Nasty

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Nashville Miranda has been visiting this weekend, and on Saturday, we climbed Quandary Peak in our East Nasty shirts.  Miranda did awesome, because she is a hoss, and this brings my 14er total to 13.

Depending on weather, I might climb yet another this coming weekend.  It’s still in the 80s in Denver.  I’m still waiting for fall.

On Saturday night, we saw the movie “Catfish.”  Because the marketing scheme for the movie is “don’t tell anyone what it’s about,” far be it from me to spoil the plot.  But I will contribute to the frenzy and tell you that it’s worth seeing.  The internet is weird – so, so weird.

Messy love

Monday, September 13th, 2010

With my Netflix membership, I wind up watching a lot of crappy movies.  “Noble Things” was awful.  “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” made me want to gouge my eyeballs out.  “Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham” was the hokiest thing I’ve ever seen.  “The Invention of Lying” was I CAN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT.

These are horrible movies.  Never watch them.  I added them to my queue out of curiosity, but curiosity killed the cat and Annie Parsons.

However, I’ve discovered a few gems that are worth mentioning.

The Greatest

Everybody’s Fine

The Boys Are Back

Last Chance Harvey

These are movies about messy people, and painful events, and broken families, and broken hearts – but also, love.  Not Nicholas Sparks love – but complicated, nuanced, imperfect love.  They leave you feeling both sad and hopeful – which, isn’t that just like life?

(Also, when I did a Google search for “‘The Greatest’ movie,” this is what it rendered:

I can’t say that I disagree.)

Little trifles

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

In keeping with my track record of “don’t stay in one place for too long,” I’m flying to Nashville tonight for 10 days.  Josh & Meg are getting married next weekend, so I’m going to work with my wonderful co-workers at headquarters until then.

“Headquarters” sounds so official.  I should mention that said “headquarters” houses multiple hula-hoops and a keg.

I just read that Sandra Bullock is 46 years old.  Excuse me?  Not that that’s old – but some people are hot forever.

Sometimes, CNN.com is the most depressing website ever.  Is there ever any good news?  If you know any, can you tell me about it?

Have you seen “The Cove“?  Did you cry like I did?  It reminded me of how broken this world is, and how “salvation isn’t just about ‘going to heaven.’