Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here's To Tree Analogies.

Trees.  Such a perfect analogy for life.  Unoriginal, perhaps, but when something is just that good--it's hard to respond uniquely.  And a tree analogy is right on.  

Just the smallest, most insignificant seed--its' fate is so delicate...so unstable.  A simple shift of wind could destroy or spare it's future.  

So few actually make it, actually find bearable conditions to begin its' long climb upwards.  And that little seed, with the proper surroundings and elements attending unknowingly to the little seed's success, sprouts!  It bursts with the most beautiful, pure form of will!  Those little roots grip, desperately, to the foundation of its' new home--completely ignorant of of the exclusive challenges of the environment it now faces.

Passionate as the last breath of life is the seedling in its' effort to break through Earth--taste the first ray of freedom.  And so much chaos it awaits!  Will it recieve love and attention?  Will it be paved over, ignored and forgotten?  Will it die, cold, from lack of sun?  Will its' growth be constrained or stunt by the local projects?  Will it be able to serve its' purpose...or will it not matter at all?  

And through the years, each season the seedling, now a tree, grows and expands in complexity--forever reaching to push the skies further, the refine its' shape and add the the foundation of its' core.  The tree becomes strong, becomes wise--out smarting power-lines, paved side walks and unnecessary "trims".  It heals--but only from pain that could damage...but it keeps in bold memory the carvings of lovers in its' trunk--having endured the pain to understand its' love.  

The old tree sheds its' leaves, it's annually collected lessons, to make room for fresh and new life--always keeping things exciting, this old tree.  Perhaps it will bare fruit, or nuts, or flowers--in any case, it will inevitably make an impact in whatever it bares, on some even very small level.  

When the tree has met it's time, has seen life, lived, appreciated, and contributed to it--the old tree will release the last of its' life's work, and slowly decay back into the earth of which it came.  One can only hope for such a peaceful, serene end.  

We take life for granted.  No, I see some of you shaking your head in disagreement, but we do.  And it's very difficult not to.  There is so much involved with living.  It is so...difficult.  We will never truly appreciate it perhaps--and for those of you who truly do appreciate it, I am honestly sorry for what you must have lived through to get there.  Ignorance can be bliss, yes, but in a way, I am envious of those who can clearly see all of life's splendors, even knowing the pain the preceded it.  

Bon Iver.  Re: Stacks.  
(Musician.  Song.--look into it, very much worth doing so.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Childishly Sophisticated Easter Day

Easter is amongst my favorite holidays--Thanksgiving being the top favorite. But Easter has always been special in my home. You see, I have the most incredible mother who made sure every Easter morning was magical, and a hard-working father who made that possible. Really, Easter hasn’t changed too much since I was little and it went as such:

First one awake, unfortunately, since it only made me have to wait longer for Whitney, Mom and Dad to wake-up. I’d sneak down the stairs and peak at the living room couch--two white baskets were skillfully placed on either side of the couch, both overflowing with candy, chocolate, presents and Easter bunnies. I’d smile in delight as if it were the biggest surprise every time. If I were really daring, I’d tip-toe up to my basket and gently dig around, feeling the packages. Next, I’d try to get a head start on the egg hunt. Being the younger sister, I was always a few steps behind Whitney--who managed to win every single egg hunt (and the year I finally won was the last year we ever had one, psh, go firgure). Nearly two hundred plastic eggs, filled with coins or candy, were hidden on the first and second floor of the house. While peeping for eggs, I’d try to pull together some game plan (which, upon the race, I’d forget or toss-out anyway…but pretending to be an “egg-spy private eye” was always a fun Easter game of mine). In the middle of my peep session, I’d eventually hear my parents stirring upstairs. Before bolting back upstairs to my bedroom, I’d pocket a chocolate egg from my basket. Once back in my room, I’d eagerly await for Dad to yell up to Whitney and I: “Girls! Happy Easter! Breakfast!” Ah. It’s time. I’d pop the chocolate egg in my mouth, rub my eyes to make them look a little red, and head down stairs like I was non the wiser.
And there, on the couch, the most wonderful, glorious Easter surprise.: my family.

Now that I live away from home, my Easter’s are a bit different--but that same sense of excitement from my memory is still with me, even when my family is else-where. This Easter, I planned a picnic, followed by a grand adventure. I started cooking for the picnic the day before and goodness did I make quite the feast if I do say so myself. And no worries, naturally, I took pictures of everything. The menu is as follows: (alright...it goes "as follows" as soon as I upload the pictures...hang in there. Let's continue on for now.)

And what about the grand adventure you ask? Well--Michael, myself and a few incoming friends sat down with the Goonies themselves and raided a pirate ship. Sure, we were technically in a living room, but surround sound does wonders for an imagination and I’m going to stick with my story: I was definitely there WITH the Goonies.

Holiday’s can be wonderful. They can just as easily suck, too. Some people will say they are unnecessary; a highly bankable production for Hallmark and Churches. And true, they tend to become an exhibition of gross affluence, or a cruel reminder of lack there of. But, as I am sure everyone has heard at some point in their lives--it comes down to realizing the people in your life who you love, and celebrating that love. A holiday is a good time to assess a few things: what is important in your life? What makes you happy, and what can you do to help those you love also be happy? The cool thing about having a holiday to figure those answer out is that after the holiday, you can continue putting that love to use. If you don’t quite manage to answer them--well, it’s never too late to show love to people as if it were Christmas, or Easter, or Thanksgiving.
Personally, I did not talk to my sister like I should have on Easter, so this week--I have to catch up on some holiday cheer-spreading.
All in all, a wonderful Easter. I hope yours was just as happy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Banjo Scene

You're right, I know--I haven't blogged for a good while.  Let me start with Saturday night.

I love music.  And many different types--they all make me feel a little bit different, all pull at separate memories or all surface new emotions.  But I'm not well into the "music scene".  You know, those underground, dark and damp hole-in-the-wall clubs where indie bands and artists alike come to preform to a relatively small, appreciative audience of care-free, anti-pop cultured, independent types that stand in the crowd with their arms crossed, shoulders slightly forward and head moving ever so cooly to the beat.  No, I'm not well into the music scene.  But I have had a many of friend who were/are.  And I've made a rather harsh assessment about such a setting--those free-spirited individuals all look, stand, talk and act exactly the same.  Many scene-kids I meet are extremely closed-minded as well.  Anything mainstream--trash.  Anything known--crap.  And yet, they strive to be at the top of "trendy" in the most alternative sense of the word.  Band guys are also some of the most insecure men I have ever met--yet the whole "I don't give anything what people think" image is practically tattooed in bold letters across their emaciated faces.  A crowd of people scoffing at "social-trend-followers" because they are not exactly like them--ironic?  

So, that was my pre-rant.  My story is more positive.  I actually went to one of these hole-in-the-wall places I "lightly" described above.  As familiar as the surrounding was, the people were actually quite unique to my previous experiences.  Instead of rebellious, darkly clad teens running amuck, the audience was comprised of stiffly casual, Banana Republic-styled adults holding wine and conversing in practical semi-circles.  What did I fall into?  CNN's version of Wonderland.  Then theses two really tatted, pierced, over-reaching "rockers" took their places in the open space where the mic's and lights were set.  A cheer.  A pause, they reach down into two black cases and pull out: Banjos.  Electric banjos. And soon the room transforms...I begin to notice little things.  The woman in front of me in the black petty coat and turtle-neck, I noticed, was wearing lime green converse.  The man next to me had a neat pony-tail, which was promptly untied by a women's caressing hands.  The couple a few tables up, hardly cordial moments before, was making out so fervently, air was deemed unnecessary.  What I am getting at is that, I sat in a room of people whom I was judging because of their un-individual, boring, and stiff appearances...exactly the same type of judgments that irks me made by "scene-kids".  And also, haven't I been judging the scenesters too?  I mean, at the end of the day, what makes a person unique or "individual" (I seem to be stuck on that word) is not how different you can dress, how rare your favorite band is, or how trendy your slave-free, silk-screened t-shirt is...I mean, even if you LIVE to be just like that person or look just like this person--you never escape you.  Who are we to judge one person, then another, when what are we really judging on?  What about ourselves?  How unoriginal is judging.  Lame.  I'm more creative than that.  I can think of something different to focus my thoughts too.  
Those two men played the banjo like there was no tomorrow.  They rocked the crammed room, loosened inhibitions, and completely mocked every stereo-type of rock-stars--talented an witty.At the end of the night, judgments had passed, and fundamentally what was left was a room of people, that, for a few short moments, were able to connect with each other on a completely un-materialistic, uncritical, level because two men were able to break from the standards of "socially acceptable", and in turn, inspired an entire room to finally become individuals!  The transformation was a miracle.  When music can do that to an audience...good or bad music, it's worth an notable mention, at least some judgmentally-schooled blog.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Donut Club and Simple Pleasures

I'm not a party person.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'll clarify--I am not a club person.  And, I know what some of you are thinking: "Analeigh is only 20...how is she getting in--" I'll just stop your thought there.  I live in L.A.  I'm a girl.  Age doesn't usually matter past those facts.  I have been fortunate to have a good number of club-going friends that tend to merely flash the bouncer an innocent grin and 'pop' I'm past the rope and past the lines.   I have been attending "trendy" clubs since I turned 17.  My friends in high school were not going to these places with me, but you see I was a show skater at this time and the cast in my ice-shows were all above 21.  I would go out with them.  

Okay, now to point out a few important things:

1.  I do not drink alcohol (and my reasons will come in another blog someday).  I go to meet friends.  I go to get my grove on.
2. I have never and will never do club drugs.  Ugh, how unattractive and stupid.
3. I don't dress up to these things.  I am the ONE girl in line in jean cut-offs, "The Who" t-shirt and my converse.  I work it as if I were in a mini-dress and heels.  

So where is this all going?  Well, it just gives a bit of background to the rant/story I am about to share with you.

Saturday.  DJ Kascade at the Vangaurd in Hollywood.  Group of people invited me to tag along and I don't get out much so, you know, I got pretty worked up and excited--sweaty, ash-tray smelling, over-styled strangers that come up to my chin, grinding vulgarly into me while rollin' on E and desperately yelling for glow sticks--oh yes, I was stoked.  No, but actually--it was the chance to hang out with friends.  I lack friends in Los Angeles, so any chance to meet new ones is a chance I jump on.  But alas--when the club promoter that had arranged for my safe entrance into the club met us out in front, we skipped the lines and I thought all was golden.  Until, that is, the bouncer pulled the red rope, blocking my entry.  
"It's a C note to get you in"  The greasy little bouncer bowed his head my direction.
"A hundred bucks?  Seriously dude?"  I retorted, confused (not too confused...I mean, I am trying to get into a club...illegally.  But not to DO anything illegal!).  The club promoter was pulling me one way, the bouncer the other, meanwhile he refused to let Michael past unless he coughed up another 50$ and the whole thing was just getting ridiculous.  I pulled my arms away from groping hands (by this time I managed to be on the club side of the red rope, but Michael was still on the street side) tripped ungracefully back over the red stupid rope, glared down the bouncer, regained my dignity, grabbed Michael and flipped my hair as I walked away from the crowd.  

I thought I'd be all tough about it.  But truth was, I was upset--I had looked forward to hanging out with a group of girls, a group of friends--even if I'm younger then them.  It's someone(s).  Clearly seeing I was upset, Michael stopped at Donut-Time, one of those always delectable, never too sanitary but conveniently open hole-in-the-wall ma-pa places.  We got eight donuts.  Glazed buttermilk is now my new favorite.  Oh, pure heaven.  We watched Ratatouille and I fell asleep slightly eased.  

Lesson of the weekend?  Honestly, I don't really have one.  don't pay 100$ to get into a club.  Eat comfort food instead.  I guess--appreciate the little things.  Life does not have to be filled with fancy clothes, trendy night clubs and expensive novelties--hell, expensive necessities!  It's the stuff that falls between "planning" and "impressing" that actually becomes living.  When things don't work out how you imagined, whatever else happens instead is just as much a miracle.  Sometimes--I have trouble believing that...but at the end of the day--no one can affect how we perceive the world.  It is our own.  We see the world entirely unique from the next person.  We see it how we want to.  It's a stretch, but let it sit with you...But--that's just how I see my world, and like I said, everyone is different.  Thank some all-powerful force for that.