Recent Posts

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Text Ever

"Hey. Call me when you're done making out."

Oh snap, my friends are funny.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love Donuts




That's all.
Carry on.

Holy S. Round 2

This is better:

Holy S.

Today's horoscope:

"You may need to reconsider a decision that you made recently, especially if you weren't being realistic about your abilities. Your expectations might have been exaggerated because you were looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but now you are beginning to see things in their proper light. Although you could be a bit discouraged today, the situation will likely work out beneficially in the long run."

Worst Text Ever

"Pls dont flip. I am too sick to travel."

And then I fell apart.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I Throw like a Girl

We had almost a foot of snow on Christmas day last year. It was probably the best day of the year. I took full advantage of it and engaged pops in a one on one battle with snow bullets. Mom caught it on video from the warm dry indoors.

video

Note the hit I take to the side. That was solid.

In my defense, dad had defense on his side. He was taking shelter in the garage behind the big rhody tree. I was left defenseless with no barrier (guess who's the idiot in this shoot out...this girl).

Plus, he doesn't throw like a girl.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today has Not Sucked as Much as Yesterday

I vowed to make today at the very least incrementally better than yesterday. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t take that much.

This is how it started:

• 7:00 am dentist appointment. That is the devil’s work.
• Bus broke down in the tunnel.
• I’m pretty sure my socks don’t match, which on most days is fine, but I’m wearing a skirt and boots so it’s a bit obvious.
• I’m starving but I don’t want to eat because my teeth feel so clean.
• Someone is totally clipping their nails at work. Are you for real?!?

Walking into the building today I almost just turned around and went back home. I’m ready to call it quit this Tuesday and start again tomorrow.

But, when you look for them, there are shining moments, such as these:

1.) The TT last didn’t in the least hurt my stomach. In fact it felt the most normal I’ve felt in while. Not sure what that says about fast food being good for you but at this point I’ll take it.
2.) I might be rocking out to Glee cover songs in my cube.
3.) I may have freaked my sister out when I inadvertently called her 11:00 am Seattle time. Forgetting that she was in Japan. She may have called in a minor panic wondering was the state of emergency was. Sorries!
4.) After 27 years, I am still cavity-free with no signs of gum disease. I might just celebrate by chewing on a candy and not brushing my teeth.

In closing, today has not sucked as much as yesterday.

A Testimony of Service

My day was pretty well in the crapper. I feel like I’m standing in a card house waiting for one card to fall and the whole rest of the house will come crumbling down below it. Work is overwhelming right now. My personal life isn’t where I would like it to be (by choice oddly enough). I’ve got a lot of things moving and transitioning while trying to prepare for an unknown future.

Today seemed to be a collision of all things overwhelming, work, personal and otherwise. Just couldn’t catch a break and my self-confidence which is generally pretty healthy, was seemingly absent.

At work, we adopted 2 families and we had to do the last minute shopping for one of the families before making the drop. I’m not one for patience so this became an exercise in traipsing around the city for 3 miles (not an exaggeration) in high heels while trying to decide what to spend a significant amount of money on. While we were shopping I was thinking a lot about the service mantra about how service to others makes one self feel good (my poor paraphrase). In full disclosure, I was not feeling good about this service. I was in fact beginning to question why I had volunteered to help organize this deal. I had so much waiting for me at my desk and at home that I couldn’t find joy in shopping for these families.

After we wrapped up shopping we headed out to deliver our bounty. I really didn’t know what to expect. Let me tell you, there could not be a more amazing and deserving family than the one we met last night. This strong infantry soldier man stood stoically, grateful and speechless and the demonstration of kindness from the members of our firm. The wife, normally a chatterbox, couldn’t find the words that she felt might be appropriate enough. Their oldest son was the most polite and kind spirit you will ever meet. Dad took the 2 youngest kids inside so that they might not see the bikes that would soon be under their Christmas tree. We gave them toys, art supplies, clothes, shoes, gift certificates, Christmas dinner, family movies and alike. Their car was brimming with goods.

There are moments that come along when you know that you were in the right place when you needed it the most. After a pretty defeating day, my heart nearly bubbled over with joy when we were able to give these families a Christmas they wouldn’t have otherwise had. This was a perfectly timed experience.

I was reminded of a quote I recently heard that President Utchdorf said that reads as follows, “In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.”

The family we delivered the gifts and Christmas dinner to tonight told us we were the answers to their prayers. The told us that we could never have known how much we helped them this holiday season. They were literally speechless. And this could very well be true, we may never know how great of relief we provided, and that is ok. I think that’s how its suppose to. The degree of impact is almost irrelevant, because what really matters was that there was even an impact at all.

After a day of defeat juxtaposed with the bright spot of joy, I wondered what do I do from here? I guess we just pick ourselves up and keep moving forward. Always move forward. While we move, may we have to awareness and foresight to see where we can be answers to other people’s prayers and everything else will fall into place. I have to believe that. If I don’t I might as well just quit right now. And that, I refuse to do.

As I go on this journey, I am beyond grateful to be surrounded by friends who will treat you to a classy TT (vegan) dinner, served on a paper plate, no less. I hope in your less than stellar moments, you surround yourself with people who can listen and not pretend to have all the answers, but rather recognize the struggle and validate your feelings as normal – not just one station away from boarding the crazy-train. Surround yourself with people who can make you laugh one minute and wallow with you the next. Because if we’re going to go through this life, we might as well do it together and laughing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

If Sleeping were an Olympic Sport:

Gold medal, right here.

After my day of snowshoeing I had the make the hour drive back from Sedro Woolley to Kirkland. This was not easy. I was exhausted due to the lack of sleep, fresh air and physical exertion. I really just wanted to get home and close my eyes for just a little bit. I curled up on the couch around 4:30, queued up a couple Hulu shows and was out like a light by 5:00 pm. When 9:30 AM, Sunday morning, rolled around, you can understand my confusion. Certainly, I could not have slept through the night. Oh, but yes, I certainly did. For 16.5 hours, on a couch no less. I think that’s a personal best. Record-breaking.

I may have inadvertently missed the Rosie Thomas Christmas Concert but sleeping felt so good. So so good.

At One Point I Thought My Heart Might Pound Out of My Chest

I love snow. Always have, probably always will. However, I am not a participator of winter sports. I lack the grace, sense of balance and fearlessness necessary for skiing or snowboarding. But I do love me some snowshoeing, where both feet are firmly planned on the ground. So when CLA suggested hitting up Baker for a little snow shoeing, I was in. Having only been a couple times before I figured I’d be ok.

After only 2 hours of sleep (whole different story) I ventured my way north. We got to Mt. Baker in the early afternoon, just as the sun was trying to come out. We bundled up, strapped on the shoes and took off.

Now, let’s be honest here, I will do just about anything, but perhaps not with wild abandon. I tend to be fairly cautious for the primary purpose of acknowledging a history of personal injury. Additionally, if I were completely honest, I’m not in the pinnacle for cardiovascular condition. So there may have been a point early on during the uphill trekking I may have thought I was going to die as my heart was pounding out my chest and breathing was seriously labored. At the same time, I approached many of the downhills with trepidation, because not that CLA isn’t the specimen of strength and physical health, being carried out by him was a less than desirable idea, for both of us. So I approached some parts of the journey with serious trepidation (hello, story of my life). When I didn’t have complete faith that I wouldn’t fall head over heals down a hill, I slid down, bum first. I walked in CLA’s tracks. I walked focusing on not tripping, falling or otherwise potentially causing injury to myself. Low and behold, I came out of the trip uninjured. Miracle, I know.

We trekked out a little ways, the sun briefly graced us with its presence and we found a spot to enjoy some hot apple cider and few snacks of rice cakes and almond butter. We photo opted a few self portraits with the assistance of a strategically placed tree stump. After a little sustenance I felt a little bit more energy for the walk back, which was much needed.

To summarize: Sometimes snowshoes are unnecessary when you can slide bum first, like this:


Nothing I’d rather drink than this:



Nothing I’d rather see than the glory and majesty of snow covered mountains like this:


And better friendship than found in this guy:



Good times.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Take 5

M: I have a weird question for you.
C: Ok
M: Do you have all ten toes?
C: Silence
M: Just kidding, do you remember everyone at the meeting yesterday?
Continues on in normal conversation...hilarious.

I could talk about books all day, and then, read books all night. No, seriously.

Today I became a party crasher. Officially. Instigated by the Bossman. This is my life living on the edge.

My sister is boycotting Japan. The country. She lives there. Not sure how that really works but I’m interested to see how that all plays out.

I’m listening to Kelly Clarkson's, I Do Not Hook Up. To each their own....

Banana-ormous

We get the world's largest bananas at work. I should be used to by now, but every week I'm shocked. Too many questions and inappropraite comments roll through my mind, I can hardly eat my banana without blushing.

But seriously, check it out.



I'm going to go out on a limb and hypothesize that these are not organically grown. Just a hunch.

January 26, 2010

...will be a great day in music history. Patty Griffin’s latest album, Downtown Church will, will be in my hot little hands.



Check here for more info, sample tracks and teasers.

Are you as giddy as I?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fact.



Long day, guys. Long day.

Tomorrow I'll make better mistakes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

100

This is my 100th post. Is that applause I hear? In honor of this milestone I’d like to share with you some of my internet inspiration. I’ve complied my top 5 website or blogs that I regularly read, grouped by loose topics.


News:
Straight Up Headlines
Slate Magazine
NPR
Foreign Policy Magazine
The New York Times

Spiritual/Thoughtful:
God in the Midst
Inappropriate Bishop Higgins
This I Believe
Post Secret
Idea of the Day – NYT

Food
Orangette
Smitten Kitchen
Tastespotting
Our Best Bites
Gluten Free Girl and The Chef
Cake Wrecks

People I Heart Who Can Write:
Life goes on
The Hardest Thing and the Right Thing
It got Weird
2 Teaspoons
Fabulous Fashionista

Fashion/Art:
Camp Comfort
100 Layer Cake
Love. Obsess. Inspire.
Creature Comforts
Mustard & Sage

Misc:
Kind over Matter
Pecannoot
We Heart It
Unruly Things
Operation Nice

Bonus:
My Life is Average

Take a look around.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bliss List Monday

Hear: The sounds of the PLU Choir at Benaroya Hall ringing in holiday cheer. Well done kids.
See: Got to see Kirbizzle, always a pleasure and a treat.
Feel: Because of the balmy sub-freezing cold front we’ve got rolling through, I FEEL like moving to somewhere warm. Say North Carolina. But I’ll tough it out because it may be cold but it is beautiful.
Taste: Baked Potato with vegetarian chili, avocado, green onion and roasted vegetables. Hot, tasty and satisfying.
Smell: Candles burning in the living room
Tech: The wonders of the internet. I booked my best friend’s flight to come visit over the holidays. I’m pretty sure I was on the verge of tears. When I emailed her to tell her that, she called me to ask me what the hell was wrong with me and if I was hormonal or pregnant with the next Immaculate Conception offspring. Ouch.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Attitude Checked

I'm in desperate need of an ego boost. I'm feeling like an idiot it is getting old. I used to think that that feeling was going to end. Instead, I really think its just the beginning.

To stave off the wallowing and self-doubt, I turn to these gems for my pictoral pep-talk.







Attitude checked. Success.

Fact.



And I don't mean coffee.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Start Now

No big secret: My stomach is a hot mess. It always has been and I’m working on the fact that it hopefully won’t always be. Nine days ago marked the countdown to the last 40 days of 2009. The number 40 is obviously highly symbolic in many religious cultures as well as in the astronomy community. So the timing seemed particularly apropos to really clean things up in my life. One way this has manifested is in the form of what I eat. My stomach problems are not going to get better the longer this goes so in some potentially short-side lapse in judgment, I’ve tried to eliminate all delicious things from my diet. This includes but is not limited to:

Wheat (breads, pastas, brownies, cake, cookies, pizza, pie, muffins, scones, etc.)
Meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc.)
Dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt, milk, etc.)
Eggs (Eggs…)

Additionally, I rarely drink soda (for the main reason that it makes me burp) or eat candy (I prefer quality chocolate) or eat soy (hello skin problems). Not a huge fan of seafood (sans mahi mahi fish tacos from Anthony’s, good halibut and crab). I quit alcohol about 2 years ago and never looked back. So those are all out by personal preference default. On a whole I try to avoid sugar, but c’mon, a sister needs a vegan breath mint every once in a while.

I recognize this is approximately 90% of the food pyramid and about 99% of the standard American diet.

THE TINY GLITCH: I do love me some baked goods. This baby didn’t get no back by just staring at baked morsels of goodness. Homemade bake good are particularly superior to my willpower. So in full disclosure I did not quite make it through Thanksgiving weekend without some animal products given the butter and eggs that were likely in the pie crusts and rolls that I willfully enjoyed. Slap on the wrist, moving along….

So, what do I eat? Vegetables. Fruit. Beans. Rice. Oats. Nuts. Water. Tea. End.

You can actually do a lot of remarkable things with these few products. You can roast (personal favorite), bake, sauté, steam just about any vegetable. Salads make great lunches packed with nutrient rich colors and flavors. Rice can be made even more delicious when cooked in vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Plus there are tons of varieties. Bean make wonderful chilies, salad toppers, fillers in soups, or spreads. Oats are great with breakfast with berries and almond milk. My morning smoothie consists of frozen berries, a banana, fresh ground peanut butter and almond milk. Delicious. I cook with a lot of extra-virgin olive oil, seasonings, flavored oils and spices.

I recognize that this may be crazy and potentially extreme. But this morning I woke up in excruciating pain gasping waiting for the pain to pass. I’m done with waking up like that. Done and over it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

So here I go for the next 31 days: a wheat free, soy-free vegan.

Do you have a life-style change you’re waiting to make? Why wait until the new year? Start now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just For Funsies

I've been reading multiple choice questions for the past 3 days. No reason you should be left out of the fun. Take a stab at this one.

Q: What's wrong with this picture?



a.) My face
b.) What? These?
c.) Lindsay totally missing out on this precious moment
d.) Nothing, absolutely nothing.

A: d. Nothing, absolutely nothing

Before & After

I used to sit on a exercise ball at work. That was until a 6’5” 250lb middle aged man burst my bubble. Literally. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants; it was totally worth it.



Some people have a junk drawer. I had a junk room. Until today. With the help of a very patient friend I was able to reclaim the second bedroom. Heap of trash and bags of Goodwill equals tons of satisfaction.



Living alone means I rarely keep a stocked fridge. The fridge became essentially an air conditioned mansion for my ketchup and mustard. Until I stocked it full of goodies. Dining out no longer has quite the appeal when I know that food awaiting me at home was grown locally, organically and tastes about 100% better. Try it, you might like it.



Three years ago, I weighed 30lbs more than I do. Until I started to give a damn about what I ate, my health, my future. At 27, I’ve never felt better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bliss List Monday

I’m exhausted. 7 hours of sleep in 2 days is not working for me (ok, plus a 2 hour nap). I’m cold, I’m tired, and all around cranky and just a pleasure to be around. My house is a mess, my car is covered in autumnal mud, my mind is in about 8 different places, none of which are the present. So on this Bliss List Monday, I’m digging deep. We’re talking coal mine deep.

Here’s my best effort:

1.) Hear: The Frames – The Red Chord and Say it to Me Now - on repeat.
2.) See: Totally sweet tights. Today’s pair are classy yet sexy. Just how I like them.
3.) Feel: Seat warmers. Worth every penny and will be for the next 8 months.
4.) Taste: Curiously strong Crème de Menthe Altoids. So fresh and so clean clean.
5.) Smell: Cinnamon on my sweet potato for lunch.
6.) Tech: A very touching email from a dear friend. It warmed my frigid little heart.

There you have it.

What’s on your Bliss List?

Chicken a la Crisp

I have about five true story gems from my time in New York. This is one of them. I wrote this email to family and friends after it happened because seriously, how could I not? Get cozy and enjoy the walk down memory lane.

"I have a story to tell. It’s not something I am particularly proud of, but the hilarity of the situation should not be kept to those who were there to experience, but rather spread around to help create some holiday cheer. As I pride myself as a reasonably intelligent human, with realistic comprehension of common sense, both of these things eluded me (and my wonderful roommates), one fateful afternoon and the following events unfolded:

Elizabeth and I had a leftover chicken that, in our infinite wisdom and need to use every scrap of food to survive, we decided to boil the leftover bones in water to make our own chicken broth and eventually what would be delicious chicken soup. We started cooking the chicken and all was going well…until…we left the apartment. We left the apartment and proceeded to go to brunch, shop, enjoy December in NY and other great Sunday afternoon events. You can see where this is going as I omit the detail about turning the stove off, because we didn’t. As we are on the train home 5 hours later, I get a voicemail from our wonderful super, our dear friend Dennis, who has left a very stern email about “an emergency situation that needed to attended to as soon as possible.” There was a sinking feeling in my stomach as I put the piece together of what it could possibly be and I high-stepped it home. I was greeted at the door by a locksmith hammering our frame the NYFD has pounded through, our super guarding watching over our stuff, and the aroma of charred chicken and smoke.

As Dennis explains it to us: He received a call of smoke coming from our apartment, left his precious football game to come what was going on, saw SMOKE BILLOWING out from under our door, called 911 not knowing if anyone is inside unconscious, NYFD arrives, Dennis without a key, they busts the door open, shards of wood cover our floor, found the source, and cleared the smoke. The locksmith was able to piece our frame together enough to have it hold for the night although to actually open it takes our complete body weight pulling and pushing it open and closed.

After the (literal and figurative) smoke had cleared we all stood around in complete shock and amazement. Imagine for a moment 3 intelligent, college-graduate, young professionals standing around the kitchen sink with our charred chicken, completely baffled to what we were thinking. It is virtually priceless as I wish you could have been there to witness it. Attached is a photo of what we were staring at. Elizabeth so innocently asks, “Do you think we can save the pot?” I laughed.




In the end we had a smoke filled apartment, one very charred chicken and a destroyed pot. We are fortunate that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged (besides our pot and chicken)."

From the Story Archive: Girl Meets Squat

I was trying to relay a story to friends tonight but was failing miserably. I knew Ilsa had written this adventure down so I dug into the email archives to find it. It was better than I remembered. Grab a cup of tea and get cozy as I walk down memory lane.

Note: This is Ilsa's details of events. My commentary would have been much different but I like how she tells it. Do keep in mind Ilsa had landed in Seattle not 1 hour before this whole night began.

"After de-planing in Seattle and being picked up by Cara it was time to focus on dinner. Back in the day when I could, would and did eat anything that crossed my path, eating dinner was simple. These daysfinding food has become something of a chore.

But there was something else on my mind besides dinner and that was freegans. I was desperate to locate the people who knew the ins andouts of dumpster diving in Seattle.

As we walked though Downtown Seattle in search of a suitable place for me to have dinner Cara grew concerned with the way I was eyeing dumpsters. Cara wouldn't dive a dumpster if it contained the last meal on earth. It wasn't that I was eyeing the dumpsters in search of a meal, it was more a general nosiness. As in, Hmmmm, I wonder what's in that dumpster?

I asked Cara on several occasions, "Where are the punks?" She was evasive in her answers and then said, "Tomorrow night we'll go to Capital Hill. There are punks there."To which I replied, "Not tomorrow. Tonight."

Things between us started to get a bit tense but I was in town for a short while and if I didn't connect with the freegans then I was going to feel somewhat adrift. I needed to know that there were people in Seattle who were living on the fringe. Actually, I knew there were people on the fringe but I HAD to meet some of them and talk to them.

On the east coast the punk look is often just that, a look, nothing attached to any sort of counter-culture mindset. I've learned from personal experience that people on the west coast are a bit more earnest and their appearance tends to belie the truth of who they are. This meant that if I located kids in recycled clothes, they would be the real deal, kids who were living on the edge.

Images form the news footage of the WTO protesters ran through my mind as Cara and I continued to look for a place to dine.

We turned on Post Alley and I noticed a group of boys, one of them was juggling and he dropped one of the things he was juggling. It was a dinner roll. I had a flash of knowing and thought, "He dumpstered those rolls." I said nothing to Cara about my observation but as we approached the kids, who were boisterous and drunk, I struck up a conversation with them.

Cara stood off to the side, a good 20 feet from where I was talking with the boys. After a rapid fire interview, I learned that they had dumpstered the rolls, and they were quick to offer me one which I declined because I don't eat wheat. I also learned that they had all hitchhiked their way to Seattle from various part of the United States. One of the guys, Derrick, was a busker. There was something carefree about these kids. They reminded me of myself in my youth when I had been homeless.

The boys self-labeled themselves hobos and it had been a long time since I'd heard anyone say that word, let alone refer to himself in such a way. I wasn't among freegans, who have a deliberate political stance against consumerism and excess, I was beyond freegan, I was with hobos.

It was then that I asked if they'd jumped freight trains, to which they all replied, "Yes." Then went on to describe the beautiful vistas of the American landscape they'd seen from a box car. Unwashed as they were, these boys were my kind of people. I've got "jump freight trains" on my list of things to do before I die.

While we were chatting, Derrick, asked, "Do you want to see our squat?"

In my mind I started turning cart wheels. My thoughts: Do I want to see your squat? Of course I want to see your squat!

Tempering my enthusiasm, I was giddy and wanted to jump for joy, I looked over at Cara (as I have done many times) in the way that a child looks to a parent for permission and I asked, "Can we go to the squat?"

At which point the only girl in the group, Molly, interjected, her voice brimming with enthusiasm, "We have a chair!"

Cara was dressed in a black and white silk dress and white jacket looking every inch the career girl that she is with nothing in her appearance to suggest an affinity with dumpster diving or squats. (It's true that people on the west coast dress to let you about the character of the true self.) I'm not sure my look screams, "Let's go dumpster diving," but then again, I'm from the east coast, so my look is meant to conceal not reveal.

Cara who knew that I would die if I didn't get to the squat graciously agreed. It was then that I told the kids I had to get something to eat and that I'd be back in half an hour and we'd head to the squat.Then, in a bougie move, I ended up having dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in Seattle, Café Campange.

The thing is when I was in search of a place to eat I knew that the pubs and somewhat nicer places we passed were serving factory farmed chicken (as is standard practice) and I was hard pressed after Tiny Snacks on the plane to find real food.

Inside Cafe Campagne three musicians were enthusiastically performing,but it was hard to discern which style of music they were playing: part jazz, part boogie woogie, big band? As I took my seat at one of the tables outdoors I felt the edgy New Yorker in me surface. I needed to eat and get back to the punks and get to the squat.

Dinner consisted of tap water and Truite aux amandes (Pan-sautéed boneless trout with steamed potatoes and an almond, lemon and brown butter pan sauce $16.00) The first bite of dinner brought the line from a Preston Sturgess movie to mind. The scene: black tie dinner jump cut to a man who declares, "The fish was a poem." The trout at Café Campagne is the closest I've ever come to a fish being a poem. That one little fish brought me to food heaven and unlike some meals where the fist bite is divine and subsequent bites make you wonder if you'd lost your mind because you can't recapture the joy of the first bite, my taste buds did not fizzle out until I was almost done. All the while I was eating the trout I thought, "This is damn good!"

I was careful to notice what a beautiful night it was, fall had arrived in Seattle. I did start an interior monolog about whether or not the trout could be considered organic and then I soon found my mind drifting into environmental issues regarding how polluted everything is and that there is nothing on the planet that can be considered pure...That discourse was cut short or else I would have become really cranky.

Cara and I returned to the group of kids having agreed that only Molly could ride in the car, as the boys reeked of alcohol and the odor of not having bathed in many weeks. Soon enough Cara, Molly and I were driving to the squat. The boys, traveling on foot, would meet us in approximately 30 minutes.

I have never entered a squat that didn't require acrobatic skills. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a bit here but usually some sort of security device: a grate or a lock has to be subverted coupled with the entrance being in the darkest, farthest corner. When I asked Molly how we entered the squat she answered rather plainly, "You just walk in the front door."

This I HAD to see.

We parked the car, waited until there was no traffic on the street, ducked into the shadows, climbed around a chain link fence, walked carefully over a lot of debris, up a couple of steps to the front door. Then the moment of truth, Molly placed her hand on the door knob, turned it gently and voila, it opened without so much as a squeak.

The interior of the building was pitch black but ever since September 11, 2001 I carry a powerful flashlight with me worried that I might find myself in a subway tunnel with no power and I plan to illuminate my path to get the heck out of that situation in a hurry. The funny thing is the subways continued to run on September 11, 2001 before, during, and after the World Trade Centers collapsed.

Soon Cara, Molly and I were walking through the halls of the abandoned building, taking a right turn as Molly put it, "At the stuff hanging from the ceiling." While we walked thorough the building Molly described her life and it was soon clear that I was hanging out with a bi-sexual teenager who was pining for her girlfriend. (How terrific is that?)



We ascended a few staircases and soon came to "Lake Squatington." This was a large body of water on the second floor where Derrick had been sleeping until it rained for a day and the room, not having the benefit of windows, was soon flooded under a couple inches of water. We took a left after we passed the lake and found ourselves in an enormous room. Each wall was floor to ceiling windows and plenty of street light came in allowing us to see the details of the room clearly.

There was one mattress on the floor, surrounded by three sleeping bags, a couple of pairs of pants hung to dry form a window pane. Someone had spray painted T.U.I. on the wall. This was the motto of the squat. Tear It Up. Later when I pointed out that it should be TIU, I was told, "That doesn't roll off the tongue." Which is true.

Within ten minutes the boys, like a bunch of demented miners, appeared wearing head lamps.

At this point I turned to Molly and said, "I thought you had a chair." She ran out of the room and returned a minute late proudly bearing a chair for Miss Cara to sit in.

We sat around, the scene lit by birthday candles, and while the boys shared a 40 ounce of Old English, rolled cigarettes from a huge bag of loose tobacco, Mark strummed on a guitar and the rest of us started telling stories.




Not to bore you with every little thing that was said, the salient points that came out of chilling with the teenage hobos:

They "poop out of the second floor window."

If you need to "take a dump and you're near Seattle's Best Coffee, use code 513" to gain access to the toilet.

The motto of migrant fruit pickers, who will pick up hitch hikers is: you today, me tomorrow.

I noticed that Cara laughed a lot and seemed to enjoy herself in spite of the fact that she found herself in this rather improbable setting.

I was having the time of my life. The kids were cracking me up. They were so candid and told stories in a very matter of fact style. They answered each question that I asked honestly and without reservation.

It would be hard to pick a favorite moment while hanging out at the squat because there were so many inspired moments, but I have to give Cara big props for climbing through the sky light to join me and the boys and Molly on the roof as we looked at the lights that twinkled on the Seattle skyline.

Around 11:30 p.m. Cara and I decided to call it a night although I felt I could have spent a little bit longer with the kids."

This night is quintessential in our friendship. I can alway count on Ilsa to push me beyond my comfort to discover a world beyond myself. This is just such a story.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fireside



I believe that in my previous life, I was likely a pyromaniac. I love fire. I remember Sunday mornings growing up sitting in front of the fire drying my waist long hair while watching football. I have fond memories of fireplaces in my grandparent’s home, my aunt and uncle’s home, in B4’s parent’s home.

In my apartment, I am lucky enough have a fireplace of my own. Every year I hold out to light my first fire because my wood supply is minimal and I can’t be wasteful or premature. But tonight I had a rare evening to myself and a fire seems like the perfect accompaniment. Plus, given the chilly weather, I thought it a lovely opportunity to curl up by the fire, protected from the elements.

To build a perfect fire you just need a few pieces of kindling, one Trader Joe’s paper bag, several large logs, some huffs and puffs and a little bit of love. In no time a fire will quietly roar.

It’s my first fire of the season. I might just fall asleep in front of it, blissfully happy and grateful. Man could not have invented fire, for it is divine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Never Know When You Need It



Bossman just handed me a box of chocolates and said, “You never know when you’ll need this.” He knows me well.

Now spreadsheets, projections, numbers, capacity, revenues, gaps, and other such things account-y are suddenly much sweeter.

But reality check...I'm still at work and need to get back to all those aforementioned things….

Top 5

My Top 5 Excerpts from the Day:

"You know what my company is going to be like? Dance parties all the time."

"You make me so crabby."

"I hate you, why you have to live so far away?"

"I signed up for Bee School."

"I am comforted to know that even intelligent, beautiful and otherwise shining stars can also do stupid things!"


Thanks friends.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Discretion Please

I have been on the fence about e-books for a while. I’m sold thanks to my commute home today.

There was a middle aged man on the bus reading, I Love Female Orgasms: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide. They say you can’t judge a book by it cover but I’m a firm believer that you can judge a person based on the books one chooses to read in PUBLIC. This judgment I did not want to make about this complete stranger but he’s the one going around declaring his inadequacies (my presumption/judgment). It’s like holding up a neon sign that says, “I’m bad in bed and think I’m going to get better at it by reading about it.” Because we all know that works.

And, not to be the prude here, but c’mon people, discretion please. Please don’t bring your bedroom into my commute. Buy a nook, not for your sake, but for mine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Aviators

One of my favorite things to read is the New York Times (online) Op-Ed section. Thomas Friedman sat at the top of my favorite columnist list for a while during his Bush-hating, tree hugging, earth-flattening days, but now has dethroned himself from the top seat because of his overly Obama-loving, world saving, irresponsible optimistic perspective. He just not pulling the criticism that I once enjoyed from him. I now eagerly look forward to my other favorites include Nicholas D. Kristof and Roger Cohen. Their perspectives on global issues help me to grasp the realities of worlds far away. But, my most recent favorite columnist has been David Brooks.

Last week he wrote a piece about the shootings at Fort Hood that I just can’t get out of my mind. I don’t know if it because I’ve become every existential and ethereal about my thoughts recently or if I’ve just feel more inclined to acknowledge how little I really know about my existence, the connection between mind/conscious/body, how society constructs who we are and where we go. Nonetheless, Brooks’ piece, “A Rush to Therapy” talks about this very notion of the time and space we are born in and the control we do and do not have over our lives.

This piece focused on the general condition of the human circumstance. He talks about how we humans have little choice in which time, place, or space we are born into. He presents the idea that while we don’t have a choice about our surroundings, we do have a choice about our narrative. He says,

“The stories we select help us, in turn, to interpret the world. They guide us to pay attention to certain things and ignore other things. They lead us to see certain things as sacred and other things as disgusting. They are the frameworks that shape our desires and goals. So while story selection may seem vague and intellectual, it’s actually very powerful. The most important power we have is the power to help select the lens through which we see reality.”

Brooks then transitioned from a very philosophical narration to a specific tragedy that demonstrated the consequences of an individual’s responsibility to the society in which one lives.

The Fort Hood attacker killed 13 people before he was shot and seriously injured. The media tip-toed around his religious affiliation and instead reporting the social circumstances as motive for the attacks. The media was quick to focus the attacker’s loneliness, inability to find a wife, and his struggle to socially fit in. Brooks argues the worst part of the media’s rush to prescribe his motivations as social influences; it removes all responsibility of the attacker. The attacker now had become the victim to the circumstances of which he was participating in. I thought this to be a very interesting conclusion.

I am not so interested in the media’s representation of the Fort Hood attacker’s motives. I am very interested in Brook’s presentation of an individual’s responsibility to tell a narrative and the important power we have to “help select the lens through which we see reality.” What an interesting notion: we have a CHOICE of how we see reality. Then, when all of our realities are different from each other, how do we co-exist with such polarized views. Clearly, the Fort Hood attacker, and all other who chose to take lives as a part of their story, could not co-exist.

How do we coexist? This will be the crux of the future of humanity. Driving around with one of those pretentious “COEXIST” bumper stickers is not advocating coexistence. Simply stating it is not actively living it or advocating for it. So, how do we do it when other’s actions are out of our hands? I just don’t know.

I feel like I often hide behind rosy tinted lens of the world wanting to see the world as a better place than it really is. The danger in seeing the world as too rosy is that you can overlook the opportunities to bring goodness where there is none. If everything is rosy, then nothing needs help. And we know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

These past few months I have been balancing in a place of limbo, patiently waiting for a few (major) details to work out so that the next chapter of life can begin. I feel as though I am right on the verge of beginning to telling a really great story. How any notion of reality fits into that story, I’m not quite sure, but I do know that my life will change. More choices, more consequences, more responsibility. But whatever color lens these next couple years may bring, I hope the frames are totally badass.

I’m thinking aviators.

Genius

On their own, I love Ellen and Taylor Swift. But together, they are an unstoppable force of goodness. I can't stop laughing...no really, I'm belly-aching laughing at this:



Good way to start a Sunday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Less Glee

After working in Public Accounting for 3.25 years, today I learned how to use a 10 key.

When I was able to get the totals to foot, I felt a tiny rush of glee. Quickly followed with the awareness that the highlight of my day involved learning how to 10-key. Less glee ensued.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What A Wonderful World It Could Be

I want to preface this post with a statement of gratitude for the men and women who have served, currently serve, and will serve our country. I am grateful for the people who spend their lives in service to a greater cause, who have given their lives to a greater cause and to the families and friends who support them.

On this Veteran’s day I have come to understand that there are realities of our world that I will not understand. Also, I make no claim about understanding the complexities of our present day wars. I do not understand the cost benefit analysis of war time decisions when the cost is human life and the value is measured in barrels of oil or a presumption of preventive measure. The notion of taking someone else’s life, no matter what the circumstances are, is a reality that I do not grasp, from either side of the table.

The day President Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, his first order of business was to discuss strategy around the Afghanistan war. Today, as he give his speech at the Memorial Amphitheatre to salute our veterans, he will meet with his top national security advisers to weigh the options for moving forward in Afghanistan. A juxtaposition or paradox, I can’t decide, but a very somber and real one. While some present the argument that Obama was handed this war, the reality exists that he has the opportunity to end it. The opportunity to lay the framework for the future is in his hands.

Maybe, observance days like this are not for us to understand the morality, cost/benefit, ROI, value of human life is. Maybe today is for us to remember that we do have a life. A life to live for others, in spite of others and because of others. I hope for a world where our leaders don’t have to make that choice, they don’t have to put a value on the life of someone else’s son or daughter. I pray that the choices they make to today don’t do irreparable damage on the course of our history. As evidence by the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, there are turning points in history that can forever alter the course of human events. As a silent war rage under the radar of international press, Karadzic stands trial for war crimes in Bosnia the damages caused will reverberate for generations, families raise their kids in the slums of Nairobi, Caracas, Mumbai, a very real climate crisis exists, I have to believe there are strides being made to create history defining moments for the greater good of humanity. I have to believe to that the course of history is changing for the better.

I left the house with hopeful optimism that today would be better than yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to wave my flag of surrender in life and crawl into a hole like the giant wuss that I am. As I woke up today I thought about the privilege and responsibility I have to the life I have been given, the world I Iive in, the reality that is mine. I know I’m naïve. I know I live a very sheltered, protected, privileged life. Most of the people around me do. But the more I intentionally and actively engage with the world, the more I realize that just because I was born in this time and place and condition that I am does not give me the privilege/excuse to exist in ignorance and complacency.

To honor those who serve, understanding that I will likely never be in that position, we have a collective opportunity to lay a framework and foundation for the future. What a bright future it can be if we have to courage to stand up to oppression, kneel in humility and serve in selflessness. What a wonderful world it could be.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Forget Disneyland

This is the happiest place on earth. My home away from home, my safe haven, my own bed and breakfast. I’ve been nestled up at Auntie Nadine and Uncle Owen’s place for the last 4 days. I leave soon to head back to the States and the reality of working life, but this weekend has been exactly what my body and soul has needed for a really long time.

The Highlights:

N: How man hours have you slept?
Me: (Long calculating pause) Of the last 48? 24, possibly 25. Probably closer to 26.

“Word Worm” – Now say it like Elmer Fudd, 10 times fast.

The silverhaired Canadian grandma pouring her $4 Canadian Ice into a wine glass.

Old Man Ed

Senior citizen dancing with wild abandon. Old people must dance in heaven.

The food: chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, apple pie, turkey chili, gelato, blueberry waffles, Indonesian Chicken, salads, curry butternut squash soup, it never ends.

Do pot smoking hippies make better bread? Yes, yes they do.

“Studying” in front of the fire
Falling asleep in front of the fire
Reading in front of the fire
Chatting in front of the fire
Anything in front of the fire


Nadine and Own head out for the next couple months so it won’t be until the new year again until I get to gorge myself on the bounty of the coast. But when that time comes again, I will be ready. As always, I am so grateful for my family who opens their hearts and homes to this wandering stray cat and nourishes my body and soul to face the world again. I love you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bloodshot

Someone today told me that I looked, “very professional” and someone else told me (sincerely) she wished she, “looked like me.”
Then, someone else told me that I looked like I had been, “punched in the face,” while others stood around and agreed.

Talk about confusing.

Admittedly, my eyes are bloodshot and glassy. Not just like I’m-hungover-need-to-sleep bloodshot, but more I’m-recovering-from-a-9-day-heroin-bender-and-then-stared-into-the-sun-for-9-hours bloodshot. All because of my allergies. Every change in season brings a new wave of allergies. It generally doesn’t last too long, but when they are bad, they are B-A-D. So hello, autumn, I love you but let’s tone it down on the allergens.

While I work my way through this just know that when you see me, I’m most likely totally fine, I just look like a wreck, or like someone just, “punched [me] in the face.”

And don’t stare. It’s rude.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sainthood

I got my hair cut today which is generally a once every 4-6 month endeavor. But, after all these years, I have finally found a hair stylist that I love. I’ve been to her 3 times now and she has never failed me. This time, a great cut, side swept bangs and curls! I have curls…People, this is no small feat. I’m considering petitioning her for sainthood. One miracle down, just a couple more to go.

It will all wash out in the morning’s shower, but for the first time in a long time, at the end of the long day, I felt beautiful.

Go see Joy at Celsius.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bliss List Monday

One of the blogs I follow does a regular spot on Mondays called the Bliss List. I’ve decided to participate. And because I am a professional list maker, I have categorized my Bliss List by the topics of our senses, just to keep things spicy. (Yes, lists can be spicy.)

Bliss List Monday
1.) Hear: Van Halen’s “Jump,” The Doobie Brothers, Ilsa yelling at me from the Streets of NYC, just like the old times
2.) See: Mt. Rainier at sunrise on a clear crisp autumn day
3.) Touch: This cup of tea warming my hands
4.) Feel: Top Pot Doughnuts - The mecca of beautiful men (by “Feel” I mean I fell in love with every gorgeous one of them)
5.) Taste: Berry Banana Smoothie after the morning ride.
6.) Tech: (not really a sensory function but whatevs): email - I can email my sister half way around the globe and stay connected

Make your list. Ready, Go.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friendship-versary

Yesterday I called Ilsa to wish her a happy friendship anniversary. Four years ago she took sheltered square suburbian me under her wing before the mean streets of New York City could get it hands on me. I wish I had the resources (time, space and energy) to devote to writing about her, but the reality is that I would always come up short. I was digging through (many) old emails that we’ve exchanged since leaving the city and I marvel at 1.) How I’m still alive and 2.) How essential Ilsa is to my continual survival.

I give you a money back guarantee that you will never meet anyone like my best friend, which is why I always want all my friends to meet her. Not like in a “she’s a freak show” kind of way, but in a “she’s a totally awesome freak show and you’ll be a better person after meeting her” kind of way.

She can be loud, obnoxious, cheap, impatient, straight up crazy and stubborn. At the same time she defines selflessness, generosity, honesty and compassion. She’s lived about 12 lives and survived to tell about them all. And dammit she has perfect skin.

Not a day would go by where something totally ridiculous wouldn’t happen. Part of that is NYC, part of that is Ilsa just being Ilsa. We have done some straight up crazy stuff. Emphasis on crazy. Hiking Mt. Taurus in 11 degree weather, seen hilarious off Broadway shows, got completely trashed at vendor lunches, limos up the FRD screaming out the roof top, chillin’ with homeless kids in both Seattle and NYC, lost and found Blueberry Hill, farmed, danced all over Manhattan, vacationed in Connecticut, Maine and Oregon. We have had f-u-n. I could go on but the reality is, is that whenever and where ever we are, adventure is sure to ensue.

After four years, 3000 miles, 2 time zones (she oddly still struggles with the 3 hour time difference), we talk or write nearly everyday. Today she moves back to the city for whatever the future holds. What, I don’t know, nor does she, but because she is who she is, it will most certainly be something no one could script, no one could imagine and no one will believe when it all unfolds.

I am so grateful for her friendship, her years of experience that informs her wisdom, her perspective on the realities of life, her awareness of what the world needs, of what her friends need and what I need. I admire her passion and drive to make a real difference in this broken world. She is an example of survival, fearlessness and light.

To you, IJ, thanks for taking me under your wings of adventure. Thanks for being unapologetic for who you are, standing up for all that you do and for always being the person I hope to be when I grow up: A measure of goodness, charity and compassion.

Welcome to the next chapter of your life. Rock it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If you're a Crier,

Like me, don't watch this.

On second thought, watch it but maybe in the privacy of your own home and not at work. The tears make things a little messy.




Then, if you haven't had enough, this will really cap things off.




Goosebumps.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Size Matters

I bought this dress in a size 8 dress for a wedding I’m in on March 27th, 2010:



Here’s how the conversation in my head went:
Slamming dress if I don’t get fat.
The holidays are here.
I’m gonna get fat.
Dammit.


Dammit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Saturday for the History Books:

The starting line was a balmy 35 degrees and when you’re dressed head to toe in spandex it might as well be standing in the artic circle. Now hop in the saddle going 17-22 mph and you might as well go for a swim in Siberia in the dead of winter. That might be slightly dramatic but one thing for sure was that it was really effing cold to be dressed in very little and going very fast. Thus began the Harvest Century ride just outside Portland, Oregon last Saturday.

The ride coursed through the country of the most breath-taking farmlands and snapshot moments of fall. Recently plowed fields, pumpkins patches, smooth roads with minimal rolling hills and the bluest sky painted the landscape. Pastures, tattered and weather-warn barns, sweeping turns and hillsides were simply awe-inspiring. The first 40 miles were probably the best 40 miles I’ve ever ridden. Fast, flat and gorgeous. At the first rest stop my couldn’t feel my toes but by the time we pulled into the lunch rest stop I had warmed up but my hip flexors were screaming at me thanks to my clips in use for the second time.

Little did I know that the next 15 miles were going to be the closest thing to an excruciating painful death I could imagine (mild exaggeration). Brook and Jen had taken off at the first climb which I was glad to hang back. The first climb was pretty killer, and by that I mean I granny geared the whole thing up and thought I was going to puke. After cresting at the top I look about 100 yards and there is another hill that I only assumed had an end but you can’t tell because it kind of turns and you can’t really see the top. For the first time in my riding “career” I dismounted and just stared. It was serious pep talk time. The pep talk went something like this: “You’re still 35 miles from the finish. How much longer you going to stand here?” Lots of cussing and swearing ensued and then I realized I was standing in the middle of Oregon, by myself and no way out except that hill. So I went for it. Painfully and slowly.

After reaching the top I thought for sure it would have to even out. For sure this is the countryside where cattle graze, crops grow and children run through fields of wheat. I was wrong. The course then turned to a seemingly endless climb of switchbacks only to culminate with an epic hill that rivals the STP Puyallup hill. I dismounted my bike about ½ up with no more gusto in me. A man rides by and says, “When the going gets tough, the tough gear down.” As if that thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Oh, these fancy little buttons here, that's what they do? Gear down? Thank you kind sir for totally rubbing it in my face that I was a complete and total althetic failure.

I walked the bike to the top and thought sure, this had to be it of the hills. I crested over the top of the hill, clipped back in and took off. I’d never been so happy to ride a down hill than at that moment. It was long, smooth and gradual. A good 2 miles of speed, worth every moment of the uphill to feel like you’re flying (while also being clipped into a frame with 2 wheels, but whatevs). But such as in real life, whenever there are awesome downhills, often times the up hills aren’t too far behind.

More rolling hills continued but I also received great encouragement from complete strangers. At one point a man caught up to me and told me the only reason why he could keep pedaling was because he saw me doing it. He said, “You are my inspiration.” I wanted to cry because I felt so alone out there but to know that someone else was inspired really warmed my heart. Just proves that others are watching and your actions really do matter.

The end of the ride was glorious. After the 15 miles of rolling hills I really just wanted to be done but there was another 20 to go. But much like the first half, the last quarter miles were simply beautiful. I was in my own mind, seeing the autumnal beauty of the country side, trying to capture mental snapshots of my surrounding because I knew no picture could do it justice. I crossed the finish line so grateful to be done. I rode straight to the car to pack up and headed back to the staging area to hunt down Brook and Jen. I feasted on pumpkin pie, worth every tasty calorie. I felt a slightly validated when I told them that at any given point I wanted to cry, puke or die. To which they responded, “Oh, we passed a girl puking on the side of the road.” Thank heavens it wasn’t only me, I was just able to keep it down.

It is now just past 4:00 pm. I have ridden the most challenging 75 miles I’ve ever ridden and I’m in pretty heaping amounts of pain. My hip flexors are just screaming at me. My rear hurts, my hamstrings hurt and I’ve teaked my right shoulder just enough to not be able to lift it even 45 degrees from my side. More or less: I’ve felt better.

Here’s the kicker: I have tickets to the UW vs. Arizona game on the 40 yard line about 50 rows up and kick off is at 7:00 pm. Now I have to shower, get cleaned up, fill the tank and get from Portland to Husky Stadium in less than 3 hours. So I head back to the hotel, shower, and get on the road, clocking a good 85 mph a good percentage of the way. Seat warmers at full blast and catching up on phone calls to pass the time thinking that this is going to be a very expensive trip if I get pulled over going 85 mps WHILE talking on the cell phone. But, so be it, I’m a Husky and I’ve got to get to that game.

Make it to the stadium just before half time and take my seat next to my boss between him and one of his clients. Husky are ahead but after half time, Arizona comes back with a vengeance running the same outside passing plays and just clobbering the Dawgs.

Until, a miracle happened. The Huskies scored a touchdown but were still down by a touchdown. Time was running out and we still need to come up with 5 points to tie and 8 to point them in field goal tying (not victory) rage. After the first touch down I turned to my boss and whispered, “I have a really good feeling about this.” I really did and I’m generally not a very superstitious person but I just had a feeling.

Then this happened:




The Huskies intercepted the ball of the Arizona player’s foot to return it for a TOUCHDOWN. The stadium goes apeshit, erupting in cheers of excitement and disbelief. Adrenaline was the only thing keeping me on my feet cheering in disbelief. The Huskies now needed the 2 point conversion. Equally miraculous, they nailed the 2 point conversion! In 5 minutes, the Huskies had scored 13 points to beat Arizona. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Locker downed the ball with 28 seconds to go sealing their victory. We exited the stadium amoug swarms of elated fans and I hobbled back to my car quite certain my hip flexor muscle was detached from where it is suppose to be attached to but so elated that I didn’t care.

In the past 24 hours I had driven to Portland, rode 75 of the toughest most beautiful miles, drove back home just in time to witness one of the most amazing football comebacks in Husky history. I was exhausted, I was spent, I was so so lucky.

And it wasn’t even Sunday yet. It only got better. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Case Study

The other night a man showed up on my door step with an bouquet of irises, an excessive amount of enormous apple turnovers and Tofutti Marry Me Ice Cream bars. Unfortunately, it was not my future husband, but rather an old friend who I have the pleasure of seeing approximately once a year.

I had made dinner which we ate on the living room floor like old times. Back in the day it was white rice and canned chili at 10:00 at night but tonight is was sweet potato fries and roasted chicken sandwiches with melted mozzarella, avocado and balsamic vinegar at the reasonable dinner hour of 7:30.

Our friendship could be a case study of something, I don’t know what, but something. But after 7 years we have remained in touch chatting weekly and often on a daily basis. Despite 3000 miles for the last 5 years, lots of name calling, jabs, mocking, periods of silence and bitter arguments that could destroy marriages I think we would call each other friends.

I had three deductions from the night:

1.) I realized I might actually be ready for my next relationship. It was nice to have a guy around to change the light bulb that had been burned out for far too long, help decide how to hang pictures and to share dessert with (and by share, he had 2 bites…perfect partner in dessert). It was nice to have someone there wanting to be helpful, calling my bullshit and listening to what I had to say (I only presume he was doing the latter).
2.) Our friendship is truly rare for better and for worse and I place value in that. As we were chatting about the higher things in life, what does it mean to live, work, relationships, family, etc. it dawned on me that this person knew me back in the day, understands all the men in my life and crumbled relationships that fell from them. I have never called anyone an a-hole to their face so many times and meant it. It was nice to just be myself and have no airs because not only does nothing get by him, he calls me out on my shit. He knows more about me than I probably care to admit.
3.) We are so categorically different. He has romanticized notions of work/career and practical approaches to relationship. I have practical approaches to work/career and romanticized notions of relationships. He’s a big picture scientist, I am a methodically planning idealist. He’s a workaholic with a future is discovering something really big for the good of mankind. I’m a playaholic with a future in really great times and discovering how to live life to the fullest every day. These difference are awesome and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’m holding back a little bit and choosing my words carefully, because I know he reads this eagerly awaiting for my next post, but I guess what I really want to say is that it’s been an interesting 7 years of forced growth and I’m curious to see what our friendship holds in the future. No doubt it will change, but if the past has been any indication of where we are going, it will certainly be interesting.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Polaroid Picture




I feel like my generation misses out on the Polaroid’s ability to instantly capture people in the most candid states. How many times have you wished you could bust out your conveniently sized Polaroid camera and capture your family and friends with the retro nostalgia of a time gone by? Countless. These photos are of my parents 5 years exactly before the day I was born. They had been married just shy of 5 years.

Things to note:
1.) My parents have matching haircuts…but it was 1977 so I guess anything goes then.
2.) My dad’s stash is ridiculous. At least now he knows how to keep it trimmed up so as to not mortify his children.
3.) They are the age I am now. Bright eyed, wrinkle free, and smiling. I hope I am those things for quite some time.

Five Reasons

Top 5 Reasons I love this Photo (click on it to see larger):




5. Check out the baby blue Mary Janes. You can see my taste for adorable shoes started young. Put that on the list of things to blame my parents for.

4. My dad’s cowboy boots you can’t really see. But, I have vivid memories of sitting on his feet with these boots stomping down the hall. Or hearing them in the around the house, or running my finger along the stitching. I love those boots.

3. Notice the bird...and I don't mean the one that flies.

2. Hello fat cheeks. Cute when you're a kid, not when you're 27.

1. The band aids on BOTH my knees. I was a chronic klutz and always landed on my knees, so much so my knees were smooth from scaring. But as in life, whenever you fall down, you got to get back up and go after the other kid’s toy. Or so I'm told.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pitter-Patter went Her Heart

We all have a laminated List. If you don’t you should make one. He’s #1 on my list. I stopped dead in my tracks and fell over as my heart came to a screeching halt when I saw this.



Yes, Clive Owen, I will marry you.

Small Favors

1. Yesterday I did a little autumnal shopping to prepare for the upcoming season. I broke out of my black/white/red color palette and sprung for an argyle stitching mustard colored cardigan and a navy blue thigh-length cardigan. I haven’t quite decided if the mustard cardigan is ugly so I’m going to give it a couple tries. Fingers crossed I can pull it off.

2. If one could have a favorite adjective, mine would be “autumnal”. In every sense of the word.

3. The past couple days I’ve have some serious bouts with anxiety. So much so that I've been struggling to eat and keep food in. That or I am on verge of the flu. Not sure. Had the shakes and hot flashes this morning and nothing is settling in my stomach. The kicker is that I have no idea what I am anxious about. If I knew what it was I probably wouldn't be anxious.

4. After 2.5 years in my apartment I’m getting internet. Watch out world.

5. My monthly facial is tonight. Thank the good Lord for small favors.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Worth a Thousand Words



















All images borrowed from www.weheartit.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Master Cleanse This....

Day 3 of the master cleanse came to a close, as did the master cleanse. After taking a spill on the bus (thanks to the bus driver taking a corner at lightning speed), a busy day at work, and a general gross feeling thanks to not working out and being bloated, the master cleanse lemonade just wasn’t going to cut it. I was bruised and battered.

I swung by Trader Joe’s to pick up some salad makings and fresh fruits and veggies to hold me until Thursday when I can get to the market (the highlight of my week). I was still contemplating whether or not to continue the cleanse when I looked up to the rearview and saw Jer’s crystal hanging on the mirror. I decided, life is too short not to eat food you love. Life is too short to chase quick fixes when what is needed is slow change to develop good habits. Life is too short to not gather with friends and family and share a meal. Life is too short not to take in the bounty of fall that will soon be across dinner tables.

I slowly devoured a banana while preparing my favorite fall quick-fix meal: Vegetarian Chili. A stand-by LJBH recipe includes just a can of organic kidney beans, garbanzo beans, Muir Glenn Diced Tomatoes, spices and the secret ingredient (pssst. brown sugar), simmering on medium for 10 minutes, you will be swarmed by the smells of autumn and the comfort of goodness. Green beans sautéed in garlic and olive oil make a perfectly sweet accompaniment to the subtly spicy flavor of the chili.

In summary, life is too short not to eat and autumn in just around the corner. Three shouts for both.

Grammar Rules, Except When it Doesn't

A: We're having a BBQ. I think you should come.
C: Where is it at?
A: Somewhere where they don’t end their sentences with prepositions.
C: Ohhhhh snap. (He’s good.)

In my defense I'd like to point out that this "rule" is a decendant from latin in order to avoid confusion. I do not believe my question was confusing.

But still, touche, A, touche.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sad State of Affairs

I cleaned out my fridge tonight. This is what’s left:



I'm speechless....and hungry.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just chillin'

I have been working out really hard for the last THREE days. 2 swims, 2 runs and one spin class of death. Before that I was doing manual hard labor for 2 weeks! Why do I not look like a pinnacle of perfection?! I know there is a skinny person inside of me, clearly, just chillin’.

I took me 2 hours to get to work. I promptly started apartment hunting when I sat down. I just handle it any more. But I’m poor and can’t live in a craphole again sooooo…..aces.

Introducing my recent obsession: Orangette. It keeps me up late at night and makes me hungry. Kind of like….well, ya know (nudgenudge, winkwink).

I get gloatly and have an unhealthy sense of validation when I’m right. I should work on that.

I’m considering starting the master cleanse this weekend. I’ve never done it before but if I do, I take no responsibility for the things I do and say for the following 10 days.

I started taking spirulina as a protein supplement. It’s awful. I literally have to plug my nose to take the tablets. Not sure it’s worth it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

And on the Kitchen Table was his To-Do List

They say everything happens for a reason. I’m beginning to think that there is one thing that does not happen for any reason. No rhyme, no purpose. There is no reason why parents have to lay to rest their only child.

On August 28, 2009, Jeremy Moon Lew fell asleep and never woke up. He was found in his cabin on Ruxton Island, BC at the youthful age of 36. Saturday, September 12, 2009, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of a person who lived more of a life than some people live in 80 years.

A fine carpenter, talented skier and snowboarder, and world traveler, the things people spoke about were who Jeremy was as a person. His kindness, generosity, acceptance of everyone and anyone, his energy and positive attitude were all at the heart of all the stories that were shared. I remember him as the “cool” older cousin who was always on an adventure, totaling a car, working on a movie set, hiking, always DOING something that garnered my jealousy and admiration.

I was able to say a few things at the celebration, which is a very not me thing to do, but I wanted to share a story and the last conversation I had with Jer. We had started talking about life and how his life path had gone so far and where I life was going. In that last conversation I will never forget what he said, “Live a life and live it well.” That has always stuck with me. It wasn’t until I found out about Jer’s passing did it finally really sink in. Live a life and live it well – that’s my pledge.

As we walked around Ruxton Island today, Jeremy was still very present. You could see him everywhere. From the ashes from his smokes dusting the drivers side of his boat, to his very organized home, to the books that he read and the kayaks in the living room, it still felt like he’d walk through the door at any moment. But we all knew he wouldn’t. His presence is now translated into the rays of the sun, the paths he walked, the cabin he built, the people’s lives he touched.

I called Ilsa on my drive home just to process out loud the weekend. I told her how much I hurt for Auntie Nadine and how so full of love I am. Ilsa calls experiences like these “tenderizing the heart.” While I will not understand and depth of grief and sorrow Auntie Nadine is feeling, my heart is tenderized. Just when I thought I didn’t have any great capacity, turns out I do. I think we all have a greater potential to love more, love deeper.

Lastly, when trying to draw out the bigger meaning, the lessons to be learned, I had my moment this weekend when it finally hit me. In a passing moment Nadine said, “And on the kitchen table was his To-Do list.” Of course he had a to-do list. He was always doing something. He was living, moving forward, crossing things off. He had every expectation to complete everything on that list. I started to think about my to-do list, which are really, eventually-get-around-to lists. That’s not really how I want to be living my life, because eventually never comes. “Eventually” comes and goes while you’re busy doing things that don’t really accomplish much. Or, “eventually” may never come.

So I still don’t believe this happened for a reason. There can be no reason great enough that would cause this much sorrow. But what I do believe is that from here forward, I can live a life and live it well. I can make new habits, cross of things on my to-do lists, accept more people in my life, invest in other peoples life with no expectation of repayment, offer a helping hand to someone down and out, and give more of myself, because that’s what he did. And it made this world better.



To Jeremy Moon, thank you for all you gave, all you did and living a life worth living. Those you leave here will always miss you until they see you again. Including me.