Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In Memoriam

Wow - this year has flown by. I don't know that I have much to say, but I've recently been asked by a couple of folks who I'm REALLY bad at keeping in touch with to "update the damn blog already" so I thought I would - here's all the news that's fit to print.

BUT FIRST - a disclaimer. I think that there are times in your life that are for action, and there are times in your life that are for letting all those actions and reactions sit and stir around in your head, percolatin' as it were. Apparently, this last 6 months or so has been the time for action, and boy has it ever! So...when not in the "percolating period" I find that I do very little writing - and that's my excuse - for not writing, for lacking wit and insight in this post, etc.

...after 11 years and 146000 mls, I think I'm about to have to say goodbye to my most constant traveling companion - Morgan, my silver Mustang.
Once, in 2005, when we roadtripped from MS-->Chicago-->Milwaukee-->Cleveland-->New York City-->North Carolina-->Nashville and back to MS, I stopped for an oil change in North Carolina. They discovered there that when I'd gotten the last oil change in MISSISSIPPI, the techs had neglected to replace the oil cap. Not only was there no damage - the oil cap was still sitting there under my hood - waiting for someone to notice it.
We've traveled on long, grueling road trips with no stops - 13 hours overnight straight through to NC for a wedding once (and back 2 days later). 20 hours to Denver (although we stopped overnight in MO). I drove that car off the lot in August of 1999. Drove it from Jackson to Vicksburg, then back to Clinton for a movie. I wish I remembered what the movie was.
I got in the most serious trouble I've ever been in in March of 2003 in Oxford MS in that car - had to leave him at a gas station while some other folks gave me a ride.
He's seen me through 2 relationships I thought might be the one...and he drove me out west to home in the arms of the one who is.
He's gotten me to interviews on time, and despite my lack of direction - we always find our way to where we're going.
We've been together for 11 years straight (minus the 9 months I lived in Chicago), and Morgan I don't really know how I'm going to get used to driving another car. It won't ever be the same...I'll probably end up with some 4 door sedan that drives well in the snow. It won't hug corners or accelerate with the strength and pure ambition you've got.
This past weekend he pulled out his most magnificent feat to date. On the way up the mtn in traffic at 6pm on the holiday weekend - Morgan started to overheat. We rushed forward to the closest exit and when we pulled up in Georgetown, he started to steam. But rather than give up - we armed ourselves with gallons of water bottles and started up Berthoud pass... Morgan made it up that mountain and back down again AND got us to the emergency room when there was a slight incident with a knife and an avocado over the weekend.
There's nothing that car can't do. But alas - the owner's manual stops telling you how to take care of your car at 150,000 mile and I can assume that Ford doesn't believe there's any possible way he might last that long. And the last 2 years have been full of numerous repairs and system overhauls...I think it's time to think about moving on. (Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks in it...this will most certainly be the same!)
But here, Morgan in your honor, a list of the trips we've been on (the ones I can remember at least)
- countless trips to St. Louis and back (once with most of the contents of my life as well as two other people packed inside)
- many times from St. Louis to Memphis or Vicksburg to Memphis
- all over Mississippi
- Jackson to the MS and AL gulf coasts
- Jackson MS to Raleigh, NC
- Vicksburg to Chicago
- Chicago to Milwaukee and back
- Chicago to Cleveland OH, by way of the Canadian border where we were unceremoniously denied entry and the contents of Morgan's trunk were mocked (I SAID there were a lot of shoes!)
- Ohio to NYC
- NYC to Chapel Hill, NC
- Chapel Hill to Ashville, NC
- Ashville to Nashville, TN
- Nashville to MS
- Jackson, MS to Denver, CO
- Denver to Santa Fe, NM

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thank you's

Periodically, I resolve to say "thank you" for something every day. It was part of my new year's resolution to do it, and write it down everyday...I did that for about 3 months, but I do still remember to lift up a silent "thank you" MOST days!

However, today I thought I'd send out some of those THANK YOU's to the ether...or wherever this internet goes :)

Thank you for plenty of work, and work that I love (most of the time). I know that times are particularly rough right now, and I am so grateful. Thank you for my sisters, who have exciting things going on left and right, and make me proud. Thank you for my beloved, and for almost 4 years of loving, and standing side by side. Thank you for an incredible family of friends, all strong, peaceful, beautiful people. Thank you for beautiful family who share my blood, and all the memories we carry together. Thank you for bringing me to a place like Colorado, full of all of nature's glory. Thank you for a steady stream of guests in our home, and for the ability to buy our own house this year, beginning the creation of a warm home to offer up. Thank you for books borrowed and lent, and the exchange of knowledge. Thank you for friends lost along the way, for all of the strength and goodness they've offered to enrich my life. Thank you for a wide world to explore and enjoy. Thank you for art, particularly, of course, for theatre to open our eyes, and feed our souls. Thank you for all the excitement of new babies, and new unions that the future is holding. Thank you for an exceptional adaptation of Maurice Sendak's WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Spike Jonze, and for a night off to share it with beloved. Thank you for cell phones and the internet which are frustrating and sometimes feel overly complicated, but which do keep me connected to so many dear people. Thank you for a full, busy life, and for moments of peace to keep us grounded. Thank you for our darling kitty, Tres, for the laughter and joy that he brings our home. Thank you for a refrigerator full of food, and for the lack of want that has always surrounded my life. Thank you for the simple joy of a cup of coffee first thing on a cold morning. Thank you for my trusty car, Morgan, for holding up for so long, and seeing me through more than a few adventures. Thank you for live music, and dancing your ass off; letting your spirit sing out. Thank you for my rich montage of memories, and the lessons they offer up to me. Thank you for humour, and wit, and most of all, for laughter. Thank you for the gift of good health. Thank you for the long line of babies, children, and young people that life has provided me. Without them, I would never get out of my head. Thank you for almost 30 years of a gorgeous life, and to the ones ahead...as many as there may be, and full of mystery, Thank you.

Well, that sure feels good. Thank you for reading.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In my life...

My friend died - 16 years ago today. He was 16 years old. He's been gone now for as long as he was on this earth, and I was lucky enough to know him for most of the 16 years ago. He was my brother, three years older than me - uber protective. The closest thing I've ever known to a brother.

The things I remember about him are: he was funny- we laughed all the time, he always let me ride with him on church trips, he loved his mom and dad so much, and when he was around his 6 year old sister - well, she was the apple of his eye. He was serious, and genuine, he cared a lot about things and loved a lot. Northwestern was his dream school - he'd wanted to paint the NW in purple paint on the walls of his bedroom at the cabin he and his dad were working on renovating the day that his car crashed. I spent a lot of time at that cabin with his family, and the family of friends that we created afterwards. His absence was always there. He wanted to be a doctor, he would have been a great one. He loved to be outside, and on stage. He was an actor, singer, athlete, band geek, choir nerd, and churchgoer. He kept me involved in youth group, and he was a little afraid of my dad. He was the only teenager that my mom would let me ride with. He was the only kid I knew who had his own telephone line at home. Fall days always make me think of him because of the day that 5 of us went horse back riding at my folks place.

On the day he died, I got a call from my friend Ashley. I was watching Full House and had just gotten home from riding lessons. I told my mom, she didn't believe it, so we started calling folks from the church. I spent most of that week at Rie Rie's house, or she at mine. We all talked on the phone a lot, when we weren't together. It rained at the funeral, it rained most of that week. Rie and her mom came over the next day, we made cheese quesadillas and cleaned out my mom's car. One night I woke up in the middle of the night, put on my jeans and stood outside in the rain crying. When my mom and I returned home from the funeral, Tears in Heaven played on the radio. "The Green Room" - the club that we'd all started to benefit our local theatre still met - although we just cried together. The friends that I had then will always be so close to my heart. Some of us have lost touch, some of us have lost faith - but in my heart, we're all still those bereft teenagers, and all that I have is love for those kids.

In the years to come we would meet at his grave. Some folks brought guitars - we decorated the site with little mementos of our lives, things he would have liked, or should have been a part of. I went there byself quite a bit, just laid down and chatted with him. Had he lived, perhaps we would have grown apart, perhaps he wouldn't always have been my older brother, perhaps I wouldn't have called him in college, when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, or when a romance went awry. But I hope I would have.

Jeremy was a good kid. He would have been a good man. I miss him, and my love goes out to everyone who knew him, everyone who missed the opportunity to know him - and all those bereft teenagers out there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

psychic psychosis

I've been quite a psychic here lately. Mostly petty little things - a song I haven't heard in a while pops into my head, then I get in the car and there it is...stuff like that. And very lucid dreams. Weird stuff...mostly it's just intrigued me...made me curious to see if it's something I might cultivate.

But a bestie said an important thing to me today. She said that those things are signs from your body, from your subconscious, from the universe - that you know what's going on. You know what's going to happen. You can trust yourself.

Can I?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Really? ...or how did I end up here?

Tonight I went in for my first official night at a new retail job. I was pretty excited, granted, it's retail - but it was going to be fun - I was just sure. My "official dress code" requires me to wear all black. Which I did, except for the infernal shoes. I wore this terrific pair of little red ones that a dear friend costumer just found for me at the thrift store. Okay...yes, I was testing things. I always do that...in high school on the night before I date I would always do something like dye my hair purple. "So, you thought you liked me huh? What do you think of me now!?" I suppose is the theory... Yes, I was testing things. And they called me on it. Which, I suppose is alright.

HOWEVER...here's how things went down, and dear readers - I am furious with how things went down. So I leave job #1 after scarfing down a Lean Cuisine steam bowl. First of all...seriously? I'm trying to eat right, which is normally a delight - tonight's meal was not...but with new job (job #2) I'm only allowed one fifteen minute "off the floor" and I'm slated to be there until midnight, so I figure, "suck it up, you'll be glad you ate later." So, this morning, I pack my lunch, AND my dinner and I head off for a twelve hour day.

Back to the story at hand...so I leave job #1 and head towards job #2. First of all, finding the parking lot in the blinding light of Colorado sundown was a pain in my a**. I finally find something, put my $3 in the box and head in to work. So I get there, and it's just like the factory I knew it would be...I put my stuff in my locker - folks leaning up against them, dressed in their "all black" like the good little sheep that they are... and I proceed to check in.
There they are - my bosses and they're looking me up and down. The woman says, "do you have black shoes?" To which I respond, "Oh, no, I'm sorry - is that a problem?" "Yes, you have to go home. What's your name?" I tell them, then the woman barks at me again, "We need a working phone number for you. Your phone doesn't work." "Really," I think to myself, "because your office called me 3 hours ago to REMIND me that I have to come to work?" As if I ever needed to be reminded that I'm supposed to be at work. Don't they know that I am a work horse? I KNOW I'm supposed to be at work. Then the man tells me that he won't hold it against me, they're overstaffed tonight anyway. And there we have it, gentle readers. I'm dismissed. The security guy looks at me and says, "uh-oh" as I leave.

And the thing is - I get it, I should have worn black shoes.

Nevermind that I stand behind a counter. Nevermind that I am really, stupidly good at retail. Nevermind that I needed this job to get me through the two months between teaching gigs (in another three weeks, i'm picking up two more jobs and I won't care...but today, I care). And I wanted to tell them to F off. That I don't need their stupid job. But I do. So now I'm just hoping that they'll put me on the schedule for next week, so I can go in and smile a lot and sell some of their stuff.

And what I'm wondering is, how did I get here? I had a promising future. BLAH.

I'm going to go have a glass of red wine and pretend like all this "job" nonsense is just that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some things I've learned...and some things I'm still learning...

Proving myself to anyone only proves that I don't know myself.

I have great hair!

There's actually just about nothing that's impossible in this world.

You never know what's next.

The best gift that you can give anyone is trust...trust in them, in yourself...the ability to be trusted.

Love IS all you need.

No matter how much I work to deny it, I LOVE and really kind of need coffee.

It turns out, you may not really need the things you think you do.

I may be just a little bit psychic. We might all be. I'm interested in cultivating this.

I have three best girlfriends - cumulatively, they make who I am obvious.
I have one best friend - he makes me happy to be who I am.

Saying "yes" to an opportunity makes me very happy!

Perspective is the carrot I chase...sometimes it's close, sometimes not so much...I'm working on it.

There's very little in this world that a good cup of tea, a bath, a massage, and a smoke won't make better.

Peanut Butter and Jelly really is the best!

I carry all the people that I've known with me - and that makes me stronger.

Grief cannot be objectively quantified.

I am capable of so many more things that I ever thought possible, and I am learning that more and more in every moment!

...I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging...but lately, it's been more listing than blogging...but then again, you never know what's next!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Year Before 30...

Only about 7 and a half months to go until I'm 30. But who's counting, right?
Actually, I'm pretty excited about it - I think I just keep getting better, and life certainly keeps getting better, every minute and every year. However, it is a strange sensation to recognize that in only a few short months, that illusive decade, "my 20's" will be over. How I thought I would never reach it...and then, just like that, it's over. Of course, I recognize that all of this pressure and symbolism is purely culturally based. We're taught that our 20's are supposed to be some time of wild debauchery and equally, of settling down and starting down a path. In truth, I think our 20's is just another set of 10 years to try out being human.

All that being said, it's still weird. 30. I think I'm gonna like it there. But in the meantime, a few lists.

Things I did not do in my 20's that I thought I probably would:
get married
have a baby
go to grad school
quit smoking

Things that I did do in my 20's:
Graduated with an undergrad degree in acting, magna cum laude
Got arrested
Moved back to MS, lived with my grandfather just before he died
Spent several months unemployed
Buried both my grandparents
Saw my parents divorce
Had my heart broken
Took a road trip for a month by myself
Began teaching
Moved to Chicago
Fell in love
Moved to Colorado
Bought a house
Started a company
Went to Europe, twice
Went to Las Vegas for the first time
Stood up for my two best girlfriends when they married their loves
Directed lots of my own plays, and got paid for it!

Anyway, there's a little taste. And hey - there's still 7 and a half months! Who knows what I might do in that time! WHOHOO!