Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dancing Toward Bethlehem

Dancing Toward Bethlehem
-Billy Collins

If there is only enough time in the final
minutes of the twentieth century for one last dance
I would like to be dancing it slowly with you,
say, in the ballroom of a seaside hotel.
My palm would press into the small of your back
as the past hundred years collapsed into a pile
of mirrors or buttons or frivolous shoes,
just as the floor of the ninteenth century gave way
and disappeared in a red cloud of brick dust.
There will be no time to order another drink
or worry about what was never said,
not with the orchestra sliding into the sea
and all our attention devoted to humming
whatever it was they were playing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

days like this..

"When its not always raining there'll be days like this
When theres no one complaining there'll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this..."
-Van Morrison

It's a beautiful day in Portland. But I still miss the incredible views in Seattle on days like this.

oh, p.s. I ran six miles today. whaaaaat? I know, I hate running, but it wasn't so bad, not on a day like this.

Monday, May 26, 2008

music and moshing

I went to a show with my friend Derek on Saturday. Thrice, Circa Survive and Pelican played at the Roseland in Portland. Before I get into the show, I have to mention that this venue has a metal detector and security searches before entering. I have never had to walk through a metal detector before going to a show. This made me feel more nervous rather than safe…what kind of people were going to be at this show? Murderers? Yikes.

Now, I generally listen to “coffee shop music” pretty mellow, acoustic music. I recently got the new Thrice album, The Alchemy Index. I like it, the mellow songs more than the heavy ones of course, but I’m still a fan. I would place them on the periphery of my musical taste. Anyhow, it was a great show, and it’s been a while since I’ve been to a show where every member on the stage wildly jumps and thrashes around while playing their instrument with the ease of brushing one’s teeth. Where the lead singer jumps around almost monkey-like, slapping his hands on the floor and slamming the microphone to the stage at the end of the performance…a different kind of show than I'm used to... We lucked out and scored spots in the balcony section, where we could sit and still see perfectly with a birds eye view to the show. I couldn’t help but notice out of the corner of my eye, the crowd. In the middle towards the back, occasionally a circle would open up and a mosh pit would form.

Now, I need help understanding the whole concept of mosh pits. I was fascinated by this circle. Young guys, scrawny and brawny would launch themselves into each other, using other people for extra momentum. Slamming into each other, challenging each other, I saw one guy, who was shirtless at this point, throw his arms in the air and yell. It was as if he was king of the hill for a moment, before another guy slammed into him. The whole circle would come and go. Sometimes I looked over and there they were. Other times, I looked over and nothing, just watching the show…How do they know when to mosh and when not to mosh? Sometimes, they would leave the mosh pit via crowd-surfing toward the stage.
One last thing, I saw at least five shoes thrown at the stage, sometimes hitting stage equipment. I’ve never seen that. Is that an attack on the band, like throwing tomatoes or something?

…I decided to look up moshing on
wikipedia and wikihow. Here are the main points I got from it.

-Moshing (and a mosh) refers to the activity in which audience members at live music performances aggressively push or slam into each other. Moshing is frequently accompanied by stage diving, crowd surfing, and headbanging.

-If you crowd surf, keep your feet raised. Hitting people in the head with your shoes will guarantee removal of one or both of your shoes which will then be flung towards the stage with maximum velocity, rendering you shoeless for the rest of the gig/day/festival weekend.

-"Slingshot" into the sides by using another person's momentum to launch you.

-"Crowd surfing"-At most concerts and festivals the crowd surfer will be passed towards a barrier in front of the stage by the crowd, where they will be pulled off and put onto their feet by the security stewards. Then, they will be sent back to the side or rear of the crowd at the end of the barrier or they may be ejected from the venue.

-"Falling" Lift that person and make sure they are not hurt. They will probably just laugh and thank you before joining back in or stepping out but if they are hurt (which isn't as likely as one would think given the normal goers of metal shows recognize the metal brotherhood for what it is and will try not to hurt another.) contact someone working in the venue and maybe signal to some people around you, chances are they will gladly assist. This could possibly be the most important rule of all, you must pick up a falling mosher at all times.

-"The Lift Up" If someone is hurt but no one will move to let them out of the crowd (which is common at larger festival pit & crowds), ask the people around you to lift the person up and body surf them to the front so security can help them out. Make sure to ask if it's okay first though as getting lifted freaks some people out at first.

While, I will probably steer clear of mosh pits for fear of injury or death. I feel better knowing there is proper mosh pit etiquette and courtesy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Iron and Wine - The Trapeze Swinger

I love this's so pretty and peaceful like a lullaby. I've been hooked on this song since it played at the end of the In Good Company.
Oh, it's so good, I get shivers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Deal-making with preschoolers...

Jason: Can I play with those yellow tubes?

Me: Let’s make a deal. You can play with them as long as you don’t swing them in people's faces.

Jason: Okay.

Me: What will happen if you swing them in someone’s face?

Jason: You’ll take it away.

Me: Okay. It’s a deal.

(30 seconds later)

Jason: …here you go. (hands me the yellow tubes)

Me: (questioning look)

Jason:…I swung them in someone’s face.

Well, he did keep his deal... Job well done.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

so tired..

These are my awesome nephews. Collin, Cylis and Corey. I love 'em to pieces.

I'm pretty exhausted right now. I went up to Seattle for a whirlwind weekend, and now I'm back and somehow I didn't get any reading done whatsoever for school tomorrow...and I can't keep my eyes I'm going to bed. Hopefully this decision to sleep doesn't lead to disaster during class discussions tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

quote time

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." ~Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Young love

Walking out to the playground today, I spotted young love on the playground. A little boy and girl from another preschool class were happily running out to the playground. The little blond with curly hair was pulling a dark-haired little pudgy boy behind her. She was excited to be leading the way and he was just goofy with the biggest grin on his face. It was a precious reminder that love isn’t just for grown-ups. Love is just as alive at age three as it is at age 93.

Later, on the playground today, I took a moment to scan the playground, make sure all the kids were there and such, when I spotted a little boy from my class. He was walking slowly across the playground with his head down, Charlie Brown style. I walked over so that I would be in his path and kneeled down so he could see me. He kept walking and softly walked right into me. I asked him what was up and why he looked so sad. He sat down on my legs, looked at me with his big blue eyes and said,

“My girlfriend doesn’t like me anymore.” He continued, “She doesn’t like me. She’s playing with another boy and not me. She doesn’t want to play with me anymore.”

He was distraught as he looked over at the blonde haired little girl pulling around the boy with that same big grin as when I spotted them earlier. I realized that this blonde curly-haired little girl had been his “girlfriend” for the past week or so and she was now playing with another boy. Curling his head into my shoulder, his body just sank. He was experiencing his first heartache, at age three. We sat together on the playground and I kept telling him everything was going to be alright. As we were walking in, his Charlie Brown walk was even more apparent. I told him, when I feel sad I walk with my chin up looking to the sky and I feel a little better, and he did just that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The most incredible dream

I had the most incredible dream.
I was riding my bike over a hill.

It seemed like the West Hills just on my way home.
Except there were less trees and the terrain looked like farm country
with bright golden fields of wheat and green crops.
I felt so high in the air and the moon lit up the whole top of the hill so bright.

There were the most beautiful vibrant bursts of color I had ever seen.
I remember wishing I had my camera so bad.
It definitely felt like I must have been on a mountain to be this close to the moon.
It was incredible, like someone had reached up and pulled the moon close.
Everything looked amazing in this light and the moon was my companion.
I continued riding, wishing I had my camera.
I rounded the corner at the top of the hill and I could see the world.

The whole world.
It was like I was seeing it from space.
I could see Australia, South America, the Philippines…
The Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, The Mayan Ruins
I thought I was going to bust when I saw Africa.
It was almost like those maps that have pictures of the main attractions in a city;
Seattle would have Pike place market and the ferry and UW.
Africa had pyramids, and grass huts and red dirt.
I remember spoting Malawi from the hill and getting so excited.
I think I waved. Just in case they could see me.

I wanted this bike ride home to last an eternity.
My heart was overflowing with the beauty around me.
I only wished I had my camera with me so that my friends could see.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Wee Confession

When I was in elementary school, I had the biggest crush on a boy. He was a cool kid. He lived down the street from me. He was a skater boy. I just thought he was the cat’s meow. Though, never in a million years would I ever have told him so, at least not to his face.
I let him know in all the socially acceptable elementary school ways…

-I told my friend, who then told his friend, who then told him.
-I looked at him and immediately looked away when he saw me.
-I would completely ignore him if he came near me.
-I would say my name with his last name, just to see how it sounded.
-I would talk to his friends but definitely not to him.
-I would write him notes in class, folded in incredibly difficult note-passing shapes
-We chased each other on the playground.
-I would call him on the phone and then hang up once I heard his voice. (this is pre-caller i.d., of course)

All these things, I have heard from friends as things they have done as well, but one thing I’ve been told, is a little strange.

I used to call him on the phone, and the times that I didn’t hang up right away and erupt into fits of laughter with a friend, I would have my tape player ready and play him his favorite song over the phone and then giggle and hang up.
Is this not the most genius idea?? I thought for sure this would make him fall in love with me. I mean how could you NOT fall in love with the girl who calls you to play your favorite Pearl Jam song on the phone? I never did find out if he knew it was me.

He did ask me out though.
I’m pretty sure I said no.
Isn’t that how you play hard to get?