Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts in the Middle of Moving

I'm leaving for Utah in just a few hours. Well, in about 13 hours. I have packed my car to the hilt. I'm still packing, but I'm actually kind of good at moving.

I will drive to Chicago tomorrow and pick my Mom up, and then we'll drive together to through Iowa and on to Utah. It should be pretty easy.

I'm sweaty and tired from hauling stuff out to my car and out to the garbage, but I might be on the home stretch. (I tell myself this, then I look around and realize that I'm not even close.) I really hope I'm gonna be able to fit everything in my car. The trunk is stuffed to the brim.

The last thing to pack is the router/back up drive. I love this thing. Without it, I don't have internet access. I'm going to stay with my parents, who don't have internet access, and then my grandma, who also doesn't have internet access.

Also, I have no earthly clue if I'll get paid next week or not.

Yeah, it's a little scary. But, everything is gonna be fine. I think I'll wait until 2 am to pack to the router.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


One week ago, I told Chris I was done.

During the past week, I have learned one thing about myself and my interests:

After being with Chris, and "talking" to a couple other guys last week--I will be content with only two scenarios.
a. I want to be with Chris.
b. I want to be alone.

Conclusion: Other guys suck.

All last week, I was making peace with the idea that things with Chris were over. I cried. I pondered. I prayed. But mainly, I felt peace. I was very sad that I felt peace with an ending that painted Chris out of my life. But, peace is peace.

I wouldn't let myself believe that anything could change. It just seemed too much to ask for.

I love Ingrid Michaelson's music. I listened to all of her "angry--it's over" music. I avoided listening to songs filled with hope, because I didn't want to get my hopes up.

Sunday I went to church and listened to a talk on relationships. Tears welled. I tried not to listen. I tried to numb myself. I don't encourage playing games on the phone during church, but I just needed to stop thinking. Bejeweled saved me from the pesky thinking thing.

On the drive home, I let a happy Ingrid song sneak into my ears. I even let myself sing along.

I never really revealed the reason why things ended. I'll give you a vague overview.

Chris told me some things that were deal breakers.
I believed he told me these "deal breakers" because he wanted me to end things. Even though I ended it, I believed that he wanted me to end it. That doesn't exactly make me a heartbreaker.

Sunday night, Chris and I talked.

The dealbreakers are gone. My reasons for ending things no longer exist.

And guess what? He totally digs me. He was as sad as I was last week! Maybe even more so.

Time apart was good. I learned a lot of great stuff about myself. I learned that if things end, I will be just fine on my own. And I learned that I would soooo much rather make things work with Chris than be with someone else.

Here's the little song that I didn't want to let myself listen to. It puts me in a very good mood now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mates of State

I went to see the band Mates of State play at the Ottobar in Baltimore on July 14th. (That feels like a lifetime ago!)

Nick Thune opened with his comedic stylings.

And when I say, Nick Thune opened, I'm lying.

Guy, the Sword Swallower opened. And instead of opening at 7:30 as was advertised--he opened at 9:30pm. (Note I don't have a picture of Guy. This is because Guy or Die or whatever his name was--was inappropriately long.) I loved the Ottobar as a space, but they opened their door two hours late on a WEDNESDAY! And had three opening acts. What the what???

By the time the main attraction came on stage, the crowd was ready to keel over from fatigue. We'd been waiting in line since 7:30pm. Mates of State didn't even get on stage until after 11:30pm. I was soooo tired!!

But enough about that.

Nick Thune was hilarious! Check him out on youtube.

Free Energy played an amazing set. They're an awesome band. They dress like they stepped out of the 70's and into 2015. They swagger like Mick Jagger, with their long hair and their shirts undone so you can see their awesome chest hair. It's pretty killer. And the music ain't bad either.

Mates of State is made up of husband and wife duo--Kori Gardner and Jason Hammell.
They are joined by two other talented musicians--(our friend blowing the horn) and another guitar player. I can't find their names anywhere though.

Gardner and Hammell have been married since 2001 and they tour with their two kids. They put on a pretty great show. Jason plays the drums and Kori plays a multitude of keyboards while they both sing.

I had a great seat on the balcony just above Kori. I got to watch her play all the different keyboards. It was pretty awesome. She's wickedly talented.

My favorite thing was watching them watch each other. They were really in sync. I would imagine that the drummer would drive the beat, but I could see him looking to her for cues--so who knows. It was pretty hard to distinguish. They were so together.

They made a comment about the crowd being pretty "chill".

Yeahhhh . . . more like exhausted.

I love a good show--but when it goes until 1 am on a Wednesday night--I don't care how much I love the music, everyone was pretty toasted.

There was a couple that actually left early before the awesome grand finale.

And it was a killer finale! Free Energy and Nick Thune joined Mates of State and everyone sang and banged the drums in a giant communal celebration. I loved it.

Good times! Check out their albums "Crushes" and "The Re-Arranger".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bummed OUT

I'm totally bummed right now. I keep thinking back and seeing all these dazzling signs that Chris wasn't in love with me. I started to list the reasons why I knew--but it was just really depressing. Then I started thinking, "How the hell did I not see this sooner?!!" But the fact is, he's incredibly good at being a good guy. He told me that he loved me, so he was carrying out his duties as a lover. He called everyday, sometimes 3 times a day. He texted. He talked to me about everything that was going on with his life. And I listened contentedly, happy to be a part of things. But he never allowed himself to become invested in my life. He didn't have room for me.

What's depressing is that he could have made room for me, but he chose not to. Hell, I made room for him.

So, the really depressing thing as that as nice as he was about it--as good and as attentive as he was--even though he made the specific effort to be a good boyfriend--his heart wasn't in it.

How do I not doubt myself when this happens? I gave my heart and everything I could to make this work, and his heart wasn't in it. There's nothing that I could have done more. But his heart wasn't in it. It's so hard not to be fatalistic and think of all the other men who tried, but just couldn't get themselves to love me.

I'm not ugly, I'm not difficult, I'm not stupid or annoying. I'm not rude or demanding. I'm just me. And yet, it's never enough.

Why can't I for once be enough for someone?

I realize I'm not perfect, but what is it about me that after all I can give--I just don't seem to be enough?

In other news, I have a hickey. What the what?? This 23 year old kid chewed my neck off the other night. Despite his attractiveness, I am still bummed. But at least I forget a little of my misery when he's gnawing on my neck.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Figuring it Out

I have figured it out! With the help of a hottie. And some really clear interpretations of conversations. (This was a much longer post, but I think I should keep things off the published bloggy.)

Thanks for the love friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I'm done. I am not dating Chris anymore. Isn't it funny that I decide to call it quits 9 days before I move out there?

Yeah . . .

Life sucks.

But, I'm still blessed.

I guess there's no way of predicting the future, but I have to be true to myself right now. And today, right now--I don't think he loves me as much as I love him. If I was a self-doubting ninny, I might try to see this through--but I'm not.

So I'm alone. Yippee skippy!

But, I have an overwhelming amount of friends who love me and support me and despite this setback, these same friends who remind me daily that I deserve to be loved, I will be just fine because I am loved by so many amazing and supportive friends.

Still, I really liked him.

Really Blessed

I've known that I needed to leave DC for the past year--well--I've known that I needed to make a change for a year. I've explored all sorts of options. And I'm happy with the choices I've made. It's pretty set in stone.

BUT--during the last little while I've spent time with friends from all over the country. It has been such a joy for me.

As sad as it is to leave--these friendships have continued and WILL continue forever.

I know this because this week I've spent time with friends from Iowa--the lovely place I left 6 years ago--and I have evidence that true friendship continues on, regardless of location.

I just want to outline the awesomeness of the last few weeks. I'm going to put names and places so you can see how distance doesn't stop friendships from thriving.

end of June: Christina (Alexandria) and I went searching for a beach. And she took care of me when I was falling apart. She called and invited me to church when I wasn't feeling really swell about anything at all.

July 4: Bri (Charlottesville) came to town! We danced like crazy girls at two concerts and with the Hare Krishnas! (And Christina came too!!)

July 9: I went on a cruise with the Potomac Midsingles and got to know so many great people better--including a new friend Amy! (Alexandria)She was a sailor! She's lived on a boat! I am so impressed. I got to spend time with Amy, Stacey, Mikey, Christina, Darla, etc. Speaking of Darla--she's amazing.

July 11: I sang at the Potomac Conference Sacrament meeting with Patty and Stacey. It was so wonderful to share my talents with such amazing women. (Alexandria)

July 12: Mike (Rockville) came over helped me load all my stuff into a semi. Then we went to lunch. He is such a great guy. I am overwhelmed by his willingness to give. And he teaches me so much.

July 12: I went to see Crystal and Matt (Harrisonburg). I love this family so much. She is such an intelligent and resilient woman. She isn't afraid to look at things with clear eyes and work hard for real happiness. I love this woman! She's brilliant and spiritual.

July 13: I went to lunch with Leiza (St. Louis)--my old roommate from Iowa City. After 3 years, nothing has changed. She is still so sweet and so generous. I was amazed at how my heart swelled with love, despite the years apart.

July 14: I spent the afternoon lounging with a very sick and pregnant Clarissa (Burtonsville, MD). I can't describe how much I love this girl. She has more integrity than anyone I have ever met. She is too good for this world, but I'm so happy that she's here among all of us mortals.

July 17: Bri and Davon (Charlottesville) came up again and we went to see the monuments with another new friend Adam. It was so fun frolicking among the monuments late at night under the half moon. Bri and I stayed up until 3 gabbing about God, science, love, and life in general.

July 18: Marcia (Arlington) came over and we made cookies! We also talked about God, love, life...I am amazed at her strength. She talked about what a joy it is to live life. We talked about how blessed we are, and how frustrating it is to hear perfectly blessed people complain about what they don't have instead of thinking about all the blessings that we do have. It's easy to have this conversation when you're laughing and eating amazing cookie dough!

July 19: I went to visit Robin and Carl (Iowa City)and their cutie pie boys from Iowa. It was hours of great spiritual, political conversations, intermingled with feeding cute babies and tickling cute little boys. Not to mention a tasty beef stroganoff.

Over the past two weeks, Clay (Oakton) has been in town. Every night, we gab about life and he listens to all my frustrations and I listen to his. It's been a joy. He's a good guy. He's very protective of me and it's nice to see how much he care for me as a friend.

And of course, I've been gabbing with Chris (Salt Lake City)every day. It's so fun to hear his adventures. Granted, the more you care about someone, the more they can drive you crazy. But despite his ability to make me both crazy happy and just plain crazy--I have a great time with him.

I feel so incredibly blessed. And the last few weeks have been evidence of those blessings. I am excited to see what will come. I'm going to miss being close to my friends in DC, but I'm not too worried. True friends defy borders and distance.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Growing Pains

Over the past two weeks, I've had to make some big decisions. I've discovered how I work.

I decided to turn down a teaching position in NYC and the part as a lead in a new children's musical and move to Utah.

This was agonizing. But, I've discovered how I approach things in life.

I'm a heartbreaker.

I always saw myself as the heartbreakee. I choose something that might be great. I throw myself into it. Everyone involved sees me as entirely committed, invested. This is how I work. BUT--with work, with love, with all decisions--if after committing entirely to the decision--after making trips to NYC on my own dime, acquiring employment, reading scripts, learning parts, investing time and money and time and money--if after all of this, I realize that this choice isn't best for me-- I have no problems walking away.

This makes me the heartbreaker.

Most people approach things cautiously. They tentatively gauge whether something is good for them BEFORE they commit to the idea wholeheartedly. While I was assuring and making trips to NYC, I was never quite sure if I was exactly what the producers wanted for the part. I felt involved and I felt necessary, but I was never sure of their commitment to me as an individual. I certainly never saw them offer to offset any of my costs. They saw me committing whole heartedly, and they eagerly accepted all I had to give--thinking that I would give without expectation of anything in return.

This is how many of my relationships have been. If I decide I love, I do my best to love unconditionally and without expectation. At work, I give my time to volunteer, tutor, work with struggling students, conduct orientations, etc. I am happy to give without expectation, but I will never stay in a situation if at the end of the day, I don't come out on top.

I just quit my job of three years during a recession because after three years of giving, I still haven't been hired on as full-time faculty. I still don't have health benefits. I fully committed. I gave everything I could. And out of respect for myself, I quit.

I turned down the offer in NYC because they weren't offering enough money. The job at the university is about 1/4 of what I'm used to making--in Manhattan. I have no intention of giving my time and my talent for so little in return.

While I am in a friendship, a relationship, a job--I give. I commit. And I probably come across as needy and willing to give more than I ought to. This is my way of being "good at" the relationship. I am often in a vulnerable position.

But I'm not. Because I know how to walk away.

In this way, I go from being the naive hearbreakee, to the heartbreaker.

Someday, I'd like to have a job where I give my best, and I get the best in return--or at least health insurance. I'm working on having a relationship where I have the same, but hey--aren't we all? There's the eternal struggle. I guess I need to work on expressing my needs. I kinda suck at that. Instead, I give my best. And if I don't get everything back--I walk away. Done and done.

I'm striving to find a happy balance. My student shared a quote yesterday, "Never allow someone to be your priority while you're just their option."

I am especially bad at living up to these words. Rather than learning to live these words, I simply leave situations where I am not a priority, hoping to someday find that pie in the sky.

This isn't to say I regret any of the decisions that I've made this week--but perhaps I wouldn't have needed to make these changes if I had just learned to demand more for myself in the beginning.

It's a new start. I need to learn to demand more for myself--not because I'm callous--but in an effort to invest in something long term. I have to eliminate the option of walking away, and build a new life. This is going to take some serious growing pains. Uggh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dancing in the Streets

Every year, Washington DC hosts the Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

Sunday, after church of course, Bri, Davon and I drove into the city to see the fireworks and to enjoy the hordes of people on the mall. We walked a good deal of forever, but it was invigorating to see people from all over the world gathered to celebrate the birth of America.

The Hare Krishnas have a huge display for the festival. They have booths that explain their beliefs and they have a stage where they play music and sing. And people gather round to dance together with strangers to the happy music.

I don't know what it was about that day. Perfect strangers, from all different lands and cultures, were laughing and spinning and dancing with utter abandon. Bri and I immediately joined the crowd of dancers. I felt my spirit explode with joy. My heart beat faster as I danced. I whirled like a whirling dervish. And it's true that there is a spiritual enlightenment that comes with joyful abandonment. The moment you stop caring what you look like as you spin with your arms up in public and laugh with absolute joy--it's indescribable.

Bri told me that it was the happiest moment of her life. I have to agree.

I'm going to try to break it down in order to somehow replicate this moment: Imagine you're three years old again. Imagine the joy that comes from twirling. Imagine the sunlight shining down. Imagine everyone around you is laughing and smiling with you. Imagine singing happy songs filled with faith and devotion. It isn't my faith--but to sing for your God--there is a joy in worship. I thought of my God as I twirled in gratitude for my body, my voice, the ability to feel the wind and sunshine on my face, the grass beneath my feet. I twirled in gratitude for my brothers and sisters on this earth. I twirled in love for all things that God gives me.

They put Bri at the front of a congo line and I saw another friend laughing in the line as I hopped onto join the parade.

There is heartache and pain in this life. Our bodies are limited, our wills are weak. Life is incredibly painful. But the capacity to breathe, to dance, to sing--sometimes we take our lives for granted. There's so much joy that exists in merely existing.

So today--laugh, smile, feel the sun on your face, twirl! I promise it makes all the other stuff seem insignificant. Even if just for a moment.

What a beautiful thing it is to live!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Delta Spirit Concert

This is Delta Spirit.
Jon Jameson (bassist), Brandon Young (percussionist), Matthew Vasquez (vocalist/guitarist), Sean Walker (guitarist), and Kelly Winrich (multi-instrumentalist.

This is the crowd falling deeper and deeper under the beautiful spell of Delta Spirit.

This is Matthew Vasquez standing in the middle of the crowd. He's told everyone to crouch down. "Don't ruin it!", he yells at the people who aren't crouching down. He starts to sing, "A little bit louder now. . ." The crowd joins in chanting. Everyone's singing. And then...

The crowd jumps off the ground in an explosion of energy and sheer joy.

After the show, we just kept dancing. This is Christina showing her joy as she sticks her tongue out at me. Such a pretty girl!

Notice the American Flag jacket. They played until well after midnight--early into the 4th of July holiday. Vazquez sang a beautiful version of "Dixie" and the crowd joined him in singing, "Glory Glory Hallelujah!" He played "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the guitar. The crowd broke out into chants of "USA! USA!"

This is me, Davon and Bri. I had such a wonderful time with such beautiful friends.

We stood on the balcony overlooking the bar. There were sooo many people!

The energy was palpable. So many people, all here to have a happy happy time.

There's nothing like it in the world.

What a great concert!!

Ezra Furman Concert

Here's the ultimate brother/sister duo--Bri and Davon. We're standing in line to enter before the concert.

The lovely ladies--Christina and Amanda. We sat forever waiting for the concert to start, but we had awesome seats in the balcony. We could see everything--and we didn't have to stand.

This was good, since the concert went from 9pm to about 1am.

Saturday night, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons played with joyous abandon. And I danced on the balcony of the 930 Club with reckless abandon.

There was no fear in the land, only happiness. It was a beautiful night.

It was kinda magical. But only in that whole, "I'll never forget this night for the rest of my life--oh word could my heart hold anymore joy--I don't think so" kinda magic.

And I haven't even started talking about Delta Spirit yet!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Movies of Meh" or "An Ode to Two Hours I'll Never Get Back"

The week started with a lovely dinner and movie with a lovely friend.

The movie was meh.

It was so hard to make myself laugh.

I hate comedies that aren't funny. Luckily, we watched a preview of the new Will Ferrell buddy cop movie coming out later this summer, so I had a nice chuckle during the previews.

And then the laughs stopped and it just got awkward.

I hope someone finds something to love about this movie, but for me it earned a big ol' Meh.

Yesterday afternoon, I had some time to kill in between classes. No time to go home--and I wanted to chill in the movie theatre. I tried sleeping in my car, but a panhandler came knocking on my window while I was parked. Sooooo . . .

I went inside and chose to see Eclipse. I chose it of my own free will.

I thought it would be fun to see how they brought it to life.

I am sure that many people loved this movie, but I was so bored.

I'd go into why I was bored, but I just don't care. Meh.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this exciting installment of Meh. I will write about exciting things later. I hope you enjoy truly a truly unmeh 4th of July weekend!