Sunday, December 2, 2007

Winter Storm Warning!

Sitting here in my house...while looking through the white haze out my window I can almost make the black nissan maxima, or lack there of, in my driveway. 10 inches folks, yep, 10. And it would be one thing if I could laugh at the thought of the other 5 members in my family trudging through the snow, scraping their windshield with a credit card, but no. Washington D.C. = High of 50 degrees, light rain. Las Vegas = 60 degrees and sunny. And heck, San Francisco = high of 63 with fog. DULUTH MINNESOTA = high of 10. I repeat, ten degrees! I just thought it was hilarious that for the first blizzard of the year, I was the only Hall in the whole state to see it! Yes, please, take a moment to chuckle...I had better go now, before my car literally freezes over. Psh.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Google commercial...

What a lovely Thanksgiving we had today in Litchfield. I must say it may have been my all time favorite meal. Ever. Now that is a bold statement! Just a buffet of delicious food filled with color, zest, and oober doober yumminess! Mmmmm!! So the four of us, minus sonja and tyler, returned home around 6:30. After some coloring book-age, a game of yahtzee commenced. "Mia, that fly on the wall is bugging me", Mom says. "Okay!" So I swat it onto the floor. Liana gasps, "Mia! Don't squish it!" And I say, "I didn't! Just slip it into the vent or something." Then low and be hold, daddy comes over to save the day and picks up the little lady bug and brings it outside. Then I say, "Do lady bugs have hearts?" No response, simply blank stares followed by a confident "Yes" from Liana. Wait...or do they? Do they have lungs? A brain? What capacity of organs can a tiny thing like that possibly contain? Let alone an ant, or lice for heavens sake! So dad returns to the table and we wre all convinced that he would have some words of wisdom for us. "So dad, do bugs have hearts?" "Um...I don't know? Lets google it." Aha! Perfect google commercial! A bunch of dummies sitting around talking about the anatomy of bugs. So now I need answers...someone tell me the truth! Please!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The drive...

Soney, I couldn't agree with you more. For tonight on my 2.5 hour journey home at 11pm, it was your words on the other end of my tattered little cell phone which kept me going...kept me going so much that I even passed my exit and continued to talk for 20 minutes before realizing it. Thanks a lot. Jeesh..But really ladies, Liana included of course: it truly is incredible the way that our minds seem to work in the same off-beat, unorthodox, 'mind-boggling sea of complexities' type of way. And Sonja, I must admit. Our horrendous first-date stories have become somewhat of a weekly subscription of mine. And yet, there are moments like tonight where we both can sit down and just take a deep breath and say, wow. This conversation with my sister just kicked the ass of any man out there! So thank you, for being my butt-kicking phone talking chummy buns.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My night

Mia was on her cell phone for two hours as she drove back to St. Cloud from Duluth tonight. It is Thanksgiving weekend. She had just finished her last server training shift at the Timberlodge and must have needed someone to talk to. Someone in particular. Perhaps a sister in west coast time who is still up at 11pm on her Northern Minnesota watch on a Tuesday night. That's where I came in.
Meanwhile, I had been thinking about going to the gym tonight to lift some weights before my run tomorrow (still preparing for the Vegas Half Marathon- especially after hearing Liana had run 10 MILES last night.. I fear I may fall behind this madwoman). Also, going to the gym means not spending any money in this crazy city before the holidays strip me of my so-called income. It also means not watching TV all night (as I shamefully resort to after a long day's work on many occasions). Not to mention the fact that I might feel awesome before hitting the hay.
But tonight was an exception: it was good quality sister time- forging the divide like Oregon Trail that our physical limitation creates- by pushing a few buttons and making the time to really ask "what's goin' on girl?"
I am never shocked to admit the calm that follows a good conversation with someone you don't have to explain everything in detail to, or comparatively, who shows appreciation for details of your horrific first dates or the guys who just won't. go. away. no matter what you say or do. Quite obviously, our conversation is fresh in my mind.
It reminds me of the good grocery shopping talk that Ty and I had last Saturday. Crescent Rolls forgotten had us doubling our time, but it was definitely for the best: the recipe turned out perfectly, and I got Ty for about 45 minutes on prime Saturday night minutes.
Damn it feels good to have a Hall. Or 5.

Monday, November 19, 2007



At last...

The blog you have all so eagerly been anticipating...I am sitting here in my second home (the to all of you college graduates!!), surrounded by lightless lamps (very frustrating) with the peaceful words of Sara Bareilles streaming through my headphones. So pardon me, if a couple of her lyrics slip into this and confuse you...

To be a Hall...We are a strange little band of characters, once trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo (sorry mom...), borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
Creating a family in this tumultuous world which we live in, is an act of faith, a wager that against all odds, there will be a future...and if you're lucky, one as great as ours. There are countless things that only families have in common, the greatest familiarity in every sense of the word. Memories that no one else can make...and somewhere in the shapes and shades of these memories...I see bits and pieces of me embedded into the thick and rustic history which we all share. A replaying filmstrip in my head, which never ceases to put a smile on my face. The fact that my favorite part of a first date is that of which I am asked about my family. I can't say enough about you all...much love this Christmas season.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Christmas list!

This is Sonja's informal christmas list, in no particular order. Aren't you excited? The wait has been killing you, I know.
-a funky, patterned blanket
-a picture frame
-a new scarf
-gloves/hat that are water resistant
-big, colorful, quality Panasonic headphones that go over the ear, not earbuds!
-kitchen stuff: apron, decor (our kitchen is offwhite and green mostly- so maybe something dark to spice it up?)
-nifty rainjacket (size Small or Med, depending on fit)
-warm beret hat or puma/sports beanie hat, but not those tight fitting ones. I like them to fold over, old school style.
-socks and underwear?
-art supplies- specifically art pens/markers, but I need more of everything (always)

I know you've all got great taste, so please use this to catapult from in case you are stuck.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Life Lesson Learned

I now have a laptop. Incredible. After persevering the five years of college life, scowling at fellow classmates as they typed away at coffee shops, libraries or in class, utterly taking their little life-simplifying machines for granted. Not capable of understanding the perils of forming a schedule around sharing a desktop computer off-campus in Uptown with your sister. A computer whose printer had a mind and temper all its own. They'd never know how it felt to plan their bus trip according to that extra 15 minutes of snow trompage- destination: cross-campus computer lab. Printing your paper, speed-walking back, paper completed, shoved into a 5-yr-old army green, too-small backpack with haste (life lesson learned- read on...). Handing those papers in were always little moments of glory. Mission: Possible. I reveled in those moments of slapping it down on the table, often equipped with a man-made staple (dog-earing the page, then ripping three parallel tears and folding forward and backward to secure the pages together), knowing that it was the best paper I'd ever written, that the strife I'd endured was all worth it, and that they'd never guess I had written it at midnight the night before.

This fortitude versus the college laptop reminds me a bit of my rebellion against the graphing calculator in high school. It always seems to occur to me that people survived before without spending a buttload of cash on silly high-tech treats, why can't I also survive? As Sonja stated so eloquenty in similar words, it comes down to the perseverence and adaptability of the Halls. I think of Ty and that sleezy backpack he had for what, 8 years?-- his fantastic tool to lecture his sisters on the difference between wanting and needing something. Year in and year out as we stroked our new Jansports, Ty threw his bag up in outstretched arms, proclaiming that his worn bag still stood strong (eventually Mom threw this bag away- undoubtably a scarred moment in Ty's life).

I recall sitting at the kitchen table with Sonja, drawing feverishly on the blank sides of the homework assignments Dad would bring home. I had drawn a small figure in the middle of the page. Frustrated with the recent result of my mind's eye, I set it aside to take a new sheet. Big brother Tyty who sat next to me took it upon himself to teach me a life lesson: fill the page. Do not waste the empty space. He showed or drew (I can't quite recall which) me a picture of mountains extending from one side of the page to the other. I remember arguing my way of drawing for pride's sake, all the while wishing I would have thought of the 'fill-the-page' method for myself. I didn't know if I should follow his direction, raising my little white flag in resignation or continue to draw in a feeble attempt of unwarranted dignity. Being the stubborn little angel you all know and love, I clearly continued on with my way of drawing as I sat next to Ty and Sonja, but you better believe I was cognisant of filling the page from that day on.

Deciding between what we want and need is a vital life lesson. Some never grasp it, for they've never had to, while the others deal with the toss-up day in and day out. It has been proven that those taught to ackowledge the difference between necessity and desire are more likely to live a life of greater contentment. What do we actually need to survive? When is it appropriate to indulge? We are each responsible for our own scaling system. I thank Mother and Father for taking us to the sale racks, for asking us these questions, and for instilling the contentment and excitement for life itself in each of us.

Mom has asked ask me this very question many times as we shopped in Crossroads or Southdale Mall as I yearned for yet another article of clothing I lacked not; Ty to aggressively heave his backpack in my face in a valiant effort, forcing me to question this very notion; Dad, the quiet warrior, riding his bike to work through the sleet, wind and rain, briefcase slung on his shoulder, helmet intact- proving the 'survival of the fittest' includes both physical and mental strength; Mia to live and work in a home where life and work combine, her space a small room in the basement of the home of a rich NYC family- demonstrating with zest that with happiness is about mentality- and necessity is relative to optimism and self-knowledge; Sonja to move to a city knowing two people to start and to form a life of independence that tests the strength of her character with rainstorms and the never-ending hike up those hills, both real and metaphoric.

I could survive without that silly graphing calculator, this silly laptop. And though i never bought a TI-85, I now have this little gem on my lap, allowing me to partake in this fabulous exchange of words and thoughts, warming my lap as I sip on my 12 oz. skim latte with a half-shot of almond: a beverage I wanted and purchased, but do not need. ;)

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Rainy Season has officially begun

I walked home in a rainstorm today. People stood at each bus stop along Sacramento Street- on the backside of Nob Hill- like shivering sunflowers. Yet there was no chance of sun, no bus in sight, and the looks on their umbrella shaded faces were enough to make me smile. No, don't jump to conclusions- I am not a malicious person. My parents have raised me better than that! But somehow, I took great pleasure in seeing their lack of adaptability. I started smiling, I couldn't really stop.

There I was: no umbrella, no raincoat, wearing a used wool coat missing two buttons, and thoroughly enjoying the music streaming through my tiny shuffle up to my ears.

Does this ability to adapt to different climates come from somewhere? It has to. Maybe it is a nature vs. nurture question. Well, the Hall/Anderson genes are no doubt strong, (but I can think of a few family members who would wince in the rain and wait for the bus). Perhaps this is somehow part of being a Minnesotan? I wouldn't go that far either. But I will narrow this down into a theory of being a part of the Hall Family. We've grown up being loved, nurtured, and tended to with an insurmountable amount of compassion from two, loving parents. But we were never babied. We appreciated the sleep we got while cradling each corner of the conversion van on endless road trips to Florida, Texas, and Colorado. We walked on broken legs and went to school with tummy aches. Being a Hall kid, we learned how to tough it out. Kidney punches, neighborhood night games with the big brother and his friends, and the neverending list of automobile collisions has made us virtually super-human. Well, at least in rainstorms.

So after 25 minutes of climbing the hill, the bus passed me. I was one block from my apartment. All of the people I had passed on my way home were now packed so tightly into that bus they were seemingly birthed out the back door.

Nonetheless, my saturated, and overly-satisfying, trek home of theorizing has spurred me to begin a Hall Family blog. May you read, enjoy, and understand the world as a Hall through the many excerpts to come!