this is halloween



new york, i love it

You're New York!

Well after the rest of the world had moved on, you were still obsessively
discussing September 11th. Even now, it feels like it's September 12th to you. Though
stuck in this traumatic rut, still unable to sleep, you've been able to continue to
pursue some primary interests, such as using public transportation, scraping the sky,
and trading stocks. When you trade baseball cards, you make sure to swindle everyone
around you and pretend that the system is fair. You feel like you know Hillary Clinton,
even though she's a complete stranger.

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



the streak is over

I’ve been really liking the idea of breathing lately. Why? Well, because it’s hard to do when you nose is clogged up with snot. I hate the first cold of the school year. It means that the germs got through, that I wasn’t good enough about washing my hands or using hand sanitizing, it means I got too close to a sick kid. In all likely hood it was my nieces snotty noses that caused mine. They’ve had the runny noses and I am always in their faces when we play and then there are their kisses and hugs which just promote the exchange of germs. Oh well, I wouldn’t give those hugs back. I’ll take a snotty nose or two for the love of two precious nieces. And maybe when the snot dries up, I’ll get back to blogging.




So many things in our lives are automatic for us; we flip open a cell phone and press two buttons to start a conversation, doors open as we approach, cars unlock on command of a button. I wish other things were as simple as these mundane activities. But, the things that can get us from here to there or connect us to people really are nothing but automatic machines. The cell phone, the doors, the car, aren’t really getting us places or keeping us in touch. It takes something within ourselves to push the buttons, to walk, to turn the wheel. But it’s not even these human actions that propel us. It’s something deeper, something I feel so far away from at times.

You see children at store with their mother clamoring for the Cocoa Puffs, you see the college students laying on blankets on a lawn on a cool fall day, you see the cute young businessman on his commute in the morning and for a minute you think about how their lives got them there to that point, to that moment. You wonder if they are thinking of having other lives too.

When we are aligned by the automatic nature of our lives, why are we not more connected? What is it that was so automatic for that mother, those college students, or that businessman that made their path so different? And who out there looks at my life and wonders the same thing?




I used to love rainy days. I mean LOVED them. I would actually get a little happy on the days it rained while everyone else I knew was moping about. I think it had to do with the sadness that was in me that I hadn’t yet realized. I relished the idea that on rainy days, everyone was inside, shelled up and holding courting until the sun came back. On rainy days, everyone was doing what I was doing on every other day. On those days, we were same. I longed for rainy days.

Rainy days now are a nuisance. Sometimes I relish them and the quiet and go-inside-and-read-a-bookness they harbor, but mostly the running in and out of buildings with an umbrella or the lack of one gets on my nerves. I’d take the sunshine over rainy days any day now.

We’ve had a very dry summer and dry fall here. Rain has graced our city a handful of times in the last four months. It’s like LA took a cross-country trip and settled in. And it’s a little disorienting. Last week, though, Virginia regained its gloomy days and stayed under a cloudy haze. Virginia decided to mimic my brain. So, I shelled up and held court until the sun came out and then some. And today, I feel a little bit like a butterfly released from his safe and warm home. Today, I saw the sunshine and let it sit upon my face for a bit. It doesn’t mean I won’t return to my cocoon, but for now, I’m lovin’ this sunshine, this fall.



a new post

the thing is is that i don't want to write a post today. for reals yo. but, when i think about truly not writing a post i think about telling blogger first and in doing that, well, you've got this here, a post. so, here is a new non-post.



like a broken record

I realized two years ago that the generation growing up right now, the ones I teach have probably never seen a record and have no idea where the term comes from. I've lived in a time where I know the origin of a saying that I'm sure in the year 2045 will be written about or given talk time on TV for funny sayings from long ago. I now live in a long ago time. I feel old.

I'm tired, no, I'm exhausted and so my broken record just keeps repeating. We go about our days sometimes in a daze, in a haze, trying to get the things done that we so need to get done. And when we stop, sometimes we collapse, in a heap, in a pile, on the floor. I feel like this. I feel like collasping, giving in the towel and staying in bed. I'll press on, I'll get it done, but not without some neglecting of my friends and myself. I'm tired. I want a massage and sleep. But right now I'm going to have some Oreos and milk.



some days are better than others

Yep, sometimes I feel just like this.



i’m not showing off, these are just stories from my life. end of

“Do you know who we’re going to see?”

“Who?” they ask.

“Paul McCartney. Do you know who that is?”

“No.” they say.

“He was a Beatle.”

“What’s a Beatle?”

“A Beatle is a type of bug and you have bugs all over you,” I say and then start tickling the 3 and 4 year old as they run through the house.

“So, who wants to go see a Beatle?”

“Wait, I know. You’re going to see a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Clubs Band.” Says the 4 year old.

“That’s right, you want to go with us?”


“Well, then come on, let’s go.”

“Well my dad says I could go if I was a little bit older.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s right.”

My brother and I pull out 20 minutes behind schedule. This is typical for him. And we still had to get gas. He called earlier in the day to make the speculation that I could with him to see Paul McCartney official. His wife was originally slated to go, but she wasn’t feeling up for it. “You can’t turn down Paul McCartney. It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” I told her, but she was adamant. I knew she would have to convince my brother that she wasn’t going so I waited to see if I really was going to get her pass. I was either going to see Paul or baby-sit for them that night, either way I’d be happy, but the possibility of seeing Paul McCartney was making my stomach do flips.

I drove the first leg on the condition that my brother would drive us back at 2am. We parked at Pentagon City and hopped the metro to the MCI Center. We arrived there at 7:55; the show was set for 8pm. Typical musician lateness on the part of my brother.

While we walked toward the entrance of the arena there were outdoor speakers telling everyone that videos and cameras were strictly prohibited. I had just spent a few minutes at the car in Pentagon City deciding whether or not to take the camera that was now in my right pocket to the concert or not. I began to worry a bit. We entered the door where men and women in yellow jackets were searching purses and pockets. I slyly put my right hand over the camera as if my hand was in my pocket and avoided all eye contact. The first woman asked my brother, “Any cameras sir?” He shook his head no. I avoided her eyes. She never asked me. The next man waved wands over my brother then me. “Don’t wave it over the right pocket. Do cameras set off metal detectors?” I was nearly panicking as he took his time and waved the wand all around. I was cleared.

We headed to will call where we did not get tickets, but facility passes that would allow us to go to the sound board. My brother placed his on his shirt pocket and I put mine on my left leg. We walked to the ticket takers and were turned away. We were told to leave the building and walk around to another entrance. We do this and around the corner we see no signs of entrance. We go around to the back of the building where the trucks and busses enter. We are waved through to a security checkpoint at which time I begin to panic about the camera in my pocket again. We are turned away from this entrance and sent to the main security station where we are absolutely stopped. My brother explains whom on the crew he knows and that our passes will get us in. The security guard tells us that we have to be accompanied by someone who has an all access pass. My brother immediately gets on his cell phone while I run to the bathroom. I come back and we now have to wait until his contact comes down to pick us up. It’s easily 10 after 8 and we have no idea if we are missing the show.

We wait for a good fifteen minutes when a white haired Irishman comes and asks if we are waiting for my brother’s contact. We are polite and shake his hand. He explains that he is part of the security and will take us to the soundboard. We follow him through back hallways then through a carpeted hallway then onto the floor of the arena. “Oh my God” I hear myself whisper. The show has not started yet. Our escort shows us to the soundboard where we take the last two seats on top on a roadcase. We are smack dab in the middle of the venue. I can’t believe our luck. We have perfect views. My brother tells me that all in all it worked out well that we got there in time and got the last two seats. “You fall ass backwards into everything.” I tell him. I’m still in awe of these seats. The people surrounding us and behind us have paid about $250 and in comparison to some of them, we have an unobstructed and perfect view.

The music is unbelievably loud. My brother has brought his earplugs, a standard accessory in his business. At times I use my forefingers to close my ears and when I do the music is so much clearer. I’m sure there is some musical term for what was going on in my ears when they were wide open to the booming music, but there was more distorted sound than when I closed my ears. And it was strange that when I would close my ears, I would immediately feel the bass on the roadcase pumping through my body. Many a time I was jealous of my brother’s earplugs.

It seems that I have bad luck when it comes to seating arrangements at concerts. No matter the concert or my the price in ticket, I seem to always land near or right next to The Most Annoying Concert Goer. At Coldplay last week it was a girl who decided to jump up and down ON my back for half the night. At David Gray on Monday it was the two girls who wanted to stand all night while everyone else sat. But, at Paul McCartney the two women who disturbed mine and about 50 other concertgoers were beyond words. The two frailly thin, bleach-blond-permed haired women were like caricatures from a movie. They were too perfect in their craziness. They were sadly the poster children for Methamphetamine. They were loud, ridiculously so, erratic and just plain crazy. They decided to move seats when Paul got on stage and sat next to the soundboard, which placed them next to me. When they started dancing one girl got wobbly and smacked me in the face. She never even noticed. She just kept on dancing. Then they discovered that they had lost something and spent several songs yelling at each other and digging through purses and crawling on the floor and yelling and walking away and walking back and yelling and dancing. Security was called and thanks to these two fine ladies a security man had to stand directly in front of me in order to watch them. Then another security guard paced the aisle on their left side. This lady provoked two verbal and one physical fight from them. Finally during the 2nd encore, the security manager asked them to leave or calm down. One of the women began crying hysterically and making a huge fuss. Eventually they left on their own accord, but not before they ruined several songs for me and everyone around them. They wanted to enjoy the show and I believe in getting rowdy and dancing, but not at the expense of everyone else. For these Most Annoying Concert Goers, I could write a book about the things they did.

Still, Paul sang for nearly 3 hours straight and did a great mix of old and new and Wings. He played my favorites, the little played “I Will” and “Blackbird.” The last song of the 2nd encore was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band and on the first note I immediately thought of my four year old niece and how much she’d like to have been there if only she was a little older.



it's official, i'm a showoff

I knew this was a possibility for a few days. I haven't shared it with anyone AT ALL. But, today it became official. I'm accepting this recent British invasion with open arms. We all know how much I love the Brits and especially their London. Well, tonight, I'll be in the company of Sir Paul.



the safety of objects

I see my nieces and nephew sitting at the dinner table pushing their overly ranch drenched lettuce around in a bowl. I see their four, three, and eight year-old bodies wiggle and squirm out of their seats. I see them reach for second helpings before they’ve eaten any protein. I see them talk with their mouths full. I see them plead to get up and go, to go play, to leave the grown up conversations. I see them jump at the idea of a bubble bath. I see them cry at the idea of getting clean. I see their wet hair and clean pajamas and their made up beds and I crave that safety of childhood, that safety of knowing that your whole house is on your side, that when you go to bed the people who love you most will be at the breakfast table. I miss that innocence and naiveté and joy, but most of all I miss that safety.



going home again

I try to convince myself that my hometown is not what I never really knew it was. You really don't know where you've come from until you've left it. Growing up, you except and don't question your surroundings. You believe that every community is made up of the same types of people and that those people are striving for the same things as the people who make up your community. I thought this. And then... I went to college... and came home.

Sitting at the dinner table with my mother and father I noticed something coming from their mouths that I had never noticed before. It was an accent, a southern, tangy, with a bit of redneck accent. "When did my parents start talking like this? Do I talk like this too? Does everyone here talk like this?" I thought.

When you leave your home and tromp off to college, if you're lucky, you are inundated with accents, or the lack of them, from all over the states and sometimes the world. You, or at least I, began to develop a non-accent, a generic pitch and intonation. I tried to hide my Southerness. I'm not sure why I did this. It could have been that I wanted to meld into the group. It could of been that I was tired of people poking fun of my exaggerated long "i's” like in "why, tired, mine."

Now, my accent flows. My long "i's" are more exaggerated than they ever have been. My now accent is a conglomeration of my North Carolina relatives and my Southwest Virginia roots. I’m proud of my accent and I think I flaunt it a bit now. And I love it when people mimic it back to me because everyone should say their long “i’s” for a bit longer than they think is natural.

But, an accent tells only a portion of a person’s story. Their hometown can tell most of it. My hometown, with its Southwest Virginia twang, tells a story I didn’t realize was being told when I was growing up. I didn’t realize that I was surrounded, on ALL sides by rednecks. I know that now because I’ve lived outside of my hometown and going back to that little town nestled in a valley off the Blue Ridge Mountains shows me how closed off that ridge of mountains makes it. I have nothing against rednecks. To each their own and I can listen to country music and Jeff Foxworthy can be real funny. What I will never understand about these precious people who make up about 70% of my hometown has nothing to do with accents or music but it has everything to do with this:



anything but gray

I hemmed and hawed about David Gray. I couldn’t make up my mind. I decided a week before the concert not to go. I was planning the possibility with a teacher friend who adores David Gray and has seen him several times. In the end we said that the money, the travel, and having to work the next day so early were just too much. We said we’d see him next time ‘round.

Then Saturday came and my brother called, “Did you buy your tickets?”

“No,” I said.

“Why? We’re going.”

“It’s too much money. I just decided not to go.”

Then I went to see Coldplay and standing there, 20 feet away from Chris Martin I decided I had to go see David too. Once you get the concert bug, you’ve got to scratch that itch. I knew I couldn’t leave my teacher friend out so I made a last minute request for his presence. He declined. And then I called my brother.

“Can I still ride with you? I still need buy my ticket.”

“Let me call my friend before you buy your ticket.”

“Ok,” I said. I wasn’t about to turn that down.

The next day at lunch my teacher friend walks into the cafeteria. “You’re going to hate me,” I said.

“Why?” he asks.

“Because my brother got me a free ticket,” I looked up with hopeful puppy dog eyes.

“Oh, I’m just happy you can go. It’s a great show, better than Coldplay.”

I touched his hand, “You’re so sweet."

"I'm a little bit jealous," he said making his forefinger and thumb measure out an inch of air.

"Want me to get anything signed for you?”

“No, I got him to sign a CD the last time I saw him.”

“Oh, well, since you’re best friends...” I was joking and the guilt had been lifted.

It’s hard to explain how special concerts are, how they change the music absolutely. I think that David Gray was the most professional concert I’ve ever been to. It seemed to me to be perfect and flawless, apart from the time where David’s microphone went dead. And now, the concert repeats in my head, but his albums are so close to exact replicas which allow me to almost relive it. And that’s good to me because when live shows differ so much from the CD then you come away with two different kinds of love for that music and you can’t ever recreate the magic of the live versions.

David’s songs have new images now. I see him singing them. I don’t picture the story he tells in them, I see him and his bobble head, his perfectly tailored dark blue suit, his explosive drummer, his shadow projected 20 feet tall behind him, the bleached hair of his keyboardist that my brother knows, and the calmness of the seated crowd in front of him.

When my brother told the keyboardist of the near brawl that erupted over two twenty-something girls who wanted to stand while everyone around shouted at them to sit, his British reply was, “It’s not really a dancing show though is it? We have songs that are slow and slower.” And that’s what I love about David Gray and his backing band, they’re all mellow and that’s OK with me.

For you: my current favorite song.




I'm beyond tired. I've had too much work/excitement/lack of sleep in the last 4 days that I can't tell stories. Here is a picture of David Gray from last night. Because I couldn't take you with me to my free seats or with me backstage where I never met David, but stood 2 feet away from him for 30 minutes, I thought I'd leave you a picture. I love the connections my brother can pull, but sometimes, I wish I could have connections like that all on my own.



concerts a go-go

Tonight is David Gray. I know, you're jealous.




So, I know I said that I would write about Coldplay and I will. But not right now, or tomorrow or the next night possibly. And I realize that I am trying to do the whole posting everyday until Christmas and counting this as a typical post is sooooooooo lame. I realize all of this, but it won't make me stop or tell you more. I'm tired. We'll talk lay-trays.



the faces of coldplay

to be updated later. i've got a three hour drive ahead of me right now.

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