Thursday, March 30, 2006

My love, My home

I misspoke a bit in the last entry, or rather, I wanted to make something clear if it wasn't. I have a home, a place of safety and love and happiness that never wavers, despite my constant whining for other locales. He's always here, alwasy at the ready, always challenging me and affirming me. And as much as I think - where will we be? What will do? It is always we. It is always us. There will never be for me, in the 50 years or so that will follow this moment, a time it will never be that.

i carry your heart with me
ee cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

May 2003

I'd click my heels, but I'm not sure where I want to go

I spend a lot of time dreaming about things to come. Sam and my's house/home someday - what the color of the walls will be, how we'll organize our office . . . how, yes even this, we'll decorate the nursery . . . I plan and scheme and dream an awful lot. And Sam endlessly mocks me for it. I have lists of plans for our current apartment, for myself, for us. Sometimes I'll refer to something I've thought out in my mind, forgetting I haven't shared it with Sam and immediately - as the mocking crosses behind his eyes and his mouth begins to open I yell - "PLANS! I HAVE PLANS!!!"

I do this for multiple reasons, the most prominent being I want to believe things will be good in the future. That nothing will impede our progress to this happiness I envision. A happiness as sure as the fact that our walls will be warm colored and our office will be clean and organized with a corner desk. Attaching details, for me, is affirming a commitment. Letting go of all the what-ifs and grandeur of anxiety I'm prone to, and making it all real. This sounds crazy and like a bunch of bull I'm sure. But there it is.

Recently the future has loomed closer than normal. We have began talks, meetings, briefings, about when we might live here and where we might go. I have lists of pros and cons miles long - and as we walk through the city on the weekends I announce them out loud to Sam, listing why it would be perfect to have a young family here - why it would be impossible. I find myself doing this to him constantly, in fact - at home, online during the day, every time I think of one more thing to add to the list. I say it out loud and then look at him steadily, trying to read what he'll say, what his reaction will be. Of course, I need not do that. I'm married to a man who will never hide his opinion from me. I get my response and tally it away, on yet another list.

My favorite is still "well, we'll just keep the baby in the drawer under the TV. he'll fit."

Anyway, my recent ponderings are a direct result that of all the girls I love most in the world - only two will not be in the KC area soon. And thinking about this makes me want to pack up and go back immediately some days. Three of my bestest friends will all be there, and little Sarah, well - I'm dying to be closer to her on a daily basis soon. When I dream of living the life that involves neighbors and children and pot luck dinners (ha! will that ever happen?!) I dream of these women being there. Of us drinking gin and tonics and beer on the porches watching our kids play together. The draw is absolutely undeniable.

And they know it. When two of them announced they were moving home there was a giant pause. And I saw it run across Sam's face, the knowledge that KC just moved to the top of my "maybe when we leave" places.

And thus began our unending discussion of what should happen if we decide to leave this city.

Because there still are pros and cons. Friends and family, the ever-present and ever-growing reason to go back are a pro, of course. Our jobs, our lifestyles - another tick on a list. Will KC work for us? Is it even possible? Would we both be happy - would we both leave the house in the morning looking forward to the day ahead? Maybe. Maybe not. Moving there takes Sam out of where he is, and he's good at what he does - and does well at it. It keeps me in my current career, against all hope I would do otherwise when we moved . . . see? How utterly complex it starts to get?

And then, of course, on days like today I walk out of our building into the crisp clean spring air and pause. The sky is clear and blue, the air is filled with the smell of blossoms from our tree and the sound of at least three different languages being spoken. I know I'll go into work with some of the most brilliant people I've ever met. I know that this weekend we'll go to one of the coolest zoos in the world, and then early next week see a Broadway show. That we have plans to drive to New Hampshire and Mystic, Connecticut in May. That here, it seems the possibilities are endlessly hopeful and exciting - and ever-changing.

My lists will continue to grow. Sam and I will continue to try to figure what will work best for us. But one thing all this talking and list-making and planning has taught me is that it really is possible to have more than one home. My heart will always ache for something. Be it the every day newness and strangeness of this city, or the comfort and love of my dearest friends. I don't believe I'll ever find the place that makes me sit and stay and never leave. I always thought I would, but recently it's occurred to me I don't have to. It's scary, the feeling of possibly never having roots to reach the center - but the thought of wings is way too tempting to let that stop me.

Monday, March 27, 2006


So lately, I've been revisiting some of the music I have that's been remiss in my recent (i.e. the past couple years) playlists. It's always weird to listen to music you haven't in a while. It seems to retain the time and place in your life you last left it. I find this a bit magical, a bit mystical and it never fails to make me pause, as I am immediately transported to a time and place that has long been forgotten, and yet seems as real and tangible as if it happened yesterday . . . So what I've been listening to, and where it's taken me . . .

Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
My friend Chuck gave this to me before I moved away to college. I remember him clearly handing it to me, carefully wrapped in blue paper and tied with ribbon in my parent's driveway. I remember clearly being shocked, as Chuck and I were close in the way you're close to people because you love mutual people so very much. Not to say I didn't care deeply for him, but more that I never would have imagined he would have gotten me a going away gift. That moment, I believe, changed our friendship in a way. Sort of acknowledged there was more there that either of us bothered to admit, or talk about. And I treasure it to this day. So "rediscovering" this album was a pleasant surprise. And, well, it makes me a bit homesick. And wonder how Chuck's doing.

In addition, I cannot help but feel that homesickness felt all those years ago in Florida. And the tear I felt in my heart when Florida felt so at home, and yet so many people were not there. I remember listening to these sad angst-filled songs trying to conjure up the same feelings for my long-distance boyfriend and failing miserably. I wanted to believe a piece of me was missing, but it just wasn't. It was when I first began to realize I could be on my own, far away, and still make a home. That was important - and by the time I get to the end of this album I can feel how good that realization felt.

Another album that I've been listening to, that has me thinking is Hem's Eveningland. It doesn't transport me in the same way CJ has been. More like it's been very current in my life, very this is where I'm at - and it's also tipped the scales in my personal life in a big way. As in, it's inspired me to start a painting. And not just sketches - but in a looking for canvas and piecing together reference and deciding what paint I need - way. It rocked me, it affected me and made me think - and I have to capture it. Capture this. I feel lately, that I'm on a precipice and I've been wavering in deciding what I'm going to do - jump and fall, jump and fly, or just stand still. This song (and in some ways the album) pushed me in the right direction - and right now as I listen to it on repeat I pray a bit that I'll sprout wings somehow unexpectedly.

So if you get a chance, listen to Red Wing. And then picture what YOU would do. Leave it in the comments even. I'll show you the painting as it progresses. Later this week I'll show you what *I* am doing, and you can compare it your vision. Here's the key part:

. . . Fly above the houses and the schoolyards
And fly until you cannot feel the Earth
No I don't mean that it's so easy
And I don't mean that it's so small
But the world below is not so mean
That it can make us fall

We are standing on the rooftops
We are circling like sparrows
We are tiny, we are trembling,
Scared of everything
But the heart is still a red wing . . .

Music plays such an important part in my life, I forget sometimes; that just because I don't make it, or even participate in it in any way - it still has great power in my art. Slowly I feel like I'm making a home for myself. Far away and alone this time, too - but in a really good, needed way. I'm pretty sure you understand.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Monkey Bread!

Delicious Monkey Bread to celebrate the newest addition to the NYC Central Park Zoo - a little Colobus monkey! We joined the zoo today so we can now get into all the zoos and aquariums in NYC for free, which rocks - and then spent at least a half an hour watching the new baby monkey desperately try to figure out how to climb. It was awesome.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Abbey Road

So today I feel twelve years old in a very not fun way. My Dad called last night (after first calling Sam to make sure he was home - this is how bad family news is broken in new marriages, I guess) and told me that he had to put Abbey to sleep yesterday evening.

It wasn't a total surprise, we knew something was wrong with her for a while now. I've been worried and my Dad has done his best to keep me updated. Numerous trips to the vet turned up nothing until finally my Dad had had enough yesterday and took Abbey once more and told the vet he expected her to find what was wrong by the time he got back. Well, what was wrong was a huge cancerous tumor that had grown to the point there was no saving her. She was obviously in great pain and it was only a matter of time before her body would just give out. My Dad made the hard decision, choosing for Abbey a peaceful and quiet death instead of more weeks of pain. He said he sat with her til the end - playing with her and letting her eat a whole bag of treats.

I knew this was coming, that she had been sick . . . but it broke my heart nonetheless. And the vet enrages me. She might not have been able to do anything to save Abbey, but knowing that Abbey had to live with such sickness for so very long makes me want to strangle the vet. She's lucky I don't live there to come storming into her office this morning, though to be honest, I might not be able to keep myself from making a phone call. I feel like as pet owners our job is to keep safe and take care of our small (and not so small in Abbey's case) animals. And her job is to help us do so. She failed - miserably. And I think someone should say that out loud to her. Right now I don't' care how bad it makes her feel. It will still be less than what Abbey put up with.

As for Abbey, I'm trying very hard not to cry all day long. INstead I'm trying to concentrate on how awesome a dog she was. How when I was sick she wouldn't' leave my side. How she leapt onto the couch next to me every chance she got. How she would et so excited as a puppy when Scott Haden barked at her through the dog door, and how I took her everywhere - EVERYWHERE, and she was so very well-behaved. How when she was happy, which was often, her whole butt wagged and how she was scared of the smallest things - like the bunnies in the backyard.

I read a lot about how having pets reduces your stress, makes you happier. And I don't doubt that's true. But I'd like to think we make them happier too. I don't' know if that's possible, if keeping another animal in a house when they should be out to run is truly better for them - but I'd like to think the love and the attention and the care we shower upon them makes up for the rest. I hope it does.

I feel like having animals close is as close as you can get to having bits of magic personified for us. They are small spirits keeping watch after us, reminding us there is more to our existence than the big trip, the big move, the big presentation. That there are wondrous things like treats, and walks, and sunbeams, that deserve equal if not more of our energy than all the "important" things we overwhelm ourselves with. They teach us that it's the simple things that matter. The littlest acts that can change a day - the greeting at the door, the game in the backyard, the sigh right before we snuggle in for a good night's sleep.

I know it's ridiculous to write a whole entry about my dog dying. But right now it seems like all I can do. She was a great puppy and a better friend. And I miss her already. I hope she has big backyards and endless treats right now. And someone to hug her an' tell her thanks for me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ostara, a day late

"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle." —Thich Nhat Hanh

Light inches back into our days from this day forward til midsummer. It pushes the darkness back; makes it smaller. I think that's what I'm going to try to do as well. Take my cue from the turn of the earth and its dance with the sun. And do so with everything I am; inch the light back in and push the darkness back.

I wish just that, for you, too. Light. Joy. Happiness.

Happy Spring, my loves!

Friday, March 17, 2006


Ya'll. I have had THE most exhausting couple weeks and I'm here to tell you what's sad.

What's sad is, the reason I'm so tired? The thinking. People, I feel like I have run a marathon EVERY DAY for the past SEVEN DAYS (only 5k-ers the days before that) and at most I've actually only walked three blocks each day. It's tragic. I'm sitting here at work, struggling to stay at wake at the inane and very UNeventful hour of 11am, not in a meeting but pleasantly at my desk and it's not because I stayed up late doing fun things, or have been running or working out or physically accomplishing ANYTHING, but rather it's because I have been forced to THINK, and THINK CLEVERLY for too many days in a row.

I'm not sure what it means. OR what this says about me other than I am no longer clever enough to write a blog entry without CAPITALIZING EVERYTHING. But anyway, its gone well. The work, that is. In case you were wondering if my absence here was unwarranted. I gave my first big presentation as part of this company to a HUGE (see, there I go again) client with 1.6 million dollars on the line and I did well. My boss' boss even emailed me to tell me so and that felt good. Alas, this doesn't mean I'm finished, but that the work shall continue at a break neck pace for the next few months. But it's good work, and I'm up for that.

It's the THINKING I'm not up for. Apparently the parts of my brain that design are NOT the parts that conceptualize campaigns, write snarky and smart lines and develop entire personas.

Those parts? They're sore and tired, and ready to sit back relax and let the other parts take over and just make things pretty for a while. In the meantime, I'll be here, head on desk - waiting for the alarm on my iPOD to wake me for lunch.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Still working - You get my latest thoughts

On my iPOD:

Thought I knew my mind like the back of my hand,
The gold and the rainbow, but nothing panned out as I planned.
And they say only milk and honey's gonna make your soul satisfied
Well I better learn how to swim
Cause the crossing is chilly and wide.
Twisted guardrail on the highway, broken glass on the cement
A ghost of someone's tragedy
How recklessly my time has been spent.
And they say that it's never too late, but you don't get any younger
Well I better learn how to starve the emptiness
And feed the hunger
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load.
You'll never fly as the crow flies, get used to a country mile.
When you're learning to face the path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while.
Well there's always retrospect to light a clearer path
Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh.
You start at the top, go full circle round
Catch a breeze, take a spill
But ending up where i started again makes me wanna stand still.
Stepping on a crack, breaking up and looking back
Every tree limb overhead just seems to sit and wait.
Until every step you take becomes a twist of fate.

Indigo Girls - Nomads, Indians, Saints

Monday, March 13, 2006

Drowning at Work

Things I will later blog about:

Sam's plan that our friends ALSO name their children after ghostbusters. Middle names only, as to not ask too much. Then the boys can all dress up for halloween as their namesakes, and there's something about a theme song . . .

Our trip to Florida

My dream job and dream home and how they don't mesh, even though you'd think they would.

Tim's visit - which really isn't much as I WORKED the whole time. Maybe Sam will fill you in as a guest speaker.

Small worlds and how it annoys me when people I don't know, know all my best friends (refuse to tell me how when I ask nicely) and then snub me all night (and, yes, this was a specific event and someone will probably get mad at me for writing it, but whatever. It's my blog.)

The beauty that is the Juicy Twist

How my relationship with this city mimicks an abusive relationship in a truly weird, accurate fashion - so much so that the thought of leaving actually makes my stomach lurch - is that love or codependency? I'm not sure.

The kickass guy who pierced my nose and the tatoo I'm getting (also kickass)

Um, there's lots more. Damn, I have been running SOLID since we got back (weekends included). I can't wait til next weekend.

Oh! One more thing to tell you - the AWESOME menu I have developed where each course's main ingrediant? Guiness.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Quote of the day

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkeness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It isn't just some of us, it is everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Nelson Mandela

Thursday, March 09, 2006


And I am once again Misty Normal.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pagan Babies Unite!

So this weekend, as we are wont to do, we talked about the inevitable day we all have kids. In a perfect world, we imagine this will be done in a way in which they are all of similar age and living in the same neighborhood. We talk of barbeques and baseball games. Of letting them run wild while we drink beer and hang out in the backyard.

And this time I actually let myself imagine that Sam and I were part of that. (Usually, for sanity's sake, for keeping hopes down sake, I imagine us just visiting such idyllic settings.) And then I fell in love with it, all of the kids growing up together, calling all of us Aunt and Uncle. These people are some of my dearest and the idea they could help shape my child's point of view is awesome to me. But the part I liked best was that our kids would have great parties. 'Cause our holidays fall when we can all get together; they don't conflict with the normal holidays.

I imagine them inviting the others to Solstice, when we all get together to celebrate the longest night, and light candles and dance and sing and . . . and then Midsummer's where we all play in the park and picnic and revel in the longest day . . . and of course we'll have killer Halloween parties . . . .

I mean, yeah, our kids will be different. And they'll have different traditions and different holidays. But they will have people in their lives - friends, peers, family - who will understand that, who will support it. And that makes me happy. Well, that and the idea of having people to celebrate it all with. Even if it is just on a visit.

Good, Good and More Good

I am a changed person at work today and it is all attributed to my fantastic wonderful awesome vacation. I miss my friends horribly, in fact I missed them the moment I made my last wave as they drove off down the highway. Being with them makes the world a brighter, happier place. And reminds me how wonderful it is to have such amazing friends. I'll write more I promise - but here's a shot of what HAPPY looks like!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Ya'll it's SNOWING here. And not just a little. Outside my window? WHITE.

I'm currently willing it to stop. This is unacceptable. What else is unacceptable? THat I have a crapload of work to do today and it's THINKING work, not the kind of busy work I want the day before vacation. It's nose-to-the-grindstone important ideation.



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ya'll I am RED-eeeeeeeeeeeee

I leave tomorrow afternoon to get on a bus to take me to Grand Central, where Sam will get on the bus. Then we will be off to JFK. Once there we will board a plane (Song! My favorite ailrine!) that will take us to the land of sunshine.

I'm assuming I don't need to tell you how much I NEED this vacation. If you read this you can probably feel my exhaustion and frustration seeping out along the edges. If you see me on a daily basis you can probably see it written in great clear fonts across my face. I am tired, I am weary, I am exhausted from work on all fronts. I need a break.

I need a trip to Disney! With rides and cotton candy and rice krispie treats and funny hats and funnier people. And dear lord, that's just what I'm going to get. Even better, this is no ordinary trip. Sam and I are meeting some of our most beloved friends - and that's what truly will make this trip spectacular. We're all staying at my parent's house and hanging out for a couple days, and that's the best vacation ever, as far as I'm concerned.

Seriously - how could you not want to go to the Happiest Place on Earth (TM) with these fools?! (Andy, I apologize now for having NO fun photos of you - this will be resolved in DAYS! Get ready.)

Why is it that when I picture Joe this is always how I picture him? I love that. And I wasn't even there when this was taken - it's just proof that Joe looks this excited and happy a lot. Pure brilliance.

And, um, hi. Why is it that you're two of my nearest and dearest and I have NO photos of the three of us that aren't YEARS old? And, um, I had to STEAL this from Joe's site?! Something's gone horribly wrong. Again, resolution THIS WEEKEND. *sigh* Have I mentioned my excitement?!

I might insist we all take one of those photos on main street where you can see the castle behind us. All of us. With balloons. And maybe funny hats.