soNg foR today

some songs really make me wish my relationship was more tumultuous... don't play me hollow by caitlin crosby is one of them. weird, i know. damien rice makes me wish i was going through a breakup everytime i listen to him.

also, i freaking love her coat.


wheRe's chRistmas??

typically, by this time of the year, i've been working for a while in the giant middle of retail holiday season, have had the christmas tree in the stand and decorated, and all presents purchased and wrapped. what happened this year?

is it because this is my third - i repeat, third christmas not employed in the retail sector? have the dazzling lights, loud music, and tedious window decorations finally worn off? it doesn't seem fair that i never grew tired of the holiday season the ten years that i worked through it, and now i'm growing apathetic.

is it because the boy is a scrooge? the only holiday that he participates in is halloween, and reason he hands out candy is to prevent our house from being egged, so he says. he'll help decorate the tree if i ask him to, if only to try to keep me from hanging the hilarious ornaments that his first girlfriend made for him. he'll help me make cookies, if only to ensure that they are made to be proper man-sized cookies. he'll go out and buy his own gifts, but only because i refuse to be "that" woman who takes all responsibility for gift-giving in the relationship. these are his contributions to christmas. has his "what's the big deal" attitude started affecting my childish joy?

is it simply because christmas isn't really happening this year, in all the ways that i've learned christmas to mean to me in the last ten years?

we received our official un-invitation in the mail last week for the seven fishes extravaganza that we have attended on christmas eve every year since... high school. we knew it would end one day, and as much as we sometimes rolled our eyes at all the older drunk guests fawning over our dredded friend year after year, as much as we grumbled about dressing up when it's oh!-so!-cold!, as much as we discussed starting our own party, it's with sadness that we received the news that our friends who opened their home and their kitchen to herald in the holiday in a most-official way can no longer pull off the feat of feeding seven fishes to seventy friends.

my sister won't be home for christmas for the first time ever (excluding her year in germany) this year. last year, she didn't make it home for christmas day so we held off and waited to celebrate until she could join us the following week. this year, she was home for thanksgiving, instead - which was wonderful! but kara really makes christmas morning extra-special. she may always be late... and groggy... but she jumps into all aspects of gifting (giving and especially receiving) with such wild abandon that the rest of us get giddy just from watching her. sadly, my visions of christmas morning without kara include lots of yawning and blank stares. what ever will we do without her?

lastly, jesse decided she couldn't "do" christmas this year. at first, i thought that i would still go ahead and do stockings for everyone ("everyone" being my siblings: jesse, kara, and troy) so that we weren't just sitting around staring at each other. last year was the first year i didn't do stockings, and that's because i was cooking dinner for 16 on christmas day for the first time ever, and it gave kara a chance to feel the joy of stuffing stockings. i have since changed my mind and have decided to only send kara a stocking so that she doesn't feel too homesick. i will ask her to call when she opens it so that we can at least hear the fun. maybe one day, we'll all have computers and webcams and we won't feel like anything/one's missing. aside from that, i took my mom to see the nutcracker last week. that was the gift that i bought for her before jesse made her announcement. i was not about to renege! we went, it was wonderful, it was christmas-y. my mom was really very happy. i have no qualms with sharing that experience with her and calling it a christmas present. i may take troy shopping for some clothes and shoes. he needs it very badly. i got the boy a present for the first time in years... keeping that one a secret for now! so, that leaves... no gift for jesse. which i will feel badly about, and give her something, either made or purchased. so even though we're not "doing" christmas, it's been done, being done, and will be done.

i haven't turned on my lights (which i leave up in the windows year-round because it's so much easier). i haven't bought cards to send. we're not getting a christmas tree. i have one present purchased. in my heart, all i can feel is, where's christmas??


MoH ReflectioN

to all my friends who never asked me to be your MoH:
thank you. i could not have done this at any earlier time in my life.

to all my friends who would consider asking me to be their MoH in the future:
it turns out, i'm pretty awesome at it. and i do it for free, with love.


soNg foR today

where this takes me: walking + singing with kara - anywhere between 1995-2000


could i be so tReNdy?

though i would be forced into buying skinny jeans to make 'em right, these would make me feel a lot better about my basic wardrobe. dare i?



i am loving this makeup. wonder if i can pull it off...?
(not to mention, i really am loving ann taylor's revamped image. maybe someday i will be able to afford it!!)


what i Really meaN is

i miss my banana.

what i really mean is, i miss my sister. really, i miss all of my "sisters" but i have a huge aching hole in my heart especially for savanna. where to begin, explaining my big little fake sister?

savanna was my perspective, my energy, my laughter. she was brought to us in terrible loss and heartache - her life is one they couldn't make up for a movie if they tried. her story is not mine to share so i won't but know this: at some point, she needed us. she needed some semblance of a family... while kara and i were the farthest thing you could possibly find from the typical family unit, we were ready to take on the world. we prepared a budget and moved into savanna's school district and did everything we could to prove that we, two young twenty-somethings working full time jobs and attending school, were prepared to adopt a 16 year-old girl; provide a warm home, food, and all the love and support she could handle. alas, we lost out to the married lawyer with two young sons, friend of the family (the family that very suddenly no longer existed). legally, at least.

i like to think that, at some point, i was making a difference, regardless of my lack of finances, wisdom, or true understanding. i like to think that the love i felt for savanna was reciprocated, or at the very least, well-received. i wish this simply because i hope that i was able to give savanna a piece of what she gave me. i have never met anyone else so alive, so aware, so beautiful and amazing. when i was tired and frustrated from what life was handing me, all i could ever think was, "it could be worse. it could be so much worse." and on top of providing this perspective, savanna was there to bring me back to life, make me feel alive, make me laugh.

i don't really know what happened. maybe i became overbearing or boring or old. what i know is the hurt. she started pulling away and all i felt was hurt, and all i showed was anger. how unfair of me! how stupid, childish, rude, horrible, mean of me!! after all we had been through and all the love i had for her, i had to go and act like a dumb girl.

things were never the same after that... savanna stopped coming around, we all moved around, she started dating a guy and soon moved in with him. we stopped calling. we stopped emailing. i tried so hard to follow the adage, "if you love her, let her go..." and i did. i love her and i let her go. that was three years ago. we managed to be in contact a little in 2007... had mad mex a couple of times, celebrated christmas, and then i chickened out. i didn't want to be pushy or force myself back into her life. so i let her go again, occasionally sending cards in the mail to let her know was thinking of her.

savanna moved to florida this summer, very suddenly. i was in wisconsin when i found out, stuck there on an impromptu "vacation" that had felt wrong from the beginning and now i knew why. i cried... hard and often.
rob keeps assuring me that we can go show up on her doorstep when we go visit his aunt and uncle who, by some miracle, live in the same city. i don't know if i have the balls or could handle the rejection. i guess we'll see when we get there.

all i can hope is that savanna knows how much i care for her, and always will. hopefully she knows that she can call me in ten years and i will still feel that way. hopefully someday i can have my banana back.


oh if i weRe a desigNeR

why is it so hard to find awesome simple pieces like this? i am carrying on my ridiculous obsession over dresses far longer than i anticipated... maybe i need to start sewing!


caN't fiNd the RomaNce

i just love coincidences. i've set aside sudoku lately for a little break and have replaced most of that time with reading books, but i still like to do a couple of puzzles at the end of the day to wind down, so i started on this old book of word searches. today, working on puzzle #23, i found myself left with one word left to find: romance.

and that about sums it up right now.



i always forget that picasso was alive so recently - it just felt so much longer ago when i was a child - so seeing this completely jarred me. fascinating!!


ok, i'm paying atteNtioN!

last night i got to see ani difranco in a small club - finally, after all these years (more on that another time)! we followed the great show with a drink at the double wide grill and i got a very late start on my 40-minute drive home, 5 hours before my alarm would be going off this morning.

circumstances led me to be in the wrong place at just after the wrong time... and i can't stop thinking about how i ended up there.

the highway exit to my home is taken at very high speeds by most drivers, myself included, even though there are houses and businesses nearly kissing the blind corner of the "ramp" (read residential street, complete with sidewalk). i often think to myself, "self, be glad that the people that live here know to never step foot out of their front doors for fear of death, because we all drive like megajerks." as i was approaching this exit at 1:15 this morning, i could see a flashing yellow light just around the corner and slowed down, thinking it was most likely just some more construction. never did i expect to see a taxi in the middle of the road with it's four doors flung open (blocking the exit) and flashers on. well, really - even that wouldn't have been so odd for the 'quip. what i really didn't expect to see was the front end of a motorcycle peeking around the front of the taxi, lying on the road.

still not fully comprehending the situation, i slowly continued past the exit to later turn around and come back the other way to get home. that's when i saw the taxi driver and passenger standing, looking at the man lying face down on the road next to the bike... i panicked - i didn't see anything happen, the driver was on his cell phone, and what could i possibly do to help?? i continued driving past, feeling guilty that i didn't stop and replaying the scene in my head uncontrollably.

and what i really couldn't stop thinking about was the fact that i shouldn't have even been there; i shouldn't have seen that. i stayed out far later then i had intended, then forgot how to get myself to the other highway i had wanted to take home, got stuck behind a large "construction vehicle," and in my impatience, crossed the river to go home the longer yet faster-since-i-could-pass-any-slow-moving-vehicles way only to be blockaded for a mile or two by two slow-moving large vehicles (come on, truckers - i really thought you had more courtesy than that!). to think: if i had just gone home right away, if i had been more awake/less silly brainless and had been able to go home the right way, if i hadn't been impatient... i never would have been here. then to think: if i hadn't been detained a second time... it might have been me behind the wheel of the car that mutilated that motorcycle and its driver...

all of these thoughts as i'm driving slowly - confusedly - home, with police cars and fire trucks quietly speeding to the scene of the accident. i almost wished they were using their sirens; it was all too quiet and surreal. as i approached my final turn, the street light above me went out. this is nothing new to me; i've taken such things in my past as small omens and moved on. but last night... i thought, "ok, i'm paying attention!"

hopefully i can make a real change to my historically cranky, impatient, slightly aggressive driving habits... leave home a couple of minutes early so i'm not in a rush, acknowledge and then ignore the impulsive need to drive faster than everyone around me, take a deep breath and let go when stupid drivers do stupid things, and take that exit at a life-saving speed from now on.

i only swore once today on my 25-mile commute to work - that's major progress already!


this is how i speNt my weekeNd

my dear friend susan invited me to spend the 4th of july weekend with her in her "summer home" on lake ontario. little did she know that i would do nothing more that sleep in, read books, and drink vodka smoothies and wine. i must admit that i had been looking forward to some self-reflecting; however, i was even too lazy for that.


happy biRthday to me!

both the pittsburgh dates for Alegria and the first official photos from tim burton's Alice in Wonderland were released on (or near enough!) my birthday. tickets to Alegria will be my gift from the bf once they are on sale... awesome.

why i'm heRe

i recently received the following message from an elementary school friend:

"happy happy birthday, erin!this is so funny to have you really on my radar right now, because your attachment to the number 23 imprinted itself on my brain sufficiently that i often think of your birthday.cheers!!!!"

she does not lie. i've never realized before how much my little obsession (i prefer to call it quiet focus) has affected other's lives... and perhaps not that many, but it has clearly stuck a time or two. as with any other occurrence of the number 23, i took this message as a sign to get off my arse and just do this. we'll see how it goes!

update: not that this explains anything.