emancipated dissonance from the desk of renee ann

emancipated dissonance

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

my mom hangs towels perfectly straight
my dad makes the corners of his packages perfectly square
and me? ninety percent of my energy goes to making myself perfect

posted by renee 5:01 PM

Monday, December 30, 2002

it takes all i have to fight it. the floor sends vibrations up my body and the pulsating bass makes me waver. don't lock your knees. you'll pass out. hot. too hot. i'm surrounded. touched on every side by another sweaty, vibrating body, completely overcome. i am still in the movement of the rest. feet planted. too much. eyes brim and a delicate overflow ensues, unpermitted. eardrums want to bleed. don't lock your knees. tim kasher throws himself in circles and hair dripping with sweat sprays the crowd. the air is hazy with smoke and every breath is suffocating. too hot. don't lock your knees. the look in his eyes is too much. the screaming is too much. too much. fifth cigarettes are passed around. all i am is fighting it. he's tall. tossing his head with the guitar. too hard. wiplash. collapse threatens. are you okay? do you need to go outside for a minute? no. i have to beat it. no giving up. forgotten. i need air. too hot. don't lock your knees. later the water rushes over me. take away the layer of grime. empty the shampoo bottle. i have to be rid of this. the ringing won't go away. how am i so different? i can't do this anymore. get it all off me. don't lock your knees. head pounding, eardrums rebelling against abuse. lay awake in bed. glimmer of fear still behind eyes stuck open. i don't want to fight it anymore. i want to sleep for a week.

posted by renee 2:36 AM

Sunday, December 29, 2002

my mood today? barely interested
i spent the afternoon in a hospital... i can't stand that smell. it just makes me nauseaus and reminds me of rachel... my freshman year of high school. she got in a car accident with her boyfriend, who i already didn't like, and broke her pelvis. that meant weeks in traction and several visits from her childhood best friend. i just remember how frail she looked... and the pin through her knee pulling her bones back where they belonged. though she was covered only with a sheet, you could still almost miss her shape among the bigger wrinkles in the fabric. barely there.

i feel sluggish and this confusing mixture of mellow and moody... like my brain has lots to tell me but my body just doesn't have the energy to respond.
tonight: escape

posted by renee 7:18 PM

Saturday, December 28, 2002

knitting's been going better.... lots of relatives around.... spent last night exploring downtown alleys with m and browsing homers for hip-hop vinyl and 1970s funk. supposedly, the employee we ended up jabbering with only talked to us because i was there. maybe it's just because i AM a girl that i don't notice those things. but i find it hard to believe that it really makes a difference if a guy goes into a place like that with another guy or his adorable girlfriend.... either way, it was an enjoyable evening, despite the bitter loss of my favorite sports team... a 7-7 season. the worst for us since 1961. poor frank solich... i am calm, almost to the point of apathy. i don't care what time i wake up. i don't care who i see. i don't care what i do. i just want to say "i'm fine" and mean it. and i think i do. my scarf is calling for my attention....

posted by renee 2:42 PM

Thursday, December 26, 2002

and tonight seven thirty fades to midnight in a much more pleasant manner... nothing soothes the soul like the reuniting of good friends. carmen plus crystal equals contentment. i am both reassured and reawakened in all the right ways. the only thing that matters is that God is glorified. and if we don't measure up, the rocks will cry out. i am calm and my 19 hour day makes me drowsy. sleep will come easy tonight.

posted by renee 11:52 PM

seventy five miles an hour
the sky still purple around the edges and the freshly risen sun a ball of flame in the corner of my left eye
and i see blue with cloudy interruptions in every direction, not just up
home from omaha at seven thirty... drive drive drive
the skeleton trees reach their crooked fingers into the expanse
and i feel free but safe
or do i
materialism makes sense today
all i am at the core is a mass of synapses and neurons
a list of conditioned responses
this is "love"... you know what to say
this is "anger"... a flush to the cheeks, heart rate up
this is "sadness"... eyes shimmer, swallow hard
and the fullness that nebraska skies bring can't stifle it
the fear that i am barely human
that i really am heartless like he said i am
that none of this is real
look out at the morning anyway
try to feel something, anything
it's all just brain waves

posted by renee 9:41 AM

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

abstracted scenes from my recent memory....
a woman going on eighty years lying on the pavement in the twenty degree christmas eve air, moaning mostly from pain but also slightly from the feeling of being an inconvenience on the holiday. she is shivering with the cold her back is soaking up from the concrete, but is surrounded by the warmth of her children and grandchildren. my perspective is from her feet, where i am rubbing her legs over blankets, partly trying to help, mostly trying to not feel so awkward just standing there staring. the man who makes his home with her now, whose memories of her don't go back so far as those of the rest of us, stands off to the side. his eyes almost melting over skin browned and wrinkled with years. you can see how he loves her. but his uncertainty and discomfort are just as plain.
57...49...32...26...and suddenly zero miles to lincoln and the whole time it's "was it just the radius or was it both bones?" "did they give you a choice of which hospital to send her to?" "she's going to need to see a neurosurgeon, then?" instead of "are you worried?" "did she seem scared?" "does seeing people in pain remind you of your own mortality? because it does with me."
and i think....
the ER is nowhere for the woman who bore and raised my father to be on christmas eve.
i am more afraid of growing old than i am of dying.
seeing that makes me all the more aware of my health and my youth. and i'd rather just enjoy them without being aware of how soon they will fade.

posted by renee 11:22 PM

Monday, December 23, 2002

i might retract my previous statement about school vs. home comfort levels... i am very used to being at school, but there is nothing that compares to being needed like i am here. i've never dried tears at school like i do in lincoln. i ran into josh today. and i remember meeting him my sophomore year of high school and how he was the first boy to ever tell me i was pretty. and how much that meant to me. and i remember the summer episodes where crystal would drive all the way from omaha just to eat dinner with my family because she was having one of her famous emotional breakdowns. and here is where i find the boy with those eyes i so easily get lost in. that is my favorite thing about dating- not abashadly stealing glances at someone, but simply staring.

and i love school, too. i love my school friends. and i wouldn't change the way things are, with this constant wrenching of my heart back and forth, from place to place. it stretches me. and what kind of a life would i lead without the tension that comes from being stretched? a limp one, i suppose.

in other news: according to recent polls, breaking up sucks

posted by renee 11:21 PM

hello random...
ah, it's good to be home. i decided on the spur of the moment (really weird phrase....) to get my hair cut today. it's funny how much i used to care about how i look. i just got tired of hair on the back of my neck, so i got rid of it. also today, a 26 year old woman without her christmas shopping done made my gums bleed with sharp instruments, and another woman used some sort of torture device to blow sharp puffs of air into my eyes. it was a day of appointments, and now all i have is finishing (note: also starting) my own christmas shopping. last night lisa was talking about her older sister's ex-violin teacher. she said "they both play violin in the symphony and they have a house full of newspapers." if i could create families like that in my head, i could write a novel. but somehow i'm not observant enough. or not in the right way. i was told today that the sphinx isn't worth the trip to cairo... maybe i should rethink my spring break plans. greece?

posted by renee 3:39 PM

Saturday, December 21, 2002

even though everyone i live with has left for break, i still lock the bathroom door.

also, a and m in a mere 7 hours or so... ROCK

posted by renee 8:51 AM

Friday, December 20, 2002

10. i wonder how much my eyes give me away
9. correcting people's grammar is tempting, but rude
8. strawberry malts shared with ex-boyfriends are a-ok with me
7. next year, this time, i will have a house and a real christmas tree of my very own
6. i like my roommate, and that doesn't happen for many people. i'm lucky.
5. talking is fun. i enjoy intellectual stimulation more than most things.
4. i think it's weird that people talk on their cell phones in public restrooms
3. i like people from home and people from school about equally now, and that's new for me
2. mike is going to be such a good dad
1. I'M DONE!

posted by renee 11:51 PM

big snowflakes outside and jill's gone : (
i've been wearing tee shirts and jeans too often lately, so today i decided to put on the dark red formal that i brought with me for some reason, stick a few bobby pins in my hair, get out some lipstick, and sit around my room studying at 10:30 in the morning like that. cause heck, why not? sometimes it's fun to "look all pretty." (ha, chris the mover... he was once trying to complement me by saying "it's cool... you just don't worry about looking all pretty like other girls do." and i, of course, visciously turned it into an insult... ken's right- i am one of those dangerous girls)

posted by renee 10:12 AM

Thursday, December 19, 2002

jill and i spent today downtown wandering through stores, fingering fancy scarves we couldn't afford, buying cheap makeup just for fun, and observing the odd characters who also find themselves on nicolette mall on a random thursday morning. there was the big black guy playing christmas carols on his tuba out on the sidewalk. the fifty year old woman with blonde/grey dreds down nearly to her waist- and they weren't the kind you can make when you put some sort of styling ick in your hair... no, these were real. and the extreme mullet man taking long slow drags on his cheap cigarette in the bus stop. but the strangest had to be the woman sitting behind us in the corner of au bon pain. we were innocently consuming our overpriced pastries when jill noticed the woman was talking particularly loudly. the second thing she noticed was that she was sitting alone. and then that she wasn't saying anything intelligible besides the occasional "are you serious!" and she was making conversational faces at her cup and newspaper. wow. that's why i love downtown.

ps. note: i was merely a decoy for what we were really taking a picture of...

posted by renee 4:03 PM

sometimes i almost feel guilty about how much he loves me. like i'm not worthy of the admiration and respect i'm afforded. who am i to hold his heart in my quaking hands? who am i to be trusted? i miss him. things make so much more sense if i'm looking at him when we're talking. but soon.... soon he will arrive yet again on my doorstep.

posted by renee 12:41 AM

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

date: September 3, 2001
-i am a freshman in college. my hours are spent missing home and thriving in my newfound independence. i visit the campus bookstore and realize that writing three-digit checks is soon going to become a regular part of my existance. in particular, i notice that spending almost $200 on the books required for one class might one day not seem outrageous to me.
date: December 18, 2002
-i am now a jaded sophomore who just finished her last italian final in the united states and was hoping to make the $200 purchase of said italian books hurt a little less by throwing them back in the face of the minimum-wage bookstore clerks and demanding some compensation. however, my plans were foiled by the perfect industry that is the "public research university," meaning "new editions." it makes me want to type scathingly disapproving blog entries... or something equally as effective... but i can't think of anything else. so TAKE THAT, you evil italian book editors. TAKE THAT.

posted by renee 9:40 AM

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

practicing restraint is generally advisable.

posted by renee 5:22 PM

Monday, December 16, 2002

"education is retarded. i don't need to learn how to think. i already know how to think, and now i'm just proving it to you. shut up." - jillian abram

posted by renee 2:05 PM

if it weren't for caffine, i would collapse...

posted by renee 1:45 PM

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Romans 9--- vs 11-12 says "Yet, before the twins were born of had done anything good or bad - in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls - she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
Ephesians 1--- vs 4-6 says "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."
II Timothy 1--- vs 8b-9 says "But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."
predetermination?--- it makes my head hurt to think about it... the idea of being chosen... it seems initially very inconsistant with what i know of the character of God. how could that be just? ah, but it could be that my finite mind is just getting in the way again. and it also could be that i don't know greek, and maybe should investigate a little more before i just resign myself to not understanding. that sounds like a plan. after finals are over....
prayer?--- again, if things are already decided, it seems that prayer is very strange, and basically worthless. because it could very well be that i'm praying for something that is already certain not to happen. a bit ineffective, i'd say.
GLORY--- regardless of all these questions, God's purpose will be furthered in spite of my lack of understanding. and he will be glorified.... open up the doors and let the music play, let the streets resound with singing! songs that bring your hope and songs that bring your joy, dancers who dance upon injustice... i can't wait

also, bela fleck is the freaking bomb. you are hereby ordered to download the sinister minister

posted by renee 1:51 PM

i don't have an original thought in my head, or so they tell me.

i did end up getting to see meteors last night. lying on my back, not on the grass, but a bench more often graced by cheering softball teammates. and as far as the love and understanding part... no luck so far. but i am loved and understood. i was talking to my roommate about the spirit of competition we tend to foster in most things... particularly dr. mario tournaments... and i would rather be a camp counselor with her than with anyone else i know. we started planning out all the ways we'll attack each others' cabins when we finally get to live out the dream... but we also talked about how we really don't understand each other. and i think that's okay. we can love each other without that. and so renee is happy and much less on edge this evening. it's something about being surrounded by friends. an odd feeling that i only get here occasionally... but it feels good. and so do i.

posted by renee 1:05 AM

Saturday, December 14, 2002

my brain has been slowing down lately. i usually am full to the brim with ideas and questions, but tonight, all i want is a way to get away from the city lights to see the meteor shower. and after that to be still in the arms of someone who both loves and understands me. and maybe to let some tears escape their usual prison, but no words. i'm too tired for words. i just want to lie on my back on the grass somewhere and stare at streaks of light across the sky while streaks across my face escape attention. it's just the feeling of peace that i crave. and maybe i'm trying to artificially create it by depriving myself of sleep and listening to back to nowhere over and over. and melting every time i get to 3 minutes, 17 seconds. predictable. i like hiding behind what i know sometimes. its easier than admitting what i don't. my playlist moves on... and i stop it and go back to the beginning of the only song i want to know these days. i feel lost somehow. like i've missed something. but i don't have the energy to go back and fix it. i just want to listen over and over. i want to lie on my back in the dark and listen over and over and forget that there is anything besides the music and the wetness on my cheeks.

posted by renee 12:51 AM

Friday, December 13, 2002

mountain dew for breakfast again.
...more later...

posted by renee 8:41 AM

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

in the air today: heavy fog, the familiar scent of marajuana smoke, my laughter (tainted with 1.5 Krispy Kreme breath). apparently the cute outfit did work, and my italian a is in the bag, as they say.

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers." -Luke 1:46-55

posted by renee 10:56 AM

today our astronomy teacher talked about the ratio of the actual density of the universe and the critical density... i'm not certain about the innerworkings (maybe, just maybe, writing notes to jill is more interesting than paying attention) but i know the ratio has to be equal to one for the universe to exist as it does today. if the value is even slightly over one, the universe would have expanded too quickly after the big bang, and all the created electrons and protons would have scattered before they could ever form a complete atom, not to mention complex molecules or life. if the value is even slightly under one, the universe would not have expanded quite fast enough to escape its own gravitational forces, and it would have almost immediately collapsed on itself. well, lucky for us that the value happened to be so completely perfect that we now exist to talk about it, eh?
tonight kari asked "have you ever done it in a cornfield?"
and i, with large, frightened eyes admitted i hadn't.
she laughed and told me she had.
and this somehow warped my perception of humankind.

posted by renee 1:42 AM

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

11:47 you say? i do believe that means it's time for a walk.

posted by renee 11:48 PM

do you think if i dress up all cute they won't notice that my mafia presentation is actually completely worthless? hmm... i guess i'll just bank on that...

posted by renee 8:01 AM

Monday, December 09, 2002

each step induces a faster spinning of my head-wheels
the present overwhelms the absent in my mind’s eye
and i add up the past
one, two, three, four
number five is on the brink
Number Five is on the Brink
the present suddenly becomes more present than before
out of nowhere
overwhelming me before i can brace myself
a sharp intake of breath and the moment is past
the intensity dwindles
and i am left shaking my head
slightly taken aback
duality has become a state of being for me
inexcusable, but at the same time unavoidable
come back, come back, come back
go away, go away, go away
a slower, more thoughtful breath, and it is gone
nestled in the arms of the familiar
heart slowed
breathing steady
i am safe for now

posted by renee 10:28 PM

the best i can hope for is a vague sense of pleasure, spread thin over hours of the same vehicles of entertainment, spiraling through predictable repetitions. is it wrong to want more than that? adventure, even?

posted by renee 2:03 PM

Sunday, December 08, 2002

With me it's all er nuthin'.
Is it all er nuthin' with you?
It cain't be "in between"
It cain't be "now and then"
No half and half romance will do!
I'm a one woman man,
Home lovin' type,
All complete with slippers and pipe.
Take me like I am, er leave me be!
If you cain't give me all, give me nuthin'
And nuthin's whut you'll git from me!

posted by renee 10:06 AM


posted by renee 2:21 AM

Friday, December 06, 2002

to the lethargic evangelist behind a table covered with stacks of pamphlets, flanked by signs that say "What does Christmas mean to you"... any converts today? so, is this your real job? how many kids do you have? tell me about the first time you fell in love.

to the tall, buzz-cutted redhead with the navy cap, long stringy beard, and a few layers of homemade wool skirt over his cut off trouser pants... what are you trying to say, here? is it something your parents did to you when you were little? is it rewarding to get attention even though you usually don't get the chance to explain yourself? what do you think about patriotism? tell me about what you want to be like when you're eighty five years old.

to the girl with the highlighted hair and the fancy makeup in the corner of my music class... who are you trying to impress? is it something to do with the way your friends in elementary school all turned on you when they found out your dad was in jail? or some guy back in the day who messed with your head and made you feel important and then didn't think twice about leaving you in the dust? if you could look like a movie star, which one would you pick? tell me about a time when you felt completely happy with yourself.

me... who are you, really, girl? when you read things, do you really think about them, or just regurgitate what you've been told in the past? how long has it been since you've given yourself a break? do you really believe yourself when you say that it's not important to make everybody happy? tell me everything.

posted by renee 10:32 AM

Thursday, December 05, 2002

people talk about being responsible like it's always a good thing. but what about the memory of that night when we were talking about going skiing sometime and someone said "hey, let's go right now" and we drove all night and skied all the next day? what about the time when you found that perfect gift, $30 over your planned price range, but you bought it anyway and got to see that moment of complete joy in its recipient? what about the friendships that are formed when you are willing to take risks, be a little crazy, and do things out of the ordinary? i think it's worth whatever "cost" responsibility might ask of us. so, that concept adopted, i am not going to sleep the rest of this semester. boo on studying, boo on laying perfectly still, perfectly silent for the obligatory eight hours a night. hello wild-crazy-fun.

posted by renee 7:05 PM

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

even when i dress up, i still show up to my first class with wet hair, to my second class with frizzy hair, and to my third class with half-curled, given up on, pulled back into a ponytail hair.

"Seriously, no boys liked me in high school, Cheech."
"I don't get it though... I mean, you're an attractive girl..."
"Were you this opinionated in high school?"
"Well, yeah."
"Oh. Maybe that has something to do with it."

hmm... the knowledge of that possible truth doesn't make me want to sugar coat my positions in the least. does it makes boys feel threatened? well, i'd rather have a man who can handle it, or none at all.

posted by renee 10:33 AM

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

it's so disarming how God orchestrates everything. life is interpersonal on almost every level, and the smallest things we do impact others in ways we'd never predict... and in turn that can impact others.... the ripple effect is profound. the girl who decided she needed that pair of pants sitting so innocently unmonitered in the lockerroom probably wasn't thinking that i needed another lesson about joy today. as i was thinking about my "incident" this morning, i started feeling really good about not being materialistic and upset. but that led to the usual self-condemnation of my tendency to get self-righteous. and as if that wasn't enough, i flipped flopped back to "for goodness sakes, self, you're sooo uptight." and i punished myself by walking the whole mile home out in the biting wind instead of inside the bridge. but halfway across i was suddenly struck with the final revelation of the evening: it doesn't matter. so maybe i AM self-righteous and uptight... but so what? even in the moment i am sinning, i am forgiven. deep sigh of satisfaction..... joy is a lovely thing, and i hope people see joy in me, past the stuff that may get in the way. it's just not about me, really... it's about the one who gives me that joy.

posted by renee 9:31 PM

i feel strangely calm considering that i just had almost $400 worth of stuff stolen from me. i hope the jeans fit you really well... it was a little embarassing to walk across campus in my tae kwon do pants.... and i understand the discman and the watch, but seriously... prescription glasses? who steals prescription glasses? sigh. i don't understand you...

posted by renee 12:17 PM

Monday, December 02, 2002

don't try to make mac and cheese if you don't have butter or milk. that's all i can think of to say. that and mentioning that i had an interesting day. a friend i haven't talked to in over a year and who is notoriously bad at returning emails replied to one from me within hours of recieving it today, but probably only because he felt like i was condemning him for choices he's made in the last few years... when that's not what i was trying to do at all. but at least he emailed me back, right? also, i've been trying to improve on the "the quick fox jumps over the lazy dog" sentence by coming up with my own... but i can't do it. i was very frustrated about that until i realized that there is no w in that sentence... so ha. oh yeah, and i realized yesterday that i have two equal "homes" now... so coming back to minneapolis felt like i left home only to arrive at home again... six hours in the car with no result...

posted by renee 10:24 PM


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my band(mates)
thomas built the wall
casey on the drums

other friends
joa jean
nate t
nate b
the MAN i hate
my ex-neighbor

some i wish were my friends

music i listen to
band of horses
zoe keating
rilo kiley
(jenny lewis)
mr 1986
regina spektor
iron & wine
the new pornographers
radio on
the combo
emiliana torrini
sigur ros
nickel creek
trampled by turtles
the hold steady
the decemberists
del the funky homosapien
death cab
tv on the radio

the guys that review it
jason (in a kilt)
peter c

and the places to hear it
the fine line
varsity theater
the 400 bar
first avenue

found magazine
my pottery teacher
my favorite designer
aesthetic apparatus
the friendly stegosaurus

railroad illusions
we'll go sit on a coal car
bask in the soft light
and dream of a someday
simpler than this one

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from fluorescent lights

we'll go lay on a rooftop
breathe in the sweet smoke
and talk of a place that’s
so far from this one

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from conditioned air

we'll get lost under covers
smile at our trite words
and fall for a vision
so far from the truth

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from the flightless facts

LEMUR is the answer!!