Sunday, April 26, 2009

Actually GOING to Baltimore

The name of this blog is inspired by my favorite song (one of them, anyway), which is my favorite for many reasons. It's a song called well, Raining in Baltimore, and it's by the Counting Crows, which were a major hit during my middle and high school days. This particular song is on their "August and Everything After" album, which was the first one they released that went mainstream. I always liked them, but on the peripheral. That is, other bands dominated my main love and attention during my prime time of angst, and this one with its melodius harmonies and soothing voices served as somewhat of background noise instead of occupying my full attention.

Enter my junior year of college and studying abroad in Denmark. On one of the last nights there, a group of us went to one of the beaches where we went during one of our first days there...we were all a little depressed, excited to go home and ready, but sad that the experience --which would likely never be repeated in exactly the same way, as carefree college students-- was ending. We had CD's playing and drank beer while the sun sat sinking into the water and we were playing some sort of game that I can't remember the name of now, but it's something like bocce ball.

I sat on the beach and "Raining in Baltimore" came on the CD player.

"This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
Its raining in baltimore fifty miles east
Where you should be, no ones around

I need a phone call
I need a raincoat
I need a big love
I need a phone call

These train conversations are passing me by
And I dont have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way

I need a phone call
I need a plane ride
I need a sunburn
I need a raincoat

And I get no answers
And I dont get no change
Its raining in baltimore, baby
But everything else is the same

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 need a phone call
Maybe I should buy a new car
I can always hear a freight train if I listen real hard
And I wish it was a small world
Because I'm lonely for the big towns

I'd like to hear a little guitar
I think its time to put the top down"

This struck me for several reasons--the need for a raincoat, which I frequented in Scandanavia, the fact that I hadn't talked on the phone in several weeks (I was way too cheap for phone cards), riding trains through Germany, and well -leaving. Already regretting and already feeling that acute sense of loss when it comes to the show ending--even before it has yet. I listened to it on a loop during the plane ride home the next day.

And now, almost 7 years later, I am going to Baltimore tomorrow for the first time, for work. I certainly doubt I will have quite as magical a time as I did in Denmark =) It's going to be a chaotic week, and I've prepared by relaxing fully this weekend.

And tomorrow morning, I'll see the skyline that I spent years picturing every time I heard a song about absence, regret, cloudy skies and dreaming.

I wonder if it will feel like coming home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I survived

Well, 28 came and went, and I am trying to get over my dramatics from last week over the whole thing =)

Seriously, it was a good birthday and filled with a mixture of both friends and family, the mundane and the special, and I couldn't have ordered better weather for the entire weekend. I ate too much cake and spent too much time in the car seeing everyone, but overall, when Monday morning came with my sugar hangover and my arms sore from picking up three toddlers all weekend, I was grateful.

Now, it's another week. Work is really intense right now and I could probably write an entire series of blogs just on each of the characters I work with, and all our drama that ensues. I'm a little leery of blogging about work though, and so I'm trying to weigh what to share and all that. But it definitely keeps me busy and my life eventful and that's completely me reaching for the silver lining that I often fall short of grasping every day.

This is probably my most boring entry ever -but, an early bedtime for me is calling. And I am going to get up and do it all over again tomorrow and look, as hard as I can, for the good things.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


In two days, I'll be 28.

This is more of a milestone birthday for me than any other I can think of in the future. My mother was 28 when she had me -her only child. I remember being young and thinking of this mythical age of 28 as being something so far in my future -and when I was in my early 20's, I always could point to that age of 28, feeling that somehow, I had until then to finally have it all together.

It's strictly personal - I know 28 to everyone else isn't really a big deal, really at all. But it always was to me, and because of that, I am having a difficult time. And I hate that about myself...I hate that I make such a big damn deal about things that are symbolic of nothing and have no grounded cause to ignite angst and emotion. And I have angst and emotion. Oh, do I have it. But what the hell for?

So what if my mother was 28 when she had me? Should it mandate that I automatically have children when I am 28? Of course not, I know this. It would be different if I didn't want them. If I didn't feel the clock ticking all the time, and have baby fever irrationally. I don't know if it's about the innate need I have to nurture others, or if I'm looking for something to "complete" my life or somehow add meaning to the mundane. That's alot of pressure to put on these hypothetical children of mine. They're not even here yet, and they're already expected to live up to my unreachable expectations =)

I am discontent in almost every aspect of my life, and I feel like as each safety net keeps getting yanked out from under me, it's another sign for me to see the obvious. You know the anecdote about the man standing on the roof of his house in a flood, praying to God to please rescue him. A boat comes along, but he won't get in it because God is coming. Then a second boat comes. Then a helicopter comes, but the man still won't get in because God is coming to rescue him. The man finally succombs to drowning, gets to heaven and demands to know why God didn't save him --to which God replies something along the lines of, I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what else did you need?!

Is God standing straight in front of me, holding up a billboard sign and hollering, as I look up to the clouds and ask for answers?

I need something to change. I want so badly to do all these things in the world, be this particular kind of person, but that person seems so far from what I am now that it almost seems incomprehensible that I will ever be able to bridge the gap between who I am and who I want to be.

But it's time to start building a bridge across the gap - and pray its not another bridge to nowhere. I need to find some bricks, and start laying them.

I think that I just might find that the bricks are already there. And I just hadn't been looking hard enough.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Not Gone

I've just been away...first to DC, then to Chicago. Some pleasure, mostly work. This was the view from my hotel room:

And the Chicago Tribune (in the corner):

And of course, the geese at Navy Pier:

It was FREEZING! I was looking just lovely after my two mile walk to the pier and then another two miles back. I did lots of shopping and lots of sight-seeing -screw the cold. But I am back at home and absolutely amazed I don't have a case of pneumonia at this point =) Snow and slush and hail were the order of the weekend, but there were some sunny days which I took advantage of big time --all in all, a successful week of business and pleasure.

Blog topics aplenty are buzzing at my fingertips, but for now I must sleep...and look forward to catching up to all I've missed in the blogsphere =)