I worked out today for the first time in a month. It's been hard to get myself to do important things lately. It felt great to accomplish this today. Thanks to Pattums and the face!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Hey! I know it's been longer than usual, and that's just because I've been in a quieter place lately.

This weekend I was still recovering from feeling sick toward the end of last week, so movies seemed in order Sat evening.

I rented The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Pan's Labyrinth- both of which neither Army nor I had seen. (That sentence is annoyingly correct sounding...ah, well.)

I'd come across the memoir called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly a few times in used book stores, and I always got this strange connection feeling I get sometimes which seems like a nudging: "You should check this out." But I never bought it.

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly.jpg The Diving Bell and the Butterfly image by RannyMorany

Some of you have heard about this I'm sure. But, for those of us who haven't- I'm happy to tell a bit more about this amazing true story. So at age 42 the top editor of Elle Magazine (in France) has a massive stroke which leaves him completely unable to communicate or move anything besides one eye-- they call this condition "Locked-in Syndrome."

videos-diving-bell-butterfly.jpg Most Common Letters in French image by RannyMorany

Through special help with a speech therapist, he learns to communicate whole sentences letter by letter through blinking. It is an amazing story. He writes his entire memoir through blinking. He is the only known person to communicate from this place... a place very near death.

The cinematography was beautiful. I think I really needed this story at this point in my life. It's worth seeing when you're in a patient and/or thoughtful mood.

We didn't watch Pan's Labyrinth until last night when Ms. Kaycee could come over and join us. We love Kace and haven't had her over in a while. She's the one who got us to watch Hellboy and Hellboy II both done by director Guillermo Del Toro.

I think Pan's had been a bit too built up for me, but I still really enjoyed it.

Anyway I guess that's really all I feel like writing about right now. Hope you're all well!

P.S. AL BERMAN-- I think you should write again here. It's been TOO long!

  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful

Junk 'n' Prattle

Not much has been goin' on lately. Here are some small things just so, you know, we're staying in touch and stuff.

Today I'm going to cut up and grind up the 100 burgers we had left over from the church family picnic (I froze 'em) along with the rest of my mozz cheese, all my zucchini, spinach, and red pepper - all of this in order to make delicious lasagna.

I've been craving lasagna! Mmmmm.

I really like my community group from church. We meet weekly at someone's house, and it's so informal and fun.

I bought Radiohead's In Rainbows last weekend based on a SUPER strong recommendation from Katie.

I'm flying "home" for Al's wedding, and I'm so darn excited!! It'll be my last visit to the house my parents owned together, AND Al and Sarah are getting married. I'm excited for their wedding. I get to help with decorating early that morning! YAY!

I get to see (most of) my girls and my family. One of my family members has a mass on the pancreas, so I even-more-than-usual want to see them and connect. Life goes by way too fast!

I also plan to visit my dad's grave... It feels good to stop in there sometimes and think only of him. I may bring some blue flowers along, also. Blue was his favorite color.

I didn't feel super, super sad on his death day last week (8/20). I mostly felt ok. The day after his death day was harder...but, it's nice to notice that the grief has changed its intensity/shape/whatever. I guess three years really helps with that.

I still miss him and think of him everyday, but now I mostly remember the happier things like his quirkiness and times together rather than trying to sort through the painful last days of his life. His last days used to consume most of my thoughts, and I felt guilty and sad over not having been physically around during that time.

Anyway, today I'm thankful....and off to the kitchen. I think I'll put on In Rainbows whliest I chop and cook.

  • Current Music
    In Rainbows by Radiohead

Time to blab

Write about your worst and/or one of your worst dating experiences. These are usually pretty good stories. :)

  • Current Mood
    curious curious


1. Who ended your last relationship?
I did - for very important reasons.

2. When was the last time you got in trouble with the law?
Ugh - I was pulled over a couple weeks ago....

3. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
reading "news" online.

4. Are you any good at math?
Not so much

5. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Yes, negatively famous: I am closely related to the Valentine's Day killer of the ganster era, Bugsy Moran. One of my cousins also published a small-press book under a made-up name...It's called Once in a Green Room.

6. Have you ever kissed in the rain?

7. What’s one thing you wish to change about yourself?
To be more confident with my sense of humor and not wait so long to show it.

8. When was the last time you showered?

9. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
no, I don't. Sometimes I write random things in the sand.

10. Whats the most painful dental procedure youve had?
Adjustments with braces

11. What is outside your back door?
I guess that would be the garage.

12. Do you have any plans for Friday?
No, not yet.

13. How many brothers/sisters do you have?
1 brother who's two years younger, 2 brothers in law, and 3 sisters in law.

14. Do you keep in touch with your exes?
None of them.

15. What's something you are excited about?

16. What's your favorite jello flavor?
Not sure.

17. Are any of your great-grandparents still alive?
No! I think ONE was alive when I was born.

18. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group?

19. What kind of winter coat do you have?
Light brown corderoy with a fake furry trim on the hood, and a light-weight lined black jacket - it's waterproof which I REALLY need here in the winter.

20. What are the songs/movies that reminds you of an ex?

Josh: Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come, anything by Queen, Led Zepplin, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Vanilla Ice. "You really got me" by The Kinks, and "Dream on" by Aerosmith, "Paint it Black" by Rolling Stones.

Bryan: Waking the Dead, Jesus' Son, anything by Ron Sexsmith, G-Love and the Special Sauce, Parachutes album by Cold Play, early Bright Eyes stuff.

Hector: Wag the Dog, anything by The Cure

Chad: Anything by Crash Test Dummies (ugh!), "Smoke on the water," Lion King movie and songs.

21. Can you tie a cherry stem with your tongue?
Who wants to know? :)

22. Do you go to church?

23. What did you eat yesterday?
A mini scone, a kosher hot dog, a frozen Snickers bar (YUM!), and a Pecan Chicken Lean Cuisine.

24. Who was your first best friend?
Kelly Jones or Kelly Drost.

25. How long was your longest relationship? Shortest?
My current relationship has been over 5 years. My shortest real relationship was with Mike Harder (at NWC)....about 10 days.

26. What's your least favorite class?
Algebra...I struggled so much with it.

27. Who was the last person you ditched class with?
Jena Nelson?

28. What's the last compliment you received and when was it?
"You are so beautiful." Yesterday.

29. Do moochers annoy you?
I don't mind if certain people mooch on me a bit...but in general moochers are not so cool in my book.

30. Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Yeah, I pretty much have to wear my glasses all the time now.

31. What's the last movie you watched?
Meet the Fockers with Luke.

32. Which friend lives the closest to you?
Besides Army, Don lives closest.

33. What's your favorite thing to do?
hang with Army, chat at church, drive around, play with the cats

34. Do you regret dating anyone?
Yep. I regret dating Chad as long as I did. I regret dating Berhanu, because he had bad motive and mis-treated me. I also regret "dating" a guy named Mario.

35. What are you doing tonight?
Making and partaking in Coconut Curry Chicken with my baby.

36. When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?
I never believed in Santa Claus

37. What annoys you?
Arrogance, people who cut others off in conversation, and when people smack a lot when they're eating or talking.

38. Whats the next vacation you're going on?
Hopefully something amazing for my 30th.

39. What's been on your mind lately?
I've been thinking about some of the bigger lessons I've learned in life in the past 10 years or so.

40. Do you plan to have a holiday party?
Maybe....not sure.

Some interesting things about "Paint it Black" are on this link:
  • Current Mood
    determined determined

The Greatest Mix Ever!

Ok, here it is! The Soundtrack of My Life. (I think you should also do this so that I can read it! This is the best "survey" I've ever received! Ondole!)

(I couldn't include all the songs I wanted to, and also I couldn't decided which feel each of the categories should have -humorous or serious- some could go opposite ways. I solved this problem by basically making TWO soundtracks.)

Soundtrack to My Life:

Opening: 32 Flavors (Ani DiFranco)/Fight Test (The Flaming Lips)

Waking Up Scene: Stars Shine Quietly (Mason Jennings)/You Will (Bright Eyes)

Car Driving Scene: Que Onda Guero (Beck)/Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)

High School Flashback Scene: Summertime (Sublime)

College Flashback Scene: Tangled up in Blue (Bob Dylan)/Deep Dish (Ani DiFranco)/the Mountain (Mason Jennings)

Nostalgic Scene: Ohio (Over the Rhine)/ Sullivan Street (Counting Crows)

Bitter, Angry Scene: Lover I Don't Have to Love (Bright Eyes)

Break-up Scene: Pictures of You (The Cure)/Only Answer (Mike Doughty)

Regret Scene: Poison Oak (Bright Eyes)/Wish You Were Here (covered by Radiohead)

Nightclub/Bar Scene: Bleeding Hearts Club -Mpls Chapter- (P.O.S.)

Fight/Action Scene: De La Souls (P.O.S.)

Lawn Mowing Scene: Everything Reminds Me of Her (Elliott Smith)/Landlocked Blues (Bright Eyes)/Explode (Cardigans)

Sad, breakdown scene: Me and a Gun or Precious Things (Tori Amos)

Death Scene: A Fond Farwell (Elliott Smith) or Buildings in Chelsea (Counting Crows)

Funeral Scene: Forgiveness (Mason Jennings)

Mellow/Pot-smoking Scene: What's Up? (Four Non-Blondes)/True Blue (Bright Eyes)

Dreaming About Someone Scene: Song for the Asking (Simon & G)/Bright As Yellow (Innocence Mission)

Sex Scene: Bubble Pop Electric (Gwen Stefani)/It's Oh So Quiet (Bjork)

Contemplation Scene: Blackbird (The Beatles)/She's a Jar (Wilco)

Chase Scene: Tennesse (Arrested Development)/Black Tambourine (Beck)

Happy Love Scene: Bright as Yellow (Innocence Mission)/All the Things She Said (Tatu)

Happy Friend Scene: Love Cats (The Cure)/Southern Cross (Mason Jennings)

Closing Credits: Murder of One (Counting Crows)/the Light (Mason Jennings)
  • Current Mood
    jubilant jubilant

A New Repetitive

Lately I've been having a new repetitive dream. It is the last semester of college, and I am sad about it and trying to say goodbye to friends (particularly Jeff Beale each time). This dream always has me feeling sad/anxious and amazed at how fast time flies. I think it's kinda odd that this dream is presenting itself now rather than a few years ago or something.


PS Does anyone here talk to Beale anymore?
  • Current Mood
    melancholy melancholy

Happiness is

MarilynAndreaPlane, originally uploaded by andrea.moranbrown.

When I was in about 2nd grade we sang a song in concert for parents, and it's been happily playing around and around in my head this morning:

"Happiness is (pause) two scoops of ice cream..." And I can't recall the rest. But I don't care, because I feel happy. I am fond of life, in fact, fond!

The trees are all orangey and red now, and it really feels like fall (despite being pretty warm all the 70s). Some things that have made me smile and feel thankful today:

a. a very good friend shared that today she has been completely weed free for a year!

b. Wednesday my friend, Al, got a new job!

c. Elliott was suddenly hyped up just a minute ago and ran away super fast from me. (I love seein' him on the move like that!) He wanted to play. I chased him around a bit, and then he jumped up the cat tower and wanted to play the earthquake game. I love my boys!

d. Miercoles was lounging in the sun in the "cat window" and looked so beautiful.

e. I just read an amazing article about a dog and cat rescuing their owners.

I just LOVE animals!

f. I talked with Luke last night and felt happy that he's living life the way he wants to. He was at a friend's place with a bunch of other pals, and they were going to film a movie.

I was happy, because this seems like what he needs/wants. Also, I realized that I am very glad for where I am in life. I don't go to friend's places to do creative movie stuff, but my life finally doesn't feel like complete chaos, and I love my honey and our home and schedule and life.

g. Feeling truly thankful just feels good.

Oh, this is a feel-good blog for sure!

When I said the conference I went to was about missions that wasn't really correct. The conference was done by two great speakers, one of which is Steve Arterburn who recently wrote Reframe Your Life: Transforming Your Pain into Purpose (and in the past wrote Every Man's Battle).

He had me about rolling down the aisle laughing. One thing he said that just got me was

"You could be out in the middle of the ocean, and a cow can fall from the sky."

This truly happened-- A steer got loose in an airport (I'd like to know how that happened), and somehow pilots of a Russian plane got the steer to come on board some cargo plane.

When they were over the ocean, somehow the steer got lose and started trying to ram things. They were afraid it might puncture the plane walls, so they opened the cargo gate and let the steer drop into the ocean. (Poor guy.)

Unfortunately, the steer fell right onto a fishing ship, and because of his weight and the height from which he fell, the steer was like a bomb. He blew threw the ship completely, causing the ship to sink!!

What the?

Anyway, I'd actually say that the conference was about dreaming amazing things with God and realizing our painful experiences don't disqualify us in anyway...rather, our painful experiences qualify us to be there for/guide other people who are going through similar things.

It sounds obvious but impacted me in some profound ways.

Above is one more picture of Marilyn and me on the plane to North Carolina. We got the earphones to watch Evan Almighty.

Elaborate Hugs to All!