Monday, May 31, 2010

My friends are real jerks - EDIT

So, a couple days ago and after a number of visits from Erica, I realized that there had been a couple of additions to the white board motivational list that I talked about here. Specifically -

* Next to #4 Jewel Heist, she had scrawled the enthusiastic words "Let's do it!!!"

** There are now two more things added to the bottom of this list. Specifically, "Let's get tattoos!!!" and "Or adopt Colombian infants!!!?""

I'm cool with adopting Colombian infants, especially if I feel pretty sure that that my Colombian infant is going to grow up to play professional soccer or look like Penelope Cruz (I know she's Spanish. But she played a Colombian a movie once, so whatever). But I don't want to get a tattoo. At some point during the early evening when I was having a little Thursday wine happy hour at my place, Sonia, Ang, and Erica all decided that we were going to get tattoos this summer. I don't wanna. I don't have anything in mind that I would want to permanently mark my body with, which is also the very reason why I coasted through the tattoo hysteria of the late 90's without nary a Tweetie Bird or Red Rose to show for it. The only tattoo I've ever seen that I thought, "Holy crap, I would totally love that on my body" is Karah's flock of sparrows, which fly from her left hip across her back to around her right shoulder and upper arm. THAT is flipping cool, artistic, beautiful, and would be something that I would proudly display. However, Karah already has it, and while there are many things that I choose to emulate her on, getting the same exact tattoo as hers would just be weird.

I am getting a cat, though. I don't really want to talk about it. She's all black, she's a chatterbox, and her owner has developed allergies to her and so she has to find another home, and soon. Yes, I'm a bleeding heart, dear reader. You've figured it out!

Please hit me if I start posting blog posts and Tweets and Facebook updates about her, though. Because that stuff is just Fucking Boring*.

* With the exception of a few cool people, like Emily, Paulson, Ang, Chels, and Karah. Not you, though. Yours are The Worst.

How would a guy know if you really liked him or not?

Easy. You keep asking me out, and I keep saying yes.

Ask me anything

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My favorite links of the day.

Because you know you're just sitting around, wondering about it.

1. This Overheard In Minneapolis made me burst out into high-pitched, extremely loud, and possibly positive-neighbor-relationship-damaging laughter.

2. This one did, too. Have I told you guys before that I used to be in FFA in high school? Cause I totally was.

3. I love Sorry I Missed Your Party. And this post should tell you all the reasons why.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do you think a person is bad if they don't go to church because even though they believe, they feel super hypocritical there because they aren't as good as the other people who go?

Absolutely not. I really don't feel like someone *has* to go to church if they believe. I don't, because it just feels like empty, rote ceremony for me. So instead I chose to demonstrate my faith to God by spending time in study and prayer.

The last part of your question concerns me. How are they not as good as the other people who go? Church - God, Christ - isn't meant for the perfect - it's meant for the imperfect. That's the whole point, isn't it? That at some point we felt like we needed God, so we turned to him. We don't come to spirituality because we feel like we're already good enough people and therefore this would just be something fun to do - we do it because we know there is something lacking inside our soul. That's the beauty of it, isn't it?

I hate the ruler sticks and petty measurements of the Christian community. Do you love God? Do you seek to be a better, more evolved person through him? Does he still have work to do inside of you, which ultimately will give him another method to display his love and awesomeness to you and the world? Then you belong there and everywhere more than anyone else. God doesn't need perfection. He needs the earnest heart.

Ask me anything

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who are you now, and who were you then...

There was one perfect weekend. Iowa. I never thought I would say it, again. I had left that state too many times in fast speeds of despair to think that I would ever regard it with kindness again, but it started on the drive down. My little brother - the one boy I love the most in the entire world - and I, sitting in the backseat of my Dad's SUV, watching the lush green trees flow into golden fields and then back into bluffs and craggy rocks and brazen trees again. Blue and gold and green and sun and wheat. I had Ani DiFranco on my iPod, culled after a conversation with a girl at work, Megan. A girl who I would soon cite as a kindred spirit, who had told me only a week before that she drove to work listening to Ani and couldn't help feeling that the music was me. So I listened, and I downloaded, and I cued it up. For Iowa.

I nestled into the tan leather seat, stared out the window, and listened to "Marrow", "Grey", and "So What". The plaintive trumpets, sad strings, and her honest, heartbreaking similes coasted me through most of the state, and something about it just seemed to fit. I was free from heartbreak, by then, but it called to the depths. Daniel and I traded iPods. "If you're going to college," I told him, "You need to know who this is." He listened dutifully, but I don't think he got it. And he shouldn't, I thought to myself. I don't want him to. You only get it if you know. I want him to respect the girls who do, and I want him to love and acknowledge their young, raw, earnest lessons, but I don't want him to get it. I would do anything to protect him from that, I remember thinking. I never want you to have to relate to it.

And then there you were. Sitting in the fellowship hall of a church in the middle of Dubuque, my teenage crush. I couldn't look you in the eye, at first. Do you know, of course you do, you have to. I met you for the first time, in 9th grade. And on first sight, I knew I was done. You circled the football field with my older brother almost the whole game. I stood on the sidelines in my cheerleader uniform, holding my pom-poms, smoothing back the stray strands of hair that had been blown out of my long ponytail by the September wind, and wondered what kind of boy you could be that would spend the whole game just walking with your friend and talking.

And then there was youth group, and D-Camp, and high school, and I remember watching you once from across the room at a youth group thing and thinking, "He's so much better than anyone I know." And you were. You were honest. You were thoughtful, in this quiet, kind way that didn't do things so that others would think you were thoughtful, but just because that's who you were, that's what you felt was right to do, to be. And you were nice to me. In the span of the boys who hung out with my older brother, the ones who insisted on calling me "Carter's Little Sister" instead of by my real name and who thought it was funny to join in when he would tease me at games I had to cheerlead at, you were actually nice to me. That's not why I had a crush on you. It's not one of those stories where the Unwittingly Nice somehow culled affection from those that needed it. It just fit who you were, all the time.

And then there was the story of Stacy. Of how much you liked her, of how you showed up at her house one night to sit in your car with her for two hours to tell her how much you liked her, how she should give you and her a chance. I remember going home the night I heard about it and crying, because I knew then that you would never see me the way that I wanted you to. I would always only be Carter's Little Sister to you, and I wasn't Stacy - I wasn't anything like her - and so there just was no hope, then. But it fit, still, I remember thinking. Stacy was pretty and good and kind and sweet and everyone liked her, for good reason, and of course you would like a girl like that. Of course you would, because you deserved a girl like that.

But then high school ended, and I saw you a couple of times when you and my older brother were home on break from college. How you only got more devastatingly hotter, how you actually talked to me about school and what I wanted to do and how I was. It sounds a little pathetic, when I say it like that. I didn't want for male attention, in those years. But it was just something about the way that you looked at me - like you really cared about my answers, like you were really listening. And I wanted to know everything about you. Did you like school, what were your friends like, what did you want to do, were you happy. Everything. Brian Stricker, I remember thinking, one winter night when I hopped up the basement steps and out the front door to a friend's waiting car on a Friday night, leaving you and my brother and Jamie Steele to drink and play video games. There is nothing that you could possibly say that would really ever make me like you less. Only things that could make me like you more. And despite all the dating I did in high school - and I did a lot of it - I knew that it was a slim chance that I would ever meet a boy that I felt the same about.

And so there you were, right in front of me. Standing while I was sitting, I looked up at you and couldn't quite look you in the eye. When I did, I noticed that there were a few more crinkles around your eyes than there were before, that you were tanner than I remembered, and that you were taller, broader-shouldered, and I remember thinking, Of Course. Of course you would look like this. Solitary, adventurous, independent. Like the kind of boy who would trek out to Alaska, make your living out in Montana, hike mountains and fish lakes and sit by campfires in the woods on weekends. Of course that would be you, because it fit. Of course you would be a teacher, because why wouldn't you be. And how lucky, I remember thinking, that the kids you taught would get a man like you to look up to, to trust, to respect. Of Course.

And then the events of wedding took over. You folded my arm into yours as we walked down the aisle - I love Becky as much as I do because of the person she is, because of how warm and funny and loving and forgiving she is, but I will always like her unconditionally because she just knew to pair me up with you for her wedding - and I remember my heart beating faster and, again, not being able to look you in the eyes. And there is a picture of us, walking into the reception hall, the two of us together, and for the first time in a long while, I remember looking at that picture and recognizing what it looks like when I'm really happy, when I'm calm and happy and okay with the way things in life are transpiring. I was really happy, that weekend. My brother was marrying a girl he loved, my parents were peaceful and proud, and I just felt...happy. And maybe that wasn't wholly because of you - I have long stopped placing my happiness in life on the boys who might be present - but you were a part of it. I won't say that weekend was perfect because you were there, because there were so many other things that made it so. But I will say this: That weekend was perfect, and you were there.

And then later that night, at the reception, we talked. You stood in front of the wedding party table, in front of where I was sitting. We've had some moments, you told me. I remember nodding and smiling and thinking, We Have. We have, and you noticed, and no matter what else happens tonight, you've noticed. And you asked me to dance. Throughout the rest of my life, no matter what happens, I will always remember the way you placed your hand on the small of my back while we danced, and the way you talked to me. There are not many people in my life that I want to be honest with, that I feel I can be honest with, that it's important for me to be honest with. You are one of the select few. I won't write what we talked about, but I will say that the things you said and the way you said was Important. I don't think you know, and maybe you never will. But it was, then, and there.

Because, in the span of things and in the length of my life, you are still one of the best men I've ever known. And I know this and I can say this because, while you are right in saying the other night that we really don't know each other that well, I know enough. And you don't have to do anything about that. We could never talk again, you could disappear totally and completely from my life, and I will still feel that. And I will still say that, ten plus years later, I still don't want for male attention. But you are still one of the few boys that I think about and know that there is nothing that you could possibly say that would really ever make me like you less. Only things that could make me like you more.

My original blog post, the one that I told you I was going to write, was going to be about the Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Come Visit Me In MSP Instead Of Making Me Visit You In Red Wing When You're Home In July. And while there are some good ones - like the fact that we have a new baseball stadium and even though I hate baseball I'll still get tickets and take you a game, or that if you come during the weekend of July 12th I'll take you to the most amazing party you've ever been to - it just all comes down to this one: Because at some point you're going to have to man up and find out what this is all about. You live in Montana and I live in Minneapolis, and I'm under no illogical idealizations about what could happen. And I have a good life, a great life, and I'll be fine if you decide not to. And texting is great, and you are one of the few boys I love doing it with, but either this happens and we see what to make of it or it doesn't and life moves on. But if I've learned anything in my recent life, it's that chances are small and singular and you have to learn to take them while you can...and the people you feel deeply about aren't going to be there forever, and if you're intent on keeping your pride, pretty soon that will be all that you're left with...just that, and only that.

So this is my post to you, Brian Stricker. You said that you didn't know what else there could be that I might have to say. Pretty sure I just proved you wrong.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My friends are real jerks.

So a couple of Saturdays ago I had a tiny little housewarming party at my new apartment (I'm really tempted to call it "my new space" but then I feel like I would just involuntarily throw up all the over the place). In setting up the apartment and while in the process of getting ready for said party, I had hung a whiteboard in my kitchen and had added the following items to my To Do List -

1. Party Playlist
2. Address change
3. Door
4. Beer

During the course of the party, I noticed my friends drawing a picture of a unicorn on said whiteboard, which I appreciated because it just meant that they loved me. Then there was suddenly a picture of what, at first glance, looks like a bent pointer finger, but if you look more closely and use your imagination, you can tell that it's really meant to resemble a penis. And of course, with the words "POKER FACE!" written right next to it, there's really no question.

So, thanks for that. Nothing like looking at a flaccid penis while I'm trying to make breakfast and stuff. MMmmmm.

But the real outrage came the next morning when I glanced at the list and realized that some of my friends had taken it upon themselves to add a couple of items to my To Do List.

The modified List as follows -

1. Party playlist
2. Address Change
3. Door
4. Jewel heist
5. Beer!!!!!!
6. bike ride
7. kitten is lonely
8. buy milk for lonely kitty
9. Wedge
10. Listen to Hold Steady

So items 1, 2, and 3 we already know were from me.

#4 - Wait a minute. Was Erica Ulstrom at my party? Because I'm almost for sure she was out of town, but maybe she snuck in my window at some point, clapped her hands a couple of times, and thought, "Jewel heist! SUCH a good idea!". Which is why I love her (if you don't know already, it's a running joke that if we are having a night of debaunchery and someone mentions an ill-advised plan of some sort - such as, I don't know, robbing a bank or drunk texting someone you used to have a crush on - she is the first person to exclaim "YES! That is SUCH A GOOD IDEA! You HAVE TO DO IT!" while smiling her winning smile and clapping her hands in delight).

#5 - My note, with added modifications.

#6 - It goes against my moral code to ride a bike. I am upset and offended that someone would even suggest that I would ever do this.

#7, #8 - Apparently moving into your own apartment by yourself means that everyone and their mom thinks that you should get a cat now. And it was brought up like I was a bad person for not having thought of it before. Maybe I don't want a cat. Maybe I WANT to stay selfish and self-absorbed. Maybe having a cat when I live all alone and by myself kind of creeps me out. Maybe cats don't always like me and I feel like the last thing I need is something else hanging around and reminding me that I'm a bad person. Maybe if you bought it for me and all the required stuff then maybe I would think about it. Maybe I feel like getting a cat when I'm 31 and single would be the final death knell to any hope I may still have of getting to go to bed with someone else on a regular basis (someone else who is not a cat, I mean). So. Maybe you should just shut up about it.

#9 - Oh, THE WEDGE. I know who wrote this, you. For the record, I support and like The Wedge, but it's fast becoming one of those things that my support is waning for because of the other people who support it. You know who I'm talking about - the ones who brag about it in their online profiles, or who turn up their lip a little bit if you even mention that maybe you stopped at Lunds for some milk. And then there's the assholes who insist on holding up traffic for 30 minutes during rush hour while they sit in the southbound lane and try to get over two other lanes of traffic just to pull into the tiny parking lot to once again have to pull out because there's no parking spots. DRIVE UP TO THE INTERSECTION, MAKE A LEFT, TURN AROUND, AND THEN GET INTO THE NORTHBOUND LANE ON LYNDALE SO YOU CAN JUST TURN INTO THE LOT WITHOUT BEING A JERK ABOUT IT.

#10 - I won't even dignify this with a response.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"You're too old to rock, no more rockin' for you..."

Ang, to the party after playing a Dio track on my sound system: "Can we please just have a moment of silence for Dio?"

Me, after resting my head on her luscious breastasess and making her hold me: "I can feel your heart beating right now."

Ang: "It's beating in time to Dio."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lessons from tonight -

1. Early evening wine and talks about books and boys with Erica can make even the most awful day shine brighter.

2. The Bath-&-a-Book club is quite definitely going to be meeting at least once a week at my place, if not every night.

This is a book club of one, dirties. Any more and that would just be distracting from the reading.

3. Chocolate mint ice cream in hot coffee is pretty freaking great.

4. There are few things that can bring me back to the girl I used to be like Joni Mitchell's Blue album. Sometimes music can really make you a better person. Whether it's the prompting within the lyrics or the memories wrapped up in the doesn't matter. On nights like these it's all you really need to bring you back to where you wanted to be before you got lost in the daily noise.

5. Sitting on my couch, warm and melty after a bath, with hot coffee, candles, old folk music, and writing to post is a fairly fantastic way to end the evening.

6. And again, it always comes back to this: The people that I love, the things and acts that always bring me joy (writing, books, music, and time to myself to think), and the people whom I know love me, no matter what. Everything else is just useless worry and distraction.


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