Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why I love spontaneity

A conversation yesterday:
(By email)
Me: I think we have to find a way to see this. (above picture attached)
James: I agree!!!!
Me: I’m serious.
James: ME TOO!!!!

(Phone ringing)
Me: (no hello, just straight into it) I’m sooo not joking.
James: Neither am I. I just talked to Delta. I’ve got a couple vouchers we can use to get our flights really cheap. We can stay in NJ and take the train in. When works for you?
Me: How about May 16-17?
James: It’s a plan. Check on show tickets and call me back.

And with that short discourse that lasted a grand total of approximately 10 minutes, I’m taking an overnight trip to NYC to see the Off-Broadway play that opens in May, 10 Million Miles. It’s a show set to the music and lyrics by Patty Griffin. Whoever thought up the combination of Broadway musicals and Patty Griffin was an absolute genius. I may pee my pants I’m so excited. And that ladies and gentlemen, is how spontaneity should be done. Not that you can plan something like that. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yesterday, I had the honor of being present for Jason’s purple heart ceremony. It was such an overwhelming thing to experience.

Here’s the article from the paper in case you want to read about it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Soldier wins Purple Heart

National Guard general praises local man's sacrifice

In the months since his battlefield injury, Cpl. Jason Kokotkiewicz continues to think about the soldiers he led - those who continue to face danger in Iraq. "He's a good leader who is worried about his men," said Jason's stepfather, Bob Truitt. "It has been a recurring theme ever since he got hurt: 'What about my men?'"

Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger of the Indiana National Guard recognizes Jason's loyalty. Umbarger, the adjutant general for Indiana, visited Jason Monday afternoon at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis to present Jason the Purple Heart. He is the second wounded Hancock County veteran to receive the medal in the past month. Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Bleill, who is recovering from wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., received a Purple Heart last month from President Bush. The Purple Heart is a prestigious medal given to a soldier who has shown valor and was wounded in combat. It has a tradition that dates to 1782.

"It's an honor," Jason said of receiving the medal. "A lot of men have it, and it means a lot that they think that I am worthy." Jason was glad it was he who was injured instead of one of his men, Umbarger said. "That's the type of young men that are wearing the uniform," Umbarger said, standing near Jason. "It's a great generation." Jason, 23, was hit in the head by a rocket-propelled grenade Jan. 24 while serving as a squad leader with Company A 2/152nd Infantry of the Indiana National Guard. The RPG round crushed Jason's Kevlar helmet and part of his skull but didn't explode. After receiving care overseas and on the east coast, Jason returned home to Indiana last week. His brother, Jacob, continues to serve with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq.

Jason's family has been amazed by his recovery. Many people in the Greenfield area have helped the family deal financially and emotionally with Jason's injury. His stepmother, Kim Truitt, said she is thankful to organizations including the local VFW and American Legion posts. "Whenever there has been a need, that need has been met," Kim Truitt said. "To me, that's God at work. God continues to have his hand in this situation." Umbarger told Jason that he has done his job, that he will continue to receive excellent care and that his fellow soldiers continue to do a great job in Iraq.

The Purple Heart is another indication that Jason's service to his country is valued, Bob Truitt said. "The Vietnam vets didn't get a good welcome," Bob Truitt said, tears welling in his eyes. "These guys deserve it." It was an honor to witness the Purple Heart ceremony, said Jason's stepsister, Elizabeth Truitt. "You wish there didn't have to be injuries, obviously, but it's just such an incredible way of recognizing these men and women who do something I can't even imagine for all of us," the 28-year-old Plainfield resident said. Jason's stepsister Amanda Rust, 30, of Greenfield, said Jason's return and military recognition are "the fulfillment of the miracle that we've been praying for - that he's still with us." Elizabeth Truitt is thankful that she can now visit Jason at the VA hospital."It's just such a huge answer to prayer," she said. "It's a comfort to know that he's within driving distance now, to be able to see him and hug him and know he's OK - it's a miracle." Jason could have been released from the VA, but chose to stay longer in order to expedite his therapy. He has no regrets about his decision to serve. "The boys were good," Jason said. "They were trained well. We were a team, you know. I'd do it again for them. I'd do it again, and I'm sure they would do it for me."

As honored as Jason was to receive the Purple Heart from Umbarger, Kim Truitt thinks the real celebration has yet to take place. "The big ceremony will be when he gets all of his buds back home and meets them at the airport," she said.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Go ahead I’m listening,
got an ear for disappointment
I can hear it on my breath-

it’s the same same story
-Wake Up Dear, Ellery

I got this new cd in the mail Wednesday, and it’s been the only thing I’ve been able to listen to since then. I was lying in bed that night listening, and I couldn’t stop thinking that this is what music should do to a person. And if it doesn’t affect you, if it doesn’t move you- then truly what’s the point? I’m also someone who’s 99% partial to live music over studio versions. They just ring more true when they haven’t been processed and cleaned. Sometimes so much inflection and therefore feeling is lost when you record via studio. I know it has to happen, I just prefer live. I tend to hold a little of my opinion back with most bands until I’ve seen them live. Sometimes I discover them seeing them live first and then falling in love with their albums (2 fairly recent examples - Paolo Nutini and Sufjan Stevens). Anyway, it’s hard to explain to you what I love so much about Ellery. I heard one of my favorite singers introduced once and they thanked her for telling such great stories. That’s what Ellery does. The stories they tell ring true with me. On totally different levels depending on the day. In totally different songs depending on the day. But they ring true. And I can feel them. And that’s the way music should be.

On a partially unrelated (although still connected to Ellery) point let me introduce you to my new friend, Arizona. She arrived this week as well, special thanks to the Goldens and their pre-order drawing for the aforementioned CD I was raving about above. :) I love her. She’s becoming fast friends with Mark (my ipod) and giving him some much needed rest. He’s getting a little old you know, but don’t tell him I said that. I don’t have any plans to replace him anytime soon, and he's becoming a bit cantankerous in his old age.

On a completely unrelated note- will spring ever come to Indiana? I'm beginning to wonder. My flip-flops are feeling rather dejected. Maybe I should let them hang out with Mark a bit. He always knows just what to say to me to make me feel better. Everyone should be lucky to have such a friend*. Oh and if you haven't- go buy the cd. seriously. you won't regret it.

*If by friend I mean, totally inanimate object that I love to death.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Things on my mind today:

  • It’s actually snowing a little bit. And the first day that I haven’t been able to wear flip flops in over 2 weeks. This makes me sad.
  • I’m realizing more and more, I’m not the best dealer with emotional things in my life. When I realize I don’t have a lot of control over how I feel, I tend to freak out. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I hope I outgrow this tendency. However since I’m nearing 30 it’s not looking good.
  • On a much happier note, I won our Midwest Bracket competition. Out of 42 people, I came in first. And won I might add, over $200. woo hoo!
  • I think I’ll spend a bit of that over $200 on the tattoo I’ve been wanting for months. I’ve wanted it long enough to know it’s not a passing notion and I still love the idea. It’s important to give yourself that time to adjust to the idea or else, the passing idea of “wow, I love strawberry shortcake. She was my favorite when I was little and that’s fun so why don’t you just tattoo it here to my ankle.” will later be, "what the he** was I thinking?!" Editors note: my tattoo is not anything like that of a strawberry shortcake tattoo. Trust me. I'm not making any promises that Looney Tunes won't be involved though.
  • Today is my last day at work this week. I’m taking Thursday and Friday off. I decided I needed a mini-vacation.
  • My sisters and I are getting pedicures together tomorrow. We don’t often find time when the 3 of us formally-Truitt-except-me-still-Truitt girls can get together so I’m really looking forward to it. And really who doesn’t love pedicures?!
  • Saturday I went to see The Format in concert. They were really great in concert thus moving my like of their music into a really really like them a LOT stage.
  • The aforementioned concert came as the closer to one of the best days I’ve had in a really really long time. You know one of those days when everything just seems right. And you almost hate to go to sleep b/c you know tomorrow couldn’t possibly be as good as today. It was one of those days. And it made me really happy.
  • Yesterday my sister was in the car with my niece Lilly and they were at a stop light. Next to them was a girl driving a convertible and Lilly stared at it for a really long time before saying, “Mommy! That girl is driving a car and it doesn’t have a lid on it!!” It made me laugh. Even better when Abby explained it to her and Lilly asked if maybe they could do that with their car. She’s so cute.
  • I can't get enough of The Format song “The First Single (You Know Me). (I would love to know how to post music on my blog so whenever I’m stuck on a song and feel like I need to tell the world about it, I could post a link where you could listen on your own. So if anyone has any advice on that, let me know. Neat.)
  • Speaking of good music, Ellery’s live CD is coming out next week. It’s like Christmas all over again. I’m so wishing that I could catch one of their shows with Over the Rhine, however the weekend they’re in Cincy I’m going to see Kurt Vonnegut give a lecture and I have tickets to another concert.
  • PATTY GRIFFIN! She’s my other concert. I’m so excited I can’t begin to tell you. She’s actually the inspiration of my new tattoo. Well not her, but her lyrics. I’ll give you pictures after the tattoo has been completed. I just hate that she’s the same night of the Goldens in Cincy (and AIDA that I was supposed to see with Emily. How can one evening have so many things going on?)

I know this is a rambling blog about nothing, but at least I'm writing. I'd hate to lose my two readers. (ems and ty) :)