August 28, 2004

stairwell accompaniment:Rilo Kiley

Remember this scene:

Michelle: Listen you little spazoids! I know where you live and I’ve seen where you sleep. I swear that your mothers will cry when they see what I’ve done to you!

Tommy: You kids better pray to the god of skinny punks this wind doesn’t pick up, cuz if it does I’m gonna sail over there and shove an oar up your a**.

Yes, a Tommy Boy classic. I only draw attention to this because it is the best representation of my reaction to the teenage boys who sit on their porch across the street from my house and upon my coming and going like to pepper the air between our houses with derogatory, adolescent sexual inuendos. As much as I pitty those younger than I when the beginning of yet another school year rolls around and our normally child-packed streets and sidewalks become devoid of bikes and skateboards, this year I felt as if I was counting down the days until our two neighbor boys would abandon their porch perches for school desks. However,the school day of classroom sitting, apparerently, is not long enough to keep them from resting on the porch every evening as I arrive home.

But today was a particularly long and trying day and I simply did not have the patience to let their unwelcome comments and gestures pass unquestioned. And, as I stated above, the scene turned ugly quickly. And I’m sure the two are now adequately educated on what not to say to a lady and exactly what the consequences of forgetting would bring.



August 24, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Radiohead, Vroom

So kids, my weekend was pretty basic in the Amber-sense of the word. Friday I worked and hung out at Gospel Mission with the younger girls. Mary Beth and I braved the summer late-night rain and the back-and-at-it UD students and crashed Dewey’s Pizza afterwards. I got home late but caught the last 30 minutes of “In America”. Kristi was buried in the couch and enjoying the Irish accents.

I worked at the spa again Saturday morning and afternoon. It was such an amazing day–outside that is. Saturday’s at the spa aren’t fun because on any given week we have at least one bridal party which includes a photographer, a catered breakfast, stressed out bridesmates and emotional mothers. Luckily I’m able to barricade myself in my massage room and avoid the chaos.

I had a date with Kristi Saturay night:) We ate Thai food out on the porch and talked about love, boys and living a full life. As we topped it off with my first visit to Ritter’s Custard (I think I’ve never been there because the word “custard” doen’t exactly sound appetizing to me). But the ice cream cone was enjoyable and running into some of our friends on a risque bridal shower scavenger hunt that happened to involve fake tatoos, fishnet tights and endible toppings was a bonus.

I introduced Kristi to Amelie back home and we molded ourselves to the couch with blankets and hot tea and enjoyed the subtitled goodness.

Sunday brought the most beautiful summer’s-almost-over August day. I exited the church doors immediately after service and rushed home to rescue my Levi from her basement cage. It was a day that must be hiked! So I packed a doggie diaper bag of tennis balls, a towel and a water bowl, provided my ecstatic cocaptain with the open window she’s been dreaming of and off we drove to John Bryan State Park! If there’s one thing that brings me joy, it’s watching my dog’s nose sniff incessantly as her lips and ears blow in the breeze on a hilly country road in Yellow Springs. We wandered off the path and made one of our own, down a steep rock and towards the stream I could hear when I stood still. I’m not too proud to admit that I fell…twice. The second time I followed Beth’s advice and just laid there in the rocky mud until I was sure no one was around to see it because they would have been offering help by the time I was moving. My ankle was bloody and my red pants streaked with mud. We pressed on. Levi loves to swim, and swim she did, in the muddiest bilgewater in Ohio. But in our wanderings I happened upon what I’m sure is the most beautiful and unknown part of John Bryan. On the edge of the rocky stream was a small pasture of brillant yellow wildflowers in the sun. Across the water was a small waterfall. And as I stood still to listen to the water and take in the flowers I caught a glimpse of the first of the beautifully dying leaves of the towering trees twirling to the ground. Fall is on the way!

I topped off the day by scavenging an old boxspring in a nearby alley to use for an art project, cleaning the house and giving not one, but two smelly dogs a waterhose bath in the front yard. Smelling of mud, sweat and wet dog, I sat at the coffeeshop by UD, sipped vanilla ice tea and read until the sun was no longer on my face.

But it was this Monday morning that I felt a change. June and I have become friends. By that quiet whispering of one’s inner skeptic that says “it’s ok, let her in” I’m the unworthy recipient of friendship her 84 years years of living. But friendship warrants vulnerability, no? And as with so many more of my questions, I know I can’t afford not to vocalize this one. As far as I know, June’s only marriage has been between her intelligence and savvy languge skills and an adventageous profession in foreign relations. A dreamer’s life without someone to share it with. So I ask to verify that she’s never been married. She shakes her head “no” and becomes quiet. I survey her face and see her blue eyes glaze with emotion. Everything in me screams You’re gone too far! Take it back! and before I can apoligize she clears her throat. “I was once in love,” she voices. She sounds as if she’s taking to herself. But she turns to me and I see her tears and the wrinkles around her eyes and I see sincerity. “Love just makes everything beautiful.” And she smiles.


August 20, 2004

hear it in the stairwell:Badly Drawn Boy

feel-good throw back song

A lazy day of little work and much dreaming. Hand-written letter to displaced friends and distant thoughts of colorful, crunching leaves falling all around. A cup of hot tea to hurry to process. Amelie to enliven the senses and a game of fetch with my needy companion. Neon tennis balls in the half-brown grass. Walk to the park and spread your sheet wide enough to stare at the clouds through the tree branches from your grassy knoll. Will the forecast ever prove true and pour a hot summer rain sprinkled with pink summer lightening? Raindrops so big it only takes moments to feel drenched and two very respectable adults who live on Creighton Ave. can’t help but digress as puddle-jumping, umbrella-abandoning, deep-down five year olds. The hazy days of dwindling summer.


August 16, 2004

hear it in the stairwell:The Hours- Motion Picture Sountrack

As sure as ever God puts his children in the furnace, he will be in the furnace with them. Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.

__C.S. Lewis

here and there

August 14, 2004

hear it in the stairwell:Snow Patrol-Run

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