Monday, July 25, 2011

gratitude day 23: ipod

sometime around 1990 i got my first walkman. i spent hours listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite songs to come on, finger trigger-ready to hit the record button as soon as i heard the opening notes.

i made a running mixtape in high school that i ran to (the same 20 songs) until mr. coleman bought me a discman in 1997. then i burned most of the same songs onto a cd and continued running to them. can you believe i ran to the same 20 songs for 10 years?

pictured above is my first ipod, a second generation ipod nano, and the one i now use for running. it appears to be on the fritz, which is making me weepy.

cute, light, friendly little ipod nano: do not die on me. we have weathered the storms of life together.

the technology for the ipod is fascinating and a blessing i'm grateful for every day. hooray for apple and their brilliant inventors and industrial designers! huzzah for mp3s!

now, i'm still running to some of those same songs. crazy, i know, like pavlov's dogs, i feel like running every time i hear some of them; i just can't quit them.

i do enjoy finding new running music. my favorite source for new discoveries is the music section of the nike plus website. they have a new suggestion every week in several genres. of course, i love me some indie music.

and now for you all, a playlist with old and new favorites: (i always start my runs out with the first song. these words are a great way to start out a day: "today is the greatest day i've ever known")

today / smashing pumpkins
i want you back / the jackson 5
up around the bend / creedence clearwater revival
a little respect / erasure
don't go / yaz
rag doll / aerosmith
friday i'm in love / the cure
remember you / skid row

make some noise / beastie boys
captive / sarah harmer
burning / whitest boy alive
running with the wolves / cloud cult
giving up the gun / vampire weekend
techno fan / wombats
under cover of darkness / the strokes
block after block / matt & kim
am/fm sound / matt & kim
repatriated / handsome furs
shoelaces / the submarines
colours run / bear driver
we don't want your body / stars
the passenger / stars
i melt with you (modern english cover) / the coastals
sadie hawkins day / yip deceiver

as usual, let me know if you'd like a mixtape...then pay for the music if you love it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

gratitude day 22: revision

"funny that hurts" by brandi strickland

i spent two days this week in downtown salt lake city, away from family and friends and other responsibilities revising my novel. and guess what? i love revising! i was able to get more done in those two days of uninterrupted time than i have in all the past 3 months of working on it. something about immersing myself in the story for a longer stretch of time helped me to see the whole picture in my head and discover ways i might make a good story great.

if it weren't for revising, i couldn't be a writer. it would be too depressing to look at my first draft and know it was good but not quite good enough. revisions for me are the fun, joyous part of writing.

and all this revision and chipping away and rewriting and rewriting a scene again and again until it is the best that i can create got me thinking. [it's another writerly trait i have, this tendency towards thinking and pondering].

about revisions in life. about how we have a lifetime to revise ourselves, a lifetime to work on becoming the person we want to be. a lifetime to develop virtues and character traits that make us great.

there are only a few certain things in life: we will die. we will pay taxes. and we will make mistakes. and that's fine because the next minute, the next hour, the next day or year we have the chance to try again, to do better.

until we are better.

so here's to a lifetime of revisions, friends! and a big, GIANT thank you to mr. coleman for making my magical retreat possible: financing, child care, moral support, late-night texts, house cleaning and all. i realize i am a blessed girl.

Friday, July 22, 2011

gratitude day 21: summer


i love summer. lazy mornings, trips to the lake, garden produce, hours and hours of sunshine, eating outdoors, cool morning runs, flip flops, snow cones.

i am a summer girl.

here is a playlist to listen to whilst sipping a chilled beverage floating on a raft down a lazy river while bees hum decadently around summer wildflowers (or while scrubbing your kitchen floor and pretending that you are doing this). my favorite song is track #3, london, BEN HOWARD. i think this will be music week on my blog. i'm headed off right this moment for a 2-day writer's retreat, but when i get back i'll be sharing some more music and some of my favorite sources for discovering new talent.

hope you are all enjoying your summer. i am making the most of every minute. let me know if you'd like a mixtape ;-).

1. you were born / cloud cult
2. you for me / terra naomi
3. london / ben howard
4. first person / jenny owen youngs
5. more than life / whitley
6. replay / pezzettino
7. wessex boy / frank turner
8. i still remember / churchill
9. before i knew / basia bulat
10. okay (henslee version) / venice is sinking
11. old pine / ben howard
12. calgary / bon iver
13. the lion and the wolf / the lion and the wolf
14. not enough (album) / j mascis
15. lost in my mind (album) / the head and the heart
16. wonder why (album) / vetiver
17. already in love / exene cervenka
18. evelyn / gregory alan isakov
19. eet / regina spektor
20. psychasthenia / william fitzsimmons
21. we're from barcelona / i'm from barcelona
22. the very thought of you / billie holiday
23. les jours de pluie / les jours de pluie
24. think you can wait / the national
25. euphoria / motopony
26. you are the ocean and im good at drowning / phantogram
27. landfill / daughter
28. flaws / bombay bicycle club
29. low rising / swell season
30. middle distance runner / sea wolf
31. three tree town / ben howard
32. trouble / ray lamontagne
33. to build a home / the cinematic orchestra
34. strawberry swing / coldplay

Thursday, July 21, 2011

gratitude day 20: family vacation

it's been a long time since we took a family trip all together. this one was practically perfect. a quick trip to yuba lake for 2 days. wakeboarding, tubing, boating, playing in sand, watching movies on the ipad, sleeping on the boat, laughing with old friends.

making memories.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

gratitude day 19: siblings

readers: please meet all my siblings, from oldest to youngest, left to right [minus my older sister emily, who i left a space for next to me in this photo. i missed her a lot this past week.] me, ryan, anna, angela, steven, daniel, james, lilly

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” ~Clara Ortega

“Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply...” ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

the melzer family just wrapped up a family reunion. 10 days of a house full of noise, commotion, stuff, and people i love best in the world. [20 guests!] it seems so quiet around here—quiet enough for reflection.

and here's what i believe about families, about my family. we chose each other, in a pre-earth life. we were organized and placed in a unit where we could learn and grow best. we were put together because a loving heavenly father knew each of our strengths and weaknesses and knew that together we could do it. together, with each other's help we could become the people we were supposed to be.

to my brothers and sisters: remember summers in idaho picking wild huckleberries? remember trips to lake powell? remember collecting locust skins in jars? remember when we moved to san diego, the beach and having a sand volleyball court in our back yard? remember when we moved to snowflake on friday the 13th? remember when we found out mom was pregnant with lilly? when dad lost his job? when steven went to rehab? when he relapsed? remember when don and i were sealed in the temple? and ryan, and anna and angela? remember when you all drove to utah for a family reunion? i do. and i miss you all already.

since i've been small, i've started out my prayers by saying “i'm thankful for my mom and dad, and my brothers and sisters.” and it's never felt like a vain repetition. and there's a reason i always say it first.

i am so grateful for my family.

i feel like every good thing about me is because of them. every experience i've had with them has shaped me in almost immeasurable ways. when we are together, i feel closer to my true self than with anyone else. i am happy, joyful.

we have shared rooms, vacationed together, ate together, fought together, laughed together, grieved together, prayed together.

and i love them all.