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Five. Years.

Five years ago I wrote the first words Sidenote had ever seen...

Writing the first post is a bit more unnerving than I thought it was going to be.

So deep. A lot has changed over the past years but some things have stayed the same, too. All week I'll be marking this big anniversary in some form or another and today...a rundown of what has changed.

In the past five years I have...
...lived in 7 different places (1 foreign country)
...had 15 roommates (approx 50% were crazy)
...been to 21 concerts (including bad views, near rain-outs, and mosh pit parents)
...accidentally appeared on the front page of the paper twice and was famous on purpose for the first time in Sal's blog about my style sense
...and for the second time, too, with a little poem about peanut butter (articles galore here, here and here)
...joined five social networks
...adopted one perfect, adorable, sweet scamp of a cat

More to come tomorrow. And hopefully for another five years after that.


Big day ahead

I have NOT been good at blogging this week which is odd because I've actually been doing a lot of writing. Just nothing I'm quite ready to share.

I could blame the flu that kept me chained (in a non-kinky way) to my couch for four days or the weird weather or the fact that I've just been all caught up in my head lately and can't make much sense of my thoughts. Lots of options. None that great.

Regardless of the crappy writing this week, next week is a very big one for Sidenote:. Monday is the five year anniversary of this little blog and frankly, I'm not sure what to do to properly celebrate such a milestone. There will be cake, of course, and some kind of statistical rundown but what else?

So much has changed since I started and yet some things have remained the same. While even if I had no readers I'd still write because, well, that's just what I do, you guys have made my life so much richer. I've kept in touch with old friends and made some new and I can't wait to see what the next five years bring.

Any ideas for Monday's celebration post? Leave 'em in comments and I'll see what I can do :)


I promise...

The picture above of Sasha resting on Sister and her pregnant belly reminded me of this commercial. Only Sissy and Sashie are much cuter...


Mediocre Poetry

I've been slacking! Ack! Here's all I've got for you now...a mediocre poem. One of these days I'll get back on top of posting!

Crickets sing me to the front steps
humming low
reminding me I have company
in the silk ruffles of wind.

Moths thud against the screen door
wing powder floats,
light on my head’s dark crown
like snow falling in summer

Closing my eyes against porch lights
cool dark fills lids
wiping daydreams away with nights eraser
leaving room for sleep

Silent sleep.


You smell good.

Need a pick-me-up? I sure did yesterday so Sketti sent me a card with this song on it and literally had me laughing out loud at my desk. So I thought I'd pass the message along to you, just in case you need an extra smile today.

You Smell Good.


Forgotten poem

Waking up to a thunderstorm at 3:00am makes for ideal random-creative-writing-spurt-conditions. I grabbed my bedside notebook, made a bunch of barely-legible-but-very-impressively-constructed-sentence-scribbles and fell back to sleep with a smile on my face knowing I had a pretty kick-ass poem ready to post today.
Then I forgot about it.
And now I have nothing to post.
Also I'm not actually sure how great the poem really is because, let's be honest, it was 3:00am and I wasn't really awake when I wrote it.
It had something to do with pillows and plagues.
Sounds pretty cracked out, right?
I'm pretty sure it was kind of a love story.
That is what happens when Caley's dream world meets the real world.
You're just lucky I was too lazy to get out of bed, type it up and post it on the spot.


Artwork for sale

On my fridge I have some stunning original artwork that was commissioned this spring. No, really. My 6 year old neighbor is quite the artist. And entrepreneur. Sitting outside in her lawn at a plastic Fischer Price table she was coloring and had a sign up that read, "Art: 5¢" I was impressed. When I was her age I was selling lemonade and braided friendship bracelets, never anything as classy as art.
"Hey, Jessie," I called from my front steps. "Cool idea, selling art. How did you think of it?"

She smiled sweetly and said, "My best friend Caitlyn is selling lemonade and she wouldn't let me help so I told her that was a stupid idea and I bet her I could make more money than she could so now I'm selling art. And I'm already beating her. My uncle paid me $2.00 for one drawing." Looking across the street I saw Caitlyn sitting at her lemonade stand, arms crossed, glaring while Jesse drew.

With my hand on my stomach to hold back my laughter I said, "I'll grab my wallet." We negotiated a deal for specially commissioned drawings for 25¢ a piece and $1.00 later I had enough to cover the bottom door on my refrigerator.
Her mom stepped out on their porch in the middle of our dealings and said, "You don't have to do that, you know."

"Are you kidding?" I scoffed. "I'm a very serious patron of the arts."


Soon to be Gramps

Dad is very excited to be a grandpa and has already started preparing for Stromboli to be born in December. While he and Mom were visiting Sister and The BIL they stumbled upon an estate sale. When they got home all Mom could talk about was this suit that Dad bought. She kept bringing it up saying things like, "He thinks it is really great but I told him he should try it on to show you guys and get your opinion on it." Sister and The BIL were having visions of something plaid and awful because Mom was being so insistent that Dad get their opinions on it.

After dinner they were all sitting on the patio and Dad went inside to try on the much discussed but not yet seen suit. He came out saying, "Ho ho ho," with Mom's black purse slung over his shoulder filled with awesome gifts like an electric cord for The BIL. It took at least 10 beats of staring blankly for Sister to fully absorb what was happening.
And then the next day Dad went out and bought himself a car. Something having to do with the warranty on his expiring soon. Riiiight. Now do you see where I get my often absurd logic?


Evil Elevators

I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to make our building's elevators completely mirrored but it makes for some of the most awkward inter-floor rides ever. No one knows where to look because everywhere you turn your head you're making eye contact with someone's reflection. So everyone stares at the ground.

Being in there alone is fine because it has just the right lighting to make you look tan (instead of ridiculously pale like I am all year round). Just make sure you don't check yourself out in one of the front corner panels because they have some kind of weird warp to them and you might have a heart attack thinking you've mysteriously gained 30lbs since the last time you took the elevator.

Even the outside doors of these things are mirrored so when you're standing in the 1st floor lobby in the middle of the two banks of elevators it is often impossible to see if there is one waiting, doors open. Especially if the arrow light up above is burned out. Like it was this summer. And then you end up standing there for 10 minutes wondering why the elevators are so slow and other people show up and wait with you because they assume you're not an idiot and would walk onto the elevator if it was sitting there waiting and then you look really dumb when everyone realizes the car has been there the entire time. Not like that ever happened to me. Multiple times.


Recently I learned something else very disturbing about these mirrored beasts: the "close door" buttons are not hooked up to anything. Whaaaa? I've noticed that no matter how many times you push the things nothing happens but that doesn't keep me from compulsively doing it every time I want the door to shut.

And now, do you know what I think about every time I get into the elevator?

I think...what am I supposed to do if I'm being chased by bad guys like in the movies and I have zero time to get in the elevator to escape? I'd be standing there pushing the non-functioning "close door" button and in slow motion the bad guys would catch up to me and I would not have the perfect timing of the doors shutting in their faces.

I'd be screwed.

Maybe I should start taking the stairs.


A New View

A new view erases
60 years of lake gazing.
No side by side recliners left
to mark lovers' conversations past.
The gentle porch fan has gone;
central air blasts through.

Parking lots replace the curving drive
where guests use to arrive for
Sunday drives,
percolated cups of coffee,
radio broadcasts.

But swollen knuckles still grasp
corners of a pilled knit cardigan
and watery blue eyes focus sharply on the door
when footsteps bounce down sterile halls--
waiting for someone to bring
a bit of home.


Drabble voting...

...starts today! So, check out my drabble (or first, check out the definition of a drabble) and then mosey on over to Peter's blog to cast your vote for meeee! More than once. If the spirit moves you.


A true armrest

Pets give a whole new meaning to the word armrest.


Frog's Funeral

So I saw this Drabble contest and decided to enter:
What's a drabble? Check it out. The other day a family friend's facebook status said, "Just returned from a frog funeral in the backyard" and with the theme of this drabble contest being love...well, here's what I came up with!

Under the tree a girl cries. Crouched, knees to chest, she stares with her brother at the popsicle stick pyre. Lining the hole with oak leaves and dandelions she whispers, “What’s next?”

Squinting he tries to remember his only other funeral and after an hour long minute pokes her in the ribs, “You’ve gotta say something nice about him now.”

“I’m too sad,” she sniffs. With a sigh he grabs two handfuls of pine needles and solemnly stands up. After slowly sprinkling them over the Kleenex wrapped body he says, “Frog was a very good toad. We loved him. Lots.”


In which my dad shoots down my tequila drinking ability.

An email exchange that took place one afternoon between Cousin Kev, Little Brother, Dear Sweet Daddy and ME. In which my dad shot down my tequila drinking ability.

FROM: Little Brother
TO: Kev, Dad, and ME
I need talk to Kev and Caley about the massive party at your house when you go out of town since he will be house sitting while you're gone

TO: Little Brother, Dad, and ME
Glad you brought that up… I have 2 kegs to pick up and 3 on reserve. If anyone other than the 3 of us are invited to the shin-dig, we’ll need more beer. Thank God for Southview Liquor!

TO: Kev, Dad and Little Brother
I'll bring tequila and limes. No need for a blender or ice--we're not making margaritas. Shots straight up, kids!

TO: Everyone else
I’m there with you shot for shot!
Do you have the party website set up yet? Maybe

TO: Everyone else
Better get a chalk board and to keep track of shots....and when Caley gets sick!
And do what we used to do...fill the back of a pick up truck with blocks of ice to chill it all down......

TO: Everyone else
PSHA i am a tequila champ. i would not waste such a precious liquid by getting sick.

p.s. i cannot believe my dad just burned me about not being able to hold my tequila...ouch.


Sister Superhero

I told Joe I'm going to work for the government
I'd have to have a special outfit of course
and it couldn't be black b/c it gets HOT in L.A. here where i'd be doing chases
and then i'd have to go under cover and my food would be paid for by the gov't because of course it would be required by my job
just like my outfit
and killer sunglasses
with a prescription in them
I'd get my old Chanel style that got lost (even though they don't make them anymore)

me: holy crap dude
i left for two minutes
and you've suddenly become some kind of bounty hunter wearing a suit and chanel glasses
you're my hero.

(She could totally pull it off.)


Hair binder bracelets

Last night when Mom asked me if I keep a hair binder on my wrist at work I thought she was going to have a stroke because I said, "Yes. Of course." I got a lecture about professionalism and how wearing hair binders on ones wrist marks a woman as being of a certain generation and that other generations do not see it as acceptable.
Really, Mom? Really?
It's not like I'm wearing Rainbow Brite colors or anything.
And I'm pretty sure a hair binder (or two) on my wrist is more professional than surreptitiously trying to rig up a pony tail with this stuff. Especially during a meeting.
Who wants to bet I get skin colored hair ties from Santa this year?


Blast from the past cabin style

Last weekend I got invited to Elissa's boyfriend's cabin. Since my family has a lake place I'm usually the one doing the inviting so I was pumped to be a guest for once. E had everything planned out from meals to games to boating but somehow she failed to prepare me for the seventiestasticness of the cabin itself.

Let me set the scene:

First, to get there you drive through lots of corn fields...

past some cows...

on by a few barns...

down the dirt road in the woods...

...and into the clearing to the stone cottage!

So quaint. So pretty. The original owner built the entire place by hand a really long time ago (I don't actually know the date but a really long time ago pretty much sums it up. Here are some of the treasures hidden inside...

An old school croquet set (although one could argue all croquet sets are kinda old school.)

A really hip and modern indoor color tv antenna.

Quite possibly the coolest jean jacket ever.

Blinds that don't even need a caption.

Pillows with deer on them (the Sailor Jerry's was added for extra ambiance).

The most complete watershoe collection known to man.

And some of the rockin'est hats ever.

Seriously guys, this cabin was amazing. I couldn't even capture it all on film. You really have to experience it to feel the full effect. It feels like you're stepping back in time (as long as people played flip-cup "back-in-time" like we did this weekend.) Not only is the cabin completely vintaged out, the small town of Paynesville nearby is also stuck back a few decades. There I got a loaf of fresh zucchini bread for $2, a Bulldogs high school PE t-shirt (even though the lady told me they weren't really for 'outta towners') and Kristin almost bought a sword. Even though it was hot and then it rained and then it was freezing and windy...the whole was still a blast. And a half. A blast and a half from the past.


$10 Mil comin my way

Little brother bought a lotto ticket last night for the $130 million lottery and he said he got the winning one. He also told me I get $10 mil of it. I just want to record that here before he actually finds out he won so it doesn't look like I'm a money grubbing liar. We shook on it but the only witness was his girlfriend. He promised her $10 mil too which I think is kind of a crock. I mean come on, I'm family! Here are a few of the things I plan to do when he ponies up my share:

-quit my job and start my own foundation to run
-redo the kitchen (including a dishwasher)
-buy an aston martin
-travel lots and lots
-get massages and have my hair done once a week
-hire a town car to drive me around (not because I'm a snot; because I just don't like driving)
-put a Taco Bell within walking distance of my house
-get a dog. or 10.
-buy a pair of Louboutins and some Chanel
-throw a massive family party on a yacht
-import ridiculously high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets
-hire someone to do my laundry

I'm sure I'm missing some really critical things on this list but I think this is a decent start. If I won the full $130 million myself I'd be doing things like buying Sister a house but that'll be Little Brother's responsibility this time. Oh and I'd also fly y'all in for a big Sidenote: bash. Maybe I should have gotten my own lotto ticket...
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