Monday, December 17, 2007

Just a little perspective for my day.

I seem to think I am the center of the universe when really, I am the tiniest of atoms in comparison. And yet, am still loved, remembered, and known. Amazing, isn't it.

The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The monster tree takes over and the psychedelic snowman joins in

So last week we set off into the wild world of Christmas trees to find one of our very own. I mentioned our fruitless trip to the tree farm which brought us to Green Hills. Normally I avoid Green Hills. Just a trip PAST the mall there makes me poorer. Danger! Plus the traffic generally sucks. This area was not meant to be a major retail center. There is only one road in and out of it and it goes through a neighborhood which has already been encroached upon as far as it will allow! Any more road and they'll have to tear down houses. I don't see that happening and yet, it expands. I digress... So off we went to choose a tree...

Lots to choose from

Our tree!
After wandering awhile, I chose this one. I like em FAT! We wrestled it into the car, recovering from sticker shock, wrestled it into the house (the Geek pulled his back out!) and after several days, and having to re-arrange the ENTIRE living room, it's all done. I thought I'd share.

So happy to find a tree

A forest?

I made this! Trimmings are faboooo

This was Matt's from before. I have to say I hated it on sight and was all for pitching it out with the trash, but he pleaded for it's survival and so now it has joined the holiday tradition. Cause nothing says Christmas like a fiber optic snowman!

It's mostly good for getting stoned and looking at. Man...look a the pretty colors...
But I don't do that any more...wait!

Taking up the living room - aint it beeyootiful?!

What? Dis Mah tree now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Special men...

I put a photo up of the Geek and his furball and he got invited to join this group.
Special Men - who love animals
What more is there to say. I am at the office so I have to laugh very quietly, but I am about to bust! I think it's the use of 'special' in the title and the fact that it's these big burly guys with their cats and/or dogs etc. The guy with no shirt is my fav so far. WOW.

Christmas time is here....happiness and cheer...

Time for all that children call, their favorite time of year...Snowflakes in the air...carols everywhere...

Thanks Vince. I needed that.

After an unsuccessful trip to the tree farm this past weekend, we are still in need of a tree. We had a great time with our neighbors on the way there, but all of the trees were a little TOO Charlie Brown for my taste. The drought this year really took a toll on them, all brown and skinny. So we are opting for my favorite place, Hillsboro High School. Every year they have a Christmas tree 'store' in front of their school and we procure my personal favorite kind of tree...a Fraser Fir. While this is not the tree of my youth, I am not so sure I long for that kind of tree. Mama usually took a hatchet or hack saw out into the woods one day shortly after Thanksgiving and dragged back whatever the East Texas woods on Grampa's land would offer up in the relative shape of a Christmas tree. Generally a pine of some sort or occasionally a fir tree of some kind, they got the job done and were covered in enough tinsel as to make them appear festive and fun. Mama let us get crazy. The tree was practically choked with the stuff and we vacuumed it up until June! Plus, if you put a strand through your two front teeth like dental floss then blow...oh the crazy fun!!! Those were the days.

But I've grown up since then and have decided that if I am to be grown up and have to actually PAY for a tree (we live too far from Grampa's land, plus he sold it last year), I am going to get exactly what I want for a tree. Thus the selecting of big FAT Fraser Fir. The first year I got one I lived in

THE COOLEST downtown loft EVAAAR.

My windows faced the Cumberland river and we watched many a concert at the Riverfront Park. I watched a building burn the night Cake played the park. There were thousands of people...but I digress. So I bought this big fat tree and the threw a party and had all my friends make or bring an ornament for my tree. It was so lovely. So the tradition began and so it shall continue with a trip to Hillsboro High School tonight.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

suffering the slings and arrows....stupid puck

A brisk walk through downtown as we headed to the Solmelia Center for the Predators Hockey game was probably the best part of the night tonight on the arm of my big, burly, handsome geek. The Christmas lights were twinkling on the trees around the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and we had found SWEET free parking. It was all downhill from there and I blame my overly competitive nature for that. (sigh) Another thing to let go of if it causes me stress.

After a rousing opening period, the Preds suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks, culminating with a goal that skittered the length of the entire rink to gently land in our own undefended goal as we had sent all of our men forward to try and narrow the lead that the Canucks had over us. Even as one of the players nearly sacrificed his life in a effort to prevent it by skating the length of the rink after it, diving and colliding with the post and then wall of the rink. To no avail. It made the score 2 to 5, decidedly not in our favor. Most people walked out at that point, but there were a few more minutes so we stayed 'till the end. I am not even the biggest hockey fan and STILL it burns me up. A bright spot though, we had a small boy behind us during the game that had lots of questions for his mommy that she didn't know the answer to. We supplied most of those details for him, but the best question I overheard was "Mommy, why do they mop the ice?" I love the way kids see things in terms of their own small world! I explained about a Zamboni and he was much impressed. I'm big with the 6 year old crowd.

Back to work tomorrow. This is an all new position for the same large institution type university. I think I'll be answering phones. Fun.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adventures in homeowning and Basement treasure

After months of ignoring our home inspection report, I finally printed it out and got in my grubbies to make the rounds. I began in the basement. It seemed a logical place. I'd been reading about foundations lately and so wanted to apply my newly gained knowledge to my own house. I began looking for moisture and soon figured out that I could not do that with all the junk down there. So basement hunting ended up being basement cleaning. Fogged up goggles and face mask in place, I swept and hauled and swept and RAKED and gathered all the rubble, for rubble it was, into the middle of the floor.

The Rubble...
Before it ended up in the trash bin, I decided to sift through it, just in case there were any little treasures hidden in that mess. Good thing I did! My archaeologist friend Lorraine would be so proud!! Look what turned up.

Former Residents (now deceased)
I wore gloves, don't worry.

Signs of life
Rubber bands, an old kitchen knife, a cymbal pad, a hacky sack from a sounds game that a rat or a mouse stole the fluff out of, shiny bits of glass and mirror, my bungee cord!! (hey, I thought I lost that!) picks (not mine), snail shell, pens, the leg off some sort of furniture (the ball thing), golf tees and last but not least, a crocheted wash rag. (someone's Gramma spent a LOT OF TIME on that thing and they just left it in the basement! Oh the guilt trip they might have gotten...)

Children lived here
Christmas ornaments, train set electric poles, a tiny red cell phone(didn't make it into the photo), part of a porcelain figure

Five old Marbles (how did my house know I love marbles!?)
Plus that thing with a number. What IS that thing. Was it bingo night at my house?

House bits and bobs
The knob to the basement door!! Lucky I found that or I'd have had to wait for The Geek to come home and let me out. I accidentally pulled the door all the way shut behind me.
Various washers and bits of copper piping, (hmmm extra cash?), some old, some new, wire, nail, a bolt that held the boiler down to the slab, a tin light switch cover staring back at me like a robot face!!

Odd hunks of wood
You never know when you'll need these!!

Signs of things to come
Why are their pieces of field stone rubble loose in the basement?! It's time to fix things.

I squealed over each one like a five year old! Each one of these things, I'm sure, is bound to 'land you in the hospital', 'take or shoot your eye out', give you tetanus' or what ever other 'mommy isms' I'm sure mine had in store for me and I will, in turn, visit upon the currently unborn (and un-concieved) but for now, it was lots of fun.

Back to business...So the basement does have a smidge of seepage and after a tour of the outside, I can see why. We'll start with a gutter repair and if that doesn't dry out the ground on the north side of the house, we may have to dig a drainage pipe, or figure out where the currently unused, but present terra cotta pipe leads. I had many more fabulous adventures in the basement today, but they will keep till another day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stay at home dog mom - strikes back!!

Still no job, but I can't say I'm sad. I spent most of yesterday in PJ's reconciling our bank statements and monitoring the dog, who, the night before last, threw up a plastic Kroger bag...I know...the life of luxury! Can't say that I miss filing or sorting paper clips or anything remotely like that. I am finishing Christmas cards, meeting a friend for lunch and in general, getting the home life back up and running. No word yet from my recruiter, but if I don't hear from him soon, I'll start looking for something to do with my time.

Lots of crazy life is coming down the pike. My parents might be coming for the holidays, and after 8 years of asking, nay, begging them to visit I have to say I am a smidge unprepared. I guess I never thought they'd actually come! Silly me. So now, we have 1 bed (ours), a couch that is not great for sleeping on, and have just abandoned the upstairs of our house in preparation for renovation. I guess we have to move things around again! Plus, it looks like we'll be eating Christmas dinner around the coffee table if I don't lay my hands on some cheap seating. Other than that, bring it on. We are going this weekend to the tree farm to cut a tree and have lots of fun with new friends. I am very excited about it!

As for being a stay at home dog mom, I have a Freckles on a mission. She has the trash buzz and we can't seem to barricade the garbage secure enough to keep her out of it. She breaks chain, bends steel...(just kidding about the steel part) It's like those bears that get hold of people food and the have to be re-located because there is no breaking them of it. No matter that it'll kill her, she doesn't care. So for now, she is restricted and I am off to home depot to get some stronger chain. (not to chain her up on BTW, just to chain the door shut so the cat can still get in, do his business and get out. And she CAN'T get in. That's the plan anyway.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blog, I knew you were trouble!!

At the end of the day today, I got called into my super's ('MS' for short) office where I was informed that I was "not a good fit" for the office. I asked for a little clarification, "constructive feedback" I called it, and that's when MS mentioned my blog. Apparently while I was out sick yesterday, MS tracked down my blog somehow and read, not a few entries, but the entire thing. Years worth! While that did wonders for my blog rank, it also lead MS to believe that I'd been blogging on the company time. (untrue) MS also mentioned the photos of archaic computers I'd taken and said it was "not appreciated." They were 'large university type institution's' personal property (never mind that most of it's bound for the garbage). That's the first I heard of that being against policy. I sat through the hours of training for this job and never once did they mention anything like this.

While I sort of sat there in shock (and tears, yes, I'm very emotional), I felt as if my journal had been read. Not that all of you don't read this, but I invited you! I know you. If strangers read it, then fine, but they don't use it as 'evidence' against me. Now, several hours later, I've begun to discover what was really underlying my anger.

  • Fear - it tops the charts. The Geek is being hired on to his new job and while great, there is this one little thing. The whole month of December that he will receive NO PAYCHECKS. We had been counting on my puny paycheck to tide us over. Perhaps we should count on something (or someone) bigger.
  • Hurt - Here is this person whom I have continually worked so hard to be kind to, in spite of the fact that MS treated me as if I am 12, smacked me on the back of the head with either papers or hand so often that I had to actually ask them to stop. The same person who has watched me with a wary eye from the first week and 'jokingly' expressed a fear that I would take away their job. Now I am not being heard, I am not being understood, I am not being respected in ANY WAY. I am being falsely accused of things that are now costing me my job. When pressed, MS mentioned other things...not completing tasks fast enough (how fast do they want them?), having trouble staying focused(yes, I'm on meds for that), and a list of 'little' things that somehow never got mentioned along the way but also are contributing to my termination. I feel devalued. I worked my butt of doing the most menial crap!! Any human would have trouble staying on task. Yet, I came back, day after day and did it. I was honest and told my boss that I was struggling with that work and asked for something to break up the monotony. MS gave me More menial crap work and I did that additional in between the other menial crap. I said that this being my first foray out into Corporate America, which MS knew, I would have liked to know that I was actually doing something wrong so I could stop, change course, get better. "Nope," MS said. "You're just a temp." In other words, disposable, replaceable, not worthy of respect.
  • Helplessness - nothing I said could change the mind of my boss. And believe me I rage against that feeling!
  • Embarrassment - MS knows more about my life than I want them to. If I had wanted MS to read my blog, I'd have sent them the LINK!
  • Sadness - because to lose a job, for me, is to fail. I hate to fail. I know it's not truth, but it's how I feel.
  • Joy - I don't have to go back to this job!! EVAAAAR!!! Good-bye shredding and shredding and sorting and logging, (BUT NOT READING) and hauling files. Good-bye sorting through 12 banker boxes FULL of paper and recycling all the manila folders and PAPER CLIPS! Good-bye paper cuts. Good-bye being hovered over and questioned about being online when I'm at lunch. Good-bye stuffy unfriendly vibe of the office and 'calming' blue walls. Good-bye nervous and suspicious people. I don't have to be told I'm working TOO HARD or TOO FAST and then be fired over working TOO SLOW. Good-bye horrible cube and dreadful plastic plant. I shall not miss you. I will miss the people who were kind to me, who joked and tried to make me feel welcome in this uncomfortable place. Next time I'll listen when my gut tells me something is wrong and I'll say, 'this isn't a good fit,' BEFORE I get terminated.

It's been a rough/long day. I moved the blog to further aid our anonymity and my right to free speech, if you are wondering why the new address.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And no...

This is not ALL I'm doing on my day home sick. And Yes...I feel a little guilty for being home sick today. Mental Health Day, really.

Ah hah ha ha hah Hooooo! Wha ha ha ha ha...(wipes eyes) hm heh heh ahem...

Thank you What not to Crochet. Made my morning. Best part is...they can be used to hold things!! Because of the drawstring. Why green though...or any color for that matter!! Oh the weirdness of it all!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jack came to visit me this morning...

First Frost

Bring your silver, in the dark of the night
to sparkle and shine in the first dawn light

The morning sun sets the blades afire
With with pink tinged opal and ice blue sapphire

Sing a sweet deathsong to the stubborn green leaves
I will not mourn for the branches of the bereaved

Your long cold fingers reach in through the door cracks
You've been gathering strength in the hours of pitch-black

The floorboards creak, groaning with age
They strain against their nails and express their outrage

They shrink back from you as their cells contract
Long dead, still the bones of those trees react.

Like a thief, you come to steal the warmth away
I curl borrowed under blankets to keep you at bay.

But the clock will soon sound and I'll put my feet to the floor
And join the chorus of the floorboards that cried out before.

Oh Jack, you are welcome. It has been far too long,
But first give me a chance to put my slippers on!

Happy 'First Frost' of the Season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Work, Monday and A.L.C Violations

I despise work. Can't I just be independently wealthy? No? OK.

I had a star studded night at church last night as I looked around and half the people who's music I'd been jamming to this week were sitting in seats around me. Lots to report and not enough time to do it in. 6 am crept up like the Grinch who stole me sleep time and bit me!! I ignored it long enough to make myself late for the bus so I had to skip showering (EWW!!! You say?... Get over it. When I lived in Peru I'd skip showering for days!! It was life risking to stand under the appropriately named 'widow maker' that heated the water...but that's another story.) So, just a quick shiver under the spigot, then flinging myself into clothes, flinging food at the animals (ok, not AT them, but in their bowls) and then running, yes, HAULING down the block to catch the bus. I crossed the street and it crested the hill. Missing the bus would have been bad.

But the bus always affords me great 'copy'. There are all these new and interesting people there and I get to surmise what their lives are about. I'm sure I've got it all wrong, and very often am schooled in reality when they actually open their mouths to talk to me. Still, it's an adventure. I stand out on the bus. Usually the only white person who's pants aren't sagging with my hat on crooked. It's a strange and yet beautiful paradigm. I practice bus knitting and rate the people around me on a scale of A.L.C. For those of you who have not ridden public transit and therefore don't know about A.L.C, I shall explain. A.L.C stands for Acceptable Level of Crazy and if you are on the public transit, it is best to maintain a very tolerable A.L.C for the sake of everyone around you and your personal health. I've never experienced extreme violation of A.L.C, but my friend and neighbor got to watch police officers wrestle a man to the bus floor and forcibly remove him from the vehicle. He was exceeding the A.L.C. for reasons known only to him and the bus driver. Other things rank you in this category too.
For example:
  • Talking, muttering, grunting like a Wildabeast (or Yak), or cussing loudly to yourself or at anyone else. I watched a large homeless (and crazy) man yell, no SCREAM, at an old man (a perfect stranger to him) who was waiting for the bus. I have no idea what it was about, but...exceeded the A.L.C.
  • Touching people when there is plenty of room on the bus.
  • Telling random strangers your life story while they are forced to sit next to you on their way to the next stop.
  • Saying in the creepiest way possible "How you doin'." to a strange woman (ME!) at 6 frickin' 32 in the morning.
  • I could go on.

Lest I put you off public transit, please let me say that these events are spread out over months and at their worst, add bit of spice to my life. The bus system, while it has it's flaws, is FREE for me because of the large Institution Type University I work for and for everyone else, cheaper, MUCH CHEAPER than driving. Plus, I am happy not to drive in rush hour traffic. It's like being chauffeured around! Me and about 20-40 other people, (depending on whether it's one of those double jobbies) but still.

So today, no one exceeded the A.L.C. but, you know, if they had, this post would be even MORE interesting, so who's to say it's an undesirable thing...for the sake of entertainment...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A chink in the armor

I had a conversation with my long-time friend TLC and after a fabulous discussion about her current man problems (she keeps being asked out by amazing guys who have EBJ (everything but Jesus) Oh, the tragedy of it all!), we briefly talked about how long it had been since I got married. She asked..."almost 3 years?" and the answer was nearly 4. Though it was the tiniest of moments that passed, and then we moved on to other things like this sad event in the history of her rock-star travels, it made me think.

It was 5 years ago that we walked around and around that rubber track at Vandy, talking about the future. Nearly 5 years ago, when I put out my last album, I had plans to go on the road. Although a marriage and all the drama that followed derailed those plans at first, it was this self-knowledge that followed that truly took the train off the tracks. I hate touring. I hate being homeless and sleeping in random places. I love to travel, but traveling is not work that I have to do. I can do what I like, see what I like and take it easy. Mostly I love to live where I travel. I sorta nestle down in one spot for awhile and get to know the place. Then I can move on. My musician friends live in their cars, eat from a cooler or fast food places, sleep on scratchy hotel sheets or a borrowed couch every night, and are alone, for the most part, especially the independent ones. Though I envy them many things (among them: their music being heard, living a life that leaves space for music and creating every day, new places, new friends, having an awesome apartment in Manhattan, writing, speaking, adventures, sweet Cash!) this is one that I don't envy. It's one of the big deterrents for me to picking up my guitar and going.

At least that is what I tell myself and everyone else. If I never am on a stage in a strange town, I never have to worry that no one will come. If I never risk failure, I'll never be a failure, right? I read a quote somewhere, just a silly little thing, but it whanged like a gong in me. "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried." I have spent so much time doing this! I put on the bravest face I have in my bag and tell people I don't care. "If I say it enough," I think, "it won't hurt when people remind me of how I didn't measure up." Not that many people do though, outside of my family that is. I think that residue still hangs on me a bit. My family, though I love them dearly can sometimes be like chickens. I know that sounds like a weird comparison and you might think, 'Umm...Chickens are harmless...and afraid of everything! What are you talking about?!" But if you have ever been around chickens, you'll understand this analogy. For those of you who didn't grow up on a farm or the like, I'll explain. If a chicken is hurt or shows a weakness, they are pecked to death by the flock. One limp or bloody eye and it's over for that chicken. They don't all jump on it at once but that chicken dies at the hands of the whole flock, who kill it one peck at a time. Then they actually eat it!!

In my childhood, I saw my family eat people alive emotionally. Pick on them, tease them, make them feel like crap. Show one weakness and you are toast. I participated!! I remember once my little sister had a crush on someone and had written his initials on her notebook. Well, he had rather telling initials and soon we ALL knew who it was. We teased and teased her about it until she scratched his name off of her notebook. To like someone made you vulnerable, to be sad made you vulnerable, to love, to be happy, to worry, to dream, to fear. So on the surface, I stopped doing those things. I was strong, sarcastic, quick to comment on others faults. I carried sardonic humor like Indiana Jones' whip! Spot a chink in the armor and 'whap-pow!' I'd hit it.

It made me very popular in college (when that sort of thing is smiled upon - think Woody Allen), but soon after I got married, my husband called for a cease-fire. It took tons of gentle and not so gentle reminders for me to actually stop. It has taken nearly 4 years for me to begin to take down the barriers and armor that had guarded me so well and be vulnerable. Sometimes I still fear that I'll be eaten alive, so I strike out first with words or lets be honest and call it rage. Rage has been my best weapon of late. But little bit by little bit, I am working toward being vulnerable.

So here's an attempt. I am sad that I am not a rock star. I love my life and who I am. Most days (as I blogged about recently on a particularly good day) I am content, but there is still this little voice says, "I want that life." My birthright and my instincts tell me to hide all evidence that I ever wanted that; deny that I longed for that gypsy life on the road and say intelligent things about how the music market has changed and there is no room for a 30+ year old woman who is overweight, no matter what her voice or songs sound like. How the business is all about selling yourself and I'm not into that (more like I don't think what I've got is worth buying). About the importance of being sensible and stable, putting down roots, investing in my marriage, finding other outlets for my creativity, contributing financially to my family etc, etc, etc. And yet, that voice does not fade. Its a whisper that drives me to fill blank pages with words that no one will hear, to pick up my guitar when I am tired from a 40 hour work week and rebuild the rapidly fading callouses on the ends of my fingers, to have Berklee's online music courses saved in my bookmarks so I can look at them and dream about a Masters course.

So I'll say it here where no one, anyone and everyone can see it: I want to play on stage, not every night, but lots. I want to drive around the US (not alone, and with my own sheets) and take silly pictures in front of faded landmarks and national monuments while we stop to pee on the side of the road. I want to sell the 6 boxes of cd's I still have in the basement. I want to play my guitar and sing every day and be in community with other musicians who respect me as a songwriter and fellow musician. I don't have a solution, but, for me, saying it out loud and setting aside what I am afraid you will think is a start.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I miss you, family!

The geek and I stayed home for Thanksgiving this year and were very grateful for the opportunity to mooch turkey from others, but I have to say. There's no place like home. If I had little ruby (or silver, if you are a traditionalist) slippers to click together, they'd rush me right into the chaos that possessed my sister's living-room this last Thursday. I hear it was wild! Kids under-foot, too much food, nobody napping enough, but still, I am sad that I was not there. I love my family. As crazy as they all are! My uncle and I lamented that we are becoming more and more scattered as our family unit grows. It was always too many people, but now with my siblings contributing to the current kid population, we are full to bursting and a family get-together is more on the scale of family reunion! In spite of all that, I long for Grama and Grampa's house (which the new owners have decided to demolish!!!!! Evil people) and the comfort of home and family.

As for what I did while here, see my previous post about the Thanksgiving Concert that the Nashville Chamber Orchestra put on. It was too much fun!! Although, as a side note, I have to say with great power (solos) comes great responsibility (showing up on time and knowing the music). You know who you are, though you may never read this, I just had to put my pound of angst out there about it. Now I am done. It shall never be mentioned again.

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving everyone!! Break out the tinsel and eggnog (and lactaid pills!) It's time for Vince Guaraldi to serenade us through the month of December... (you know, for a white guy with a helluva handlebar mustachio, he's not too shabby with the jazz piano. I wonder what possessed him to grow that thing!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hotmail, I think we should break up

I know that you and I have been together since I was 18, but things have changed. You were so young and cool then with your little red stamp! I remember it had an 'H' paving the way for the future. You were so cutting edge, so 'in the now'! You showed up, just when I needed you and you didn't bring your baggage into the relationship. Granted, I had to choose this totally weird name to be with you, but it was worth it then. I mean, the other option was my University's crap email system called PINE. Which some idiot hacked and spammed the life out of everyone, making it unusable. Yes, even in 1996. I know. It was was a sign of things to come.

Oh the innocence of you. What we had was so sweet. No MSN or crazy microsoft gradoo hanging around. It was just the two of us. I loved you hotmail! Little did I know, not long after we met, you began your sordid little affair with Bill and all his money!! I'll never understand your relationship with him. He's such a NERD!! I guess money can make you turn a blind eye when you are in bed with a geek. But even your secret big bad sugar daddy forgot to pay the light bill and where were we Christmas day, 1999? IN THE DARK!! Even I know not to trust a sugar daddy.

Your attempts to change for the better never worked. You said you installed a security system, but your "security system" was really your idiot friends standing guard at our front door, shoving everyone I know and love aside and making them wait in the yard. I had to go outside and and escort them in myself!! Even if I took the time to point out my friends to your guards and say, "Let this one come see me. Remember, she has on a green shirt and jeans and her name is Julie"...well, then every moron who showed up in a green shirt and jeans your idiot guards just let in the door, but still stuck Julie out in the yard, waiting. Forever. Until she went away after 5 days. It was rough, but we got through it. "At least," I thought, "he's trying!"

You went and got help. Tried to grow with the times and the next thing I know, you are coming home in flashy silk suits with a stray blond hair stuck to the lapel. You fixed your teeth, dyed your hair, went on a diet and I never saw it coming. Ok, that's not true. I had a small clue when I saw the icon of things to come. I just didn't think that she'd show up and shove me out the door! Hotmail, if I had wanted your stepbrother Outlook, I could be wit HIM. But the truth is, I didn't want him. I wanted you.

So I guess people change, they grow apart, they create mergers that the other partner isn't happy about. I put up with the MSN thing and the teasing about your name and how hotmail could be 'hot male'. I was FAITHFUL Hotmail! Why Hotmail!? All my friends left. They got gmail or yahoo or other cool new endtags to their emails, but not me. I stuck around. And this is the thanks I get in return?

Fine, be 'live', be 'cool', get that windows logo tatooed to your butt! You can have all the younger crowd swarming around you, but they will never love you like I did. This generation is fickle. You are always going to have to dye your hair that color. They'll never let you grow old gracefully. Someday, when you are tired and aching with the gadgets that load you down, you are going to look back and ask yourself, "Why did I ever let her go? She loved me for who I was!" but by then, google and I will have settled down, raised a family and I will have forgotten about our life together...almost.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waxing poetical

Walking to Fido,
the warmth of a mug of tea draws me
down the street.
I am struck by the silence of
the rush hour traffic,
clogging the pavement.
Nothing but the pulsing purr of
hundreds of cars lined up,
headed home.

I wrestle my umbrella from the hands of the wind
Avoiding, the puddle that threatens
to soak my socks through the holes
in my Mary Jane shoes.
The cuff of my pants
dips a finger
in a passing puddle
and flicks
a cold drop on my bare ankle.

The push and pull of this bi
polar autumn continues to
confuse the trees.
The Debutante maples
early to the dance,
showing their orange and red too soon
are now browning wallflowers
to the new crop of girls,
sugar maples flaming and bright.
Too cold to stay green,
to warm to let go,
they held on to their leaves
too long
now they rot and fade brown
on the branch.
Between the scorching
drought of the summer and
the sodden, undecided days of the
coming winter,
more tall hickory trees decide that
it must be spring.
Surely that's the better choice.
Their tender shoots of green
know not
the frozen doom that awaits them.
Shivering like new babies,
naked in the frost.

On the post,
the bright white man light
and the descending third
that repeats its electronic call
tell me it's time to
cross the street.
The light changes red to green
the quiet sea of brake lights
becomes the crashing ocean,
rolling waves on the beach
in passing rubber and wet pavement.
I taste exhaust in my mouth
I breathe through my nose to
filter what makes its way
past my vocal chords.

The delicate chill of the
gust of wind
shakes the rain
from the leaves and
brings a shade of pink to my cheeks,
blushing as though a lover
has caressed them and
brought heat,
not chill
to my face.

The bus squeals its arrival,
the pavement turns to bricks,
the awning up ahead tells me that
and the soothing buzz
of quiet conversation and
carefully chosen
eclectic music
are near and
I can lose myself in a
deep booth and
put pen to paper.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Evans House update

After much thinking about it and going through the ringer lately, Matt and I have decided that we don't need to separate again. I have been working really hard on not losing my temper over everything and Matt has been really working hard on making time for me. I really have enjoyed reaping the benefits of years of therapy lately. We forgive more quickly, talk about our feelings, practice kindness, take responsibility for ourselves...It's really nice. Yes, there are still the bumps in the road, which sometimes I sit down in front of, sob, and swear they are mountains. But all in all, it's on an uphill climb. Our life together is kind of like the stock market. Dips and peaks with a couple of crashes, but over all and over time, the trend is definitely upward.

It's coming up on my 31st birthday soon and I am having a big cookout on Saturday. Last year, I spent a lot of time struggling with being 'old', although I am not old. It was more about leaving the image of youth behind. I didn't know how to be anything BUT young. It's all I'd been, all my life. This year, I am not so freaked out. I am loved as I am, I am smart, I have experiences now that I never had in my youth. Being in my 30's is not so bad. In fact, I feel like I am finally hitting my stride! I dress in a way that makes me happy. I live in the world in a way that makes me happy. I don't struggle with "who am I?" much any more. I find myself to be beautiful, where in my teen years and beyond, I looked in the mirror and saw myself as lacking. I am not so afraid any more. Not that I think I can handle everything, but the knowledge that I can't and that it's OK, is a restful place. I'm no great politico, although I am still terribly opinionated. I am no supermodel, but I take care of my body and don't despise it. I am not one of the most brilliant minds of my time, but I like how I process things and am proud of the music I write and the little blurbs I write here. I like that I am still growing and changing and becoming the woman I was made to be. It's not really such a bad life.

As for the house, we move downstairs so we can start work on the upstairs. For now, the nasty carpet up there will serve as a drop-cloth as we fix the places where the plaster has come off, repair some of the woodwork and paint. No big renovation plans yet. The bathroom will have to be updated (or something! We haven't decided exactly what yet), since it is not very usable right now, but other than that, it's pretty cosmetic work. Then the carpet will come up and redoing the floors will begin. It'll be quite a job, but that's off in the future and for now, it's kinda cozy living on the bottom floor. Like going back to 2 bedrooms!

One last note...Matt has been a contractor with his Employer since February and this past Friday, they offered him a full time position!! He has worked his butt off to make that happen, so praise where praise is due. He is so excited and I am so happy for him. It's a good thing we are staying put this Holiday Season...the changeover in pay schedules will be a little tight! Overall, we are grateful and excited.

See you at my party!

Office Drama

Yesterday, one of my co-worker's son was in the office after school. When his mom went to get the car, he passed out. I and another were first responders and all those years as a nanny, combined with all those years as a lifeguard kicked into action! I didn't freak out. We called his mom, and 911. He got taken to the Emergency Department and is still there this morning! He keeps blacking out for unexplained reasons.

After the EMS came, the office cleared out like a ghost town. When I asked about that this morning, I came to understand that most people in my office don't have children and have never had to deal with a medical emergency. They all kind of freaked out. Me, I was in my element. I guess I do have some strengths. They may not be office policy and knowing all the rules for being P.C., but I have something to bring to the table and I am glad about that.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Then again...

Apparently writing in Spanish jumps you up a grade...


WHY?!! WHY?!! I iz smart too!
Well as a side note, I hear that newspapers are written at a 6th grade reading level, so at least I am accessible.
Actually, I'm pretty sure it's because I purposefully misspell things to make a point or to write kitty pidgin.
Por Ejemplo: This is s n f! (which it is not) OMG Mom! It's NBD. (and that's what I have to tell myself.
Yup. That's it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nashville Chamber Orchestra +Stevie Wonder music +Choir = AWESOME!!

The majority of transient musicians I know are not from around here and thus, don't stick around for the Holidays. This year, we are doing something a little different and are taking a break from holiday traveling. This also means, for the first time, EVER, I'll be here for all of the Nashville Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year hoopla. Plus, I get to sing. I got invited to sing with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (NCO from here on out...that's a lot of typing)Choir for their Thanksgiving Celebration -- Songs in the Key of Life. For any of you unfamiliar with that title, it belongs to one Stevie Wonder. It was a double album that came out in 1976 (so MANY good things happened to the world that the birth of ME!) and if you think you don't know it, you do. It's been the background to your life and you never even guessed! This was one of the most incredible albums that Stevie put out, the press and the public thought so too and bought it in stacks! But I digress...

The NCO, along with soloist and a gospel choir is performing songs from this album as well as some other pieces for their Thanksgiving Celebration as a part of their 07-08 Adventure Series
and let me tell you, it's gonna be INCREDIBLE!! If you want to attend, here's the skinny:
When: Friday Nov. 23 AND Saturday Nov. 24
Time: 8pm
Cost: Starts at $19 and goes to $69 - SEE P.S.
*Cabaret-style table seating on the main floor, with food and beverage service*
Eat and be cultured!!
Where: Schermerhorn Symphony Center
One Symphony Place
Nashville, Tennessee 37201-2031

PS. If you are my friend and live round here, I can get you a discount on levels 1,2 and 3(mid-range pricing, not the cheap seats). Just ask me. You know where I am. BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT SOON!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oh Martha...

I am a living, breathing, juxtaposition of incongruous things, and I like it that way.

There's the tomboy holdovers from my youth: (some aren't tomboy, just cool stuff)
I love dirt, I love messes, I love not bathing for days...well, not love, but put up with for the sake of sleeping in 20 minutes, I love books about making things, I love Making the things in the books, I love fishing (though the worms make my stomach flip over), I love swimming in any sort of body of water, I love soccer, I love running around with my dog in the passenger seat, I love home improvement, I love tools, I love working on my Volkswagen, I love 'puters, I love photography, I love yard-work and hammering things and building things. I love jamming on my guitar, I love going to rock shows, I love camping and making fire!

Then there's the 'girly stuff': (not promoting the stereotype, just putting a division up in myself that amuses myself)
I love tea parties and long for my own set of china, I love sewing, I love knitting, I love baking, I love cooking, I love crocheting, I love embroidering, I love mopping, I love vacuuming, I love scrubbing the bathroom (oh the cleanliness of it all!), I love round things and shiny things, I love to make jewelry, I love to paint pretty pictures, I love to buy fresh flowers for my house, I love parties and dressing up (although my feet get so mad at me for wearing high heels) And finally I love Martha.

Against all odds, I love Martha!! I could spend hours on her website and flipping through her magazines about how to make things and make things beautiful. So what if she is a snarky know-it-all who's bourgeois taste in recipes (simple supper my eye) makes her magazine recipes something I am sure to never try, is a convict, wore a very apropos costume this year and not very nice. I don't care!! Say what you will. She's just so very clever!! I can't help myself.

Fully expect to get wads and wads of hand-made gifts from me all you out there. I may just quit my job to stay home, bake, and blog. I promise not to get any car grease on them.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Nashville...but not

Fox had a new show on called Nashville and this weekend, just for kicks, I watched it online. The result was like walking around downtown stoned out of my head! There were all the familiar things about my town put up with all this plastic people and strangeness! What's that show...The Hills on MTV! That's what it reminds me of!! A faux reality TV show!! All this crazy manufactured drama with the HUGEST HAIR I have seen since I moved here from Texas. All the girls on that show, even the "extras" are blond with huge white teeth. They must have gone and culled Graham Central Station on a Saturday night! I was waiting for Fido and other cool places to show up on the screen, but alas, they stuck to the stereotypical places. Key locations I saw were been Loser's (which I've never heard of), the walking bridge, Tootsie's, and lots of drive-bys of downtown, also this apartment complex I have walked by a zillion times on Belmont Blvd! Surreal. About halfway through the first episode, I was thinking "I'm sure how I feel about havin' my town bastardized in this way."

It's a good thing I don't have to wonder about those feelings any more since the show has been taken off the air. I did a little boogie dance when I read those words in the forums. I began reading them when I realized there were only 2 episodes and at this point in the season there should be more posted.

So Nashville's rep was saved by low ratings!

Our Side's Krunker than Krunker than YO SIDE!!!!

Barefoot Republic attenders will get the title.
I happened to be tuned to Nashville Public Radio (NPR) this morning about noon on my way back from the grocery store and The Splendid Table was on the radio and wouldn't you know it, East Side Fish was being reviewed!! I had heard a rumor of this to come, but wasn't particularly intent on looking up the exact time of airing. We have long driven by the little fish shack on Main Street and giggled a the sign which read "The Krunkest Fish in Town." They were loathe to call it ramshackle, but I'm not. It's just another testament about not judging a book by it's cover! I laughed at the endearingly uncool way that Jane Stern talked about it being "Krunky," and how she had to be informed about the hip-hop meaning of 'krunk' which as several meanings (85 so far in the Urban Dictionary) but has come to mean, according to Michael Stern "extreme" or "the best" etc.
You can listen to the review here.

Yeah East Nashville!!! I love our hood.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My very own lols

I've been making our pet pictures into lols (why not...I got time!). If you don't understand, click here or here. But there also is this HI-LARRY-US site called lolgeeks, and since I have one of my very own of those, I am making lolgeeks wif the husband photos.
Here's one:

Originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville

This one is a lolgeek waiting to happen. I can't pass it up! It's too good. But it needs some pidgin added and I am stymied...any suggestions?

Da Boys
Originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville

I love our friends.

Andy's Birthday Party
Originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville

Look at these guys! So happy together. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see Matt with his guys. Aren't they cute?
I goes like this from left to right:
Paul, Matt, Andy, and Kevin.

All of us (wives in order of attachment to fellas above: Christy, Me, Allison, and Melissa) (here's most of us) get together on Friday nights to watch Stargate: Atlantis. It used to be just Stargate and then they spun off the Atlantis series and THEN the first show ended so they carried on with Atlantis.

When Matt and I met he said he watched this show called Stargate and I replied "Like the movie?" Little did I know I would be hog-tied and forced to watch season after season after season!! Not really. We were newly weds...I did it for love! I had to catch up on 6 or 7 (can't remember now) seasons so I could know what was going on when we went to Kevin and Melissa's house for Stargate Night. I was DREAMING new episodes at night...seriously!

And so it began.

Almost 3 years later, we are still spending Friday nights in Smyrna watching the SciFi channel in Kevin's bonus room o Star Wars Stuff. He's a bit of a fan. We are quite the crew. Usually the fellas start out with VG's until the show starts and then we all watch the show (the women keep tabs on the highlights while kniting, crocheting, gabbing a smidge, playing with Annie when the Hilchers are in town, being generally amused by Jayden, and then get shushed for the riviting parts who are randomly discussing the plausibility of the plot line etc.)

It's not bad having friends, is it!

Problems with Jayden's link? That's because she is a minor and thus I have made her photo on flickr private and available to only those who ask to be my friends or family on It's free. Don't be shy!

Friday, November 02, 2007

OMG technology!

work, originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville.

The days are getting colder. It was quite chilly standing at the bus stop today. I was glad for my 2 fleeces and gloves and a hat I made. Once I was actually on the bus, I melted like ice-cream in hell, but that is beside the point. The one great thing about Matt when he sleeps is that his body temp must rise to 104 or something, because it's like having a great, hairy water bottle next to me. I loves to snuggle up in the nites... Plus I can never extol the virtues of the goose down duvet (we don't need no stinking sheets) enough. Perfect for all seasons! Bus activities today included: working on my new knitted Tam. I made one in blue, but it turned out too big and not deep enough. It doesn't stay on! So its back to the drawing board, or needles or scrap paper...whatever it is I use to make up and edit new patterns! I digress.

Anyhoo, back to my post. So my new temp assignment has been, erm, strange, to say the least. Yesterday I sorted and inventoried old electronic equipment, including this:

Thinkpad 300 - with sticky stuff...ick.
Originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville

and This:

Toshiba Satellite Pro 425CDT-yeah baby!
Originally uploaded by Ariana in Nashville

which as you can see, don't so much resemble laptops as BRICKS!! If not bricks they are of "lappy" fame.

Quite the education. Then I spent the next 4 hours trying to break into a passworded computer, Brand name: Kaypro. Have you ever heard of a Kaypro? I had not. "Large University-Type Institution" must have gotten them on DEEP discount.
So hacking the Windows XP was not so fun, but v. challenging and I beat it!! I was so proud of me. I iz smart too! The reason why I cannot post pics at work is because of the EXTREME oldness of my work computer. Ok, I am being a little harsh. But when the front of my "large Nashville based distributor of computers" Brand computer has 2 USB ports on it, but the 'puter doesn't supply enough power to those ports to run a 256MB FLASH DRIVE, we are verging on obsolete, in my opinion. I miss my old assignment technology. At least there I had a lappy that could run a flash drive, could port in an external hard drive, had a place to insert my wee SD card to upload photos while on "Large University-Type Institution" time (JK if you are watching...I was on a break! Really!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Working for a living... every day

Life in the fast lane...I have a job now. A real job, where I have to get up, put something on besides jeans and sneakers and go to WORK. I will never understand work. Here's my synopsis. I've made it into a flow chart, just for clarity. You can never have enough clarity.

Click on image to enlarge.
So this is my life. I can't say I am always pleased. I don't know how to dumb down or slow down or smile and nod when people are treating me like a drooler. Thus...I quickly work myself out of a job and need to be reassigned!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Home again Home again..biggity bog...

Well, the good ole boys from Lexington brought me back home last night. Grubby, tired, shame-faced. They kept me entertained for about 2 hours with a string of the thickest drawl you've ever heard. I thought Texans were bad. This stuff is so thick I could spread it with a knife!! Matt and I decided to go back to sharing a car until we can fix this one. I'll have to save up though. It'll be a doozy to do. Good news though. I was driving to Longview to work at Day Camp for First Christian Church. It's the camp I went to as a kid and then came back as a junior counselor later. It is lots of fun for little kids! Too bad they don't let them swim in the lake any more. Anyhoo...a kind benefactor paid for my plane ticket down there so I could do music for the kids. I am so excited!! At least I'll get to see family and perhaps have a little fun in the process.

Matt is enjoying our new house. He gets his own office. (I still have a squishy chair in the corner of it so we aren't too far apart) He had a bunch of guys over today to play video games. He thought he'd be on his own by now!! I was supposed to be gone! He and Freckles hang out up here and bond. She's a big fan of the ratty carpet that is in our new house...ick! It's gonna be the first thing to go.

One last thing before I go...My good friend Christy is opening her own shop and will be carrying a line of cool jewelry by yours truly!! Check it out!

Friday, June 01, 2007

I can't be Stuck!

As much as I would like to be in Texas right now, I am sitting in Lexington, TN with my little orange VW bug. I was so proud to finally own the car of my dreams, but here I sit with the cold (hot actually, that's why we're like this) hard facts. My bug can't hack road trips any more. We have to get hauled back to Nashville. Little Naartjie got overheated and began to ruin her own engine! So it's a rebuild for us. In the mean time, I am bummed that I can't do my road trip. It was going to be Longview, Austin, Longview, Houston, Dallas and home. The whirlwind tour. I have a niece to meet and family to see. I can't be stuck!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Muh muh muh moovin'!

Hey folks and friends, we are packing up our stuff and moving to, not Bever-lee, but a few streets over. After this Friday, pending an inspection Matt, Freckles and I will be moving to a house. A house of our very own! The apartment life is losing it's savor as the days inch closer to our inspection date. I was having a bout of the pre-buyers remorse until I got a phone call from our evil apartment manager who informed us that the dog that we have had for a year is violation of our lease (along with the 8 other people in our 12 unit building who have pets and have had pets since we moved here 2 years ago) and she'll have to go... What's the deal with the crack down?! I think my dear dog is worth losing my deposit over, don't you? She ain't leavin'!!! We'll send out our new addy as soon as we know it's all final, which should be in a week or so.

As for this little blog for fam. and friends, I'm going to be transferring it over to a different format and getting rid of the whole MS FrontPage craziness that doesn't work for people with Macs. So we might drop off the planet for awhile, but we'll be back soon. I'll be blogging on my summer adventures and putting up photos. For those of you who don't know, it is an emerging plan to travel over the US this summer, singing (although not a formal tour) seeing friends and babies of friends that have been born while I've been away, camping with Freckles my girl-dog, driving down the coast of California and retracing route 66. That's the plan so far. Not sure what will happen after that, nor are all these plans fixed in stone. Life changes and our needs change with them, but this is the tentative plan. So if you have a couch for me to sleep on, I'd love to visit. June 1 is the kickoff day. Check out our photo page for a picture of my choice of transportation!!! Her name is Naartje (pronounced Narchie)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Upon our Anniversary

3 years. Can you believe it?! I can't some days. I had an interesting conversation with a friend about marriage and whether it is really the be all, end all for singletons. I used to think so, but 3 years in, I gotta tell ya, that is a bunch of Hollywood bunk!! Not that Matt isn't fabulous and it's nice to have him around, but he didn't complete me. In fact marriage is more like holding a mirror up to yourself in bright daylight with no holds barred about your defects, oh and you're naked. I used to laugh and tell my friends, "Wanna find out what a bitch you are? Get married." It's true. It'll bring out the very worst of you. It'll bring out the best in you too. Yet most of us know our own strengths, but have heretofore been less that willing to face any defects. For example: I'm one hell of a perfectionist coupled with a huge sense of being "less than everyone else"- translation? I never try anything too new or scary for fear of failure. I'm a bit of a nag, a horrible housekeeper, I kick at night, don't like to share, always want the last serving of ice-cream, I want my own way almost all the time and HATE HATE HATE losing an argument. How's that for hard to live with?! The list goes on, by the way. That's just a taste. But here we are 3 years later and actually happy. A friend once said, concerning couples therapy, "Go early and often." We took that advice and I had a moment of seeing progress in us the other day. We were with our realtor and Matt and I were goofing off. I called him a name like "dork" or some such thing. He said, "Please don't call me names, honey" and I said I was sorry. I didn't thing anything of it, but our realtor (married with 2 kids) said "Wow. You two give me hope." I never thought our marriage would give anyone hope. I mean there have been times when I can't stand Matt and I am certain he can't stand me either. I can't even stand me in those moments! Anyway, here's to our couples therapist and all the other friends and family members who have helped us get this far! We couldn't have done it without you all. Thank you!
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