you’re jealous

I’m going to see Coldplay. Nah.



it's all over but the cookin'

I love to cook. It's just one more reason to add to the thirty nine thousand other ones that I should be settled with little ones running about. Not that being domestic = babies = bliss, because I feel that there are probably some amazing domesticates who never marry or have children. It's just that cooking for one, or even just friends, is not all that thrilling. Sometimes I yearn to nourish people, like fulltime.

Anyway, so tonight I made chicken curry. I used a jar of premaid curry paste, but really it's all from scratch, sorta. I've done the from scratch thing and for the time it takes, the premaid paste is better. When I started making curries I used what the recipe called for, basil, which I completely and utterly love. Then I was watching Tyler Florence who said to put Cilantro in the mix. Now I love basil, but Cilantro, oh heck no, I hella love that stuff. I'd eat it for salad, not on salad, as salad, but I think that might over doing it. So, when Cilantro came onto the scene I changed my recicpe, I made it my own. I love it when I do that. It makes me feel like I really can cook and you only wish you had some of this.



do the shuffle

I totally stole this meme from Petit Hiboux. I liked the idea of a sort of magic eight ball even though I do not in any way believe in that stuff. With this little game, you simply put your iPod, or in my case, your Shuffle, on random and see how it helps you answer the following questions. Well, since my Shuffle is only suppose to shuffle, I thought it might be an expert. I’m not so sure after this little game.

1. What do you think of me, Random Music Player?
Either Way by Guster

Thanks Shuffle, I could go either way with you too now that Nano has come around. So, ha.

2. Will I have a happy life?
Love Ridden by Fiona Apple

Great, so you’re telling me that trying to attain happiness will only let me down so I should just let that go now. Thanks Shuffle, Nano’s lookin’ even better.

Oh maybe Shuffle is wise beyond it’s gigabytes and it’s really telling to stop reaching and searching and that happiness will land, somehow, on my doorstep. Or maybe that’s me being romantic.

3. What do my friends really think of me?
Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Well Shuffle, you’re all doom and gloom and then you tell me that my friends think I’m fabulous and then I start loving you again. Thanks for that song. I needed that.

4. What does my S.O. think of me?
We Will Become Silhouettes by The Postal Service

Even though this is a nil question for me, I tempted fate. Maybe we’re looking into the future a bit and apparently, while an upbeat and happy melody is about, the man in this song has locked himself INSIDE his house and has gone a bit crazy.

5. Do people secretly lust after me?
Clocks by Coldplay

Wow, apparently nothing else compares to me. And I am home.

6. How can I make myself happy?
Banana Split for My Baby by Louis Primo

Oh Shuffle, you know me tooooooooo well!

7. What should I do with my life?
As I’m Leaving by David Gray

What? I should leave and start over. I’ve done that before. I don’t really want to do it again. I’m getting old and I’m tired so I am decidedly not leaving. But, maybe, NYC is always calling. And London, my London.

8. Why must life be so full of pain?
Hoping, Longing, Waiting by Agents of Good Roots

Well, that's just fitting.

9. How can I maximize my pleasure during (censored- I don’t talk about such things)?
Baker Baker by Tori Amos


10. Can you give me some advice?
Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys

Funny thing is, today of all days, THAT song is appropriate.

11. What do you think happiness is?
Sleeping In by The Postal Service

Yeah, I think happiness is a Postal Service song too. Oh wait, you mean sleep. Well, I pretty much hold that sleep is second only to Nirvana so there you go.

12. Do you have any advice to give over the next few hours/days?
A Clean Pair of Eyes by David Gray

The only thing that I can garner from this is that you want me to go see David Gray in concert on Monday in DC, but I decided not to do that. So Shuffle, shhhhhhhhhhhh.

13. Will I die happy?
Stay or Leave by Dave Matthews

Leave it to my old pal Dave to wrap that up for me in heartache. Great.

I haven’t listened to my Shuffle in a way long time and now I’ve just spent about an hour with it, cooking and reading blogs and I have to say that 1- I listen to some good music and 2- Shuffle rocks my socks off.



today's mantra

"Learn from this. Grow from this. Let this be your lesson."

And when I did let that idea sink in and do what my friend L. says, sep-a-rat-e, something good happens. And the weather outside is amazing and makes me want to hiking. And hiking isn't far off from a useful metaphor for stuff right now. It's just another moutain in life and I'm putting on my climbing shoes.



listing to the right a bit

1- My father sent an email forward with the subject: "How to have a happy marraige." I didn't open it.

2- Liz Phair's new song that did or will appear on Desperate Housewives, I may have family connections to that.

3- I can't decide whether or not to go to see David Gray in DC. It's two hours away on a Monday. I'm not a spring chicken anymore, but dude, I love concerts. Argh decisions.

4- I can't listen to Coldplay anymore solely for the fact that I am NOT going to their concert this Friday in DC and listening to them creates a pain in my heart.

5- I'm totally addicted to Laguna Beach and I have no problems admitting that I enjoy watchign the follies of spoiled blond 18 year-olds who live in an unrealistic paradise in southern California. Whatever.

6- The word separating has a rat in it. I'm just saying.



baby blues

I held a baby today, a brand new, two day old, fresh out of the oven baby. She was beautiful and perfect and precious, but aren't they all?

As I passed her from my arms to her maternal aunt's I gave a baby passing lesson. I pulled out my teacher training and mothering instincts and explained how you slide your cradled arm to place your hand under the head to protect it and then with both hands you pass the baby like you would a platter full of food. And in that moment I realized how natural it is for me, how natural it has always been.

I remember when I was 12 or 13 and got my first babysitting job for a 6 month old. The family used cloth diapers because for some strange reason, the father's company paid for the cloth diaper cleaning service. The mom showed me how to put the diaper in place and pin the diaper pins without having the sharp part near the baby's skin. We practiced on a doll. As I remember I did it perfect from the start. I remember thinking that the mother was a bit overprotective to have me practice on a doll because clearly, even at 12, I knew what I was doing.

From then on kids have been my thing and I can't imagine my life without them. Whether or not they will ever live in my house or come from me is still to be determined, but I know for a fact, an absolute, that I would make one of hell of a damn good mother. I got the skillz and I love baby, I hella love.




I like to think that I am OK with change that I go with the flow easily, that I live in the shadow of hippy mentality. I don’t really think this is true. I think I might be a bit rigid, at least at first until things settle. It’s my anxiety of the unknown that causes me to cling to what is familiar, to what is safe, to what is within my realm of control.

I was forced to make a change today. After weeks of saying things like, “My phone might die, but keep talking,” and “Hold on my phone is dying. I have to plug it in. Oh God, it might die, hold on. SH*T. Phew. What were you saying?” I have had to get a new cell phone. My battery, clearly, was dying and I needed to update my 2 year-old phone, but things were complicated. It wasn’t as simple as getting a new phone.

You see my old standby, my familiar, my safe cell phone company, SunCom, decided to sell everything in Virginia to Cingular and head out of town. I loved my SunCom, loved it. I had their unplan and I NEVER had to think about minutes or roaming or dropped calls or service issues. It was a relationship I was absolutely comfortable with. It was in my realm of control.

Now that SunCom has left, there is nothing in Virginia that gives you unlimited minutes to anywhere, anytime, all the time for $50 a month. I was reluctant to move on and for weeks have dealt with a battery that was on it’s last leg. Then, last night, the screen went blank after I purposely threw the phone on the kitchen counter. Whoops.

Walking into the T-Mobile store I was confident. I had researched the options all morning and I was sure I knew what I wanted. As soon as the transaction was taking place, my stomach started to flip. “Was this the right choice? Should I go Verizon even though I am convinced that they are a fraudulent company because of my landline service? Are these enough minutes? Is there good enough range of service? Will this work in my apartment? Should I get text messaging? Should I go flip or the old standby, oversized Nokia?”

Well, Jeff at T-Mobile was good to me, calling my Ms. Anna and pulling a chair out for me. Maybe he saw the panic in my face and thought I might faint and the chair would delay that until he got my credit information. I walked out with a flip phone that will require a new car charger and a good time getting used to. After all my friends and family call my home phone and give me their numbers again, I’ll be back in business. And now that everything is settled and in place, I’m all about it. I’ve got that hippy spirit fluttering inside because the first hurdle of anxiety is complete and newness feels so good now.



drink water and hold your breath

Ya know in The Witches of Eastwick when Jack Nicholson asks the three women how they fear to die and then in the end when he transforms into the devil he then tortures the women with those fears? Yeah, well, my fear is death by hiccups. I'm not kidding. I hate hiccups and I've had them a lot lately, A LOT. Seriously, death by hiccups, I just hope the devil isn't reading.




I haven't been sick in a long time, I mean a loooooong time. I'm not complaining, but now I do have something to complain about. I hate the saying, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." It's just not such a making sense kind of statement. I mean, you can't HAVE your health. It's not a thing, it's not an object. You can't touch it or hold it. And thus, because it is an abstract concept, I never really got it. I mean, I get it, but I never really got it.

So, right now, I'm not so much with the having of the health, if it were indeed a thing to have. It's all good, it's OK, I'm on the mend, except, well, the medicine is making me dizzy and nauseous and that, yeah, that's not such a good thing. When I called the doctor to ask for forgiveness from this monster medicine, he said, "too bad." I guess I can't "have my cake and eat it too." That one, I get.



you flippin know i love this

So, the official Talk Like A Pirate Day has past, but whatever cause all I care about is what they think about me and whether they can tell me about myself and let me know who I truly am. To the pirates, I rock (I alwasy knew I loved them pirates):

My pirate name is:

Mad Anne Rackham

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.



here's another effed up one

Kristin started playing ADDJ (she calls it) flipping from one song to another after only a line or two. She flipped from one lonely heart song to another, one effed up love life after another. And apparently, all the songwriters had peeked into my life.

“Listen to this. This is so your life,” Kristin says and presses play. And the song goes, “I tried again. I went last night. Another date was just not right. And as I drove myself back home, A little voice said just be alone.”

“Ohmigod, that is so my life,” a little voice inside my own head was saying.

And the song continued, “I love the world just as it is And I won’t lose my faith in it But there are days I think of you saying ‘hey, that’s beautiful, Yeah, I see it too’”

A friend of mine who got married to an amazing man this past July once told me that she wanted a man, needed a man to make her happy. I told her that I never wanted to feel that way that I wanted someone to add to my life's happiness, but not be THE person or thing that made me content. And while I don’t think that’s really want she found in the end, I can’t help but see that she is married and I am not and the clear difference between us was her drive and desire for that addition in her life. I want it too, but the drive and desire is not at 100% because just like the song says, “I love this world just as it is And I won’t lose my faith in it.” Sometimes though, comfort is a dangerous thing.

The songs chorus is, “I’ll miss you ‘til I meet you.” It’s a hopeful refrain that the good life, i.e. the good love, really does exist. I don’t know. I hope it does, but honestly, I think I can live this life just like it is. And that's OK. That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with Kristin and think that someone read my soul and that someone was Dar Williams and the song is I’ll Miss You Till I’ll Meet You.



the price of gas

my brain is on empty
i need a refill, but
the price of gas is too high.

i'm running on fumes, if that.

if the saudi's would give up their monopoly,

if the u.s. would stop hoarding our store,

if my brain would go electric,

i might be able to enthrall you

for now, the price of gas is too high
and the light is on.



emmy night

I’m thinking seriously about taking some time off of this here blog thing. I’m tired and a bit tired of it. For some reason, since work has officially started back up, I have not a lot to write about. I don’t know why. I was quite prolific this summer and I was just as if not busier than I am now. Maybe it’s that I’m more tired. Maybe it’s a mental thing that I just feel less creative when my schedule becomes a routine. I wanted to do the whole “blogging ‘til Christmas” thing, but I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t know and unless inspiration comes calling at my doorstep, I may just take some time off. We’ll see.

In the mean time. I’m pretty pumped that Jon Stewart won some Emmys. He and his crew totally deserve it. If you don’t watch Jon Stewart and The Daily Show then you should just go get a face-lift cause you ain’t right.



just cause

i'm pretty excited about this.

i think that i could be a blogger groupie. and i could totally get behind a blogger fanclub. i love me some google peeps.




Instead of "all in," I was "all out" in the first 45 minutes. Whatever, I beat 3 other veterans and this was my first game ever. Rock the hold'em.



i did not watch bush’s speech tonight, but it's ok, that's what foxnews is for

I came home late talking to my mom on my cell phone on the car ride home and through the courtyard and up the stairs and through the jingling of the keys and opening the door. “Where are you?” she said.

“I’m at my house,” I said with same teenaged “Duh!” in my voice I had when I was twelve and not even really a teenager.

“Oh, it sounded like you were in boxes.”

“In boxes?” my mind thought, but I suppressed the twelve year-old comment pushing through my throat.

I got off the phone with her after pleading that I needed to get ready for the next workday. I did, but more importantly I wanted to read my Internet; the blogs, the emails, the weather, whatever, I’m a little bit addicted to my laptop. And I’m not ashamed, NOT ashamed. (“It’s OK baby. I love you,” I whisper to my Apple Titanium.)

My old college roommate sent me an email from somewhere close to Mars. We’ve been bad out of touch, but she reads this site everyday, EVERYDAY. That is some loyalty. I’m not sure what I did in college to deserve it but baby, she gives it. I think she’s bored. Must be the boredom.

She writes, “How are you? well, i kinda know how you are and bits of what is going on with you b/c I literally pull up your blog every day of the week at work to read it. I'm so glad you do it every day, b/c I would be disappointed if it was not there.”

She makes my heart flutter a little bit. And then she goes on to ask the standard thousand questions and sneaks this one in, “is there a love interest??? I haven't read anything lately about that.....further details would be appreciated!”

Well, Bethie, let me lay it out for you. I’m all open! Sure, there are things I don’t tell the Internet, well there’s a lot actually, but Bethie on this little topic it’s not so hard to read in between the lines. And I’m tempted to pull out the twelve year-old in me and yell “Duh!” through the Internet. Actually, I think I just did.




“Do they have to have a return address on them?” she asked the postal worker at the counter.

“Yes,” he replied.

“You mean they won’t be mailed if I don’t put a return address on them?” She was wearing gray knit gaucho pants that clung to her stomach. Her shirt was a pale pink knit and showed her thin frame and big boobs. Her hair was a light brown, stick straight to her chin with an impossibly perfect undercut. She wore flip-flops. Her left hand sparkled.

“I don’t know. Since 9-11 and anthrax, it’s the rules now” he said. Her body language said that there would be no return address on those perfectly off-white envelopes.

“Well how much to mail them?”

“Forty-nine cents.”

“Do you have a forty-nine cent stamp?”

“I have a forty-eight cent stamp and a one cent stamp.”

“Let me see the forty-eight stamp,” she requested and when he opened a three ringed binder and pulled a sheet of stamps covered with eagles, she turned her nose up.

“Can I just have two sheets thirty-seven cents stamps? Do you have the flowers?” The postal worker pulled two sheets of flower printed stamps from behind the counter. She looked at them. “Do you have the other flowers?” The postal worker looked for them and she was happy with them. She bought and took her two sheets of stamps, went out of the room into the room with P.O Boxes, stood at a counter and placed two thirty-seven cents stamps on each of her no-return-address envelopes. She then turned around and slid each one through the mail slot in the wall and then she left the small, antiquated post office.

I knew what she was doing. I’d done it before. She was being prissy and perfect and trying to follow all the rules of invitation sending. She wanted an uncluttered envelope and she defied authority to get it done. She spent 25¢ more per envelope because the flowers were prettier. It’s a shame that the recipients will likely not notice. But, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And now I see my ridiculousness.

I am a southerner and a woman, which means that there are a great deal of ideals and rules to which I should adhere. According to Southern society, I should be prissy; wearing pearls most days of the week and paying close mind that white is a “before Labor Day” color. I should also know that when I get married there are 12 silver patterns from which to choose and the one you chose says a great deal about your personality. Notice that in talking about Southern culture I said that “when I get married.” Because to a Southern lady, there is no “if.”

I don’t by in to rules and regulations on my life and choices. I’m not so hot on authority in my free spaces. I do, however, hold some Southern standards as absolutes. The white thing, yeah, you won’t catch me in white on the lower half of my body post Labor Day. And no, while I don’t care that you have white on, on the inside I’m noticing that your mother didn’t drill that into your head. And when I throw a bridal or baby shower, there will be silver service, there just will be.

There are a great many Southern rules I ditch. For one thing, I’m not the most ladylike person. I’ll take my shoes off at any given chance in the presence of anyone and at anytime. I prefer the bare feet. A true Southern woman, a debutant per se, would not so much do this. Whatever.




I don't like to talk about political stuff here. But, I will say this: Finally. Finally, Bush has claimed mistakes and acted like a man and a bit of a leader.

When Clinton was president I was still, possibly, a Republican. I come from staunch, hard-core, close-minded, we-care-only-for-our-own-children-and-money-but-we-claim-to-be-very-Christian stock. And I shamefully even worked on a Republican's campaign when I was in high school. I've learned my lessons since then. But, when Clinton was in office, I couldn't handle his liberal, democratic sleaziness. I would turn the channel purposely any time he made a speech. From the beginning, I couldn't listen to him and not feel that I was being a bit charmed. Though not really. He never charmed me. I always felt dirty and dumb after listening to him. And this was pre-Monica. In retrospect I very much admire things that Clinton did for our country. While he made some big mess-ups, all-in-all, I'm not so unhappy with the way he left things. I wish now that I had listened to his speeches. I might have become less of a Republican sooner, although, somehow, I doubt it.

I haven't liked Bush from the get-go. He alone has made me switch my political seats. I've never voted for him, but as his presidency wains on I realize that I will never vote for a Republican again. I just can't. I see the selfishness in the party in up close and personal ways. While I don't love Democrats or everything they stand for, I do love that they tend to be more socially minded. Who founded the Peace Corp.? Who was head of the New Deal? Right? Right.

So, tonight, Bush took ownership. He stood like a man at a podium and claimed that he and his government are fallable and that they, indeed, fouled up.

A letter-

Dear Bushy,

Thank you. Thank you for finally having truthfulness and purposefulness in your voice. Becuase I can't stand it when you give your talking points with a twinge of I'm-a-pissed-off-rancher-and-I-don't-have-the-answers-and-I-couldn't-prounce-them-even-if-I-did-so-stop-asking in your voice. Tonight, your voice actually had confidence and I think that might be because only truthfulness in this matter brings confidence in you. Mainly, you do a lot of "I'm tough, we're tough." But, honey, we all know you're not a really rancher. You haven't had to live off your land. So, stop pretending and start doing what you did tonight, speaking to your people with truth and assuredness in your voice. We want that in you, even if it means you claim your mistakes. Becasue honesty will ALWAYS win my heart.

Bananna (I know, if you could spell, you'd be all confused. No worries.)



one is the loneliness number

This is a photo I took of one of my niece's shoes when the family was away and I was house sitting. I had just gotten my camera and thought a child's room would be good fodder for still life. I pointed my camera all around, at dolls and baby high chairs, and stuffed animals, and rows of children's book, and baby pianos, but this shoe, this one shoe spoke more to me than anything in the room. And when I look at this picture I can't help but think of this poem.



did i really shave my legs for this?

Deana Carter, a country singer, asked, “Did I shave my legs for this?” a few years ago on an album. Yeah, I figured at one point in my life I’d understand what she meant. I’ve gotten clues, hints of time wasted, but today, I got the full on picture.

I don’t know, sometimes I build things up in my mind and they tend to let me down, considerably. In one of my favorite chick flick movies a mentor figure says to Sabrina, the love longing main character, “Illusions are dangerous people.”

“I know,” I always want to say back to the screen, “but I can’t help but wish and dream for the perfect scenario.”

I’ve got to get over this because illusions are indeed dangerous people and they are in no way worth shaving your legs for.



morris code?

“Let’s go in.” I said, somewhat longingly.

“No, I’m not doing that. We’re still in teacher clothes,” she said.

“So, who cares? Let’s go,” I begged as she kept walking to her car. “You’re lame,” I exclaimed, half joking. Our friend W. agreed with me and gave K. a hard time too. All of a sudden, K. did an about face and we were heading toward Solvent Space, an art gallery that was showing a new video piece.

The gallery is an industrial brick building located in an old industrial part of town. The landscape surrounding it is not awful, but not pristine either. The landscape fits the artiness of it.

“We just don’t belong,” K said as we walked toward the building with an open doorway in between two large garage doors that were closed. In front of us were three people, two girls and one boy wearing impossibly cool, hip, urban clothes.

“We’re so not artsy,” I said mindful of my black pants, red top, and multi-colored sash. K. was wearing a blue jean skirt and sleeveless turtleneck. In my opinion, she looked cute.

We walked in the door and found a large open space with groups of the “art crowd” in clusters of 2-3 people. Some were drinking wine in clear plastic glasses. There didn’t seem to be any art on in that room, but in the back, through another doorway was a dark room with a film being projected on the wall. We walked to it. I heard grumblings from K. “Just forget it,” I said.

“What, we should just act like we know what we’re doing?”

“Absolutely,” I responded. I was anxious to see the installation. I love movie art. It’s so weird.

As we slid through the doorway I read the small printed info. about the art in the room. “Variations of Light,” it read. I whispered this to K. Standing just inside the doorway of the back room we peered at the wall. We had to slightly look up. There were a handful of people in the room and one small bench with a woman and her bag sitting on it. The room was dead silent while the larger room just outside was mulling with people’s conversations. I love how art makes people all serious.

“Variations of Light” was what seemed to be half of a blurred ring of light that pulsated. It looked a bit like an eyeball, but not quite. After pulsating in one position the film would show the light awkwardly moving into another position as if the filmmaker was physically adjusting whatever he had done to make this blurred thing happen. And in the new position it pulsated again. Everyone was quite and serious and watching intently.

I could tell that K. was not loving this. I was. I was loving it because art installations bring out the ridiculousness in people. The fact that we would stand there for a minute or even ten and watch a blurred vision of light pulsate on a wall makes me love art because it’s stupid and crazy and pretentious and nonsensical and profound and wonderful all at the same time. And movie installations are my favorite. They are unlike any other type of film. Maybe it is solely because they are viewed with people standing up or on hard, uncomfortable benches. Maybe it’s because there is often no clear beginning and ending, Maybe it’s because I am not smart enough to understand what a pulsating light projected on a large white wall symbolizes although I desperately do want to understand it.

I love it anyway, the way it makes everyone quiet and serious and contemplative. But, I would bet you a hundred dollars that 9 out of 10 people who view these things, just like me, want to scream in the silence, “Are you kidding me? Do you really get this? What does the blinking light say about life and society? Are we all just pulsating our way through this existence, manually changing position awkwardly? Or is this artist just totally full of himself? Why are you still watching this? COME ON!” Instead, just like everyone else, I stood there quietly, contemplating, trying to understand the pulsating light and all I could relate it to or think about was pulsars and aliens and secret codes.



an obsession gone haywire

"Ohmigod, I'm so tired I may not even blog today," I told Kristin as she lay curled up on what she calls my chofa watching one of the worst movies in history, Monster-In-Law, poor J.Lo.

With this new obsession of mine, posting everyday, I've come to realize that I can easily be spent when it comes to Friday nights and having a drop of energy to talk about anything. And I totally have something to talk about, an art exhibit that looked like a pulsating eye. More on that when I have a clear mind and my eyelids aren't trying to overcome my face.



seeing in the dark

“Maybe I’m just unlovable,” was an actual thought in my head today. And then quickly I added, “Nah, that’s just not it.” I’ve hit my existential crisis. Forget, mid-life, it’s more about mid-twenties. And I know it’s typical, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“You’re like a hurricane victim to some extent,” I told my friend. And then I went on to explain that when Hurricane Isabelle rushed through Richmond and knocked power out for a week I was alone in a brand new city with no family, no friends, and no electricity and for a few days, no water. I was forced into being a recluse – but really, I didn’t mind it so much. I got down books from my bookshelf that I’d been meaning to read. One was Girl Meets God. I’d had it for over a year and like so many of my books, I put it away for later. Darkness and quiet seemed like the perfect time. I also opened up my journal and began chronicling some painful past histories, the first time I’d written them down. I spent a lot of time thinking, a lot of time writing, and a lot of time reading. And when I came out of Hurricane Isabelle’s wrath, when the power came back on, I knew myself a lot better than I had before. Isabelle stopped the rat race that my life had been running. She made me look at everything more deeply. She made become quiet and calm. She helped me see in the dark.

For eight straight days and nights there was no power in my house. I live on noise and things that need power. Forget AC and lights, I needed my TV, radio, Internet, and cell phone, but Isabelle cut me off. She said, “No, go to your room and think about it.” So, I did. The anxiety of not knowing when the power would be restored built up more and more each day. But I knew it was futile so I quelled it by reading, writing, and just being quiet. I knew that if I gave in to the anxiety, that it would overcome me because ultimately, the power coming back on was utterly and completely out of my control. I had to learn to accept and live and even see in the dark. I had to become comfortable with it. And I did.

“What is it like, Anna, to wake up on a Sunday whenever you want to, eat breakfast whenever you want to, and watch hours of TV if you feel like it?” asked my sister-in-law while 2 of her 3 children were fighting or screaming for something.

“I have to say, it’s great,” and even though I sounded convincing, I knew I wasn’t because somewhere in my mind, I crave her chaos, her family. It’s a “grass is always greener” scenario, except in this one, I don’t get to love unconditionally and have family rituals and worry about my children’s safety and progress and well-being. In this scenario I get to be selfish and alone. The grass, in my opinion, while green, is full of dandelions.

But, Hurricane Isabelle helped me see in the dark AND appreciate the dandelions. Because even though I knew that the power would come back on, each day I had to accept that on THIS day it may not. And so, that’s how I have to live my life, seeing in the dark, that on THIS day the lights will not come on and there is a great chance that tomorrow and the next day and every future day the lights may never come back on. And I have to accept this and be thankful at least that even within the darkness, I can still see and manage.

Maybe we are all hurricane victims to some extent, ravaged and set adrift, askew from our paths. Even when we think we’re settled and nestled in, maybe even then we are not sure if this is the right direction. Because what if we’re driving in the wrong lane, parallel to the life we should be leading? What then? Maybe one day I will actually find the analogy that unlocks all the doors and makes an open hallway of all the things I feel blocked from. Maybe one day, existentialism will become extinct. “Nah, that’s just not it,” I think.



if only for the birthday cards, you wish you were my friend

My friend Post just got a birthday card from me. It's 3 years late. It's how I roll. And she doesn't live in Seattle anymore, hasn't for the last 2 years. Enter today's emails:

On 9/7/05, Post No Bills wrote:

Hey Anna....YOU ROCK!!! Thanks so much for the brithday card. My I sure felt super special when I opened it upon my return from my trip. Thanks a bunch!!

Talk with you soon,


On 9/7/05, Gap Girl < gapgirl@gmail.com> wrote:


Yeah that was the birthday card I forgot when I came to visit you in Seattle, so even when I wrote "2 years late" on it, it was still a year late. And you're right, I totally rock!

Anna :)



almost awash

1- so, for the first time in like 47 days (or something) i really thought hard about not posting anything. but, this habit i've started can't be stopped.

2-my head hurts. and i've taken ibuprofen. and it still hurts. bedtime will be a goodtime tonight because it will stop my head from hurting.

3-my brother called me from yankee stadium to tell me he was at a game which he got free tickets for and that he is going to the us open tomorrow. i took him to the train station on sunday for his little trip. do you think he'll come back with anything from one of my fav. city's for me? no! but, he will come back and tell me stories abou the yankees and the tennis players.

4-sometimes, i wish that i could fall a$$ backwards into free things. oh well, i'll deal with the not-yet-released david gray album he gave me. still, argh!

5-i can't take the katrina mess anymore. i can't believe this happened in america. that is the most shocking and bothersome thing, that it happened in america. sometimes, actually a lot of times, i want to kick our government because for as wonderful as we are, we can really not be so great sometimes.

6-i love me some jon stewart. rock on.

late edition 7-and i totally love me some david letterman.



a white picket fence

When 9-11 happened I couldn’t wrap my brain around. I watched the news coverage non-stop. It consumed all my hours that weren’t consumed with working. I was obsessed and the media’s obsession only fueled it. A friend’s brother was sadly lost that day and it took me a year and a half to cry about it.

When the tsunami hit, I immediately gave money to the redcross and put a button up on this page. I can’t give much. I wish I could give millions. But, the tradegy was distanced because it was not my country. I felt for them, but I also felt like it didin't directly impact me. The distance was almost comfortable.

When Katrina hit, I felt for the victims. I know a little bit about what it’s like to be stranded without water and electricity, but I have no idea what they are going through. I have a glimpse of what it feels like to not know what is happening for an extended time period, to have the uncertainty of when life will return to normal. Not having control is one of the worst feelings you can have. It’s maybe even worse than losing everything you own.

Unlike 9-11, I’ve teared up a lot about Katrina. Only the 24-hour news stations are obsessed with this disaster and this time I am not obsessed. Instead, I feel guilty. I feel like I can’t watch a regular program or movie without checking back in to see the progress or lack of progress down south. And I feel helpless because I have so much right now. Just going to the bathroom, getting ice from the fridge, turning on the TV, it’s all a luxury and the disparity is happening in my own country. And that’s what I can’t wrap my brain around. I still can’t fathom what they feel. What are the children thinking?

The weather here has turned to fall quicker than it normally does. It's beautiful and crisp and little bit surreal because I've been feeling that life is just flowing, just going along it normal route, but then gas prices are soring as I drive down the street and I realize that life is not just flowing, that life in my own country is miserable for others right now. What makes this different from the poor and homeles who exist without a natural disaster? The magnitude, the magnitude of people who have been stripped from their American Dreams, from their own white picket fences. And all I can really offer is a small donation to the redcross, an offer of my spare room on craigslist, a promise to help with www.lifelist.us, and talking about it, thinking about the people I don't know who are in pain, emotionally.

If I could, I would run down there, not to do anything else than to read to the children. I wish I could go there and just give out hugs and listen to them. I’m sure there are words that need to be spoken and I’m sure there are not enough people to listen. And I ache that I never visited New Orleans before this. I wish I could have loved that city, just a little bit before it was irrevocably changed.



it's all over but the cryin'

Today I did several things, the first of which was playing the original Super Mario Brothers game along with DuckHunt, which I totally rocked on. My little nephew was all, "Is this the first Nintendo game ever?" And I was all, "Uh, yeah" as I sat there with him playing the Nintendo that my brother and I got when I was about 12. And I threatened noogies-for-life because my nephew was flipping out over my DuckHunt score and totally making me lose my concentration. And ohmigod, I love some original Super Mario Brothers. And then, I was schooled in the game of Monopoly by an 8 year-old and while he has been certified as G-I-F-T-E-D, I have a Masters Degree. I'm just sayin'. And dude, I totally want kids.



this is what happens when i get a camera

i take really bad pictures of stuff you don't care about. and i'm really really tired. and this is one of those posts that i'm fudging (it's after 12am), but Blogger is good to me and will help me out on that little date thingy.

"it smells like football," is what I tell myself as i leave the house. i'm excited for a full day of football and friends.

first, i drive through the green tunnel to C-ville where my mighty HOOS reign supreme.

the day was beautiful because God loves Cavalier football too. and look at those mountains (hills, really). i miss them.

at my university, traditionally, the boys wear khakis and a buttondown and the girls wear sundresses. and then they get really, really drunk and stumble to the game (if they are lucky). i'm not so much doing that.

yes, our stadium has columns and just like Jefferson did, we like that. we have the 5th largest stadium in the ACC, we like that too. there is a lot of orange out there, but don't be fooled, there are a lot of khakis and sundresses too. our seats are in the nosebleeds, but our group likes that. we can see everything. the people on the 50 yard line can't see everything and we like to say "nah" to them. so, "nah."

here are some men in tight pants doing something on the field. i'm not sure what, but i'm pretty sure it's the reason why i came.

and i'd like to say to the 3 boys who tried so hard to get about 5,000 people in 10 different sections to do the wave, "way to go with that good old fashion college try. and WAHOOWA!"



september begins

There is no other time of year that is like this; everything is fresh, everything is new. It’s September and it’s the start of the school year. Pencils are unsharpened, notebooks are pristine, the pages in textbooks have yet to be highlighted, floors are polished and unscuffed, number lines start at zero. I love this time of year. Because, as much as we try to say that January is the beginning of a new year, we are wrong; September is the beginning.

There is always hope in the beginning; a wish and dream for the best possible things to come. A beginning, of anything, is almost always perfect. It’s what follows that can become baffled and mixed-up. For now, we’re in that world of infinite possibilities before the reality of November and settling sets in. We are gung ho. We are September.

I don’t ever remember having a dreaded feeling to the start of a school year, not at least until I became a teacher. I remember the shopping trips in early August for new school clothes and the crispness of pleated plaid skirts and white shirts, pressed khaki pants and jean skirts, jelly bracelets and bows for my hair. And one September I was a model. I modeled “back to school” clothes at our local Belk. I had my hair done and makeup from the makeup counter. It was the best “back to school” event I ever went to. I thought I was a superstar. I was about 6.

I’m not six anymore and I don’t have a fresh new wardrobe, I’m a teacher after all on a teacher’s salary, but I have my September attitude in my heart and on my face. I’m excited this year for the beginning of things. I can’t wait to see my kids, to see how they’ve grown, to see what challenges they still face. I can’t wait to see their fresh faces, faces that mimic the happiness of beginnings, of new, of unknown, of structure, of safety.

I get to be a kid in my job. I get to sit like a pretzel and open books and open worlds and open minds. And I get paid to do it. I’d do it for free if could. It’s September, officially, and the kids come in 4 more days. Here’s a wish that the small faces I see are smiling back at me because my smile has already begun. I can’t wait to totally adore some children for another year!

* and I guest posted over here again



a-nother list

1- Went to work. Blahbity blah blah. Don’t we all do this? Right.
2- Had a not so good time at the post office because THEY said I mis addressed my letter. I SO DID NOT! But, I was polite and said thank you.
3- Made some of these.
4- Gave a late birthday present to my sister-n-law that looked like this.
5- Applied to work here.
6- Went to a craft store and saw Halloween decorations, which I can totally handle, and then I saw Christmas decorations, which I can totally NOT handle. Oh my freaking LORD!
7- And yesterday, I guest posted over here.

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