Morgan’s Granddaughter

July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am (Uncategorized)

I only have two resources to deal with this type of situation. Two movies both named after locations: Elizabethtown and Garden State. Orlando Bloom’s character Drew returns home after the sudden passing of his father and Zack Braff’s character Andrew does the same in response to the sudden death of his mother.

While my grandfather’s passing was not sudden I must reference my friend’s response to my news of his passing that “forewarned is seldom forearmed”.

Andrew returns home from Los Angeles where he is trying to “make it” in the film/ TV industry, very relatable for me and shoe designer Drew flies back to the small town in which is father grew up. My sister actually wanted to design shoes when she was a child.

You recall pieces of memories like that when you’re going through lose. Drew recollects the road trips he and his father took to Elizabethtown and Andrew remembers his mother comforting him as a very young child.

I remember the anticipation of packing for the 8hr hour road trip north and east from the Chicago suburbs to the small town of Lake Orion, Michigan my mother’s hometown.

Early, Early, EARLY! In the morning we would stack up our bags behind the family car and my father with boy scout skill would allocate each inch of space in the trunk to accommodate our necessary travel items. My mother would pack us each a lunch box of snacks that my sister and I were never allowed to have in normal life and after 50 miles east on I-94 and 3 toll out of the city we were able to delve into the treats throughout the remaining 277 or so miles of the ride.

The rest of the miles are a blur from there, there was some napping and some listening to music, fidgeting, possible fighting between siblings and countless “how much longers” even though we would know when we arrived.

When the pavement turned to gravel we were there.

After a bit of a bumpy ride on the unpaved roads around grandpa’s house we would arrive and grandpa would come greet us with a hug and a kiss on the cheek his five o’clock shadow scruffy on our face and the smell of juicy fruit gum. Gum my sister and I would plunder throughout the visit.

He would help us lug our bags up through the narrow stairway from the garage into the house and we would settle in. He always got us pizza, which my sister and I loved and butter pecan ice cream, which he loved. The morning brought itty bitty individual boxes of cereal for us to pick out. The sugar filled ones that grandpa’s can get away with giving their granddaughters.

My sister and I discovered building (and destroying) with Lincoln logs at grandpa’s house. We would roll down the hill next to the house and return inside for dinner grass stained. We would take walks down to “grandpa’s lake”. My sister and I had no idea it was actually called Long Lake until we were all grown up. It was Grandpa’s lake; it was his lake for us to spend time at. He would bravely captain his pontoon boat out into the little lake that looked so much bigger to us and we would swim and fish. Grandpa would hook up his riding mower to a cart and pull us around through the cold water from the sprinkler when the days were hot and when the nights were dark would build a small bonfire in the backyard and look out into the night at the bright Michigan stars. I earned my fire-making merit badge thanks to my grandfather’s backyard.

And at the end of the trip, saying a goodbye was always hard.

Saying goodbye is always



There was always the promise of next summer and more ice cream and tiny cereal boxes and Lincoln logs and every following summer brought more memories to hold onto while waiting to anticipate that next 8 hour drive back to the gravel roads.

And the memories are what we will always have as we say goodbye. The taste of butter pecan ice cream, the smell of juicy fruit gum, tiny boxes of cereal and bright clear Michigan stars prove he has forever left an imprint in our lives and though we say goodbye we never will forget and we will wait with anticipation until the time that time we again see him when our grandkids are remembering the times they had with us in our life.

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Grow Up

June 10, 2010 at 2:44 am (Uncategorized)

Does it seem every blogger starts out with, “It’s been so long since I’ve posted but”

I will join those ranks!

I’m on sleepless night number 4. SUCKS!

So i hear it’s not good to just stay in bed when you can’t sleep. so hear i sit 2am on a school night typing to the ether.

Today a friend made a comment about misspent youth. Got me thinking, which is a lot of what you do when you’re staring at the ceiling trying to sleep. Tonight mental meanderings had just enough of a trajectory to go somewhere on the fuel of his statement.

i’m not a kid anymore. i know my parents and all their friends will heartily declare that i am “Still so young!” i don’t disagree with them, but it is true that i am no longer a kid.

With my 30th year on the horizon i begin to realize, well rather, i’m choosing to come to grips with the fact that my life does not have a clear direction.

i get so lost inside myself. i wander around the labyrinth corridors of “what if” and “if only”. i never know when to commit and when to keep my options open. i quit when i’m pot committed and i surrender before i’ve seen return on my investment. Always the wrong decision for a right pursuit.

i’m not sure if i’m just too hard on myself, if i just can’t catch a break or if how i view the world simply sits on the receiving end of ill-prescribed glasses.

i came to a decision, as i lay in bed tossing from side to side trying to catch a glimpse of dreamland, that every choice i made from here on out would have reason, would have purpose, would be required to line up with a future pursuit.

Seems like a solid plan in a half-dazed attempt at slumber.

I was so convinced that was the answer. No more folly. Every second would be accounted for and it’s merit weighed according to the value it held in relation to my future goals. I would declare it to the world, into the void of the internet i would proclaim

“Every action henceforth performed by me would serve only to drive me further into my future with direct accuracy!”

And then i panic.

Not rightly sure i can say why i panic, but i did, just then when i wrote that sentence and began to think about what it would take to mean such a statement. i would have to choose to take ownership of where my life was going. i would have to say “no”. i wouldn’t be able pursue a life with multiply paths. I wouldn’t be able to just keep my options open. And that scares me.

Probably one of the most interesting things i’ve learning about storytelling is that you can’t tell everybody’s story and still have it be effective. It has to be one person’s story. The power of one man or woman’s struggle out weighs the power of a thousand. Without the one speaking for the whole, the message is lost in the sea of voices. The voice of the one has to be powered by the strength of the masses.

The most powerful experience i’ve had with this idea comes from viewing the film “Trouble the Waters”. A powerful documentary about a couple who heroically survived the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Anyway, i guess my point with that is i need to chose to tell one story. i need to tell my story and i need for it to have a clear path laid out and followed in order for it to have an impact. Now i don’t know what that looks like and right now i still have a lot to consider on that line of thought, but i suppose, for now, i would like make clear and purposeful decision about where my life is going, so that in the future, i can get there.

I’ll try for no more misspent time.

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Life Sans Dance

May 25, 2009 at 12:34 pm (Uncategorized)


Big Time

I hadn’t realized how integral dance was to my identity until now

I mean I knew it was important, I know I loved it, I knew it gave me a sense of… something

See that’s the thing about dance for me, it gives me “words” for my emotions. My first blues workshop was down in San Diego instructed by Damon Stone. It was held in a studio whose walls displayed quotes reflecting the beauty of dance. This is paraphrased but it was something to the effect of “Dance is the source of expression for the emotions we don’t have words to express” that IS the first time I realized that dance gave me a voice I had never used before, one that could express things in my life, things in my experience of this world, that words never seems to accurately describe.

I grew up believing that the display of emotion was weak and I, of course, wanted to be strong.

Everything about this process seems painful and brings to light my half-hatched way of living.

Physically, physical therapy is kicking my butt. I always use to think I was so strong. I mean hell, I walked on a sprained ankle for 2 blocks before turning around and walk those 2 plus 3 more back and only started crying after I saw my ankle had swollen to the size of a tennis ball and only because it looked scary. But my striving for toughness helped put me in this predicament and it’s most likely the reason why I was able to be pleasantly informed by the PT doc that I have all kinds of alignment issues with my hip, knees, ankles and all the muscles and tendons associated with BOTH my legs.  I haven’t respected my body’s limits

Emotionally, without dance I have no words. I have no release. I have no grounds for exploration of my emotional state. In an effort to be tough I have stunted my own emotional growth.

Socially without dance I’ve been feeling very alone. Very Alone. Without dance I don’t really have any place to go, to hang out and to interact with human beings. I mean I have my kitten and she’s great and all but her conversational skills are SEVERLY limited. though what disturbs me more is that in all those months that I did go dancing two, three times a week I never worked to establish deep, real connections that probably would have help me weather this rough patch. I chose to stay detached, to remain, politely, at arms length. The fear of rejected, neglected or abandoned has kept me from experiencing a social network with any kind of depth.

Spiritually I have grown bitter, angry and depressed. I have distanced myself God and others. My love for humankind has dropped off along with neglecting the pursuit to create a meaningful relationship with God. My ability to impact others based in love is severely impaired by poor attitude and lack of connection to Him who is the source of love. My attempts to live this life as a self-sustained island have left me powerless to experience fullness in this life.

Now, I wish I could be as insightful as Aesop tying up this fable giving you some gleaming brilliant moral but all I have for you is all I know right now not having seen the other side of this tunnel

Bruising a bone and spraining a knee sucks

PT is hard

Life can be lonely

Emotions don’t seem to fair well bottled up


Sometimes the only way to glimpse what’s even in your own heart is to sit and write it down

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March 4, 2009 at 1:34 pm (Uncategorized)


Swirling Misery

Lost in the thrashing wave of overwhelming lacking ability

Hands scratched and bloody from falling down

Knees ripped and shredded from attempts at crawling

Grinding through

A world of paralyzing fear that my ignorance will be made evident

Gasping for air but my lungs become full of salty sea

Struggling to stand upright but the steep snowy mountain steals my balance

Fight to speak with intelligence in a boardroom full of Harvard grads

Salve flosses over my hands and knees

Breath fills my lungs and HOPE chases away my fears

I gain my balance, stand and breath, reaching to the storm chasing sun

A raft comes to rescue me in the salty sea

Unexpected buoyancy of a floating red balloon helps me stand to my feet and fly over the mountain

A chalkboard turns my words into pictures multiplying them by thousands letting my speech become dancing images

HOPE glosses over my body resting on the raft

My breath is taken away by the view from the sky

I balance my ideas on the end of a piece of chalk

My soul opens up to the storm chasing sun

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who am i… .really

February 21, 2009 at 10:24 pm (Uncategorized)

you know when your mind is racing a hundred miles an hour with the analysis of life swirling around you and inexplicably your hands are helplessly paralyzed to express what’s going on inside?

or is that just me?

this may not be the venue for this. in a way i feel like a little child lost in the sea of a churning world with hands to the sky crying out “look at me! look at me!”

but don’t we all want to be seen? even those of us who hide? dont we hide because we are afraid we wont be seen? for who we really are?

if we dont put it out there we wont be misrepresented or misinterpreted.

all my life i’ve rebelled against the system, skewing the world around me just enough so that the rules cant apply.

I’d wear shoes with that were chronically known to come untied during gym class so that I’d HAVE to stop and tie them at some point while we were running laps

I rarely become an official member of anything

Hell I don’t even write in this journal on any sort of recognizable pattern or consistency.

We… rather I am afraid to be seen for only what I lack, where I don’t measure up, where I don’t belong.

I am petrified that I will show up somewhere for which I was invited to join solely out of pity….
So sometimes… I just don’t go…

Recently I jacked up my knee, which sucked and still sucks

I had to stop swing/blues dance, right when I was really starting to get into bluesing too. And I loved it, I desired so much to be a blues dancer, I had a small hope inside of me that I had some potential to actually do well in something for once in my life and not just fly under the please-don’t-notice-me radar.

Dancing kept my soul from shriveling

It gave me a place to feel like my failings weren’t as noticeably shoved to the forefront and thus I had earned some right to existed peaceably in that space and time

I’ve had several situations give rise to the realization of how integral dancing had become to my worth, especially here in LA

LA is so different from Chicago, sooooo different and yet I’ve had such a difficult time defining that difference. Back home, everyone’s a badass, until you get to know them, then you’re their extended family. Back home, if you allow someone to be vulnerable with you there is a bond and a promise there that you are now connected in someway along this life’s journey, you got each others backs now. Back home, there is this interesting sense of family formed among friends. Back home, I could show up to a party knowing only one person and leave knowing everyone

I don’t know perhaps its me that’s changed.

I guess there’s a lot about this world and I about myself I don’t understand.


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“Not all those who wander are lost” JRR Tolkien

September 29, 2008 at 2:02 am (Uncategorized)

*aside* [i am writing to you now at a quarter to 12 due to my 9pm consumption of Dr. Pepper. ah caffeine, the drug that fuels America.]

“Not all those who wander are lost” JRR Tolkien

“I have a dream…” Dr. MLK Jr.

I have a dream, it’s not quite as noble and momentous as that of Dr. King’s, but it’s my dream.

I have a dream to wander

I’ve been meeting a lot of new people lately and inevitably this question arises “What do you do?” I’ve taken to answering them in the truest form I know how I tell them “I experience life to the fullest as it happens” One of the early responses I received to this statement was “That’s the best response I’ve heard to say ‘I don’t have a job’.”

Actually, I have a job. Just got promoted in fact, woot, woot.

*aside* [promotions seem wonderful and magnanimous when you’re striving to acquire them, but a whole lot of work when the privilege is actually bestowed upon you, it’s hard work being a post coordinator let me tell you!]

I’ve had a dream all my life to travel, to see the world, but more notably to see the people, to experience the culture, to hear the stories of others, to become part of their story. That I have found is a whole other beast from simply touring the world, or just the country for that matter.

My dream has taken on several forms and evolutions over the years the seed of which was most likely planted in our annual 8 hour family trek to see my maternal grandfather in Michigan. That’s a long freakin’ time when you have the attention span of a gnat… er, not that I’ve really grown out of that…

ah hem

from there it grew. I longed to take a cross country road trip from NY to CA the day I graduated from high school. I traveled to Panama the summer of my junior year and Guatemala the summer after my senior year. I never make it across the country East to West, but I did move from Chicago to Garden Valley, TX my first year out of HS.

During that year I spent time in Cambodia, beautiful country that grabs hold of the hearts of all who visit.

A few years later South Africa, best stargazing I’ve had the chance to see followed by Michigan and Texas

My senior year of college I met a boy who planned to travel the states in order to pursue his career. As his interest in having me by his side grew so did my excitement to share that kind of life with him. To see the expanse of my home country with a man I loved was such a joyous prospect that the fragility of it was always a looming concern

A well founded concern turns out to be.

But still I can not shake that this dream was in me long before I met this man and so it seems will remain until I am able to dream no longer.

I finally made it out to California and throughout my first two years in this desert city of Los Angeles my dream has continued to permeate those quite moments when my mind is free to wander and dance with the wonderfully ridiculous frivolity found in the mind of a dreamer.

I want to see the world through the eyes of its inhabitants

The plan of attack…

Pay off my loans


Get on a bus, get on a train, get in my car, get on a plane or just pack my bag and start walking utilizing my networks in swing dance and church and my fellow TM alum I’d like to couch surf, work odd jobs, panhandle, sleep on a park bench, stay in a shelter, sleep on the beach, shower at a truck stop and meet everyone I can on the way, to do all I can to love them in that moment and to tell their stories to the world.

I had been finding as of late that I have become so discouraged with having to wait on this dream that I just started talking to whomever I began to come in contact with in the City of Angels.

The first realization that I didn’t have to wait to hear the stories of other people was when my car got a flat tire on the way to my paternal grandparents house in the Palm Springs area and I was greatly fortunate enough to stumble upon Cherry Valley Automotive in Beaumont CA.

I sat down to a kindly looking grandmother and casually mentioned my journey to see my own grandparents and I grateful to discover that her disposition was just as kind as her appearance and she began to share with me about her family and grandchildren.

After the kind grandmothers automotive needs where taken care of and she departed I began speaking with another woman who excitedly presented her anniversary addition Mustang to me after I expressed admiration for the vehicle. After a bit of chatting I shared with her that the young lady 76 station up the road had recommended this shop to me to which she unexpectedly responded to me that she was the owner of that gas station 🙂

life. dreams. I’m starting to learn how to live it out even before I’m able to get on the road

There’s Robin the aspiring actor who I offered a sit to in an over crowded Panera

The neighbors Zach and Drew who took over my old apt. #17

The recovering alcoholic who I met while getting my oil changed

and others.

I want to start keep track and telling there stories!

I want to make business cards to give to people I met and ask if I can share there stories on this site.

I want people to be able to connect with the lives of others around them in the world that they don’t even know the names of.

that’s my dream.

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Mi Tesoro

August 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Mi Tesoro

A guy i had dated once told me I was this right after he said i was beautiful in Spanish (he grew up speaking Spanish in his parents’ home)

“My Treasure”

Treasure, people, TREASURE!

a rare find of great value. an item searched for relentlessly or stumbled upon by surprise. something that you don’t even really know what it truly looks like, even right up until the point that you find it. a thing wrapped in a mythical and tenuous shrouding. something you’re not even sure really exists, but you hope to God it does. a thing worth the searching just for the chance of finding.


Treasure is not just a thing of value, it’s a thing of beauty. Adventurers/ Treasure-Seekers like Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow and Rick O’Connell aren’t seeking out green paper bills, they’re looking for a goblet, gold doubloons and a legendary ship or a gold-plated book with the secrets of life (that unfortunately raises a mutant mummy from the “dead” which doesn’t really help my analogy, well maybe i can see if i can work it in)

Treasure often involves a lifetime. A lifetime discovery, a lifetime dream, a lifetime pursuit, a lifetime search, a lifetime seeking, a lifetime speculating, a lifetime of reveling.

It seems to me that treasure-seeking often comes to us in those starry eyed moments of our life. Times in our childhood, times when we are surrounded by people of great inspiration, times when we are invested in.

The hope for treasure germinates out of those life experiences that nurture our sense of wonder in this sojourn of life.

You remember it, you know it. When the firefighter came to you class kindergarten to give a talk, when your 4th grade student teacher believed you had a future in storytelling, when you English teacher told you that she saw your potential, when your college biology prof made you want to change your major because she loved science so much.

When Indy’s father traveled the world in search of artifacts and inspired his son to do the same, when Elizabeth Swann squirrels away Will Turner’s pirate necklace and when Jonathon is inspired to act courageously in response to the daring of his sister Evie and O’Connell’s actions.

This post is the result of several philosophical pondering coming into collision.

loneliness, inadequacy and questions about the future

Struggling with feelings of inadequacy i began to look back in my life in an attempt to devise from my life-long involvement with this world if there was any evidence my existence having value.

Those Spanish words sent in a text message months ago came to mind.

Mi Tesoro, My Treasure

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Hello world!

June 12, 2008 at 11:51 pm (Uncategorized)

Well prompting, encouraging and general pondering about the world has led me to start this blog. I had one, years ago that I steadfastly updated, but that has fallen short as of late. So here we are again giving it another whirl.

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