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Pain is temporary ~ Glory is forever ~ Chicks dig scars.

 

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Vespers

Near the end of my junior year of high school, I auditioned for and was somehow miraculously accepted into the A Capella Choir. Just in time to participate not only in the regular yearly performances but also, greatest of all, in that year’s concert tour in England. The experience of being part of A Capella was the most rewarding in all my high school career. When I say I was raised in New York, I sometimes want to add that when it comes down to it, I grew up in London. What I mean by that is that during the years I lived here, I had a week long adventure there during which my entire life changed.

It’s sort of stock advice, but I’m serious:

Travel. Study. See the world.

Your experiences will develop for you new and more glorious senses. Experiencing other cultures, seeing new horizons, you can’t help but learn about yourself and grow as a person.

The life altering effects of that choir trip didn’t end upon landing back in America, nor even upon graduation from high school two and a half months later. Because of the friendships forged during our choir year and solidified in London, I eventually met, fell in love with, and got married to my husband.

So, back to present day:

Every year at Xmas time, A Capella does a Vespers Concert.  I have sung as part of Vespers three times.

1. My senior year.

2. The following year for the 75th Vespers Concert & Alumni Reunion

3. Five years ago for the 85th Vespers Concert & Alumni Reunion.

Today would have been my fourth year. This year marks the 90th.

And I had been planning to go, and sing, and celebrate my favourite experience from the 90s.

However, due to what I can only snark about being a huge lack of communication skills, very little information about the organization of the event was passed around, and just a few weeks ago I finally got the info about signing up (or rather, the email address to which to send my new contact info so that sign up info could then be sent to me). Well, that didn’t happen. Whoever was responsible for getting info out to us failed miserably. I never did manage to get signed up. I’m upset about this. And I’m upset they wanted us to pay to participate. At the busiest, brokest-assed time of year, when I’m struggling to pay bills, and celebrate the holidays in some vague way, and not lose my mind over the worst anniversary in my personal history. They suddenly wanted us to pay admission to a concert we were In.

Just, No.

Am I regretting missing the concert? O yes. In that ‘it hasn’t happened yet I can still change my mind’ panic that happens whenever I force myself to miss something that I’ve been planning on for months. I’m way not into the Holiday this year. I can’t muster the excitement I always tried to find in The Magic of Christmas. This is, in my opinion, the absolute worst time of year. To force myself to sit through the concert, hopefully without sobbing (out of personal grief or hilarity over how that one teacher’s solo sounds like he’s saying, “Come for Tea, My Peeeeooople!”), would be cruel to myself and those around me, as well as a waste of an afternoon.

So this evening while my fellow singers are belting out The Messiah or whichever traditionals they picked this year I will be enjoying the harvest of those friendships, built all those years ago, in my own house, with my husband, sister in law (a fellow A Capellian), and some friends, playing D&D, and chilling with our dog.

Blessed Solstice, bitches.

Whine-ter

There was this one time in February 2011 when I got out of my car in LA after a week long drive from the east coast through snow and ice storms and stumbled up the stairs to the apartment and met my sister and niece at the door then collapsed in an armchair, commenting about the salt stains all over my car, and then my sister said, “Hey that’s probably the last time the Knight Bus [my purple Honda] is going to see winter!”

And I responded that she was “probably right, and what a nightmare, but so exhilarating, that trip was! But I’m so glad it’s over and that I have my car back, but you couldn’t pay me to drive it anywhere this weekend, I’m taking the bus to work tomorrow!”

Then, less than 10 months later, my now-husband flew to California and we drove back to our home town together and I’ve lived here in Western New York with him ever since.

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

But sometimes, I wonder . . . like, right now, I really miss SoCal and wish there had been some way to convince my husband to move to Burbank, and that we could have found a way to pay for it [pipe-dreams].

So, it started snowing yesterday, and our front walk has been shoveled twice today.

The roads were mostly just wet on the way to and from work, but the occasional slushy patch caught at my “All Season if You Live in South Carolina or Southern California” Tires, and I thought, “Gees, this is only the start.”

While using a broom to swat down the icicles looming over the front stoop (which was lucky because two hours later a neighborhood kid walked under the remnants of them to ask if I’d pay him to shovel), I looked up at the sky and the tree line and thought, “O, isn’t that pretty!” then down at the ground and thought “Fuck this shit, I’m so done with it!”

But as I said, it’s only just begun.

Last year, when I thought I still liked Winter okay, we had temperatures below 0* F for weeks in a row. My dog who LOVES snow and ice more than anything, even eating tissue paper, didn’t want to stay outside longer than it took to pee in the front yard. If we have another winter like 2013-14, I might insist we drive back to the West Coast.

Gah. I’m gonna go make cookies.

Locked/Unlocked

Our house is nearly 100 years old. During the 54 years that the most recent previous owners lived here they made adjustments and modernizations, as people do.

One of the changes they made at some point in their residency was to update the locks and latches on most of the inside and outside doors.

We didn’t know all the details when we made our offer, but when we took our final walk through before we moved in, we found some things that make my 12 year old self absolutely giddy.

I just rediscovered them in a cabinet in the basement while cleaning.

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What’s this? An old broken measuring cup??

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Why, no, world. That’s a jar full of old keys. *HAPPYSQUEEE*

Excuse me, I need to go try to find Oz, and or Narnia, now.

The World of Disney

I think I am abnormal in that I have no interest whatsoever in visiting a Disney theme park.

 

None.

 

Whatsoever.

 
Surely I’d have loved to go on my first trip to California when I was 8. But the allure has long since died down. I drove past Disneyland once. That’s as close as I’ve ever gotten and as close as I care to.

 

 
It’s not that I have any great malevolence towards them. I simply do not care.

 

My husband and I both feel like we must be missing some key feature that our Disney-adoring/Disney-obsessing Adult friends haven’t told us about that draws them back again and again. Something top secret you only find out about once you are there.

 

Because I sure don’t get it.

 

But we’ve both been told by numerous people, “Once you go, You’ll understand!”

 

Really?

 

That suggestion doesn’t seem to hold water.

 

I’m not convinced that airfare plus hotel and food plus $80+/adult/day entry fees are a good way to crack the mystery.

 

My idea of a good holiday is flying to England, eating lunch in the park, going to the museums, taking ourselves on a Harry Potter, Doctor Who, or Cadfael tour, having tea with our overseas friends, and climbing the towers of local cathedrals.

 

Vacations need to be personal. Otherwise, why bother?

 

When your bragging rights run out, what are you left with?

 

A bunch of memories that are yours but also Not Yours because they were built around what a bunch of other people deem appropriate?

 

No Thank You.

 

I like Adventures. You can keep your theme parks.

 

 

Sophomore Remembrance

Sophomore year of college. A short and conglomerate remembrance.

Great and a little crazy.

 

I transferred into a four year college heavy with freshman tradition a year ‘late.’ I learned that sometimes being really good friends with someone means that separating your two personalities can get a little difficult and when you need to do just that, things get a little uncomfortable. That people will try to split you up from your best friends because they are jealous and want to be the most important person in everyone’s life. I learned what utter betrayal feels like. I learned that staying up all night playing an online RPG is really fun, as long as you have someone to stay up with. I learned that coffee mixed with hot cocoa mix makes coffee almost tolerable. Especially after a just-for-fun all-nighter playing the online RPG. I learned just how wonderfully creative collaborative writing projects can be. I learned to sew. I learned what Modern Dance is and that it can change lives. I learned that terrorists can destroy part of your childhood. I learned what grief sounds like. I learned what dancing in the summer breeze on a dock for a grade feels like. I learned that not everyone gets my sense of humor or my writing style. I learned what getting a D on an English paper feels like. I learned that hiding away in the weirdly shaped library can be fun and disconcerting. I learned that honor systems can allow for really great adventures.

TCA – Rules of Engagement

Rules.

1. Never trust a man who dresses like a giant bat.

2. If you are an intelligent, self confident, and adventurous woman, someone is going to try to turn you into a victim when they hear the story of your own inventiveness.

3. Never fall for a friend’s sibling. IT ALWAYS ENDS BAD.

4. Just because you want something badly enough doesn’t mean you’re going to get it.

This was written following my amazing cross country adventure in Jan-Feb 2011. I had a really fascinating time that I think about frequently. It was an amazing journey. But some things got complicated. I intended to post this, or something of its nature (a shortened version did appear), quite a long time ago. There was so much to say about the trip, but I was overwhelmed with life and never finished sharing. I wrote this on June 1st, 2011, during a very difficult time, several months after my Transcontinental Adventure. While some of it is factual, I should also like to mention that:

I am now happily married to the friend’s sibling mentioned above. My despair, while thorough, might have been preemptive.

I still hold, quite strongly, however, to Rule #1. We are much, much better than this. 🙂

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