Thursday, July 30, 2009

Depth Perception

I have this dichotomy within me. Maybe we all do...maybe it's normal. Maybe everyone feels like they could talk for seven years without pausing for breath, only to try and find that there is nowhere in particular to start. Maybe everyone wants the exact things that are worst for them, recklessly pursues dead ends, allows chasms in the most obvious friendships, and neglects the most important aspect of life for weeks at a time. Maybe everyone wakes up every so often and wonders where the past months have gone. Maybe everyone has danced that deceitful dance with Time, the one where she drags and drags and drags and drags, only to trick you into missing the days in between. Maybe everyone experiences this...or maybe it's just me.

This summer started as a blank slate. It was supposed to be a time of growth, a time of rest, a time to reconnect with certain things and people and disconnect from other things and people and have lots of new experiences and read voraciously and learn unabashedly... So why do I feel like I've wasted it? Why is my excitement to move back to the place where I belong and flourish tinged with sadness? Why do I live my life with such dedicated procrastination that as my months at home dwindle to weeks, which will inevitably dwindle to days, I suddenly feel rushed to squeeze four months of life into two weeks of time? Why can't I learn the lessons that have been repeating themselves for years now?

I define myself as a writer. I greet all life experiences and stages with open arms, as long as I have my writing to make sense of it later. I write to be known; I write so that people may know who I am. And yet, sometimes I write to conceal -- to conceal the truth, to conceal myself behind words that offer some semblance of protection. Still other times, I am so unsure of who I am that I am paralyzed and quite literally
cannot write; these are the hardest times. These are the times like this summer, when I am so consumed with boredom and confusion as to what I am doing with my life that writing seems an insurmountable task. It's not that I lack things to write about -- it's that I lack the means with which to make sense of any of it.

And so, here I go again. I wax philosophical about what I should have done, what I could have done, what I wish I had done. I lie in bed, contemplating the heaviness of this piece, and I have to sigh. All I do is ramble. I throw some big words in, mix in the parallel structure that is so idiosyncratic to my work now, and end with some hopeful little note about "next time"...and then what? What will I do when I wake up in the morning? Will I suddenly have the motivation to move through my day with purpose? Will I reawaken my resolve to
LIVE instead of just "live" like I have been all summer? I can't really answer that.

But I hope so. I really really hope so. Because tomorrow is a new day, a blank slate of its own. And I'm going to make the most of it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let's Set the Record Straight

I would just like to say that I am being severely misrepresented on a good friend's blog. I won't say names [Christine], but let it be known that despite my familial quirks and attention-seeking tendencies, I am not as weird as she makes me out to be. Not only that, but I would like to argue that SHE, in fact, is the odd one.

Let me back up and explain. Christine moved in with my family a few weeks ago, and it has been wonderful. She fits in perfectly with Shelby and Taylor and I, and the four of us have an awesome time together. Most days I just look at her and I am so grateful that she lives with me -- it has brought us closer as friends and I love the way our relationship is growing.

I also love having her here, because it gives me an interesting outside perspective on the life that I've always taken for granted. I think that I have a pretty good grasp on how unusually close knit and fun my extended family is, but now I see it through Christine's eyes, and I will be the first to say it: we're crazy. I mean, personally, I find us hilarious and highly entertaining, but we're crazy nonetheless.

Christine has taken to documenting this on her own blog, dedicated completely to the insanity that is the Crookston household/Creamer family traits. For the most part, I absolutely love this thing -- first of all, Christine is a good writer and it's very well done. Secondly, who doesn't love to read about themselves? I'm just being honest... Also, it's like she's journaling for me, so when it's October and I'm lamenting the loss of summer, I can simply read this and smile. What's more, it makes me laugh a lot. The things that she write about are hilarious and fun the first time around, but reading her succinct versions make it even better.

But for now, I am done singing the praises of the enemy. As you can see by her Day 22 and Day 23 posts, she is making me out to be a crazy person. Just because we went around Portage and I pretended to be engaged in a few different stores does not mean I'm weird. And plenty of people bobsled race on their kitchen counter. And Camp Crookston is surely a normal thing. Truly, I have no words for the deep betrayel I feel in my heart. I mean, come on! I'm just trying to help Christine plan for her impending engagement. Someone needs to think about details. And to be fair, she got on the counter first tonight...and suddenly we found ourselves "racing bobsleds." We have active imaginations, okay??

I really don't have anything to complain about. I'm just rambling. It's just that when I told Christine that she was making me sound like a delusional wannabe bridezilla who was living vicariously through one of her best friends, she just laughed and said, "Start a counterblog." Which got me thinking -- I already have a blog! I'll just use that one!! So this is me, sticking out my tongue at Christine and saying, "Haha! I have a blog too. Na na na boo boo."

Also, I won that bobsled race. Even though we weren't moving. I definitely took the lead around that last "left" turn. So there. I'm over it.

The Shiny Guy ALWAYS Worries.

Confession: I am a closet Star Wars nerd.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry -- please don't judge me. It's nothing like Shelby's frenetic obsession with Lord of the Rings, but I just love it. As a self-proclaimed movie snob, this is hard to stomach; admittedly, the acting is horrible. I mean, if one more character says some variation of "I have a bad feeling about this..." as Storm Troopers loom near or else they tell some unlikely protagonist that they are the "only hope" for salvation from certain doom, I might kick my TV. Literally. I will get off of my couch, walk to my TV, and kick it. Oh, and those graphics in the original trilogy? Hilarious. But regardless -- there is something about it that I just absolutely love.

Maybe it's the sentimental history that I have with the movies. I have this weird quirk about me where I remember a ton of really distinct details about certain events...Shelby gets really creeped out by it. I don't know why some memories stick so strongly whereas others don't, but it happens. Anyway, one of my absolute favorite childhood memories happened when I was in third or fourth grade. It was a summer night, a Sunday, I think, and I was sitting in the basement of my old house. The lights were off, but the dying sun shone threw the windows that were near the ceiling. The basement was the coolest place in the house, and I was practicing the piano down there. Even though I had never seen the movies, I was learning the iconic Star Wars theme song; I think that Episode 1 was set to be released soon. Anyway, I ran through it a time or two before my dad literally bounded down the stairs. "Is that Star Wars?!" he asked, excited. I shrugged.

"Yeah," I said.

"Get in the van!" he shouted.

Minutes later, my brothers and sister and I were piled in that old white van, speeding toward Blockbuster to rent the trilogy. We stopped at the McDonalds drivethru and got cheeseburgers and went back to the basement, where my father introduced us to that galaxy far far away.

Ever since then, I have loved the franchise. I loved it when the first three episodes came out...I have a similar memory of a late night movie theatre adventure [it was Father's Day, Payne Stewart won the US open that day, and after Daddy watched that, we went to a late show of Episode 1 at M-89 Cinema, Drue's friend AJ was with us, and I literally thought it was the coolest thing in the world that ours was one of the only cars left in the parking lot after the movie, plus I was with AJ. Like, omigosh.] I loved collecting the Mountain Dew cans with all of the characters on it. I loved that it gave Drue and I something in common.

What's more, I just love the story. And I love Harrison Ford. And I love the genius and creativity that went into making the movies. They are so weird and stupid and yet incredible... it's all about the oxymoron. Needless to say, then, when I went to Blockbuster on my own last weekend and rented, ahem, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Usual Suspects, and The Music Man, it was all about the oxymoron. Also a given, once I watched a single episode, I needed to watch the rest. That's why Shelby and I snuck out of the house, got McDonalds, and locked ourselves in our bedroom with the original trilogy. We have traditions surrounding those movies. The result? Bliss. Han Solo, love I do. Luke, creepier and creepier gets.

Anyway, I just felt the need to confess this to you. I'm not this type of girl -- I don't think many people would peg me as a major Star Wars fan. And in my defense, it's not like I'm hoarding plastic lightsabers under my bed or that I sleep in Chewbaca boxers or anything...I just have a healthy appreciation for fantasy worlds and nostalgia.

Oh, and this little girl. She makes my life and drives me crazy to watch one of the movies everytime I see her. Also, she makes me want to have a baby right now and name her Padme or Yoda or Lando or something equally ridiculous, but that is neither here nor there. Please please please please please please watch this. Then rent A New Hope. Then try to tell me you're not in love with George Lucas for gracing everyone with such a lovely gift. Just try. I dare you.