Friday, December 12, 2008

"i got started dancing because i knew it was one way to meet girls"

If only I had been born in the time of Gene Kelly, I would have become a tap dancing legend. Step aside, Debbie Reynolds.

Tonight's about
messy hair
letters to a young poet
sad movies about sad people
big shirts
british accents
and lots and lots of pizza

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

plants have dreams too

Do you remember swinging when you were a kid? It seems to me as if the majority of my childhood was spent pumping my legs, kicking off my shoes, and fearlessly flying through the air, somehow managing, despite my hindering clumsiness, to always land on my feet. My sister would scream, as she reached the peak of the swingset, "Look at me, Lyssa! I'm a bird!" Or my many friends, for everyone seems to be friends during those formative years, yelling out such metaphors as, "I'm a plane!" For myself, however, pretending to be something so common as a bird or a plane was absolutely out of the question. I was always that weird kid. You know the type. The kid you caught talking to household plants, because "plants have dreams too." The kid who deliberately put her left shoe on her right foot because her shoes were getting tired of being on the same foot day after day. The kid who was happy playing by herself, for she was never alone in her mind.

I would yell out, with pride and a huge grin, "I'm a pterodactyl!"

When you're a kid, the idea of "growing up" seems impossible. I remember being asked, year after year, that incessant question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Being the mischievous little girl I was, I would always answer differently. My favorite answer was "lumberjack." Of course, I had no idea what that job would entail. I was fairly certain, however, that it had everything to do with pancakes.

no smiling darkness

I love darkrooms. I like them, because, well, they're dark. But there is also an ambience, a feeling of creation and revelation. There is nothing more thrilling than watching a photo you've taken appear, seemingly from nowhere, on a previously blank canvas of photo paper.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

road trip

Good friends are very difficult to find, and even more difficult to be separated from for long stretches of time. That is why it is incredibly frustrating to set aside a weekend to visit one such person, and then have the weekend go drastically wrong. Even more frustrating is the reason for the botched visit. And what, you may be wondering, is the reason? One simple word ruined what would have been a marvelous, fun-filled reunion between three best friends. The three primary characters in this tale of laughter, disappointment, and unintelligible roadway maps are Missy, Sam, and myself.
Now, before I go any further, I believe some introductions are in order. Missy, or Melissa Hoch, to be precise, is my best friend in the world and has been for quite some time. We have already decided that we are going to become crazy, kooky elderly women together, a future I have absolutely no doubt will come true. Missy is the type of person who can walk into a room filled with strangers and leave the room knowing every person’s life story, plus the names of all their pets. (This particular trait has caused much envy and distress on my part.) Sam, or Samuel Petersen, to be exact, is my other best friend and Missy’s special fellow. Now, to get along with Sam, all you need is sarcasm, a cup of coffee, and a ready laugh. Most of the time, I happen to possess all three, so we get along famously. Sam is a nut, and this nuttiness is perhaps the reason we drove for nine hours without accomplishing remotely anything. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
College is the reason our blessed trinity has been scattered all about, and we have not taken kindly to the separation. This is why Sam and I came up with the brilliant idea to visit Missy in the small city of Menomonie, where she attends school at the University of Wisconsin- Stout. Now, since neither of us had ever been to Menomonie, we figured it would probably be best to figure out directions. So, like any young person in today’s world, Sam used the reliable source of the Internet. We printed off the directions; everything was great. So we set off on what was quickly promising to be a very exciting, much-needed road trip.
Up to the point where we got lost in some strange town with a name so unremarkable I cannot even begin to remember what letter it started with, we were feeling pretty clever. One very unique trait Sam possesses, which is unusual of most of his kind, is that he has no reservations whatsoever about asking for directions. So here we are, sitting in the parking lot of a gas station in the middle of Milwaukee, Sam poring over a roadway map he had just purchased for five dollars, me on my cell phone with my dad, my hand running through my hair increasingly faster with each stroke as I get more and more flustered, and neither of us have any fathomable notion of where we have landed ourselves. I figure we must have looked incredibly desperate, for two twenty-something, rather good looking fellows, paused on their way out of the convenience store, their arms laden with caffeinated beverages and salty snack items, and asked whether or not we were lost.
Well, it turned out we were. Lost, that is. If you call being four hundred miles east of where you had intended to go lost. Long story short, when looking up the directions, Sam, in his infinite wisdom, typed in “Menomonie Falls” instead of good, plain old “Menomonie.” Why he did so, he does not even know. It is almost like the mystery of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop: the world may never know.
How do I know that good friends are hard to find? Well, it is really quite simple. If I had been stuck in a car for nine hours with any other person, besides perhaps Missy herself, and then been told we had been in that car for no reason whatsoever, I doubt either of us would have survived the trip home. But since it was with someone I truly, genuinely care about, it was okay. It is even quite hilarious, when you think about it. So, although the day ended with disappointment, and tears shed from all three of the “trinity”, we all came out of the experience with a better understanding of how much we truly love each other. And that is worth nine hours in a hot, uncomfortable car any day.

used to be one of the rotten ones

I'm finding it difficult to write anything coherent or remotely interesting right now. Which is painful for me to admit, for words are my passion. Words and music. And anything with the ability to tell a story.

I've been wondering for awhile if where I am right now is where I truly want to be. All I know is that I want to write. How impractical. How romantic. How impractical and romantic. Those two words are perfect descriptions of what my life has been up to this point, a fact, I admit with a guilty smirk on my face, that drives certain authority figures in my life absolutely nuts. I like that. Having the ability to drive someone completely mental. What an awful person I am.

This past year has been a whirlwind of anxiety, depression, empty wallets, and a whole lot of "what the fuck?" moments. I've lost too many people. And I don't mean lost as in when you were little and went to a shopping mall with your mom and deliberately hid under a clothes rack, I mean lost as in, I'll never find them. They're not giggling underneath a rack filled with blue jeans, they're gone, just gone. And they were the good ones, the ones I could see hobbling down the street with me when I'm ninety-two. I've been feeling a little lost, a little confused.

But I feel good when I'm lost, so it's alright.