Sunday, December 15, 2013

366 Days

With all of the stuff that was going on this last week, I only just realized--a few moments ago--that I have been a grown-up college graduate for a whole year. (+ a day).

366 days since I filed into the I-Center--right behind Naomi, right in front of Kiara--and listened to the commencement addresses from the front row. 366 days since I walked across the Snow theater stage and got my (empty) diploma case. 366 days since tassels and robes and pictures and tears and complete disbelieving joy. 366 days since my college life ended.

I don't really even think I have anything big or significant to say about it.

It's just weird to think about how much can happen or change in 366 days. Because SO much has happened and so many things have changed so completely. I'm in an utterly different setting, with brand new characters, and imaginative new plot twists. And it's all become normal.

I moved to Vegas. As in, Las Vegas, City of Sin. And I fell in love with it. I loved it so much, I decided that it was the place I was going to call home for a while.

I learned how to teach. And I learned it well, from one of the best. And then I fell in love with it; the way a student's face will light up when they finally get something right, the way these sweet little souls decide to trust you with their every drama and worry and joy, the way you get to be a small part of their life, to watch them grow and become real people.

I live in a condo. I pay monthly rent and bills. I have health insurance. I have paydays. I will live in this place for longer than 4 months. I don't think I've done that since high school. I, like, …live here.

I've had major dental work all by myself (I know, that doesn't sound like much, but words cannot describe how much I ABHOR the dentist). Had my first car accident. Went to my first bar. Took my first solo flight.  Tried Vietnamese food. Saw a show on the Strip. I got my first real, big kid job. My first credit card. My first anxiety attack.

I've been pushed so hard. I've never been so exhausted. I've never had so many nights of tear-soaked absolute worry or isolation. Never said so many desperate prayers.

I've learned so much (maybe too much?) and have been stretched to the point of snapping. I've grown and I know why I'm here. Most of the time.

But it wasn't until I sat down and really thought about it that I realized just how perfectly different my life is now than it was a year ago. I'm not in the same place, I'm not doing the same thing, I'm not surrounded by the same people, and even though it's hard, I'm not the same person I was 366 days ago, so, in the end…everything evens out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hell Week & Gratitude

This week has sucked. (pardon my French.)
I usually at least attempt to have some sort of logical flow to my posts, but this week... I really just need to get this all down, some sort of cathartic exercise or whatever, I guess, but here it all is, all disorganized and messy and whatnot. 

  • Have you ever walked into a situation, knowing that it would potentially be a bad situation, but optimistically tried to persuade yourself it would all be fine? Have you ever felt that amazement as, for the first few weeks, everything is actually fine? Have you ever had that knot of unease begin to form as things start to change? Have you ever sat in complete disbelief as the situation exploded beyond even your wildest realm of expectation? Have you felt the pieces come raining down on you as you try to pick yourself up and put it all back together--don't cry, don't cry, don't think about it, and don't cry--knowing that you've only begun your day? Have you ever tried to fight down the wave of anger and guilt and personal "told you so" while merely attempting to keep your head above water? 
  • I really hate crying in front of people. I hate it. Mostly because I also hate any sort of pity. Hate it. (hate hate hate, hate Smurf hah) But man have I done a lot of it lately (the crying, I mean, not the hate-smurfing or pitying). 
    • Monday: cried in front of one of the counselors--but that was mostly her fault, because to be fair, I was overly tired and the easiest way to make someone cry is to keep asking if they're "okay" and insisting that you know they're not. 
    • Tuesday: cried after I got off the phone (not technically in front of someone, but I'm counting it)
    • Wednesday: almost cried before my kids came in the room, cried when I saw the pic of my little brother outside the Temple all big kid and what not, cried when I talked to my principal, cried when I rehashed the whole bloody mess to Jeremy that night at youth orchestra, cried when I got home and thought about everything all over again. (Wednesday was a bad day to be a Kleenex within my reach).
    • Thursday: ...I just remembered, I didn't actually cry this day!! Go me. 
    • Friday: almost cried (again) in front of my principal, almost cried (again) on the phone to JP. 
  • If I haven't lost you already, I know how ^that^ looks. "Yeah yeah, blah blah blah, why do I care that she's been a human water fountain this last week? My word, that's a lot of boo-hooing." But I guess I do have a point. The first being that this week really has been incredibly hard. Nothing I've ever done has been this hard, this emotionally/mentally/physically taxing on me. 
    • You know when you're completely physically drained, and you can feel your eyelids all heavy and you literally don't think you can hold your head up any longer, but the second you lay down and close your eyes--your brain wakes up? And the thoughts tailspin from one awful potential to another, and your heart is racing from the anxiety, and you toss and turn and try to count sheep or listen to soothing music or force yourself asleep, but nothing works? 
    • Someone took my parking space Wednesday afternoon. I almost flipped out. Over a stupid parking space. I was angry. Over a parking space. Completely mentally unstable. 
    • I think I've probably lost 7lbs since Wednesday. My stomach's been all sick and tense and nothing's sounded good and I think it was probably around 9pm Thursday night when I got home for the first time that day that I realized I hadn't eaten anything since my granola bar at 6:45am. Lesson learned? Stress & anxiety can do wonders for your diet ;) 
  • The second point being I am very grateful for some of the people I have in my life. 
    • Person #1: My mom (and dad, since I'm sure he's getting all the drama secondhanded from the mama) has sure been incredibly patient with me. I know how much it drives her crazy to not get the full story on things, but she's been very understanding of the fact that if I try to explain all of the details right now, over the phone, it'll completely wreck me. 
    • Person #2: My baby bro. Wednesday night, I got home from all the mess to find a message on my voicemail from the Home phone number. I'm not sure what I expected it to be, but I'm pretty certain I can't describe how much my heart melted when I heard the 7 yr old voice introduce himself, his purpose, and then begin to sing a song, just for me--the sad big sister. God bless that sweet little boy. 
    • Person #3: JP. I could probably devote an entire post to how grateful I am for his friendship and support, and before that sounds too weird, I better explain who he is and why he matters. JP was my assigned mentor teacher when I began this crazy Las Vegas adventure. Though our bonding wasn't necessarily immediate, once I got over my intimidation and worries and we got to know each other better, I knew that I had found a friend for sure. I couldn't have asked for a better mentor. Constantly supportive and informative, he perfectly walked the fine line of letting me try and learn for myself-- and swooping in to save me before all hell broke loose. We weathered plenty of storms together, our discussions ranged from music to religion to politics and beyond, and when all was said and done, we essentially discovered that our personalities and senses of humor matched up pretty well. He and his wife have become like family to me--my own little branch of Vegasian family, people I know I can call for almost any trouble or worry. With that said,  I hope it doesn't sound strange to say that I spoke to JP every single day this past week. From our Monday conversation about private teachers and not letting snotty little 8th graders get to you; to the Tuesday heads-up and advice he gave me before everything exploded; to Wednesday night when he let me soliloquize and cry and complain and seek reassurance for 45 minutes before Youth Orchestra; to Thursday night when, in between worrying about the concert and other directorial duties, he kept me laughing and constantly helped smooth my ruffled feathers with more counseling, rants, and support; to finally Friday, when he took not one, but two phone calls and a text to hear me worry about my life and troubles all over again. I know I couldn't have made it through this week without having him as a sounding board, a cheerleader, a defender, protector, and personal comedian. The Lord is ridiculously mindful of not only what we need, but also who we need in order to survive our trials, and having him as a Someone who thoroughly understands my situation and all the tiny details involved has been an incredibly tender mercy. 
    • People #4: AJA, NP, RMik, & M. Principal, Dean, Counselor, fellow teacher, respectively. It was a huge thing to hear my principal reassure me that I was competent, tough, right and that things would get better. It was a relief to know I have both the dean (who had gotten the full story from her husband--see above--the night before) and one of the most influential counselors fighting the good fight on my behalf. I was remarkably fortunate to have a fellow teacher who understood the situation and was willing to alleviate my trouble in any way he could. Even if nothing gets resolved as quickly as I would like or in the exact manner I need, it's enough to know that I have these good people in my corner, on my side.
    • People #5: My kids. All 240 of them. Even the ones I want to strangle. The only reason, somedays, that I can even want to do this job. The only ones who can bring me up out of the pit of self-pity and anxiety and make me laugh hard enough to make my side ache. The precious little spirits that are just trying to find their way through the horror that is middle school, and have already decided that my room is a sort of safe haven where they can come to just "hang out." They are the reason to keep this teaching stuff up. 
  • Never, not even in my wildest dreams, could I have created the storyline that unfolded itself over my life this past week. Like I was told by both JP and AJA, at the very least, I'm "learning an awful lot this first year." 
I'm grateful for the people in my life. I'm grateful for church and the gospel and the subtle smack-upside-the-head reminder that I'm not alone, and that I need to give more attention where attention is due. I'm grateful for music, hot chocolate, good pizza, lame 6th grade jokes, warm sweatshirts, old TV shows, and the incredible power of text and email. 

If nothing else, this week has showed me that I really can do hard things. I've got the Eye of the Tiger, dang it, and I can survive anything!!

..But, all that being said, I'd be very appreciative of this week going much differently than the last. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Complete Exhaustion: September

The Little Things

  • I watched 8 seasons of Supernatural within a 4 month period. No regrets, baby.
  • SEASON 9 premiered this last Tuesday. Sooo excited I got all caught up so I can experience this show "as it happens" for the first time--ever. And if Tuesday night was any indication, this season is gonna be one of the best in a while. :)
  • I have a class of 68 students. 68 sixth/seventh/and eighth graders with instruments made of wood and wire that love to slip out of tune when you're not looking. 68 little angels that love talking. 68 different ways to hear "Ms O! Ms O!" throughout a 50 minute period. 68 names and faces to memorize. 68 children to remember to love.
  • My favorite number of late has been 67. (no wonder that ^ class period is so hard...I'm one off..)
  • I don't know which I prefer dealing with: my students--who frequently guess that I am ancient--or my students' parents--who frequently comment on my "youth" with slight disbelief. 
  • At this moment, I have a Hershey's Chocolate pie sitting in my fridge, 2 packs of Sour Watermelons in my cupboard, 2 bags of mushroom-flavored instant rice, and a gallon of Simply Lemonade. The #obsessions continue.
  • I have been to the dentist more times in the last 6 months than I have for the last 2 years. I hate the dentist. And these visits have given me no cause to break that streak. 
  • I am consistently drained by those that inhabit my life. 
  • Now, I've been called many things before, but I have to admit that a "condescending ingrate who treats people disrespectfully" was a bit of a new one. 
  • My taste in music is apparently "eclectic." 
  • I am so grateful for music. For all kinds of music. The Classic Rock and the Folk, the Classical and the Score, the Country and the Pop. 
  • Hey cellists: ever had your endpin slip inside your cello itself? No worries; I know how to fix that. Not only is it hilarious, entertaining, and mood-lightening; it's also quite the work out ;)
  •  I'm quite amazed with the human body in general. Even when there is no good reason for going on--and thousands of reasons for breaking down and curling up to nap for a good season--it keeps trucking on. I've found myself in a semi-constant state of wonder that I can accomplish all that I have, when running on insufficient amounts of sleep, nourishment, and brain power :)
  • I know now what it's like to dishwasher shopping.
  • I got to have the first "I don't drink." "Yeah right" "No really, I don't drink" conversation with some of my kids. I'm not certain their surprise at this fact quite equals mine in the moment they gave me "because it's what you do" as a response to my question of "Why do you want to drink?"
  • Sometimes the things these kids have seen and experienced and learned breaks my heart
  • Jake from State Farm, Coconut Jose Sharkbait, Hardunkichud Casper Fried Chicken. Sometimes I just can't explain how much I love my 6th graders.
  • Wagner is a beast; but so incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable.
  • There are few things as fascinating as apathy and feeling numb
  • It's getting cold here. I can't tell you how nearly ashamed I was at shivering in a sweatshirt when the weather app read "65," but, well...there you have it. 
  • General Conference was absolutely wonderful. It means so much more to me now that I'm older than it ever did before. It's kinda fun to look back on that sort of character development ;)
  • 3 of my kids made it into the Clark County School District Honors Orchestra. I was a pretty proud mama hen. 
  • #NewObsession: Pumpkin Spice lotion
  • I don't think I've gone to bed before 11pm since possibly my sophomore year of high school. It's happened over a dozen times since I began my grown-up life. 
  • I'm so tired. That's the only answer I can give when people ask what's wrong or how things are going or try to dig for details in the bags under my eyes. I'm just tired. Complete and total exhaustion. 
  • But thank goodness for the 240 reasons I have to keep going. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Thoughts of the Week(end)

Thought #1: I never understood people that would get cookie dough ice cream, or cookie dough blizzards. I repent and take that back completely; I'm sort of hooked.

Thought #2: Although, I don't think it beats Ben & Jerry's AmeriCone Dream flavor

Thought #3: Pet Peeve:
"Oh, hey, <so and so>, how are you?"
"Not so good, actually; I think I'm coming down with a bit of <insert illness of choice>."
"Oh. I was sick once. And I sneezed last night."

Like...really? When I find out people are sick, I go immediately into nurse-mode, like, "Oh, I'm sorry! That's the worst! Can I get you anything? Do you have soup? Popsicles? Drugs?" So people that take other people's misfortunes and brush it off because they knew what it felt like to be sick once upon a time completely baffle me. Like...completely. 

Thought #4: Beer doesn't even smell good. It can't taste super delicious, but it especially doesn't smell good. I don't get it. 

Thought #5: Chile con carne is delicious

Thought #6: Being sick is the weirdest thing. Like, being legitimately croaky throat, loss of voice, in pain, stuffy nosed, pulse-increased, can't get out of bed exhausted is so weird. It's like your body is a giant sorting center, and one day one of the little worker guys processes a particular germ and goes "NOPE. That's it, I'm out, shut it all down, boys, we're done."

Thought #7: You haven't felt truly old until one of your students asks you if you know anything about the musical group "N star Sync" (pronounced 's-eye-n-k')

Thought #8: The worst thing about living in a desert is when you're feeling tired or grouchy or sick and all you want to do is cuddle up in a sweatshirt but you can't because IT'S SO FREAKING HOT ALL OF THE TIME. Like, even at 3 am--it's hot. Even when it rains--it's hot. Even when it's September--it's hot.

Thought #9: Oh yeah, hey, Happy September.

Thought #10: I hate long-distance relationships. And no, not even just romantic relationships, I mean any relationships. It's too easy for me to think of someone with either super rose-colored glasses or condemning broken shades when they're out of my immediate 'reach.'

Thought #11: It's amazing how kids can break your heart

Thought #12: I don't really like orange juice. But I especially hate the pulpy kind. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Addictive Personality: August

I fall for things hard.

And, no, that's not just a lame slam against my lack of balance. 

I mean, for all intents and purposes, I have a very addictive personality.

Hmm...maybe that's not right. I don't mean to say that my personality is addictive, like, once you meet me, you can't get enough...that would be nice, though...

I guess I mean to say that I get easily addicted to things. 
That really doesn't sound as cool as an "addictive personality"
But "addictive personality" isn't really accurate...

My point is this: I go from curiosity to interest to OBSESSED in seconds flat. 
And even though I don't ever lose the things I'm addicted to,
they sort of shuffle through.

It's kinda like how you can have a favorite song in the whole wide world and you'll listen to that song on repeat, or until you hear the whole album, for weeks, and take a break. 
You'll still listen to the song
You'll still sing along and dance like an idiot when it comes on
But you move it from the top of your playlist. 

Obviously, I get addicted to music easy, but I'm also a sucker for books, movies, TV shows, foods, drinks, socks, makeup styles, etc etc name it, I could probably get addicted to it. 

So what usually happens is I get into something, and then I'm all in for a while. If it's a movie, I'm all in to that movie for a few weeks, until it stops being new or relevant, and then I take a little break (or, actually, find the next flick to obsess over). If it's a TV show, I prefer starting from the beginning then zooming straight through to the series' end--or caught up to current episodes--and then I relax on it a little bit. If it's music, I fall for a certain genre or song and listen to it nonstop for a few weeks, then give that playlist a break for a while. 

See? That's not so weird, right? Everyone does that, right?

But I guess where I take it the extra mile is how invested I get. 
New Star Trek movie? Let's find the cast interviews, the promotional trailers, the Pinterest boards, the critical reviews, the cast biographies, etc, etc. 
New favorite band? Wikipedia of band members, and albums, and songs, and style, etc, etc.

And so on and so forth. 

And then once the heat of the moment :) is over, I cool off a little bit. I don't listen to the band as much, I don't watch the show as religiously, I don't scour the internet for reviews of the movie--but I will always love said band/show/movie. 

So, anyway, this happens so often, I thought I'd start documenting it. 
Because what are our personalities but a collection of obsessions and trends and interests?

I am addicted to:
  • TV SHOW: "Supernatural." Heard about for years now, finally decided to try it thinking I'd junk it in less than an episode--cuz I am SO not a scary-movie person--and then fell absolutely in love with it. Two good-looking brothers, sweet car, intense drama, laughs, adrenaline-pumping thrills, good storyline, couple of tears = all in. 
  • MUSIC: I am on a classic rock kick. Definitely inspired by above-mentioned tv obsession--although to be fair, when I was in 3rd/4th grade, I would listen to Kansas and Styx fanatically (thanks mom and dad). 
  • MUSIC: Score music from "Supernatural"--composers Jay Gruska & Christopher Lennertz. 
  • BAND/ARTISTS: Kansas, Survivor, Three Dog Night, Blood Sweat & Tears, Styx, Deep Purple, Rush, Asia, REO Speedwagon, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Blue Oyster Cult, Bad Company, Bon Jovi, Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Tubes, Air Supply, Night Ranger, AC/DC, etc etc
  • SONGS: Carry On Wayward Son Kansas, The Wall Kansas, Eye of the Tiger Survivor, Shambala Three Dog Night, Renegade Styx, And When I Die Blood Sweat & Tears, Heat of the Moment Asia, Can't Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon, Hot Blooded Foreigner, Burnin' For You Blue Oyster Cult, Bad Company Bad Company, Thunderstruck AC/DC, Highway to Hell AC/DC, More Than a Feeling Boston, She's a Beauty The Tubes, Long Long Way From Home Foreigner, Peace of Mind Boston, Sister Christian Night Ranger, All Out of Love Air Supply
  • FOOD: pie. not, like, the fruity-kind ( i don't really love apple pie ) but like the key-limes and the hershey's chocolate and the coconut cream and banana cream and oreo blast, etc etc. 
  • FOOD: Steak fries. 
  • DRINK: Lemonade. 
  • CLOTHES: t-shirt and jeans. Probably just cuz I'm getting it out of my system before I go into "teacher-mode" but I am lovin' me some comfy t-shirts. and goodness knows I have enough of them
  • tv show: (in lowercase letters cuz it's not as big of an obsession) "Bones." Also heard about it for years, cuz when people learn my name the #2 question (after "Isn't that a boy's name?) is "Have you seen the tv show Bones?" Also my nickname from college roommates, I figured I'd better check it out. LOVE what I've seen of it so far, and as soon as I'm all caught up with Addiction #1, I think I'm gonna go down this particular rabbit-hole
  • SOCKS: this is kinda an ongoing addiction, depending on weather and circumstance, but I'm loving the fuzzy socks right now. I know, it's summer and, even worse, it's VEGAS, but that's the thing. I turn the AC up cuz it's freaking hot, but then my feet freeze. thus the fuzzy socks. 
  • TECHNOLOGY: Okay, so on iPhones you can use these sticker things on Facebook chat, and there's different categories of them, and they just came out with MINION ones. I'm enjoying them far too much. You can actually, I've discovered, carry on a complete conversation using just minions and small captions. 
  • FOOD: Dark chocolate
  • FOOD: mushrooms. I really don't know where this came from, but I LOVE mushrooms. Stuffed, grilled, on a burger, in arroz con pollo, in a salad, what have you, I LOVE them. 
  • QUIRK: dancing (interpretively or AWESOMELY) to music while cleaning. While doing dishes is the best, really. But vacuuming also turns into a dance party if the right music is going. 
I think that's about it for now...
I know, "about it" and there's a TON of random stuff up there
But that's actually fairly tame for me.

I dunno. I sometimes hope that getting so addicted (especially to fictional things) demonstrates a desirable amount of empathy in my character...
...but it's probably more a demonstration of a strong amount of nerd/geek. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I am continually reminded about the absolute power music possesses.

In small ways, I see it every day at work. 
When kids light up over a melodic phrase. 

When they leave the classroom completely energized because the music is JUST SO AWESOME. 

I've obviously felt it in my own life. The number of times a simple piece of music has brought me to tears, goosebumps all up & down my arms, dorky grin on my face....Well. They're incalculable, really. 

But you don't just have to take my word for it. Look it up. 
There are hundreds of studies, done by hundreds of people
                                                                       that prove my point: music is powerful. 

And sneaky. 
Do you want to know why you know the shark is coming?
Because the music tells you so. 

I mean, obviously. 
Name me one person who couldn't sing the "Jaws" Theme. 
But music is sneaky. 

Why do you feel that pit of dread in your stomach?

'Cuz the music tells you it should be there. 

But in a hundred
 million little ways
 before you actually hear that infamous 2 note theme. 

I often get a hard time when I go to the movies with my family,
because while they're all focusing on the visual drama,
I'm listening for the audio drama. 

You could get the BEST actor in the world,
Pair him/her with the BEST director,
The most critically-acclaimed visual effects artist,

The best camera crew, 
costume department,
make-up artists,

And, without the music, it'd all be...
Eh. Okay

Imagine a simple landscape scene. 
There's clouds in the sky, 
birds on a telephone wire.
No big deal.

With two simple clips of music, I can manipulate the way you feel about that simple landscape scene.

Yes, you read that right.

I can manipulate your feelings.  

I read something once,
talking about horror movies,
that stated that:

if you want to hide from the horror on the screen,
don't just close your eyes.

Close your ears.

Music is powerful.
Music matters.

The newest Star Trek Into Darkness trailer. 
(by the way: I'm really REALLY excited about this movie.)

The actors, the explosions, the promise of drama...
All valuable and very present aspects to this trailer.
But there's something else. And it's not so sneaky in this case.

Watch that clip once, as is.
Take in the awe, the excitement, the adrenaline, the drama. 

Now watch it again. Sans audio. 

Same actors.
Same explosions.
Same promise of drama. 

And yet...

Now, I'm aware that pushing the mute button not only gets rid of the music, but the dialogue as well. 
If I were more tech savvy, I'd engineer some little presentation that does the work for you,
AND keeps the dialogue in. 

But I'm not.

My point is this: 
Music is so linked to us, in so many different ways, on so many different levels, that it allows us to connect with other things

other people,
other places, 
other ideas,

on a deeply personal level. 

Without the music, you would never find yourself with burning questions, such as

"What did Kirk do this time, that arrogant son of a gun?"

"Is it really the end of the Enterprise?"
and my favorite:
"Why do I feel so anxious?"

The music makes the trailer. 
The music enhances the drama, the emotion, the feeling, the energy. 
It's what music does. 

And that is so cool. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

One Last Shot

I will always see the dirt road and canal behind 117 E 100 S Burley, ID. 
Back before I had an iPod--back before anyone really had an iPod--I had a simple discman.
One little portable device that could play one solitary CD at a time. 

I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" for the first time with one of my then-best friends, E. 

Gosh. We must have been, what, 12? It was sometime before the huge blow-up; before steps were taken and words were mistaken and everything ended up so differently .
We went with her mom--which only reaffirms that we must have been 12, because otherwise we couldn't have gotten in. 

The details are oh so fuzzy...and it feels so long ago, but for some reason, I can't shake the idea that these things are fact. 

I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" for the first time with one of my then-best friends, E. 

I say for the first time, because I distinctly remember taking my mom to see it (well, she took me, being the adult and possessing a driver's license and money and all) for my second time. 
I remember this so distinctly because I felt sick that night, and had to leave for the bathroom during Captain Jack and Will Turner's swordfight in the blacksmithery. 

I'm losing my point. It's drowning in a puddle of soft-hearted nostalgia that got left somewhere on Memory Lane. 

But the point is this: I spent so much time out past the pasture, sitting by the canal, listening to this song. 
I ran to that canal when I was mad, when I was upset, when I just wanted to be alone, when I wanted to think or dream... It was my spot. 

A sort of poor girl's ocean, I guess, but there always has been something so soothing about the sound and sight of moving water. 

I've loved film score since...well, since I can't remember when. It was the gateway drug to classical music, my first deviation from pop and country and 80's ballads. 
I wasn't raised on Tchaikovsky and Beethoven and Brahms--I knew who they were, sure, and I always had a deep love for the Fantasia movies, and music has always been a part of me, but I wasn't raised on a strict diet of classical music.

I don't even know, now, that I wish I had been. 
In a way, I was introduced to Tchaik and Ludwig and Johannes through film score. 
And for that reason, some of my greatest memories are set to various tracks from various popular movies. 

And that's why this track, and the first movie of the Pirates franchise, will always take me back to that dirt road. To that spot that sank just a little lower, close enough that I could reach my feet in the water without fear of falling all in, surrounded by tall weeds and not-too-disgusting bugs. Summer time and late afternoons, when the sun wasn't directly above, but just beginning to leave, making the canal water glittery and exciting. The faint breeze that so often accompanies any type of Idaho weather, rushing the water along, creating tiny waves in the middle of my poor-excuse for an ocean. 

Oh how I loved that spot. And this song. And this movie. 
Which brings me to why I even thought to start this post. 
It's nothing big or earth-shattering: I watched the 4th Pirates movie today. Funny, entertaining, a bit sweet, and a bit adventurous, but not really my cup of tea. 
I much prefer the first three installments. 

I still haven't decided if that's just nostalgia talking, or if the first three really were better. 
Corny Will & Elizabeth love story and all. be fair, though, maybe that's why I like them so much more. 
I mean, cuz, really, didn't we all fall a little bit for Will Turner? 


Yeah. It's probably just the nostalgia talking. 


I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Idaho's capital. Counting occasions and not separate...