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Trading for cantaloupe

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

So, on Saturday –

Wait. Let me back up. I’m currently in Nashville. I drove here.

I was in Minneapolis last week, flew back to Denver Friday night, loaded up the car, and headed east first thing on Saturday morning. A quick stop over at my mom’s house in Kansas City on Saturday night, and another in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon (to see one of my dearest friends, THE Juliette Genteman), and by last night, I was pulling into the driveway of Brandon and Miranda – or as I like to call them, Mirbranda. Everything about this trip has been tops.

Back to Saturday. In the middle of Kansas, I took a detour and wound up at Mushroom Rock State Park – probably the tiniest state park I’ve ever seen (5 acres), and the strangest phenomenon: gigantic alien rocks standing inexplicably in the middle of farmland, an agricultural Stonehenge.


Foxy and I jumped out to snap a few pictures, and – oh. This is where I show you the vehicle I was driving.


Nice and loud, right? It attracts a lot of attention. So I wasn’t surprised when a woman approached me. “You’re from Colorado?” she asked. “I’m heading there tomorrow. Anything I just gotta see?”

She looked to be about 65, maybe a little older. She was driving a little white pickup with Florida plates, the topper on the back packed to the brim with her things. Her spunk was all too clear, as I soon learned that she was en route to Wyoming to work on a ranch for a few months – much to the worry of her children.

“But you know, I just tell them, you’re only old once!” And she laughed with her entire body.

I asked her to take a picture of Foxy and me in front of the rocks, and she was happy to oblige, calling for the dog’s attention: “Roxy! Roxy!” I didn’t bother to correct her.

As I was leaving, I pulled out a box of bars and offered them to her. Her eyes wide, she immediately raised both of her hands, fingers spread, and aimed her palms at me: “Oh, nooooo, I couldn’t possibly accept!” I told her that it was okay, that I work for the company, and that part of what I do is give stuff away. I opened the box and showed her all of the different flavors, and said, “Please take them!”

She thought about it for a second, and then said, “Well, do you like cantaloupe?”

And before I knew it, she reached into the bed of her pickup and pulled out half a melon, covered in foil.

“Oh, that’s okay –” I started, but she cut me off. “No, take it! Fresh from the farmer’s market this morning.” And with that, I traded a box of bars for half a cantaloupe – because don’t you want to live in a world where melon is currency?

I opened the car door and Foxy jumped in, the lady calling after her, “Bye, Rocky!” And then she turned to me and said, “Remember – don’t talk to strangers. We never met.” I smiled and laughed and said, “I won’t tell if you won’t tell,” as I buckled up and got ready to leave.

When I started to pull away, I noticed her next to the car waving her arms. I stopped and rolled down the window. She trotted up alongside to say, “Don’t forget a spoon.” And she handed me a plastic spoon, because maybe I’d want to eat the cantaloupe out of my lap while flying down the interstate.

I never caught her name.

Road trip recap

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I drove to Kansas City this weekend – and you know what that means:

On the road again from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

I’m sorry that the video was only 52 seconds long, but… no, you know what, no I’m not.  That’s about all you need to be subjected to.

Besides this (glorious) video, the only other eventful things that happened on the drive were watching a bird get completely OBLITERATED by a Camry (we’re talking: cloud of feathers, body ricocheted into the median), and calling Becca in a panic to ask who the fifth member of the Backstreet Boys was (why did I forget about Howie? Oh. Probably because he’s Howie).

When I showed up for Sarah‘s college graduation, my mom told me I looked like a flower.  I kind of felt like a flower.


Micah and Tyler have their summer buzz cuts, and it’s clear that they adore their aunties.


Sarah is now officially a college graduate and a real live nurse.  We have her with us back in Colorado for a few weeks, but she has a one-way ticket to Haiti next month.  Little sister, prepare to be smothered by us.


Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

I arrived home last night to 2 dead flies on my bedroom carpet, and one crawling on the wall above my closet. I killed it with my bible study book. Then, I discovered 4 more humongous, buzzy black flies in my bathroom. I shut them in there in hopes that when I woke up in the morning, they would have died of natural causes.

This morning, I opened the door to find them multiplied. There were 7 flies in the bathroom.

I mean, really? Seven flies? What is the deal?

And thus began the most boring blog of all time.

I can’t help it, though. After so much driving, so little sleep, so many miles, and such a numb derrière, I don’t even know the date. My brain is oatmeal. In fact, Dani sent me some homemade oatmeal in the mail (thanks, Dani!), and when I got home last night and opened the box, I mistook it for granola and POURED IT IN MY MOUTH.

A mouth full of dry oats is shockingly difficult to swallow.

Now, I would just like to pause and give all glory, laud, and honor to my 1990 Honda Accord, which delivered me safely to Colorado and back without a hitch. There have always been naysayers, pessimists, skeptics when it comes to belief in the Honda’s reliability, but I have never doubted it; it is the Engergizer Bunny.  It passed 200,000 miles in central Kansas, right by those gigantic energy windmills that look like something out of Transformers. Jeremy told me about a YouTube video of one exploding, so I looked it up, and now I’m terrified to drive that way again.

Now that I’m back, there is a lot to catch up on. If you’ve ordered an EP in the past couple of days, they’re going out today – I’m so sorry for the delay! If you haven’t ordered an EP, you should.

No, I probably won’t stop talking about it for awhile.  Like Bobby Brown, it’s my prerogative.

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.


Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Micah: Knock knock!

Annie: Who’s there?

Micah: Cup!

Annie: Cup who?

Micah: Cup that meets the water!

The sad truth about scabby knees

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

I arrived back in Kansas City last night to find my nephews, Micah and Tyler, spending the night at my parent’s. SLEEPOVER! I know that I say this all the time, but there is nothing that brings me more joy than spending time with those little nuggets.

Late in the evening, Tyler, who is 2 1/2, stubbed his toe. His face was this heartbreaking mix of shock and pain, because can you imagine? Stubbing your toe for the first time? And the unbelievable amount of agony that occurs? He was traumatized.

To curtail the tears and take his mind off of his aching toe, I quickly lied down on the floor with him and said, “Tyler, wanna see MY owie?” I rolled up my jeans to show him my bruised and scabbed knee. He, being the sweetest child alive, quickly said, “Don’t worry, I will kiss it.”

Now, picture this. He and I are lying side-by-side on the living room floor, my pant leg is rolled up past my knee – and my mom walks over, manhandles my calf, and bends it back over my body toward Tyler’s waiting lips. I am resistantly folded in half, because no, I’m sorry, my body does not willingly bend that way. I cry out in discomfort, but Tyler is eager to kiss my knee, so Mom pushes harder. I yowl, she pushes, he waits with his little lips puckered, and the human angle becomes smaller and smaller and smaller.

Finally, his lips connect with my knee.

And he declares, “Hmmm, it’s kind of furry.”

Confessions of a lazy dog walker

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a responsible soul. I show up when I say I will. I get things done. I check things off a to-do list like no one else. I do more than my fair-share of the class project. I help with the dishes, I pay my bills, I always restock the toilet paper.

But nobody’s perfect.

There are a few instances in which my diligence and responsibility are lacking. When my paper coffee cup is empty, I’ll sometimes leave it on the grocery store shelf, as I am too lazy to find a trash can (and hello – I have shopping to do). I have been known to throw my gum out of the car window – which is risky if you believe in “gum karma,” as I do. I am a firm believer that if one disposes of their gum in an irresponsible way, they will step in something sticky within 6 months. Don’t believe me? I dare you to try it.

However, the most audacious and careless thing that I do involves taking dogs on walks. Friends, I cannot bring myself to clean up dog poop. The conscientious dog-walker comes prepared with grocery sacks, ready to swoop down and scoop up whatever mess has been left in the neighbor’s flower garden. But I? Stand there, feigning ignorance, looking around casually until the dog is done doing his business. And then we swiftly walk away.

This is awful – I know it. It is disrespectful and rash. But the thought of cleaning it up is just so gross. I cannot handle the act of handling crap. Short of lugging an actual shovel with me, cleaning up after the dog would require me to actually feel the still-warm poop through the plastic bag. And that, my friends, is something that I am just unwilling to do.

However, I am beginning to believe that the same principle that comes into play with “gum karma” is true in this case, as well. Let’s call it “crap karma.”

This morning, I took Rowdy, the largest of my parent’s dogs, on a long walk. As usual, he did his business – in several carefully manicured lawns – and we quickly moved on. As we continued along the bike path, we came to a stretch of asphalt that falls underneath some power lines. And this is what I saw:

I should have known. But similar to Daniel in the Lion’s Den, or Natalie Maines at a concert in Dallas, I marched boldly into the line of fire. And you guys, quite literally, a shit storm ensued.

It was a Hiroshima of excrement. Droppings dropping all around me, I squealed and ran, Rowdy oblivious to the absolute HORROR that we were experiencing. It was as if the sky opened up and God boomed, “REPENT, ye woman of unclean morals… and unclean shirt, haha!”

Luckily, my hair remained untouched. But my shirt is most definitely splattered. And sadly, I STILL don’t know if this experience will be enough for me to start cleaning up after the dogs. I mean, I have my standards.

"Good Thing": a short script*

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

[Overland Park, KS – 92 degrees outside. Annie, Micah, and Tyler in 1990 Honda Accord; A at wheel, M & T in matching side-by-side car seats on back seat. Cookie crumbs and juice boxes litter floorboards; car reeks of residual dog vomit. Vehicle idling at stoplight, next to large grey Buick.]

Micah: Whoa.

Annie: What?

Micah: That is a terrible nose.

[A turns her head to the right to see Old Woman in Buick: cropped silver hair, large sunglasses, elephantine schnoz.]

Annie: [stifling laugher] Micah, that’s not very nice.

Micah: [eyes wide, mouth agape] But… look… it’s huge.

[A stares straight ahead, laughter tugging at corners of her mouth, mulling over proper response. Knows she must simultaneously validate M’s observation, as well as use situation to teach about manners and benevolence.]

Annie: You’re right. It is a huge nose. But isn’t it great that God gave her a nose to smell with? And how else would she keep those sunglasses on her face?


Annie: You can notice that she has a big nose, and think it in your head. But it’s never nice to tell someone that they have a big nose – it might hurt their feelings.


Micah: [solemnly] Good thing the window was up.

Tyler: [grinning] Good fing!

[And scene.]

*May be acted out in the comfort of your own living room.

I-35 South

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Here I sit, in a Red Roof Inn in Austin, Texas. I am here with my sister Becca and her adorable puppy dog Gabe after an 11 hour drive south from Kansas City.

On Monday, Becca will have her first day of dog training school at Triple Crown Dog Academy. If thoughts of “dog training school” leave you at a loss, then don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Becca herself wrote a great blog about her dubious thoughts about what this experience might be like. I? Think that it’s rad that she’s following her passion.

To be honest, I felt a bit hesitant to take this trip with Becca and Gabe today. Last week, Gabe barfed all over the back seat of my Honda – rivers and fountains of chunky brown liquid that soaked into my upholstery and pooled in the space between the seat and the door – and the scent isn’t giving any indication that it will fade in the future… ever. The last thing in the world that I wanted was a repeat scenario. But today, the three of us lived out my wildest road tripping dreams: in Becca’s black Toyota Tacoma, driving south, with a dog, listening to music, seeing places I had never seen before. The only thing that would have made it more fun is if our other siblings could have been along – but we settled for a phone call to Sarah, urgently asking for directions to a coffee establishment in Edmond, Oklahoma. Gabe was a perfect angel, except when he decided that he NEEDED to hang out on my lap, which meant that his furry butt was in my face.

Now, since you have probably been craving a list from me, I give you:

“Things I saw on the way to Austin”:

* swarms of birds, “Planet Earth” style, between Kansas City and Wichita
* a billboard: “Just say yes to Jesus… or REGRET IT FOREVER,” in northern Oklahoma
* Oklahoma City, which is the site of the fabled Oklahoma City Bombing… and this nightmare
* so many Subway franchises, I couldn’t count
* “The Auto Ranch” north of Dallas, which, as far as I could tell, is just a sprawling field where cars go to die
* a billboard: “Call us for your Vasectomy Reversal: 1-713-REVERSE,” south of Ft. Worth
* a bumper sticker: “Cowboys for Jesus” (I should get the female counterpart for my Honda)
* a rest-stop painted as the flag of Texas, complete with matching trash cans
* Waco, Texas – two words: David Koresh
* a shirt in a truck stop: “Silly boys – trucks are for GIRLS!” (I almost bought it for Becca)

Tomorrow, we’ll drop Gabe at a doggie daycare at a local Petsmart, and head out to see the city. Imagine me all Sandra Bullock-esque, in a long flowing skirt and a tank top with cool, funky jewelry.

That’s how I’ve always imagined Austin.

Lest I get a big head

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

It’s hard work to be a model. I should know.

My sister-in-law, Ashley Parsons, generously took an entire Sunday afternoon to help me out with a photo shoot for, well, “my career,” I guess. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to “packaging” myself, I am severely uncomfortable. I have never wanted to be famous, never wanted to be in the spotlight – and yet I know that the package deal is what I have to do, even if just want to sing harmonies and write songs about unrequited love.

That said, Ashley did a kick-ass job of making me look good. When did my legs get so long? When did I get so stylish? Oh. Just Sunday afternoon when Ashley worked her magic. She is seriously so talented. If you’re getting married, book her. If you want a family portrait, book her. If you are having a baby, book her. If you just want to have a really fun time, she is your girl.

See here for some selections and a slideshow from the shoot. Killer shots. But lest I get a big head, here are some special, exclusive shots for you, my blog readers:

And of course, we all know that this girl?

Is actually just this girl: