Thursday, July 31, 2014

Show and Tell: Melody

Mel wrote a sweet post about her best friend, Shelby, and it got me thinking about the important people in my life. Do I do enough for them? Am I enough for them? The answer almost always is "no," but I try my best. And from miles and miles away, I still try. The only downside to being miles and miles away is that it's now even harder to keep up with each other's schedules and know when it's appropriate to call or setup Skype dates. Time zone differences are the worst. But I do my best, even on days where I would really rather not talk to anyone and just relax to myself. And if I'm not physically reaching out, I'm always thinking about them.

I used to have a friend who I had known since he left his mother's womb, much like Shelby is to Mel. Unfortunately, we don't speak anymore. Since then, I've had friends come and go--as they all do as we grow. Sometimes it was hard, and sometimes it was easier than expected. But throughout all of those tough times, I have had one friend who has constantly stood by my side no matter what comes my way, her way or our way. Melody has been that friend since we were 10 years old. It's hard to believe that sometimes. I will have known her for 14 years by fall. (I wish I had pictures of us from our fifth grade days.)

Melody's seen me go through so much, and I've been by her side through her worst. It's nice to know that we have each other and can rely on each other. We may not have a lot of photographs from that time (or maybe she's just hoarding them), but at least we have these memories from high school until college that carry us through. They are probably our golden years in our friendship, anyway. Hopefully we'll be saying that about each new decade as it comes, though.

What I do know about Melody: Melody has no shame in anything she likes, and that's something I've always admired. Sometimes, I feel as if I spend too much time worrying and too much time trying to decide if what I'm doing is something I should say I am proud of. She doesn't care.

We share a love of writing and reading and both love editing--those passions have brought us closer over time.

Her favorite color is red, and always has been--or rather she does love that color in combination with black--but now she seems to have fallen more for greens and purples--which she looks great in all. She has always lived a "villain appreciation life," and we both often find ourselves loving black comedies, villains, satire and other dark humor more so than anything else.

She has one of the biggest hearts you will ever meet, and when she decides she cares for someone or something, she cares about them with all of her might. I have only had the privilege of seeing her cry on a few occasions, whereas she has seen me do it even more. And I say "privilege" not because I wish for her to endure any sort of pain, but because I have been there and have carried her when she has felt her most vulnerable and had to bear all she had. Even with a heart as big as hers, it can only carry so much at a time. She has a loud laugh and big smile--and they're both infectious. The more I'm around her, the louder my laugh becomes.

1. How did we meet? I met this loser in Mrs. Wimberley’s 5th grade class. To be fair, it was the Pokemon/DBZ/Sailor Moon era, so pretty much everyone in our class was a loser, but this loser in particular always talked to me when I screamed at her about the latest episodes or whatnot. Granted, her responses were kind of noncommittal, but that only encouraged me further to claim her as my friend. Basically, I wanted to one day say, “This is my Jennifer. There are many like her, but this one is mine.” (Basically, this is us in a nutshell: two losers just loving nerdy things together. She used to whisper-yell from across the class, "Hey Jennifer! Did you see Dragonball Z last night? ... It was awesome wasn't it?" That has defined us ever since.)

2. What is your favorite memory of us? Oh my God! How am I supposed to pin one down?! (Laughs for awhile.) I have SO many favorite memories of us together that it’s hard to choose just one, especially since with varying clarity, they always comprise of us laughing hysterically at each other for all the stupid shit we do and say. One moment that sums that up perfectly—and explains why we get along so well as friends—was when we were in our early teens and trolling the shit out of a forum. We would go on boards where people were just being stupid as hell and would just mess with them until we got banned. At one point, Jennifer found keyboard art of a penis and posted it in the Keyboard Art Board—I know, right? Why was that even a topic of discussion, though?—and was like, “See, guys! It’s a carrot!” And these twelve-year-olds were all, “Yeah!!!111 iT’S totally a carrot!!!!111oneoneone!” And finally we got banned. Both of us. Because we acted so alike the moderators thought that we were just duplicate accounts of one person. Unsurprising that they thought that way, because, as Jennifer’s dad often says, we share one brain. Like just the one brain. Meaning between us, there is only a half a brain. Yeah. (For even more clarity, this was way before "trolling" was a term most people knew on the internet. We had no idea we were trolling. And I'm very sorry to the moderators of that forum. That was a horrible thing to do, even if it is still hilarious.)

3. What is your favorite thing about me? I’m trying to choose one of her traits that isn’t similar to my own, because doing so would seem oddly self-serving. But one thing I’ve always admired about Jennifer is her willingness to speak her mind and to speak honestly about what she’s feeling. She may not do it all the time, because she wants to spare people’s feelings, but she does it enough to where she always stays true to herself and you always know where you stand with her. (Unless you’re an unobservant idiot. It’s happened.) It’s something that I’ve tried to model in my own way of dealing with people, since I can be incredibly shy and infuriatingly non-confrontational. And I feel like I’ve gotten better just by being around her. Another thing that I love about her is her luscious locks of love that I’ve been lusting after for years. But she knows about that.

4. Where do you see us in 20 years? Well, in 20 years, insta-travel will have been firmly established, because the world finally got its shit together and funded it, and what’s more, it’ll be affordable for middle class working folks, because let’s face it, at this rate, I’m gonna be poor forever. And once that happens—sooner than 20 years from now, in fact—I will have insta-traveled to Jennifer’s place, broke down her door, and sat firmly in her lap, and not moved. Like ever. (She also wanted to attach this photo to her answer.)


That's my best friend, folks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The sun is eclipsed behind a shade of trees that you've brought me to--a home I now know because of you. If I hadn't settled for wanting more instead of settling for where I was, I would never be here. I wouldn't know your touch again or the way that I need your breath just to inhale. There's a deafening depression that comes with each "see you later," because I want for nothing but to spend every moment never being apart. I hold myself to you. You are responsible for every part of me, and you love that and want it. You do everything you can to be responsible enough for me and my love. It's a big burden and one you bear with a smile--a smile that warms me so.

 I'm not sure I will ever have quite the words I need for you, but needing you and having you are enough for now. Please stay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

100 Words: Poetry on Buses

There's a bottle of booze in every hand and a youth that speaks to Death Cab for Cutie or the Clash. The mountains speak to you like a wall instead of an adventure to be had. You've seen those clouds for too long, and you're desperate for some light.

Seattle is a city and home is a state of mind you've never found. With the grit of a harbored juvenile you hold the sharpie as tightly as you remember holding your mother's hand and write out a crude sign on the side of the road that reads, "Take me anywhere."

***This is not a reflection of me at all, it's fiction. Just thought I would point out I still love it here just as much as I did when I visited last December.***

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Some days it's just too beautiful outside to consider wasting it.

I have yet to tire of the trails just outside my back door.

Monday, July 14, 2014


"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." - Thomas Merton

I have strong opinions and a strong voice when I need it, but I hate to impose myself. I am constantly my biggest critic, and I am always trying to keep myself in line with a more humble path. However critical we are of ourselves, though, we all have pride in something. What's worse about my pride is it's unpredictable and rocky. I don't always know when I will be shaken.

What I'm learning is how to cope--how to be better and understand that criticism helps you grow. (And how not to embarrass so easily.) I've always known life is a learning experience, but admitting you're wrong isn't easy no matter how many years you've had to do it. Some of us never learn how.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Off Hours

In between hours, we have still managed to adventure out here and there and go to a few new places. We went to a far-off mall, and a nearby mall, I tried a new sushi bar with some amazing sushi (and I'm hardly a fan of sushi) and went to see a few movies with some coworkers. It's definitely been a full month of fun and work, and when the two go hand-in-hand you know you've hit the jackpot.

One adventure that I'm still craving was a nearby burger bar called Tipsy Cow Burger Bar. This place was mod, funky and had all sorts of burgers on their menu from original sauces topping the best grass-fed beef they have, to grilled chicken sandwiches to even a burger called the Zeus that was essentially a lamb gyro on a bun. Their buns, especially were delicious and sweet. I can't wait until we get to go again. I had The Experience which, as you can see, was sloppy and delicious.

I have to say, it's still interesting seeing "grass-fed" on menus or large organic sections in the grocery stores. This place is way more into preservation and healthy eating than Georgia. While you can find those things in Georgia it's hardly as common or expected.

Even more recently was a party at our boss' house with our team. It was a fun turnout, and their new home was a really nice place. Even more hilarious was the round of slap-shots that happened in the downstairs bar/den/gaming room. There's nothing like watching coworkers take a shot and then get slapped hard across the cheek by another. But aside from the shots, there was plenty of food, friends and fun conversation, which is all you honestly need to have an amazing time. These people make this place as great as it is.

Life is still great here, but I do miss home sometimes. I've even built two playlists around some more southern sounds so that I can have a slice of home while I'm so far away. I miss being in Georgia, but at least with music and food I can still feel like I'm there in some way.