Friday, December 24, 2010

Snowflake Hoax

I don't believe every snowflake is unique.

I think it's incredibly presumptuous to even presume that.

Yeah, I've examined every snowflake in the history of the world too, and I can concretely certify and absolutely verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that each one was, is and ever more shall be totally different.

Hogwash, says I!

My personal theory is that snowflake designs are on a thousand year rotation, but I don't know and I don't presume to know.

I don't make snowflakes. 

I just eat them.

It appears as though we shall have a very white Christmas. It's coming down, all light and fluffy.

In flakes that may or may not look the same.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Hindsight...

Do you ever look back at your life and think about the changes?

There are some things in my life now that I still can't believe happened.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bond Girl 007

I put on some new purfume today. Bond Girl 007, by Avon.

It smelled good. I was feeling adventurous. Covert. Classy.

I was breezing along, minding my own business and apparently failed to realize I was leaving choking people in my wake.

"Anna! What are you wearing?!" My Mother asked.

Umm... clothes?

"What perfume is that?" she clarified.

"The name is Bond Girl. Bond Girl 007."

Everyone had something positive to say about my new scent.

"It's really... strong."

"You smell like a guy!"

"I'm gonna pass out..."

Thanks everyone! I like it too!

In spite of some fears that I might overwhelm someone with my sweet and mysterious aura, I didn't change clothes before going to work. No one complained, commented, fainted or died in my presence.

When someone did smell it, they said "Oh! I really like that!"

Thank you, sane and civilized world.

I guess the rest of my family (Hi, Mom!) isn't cut out for Bond Girl 007.

I shall have to wear it more often.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ten Ways You Know Christmas is Coming

1) Snow. Dang it. I hate it! I wish it would snow on Christmas Eve and melt the day after Christmas. The rest of the time it can just be cold... Never mind. No snow, no cold. We can just install one of those snow machines in the sky so we get the same thrill of a Winter Wonderland without freezing to death, slipping and breaking bones and having to dig the car out of a 20 foot drift. God bless those of you who live down south. One Midwestern girl is infinitely jealous.

2) Stores. They seem to think Christmas starts in October and ends Christmas day. There are confused people in marketing. It's so long and aggressive it burns me out. You know how bad it's gotten? They made the Charlie Brown tree. You know, the cartoon? Charlie hates Christmas because he's a general misanthrope and because he feels it's overcommercialized. So in beautiful irony, he decorates this pathetic little tree and in breaking free from societies false representation of the "meaning of Christmas", he experiences true joy. Yippee, right? Well now they sell little copies of that tree. Little awful models that slander everything it stood for. Yes, I'm ranting. I was appalled.

3) Presents. "What do you want?" Oh how I loathe that question. I really don't want anything you can give me. I may like some stupid little thing or other, but want is not the right word. When I think want I think about people who have real wants. Needs. I want chocolate. Someone on the other side of the world WANTS clean water. He wants what he needs. No one should have to want that. Again, I'm ranting. Being an idealist. Spank me for wanting good to an unrealistic degree. Slightly better is gift giving. Yet this also finds a way to be difficult. I feel self imposed pressure to find the perfect thing for everyone. And when this thing does not appear, I lose the joy part in the "joy of giving". What needs to change there, I wonder? Lower standards? Am adjustment of perspective? (Stop giving gifts? Just kidding.)

4) Decorations. From trees to lights, wreaths and ornaments, garlands and the like, the world is decked out (inside and out) like no other this time of year. Tastefully done, I'm fine with it. I even kind of like it. Sparkly... who could complain? But tacky, overdone decor is truly horrid in red, green and flashy. It's always horrid, but for some reason, Christmas colors make it even worse.

5) Music. Oh I love music. And Christmas music, like most music, can be done one of two ways: well or not well. If you insist upon writing your own Christmas song, please, for heaven's sake, don't be cheesy about it. If you're just going to recycle phrases we've all heard a hundred times, over strain your vocal chords trying to croon or put it to a generally awful tune, do us a favor and skip it. And please note that the classics are called classics for a reason. You don't have to reinvent them.

6) Food. Cookies! I may have mentioned how I feel about cookies. There are loads of goodies this time of year to make the holidays worthwhi... I mean bright. The traditions revolving around food are perhaps my favorite. What can I say? I have a whole mouth of sweet teeth.

7) Family. Those relatives you never hear from any other time of the year send you a Christmas card updating you on their oh-so important (and until now, highly mysterious) lives. The family hash's out who all is coming and going where. People descend on the home of the poor host laden with gifts, food and more people. You're glad to have them... for a while. But few have enough patience to put up with their in laws for more than a few days.

8) Your Stress Level. Sky rocketing! And you thought fireworks were only for the 4th of July! To do lists, gift lists, a calender full of holiday related activities and people, places and things all demanding your attention! Exhilarating, isn't it? Until of course, you really do make like a firework and burn out.

9) Your House. This is the humble abode where all this Christmas cheer; the sounds, smells, sights and tastes of the holiday all collide into something best described as... chaos! Even if you aren't spending the actual holiday in your home, chances are you will be going to someone elses home where this takes place. Funny thing about the chaos is that it can also feel kind of cozy.

10) Your Heart. Whether your Christmas spirit quota is reminiscent of a burned out Christmas light (like mine) or a the whole dang tree, this is the place Christmas truly is. You can have the right music, the most tastefully done decor and all the perfect presents and be stressed and miserable. You can also have a wonderful Christmas without any of these things. Christmas is a holiday of the heart.

I hope you have a merry one.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Didn't Think It, I Wrote It

I love journals. I've kept one on and off all my life. I used to be so specific about what could and couldn't go in a journal though. No lists, doodles, plans, school work, notes, etc. etc. This was a book about the days of my often boring life. It must be done right.

For this reason, I would abandon "imperfect" journals half way through and start a new one. The possibility of making a fresh start was uplifting. Besides, everyone who becomes famous wishes they had journaled in the past so they could sell the dang thing for millions.

I was a kid. My stupidity was cute back then. But I still keep two separate books, one as my journal and one for anything else.

I journal for a lot of reasons. I think best on paper. The words just come easiest that way. It gets things outside of me too. I don't have to carry it around so much anymore, because I processed it though words. I can't just make those words come out of my mouth. My mind goes blank and I look and feel about as intelligent as drowning goldfish.
Journaling also helps me process incomplete thoughts. It gives me time to further explore certain things and see then through. For some reason, I am incapable of doing this in my head. I suppose rather than dwelling on my glaring inadequacies, I should just be grateful that I have a way of doing so at all, even if it is not particularly efficient.

I've completed four journals in the past few years. I'm actually forever grateful for the habit, as I have a tendency to forget a lot of things. I love going back and rereading what I wrote, rethinking what I thought, revisiting the past. Personal history. Words are always there for me, even when my memory is not.

To some people, keeping a journal is like a burden. Something on their "to do" list. These people are mostly 'trial' journalers, in my opinion because few of us stick with things we don't like when we don't strictly have to do them. Which is why most of us go to work but not all of us journal. All of us shouldn't journal anyway. You should journal is if it is useful to you. Other wise, save a tree and your sanity.

But for me, a journal is a release and a joy. It is a very private thing, I'd really rather other people didn't read it. Because it's just for me. Most of it is worthless worries, thoughts, or other forms of expression. Yet it is helpful to me in some way, this thinking on paper.

I often think thoughts I didn't know I was thinking at all.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Sometimes when you're trying to write haiku's, syllables don't quite cooperate and you end up with something more like...

Sharing is caring
In most cases, you see
But one thing to keep to yourself
Is a sneeze

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Art of the Nap

I love naps.

Really, I do.

It may seem odd for someone who is only seventeen. Naps have been generally monopolized by toddlers and old geezers and I think it's high time my generation took back this glorious past time.

I know, we teenagers aren't supposed to sleep. We stare at screens on our phones, lap-tops and mp3 players all night long and we are a genetically superior race that doesn't need sleep. To be honest, I can't do that. I am not fueled by technological coolness, I need something more to get me through the day. That thing would be sleep... glorious sleep...that and coffee. And sugar.

(For the record, Doctors happen to agree with me on this: sleep is a good thing. Now I just need to get them to see my point of view about sugar...)

Like most teenagers, I go to bed at an hour later than 9 PM and if I have a choice, I get up in the morning at an hour later than 9 AM. But regardless of my 7 or 8 hours of sleep, I am still totally game for a nap. Anytime, almost anywhere, give me a pillow and maybe a blanket, (a teddy bear would be nice, too) and I'm good to go.

The key differences between "sleeping" and "napping" are as follows:

~ When I sleep at night, I demand total darkness. Not a sliver of light must be allowed to creep into my cavern of slumber. But when napping, I crave the sun on my eyelids.

~ A good night's sleep is 7-9 hours of unconscious, uninterrupted. But a nap must not exceed two or three, otherwise I'm all foggified. <--- I'll have to add that one to my personal dictionary, ASAP.

~ Serious sleep must take place after one's teeth are brushed, pajamas are put on and pillows have been fluffed. But a nap can take place anytime, anywhere, with little to no preparation. Stop, flop and sleep.

~ Sleep is mandatory: do or die. Naps are optional. Luxury, if you will. It's like a slice of bread versus a cupcake. One is nutritionally necessary and one is just for fun.

Napping is a sort of sleep, but not all sleep is napping. I don't know why, but I happen to find napping one of the more delicious forms of sleep.

Then again, I've never been an insomniac.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of Chipping Paint and Left Overs

My ten day wear nail polish is chipping on the fourth day. Does that mean it has failed? I suppose there will be some paint on them in six days, though there will be even more chips.

Oh, the pretty, empty promises of packaging.

I've eaten Thanksgiving leftovers for three meals since Thanksgiving dinner. Each time they taste a little blander, colder and staler. They are aging, quickly and surely.

Oh, the sad short life of cranberry sauce.

It is still Fall according to the calender, but the temperature tells me it's Winter. Fall is dying in Winters birth.

Oh, the sad in between of seasons.

Now that Thanksgiving has past, the focus seems to have shifted to Christmas in full force. I don't know if I'm ready yet. I still have Thanksgiving leftovers.

Everything feels finished yet incomplete. I painted my nails for Tuesday, yet the remain imperfectly on Saturday. Thanksgiving has past, but traces of it's taste linger. For how long, I wonder? Christmas is coming in less than a month. Less than a month! Can you believe it?

Black Friday I went on Amazon and bought a bunch of Christmas presents. That was relieving. I love to give gifts, but only if I like them. If I feel I could not find the right gift or got the wrong gift for some reason, my joy is gone. It's a stressful thing, this perfection.

Holidays are hard. They demand so much of it. People take time off of work to celebrate, but I think celebrating has become even more draining.

Does it refresh you to break out of normalcy? In a way it refreshes me but I also feel as though nothing is normal. Some things can be done over and over on the same days, but nothing is ever really the same. Nothing.

Every day, every moment is a beginning and an end. Where did the beginnings begin and where is the end of endings?

Or is life truly that much of a circle?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

There's a stack of half finished posts sitting in the inner recesses of this blog. I keep on starting to post, getting sidetracked and starting a new post the next day with renewed vigor.

You would think that after about a week of this I would get enough vigor to get the job done.

On this (freezing cold) Thanksgiving Eve, there is a frenzy of house cleaning, pie baking and preparing going on around here. I suppose that is what holidays have come to mean to me in general- more to do.

But I do love Thanksgiving. Firstly because of the food and secondly because of the meaning. Yeah, my priorities could use some adjusting. I love that Thanksgiving has remained somewhat untouched by commericalization. <-- Made that word up. Deal with it.

It's still about getting together with the people you love and sharing time and food.

It's still about being thankful for what you have, no matter what you don't have.

My grandparents should be arriving soon. I'm glad they can be here for the next few days.

I hope ya'll have a very happy Thanksgiving and that you slow down to remember what matters the most and be grateful for it.

And if those things are people... let them know you appreciate them, not only today, but all the time.  <3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cross My Heart and Hope to Find

Okay. I wanna talk about a song called I Cross My Heart. It got me thinking overtime and even inspired the poem below.

The song is somewhat sweet, and yet there is something terribly sad about it.

The gist in Anna language and how the song, the poem and your life in general connects is as follows: The song tells a story about this couple who just so happen to into his old girlfriend. Basically, it's about him reassuring her that the ex is just that. An ex. Over. Nothing to him anymore. Sweet, right? Major "Aww..." moment for the ladies.

Not quite. It's cute, yet it speaks of an old romance, one that completely captivated the man... for a while. He thought it was love. Then seemly out of no where, what happens? Oops, turns out she wasn't the one and he was really waiting for Girl B all along.

Ouch. It's sad and horrifying to me. He thought it was love. Was he ignoring certain signs or incompatibilities? Deep down, did he know it wasn't meant to be? Or is it really just that risky? Like you could think you loved someone, but at any moment, if you made the wrong move, you could blow up what seemed like destiny?

On that train of thought, I wrote this poem:

So beautiful it makes me sad
Stirs a memory I never had
Threatening fragile hope I fear
Will shatter like a fallen tear
Sneering, asking who am I
To dare forget that love can die?

There's proof everywhere. Divorce, miserable relationships, people falling in and out of love practically at random.


Was this always the way it was, but social standards prevented the "take and throw away" nature of our current relationships? You "had" to stay with your spouse or be a literal outcast? Did making it common and "okay" cause it or simply unveil it? Seems like even a wedding band means almost nothing to us anymore.

Or is love in the fairy tales even real? I don't think people like me are capable of loving or being loved like that. I'm not perfect like the fairytale princes and princesses and I doubt I would be attracted to someone who was. I don't connect with people so easily, I don't trust people so quickly, I don't "follow my heart" blindly and expect to end up hitched to Superman. Or is that all supposed to change as soon as Prince Charming tap dances his way into my life?

If it's truly love... can it die? Or is the true love thing what makes or breaks a relationship?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ACT Results

(Suffering from a bit of writers block. You may have taken my silence as such. It's easier to be quiet when you aren't sure what to say. Better to sit back and listen when your own voice is failing.)

It is with great relief that I announce that I got my ACT score back. I was shaking when I opened the letter. I was terrified I failed. I worried I got a 17. I didn't know what to think and I wished I wasn't panicking. I got a  24. Decent. I did well on the English and scored pathetically low in the Math. I'm applying quickly with this score and seeing where it gets me. (Nothing I am interested in for a major is math orientated. At all.)

I'll be back to blog later. Writers block, yes, but you have not heard the last of me. ;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winning Winter, Trying Fall

It's cold outside, Baby.

And being my ridiculously cold self to begin with, this makes for pleasant days for Anna.

Here in the Midwest, November is bitter. I was having a nice time with the 70 degree days and balmy(ish) breezes. But last night it snowed North of us and scared me. Winter... is that you?

I'm clinging, so desperately to some semblance of Fall. There's still some trees who are holding out, hanging on to their leaves.

I love those trees for trying.

Winter is coming. I can't deny it too much longer. The trees and I can hold out until it snows though, right? We can cling to Fall for a few more weeks?

I'll feel better, just for trying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions of a Quitter

I... QUIT!

Oh how liberating.

I quit NaNoWriMo! Yippee! I missed the precious time it stole from my blog, and it was naught but a tiresome chore on my part and my novel was ghastly. I had lots of good reasons, you see. I quit for myself, for the greater good of novels and novelists everywhere and for the aliens.

I'll get back to you on how this benefits the aliens. As soon as they get back to me.

Are you a quitter? I often am. It's one of my worse qualities. I usually only quit on myself though. If someone else is counting on me, I'll keep at it. I'm a coward who likes to avoid conflict.

I think there is something to be said for knowing when and how to quit and when and how to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

When to call it quits though? For me, it's time to stop when it's not helping anyone anymore and the pain has no purpose. This describes my NaNoWriMo novel perfectly.

Free at last. I gave it a week of my life. Tried and failed. C'est la vie. A part of me screams to get back up and try again!

But most of me knows when to quit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Good Lie

Alright. Good. Okay.

Those are the three things I hear the most in response to the question "How are you?"

I personally dislike that question. We're not really asking anything, we're stating a formality. No one really wants to hear "Well, my dog died and I had to eat burned toast for breakfast, I got a new pair of shoes and my favorite soap opera just started a new season, and the lack of sunshine makes me feel a little down."

Honestly, I think a lot of us don't care.

The lady at the Dollar Store who asks you that? She has to. It's her job. Do you think she cares? I don't know. I suppose that would depend on the Dollar Store Lady. Whenever they say that to me, I always respond "Good, how about you?" I think we sometimes forget the humanity and dignity of those people. I've gotten some of the most genuine smiles from people when I turn the question around on them. Just by recognizing our equality.

I also appreciate when people DON'T use good/alright/okay. When they actually let you have the truth. They don't give you their life's story or take it as licence to have a pity party then and there, but they say "Oh, I'm having one of those days." or "Not so great." I think that takes guts. I don't say that. I won't. If you ask, I'm good. All good, all the time.

If you are brave enough to tell the truth and show your heart, I look up to you.

In a way, I find it funny that we work so hard to protect ourselves. What's the worst that can happen? People get back up from everything. Even the unthinkable and the deadly. Lightening strikes. A miscarriage. Mine collapses. Mental illness. War. Not everyone does, but some people have.What makes the difference, I wonder? No matter who you are, there's someone like you. No matter what you've done, someone else has done it too. Secrets are almost comical to me, in a world where there is nothing new under the sun. Not to say I don't have my own. I'm just pointing out what a foolish person I am.

Yes, someone could hurt me with the things I hide. But perhaps hiding everything is just as destructive. Maybe the reason we feel so alone is because we prevent connections. People have hurt me with things I hesitated to tell. And what did I do? I blamed myself. "This is all your fault. If you hadn't been stupid enough to tell them in the first place, none of this would have happened."

It's hard to help your natural reaction, isn't it? It's hard to train yourself out of the "Good." lie. It's hard to change your natural reaction to betrayal and hurt, isn't it? Sometimes we need the good lie. Sometimes our natural reaction could be the best one. Yet I want to believe there is a difference between surviving and thriving. I want to believe we can do better than "alright" and that someone cares about how the Dollar General Lady is doing.

It's all so simple in concept and difficult in practice. I can sit here and blog about it all day. But will I tell the truth the next time someone states that little formality: "How are you?"

Probably not. I am not that brave.

But I will keep asking how the Dollar General Lady is. And I hope she smiles. And if she honors me with the truth, be it good or bad or somewhere in between, I will look up to her for breaking out of the box. For taking it deeper. For trusting me just a little bit. For inspiring me. For thriving instead of just surviving.

For not being afraid to tell the truth instead of just a pretty little lie.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo and Me

Ever heard of NaNoWriMo? Yes? (Insane, is it not?) No? (Link. Hover. Click. Ta da. Now you have.)

Anyway, I am embarking on this (painful) creative journey yet again. (I had a glorious failure in 2009. It was really in epically bad.)

So, being the dense and ever foolish fool that I am, I am trying it again!

I'll spare you the details of my story. I will probably have another, even more glorious failure (I have never successfully written a novel, though not for lack of trying, for NaNoWriMo or otherwise.)

Wish me luck. And sorry if I neglect my poor blog as I have been. I'm aiming for balance, but when the weak of coordination aim for such, they often fall along the way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thoughts on a Wednesday

Yes, I dare call them thoughts.

I almost fear opening my mouth right now, or at least letting my thoughts appear on this screen, because I am really not at all sure what I am going to say. I feel vaguely full of words and my fingers keep moving so I suppose I shouldn't try to squelch the muse and just let the dang thing happen.

Ah control. That tentative thing we all try to grasp. That security we all like to pretend we have.

(I say "we all" all the time. In case you had not noticed. I like to identify with humanity and yet I feel as though I am selling you all short in a way. Like I expect you to be as imperfect as I am. If it comes off that way, I apologize. It has not escaped my notice that many exemplary people exist and many of them to not have the vices I portray "us all" as having. I know I have them and, in my narrow scope, I like to think maybe those good and wonderful people once had them too, but they outgrew them. It's a very optimistic view and it gives me hope, so let it be. Just know that I am condemning no one but myself when I make overgeneralized statements about "us all.")

And that was a tangent! But it felt good. Today I just want words on paper (or blog as it were.) These short posts, as I mentioned before, seem so incomplete, so half hearted. I need some sustenance. So I will ramble and maybe something semi-readable will emerge and I will feel better and you will be like "Whoa..." (There are worse things than shocking people with your strangeness. Better than shocking them with your cruelty or your bad breath, for example.)

I may have failed to mention I am home schooled. It may or may not have been on purpose. We shall delve into my feelings on this subject at a later date, because while I feel like posting something long, that deserves it's own header instead of being lost in this free write of randomness which is basically me trying to get a grip and let the words loose. (Hey- we came back to control again! Why does this excite me?)

Returning to the sentence the home schooled thing was supposed to support, I am loving the Literature program for Senior year. Like, seriously. Where was this stuff all my life? You know, back when I was too young and (because I was/am not a child genius) stupid to read it? It was there, I assure you. (Dickens is a lot older than I am.) They are so deeply refreshing.

I won't lie (this time), I read a lot of what is best classified as crap. (Sorry, Mom.) It's light and the stories are trite, recycled and... mediocre. Not to say this stuff isn't popular, because it often is. But many times, it just isn't quite art. I realize that in order for the artist to get paid (a.k.a. pay the bills, not starve, keep the electricity to run his/her computer) he needs to sell a product. It's basic economics (yeah! I am learning something from that loathsome book!) But when the product becomes our main goal in art, sometimes the creativity and quality of that product is compromised. And so, we have lost the meaning of art. True artists often don't get paid and those who write to sell do get paid. 

Economics. You give the people what they want, they pay you, you make money and can support yourself. Yay! Good things! But should art be sacrificed for its sake? Perhaps it shows how the focus needs to shift. In a materialistic world, material (product) is the goal. We forget about the means and the people behind them. But... (Here comes the impossible, riduculous, idealist statement: run!) prehaps we can balance these two? Maybe one does not have to die at the feet of the other (wow, Anna, that was graphic). Maybe the two can co-exist and... maybe... they can even strengthen each other.

I do apologize for the scatterness of this post. This was more for me than for you. Though if you ever glean, like, loathe or laugh at anything in this blog... you're welcome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I don't have a lot today. Just a few things I'd like to say.

I owe you and me and this poor blog a long post. It's starving over here and I just keep feeding it a peanuts and promising it a sandwich tomorrow. (Tomorrow as in that fictional 'later' that is postponed indefinitely) I keep on posting thoughts I should have expanded on and I didn't due to time constraints. It's annoying me.

Sweaters are knitted hugs. That's probably why Grandmas are famous for making them.

I hate this post. I will publish it anyway though, because peanuts are supposed to have some nutritional value.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What is Nothing?


What is nothing?

Everything is something... what is nothing?

What is not something?

To me, nothing is best described as that that best and blackest level of sleep. Where you don't dream, don't know, aren't aware at all. A sleep so deep and complete, it is almost death like in that when you awaken, it is like being recalled to life.


What does that mean to you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some Semblance of Success

Tomorrow morning, at a ridiculously early hour, my mind shall be timed, stretched and measured.

It's called the ACT.

Nervous? Yeah. My strengths do lean toward English, (though if you read my blog you should know that they don't lean very far) but I am horrible, awful and in all other terms hopeless at Mathematics.

I could honestly fail that portion of it... numbers do not make sense to me. Words are much kinder. Numbers are staunch, strict and they are always the same. Yet I can't remember for the life of me how they work. You can give me a problem and I can invent a very charming way to get an interesting answer for you... but it's just not the right one. Like, ever.

With words, on the other hand, we have this delightful gray area. The answer is completely dictated by the creativity of the individual. You give people a writing prompt and none of the essays will be the same. They will all be different. And yet, all of them could be right. It's truly wonderful, isn't it? (Don't be fooled into thinking that I am not worried about writing the timed essay. I am. Yet I don't think it will as massive a disaster as my Math score.)

Word to the wise- do not wait to do this for the first time until you are a Senior. I had my reasons, of course, (I was bound and determined not to go to college until my Junior year. That's another story for another time) but I regret it very much.

So as I count down these last terrible hours, I torture myself with 'maybe's' and 'what if's'. People tell me I will do just fine (I know really nice people), but of course, I am unsure.

Funny thing is, I will be an internal disaster tonight and tomorrow, but once it actually starts, I will probably shift into survival 'kick this thing's butt' mode.

Hopefully kicking butt translates into success. Or at least not total failure. That is some semblance of success, no?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To My Abandoned Coffee Cup

Dear Half Finished Cup of Coffee,

Is there anything in the world sadder than the sight of you? Cold, lonely, and bereft. The milk I so carefully measured into you now risen to the top in a little island of white I prepared you with love, my coffee cup. That first hot sip of you was estacy, like a kiss of caffeine. We started so strong... what happened to us? I held you to my lips and gently sipped your creamy contents. I carried you with me, close to my heart. Everyone said we were perfect together.

What came between us, my darling? How did I forget you? I set you down, promising I would be back soon. And you  waited. You believed me. You waited for me. But I forgot about you. I left you all alone, while you life force, your warmth dwindled.

Still you hung on. Waiting for me. Scanning the horizons for my under-caffeinated soul. I needed you and you knew it. So you were faithful, staunch and loyal. You held out, waiting, trusting... dying alone.

But when I finally came back, by chance, not even remembering you, I saw you... cold... dead.

Ah! The guilt of wasting you! Of letting one who was so dear to me pass away without so much as a goodbye.

I pick you up, laden with sorrow, your remains swirling slowly about. I take you to the sink and pour you down the drain to the place of your eternal resting.

I am so sorry... I know its too late... but please, know that I cared about you. You were so good to me and I am sorry... so sorry...

In sincerest sorrow and regret,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Your Heart is Like Mine

I think everyone must be a someone, even if they are no one at all.

I am existing. I am living. I am. And by that simple act of being, I am a someone. You are a someone, too. We are some bodies.

It does not matter what I look like, or were you came from, or the color of our skin.

We were born with these things and they define us, but that is not who we are.

It does not matter what you like, or what I have done, or the creed we profess.

No, these are the things that we choose, that we adopt and allow into ourselves, but that is not who we are.

We are someones, no matter what.

Yet we often feel like no one at all. In the presence of greater someones, even someones feel a bit like no ones. And in the presence of lesser no ones, even no ones feel they have become someones.Why is that?

You and I will always have existed. It happened, it is and it cannot be taken back.

You and I, we will always be someone.

 Everyone is a someone to someone. And no one is a no one to everyone.

If every man hates you, you are still someone.

If every man loves you, you are still someone.

Yet each is equal.

Tell me, why is it so difficult to accept each other?

Why do we get caught up in the things that don't matter and forget the things that do?

You and I, we are one of a kind.

Why do I forget that your heart is like mine?

Why do I feel I am so alone, when you are right next to me? Why do you feel the same way?

If I find a fault in you, I can often find it in myself. Why is it so much worse to me in you?

Tell me, why do I hurt you? Both intentionally and thoughtlessly? Have I so soon forgotten what is right before my eyes?

The face, the heart, the being of a someone.

Someone important, valuable, beautiful and worthy.

Useful to me or not, good to me or not. That does not matter.

Whether or not I can perceive it, every someone - everyone is valuable. Priceless.

You and I, we are someones.

Don't let me forget how important you are.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Notice About Plots and Motives


Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

I found these inspiring words at the beginning of a book entitled The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by a fellow named Samuel Clements, more commonly known as Mark Twain. I found it to be quite inspiring and also highly applicable, not only to Mr. Twian's words, or even my own, but to many. To all.

I think that sometimes the greatest motives, morals and plots are found in the stories that don't boast of them. That hide them, carefully and cleverly so that only the people who care and dare to look will find them. The greatest works of Literature are real and simple, yet masterful. They are relatable to us, narrowing in on purely human insights that become apparent to us through the simple act of living, yet they also teach us. They allow us to see through another's eyes with our own.

Don't go looking for a motive in this narrative. It will find you. Looking for a moral? Than you are going about this all wrong. Stop attempting to find a plot. Follow the Mississipi on a river raft.

You might be shot at anyway, but then you will have found everything you were looking for and more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm A Back Seat Driver

Why is this as funny as it is annoying?

Because I don't drive.

Seventeen years old and I don't drive. I don't even have a permit.

I am the bane of many people's existences.

Anyway, my younger sister, Clare, is learning to drive. She was practicing with our Mother today and I was along for the ride. Funny, when my older sister learned to drive, I was worried the whole time I was in the car with her. (She was a bit jerky on the whole stopping-starting thing and she was nervous a lot. Bad vibes, man.) With Clare, I was so relaxed I almost feel asleep. (She's a smoother on the accelerator.) And I almost did... except for the part when she drove up on the curb and jolted me awake.

In all seriousness, she was doing very well. It was only a minor disagreement with the curb and she trampled it into submission with minimal damage to our respective spinal cords. And I wasn't sleeping. I was coaching her along. Wise and encouraging words flowed forth from my lips like a fountain. A very talkative fountain.

"Slower on the turns. One hand over the other on the wheel. Like how sailors pull in their sails? That's a girl. Very good."

"Splendid, Clare! You only took out four imaginary cars!!"

"You have your own lane, sweetheart. You can get out of theirs."

"Give the poor thing some gas, please. I don't think you'll make this turn at four miles an hour."

At one point my Mother asked at when I had read the drivers manual. (Um... never? I had no desire to.) Then she said she wanted to see my oh-so-advanced knowledge of driving in practice.

No, thanks, Mom. Really, I'm fine.

Why don't I drive? I can't remember wanting to as a kid. Mostly it just scared me and I wondered how adults managed to keep their eyes on the road and stay awake. Looked terribly dull. Still does.

It still scares me to some degree. The few times I have driven, it's felt weird. Wrong somehow. Probably it would go away with practice, but I am adverse to the idea. I'm a hazard. I'm doing the world a favor staying off the roads.

Besides, I love shot gun. You have the view, control of the radio, but none of the responsibility. Well, I suppose I am still responsible for distracting the driver, but that's easy. Not to mention fun.

I suppose I will eventually learn to drive. But I'm in no hurry. Being a back seat driver is so much more fun.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Purple, Smelly, Evil, Vile

Today, for the first time in a long time, I had heartburn.

I object. I am way too young for this. Young people are supposedly to be ridiculously healthy all the time. I'm supposed to feel and look fabulous 24/7 until I turn like thirty or something, right? My body obviously needs to get with the program.

It's been so long, I'd almost forgotten what it felt like. Ack. Almost... too bad I didn't get to totally forget. I could have gone for that.

When my head ache makes the floor look like it's moving, I know this could well be a baby migraine. (Oh. Migraines. I'll take heartburn any day.) So, in haste, I find some pain reliever to nip it at the bud. Fast. When I have heartburn, it can mean one of two things. One, it's going to be a mildly unpleasant day or two, Anna is going to be violently ill. (Thankfully, I think this one was the former.) In the case of heartburn... I must choke down a anti-acid.

I loathe anti-acids. The powdery texture is so thoroughly nauseating. Why would they make a medicine that is supposed to help you with your stomach ache so truly vile? If I can get it down without gagging, we're home free, baby! If not... well... it's not a good thing.

So. I had heartburn. It was mild. There was hope. But I had to act quickly. I meandered to the medicine cabinet. Stalling sort of, kind of totally on purpose. I found the bottle of anti-acids and peered in. They looked so evil. They smelled even worse. I grimaced.

Ewww... do I have too?

Shall we consider the options? A few seconds of agony, or the possiblity of a few days in agony?

Well. When you put it that way...but they are so disgusting.

Shush. Just eat them.


I'm not disagreeing, but it's got to be done.


I selected two. Purple. Smelly. Evil. Vile. I looked at them, lying in wait. Sitting innocently on my palm, waiting to torture my taste buds.

I got a glass of water. If I was going to have to taste them, I was going to have something to wash it down with.

One... two... three...

First bite.

Oh yeah. They are so disgusting.


Ack! Bluck! Ick! Eww! Chew faster! It's getting stuck in my teeth!

Swallow...swallow... YES! Done!!


Obviously, I survived. And I live to fight heartburn and anti-acids another day.

Although I sincerely hope I don't have too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poem: Though No One Loves Me Yet

In my loneliness, I will love

Though no one loves me yet

So I have no need for tears

No cause for me to fret

If I have no lover’s hand to hold

I’ll hold a wrinkled shaking one

And hear them tell their stories of

Their own life, nearly done.

If I have no lips to kiss

I’ll kiss a crying child’s knee

And soothe her hurt a little bit

As someone else once did for me

If I have no one to share

With thoughts and hopes and dreams

I’ll keep on wishing, keep on thinking

And hope someone dreams of me

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Flippant and British Mood

I get in this certain mood. (Maybe you have it too.) When this mood strikes, certain words are way too appealing. Like, I want to use them, not because they are particularly useful in the context, but because they strike me as superior to others. They are quirky. They are strange. They aren't run of the mill. They just sound darn pretty.

Shan't. Perhaps. Since. Quaint. Forgetful. Pensive. Fashionable. Simplistic. Hop-scotch. Figurative. Majestic. Practically. Mooch.

Most of these words sound excellent with a British accent. Go on. Try it. No one's watching, and if they are, you will totally make their day.

Maybe that's all there is to the mood. Maybe it's just me feeling British.
I have a bit of a thing for accents. That's what I get for being boring and from the Midwest. I know there is supposedly a Midwestern accent. We say things like warsh or wursh rather than wash. A creek is a crick. It's actually a joke in my family because we don't. Ever. The only Midwestern quirk I can detect in my own speech is saying fur instead of for. I fail to stress the O sound. It sounds funny to say for like the number when I try to stress it.

Any way, I like to pretend to have different accents to annoy people. My British accent is fairly decent. My Southern accent is way overdone (but one of my favorites), my Irish accent makes me sound like an old man who has had a few too many shots. My Australian accent turns British after a few sentences. I took three years of French, so I have a less than horrible French accent. Spanish? Nope. I can't do it. Which is just hilarious and annoying.

Ya'll have probably figured out by now that I am an annoying person. Yeah. It's an art.

In this same mood, I love to read poetry even more than usual. This mood is dramatic. It is vibrant. It loves sharp, strong, concise emotion. I could go on and on about poetry all day. It wouldn't be very good, but I do love it, though meager my grasp upon it.

This is an atricious blog post. I rather loathe it. But I don't care. I'll post it anyway.

The mood doesn't care. It just does whatever. Thinks later.

For the cronic over-thinker, this is delicious.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sickly Sweet Childhood Memories

The following is one of, if not my all time, favorite childhood memories.

My younger sister, Clare and I, were outside playing on one of those winter days where it is warm and sunny, even though there is a good several inch layer of snow on the ground. On this particular day, we were getting along pretty well. Which, for us, meant only trying to assassinate the other once or twice.

We squabbled famously until this year. I finally broke down and matured, I guess. She's my closest sibling, as we are a little over a year apart. When this story takes place, I believe we are about ten and nine, respectively, perhaps a little younger.

Any way, on this lovely winter day, we happened to venture out by the gravel road of our rural home and lo and behold! A half emptied bottle of Pepsi- all alone and unguarded, just waiting for two lucky kids like us! We were thrilled to find that this bottle of the ever coveted carbonated treat was still two thirds full, and after some deliberation, we decided the benefits of free soda far outweighed the risks of someone elses backwash.

On a normal day, we would have fought like cats and dogs over the soda, causing such a stir that my Mother would have come outside to see what all the fuss was about and confiscated our prize. However, the stars were in harmonious alignment that day, and we agreed to share it equally.

We were going over the nitty gritty details of how to split the soda properly when suddenly, inspiration struck. I don't recall whose idea this was, or if this was our intent from the very beginning, but we decided that the same good and kid-loving gods who had sent us this soda had also bestowed upon us a surplus of snow with which to mix it. (Slushies!!)

This presented the problem of how to blend the slushies. We weren't stupid, and we knew revealing our secret would result in either less slushie per person, or no slushie at all depending on who found us first, a sibling or a parent. Thus, we acted with great resourcefulness and efficiency in our covert operation, procuring an old dog dish (yes, it gets grosser) to hold the goods (which I declared, with older sisterly superiority, to be quite sanitary after sitting in a freezing snow bank. Germs freeze to death. Duh.)

Then we found some clean(ish) snow to put into the dog dish and then we poured our precious Pepsi on top. Finding a stick (which was also the very picture of sanitation after we picked most of the bark off of it), we stirred the slushie in song. Seriously. We made up a slushie song. Heck if I know how it went, but I distinctly remember singing. And stirring.

We used sticks to scoop the first spoo...I mean stickfuls into our mouths. We agreed that it was excellent and congratulated each other on our genius. It was then decided that such genius should be applied further and that the fruits of it's labor should be named.

We decided to call it, with the sweet, senseless logic of children, A C Cola, short for 'Anna and Clare's Cola' This was obviously the thing to call a snow saturated Pepsi product. It was perfect.

And so, we ate and made merry and declared it one of the best things we had ever eaten. (I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty darn good.) And dispite our twisted sanitation efforts, we both survived.

I love that memory... I know ya'll think I'm revolting, that's okay, it's true. But that memory so captures what I remember of being a kid. Freedom. Creativity. Simplicity. Innocence. Sure, in theory we knew it was gross to drink someone elses soda, that dog mouths are not clean and neither is what birds put on snow. So what? We did it anyway. And we loved it. We thought it was perfect.

And so, it was.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hibernation: Phase One

After the temperature drops below sixty degrees, it starts. My semi-hibernation.

I am a pretty cold person, actually. This is actually recent, but as I've gotten older, I am cold a lot of the time. Not like disproportionally with the weather, I'm not wearing a sweater in July, but come October? Yeah. I'm wearing a sweater. And shoes with socks. Which is just wonderful living in the Midwest. And to add to the fun, I live in an old farmhouse. With leaky windows. Yeah. It gets cold. Once January hits, I'm pretty much in full blown hibernation. My adaption of hibernation is not nearly as good as the real thing, but human beings don't seem to get away with naps that last more than a day, much less ones that stretch over a whole season. So I do what I can (besides wishing I was a bear) to keep somewhat warm and sane during the colder months of the year.

Phase one of the hibernation: I drink like seven cups of something hot every day.

It begins with a nice cup of coffee. Oh, glorious coffee! I don't have a set way I 'take' my coffee, as it were. Sometimes I like it black. Sometimes with just a little milk. And sometimes I go cream and sugar. It depends on the mood.

Then, I have a mid morning cup of green tea. I love green tea. So, so good. It's got spunk. Don't tell me it doesn't taste like anything, because it does and I like it. You can enhance this with honey if you're feeling healthy or sugar if you just can't live without it. Most often, I go for the latter.

Then comes my three o'clock(ish) cup of oolong. Another splendid tea. It's a bit like black and green tea blended as far as flavor in my opinion. This needs sugar. Period. This is the one tea I interchange. I must have green in the morning! I must!! But this afternoon cup of tea sometimes becomes afternoon cups of tea and so I'll start with oolong, move on to apple cinnamon and finish off with a nice cup of gingerbread, depending on how adequately stocked the tea cupboard is and what I'm in the mood for.

Last but not least is the bed time cup. In the dead of winter, this is very important. This is the cup that needs to get you through that awful moment where you jump into you bed and shiver as you try desperately to circulate body heat... brrrrr.... It's almost (and I said almost) as bad as that moment getting out of bed. No. Forget it. I lied. It's not even close. It's only getting into the fifties at night here and I have two blankets and a comforter (folded in half) on my bed. My sister asks what I'm going to do when it's really cold.

Drink more tea. And find more blankets. And wear more clothes. It's all part of the grand hibernation that keeps me alive during these cold and cruel winters.

We're only in phase one right now. And goodness, you have to love tea. I hope you love coffee as well, because it is quite fabulous also.

I've just finished my cup of coffee. They say it will be in the seventies today, but if not, you can bet I'll be drinking a nice cup of green tea in a few hours.

Maybe I'll drink it anyway... it's good stuff, you know.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Musing I

If seeing is believing, what is it that I am seeing and therefore, believe?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anna's Top Ten Ultimate Weaknesses

Reveling one's weaknesses is a practice to be generally discouraged for several reasons...

A) You are a superhero and reveling your weakness could result in your crushing defeat and demise, or

B) Your family reads your blog and can and will use this against you.

I, however, have decided to flaunt my humanity, risk my superhero identity and offer my family and excellent reference for all kinds of pay back and share with you my top 10 weaknesses.

1. Cake / Cookies / Chocolate

The jury is still out on which one weakens me most. All have a ridiculous amount of calories , start with the letter C, and I can't stop eating them.

2. Shiny objects.

If I were an animal, I would have to be a deer. Headlights are so shiny. I also stop and stare at jewelry displays and tilt spoons to that they catch the light.

3. Pretty things.

I'm a girl. I can't help that I like pretty. Shiny, pretty? They go together. But if it's pretty and shiny, it's just even better and cannot be denied.

4. Clothing Sales.

A perfect excuse to go shopping AND expand my wardrobe!! What more can one ask for?! (Again, I'm playing the girl card. It excuses me for all sorts of insanity.) Irresistible.

5. Puppies.

A little black nose... a pair of moist little eyes... too big paws... floppy ears... heaven help me, I melt. All baby animals do it to me, really. Colts and kittens in particular. They're so dang cute. They're defenseless against me and I against them.

6. Blue Eyes

Deadly. Just deadly. Why are they so much prettier and sexier than brown eyes? Why are they so much deeper and more beautiful? Not fair.

7. Being Tickled

Yes, I'm wildly ticklish. It's really an ultimate, ultimate weakness. The only reason it doesn't go higher up on the list is because I am not completely powerless in it's throes. I often get violent when tickled and will probably kick you in the face, gut or where ever I think will get you to quit tickling me.

8. Diet Coke

It can talk me into anything.

9. That Which Is Forbidden

Come on. That just makes it a thousand times more appealing, right?

10. Pride

Okay. It's more like number one. It's also the most serious, though and it was going to kill the mood there at that top. So I just kept pushing it back... and back... and I almost didn't put it on the list at all. (Bad Anna! You lie!) But believe me, it is a weakness and a vice. A big one.

There you have it. My weaknesses. If you are reading this for insight in how to defeat me, I would ask you pick one of the more pleasant ones. Death by chocolate sounds very pleasant indeed. Funny how many of these things would make it on my favorite things list. Funny how much I love to loathe many of them.
Aren't people odd?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ships, Planes and Paper Possiblities

While assembling (okay, more pretending to help while someone else assembled) a bookcase for the Library I work at today, an interesting thought struck me (yes, I actually had one and I lived to tell the tale.)

Bookcases are like treasure chests.

Solid walls of wood encase the diamonds, emeralds and rubies of the literate and cultured world. (Some of us are capable of reading, but do not enjoy it. There are those who love reading for reading's sake and those who like reading for the subject's sake. I am the former and I will tolerate the latter. But those strange people who loathe reading in general, I pity.)

The best bookcases are the ones that are filled, top to bottom (what is an empty bookcase, after all? A crime, that's what. A sad and sorry lack of that which is good. A dull emptiness, begging to be filled.) stuffed, squeezed, glutted, bursting, full up with books, books and more books. The fuller the chest, the greater the treasure, no?

Glorious books. Ships that always have an extra spot for an eager stowaway. Planes that beg you to climb aboard and lift you into the sky of imagination. Dreams that envelope you and offer you endless possibilities. They are escapes, and yet they are grounded in humanity; men cannot write things that do not speak of men.

This makes books both windows and mirrors. They open up the horizons of other worlds and offer more insight into your own. The offer both insight and introspection.

So what else could a bookcase, loaded down with these marvelous thing, be but a treasure chest?

And so, being the good little library employee that I am, I would encourage you to go forth and find a bookcase. Library, bookstore, your neighbors house, I don't care. Find one and take a look. I guarantee it's a worthwhile investment. And speaking of investments, it is also a worthy and wonderful endeavor to build your own bookcase. Collect the jewels that mean the most to you and allow them to occupy a chest in your own home. (That way, when you're neighbor reads this, he can just come on over to your house to find a bookcase.)

And the more chests there are out there... the more likely someone else is to find one.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On A Technical Note...

Like my tweaking? Yes, I did change a few things. Look around, pretend you noticed them right away.

Someone had too much fun with the buttons on Blogger today.

Prose I

How do you forget
The things you once held
Close to your heart and mind
On purpose
So that you wouldn't forget them?
How do you let go
Of the things you once loved
And clung to in a sick desperation
Just to feel your own heart beating?
How do you recover
From a collapse so complete
Like a star falling
From a self imposed sky
Shattering on the ground
Where it never belonged?
How do you love
When there is so much hate
Swirling inside you
Surprising you by it's presence and strength
That you selfishly directed
Safely and soundly
Yet deadly?
And how do you read
The words, the tears, the pictures and the faces
That color, create, make and break
That surround, yet isolate you
Into the hallow drum
Of questions, loneliness and heart beats
In a rhythm, a song
Of hopeful despair?

Friday, October 1, 2010


Today is apparently National Homemade Cookie Day. My kind of holiday, people. It's also the kind of holiday that gets ample celebration at my house. My sister makes amazing cookies. Just ask me. Or the mailman. Or me. It's the truth.

Cookies are on my list of ultimate weaknesses. Whenever I gain weight, you can bet your bottom dollar that cookies were involved. Then, seeing the disastrous effect they have on the fit of my jeans, I swear them off (or at least swear to moderate my intake. I mean, what is life without a cookies? A cold, dark, thin place I tell you.) and for a while, I do alright. I am bigger than the cookie... I can resist... Of course, this whole "cookie diet" thing works better when there are no cookies to be had. When the house starts smelling like sweet, doughy goodness, my resolve is weakened. When the first hot, perfect rounds come out of the oven, it's over.. Resolve? What resolve? How bad can a few cookies really be... I wave the white flag and indulge, only it's a pretty sweet loss. For the moment anyhow.

Some cookies are, obviously, much better than others. My personal favorites are chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, gingersnaps, chocolate sandwich cookies and white chocolate chip macadamia nut.

Chocolate chip cookies are classic... if you don't like them, something is most likely wrong with you. You need to have enough chocolate chips and the cookies need to be very soft. A cookie without enough chocolate chips is a crime.

Sugar cookies also need to be very soft and they must be frosted. Don't just sprinkle some colored sugar on top, you can do so much better. Don't cheat this cookie out of fullness of life.

Gingersnaps, I like both soft and hard. I know they are supposed to 'snap', but they taste so good soft also. They are just good. End of story.

Chocolate sandwich cookies... don't lick the cream out. Please, I'm begging you. Just don't. The whole thing is meant to go together and ripping them apart is like separating Siamese twins joined at the heart.

And last but not least, white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. Glorious. It's the white chocolate. I've always loved it. It's the the lighter side of the chocolate chip cookie. You have that same excellent base cookie, but the chocolate is sweeter and there are nuts.

Yeah. I am pretty crazy about cookies. What can I say, I am a foodie with a serious sweet tooth. There are worse weaknesses, right? ;)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Caged Bird Still Sings

Last night I sang. My Youth Group Type Thingy (it's called Lifeteen, for the record, but I prefer my title) is doing the music for a Mass at our Church. So we practiced tonight and I sang.

Yeah, you're thinking "Big deal. You have something interesting to day about now?" Meh. It is a moderately small deal and unless this is your first time reading this blog, you should know that I think interesting is a relative term.

I sing at this Church a lot... try like, every Sunday. Most often with a mic in front of my face. To be honest, I sing a lot, period. I love music (though I don't understand it as much as I'd like to). Any way, a few years back the organist/pianist at this Church invited me to sing in the choir and gave me voice lessons. Before that, singing was something you did in the shower and an important part of pretending to be a Disney princess. After that, it's become more and more important to me. And more and more fun.

I'm a mockingbird. Most of what I learned about singing, I learned from listening to other people. In all kinds of music, both at Church, on the radio, where ever. I've worked at it and sang for weddings, funerals, Masses, talent shows... not in that order. The weddings were way after the talent shows... way after. I suppose the point of that was to show a progression, which it actually failed at doing since I failed to list them in the right order, thus making the whole thing pretty much a failure. But I am losing myself here... and most likely you too.

So I sang last night! (Get ready, here's the pointish type thing! ((I think "type thing" is my phrase of the week...)) ) And I got to sing loud. Little secret? I can be pretty loud. Particularly when I emulate opera singers. Not like I was doing that last night, but still, I was loud. They were yelling at us to sing louder. (That's actually a pet peeve of mine. When you're at a church thing and they tell you to sing louder? I can't take that kind of pressure. Plus, I'm ornery so telling me to sing louder actually kind of makes me want to shut up.)

Any way, when you sing loud, or at least when I sing loud, I get this lovely feeling. It's like a burning in my chest. It's a very good feeling... warm and vibrant and alive.

On that note, (ha ha! No music pun intended... just accidentally enjoyed.) I have often felt as though my voice was not so much me as it was in me. Like it was something apart that just so happened to get stuck inside me. (Poor thing...) But the caged bird still sings... it strikes me as somewhat incredible the way I just open my mouth and somehow, almost effortlessly, this clear sound emerges. Like "Huh... that was kind of cool. Wish I knew how I did it."

Granted, I've definitely gotten more control over time. But I still can't grasp it... maybe someday, I'll get the bird out of the cage a little bit more. Let it fly.

* I apologize for the scatteredness of this post. Usually I try to focus and use better writing habits. That wasn't really working out so great today and my quirky sense of humor got the best of me. My sincerest thanks for bearing with me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do You See What I See?

I smile so sweetly at you

I seem so pretty, so kind

Little do you know

I'm counting down the seconds

Until I disappoint you

And I don’t even know

Your name

"You are beautiful."

You called me beautiful? What were you looking at?


"You're so nice, Anna!"

Is she really?

I don't know. This is you we're talking about. Are you?

I don't know.



Me? The girl who trips over things in plain sight and claims they moved?


Me? The one who doesn't know how to smile correctly?


Now I know we must be talking about someone else.

But who?

I still don't know.


What do you believe? Your reflection in the mirror or the reflection in their eyes?

I don't know.
You know, you don't know a lot of things.
Yes, I know. I'm you, remember?
Of course I remember. I'm you.
Some days, World, I am your girl. Some days, I am no one's. I do not know exactly who that girl is, because she is unfinished. She's a work in progress. I see glimpses of who she is and who she will be, in the eyes of others and in my own. But there is more to her.
There will always be more.
I suppose that is her beauty. It lives in the eye of the beholder. In some eyes, it lives. In others, it has no place. Let there be at least two eyes that remember to see her. That keep a place for her...
And let those same two eyes make room for beauty found in others, everywhere.
So that wherever they look... it will be beautiful.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Suitcase and Me... Not To Mention You

Are you any good at packing? I am not.

Whenever I am forced to leave my happy haven (and yes, it is usually by force) I make a nice little list, plan the trip out outfit by outfit, complete with jewelry, shoes and color coordinating eye liner. Then, I carefully collect each item and painstakingly pack it into a ridiculously large suit case. I leave for three days and I need a small whale-like vessel to hold the earthly possessions I just have to have with me at all times. It takes me several hours. I wander here and there, getting things in order in between painting my nails, writing a journal entry and having a snack.

It should be confessed that I am actually not a very organized person. I do plot, plan and list things but I definitely do it to the beat of my own drum. My closet/room is a disaster area. My desk is coated in papers, clothing, empty glasses, pens that may or may not work, the last three books I read, a pair or two of earrings, an assortment of Cd's, a few bottles containing anything from water to nail polish, hundreds of lists, receipts, gum wrappers and other bits and pieces I could have just thrown in the trash can that lives inches away with the same amount of effort.

When it comes to packing, there is no exception to my usual tidiness and precise organization. I make a list that I write sloppily, resting the paper against my leg or the textured wall, embellishing it with doodles and notes as I see fit. I wade through my closet and compare outfits and try to select something based on where I am going, who is going to be there, what I'll be doing, what is actually clean in my closet, the weather, my mood and a host of other variables that may or may not actually be in that order of importance. Then I shift everything around in a suitcase and find I've forgotten something vital, like pajamas or my toothbrush. So I find a pair of PJ's, but I'll need to brush my teeth tomorrow morning, so I throw a note to remember it on my list. And suddenly, I remember that song I've been wanting to look up online, so I run and do that. When I come back I reprimand myself to focus and throw some body splash in the case... but what scent? The Bath and Body Works would be good for Sunday, but they'll never work for Monday. And I'm still not packed, but it's 11:30 PM and I'm tired and we have to leave early in the morning... so maybe I'll just... Zzz.....

When it actually comes down to it (aka, we're leaving in fifteen minutes) I suddenly become an efficient packing machine. My decision time is cut down to one minute instead of seven. Everything can go in at once, because there is no chance I will need it again before we go. I throw in an extra shirt "just in case" (I live in fear that I will somehow ruin an article of clothing and have absolutely nothing else and be forced to borrow something from my Grandma.) I zip up the case while I sit on it to press down my sweater, hair straightener and everything in between. Lugging it down the steps, I frantically try to call to mind anything I may have forgotten. Belt? Check. Book? Check. Mp3 player? Shoot, forgot to charge that...

I shove it into the last available space in the vehicle (cute thing about having the biggest suitcase of anyone? I  also am the last person to have it ready. Meaning everything else has to move just for mine to fit.) and relish in a vague sense of relief and a not so vague sense of anxiety. I survived! I remembered my toothbrush! I can't put anything else in there now! What if I forgot something!?

Finally, as we are pulling out and the doors are locked and there is absolutely no way for me to pack/do/worry about anything else for the moment, I breathe again. Once begun is half done, right? We will be home... soon...

I wrote some of this on the eve of my leaving. So, in other words, I sat down and typed half of a blog post with my list at my side and a partially packed suitcase in my room. Shameful, I know. But I didn't want to leave without posting anything, which I ended up doing anyway, because I got on a roll and I couldn't bare to just tie this up prematurely! My deep failure, I confess.

I missed blogging very much. I would see things or think things or do things that just begged for a blog post and my fingers ached for a key board.

Well, no matter. We are reunited again. And now all I have to worry about is everything I left behind undone... not to mention my unpacked suitcase sitting taking up space on my floor.

Ah, it's good to be home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I love rain.

I love being in bed, or sitting at my desk when it rains. I love the sound of the rain drops on my window.

I listen to the pitter patter of the fat raindrops smacking the glass. To the blow of the cool autumn wind that sneaks in my old and leaky window.

I love how they look, slip sliding down the cold glass. I love how they blend into a wet screen that blurs the world behind it.

Rain strikes me as deliciously romantic. There is something refreshing, pure and magical about it. It smells, looks and feels enchanted to me. I wonder why? Thinking about this scientifically would only depress me as it would concretely disillusion me of my happy idea that rain is magical. Same goes for fairies, the Internet and wishes on stars. Don't tell me how it works. It doesn't work, it happens. Let me have my happy pretend and you can have your sad reality.

Rain also strikes me as thoroughly comforting. It's as if all the sadness and brokenness in the world below has been recognized and even the sky mourns it. It is contemplative. It puts us all in a bit of a quieter mood. We stay inside and become observers of the world instead of active forces and participants. Do you know how much we learn just by watching? Never stop watching, no matter what you are doing.

You know there isn't really anything magical about the way my hair looks after a quick run to and from the car in the rain, nor is there anything refreshing about having wet socks after accidentally stepping into a puddle. But this is still life, after all. My happy magical ideas only last so long. I may be an idealist, but I do have some touch with reality.

Right now, the world is in that "post-rain" state. Everything is wet, water sliding off roofs and leaves, the whole world is damp. Not nearly as nice as when it's actually raining. But it's not so bad... good conditions for a rainbow. Which, by the way, is also on the list of things that is magical, no matter what anyone says.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears- Part III

Alright, I think by now you know the drill. Let's begin, shall we?

Wiki (I love Wiki, in case that has not been noticed) says that tears are the liquid product of a process of crying to clean and lubricate the eyes. Best definition yet! I actually understand all those words! I don't know if I should be excited, embarrassed or deeply saddened by that fact. I would like to use the word 'tears' in a literary, but less than literal sense, meaning to cry. You might produce tears when you yawn or there is something in your eye, but this isn't crying.

(In the cases of blood and sweat, we had fun watching Anna stumble through her minimal knowledge of biology trying to explain the physical causes and ramifications of these things. In the case of tears, I'll spare you the entertainment. Because this one is different. While the other two were very physical, this one is primarily emotional. If you really want to go deeper with tear ducts and what tears are actually made of, knock yourself out. That's what the Wiki link is for.)

We cry for countless reasons. Reasons as vast and varied as people themselves. Most commonly, we cry when we are sad, hurt or upset. For some of us, beauty moves us to tears. Sometimes elation can cause us to cry. Any strong emotion, positive or negative that overwhelms or deeply touches us can make us cry. Experts say it really depends on the person and in this case, I just so happen to agree with these experts, though I am certainly not one myself.

We all have the capacity to cry, but some of us don't cry very often. Others cry at the drop of a hat. Women tend to cry more than men, which you've probably noticed, regardless of you own sex. This is probably partially do to the stigma that crying is a weak and feminine thing to do, rather than a human one.

You know the feeling. That horrible tightening in your chest, the lump in your throat and the warm sensation behind you eyes.

Swallowing hard, you try to push down the grief that bubbles over you, enveloping you in sorrow.

A part of you is determined to keep the tears pushed back, safely inside, safely hidden, but they are equally determined to pour out, regardless of where you are and what you're doing.

The first tear slides from the flooded well of your eye. There is no more point in trying to subdue them, they are here. Like it or not, ready or not, you are crying. Drawing a shaking breath, you surrender.

You cry. Tears in you eyes, an ache in your heart, your nose is running and these odd sounds are coming from you throat, unbidden as you breathe.

They hurt, they represent a pain that is hidden and invisible. Yet through that expression, they are made tangible. They soothe you by materializing your pain and pouring it out... drop... by drop.


Tears and crying are inextricably connected to emotions. Emotions are about the most human thing I can think of. While they do have some, we do not see the same range and response to emotions in animals or in plants. While they have life, they do not seem to feel as we do.

Why do we feel? What is the point of an experience so real, yet often outside of reality? How do we feel these things?

Our minds are amazing and powerful things. Linked with our hearts and our souls... they can do crazy and unbelievable things.

I do not understand. I cannot comprehend the way these things work.

And yet... I am one of those things.

I do not even understand the strange and complicated being that is me.


Do you cry very often? Do you sometimes enjoy crying? You know how sometimes we'll say we "had a good cry"? Crying alleviates something. It loosens and lessens the tight knots of feeling we wind ourselves into. We cry to express emotion and often, we find some consolation or closure in that expression.

Or are you like me? Do you not cry very often? Do you try not to cry? Does crying just embarrass you more than anything else? I think crying, while hard for those of us who hate it, is also good for us in a way. They say bottling things up is never good. When those of us who try to keep it all in cry, there is something uniquely vulnerable there. We let our guard down just a little, which is humiliating, but sometimes necessary. You can't carry the whole world on your shoulders. You can't always be strong.

Kids assume that adults never cry. It scares them to see their parents cry. I'll bet you remember the first time you saw your Dad cry. I do. I can't imagine lots of people I know crying. It's not the face, the side of them you normally see.

Our grief is often kept private. It's often connected to the things we are closest to. Only those things have the power to move us in extreme ways. As such, we can't and don't expect just anyone to understand our pain. Nor do we want them to see it. Who wants to be known as the lady who cries in the grocery store? Awkward. It'll get you some concerned looks and maybe a referral to a good psychologist.

Both sweat and tears are salty. Salt and humanity... oh the connections we could make here. I will make one. You can make one two and then we will have a pair. Salt flavors. Humanity 'flavors', if you will, the world. We make it. We get to choose, to an extent, the way things go down here.
Do you like the flavor?


A tear. A single tear. What is the weight of a tear? What is the worth of some one's pain?

The tear of someone I love?

The tear of the stranger?

The tear of someone whose pain I do not know?

The tear of someone whose pain I caused?

The tear of the one who cries for himself?

The tear of the one who cries for another?

The tear for the dead?

The tear for the living?

The tear for pain?

The tear of the one moved by beauty?

The tear of the hopeless?

The tear for sorrow?

The tear for joy?

What is the weight of a tear?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dreary Day Impairs Brain Function

Nice headline, don't you think?

It's an incredibly dreary day and I am sorry to report that my brain is not functioning well. At all.

Does that happen to you to? Does the fog and the gray somehow penetrate your skull and coat your mind, making rational, creative and normal thought difficult to impossible? Ouch... not to mention painful.

It's cold and my bones, used to the warmth of the summertime, are protesting. Have you ever felt like you can feel every bone inside your body as it moves? It doesn't quite hurt, but it's not the most pleasant of experiences.

I'm wearing a sweater and wishing I had been smart enough to scout for a pair of socks. At this point, the search would take more effort than I feel like exerting.

My greatest wish is that it was bedtime rather than dinnertime. That would solve several problems.

Ack. Painful laziness. Laziness caused by pain? That makes it sound better, to be sure.

Tomorrow, they tell me, there will be sunshine. I think that will probably help me out. Maybe then I will present you with my finished Tears piece?

I hope it is warm where you are. But if not, I hope you have a sweater and socks and apple cider.

Fog, begone.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears Part II

Alright everyone. Time for installment two. I would use this cool trick to link to the first post in the series... but if you scroll down you'll find it without my help. I am slightly disappointed that my cool trick is worthless in this situation. I guess I need more cool tricks.

Anyway, we've (or rather, me've) analyzed blood, now it's time for sweat. Again, feel free to post your own thoughts.


Once again, I shall turn to my faithful friend, Wiki. Wiki says that Perspiration (sweating, transpiration, or diaphoresis) is the production of a fluid consisting primarily of water as well as various dissolved solids (chiefly chlorides), that is excreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals.

Though I understand like... 5% of this, sweat also apparently contains the chemicals or odorants 2-methylphenol (o-cresol) and 4-methylphenol (p-cresol), as well as a small amount of urea.

Hmm... what the...? Hopefully you got something out of that, because it flew way up over my head. Yes, I was, am and probably ever shall be hopeless in all matters pertaining to biology.

Moving on to simpler things (before my brain explodes and makes a disgusting mess on the keyboard), we all know why we sweat. Recapping, though not as an insult to your intelligence, we sweat to cool down. That fluid evaporates and boom! You're a little bit cooler.

Thus, sweat is essential. We need it. Can't move and groove without it. Yet most of us find sweat all together unpleasant. It stinks. Literally. And as a general rule, stinking is a rather negative and highly unattractive thing. Not to mention the lovely sensation of being sticky and smelly at the same time. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. You weren't born yesterday and we all sweat.

Going back to the theme of blood, sweat and tears being human offerings, I think about when we sweat. When you are active, you sweat, yes? So let's think about human activity. We do things for two main reasons: work and pleasure. Work to support our existence and maintain our lives and pleasure to recover from that work. Perhaps this is the reason we dislike sweat? Because we dislike work? Because we are lazy? That's not a very complimentary thought. It would also be grossly overgeneralising. But I dare say many people are lazy. I know I am.


Now, me being me, an Allan Jackson song comes to mind. It's called Hard Hat and A Hammer. Funny thing is that the song has no mention of sweat, which is truly a testament to the way my brain works. But sweat is implied, in my opinion. The song is about working, and working hard. The end of the refrain is: God bless the working man. He calls this man the "kind of glue that sticks this world together" and the "cradle of the promised land". I would have to agree with Mr. Jackson.

Working hard, or sweating, is what we need to do to stay alive, and it's a noble thing to do. It's the 'right' thing to do, which is why we find satisfaction in a job well done. We are 'wired' to work, as it were. Not to compare humanity to an electrical device, but I think you know what I'm trying to convey here.

I like this song because it represents work and working as hard as you can as a noble thing, but a simple thing. So many of as aspire for higher things. So many of us distain work. So many of us want to get to the top with the least effort possible. And why? Why do we think we can get there without hard work?

Because we are lazy, and we don't want to sweat.


If you are paying any attention to the state of affairs in this country today, you know that obesity is a major problem. You know how many people are put at risk for all sort of health problems and diseases because of their weight. You also know how hard many people find it to exercise, for all sorts of reasons. For some of us, we are too busy. For others, our physical state restricts us to the point where it is painful or impossible. For others still, we are lazy.

I find it both intriguing and disgusting that people are dying of both starvation and obesity at the same time. How on earth do we let this happen? I suppose the "earth" and those of us upon it would be the answer.

I am not trying to oversimplify complicated things. Because I know that not every obese person is lazy, nor does every obese person overeat. I also know that one person feels helpless in the face of these problems. I'm not saying there is a simple solution the rest of the world is ignoring and I am this great genius who figured it all out. If I was, I'd be on TV fixing all your problems instead of writing this generally worthless blog. I'm just thinking out loud.

I know that when I exercise, I feel so much better. It relieves tension, improves circulation (blood...) and releases those delightful endorphins we all like so much. I feel satified and "right".

We need to move. We need to work hard. Modern life does not afford us the difficulties it did 70 years ago when we lived and worked off the land to stay alive. No, now we drive to the store and log on the the Internet to stay alive. Seeing a little difference?


Did you catch that interesting connection between blood and sweat. Blood pumps more when you move, yes? Warms you up, causing you to sweat, yes? (I do dearly love connections, no matter how vague they may be.)

Imagine again, you heart pumping. Only now, you are running, the wind whistling you your ears.

PUMP...PUMP...PUMP, goes your heart

SLAP...SLAP...SLAP, your feet on the ground.

And soon, you start to feel it burning a little bit. In your legs, arms, and in your chest. Then you're getting a little warmer and you reach up to push back a strand of hair when you feel it. Warm and wet on your hand. Sweat. Keep it up and soon it'll be on your back and torso, sliding down your forehead and beading on your lip. Sticky and salty. When finally stop, you gasp for air. You're heart feels like a galloping horse in your chest, trying to slow down. If you've been running, hard and hot, you my friend, are covered in sweat.

How does it feel...? Satisfying? Relieving? Good?



It seems to me that it has become abundantly clear that we have a love/hate relationship with sweat. It's good for us, but we don't like it. We can find pleasure in it, but it also hurts us. You know what I call that? I call that life. That's the way it is. It's unfair, it's hard and it's bitter. But it's also beautiful, good and sweet. You can't have one without the other. Perhaps acceptance is the key to taking the bitter with the sweet. Or maybe even embracing those things. If you want to love life, what do you love? All of it or some of it?

Maybe we need to develop a tasty for salty water.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears - Part I

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." - Winston Churchill

Blood. Sweat. Tears. Three fundamental human elements. Three things that we make, that we create. Three things that make us what we are- human.

For some reason, this old phrase came to my mind today. There really is no reason for the way my mind works. If I tried to explain it, I would just end up confusing us both and it would be pretty much useless to my current purpose. I decided, in my usual instantaneous and haphazard fashion, that I would split up the three things in this phrase- blood, sweat and tears. (Be warned, I will repeat those words again... and again... and probably again. So get used to them.) I would take each one and give it a little thought. Roll it around in my mind and see what I could come up with. Feel free to add your own thoughts in a comment. We have been trained to think in narrow boxes and I, for one, am pretty sure that there is more in this world than my own box and I should get out a little more, at least in my mind.


Wiki says that "Blood is a specialized bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body's cells – such as nutrients and oxygen – and transports waste products away from those same cells."

Well isn't that a nice, boring definition. But if you are as bad at remembering biology as I am, it was for your benefit. Blood... what is blood? In a deeper sense, blood is life. Without blood, you and I would not, could not work. Our bodies need blood to do all the amazing, confusing and thoroughly mysterious things they do.

Have you ever looked at you hand in absolute astonishment? I have. "What the heck... how does this thing even work...?" We could talk about the wonders of human construction for hours... but I am obviously not an expert and I have a topic at hand and I will not be swayed. Look at the strange thing connected to the end of your own arm. Yes, really. Don't pretend you did and just keep reading. Got it? Alright. See those bluish purple lines underneath the knuckles on your palm and on your wrist? Of course you do. They're called veins. Yes, I know you know that, bare with me. Underneath several layers of skin are tons of tiny little veins, a maze of rivers carrying blood, carrying life through your body. You knew that too. But how often do you think about it? How often do you remember that "specialized body fluid" that "delivers the necessary substances to your cells"?

If you answered "Um... not often, if ever." don't feel bad. I did too. We take it for granted.

But when do we remember blood? Not when it's doing it's job perfectly and normally, of course. No, we remember it when it isn't working right. When you get a cut, you remember your blood. Because suddenly, what works in secret, hidden and behind the scenes, is made visible. Heck yes, you'd better believe it's visible. The second it leaves those little rivers, it turns that beautiful, scarlet red. (I love that blood is red. Because if blood is life, I would like to think life is a vibrant color.) We're automatically alarmed by blood leaving our bodies... and since blood is a big part of what gives you life, it makes sense to try not to lose it.

If you have a disease like cancer or some other illness, you remember your blood. Do you know how many tests are done with blood samples? Me neither. But it's a big number. Your blood is full of information, if something is not right in your body, you can bet there are probably some clues in your blood. When something is wrong with your blood... it's like the very thing that keeps you alive has turned against you. The one thing you need more than anything is endangering you. Can you imagine that? I cannot.


You know how when you curl up and lay still, you can feel your heartbeat?

I love that.



You know what is beating? Yes, it is your heart. But what is beating in your heart? But what is your heart beating?


Blood is not only what we are, it is who we are. We are human. (Humanity is a what, a who, a when and a why in and of itself if you ask me.)

"It's in my blood."

We identify ourselves by what is in our blood, where we came from and who we are. It not only gives us life, it defines our lives.

"All I have to offer is my blood..."

If you are made of blood, if you are blood, then what is a gift of self? When we love someone or something, we say we would give our lives for it. We would offer everything- we would bleed and die for it's sake.

War is war because we settle things with blood. Brothers are brothers because the same blood runs in their veins. Blood is what makes the difference between life and death. It is the tie that binds and it's loss is what severs.

We do not take blood lightly. Nor should we. How can we, really? It is what are, how we are, why we are and who we are.


Blood in my veins, pulsing through me at every moment of the day. Beating in my heart, circulating through my body. Keeping me alive.