Thursday, August 19, 2004

I saw an old friend yesterday. It was a friend that I haven’t seen in a long time, and we only had an hour to talk. I was humored by the little things I still say that I didn’t realize came from him. We laughed over old stories and talked about what was happening in our lives now. He’s beginning a new stage and moving away and the spontaneous visit meant more to me than I could probably explain to him. In that hour I was reminded of how much he meant to me at a time when I really needed someone to understand. When I graduated college, I knew that things between us would never be the same. He was going on to more school, and at the time he didn’t know where. I was just going home to try to figure out what I even wanted to do. There on my porch swing at 820 we talked like we had so many times before and I said goodbye to college. I shared with him myself, and he was one of the first people who ever really understood that. No matter how much distance is between us, I'll remember him and what he did for me always.

"Get up," an echo sounded low. "Get up and take your place;
You were not meant for failure here. Get up and win the race."
"With borrowed will get up," it said,
"You haven't lost at all.For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

This was one of those quotes that when I came across it, stuck in my head almost in a haunting way. I am so blessed with such a strange assortment of relationships in my life, as well as blessed by the people that I’ve been meeting lately. But they have something similar in them all. They all inspire me in some way to be more. It’s strange how it takes so long in our lives to figure out who we really are. You always feel a bit out of place and don’t understand why you’re not a little more this or a little more that. I wasn’t ever someone who wanted to be like everyone else- but I did want to understand why I wasn’t. I know that I think a little differently, I feel a little differently, I experience things differently and I react a little differently. For the longest time I had the hardest time coming to terms with that. But now, it’s almost like I woke up- and I’m suddenly ok with it. I am different. I don’t have the same taste in music as most people- but occasionally I’ll meet someone similar and they seem as surprised as me in finding someone relatable. I don’t come to the same conclusions when I read things that others do, but I developed a friendship with someone who does and now the friendship extends far beyond that. I can have completely different views on the way a life should be lived with someone, and still consider them to be someone who I’ll be inseparable with for life. I can find a connection with someone just b/c of the way that we handle silence, and know that I will never have a day when they won’t be by my side. I think that I great up with a very immature way of viewing the sorts of friendships that I had and would have. I thought it mattered that we relate in the way that we live our lives, that I would understand someone more if they were in the same place as me. I thought I wanted to surround myself with people who were like me. I’m so glad I’ve learned that that is the very last thing I want now in the world. I want people who understand me, not people who are like me. I want people who inspire me to be more- not more like them, not more like someone else. Just more of me. And I want to live my life like the Kerouac quote above- surrounding myself with the mad ones. I think I’m off to a pretty good start. It just took me 26 years to understand exactly what that meant.

Monday, August 16, 2004

There is no freedom in a life without music.

Last night I had one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in a really really long time. I was asked to help drive Chris Tomlin and his band around while they were in town for the concert. I was going to the concert anyway, so I figured why not. I’d get in free to the fair and probably at least get to meet the guys. To be honest, it actually made me really nervous though. I could care less about meeting famous people. I mean, they’re just people. But when it comes to meeting someone who I have an incredible amount of respect for, I have a hard time finding the words to even try to carry on any sort of conversation with them. The fact that this was someone I respected on both a spiritual and a musical level made it that much worse. Anyway, I had to go pick them up after they ate dinner and bring them back to the fairgrounds. I was listening to- what else- Nickel Creek live. They got in the car and the first thing Chris says is “nice music choice.” And I said- “Oh, you’re a Nickel Creek fan?” and he said definitely. So Jesse (the bass player) was in the front seat and he immediately pulls out my CD’s to “see what kind of a person I was”. I laughed b/c that’s usually what I do to people. Anyway, it was as usual a strange arrangement ranging from NC live (a lot of that), to Damien Rice, to Passion, to Allison Krauss to U2. Anyway, apparently it was passable, he said I was an ok person and that my music taste was good. And I started telling him about the NC concert I just went to with Glen and he looked all surprised that A. I knew Glen Phillips and B. that I got to see him in concert (including the reunion Toad show). Then he stopped me so that he could repeat it to Daniel in the backseat, who then starts talking about Windmills which is my favorite Glen & NC song together- so I Have to pull out the MAS CD that they didn’t know about it and put it in, and as soon as I start that Chris is asking if I have Lighthouse with Coldplay’s yellow, and I said sure- I’ll play it as soon as this is over. So then for the longest time no one really talked b/c the music was up so loud. Then Chris asked if I had when you come back down, which I didn’t think I had-and we were almost there, so I didn’t try looking for it- and he starts singing it in the backseat, and I’m thinking- ARE YOU KIDDING ME? CHRIS TOMLIN IS SINGING NICKEL CREEK IN THE CAR WITH ME. Which to those of you reading this- you may think, oh who cares, but to have one of my absolute favorite musicians start singing one of my absolute favorite bands songs- was a bit surreal for me. So then Daniel pipes up that we’ve got to trade addresses so that we can send each other music- again, are you kidding me? Someone offering to send me Toad stuff I don’t have and B-side Coldplay stuff and rarity Damien Rice stuff… Insane. So anyway, it was a lot of fun, and they seemed really surprised that I knew what I knew about music and the bands I listened to and everything. One of them even piped up that I had really good taste in real music. (and it’s hard to pay me a higher compliment than that.) anyway, got them there and dropped them off then watched the set- which was great. I’m really looking forward to their new CD (9.21.04). After the concert I went back behind the stage and Jesse just immediately picks up where we left off. Went so far as to write the titles down of a couple of albums that I absolutely HAD to have. Then Daniel comes around asking if we’d exchanged info yet and proceeds to write out his address and email for me and takes mine so that we can trade music. We start to head out and Jesse asks if I’m driving, and I said- I can, (everyone could fit in the van). And he asks if he could copy my MAS CD to his computer till he could buy a copy, and that was fine with me so he and Daniel both follow me to the car and we proceed to talk movies and music and books all the way back. It’s so nice to meet people with such similar tastes- especially since, I’ll be honest, my taste in music is typically a little out of the norm. The fact that they’re musicians that I listen to on a regular basis makes it that much better. When we got to the hotel, Daniel tried to copy me a couple of disks, but unfortunately his music was all on the hard drive at home b/c he couldn’t run pro-tools on the laptop b/c it so bogged down. He tried to pull them off his I-Pod, but we couldn’t get that to work either and it was after midnight, so we gave up when his computer died. I’m looking forward to hearing the stuff he sends though. As I was looking through his music on his computer- he had all sorts of bands, that I love and own CD’s by so it was entertaining to look at, it was that sort of- oh I love this, and this and this… it was great. I love to make new friends with the same music taste as me. It’s rare, which makes it that much better when it happens.

The quote at the top of the blog is actually the words that are written on the back of Chris Tomlin’s jacket that he wore last night. I told him after the show that I absolutely loved it and wanted to know where he got it. He just smiled and said something to the extent of how it is something that I would like. And I realized that on a strange level he- and the rest of his guys, understood me. As absolutely ridiculous as that sounds- that’s the way I felt, and I know the way he meant it. As a sidenote- he got the jacket in Soho in NY, I wrote down the store name and I’m absolutely checking it out when I’m in town. You may very well see me wearing that same jacket- in late October following my trip to New York.

So the moral of this story is I made friends with Chris Tomlin and his band last night and they were really cool.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I had the strangest morning. One of those where you realize not too far into it, you really should just go back to bed. I woke up a little late, and my car was on empty. But to get gas, I needed to write a check and get cash so I drove to Kroger. I parked and realized I only had my checkbook and no purse which means no license. I hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet, so I just started my car up again and went back home. Picked up my purse that was right beside the door under the jacket I’d considered wearing, and went back to Kroger. I decided that I’d have a lunchable for lunch. All I wanted were some crackers, lunchmeat and cheese. What has happened to lunchables? Explain this to me- I don’t need chicken to dunk, or cold hot dogs, or make your own pizza, or even wraps. I just want some crackers and cheese… so I stood there staring forever before finally deciding, and heading to the front when I discovered that it was partly opened. I’ve lived through purchasing an opened USED jar of Miracle Whip before, and I wasn’t about to relive that, so I took it all the way to the back and exchanged it. I made it to the front, and in a sleep-filled stupor handed the guy my Kroger card. I asked if I could write the check for $20 over and he said sure, 10 for you and $10 for me. And I laughed and said, I’m so tired this morning you can’t say things like that b/c it almost sounds logical so the guy and the girl were getting a kick out of it, b/c hey it’s 8:30 and no one is entertaining I guess at 8:30 in the morning, so he asks for my license, when lo and behold I realize- it’s not with me. It’s in the pocket of my jeans from the other day. So I say of course, I’m going to have to go home and get it- I don’t have it with me when suddenly it hits me and I say “Can I just give you the number off of it?” and he just stares at me and says “Ummm ok.” So I recite my license number and smile as the woman says, WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU KNOW THAT?” and I said, umm, I have no idea. I’ve never recited it before. And the guy says, you don’t see me doing this… I smiled and picked up my lunchable to head out the door. The lady with him smiles and says, come back tomorrow, you’re funny.

Things learned from this:
#1. Apparently most people aren’t entertaining at 8:30 in the morning.
#2. Life has been decidedly complicated by the invention of all of the other lunchables.
#3. It’s frightening to realize you memorize things that you don’t even realize you memorize.
#4. When you think you’ve left your license at home, be sure to look in all the other pockets of your purse. I found it in a different place later in the day, in the very purse that I swore I’d not put it back in. Even at that point, I should’ve just gone back to bed.
#5. When you think you're the only person who has memorized something needless, chances are Pretty knows his too.
#6. And most importantly, if people were nicer to other people, everyone would live much happier lives. Laughing at someone's poor attempt at humor early in the morning, prompted him to do me a favor in return. We should all learn from this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while
I think I see my friends coming
Ridin' many mile
So friends, you get some silver
Did you get a little gold
What did you bring me, my dear friends
To keep me from the gallows pole
What did you bring me to keep me from the gallows pole

Last night I spent close to 11 hours in the car for a concert that lasted only 2. And it was worth every single second of it. I never cease to be amazed by the talent and the passion that I experience when I go to a Nickel Creek concert. This one, for the record was #9 and it felt like the very first time. I can't tell you how I feel after experiencing this passion that is seriously palpable when they perform. If I could bottle up even an ounce of it and pass it along to those I meet that are decidedly apathetic I would. It's something I wish everyone would experience just once, then again, I'm not sure how many people would understand it. I mean, normal people don't drive 11 hours for a concert that'll last 2. Then again when have I ever been normal? And I got to spend all that time and that concert with someone who understands that need in me to experience passion, only b/c they experience it themselves. So there I stood, mouth agape, for 2 hours experiencing. And every time, I walk away a different person- my eyes open a little wider, my ears a little more tuned to sound, and my heart at peace by finding that other people understand.
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Friday, August 06, 2004

I’m alone in the universe
So alone in the universe.
I’ve found magic but they don’t see it.
They all call me a lunatic.
Ok, call me a lunatic.
If I stand on my own, so be it.

‘Cause I have wings
Yes, I can fly
Around the moon and far beyond the sky
And one day soon I know there you’ll be
One small voice in the universe
One true friend in the universe
Who believes in me…

I’ve realized something lately. I’m not sure that the realization of it really helps at all, in fact in some ways it maybe makes it worse. I think that the one emotion I hate more than any others is loneliness. Maybe b/c I have no sort of warning when it’s coming. I never understand it. I can be completely surrounded by the people that I love most in the world, and it will hit me. And to be completely honest it pisses me off. It makes me really angry at myself. Maybe that’s not the right reaction to have, but it makes me feel as if I have some sort of weakness that I desperately try to hide most of the time. I know that it’s natural to feel lonely. I know it’s human nature, but for some reason there’s some sort of vulnerability factor that comes into play that immediately makes me angry. I’ve never been one of those girls who gets so wrapped up in finding a guy or keeping a guy that it consumed who I was. Or at least I haven’t been in years. I don’t even like to admit to being lonely. I feel like that says something about me that I don’t like. That there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel complete, that the weddings of some of my closest friends end up being double edged swords, that the minute I meet someone I wonder what if. And then I feel guilty. Here I am in a place that I know God has called me, in a job that is so much more than I ever could’ve asked for, surrounded by people that I love, and I still feel like something is missing. I wonder if people that stay single their entire lives always feel that way? I don’t even know why I’m writing about this, it’s bad enough that I admit these things to myself. I don’t know why I end up mad at myself. In some ways it just makes me stubborn. I’ll do things by myself I never would’ve considered doing before b/c I refuse to not do something just b/c I’m alone. But in other ways I worry- that I hate so much admitting to being lonely that I block myself off from feeling things that I should allow myself to feel.

Spent some time this weekend with an old friend. He’s getting married in September and it was his fiance’s bridal shower. I had a lot of fun and I miss spending more time with him. The only downfall was that he felt like I’d want to drive around and see how much the old places have changed. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather leave that part of Cincinnati in the past. I’m over it and I understand how things turned out the way that they did, but there are some things that I think will always be hard to relive. Those parts of my past that I thought were going to be my future. Anyway-

On a completely unrelated note, Friday afternoon I booked a weekend flight to NY with my co-workers for October. It was one of those “Hey do you guys want to go with us?” and 5 minutes later I was booking a flight. Really is there any sort of question involved? J And I’m going to see Wicked, which makes me so excited I can’t breathe. Seriously. Know what else makes me excited? Yes, Nickel Creek. That concert is now less than a week away. Nothing better than an evening road trip to Cleveland, OH on a Tuesday evening for some high quality music with My beloved Jenny. I might add that I just discovered yesterday that Cleveland is 5 hours away. Hmmm, did I realize it was 5 hours when I booked the trip? Nope. But I’m also not too concerned about it. It’s more than worth it, I’ll just be a little tired on Wednesday. Yesterday was our work “retreat” to Mackinac Island. We had a fantastic time. I’m pretty sure that it had nothing to do with the Island however (although it was really nice) and everything to do with the fact that when we spend time together as a group, all we do is laugh the whole time. I seriously laughed till I cried yesterday. It was great. And of course I made it home with some nice fudge. Ok, guess I should get something done. B/t/w if any of you can actually name the song and where it came from above, I’ll be very impressed. (And googling it doesn’t count.)