I love words. Here are some of my favorite ones ever spoken: “There will be an answer. Let it be. – The Beatles……....“I did it my way.” – Frank Sinatra…..…. “Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey……....“I read, much of the night, and go south for the winter.” – T.S. Eliot…….“Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.” – Woody Allen……….“All good books have one thing in common. They are truer than if they had actually happened.” – Ernest Hemingway……….“Would a journey not be worth taking if at the end of which, in the other world, we were delivered from all the pretend judges here? – Plato, Apology……….“You are my only love. You have me completely in your power. I know and feel that if I am to write anything noble and find in the future I shall do so only by listening at the doors of your heart.” – James Joyce to Nora……….“Basically I’m for whatever gets you through the night. But it prayer, tranquillizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra………. “He [Shakespeare] was not of an age, but for all time.” – Ben Janson in To My Beloved Master William Shakespeare………. “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. Year after year. Running over the same old ground, what have we found? The same old fears?” – Pink Floyd………. “We live as we dream. Alone.” – Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness……….”Yet now I must confess, that duty done, my thoughts and wishes bend again toward France.” – Shakespeare, Hamlet………. “I’ve always known myself, but he was the first one to recognize me. And the first to love what he saw.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre………. “There is only the fight to recover what has been lost. There is only the trying.” – T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets……… “The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth and a truth which is beauty, is the aim of both. Is not the charm of one of Plato’s or Aristotle’s definitions, strictly like that of Antigone of Sophocles?” – Ralph Waldo Emerson…… “The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the face of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.” – Marge Peircy………. “It’s a fierce game I’ve joined because its being played anyway, a game of both skill and chance, played against unseen adversary – the conditions of time—in which the payoffs, which may suddenly arrive in a blast of light at any moment, might as well come to me as anyone else.” – Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek………. “If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.” – Charlotte Bronte………. “All one has to do to be a writer is write. We’re writers only when we’re writing.” – Alan Shapiro

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

From South Dakota to South Boston

Well today marks the one year anniversary of my time spent in Boston, Massachusetts. I had hoped to keep up this blog better (I wonder of that type of sentiment isn’t one of the most common in the blogosphere). But, nonetheless here I am – ready to recount what was arguably the most exciting and scary year of my life.

September 2nd of 2009 was one of the worst days in my recent memory. Sick with the flu, sick with nostalgia and packing until 2 in the morning. These big risks seem like such a great idea. Months out. But that night, perhaps more aptly stated, that week I was regretting my decision. We’re talking more than my regret at not voting for John McCain. And my impending move was scarier than Obamacare too. But that’s another blog…

I’m trying to think back and find one moment in my last couple years when I decided to move. Can’t do it. Sure I could send applications to the East Coast, but that was the extent of my commitment. I guess even anxiety-ridden homebodies like me get the itch for adventure.

And adventure is what I’ve got. I’ve seen the blue of the Atlantic, the green of Fenway Park. I’ve visited the homes of Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I’ve seen Jude Law play Hamlet on Broadway. I’ve eaten lobsters in Maine. I’ve heard the Goo Goo Dolls sing “Maybe” on the Boston Waterfront. I’ve sailed that waterfront on a Harbor cruise with my Mom.

I used to just read Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Herman Melville. This year I would weekly find myself in the Boston Public Library’s Rare Books Room holding first editions of their books and even manuscripts of their now-iconic works-in-progress.

I’ve seen the colors change in New England’s fall. I’ve looked right in the face of Monet painting and in the same week crashed someone else’s college reunion with the most amazing friends anyone could hope for. I’ve done a cheers in “Cheers” and I’ve sat in the TD Garden and cheered for the Celtics.

And then there’s those random nights with great people a girl from South Dakota should never have met, bottles of wine, and talk of the meaning of life. Cheesy but true. Cheesy but treasured.

I’ve even done a little schoolwork too. Halfway through my Master’s degree I’ve clung to a 4.0 and this semester, believe it or not, they’re going to let me teach my very own college class.

For those of you keeping track of me (those kind enough to read my poor neglected blog) I appreciate it. The support of my friends and family has meant the world, or it’s meant at least half the country to me. Thanks for believing in me – arguably the last person that should be writing a blog like this. And for those of you who didn’t believe I could do it (and with good reason) I happily prove you wrong today.

Happy Anniversary to me.

It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had to squash my own bugs, ride and trust the subway, build every piece of furniture in my apartment. And, most importantly, I miss South Dakota all the time (especially now during political primary season).

I begin this school year with the best of intentions. Stay organized, don’t procrastinate, and above all else, blog. We’ll see how it goes.

For the record, I think it gets easier. 3:00 AM this year certainly was.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Elvis! Some West River Musings.

It’s not too often the stretch between Murdo and Rapid City provokes some profound revelation just begging for a blogger. I can't tell you how many times my family and I have driven west across the great state of South Dakota to visit some people we love, who just happen to live on the wrong side of the river ;) But, the trips get better as the kids get older I think. For the record, I'm the kid.

I'm the newly 24-year-old kid listening to my iPod and looking out the window. I don't know how I knew it was Elvis's birthday. Either Twitter or one of the few scratchy radio channels one can only find in this part of America.

Anyways, there it was, (in the words of Ace of Base) "I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes." Elvis's motorcycle was the in remote town we passed through probably just to get a burger. Could've been Kadkoa. But not that day.

So, this post lacks a real point except, "Here's to Elvis." Not only was he the King of Rock and Roll, but he has made me look forward to seeing the Murdo signs on 1-90.

What's everyone's favorite Elvis song? Here's mine:

"Are you lonesome tonight?
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day,
Wwhen I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you Lonesome tonight?

I wonder if you're lonesome tonight
You know someone said the world's stage
And each must play a part
And fate had me playing in love, you as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance.
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seem to change and you acted strange

And why, I'll never know
Honey you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you
But I rather go on hearing your lies than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won’t come back to me,
Then make them bring the curtain down.

Is your heart filled with pain?
Shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cheap Metaphors and Lessons Learned - PGA Tournament 2009

I’m not writing this article as a golf fan. Which I am.

I’m writing it as a fan of dreams-coming-true stories. And aren’t we all?

As one announcer said, “it ended with a Yang.” He must have been an English major. :)

Today was the 91st annual PGA golf tournament. I was in Hazeltine, Minnesota for all the final round action. As far as professional golf competitions go, I guess I always cheer for the underdog. These days it seems like everyone has decided Woods is going to win before a single ball is hit.

Today belonged to South Korea’s Y.E. Yang. Even the avid golf tournament viewer probably had never heard of him. I know I hadn’t.

This guy started the game when he was 19 years old. 19. That’s almost unheard of in this setting. He’s golfed for 15 years and just beat Tiger Woods in a Sunday round of a major tournament. Tiger won his first Major at 21. Yang got his first par at 22. That's just incredible.

But enough about golf.

It seems like with every year that passes, doors close for us. Without our permission. It seems like if you are going to be The Best at any given sport, instrument, or hobby—if you are going to compete with the Tiger Woods’s of the world-- you should either:

a) be a child prodigy, or
b) your parents had better have started you in class when you were 3.

Today I am reminded that isn’t true. Time doesn’t dictate what we can or cannot do. (WARNING: cheap, overused metaphors to follow.) The doors might be closed, but they’re not locked. And you just might have the key. That one is almost too cheesy to actually publish on a blog, but apparently I have no shame. And hey, just be thankful that I’m not going into a soapbox rant about how the “keys” are Attitude, Practice, etc . I’ll leave that to Hallmark.

Just try to remember that it’s not too late to be great at something you never thought you could do. Just ask Yang, Susan Boyle, or the newest lead singer of Journey.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

On Gambling

For some reason, this summer I have found myself at casinos quite frequently. Whether is a family crab-leg dinner, a vacation to Vegas or Deadwood, or just meeting up with a best friend on her trip home, I’ve had my share of the neon lights and bells the past few weeks. So, naturally, I now have a theory.

And is there a better place for life metaphors than a casino? They’re the metaphorical jackpot if you will. I mean think about it, where else will people pay money to waste their time? Actually there are a few recent concerts and movies I can think of, but I digress. My point is that you can tell a lot about a person by what they expect from a slot machine.

You have some people, like my dad, who expect to win. People who are borderline shocked when they don’t see a triple-7 all night. And then there are some people, like myself and my mom, who don’t really care to play, but when we do, we expect to lose. We play the game because it’s crazy and maybe there is a tiny part of us that thinks perhaps the world owes us something and Providence intends to make amends with 80 quarters. Then there are a rare few who come in with no expectations. (Wouldn’t it be nice if life worked that way? You wake up neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I wonder what a person could discover if they had a clean slate every day.) But no matter what we expect of the machine, we all pull the lever.

In the end, I’m a gambling pessimist. A pessimist who likes to have fun. So with slot machines—and with life—I guess I just bet the max until I hit zero all while trying to have a good time with good people.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Allen Wins Again

“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This, all that youth will give to you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment…is your life.”

I just wanted to share this great line. A great line quoted in a not-so-great movie: Unfaithful.

I’m no movie critic, and I won’t pretend to be one. But if you are looking for an excellent movie, with an eerily similar plot, watch Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors instead. I promise that will be worth your time. As is any Allen film.

Unlike Unfaithful, there are so many great lines in C & M that its nearly impossible to pick just one. But, here you go:

“It’s a fundamental difference in the way we view the world. You see it as harsh and empty of values and pitiless. But I couldn’t go on living if I didn’t think with all my heart there was a real moral structure with real meaning and forgiveness and some kind of higher power…otherwise there is no basis to know how to live.”
- Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Rat Pack

[When speaking of The Rat Pack] "You know they weren’t just singing a song, they were singing a lifestyle."
- Jamie Foxx (4/28/2009 American Idol)