the reason

I’ve written about PK before. That she is my best friend. That I’ve known her the longest of any friends. That her wedding caused me panic attacks. And that she doesn’t read my blog.

She is a simple friend. Simple in how she befriends, how she listens, how she advises, and how she loves, distantly. Every time I leave her I am bettered. Time with her is healing. Somehow she calms me. Somehow she gives me a bit of peace. It isn’t anything she says. It isn’t anything she does. It’s just her.

Writing this, I am tearing thinking about what I am about to say. PK is the reason that I know I am worthy of love. PK is reason I know that somewhere out there, there is love for me that is great and good and healing and calm. Somehow, PK gives me the hope and feeling that love does not have to elude me.

Trust is something I don’t give out easily. Love is something I don’t receive well. PK has my trust and I think I let her love, a little bit anyway. I know she won’t read this, even though I’ve told her to. But, she should know that she is the reason that I may one day let someone truly love me. I know at least that she does. And I thank her.



we now return to...

I have lots to write. Lots of ideas. Just not now. The Oscars are on people. The Oscars.



in which i pretend not to be freaked out that 30 is looming

I’ve been thinking about 30. Not in the “Oh my God, I’m almost 30, I need botox” sort of way, but still, it’s a little on my mind. I just turned 28, which is really quite young. I don’t really make huge deals about age. Who cares really? But I do think that milestones like 25, 30, and 50 are important ones that should be noted. When I turned 20, I freaked. I remember staying up all night one night in college so obsessed with being 20 that I wrote a poem about it. It was basically about how I felt that I had accomplished nothing in the 1st 2 decades and that I was giving myself 10 years to get a husband, 2.5 children and a picket fence. Well, here we are 8 years later and it ain’t happenin’. My friends tell me to “never say never.” I think I’m saying it, “Never.” I’m not sure the marriage and mom thing are in the cards for me. It’s not that I want them to be. It’s not that I don’t want them to be. I really just want life to unfold as it should. I’ve definitely learned in the 8 years since I wrote the 20 year-old poem that if anything, life should not be about stress and worry that things aren’t happening or haven’t happened yet. Sure, sometimes I stop and realize that I don’t have an endless amount of possibilities before me simply because I’m getting older, but that doesn’t mean that life can’t take new directions. I think when I’m 30, if there be no man in my life then here is what is happening:

1- I’m moving to New York City. Why? Because I can.
2- I’m registering for gifts. Why? Because I’ve given a shitload of wedding presents and it’s my turn.
3- Who the hell knows and who cares. Why? Because life should not be a list of things to do. It should just be.

30, bring it!



in which i pimp myself

I've been doing some work over here. You should go see. And you should open up your heart and wallet. Every girl deserves a Fabulous purse and I'm sure you know a girl or two. BanAnna Knits would appreciate it and I just might send you kisses!




It’s one thing to be disappointed in your name. We all go through this. At one point in our lives we want to change our first name, or middle name, or last name. In 5th grade, my friends and I were obsessed with the name “star.” I’m sure it had something to do with Madonna and her “lucky star.”

I hated being an “Anna.” It was different. I didn’t know any other Anna. I was the sole owner proved by the fact they never made those miniature license plates or plastic key chains with “Anna” on them. The row always skipped from “Ann” to “Amber.” I hated that. I wanted to be a “Sarah” or “Jessica” even though I wasn’t. I was definitely an Anna. And a fabulous one.

Years later I learned to love my name, that is was different, that is was unique. I also began to sneer at other girls named “Anna.” I wanted to be the sole owner. Even though I continued to look for “Anna” on pre-made name necklaces or notepads with pre-printed “From the desk of ____,” I’m secretly happy to see the row skip from “Ann” to “Amber.”

Every girl tries to rename herself through baby names. When she names her baby dolls, her cat, her fish, or her dog, she’s trying out names for future children. I had a lion named Elizabeth and a dog named Meghan. I would, however, no longer use these girls’ names. It’s not really an issue as the prospective or possibility of having children is dwindling as the years pass, but there is one name that I have informed my family that I lay claim to. There is one name that rests in my heart as the perfect girl name. It’s different, it’s unique, and it’s sentimental. It’s Hazel.

It’s antiquated name from the early 1900s and until lately it had not re-surfaced. Julia Roberts, however, has made sure that “Hazel” will now appear on miniature license plates and plastic key chains everywhere. If I ever have a baby girl, she will not be the sole owner of “Hazel.”

She was famous in our family for her pound cakes. Ladened with butter and vanilla, sometimes sour cream, they were fabulous. My memories of my Great Aunt Hazel are few and fuzzy, but her pound cakes I remember well. She was gone by the time I was 12 and by then she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years. I remember visiting her in Florida with my brothers and parents. She had no idea who we were, but I remembered her, her small frame, her white hair, and her wrinkled hands with gemmed rings pouring flour and sugar and butter into a bowl to mix. I remember her perfect pound cakes.

Sometimes I feel aligned with her because she was single all her life. I feel like I understand why she never married. I’m sure she has suitors, but for some reason she stood alone. She did the independent thing. And for her age, for her time, that was saying something. She was a radical. She was a free bird.

She lived in Florida next door to her sister and her husband for her retired years. She was in her eighties when she died, but she was not alone. She had a family who loved and supported her and great nieces and nephews who baked with her. She lives on in my mind like I’m sure she would if she had had her own children. Every time I make a pound cake, I think of Aunt Hazel.

I bake with my nieces and nephew. I do it because food is the most amazing thing to share and cooking is the best gift to teach someone. And I do because Hazel did it with me. I pass down the traditions of our family through baking because I have time and lots love to give because I’m single like my Hazel was.

When I think about my single life and worry that it will forever be this way, I think of Hazel. I think that she seemed happy, that she had great jewelry and that she made amazing pound cakes. I think that even if I never have my own little Hazel, I know that I will live on like my hazel did, in the memories of my nieces and nephew.

I only wish and hope that I have a girl one day to pass down the name and the pound cakes. And I will forgive Julia Roberts for her usurping my baby name because maybe she had a great aunt too, who was buried with her jewels and who made taught her to bake by mixing butter and sugar.



he’s a little light in his loafers

Some people say my father is like a teddy bear. He’s got a mustache, a belly, a baldhead, a really bad comb-over, and a quiet mouth. I guess the teddy bear part comes from his belly and his quietness, the way he watches and smiles, but rarely says anything. I guess that’s what your teddy bears do. I never thought of him that way. He’s just my Dad.

Your parents are unquestionable in your mind until a certain age. Around 12 or 13, in the middle of puberty and angst, you realize there are other voices in the world, that other people do life differently. The absolute becomes not so absolute.

I was wandering the other day why it is that I chose teaching. I think that my love for children pushed me toward it. In college a professor asked us if we believed that teaching was a calling. I said “no,” that I did not feel that I was called in some mythical, magical way to teach, that this was the only thing for me to do. But, in reality, it is the only thing I ever really considered. Was it short sightedness or was it simply love?

These days I think more liberally than I ever have. I grew up in a conservative town with a conservative mindset, even feeling that women should not be allowed in all male institutions like VMI. I had strong right wing opinions and they all stemmed from that absolute mentality that my parents were right.

By luck and laziness I would up teaching kids with special needs. I had volunteered with special kids in high school and because my 1st semester grades were so bad in college, I chose to enter the Special Ed. department of the Ed. school betting that they needed Special Ed. teachers so bad, they’d overlook my below their acceptance level GPA. It worked.

In the back of my mind, I thought that I would switch to regular education, but as I took more and more classes and had more and more experience, I found that Special Ed. was where I belonged. It had nothing to do with a calling or feeling like a savior. It had to do with simple love. For some reason, I gravitate to these kids, these people. I truly love them. They are beautiful. They are what make this world so amazing to me.

And so my liberalism comes more from love than from true politics. I’ve bent more toward a party or persuasion that is less likely to use words like “queer,” or “light in his loafers.” And to think that those words came from such a quiet teddy bear, but I never thought of him that way. He’s just my Dad.



smoke ‘em out

I’m sure that Bush has nothing to do with what is going on in my apartment building, but I think he’d like the whole gist of it. The person below me, whom I have never ever seen, smokes like a chimney and it seems that my apartment is the flew. I hate sitting in my apartment smelling smoke. I can barely handle it in bars much less my own house. I hate smoking. Hate. It. I know I’m not a terrorist, but I’m wondering just why I’m being smoked out of my own home.




It came. It went. No fanfare. There was the odd card from mom, box of chocolates from a principal, and bobblehead from a friend, but alas, no true valentine. I’d like to think that I’m bitter toward this day. I’m not. I’m indifferent. I don’t believe in the made-up version of professing your love on one certain day. It’s really like a reminder for men who can’t remember dates. How can you forget Valentine’s Day? The marketing geneses of the world are there to help you. So, if you screwed up your anniversary or maybe a birthday, it’s ok, V-day will take care of it.

A friend at work said she was not looking forward to the annual flowers that her husband would surely send her. She wanted something different, something that showed he was thinking. She said the first 2 years of V-day flowers were nice, but now the expected is blasé. I had no reaction to this discussion. Needless to say, by 3pm when I left her classroom, no flowers had arrived.

In college a friend with the double first name of Nell Frances (she’s Texas royalty) said that V-day to her was more a friendship day. She would sit in our dorm suite or dorm room writing notes in large valentine cards to her friends. She said she thought of V-day as a day where you tell your friends how much you love them, not just one significant person in your life. I always liked her take on the day.

When I was little my mother always made us something for V-day. It was something small and homemade. The one I remember the most was a giant red heart that she had cut out of construction paper and taped Hershey kisses all over and wrote happy valentine’s day. She'd left in my room so I'd see it when I woke up that morning. Now, she sends cards and sometimes there is money in them. Really, I miss the homemade things and the chocolate kisses. She always signs, “We Love You, Mom and Dad.” I doubt Dad even knows.

A few years ago I went to see the “Vagina Monologues” with an married friend. I believe her husband was out of town and thus I won her date. I think she was a bit embarrassed by the topics. It was a fitting topic for V-day in my mind. It opened up my mind to what women should really talk about. It certainly prepared me for my future love of “Sex and The City.”

At five minutes to midnight on V-day today, I’m going to bed. With no one to kiss goodnight or say thank you for my flowers I’ll send a kiss to blogland and wish you love and happiness. May your true valentines be plenty and may you cherish them everyday.



in a hand basket

Palm fronds from Palm Sunday are burned and those ashes are used to mark the foreheads of the pious that attend mass on a particular Wednesday. From this day, for forty days, the pious will relinquish something in their life that will cause them suffering so as to align themselves with Christ. On Fridays, they will go without meat as well, a dietary addition to the suffering.

I am not Catholic and although I was raised as a Christian I have never observed Lent. The giving up of chocolate or sodas or deserts never seemed to me a very religious observance. It all seemed so silly and therefore I never questioned why my church didn’t condone the practice. Chocolate isn’t something that without it, your life will be incomplete. The point of Lent to me would seem that the thing you give up, the thing that will align you with Christ will leave a void in your life. That void will then cause you to reflect and pray and study. Chocolate and sodas, while they can become a habit to be broken, will never leave such a void. They are a desire; a want, not a need and they can easily be replaced by other desires, other wants.

What then, in our world, could we give up that would cause suffering and create a void? How about heat? It seems crazy and silly, but what better way to force piety and reflection? What better way to suffer? I know that this is not what we mean by Lent today. We don’t really want to suffer; we observe it because it has become a tradition. We miss the meaning.

I am not observing Lent this year because I never have and I have only a handful of friends who are. One friend has decided to give up cursing. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot. She’s barely Catholic in that she goes to mass on Christmas and Easter and on Ash Wednesday she forgot that she wasn’t suppose to eat meat and she wasn’t upset about it. She’s replaced her curse phrases with “son of a biscuit eater,” and “shut the front door.” She is a kindergarten teacher and while she has never and never would curse in front of the children, she can now use these phrases in class because unless you think she’s trying to curse, you have no idea what she’s talking about.

I’ve been thinking about giving up the f-word. I use it too much. It’s become as common as the word “the.” Well, it’s not that bad but I need to tone it down. I use it with my friends too much, on my blog too much. I’ve become desensitized to bad language. That’s not a good thing. It’s certainly not ladylike. So, for a while at least, I’m saying goodbye to the f-word. He will be surely missed. But maybe his death is not in vain. Maybe his death will keep me from going to h-e-l-l in a hand basket.




My cousin is the B. of the B. and R. featured on this page . They are the third couple down. She looks so beautiful and they look so happy. They are so happy. And I was happy to be a part of all of it. The magazine did a great 2 page spread on them. Our family is proud. The spread is pink and purple, so girly and lucious and it pops the black and white photos. And to borrow from that precious Shake and Bake commercial, "It's Carolina Bride and I helped."




“K is coming tomorrow!!!!!!!!” I shout to two friends sitting in my living room on Thursday night. While I’m talking to her I realize that my second bedroom looks like a bomb exploded and then she tells me she’ll be here when I get home from work. That means: I’ll be up all night cleaning. Fuck. And awesome, my birthday week is beginning.

I’ve never been a birthday person. Save for my 21st, I never made a fuss about it. I don’t make it a point to let everyone know the day is coming. I don’t demand parties or dinners or even a “happy birthday.” I have issues with the whole center of attention part of it. I’d rather just treat it as another day. This year however, my best friend decided to come down for the weekend. “OK,” I thought, “we’ll make this a thing.”

The spoiling really began on Wednesday when my Dad took me out to dinner and cheesecake with my brother and nieces and nephews. It was great going to a nice restaurant with kids literally running circles around the table. Classy.

On Friday morning I’m sitting in the teacher’s lounge working on paperwork when a little boy comes up to me and hands me flowers. He’s with his father, the school’s art teacher. The both tell me “happy birthday.” I am blown away. I profusely say “thank you.” I don’t think I’ve ever said two words to this teacher and I certainly don’t know his son. I’m flabbergasted and slightly in love. Flowers can make your knees weak.

K arrives on Friday shortly after I get home and fall asleep. She stands at my front door calling all my numbers because my “dead to the world” self is not waking up. I finally drag myself to the door and apologize. Then I let her know that I will be cleaning the room she is sleeping in at some point tonight if in fact she plans to sleep in that room. I first teach her to knit, to keep her busy while I clean. We then venture out to my favorite place in town for sushi and tater tots. That’s right, sushi and tater tots. We ordered a bucket of tots and I can safely say that I never want to eat a tater tot again even though they were damn good. Back at home, I cleaned while K knit. We talked and I cussed every once in awhile because she’s informed me that my boy crush is dating his ex-girlfriend again. Fuck boys. I scream this randomly and often.

I wake up late on Saturday, fix breakfastlunch, shower, and we go to the spa. We’re late for our hour massage when means we only get 45 minutes. We are pissed at ourselves. We get a massage in the same room. K informs me that this is actually weird, that usually the room is used for couples. We decide to pretend to be lesbian lovers. During the 45 minutes of rubbing I realize that this massage therapist has touched more surface area and just more than well, anyone. That’s weird. After the massage we put on robes and feel drunk and tired. We sit in rocking chairs and drink water and try to come back to life. We then get hour-long facials. During this hour I will think things like “Are you kidding me? This is the best thing in the history of best things. You should get paid for this. Damn!” Needless to say, the facial is my favorite part. Our manicures are done and after this we head home for showers and dinner out with more friends. K and I are too tired to shower. We realize that a spa day takes it out of you and we will actually be Pretty K and Pretty Anna for the night (which means we’ll go out without showers). We rationalize that we took showers in the morning and that we are in fact clean. We are ignoring the layer upon layer upon layer of lotions and shit that has been slathered on us all day.

Dinner requires detours as the first restaurant we try has a 2 to 2 1/2 wait. Are you kidding us? We end up at a place that sits us immediately, but has shitty service. The food is OK, but my friends take the bill. I am thankful and a bit pissed. I’m not good at the receiving of gifts thing. We then go for ice cream in lue of birthday cake. It’s fabulous. We head home for a girls night in. My head hurts and I’m exhausted. These are side effects of the massage. I struggle to stay awake for my guests. I pass out quickly.

Sunday morning is breakfast out with K. Then the phone calls begin. I love hearing from family and friends. I feel loved. Then there is a super bowl dinner thrown in my birthday honor. It is fabulous and delicious even though I leave at halftime because I’m just exhausted. It’s been an amazing weekend. I’ve eaten and eaten out more in the last week than I have in six months. The unexpected gifts, ecards, cards, presents, flowers made my life. I love everyone. You spoil me. You all rock. I wish I had everyone around me like this everyday.



happy birthday me

I’ve known Me since the day I was born. I believe she came into the world with a smile and a laugh shortly followed by a scream that made her mother mad. I’m not so sure of the details even though I was there, but I’m sure there was a lot of smiling and screaming.

Growing up, Me was prissy. There were times that she would change her clothes 5 times in a day. She was skinny and had long brown hair. She was a gorgeous girl. She now prefers no makeup and her hair pulled back, but there are days that high heels, curlers, pearls, mascara, and a fabulous purse are necessary. Actually, everyday a fabulous purse is necessary.

Me is funny. She’ll always try to make you laugh. She’ll make fun of herself and certainly of you and you will forget the stress of life. At least, she hopes you will.

Me loves music. She gets this from her brothers and she’s proud of those connections. Chances are she loves what you’re listening too even when she hates it. She listens to pop radio, but knows that this is not were musical talent lies, it’s in the backstreets and underground. She hopes you’ll be adventurous too and listen to the mixes she makes. She’ll introduce you to good stuff.

Me is kind. She’ll talk to you for hours on end because you just need someone to listen and she’ll be honest with her advice. You may not want to hear, but she means no harm. She'll write about you in her blog, but she'll never complain. She'll give you birthday blogs because she wants the world to see how much she loves you.

Me is fabulous. She’s got so much inside her that so many people love. She’s not sure why they do, but she’s damn glad they are there to tell her these things. Without her friends and cousins, Me is only a fraction of her fabulous self. She is not conceded. She’s just fabulous. So there.

Me loves you and wishes you happiness on her day of days.

Happy Birthday Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



spa day

A day at a spa. Oh. My. God. Will blog about it later.



bloggity bloggity

My best friend doesn’t read my blog. I’ve tried on many occasions to point her here, to spark her interest and to keep her coming back. Nothing works. Her husband is more interested in my blog than she is. I’m not sure how to take it. I know that it frustrates me and makes me a bit sad. My best friend doesn’t read my blog. The thing is is that we have been hella best friends for 12 years. It’s not like she just popped up and I latched on. She’s been there for some shitty stuff and I’ve there for her shitty stuff. I guess my question is why? What is it about blogging that can turn some friends away? Is it too personal? Is it that they know you too well? Is it that reading about the nuisances of your good friend’s life while you’re not there is strange? None of my good friends have blogs. One attempted and after 4 posts, she quit. Bloggity, bloggity, indeed. (Well, there is Kristen, listed on the right, but she’s a new friend and fellow teacher.) But, if my old, good friends blogged, I’d read. I’d read with a vengeance. I’d comment, I’d email, and if something written was phenomenal or questionable, I’d call. That ain’t happened up in here. There are plenty friends who don’t read it or only read from time to time. I can deal with that. But the friends who do read, I’m growing closer to them. I’m learning more about them too because of what they read. It’s amazing what blogging can do for your soul. But, my best friend doesn’t read my blog. It feels like there is this big part of my life that she’s not part of. That is what makes me sad. I share everything with her and I talk about the blog with her. Still, no visits. She's visiting me literally this weekend for a spa weekend care of my birthday. I may bring it up. I may just ask her while we’re on separate massage tables, heads facing the floor, why she chooses to ignore this part of me. What is it about blogging that turns friends away? My best friend doesn’t read my blog.



i promise not to lie to you

The tree is gone. In it's wake are little remnants of the Christmas life it once led. The place it occupied for WAY TOO FUCKING LONG looks so void now. It's hard to get used to. However, I've learned that when a vaccuum tells you that the bag is full, you need to listen to it. I've learned that cleaning up after the death of ancient Christmas tree is no fun. Oh, but what is fun when all life's little quirks are gone? I wouldn't be me or have a funny story to tell if I hadn't left that damn tree rotting there for so long. So there.

And can anyone tell me why the right side, aka the sidebar, is all wonky? I straightened some things out and it seems they unstraightened themselves and I idea how to fix it. And sorry.



happy birthday m.m.

M. is a fellow teacher new to the Kindergarten team, but seasoned in the profession in general. She bumped down from third grade and I believe the 5 year-olds are much easier on her. She now has to worry about kids peeing on themselves rather than them cursing her out. Well, sometimes that too, in our school at least.

She just got married this past July and I missed her wedding. Why? Because she knew I just had too many weddings to attend and the bank account was low. Really, it was because we were barely friends. We knew each other, but not well enough to extend a wedding invitation. In September, after our first outing as “friends” she said she had wished she had invited me, but I quickly said that it was OK, that I couldn’t have afforded the hotel bill. I really didn’t care, until lately, after we’ve become much better friends and I’ve helped her paint and ready her old house for selling and pick out colors for her new house and advised her quite adamantly on a sectional sofa, that I’ve realized I truly missed her wedding.

She’s the big 3-0 today and wants no fanfare, no big hoopla. “OK,” her friends say. She didn’t mention anything about the internet. I hope she’s not embarrassed. Well, yeah, a little.

M. is a low-talker. I have to say it’s her biggest personality trait, that you can never understand her. I can’t imagine going through life hearing people constantly say “what?” to me. Somehow she takes it and quietly repeats herself. Most of the time I’m just guessing at what she’s saying. That’s not really true, but I love to tease her and her low-talking phones.

M. is good at taking my shit. I’m brutally honest about decorating and M. does not get offended. I’m amazed at how well she takes it and still talks to be the next day after I’ve told her that she was “wrong, all wrong.” I’m lucky that her husband agrees with me at times. We’re bonded through paint color.

I’m just happy M. is on the K team and that I get to go to her classroom 3 times a week and teach with her. I’m happy she switched grades cause she would be lost to me in 3rd grade and then I wouldn’t be able to truly miss her wedding. I’m happy she lives down the street from me. I’m not happy that she’s moving to the suburbs (TRAITOR). I’m happy her family owns the best bakery in town and I’ve been there after hours in the dark of night like thieves. I’m just happy she’s around and I hope she’s happy too, especially today.

Happy Birthday M.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Blingo Self-Portrait Day
  • flickr!
  • ~ © Anna ~ it ain't Shakespeare, but it ain't yours either ~