Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hold the applause.  I'm in Chapter Six of 25---with miles to go before I'm even error free... let alone good.  :)  I'm pretty excited about my start, though!

The video works in Chrome.  If you're in IE, you might just see a weird picture with fuzzy letters on it.  Pft.

Harness Every Moment

I'm about a third of the way through *The Heart and the Fist* by Eric Greitens, and already, I'm absolutely floored.  This guy graduated college in '96, just seven years before me, and his life has been packed.  He has served with Mother Teresa's volunteers, gone to Rwanda on documentary scholarships to speak with survivors of the genocide, apprenticed as a boxer, and served as a Navy Seal.

What have I done?


I made some great mashed cauliflower today.  Um.

On one hand, it shames me to see people so driven that they seem to harness every single moment and milk it dry.  On the other hand, it inspires me.  I want to write it on my door, wear it on my wrists, and whisper it every morning.  What will I do?  What can I do?  If I were unhampered by the ordinary, as this guy seemed to be, what would I do?  What would I do if nothing could hold me back?

It's something to think about.

Tonight.  :P

It's overwhelming to think about all the needs and pain in the world.  Even if I had the vision to see it all, I would have no idea if the actions I thought were helpful (re: Kony??) were actually helpful.  Ha.  But here's my heart:  To harness every moment to maximize "me" like Eric maximized himself--for the eventual benefit of those around him (and the glory of God).  What does Aubrey-Extreme look like?  Haha... To my list! 

Heart.  Fist.  Loving-Punch-in-the-Face.


Playing down the road in 10 days.  What are the odds?  :)  Guess I should go!
Leavetaking, Peter Bradley Adams

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why am I up?

Apparently to listen to this.  Let's bring more woolen rugs, vested abs, and picked strings to stages, please.

DM & Tim Reynolds, Live at Music City
Celebrate. Two by Two. Quench.

I Just Found my Big Red Toolbox

So, it's amazing what you can do with the right tools, right?
This weekend, I had such a good time hanging with my folks.  My dad showed me how to change my brakes (though it turned out we didn't really need to change them yet, thank you so much, Toyota Service Department).  He had a hydraulic floor jack, all kinds of wrenches, and a brass hammer.  Thanks, Dad!  I can't wait until I can try it on my own (with supervision, of course).

It struck me suddenly why guys like tools.  With the right tools, you're a champion.  With the right tools, Spiderman saved lives. With the right tools, you can walk down a dusty street, unharness your tools, and save the day without even breaking a sweat.  That's not to say a man doesn't need serious skills to maximize the potential of these tools . . . or even use them safely, but what fun!
I've experimented with different kinds of tools-- garlic presses, Cuisinart's range, fancy dusters, drills, saws, cars, brushes, irons, etc., but I've never been so excited about tools as I am right now about Adobe.  Adobe's Creative Suite really is the Idea Girl's wonderland.  I am an Auto Guy his first time to Sears.  I am a Quilting Granny her first day at JoAnn's.  I am Happy Camper in a giant REI.  I am a Gunman at a rifle emporium. 

I am in love.  Thank you, Adobe.  I am going to create wonderful, crazy, colorful things.

Uh. Huh. uuuuh.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

One of the Best!

Two cans of black beans
Two cans of blak-eyed peas
A few warm tomatoes from the garden
A green pepper and a yellow one if you want
A bunch of green onions
A pretty red onion
Two fresh jalapenos
A half bag of frozen corn...or fresh
A bunch of cilantro
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, pounded and minced
A big juicy lime
A splash of olive oil
A splash of apple cider vinegar
A few spoons of salsa

Rinse beans. Chop everything choppable into tiny pieces. Mix. Squeeze on lime juice, add oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix again. Serve as a salad or with chips or as a fantastic quesadilla.

Makes enough for a small army.

Yum. Yum. Yes.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Journal 2--Narrative--Distracted

An exercise from Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter's What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, 80.
Write a scene in which a character's body, as well as his mind, is engaged in doing something--stage business.  Here are some possibilities:

repairing something
playing solitaire or a game involving other players
doing exercises
painting a canvas or a wall
doing dishes
having a baby
robbing a store
waiting in line
shucking corn

Maria is sitting in the middle of her kitchen floor, surrounded by recycled cottage cheese containers filled with paints.  She has one leg folded under the other, a paintbrush behind one ear, and a rainbow of paints splattered on her fingers.  She is humming to the Bruce Springsteen tune playing on her phone, which is safely stationed on the counter.  The canvas, covered in bright stripes, leans against the wooden cabinets, and Maria dips into yellow with a tiny detail brush.

Taking things a day at a time is tricky when you’re dying.  Mom would say that a family’s job is to take care of the people in it, and the family deserves the right to say goodbye, but as a floor nurse, Maria had seen too many goodbyes stretch from moments to months to years.  Dad would say it’s God’s Picture, and we’re just a part of it.  It’s the Artist’s prerogative what flair our part adds to the Picture.  Bobby would grab his keys and take me to the beach—if this is what we’ve got of life, let’s live it.

She painted an empty yellow Paisley across a cotton-candy-pink stripe and switched the playlist to Dave Matthews.  The Maker played, live.  My body is bent and broken . . . I’m not a stranger in the hands of the Maker.

Some days were reflective like this.  Some days, painting and music seemed like peace.  Some days, in the midst of the notes of color and sound, Maria felt a glimmer of what it might feel like to surrender, to understand, and to know something bigger. 

She retied the bandana around her head and pulled the bigger brush from around her ear.  She dipped the brush in dark red paint and stabbed it at the canvas.

Other days weren’t so bright.  Other days, she filled up her tank and drove down I-90 through the Badlands with all the windows down.  Ninety miles an hour-- daring a State Trooper to pull her over.  One more ticket and her license would be suspended, but it didn’t really matter.  The rock formations were like the intestines of a giant, full of fissures and dust.  She’d park the car and jump from peak to peak, sliding down ledges and usually limping back to the car at dusk, bloody and exhausted.

She added a blue river across the stripes on the canvas and got up to stretch and grab some chocolate milk.

She knew she would reach a point when she couldn’t pretend anymore.  She knew her body would betray her and fail.  Americans were terrified of sickness and anything uncontrollable.  Even childbirth was like something to be cured.  Death was Saran wrapped and confined to sterile white Styrofoam or sterile white rooms filled with machines and strangers.

Maria squatted before the canvas and picked up some paper letters.  There were five letters.  She carefully smoothed them into blobs of white paint, so they would stick.  Then, she pulled out her laptop and sent invitations to a party. 

 Next weekend would be different.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Rootin Tootin En Route'n

Starbucks Iced Coffee
Clays Ferry, KY
Unbroken by Hillenbrand, audiobook
Dashboard Surfing
MJ's "Smooth Criminal"
Cumberland Gap
$2.85 Fuel
5.5 Hours 'til Ann Arbor

Monday, July 2, 2012

Alternating Playlist for the Trip to Michi

One for Kristen, two for me. j/k :)

K: Find a Friend, Elizabeth Bedford
A: Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson
K: Living Sacrifice & Incense Rise, Sean Feucht
A: What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
K: Courageous, Casting Crowns
A: Jackson, Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
K:  Psalm 23 (Live), Jason Upton
A:  When the Going Gets Tough .., Billy Ocean
K: You Won't Relent, Misty Edwards
A: Heartbeat, The Fray
K:  Light Up the Sky, The Afters
4th of July:  America, Neil Diamond