:: The Freewheelin' Di Winson ::

The lyrics of my life, along with various musical selections
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JUN 66: I am 14 months old in this photo, and I am smiling because I have a new baby sister ... or maybe because I have just peed in the pool.
[::..About Me..::]
I am an American.
I type really fast.
I am left-eye dominant.
I brush & floss regularly.
I am not as funny as I think I am, sometimes.
I was born on Easter.
I believe in music.
I play tennis.
I do not work quietly without disturbing others.
I am a procrastinator.
I watch certain movies just because I know they will make me cry.
I am not my fucking khaki cargo shorts.
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:: Thursday, July 31, 2003 ::


OK, at this moment I am faced with a quandary: Watch "First Class" episode of Seinfeld, which I have seen about a hundred times, or watch American Pie, which I have seen approximately never. Right now I'm on AP; can't believe I've missed out on the whole Pie phenomenon, but ... I have. In spite of the highest recommendations of some of the people I know.

I believe I am actually going to finish "26 Things" by tomorrow's deadline. Which I am happy about. Not because I've managed to snap any photographic masterpieces or anything, but because I have been a shooting fool this month — this whole summer, really — and also because I am glad to be finishing something. I feel like I have completed a few photography-related projects, in fact.

I realized last night, or maybe the day before, that I have been "channeling." Taking all that pent-up energy from this, that and the other [insert appropriate "Jerry and Elaine sitting on the couch, contemplating having sex" scene] and trying to put it to some kind of creative use.

(Hehe: Just saw the infamous apple pie scene in AP. That look on Eugene Levy's face when he walked into the kitchen DID make me laugh out loud ... as did seeing Jason Biggs with that pie pan held up against himself.)

I did find subjects for all 26 themes, although a couple of the photos, how I see them and how they might be perceived ... I dunno.

Oddly enough, I had the most difficult time with "love."

I originally wanted to use a picture of Kurt kissing his oldest child, Shane, on the cheek. Shane was laughing and kind of pulling away when Kurt kissed him, and he has this great expression on his face, but in a way, he kind of looks upset, so I decided against that one. I also had one of Shane and Shannon hugging — Shane rather reluctantly — but didn't use that shot, either. Then I had a couple of Pinto League (6- and 7-year-olds) baseball action shots that I wanted to use, showing "the love of the game" (that I have, and a few of them do, also), but then I decided I might use one of them for the "little things" category: as in, little kids. I tried to get Chico to give his mom "kisses" yesterday, but the silly dog was rather uncooperative; however, I did manage to get a shot of the two of them kind of looking at each other fondly. Think I'm gonna use that one.

Today I had to find "landscape" and "construction." Thought I'd take a picture of the h.s. football stadium for the landscape shot, but when I got there, I realized I couldn't get a full panoramic view that included the seats and the scoreboard; plus, no lines! Then I sort of got fixated on the red chair seats, and the lines of them, and how they were all "empty" — one of the themes! — for which I'd already gotten a picture of some empty milk crates but ended up replacing with a shot of the empty seats. I think I'm also going to replace the monument/grave of the dog at EIU with a shot of Big John, the statue in front of my grocery store ... but that's still open to debate. I'll decide sometime tomorrow.

For construction, I stopped by the site of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter. I'd noticed some green scaffolding or something last night and thought it might make a cool shot, so I went back this afternoon while it was still daylight.

One of my favorite moments of last night came when I went chasing a sunset.

I already had a sunset photo — actually, it was a moon shot, on the opposite side of the sky one night as the sun was going down — but last night, as I was driving home, I noticed the clouds looked kinda cool toward the West. And as anyone who shoots sunsets knows: A sunset isn't always so much about the sun as it is about the clouds and certain other meterological conditions.

When I see certain clouds at a particular time of the day, I grab my camera and try to see what is going to develop. (Heh. I am punny tonight. So is this movie, I must admit. In spite of myself.) Although, as I told a girl later last night, I believe everyone should have a camera with her at all times — just in case. And I DO believe this; I need to adhere to it more. A few years ago, I carried a Kodak flip-up camera with me 24/7 — just in case. Got some of my best shots back then, too. WAY before digi-cams and all that. (Does anyone actually use the term "digi-cams," besides me??!)

Anyway, I headed out toward the airport but was way ahead of the setting sun, so I drove to Rend Lake. I thought about settling in at the Visitors Center but then decided to drive across the lake and see what I could find, vantage-point-wise, over there. I got almost to "Spider Mine" when I noticed a path sort of winding up and back in the direction of the sun. I parked my car and went scampering up the gravel path, catching glimpses of the clouds and the sun through the trees.

And then I got my shot:

(I used a horizontal shot for the gallery. Unless I choose my mind and use this one.)

I strolled back to the car. Started running when I heard something scurrying in the brushes to the left of the path. Listened to Tori Amos' version of "Time" by Tom Waits as I drove back around the lake. Saw 7 or 8 deer; could have gotten a pretty good picture of one of them, had I cleared off some disk space and left my camera turned on. But: I didn't.

:: Di 12:11:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 ::
I am not a millionaire ... yet.

Finally managed to check the 6 Lotto tickets I'd shoved down along the sides of the seat of my car last month, back when the Mega Millions game was up to, like, 150 kazillion dollars or something riDIculous like that, and guess what: I didn't win. Didn't even match 4 or 5 numbers, and none of my tickets had the correct Powerball number, either. What a shocker.

I love the people who, when the jackpot is really really high like it was last month, start talking about how, if they won, they'd have to pay this ungodly amount of money in taxes. And they act as if, boy, if you won 100 million dollars, it would really suck to have to pay $55 million of it in taxes — and be left with "only" $45 mil or so. Or the ones who pessimistically (sp? doesn't look right, and I'm not in the mood to look it up!) predict that even if they did win, they'd prolly hafta split it with 19 other winners.

So, let's say the jackpot is an even $100 million and you were, in fact, one of 20 winners. Which cuts you down to a "mere" $5 million, a lil' over half of that going to taxes.


And unless you're an absolute financial moron, that should be enough to get you a really cool car, the house of your dreams, some most excellent clothes, all the fabulous footwear you've ever wanted AND a wall-sized flat-screen TV, plus leave you some traveling money. And, if you choose to "invest it wisely" and not quit your day job, you'll probably have enough to live on, pretty well, for quite some time.

: )

I'm still secretly convinced that I may have had a winning Lotto ticket back during the late 1980s but failed to remember to check my numbers. I tell myself that I'm quite possibly a millionaire many times over but just wasn't mature enough to handle it back then.

: )

One time, back when I was living in The Ville for 4 months from November 1988 to February 1989, I matched 4 numbers on a lottery ticket. I don't remember what the jackpot was. The drawing was on a Saturday night, but I didn't even check my numbers until Monday morning at work.

I have to tell ya, it's pretty exciting when you're looking at those numbers on the computer screen and they match the ones on the ticket you're holding in your hand. And I could've been disappointed once I realized I had come that close to matching 5 numbers, which would have garnered me a few thousand dollars, and I should've been devastated to have been that near to my life's fortune — but to be quite honest, I was THRILLED to match 4 numbers.

What the hell, it was Monday morning. This set a positive tone for the entire week.

I won 69 dollars. I went to D.J.'s Party House, where I'd bought the ticket, and collected my earnings, then took a couple of co-workers to Pizza Hut for lunch. I offered to take the whole office, but most of them had other plans, so I even had some money left over.

It was cool.

Now playing: "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs, All of This and Nothing.

(How is it that sometimes, entire albums can remind you of her? And we haven't even gotten to "Ghost in You" yet. Damn.)

: )

OK, so I'm putting together some photos for this site I ran across last week. It's called "26 Things: The International Photographic Scavenger Hunt" (except the Web site has all those words lower-cased — quite the trend on the Internet, I've noticed, as if certain keyboards are lacking shift keys or something, I dunno), and you're supposed to take one photo for each of the 26 one-word themes provided during the month of July.

And I wouldn't have even bothered with it because I got in on it so late (July 24), but fortunately I've been shooting like a madwoman this month, so I already had some shots that spilled over quite nicely into the various themes.

Anyhoo, I've got 7 left to find: love, weather, scape, time, sound, little things and construction.

Here's my photo for "home":

I shot that on Field 4 at the Benton Community Park. (That's the Rawlings T-ball bat I keep under my desk at the news office. Wanna fuck with me? I didn't THINK so!)

In my next life, I will be a Major League Baseball player. Possibly a left-handed pitcher. Just watch.

: )

Now playing: "Pretty in Pink." (Miranda my movie/music sensei told me that Molly Ringwald specifically insisted that the Furs do the soundtrack/background music for that movie.) All of which means "Ghost in You" is next.

What a perfect ending song for today's journal entry.

Angels fall like rain
and love love love love
is all of heaven away ...

:: Di 3:20:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, July 27, 2003 ::
Slide show song


I read your blog journal about the wedding ... the song during the slide show was "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg.

Love you-

(I love you, too, Delra!)

: )

:: Di 2:23:00 PM [+] ::
Pico de gallo

So, I swung by Big John tonight in search of some chicken breasts and that yummy teriyaki marinade I raved about earlier. And some bottled water and Coke. And then I saw some jalapeño peppers and got a sudden craving for some pico de gallo. I tried making it one time but couldn't get it right; this time, though, I knew exactly what I needed:

2 large tomatoes, 2 small white onions, 10 sprigs of cilantro (leaves only) and about half a jalapeño pepper. Dice/chop all of the items except the pepper, which should be cut into itty-bitty pieces. Throw them all into a big bowl and add about a teaspoon of salt. Stir and then let it all sit together in the fridge for a few minutes or hours and then eat it on tortilla chips, tacos, etc.

Make sure you don't rub your eyes or anything after chopping the jalapeño, or it will burn, baby, burn!!

By the way: I was not wearing ANY pants whilst I was making my pico sauce. So HA!

: )

Played badminton today for the first time in a L O N G time. I still kick ass in that sport, though.

I miss playing badminton and "pitch 'n' catch" in the yard with my sister. And tennis.

I realized today that it pisses me off when h.s.-age girls can't do things like throw and catch and hit a badminton birdie over the net. I know that not all kids are coordinated or athletic or what-not, but hey, I am BY NO MEANS an athlete, and I always got so much enjoyment out of playing sports and doing stuff like that.

And yeah, sometimes I preferred sitting on the porch reading a book or writing a story or whatever, but by golly, if anyone needed someone to hit with/against or throw to or ride bikes with: I was there, man. Ready to play.


:: Di 12:41:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, July 25, 2003 ::

Martina Navratilova

Before I begin this ramble, let me just say that as I muted The Weather Channel and contemplated my next online entry, I took one look at the top 2 CDs lying on the desk next to my laptop (Lucinda's World Without Tears and The Shirelles: Greatest Hits) and one look at the clock, realized that Seinfeld would be starting in 10 minutes and decided on that. I am not sure what this says about me, but I am certain it must say something.


I saw Martina play last night. For the 4th time in my life. And maybe it will be the last time: The woman/legend is 46 years old, after all. Didn't matter on this night, though; she was still the best tennis player on the court. Including the male players.

And competitive! Whew. I wouldn't want to play against her ... not tennis, anyway. Other types of games: Well, who knows? I can be QUITE competitive when I want to. (I usually don't admit to that, though ... but everyone knows it.)

: )

The first pro tennis match I remember watching on TV was Borg-McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final. I'd heard all about this horrible brat named John McEnroe — but then, in that match (which he lost), he was the perfect gentleman. And there was something about that total rat's-nest hair of his, and the headband, and how he moved and volleyed and served and raged ... wow, I just loved him.

Maybe I had watched Wimbledon before. I was familiar with it and with some of the professional players; I remember playing badminton in the yard and pretending it was Wimbledon and claiming to be Evonne Goolagong. I didn't know anything about her, really, but I loved that name. I didn't get hooked, though, until I saw Johnny Mac playing there.

So I watched the 1981 final — which McEnroe won — and then started playing a little closer attention to pro tennis. And in early 1982, I discovered Martina.

OK, so she'd won Wimbledon in 1978 and '79, and I'd never even noticed. What the heck? I was playing tennis then, but not in any kind of organized fashion. I learned to play tennis when my sister and I used to hit the ball back and forth on Chestnut Street. Sometimes we'd go to the h.s. and play there, or to the park, but mainly, we played on the street.

I saw Martina playing, on TV, in the Family Circle Cup, and I was just mesmerized. The announcers kept talking about how she'd gotten into such great shape, and how she hadn't won any majors for a while but was coming back. She had this serve-and-volley game and a good serve, and I thought she was fabulous. Of course, I liked Chrissie Evert, too, so watching the 2 of them play was very cool.

I started reading up about Martina. How she'd defected from Czechoslovakia and had become a U.S. citizen. And how she'd been "outed" by a reporter for a Dallas newspaper.

Outed, huh?

Yeah, wow: My favorite tennis player was a lesbian. How cool was THAT??!

I was full-on majorly obsessed. I was thrilled when she won the French Open and Wimbledon, devastated when she lost to her doubles partner, Pam Shriver, at the U.S. Open. I even cast aside my beloved Wilson Lady Advantage tennis racket for a Yonex R-7, just like the one Martina used. (I've still got both rackets, along with Debra's Chris Evert Autograph.)

That was during my senior year of h.s. (1982-83) when I talked my dad into taking me and Debra to Chicago for the Virginia Slims. It was the first pro tennis tournament I'd ever seen, and I managed to get Martina's autograph after her match.

I saw her again in the late-1980s — actually, saw her and Chris play in the final at Chicago. That, too, was excellent, but by this time, obviously, my obsession had long since subsided.

Martina had a great run during the '90s, too, ended up winning 9 Wimbledon singles titles (she's got 20 championships, overall, from the All England Athletic Club — tied for the record with Billie Jean King). And then she sort of drifted out of the forefront and was considered all-but-retired from the game.

And then, on a beautiful sunny spring day in Paris back in 2001, my pals and I were wandering around Roland Garros, and we looked into our programmes, and we saw that Martina was going to be playing mixed doubles! Martina at the French Open! Hey, it wasn't Wimbledon, but still: Martina playing in a Grand Slam event.

Going to Wimbledon had been a long-time goal of mine, and one I'd accomplished in 1999; seeing Martina at Roland Garros was an unexpected bonus.

I watched her (on TV) win that 20th Wimbledon title, the mixed doubles with the adorable Leander Paes. And when I got the chance to join some pals in seeing Martina play World Team Tennis in St. Louis less than 3 weeks later, I couldn't pass it up.

She was warming up when we got there. I noticed there weren't any official-looking people blocking the entrance to the court or anything, so I strolled right on out onto the court and took some pictures while she hit groundstrokes and volleys and serves.

("One of my favorite moments of this night was when you just went walking out on the court and started taking pictures," Jody told me later. "It was like you knew exactly what you were doing." I told her that whenever I have my camera around my neck, it's as if I am invisible: I am simply a photographer, doing my job, taking my photos. "Except I hope no one saw me when I dropped a battery!" I added.)

: )

Got some cool photos of the night. I was very pleased.

On a related (but not entirely) note: I need more than 5 hours of sleep per night. I have a hangover-ish headache for the 2nd day in a row ... and I have not had a drop of alcohol since July 4.

:: Di 11:46:00 PM [+] ::
I made a new friend tonight.

And spent some quality time with 3 old friends. And saw Martina Navratilova play tennis.

More later, when it's not so late.

(That sentence makes NO sense.)

:: Di 12:53:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 24, 2003 ::
Fall night in July

No kidding, it's late-July, and outside it feels like fall. Cool. Those bugs going, "Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch." Reminds me of being 7 and lying on my bunk bed (top bunk; ALWAYS on top) with the window wide open and the curtains pulled back and the breeze blowing through the screen.

It's awesome.

: )

And earlier, I was chatting with Tee-Hee and telling her how I miss a certain girl, and how at one point I would have never dreamed the girl would have forgiven me, and Tee-Hee — whom I spent the better part of my h.s. years with, talking and laughing and running back and forth to church youth group — told me that, "God has a way of telling you if a relationship is the wrong thing." And when I told her that (about the forgiveness), and that we'd chatted, and asked what God was telling me with that, she replied: "That this relationship is worth something?"

And that made perfect sense.

This relationship IS worth something. And I have known that all along. Even in my saddest moments.

I feel better now.

:: Di 12:21:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 ::
The secret to life — or at least the secret to grillt chicken breasts

One word: Marinade. Or rather: Marinate.

For AT LEAST half an hour.

Doesn't matter what you use, as long as you include some kind of cooking oil in the marinade. Be creative! Go crazy! Although I highly recommend the teriyaki with pineapple sauce marinade (made by Lawry's, I believe) that I used tonight.

Oh, and do not turn your breasts too soon (heh) on the initial sear. And do not wait too long to check your breasts a 2nd time (heh) ... unless, of course, you were planning on serving blackened chicken breasts. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that "blackened chicken" is not the same as "burnt chicken.")

And really, before any of this: Make sure your charcoal briquets are ash-covered and glowing before you begin to cook. Otherwise, the girl you cooked dinner for will most likely take one bite of her ribs/steak/chicken/whatever, be unable to taste anything but lighter fluid (even though you, yourself, are oblivious to how your own cooking tastes), give you a look that tells you she can't quite decide whether to spit or swallow (heh), and then announce that she's got a sudden hankering for a peanut butter 'n' jelly samwich.

: )

This day started weirdly. I was looking forward to an early deadline at the news office, but walked in to find that the network was fucked-up. Leaving me in no mood for any kind of anything from any of my co-workers. So when I got a bit of something from someone, I teetered on the edge of a mild snap-out.

Prompting me to realize that it's good for people to know that I AM capable of snapping out at any given moment. If necessary.

: )

I had this thought last night:

As good as I feel — and I feel great about almost everything, really — there is an undercurrent of sadness inside of me.

Of course, there is also an element of hope inside of me. Optimism. Always.

:: Di 11:30:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 21, 2003 ::
This is me, in a nutshell:

A few weeks (months?) ago, I opened a bottle of Coke, looked at the cap and saw that I had won a free Coca-Cola hat. So I, never one to turn away any kind of "free" prize, held on to the bottle cap and the label so I would have the Web site address whenever I decided to claim my prize.

I kept moving the bottle cap and label around to different parts of my house: the kitchen counter, the kitchen table, possibly the stove, the end table, the coffee table and eventually my computer desk, where it has sat for the past week or so. Finally, I grew tired of not having room on the desk, so I decided to claim my prize. Finally.

NOT so much that I could claim my Coca-Cola hat, but that I could FINALLY be rid of the bottle cap and label. I visited the Web site, typed in all the necessary info — and then saw a line telling entrants to hang on to their bottle caps because they might have to be submitted for verification!

Fuck it. I threw away the bottle cap AND the label. I will take my chances; besides, if they don't send me Kyle Petty, I'm not all that interested, anyway. Not sure why; I mean, I couldn't care less about NASCAR, but I saw Kyle Petty on the soda machine at Wal-Mart and decided he was kinda cute or something.

: )

Meant to write about my weekend — or, more specifically, my Saturday, on which I attended Cousin Kevin's wedding.

I will admit, I wasn't looking forward to the ceremony. I mean, I can handle only 1 wedding every 12 months, and it has not even been a full calendar year since Tee-Hee's nuptials last August. Mainly, though, I couldn't muster much enthusiasm for Kevie's THIRD marriage — although it was his fiancé's first, and I have known Carrie for 7 years, and they really seemed to want me there.

On Saturday, though, my outlook changed — whilst heading to CVS, of all places.

I had originally planned to give K&C some cash, but then I wondered: How much is an appropriate amount? And then I thought: Couldn't I at least take a look at their gift registry at Wal-Mart? (Our Wally World is located in the same plaza as CVS.) And so I did, and I noticed they had some frames on their wish list, and since photography and framing and all that has been at the forefront of my "summer projects" this year, I got them the ones they had requested. And a pack of VHS tapes, just for good measure.

Then I wrapped the gifts, found something to wear amidst the chaos known as my bedroom, took a shower, got dressed (running about 45 minutes behind schedule, but ... oh well, I knew I could make up time on the interstate), packed some CDs and got ready to roll. Got a call from The Lovely first, who told me to come by on my way outta town.

Turns out she'd gotten me this ultra-cool leather necklace to wear, so I was mega-stoked over that. (Gotta LOVE leather — and a girl who knows my tastes!)

By this time, I am set for the hour-and-45-minute drive. And here is the setlist for the drive to Mattoon:

  • "Hope" and "At My Most Beautiful," Up, REM (4 or 5 times for Most Beautiful song ... man, I LOVE not having to rewind!)
  • "Bread and Wine," "Thousand Year Prayer," "I'm So Open" and "Small Swift Birds," Open, Cowboy Junkies (I had to listen to Open and Birds songs two times each.)
  • "Love Profusion," "Nothing Fails" and "X-Static Process," American Life, Madonna

After which I landed on some Central Illinoize oldies/'80s station and settled for radio music for a bit.

For the drive home:

  • "The Consequences of Falling" and "Summerfling," Invincible Summer, k.d. lang
  • Almost all of Lucinda Williams' newest, World Without Tears — WHICH, I am happy to report, ended the mystery of the "Real Live ______" chorus that I woke up singing one day last week and could not, for the LIFE of me, remember where I'd heard it: Turns out it's "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings," the 4th song on the album, and I LOVE it!

In-between these 2 setlists, of course, I attended the wedding. And it was beautiful.

Pre-wedding convo snippet, after I'd noticed that my sister's "buzzooms" looked to be a bit more, uhm, sufficient in her uncharacteristic but dazzling sleeveless jumper:

Debra: It's this bodysuit I've got on ... it's pushing it up from my FEET!

Mom: I think your voice is even a little higher!

Me and Debra: (Both laughing, as I am furiously scribbling quotes from the conversation.)

Debra: Oh, no, this is going to be written in ... (whispering) oh, I forgot, it's a secret (obscure reference to my online journal).

Mom: Well, please don't leave that piece of paper in the pew. Please!

I cried when I first saw Kevin at the altar ... even though I knew he had been through all of this before and didn't appear to be too nervous. And I cried when I thought of Grandma Ginny, who was there, but only in our hearts. (This was the first non-funeral family function since she left us.) I also cried when I heard Kevin stumble through those same basic lines that I have heard at every wedding I have ever attended. I cried when I glanced over at Debra and saw her wiping tears off her cheeks. And I cried when Kevin and Carrie lit the unity candle, during which a slide show featuring photos of the 2 of them and some song (damn, can't think of the title right now!) played on a big screen in front of them.

I had to smile AND cry at one of the shots, right toward the end, with little Kevie, just a few months old, sitting on the floor and his cousins, Diana and Debra, looking at him and "acting scared," Aunt Janie told me later, because I'd only gotten a glimpse of the photo and didn't remember ever having seen it before. (Seems that, in the picture, Kevin is pretending to shoot a gun, and Debra and I are acting like we're afraid.)

I was a part of the ceremony. Whether I had gone or not.

I am so glad I went. So, so glad.

:: Di 3:10:00 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 19, 2003 ::
Cowboy Junkies moment(s)

There I was, headed straight for bed, when all-of-a-sudden I have a line from a Cowboy Junkies song go tearing through my head:

"I've met a girl who turned my whole world upside down."

It's from "Thousand Year Prayer" on their Open CD. Quite a brilliant collection of songs on that one, not the least of which is "Bread and Wine":

"Well I'm lyin' in my bed, a tangle of arms and legs,
but the one that I'm with is not the one bouncing 'round my head.
I could turn this into song or cheap fantasy,
but whatever I've ignited will still burn in me."

And then, of course, there is my favorite song on the album, "Small Swift Birds," which I adore in part because I watched Margo Timmins sing it on Kilborn one night with Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine. Here are the lyrics:

Small Swift Birds
By The Cowboy Junkies

I've been told that it's just the way life goes.
Once the wildest river is now a trickle to the sea.
The peak we risk our lives to scale becomes dirt beneath our feet.
The wisdom of a lifetime always disappears untapped.
Paradise once given will always be taken back.
And the love you hang your life upon
will start to slowly crack.

I have seen people suffocate the dream.
Forgetting to turn that one last time while she watches through the door.
Focusing on the garbage that she used to ignore.
Thinking she looks so beautiful but not yelling it out loud.
He should have stopped to kiss her before he headed out.
Just forgetting how fucking lucky you are
to have found her in such a crowd.

But we've seen a cloud of starlings rising on a crisp autumn day.
We were handed the weight of a child sleeping and bore her away.
We've tasted the tears that fall when saying goodbye forever.
And we've seen the silver from a waxing moon wash upon the shore.

I have heard about the lives of small swift birds.
They dazzle with their colour and their deftness through the air.
Just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there.
Legendary journeys made on fragile hollow wings.
The night skies rich with whistling each and every spring.
And then there's the day we look for them and can't find them anywhere.

I've been told that it's just the way life goes.

Reminds me of The Thorn Birds, somehow.

It's amazing how, late at night, I think I am tired, but then I have to write.

This CD is DEFINITELY going with me on my lil' road trip tomorrow.

:: Di 1:14:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 17, 2003 ::
My living room floor is covered with 8-by-10 photos.

Most of which I took. Some of which I am in. (This photo project might drive me absolutely insane.)

My sister told me I hadn't written about Grandma Ginny in here yet, and she's right, I have not. At least not about what I've felt about her death. And I think that is because I'm not exactly sure what I've felt. I think there is a part of me that is still sort of numb about it, somehow ... a part that still hasn't really realized that she's gone.

I am not so good at grieving, I guess. Or maybe I am not so good about writing about grieving.

Or maybe the fact that I feel kinda shitty right now, for various reasons, is in some way related to the fact that I am grieving.

I don't know.

Song in my head, right now: "Raining in Baltimore" by the Counting Crows ... mainly this line, "I need a phone call."

And this part:

"There's things I remember and things I forget
I miss you I guess that I should
Three thousand five hundred miles away
But what would you change if you could?"

I was putting some photos in my album last night, and I ran across a picture of my dad, and all I could do was stare at it. And remember how much he loved me. People say I look like him, and we do have similar features, and I really wish he could have known me beyond the age of 25.

He would've had a computer for sure. And maybe we could have chatted almost every night like Mom and I do. Hell, of COURSE we would have chatted; I mean, he was hooked on that CB radio, clear into the 1990s! He would have LOVED the Internet. NO doubt.

:: Di 10:57:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 ::
This is Di, reflected in Shannon's eye.

I am fascinated by this photo I took, entirely by accident.

:: Di 7:58:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 ::
Whale Rider and Red Moon, Part 2

Or, more specifically: She's ba-aa-aa-ack!

: )

And where was I? Oh, right, last night and my spur o' the moment trip to St. Louis.

Realized I was ahead of schedule, time-wise, so I detoured to Fairview Heights to stop by Best Buy; unfortunately, some kind of road blockage, so I ended up at some arts 'n' crafts store. It was pretty cool, though, and I came thisclose to buying a book on watercolor painting, but ... I didn't. Found a frame for my Le Petit Prince print, though, and a couple of other things. Grand total: $19.83.

"Hey, that's the year I graduated," I told the clerk, some teen-aged boy who didn't seem all that impressed. "That should be good for a discount or something."

"Well, maybe if you aljlakeru sdouoiuer woeurael," he said. (I have NO IDEA what he mumbled; hence, the nonsense words.)

Got to the theater about 20 minutes before showtime and noticed a Del Taco right next door; decided I'd eat there afterwards and spare myself the pricey theater food. I did drop $3.25 on a small bottle of water, which on any other day might have annoyed me, but not this time.

I dig the Hi-Pointe. It's this old theater, and I'm obviously no expert in decor, but it has kind of a 1950s-60s look. And then, after climbing the 20 stairs to the ladies' restroom, I noticed a high-tech motion-sensor-activated paper-towel dispenser! It was totally cool. I admit, I like NOT touching things in public restrooms.

Found myself a seat about a third of the way down in this surprisingly large theater, which had cushioned teal seats and a teal curtain in front of the screen. Sat and relaxed, eavesdropped on the women behind me when they started talking about Finding Nemo ("You'll love it," I told them. "Very funny.") and this "new" game called "Cast the Pigs." Turns out they were talking about my old favorite, PIGMANIA! So I need to do a search later tonight and find out what's up with THAT!

And then: Whale Rider began. And it was mesmerizing, in a very simple and sincere way. And beautiful. Gorgeous shots of New Zealand landscapes and water and peoples' faces and eyes. And such a wonderful story. I had never seen any of the actors in any other films, but they are fabulous. Great music, too.

Too much, still, on my mind to write about it; however, it truly is a Must See. For anyone with a soul.

After the movie and a rather disappointing trip to Del Taco, I was on my way back to Illinoize. And about a fourth of the way home, I'm thinking, hmm, it's just one night past the full moon; where IS the moon??! I kept looking and looking, and then, just above the horizon in the East: I found it.

It was just a shadow of the moon, at first, almost as if I were looking at it through a fog or something. It was sort of a reddish-purple or something, and it eventually became simply red.

And maybe it was because of the movie I had just seen, which included a Maori tribe and the "old ways," but suddenly I thought back to when I was in Miss Biggs' 3rd-grade class and we built this big teepee and had to decide on an Indian name, and mine was Red Moon. I also used that as my CB handle back when CB radios were all the rage (having a MAJOR '70s moment here), but then, once I got into h.s. and realized all the implications of that name, I refused to acknowledge it.

Last night, though, I thought it was pretty damn cool that I was Red Moon. And there I was, staring right up at one.

And then it changed to a pink grapefruit-pink, and then to bright orange, and then to yellow by the time I arrived home.

I felt as if I had been in on something magical last night. But then again, sometimes my whole life has that sort of a feeling about it.

:: Di 10:12:00 PM [+] ::
Whale Rider and Red Moon

I know a girl who, in spite of everything we have been through (and there have been some times, lemme tell ya), has NEVER steered me wrong when it comes to music. And to movies.

And so, when she first mentioned Whale Rider, I put it on my must-see list. Located it at a St. Louis-area theater called the Hi-Pointe and figured I'd get around to it sometime over the next coupla weeks. However, when she brought it up twice within 2 days ... I knew it was time.

Headed over to St. Louie on a warm, sunny summer afternoon, after I had worked a few hours and napped a couple of hours (what can I say, I was up late Sunday night). Realized halfway out of town that I had forgotten my camera; I'm starting to feel naked without it, but I did not go back. This night would be about me, flying solo to see this film.

I go to this city frequently but have only traveled there to see 3 movies: Lost & Delirious at a theater whose name escapes me, and both The Virgin Suicides and Boys Don't Cry at a magnificent old place called Tivoli Theatre. (I actually saw the latter movie there twice — the first time, the minute I found out it was playing St. Louis, and the second time, on a somewhat miserable rainy but relatively warm mid-winter night with my friend Jenn.)

Fuck: Work beckons, and I must finish this for right now. (My sister says I use the word "fuck" too often in here. Why would this simple fact make me wanna say it even more?)

: )

:: Di 7:11:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 14, 2003 ::
Nothin' like sleepin' on a bed of nails ...

Woke up singing everything from "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby to "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Neil Young (the Corrs' cover of it) to "Say You Will" by Fleetwood Mac.

At this moment, though, I have a need to post the lyrics of the best, saddest song I can think of:

Latter Days
By Over the Rhine

What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be.
Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy.
And I use these words pretty loosely.
There's so much more to life than words.

There is a me you would not recognize, dear. Call it the shadow of myself.
And if the music starts before I get there, dance without me. You dance so gracefully.
I really think I'll be OK. They've taken their toll these latter days.

Nothin' like sleepin' on a bed of nails. Nothin' much here but our broken dreams.
Ah, but baby if all else fails, nothin' is ever quite what it seems.
And I'm dyin' inside to leave you with more than just clichés.

There is a me you would not recognize, dear. Call it the shadow of myself.
And if the music starts before I get there, dance without me. You dance so gracefully.
I really think I'll be OK. They've taken their toll these latter days.

But tell them it's real. Tell them it's really real.
I just don't have much left to say.
They've taken their toll these latter days.
They've taken their toll these latter days.

That's all, for now. I am going to see Whale Rider tonight, hopefully.

:: Di 6:51:00 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 12, 2003 ::
Some random thoughts on a sunny Saturday:

If my cat were narcoleptic, how would I ever know?

I am having a pretty good hair day, mostly because of my Dep SPORT gel and the lil' trim I gave myself before taking a shower.

Ah: Cut my nails all the way down to "the quick" again, and now my fingertips feel normal when I am typing!

Even a 7-1 lead doesn't quite feel safe when I am watching the Cubbies.

: )

For some reason, every time I see the word "lascivious," I want to pronounce it, "lass-uh-VIH-shus," as if it were spelled "lascivicious." (I would not necessarily be thinking of the word lascivious — although I actually WAS thinking about it the other day whilst driving on West Main — but then I saw it at this Webmonkey site that I just visited and decided to express my random thought about it.)

Whenever I make random-thought lists like this, I am somehow compelled to use number or bullets or something; this time, however, none of those seems appropriate.

I am wearing boxer shorts about the color of this online journal background (maroon?) with little white sharks all over them.

A couple of not-so-random thoughts:

I wish I could remember the voice I used that made you listen. Really listen.

What I miss most are the times when we talked. Really talked.

:: Di 2:06:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 10, 2003 ::
This is a book to be read with your heart.

I will finish The Lovely Bones today, and as much as I look forward to finding out how it all finishes, I can already feel that I am going to hate to let Susie Salmon go ...

Yet, isn't that part of the beauty of fiction? As much as real life? We have these encounters with people — characters in a novel or a movie, for a minute or an hour or a couple of days or however long — and sometimes, they stay with us, just like real, live people that we come into contact with. Every day or once in a while, three times a year (all the major holidays), whenever, maybe just once, ever, in person or over the phone or on the screens of our computers, and from then on, they are forever part of our life's landscape.

For good or bad. Better or worse.

:: Di 1:09:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 ::
I bought a book tonight; I began writing a book this morning.

This evening I set off to find The Lucky Bones by Alice Sebold. Found it at Target (properly pronounced "tar-ZHAY" — or, as Joe Anne would call it, "Tempo"), four hardback copies, actually, and me being me, I picked up the front copy, looked it over and then grabbed the one right behind it. I noticed that three of the four copies cost $19.75, but one cost $9.76. Apparently, it had been mislabeled with the price intended for some Nannies book (??). I considered getting that one and saving myself ten bucks, but somehow it seemed like stealing.

I strolled down to Waldenbooks to see what the book cost there: $21.95. I thought some more about getting the $9.76 copy at Target, but then decided it wouldn't feel right. I mean, what if that were MY novel on the shelf? (And once again, morality DOES come down to one basic issue: How does this affect ME?)

So, I bought the $19.75 copy at Target, along with a picture frame, two bottles of deodorant (Arm & Hammer "Fresh," couldn't find any at Wal-Mart t'other night) and some baby powder. Quite a night, shopping-wise.

Which reminds me of a statement made by Vincent during an episode of Judging Amy a few seasons ago, something to the effect of how being moral wasn't a huge momumental decision, but a series of small deeds that we do every day.

And with that, I've just received a "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" message. So I'm off to find the quote, if I can.

(Five minutes later, after getting booted off AOL Instant Messenger AND disconnected from the Internet but NOT shut down by IE ... oddly ...)

No luck on Yahoo!, but I shall keep searching. 'Twas a great quote, and it's very likely that I jotted it down in some notebook at one time or another that I can't seem to find right now. The story of my life.

Speaking of stories: I was feeling all happy and peppy and bursting with love this a.m. when I took my morning shower, in part because my — what IS she to me, anyway? ("What ... am I to you?") — my friend received her card and she liked it and, most importantly of all, it made her smile. And in the midst of humming that "Roll to Me" song and rinsing shampoo outta my eyes, I had an incredible story idea burst into my brain, totally unexpectedly, and I've been thinking about it all day. Just letting it crash around in my cranium, yet I've already got a couple of characters in mind, and a basic premise, and I'm not quite sure I've ever felt quite like this before.

Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I have not.

:: Di 10:03:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 07, 2003 ::

This is my hibiscus.

It bloomed twice yesterday and once today. Looks like it might bloom again tomorrow or the next day, and there are 6 or 7 buds just waiting their turn.

Aunt Toots sent this plant to Grandma Ginny's visitation/funeral. It bloomed the day of her burial but hadn't since.

I think it's beautiful.

'Twas gonna post a photo of my tennis idol, Martina Navratilova, who tied the Wimbledon record for most titles (20 — she shares it with Billie Jean King) by winning the mixed doubles championship with Leander Paes yesterday. However, I don't want to violate any copyright laws, so I'll just leave this lil' link to Martina and Leander for all eternity ... or as long as wimbledon.org keeps it there!

(Hmm, wonder if I've broken any copyright laws by posting lyrics? Don't think so ... and I have included the artists' names ... so, yeah. I should be OK.)

* Humming "Secret Garden" *

Here's a great quote I heard last night while watching The Truth About Cats & Dogs, uttered by Abby, although I don't remember the scene:

"It's mentally exhausting feeling really bad about something you can't do anything about."

Amen, sister!

Here's another good one I heard today during All My Children (OK, the ugly truth is out now!) when Carlos was talking to Maggie:

"If it's not the real thing, it'll disappear; if it's the real thing, it'll come back to you."

Amen, hermano!

Oh, wait, I need an upside-down exclamation point-thingie, hold on ...

(two minutes later)

¡Amen, hermano!

It's rough, sometimes, being this damn anal.

:: Di 11:36:00 PM [+] ::
She'll let you in her heart ...

Woke up singing this song. Gotta admit, it takes me way back and leaves me there, for a bit. ("To that place where you can't remember ... and you can't forget ...")

Man, I don't like Mondays. I love this song, though.

: )

Secret Garden
By Bruce Springsteen

She'll let you in her house
If you come knockin' late at night
She'll let you in her mouth if the
Words you say are right
If you pay the price
She'll let you deep inside
But there's a secret garden she hides.

She'll let you in her car
To go drivin' round
She'll let you into the parts of herself
That'll bring you down
She'll let you in her heart
If you got a hammer and a vise
But into her secret garden, don't think twice.

You've gone a million miles
How far'd you get to that place where
You can't remember and you can't forget?

She'll lead you down a path
There'll be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there
She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She's got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay a million miles away.

(Minus the Jerry Maguire dialogue ... although I DO love Tom and Renee and the whole "You had me at hello" thing.)

:: Di 6:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, July 06, 2003 ::
Wimbledon 2003

1. Roger Federer is an absolute doll.

2. ANY sportscaster who pronounces "Wimbledon" as "Wimbleton" should be fired. (This means YOU, Jimmy Roberts!)

3. Pete Sampras is an absolute doll, also. I miss him, but wow, how great, getting to see him play at Wimbledon, in person, a few years ago.

Hmm, Manly Carillo did just have a funny line, when asked if she thought Pete would come back:

"On a scale of 1 to 10 ... uhm, no."

4. OK, maybe she's not so bad. (Don't tell Teresa I said that!)

:: Di 10:51:00 AM [+] ::
Saturday night was a good night.

Went with Jody and Murphy to the lake to watch the big fireworks display. Wasn't looking forward to it but ended up having a great time. Drank some beer, ate some food, watched some fireworks. Good night.

I haven't been to the Fourth of July fireworks here for a few years. I was banished by my best pal a few years ago, when she and I and her younger son went, and all her son and I did the whole time we were there was complain about being hungry, so we left and she told us both she was NEVER going to the fireworks with us again.

This was our first time at the fireworks since then. (She forgave me, I guess.)

So we officially celebrated our Fourth of July on the July 5. However, we actually did celebrate Independence Day on July 4 with some "legal" fireworks purchased in West City. Best part of that was the sign that said, "NO bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers. PLEASE DON'T ASK." Which, naturally, COMPELLED me to ask:

"Got any firecrackers?"

"No firecrackers," said the blonde woman working there, "but we've got some of these." She pointed me toward some kinda little pseudo-firecracker things, 6 for 99 cents, so I bought a pack.

Then, as we were paying:

"Got any Roman candles?" I asked. (Hell, I'm not even sure what a Roman candle is!)

"Nope. No Roman candles," said a guy sitting in a lawn chair not far from the cash register.

I didn't ask about the bottle rockets. I knew better.

(Yeah, rrrrrright!)

: )

Anyway, this picture is from our lil' fireworks display in my friend's backyard:

Not sure what kind of pyrotechnic this was (I DO know it was not a bottle rocket, a Roman candle OR a firecracker), but it's one of the things Kurt set off last night, and I thought it looked cool.

Those are sparks.

:: Di 12:39:00 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 05, 2003 ::
I want to stuff a pillow
into the mouth of Mary Carillo!

I have officially worn out the MUTE button on my remote from muting Mary Carillo — who previously and heretofore shall be known as "Manly" Carillo — and her incessant drivel during coverage of the women's championship match at Wimbledon.

And no, it's not that I have anything against manly women; matter of fact, I am in awe and intrigued and strangely drawn to certain dyke-y or butch or even full-fledged transgendered women, and my criticism of Manly has nothing to do with her gender or orientation or anything.

It's just that she is pathetically lame-O when it comes to announcing, and today she was in usual form, ripping away at the Williams sisters.

For starters, she didn't want to give Venus (older sister, the one I was rooting for) any credit as she was winning the first set, and then she didn't seem to recognize that Serena (younger sister, the one my sister was rooting for, even though she basically doesn't like either of the Williamses) was competing very hard to win the second. Then she came up with such idiotic comments — saying Venus and Serena were playing "neutral tennis, negative tennis," and also adding a comment to the viewers: "Wherever you are, I hope you're having a better time than these two."

First of all, "these two" were playing in THE WIMBLEDON FINAL — which, if you are a tennis fan of any age, or better yet, a tennis player (and it might be true that only people who play tennis are actually fans of tennis), would be the greatest feeling in the world. So, no, Mary, even though I was quite content sitting on my couch, going through some old pictures, eating goldfish (the cheddar kind) and some kinda artichoke-lemon pesto and drinking a Coke for breakfast, watching TV and feeling relatively content, I don't think I was necessarily having a "better time" than Venus and Serena were.

And what is "neutral tennis"? Or "negative tennis"?

Damn, I'm worn out. And I wasn't even playing!

:: Di 11:19:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 ::
First Kiss

Today over at Clarke's place, Kris started a thread called "First Kiss," and at first I was all for posting in it, but then I thought, hmm, am I the kinda girl that kisses and tells? And as I considered that question, I remembered my first kiss. My first kisses ... because one was a boy and one was a girl, and both were very memorable and monumental for me.

(And I did post a little bit about each one, but I'm going to go a little further in here.)

First boy kiss: Rickey.

We were in 6th grade and were attending Gina Plowman's "boy-girl party." (Don't ask me; that's what we called them back then. Maybe to distinguish between those and slumber parties? I dunno.) I went with Rickey off and on throughout 6th grade, but in-between I started liking this boy named Kenny. And at one point, Rickey and I broke up — I believe this particular time was over a huge, hideous, chipped cube ring that he had given me, or maybe it was when he got that really bad haircut, I can't quite remember — and I started going with Kenny. And then, for some reason, Kenny and I broke up right before Gina's party, and Rickey asked me to go with him, and I said yes.

We went to the party, and Kenny was there, too. Rickey kept trying to get me to kiss him and I wouldn't because Kenny was there and he seemed sorta lonely, and yeah, maybe I was a little nervous or something, too — but then, later, I decided that I really did want to kiss Rickey. We were sitting on this 2-person lounge thingie, and we just started to kiss. Closed-mouth but long kisses — kinda like extended pecks or something, I dunno.

I remember liking kissing Rickey, but I remember not liking seeing Kenny there, seeing us kiss. And at that time, the Mary MacGregor song "Torn Between Two Lovers" was possible, and I kept thinking of that, too. (I don't think Rickey and I ever kissed again. Kenny and I eventually started going together again, but we never kissed.)

Torn between two lovers
Feeling like a fool
Loving both of you
Is breaking all the rules ...

High drama, that 6th grade.

Slow-motion fast-foward 8 years ...

First girl kiss: Cheryl.

I had spent most of the day drinking because that night, the girl of my dreams was going to be back in town, and I hadn't seen her for about 5 months. And, truthfully, she didn't even know I existed (I admired her from afar), but I was going out with some friends who knew her and her girlfriend, so I knew I was going to get to see her, and I wanted to be good and drunk.

(Nothing like courage ... espec. when it comes in liquid form!)

So we were all at this place called the Cellar, and I was so wound up I didn't even care that this girl basically STILL didn't know I existed. After a while, I headed upstairs to the pool room of the Uptowner, and I started playing pinball at the machine in the left corner. And I was really getting into the game because I'm a pretty good pinball player (or so I think) to begin with, and when I'm tipsy, I'm a DAMN good pinball player (and so I drink) ... and then, up walked this redheaded girl that I'd met a few weeks before. A girl I didn't even like, really, because she apparently was seeing this other girl I sorta DID like, and she was actually kind of a smart-ass to me the night we'd met.

So me being me, I looked at her and said, "You wanna go to a party with me?" And she said, "Yes."

And maybe we talked for a while, I don't know, but eventually we ended up outside the bar, still talking. I don't know what we were talking about, nor how coherent either of us was, but somehow we found ourselves discussing the fact that I had never kissed a girl. And she didn't believe me, but it was true, and I'm not altogether sure how I summoned up the courage, but right then, right in front of a shoe store on the Public Square in Charleston, Illinois, I kissed her. A soft, sweet, wanting kiss.

She was 19, and I was 20. We kissed many, many more times that night ... and we never made it to the party.

:: Di 11:48:00 PM [+] ::
Say it was only a dream ...

Earlier today — technically, it was yesterday, but I haven't fallen asleep for the night yet, so it still SEEMS like today — I decided to take a nap. I had chatted with Teresa for a bit whilst the 2 of us watched Wimbledon, and then, when I couldn't take it anymore, I headed into my bedroom to nap.

I dreamt I was 38 years old (which I am) but had a really old-looking face. Sallow and wrinkly and OLD, like I was at least 75 years old. It was kind of disturbing, in my dream, and when I awoke, I was very glad that my face looked its usual age.

I told my best pal about it, and she said, "You don't even have any wrinkles!" And of course I DO have some wrinkles — a couple of crinkles around my eyes and this odd vertical crease between my eyebrows. Laugh lines, though, right?

Anyway, back to Wimbledon: I'm watching Andre Agassi play Mark Philippoussis, and they're in the 4th set, with Andre leading 2 sets to 1. Philippoussis breaks serve early in the 4th, so it appears he's going to win the set and force a 5th. I'm heatin' up some stew (??) and gettin' out some crackers, and during commercials I'm flippin' over to All My Children, JUST to see what Erica's up to, and in-between all that, I'm watchin' the match. And, admittedly, gettin' a little excited about the prospect of watchin' a 5th set.

Then I get online to see if I can find Teresa, and I glance over at the TV (to my immediate left). I hear the announcer (probably Patrick McEnroe, although it mighta been Manly Carillo, who can tell?) say that Philippoussis is now serving for the match, and I think, "Hmm, they mean 'set.' He's serving for the set." And then they show Philippoussis WINNING the point and, indeed, WINNING the match!

Seems NBC wasn't going to be able to fit the match into its allotted time slot, and in an effort to show the final results, sort of fast-forwarded the action (Hmm, guess it wasn't being shown LIVE! Silly me, for believing such a thing!) to the 5th set.

Grrrrrrr! DAMN network television!

Song in my head: "Only a Dream" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Had to listen to the entire Come On, Come On album earlier tonight; still one of my all-time favorites. Truly.

Twirl me about, and twirl me around
Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground
And when I look up at you looking down
Say it was only a dream ...

:: Di 2:11:00 AM [+] ::

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