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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Right this Second: Bliss Again

I'm snuggled up:

+in bed;
+with an ice cream sundae with homemade hot fudge;
+watching The Daily Show, then House, then The Biggest Loser, then maybe the Hangover;
+totally guilt-free after my six mile run in the rain today.

Yep, I found bliss...again.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This I Believe: Freedom From Fear

Have I mentioned what a huge fan of This I Believe I am?  

A few weeks ago they aired an essay written by actress Phyllis Kirk.  Now I generally take contention with at least one line of the author's perspective (call me contentious). That is until now.  There isn't a single sentence below that doesn't resonate to my inner core.  If I were articulate and possessed the wisdom she demonstrates, this is what I would have written.     

Read this (particularly slowly over the italics - my emphasis) and let your world be rocked:  

"If it is accepted that the life span of the human being of our time averages approximately seventy-five years, I will, in a short while, reach the end of what may be the first third of my life. In the course of deliberately walking into the past of myself I’ve made many discoveries, some of them encouraging, even happy ones. But it disturbs me deeply to also discover that I’ve spent so much of this first portion of my life being afraid of almost everything and that I have spent so much of the remaining time in learning the myriad tricks there are by which one may hide one’s fear from others. It disturbs me to realize that in the seemingly harmless act of deluding others into believing me to be unafraid, I have also deluded myself.

The sudden awareness of the enormous part which fear has played in my living has been particularly shocking to me because I’ve always thought that I loved life in its fullest sense of loving it as I could, and I’ve always thought that I believed intensely in the experiment of living it. I believe that when we permit ourselves to fear, we negate the chance we are each given to contribute through the unique patterns of our respective lives to the meaning and validity of all life. I believe that in merely being alive we have a tremendous responsibility, and that the responsibility is not only to our separate selves but to one another.

I believe it is in fear that we commit the crimes of intolerance and prejudice and what seems to me to be perhaps the saddest, most grave crime of all, our resistance to change. Afraid, we fail to see that the change is the natural and good fruit of knowledge and growth. We cling to the familiar because it is familiar and seems, therefore, to be secure. We butcher the unfamiliar and slaughter justice with the same stroke. Frightened, we seek love only for ourselves and forget to search for love in ourselves.

In fear, we restrict the membership and close the doors of our churches. We court the man who is willing to chant the service least alien to ours. In fear, we make the manner of worship and the name by which a man identifies his god more important than a man’s knowledge of his need, and his striving for faith and a power of good greater than himself.

As children we are taught the visionless prejudices of our parents. We are taught and we, in turn, teach our children perhaps not the same prejudices, but each of them common to one another, for they are born and sustained in fear. I want a child of my own, and I want him to be unafraid. I believe that for him, freedom from fear can have its beginning now in me because I feel so strongly that in the living of my life, I have a responsibility to all life. Because of the child not yet conceived in me, I believe I must grow enough today to face yesterday’s mistakes.

I believe tomorrow is hopeful and that if I am to recognize tomorrow as promising, I must not fear its being different from today. I believe I must try with all I know—and without fear of all I don’t know—to never really be afraid again. Each of us has known guilt; each of us is alone. I believe that guilty and alone, we are all here together."


Five Pickles

I’ve signed up for this website that track calorie consumption throughout the day just so that I'm aware of what I'm eating and how much exercise I'm getting.

Things are going well. I’m on day 2. Feeling pretty good about it.

This is, until I hit lunch at Wild Ginger at lunch today.  Check this line up:

Appetizer: Buddha Spring Rolls – All vegetable fresh roll serve with a pineapple dipping sauce
Main Course: Vegetable Rice Noodles – Fresh garden vegetables are wok fried and service with fresh rice noodles in a light soy sauce with hint of basil and chili
Dessert: Chocolate Torte – A dense flourless torte rich in Belgian Chocolate.  Served with whipped cream.

Three course meal for lunch.  It's how I roll.  Consequently, I had reached my Recommndend Daily Intake (RDI) by noon.  

As such, I had five pickles for dinner.  

Welp, better luck for a more balanced calorie consumption tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I want.

American Apparel Helvetica Print T-Shirt - $20

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Wheatgrass shot, Bill?"

Blogging from the BlackBerry:

I'm sitting in my favorite cafes in Seattle. I'm waiting for my food and start to read my book (The World is Flat - 10th Anniversary Edition).  To my right are two young ladies talking about human adaptation to global warming, environmental study in acadamia. And their therapists. A man walks through the door and the counter attended yells,"Wheatgrass shot Bill?" (akin to Norm walking into Cheers!).

Then I thought to myself, "What. The. Cuss.  Where am I, what is going on, when did this happen, and why do raincoats totally ruin an outfit?" 

Guys, I am a grown up loving my life in Seattle.  Sure, not everything is perfect and a lot remains to be determined about the future, but if I stopping thinking about how I wish life would be and start recognizing and loving the way life is, I start appreciate the calm and comfort that I am finding inside.

It Is Very Simple

Sunday, January 24, 2010

From 0 to Inappropriate in 3 Seconds or Less.

This weekend was suppose to be "Get Life In Order" weekend.  Instead it turned into something way more fun.

For example:

I was tricked into running 6.7 miles. During my state of delirum I may have had an overshare moment, (that I will not share here), but I think it brought my running buddy and I closer together. Added bonus: I did not die.
I cracked the sunroof wide open for the first time this winter.  It makes my car payment totally worth it.
Post near-death run, I rewarded myself with some groceries and a jamba juice.
Then I went head to head with my closet.  After 3 weeks, I am VICTORIOUS!

And that was just Saturday!

Sunday involved some church, some serious nappage, some serious peanut butter chocolate cheesecake baked from scratch, some serious vegetarian lasagne baked from scratch and some serious time snuggling with Max. Good combo all the way around. My gut may not have appreciated all the dairy but my tastbuds rejoiced.  And we all know tastebuds trumps tummy!

As the sabbath came to a close, our conversations drifted toward the inappropriate mixed with SH singing Lady Gaga's Poker Face which sound more like dying cat than a song.

I've highlight to top 3 moments of inappropriateness.  Kids, cover your eyes.

1.) "Suck it bitches!!!" - SH post-Sequence game victory
2.) "Beware of the one-eye willy.  It'll get you every time." - LL  (referring to the jack in a deck of cards, but we all know what she really means.) (ps. amen)
3.) "We can just take it up the back." - LL (referring to how to get a piano into the new place but we all know what she really means.)

Giggles ensued after all comments which just goes to show that we might look all righteous and prudish on the outside.  But on the inside, we're just like you, you dirty minded-heathens.

Next weekend: Get life in order.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This I Believe: It's Been a Privilege

I have been in a respectfully heated debate with a co-worker who stands at the opposing end of my political perspective.  He’s a hard core republican who actively participates in the civil process, writing letters to our public servants from mayors to governers for answers to questions.  I really admire his proactive approach. I tend to sit more left. Well, really left. I don't remember that last time I voted republican, if ever. 

Many times we have come to just disagree on most every political and probably philosophical topic.  But this week's conversation really lit my fire and I've been processing it over the past couple days.   

I've been trying to summarize our argument and where each of us stand on the topic, but really can't do it justice in the space that is allowed here.  But our conversation inspired me here to try and better convey why and how the notion of privilege 1.) not only exists, but 2.) our need to recognize that we, living in this time and place, is an absolute privilege.  

Thus, my argument is this (to which he will categorically disagree):

Some people are born with more advantages than others.  Some are born at a greater disadvantage than others.  The reality exists that there is an indisputable stratosphere of privilege levels. 

We cannot confuse the idea of privilege with the widely held (and I would argue naive) belief that all men are given equal opportunities to achieve success (however "success" is defined in the capitalistic America). This is not to be confused with all men are created equal - which I'm still on the fence about.  Take these examples of privilege: It is a privilege to be born in America, white, straight, a man.  It is a privilege to have access to clean water, fresh food, vehicles, a disposable income, clothes on our backs, roofs over our heads.  It is a privilege to have your health, gainful employment, access to uncensored free education and the right to vote.  Because the reality is, not everyone has even just one of these things.  

Case(s) in point: This week I went to National Geographic LIVE’s presentation of Mick Davis' lifelong adventure of documentary filmmaking in Africa.  He showed a variety of clips from a girl (15 years old?) who lives on her own in the slums of Johannesburg, South Africa, and walks 3 miles every day to school in a donated school uniform and one pair of shoes.  She eats one meal a day when she gets home.  Her father is absent and her mother is in a hospital bed dying of AIDS.  

He showed a clip of Congolese prisoners who has started a choir in the maximum security prison.  Many of the inmates were gang members, robbers, murders, rapist, and former soldiers from the civil war.  One kid in particular had survived beatings, stabbings, gunshots and a glass bottle to the face that scarred much of his face.  He wasn't even 18.  The fact that he was even alive seemed to be a small miracle.  His story was not unusual.

He showed clips of men, Congolese park rangers who have devoted their lives to defending the Congolese national forest from poachers, war lord, and looters.  They do all of it for little to no pay.  

These documentaries further emphasized this notion of privilege.  Half way around the world, people live lives at a level of destitution and poverty that we in America cannot even imagine.  People around the world live under such political oppression they take their lives into their own hands when they vote.   There are women in this world who live in the confines of patriarchal dominance exercised through abuse and intimidation tactics. There are children who forgo an education only to work in fields, on farms, and in factories to provide what little financial assistance they can. 

Right here in our own backyard we are witness to domestic violence, abandoned children, poverty, a growing obese and unhealthy population.  We are witness to subversive racism, homophobia, political apathy, and over consumption of material goods.  

I guess it’s hard to see when one has privilege until you go with out.  Until you are homeless you cannot truly grasp the comforts of home.  Until you are truly without food or water, can you really appreciate the meals that you eat.  Until you are sick, disabled or hurt can you really understand what a privilege it is to have your health.   

I will argue until my last day that there absolutely exists a system of privilege that permeates our global society.  I offer no solutions to level the field, nor do I necessarily believe that leveling the field is the best option for survival of the human race.  But I do wholeheartedly believe that we must acknowledge the system before we begin to make grounds towards creating societies that do not oppress, but uplift.  The more we do not recognize the hierarchy of privilege and continue to believe that we all have the same right, advantages, access to resources and opportunities the  longer we will continue to ignore reality that continues to oppress people.  The longer we refuse to acknowledge it, the longer we live blinded to the solutions that will fix a very broken world.

Phew, glad I got that off my chest...deep sigh..  

Monday, January 18, 2010


You Can Thank Me Later

My bed is so snuggly. So snuggly that I often worry that if I slept as much as I could, people might confuse me as someone with chronic depression. In fact the opposite would be true. If I could sleep and be in my bed as much as I wanted, I might be the happiest person on earth.

Which is why, when the alarm goes off at 5:30 this morning I am pissed. I’m pissed and I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train thanks to the 6 (ish) mile run on Saturday. After hitting snooze for AN HOUR, I justified that I could shower, blow dry and dress in 30 minutes leaving my make up for when I got to work. Brilliant.

You might not know this about me, but I have a knack for narrowly catching my bus. My new commute involves about a 4.5 block sprint every morning, generally not in sprint appropriate shoes. And because I catch the last bus out of my neighborhood to downtown, it’s a do or die situation. About mid-sprint (hobble) on this morning’s commute, I realized that I forgot my make up at home. Cuss. Now the world will know just how dark the circles under my eyes are. Cuss, again.

As I barely make my bus, I dive into my morning reading to look down and have it dawn on me that I am wearing the same sweater I wore on Friday! Fashion faux paus for sure! Cuss.

However, I was particularly proud that in my hurry this morning I was able to pack a lunch. Lots of healthy good treats. To thwart my efforts, Top Pot Donuts awaited for me at work. I caved. Cuss. But, how could I not? It wasn’t even 8:30 and that old fashioned donut was shouting my name.

The great thing about starting off the week like this: it only goes up from here!

For all those who didn’t work today, I took the hit for how lousy your Monday was going to be. You can thank me later.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure

I use the idiom, “I’m pretty sure….” a lot.  It's ripe with sarcasm and acknowledges that I might not be right, and leaves room for uncertainty for the narrow chance I might be wrong.

Here are some real life examples from today:

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat dinner last night. As much as I love to eat it really does amaze me that I forget sometimes.

Part of me wants to become a teacher so that I can do funny stuff that I read about on  I’m pretty sure this would make my life exponentially more hilarious.

The first sentence of my horoscope today: You may be frustrated by the lack of fun in your life now.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t need the stars to tell me this. 

In other irrelevant news:

A grown adult said to me yesterday, when I causally asked what he was up to, “Going to the gym.  Ya know, doing some curls for the girls.”  This is why I don’t do small talk.

We got new name tags at work.  Mine said, “Super Fabulous.”  I thought that was a bit much. I asked for it to be changed to “Master of Mediocrity.”  Let’s be honest,  it’s better to under promise and over deliver than the opposite.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some Days:

I feel like a cross between Russell and Nietzsche. Today was a Lil' John Day.

This is probably the only thing Lil' Jon and I have in common.  Well, that and badcuss rapping skills.

From the Story Archive: The Girl Who Bit It Hard

I think I've mentioned that I have about five really good stories from my life in NYC. Here’s a goody. I only sent this story to my family and very close friends. Now, it's for all for the virtual world to enjoy.

“It has been noted that the element of grace has elude my genealogical make-up. This causes me to be a bumbling accident waiting to happen. Thus, the following tale is evidence yet again, that grace, and now my pride, have both escaped me.

I have these great new shoes. These BCBG black pumps, in a word, are stunning. Paired with my black pinstripe pants, it makes for a great match. However, it a disastrous duo when running down the very narrow slick marble stairs of the Flatiron building. Under deadline and with an ad the needed to get out the door, and tons of changes to be made, I ran from the editor’s office 3 flights down to my cube. Four stairs from the bottom, my heels tangled up in my pants cuff causing my full body to cascade down the stairs. I splatted on to the 15th floor lobby, paralyzed with pain and mortification. Yes, my friends, splatting…it's a sound and I made it when landing.

I initially fell on to my knees, using my shins as skis to ride down the rest of the stairs. Like a scene out of a movie, my glasses, badge and files go projectile flying as i proceed to fall face first on to the linoleum floor. Alone, and using my remaining energy to hold back my tears , I was sprawled on the floor unable to get up, and couldn't reach the lobby phone to call anyone. I was literally stranded face down on the lobby floor…just picture it.

Then I heard the elevator ding. “Oh perfect,” I thought. The VP of Publicity, a raging old bitter gay man, came rushing to my rescue. I'm waiting for the moment when the body realizes what has just happened the waves of pain rush…like when you stub your toes and you know it’s really gonna hurt but the full severity hasn't quite hit yet. It hit me right as he was stepping off the elevator. After much maneuvering to get up, I couldn't actually feel my legs. The VP was able to get me inside the entry way to sit down on a rolling office chair with as little commotion as a flaming old gay man can do. Then, with my luck, the VP of Marketing comes around the corner, observes the situation, and proceeds to send his assistant to HR to get ice. He then proceeds to check my ankles and knees for injuries. Rolls up my pant legs, to my horror blood is oozing down from each knee-cap. Well that's just perfect. My injuries included bleeding from the knees, a messed up shoulder from initial impact, immediate bruising on the shins from the stairs, and severely wound pride.

The assistant who went to go get ice was taking too long so the VP of Publicity runs upstairs to our annual holiday party, yelling "Some girl from the Ad/Promo department just bit it hard down the stairs and I need ice!" I find this out later as I hobbled up to the party and a friends see me hobbling toward him saying, "OMG, you're the girl! I didn't think it could be…but it sure looks like it now." Word traveled fast. There went my under-the-radar approach to work and I was now “The Girl Who Bit It Hard.”

Once things got more situated a little, the two VPs ROLL me down the hallway in office chairs, legs propped up on one end, me sitting on another. Passing everyone’s' offices bleeding, bruised, and mortified, I couldn't believe this was actually happening to me. A flurry of commotion and screams of "Oh my god what happened?" followed as I relived the story again and again. All the while, holding my tears back, at least for the moment.

So there I was, ice packs on knees and ankles, still mildly shaking from shock, and a scorning look from Ilsa who thought I had fainted from forgetting to eat, I started to cry. The only thing I could muster up to say was, “We still need to get the ad out the door.” Brilliant.

I was then faced with the challenge of walking home. Unable to bend my knees, I slowly hobbled down to the subway, then back up the subway stairs to street level, and finally up our 2-story walk up. I had finally made it home. Mustering my remaining energy I made cereal for dinner and eventually crawled into bed.

I had briefly let E know what had happened so that she wouldn't be horrified when she came home. In true Roommate of the Year fashion, E walks through the door with a present for me: flannel pajamas. I would have jumped for joy if I physically could. I changed into the pajamas and E made sure I was comfortable. Here's what the damages looked like, notice the bruising, something I am particularly good at:

The day was finally over and we were waiting for news of the imminent transit strike and the 40 block walk to work. In my current condition this would be near impossible. When I woke up in the morning I felt like I have been trampled by a herd of elephants, run over by a fleet of semi-trucks, and thrown down a flight of stairs (weird), alas, no transit strike so I hobbled to the subway.

Anyhow, there's my long story. Add to To Do List today: regain my dignity.”

I wear those flannel pajama pants often and always think of E. I have scars on both my knees to remind me of that fateful day that I’d rather forget. I still have those BCBG pumps and pinstriped pants. I’ve got a really great story.

All it cost me was my pride.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We. Are. Winners.

Here's the most sobering conversation of the day:
(...this coming off the tail of PB's 27th birthday yesterday.)

Me: hey, do you remember when we had a fabulous apt on the upper eastside in Manhattan? Remember that?
PB: lol, yes
Me: when we were ohhhh....22
PB: we were eager to embrace life and now at 27 we've retreated to our parents homes and are frantically trying to sort out careers and find stable healthy relationships that lead to marriage
PB: lol, like i said, life is just peachy
Me: we. are. winners.

Welcome to the Big 2-7 PB! It's only up from here!

This I Believe: World Peace

I believe we can achieve world peace if we all went 10mph above the arbitrarily designated speed limit. Coupled with learning how to merge, world peace would surely fall easily into place.

This I believe.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How I End Sentences With Adjectives and Other Random Thoughts

- I think “guaranteed” and “grateful” are spelled stupidly. And yes, I just ended a sentence with an adjective, get over it.
- I found a typo in my LSAT lesson book. I gushed with pride for just an instant.
- Two things I am not: a t-shirt and jeans girl or a thrift store shopper. I hope one day I can be both.
- Jesus said, “Love everyone.” I think I might try that out.
- The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This I Believe: Friendship

There has never been a time in my life where I believe more strongly about the importance of friendship than at this moment. Allow me to explain.

I’ve never been very popular (“popular” in the high school definition). I’m the epitome of an introvert and like small group friend gatherings. Any more than 4 people I struggle with, and even at that, sometimes I get super quiet. Which means, when I do hang out in larger groups of people, particularly groups of people I don’t know very well, I might as well not even be there. I tend to blend in, keep to myself, or try to look busy or otherwise occupied. This means that I often give off a snobby aloofness. It’s not intentional, it’s just a fact. And it’s a fact I’m working on so get off me.

The best friend I ever had was B1. No doubt the romantic element to our friendship helped to fortify our friendship and vice versa, and maybe it was the circumstances of our time and youth, but there was something in explicable about the depth of our friendship. It was also the depth of or friendship that made the ending of the romantic relationship so difficult. It wasn’t just losing a boyfriend, it was preparing the way to inevitably lose my best friend. Ten years have passed since the beginning of our friendship and I think about that often. Despite the fact we haven’t spoken in a couple years, but I believe he was critically essential to defining who I am today and for that, I am grateful for what we had, who he was and the roles we played in each other’s lives.

My best friend is a whack job and I mean that in the nicest way possible. There isn’t a person in this world I trust more to be honest with me, who genuinely cares about me, my future, my friends (even the ones she’s never met or barely knows), my life. I don’t want to get into her so much, because really, this is about me. But I want to continue with this idea, that I am who I am and where I am today because of her. I’ve come to understand that there is nothing absolute or guaranteed in this life, but if there were one person I believed who will be around, it would be her.

More recently the friends I’ve been spending the most time with are the newest friends. I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some of the most amazing women for I feel fortunate enough to call my friends. Its also true that my history of friendship have been predominantly dominated by men but for the first time in my life the relationships with my women friends have been the strongest, most satisfy and personally enriching. The women in my life now are strong examples of kindness, generosity, honesty, patience, faith, endurance and love. As I spend more time with them, I can see how their example and perspective help define this time in my life. And for that I am eternally grateful.

And let’s be honest, if I had more male friends most of them would likely move into the “friends with benefits” category….just sayin’.

So then, what is it that I believe about friendship?

I believe the most enriching and defining friendship elevates you to the next level of existence. I believe that friendship is at the root of lasting relationships. I believe that best friendships worth participating in are the ones that are reciprocated but the ones that are not are usually the ones that need it the most.

My truest belief is that most friendships are transient. Being transient doesn’t make them any less significant or meaningful, it just means the time you have it is finite (like most things in this mortal life). I believe that people enter and exit our lives at the exact moment they are suppose to. What this means is the participation in friendship needs to be present today, because tomorrow may never come.

Additionally, I believe friendship is completely voluntary. Sure we are commanded to love one another, blahblahblah, but the reality is that, if you don’t want to engage in a friendship with someone, then don’t. You can’t force it, you can’t expect it, you can’t pretend to want don’t. No shame, no hard feelings, but obligatory friendship is mere façade and a waste of time. Neither of which I am particularly interested in.

I owe much to my friends for my survival here. More than they will ever know. I believe more now than ever before that the reason that all the goodness I have in my life is because of the people that have been put in my life that I am blessed enough to call my friends. Sometimes I think about the trials I’ve been though, particularly in the past couple years and part of me believes that those trials were to prove the greatness to which my friends measure up. Because I believe, its when in your darkest hour, the light of true friendship, shines the brightest.

Thank you, friends, for being that light.

This I Believe

In the 1950s Edward R. Murrow started a radio program that highlights essays written by famous, infamous, and everyday people. Each essayist focuses on a core belief they have. It could be anything from the arts, the nature of man, God, truth, justice, all things ethical, all things spiritual, all things that anyone could have an opinion on that might matter in a higher regards.

Today, Bob Edwards rebroadcasts the originally aired essays in his weekly radio program. (Saturday morning on NRP if you’re in the Seattle area ) This time around, the essays are broadcast in the context of contemporary conversation of someone close to the original author or a contemporary “expert” on the presented topic. I tend to dismiss the modern conversation and focus on the essay itself. (Contemporary conversation about the past is a topic for a future post, but foundational to the root of all my issues with my English university classes…but I digress.)

In that same vein, I wanted to start a series about things that I believe. Its easy for me to say that I believe x,y, and z, but to be able to articulate why, how and the consequence of those beliefs, I find are underdeveloped. Sometimes it just enough to say, “I believe….” and leave it at that, but most of the time, there is a reason or model from which a belief is constructed or developed. I believe that process is just as important as the conclusion.

So as I get rather verbose, understand that these thoughts are not finitely developed or concrete, but rather, examined, evolving, growing and likely changing, like most things in life. Work with me here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Right This Second


Could today get any more musically amazing?!

It's Not Even Noon

Comment of the Day Winner!

me: look at your pair of balls you grew...
MK: seriously. and you'd think they'd feel awkward, but they don't

Lucky. Duck.

You know when you hear a song that you're just suppose to hear at that moment. This was my moment today:

Thanks Garth. (Despite the fact you're pretty creepy.)

AND THEN, as I'm chatting with MK and our song comes on the radio:

Two moments in a row! Both involving country music?! Lucky. duck.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ghost Writer: Chapter One

A very talented and gifted writer has surfaced here at ONPC to unfold a love story in the making. Gosh I hope it's true.

I can just see make your grand entrance a little late, all done up from the day, perfume lingering past the random hot guy that is there
you take a seat right behind him and instantly feel the connection
he's tall, dark, and SMART. He knows all the answers, but does not want to show off to much.
he turns around to pass back the handout and as your hands brush you both feel it and blush.
(are you liking this romance novel yet)
you get a little nervous and don't know what to say so you just smile and pass the handouts to the person behind you
class is a can't focus because the way his hair curls up in the back makes you want to run your fingers through it.
class ends and you slowly pack up as you wait for him to be a man and make his move
he does and you leave class with a "study date"

I am so excited to see what happens in Chapter 2. Maybe we can just fast forward it to "They lived happily ever after, having really awesome and frequent nudgenudge winkwink." (too much?)

Cuss Yeah!

If you haven’t seen the Fantastic Mr. Fox yet, you should drop everything you are doing and see it this very instant. I haven’t enjoyed a movie that much in a really long time.

The highlight of the movie is not what is in it, but what is NOT in it. There is no swearing, despite the no shortage of opportunities for it. In Wes Anderson’s script writing brilliance, where is would have been appropriate to use a swear word, he instead substituted the potential swear word with the word, “cuss.” It was flawless and hilarious every time.

(My one sentence soap box about swearing: I tend to believe is just poor word choice rather than a reflection of or morally plummeting society, but whatevs).

In that same vein, my attempt is to swear less substituting any potential for a swear word with the word “cuss.” Its worked out so far.

In the end, I might just say cuss it and keep it real.

Stay tuned.

To Do

After reviewing last year’s resolutions, I feel pretty good at succeeding in those areas. For this year’s I’ve opted for a more "To Do" approach to this year. I have compiled the following list of 5 things to do in 2010.

1. Learn how to drive Dad’s truck. He is not so excited about this.
2. Run third half-marathon – destination to be determined
3. Wear sensible shoes
4. Floss - even though I've never had a cavity and show no signs of gum disease, I still get the lecture.
5. Break a sweat once a day

This shant be too hard. Fingers crossed.

That’s a Wrap – A Three Part Series

Some people love new years. Some people don’t. I’m generally apathetic towards it. I think my apathy stems from a lack of understanding of the “holiday”. New Years used to be the anniversary of B1 and I so that seemed like a more legit reason to celebrate. But simply because the earth orbits around the earth for some arbitrary 365 days, ehhh, not so much a big deal. So, I’ve always wondered why the ending of a year necessitates a celebration.

But it does, so with that, the institution that is New Years encouraged me to make plans. So on the last day of 2009, I made a conscious effort to eat well, spend time with friends, and ruminate on the last year.

In this three part series I will break down the night’s festivities. Get excited.

Stage 1 – The Last Supper

For our last dinner of 2009, we gorged ourselves at Café Flora. I opted for the black bean burger with a wild green salad and a bucket of yam fries. That’s right, a bucket. Save your jealous judgment. MD ordered my personal favorite, the root vegetable ravioli with a puree and toasted pecans. LS made the best call of all with a curried butternut squash peanut soup which I could have eaten by the gallon. LS’s brother opted for the Tacos. We capped it all off with the vegan carrot cake. Gorged and satisfied it was the perfect last meal of 2009. Not much else to add except that I resolved to visit Café Flora many times in the coming year.

Stage 2 – The Labyrinth

From dinner we headed to St. Mark’s cathedral to walk the Labyrinth. MD had told me about this but I really didn’t know what to expect.

I really am struggling to articulate the experience so here is an excerpt from the handout:

“The labyrinth is an ancient tool for contemplation and prayer. Found in spiritual traditions worldwide, the form that has become most popular in recent decades is modeled on the eleven-circuit labyrinth built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral early in the thirteen century.

“The labyrinth is not a maze. There is one path in to the center, and the same path out. Walking that physical path through the winding circuits make tangible our spiritual and psychological pilgrimage in three stages: the journey in, the arrival and the return. These stages are often compared to the traditional three stages described in mystical literature: Purgation, Illumination and Union.

“The labyrinth is both an individual and a communal process. Like prayer and meditation it can be done alone, but for many its true significance is felt when walking with others, whether strangers or friends. Everyone walking follows their own unique way, and yet everyone is literally on the same path, going to the same center. On the labyrinth this idea is no longer an abstraction but a lived reality.”

I removed my shoes, walked to one of the pews and kneeled in quiet prayer. I prayed about the future and the strength to let go of the past. When I started to walk the labyrinth I really didn’t think about much but was more trying to be in the present. This is something I am working on to do more of. As I walked, it was interesting to see how that action so paralleled much of the pattern of life. You pass people, some step aside so you can pass. Sometimes you step aside so they can pass. Sometimes you past the same people. Sometimes you pass people you know, they stop to give you a hug and you keep walking. Some people you stand at the center and then they leave before you get to know them and sometimes you leave before they get to know you. Sometimes you walked the path alone, sometimes you walked with people all jammed up in your business. Every step I took, I thought about different people who fit in all of these situations.

After walking the labyrinth, I felt contemplative and calm. I walked back to the pew where I started again and started to read the Common Prayer book. While thumbing through I found the following prayer written by St. Francis of Assisi that resonated with my heart. He says this:

Lord make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred let us sow love; where there is doubt, faith; where there is discord, union; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood and understand, to be loved so to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born eternal life. Amen.

The whole experience was powerfully moving. I think this will be a NYE tradition and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Part 3 – That’s a Wrap

While I was suppose to be up north at a party, poor scheduling, delays and traffic made that plan impractical. So I headed over to hang with the ladies and a little dance party action. To wrap up 2009, we busted moves, watched the fireworks and curled up to watch one of the greatest movies of all time. A sing a long may have been involved. And of course, we took a few minutes to capture the beginning of our new year.

Always keeping it cool.

Always keeping it crazy.

But above all, always keeping it classy.

I’ve decided the trick to enjoying New Year’s Eve is no different than trying to enjoy any other day. Eat well. Be around people you like. Sing at the top of your lungs. Laugh as much as you can.

Hello, 2010. It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.