Remembering

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Indicative of things to come

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

One time, when I was 5, we lived next door to a girl my age.  Her grandparents gave her a Popple.  I wanted it so badly that I asserted my Alpha Girl status, and she gave it to me.

A few days later when her grandparents found out she gave it away, they sent her to our house to reclaim it.  As she was carrying it home, I ran down the hallway and, with a flying leap, tackled her to the ground.

My family brings up this story frequently.

Specs

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

When I was a little girl riding my bike over the adobe hills on the outskirts of Montrose, Colorado, and throwing dry ice bombs into the canal behind the house across the street, and trespassing into various fields in the name of bedlam, my Uncle Chester was busy being a ROCKET SCIENTIST at NASA.  No matter what stupidity you read here, let it be known that there is actual intelligence in the Parsons genes.

We lived thousands of miles apart, and saw each other every couple of years before he died in 1991.  I only have a few memories of him from real life, from real interaction – but one thing is for sure: Uncle Chester wore The Glasses.

You know the ones.

The ones that the scientists wore in “Apollo 13.”

The ones that Squints wore in “The Sandlot.”

And… the ones that the cool kids are apparently wearing now?

Every time I see some hipster in The Glasses, I have to chuckle, and then kind of cringe.  Because if by being related to Uncle Chester I claim that I have a fighting chance at brilliance, then I have to admit that one day, I, too, might look like Buddy Holly.

Never rule anything out.

– – – – – – – –

Mom’s surgery went really well last night – thank you for all of your well wishes and prayers.

It’s the little things

Monday, October 26th, 2009

I’ve mentioned Zach before – my crazy friend who recently moved from Seattle to Nashville, who lived on the JAM House floor for awhile, who now has his own place in East Nashville but we still like to see him, etc.  Zach is one of a kind – like a snowflake.  Or a fingerprint.  Or a tracking device in a stray dog’s neck.

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Last night at church, he caught my eye across the room.  In a sea of people, his face was a little bit higher than the rest, stretching his neck to catch my attention.  It reminded me of Goldbug.

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The thought of Zach as Goldbug gave me the giggles.

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I couldn’t wait to tell him.  But after church when I got the chance, it turned out that Zach had never heard of Goldbug.  I went on to explain anthropomorphic animals and “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” and the worm that drove the apple car – and Zach got excited and we high-fived.

Ain’t got time to blog

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

You know that old spiritual, “Ain’t Got Time to Die”?  Right now, I’m hearing it in my head – but changing it to “Ain’t Got Time to Blog.”  Also, a choir of white people is singing it, which adds to the weirdness.

In a way – a way I cannot pinpoint aside from the subject of “counterfeit” – this reminds me of a horribly unauthentic Irish pub in Overland Park, Kansas, called Paddy O’Quigley’s.

One time, just out of curiosity, Jeremy and Ashley and I went.  It was pretty much as bad as we thought it would be – in a strip mall, fake brick walls, neon signs for Michelob Ultra.

But it was all worth it when we found out that Becca thought it was called Patio Quigley’s.

That just makes me happy to remember.

Have you seen that girl?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Lately, I’ve been missing this girl:

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The one who smiled genuine smiles, no matter how crooked.

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The one who went adventuring, even when it was scary.

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The one who believed good things.

The girl who walked 10 miles at a time in the name of exploration.  The girl whose heartbreak inspired action.  The girl who wrote letters and songs and silly poems and messages in the dirt on car back-windshields.  The girl who aimed for “story” instead of “security.”

But last weekend, I found her again for a little while in Boston.

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It was nice to see her again.

Two years

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I left Seattle two years ago today.

Last year, I wrote a big dramatic soliloquy about my feelings.

This year, I honestly don’t know what to say.

I feel flummoxed.

But wherever you go, there you are.

Whatever that means.

In the spirit of picture stories…

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I have this friend named Juliette.

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We met through the internet.

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

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miranda

annied

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allie

marijke

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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!!!!!!!

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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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(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.)

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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.

Halcyon gone wrong

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

You know how sometimes, a long-forgotten memory will make its way to the surface for no apparent reason?  All of a sudden, the scene is playing in your mind – like a film projector on an old bed sheet, nostalgic home video remembrances of life before you knew the things you know now.

The other day, that was happening for me.  I was seeing our Dalmatian, Princess, and games on what must have been the original Apple computer, and Otter Pops from the freezer in the garage, and the orange tree in our old backyard, and trips to the Dairy Queen on our bikes, and summer nights in the backyard, and getting beaten up by the deaf girl in 1st grade…

WAIT A SECOND.

It totally threw a wrench in my gears, a hitch in my giddy-up.  I was beaten up?  In 1st grade?  By the deaf girl?

(Let it be known that these days, I would absolutely, 100% use the term “hearing impaired.”  But remember, I am being transported back to 1989, when I didn’t know anything about being politically correct.  I also didn’t know that you shouldn’t swallow toothpaste – but I digress.)

The last time I checked, I do not have multiple personalities… yet… and so I’m not quite sure how this memory got repressed for all these years only to surface two decades later.  But just like that, in the middle of my work-day, I was transported back to recess in 1st grade, on the playground at Oster Elementary, scared every single day that the deaf girl from 2nd grade was going to beat me up again.

She had pigtails.  She had hearing aids.  And she had it out for me.

I never got up the nerve to tell anyone.  I just went on being afraid every day.  And I don’t know that I’ve ever been so relieved as the day when a playground aid caught the little shrew in the act, and made sure she never touched me again.

Hey, if I was forced to re-live this story, then you can be sure that I would subject you to it, too.  What else is a blog audience for?

And two more nubbins:
–    I fly to Seattle tonight.
–    My East Nasty of the Week column will be resurrected next week.

Steady goes

Monday, May 4th, 2009

There have been a lot of times in the past several years when I have needed courage.  Between the ending of relationships, and a solo cross-country move, and feeling so alone I could barely breathe, and being relatively destitute, and getting roommates, and starting to share my music for the first time, and introducing myself to hundreds of new people, and continually putting myself out there… I have been through a lot of big, dramatic, grandiose transition.  Change is scary.

But for me, change is not the scariest thing.

In recent months, a lot of things have fallen into place for me.  I’m on stable ground.  I have a home, and a Tennessee family, and a great job, and a feeling of belonging.  I know my way around the city, and I’m involved in my church and various other groups, and I feel very much a part of the fabric of my Nashville community.  Things are steady.

Then why is my first instinct to run?

I’m finding that staying put requires a lot more courage than leaving.

Friends old and new

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

My friend Matt is in his second year at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, and the other day, he emailed me saying, “I miss Seattle more and more. Yet, sadly, it’s becoming more of a memory than an old reality.” What an unfortunate truth – and one that has been sneaking into my own way of thinking in recent days. Seattle will always, always be home. But all of a sudden, it feels further away. I hear about the things that my friends are doing, and the new people that they have met, and I see pictures of them having fun in my favorite places, and it all just feels so… far.

I know that my friends will always be my friends. But space changes things. Distance changes things. Time pulls certain people and circumstances away, away, away, like taffy – and the longer we try to hold on, the more stretched we become.

But when we learn to let go – when we choose to let go – we find other hands to hold. They are not replacements. They are not the same. But they are wonderful and beautiful in their own unique ways – ways that no one else could be – and they are walking a parallel path to mine in this new chapter. I have found some of these people, and I am so grateful. And as my friend Emily mused about her own life in a recent email, “I don’t want to miss this good season because of selfishness or envy.” Me neither.

My friend Joel wrote to me, “I think that if you take steps, at every opportunity, towards your dreams, you generally find that somewhere along the way, you’re actually living the dream.” All of the little steps that I have taken since leaving Seattle have led me to where I am now – 10 months into a new life in Nashville, new relationships, a new perspective. I am not the same girl that I was when I arrived – this time has changed me. I have seen sides of myself that I never knew existed – and some that I would never care to see again. I have doubted and despaired, and I have lived and laughed. Many, many times, I have cried – and I know that I will cry again.

But today – beautiful today – the tears are nowhere to be seen. And today, I feel like I am living the dream. So take it from me. If you are thinking of making a life change or taking the plunge or chasing a dream, do it. It’s never easy. But it’s always worth it.

And my new friends are making this whole thing so much more fun.