emancipated dissonance from the desk of renee ann

emancipated dissonance

Sunday, May 30, 2004

i have had a weekend full of strange church vs. state moments. i think we become so used to the two institutions working in opposition or at least casting wary glances at each other most of the time that it seems strange when we find them combined. at micah's graduation, which was an attempt at formality by a bunch of absent minded creatives, they opened with a prayer and closed with a benediction. i know half of those kids drink all week long and use God as a safety net or nothing at all. but it was a nice gesture on the part of the administration if not done for a largely unappreciative audience. and then today at church it was "hooray for our troops (vote for bush)" day. i know i should be more patriotic, and i know i should appreciate soldiers who offer themselves up for their country. but i don't get it. somehow the connection between my daily life and boys dying in foxholes somewhere in europe fifty years ago doesn't work in my brain.

nobility and honor and courage and strength... i wish they rang true. i wish i didn't smell manipulation. i am so ungrateful. but i don't necessarily want to be working on that at church.

posted by renee 3:10 PM

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

i took my kid brother to lunch today. great veggie sandwiches. horrible styrofoam cups. i am anti-pollution. anyway, somehow the two of us "politicized" (love that word) simultaneously. i guess that means i was a few years behind, but my excuse is that i was too caught up in english/vocal music department politics in high school to care about national ones. he works at gallup, case closed. anyway, as two children of mild republicans attempted to hash out bush vs. kerry and military spending vs. education we apparently made some old lady's day. she stopped at our table and said that she couldn't help overhearing. she said that she didn't agree with everything we were saying, but she appreciated that we cared and that there were some young people out there to "keep the vote alive."
plus, she was slightly crosseyed.

i'm glad i could help.

posted by renee 4:05 PM

Sunday, May 23, 2004

i unwittingly stumbled upon yet more evidence that real life is not far away anymore. last night i attended my high school's annual "rock show" which was accused of turning into a "rock benefit" by some other former participants. i was aware, despite the lack of chemistry or enthusiasm on stage, that most of the kids up there really are sad that high school is ending for them in a couple of weeks. they are nervous about what college will hold for them and sad to be leaving their friends.


looking back from my lofty new perspective, it all seems very silly. i liked high school, but i don't miss it. i like my friends from high school, but the ones that were really important to me are still in my life. and i'm not really scared to graduate from college and move on to whatever's next. except for the fact that i'll have to support myself by doing something boring, because nothing i care about will pay me money.... that looms intimidating in may 2005. then, suddenly, they'll expect that the expensive education will have somehow magically transformed me from an awkward, yet confident teenager into a sophisticated, responsible adult. at least that's what i always thought college was supposed to do. but, as always, my face still looks 17 in the mirror. my brain sometimes feels like it's reverted back farther than that. all the awkwardness, slightly less on the confidence scale.

perhaps it will always be so. maybe we don't actually become more confident as we better ourselves, we just become more habitual and less willing to change. maybe we don't become more fulfilled and happy, we just learn the value of a day's work, appreciated or not.

what i must not do is allow adult habits to develop in my relationship with God. stay fresh. pay attention. no ruts here... but it seems to be the hardest place to be alert. perhaps that's only because it's the discipline i have put the most effort into as a life process.

that was very rambley. i'm going to omaha to a concert tonight. abby's in california. i don't ever say "perhaps" out loud, but i type it often. where in the world is christian huebner??? peace out, y'all

posted by renee 3:50 PM

Thursday, May 20, 2004

so i got my grades back today. four A's and one unavoidable A-. all i can think is "wow, i'm really glad i didn't read that whole 700 page book. i'm really glad i didn't stay up the extra two hours to finish my stats extra credit. i'm really glad i didn't revise my inequalities paper. i'm really glad i skipped ethics to go get free food from work that one time."

when lack of effort still results in a 3.9 i am not inclined to try harder.

but this will be the summer of the senior thesis. it's going to be so dang good by the time i'm done i'll finally have a project i'm proud of. hopefully. in the meantime, i'm going to celebrate by making a smoothie (pinapple ice cream, frozen strawberries...) and eating a dad-delivered vegetarian calzone.

tonight, an indian food date with best girlfriends. mmm.

posted by renee 12:28 PM

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

this is one of those times when i am remarkably uninspired and yet feel that a blog entry is a necessity. if i ever want to look back on what happened in my life between may 12 and may 19, it will remain a mystery. in short, diary style: boyfriend got a perfect job, his boss bought him coldstone on his first day. spent time with him, spent time with wonderful girlfriends. last night we went to the ramada (a couple of decades past its glory days) in omaha and sat in the hot tub there after consuming an inordinate amount of chipotle/fancy portabella sandwich/strawberry banana creme pie.

feeling the need to write and punctuate incomplete sentences.

my third cousins are here. one of them is two years old. she is bald from chemo. it is very strange how health, when it's in jeopardy, becomes the most important thing in your life. the rest of the time, we hardly think about it. makes me feel my ingratitude.

every breath is an undeserved blessing. breathe a lot. appreciate having hair and no cancer. and even though it's cloudy and humid, appreciate that it's still warm enough for bare feet.

life is good in lincoln nebraska.

posted by renee 10:57 AM

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

today is my dad's birthday. i missed two important parental holidays this week and it makes me sad. i know life goes on without me in good ol' lincoln, but it would be nice to be there to celebrate people on their special days. a telephone call and a delayed gift will have to suffice this time.

today i worked an extra hour after my scheduled shift. i volunteered to do dishes (because it involves listening to my own music and playing with the sprayer) and i just couldn't bring myself to leave until the whole back was clean. it is very satisfying to take tubs and tubs of dirty dishes, lemon wedgers, scary knives and silverware and make them all sparkly clean. so in that extra hour, i earned more than enough to treat myself to a movie this evening. i shall do so posthaste.

posted by renee 7:19 PM

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

uh oh
i had my last final this morning at 8 o clock. it was open book/open note. i believe, as a result, that i did quite well. following the exam, i had two and a half hours to kill before work. i made the mistake of stopping downtown to look at summer clothes. goodbye money, hello black strapless dress. i've been attempting to justify it all day. well... i got my tax return and still haven't put it in the bank. well... it'll be my 21st birthday present to myself. well... it fits really well and it could be my reward for the semester.

regardless of justification, i shall keep it and i shall like it. so there.

posted by renee 6:42 PM

Monday, May 10, 2004

hoorays for the day

my recently employed boyfriend playing a rock concert with a band on a major label
abby and lisa being in nebraska and attending said concert
all of our moms

quote of the day

"wellp, tomorrow's monday, but who really cares?" - roommmate samantha

(answer: nobody)

posted by renee 12:56 AM

Sunday, May 09, 2004

a weekend of vignettes

on thursday night we all showed up in burnsville in recycled prom dresses and thrift store tuxedos to honor the navigator's staff and graduating seniors at our annual banquet. part of the program is special music prepared by students. i sang my sappy graduation song. there was also a vocal trio of girls. and tom heidman. he's a mentally handicapped thirty-something that tags along to florida every spring break and works at orchestra hall on the weekends. every year he sings "friends are friends forever." he never can remember all the words. he's comically off-key and offbeat through the whole familiar song. it's really something of a spectacle at first glance, seventy college students sitting in all their prom-reminiscent glory while this childlike man sings to us the most cliched "chapter in your life" song of all time. but at the same time, there's something very heartwarming about the way he really means what he's singing and about the way we really mean it when we applaud when he's finished. that is what christianity should look like, after all.

last night, my friend jordan called me around 5:30 and asked if he could come over to watch tv. i said he could. together we sat in my living room and drank in the simpsons and robocop 2 as well as keeping a scathing commentary running behind the whole thing. i love lazy evenings.

after working an eight hour shift today, i sped off to a barbecue thrown by my mysterious classmate kirk. right out of high school, kirk spent four years in the military. now he works at a daycare and apparently the toddlers esteem him more highly than any of the other employees. so i know him from my honors seminar, and several of us were present, including our professor, her husband and their ten month old son. kirk also invited the staff of his daycare and what seemed to be his entire graduating class from winona. basically everyone he knows. i must say that i have never been to a college party with such a wide age range and so much talk of B.M.s and "bungalows" corresponding with drinking of B-E-E-R. nonetheless, hilarity ensued, and i feel i have gained insight into kirk that might not have been acquired otherwise.

and lastly,

hilary and i were talking in her kitchen late this evening while the beginnings of a party stewed in the basement. the hostess's little brother and his decked out prom date had arrived a few minutes previous and they appeared in the room dressed a little more for the house party occasion than when they had entered. hilary said "i think i have a shirt exactly like that" to the girl. the girl said "yeah. i think i'm wearing your clothes" and left the room talking on her cell phone. reason number 138 why i am glad i don't live in a party house.

posted by renee 12:01 AM

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

advice i read today concerning the spread of disease: "you've got to separate the water you drink from the water you poop in."

definitely sound.

posted by renee 10:13 AM

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

sometimes my neck cracks really loud when i'm not expecting it. sometimes i think i see sean bon jervey. sometimes that end of the semester combat mode is slow in coming and it makes it hard to do my homework. i think i'm out of macaroni and cheese. i care more about that than the stats final i have to take in 3 and a half hours. ordinary least squares, regression analysis, f-distribution, y-hat, z-bar, and heteroskedasticity. and that's about it. maybe they'll let me just write those words at the top of my test and hand it in. that's good enough, right? i can sound smart to people who don't know anything about statistics... wasn't that the point of this class??

speaking of classes having a point, my ethics class is a waste of time. she makes bold statements about absolute fact when ethics is clearly a subjective issue. she says things like "i see absolutely no reason, under any circumstance that these images should not be published in every newspaper and be available to every citizen." and i say "well, what about the victims of these horrible murders and their families? what about privacy?" and she says "well, we keep that in the back of our minds, but we have to consider the greater good." and i say "and what exactly IS that greater good? there is something to be said for visual honesty, to be sure, but four american soldiers burned to death and left hanging from a bridge with cheering iraqis around them doesn't seem constructive to me."

and of course i am wrong because she has a degree.

horrible things happen! let's look at pictures of them! yay!

posted by renee 3:53 PM

Sunday, May 02, 2004

two yellow water cups. two hot chocolate mugs. wash them.
sleeping bag. roll up.
painting projects. put away.

twelve days and most definitely counting.

posted by renee 11:46 PM

micah kept teasing me all last week about how he was going to bike up to visit me. he'd say "actually, i'm halfway through iowa right now." or "we'll have to talk later, i'm biking." he lied. he did not bike to minnesota.

i knew he wouldn't.

what i didn't know is that he would bum a ride and be standing in the lobby of panera bread when i came around the corner. but there he was. i remember once last semester thinking "man, i wouldn't have enough time to make this work, and i know he's busy too, but what would i do if i went out front and he was just standing there? well, i found out what i would do. hug him. cancel unnecessary plans. order pizza, paint things and be happy. hooray for surprises. everyone at work laughed at me. i don't care. i marvelled at how easily the busiest weekend in my life can suddenly open up when conditions make it necessary.

and now i am happy and actually motivated to do homework. happy happy happy. micah micah micah.
i will see him again in 12 days.

one question remains: when will i see abby and lisa?

and one unrelated comment: i know someone who is twenty feet from here who needs to get her speakers stolen and a nice pair of headphones set on her desk in their place. and that is all, my friends.

posted by renee 3:00 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!!