Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Year Ago

Everybody has at least one event or memory that will stay with them for their whole life. Most of us probably have more than one, I guess.

One such memory, for me, happened a year ago today.

My experience in Dahab, Egypt left me a little more grateful for the gifts of life and community. My heart still breaks for those who lost family and/or friends.

To all my friends still in Cairo: Please do something for me. Go to Dahab and lay in the sun and snorkel and smoke sheesha and scuba dive and feed a stray cat and drink rediculously good fruit drinks and tell Dahab that I love it and I miss it terribly.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Five Ways to Remember How Great it is to be Single

1. Do something fun with friends who don't make you feel like you are a freak.

2. Ponder on all you would not be able to do if you were married with children.

3. Remember all the things you never would have done had you been married with children.

4. Tell yourself that married moms are secretly jealous of your life.

5. Do something you love that you would probably never be able to do, or rarely able to do, if you were married with kids (enjoy a quiet, relaxing bubble bath with a glass of wine, read for fun, spontaneously go on a road trip, etc.).

Three Ways to Feel Inadequate as a Woman

1. Let other people throw your sister's baby shower, because you know you suck at those sorts of things.

2. Attend a baby shower as an absolutely, 100% single woman with no children.

3. Endure looks of pity from friends and co-worker's, while they "sympathetically" tell you that there is someone out there for you and you will find him someday and you shouldn't feel bad because you're not a mother. (Don't even get me started on how infuriating this is).

Friday, April 20, 2007

This Time Next Week. . .

I might be an aunt again! My sister had her doctor's appointment today. The doc said she might be having a baby this week!!!! I am so excited!

And speaking of being an aunt, I thought I would give you non-Augustan friends an update on my nephew and niece.

James is absolutely freakin' adorable (not that I'm biased or anything). He gives hugs and kisses all the time (unless he is distracted by a remote control or a cell phone). He has a hand full of words mastered, including but not limited to, mama, da da, Sam (their dog), cell phone, telephone, shoes, juice, thank you, ball and tissue.

Emma is also absolutely freakin' adorable. I don't get to see her nearly as much as James, but I do get to see her generally about once a month. She still has a head full of curls. She is repeating words like crazy, so be careful what you say! She and I had fun last month playing on a neighborhood playground. She loves going down slides. She was scared of the geese, and I don't blame her (they kind of scare me too!).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Vehicle Miracle

Alice is buying a new car. She should get it this week, if all goes as planned. She called me up today and asked me if I wanted her old car. . . for free! Well, of course I do! It's a Honda. It's not new. It's not very pretty, but everything works and that is what is important! Yay!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Female Bonding

Recently one of the women in our church has been putting together little events for us women to get together, do fun girly stuff, and bond. Honestly, at first I only went because I wanted to support her efforts, not because I was exactly thrilled by the idea of making greeting cards. But I went to that first event and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the other ladies that showed up. So now I'm hooked on this card making, scrapbooking kick. Anyhow, another way that this gal at my church is trying to bring us closer to each other is by compiling a book of our stories. We submit our own stories of struggles and encouragement and life in general, and she puts together the book which will be free to any and all women who want it. It's a wonderfully nice idea. And since I do happen to enjoy writing (though it may not be at a very professional or proficient level), I decided that I would like to contribute to the book. So I've been brainstorming for a couple of days and today I actually began writing my first draft. It's not ready for other people's eyes yet, but give me a couple of days and maybe I'll post it on my blog too.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Website

Will, so generously, designed a website for the future Greenleaf Vineyard!

Part of me is so ready to be there, despite no job yet, no place to live and no roommate. Please pray that these things will fall into place for me.

Part of me hates to go, especially with Julie having a baby in May. I've really gotten to bond with little James since I have been back (he's so close to saying my name! (right now he calls me "da da")), and I will so want to bond with her newly arriving baby girl as well. Honestly, that is probably the biggest reason I hate, hate, hate to go. Sure, I will miss the rest of my family and my friends and my hometown in general, but the baby is the clincher.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's Friday the Thirteenth. . .

. . . and I have a date with the seveth season of Friends and a bottle of wine. Dorothee, if you still read my blog, I want you to know that I miss you and I'll be thinking about you while I have my own little Friends-athon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Grand Ol' Time

Playing at the Mission tonight was therapy for this worn out little soul. I had a great time doing my thing and then listening to Joe Stevenson and John Kolbeck (hope that's how their names are spelled) tear up the stage. They were great. I might get to do some recording with them next week, which would make my day/week/month/ect. There also is a small chance I may play again at the Mission next Wednesday, we'll see. Sometimes life is just good, despite the knowledge that there are so many bad things going on out there and despite the fact that so many things are just falling apart. Inspite of it all, I must say that tonight life is good. I hope that each and everyone of you are feeling good too!

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Reminder and a Fun Story

A reminder that I'm playing at the Mission this Wednesday around 10:00pm. I'll be doing about a half hour set and then I'll be followed by Joe Stevenson. So come out and see me if you can make it. I'd love to sit and have a beer with you before/after I play.

It's been awhile since I found myself in some sort of humorous situation. So I laughed about this one for like a half hour after it happened. I love it when that happens.

Tonight I had plans to go over to my friends Jason and Faith's house to watch a movie. So after I got off work I flipped open my cell phone and searched my contacts for their number. So I get to Jason's number and hit "talk". Conversation is as follows:
Jason: Hey there little lady!
Me: Hey! How are you?
Jason: Great! What's up?
Me: Jason? Is that you?
Jason: Sure it's me. Who else would it be?
Me: I don't know, but your voice sounds different.
Jason: I'm sorry, but it really is me.
Me: Ok, sorry. I just need directions to your house. I've been there before, but I don't remember how to get there.

(Silence. Crickets chirp.)

Jason: Ummmm. Why do you need directions to my house?
Me: [Gasp] (Suddenly I realize I called the wrong Jason and I am actually speaking to the guy that manages the Mission, not my friend from church.) [Wheezy, asthmatic laugh] Oh my god, I am so sorry! I called the wrong Jason. [more wheezing, pathetic, asthmatic laughter]
Jason: [lovely, normal churckle] Oh that's alright!
Me: I'm really sorry. But anyhow, I'll see you on Wednesday night, not at your house.
Jason: Yes. Oh and uh, have fun with that other Jason tonight. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
Me: Alright, bye.
Jason: See ya later.

That conversation had me chuckling to myself for the next half hour. Well, honestly I'm still chuckling about it. I love it when silly, stupid things like that just brighten your day a little bit.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"I am far from what I wish to be. Although I must offer apologies frequently for my impulses, I am far from a failure, because it is by God that I progress."

Sometimes it is hard to remember that I am not a failure, even though I daily do very, very stupid things. Sometimes it is even harder to not write other people off as failures, even though they daily do very, very stupid things.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Billie Holiday

This is a bit of a random post, but I've just been thinking about this over the last day or so. . . so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

When the subject of female jazz vocalists comes up, there are inevitably three names that will be discussed: Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. These three women are legendary in their field. Sarah's voice has the tone qualtiy and the technique of a highly trained singer. She easily has a range to match any operatic diva. Ella was a master of improvisation and scat. Her tone quality was impeccable, and the happiness that came through in her voice would make anyone just want to smile for no apparent reason. Then there's Billie. Billie had the tone of a singer who smoked too many cigarettes, drank too much whiskey and did too many drugs. Her range barely broke an octave on a good day. So why is she legendary? What is so unforgettable about Billie Holiday?
First of all, in my humble opinion, Billie never should be classified as a jazz singer, although she did perform many jazz standards. But Billie is unforgettable when she sang the blues. The thing that separates Billie from every other singer in her field is the innate saddness in her voice. When she sang a sad song, you knew that she felt it. You knew she felt it to the point where it became her reality. She lived the song. She was the song. And that is what makes Billie Holiday a real singer. She never had the luxury of training like some do. She never had the natural ability of others. But she bypassed all the superficiality of the perfectly groomed tone and style, and she clung to the authenticity of singing as a means of personal expression and as a way to somehow connect yourself with other people. That, I believe, is what any form of art is about at its most basic level. Its just one person trying to connect with others the best way the know how. Be it singing or painting or writing or sculpting or composing symphonies, it all boils down to reaching outside of ourselves and connecting with others. Billie was a master at that. Anyone who has ever heard her sing "Strange Fruit" would be unable to deny her gift (and by the way, if you haven't heard her sing "Strange Fruit" run to the nearest Borders/Best Buy/online cd seller/or whatever and buy a recording of it immediately). That song alone is enough to make her a legend.

The Mission, Again

I'll be playing at the Mission again this coming Wednesday. I'll start around 10:00pm and play for about a half hour. Come on out if you aren't busy or too tired.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dropped Off the Face of the Earth

It is rare that it takes me over a week to come up with a new blog. This week has just been a little insane.
Mary and I are out of the old house officially (although I've really been out for nearly a month now). This past week I spent a fair amount of time helping Mary get the remainder of her crap out of the house and into storage. Then on Saturday a crew of my friends came over to help Mary and I move all the big, heavy stuff. I hate having to ask people for help, but I suppose it is unavoidable at times. Anyhow, it wasn't too painful and enough of them came to help that it took us a total of around 1.5-2 hours to get it all done. So hopefully no one felt too impositioned.
I went to music stores around town and priced banjos this week. I really do want to get one, but it has to wait at least a little bit longer.
I am still up shit creek as far as the car hunt goes. My faith that I will be able to do this without taking out a loan is beginning to waiver. I feel really nervous and uncertain about how to do all of this. Sometimes being a grown up is scary.
In the friend department, I feel like I have been pretty wretched in general lately. I haven't been good about keeping in touch. I canceled on one friend this weekend for a fairly lame reason. I complicated issues with another friend. So I declare that henceforth, I am going to make every effort to be a better friend.