Tag Archives: sentimental value

The Most Interesting Man I Know (Besides My Dad)

You never know who you might be sitting next to in an English class in High School.

I have a friend who tells stories. That’s not all he does, but his story telling is what has him on my mind this month. As you know, I have been writing and talking a LOT about telling the truth. Not just telling the truth about who left the apartment building door ajar, but telling YOUR truth. Your stories. Your experiences.

Matt Holdaway has always marched to the beat of his own drum. I can still see him loping down the halls of our high school in Rexburg, Idaho, dressed in black. He wore black before black was cool. He was a “New Waver” in a town of cowboys. He was cheerful in a school full of overly serious teens. His easy laugh, which borders on a giggle, was infectious.

Fast forward 20 years and it is Matt Holdaway who makes the greatest effort to keep all us misfit toys from Rexburg together. He flies through Salt Lake on his way to visit his dad and makes sure we all get together. I know he does the same once he reaches that Idaho burg of frozen windswept wasteland.

Matt holds a special place in my teenage heart. He took a picture of me playing the flute in Temple Square, 1990, which, to this day, I believe is the prettiest photo ever taken of me. It captures exactly who I was and how I felt — innocent and sad. He is also one of the few friends I have who ever got to meet my Grandmother Bates. I love her so much, for some reason its comforting he met her.

After high school, most of us misfits from Idaho relocated to the “big city,” AKA, Salt Lake City. Matt started a magazine. It was really more of a booklet of photocopies stapled together. He would print stories, artwork, songs and more that his friends had created. He printed a couple of my songs. The rags were called, “A Multitude of Voices.” As far as I know, he still produces them.

He would also organize huge events he called “A Night of Voices.” The lineup for the evenings would include everything from pantomime to poetry. Looking back, it was a hell of thing to pull off for a kid from Rexburg, newly transplanted in Salt Lake. He was my artistic conscience a lot of the time. I know I was more aware of being truthful in my songwriting when I knew he’d be listening.

Eventually Matt moved to the Bay Area. We haven’t been the kind of friends who check in on each other weekly, monthly or even yearly, but we are true friends. And here is why he is the Most Interesting Man I Know:

  1. Matt tells stories. He doesn’t simply relate an anecdote. He spins a good yarn. When Matt tells a story, everyone within earshot is caught up in it. He is HILARIOUS.
  2. Matt loves people. He loves to find interesting people and introduce them to each other. He has found the ultimate vehicle for this with his weekly radio show, “Radio Voices” which is broadcasted at 104.1 fm on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. You can also tune in via the web.
  3. Matt lives and works in a digital world, but his brain is analog. To that end, his life is indexed and annotated manually. He has the most elaborate, yet simple, method of keeping track of his wild machinations. I fear revealing the specifics of his secret will leave him vulnerable to attack, though, so I will refrain.
  4. Matt is a super hero. (Hence my reticence to divulge his method of organization) He is Storm Shadow of the California Cobras. Watch closely, or you’ll miss him. That’s how ninja-like he is:
  5. Matt does all this AND holds down a real-life, actual, career-type, job-job.
  6. Matt has invented his own genre of music. It’s called “Story Rock.” And it rules. His band is called, Matt Holdaway’s Army. You can download some of his stuff through iTunes. You can find him on Rhapsody. And on ReverbNation. And seriously, how much does Matt kick ass?:

So, yeah, Matt’s pretty f***ing cool. But what do I REALLY love about Matt? What is the thing that makes him the Most Interesting Man I Know? He tells the truth. Always. To everyone. He’s not afraid of what the truth will do to anyone. And he does it with a pure heart. Maybe mischievous. Sometimes salacious. but never malicious.

I have been preoccupied, as of late, with what to do next. This 101 day project is coming to a close, for better or for worse, in just 13 days. (Look for big updates!) With all I’ve been ruminating on truth, excess, healthy habits and letting go, I’ve been at a loss as to which of my interests will bare the closest scrutiny. What “voice” of mine is the loudest?  As of today, I have finally decided.

At the end of this 101 day project I will close this site and leave it as a standalone reminder of a journey I took to remember who I really was. The blog I will begin, on the first day of spring, will be about The Truth. I will tell my truth. I will ask others to tell theirs. I will talk about what “truth” means. I hope to discuss with everyone the truth about control, habits, possessions and love. I hope this can be done largely through stories. I’m going to need help, but I’m excited.

So THANK YOU, Matt Holdaway, for being such a good friend, for always telling the truth and for helping me find the next step on my path. You rule. Gooooooooooooo, Bobcats!

Still want more? Subscribe to Matt’s YouTube Channel.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Dreams, Moving On

My Mother’s Turquoise Ring

Plinky Prompt: What Is Your Most Prized Possession?
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I have a gorgeous turquoise ring my mother gave me. Her mother gave it to her. She used to wear it almost every Sunday. Every time I look at my right hand, I see her hand wearing the familiar ring. I remember sitting in church next to her on most Sundays, holding her always warm, soft hands. I would pet the back of her hand, marveling at how smooth her skin was. I liked the way I could push wrinkles across her hand and smooth them back out.

Now that my hands are nearly 40, and my skin is now smooth and getting thinner, my hands feel and look exactly like hers did back then. I often sit alone with my thoughts pushing wrinkles across the back of my hand, like I used to in church with mom. In a very real way I feel like I am right back there with her, leaning against her arm and holding her hand.

It is a gift that her ring and my own hands connect me to her so easily. Today I am aware, though, I need to do more than imagine holding her hand. Its coming on past the time for a sojourn to Texas so I can hold her hand, live and in person. Soon.

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Major Headway — Everything in its Category

When I woke up this morning, I almost despaired. My apartment had not one square inch of cleared space to spare. My junk was everywhere. I was planning to have some larger furniture pieces taken out to the storage unit today to wait until this spring when they will either be hauled off by family members or sold in “The Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity.” (Yes, that is the official name of the yard sale I’m hosting this spring.) Alas, these prodigious pieces persist this evening, but I have high hopes they will find their new home in the storage unit by Monday night.

I decided I would focus on taming the mayhem in the house. Because I thought removal of some big furniture was imminent, I had emptied them out, and their contents were strewn about. AND I had had the kids bring in some stuff OUT of storage so I could sort it. Suffice it to say, the place was trashed. It’s still dirty, but I called roll and took some names today!

I feel like I can’t really start shedding more stuff until I know what I currently have. To that end, I labeled a bunch of empty bins with household categories like, “makeup”, “painting and sanding”, “office supplies” and so on. Then I went through all the crap all over the house and sorted it all into those categories. Guess how many scissors I discovered I had… 15! Fifteen scissors! I can safely sell thirteen of them. Guess how many nail clippers I found… 13! I bet I have over a hundred pens. I know I have 12 different types of hair gel. Honestly, it’s a miracle this house has EVER been clean.

As I was throwing everything into its categories with its friends, I did a quick sort. I have about 3 new bins of stuff to price for the yard sale as a result. And now the fun part starts! Now that I have all household items in categories I can leisurely pick a category a day (or every other day) and mercilessly cull. I feel so encouraged by today’s progress.

Thanks to my friend, Manu, who sat and visited with me for 7 straight hours while I worked.

Folks, this is really happening. I really am going to be set free. I can’t wait!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Purging Possessions

I want to live on a boat…

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Could Aunt Anna's Piano fit and survive on a boat?

I have always wanted to live on a boat.

As I move further into simplification mode, the more my desire to live on a boat, or in an RV grows. Really, apart from money, my biggest obstacle to mobile living quarters is the lack of enough room for my Great Aunt Anna’s piano.

My simplicity has its boundaries. I love my piano. It’s the piano I learned to play on. The action on the keys is very light — too light, actually — but I LOVE it. It’s small and cute and a dark yellow color.

I have a short list of must-haves. They include my piano; my guitar; an ipad and iphone; a super-soft feather pillow; my Aunt Zelma’s quilts; my Dad’s original company jacket; my Mother’s poetry; and my daughter’s photography.

I suppose my interest in aquatic accommodations has been growing in parallel to the likelihood of pulling it off. I wonder if Hannah will be opposed to trading in a two-bedroom apartment for a two-bunk bed boat?

Cool blogs and stuff on the subject:

Living On A Boat – One Woman’s Transition To Living Onboard A Boat.

Amazon.com: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat.

Living on a Boat.

Liveaboard Life: Minimalism in a Tiny Home at Sea – Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We Live On A Boat.

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Project “Shuck the Superfluous Shit” Progress Report

The current state of the storage unit. CRH, Model.

I worked most of the day today on pricing stuff for the yard sale. I now have a total of 9 bins full of stuff ready to go. I can see that this is quickly going to get harder and harder. Or easier and easier. I’m really not sure, yet. I was shocked at how willing I was to let go of almost 20% of my books right off the  bat.

I have let go of about 20% of my clothes as well. And probably 40% of my shoes. I need to do laundry so I can sort through all of that “situation.” I bet I have 20 or more loads to do. There’s no washer or dryer in my apartment, so I’ve been doing it just about once every two months. It feels like I’m doing it all the time. Thank GOD for CRH! She’s so nice to go with me. She’s much more organized than I am and doesn’t really need to use the laundromat. We laugh and vent and solve the world’s problems. It still sucks, though.

My hope is to get rid of so much stuff that I CAN’T wait that long between trips to the laundromat. It’s such a pain in the neck and expensive! I think it usually ends up costing me about $60 a trip. This time, I plan to bring my supplies for pricing and tagging with me to the laundromat along with a couple or three bins. That way, the stuff I decide to sell won’t have to be drug all the way back up to the apartment. I can just drop the bins off at the storage unit. That’s incentive enough to get rid of as much as possible!

As I look around my living room I realize that I have about 2 bins worth of miscellaneous stuff to sort through still this week. I’m also suddenly really anxious to get rid of some big items. I love my Dad’s desk, but it is enormous and heavy. It always weighs on my mind. It’s just such a monster to move and soooo BIG. I’m trimming back the number of electronics I have and I really don’t need it. But because it’s so huge, it is going to be difficult to get someone in my family to take it off my hands. Maybe my relatives in Menan (Idaho) would like it… I’ll ask.

I have two medium sized bookcases I don’t need; a huge, four-drawer metal lateral file cabinet; and a giant rolling cabinet-thingy from Ikea I could let go. I just sold my little living room set to my sister, Jenny, and I want to get that up to her (in Pocatello) ASAP. I’d like my living room to be open, sunny and easy to clean. I can’t wait! Maybe a next step would be to clean the storage unit and put some of this furniture in there to get it out of here sooner.

Or maybe one of my siblings will suddenly have need of this giant desk and will want to help me get it and Jenny’s furniture to their new homes… Are you listening, Universe? It’s me, Rebecca.

All-in-all, I’d say things are moving along swimmingly. I’m so excited to finally be shucking all this superfluous shit! If anyone has any great tips, I’d love to hear (read) them.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Purging Possessions

The Project Illustrated…

This is a “mind map” of the complete Excess Emancipation Project. The daily habits I am integrating; new beliefs I am creating; and the “broad strokes” of my 101 day journey are depicted here.

I committed to this vision on December 11, 2011 and it will be completed on March 21, 2012. This future I am creating is really an integration of habits I once had and/or things I’ve always wanted to do.

So far, it hasn’t been particularly easy. I see a lot of blogs out there about this person’s great new life on a raw food diet or that person’s successful purging of the possessions and I get a little frustrated. It seems like these things came easy to those people. Maybe I’m not reading far enough. Maybe they just didn’t talk about the crying.

One thing is for sure: As I look at my Dad’s desk from when I was a kid, or his galoshes from when he was a kid, I am acutely aware of tough times ahead. I am so habituated to attributing sentimental value to inanimate objects, it feels kinda like I’m getting rid of him, not just some stuff. Granted, I will be hopefully giving any/all family heirlooms to my sisters and brothers, but I know there will be a few things left over that I will have to face selling or giving away.

And it’s not just stuff from Dad and Mom (like her tin dollhouse from the 50s) a lot of my stuff are things I have picked up during my travels to Paris, Morocco, Indonesia, Costa Rica and more. Or they bring back memories of hijinks or lost loves. I suppose this is the inevitable crux of the issue.

I am committed to getting free of having to “tend” all this stuff, though. It’s so much work to dust, house, store, maintain and care for and about this inanimate menagerie. I have always fantasized about being free of it — about living a life more like Thoreau at Walden Pond — and I am determined to get there.

(Dear Universe, Please don’t infer that I want to be put in a position where I have to build my own house with just an axe and old nails from my neighbor’s shanty.)

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