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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


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


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.


On their own, I love Ellen and Taylor Swift. But together, they are an unstoppable force of goodness. I can't stop 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


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


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


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.