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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.


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