Sunday, December 30, 2007

cherry. mango. lettuce. March.

What a crazy night...and in my new usual state, I'm too tired to truly document it. In unjust brevity, The Roommate and I honored Saturday night with what was intended to be a short trip to grab dinner then come back to the apartment to endure a low-key evening doing whatever it is that we do to occupy time. We ordered, then ate, and as we neared the end of our dining experience, a group of several other 20-somethings sat among us at the community "high top", thus including us in the conversation enveloping the circumstantial end of our table. It was someones birthday, and the party-goers were friendly. At some point we were invited over for cake following dinner, and in a moment of delightful spontaneity, we went. As I relayed the night's plans through a giggle-riddled phone call, "we were picked up by a birthday party and would be going back for cake."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Home is...not Memphis.

I said I'd post the back-logs, but I ended up journaling most of them. I'd recap the 4 days of holiday "bliss," if I wasn't exhausted just thinking about mentally reliving them. I saw some friends and family. I ate some good tasting, but not good for you Southern food. I wore skinny jeans and silver pumps to Christmas Eve's festivities. I received my grandmother's wedding set for the possible event of its [very future] intended use, and a fancy GPS, and some books, and lotion. I saw three movies. Drank one beer and two glasses of bubbly. And received 2 birthday presents a month early because my parents...I don't even know.

And it rained.

I'm glad to be home.

2007 December 23

The holiday festivities have officially begun. The Staff Sergeant and I swapped gifts last night, and this afternoon I carried him to the airport and with a quick kiss and “goodbye” he was headed home. I drove away and turned south to undertake my homeward journey, as well. I noticed the unusual volume of traffic, those kindred travelers also lured by tradition/obligation [and the promise of gifts], the sinking sun and the glowing blaze of whatever lies beyond the downward curve of the horizon…and the silhouettes of rolling hills lost in the shadows of such fiery effects.

I wondered if they [travelers] had families that felt like family. If they anticipated Christmas as Christmas had always been, or if maybe this year would be different for them also. I considered the ways my parents might try to overcompensate for the awkwardness of this first jostled season…and then let myself momentarily dwell on the reality of the thing.


I’m here now. I made it safely to Mom’s lake house. The water has been drained for Winter, leaving her lake-front property to boast only the undesirable view of a swampy, mud hole. Her man-friend is amiable as usual, making it impossible to dislike him on any justifiable grounds, and to perplex my unreasonable feelings even more, he gifted me with money – in a larger than appropriate sum. What do you do with that? Much less, how does one respond? He’s asleep upstairs “on the couch,” and I’m too worn down by the cacophony of holiday madness to really care.

Backing up, I don’t want to let last night’s lack of Christmas insanity to go undocumented: I received another pair of shoes that I had fancied but decided to bypass for at least a third time since first spotting them. They are small athletic-inspired shoes, the kind you’d wear beneath a pair of jeans with a cozy hoodie on a casual and comfortable day. In addition to footwear, I received the newest Post-Secret book to stand in for Cindy Sherman's Complete Untitled Film Stills that is en route amid the many other holiday gifts employing warehouses and delivery trucks across the nation. And he wrote me account of his 22nd birthday. [He's an incredible writer, and this was my favorite gift of all.]

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I wish that this was my photograph and that it looked like this here, but alas, Southern Christmas's rarely see snow. In fact, I have witnessed one in my lifetime.
I'm borrowing Dad's computer to check e-mail and such, and am back-logging blogs on my iBook. Once all of the holiday chaos dies down, expect a slew of new posts. I hope everyone is well and having a more merry season than mine with divorcing parents. I'm ready for Christmas to be just seems to have lost all of it's magic this year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

new shoes, old friends, and all the middle parts, too.

I don't have anything really eloquent to log tonight, just some catching up, I guess. I've been sick...with some delightful bug I was awarded for demanding kisses even when The Staff Sergeant was feeling under the weather. "I never get colds," I assured him, "only sinus infections!" Famous last words, my friends, famous last words.

It really hit me about 2 days ago and was swiftly accompanied by an indisguisable hacking cough that wore my throat raw and kept everyone awake. The peak of distress arrived last night when my boss told me to go home and the thermometer declared a low-grade fever. I don't do sick so well so I regressed, like all pitiful princesses do when germs plague their bodies, to a mental age of about 5 - the please-hold-me stage of life. Thankfully, today was my day off so I didn't need to report to anyone, anywhere and I rested and slowly moved through morning glory muffins with Republic of Tea, and tried to watch the Today show [but was thwarted by Bush's speech]. I ran some errands and started cleaning house, did some much needed laundry, and eventually met The Staff Sergeant for some quality shoe shopping [an interactive Christmas gift]. My new kicks are Asics, pink and gray ones at that. They're to hopefully make working out less painful on my feet, and less dreaded of an activity...and they are pink!

Also today, I bought my first pair of skinny jeans. I feel that they constrict my ankles, but I'm told I'll get used to it...

On a more meaningful note, I saw an old high school friend as she is in town to take care of an aunt who isn't well. We had coffee and time to catch up, and tomorrow another of my long-lost comrades from days gone by will be passing through on her way to see family. She's an army wife and we haven't seen each other since the wedding [2 years ago]. It mystifies and fascinates me to think back almost 10 years when both of these girls crossed my path, and to observe how wholly different we are from that freshman year in high school. It's good to know they're there, those bonds that survive.

With that, as my roommate urges the consumption of wine and the dryer's buzzer notes the end of another cycle, I'm finished.

Good night all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Hazy Shade of Winter

I wish I could have captured the frost-laden hill, yellow with the casualty of summer's foliage, rising to the crest of skeletal trees, set before the glowing orange of day-break. It was gorgeous in its wintry nature. I'm glad another season has taken up residency here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

[a title escapes me]

Sitting over finished plates, I may have haphazardly blurred the lines between overeager and curious...and again in the darkness of the cab, walking into the bar, and once more before the strike of midnight [for good measure].


I've learned a lot about myself in the last year. One of the traits that I have become glaringly aware of is my increasingly feverish battle with impatience [among other things]. It's very hard for me to find contentment in waiting for answers. If I can't know all of something, all of the depths of a thing, I claw and pry at it until it is either unearthed fully or the subject, worn ragged, refuses more. Another exhausting element of me is this planning...this compulsive, driving need to control uncontrollable things. The world is far too large for me to pocket and far too wild to govern, yet I all too often forget.

As though I were perched high atop Olympus, myself, I pretend to conduct the symphony of my fate. I am not a methodical person bound to definite routines, but I am unfaltering in my attempts to script the big picture...

I worked as a nanny when I first got back from Virginia. Once Spring returned I would take the kids to play at the park. One occasion left me sans baby and free to participate in the games of small children. Swinging was the preferred grounds for fun and I settled into the vinyl harness suspended by chains. I was a fearless kid and the recognition from days gone by prompted me to lean back, far back until tip-toes were the only anchor keeping me from the pendulum pull of gravity. And I let go, and the air rushed past my skin, and my babes giggled on either side of me, and I pumped my legs back and forth in search of the freedom this experience once provided. Only the higher I went, the more my stomach lurched, the more distant my swing carried me from the rubbered ground, the more quickly my heart pounded in my chest.

When I was a fearless child, I didn't know what the violent landing following a fall would feel like. I'd hear of broken arms and scraped knees, but I would successfully dismount or in a practical moment, I might slow the vessel and walk quietly from it's previous thrill. This day, swinging caused more panic than delight and I drove my feet into the ground.

It's funny how things change and how we compensate for the lessons learned. I know that falling hurts and that it can be prevented by staying planted on the playground surface. I know that trusting the natural course of life [of relationships] renders a person vulnerable, and that vulnerability breeds an array of possibilities.

In the cold darkness of new winter he says, "happiness isn't defined by [marriage reference] and picket fences."

No, I suppose it resides in the veins of trusting the unknown and living despite the probable event of scraped knees and broken arms. It must be living around the fear of failure, and a phenomenon more fundamental than plans.

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.*

* quote by Dorothy Thompson

Sunday, December 16, 2007

the stitchin' bitch [sans yarn]

I blogged the other [early] morning about my 4am cooking and sewing antics, and posted some pics of the apple butter I canned for gifts. Being that my mind was tired and not fully revived from the final-exam Brain Melt, and maybe an issue of patience, I'll now finally give you some visuals of the other domestic project:

The Stocking

I am quite confident in some of my domestic qualities, others I am just not well versed in...sewing is one of them. I can take up a pair of pants and sew a mean, 2-sided throw pillow, curtains, and once I managed to semi-successfully craft a roman shade. But overall, my abilities are enough to get by [and that's where it stops]. Feeling inspired, I challenged myself to thread together a digital print stocking for The Staff Sergeant. I cut it all out, pinned it together, and stitched the sides...

...except it was too small for anything to fit within its pouch. SOOOOO, I ripped the seam and fashioned a 1.5 inch ribbon of fabric to add some room between the stocking's front and back panels [kinda like you'd make a chair cushion].

And that solved the problem.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Like 'Butta 'butta.

Oh, the carnage!

Little neked apples

chopped and boilin'

So close, you can almost taste it!

...and if you were here, you could hear their lids a poppin'

...and now it's 4:48am, and I've shopped, sewed and cooked to my heart's content. At least I don't lack motivation in some areas of life!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Buckle down, my friends...

Free time = volumes of posts.

...and your cups runneth over, I'm sure.

Quickly, then I'm off to bed, for I failed to mention my disoriented, sleep deprived mind. A friend told me about the personal, political, and provocative Sun Magazine [did I mention, ad-free?]

No, no kick-backs.

It's a writing 'zine about...well, lots of stuff, I think. I haven't been able to run one down or dedicate time enough to really scope it out online, but there is a reader's writing section based on monthly prompts. January's is, understandably, "now or never."

...and I'm stumped. I've got a whole lot of nothing. I can write for days about a haircut or muffins, but give me something substantial and broad and I choke. I've always been that way.

now or never

now or never

now or never...

Thursday's child has far to go

The semester is officially concluded, and not a moment too soon. Finals Week was beginning to make me miss real clothes, contacts, and recently washed hair.

And order.

I will confess, that in this moment, my entire life rests in the boughs of absolute disarray. My room, unspeakable. The kitchen table...wait, does it still exist beneath the mounds of text books, junk mail, and Christmas paper?

Holy man...

Thursday marks a 12 hour lock-down. No one leaves the apartment until it is certain, beyond a possible doubt, that if the health department showed up for high tea, they wouldn't leave behind boarded windows and caution tape having marked the unit "condemned". [and by "no one," I mean me.]

Thursday I'll shake off the Domestic Goddess persona and put her back to work...the Student is on hiatus, I tell you. There's more cleaning to be done than can possibly be accomplished in a day, and Christmas cards to write and send, and apple butter to can for gifts, and laundry to complete. I'll do it all to the tune of old holiday hits, and the apartment will smell more like a home than a college pad. It will be a magnificent day...oh, except for that hour I promised for GRE studying at The Bucks. Well, the student is sort of on a break...

Monday, December 10, 2007

For the love of muffins...

Once upon a time I had an idea mostly attributed to an adorable heart-shaped muffin pan which I stumbled upon in Target's coveted dollar department.

[Yes, the strategic placement dupes even us aware consumers.]

It was bright red and a novel little thing, nestled among a slew of other pink and red Valentine's day paraphernalia*. At only a dollar, buyers remorse was relinquished and I reveled in my [theoretical] bargain. I'm not really sure why, or what specifically got me thinking...perhaps in a dream, "Love Muffins" came to me...and the thought of a muffin-of-the-month club. I recognize that this may, very well, be the most absurd entrepreneurial thought that has ever been launched into the world, and so only a brief consideration lingered with it's precious little name before being lost in the bustle of being yet again single and re-settling.

Following the muffin brevity, I relied on the sustenance of Lean Cuisines and peanut butter sandwiches...nothing inspiring to the culinary soul. But recently, a number of forces have shifted me back into the comfort of cooking, and as though I had run into an old friend, the name came back to me.

I'm still not clear about much more than the name and that muffins would be an inherent piece of the concept. Maybe it really is a foolish consideration. It just seems that muffins delivered by mail might cause a smile, even if only for a moment. And I guess, in my naive bubble of attempted world redemption, that simple goal seems so very attainable in a myriad of impossibilities.

So...if there was such a thing as "Love Muffins," would your interest be piqued?

*read as cheap crap

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Love is prying open a quivering eye.

I awake to a weepy, burning in the right eye, which I can only assume to be a result of an apparent mid-night ocular trauma. Dismissing my situation as a mere inconvenience, I attempt to ignore my fist's compulsive draw to rub away the unfamiliar pain. It only takes a short while and an abundance of whining to reveal that this minor injury is just irritating enough to cripple my enjoyment of the day, so The Staff Sergeant and I go in search of some form of relief...



Let it be known that this is one thing I cannot willingly endure without restraint and forceful aid. Because of this shortcoming, he holds me down to apply the dosage on several different occasions with several clever tactics. My favorite, the sneak attack. He distracts my dreadful anticipation with a series of kisses before quicklypullingbackmyflinchinglids to dribble in a hefty dose of Visine. I claw a little at the sofa beneath me and think of the 100 more painful events I would rather undergo than this eye-drop antipathy.

[I'm fully aware of my foolishness]

Friday, December 7, 2007


"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?'"
- Eve Merriam

Sometimes I'm just not sure how to free my thoughts, or rather I fear the result.

[ I don't.]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

an extention of thanks

Having joyfully exceeded 1,000 visitors since August 23rd, I'd like to take a moment to say hello to a few of my anonymous, but devoted readers. I'm not sure what it is exactly that keeps you coming back, but I'm SO glad to have somewhat captivated your attention. Knowing that you are reading makes the whole thing worthwhile and keeps me hopeful that a higher degree in writing might not be so crazy of a plan :)

Gratitude for The Unknowns:
Sacramento, CA
Strawberry Plains, TN
Memphis, perplexes me daily that I cannot figure out who you might be.
Loveland, CO
Knoxville, TN...attending UTK.
Los Angeles, CA

...and a few whose identities are not so mysterious [to me]:
Radford, VA
Milwaukee, WI
Clarksville, TN
Franklin, TN

I love your company and greatly appreciate the few minutes you give to Afloat in a Lonely Sound. I look forward to 1,000 more hits :)

Oh, and don't be afraid to leave comments [you can do so just as anonymously as you view the content]!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some words [to go with photos]

I don't have much time, but I wanted to write some words to correspond with the slew of photos that were posted to mark events. Sunday was possibly the most polarized day I will ever spend on earth. The afternoon was dedicated to a lesson in shooting. The Staff Sergeant commended my abilities, although I'm still not certain that he doesn't have to compliment his girlfriend...especially when she's armed :) I was proud of myself both for aiming and hitting the target in accordance [kind of], and also for braving the unknown. I'm a girly-girl to the core, but Sunday afternoon I shelved the princess tiara for ear and eye protection and pretended for an hour or so that I was someone else. It was nice break.

The evening brought me back to my usual self in a kind of overdrive. A friend of mine, whose boyfriend is also in the army and in Iraq, came over to spend the evening [and into the morning] baking more cookies than my kitchen has certainly ever seen at once. It's funny how loving one suddenly makes you susceptible to caring about them all. The least we could do was bake and ice and sprinkle a few pieces of home [200+ cookies]. Cumulatively, we catered to 68 troops...all of her boyfriend's platoon and my adopted soldiers [plus 20]. While I am lucky [lucky, lucky, lucky] to have The Staff Sergeant here, I've befriended or renewed friendships with a couple of girls who love their guys despite the divide. It's a different kind of commitment with different kinds of trials, and I'm awed often at their strength. I hope when my time comes I can be half as tenacious as they are. Because we could and because we love our two soldiers, we baked to keep vigil. I cannot ever do more than imagine what it's like to be at war for Christmas, but I'd like to think that a humble token of sugar cookies and the knowledge that someone blocked out time and energy just for me, because I was [at war] would at least make me smile. And even I know that sometimes that's enough.

Monday, December 3, 2007

holiday love.

Care packages soon to be en route.

[Christmas] cookies are love.

Like diamonds in the sky.

How lovely are your branches!

Cookies for the Army, or an army of cookies...?

I'll leave you with that to ponder.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happiness is a warm gun.

I'm hardcore.
You have no idea.

[note super bad-ass Starbucks coffee...]