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Saturday, November 15, 2014


It's quiet.

At 5:30 am I can only hear the percolating of my baseboard heaters and the occasional vehicle drive by outside.  It's a balmy 26 degrees this morning as we're in the midst of a cold streak here in Seattle. I finally caved and turned on the heat.

5:30 am has been the status quo this week as a side effect of serious jetlag.  I'm just back from 2.5 weeks in South Africa, quite literally on the other side of the world.  

It was a week ago I was standing in Kruger National Park sipping roobios tea with a wild white rhino nibbling on grass not 100 yards away. It was just a week ago I end up flying home with only my wallet and passport after a mix up at the hotel that made all our belongings disappear (This is a story for a later date).  It was a week ago I touched down at Sea-Tac airport and thanked that good Lord that I'm lucky enough to call here my home.

With more to come, for now I'll sit here, drink my tea, watch the sunrise and be full.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Non-verbal Queues

I've got the full story of the rendezvous in Rome with the Italian Stallion almost ready for you but just a teaser here's how it's evolved since I've been back.  We started with emojis and pet names. *He's light blue

We've upgraded to song lyrics from the songs we sang walking through the streets of Rome.

Ya know, these songs: Diamonds and Use Somebody

BIG STEPS people. This is the most un-me like thing happening in my life right now and it makes me smile.

Monday, June 9, 2014

So Good

I've spent the last few mornings, gently waking up and shuffling out to my kitchen.  This isn't unusual but the recent mornings have been courtesy of jetlag and mind wandering. I put the coffee on, scramble 2 eggs, clean and chop some fresh strawberries and sit down at my eating table and savor the morning. The sun has been shining in, warming the place and the soul.

For the first time in four months I had the weekend to myself, home, here in Seattle.  The last 2 weeks I've been traipsing around Italy and Switzerland which is an entirely different series of posts that I'll get to soon.

I'm compelled to write this morning by an overwhelming sense of completeness, contentment and fulfillment. I have found such a great peace in the last few days that transcends vacation high the burrows deep.  It nestles within me. The completeness is comforting and enveloping.

I know it won't last forever.  It shouldn't. But right now, it just feels so good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today will be one of those days that goes into the history books as one of those days that just threw the hits and the hits kept coming.

While on my beautiful walk I get a text message for the guy I’ve been dating saying he doesn’t think we should continue to see each other.  A TEXT MESSAGE. From the guy who is “in a relationship” according to his facebook, but couldn’t tell me to my face. A guy who I was supposed to introduce to my mom tonight before going away for the weekend.  A guy who I’d spent the last couple months sleeping over Saturday nights and waking up Sunday and going for our walks to get coffee. Ya know, that guy. A TEXT MESSAGE.  Wham.

I haven’t even had my coffee yet and the universe threw a solid punch to the heart. 

 Oh but no, we were just warming up.

**Overshare warning** I get home from my walk a little nauseous and disoriented from what had just happened.  So much so I walked past my trusty café (a trusty café that would never break up with me via text message) and still didn’t get my cup of coffee. In the course of the morning my monthly visitor shows up 6 days late, on the exact same day I’m scheduled for my pre-vacation bikini wax. And because my lady books 6 weeks out and I leave in a week on my Swiss Adventure I can’t reschedule.  So, if you can imagine having your hair in your bikini region removed from the roots while your uterus, mere inches below churns in turmoil, for about 30 min is about as comfortable as it sounds.  Thanks universe for aligning oh so imperfectly on this day.

On these types of days, I’m so grateful for my friends and family.  My girlfriends who rally behind me, remind me of my value and worth, make me laugh, give me bars of real imported milk chocolate.  My guy friends know how exactly how to empathize and get into the pit of despair with me and hangout, validating that its ok to be hurt and that it is super shitty.

I’m so grateful for the work I’ve done to more easily let go, find the silver lining and move on.  There is so much goodness on the horizon that days like these slow me down a little and momentarily, but it’s full speed ahead to the next great steps.  
But today, I call "Uncle!"

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Playing Along

When I went for my routine annual physical exam I figured it’d be in spick-n-span shape, ready to carry on with my happy healthy little life.  Besides been told I need to lose 10-12 lbs to be considered in the “healthy” weight range, everything first looked fine.  Specimen of health.

Oh no, that was far too optimistic.  Blood results came back with elevated liver enzymes and all of sudden I can’t drink, take birth control, Tylenol, or vitamins/supplements.  (wheel screeching….S’cuse me?) Well, that’s shitty.  Add to the list of other things I shouldn’t have like dairy or wheat, I’m not sure what the point of living is anymore.  At least I had booze and sex as other ways to self-medicate instead of cake and ice cream.   But now this!? Totally unimpressed over here. 

So after a few rounds of blood tests and more inconclusive results, the doctor requested an ultrasound.  Sure, whatever, rub some jelly on my belly and take some blurry pictures. So in a waiting room of a lot of preggers and one homeless man, I played along and waited patiently for my ultrasound.

Do you know where your liver is?  It’s behind your ribcage, all protected from injury. I suspect that it’s because the Great Designer figured we’d destroy our livers from the inside, we should probably add extra efforts to protect from the outside. So when they want to do an ultrasound of your liver they get up into your ribcage and go poking around while telling you to hold your breath.  You know what else is there….YOUR LUNGS! You know what doesn’t feel good: trying to hold your breath when someone is jabbing at your ribcage. But fine, I kept playing along. 

But you know what, more inconclusive results, and I am not playing along anymore. Next step is a biopsy of the liver when/if the next ELEVEN blood results come back inconclusive.

My hot date tomorrow night has promised not to tell my doctor about that glass of wine I’m going to have.  That’s how I like to roll, living in a world of lies. 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Yesterday - Debt Free-dom

Today I paid off my student loan.  It was very unceremonious, a mere transaction between myself and a digitized operator.  I entered my checking account number. She said the payment would be processed in 3-5 business days and instructed me to press 9 to return to the main menu.  Just like that I was debt free.  No confetti, no streamers, no marching band. I just kept getting ready to go to my grown up job.

It’d been 9 years to the day I finished my last final, self-published my first book and walked out of the last class in which my teacher told me she was giving me the only 4.0 she was going to give that quarter.  I should have been on cloud nine.  I should have walked away with weight lifted and free.  Instead, I walked out of the building and what was my first instinct? Cry.  I cried tears of regret and fear.  I broke down and sobbed because for the first time in my life I had no idea what I was going to do next.  All I wanted to do was plow through college so I could work. I wanted to fast track life to join the rat-race work force because that’s what I was supposed to do. 

Post-college reality punched me in the gut when I walked out that door. I was in a relationship that was lovely but I knew wouldn’t really last and I wanted to be in one with someone else. My hyper-scheduled, color-coded calendar became a vast chasm of free time….but to do what?  I lived in a cute little apartment  but knew it wasn’t home and my roommate and I would go separate ways.  It was such an unknown period in life that nothing I knew felt like the right place, space or feeling.

So on that last night of college, I called my best buddy and he met me at my spot. I sat and cried while he sympathized and assured me that all would be fine.  We both knew it would, but how, we couldn’t pin point.   

The next week I researched publishing programs around the country that set me on a life path that would take me to where I am today.

I wish I could tell the scared 22 year old me that I was going to be just fine and to calm the freak down.  I wish I could tell me that I was actually going to be better than fine and that the best was yet to come. And that I couldn’t even imagine how life would exceed my expectations, throw serious curveballs, feel the highest highs and the lowest lows. I wish I could tell myself I’d see the world and fall in love with it as much as I would fall in love with my home town.  That I’d leave and come back stronger and braver. I wish I could tell myself that you can’t plan life by 15 minute increments…stop being that ridiculous and be other kinds of good ridiculous.    

Now it’s time to really do other grown up things like maybe get married, save for the future, invest, plan for retirement, have a budget, meal plan for a week’s meals, organize the closets, meet with a financial advisor, etc.  But before that, the blossoms are out and I’ll head to my spot...for old time’s sake. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Battling the Blues

We’re in the full fledges of winter and this is about the time of year where a less than desirable mood can move in so I've learned I have to actively defend myself against those wintery blues.  Here’s my random thoughts and recent activities that help keep the spirits up.

·         I think I missed my calling as a virologist.  I’m taking an online virology course and my mind is blown every time.  I’m really gearing up to highly-possibly go back to school in the summer/fall so this is a good exercise in getting my study on.   I’m also regularly practicing my Italian which I’m quite sure my neighbors loves to hear me shout “IL GATTO E SUL TELEVISORE!” (The cat is on the television) in a perfect American accent. Because that's useful.

·         I’m back at boot camp which means last week I could hardly walk and today I could hardly lift my arms over my head.  That’s the cost of getting back into shape. 

·         Thanks to the fine folks at RH2 CPAs, I only owe $4 to Uncle Sam this year.  Can’t get much more accurate than that! Best accountants around. Take that Uncle Sam….oh wait, never mind - you’ve taken your fair share.

·         If anyone would like to get me a subscription to Kinfolk, Darling or The New Yorker, that would be so appreciated and I would think of you every time I got the delivery. 

·         Action packed week coming up with a shopping night, K2 movie screening, the SAM Remix with Miro, Europhile and Travel Meet Up/Girls Night in Ballard and a few pipeline screenings.   If you want to join for any of it, let me know…more the merrier (not generally said by an introvert but I probably like you so it’s ok).  

·         Storyville coffee just opened down the street and I am in love. It’s not Italian coffee but it is the best Seattle coffee in town. Bold, but true statement.
  • I listen to this song and this song, couple times a day...maybe more than a couple times.

·         While I’ve been writing in bursts and sparingly posting, you can always follow me along on the Twitter and the Instagram (@mscsquared) (just recently released on Windows Phones so now I’m obsessed) to get the snippets.
How do you fight the winter blues?  I'm open to all tips and tricks of the trade.

Personal Partnership Portfolio Management

Let’s be honest, you really want to know about the men situation.  We call it the “Pipeline” with each candidate required to meet specific criteria and screen process before moving past each decision gate.  Should more than one candidate meet the requirements, internal and external reviews are solicited and decision is made for down selection. It’s called Personal Partnership Portfolio Management (3PM if you will) aka dating.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent…and for convenience.

Gramps – I met Gramps through a friend.  We’d spent the last couple football game watching them from various bars around the city.  He’s tall, dark, handsome, highly educated (one of those Phd types), has some fancy patents, speaks 3 languages fluently, lived abroad the last 4 years, owns his own home in Fremont.  He is the perfect gentleman, gentle, sweet, kind, a grown up man, one that reads subtle social clues, picks up on them and responds accordingly.  We went on rapid fire dates that quickly went from drinks at the bars to drinks on his couch and then couch to well….whatever. He is truly interesting and engaging and had real potential to be something more. Why do we call him Gramps?  He may or may not be approximately double digits older than I am (maybe 16 years about...).  Which at first I didn’t know if it was an issue for me but it became less of an issue the more we spent time together. When he met friends even they didn’t think he was as old as a he is. When he discovered how old I actually was I think that caused him to question what we were doing.  Which seriously men, WHY MUST YOU OVERTHINK THINGS?!?!  Needless to say after that revelation he was perfectly gracious and we slowed to a screeching halt.  We are both lovers of football and the other futbol so come the World Cup, I see a few friendly matches in our future. 

Pharma J – Pharma J is exactly who you would think I would end up.  Tall, dark, handsome, reseracher in a pharmaceutical company, Seattleite, and a little nervous and nerdy all around.  He was a really good cuddler – I fit so perfectly tucked under his arm curled up on the couch, a good cook, former basketball player - strong upper body type, a gentleman and smelled like good memories. The kind of guy that if we were to end up together would like a perfectly pleasant generically happy life.  He’s my college sweetheart incarnate, which made me very nervous. Here’s the kicker: He’s a horrible kisser - like if a chicken were to have a 5 day facial hair grow out and peck at your face, that’s what it would feel like.  This is a crushing blow.
Of folks surveyed, the first question is “Is he coachable?”  To which my response is something along the lines of, “No, absolutely not. Sister ain’t got time to coach.  This ain’t JV kid. This ain’t Minor leagues kid.  It’s the Majors.” Or a variation thereof.  And if you can’t kiss, I’m going to assume there are a few other things I’m interested in you being good at that you’re not coachable at either which is even a bigger problem. Kissing is just the iceberg and you don’t want that iceberg to eat away at your face like a woodpecker. 

The Lawyer – This guy was everything I thought I wanted, who I thought I’d end up and who of course, he is not interested.  Because that’s sort of how it’s going these days. 

The Sicilian – I met a Sicilian who owns an olive oil company in Seattle which is right in every possible way. Turns out, he's is a bold face liar about his height.  To the point where it is a deal breaker for me.  Which is really a shame because he’s super nice. There were a couple other red flags that contributed to the removal from the pipeline, but the lying about your height is just not cool.  Please don’t do this, men. Us tall ladies know and you’re just wasting both our time.

Next up in the pipeline is The Red Neck, The Swede, The CPA, The Amazonian, and 2 blonde hair blue eye types that have potential but I’m not sure.

And you guys, it’s only February…

Park Discovered!

The bestie picked a prime time to leave Seattle and move to San Diego.  Because she is smart and the rest of us are masochists braving the winter/spring of a grey Seattle.  Don’t get me wrong, you couldn’t pay me enough to live east of the Cascades this winter, but moving to the land of sandy beaches and sunshine totally wins in the winter.  So when she came back to visit recently we took an afternoon to go hiking out at Discovery Park, which for someone who’s live here her whole life, I was shocked I’d never been.    


A little nature and a lot of laughs on a beautiful sunny winter day does a body and spirit good.  Plus we had Taco Time and that is never a bad decision.

Operation Apple Strudel

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

I woke up January 3rd and the first thought in my head was “I want to eat apple strudel in Zermatt this year.” Literally, and very specifically,  that was first thing I thought of when I woke up.  I think I was dreaming about it given that just weeks earlier I had watched a travel show about Zermatt. I knew I had to go.  When I rolled out of bed that morning an article came across my twitter feed and it only confirmed my premonition. I immediately notified my travel buddy and the wheels began to move.  With a little researching and a lot of narrowing down, we’ve confirmed our next trip for May to June to go to Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Austria.  I will likely head into Italy and maybe not come back but that’s a game time decision. 

Here’s what we’re thinking.  Three to four weeks traipsing around the Alps eating fondue, chocolate, visiting castles and lakes, and maybe taking a dip into Italy for espresso, pasta and lovin’. 
 If you’re a fellow traveler like myself, watch this TEDx. There are some good messages.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From the Beginning

It was brought to my attention that I did not do a single post in the month of January.  I can confirm that this is true.  The great thing is that there is lots to write about and lots of stories to tell.  Mostly around men, football and life.  But when is it not about these things really?  So let’s start from the beginning.

New Year’s Eve

Here’s the thing about NYE: It’s really not all that bad.  This year I spent a quiet evening with a dear friend.  We went to St. Marks which allows for the appropriate amount of time to reflect on the past, think about the future and then skedaddle on out for celebrations.  It’s a beautiful scared space that I look forward to go to every year.  After St. Marks we head to Luc, a cute little place on the back side of Capitol Hill that welcomed us in with open, happy bartender arms.  There were delicious cocktails, scrumptious food, midnight toast with favors, hats and champagne. And despite the heinousness that was traffic to get home, it was all around the a good way to end the year. 

If you haven’t been to the labyrinth, it is truly an incredible experience.  It’s a path that you walk and then get to the center, spend as much time as you want there.  When you’re done, you walk out. Easy-peasy. This year on the walk to the center I thought about the year past (2013) and was overcome with the sense of the truest form of happiness and incredible gratitude. It was truly the best year of my life.  As I approached the center of the labyrinth, I could feel my heart begin to flutter.  I could feel that I was about to leave 2013 behind me and walk toward 2014.  And I didn’t like it.  On the way out of the labyrinth I thought about the future and I felt anxiety, uncertainty and concern all on a very physical level. My heart hurt and fluttered.  At that point I couldn’t imagine how much better life could get.  And why would I want that to end?  Why would I want that to end and walk toward a year of the great unknown. The “unknown”….that’s scary.

When I was talking about it with my friend right after I was overwhelmed with deep emotion and moved to tears talking about all the goodness that 2013 had given me and the fear of the future that was scary.  I’ve never quite had this feeling so I’m not sure what has been the impetus or why these new feelings had arisen but I’m wrestling with them now, and that’s ok. 

So, 2014 is here.  I don’t know that I’m ready but that’s entirely irrelevant so my exercise now is channeling that anxiety into productive activity.  Or sit at home and eat my feelings.  Either/or.
Stay tuned!