i've been found

I went for Post Secret and fell in love with Found. A solo venture on my part to the tiny Firehouse Theatre in Richmond to see what Post Secret could offer me up close and personal, but from the moment Davy Rothbart from Found opened his mouth I kinda fell in love with him.



the finishing

I finished a book tonight. It's such an exciting and sad thing, to end a story, to be forced to let the people who have become a part of your last few weeks just walk out the door. And it's not like you have a choice in the matter. Not finishing a book lets the characters roam around for extended time, but they also get real old and dusty and lose their luster. I get really anxious when I have about ten pages left to go. I start thinking about the next book that will fill the void and I have remind myself to get back in the moment of the current book. And then all of a sudden, my imagery friends have left me and I have closed the book after scouring the acknolwedgement page and dust jacket for every scrap or tidbit to keep the engery going, but it's no good. I wander back to me bed, alone and grab another book, turn it over in my hand. But, tonight I'm going to let the last book sit awhile before I start another one. I want to work over the changes in my own self that have occured on the journey the author took me on. I'm going to nestle down tonight on the shores of Bali and float in clear blue water with a bright pink flower in my hair.



what happened to pony rides?

I spent my afternoon at a Luau party all decked out with tiki torches, a limbo stick, a slurpee machine, and a moon bounce. This was a Luau party for five-year olds. And it was fabulous. It was at one of the nicest homes I’ve ever been in the backyard of. The birthday girl had her own playhouse and by playhouse I mean a prefabricated white siding house which a grown up could stand up in with a porch and a swing, a working mini refrigerator and (get ready) air conditioning! Yeah, I totally know.

This was the perfect kind of party meant for both children and adults because the buffet table had both chicken fingers and sushi. I mean, come on you can’t get much more perfect than that. The bithday girl’s present this year was a mini golf cart to match her father’s that resided in the garage (I know because the garage door was open).

The telling of the details of this party is not meant for boasting that I was in attendance, but more of a slap in my face about my own materialistic views. I go about my daily struggle with money trying very hard, and usually not succeeding, in staying to a reasonable budget. And now, I’m about to pay off my car loan, which will help my life enormously. And so, I’m thinking things are going well and I can start saving and paying things off and maybe even donating when all of a sudden I go to a Luau party at what should just as well be a mansion and I feel like I’m the red headed stepchild in the corner. Now, the people were the nicest people in the world, friendly, bubbly and just chill, but my mouth was dropping at every turn. I left feeling like I had walked into a reality check that no matter how much I think I have it together financially, it doesn’t matter because even with all the fluff and stuff we were surrounded by, my favorite part was just sitting in the shade talking to my sister-in-law about the book she lent me to read. Money can come and go, but it’s the people who make up the conversations of your life that matter, and the pina colada slurpees.



pete and repeat were on a boat. pete fell out. who was left?

When I find a song I love, I listen to it incessantly, obsessively. I have put songs on repeat for weeks at a time. The point of this ad nasuem exercise is to overwhelm my ears with a melody that I want so much to get inside of. The repetition of it becomes almost like a rhythmic chant which lulls the listener into a trance. In that blissful state you can float in and out of the notes, swirl around the vocal ranges, and land safely back in the chorus. Of course, I’m being a little dramatic. The obvious reason is to memorize the lyrics and commit them to memory so that at any point in time my mind can reference that song. The current song is “Seasons of Love” from the Rent soundtrack.

The refrain asks us how we measure our lives. What instrument could we possibly use worthy of the task and it settles on love, seasons of love, knowing that love is an ever-flowing and changing thing, it comes in waves, it leaves with seasons’ shifts and yet it is the most important thing our lives offer us. It’s a lot to pack into a song that is about 2 minutes long and preempts a tale of AIDS, drug abuse, homosexuality, death, poverty, racism, and friendship in the span of one year. But it’s the melody that grabs you before the lyrics ever do. It’s song’s book cover, the dust jacket, the teaser, the temptress.

I’ve recently learned of a friend’s betrayal and it has stirred so many emotions inside me. I am mad, sad, wounded, angry, confused, and most of all disappointed. I’ve gotten good at weeding out the toxic friendships in my life, realizing that the void left at letting go of a toxic friend is far more rejuvenating than enduring and holding on to wisps of the good qualities I was once so enthralled by. Sometimes the melodies of people, their book covers, are more enchanting than what lies beneath and this fact saddens me so much. I am not perfect. I’ve done things and hurt people in ways I probably won’t realize, but I know that to my friends, to the ones who pour their hearts out to me, I would never stab them in the back. I would stand by them even if I was the only one in the room defending them because friendship is something I take seriously, very much so.

In finding new friendships I take my time. I wade through the waters carefully with respect to my own heart and theirs. And I put our conversations on repeat in my mind, turning over the joy of finding common ground, of connecting, of making a little more sense out of this life. Friendship is not a season for me. It’s not something I swing in and out of lightly, but when it goes down I can’t help but know that that toxic friendship was a season, not of love, but of learning.



i still don't like the fundemental principle of animals in cages, but that said...

This is a pictoral of my day today, a day at the Smithosian National Zoo on a school field trip with my five year old niece and her three year old sister and all their little buddies. I took a personal day and after my little mental break down last night, I needed it. I love children so much. I love to make them laugh and get down on their level and be so not grown up. It is the best part of my day when I see a child smile. And I instantly want to hug every child I see and I have to sometimes watch myself smiling insestantly as strange children with their parents. It's the not children I worry about because they are usually laughing at my funny faces, but I'm sure to a parent that is is quite odd to see a complete stranger interactering from a distance in a check out line with a child I will probably never talk to. Anyway, it's what I do.

Sometimes I wish my life were as simple
as a giraffe's being that when they are
hungry they just have to look up or
get knocked in the head by a tree.

This little elephant was just getting a drink.
I was hoping against hope that he would
use his long nose to spray water on his back
to get rid of all that dirt, but no luck. Still,
watching an elephant drink is at once
captivating and disgusting.

That would be a baby panda sleeping in a tree.
And that would be my favorite scene of the day
beside the conga line of five year olds that I started
while we chanted, "Cheetah, cheetah, cheetah!"



i am a rock, i am an island

i'm tired of friend's not putting me on a priority list. i'm tired of waiting to be thought of. i'm tired of coming in second to someone i've never met. i'm tired of "oops, you were too late."
this is why my heart hurts. this is why i trust no one. this is why i won't accept love.

and now, and now i'm crying. and i never do that.



rat poison is not in my future

Late at night I flip through channels and usually end up on my standards of lulling-me-to-sleep shows such as reruns of Will and Grace, or David Letterman, or (Ugh) Jay Leno, but sometimes sleep is a restless, relentless animal with which I wrestle and so I go channel hopping for wee-hour-of-the-morning filler TV. On two separate occasions I’ve come across stories where a wife or a husband tried to slowly and methodically poison their spouse. In one case, the wife/ mother ended up killing two of her children. Hmmm….

At the end of 2005 I called a friend whom I hadn’t spoken to since I surprised her for her birthday in July that year and got the bombshell that she was getting a divorce and had already rented an apartment. She said they just weren’t each other’s priority and before children or more years of doubt came into play, she was leaving. Ok, I said, not knowing the workings or insides of her relationship, but knowing that this match never felt right to her friends.

I’m reading now a book about a woman who gallops off to Italy, India and Indonesia in the wake of a nasty divorce and a failed love affair with another man. Her divorce came about much like my friend’s; with the realization that being forever tied to a person and the possibility of a family was not, after all, what she wanted in life. So, at 30, she left.

When I grapple with my decision of singleness I often think about what I really want, how I’m going to make my mark on the world if it’s not through family, and how I will ultimately receive love. But then there are moments when I wouldn’t trade this decision for all the rat poison in the world. I’d rather not love and be bitter and leave. I may be foolish. I may be wrong, but I think I’d rather not love at all.



we eat

It’s what we do. It’s as if our friendship revolves around food, the art of preparing and eating. The first time we re-met since our 10-year absence of friendship we went out to dinner. Then a week later we went out to dinner again. Then there might have just been a movie. Then I cooked some new recipe. Then he cooked. Then I cooked. Then we cooked. It’s like we can’t do anything without food in the mix. It’s the kind of friendship I dig. The perfection combination. And let’s just revisit what we’ve eaten. First there was the sauce from this over gnocchi. Then a Cobb salad. Then a version of this. Then last night, this. And heaven and lord above was it good. Well, its got 2 cups of cream in it. It is quite difficult to make anything bad with two cups of cream. I called it a heart attack in a pot.

I love food. Who doesn’t? And our lives do revolve around it. We build family traditions with it. Religions hold it sacred. We bond with it. We even show love with it. But even with or without the mix of people, food is a relationship we will never divorce ourselves from, not in our culture anyway. And I’m OK with this.

This new eating regimen has reawakened my cooking instincts. My pantry is stocked. I could throw a dinner party at the last minute and we would eat well. Or I could just whip up a cake and eat way too much of it before I gave the rest away. I’ve got recipes waiting in the wings and a freezer stocked with leftovers.

I wish I could have you all round for dinner, or even tea (I make the best scones). In this virtual world let’s pretend we dine together over cream ladenned dishes with fresh basil and warm bread. Eat my friends. It’s what we do.



bigger than me

It's ironic that I wrote yesterday about the humdrum of life making our lives sing and have meaning. Today I even wrote a list for things I needed to accomplish after work and then I began accomplishing them when in the middle of it all I got a phone call. Cancer has whispered through my family like a distant church bell ringing far before the strike of the hour. Monotony does not our lives make, love and family does. Think of mine. Think good, good things.




I’m sure that somewhere there is a proverb or parable or even a textbook about how the small things, the monotony of our lives is what essentially creates the whole of our lives.

The small things in my life right now are that my clothes for the week are picked out and hung on an inside hook on my closet door, my sandwich and yogurt for my tomorrow lunch are packed and ready, my teabag sits in a to go cup awaiting boiling water, and my house is quiet awaiting my sleeping body.

My favorite days are the ones where I have cleaned and put away the put-away things and showered and snuggle into clean sheets with a book and a cup of tea. These are the times when my mind feels the lightest, when the day feels done even if nothing particular was accomplished. These are the days when the monotony and humdrum of my life feels like it IS the whole and living part of my life. And I like it.



freedom fighter?

As of Sunday, I wear a green rubber bracelet. I once wore a yellow one, a Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG one, but it didn't stay long. It felt too trite, too trying, too middle America. This green one feels right, on my right hand, like it was meant to gently remind me every so often by a glimpse or subtle movement that I am blessed and that others are suffering. It simply says, "Save Darfur... Not On My Watch...www.savedarfur.org."

On Sunday I went to the Save Darfur Now rally on the National Mall. I went not because I am a freedom fighter, a rallier for a cause, but because I was in town and I was interested. It was amazing. And I took pictures. There are so many words to say about what is happening in the Sudan, in Darfur, and then words are not enough to urge for action, non-partisan, pro-human life action. I've said the word Darfur to several people since yesterday and I get blank stares or "What's that?" responses.

Dear Reader,

If you are here then please also go HERE and sign the digital postcard. It is not saying anything except that you wish for aid, food, and troops to be sent to Darfur and Chad to help those who are still under threat and suffering conditions. Do it, for the 400,000 who have already died and the thousands of women who have been raped and the thousands of children who have become orphans. If these were your parents, your children, your cousins you would do it. So, I ask you, are they not your cousins still, in some respect? They are human. Help them.

And write to your Congressman and Representative. I am.

Thanks much,


An amazing little college student,
the founder of STAND-
Students Taking Action Now: Darfur.

The Reverend Al Sharpton.

This guy stood in front
of me for a good hour
and a half sewing a shoe.
That's right, a shoe.

Clooney and his dad.
The looks don't fall far
from that tree.

I could almost touch
George. Almost.

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