28 September 2009

Stories of Our Lives

"I like scars.  They are our stories recorded on our bodies," said a college roommate one morning when I was horrified by her excitement over a cigarette burn scar.  I still think she's crazy for being drunk enough not to realize she was being burned by a cigarette.  And to think it was cool when she got home the next morning.  But, she had a point -- scars are life stories recorded on your body.

There's the chicken pox scar from the end of kindergarten.  Which I hated because I had to miss water day at school.  I really wanted to play on the slip n' slides.

The bump on my lip from when I learned the hard way never to run with you hands in your pockets.

On my left elbow is the scar from when I decided to be a hot shot on my bike.  I forgot that you have pull the handlebars up before you try to jump a curb.

A scar on my knee taught me houw much you use your knees.  And just how much a klutz I am.  Because I kept cutting the wound open again.

There's a scar on my knuckle because I was coordinate enough to cut myself int eh same spot each and every time I put laundry in the trunk to take home my freshman year of college.

I have scars criss-crossing older scars; scars that have faded; scars that can't be seen by the naked eye; and scars that will come.  However, each one is unique unto only me....and each one comes with its own story.  Yeah, I guess you could say I like my scars.  Got any scar stories to share?

24 September 2009

Creative Compliments: 6

I have a pair of sassy work shoes.  A while back, I realized I need a pair of go-to black dress shoes for work.  But who said they had to be boring?  So I picked up a pair of sassy, go-to black dress shoes for work.  I love them.  Sassy, stylish, and comfortable.  As such, they get regular wear (and compliments).

Today, however, I opted for basic flats.  Didn't feel like dealing with heels and changing my shoes to commute.  I'm in the office for less than five minutes this morning, and....

"Where's my cute shoes?!"

"I didn't feel like them today."

"You have to wear them!  See, I can't wear cute shoes like that anymore.  So you have to wear them so I can admire them and be happy."

So there you have it.  Even the cute shoes that make me happy make others happy.

23 September 2009

Details, Details

I took this picture to show the way Dubrovnik has rebuilt from almost complete destruction during the war in 1991.  But everytime I look at the picture, the one thing I keep noticing is how the shirts on the line are almost just a perfect rainbow of colors. Isn't it funny sometimes what makes us smile?

22 September 2009

Another Page Torn From My Diary

Waiting for the L with My Love one night.

Creative Compliments: Take Five

In relation to a three-inch binder "memo" (I don't get it either) that I've been drafting for the last three weeks:

"You're so good at making those pretty little boxes!"

20 September 2009

Random Observations

Because I'm boring as all get out lately, and really don't have anything amusing enough to be its own post......(hey, at least  I'm honest!)

*  Ben Franklin LIED when he said "early to bed, early to rise....makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."  Lied I tell ya!

*  On a completely related note....my body is cruel.  Wide awake at odd hours through the weekend?  *yawn*  Not cool.  Not cool at all.

*  The best part about getting a work badge renewed this week?  Not the security of knowing I still have (and will continue to have) a job in these scary economic times.  Naw.  I'm narcisstic enough to be thrilled to have gotten rid of the awful, horrible-hair-do-I-look-like-I-want-to-cry ID photo...and even more thrilled that the replacement photo is actually kind of cute.

*  On my way home from work the other day, when I was just a MeSS - the whole horrid hair, wrinkled clothes, too many bags, and general rainy day commute frustration - some guy still gave me a salute and a wink.  And sadly, my first thought was, "dude needs glasses."

*  Grandma turned 81 this weekend.  81!  Man, oh man, I hope when I'm her age, I'm every bit as fiesty still.  I love my Grandma.  

*  I am a fan of a firm handshake.  In fact, I judge people with wimpy, fishy handshakes.  But bonecrusher handshakes are not cool.  Not cool at all.  Owww.  My hand still hurts.

Factory Girl - the movie about Edie Sedgewick - was depressing, but actually, surprisingly, captivated my full attention.  I can't help but wonder what her life was like....and simultaneously thank God my life is not that eventful.

*  I am having a really hard time these days being away from everyone I love.  Must be why I keep planning vacations, and weekend get-aways, and presents to make someone smile, and trying to figure out the best use of the maximum number of vacation days, and bugging my favorites to come visit me....

*  Hot chocolate with w-h-i-p-p-e-d-c-r-e-a-m on top just might be the best nightcap ever.  Seriously. 

*  Funny thing is, I just can't help but get up and DANCE like a fool when certain songs come on.  And the way you love life and the music and the movement and that perfect moment....I never want that moment to end.....even when I'm breathless and tired of all the movement.  Isn't there a way to capture that joy and bottle it up and open it and enjoy it every.single.day?

For no reason other than it makes me laugh every time I see it.

*  I keep thinking of, and rejecting, Halloween costumes.  Anyone have any good suggestions?

I love this puppy!  I want one!! 

*  Have a great week, my friends!  Enjoy the last teases of summer and the start of fabulous fall.

18 September 2009

Something I Need to Remember

Lake Superior's crystal-clear shore.

15 September 2009

Tokyo Tales

Peeps....remember how I said I started saying "that's so Tokyo!" for all the ridiculously, adorably cute things I saw in Tokyo?

Well, I put together a little slideshow of pictures and tag-lines to email to those I love who are not nearby....including My Love's parents.

This weekend, My Love im'd me as he was on the phone with his parents:

my dad has started saying "that's so tokyo"
so thanks for that

You know you've started a trend when adorable middle aged, midwestern professors start saying "that's so Tokyo!"  C'mon, admit it, the mental image of a sweet, bow-tie-wearing, professor saying "that's so Tokyo" is well, so Tokyo.  ;-)

On Finding Where I Belong...

Truth be told, I like D.C.  I really do.  I'm glad I moved here.  It has been home to so many firsts for me.  First city livin' experience.  First time living alone.  First time since 16 that I didn't have a car.  First time dancing until 5 AM.  First time eating so many different foods.  First "I don't have a clue where the hell I am" moment.  So many, many firsts happened here.  

My favorite monument during Cherry Blossom time.

That said, I don't love D.C.  I really don't.  I'm glad I moved here, but I'll be gladder to move on when the time is right.  But I knew that coming in -- I'd stay, live, like D.C. for a while, but that eventually, I'd need to say goodbye and find "home."

I've stayed in D.C. far longer than I ever thought I would when I first moved here.  I'll be here for a while longer still.  I give directions in my neighborhood without a second thought on a daily basis.  I am an embarrassed regular at more than a few local restaurants.  I know which stores offer the best of anything at the best prices.  I know which bars and clubs to visit for a crowded dance floor or just a laid-back drink and a chat with the bartender.

I live here.  I work here.  I laugh here.  But I do not love here.   My family is still in Michigan.  My Love is on the other side of the world. With the exception of a few good D.C. friends, most of my closest friends are scattered around the world.  And truth be told, without love, there is no "home."  Without love, my cozy apartment is just four walls filled with things.

Scenes from a backseat window in Michigan.

When I was back in Michigan, I felt comfortable.  And more relaxed than I have in a long, long time.  I was with family.  Surrounded by laughter and love and all the places I grew up with.  But truth be told, Michigan wasn't "home" either.  I have known for a while now that I've outgrown Michigan.  My dreams, my goals, my ambitions are too big for the town I grew up in.  Even love and familiarity do not make "home,"  although it is much more "home" like than D.C. has ever felt.

So I don't belong in this city all by myself.  And I don't belong in the quiet suburban comfort of Michigan with family.  So where is "home" for me?  How do I find it?  How do I get there from hereAnd how do I recognize it when I get there Anyone else ever feel that way?  How do I stop wandering and wondering and chasing dreams, and recognize when I am "home?"

14 September 2009

Memories and Dreams

Daydreaming on a bus somewhere in the Balkans.

13 September 2009









Scenes from the backseat of Dad's car.

Defining a Hero

When I was home last weekend, inevitably, I got roped into helping my brother write a paper.  It's just a fact of life that when I go home, I wind up helping with homework.  I don't mind. 

My brother had to write a paper on a hero he knows.  It had to be about himself or someone he knows personally who has overcome a challenge.  The paper had to describe the challenge, how the person overcome the challenge, the personal characteristics that person used to overcome their challenge, and how that person is a hero like several heroes in novels he's read so far.

So, my brother chose to write his paper about me.  And the challenges I've faced with my hearing problems.

Bless his heart.

The problem was, he was too young to really remember all the problems I had with my hearing.  I got the working cochlear implant when he was seven.  He couldn't really remember all the day in and day out trials that we had with my hearing before then.  And since I got the cochlear implant, my hearing has more or less been "normal."

So Mom made me sit down and help him write the paper.  We kept it simple.  It was a short writing assignment.  But it was good, because my brother got to learn a little more about the challenges I dealt with when we were younger.  And, ever the protective older sister, I was actually relieved to hear that he didn't remember all the challenges I had.  It's better that way.

That said, I don't really think I am a hero.  I was just doing what needed to be done to survive.

A real hero, to me, would be my parents.  They both sacrificed so much to make sure I had the same chances as anyone else.  And they succeeded.  But more importantly, they did it in such a way that my brothers still had normal childhoods too.  To me, they're the everyday heroes.  And once again, I find myself thanking them for all they did, have done, and continue to do, for me and my brothers.

10 September 2009

Use 9876842364972 for Duct Tape

When KtMac was dismayed to hear her Daddy Mac forgot to pack the marshmallow sticks, this little invention is what her parents came up with so KtMac could make the perfect marshmallow.  Mmmm.

I love my parents.  I love perfectly toasted marshmallows.  I love camping.  And I love duct tape!

02 September 2009

Torn from the Map of Michigan

Lake Superior, on Michigan's Northern Shore.

This time Thursday night, I'll be home, sitting by a campfire in Michigan.  Toasting the perfect marshmallows and laughing with my family.  So deliciously excited!

And in my absence, I leave you this awesomely beautiful, but haunting, song, which is where I swiped the lyrics above.

Hope y'all have a fabulous holiday weekend!