Monday, December 29, 2008

Your Hands

Your Hands

When your hands go out,
love, toward mine,
what do they bring me flying?
Why did they stop
at my mouth, suddenly,
why do I recognize them
as if then, before,
I had touched them,
as if before they existed
they had passed over
my forehead, my waist?

Their softness came
flying over time,
over the sea, over the smoke,
over the spring,
and when you placed
your hands on my chest,
I recognized those golden
dove wings,
I recognized that clay
and that color of wheat.

the years of my life
I walked around looking for them.
I went up the stairs,
I crossed the roads,
trains carried me,
waters brought me,
and in the skin of the grapes
I thought I touched you.
The wood suddenly
brought me your touch,
the almond announced to me
your secret softness,
until your hands
closed on my chest
and there like two wings
they ended their journey.

Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Best of Me

Second Life has been a bit of everything for me, really. And of course, like so many of us, I'm quietly addicted. But why? What am I here for? What keeps drawing me in, with such a busy RL, to spend hours whiling away the evening (or the day off) in front of my laptop? My husband and I argue about it constantly. He's always talking about 'my computer', and has truly developed a jealousy for the thing...Second Life, mainly. We've gone so many rounds about it that I really can't even detail it here, but last night, he said something that really hurt. And also rang true. Which, of course, is why it hurt.

To I ever going to leave him? I certainly have no plans to, and never because of Second Life. If anything ever happened to split us up, it certainly wouldn't be because I met someone on SL. The same could be said for RL. As ever, the finding of a new person or infidelity is always a symptom of a deeper issue, something that you didn't fix, which inevitably, pushes people over the edge and into someone else's arms. So when he tells me "I'm just worried you're going to find someone better, better suited to you...I don't know why you're with me anyways", I just laugh and tell him I love him. Over and over and over.

But the thing that hurt last night was when he said "I dunno. I just feel like SL gets the best of you. And I get all the rest." I uttered, "Gee, thanks", and rolled over in bed. Pouting, as usual. But ya know, he's right. As with so many of us....we put our best feet forward here...are our smartest, sexiest, less inhibited, fun loving selves. In RL, where we feel safe, or even sedentary, we show our warts.

And is that fair? Between the job, and the kids, and the endless housecleaning and homework doing...shouldn't we give a little more...of the BEST of our RL? If not for our spouses, but for ourselves? My friend Trip keeps telling me...'Whatever you do. Just sing. Get your ass out there and sing. In RL." And he's right. SL is a great place to get back on your singing feet, I suppose, but I owe it to myself to put one of the best things in my life back into my RL.

And that's just one example.

I spend hours shopping, playing with my inventory, being the hottest pixel bitch I can be, while so often, on my days off, I throw on a hoodie and forgo the shower and basically run around looking like a strega. I sit in front of my laptop, laughing and smiling while talking to the people I care for here, but I frown and crab at my husband and kids. And occassionally, he's seen that. And that is the crux of the issue, I do believe.

I love them all more than anyone could ever know. As much as all of you love your family...your RL people. And it's true...I get things from my SL that, having made the choices I've made, I do not get from my RL. But maybe it's time to....appreciate the RL a bit more. Smile a little more. Be more like Nina. Who is really me...about 10 years ago. So...what am I saying? I guess I just...need to find that girl again. And give her back, at least every once in awhile, to the guy who fell in love with her. And also, give her back to myself. Because as much as I like being her in SL....I miss her something awful in my RL.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stompin' at the Savoy...Ninny Live!

SLive Music. Howboutit?! Seriously, you figure, there's got to be more to SL than shopping, trivia and.....*shakes head*. Yeah. Anyhow....I've been so excited and blessed to start my SLive singing career! People have been so supportive and it makes me that much more sure that this is something I should be doing :) And I've wanted to for so long now....I guess 3 month hiatus' and a limited schedule sometimes makes things difficult, but you have to go for what you want sometimes :) And god, do I love to sing.

You kinda forget how much, after the years have passed and you're working this thankless schleppfest of a job and raising a toddler...just how much you loved the crowd. And the god. The songs. Wrapping your voice around something by Sir Duke or a swanky version of THAT'S better than sex. Well...*nod* Yes. It is. *laugh* I'm so jazzed to be doing this. Now I have an excuse to buy fancy dresses and get cute pictures taken :)

I've learned a few things, however. Get your damn lyrics sheets up BEFORE you start taking on a song you don't know 100%. Give people perms to your group so you're not trying to sing, add people, thank people for tips and type shout outs, all while trying to handle your animations (whew!). And lastly, and perhaps more importantly, do not drink an entire magnum of Savignon Blanc while you're singing. That makes for slurry stuff :)

Make sure you come check out the show...Tuesdays, 10AM SL Time...and also, random evenings TBA as we plod through this. And much love to Crighton...who puts up with me and let's me stomp all over his Savoy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bleeding Cubbie Blue....Again.

Being a Chicago Cubs fan is hard work. Hard, heartwrenching, awful emotional work. And we're down 2-0 with home field advantage...for some things, there simply aren't words. Except maybe, for these.

Yeah, don’t let them say that it’s just a game.
Well, I’ve seen other teams and it is never the same.
When you go to Chicago, you’re blessed and you’re healed
The first time you walk into Wrigley Field.

Heroes with pinstripes and heroes in blue,
Give us the chance to feel like heroes do.
Whether we’ll win and if we should lose,
we know someday we’ll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way.

We are one with the Cubs,
with the Cubs we’re in love.
Hold our heads tall as the underdogs.
We are not fairweather, but foul weather fans.
Like brothers in arms, in the suites and the stands.

There’s magic in the Ivy and the old score board.
The same one I stared at as a kid keeping score.
In a world full of greed, we could never want more.
Someday we’ll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way.

Here’s to the men and the legends we’ve known.
Giving us faith and giving us hope.
United we stand and united we’ll fall
down to our knees the day we win it all.

Yeah Ernie Banks said, “oh, let’s play two”.
I think he meant two hundred years.
Playing at Wrigley, our diamond, our jewel.
The home of our joy and our fears.
Keeping traditions, and wishes anew,
The place where our grandfathers’ fathers they grew.
The spiritual feeling if I ever knew.

And when the day comes for that last winning run,
and I’m crying and covered with beer.
I look to the sky and know I was right today.
Someday we’ll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way.

--Eddie Vedder--

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tonight I can Write

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing.
In the distance.My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

--Pablo Neruda--

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Katie's Birthday!

Today is a rather big day in our family. My daughter, Kate, is celebrating her first birthday. And I can only look at her in amazement, listening to her cluck and gobble as she throws my car keys around the living room, and think..."I made that?!" I don't know what I did right...I'm certain I was owed some karmic gift, because she is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me. The happiest, easiest, silliest angel baby in the world. Now tell me you've never heard that before, right? I know, I know, all us momma's are biased....

She's so incredibly funny...the true ham of the family, thus far...screaming and laughing and making funny faces at everyone, for everyone. She loves to get a reaction out of all of us...especially her half-sibs, who, upon returning from a weekend at their mother's house, she screams out loud in delight upon seeing. Watching her joy at the mere sight of them makes me happy they are here, happier that I "inherited" two children when I married their father.

She's beautiful, the perfect mix of her father and I....(well, she looks more like me :p), but she has these green eyes that she somehow got lucky enough to have, funny brown hair that can't decide if it wants to be straight or curly-ish...and the prettiest little bow shaped mouth...and like I said, the idea that we made her still blows my mind every time I look at her.

Anyhow, this girl has a lot of work to do today. Her party is tonight. I really can't wait. And maybe, just maybe, I should get my butt off this computer and play with her....before she sets off my car's panic button on my keyring.

Happy Birthday, Kate. To say I love you is the greatest understatement. To quote Brad Paisley...

"To the world, you may be just another girl..but to me, baby, you are the world."

Monday, February 4, 2008

I do not love you....

Not too long after I graduated college, I met a man. And while I'd crushed, dated, etc., and often...I'd never been adored the way he seemed to adore me. I thought I felt the same...however, hindsight always being so clear, I now know I simply loved the ridiculous, romantic way he loved me. He used to buy me single roses, bacci chocolates, and the piece de resistance...volumes of poetry by Pablo Neruda. And long after all the other things have faded, the Neruda has stayed with me...and now, I truly understand it. Because love, of course, is not about bacci chocolate and is about those other places, 'between the shadow and the soul' that Neruda so eloquently paints. I know those places. I live in those places. I love those places.

XVII (I do not love you...)
by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Back to the Beginning.....

I promised myself, when I had my daughter last February, that I would begin the process of reclaiming my spirit, however that might happen, and however long it might take me. I took a long look at how quickly life moves, how much we sacrifice sometimes for the greater good, and in doing so, sometimes lose essential parts of ourselves in the process. I knew it was important that I find myself again, for my own good, and for the good of the woman who had been entrusted to me.

Ten years ago, I was a girl who once told fellow voice majors of mine "do you want to be some body, or do you want to be SOMEBODY?" I had a sparkle, a love of the spotlight, an all consuming passion and devotion to my music and to the theater. I was never NOT performing. I wanted to move directly to NYC after college graduation, get my first show, and, the rest of course, would be musical theater history. My name in lights forever, right next to Lupone and Merman.

Alas, life never works out the way we want it to, seemingly never enough money to fuel these dreams we dream up, we start to make excuses for why we can't do things, and then, one day, you wake up married, with 2 stepkids and an infant daughter, working in retail and realizing that you haven't sung in more than 2 years. And, to be honest, it wasn't just the music that had escaped, very simply, had become mundane. Everything I used to enjoy was either nonpresent or no longer exciting.

In any case, I'm so proud to have begun the process of getting back to me. I am singing again, having rejoined a professional chorus in Chicago that I sang with back in 2000-2001, and, on a personal level, I've started to find passion in myself again...and SL has been a huge contributor to that reawakening. It's amazing to me, really...something I initially only looked into as a curiosity has had such an effect on my RL well-being. It's made me happier, restored my joy, perked up my libido...truly, given me an outlet and friendships I never dreamed it could.

An unexpected gift, and a wonderful tool in helping me be a better me :)