Friday, December 30, 2005
My passion for dancing never waned, but after several years, it was getting too expensive and too time-consuming, and I wanted to pursue other interests. So I retired at the young age of 25.
Troy and I stayed in touch at first, but it wasn't long until I stopped hearing from him. When I started singing with a swing band, I invited him to my gigs so we could dance again, even if only for a few songs, but he never showed. As time passed, we were more like strangers than friends who spent so many years together.
And then I got an unexpected call a few months ago. He told me that there would be a producer calling me later that day to set up a time to dance for some footage for a documentary they were filming about him. So after a four-year hiatus, I put on my dancing shoes again that night. It's funny how when you love something, you don't realize how strenuous it is. We used to spend two hours a night, four days a week practicing. And with all that exercise, I could eat anything I wanted. But that night, we were both completely out of breath in the first five minutes. And my body moved differently with a few extra years and pounds. But it was still a blast to dance again. (Even though I was sore for a week in places I had forgotten about!)
After we danced, they did an interview with Troy. Initially, I was asked to wait outside the room so he could be candid, but then he asked me to stay. I was saddened and horrified at the things I heard. He is a crystal meth addict. And homeless. And unemployed. And so many other things are wrong in his life. I spoke with him after we were done shooting, wondering how I could help him. But there was nothing I could do. As I learned with my brother, you cannot convince an addict to get help. They must decide on their own that it is time to quit. I didn't know what this was all for, but I sensed and hoped that somehow the experience was cathartic for him.
I got another call today. Troy is coming home. He was shipped off to rehab the morning after I saw him, where he has been for the last two months. He sounds happy, healthy, and optimistic, and I couldn't be more relieved. I learned that this was all for a show called "Intervention" on A&E, airing Sunday, January 8 at 10 pm ET. And since I could never do his story justice, I encourage you all to watch. I'd be curious to hear what you think.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
It's not even a status thing. I promise. It's just that the jewelry and other items that they sell are superior in quality. And don't I deserve the very best?
My boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas last Sunday, because we would both be spending the holidays with our families on opposite coasts. And while I still longed for a gift in the little blue box, this was our first Christmas together and I did not expect that this would be the year I would finally get it.
The first gift I opened: a wireless router. Not on my wish list. But it was meant as a joke, and I get it. He always complains that he can't use his laptop at my house. (Yes, I still have a desktop.)
The second: lingerie. Even though it was from my favorite lingerie store, so far, both gifts were more for him than for me. He is usually so romantic and thoughtful, but I was beginning to question how well he really knows me.
Moving on to my third gift - the one in the Victoria's Secret bag. I was sure it would be pretty, but not exactly what I wanted for Christmas. But inside the shiny pink bag lay the most beautiful turquoise blue box my eyes ever did see, complete with perfectly-tied satin ribbon. That would have been enough, but then inside the long-awaited little blue box was a beautiful pearl necklace. I never used to think I was a pearl girl, but when I put on the necklace, I became a believer. They are so smooth and radiant and heavy on my skin. And I feel so elegant and grown-up when I wear them. (And a little like Bree Van De Kamp.)
And so my years of waiting for the little blue box ends. Here are some simple (if also slightly cliche) truths that I now believe whole-heartedly:
- Good things do, in fact, come in small (preferrably blue) packages.
- All good things are worth waiting for.
- Do not judge a book by its cover (or, in this case, a package by its wrapping).
Merry Christmas! I hope Santa is good to those of you who have been nice, and even better to those of you who have been a little naughty this year.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I am thankful that everyone in my family is healthy. That there is no active cancer in anyone at this moment.
I am thankful that my parents celebrated 31 years together this year.
I am thankful that I still have two grandparents, although I miss the other two very much.
I am thankful for my niece, and for her sex-to-be-determined-but-much-to-my-chagrin-not-disclosed sibling that is on the way.
I am thankful for a wonderful boyfriend who loves me no matter what -- no matter how hormonal, how stressed, or how sick I am at any given moment.
I am thankful for my future in-laws for welcoming me into their home over Thanksgiving weekend.
I am thankful for a healthy voice, and many opportunities to share my love of music.
I am thankful for a job, albeit one that I do not always love.
I am thankful for my work girls, who make it bearable.
I am thankful for a home, albeit one that lately feels too small.
I am thankful for my girlfriends for their love, support, and for all the memories.
I am thankful for my puppy who can make me smile and laugh at the end of the day, no matter what else happened that day.
I am thankful for my anonymous friends in blogland, for the humor they provide and the thought they provoke.
I am thankful for forgiveness, and for my salvation.
I am thankful that I can breathe and see and hear and speak and walk.
I am thankful for the occasional moments of peace amid all the holiday dashing, during which I can reflect on how fortunate I have been this year and throughout my life.
May you all have a blessed and spectacular holiday!
Monday, November 07, 2005
He Doesn’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore
Three years ago, after the devastating breakup of my 4-year relationship with J, I reluctantly reentered the dating world. For whatever reason, I decided to give the online dating thing a try. The first guy I met in-person seemed normal at first. We met at the local dog park on a Sunday afternoon, so our “kids” could meet and play. We went out a couple of times over the next week, and on Friday we planned to make dinner together and watch a movie at his place. I don’t know exactly why, but I decided that night that a relationship between us was not going to happen – that the “X” factor was missing, and was unlikely to develop. So I broke up with him. (Although after only one week, I’m not sure it was a true “break-up” – mostly, I just stopped returning his calls and emails.)
He kept calling and emailing, and I thought maybe he just didn’t get that I wasn’t interested, or maybe he just needed some time to get over it. But then I got a nasty message on my phone followed by another in my inbox. Bitterness reared its ugly head once more in the form of a hate letter and dead flowers on my doorstep. FREAK.
Apparently, though, this kind of psychotic behavior is cathartic, because I never heard from him again after that.
The Boy is a Dancing Fool
Last year, I made the grave mistake of dancing with someone at one of my big band gigs. To this day, I cannot reason why, but when he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him. Even though I had just started dating someone else. And even though he had scary, way-too-intense eyes. Having learned my lesson before, I mustered up the internal fortitude to do the right thing and tell him that I simply wasn’t interested – that I was seeing someone else.
So when he kept calling (sometimes three times a day), I got really annoyed. And then when he started showing up at all my gigs, sometimes even popping backstage where I was hiding, I got scared.
Naturally, when eHarmony matched us up at the beginning of this year, I had a meltdown and immediately closed my account. He still comes to my gigs, though – um, AWKWARD!
Coffee: The Silent Killer
Last Saturday, I answered a knock at my door to find the most dreaded of all solicitors – the Orange County Register paperboy selling subscriptions. (Okay, maybe not the most dreaded, but certainly in the top ten.) He was more than a little pushy, tried every sales trick in the book in response to my many excuses, and didn’t listen when I told him I simply wasn’t interested. Finally he left, and I thought no more about our little exchange.
Until later that afternoon, when I left the house to go to a friend’s for game night. I was stopped dead in my tracks at the top of my stairs when I noticed a white, unmarked box sitting atop an Orange County Register. I replayed our earlier conversation in my head and recalled the following statements:
-“Help a guy out, and maybe something good will happen to you. It’s all about karma, you know? What goes around comes around.”
-“I’m out here doing this to keep me off the streets – to keep me from doing drugs and living a life of crime.”
-“You don’t have to talk to me through a cracked door. You can let me in – it’s not like I’m not going to hurt you or anything.”
-“It’s because I’m black, isn’t it? If I was a white guy, you’d get the subscription.”
Now I was really freaked out. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think myself so important that someone would be out to get me. And I’m not usually the paranoid type. But for whatever reason, this particular situation unnerved me. I didn’t want anything to do with that box and whatever was in it.
So I called my community’s security patrol to remove it. No answer. I tried my community’s maintenance guys. No answer. What is a girl who lives alone, whose boyfriend is out of town, left to do? I called the police. I explained to them that I did not think it was a bomb, that it was probably nothing, but that I was a little freaked out by this guy and simply didn’t want to touch the box. Always erring on the side of caution, they proceeded to send two “special” (i.e., bomb squad) officers to my house to take a report and remove the suspicious package.
Obviously, since I’m alive to write this, it was not a bomb. But the irony of this little incident is that it turned out to be…
A coffee mug.
That’s right. A gift from the paperboy, who was apparently hoping to bribe me into purchasing a subscription.
And I thought he was trying to hurt me. Don’t I feel sheepish.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I thought I'd try this one first, since my real name is French. Apparently, the computer didn't know what to do with that.
|Your French Name is:|
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Well, the boyfriend decided to have a Halloween party this year. So I decided that we should wear a couples costume. Fearing that Ken and Barbie would be too cliche (kidding, of course - I can't stand Barbie), we decided on "Roman God" and "Venus, Goddess of Beauty". Some of the friends thought I was Helen of Troy and he was What's-His-Name-Who-Loved-Her-Thereby-Destroying-Sparta. (Of course, we all know that was Paris.) But we really just looked like Greeks. So, for your viewing and mocking pleasure, here is photographic proof of how much my boyfriend loves me:
Saturday, October 22, 2005
You'll all be relieved to know that he not only passed the test -- he aced it! Most importantly, my papa thinks he's wonderful. Just one more reason why I love him.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The two-inch scar on my right shoulder now serves as a constant reminder to wear sunscreen, to stay out of the sun, to schedule appointments with my dermatologist yearly. It reminds me of my cousin, who sees a much larger scar every day when she gets dressed. It reminds me that skin cancer is not something to take lightly.
Since it's my blog, here's my campaign message for all of you in blogland:
And have a happy and healthy fall/winter!
Sunday, October 02, 2005
But now it's official -- He Loves Me!* So I just wanted to share this moment of happiness with my friends in blogland.
*Addendum: And I love him!
Sorry, my love, for not making this announcement in the original post. I assumed it was implied. Thanks, Carolyn, for pointing out the omission.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Well, we spent last weekend in the mountains again, and it was even more super-fun! Partly because new boyfriend is so much better than old boyfriend. Partly because we were wakeboarding instead of snowskiing (although I do love both). Partly because we weren't renting a tiny cabin (although the jacuzzi was a very nice feature), but were shacked up in a gloriously large house, thanks to Mark's recent rise into the ranks of homeownership. But mostly, I think, because we expanded the group this time. Plus, there were babies!
Don't get me wrong, I love Em and M. But how much more fun when we double the group from two fun couples to four?!?! And then add the three and a half cutest little ones in all the world. Besides my niece, of course. Carolyn and Ralph brought Boogie (aka Dobe) and Dak (aka Flirt), and Shannon and Marty had Ava and on-the-way-but-as-yet-unnamed baby #2 in tow.
As if our Thursday game lunches at the office weren't enough, the girls successfully persuaded all the significant others into having two very long game nights, fueled by massive quantities of alcohol. There were fresh-squeezed, homemade lemon drops (new boyfriend has a very fruitful lemon tree). There was Amarula, Em's new favorite Brazilian liqueur, compliments of old boyfriend. There was Sangria. There were margaritas on the dock. There were boat rides. And did I mention there were babies?
I love weekend getaways. And I love my work girls!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
This year, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate (read: our celebration was more of the less-civilized variety). Hungover from our night out on the town, we decided it would be a good idea to hit the lake. ('Cause nothing makes your hangover headache worse than dehydration from more booze and an entire day in the sun.) Lake Mead was overflowing with boats, all packed to capacity and complete with drunk drivers. Always a good time.
There were shenanigans, tom-foolery, and bally-hoo throughout the day, and it was a blast. A few highlights:
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Owl: Why, don't you know? They're twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that's awful.
Flower: Gee whiz.
Owl: And that ain't all. It could happen to anyone, so you'd better be careful.
Owl: [points at Bambi] It could happen to you…
Owl: [points at Thumper] …or you, or even...
Owl: [Flower looks at Owl shyly] Yes, it could even happen to you!
Thumper: Well, it's not gonna happen to me.
Bambi: Me neither.
Flower: Me neither.
Yeah, that's pretty much how it happens.
Friday, September 02, 2005
We began at once, excited over the prospect of once again picking up our sponge brushes to create masterpieces that would be envied by all others. Always the team players, we held a brainstorming meeting to allow everyone in the department to share their ideas for the poster. Of course, we came prepared with eight mock-ups to get the creative juices flowing. To our dismay, the idea chosen by the majority was not within the scope of our original vision for the project. Fearing that this new idea was not going to produce well enough to win the competition, we did what any good marketer would do and decided to create comps to help persuade the others. To-scale, of course.
During our nostalgic painting session yesterday (I promise we do actual work most of the time, but it's days like yesterday when I really love my job), we came up with a super-fun way to be able to do nothing but paint posters for a living. Without having to stay back in high school for the rest of our lives. Because, let's be honest, as cute as we are, no one will want to see our asses in a cheer uniform when we're 40. It may have been the fumes from the paint, but I'm telling you, this business plan is sheer genius.
Stay tuned to see the final version of our poster, which is sure to be pure perfection.
And keep a lookout -- our handiwork may be coming soon to a high school near you.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Since the week was sucking so badly, I decided to take Friday off. I spent the better part of the morning at my favorite spa -- I got a massage, a mani/pedi, and even got my hair done. Then I went shopping (always a favorite activity). I took the puppy on an extra long walk. I enjoyed a long workout, not feeling rushed for the first time in a long time. And then, after taking as long as I wanted to get ready, the new man and I went to a comedy/magic show, where I laughed so hard that my tummy still hurts this morning.
So the hellish week ended happily after all. And my birthday was a happy one, despite the other not-so-happy events of this week. Thanks to everyone for your support about my dad. And thanks to everyone for the birthday cards, flowers, gifts, lunches/dinners, etc. I've never doubted that I have the best friends and family around, but if ever there was a week when I needed a little confirmation, this was it. So thanks for being there.
I heart you all!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Did the shiny (and did I mention brand-new?) silver paint allow you to see your monstrous reflection, and did it repulse you so much that you had to destroy said reflective surface?
Has life been so unkind to you that you felt it necessary to demonstrate to someone else WHO YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW that life is unfair?
Did you assume, based on the new car, that I have been even a little bit successful, and did it make you so angry that you needed to cut me down (or cut my car with your key, as it were) so you wouldn't feel like such a complete failure?
How would you feel if you worked really hard for something, and then within three weeks of getting it, someone ruined it?
I just want you to know that I forgive you (but only because I am required to do so). Whatever has happened to you that made you so hateful, that turned your heart into such an abyss of blackness, that stripped you of any conscience whatsoever, must have been so much more terrible than the foot-long scratch you inflicted on my unsuspecting (and previously unblemished) door. So I feel pity for you. I hope you gain a soul sometime in this life.
Monday, August 22, 2005
In 1998 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has always been a strong, healthy woman, so it was no surprise to anyone when she fought it and won. Until 2002. When the doctors told us that it had come back. With even stronger resolve than the first time, she fought back again. And so far, she is winning. But until the doctors tell us that she is officially in remission, I live everyday in fear that my mom might not be there when my first child is born.
My father has been her rock, ever stronger for her, ever more supportive of her, ever more loving. Their faith and their relationship continually strengthened by this test. He has always been, and is still, my hero.
Which is why it came as a great shock to me this evening when he told me he has prostate cancer. How could this man, who I have idealized all my life, be fallible? Equally inconceivable to me is the thought that my daddy might not be there to walk me down the aisle someday.
And this, mere weeks after learning that my cousin, who is my age and one of my dearest friends, has just had her own brush with skin cancer.
At this moment, I cannot imagine how I am going to deal with this. They say "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best." But I refuse to accept this. I refuse to even entertain the idea that I could lose both parents so early in life. And yet at the same time, I am forced to realize that life is so fragile. That we may not have as much time as we once thought.
Friends in blogland, tell your parents you love them today. Tell your children you love them. And if you have ever been religious in your life, please pray for my papa. Thanks.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
On this particular instance, my five-year-old baby sister had an extreme case of brattiness (not unusual for her at that time). In all my 13-year-old wisdom I decided that it would be fun for the three boys and I to gang up on her and teach her a lesson. I think most of us have told a sibling that they were adopted at some point or another. But we took it much too far. What ensued got me grounded for two months, and left emotional scars for which I don't think she has yet forgiven me. Here is how it played out:
Me: You know, you're adopted. Mom and dad aren't your real parents. If you don't stop being such a brat, I'm going to call the orphanage and have them take you back. Because we don't want a bratty little sister anymore.
Sister: [screaming, and starting to cry] I'm not adopted!
Me: Oh, yes you are. Just ask any of the boys. They know, too.
[All three boys confirm this sad, sad truth.]
Sister: [crying harder] Even if I am adopted, mom and dad don't want to get rid of me.
Me: Well, I'm in charge right now, so what I say goes. Besides, mom and dad don't want you around anymore because you're such a brat.
Sister: [crying harder still] You don't even know the phone number for the orphanage!
Me: Sure I do, it's 555-TAKE. (wasn't I clever?)
Sister: I don't believe you!
Me: You'll see, I'm not kidding. [I pick up the phone and dial, pretending to talk to the orphanage and asking them to take her back right away.] You better go get packed.
[At this point, my sister is crying uncontrollably. One of my brothers comes down the stairs with her suitcase, packed. Another brother sneaks around the house to the front door and rings the doorbell.]
Me: They're here for you. Say goodbye to everyone. You have to leave now.
[Now she is screaming and crying so hard that she is hyperventilating and turning blue in the face. At this very moment, my parents arrive home. She runs to them and tells the whole story, and I get in major trouble for masterminding this whole plan.]
I realize this story doesn't paint a very good picture of me. And it's true, I certainly wouldn't have won Sister-of-the-Year for most of my teenage years. But we all laugh about it now, because there was no permanent damage done, no therapy required. And thankfully, we're all really close now, despite many an incident of this very type.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The scene: my childhood home in master-planned suburbia, circa 1993
The principal players: my youngest brother, myself, my mother, and a large handful of very helpful ambulance and hospital staff
It's funny how things can be so important at the time, but later you can't even remember the details. Like what school assignment I thought so important as to lock myself away in my bedroom while "babysitting" my four younger siblings, three of whom are boys, so my mom could do a bit of long-awaited and much-deserved shopping over this particular Christmas break.
Growing up with five children in the family, there was truly never a dull moment. Our house was always full of people and often full of noise, because we lived in the cool house. A trampoline in the big backyard. A pool less than 100 yards down the street. Cable. A constantly growing movie collection. Every Nintendo game known to child-kind. A pool table. A built-in basketball court on the driveway. A pantry and refrigerator stocked with all manner of goodies.
So I didn't find the noise of our full house on this particular day distracting. I was in my room, drowning out the pandemonium that could be heard throughout the rest of the house with my music and tending to my very important school project, as all good babysitters should do. But then, insolence! I was interrupted.
"Nikki!" screamed my youngest brother. "I got a splinter in my leg -- come help me!"
"Don't be such a baby!" I screamed back. "Go get the tweezers and take it out yourself!"
"But it's really big and it hurts really bad -- I need your help!" he insisted.
The nerve! I stormed out of my room to the entry hallway, where he and several other kids who could have been his friends or my other brothers (I can't remember) had been running and sliding on our hardwood floors. Remember how at age 10 we could find fun (and trouble) in the simplest things?
"Let me see it. I can't believe you're being such a baby."
So he proceeded to pull up the leg of his sweatpants to show me this "splinter."
And then... Stomach. In my throat. Room. Spinning. Blackness. Stars.
When I regained full consciousness, I saw a foot-long stick piercing my brother's leg. Yes, you read that right: PIERCING. It went in his knee and came out his calf.
You see, in California we have earthquakes. Big ones, sometimes. And occasionally, things settle. Like the ground. Or the boards comprising our hardwood floors. And when sliding on said floors, one must be careful not to catch an edge.
So I ran to the phone and called 9-1-1. They must've thought I was crazy.
911 Operator: 9-1-1, what is your emergency?
Me: My little brother has a splinter in his leg.
911: A splinter?
Me: Well, not really a splinter. More like a stick.
911: A stick? In his leg?
Me: Yes, it went right through his leg. From the knee to the calf. And it's stuck inside, sticking out both places.
Me: Um, I'm pretty sure we need to go to the hospital to have it removed. We live at [insert address].
The ambulance arrived mere seconds before my mom got back. Now I'm not a mother or anything, but I'm pretty sure an ambulance in front of your house isn't exactly what you want to see when you return home.
But the story ends well. My parents went with my brother to the emergency room, where they had to do surgery to take the stick out. In three pieces. Of course, this left me to continue babysitting the other kids. Because, clearly, I was responsible enough to be trusted with that again.
Like I said, never a dull moment at my house.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I know. You've probably seen some of these before. And maybe it's weak sauce that I didn't make up something funny of my own. But for some reason, these made me laugh out loud at home by myself when I came across them again today. So I felt compelled to share. Enjoy!
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work After Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Typhoon Rips through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
(in an office restroom) Toilet out of order…Please use floor below.
(in a laundromat) Automatic Washing Machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
(in a London department store) Bargain Basement Upstairs
(in an office) Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.
(in an office) After tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.
(in a secondhand shop) We exchange anything – bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?
(on the window of a health food shop) Closed Due to Illness
(found in a safari park) Elephants Please Stay in Your Car
(at a conference) For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the 1st floor.
(near a farmer’s field) The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.
(on the door of a repair shop) We can fix anything. (Please knock hard on the door – the bell doesn’t work.)
Don’t let worry kill you – let the church help.
Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
Tuesday at 4:00 PM there will be an ice cream social.. All ladies giving milk will please come early.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the alter.
The service will close with "Little Drops of Water." One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The associate minister unveiled the church's new giving campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge--Up Yours."
8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
Ushers will eat late comers.
The Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
Evening massage - 6 p.m.
The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.
The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.
Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.
The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.
The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."
During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J. F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.
Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."
Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
Stewardship Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"
The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD Dr. Hargreaves is better.
The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.
The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.
Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.
22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.
A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Next Thursday, there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct. 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in school days.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
For the rest of you, here are the answers from yesterday's game:
- Wadsworth, Clue
- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
- Ralphie as an Adult/Narrator, A Christmas Story
- Bill Lumbergh, Office Space
- Old Woman in Deli, When Harry Met Sally
- Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Carribbean
- Sherri Ann Cabot, Best in Show
- Vivian, Pretty Woman
- Xander Cage, xXx
- Ralphie as an Adult/Narrator, A Christmas Story
- Cher Horowitz, Clueless
- Milton, Office Space
- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
- Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Carribbean
- Will, Good Will Hunting
- Mr. Green, Clue
Monday, August 15, 2005
...because then I can watch them over and over when I'm home sick from work, learning some of my favorite lines to quote in everyday speech.
Since I'm stuck in bed all day today, let's turn it into a game, just for fun. Here are some movie quotes that have recently amused me. Try to guess the character and the movie (leave your guesses in the comments). I'll provide the answers in a later post. Bon chance!
- "...the double negative has led to proof positive. I'm afraid you gave yourself away." (1985)
- "I just don't think that Brooke could've done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands. They just don't." (2001)
- "NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a 'triple dare ya'? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare." (1983)
- "Hello Peter, what's happening?...I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday..." (1999)
- "I'll have what she's having." (1989)
- "You need to find yourself a girl, mate. Or perhaps the reason you practice three hours a day is that you already found one, and are otherwise incapable of wooing said strumpet. You're not a eunuch, are you?" (2003)
- "People say 'oh, but he's so much older than you' and you know what, I'm the one having to push him away. We have so much in common, we both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about." (2000)
- "In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight." (1990)
- "The things I'm gonna do for my country." (2002)
- "Aunt Clara had for years not only perpetually labored under the delusion that I was 4 years old, but also a girl." (1983)
- "Daddy's a litigator. Those are the scariest kind of lawyer. Even Lucy, our maid, is terrified of him. And daddy's so good he gets $500 an hour to fight with people. But he fights with me for free because I'm his daughter." (1995)
- "...they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire..." (1999)
- "The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known." (2001)
- "I think we've all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically." (2003)
- "...I got her number. How do you like them apples?" (1997)
- "They all did it. But if you wanna know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did. In the hall. With the revolver. All right, Chief, take'em away. I'm gonna go home and sleep with my wife." (1985)
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I shouldn't complain -- I'm fortunate to have so much work this month. Most musicians would love to have my schedule. But to do a show without a healthy voice is torture. Argh!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
So I've decided to use this post to dedicate this, my debut album, with overflowing gratitude first to God, for giving me this talent and the opportunities to discover and develop it. To my parents, for always believing in and supporting me. To Pete and Christi, for challenging me and teaching me how to constantly improve my voice. To Kara, for the countless hours spent together in our youth singing around the piano, and then for marrying Pete's son and having Emma, thereby allowing me this amazing opportunity. To Shannon, for getting me to sing again after the near atrophy of my vocal chords, even if it was at the Foxfire. To Shadd, for insisting that I sign your copy of the CD as if I was a big star. To T, J, D, J, J, J, and P, for being so patient and understanding of my schedule over the past year, even when it would conflict with our plans. To Gracie, for enduring many nights when mommy wasn't home. And to all of my friends and family who love me even when I use the word "gig". Cheers!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
You see, this morning I shook off the dust and cobwebs from my golf clubs, which have been severely neglected for the last 16 months. And now, after letting my golf muscles (and any skill that I might have possessed in my former life when I golfed somewhat regularly) atrophy to the point where I'm not even sure I remember how to hold the club, I am supposed to play with someone who I want to impress. I can only hope that he'll have a sense of humor as I try to remember how to swing that thing so that it makes contact with the ball. Or as I search endlessly for my ball in the trees. Or as I pull out flip-flops from my bag so I can at least be comfortable during the hours I will surely spend in the sand.
I'm quite sure I'll achieve the highest score. (Not a good thing, for all you non-golfers.) Should make for entertaining stories, anyways. Fore!
Thursday, June 02, 2005
1. Name your favorite 80's teen icon.
Ah, the 80s -- so full of iconic teens, many of whom unknowingly found their way onto the walls of my peach-and-mint-green-adorned bedroom. With so many worthy candidates, I think it's only fair to crown a king and queen in this category. And the winners are...
King: Kirk Cameron
Queen: Elisabeth Shue
2. If you were a boy, what were your parents going to name you?
I'm not sure my parents even considered such a notion. Based on logic alone, it would seem to be a toss-up between the masculine form of my name, Nicholas, and my first brother's name, Richard. But I'd hope that it would have been something more interesting, like Jean-Pierre.
3. If today were groundhog's day (like the Bill Murray movie) what would you have done differently, knowing that you could re-do it tomorrow?
I'd have blown off work, rescued M from the prison that his office has lately become, and spent some quality time together, something that has been regrettably difficult to do these last few weeks. We'd enjoy lunch and a nap while soaking up some sun at the beach, then head to my all-time favorite amusement park for some rollercoaster-riding fun. Then we'd have a lovely dinner, discussing over a bottle of wine how great it is that we can wake up tomorrow and still have jobs, despite this little escapade, and then we'd catch a show -- maybe at the comedy club, maybe a concert, or maybe a musical. We'd end the day with a rematch of Trivial Pursuit. And this time, I'd win because it's my groundhog's day, dammit!
4. If your name no longer contained letters, only numbers, what would you go by?
512153914... 3914 for short... bonus points for anyone who can figure out the super-difficult secret code without the help of your decoder ring.
5. What's the worst lie you ever told and got caught for? - I won't make you "out" yourself on a lie that no one's discovered.
Not unlike most teenagers, I thought I was so much cleverer than my parents. My girlfriends and I created a chain of lies that was clearly unbreakable, because, after all, our parents were complete fools, right?! I was sleeping at Kara's... Kara was sleeping at Wendy's... Wendy at Kathy's... Kathy at Jannell's... Jannell at Sam's... Sam at Melissa's... Melissa at Kristine's... and Kristine at my house. (Are you amazed at the genius of our young minds?!) Problem was, it was prom night. And we, of course, were all going to a hotel party after the dance. In the morning, we awoke to an irate phone call from my father. Which parents broke our unbreakable chain of lies, I'll never know. But I'll never forget the look in my father's eyes when my boyfriend dropped me off that morning -- a combination of fierce anger and severe disappointment. I've not lied to him since.
Want to play?
The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions -- each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I can't believe how grown up he is. Although we are separated by little more than a year, he is still my little brother. The little brother who I played with and fought with. The little brother who I have always loved. The little brother who I worried about for so many years. The little brother who I prayed would be kept safe. The little brother who I always believed was an incredible person with a huge heart. The little brother whose life has so dramatically changed in the last few years.
And I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of the amazing man he has become. I'm proud of the life he has chosen. I'm proud to call him not only my brother, but also a friend.
There are not appropriate words to express my emotions that day. Perhaps words will eventually come, but for now I will just say that I love you, little brother, more than you know. That I'm proud of you. That I thank God every day for keeping you safe. And that I am so excited for the new life that awaits you and your lovely bride.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
How very curious. Do you think that maybe she didn't want to be there in the first place? That it was nothing more than a ploy to make you believe she had changed on this very important and divisive issue? Didn't it seem at all strange that she never wanted to go to church, and had successfully convinced you not to go either, until you broke up and she found out that you were going without her -- and, in fact, that you were going with me? And so many other glaring examples of how she controls him and manipulates him into choosing a relationship with her over a relationship with God. But I digress.
So he wanted to continue going with me. Having begun this spiritual journey together, this part of our relationship was very special to me. And I didn't want his growth to stop just because she wouldn't go with him. So I foolishly agreed. I thought it was the right thing to do. I was sure that I could be strong enough to be his friend. We made plans to go to services together. We signed up for classes. We talked about getting baptized.
Then yesterday, after what by my count was the ninth time he had cancelled, I entered into the anger stage of the grieving process. Of course I miss him (the him I knew, not the him he's become now that they are back together, which I assure you is a completely different him, and one who I quite frankly don't like very much). Of course I wish things were different. But I realized that he is essentially carrying on one "perfect" relationship with two people. There are the things about her that he thinks he loves (although from what I've heard from his friends, this list can't possibly be very long), and then he has with me the things he knows he wants. And I'm enabling this destructive behavior. Because every time he is unhappy with her, I am there to make him happy again. And every time he is frustrated by their relationship, I am there with a relationship that is so much less work. And every time they break up, I am there for him. And this is a one-way ticket to nowhere. For all three of us. Because true fulfillment should be found in one person. Not two.
After realizing that I have become a doormat for his dirty feet, and after realizing that this, regrettably, was not the first time I had been so accomodating of someone else's needs that I found myself trampled by their boots, I decided it was time to start standing up for myself. To recognize that this is not a characteristic of a healthy or normal relationship. To declare that I deserve better -- more respect, more consideration.
My dear friends, you will all be relieved to know that I will no longer be in contact with JS. That he cannot cause me any more pain. That you won't have to hear about it anymore. I may still be sad at times, because I didn't want it to end like this. I may still cry on occasion, because, despite the flaws revealed out of my heartache over the last few weeks, there are some wonderful things about him that I will really miss. But I can't change his mind and I care too much about him to watch him hurt himself anymore.
So to my dear JS -- adieu. I pray the Lord your soul to keep -- lest your faith be sucked out by the godless witch*.
*I hereby reserve the right to hate her just a little bit until I'm completely done healing.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Said Nic, while in her bed she lay.
"I have a hole in my stomach wall,
It hurts just lying in a ball.
My tummy's empty, my mouth is dry,
I really fear that I may die.
I'm nauseous and I don't feel well,
I've counted sixteen heaving spells
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My finger's cut--my eyes are blue--
It can't just be the stomach flu.
Each time I gag, I gasp and choke,
I'm sure my heart's irreparably broke--
My head hurts when I move too fast,
Oh, how much longer must this last?
My back is wrenched, my throat, it burns,
To just feel healthy, how I yearn.
My body's cold, my stomach aches.
I don't know how much I can take.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My belly's sore, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
I'm dizzy and I cannot hear,
I fear the end is drawing near.
I have a hangnail, and I feel like--what?
What's that? What's that you said?
You think it's all just in my head?
I wish it was, now I'm going back to bed."
Adapted from Shel Silverstein's "Sick" in Where the Sidewalk Ends.
Monday, April 11, 2005
When I was in school, I was almost always that kid who scored 100% on an exam, throwing off the curve for everyone else. Luckily for me (so I wouldn't be hated all the time), the grading system was usually pretty straightforward. If you scored anywhere in the 90s, it was an A. In the 80s, a B. And so on. You had to score below 60 to fail.
Being the type-A that I am, this kind of rigid scale has always worked for me. Always made sense. There is logic. Constancy. Objectivity. Absolution. The possibility of actual perfection. Which is why I always preferred the true A to the inflated grades one receives when a curve is used. Why I didn't feel bad when I threw off said curve for the others who didn't study as fastidiously as I.
But in life, and most specifically in love, I find that the scale is nowhere near as predictable or precise. It is fickle. Complex. Multi-faceted. There is no formula for perfection. No single right answer. No proof of why things are as they are. There is a curve that is based on others' expectations of you, which are based on their opinion of and respect for you, which is often based on nothing solid at all. Or there is something of a reverse curve, where 99% is actually much worse than, say, 50%. Let me explain...
J and I dated for nearly four years. We were practically perfect for each other. Practically. There was just one thing that was missing. I have been assured that I will never know what that one thing was, so for the sake of making my point, I'll assign it a point value of 1. Which takes us from 100% to 99%.
D seemed at first to be wonderful. He treated me like a queen. But, as it turned out, he was a compulsive liar. Now, this is a major character flaw, so I'll take off extra points. Let's say 25. 75% - generally considered an average score, so I'm being generous here.
JT was fantastic. He was honest. He was fun. He was intelligent. But he, too, had a fatal flaw. He is in town for roughly 12 hours every month. Total. And sometimes those hours are not consecutive. A relationship is impossible when you only see each other once a month, so he lost 10 points. 90% - still an A by most standards.
M was honest, too. He worked nearby. Even lived close. But there was no chemistry. This is a big problem, so he lost 15 points. 85%.
JS was seemingly perfect. (And, yes, I know that this being the most recent of them all, I'm bound to feel this way. And I promise that at some point, hopefully soon, I'll shut up about him. But for today, just go with me on this one.) He was intelligent. Funny. Honest. Communicative. Affectionate. Spiritual. Lived and worked within 25 miles of my home. There was chemistry. But he was occasionally and temporarily emotionally disabled. Minus 5. 95%.
There are many others I could use to illustrate the point I'm about to make, but my dating stories aren't even interesting to me anymore, so I'll spare you the details.
The thing is, in all of these relationships, I was mostly happy. Mostly fulfilled. They were mostly good. Often great. Nearly perfect. But it's that one thing that isn't right, that one thing that you can't live with (or in some cases without), that one inadequacy that takes you from 100% to anything else, however small the variance, that makes it fail in the end.
And when something is so close to perfect and then it doesn't work out, it is sharply more painful than if it was much further off the mark. Because you were hopeful. Sure, even. That the long and laborious search might finally be over. That the right person and the right timing may have finally come together. Which is why I say that in love, 50% would be so much better than 99%. At least you'd know to expect failure. But who expects failure when something is 99% great? And is it even possible to find something worthy of an uninflated 100%? I, for one, have my doubts.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Send me an email that proves to me that you looked at the photos in my profile, but did not read a single word I wrote or look at a single item on the list of qualities I am looking for in someone. Demonstrate extreme superficiality to confirm for me, once and for all, that all of the good ones are either married or gay.
All because he doesn't know what (or, rather, who) he wants. Because he keeps changing his mind. Because he can't break free from her and the disastrous cycle that they are in. Because he's not ready to find what he's been searching for. Because he's not strong enough to do the right thing. And still I want to be with him despite these flaws. Because the heart knows no reason.
Happy Birthday, JS. I hope you get everything you want and need this year. I wish for you to find the happiness you seek.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Last night, after a heartbreaking conversation that seemed to go in circles, I was depressed and defeated, alone and afraid, and most of all, hurt. And he wasn't there to hold me and tell me it would be okay. So I cried myself to sleep. This morning I went to church alone. He wasn't there to share it with me. This journey that we started together, this bond that I thought we shared - it was just me now. Making matters worse, he was there with his ex. So I cried all the way there. And through much of the service. And all the way home. I was sure that the well of my tears had surely run dry after the last 24 hours, and yet I cry still as I write this.
It's killing me that it's over.
It's killing me that he chooses his ex. Again. Who is, by his own admission, not the right person for him. And he is not right for her. They are too different. They fight all the time. The issues that caused them to break up the last five times have surely not changed.
It's killing me that he chooses an unhealthy relationship. One in which he is manipulated, used, unappreciated, taken for granted. One in which he cannot fully be himself. One that will ultimately never make him happy.
It's killing me that he thinks this could possibly be love.
It's killing me that he lets her have such power over him.
It's killing me that he can't see through her. That she is only going to church for him. Not for herself. Otherwise, she would have gone on her own. That it is just a ploy to see him again. To try to connect in a way that they never could before. A way that he and I have connected.
It's killing me that, after telling me that I am the perfect girl for him, that I have everything he wants and needs and more, he is able to walk away.
It's killing me that his heart still hangs on to her. That he isn't able to move on. That because of this, and even though we are right for each other in so many ways, he can't love me the way I want and deserve to be loved.
It's killing me that he can't even explain what draws him back to her. Why he feels this way about her, even though he knows they will never work.
It's killing me that I couldn't make him feel that way. That I couldn't make him forget her.
It's killing me that this relationship had so much potential, and yet we don't get to develop it any further. That it wasn't even given the chance to grow.
It's killing me that he's making a bad decision. Whether he chooses me or not, she is not good for him.
It's killing me that I am powerless. That I can't do anything or say anything to make him change his mind.
It's killing me that I can't conceive of anyone better suited for me.
It's killing me that all I have now are memories.
It's killing me that there are no more plans to be made. No more fun to be had. No more interesting conversations over dinner. No more laughing until our stomachs hurt at the comedy club. No more church dates. No more ski weekends. No more making dinner together at home. No more sleeping in each other's arms. No more tender kisses.
It's killing me that he was happy with me, and yet those feelings weren't strong enough to overcome the leftover feelings for her.
It's killing me that my plans for his birthday must now be canceled.
It's killing me that I don't feel like it should be over. That I truly believe we were brought together for a reason that has not yet been fulfilled.
It's killing me that, against my better judgement and without fully realizing it, I fell for him. That I love him for so many reasons.
It's killing me that I miss his laugh. His smile. Our conversations about everything and nothing. The fact that they were always interesting and we never ran out of things to talk about. And so many other things about him that I love and miss.
It's killing me that he doesn't even know this.
It's killing me that I want to be with him. To wake up in his arms and discover that this was only a bad dream.
It's killing me that I can't stop crying.
It's killing me that I can't eat or sleep. That I feel absolutely sick over this.
And the hollowness I feel inside, the pain that consumes me over this whole thing - that's killing me the most.
Monday, March 28, 2005
The service was wonderful. Amazing music. Thousands of voices raised together in praise in a worship center that was packed to capacity. A great message from pastor Rick. And JS by my side. There is something indescribably fantastic about sharing spiritual experiences with someone you care about.
And while I'd like to be mature enough to say that, if for no other reason, I'm thankful that JS came into my life because we both have strengthened our relationships with God since we've been dating, I regret to inform you that this alone would not satisfy me. You see, the more time we spend together, the more I care about him. The deeper I fall for him. The closer I come to opening up my heart and loving him. But as much as I want to, I can't.
Because I'm afraid that he'll get back together with his ex. Again.* Because he still admittedly has some feelings for her. Because I fear that these feelings preclude him from having any real feelings for me. Because I don't want to fall and get hurt. Because when I look at his online profile, I find new photos and recent activity (and, yes, I know how hypocritical that last one is). Because I fear that he is dating other people, or at least looking to do so, even though he tells me that he isn't. Because I feel so good when I'm with him and so insecure when I'm not.
But I have foregone my other options. I saw three months ago and still see in him today that inexplicable and yet essential something that is both promising and exciting, and have long since let the others with less potential go to pursue that something. I don't know what will happen between us in the coming weeks or months or even years. And that terrifies me. So along with the eggs, I'm having to place all my faith in that basket and just hope. And pray for patience and understanding.
*He so quickly realized the foolishness of that decision that it wasn't even worth the time it would have taken to blog about it. Although I have plenty of things to say about the ex. Plus, it was an exhausting 48 hours.