Tuesday, November 22, 2011

::le sigh

Today's been rough. 
I'm in a mood. 
funk, if you will.
My emotions match the outdoor ambience. 

What ails me is nothing extraordinary; just the everyday business of living, really. 
I so deeply treasure the gift of communication, and it can be devastating when others do not. 

It's a tough road sometimes when you're easygoing and considered "nice," because people figure they can do whatever they want, and you won't mind.

You don't have any preferences, and even if you do, they're infinitely flexible; certainly nothing to be taken seriously.
You finally start to assert yourself, lend a voice to your flimsy feelings, and they think it's cute. Comical.
They look at you the way they might at a kitten wearing a tiger costume.

A friend in college said to me one year, "I hate the holidays. They're so depressing."

And I remember regarding him with a puzzled, pained expression and asking with just the right note of annoying naïveté, "Why?"

The older I get, the more I understand why. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm sitting in Starbucks, and there are lovely window-cling snowflakes everywhere.
I know lots of folks who scorn the perceived tyranny and highway robbery of Starbucks.
I understand that.
But I love their coffee. Always have, always will.
I also love the friendly employees and the wide array of characters who saunter through its doors.
Also, I have a long-standing affinity for their holiday drinks.
Peppermint Mocha seems overstuffed with some sort of narcotic.
Gingerbread latte? Oh jeez. Delicious.

I've been asked to write a spoken-word performance piece for a Christmas concert.
I have ideas, and I think it could shape up to be something special.
But I'm still nervous, like always.
What if I can't finish it? 
What if I end up writing something awash with cliches that everyone has already heard a million times? 
What if it's sub-par and everyone gets disappointed? 
What if I try really hard and still can't piece it together so it makes perfect sense? 

Self-doubt is a stubborn, cruel bastard.
I know it doesn't come from any healthy places.
I need to pray for its eradication.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I'm about to answer some questions.
Here's a song about that!

-- Are you addicted to anything?
Caribou Coffee. Instant Netflix. Cake. Chocolate. Pinterest. Procrastination. My iPhone. Angry Birds. 
-- Do you find piercings/tattoos attractive?
Tattoos - not generally, but for some reason, I think John Mayer's left arm tattoo sleeve is hot.
Piercings - Not many people can pull off the more "exotic" ones.  But I can't judge anyone. I'm seriously thinking about getting my nose pierced. 
-- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever licked?
One time when I was like fifteen, my friend dared me to lick one of these thingies in the church office.
It was in front of a bunch of people, which upped the ante to Triple-Dog-Dare territory.
I did it. 
-- Do you actually believe Alaska is covered in snow?
Ummm...not all of it?
I don't know.
I saw The Proposal. Was that filmed on location? 
-- Are you ever purposely irritating?
Well, my dad hates my British accent. It makes his skin crawl.
So naturally, when visiting my parents, I like to spread it on thick. 'Ello gov'na! 
-- If you could make someone disappear, who would it be?
This question makes me realize that I passionately dislike way too many people. 
-- What’s the most important thing to you?
Ummm, either my computer or my phone.
I'm such a techno-slave, it's gross. 
-- How do you spend your weekends?
Sleeping late (let's not kid ourselves, I do that on weekdays too), volunteering here, visiting friends, watching movies, drinking beer, eating pizza, laughing loudly in bars/restaurants, going to church. 
-- What country would you love to visit?
I'm such an anglophile. 
-- What’s on your mind right now?
I need wintergreen Tums.
Like, now. 
-- When was the last time you went to a good party?
I went an an anniversary party in July that kicked the sorry ass of every other party I've ever been to.
Read more here
-- Do you like anyone you can’t have?
It's a sickness. 
-- Do you speak your mind?
Not enough.
But I find that when I do manage to assemble the courage to speak my mind, I'm really shaky.
And afterwards, I'm instantly embarrassed.
I probably need to figure that out. 
-- What would you do if someone random on the street came up to you and started hitting on you?
Oh mercy.
This happened once. At a gas station.
I'm walking back to my car after paying, and some dude in clothes 10 sizes too big comes lumbering after me and opens with, "Wha'sup girl? You got a man?"
I hesitated, then said "Yeah...I'm sorry."
Yep, I lied. 
-- Name the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Ummm...How about that time I lost my keys in Meijer?
Orrr...losing my keys in Target? Twice?
Ohhhh WAIT.
It has to be that time I was desperately searching my car for my phone,
only to realize I was TALKING ON IT. 
-- Would you talk to someone you don’t know on the internet?
Oh jeez.
I do that pretty much every day.
Child's play. 
-- If you could speak another language, what would it be?
Well, I kind of speak French.
I took four years of it in high school.
I don't use it, except for when I'm feeling pretentious and watching some French movie on Netflix, and then I can understand some of the dialogue without reading the subtitles.
I am an International Woman of Mystery. 
-- One word to describe yourself?
-- What’s the last present you’ve received?
This badass pair of black knee-high boots.
I feel very Sex and the City when I wear 'em. 
-- You and your friends are bored. What do you do?
Watch Family Guy.
Always entertaining. 
-- Who hates Twilight as much as I do?
Embarrassing story: I borrowed the Twilight books from a friend and obsessively read all four of them in three weeks.
Now? I see the movies and all through each one, my cheeks flush with humiliation because I feel like such a MORON for ever being captivated by this teenage melodrama tripe.
Also, I fell asleep during the last one.
I think Taylor Lautner took his shirt off, but I can't be sure. 
-- What would you do if the world were coming to an end?
Look around for Kirk Cameron, definitely.
He seems like a guy who would know what to do. 
-- Biggest regret ever?
Right after high school, I went to college and had a really awful experience.
Finally after two years, with a raging case of Major Depressive Disorder, I left.
Going there was maybe the worst decision I ever made.
Leaving was probably the best. 
-- If you could see your future in a movie, would you watch it?
Surprisingly good question, Survey Writer!
I don't think I would.
I tend to enjoy being surprised. 
-- If you won a holiday but had to choose either a cruise ship or resort, what would you choose?
Who am I going with? Where is the cruise? And where is the resort?
Because if either option includes weather that makes you choke on your own sweat, I'll pass.
Humidity and I do not get along. 
-- Favorite color?
And yet, The Color Purple is not my favorite movie or book.
What a waste. 
-- What annoys you?
Loud chewing/eating, gum cracking, sweltering temperatures, my hair, Christian subculture, and people who talk incessantly, completely oblivious to the fact that no one's listening and no one cares.
I try to avoid those people, but once in awhile, they sneak up on me.
When all else fails, just walk away. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

::eleven eleven eleven

The thing about this whole internet business?
It's an illusion.
A gigantic, streaming, colorful, addictive illusion.

I had this conversation a few months ago with Heather, and apologized to her for paying more attention to her online persona than to her, the actual human being.

I think this is a common problem.
My friend Zach has touched on it as well, here.

Just last week, at home, my friend/housemate came out of the house and saw me sitting with two other people around a bonfire, only to find two of us fixated on our phones, the other on an iPad.
We'd forsaken the intimacy of face-to-face interaction, opting instead to stare at screens, hoping for Notifications and Messages and Comments and Likes, all of which are naturally what make the illusion so alluring.

love being online.
Probably too much.
It means I can be alone and yet connect with others at once, however superficially; like I'm getting away with something that should not be possible.
I can write comical comments on Facebook and rattle off one-liners on Twitter that make me seem witty and engaging, when in fact I'm rather socially awkward.

Perhaps we all love appearing to be much more exciting and sexy than we feel.
It's understandable.
As addicted to approval and attention as our culture is, we're bound to be seduced by the construction of facades.

Hi, I'm Stacey, and I'm an Internet Poser. 
More often than not, I'm unpolished and nervous and awkward and messy. 
But I'll always hide that from you. 
The Internet told me I could. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

::pink poodle

I may have a case of The Mondays.

Hence, I will attempt to shove myself into happiness by recapping the last time I saw Emma (my adorable 3-year-old niece.)

I drove up to my hometown last week to spend Halloween with her, at the annual carnival hosted by my parents' church.

The chief of police was roaming around with her adorable bulldog, dressed as a jailbird.
And Emma, lover of all things canine - dressed as a pink poodle herself - had to have a commemorative photo taken.

We meandered around the gym (sorry, Family Life Center) and she played nearly every game, her spirits reaching their apex at the sight of the giant Bouncy House. (They should really have those for adults.)

Although I try so hard to be a wordsmith, there are some things that even words, as magical as they are, cannot encapsulate with their elongated tentacles.
One such thing is the caliber and category of joy that Emma's presence in the world delivers to my soul.

Friday, November 4, 2011

::manner and means

I was listening to Bright Eyes this morning.
It's been way too long since I did that. 

His lyrical skills are unparalleled. 
As I listened to him harmonize with Emmylou Harris on the delicate, lovely Landlocked Blues, I was reminded of an occasion of "tough love" that I experienced earlier this week. 

I am a highly and unusually sensitive person. 
I have trouble with confrontation and avoid it whenever possible. 
When called upon to speak painful truths or receive them, I'm a nervous wreck. 

As I sat in a semi-uncomfortable chair three nights ago, thrust into a situation wherein I was required to both give and receive confrontational-yet-loving statements, I was terrified. 
My insides knotted, my eyes spilled over, and I managed to handle myself with grace and a fair amount of poise, but it was decidedly unpleasant. 
Afterward, I slipped away to be alone and exorcise residual toxic emotions. 
The next day, I still felt as though some sort of surgical procedure had lacerated my psyche.
I was tearful and raw, then angry and bitter, then terrified, then tearful again, and on and on...
Conor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes) provoked me with these (slightly paraphrased) lyrics: 

A good friend will pick you apart;
A box full of suggestions for your possible heart
You may be offended and you may be afraid
But don’t walk away, don’t walk away

My fragile feelings had been hurt, and I felt as though I'd been probed and splayed open, utterly exposed. 
I cannot foresee "tough love" ever feeling comfortable or being anywhere near enjoyable. 

But maybe it's a big fat lie that love is supposed to be this hearts-and-flowers amalgam of saccharine pleasantries.
To truly love someone, I once learned, is "to want the absolute best for them, and to do everything within your power to make sure that they have it." 

So if I love you and you love me, I suppose we must acknowledge each other's self-destructive behaviors and express our deep concern. 
We must offer our assistance with firm sincerity. 
We must say the things that hurt in order to do the things that heal. 


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