Monday, November 30

you know what I love about this time?

Crunchy leaves. I'm that person who will go out of their way to step on a leaf that looks deliciously crunchy.

A few days ago the wind blew and blew and now all the leaves that were sitting on the front lawn are now piled together right were the door to my truck sits. It's like a welcome mat when I come home. Except it's crunchy. And instead of wiping my feet I stomp and listen to the delightfully glorious sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet,

Aaah, lovely.

More favorite things: These shoes (although they squeeze my toes)

for your listening pleasure

Not only does this song make me blissfully happy, but this video makes me want to go on a trip with my friends.

Sunday, November 29

movies, cough drops and tea, oh my!

I'm terrible at describing things. Which is why I can only think to describe being sick as...


Wednesday morning I woke up achy with a sore throat. I made it downstairs, declared I didn't feel well, sucked down some cereal, and shuffled up to bed where I stayed until night, waking only for some crackers to feed my un-hungry appetite and to call in sick to work.

Thanksgiving day I worked through my sickness and collapsed into my bed by day's end. Friday through today have been spent in my pajamas watching movies and the biography channel.

I'm so sick of being sick.

Which is why, regardless of how I feel tomorrow, I'm going to do something awesome. I don't know what it is yet, but I know it will be better than sitting in my pj's all day.

Besides that, Dad put up the Christmas lights on the house today. They're beautiful. Hooray holidays.

being sick gives you extra time to fool around

Wednesday, November 25

whoopsey daisies

I didn't post any music for your Monday. So I suppose today we'll have tunes for your Tuesday.

Wait. Just looked at the clock. It's Wednesday. Here's some music anyways!

Tuesday, November 24

the surprised face

I bring it out quite often around Christmastime.

It all began when I was a little girl. My grandparents would give my mom money for my brother and my Christmas gifts (my paternal grandma hates shopping, a trait that I do not possess) so that we would get exactly what we wanted (or sometimes, what we needed, like socks. Never a fun gift. I don't care if they had kittens on them).

One year my mom was shopping, I was probably four, and I remember it so well, seeing a Cabbage Patch Doll that I just HAD to have. She had crimpy red hair and came with a whistle. In my four year old mind she was the most beautiful Cabbage Patch in the entire universe.

My mom took it off the shelf and placed it in the cart. I remember being dumbfounded. Mom never bought big ticket items like that just for the heck of it. And then she said this-

"Okay. Show me your surprised face."

And ever since then, if my mom and I are shopping during Christmastime and she finds me gazing longingly at something, she'll repeat that same phrase. It happened today when I stumbled upon a beautiful green vintage jacket (suit actually, but I just want the jacket, the whole thing together is quite overwhelming) while looking for double reflex cameras in a thrift store.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I am on a strict No-Clothes-Buying-for-all-of-November plan. And I've been SO good. So when I stumbled upon the jacket (which, might I add, fits PERFECTLY, how crazy awesome is that) I was this close to chucking the plan out the window. Then I concocted a plan. I would have mom buy it today, and then I would just pay her back on December 1st. But really, that's cheating too, isn't it?

Then mom, in all her awesome mom-ness, says- "Show me your surprised face."

I can't wait to wear my new old jacket Christmas day!

And just so you know, I totally rocked my first surprised face back in '91. Grandma never knew that I picked out Livy doll myself.

Saturday, November 21

sitting in trucks with boys

is the best.

There's just something about guy friends that is, in some ways, way better than girl friends. Can't explain it. Just know it to be true.

After closing down the restaurant, four of my favorite guys and I went outside to continue laughing. It got too cold. So we crammed into a tiny truck and fogged up the windows (far from Titanic style, get your minds out of the gutter).

And now my back is aching from being squished in between them and I'm still very cold. But happy. Very, very happy. I don't know why, but ever since I was a toddler I have loved being the tag-a-long girl to a group of guys. Perhaps because I spent all my childhood days hanging out on the farm with all my boy cousins. Or because I find them to be relatively drama free. And hilarious. They push me to try new things. To be more adventurous. To laugh at prissy girls.

Tonight we decided we're going to become vagabonds and travel to New Zealand. My idea, thank you.

For tomorrow night if I'm not working? Scotch night. None of us has had it, but they think they should start drinking it because it's a "manly drink."

And me? Well, what other option have I than to join in?

Thursday, November 19

toby and paige

for the past couple of days I've gotten to hang out with this nut and his little sister.

It has proven to be highly entertaining.

Wednesday, November 18

recounting the years failures

My family is one of those who sends out a Christmas card with a letter to old friends each year. I've written a few of them, my mom has written most. My favorite was the one where I basically made fun of my entire family and then, when it came to the paragraph about me, I simply wrote:

Courtney has no life.

Last year I pressed my mom to remember to write the letter, seeing as how it was a good year for all of us. This year, however, there's not much to write. When my mom brought up the fact that she needed to get it written soon, both my brother and I told her maybe she should just go with a card this year.

This has been a year of failing spectacularly for my parent's children. My brother was laid off earlier this year and has yet to find a consistent job. Now he mostly sits around watching YouTube. I worked my butt off, applied to a graphic design program, and didn't make the cut. I've had the same job for nearly seven years, and I'm only taking one class this semester. We both still live at home.

Not much to brag about.

So unless she's waiting until the Damewood's Christmas letter arrives in the mail (as it always does the first week of December, along with a family portrait from Olan Mills) so that she can white-out their perfect-straight-A-symphony-writing-kids names and fill in ours, I think we're just going with a card and a photo.

Honest to God, I promise we didn't plan the matching thing. I told them to meet me on the front porch at 4:30, and this is what happened.

Tuesday, November 17

I can hear the rain outside my window

it's one of my very favorite sounds. I've always loved to sit out on the front porch and just listen to the rain hitting the ground. Or the sound of it hitting a tin roof. That's pretty wonderful too.

And you know one of my very favorite smells? The smell right after it rains. The best, freshest smell ever.

When it's raining and the sun is shining? Magical. A feast for the eyes.

So it's settled. Rain is a sensory extravaganza.

When I was little, upon the first big rain of the year, I would get all dolled up in a dress and run outside with my umbrella. I would then proceed to dance. Gene Kelly style. I belted out the chorus to "Singin' in the Rain" everytime. I would run with my umbrella to the drain pipe and stand underneath it. I felt invincible with my umbrella.

Rain, you are a welcome friend.

Monday, November 16

music for your Monday

It takes a minute to get to the music, but once it does I promise your toes will be tapping. Unless they're asleep.

Here are my thoughts-

• What really does me in is the violin. I just think it adds a little something extra.

• I love how the girl on the metro totally gets into it. I wish I was in her shoes.

• And the old man around eight minutes in? Makes me smile. Except I have no idea what he's saying.

• I'm a total fan of raw music taken to the streets. How could I not be? And when experienced first hand... I don't know, the world just stops around me and I'm completely mesmerized.

Aah the power of music. Toying with my emotions.

Friday, November 13

dear diry [Letters from the 8 year old me]

May 25, 1995
Dear Diry,
I'm going on vacation and I have Impetigo. I had it since Monday. Now my Impetigo is heled. Then we saw a big bump. I had surgery on Thursday 27th 1995 8 years old. Go 7:30am- End 8:30- Home 1:30pm. When I got home my hole (almost) family came and gave me presants. I said I think I'm going to be sick for a long time!

Oct. 18th 1995
Dear Diry,
Today I was finding the horse oats and I asadently opend up the chickens oats instead. And a mouse jumped out of it right by my leg! I was freaked out! So I jumped on a box! And Danny lied and said the mouse had five babies on its back! I know he was lying.

January 25th, 1996
Dear Diery,
Mellissa and I are not freinds any more! Nancy (who thinks she is the best) accoused me of something I didn't do! She's so stuped! And she acshally got Melissa on her side! And Melissa even said that she didn't like Nancy at my house! Not!
(What a lyer)
And Nancy made Fabienne cry! (How rood!)
It's wore time! I hate Nancy. And I'll hate her for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Oh! I got Khristen's address for Christmas! But she hasen't wrote back- oh well!

May 3rd
Dear Diary,
I am in a play tomorrow, "the secret of my success." I have a solo.
This time I'm gonna sing my best, not like the last time where I got nervous and sang like a boy.

My friends are:
Jenny K, Christen, Daniell E., Brittany, Danny, Caleb. On computers I did an average of 14 words per minute!
Other than all that stuff, I'm a happy woman. I've always wondered, what is that dip under your nose? Is it for snot to run down into your mouth?

March 12, 1998
Dear Diary,
AUNT CAROL HAD A BABY. ADAM JAMESON. I have held him twice. He is a little chubby and has already slept with a woman (Grandma). Shame!

April 15, 1998
Dear Diary,
Gee, am I part woman! I had hairs growing under my armpit (this is normal) so mom helped me shave them because it is easter eve and and I am going to wear a dress with no sleeves. It is a light turquoise with yellow and purple flowers. Anyway, I got my own shave thing and it is pink.
Ooh ya! I play the flute. I'm ok.

May 13, 1998
Dear Diary,
Today we learned about the Birds and the Bees at school. The girls went into a room and we watched "the movie." The girls and boys watched about each others private parts. It was DESCUSTING! Mrs. Puccio is a great storyteller when it comes to that!

January 24, 99
Mrs. Wilbanks is a bad teacher. She's really mean. When you do something wrong she gives you "THE LOOK." My friends and I call her Mrs. Weasel. Because she looks like a weasel. She doesn't know that! In science, the teacher said we all need to grow up. I said, "I don't want to grow up, I want to be a TOYS 'R US kid!" I got in trouble.

Februray 9, 1999
Have you ever fainted? Well of course not, your a book! It feels weird. You feel dizzy and the world is spinning. You raise your hand, tell the teacher "I don't feel good," PLOP! You black out and when you open your eyes, everybody is surrounding you and you say "why am I on the floor?" I fainted during practice and I thought it was cool, I wish it was caught on tape. And then I got to leave school early. But I really felt fine. Ha!

10:02 pm February 9, 1999
I'm bored I can't go to sleep so I'll talk about my progress with Kyle H. Ohh... Anyway, he's acting really nice to me and laughs at all my jokes (eccept stupid ones). Today, at the lunch table, I sat by Danny and Kyle sat next to him. Joey sat next to to Kyle. And, when he (Kyle) laughed at one of my jokes Joey said, "Kyle likes Courtney" I almost melted at the thought but didn't show it. Besides, I know who Kyle likes, Krysta. What's she got that I don't? Here's my dream date with him-
He'll take me to the beach and we'll have a candle-light diner by the beach. We'll then hold hands and run on the sand, the waves crashing to the end of our feet. He'll hold me tight and say "Courtney Anne, will you marry a man that is desparetly in love with you?" He'll show me a beautiful diamond ring and I'll say, "Ohh Kyle, Yes!" He'll put it on my finger and I'll ask, "When should it be?" And he'll say, "I don't care about when, I just want to be with you all my life."
Aaah to be young and in love!
Love, Mrs. Courtney Anne Harris

November 13th, 2009
Dear little version of me,
Danny is still a liar. You and Melissa will become friends again. And you won't hate Nancy for ever and ever. Shaving will get old. You cheated when you played the flute. All you did was whistle into it. Eleven years later you still won't know what that dip above your lip is for. Luckily, you know how to use google so if it was that important, you could find out. If you had paid any attention during the birds and the bees movie maybe you would have understood all of your friend's jokes. I'm glad you kept your innocence though. It's what makes you different from everyone else. And yes, Mrs. Wilbanks did look like a weasel. However, when you run into her seven years later, you find out she's actually pretty cool. As for Kyle H, he grew up to be a super hot firefighter. Damn it!


And randomly ten hours after originally posting this:
On my drive home from work tonight, sitting at the stop light, I happened to look over at the gas station and who else did I see but Kyle H pumping gas. I haven't seen him in a few years! And those years really took a toll on him. He was not the Kyle I remember, he just looked all drugged out, and he's obviously eaten way too many donuts.

Okay... not really. AT ALL. He's still super hot. In fact all I noticed at first was that there was a guy with insanely good looks, then I realized it was him. And it made me laugh. If I was any dorkier I might have stuck my head out the window and said that I'd just blogged about him. I feel like that wouldn't have earned me any cool points though, only creepy points.

Wednesday, November 11

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away [Raymond Hull]

So the super sweet Sarah C. of Auburn Street tagged me with the Sugar Doll award. I'm supposed to come up with ten random facts about me, but I'm going to cheat and only give away five nuggets of my life. Because I wouldn't want to lose the mystery wrapped up in this blog. Wait, me? Mysterious? Impossible! I seem lack that certain feminine quality (along with several others) that seems to turn men on.

And away we go!

5. Tonight I realized that I most always sit at the family dinner table with my legs tucked up under me. Surprisingly comfy and I do it without thinking.

4. I seem to only attract the most awkward of oddball men. One time a guy in my astronomy class, Carlos, I believe, that I took notes for had a crush on me. He would call and leave long messages on my voicemail (messages that I had to listen to 5 times just to figure out who it was he was talking so fast) describing in detail the basketball game from that night (he was the waterboy). If he saw me in the hallway he would follow me and tell me that because of his jaw surgery he could only eat mashed potatoes for a month. He watched me taking notes in class. One time he called and talked to me for over an hour, it only lasted that long because I could never interrupt him to say goodbye. I finally saved his number in my phone as "DON'T ANSWER." I'm not a mean person, really I'm not, he was just all kinds of weird. All that to say, I've never had a boyfriend, because the men I attract are in no way attractive to me.

3. In high school, I usually liked the teachers that everyone else hated. I guess because they were the ones who actually challenged their students.

2. I love getting mail. Real mail. The kind you hold in your hands. The kind that isn't instant. The kind that you physically open the mail box for. Yep. I'm into tangible things.

1. Due to my bank statement from last month, I've banned myself from buying clothes for all of November. Ten days in and I'm already sweating.

And now I'm supposed to tag some other Sugar Dolls. Here's the thing though, I think anyone kind enough to follow my blog and read the measly words I write is deserving.

So there! You've been tagged. Go forth and tell the world about yourself.

Monday, November 9

ba ba balloon

So I wasn't too happy with any of my photos, but it was still a fun afternoon!

music for your Monday

So this is Delta Spirit singing "Trashcan" and my favorite song of theirs- "People C'mon." In San Francisco. On a trolley.


Sunday, November 8


weather permitting, my friend Sophie and I are going on a photo shoot. Yay! This is us dancing at Versailles last year.

We are survivors of French class with the dreaded Naima. Who hated us.

"Sof-EEEeeee!" she would shriek. "Quelle heure est-il?"

To which Sophie would reply- "uhhh, ummm, ehh... je ne comprends pas."

"Cork-naaaay! (Insert undeterminable French)??"

And I replied- "Je ne sais pas, no parlez francais."

Which really got Naima's blood boiling.

Aaah, to be young and in Paris.

Sophie and I also trekked to London together, dancing in sweaty basement bars, eating bad fish and chips from street vendors, and walking around Hyde park to the Beatles playing on our ipods (cliche, I know, but fun none the less). We went to Morocco and rode camels. We named our stomachs because they clearly had a mind of their own.

We jumped on the metro as the doors were closing to ditch our friends to go make crepes. We attempted to sneak food past the concierge under our jackets. And we giggle like little girls.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Saturday, November 7

baby, it's cold outside

It's been so warm here in California this fall that it's hard to believe it's November.

Except for today. Today I walked outside and turned right back around to grab my jacket. Granted, it was in the sixties, but there was a definite wind chill. Brrr...

So this photo. I love this photo. From the left is my grandma Jean, grandpa Ernest, grandpa's sister-in-law Dorothy, his brother Don, and at the bottom is my grandma's sister, Margaret.

Don't you love everything about my Auntie Margaret in this photo?

First of all, she's beautiful. And then you can just tell she has this zest for life.

As a child, I adored her. I still do. And although she passed away several years ago, I still think of her from time to time. I remember her smile most of all. And her accessories. The way she lifted her pinky finger when she drank tea. She was graceful and the perfect host. Genuine.

Whenever I look at this picture I want to climb inside. Climb inside and get to know her.

Not as a child but as a friend.

Do you ever wonder what your grandparents were like at your age? Sometimes it's hard to imagine them as young, with ambitions and dreams, their whole life still wide open. By the time we've met them, they are wise to the ways of the world, the fears and insecurities have fled and they are free to be themselves. But I also feel like maybe they have lost a small part of themselves.

And that's the part I'll never meet, seen only in old photographs, stories from the past.


Reading Carmella's post just now made me think of this quote by J.R.R. Tolkien. I googled it to make sure I was spelling the name right and when I did I came across the rest of the quote, pretty beautiful, huh?

Thursday, November 5

I wish that all french people came with subtitles.

Last week my boss took me to see the movie Paris.

It was good, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to those of us who have short attention spans. It was... qu'est que c'est... long.

And sitting there in a dark theater watching the characters make out while my boss was sitting next to me... awkward. I spent most of the time wishing, praying, thinking dear God please don't let there be sex in this movie. My prayers were answered thanks to tactful editing.

Besides all that, I definitely loved it. It made me long for a plane ticket back.

There's just something about that city. I feel like a completely different person there. Maybe more true to myself than I am here at home.

The killer, was seeing my favorite view of the Eiffel Tower. My favorite view down the Seine. If you ever go, hop onto line 14 of the Metro. If you look at the map it's the seafoam green line. In between the Bir Hakiem and Passy stops the metro takes you up over the water of the Seine and you see the most beautiful view of the tower and all around it. Unfortunately I usually didn't have my camera or was to busy taking in the beauty to ever take a picture. Do it, you won't regret it.

Back to the movie. It was beautiful. Another movie I love that is centered around Paris is Paris Je'taime. Have you seen it? I saw it last year while I was living there and I've loved it since. I think you can see most of it on YouTube and it's also on instant NetFlix (how much do you love instant NetFlix?! Sorry Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, your business is toast).

Here's the gist of it-
As you probably know, Paris is divided into twenty neighborhoods, or arrondissements. Short films were shot by different directors using different actors, set in eighteen of the arrondissements, and then put together to make one movie.

It's pretty awesome. You should see it. And I'm not gonna lie- It might even make you blubber a bit. I still can't pick a favorite short. They're all so good.

Well, maybe not the one with Elijah Woods turning into a blood sucking vampire. That one is a little weird.*

*[Side note: What gives with all the vampire fever going around??? I'm SO SICK of hearing and seeing vampires everywhere in the media. Can I get an amen?]

Wednesday, November 4

I want scones

oh so badly. Raspberry scones. Mmm.

And on a completely unrelated note, I have had a pretty wonderful week so far.

I dressed up and had some fun for Halloween. Enjoyed a lovely lunch with some friends and their grandparents. Said grandparents tried to booze me up. Ate a scrumdiddlyumptious sandwich and took a lovely stroll through the capital park with my friend Erin. We found a cork tree. It was neat. Picked up my guitar for the first time in months. Went out for margaritas last night with the girls. And today laughed through lunch with my best friend Taylor.

Aah. What a pleasant life I lead.

This evening I've been picking through photos I've taken lately of my brother and I, trying to chose the best ones to give to my mom for Christmas. I think she'd like that. But I've had such a hard time keeping the photos I took of my brother to myself. I want to show her now!

I have a love/hate relationship with surprises/gifts. You see, I just get so gosh darned excited that I want to give my gifts immediately.

Take, for example, the birthday gift I got for my cousin Danny, when I was six. Grape flavored Bubble Tape. I didn't give him his gift immediately, but I definitely told him what it was before he got the chance to open it.

So hopefully I'll make it to Christmas with these photos. Until then, I'll post them here so I don't torture myself.

I also took a few shots of the both of us using the timer on my camera. Took forever, but I don't think we've had nice photos of us together since elementary school. Mom will be happy.

That's right. We're awesome.

And then here's a random shot of me that I took today. I'm taking a digital photography class this semester so that I'll be allowed to take some of the upper portrait classes next year, and one of the assignments is to take a self portrait inside your house. Not fun. Fortunately my parents room gets a lot of natural light (heavens knows I won't use a flash. First off, they're blinding. Secondly, if you don't use them right your photos look terrible, and I'm not ready to go down that road).

So. Did I mention I'm craving raspberry scones?