Monthly Archives: September 2010

Random Facts Post

Everywhere I read about babies they say no TV until they’re two. This week has been long, weird and hard so Jack and I have watched TV everyday. Hopefully he’ll be ok for it. Since this week has been hard I don’t have anything written. Instead of just leaving no post I’ll post something random. Random facts!

1. I think the 7 button on my remote is failing.

2. I’m going to a baby shower tonight and am probably going to be overdressed, but I got a new dress and want to wear it.

3. I probably spent far too much money this week.

4. My sister started looking for houses for me and Jack a couple weeks ago and yesterday we looked at one that might be suitable for crack addict.

5. I’m knitting a lot.

6. I’m watching TV a lot. Mostly Netflix stuff on my Wii.

7. I’ve been on Facebook a lot.

8. I’m going out of town next weekend without my kiddo and words cannot express how excited I am.

9. They’re turning my favorite zombie comic into a TV Series. I just need to find someone who gets AMC so I can watch it.

10. I need to make some friends who aren’t girls. No offense to my awesome girlfriends. Also I need a date.

11. I just saw someone win $11, 500 playing Plinko on the Price is Right.

Musicians…

What is it about a man with an instrument that is so alluring for me? It’s not just guitarists, bass player or drummers, it’s any instrument, piano, fiddle, cello. I’m a sucker for a guy who knows how to play his instrument well. I really can’t tell if it’s the fact that they play well, the music itself or their passion for the music. I can tell you that if said person does not have some kind of passion for their music I get a lot less enchanted. N*Sync for example, is fun to listen to on occasion, but I wouldn’t go see them live. I listen to the one CD of theirs I have on long car rides, and that’s because I know the songs and sing along. It’s more entertainment, a way for them to make some money and get famous than music from their soul.

Most of the bands I truly love I’ve seen live. A couple examples, Weezer. I heard these guys for the first time in Junior High when the Sweater Song came on the radio. I bought their cassette tape soon after hearing it and played it almost constantly. I didn’t actually go to one of their shows until I was a sophomore in college. After seeing Weezer play live I was totally hooked. I can listen to them any time of day and it makes me feel happy.

mc chris is a rapper that my friend Cassie introduced me to fourish years ago with Fett’s Vett. Of course I loved it, who wouldn’t love a song about Boba Fett and if you don’t maybe we need to reevaluate our friendship. She gave me the album Eating’s Not Cheating to borrow and I couldn’t take it out of my CD player. It was so catchy, fun and crass! So when he came to town and Cass invited me to the show I jumped right on that bandwagon. As soon as he was on stage I fell in love and he didn’t even play an instrument, it was all done on his computer. But it was so obvious that he loved what he did and had so much fun with it, it was impossible not to pick up on it.

So what is it? It’s not just that their attractive fellows who play good music. I think it goes deeper than that. It’s their passion for music; when it means more to them than just a paycheck. When you put so much of yourself into the music you’re making you make a connection with people. Music can reach depths that are forgotten, buried or ignored and make you face them. Maybe that’s what it is about musicians.

Oliver Waits for Olivia

I tried to write a blog about love yesterday and the day before. It was a struggle. I was really excited for this series but since I didn’t write them all on the day I was so excited the topics have sort of lost their sparkle; and really I prefer sparkly things. So in lieu of some mediocre blog post I’m going to post one of my favorite short stories. I wrote it a couple years ago when I was in a writing group. Please don’t steal it. And now please enjoy Oliver Waits for Olivia!

He waited in the convention center for her.  He couldn’t be sure of her real name but she had told him it was Olivia.  He’d made a sign and placed it on a table facing the crowds of people that walked by.  He started waiting at eight am and had been standing in the same place for almost an hour.  His weight shifted back and forth on his feet as he scanned the groups of people on their way to meetings, work and conventions.

“She should be here any moment.” He thought to himself.  “I’m sure of it.”

He was lying to himself now.  All his life he had waited for Olivia and then she finally agreed to meet in person.  No more mysterious letters lacking a return address.  He never knew how his letters reached her.  He would write her name and ‘Mysterious Location’ on the envelope and somehow she received them and wrote back.  Now finally he would meet his sweet Olivia.

They started writing to each other in college and hadn’t stopped for nine years.  They were unofficially married without the benefit of waking up next to each other.  But he had, with Olivia, the deepest relationship he’d had in his life.  Now they were ready to start their physical relationship.  He would see her and be able to touch her; be able to hold her in his arms.  The thought was overwhelming.

He took off his coat, folded it into a ball and placed it on the table behind the sign.  Then he pulled a chair towards him and sat down.  “Soon,” he kept telling himself, “soon.”

His parents hadn’t approved of Olivia.

“Is she Catholic?” They asked.  He had to say he didn’t know.  He didn’t have the heart to tell them he wasn’t sure if he was Catholic himself.  After that their distaste and disapproval of her grew.  After years of never meeting her personally their disapproval turned to dislike.  He knew because every time he mentioned her, his parent’s eyebrows would go up and everyone present would stop talking.

He leaned forward and checked his sign, adjusted it a bit, pointing it towards the traffic coming up the stairs.  He’d been here a full hour and twenty minutes now.  He decided to call the hotel at which Olivia was staying.  He pulled out his cell phone and a scrap of paper.

‘In case of emergency only’ was written across the top in delicate handwriting; her beautiful scrawl.  He dialed the number.

“Seattle Sheraton, how may I direct your call?”  A cool voice asked.

“I’d like Olivia Regel’s room please.” He sputtered.

“One moment.” The hold music was broken by a recorded voice, offering special discounts on travel and romance packages.  Suddenly it was stopped mid-offer.

“I’m sorry sir.  She checked out about an hour and a half ago.” He felt panic start to rise.

“She was supposed to meet me here.  It’s only a ten minute walk…” His voice trailed off.

“Sir?” The voice sounded unnerved now.

“Are you sure? She’s terribly late meeting me.  I’m quite worried now.” He said.

“Sir, what’s your name?  I’ll call the police for you if you wish.” The voice was sympathetic.

“Yes, absolutely.  My name’s Oliver Regel.”  He hung up and sat again.

She’d probably stopped at a coffee house to get a quick bite and latte.  She might’ve started to read the newspaper and lost track of time.  She did that quite often.  He stood again, watching for her.

He’d only seen one picture of her; back when they’d first started corresponding.  He pulled out the photo; slightly tan skin, green eyes and brown hair cascading down her back and over her shoulders.  He smiled and put the photo back in his wallet.  He stood, then sat, and stood again.  He focused on the stairs, the bustling street outside and sat again.

He felt his phone vibrate against his thigh and jumped a little.  He answered.

“Oliver, this is Olivia.  I’m sorry darling, I got sidetracked, stopped for a quick coffee and became immersed in a newspaper.  I’ll be there soon.”  Her voice was soft and sounded warbled.

“Alright, dear.  Glad to hear it, see you soon.” He smiled snapping his phone shut.  Probably just another ten minutes now.  He stood again, happily.

Outside two police cars screamed.  They came to a halt outside the convention center.  Two police officers stayed outside, barricading the entrance and the other two came inside.  They walked calmly towards the man with the ‘Olivia’ sign as a crowd gathered outside.  The man seemed to look right through them as they walked towards him.

“Sir, is your name Oliver Regel?” The man started a bit when the officer spoke to him.

“Yes.  I’m waiting for Olivia.” He said.  The two officers exchanged looks.  “She just called me.  She should be here soon.”

“Why don’t you come with us sir?” The second officer said.

He looked past the police as the doors opened and his parents walked in.  His father in the one cheap suit he wore to work, his mother in sweat pants stained with soil.  She must have been gardening.

“What’s going on?” He asked watching his mother and father approach.

“Sir, please just come with us.” The first officer said, holding out a hand.

“No. Olivia is coming, I’ll miss her.” His mother came up the stairs.

“Oliver, there is no Olivia.  You made her up.” She said.  He was quiet, regarding her.

“No…” he started. “No, we met in college.” He said.  His mother’s eyes were teary.

“You didn’t go to college, honey.  You were too sick.” She said.

“No…I’m waiting for Olivia.” He said pathetically.

“No Oliver.” His father said.  “It was you who checked into the hotel, and you who wrote all those letters.  You’re waiting for a phantom son.”

“I’m not.” He wanted to shout, but it only came out a squeak.  Suddenly the second officer was behind him, cuffing him and pushing him along, towards the door.  His mother gathered his coat and the ‘Olivia’ sign and walked behind them.

As he was ushered out the door he caught the glimpse of his reflection, in the window.  He could have sworn he saw a dark haired woman standing next to him.  He looked behind him, but there was nothing.  Nothing at all.

An Introduction to Love

This may be a cliched way to start this but it is the most simple. Merriam-Webster defines love as: “1: strong affection 2: warm attachment 3: attraction based on sexual desire 4: a beloved person 5: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern of others.”

I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately. For obvious reasons, like Jordo, but also because I’ve been noticing it everywhere. I’ve got four weddings to go to this fall. It’s in books, movies and music. People were built to love. We love all kinds of things. Think about your typical day. How many times a day do you say you love something? Not just a person, but a song, a sandwich, your car. You think of your dog or cat or whatever and think ‘I love them.’ Sure these all seem like frivolous things, but we can’t help our nature. The one thing we’ve been built to do should be fairly straightforward and simple. But like many things that the human race complicates, love is the one we mess with the most. Something that seems so simple is one of the most complicated and complex things we deal with. Love is a mystery, a conundrum, that I’m foolishly going to try to make sense of.

I guarantee I’ll contradict myself as I go through this. I won’t ever be absolutely right and I’m sure many of you will disagree with what I’ve got to say. That’s the beauty of love, it will never be perfectly written out; it will always vary from person to person, so it is always a fresh topic.
Here are some of the thoughts and questions I’ve been thinking about, that I plan on addressing: Love is a verb. Love is a choice. Love overcomes all obstacles. Is love an emotion, a firing of dopamine in the brain or a living thing? If you’ve got a suggestion feel free to comment below. If it gets the gears in my brain turning I might add it my ever growing list of love topics.