July 24, 2006

It's been there all along

You know, I have never been able to decide how I feel about getting married. I've always gone back and forth. I do know for sure that I never want to be one of those weepy women who sits around crying about wanting husbands and babies. But one day very recently my best friend played this song for me and I had to sit right down on the floor and cry. (I kind of startled her. Sorry, Cindy.) I think it's because it occurred to me that I want this:


Walking in the winds
A spot of springtime weather
A precessional of friends
Now strike the band to play
Walking in the winds
Do you take this man forever?
I don’t know about forever . . .
But I’ll take him everyday.

Walking in the winds
Been living just a half a life
Aloft but now descends
It’s the grounding of the self
Walking in the winds
Do you take this girl to be your wife?
Do I take this girl to be my wife?
No, but I take her for herself.

Walking in the winds
It can toss you quite a distance
So tie fingers onto hands
When you feel the grip is strained
Walking in the winds
Do you love this man in sickness?
Do I love this man in sickness?
Is there any day that’s sane?

Walking in the winds
Through the mud and through the mortar
Mold your house with just your hands
Warm the walls with company
Walking in the winds
For richer or for poorer?
For richer or for poorer?
Man, the whole world just turned free.

Walking in the winds
Might just stumble onto treasure
Through every curve and bend
There’s a cave to stop and look
Walking in the winds
Plan your dreams together
You best plan your dreams together
‘Fore they’re running underfoot.

Walking in the winds
Don’t let the daylight linger
You can claim the trip begins
Break the glass and sing the song
Walking in the winds
The ring upon the finger
Slip the ring upon the finger
Man, it’s been there all along.

Walking in the winds
When all the lipstick stains have dried
Smeared prayers across your lips
Yeah, now go and kiss the bride
We can only bless the time
And hope for gentle weather
And that the will to grow together
Just grows stronger in the wind.

Copyright 2003. Words and music by Danny Schmidt

(You really write the most beautiful words, Danny.)

July 13, 2006

Blog-a-log-a-ding-dong: A Blog of Blogs to Post

So many blog postings to make, so little time. Until I can get to them all, here is a list of potential future postings in no particular order and with no regard to their advisability:

Places I Must See (or See Again) Before I Die—in which I say forget buying that huge book, it’s a waste of time. I have a shorter, better list including hotels in Bora Bora and Fiji; Roatan, Honduras; The Blue Grotto; Pompeii; Brussels during an approaching thunderstorm; etc.

The Most Boring Blog Ever—in which my lucky and few readers will experience, in real time, a dreary, dull, apathetic, lazy day with me. (I wonder if my anti virus software is going to expire soon?......I’ll have to check sometime.....Where in the hell do these pennies keep coming from? and what is sticky all over them?....Maybe I should take a nap...But that would require getting up and I don't feel like it right now.....What is that odor? Are the Russian neighbors cooking borscht again?)

The Approximate Size of My Favorite Pashmina--in which I provide great detail on pashmina color, texture, and reputable Ebay Sellers.

I Miss Taco Bell—in which I lament my now limited access to my former favorite restaurant and all its delicacies. I will also describe how I miss calling Kelli from the Taco Bell parking lot.

Why I Need a Scooter Gang, and How We Will Behave--Enough said, really.

I Was Not Afraid to Swim There—this will be a short posting, because there’ve only been two locations (Honduras and the Caymen Islands). Bonus: I will also describe my images of critters staring at me from the depths with pitiless, black, gleaming eyes in the places I was afraid to swim.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Period--in which I describe in excruciating detail how you, too, can create them from start to finish.

Not the Dancing Outlaw Again—in which I lament the number of times The Dancing Outlaw (Jesse/Jesco/Elvis) has been brought up in conversation, appeared on tv and/or with bands, and the number of people who seem to know he’s from WV. Please, dude, get out of my head.

I’m Not That Kind of Psychologist--I cannot give you free therapy. I cannot give you therapy, period. I cannot give you anything else for free, either.

Great Parrots I Have Known--in which I post pictures, videos, and descriptions of the wonderful parrots I have encountered.

I’ll Bring the Kippers—in honor of Anthony’s picture-taking suggestion involving go-go boots.

My Very Own “Best-of-Craigslist”—including but not limited to:
“Naked Hot Tub Party Neighbors”
“Subway: A ‘Sandwich Artist’s’ Response”
“Keep your big smokey away from me”

There are so many more where these came from.

July 10, 2006

Visions of a Fiery Death

Today is kind of sucking. I haven’t slept the last couple of nights and it’s caught up with me today. I’m grumpy and sluggish and bleary-eyed. The coffee I stopped to get on the way to work is helping. (Yeah, yeah, yeah: Starbuck’s is the devil…etc etc.)

There is also something strange happening to one of my toenails that I’ve never seen in my life. How wretched. I find myself retracing my steps, literally. Is this the result of a recent pedicure? Of the public pool? Of the showers and locker room at my gym? Of my passion for wearing flip floppy shoes no matter what the weather on environmental circumstance? One can only guess. I did put a quick polish disguise on them under my desk at work so they can dry while I write and I don’t repulse too many people.

Things are looking up, though.

I am in charge of planning two events for a particular group of friends. One is a kayaking trip on the San Francisco bay and the other is our next camping trip. As far as the camping, I have two favorite options (that are a reasonable distance away) but am most excited about Russian Gulch—a churning sea cave, waterfall, and skin diving? Awesome. I feel sort of awkward making plans for us to drive more than a couple of hours since I’m not one of the car owners around here. My friend Long is working on getting his VW bus fixed so we can take that. All we need are some flowers painted on the outside, a bong, and a mattress in the back and we’ll fit right in around here. (We would substitute the flowers and mattress for some guns and Hawaiian shirts if we were in L.A....ala Hunter S. Thompson.)

I am also heading to the east coast for a rather whirlwind trip in just a couple of days. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I’m trying to fit into a short period of time, but I plan to soak up every bit of fun possible. I think my west coast friends will be happy for me to shut up about my trip for awhile—at least for a couple of months until I buy my next plane ticket home. As per usual I’ll make sure at least two people are lined up to adopt my birds in case of a screaming, fiery airplane death on the way there. On that note, happy travels to me!

San Luis Reservoir

Russian Gulch State Park

July 7, 2006

The Little Triathlete That Could

I am not a little girl.

I am not an athletic girl.

I am not a graceful girl.

I am not a girl for setting small, (some would say) realistic goals.

I decided a couple of years ago that I was going to train for a marathon even though I hadn't run since I was a kid. But the memory of running stayed with me. I can remember just wanting to get places--my grandparents' house a block away, the swings, whatever--FAST. It seemed effortless and efficient. I can remember the 95 degree, 100% humidity of mid-Atlantic summers and the suffocating cloud of steam that seemed to surround me if I stopped running. It seemed better just to keep moving. Most of the time I ran barefoot with my hair completely wild and loose and flying behind me.

These beautiful memories were in my mind when I started my marathon training program, and then reality set in.

I must have been the crankiest runner EVER. I cursed most of the time I was doing it ("Why the FUCK did I think this was a good idea?" or "Screw you, bitch in the little short shorts. What the fuck are you smiling about?") 99 out of 100 times I had to force myself out the door. I had to make promises of margaritas, mexican food, extra sleep, new shoes, you name it. Once I even took my "Mr. T in my pocket" with me for moral support, other pedestrians' perceptions be damned. Every couple of blocks I would reward myself by pressing a different button: "Shut up, fool!" "Don't make me mad! Grrrr...." "Don't give me no back talk, sucka!" It helped. Kind of. At least it distracted me from my hostility toward other runners who looked happy to be doing what they were doing. (Fools.)

I was filled with anxiety about the way I looked running. Is that runner behind me looking at my ass fat? Did my huffing and puffing just set off that car alarm? Do I look like I'm about to DIE?

But there were some good moments, too.

There was the afternoon in the heat of early September when, after several weeks of working on it, I ran a mile for the first time on the trail at Byrd Park in Richmond, VA. I wanted to throw my arms around the next sweaty jogger with headphones that I passed. I was absolutely triumphant.

There was also the sound I heard for the first time as a runner at the start of my first race on a cold morning in early November on Broad St. It was the sound of thousands of footsteps pounding the pavement, moving together. And my own footsteps were part of it.

Sure, I was slow. I mean really slow. But I was doing something I never imagined I could do. It was so hard for me to believe that I was a runner that I was terrified of jeopardizing it. I was absolutely militant with myself. I was terrified of missing a run or not completing the distances exactly as prescribed in my training guide. Though I wore good shoes and stretched obediently before and after my runs, I developed an overuse injury in my knee and couldn't continue with my training for that particuar marathon.

I'm sorry to say that I let the discouragement overwhelm me. Despite my accomplishments and my progress, I stopped running for almost two years. In my mind I ran my one race over and over again. I felt miserable as I put the running clothes for a slimmer, trimmer me into a trunk in my bedroom.Fast forward to a new city and an approaching 30th birthday...

I'm back! I'm ready to go and can barely contain my impatience to make up for lost time. I've decided to join a triathalon club at my gym in January 2007 (which is, coincidentally, the month of the big 30). Until then, I'm working individually on the swimming, biking, and running. I'm lifting weights and just generally working on upping my "Let's kick some ass" mentality. I'm going to do it!

There are only two things making me nervous:

1) The thought of practicing my open water swims in the San Francisco Bay. A lot of ugly things have ended up in that bay, people. Wives heads and small children's bodies are among them.

2) The thought of putting my ass in a wetsuit. Fuck. (Shudders at the thought.)