More paragraphs than I planned on.

When we were kids, my friend Rebecca and I used to write stories together and read stories together and do basically everything together. Beck had those mildly gruesome little “Scary Stories to Read in the Dark” books, which I was always a little jealous of, because I probably wasn’t allowed to have them. We would take the instruction quite literally and look for somewhere dark, or semi-dark, to read them, like a tool shed in the back yard, which, with bright daylight peeking through the door, was just the right amount of scary for me. (If we had only known at the time that a teenage boy had murdered his entire family in her kitchen and living room just 40 years earlier! True story!)

I don’t know what prompted me, but I was thinking about this the other day, about when we used to read these stories to each other. Whenever it was Rebecca’s turn to read I would follow along with her over her shoulder and correct any time she read a word wrong or misinterpreted a particular mark of punctuation. Pretty much I must have been completely annoying! I could pick much more amusing stories from this friendship to write about, could in fact probably fill a book of memoirs-turned-blockbuster movie, but like I said, this ritualistic scary-story-reading is what most recently came to my mind.

And anyway, I just remembered what had sparked that memory. Last night Rachel and Molly and I went to see Holly play a show at IQs, which was great except for the smoke (Madison, my lungs and I love you for being smoke-free… Green Bay, get a clue!) One of Holly’s songs has a line about a toy drum, which made me think of that scary story with the toy drum and the gypsy girl and the woman with the glass eye… I remember reading that story with Rebecca and then a few years later hearing the very same story plagerized by some girl in the class above me, trying to pass it off as her own. Can you imagine? Trying to plagerize a classic like “Scary Stories to Read in the Dark”? Is nothing sacred anymore?

My family and I went to see the movie Marley & Me today. I was surprisingly engaged by it, and so, it seems, were all of the little kids in the theater who were sobbing. I cried a little too – partly because I could feel my mom’s tender heart breaking in the seat next to me. I don’t know if anyone loves animals more than she does.

Friday night I was at Holly’s birthday party and got to hang out with a 3 year old princess.  Really, she had two separate princess gowns along with her. She is my friend now. We played magic carpet ride and sinking ship and fort and when we got hungry we ate Holly (“Come here, you Lunch!”) Anyway, it was good for me. I wasn’t sure if I liked kids too much, but my new 3 year old friend proved that I do, or at least that I can.

On Christmas day my family went to stay at my dad’s cabin on the Wolf River. While we were there we watched Alone in the Wilderness, and I was reminded of how attractive it is for a man to know how to build things. I first realized this when I watched The Notebook with Laura and remarked that, “There is nothing sexier than a man who builds a house for the woman he loves!” So anyway, I’ve decided that my dream man will have the skills to build a cabin with his bare hands (and okay, a few tools). He will also play guitar and be kind to animals. There are at least 100 other qualifiers on this list, you can inquire to hear the rest of them.

While we were at the cabin the snow was everywhere and terribly beautiful. My dad has cross country skis and snow shoes hanging on the walls and for the first time in many years I actually felt some desire to go outside in the winterland and participate in some form of sport. Trust me, this is a new development. Being so new, I did not act on it, but I really think I might try some outdoor activities this winter. Considering how winter is just getting started! Don’t tell anyone, but as my family and I were driving through the state this week I said, with my eyes fixated on the gray and white landscape surrounding us, “I like winter.” Who am I? I tried explaining to my mom my theory that winter is the perfect climate for humans to exist (as the miserable beings that we are) and she thought it was kind of depressing. But kind of true?

We visited the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau and checked out the tromp l’oeil exhibit and the illustrated letters exhibit. The latter really inspired me to start writing letters again, and to do so creatively. That was the fun part of a long distance relationship, but of course letter-writing can happen between friends and family as well. I won’t make it an official goal, but maybe in 2009 I’ll do a bit more of this.

Hey, I just made two new friends. They are great. They are characters in my story. I mean, that is the only place that they exist. Is that weird? I brought my sketchbooks along with me this weekend thinking that I’d have a lot of time to get some pages filled. Well, I did have the time, but I am learning that I can’t write when there are people around, or even the option of being around people. So progress has been limited, but I still hope to have my designated chapter finished by the end of this month.

This has been a terrible summary of the past week… it is not chronological, it is not exhaustive, it is hardly descriptive. But considering that I just sat down as a matter of self-discipline and forced myself to start writing I’d say it’s not so bad after all.

2009 is going to be a big year…

Advertisements

Maybe I’ll make the 2015 list?

In case you’re interested, NPR has chosen the best graphic novels of 2008.  My brother saw me looking at these and said, “Is that your competition?” Sure, it’s my competition in the way that a kid who tosses the football with Dad is competing against Brett Favre.  But hey, Tony Romo grew up watching Brett Favre, and look at them both now!  Sorry to carry the football analogy so far.  It is Sunday. Anyway.  Go graphic novels, yeah!

Overdue: Books and le printemps.

I’ve given up on reading C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy. There are too many obscure Classical references, and my thumbs have gotten tired from checking every archaic word that no longer exists in the dictionary. Plus the second due date is approaching (I’ve already renewed) and if I don’t get halfway through a book in a month and a half it’s just not going to happen. It’s a pity–I think that somewhere in that book was something I would be wise to read.

Speaking of books I’ll never finish, I picked up three more from the thrift store on Saturday. Three (short stories) by Flannery O’Connor, The Comedians by Graham Greene, and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Well, I’m sure I’ll finish that last one at some point, but it doesn’t count since I’ve read it before. No repeats! Books shmooks. I admire my friends who can sit down and finish one (or ten), because I can’t seem to muster the attention.

Unrelated, I know we aren’t supposed to apply the word “love” to inanimate objects because it cheapens the emotion, but I just can’t help it: I love our deck! Now that it’s finally gotten warmer outside and the leaves are pushing out of their buds and the neighborhood is coming back to life, I’ve been struck by an incurable bout of spring fever. And there is no better place to suffer through this malady than on our deck. Really. I love it. I do.

(A note: Last year Spring Fever was Jenny Lewis. This year it is Belle and Sebastian. Roll down your windows and listen.)

(Another note, upon second reading: I really grabbed from the standard stock of transitions in this post, didn’t I?  It reads like something I would have blogged four years ago.  Cute, in some ways.  But there, wait, am I becoming a snob?)

If I weren’t so sleepy I’d title this.

Yesterday I learned that I will be having an art show, my first in Madison. I think it goes without saying, but in case it doesn’t, I am pretty excited about this. And right on the tails of my recent announcement that I was retiring from the arts (a declaration I retracted before I heard about this art show, for the record)! So there is the good news, and now for the slightly panic-inducing news, this art show is to take place in the fine month of April, that is to say two weeks from now, that is to say very very soon. That is to say, I have my work cut out for me and let this serve as the regulation disclaimer that I may not be able to write as much here over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, in between painting breaks today I stopped by the library, as I recently had to return my previous selections (of which I finished only one, Lauren Winner’s, and a couple stories by Capote and Sedaris. As for the Jim Wallis book, I never even cracked it open!). Today I gravitated back toward the graphic novel section and a funny thing happened. I had picked up two books, one by Daniel Clowes and another by Adrian Tomine, and I guess if you’re not familiar with graphic novels they are two of the big shots, and anyway, I couldn’t do it. Normally I love reading those things, but I couldn’t check them out, or any graphic novels for that matter, because they are all so dang depressing. It seems to me like a lot of comic artists feel that to really establish themselves as legitimate adult artists they need to lay on the drugs and profanity and nudity real heavy. Which is no different than your average movie, I guess, but for some reason today it just struck me as really unappealing. So instead? I checked out two books by a couple of pals of mine (at least in my imagination they are my pals), C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle, both stories about their respective conversions to the Christian faith. I haven’t read anything by L’Engle since A Wrinkle In Time so I am pretty curious about this one.

Well, in other news of the creative variety, I made a song today. Maybe you would like to hear it? It’s called “Door Mat” and it can be found here. Here are the words, if you are interested in that kind of thing:

Door Mat

If it’s a doormat you’re looking for
I think I’ve got one more for you
Right here in storage
And there’s no need to keep it clean
Go on and wipe your feet
And make your joy complete.

For you will get mud on your shoes
And anyone would blame you
When you get their carpet dirty.
And everyone swore you’d been here before
I guess I missed you that day
But I saw your footprints anyway.

Chorus/psychedelic musical interlude

You have dirty soles and the doormat wants to make you whole
He wants to clean them, can you believe him?
You have a dirty sole and the doormat wants to make you whole
He wants to clean it, can you believe it?

Chorus again.

I don’t think that enough songs get written about doormats, anyway. Also, I finally put up the gem of a cover that my friend Laura and I recorded one night when she was visiting. It’s Little Boxes, also on the Family Band page. You will never hear two girls strain so much to hit the high notes! Well, in case you are worried that I spent my whole day working on songs instead of painting, do not worry because I painted also. I love Saturdays :)

Reading and writing can be so exciting, come in, this text is inviting.

The nice thing about libraries is you can pick out a book, take it home without paying for it, read it, bring it back, and pick out another one. Did you know that’s how libraries work? It so neat! I recently checked out a small collection of books that I probably should have just gone ahead and purchased, because I’m sure I won’t finish them before they are due and furthermore I’ll probably wish I owned them once I do read them, books by David Sedaris, Truman Capote, Jim Wallis, and Lauren Winner. Assuming that I’ll probably only finish one of these books in the month that they are in my possession, I decided to start by reading Lauren Winner’s book: Real Sex – The Naked Truth About Chastity. Yowz! It may be the first time I’ve used the s-word in this PG rated blog! Anyway, it’s good, and without creeping into my personal life here I’ll say that it offers a lot of relevant wisdom (particularly to Christ-following singles) and a dose of humbling intellectualism (to anyone who once thought herself smart. Mostly I just envy Winner’s vocabulary.)

I’ve put a few more posts into the All Star section. It is a little bit embarassing to dig through the old blogs like this, there really isn’t much of value. It is also a little alarming, at times, like when I came across a post I wrote in May of 2006 about the man who would become my boyfriend 11 months later, and my ex-boyfriend five months after that. Maybe somewhere along the way I have already written about the man who will one day be my husband, who knows? Blogs can really make your head spin, man. They are a time capsule. Get one.

  • Subscribe, y'alls!
    Breena Wiederhoeft
  • Categories

  • Blog Stats

    • 35,951 hits