Friday, January 28, 2011


Not a blonde
Not a runner
Not a banker
Not a writer

In eleventh grade, I became good friends with Mione in Latin class by way of notebooks. We scribbled in each other’s journals while Mrs. Wagstaff talked about Roman children picking up "lignum vitaes." One of Mione's first gifts was a lavender spiral notebook, which she suggested that I carry to school. Cheers, Mione, for instigating my practice of carrying a journal with me everywhere.

Even with a journal in my pocket at all times and a bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing track, I don’t think of myself as a writer. I don’t think of myself as anything. I don’t consider myself a blonde, a runner, or a banker. I engage in these activities: writing, running, having blonde hair, and processing people’s monetary transactions. But the labels are not for me.

My creative writing prof. got me to take this picture of lavender petals in the cracks of the asphalt path when we were on a walk. April 15, 2010.

I am an empty wineglass.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weird Beliefs!

You can have weird beliefs, and then, you can grow out of them.

(1) I used to be concerned with popularity. I saw princes and princesses at school, at the grocery store, at PetsMart, at the county fair. In eleventh grade, I visited colleges and estimated the percentage of preps on each campus. At some point in college, early on in my experience, I stopped seeing preppiness. Now, I just don’t. I lost my prep-o-meter. No one on the streets seems like a priss. They all seem way more complex than that.

(2) When I was a kid, I used to think I had to–this sounds crazy–save up happiness for later. I could let out only a certain amount of happy energy per day. I would save it for the times when I needed it. I didn’t want it to run out. The philosophy operated in my life like this:
Let’s say, it’s Saturday, and tonight, I’m going to a sleepover. Before I meet my friends, I have to be grumpy for a little bit & not tap into any of the good resources. I’ll need all the good energy I can get during the sleepover. If I’m excited and happy during the day, I won’t have any happy energy left because...
Okay, this really sounds crazy, but it was like that! For real. This way of thinking carried over into middle school. I thought of it as “saving smiles,” and I genuinely thought it was how I worked. I was so amazed when it went away.
I don’t save up positive energy. I use it whenever I can. I understand joy is infinite: it has no bounds, it doesn’t run out, and I’m not going to have to be grumpy later if I don’t get all the grumpiness out now.

(3) When I was a toddler, I believed that if I walked on the sidewalk behind our condominium, I would be snatched up by kidnappers immediately.

Prin College Bluffs. Winter 2010.

I have no doubt
one day we're gonna
get out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I’ve been going to the same church since Day One, and I used to be so in love with the mural on the wall of the nursery. The scene enchanted me: a girl swinging in a giant apple tree and her little farmer brother holding a bucket like Jack. I drooled at the sight of the fat-limbed tree, wanting to climb it. I wondered what genius came up with this piece.

A couple of weeks ago, I pulled Blondie into the nursery for a photo shoot. It’s weird to see the juxtaposition of the marriage mate and the childhood mural. He's just sitting there next to something I stared at for hours when I was little. It’s so crazy to think that I had no prediction of Blondie back then. When I think back, it seems like he was there.

January 9, 2011

How do these things exist in the same universe?

I had a little love–
now I’m back for more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Remain Funny

One of my regular clients, Peeves, came to the bank today, looking frostbitten and truly glum. He asked how I was, expecting me to say “well,” which I did. I asked how he was, expecting him to make a gibe about how he’s the opposite of “well,” which he did. We tend to joke about how I’m the happy one, and he’s the sad one. “Somewhere there’s an average,” Peeves said. I thanked him for his business and said, “You really don’t look happy.” Usually, he is full of momentum, fired up about how horrendous everything is. Today, he looked absolutely mournful. He said, “Thank you for cheering me up,” and, then, he slipped in a joke. “This,” he said, referring to his appearance, “is cheery.” Thank you for joking anyway, Peeves.

Oh, man, it’s so good, so good, so good
to offer good things continuously and
not shut off from the good.

Sleek in one of her Much Ado About Nothing costumes. November 1, 2008.

"I close my eyes and I
smile, knowing that everything
is alright
to the core
so close that door
is this happening?"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Tonight, my mom asked, “If you could go back and live your entire senior year over again, would you?”
I said, “Yeah.”
“You would jump at the opportunity to do all that homework again?”
“I’ve got my capstone on file, so I could just–”
“That doesn’t count. You would really have to experience the whole thing over again without even knowing you’d experienced it the first time.”
“I would only do it if I could go back with all of the knowledge, all of the experience. I’d do it if I could go back, still in possession of all of that. I would love–"
“I thought about this when I was four,” Blondie squawked.
Haha, Blondie. No, but seriously, I get a kick out of thinking about this.
It’s January 12, 2011. I have reached a certain state of thought thanks to all of my experience on this earth. Let’s say right now I went back in time, with my current state of thought, to June 27, 1988, my birthday, and then, I got to live my life over with my current state of thought being the starting point. It wouldn’t be like Back to the Future, in which Marty McFly actually has to worry about damaging the future. This would be like a dream that I really experienced–more like Inception. Once I reached January 12, 2011 in the dream life, my life, the life we're all living now, would resume, and I would take nothing with me from all of those re-years but the mental experience of them.
Man, I got so excited, thinking about those re-years.
I'd get to enjoy it all again but without any of the dumb worries I had the first time around. I’d know it was all going to turn out okay. I’d just wake up again and be Courtney in the real 2011.
But the real years are actually like re-years in the sense that it always does end up okay, and all of the fears end up being dumb.

The Steak and Shake bathroom. I had just finished presenting my capstone, and Dough took me out to celebrate. May 25, 2010.

Katie, you're a brave girl,
And I know it's only just started,
But I'm gonna be there at six
With some flowers on sticks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Employment (Part II)

Four things I like about working at Applebee’s:
I work in the same store as my husband.
The music is loud; in most public places, the music is soft.
The temperature is not too hot or cold.
I don’t have to bring any homework.

One thing I like about working at the bank:
Mom has always, always worked at a bank, and I get to share the experience with her.

Mom, a financial services representative at the bank. January 5, 2011.

Take their money and run. Say, "It's been swell, sweetheart, but it was just one of those things."

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It is so good to have no homework right now.
A year ago today, Winter Break ended, and I spent the day in the airport, traveling back to school. Between flights, I crafted a proposal for a creative writing project. I was anticipating lots of work.
Now, life is basically
blank except for the marriage, which is one bright, rainbow light.

In the airport bathroom. Classy, eh? January 2, 2010.

I don't mind waiting in line–no, no.
I don't mind if the bills pile up, and the work is slow.
I don't mind the gas or the groceries or the grind.
Long as I'm with you, I'm having a good time.