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Monday, August 29, 2011

Do you need a smile? Here, I got 4

Current State of Affairs - (written) two weeks ago

I’ve been having some pretty solid pity parties recently. Like real solids. Like blanket on my floor with an empty bag of Milano cookies, watching SATC 2, eating pizza. I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor if the sofa I bought fit through my door but that didn’t happen how I had planned it. Last weekend I built several pieces of furniture that resulted in a smashed knuckle, a burnt knuckle, a totally wicked blood blister and bruised knees. Once thinking myself handy I’m beginning to re-evaluate the validity of that attribute. I’m blaming the increased pity parties to my nearing birthday which I’m getting less excited about. More pity parties about my single state of affairs. More pity parties about not being where I am in my life where I thought I would be. I wish I was kidding about this whole paragraph.

Just this last week, I had a monster sized zit on my chin. You know the blistering kind that just pitch a tent on your face waiting for you to exhaust all will power not to pick at it. You know, those kinds…I had one.

So embarrassed by it I stayed in Friday night, (which isn’t unusual for the introvert me but admittedly I did turn down plans with strangers so as not to be seen in my current state) and watched a movie with myself, shielding the public from the horror that was Mt. Vesuvius on my face.

However, at work we work hard to combat the ills and evils of the world. Ills and Evils I don’t know. Bill Foege, a fellow at the foundation and a gentleman instrumental in the eradication of small pox, recently gave a commencement speech to the Cal Berkley School of Public Health that I found absolutely inspiring. In it he talks about a society that doesn’t know the dangers and ills of the world that not too long ago was plagued polio, MMR, pertussis, Hep B, TB, and a host of other diseases, mostly prevented by vaccines and improved global health standards. We are further removed from that reality, which is a major accomplishment in the history of global health and mankind. However, this distance created has also made it difficult to connect to the issues where those preventable yet deadly diseases are very much a present day reality for those without access to vaccines, those still entrenched in poverty, lacking access to clean drinking water and a place to take a shit. Their reality is so much further from the world that we know in the bubbled first world.

So as I sit in my cozy, woefully under-furnished one bedroom apartment, unmarried, gainfully employed, with health insurance and my physical, mental and emotional health (that last one is questionable sometimes), tap water, clothes, a fridge of food (sort of), clean clothes from an electronically operated washer and drier. I am grateful for all the things I don’t have. Maybe I get a giant zit on my face every once and awhile, have a few extra pounds with a death grip on my ass and thighs and a sink full of dishes I’m too tired to do; but I don’t have a chronic disease; I don’t live within the bounds of poverty; I don’t worry about where my next meal will come from; I don’t suffer…at all really.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I don’t have in my life and have found myself very grateful.

For my friends who fed me tonight and sent me home with leftovers and truffles. For a faith and belief in goodness, service, forgiveness and agency. For sunny days, although few. For laughter, oh man I love to laugh. For popsicles, ceiling fans, and a sunroof. For access to health care, the interwebs, and freeways. For farmers markets and farmers. To be born in this time, space, longitude and latitude.

In this context of what I do/don’t have, I’ve decided to let go of the idea of where I thought I would be at this point. Its wasteful of time and energy to think of things that might have been or what you thought would be. In that vein, for those trying to let go of something, maybe now is the time.  If I can, you most certainly can.

Trifectas of Goodness - Summer Style

I can feel summer winding down which I use the word "summer" in the loosest sense of the word.  I'm not even sure we hit 90 degrees this year.  In fact Im pretty sure you could count the number of days that hit 80 on one hand.  And while summer was short lived around here, I've been having a real good time. Here are a few highlights, in trifecta form.

1. ) Farmers markets in full force: You could probably go to a different outdoor farmers market in Seattle every night of the week. I do serious damage here.  How could you not?

2.) Home away from home: I headed up to the Sunshine Coast the Keats Island one weekend.  It happened to be the weekend that just a year before I'd celebrated ending my retirement and entering the work force again by diving into the shallow end of the ocean.  As always, Uncle O made his famous best from scratch waffles (everyone says they havee the best waffle recipe but this one actually is the best). We went crabbing to catch starfish, and spent the summer night with food, friends and family.  It really is heaven on earth.

3.) Seattle Art and Sea Fair: I'm lucky enough to count a co-worker as a friend.  A friend who lives on Lake Washington with a viewing deck (maybe she has 2 viewing decks).  I snuck out of the office early to "work from home" and "worked" while the Blue Angels practiced.  We did actually far as you know. And if it were any secret, its little treasures like the rusty art installation of washington, makes me love Seattle more and more (I'm not even sure that's possible).

4.) THEY GOTS MARRIED! The bride was beautiful. He got one of the good ones.  LL-B added her own personal touch with the cake topper and bouqet, both of which I envied. I even put a dress on for the occasion which we all know how rare that is. Best wishes to the happy couple.

5.) At the tracks:  My boss invited me to attend the Emerald Downs Primera Esperanza, and event organized by his wife to honor the hispanic community and the contributions they make to the horse racing.  Having never been to the race tracks, I jumped at the opportunity for the pure experience of it and boy what a hoot it was.  I put $2 down on a horse to take first at the advice of my boss and won!  $1.40!  Of which I promptly invested in an ice cream cone on the way home.  Best investment ever.    

6.) Stace's Dirty Thirty - On Saturday night, neslted in one of Wallingford neighborhood backyard's, you could have see magic in action.  To celebrate her three decades of existance, Stace put on a private performance of her very own songs, which were just lovely.  The night carried on with treats and smores which, what more could you ask for on a summer night? Not much.

So, as you can see, summer has been good to me. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Today's been a good day.
The sun is out.
Church was uplifting, unifying and nourishing.
Had a burrito and ice cream for lunch.
And watched this, renewing my faith in finding love:

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

I start blogging again for realies soon.  Been a rough couple weeks but feeling an upward trend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Conversation of the Day

8:24 am

Bill Sr.: Good Morning!
Me: (Step on elevator - startled) Hi…uhhh, good morning
Silent elevator ride
Elevator Narator: 5th Floor
Bill Sr.: Have a great day!
Me: Thanks, you as well!
Me: Step off elevator, exhale, immediately starts sweating.

So, not so much of a conversation of the day but how to start a day sweating.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Let’s be honest, August is the worst of all months. It’s (traditionally) hot. There are no holidays. It’s one of the longer ones. It’s the month the drags on as we eagerly wait for fall, which is clearly the superior of all seasons. And while we’re waiting for fall, this is also the time I’m waiting for my birthday to arrive, which I get pretty excited about for so many reasons.

But alas, here it is August. I’m down to just over a month to turning 27 for the third time. WHAT?! And as I’m inching my way closer to 30 I’m becoming more reflective. Which as a Virgo introvert I bet you didn’t think that was possible. With this weekend’s solo road trip, I found my favorite moments were singing real loud to my guilty pleasure music and spending a lot of time thinking.

I never thought I’d get to 30. Not in a I thought I’d die way but in that it seemed so far out it seemed impossible that it would ever show up. There was a night last week, climbing up and down on a chair edging my ceiling, a sweaty hot mess and while assembling my Ikea dining room table, thinking I was certainly too old to own Ikea furniture, I thought, wow, this is not where I thought I would be at this age. After a recent proposal and follow by a ending of said proposal shortly thereafter, moving to my own place, I’ve become increasingly aware of my solo status. Also, not where I thought I’d be at this age.

But alas, for better or worse, here I am. No matter what age you’re turning, this is always a good reminder: wear sunscreen.

ps. In the truest form of narcissism, I’m going to do a 30 things to do by 30 list which seems perfectly cliché. So stay tuned for that. I will leave 3 spots open for suggestions. Suggestions will be vetted and then ignored if any of them involved eating weird things or plummeting to the earth from high places at an unhuman rate of speed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


When an English major and an English as a Second Language speaker collide:

Me: Jose, we’re in a pickle.
Jose: Ok, I don’t know what that means.
Me: Explains situation.
Jose: Resolves situation. Ok, pickle solved.

I giggled...