Monday, July 28, 2008

to quote the famous billy knox

well, if you're thinking to yourself, who is billy knox, you should find out. he was one of my closest guy friends in high school (background: he rode with our family to colorado for spring break senior year, and he not only rubbed his HUGE feet on my face but told my dad to roll down the window or stop the car due to gentry's gas. brilliant. apparently i am a freak of nature for never having a crush on him, unlike 94% of the rest of memorial high.)

anywho, i'm sitting at jazz in the park eating bread & hummus, drinking wine with two former aggies, caitlin h. and joe caulkins. (he's pretty cool, too.) anywho, joe, class of '06, is talking about how his friend billy is coming to join us, cailtin is like "you know billy, he's going to the peace corps, really cute guy from a&m." and i said "nope, don't know billy. guess i'll meet him." about twenty minutes later, we're on a completely different topic, and i randomly yell out "ooooooh! BILLY KNOX! I KNOW HIM!" so billy was surprised to see me, we reminisced at dinner, he was leaving for bulgaria sunday afternoon. for two years. as part of the peace corps. to save the world. billy, so proud of you!!

long story short, caitlin and i were glued to the hip from friday at 5 pm until sunday morning around 2 am. we went out to georgetown friday night to show billy the dc nightlife, and it was weird. to have fulltime jobs, to be legally able to buy alcohol, to be paying (most) of our own bills. weird.

i'll cut to the chase - saturday night cailtin and i cooked dinner (mainly caitlin cooked and i poured more wine) - we made sangria from scratch. jerry jeff would have been so proud. and joe iced a cake for billy - it said "we will try to miss you billy" in bright blue a 4th grader could have done this icing. of course he loved it.

we toured the monuments - 4 bottles of wine later, including 2 nalgenes full of sangria to go. it was so fun to lay down at the base of the washington monument with our feet in the air - and to wander around the wwII memorial, and the lincoln, and then over to the white house. (by the end i was WHINING that i had to go to the bathroom and my flip flops were rubbing blisters and wa wa wa. the good thing about good friends is they don't listen to half the stuff you say, otherwise i would have been annoying.

i was very inspired by billy "obnoxious" knox this weekend. here is he, all the opportunities in the world, and he chooses to make no money and move to former USSR for 2 years. they don't speak english, they probably don't brush their teeth too much, and its faaaaar away. just thinking about it made me appreciate america.

joe, who is absolutely hilarious without knowing it, asked billy about his life mantra. then he told us the background story of the "mantra" issue. billy told joe at lunch one day recently, in houston: "you only get one shot at life, don't eff it up." except he didn't say eff.

joe's mantra is: "hide the women and the silver, here comes joe caulkins."

caitlin's: "i don't need a freakin' life mantra." (this was after a little sangria.)

not quite my mantra, but definitely my new voicemail: (creepy sidenote, caitlin and i yelled in unison, without knowing what the other was going to say, part b. after a lot of together time apparently our minds work as one.) "ello, you have reached courtney robinson. you may either a) leave a wickedly brilliant message, or b) shut the eff up." not my classiest moment, but still, funny. and i was in my british character. eff means nothing to them over there.

august will be here by the end of the month. i ask you, where the eff has the time gone!?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Road Not Taken

Dave Matthews blares overhead. I’m drinking raspberry tea three blocks from the White House. I’m almost done with my final three hours of dreaded math and it has been far less painful than I thought. I want for nothing.

Yet I can’t help feeling like I’ve been kicked in the face. I can’t completely explain it. Partially due to simply living in the real world. It frustrates me that 90% of the time good things happen to you because you are faithful, diligent, work hard. 10% of the time, and these numbers are a guesstimate, good things happen to you by “chance.” Maybe its because I read the news too much. Everything costs too much, we’re running out of gas, the world is getting hotter, everyone is hungry. People die all the time. Good people, bad people, life just ends. A 22 year-old-girl was killed while riding her bike in Dupont Circle early one morning two weeks ago. (I’ve ridden my garage sale awesome bike there at least a dozen times.) She was here for the summer, interning, and a trash-truck driver wasn’t paying attention and just ran her over. Like a pancake.

I do find hope in the situation – there has to be a higher power. (well, duh, and he sent his son to live among us - his name is Jesus.) But seriously. How could that girl die randomly? She didn’t. If God willed it, that could be me tomorrow. So I better live it up now.

Usually, I don’t fear death. I worry that I won’t have done enough before it comes. John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” And in John 4:12 the bible tells us that if we love each other, God abides in us, and perfects our love. So, I shouldn’t fear. And I usually don’t. But I worry I’ll die with regrets, without having said “I love you” to important ones. I worry that I won’t have had enough time – for the white dress, for what is promised after the white dress, for raising children, for skydiving, for fly fishing in Montana, for throwing the best Christmas/4th of july parties in the world. Oh, and I guess I worry I won’t spread the word and love of God enough. Admittedly, sometimes I have to remind myself to worry about that part. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bible tells us something about worrying being unproductive…

I think I’m just worn down from the battle that life is. God never said it would be easy to seek His purpose, to not be of this world. But He promises over and over that it will be worth it.

Part of the time that I feel sucker-punched in the face is simply that people let us down all the time. People we count on. They don’t mean to. And really I’m at fault for making people my God. Its always been something I have struggled with. Oops.

Sometimes it takes a long time for things to sink in to my brain, other times things affect me and I’m crying before a story is over. (Like the girl in Dupont.) With Sam, our dog, it’s a sinking in. I see dogs all the time, hear stories of peoples dogs, and feel hurt. Being in DC made it less of a daily reality. It was just like when I left in January- I was gone but would be back. Now, I’m gone, he’s gone, and he’ll never be back. I know he is less important than a person, but he was someone I talked to, cared for, and loved for 13 years. Never petting him again, walking him again, laying on the floor with him. Its just tough some days.

Also, honestly, I miss Mindy Wooldridge. My brother would kill me if he knew I was writing that on the internet for cyber elves to read, because he’ll say its none of my business. But I don’t miss Gentch and Mindy together as much as I miss Mindy as a friend. I saw her often, talked to her often, and just generally love her. We still occasionally phone chat, facebook message, but its not the same. Maybe in two years, maybe next month, maybe when I’m back in Texas, maybe never, I’ll feel like we’re friends and it won’t be weird that she and Gentry dated for so long and cared so much about each other. But for now, I just pretty much stay out of it.

I can’t even type about Camp Longhorn. Makes me want to puke. I was not prepared for how much I would hate not being there for five weeks each summer.

Well, getting all this Debbie-Downer stuff of my chest is good. Gary Allan says, Life ain’t always beautiful, buts it a beautiful ride. Things will be sunshine 24/7 again, but for today, its 23/7. And that’s just fine.

On a happy note, I checked out a collection of 400 uber-famous poems.
One of my faves:

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the other for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where did June go?

Time is flying by!!! I'm sitting outside of my new location - the harry potter room of a rowhouse in georgetown! There's 3 other girls from the homeland - texas- living here so its very fun. And my room is all the space I need. (And maybe a square inch more!)

I got to see Renza, my oldest friend from Camp Longhorn, this weekend in St. Michaels, Maryland, where the filmed a lot of Wedding Crashers. The waiter at our restaurant said he served Rachel McAdams and that she was very nice. So basically I had lunch with Rachel McAdams.

DC is busy, filled with math tutoring, running, organizing my room, working, trying to be social, and... SCOOTERING.

my parentals bought me a moped (think Vespa without the label) for my birthday and though I haven't taken it to work yet for parking issues, its been fun around town. And since one of my best friends from A&M moved up here and lives on the hill now, it will be great to visit her on. Thanks mom & dad!

Speaking of friends, Laura Colby has left me for Seattle and Lauren Johnson seems to think she never has to return from Texas. I have definitely had it re-enforced into my brain that its not where you live, its who you know. Having a handful of truly great friends is what makes life in this city so enjoyable!! But i do miss the old ones terribly, which reminds me of a girl scout song... scary.

I have been at my job for a little over 2 months now, and it feels like one long week. I am very aware that I have 7 months to live here, to see it all, to enjoy it all, to give back to DC. I've got several lists going of things I need to, want to do, absolutely have to do. I'd like to help out a homeless shelter or tutoring program, I want to hit up more museums, I'm going to watch the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial. And bike ride to mount vernon, and jump in a fountain, and befriend a total stranger on the metro, and make a homeless man that lives in Gtown a PB & J, and kayak on the potomac, and NYC! I better get started!

To anyone that reads this - thanks, and i hope you're enjoying life where you are. I hope you make a to-do list, too. Happy July!!

"Every time you wake up and ask yourself, "What good things am I going to do today?", remember that when the sun goes down at sunset, it will take a part of your life with it."
-Indian Proverb