Written Words – So Glad

June 28, 2011

“I want to be where you are.”

The words caught me by surprise, and they hung in the air for just a second.

“I want to be excited about things. You sound great.”

And just like that I realized that things are changing. After a year of me struggling to keep my lips and nose over a creeping waterline, people are starting to come to me to for a life raft.

And she was right. I do sound good. I am excited.

About time.

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Written Words – A(ll) B(ut) D(issertation) Part I

June 19, 2011

I remember the moment — or phone call to be precise — that I ceased to be a bachelor. Not in any real way of course, the woman on the phone was old enough to be my grandmother. But in a sort of symbolic way. From that point forward I ceased to be a bachelor in the way I dressed, the way I cooked, the way I thought about myself.

“Hello,” I answered, speaking into the new touchscreen phone I’d purchased upon my return to the States.

“Hello, this is Eve Finkton,” the pregnant pause that followed her introduction lasted a moment longer than was comfortable, “from the dance last night,” she continued.

I wracked my brain, trying to match the thin, trembling voice to one of the dozens of women I had danced with the night before.

They were filed under a dozen different things, a weird quirk of my professional life that had drifted into my personal one. Or maybe it was the other way around.

The filing cabinet had a series of seemingly random files, all named after various dance attributes. Swivels. Footwork. Movement. Cute. Ok, cute isn’t a dance file, but I needed somewhere to file the girls that were cute and couldn’t dance even a little.

Or so I imagine the files in my head.

In a little bit of a panic I was skimming through “swivels” and desperately hoping to see a post-it that indicated I’d given out my (new) cell phone number.

“I know this is a little unusual, but…”

It was the word unusual, combined with the discard of the swivels file and picking up of a new file that helped me piece it all together.

Elderly women. A file that was important for a number of reasons. The first is that they are less intimidating to dance with, and are often quite good dancers. The second? That girls my age love it when someone is dancing with someone their grandmother’s age.

The tinny, even elderly voice suddenly clicked. A woman flashed before my eyes — with lightly dyed orange hair. She had clearly been enjoying her dancing. She was an excellent follow, despite having slowed a step or two from her dancing prime.

“Oh, Miss Finkton — So sorry, it took me a minute to place you.”

“Don’t worry. Don’t worry one bit. I didn’t expect you to remember me at all.”

“Take the A-train,” I reassured, “it was a lovely dance.”

“Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

My brow crinkled reflexively as she continued, “I really enjoyed dancing with you last night, and you seem like a wonderful young man.”

For one exceedingly strange moment I considered the possibility that this 77 year-old woman was about to ask me on a date. And in a way, she was.

“This may seem like a strange proposal…”

‘Proposal’ rang out a little odd.

“…but I’d like you to consider coming out and dancing with me this Saturday.”

The offer hang in the air for a record before she continued.

“It would be a business proposition. I would pay you for your time of course. Ever since my husband died I’ve had to go to these dances alone. It’s quite stressful, and I never get in quite as many dances as I’d like.”

“So,” I responded, “I’d be…an escort.”

That certainly didn’t come out right.

“And a dance partner,” she continued with a chuckle, “I’d want you to dress up – bow-ties, suspenders, wing tips. I’d pay for all the clothing, and generously for your time…”

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Found Words – George Washington Carver

June 8, 2011

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”


Found Words – George Washington Carver

June 8, 2011

“No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”


Written Words – (first break)

June 3, 2011

Writing a thesis is a drag. Most days it’s me, my laptop, and my ideas. Often they’re swirling a little too much to get them on the page they way I want, and even when they do get down, it feels like a drop of water in the ocean that is thesisness.

But in the field it’s different. And today is the first day that difference manifested itself.
It started subtly. Reaching out to all the organisations I’m working with to let them know I’m back in town. I was going through my notes to look for meetings to attend, when I found one for tonight — an association close to where I’m living — and one that hasn’t been particularly cooperative.
The problem? I had already RSVPed to an event with a local investigative journalism non-profit at 6, and was picking up friends at 8:30 from the airport. Add in a neighborhood meeting at 7, across the river in Algiers, meant leaving everything early, rushing and being late to each event, or missing something I’d been looking forward to for weeks.
Not to mention that I didn’t even know where the neighborhood association meeting was; and that was the one thing I really needed to do because it was for the research.
— ok, I guess picking up friends at the airport also really needed to be done, it would not have been nice to leave them —
So I called the president of the neighborhood association.
The meeting had been moved to Monday just 30 minutes before I called.
It was the littlest of things — but it meant my next few days fell into place. Instead of careening from one event to another, I could enjoy each of them. I had gotten in touch with one of my particularly ornery associations. One of those, not only can I do this, but I’m kind of good at it moments.
And that’s exactly how it played out. Reconnected with a bunch of people at the Lens social event — reminding myself of just how connected I am to local issues here. Picked up my friends and had a classic New Orleans night out — with a wild brass band (the Stooges) at the HiHo Lounge.
This weekend? Oyster festival. Next week? 4 neighborhood associations meetings.
It’s on.

Found Words – Jon Acuff

June 2, 2011

This one’s a little random, but I oddly understand this dream:

That would be way cooler than the other super hero power I often wish I had, “The ability to instantly figure out the hot and cold water faucets in hotel showers.” That one is kind of obscure.

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Found Music – FFH

June 1, 2011

Song of the Day: Lord Move or Move Me