Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Life as a pair of Athletes

Regarding a conversation about crank sets I wanted to buy and dance class I wanted to take:

"Elizabeth, as your coach, I don't think ballet class is a good idea....And, as your Fiancee, I don't think those carbon campy record cranks are a good idea!"

And, still in his coach mode, while watching me run around the track at 8:30 PM, as he sat on the cold bleachers:

"What are you doing walking? I'm not sitting here in the dark and cold to watch you WALK around the track! Go Run!"

I have great motivation for this sport ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Once I used to Ramble

I found a blog I kept from about 1999 to 2005. It chronicles only about half of that because in a fit of anger I took down a lot of it, so really it just chronicles the first few years of college, my anger at my parents (Before I got over it and moved on...) and a relationship that ended years ago and seems so far away (but was this anxious, contentious, beautiful part of my life for so long!)

It's interesting to read over these things, as if reading the past can help me predict the future.

I had forgotten how much I have done. I have gone around the world and back in terms of change.

And what luxury! (To be able to change who you are on a whim or a blink!)

But how real!! those experiences were. How beautiful and exciting and new everything was there! I lived and lived and lived, and my eyes were so bright they glistened like two bright stars in warm velvet skies. I was anxious for each next day because I knew it would be different, exciting.

So now I'm reading this journal of this cheeky, witty girl, who was entirely assured of herself (it comes through the writing) that never ate a thing (I talk about my weight and the food I eat SO MUCH...but again, I was a ballet dancer at the time...not that it's an excuse) and wore the most fabulous clothes. She fights with her boyfriend (every third post or so...) and publicly announces that sort of thing, brags about trips to Chicago to hang out with sort of famous people, and racks up scene points like no one else's business.

Who was that girl? Was that really me starving and running the show?

Here is an excerpt for you, a post entitled "I am a bad band girlfriend"

I don't know how I've come to almost hate everything I used to love. I hate music now, I hate movies, I hate riding my bicycle.

I don't know what I like anymore. I just sit in my apartment and read about other people's real or imagined lives and decide that I hate music and I suffer every time I listen to it, and that movies are pointless and make me fidget.

When I started this, I took great pride in filling out the "Music I listened to" section, placing lyrics here with gusto, and ranting and raving about my favorite artists. Now it is all meaningless. I never wanted to be a musician. It was enough for me that I could play one song from Amelie, the moonlight sonata, and make a few others. I never tried to find people to play in bands with me. But I loved everything about other peoples music. The blanket that encases you, the removal from your emotions, and even the ability to redefine and streamline what you feel. Give it words and wings.

And now when I listen to things, I feel and hear noise and never anything productive, soothing or charging. I don't want words anymore. I think I could dance just as well in silence as I could to music, and I do it often. Perfection of technique, and style, when you are dancing to a click. Who needs musicallity anyways?

I have been dating someone who has built their life around music. Recording it, playing it, listening to it, collecting it. All memories and thoughts tie to that in some way. I wonder if, when he is lying in bed next to me, he thinks "This reminds me of the first time I heard green day." I wouldn't be angry if it was, but simply curious because then there is absolutely no independence from music. I am to be measured in song, and not myself.

Perhaps I don't like it because the gratification of all things related to it will never measure up to the gratification he receives. In the first year I met him, I went to every show except two. I know. Because I counted. Now I don't go to any. I did everything I could to help him, schedule, encourage, become a sounding board, listen to things about band problems. I watched him smile and play and enjoy himself. I heard about every single piece of new equipment, ten thousand times over. I listened to him rant when his show went horrible, he couldn't fit practices with his one million bands in a week, or his studio was having problems. Wisely, someone gently told me to step out of that situation, exactly at the moment I was starting to burn out and other people were starting to bring me their problems problems with him in the bands, and I did. And I have hated music ever since. I don't care if it is shellac, or bright eyes, or fiona apple. Even tori amos brings no joy any more.

And now, I do listen to him talk about music, because that is what he knows. It brings him joy and in turn brings me joy, but I cannot participate. I can only go so far. Never far enough to make it fun, but far enough to exhaust myself, wear myself out, and that is exactly the problem with being a band girlfreind.

Maybe someday he'll at least put me in the liner notes. Or, since I do not listen to music now, he won't.

I am going to symphony tonight with a friend of mine. He and I have not known each other very long, but we wear hats and walk on the beach in the snow. I cannot imagine starving for music the way they did a hundred years ago. No records, no cds, nothing but live orchestra's. Perhaps that is now it should be for awhile. A starvation diet to make things right. That is my usual cure.

So tonight I will dress up, and leave the boyfreind behind. He will go to someones house and play risk, or maybe to the studio and have a band practice. I will watch violins and cellos, and drown. I will come home and he will say, like he did when I told him I was going, that he didn't think the symphony was a big deal. And I will tell him, for once, that I hate music and everything it entails and he will break up with me on the spot.

Or he will snatch back the records he has given me, his cds, and our conversation will end for good because he will have nothing to talk about.

or he will ignore it, and everything will keep on going. The same. For ever and ever and ever.

And I will have to put on a hat and walk on the beach. And all the noise will become music to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Progress in the Garden

Started some seedlings

Jon helped me put together the raised bed walls - I accidentally picked out some hardwood instead of the cheap pine but maybe it'll last longer. We broke two drill bits!

I also made a pea and bean trellis out of sticks. I love budget gardening! The pea trellis is missing horizontal supports and some twine to make it look pretty and cover up the twist tie wire that I have holding it up now.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Productive Day!

Rarely do I have such a productive day as this!

Here is what I did:
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Cleaned the living room
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Did a load of laundry and hung it outside to dry
  • Tidied the bedroom
  • Finished a book on finance
  • Staked out the garden and edged the boarder with sticks.
  • Put cardboard on top of garden to start killing grass
  • Put away clothes
  • Road two and a half hours on my bike with a new friend
  • Had coffee with said new friend
  • came home and cleaned the shed
  • Tilled (With a hand tiller!) the garden plot and flipped the grass
  • Took compost bucket and buried and spread it in garden
  • Bleached old pots to ready for next season's growing plants and the herbs (which I want in pots on my porch to keep them from taking over the garden!
  • Started seeds in six packs - three types of peppers, and lavender
  • Cleaned up trench planter outside, introducing extra soil I had sitting around.
What a list! It makes me tired just looking at it! I aim to buy (and start) the rest of the seeds for the garden that are on my list, as well as buy and the 2x12's and brackets I need to make the raised bed! I'm so glad spring has sprung! It gives me new energy to be out in the warm weather working with my hands.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lovely Things

Towels Drying in the Sun

Brick Patio Under Water

Old Bindings

Stack of Old Magazines to Thumb Through

Perfectly Made Bed

Neatly Organized Jewelry Drawer

The Start of an Inspiration Board

A Breakfast Table on the Front Porch

The Airy, Crisp Dining Room

The Flooded Lake Backing Up to the Porch

Setting the Indoor Plants out for some Sun

Long Road to the Mailbox

The Tall Stand of Trees

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some of my favorite parts of Detroit.

This last one is probably the best picture I've ever taken in my entire life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another blog!

My new blog is my grown up solution to stylediary :)

All my clothes get their very own blog! Be forewarned, I only own two pairs of wearable jeans so there will probably be a lot of repeats in the pants department!

Friday, March 13, 2009


"And grief is a measure of your relationship..." -Luci

I have been lucky to not have lost much in my life - the people who I love and cherish are still here, walking bodies among the living. I can call them, talk to them, cuddle them, have them open the jars when they get stuck.

But for some reason, as I get closer and closer to my wedding I am re-grieving just a bit for my grandpa who died in 2004 - almost five years ago. I think it has to do with the fact that he won't be there to dance with me, and one of my favorite memories of him was of us dancing to the wind up Victrola in his den, with a tinny song on a shellac record lulling us with the words "I'll dance with you at my wedding..."

I only cry in the mornings now, about these things, and only in sunrises. These early spring mornings, when I imagine walking out on the frosty yard with him and remember the sharpness of the cold air and the crispness of the frost on the ground, silence with him, just being inside his weathered, wisened universe.)

We were waltzing around the room, or maybe it was a box step - I can't remember the tempo now, though I remember the melody and he stepped back and looked at me, realizing, I think, at that moment, that I wasn't a little girl any more. (this was 2003 - I had just graduated high school). I promised him a dance at my wedding, and here I am, four years later, with that promise still standing - and it aches a little bit.

It hurts twice as bad but is just as sweet to know that my grandpa would have LOVED Jon. They would have been best friends and it aches to know that they won't meet each other. I can see my grandpa and Jon together in the woodshop in the garage, feeding logs to that rusty barrel stove, creating all sorts of little knick knacks. Jon would have remembered with him, and soaked up the stories of the farm, of dexter and prince, the clydesdales, of his mothers and sisters. My grandpa would have taught jon the names of all of the different types of cows, and together they would have worked in the garden. And I know that Jon would have richley rewarded grandpa's life too. They both love honest hard work, and have that incredible admiration to the earth and all it holds, finding beauty in tree leaves and forrests and God's incredible outdoors. I wish they could have met. Grandpa could rest easy knowing that his granddaughter would be okay, because I am in the hands of an honest, upright man.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Misconceptions about Moving to Michigan

Note: this post title has a lot of alliteration!

There is a place that I drive by every so often called "Madonna university." I used to think that it was called that because you know, Madge is from Michigan, and she MUST have funded a university that not too many people knew about!

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that was not the case...I really wanted to live by a school that had a degree in cone bras and loving material goods. Bummer...

There's not a whole lot going on in life right now that's interesting - I got a library card and got a bunch of books about gardening, so I've been reading those. I'm still ignoring wedding planning even though the dates about five months out. (EEK!) We haven't sent save the dates yet but those should be out next week. I need to make a wedding checklist to hand to Jon, and maybe, just maybe, get a little farther on my dress (If I'm ever allowed to be home this would happen...).

I have been rock climbing at the indoor wall at my gym, as well. That has been super fun and I'm getting better, but my hands are being ripped apart. I was reduced to duct taping some fingers in order to climb today. I'm subbing rock climbing for my upper body instead of doing whatever exercises, and I can really feel it. An hour on the wall (and I don't just daintily climb, I like to do things like this ninja move where I jump and try to catch the holds...) leaves me feeling really exhausted and sore, with the exact same muscles aching that would usually be done in the gym.

Rock climbing is a sport that really really pushes the limits for me in a way nothing else can - I'm terrified of heights. I'm the girl that cried on a Ferris wheel because it was too high once, and had to be coaxed up the tour d'eiffle. I think it's funny that I enjoy the sport and it's strange (to this cyclist) physical challenges so much, but I don't go up much. I usually go down, around, sideways, under, and over. I am slowly working my way up though, I get a little bit higher and a little bit more comfortable with being higher every time I go. I guess you could say I'm trying to conqure my fear of heights...