Sunday, January 16, 2011


Here in Georgia, we've had a week of snow and ice.  It's been awhile since it's been this bad, so bad in fact, that schools were closed all week, businesses didn't open, and cars were abandoned on the side of the road... everyone waiting for a big thaw, or nice rain, to wipe it all away.

During this time, I was able to have 3 days off work, much to my demise.  The first day was great, don't get me wrong.  It was just like being a kid in school, hearing that school was canceled due to the whim of a snow day... checking the social media sites and seeing that everyone had the same sort of kid-like excitement.  We went outside to play, took pictures, and reveled in the novelty of the first snow of 2011.  The second day was less fun, the thought that we might actually be "snowed-in" weighing heavily on our growing desire to get out of the house and explore the icy abyss.  The third day was even worse.  People were willing to put their safety on the line for a simple trip to the grocery store.  "Cabin fever" was sweeping the town, and social network sites were all alive with people "going crazy", "needing to get out of here", or "were walking to the gas station".  Yes, not even the threat of icy roads could keep us cooped up, and I have to admit, I didn't make it past day 2.  :)  By Day 4, many people had decided that the roads weren't that bad, that the snow piled up on the side of the road meant at least that it wasn't on the roads, and that if you drove slow enough, you could see the black ice coming.  We went to work, grocery stores opened, and life was able to move on... at least semi-sort-of-ly.  But it worked, and that was the relief.

Now, here it is Sunday, a full 7 days from when this all started, and I still see snow and ice when I look outside.  Sure, it's sparse and mostly limited to the shadows and those areas where the sun doesn't dare invade... but it's there nonetheless, and I still have to make sure my footing is stable when I open my car door.  A small price to pay for the ability to see white stuff on the ground for this long, I believe.

Anyways, all of this time at home has allowed me some quality time in front of the television, the computer, my ipod, and my Kindle.  I watched marathons of shows that I'd never seen, lost in their novelty and intrigued by their captivatingness, losing myself in them so much so that I want to see them again.  I listened to almost every song on my ipod, in shuffle setting, and have delighted in music's ability to "talk" to me.  Some songs that I didn't even see on the radar, reaching up and striking a chord so dense that it sends me reeling.  In a good way, of course.  And reading, reading to my heart's content!  And what's great is that I can highlight certain phrases or paragraphs when they say something that means anything to me.  I have to say, that's something I miss from college... reading to analyze and draw meaning, highlighter in hand, and brain on.  I enjoy the fact that I can still pursue that, and go back to "my clippings" for future analysis.

As I conclude, I have prepared 3 excerpts from my week that have stuck with me, and that I can go back to.
First, from Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" show on the Travel channel, this quote represents a snippet of his quality of writing and speech, that I find so intriguing.  I love to watch this man!  His monologues and introspective doddlings of his travels and thoughts, harken to a time where I myself tried to doddle in monolithic and introspective writing for the sake of pleasure... I know what I'm saying, and like to think that someone out there can understand what I'm saying.  :)  Anyways, Anthony was in Las Vegas, writing an article about Las Vegas chefs and basically the evolution of Las Vegas from kitschy and cheap restaurants to an actual mecca of world-class chefs and tasting experiences.  It seemed he was surprised.  I think I was a little less than.  Here goes.
  "It was a classic Thomas Keller improv, to undermine one's expectations and then exceed them."
He was talking about one of the Las Vegas chefs and his ability to literally undermine one's expectations and then exceed them, but when I heard this, I jumped up in search for a pen and paper.  I love this quote, but I think I love it because you can take out [Thomas Keller] and instead put [insert name here] and change the meaning and personality ever so slightly.  I imagine it with my name.
  "It was a classic Nancy improv, to undermine one's expectation and then exceed them."
The quote becomes more personal, and fitting, and for that reason, it is here.  It describes me and my outlook on life.  What is the use unless you keep getting better, and when it sneaks up on you, like this quote may suggest, I believe it is the most liberating of all!
Try it with your name... does it work?

Second, we'll go to the Kindle.  I love my Kindle!  I was unsure as to whether I would though do to the fact that holding an actual book is so magical, but holding a Kindle is just as magical, and easy... 
This quote is taken from Julie Kenner's "Aphrodite's Kiss".
  "Mildly mortified, she opened her mouth to say something, then shut it again when she realized her mouth wasn't too keen on sounding out vowels or consonants."  (highlight location 3442-43)
This quote spoke to me because I've been there, and I still will be.  It describes the classic case of speechlessness, but in a manner that gives credit to the mouth, as if the mouth could decide not to speak... there is no nod to the brain, and I think that's where the mystery is.  Who says the brain needs to have say anyways?

And third, music.  Man oh man has music been talking to me.  And it's more of the singer-songwriters type that I've come to love, more than anything.  Particularly Gavin DeGraw, Straylight Run, Tyler Hilton, KT Tunstall, etc.  Their moody melodies and from-the-heart words find my soul and speak.  They tell me what I'm going through and then laugh when they can't say anything to help.  They take my thoughts and make them theirs, and then put them back into my head, where they become mine.  They are excuses, and smiles, and mistakes, and they are beautiful.  I've known of Straylight Run for roughly 5 years now.  When I first discovered them, I gave them my due diligence, listening to the music, attaching to some of the lyrics, and delighting in the interplay of male vocal and female vocal.  Recently though, I've had the opportunity to listen to the lyrics, and they are wonderful.  Talks of hauntingly apparent personal situations and dilemmas that tickle my indie-rock desire and harken to a spot within me that's been hiding for awhile. 
"Sing me something soft,
Sad and delicate,
Or loud and out of key,
Sing me anything,
we're glad for what we've got,
Done with what we've lost
Our whole lives laid out right in front of us."
- Existentialism on Prom Night by Straylight Run
Let it ponder, of better yet, listen to it... it isn't the same without the vocals, and music.

So as I come to conclude this excerpt on this bright Sunday morning, I leave you to ponder, to dream, to listen, and above all, to observe.  Media has become a force of introspection that has taken observing to a new level, and since it is all around, you might as well make the most of it.

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