Sunday, May 29, 2011

Please, Sit At My Table

I like to imagine who I'd invite to a dinner party if I could gather anybody I wanted from history to attend. It would need to be an intimate soiree so I couldn't have more than, say, twelve folks.

It's kind of like that game, what would you grab from your burning house? ...only different.

I'm looking for good company. Folks with a sense of humor and a fascinating perspective-- the type of people you wish you were somehow related to in your life.

Who would you invite?

Albert Einstein comes to mind for me. I just love him.
I mean listen to the guy...

How do I work? I grope.

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

I envision the night going something like this...

"Thanks for bringing the wine, Albert-- it's delicious!

"Wait, what did you say about your first kiss?!"

"That's ridiculous, but I see what you're saying. Do you mind passing me the asparagus?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Am But A Delicate Flower

(click on pic for Tibetan singing bowl)

Meet my metaphor du jour:

When I lose my shit (that's the delicate flower part) it's like capsizing in a river kayak.

I am trying to learn how to roll.

The way I see it, there are a handful of possible outcomes as I practice:

a) I roll up on my own. Go me.

b) I wet exit, loose my paddle and boat, swim and eventually get flushed into an eddy.

c) I try my roll, don't get it, tap on my hull three times and get an assist from another boat's bow.

d) I try my roll, wet exit, hang onto my paddle and boat and self-rescue.

e) I try my roll, wet exit, hang on to my paddle and boat and get towed to shore.

f) I wet exit, get swept into an undercut rock and die. Worst case scenario.

g) I try my roll, wet exit, someone grabs my boat and paddle, and another boat tows me to shore.

h) I try my roll, swim and someone throws me a rope from shore. I catch it and pendulum to shore.

I could go on...

What's apparent to me is that -any way you slice it- PFDs and good company are clutch when navigating the steep part of a learning curve!

And if you're a true boater wondering whether we're talking about a combat or flat water roll here...

I don't know. My metaphor's a bit muddled on that point.

This is no pool practice though and I'm definitely not trying for an off-side or hand roll.

Not yet, at least.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dressed For Success

Sometimes a girl needs a little extra something to motivate her to run. Although I am strictly a jogger (in terms of mph) according to gym treadmills, I am one such girl.


I invested in some new clothes. Blammo.

Item #1

Item #2

Then I got some killer tips from Kelly via this article in Runner's World.

Now I jog like the wind.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Is For Swearing

The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle.
The sparrow has silenced her cheep.
Fuck your stuffed bear. I'm not getting you shit.
Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep.

What a perfect gift for new parents!

The flowers doze low in the meadows
And high on the mountains so steep.
My life is a failure. I'm a shitty-ass parent.
Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.

It's created quite a bit of buzz. Samuel L. Jackson signed on for the audiobook and NPR weighed in with this piece.

The giant pangolins of Madagascar are snoozing
As I lie here awake and weep.
Sure, fine, whatever. I'll bring you some milk.
Who the fuck cares? You're not gonna sleep.

I was re-inspired by this book after Evan's sister, Heather, fell in love with the concept and I saw it featured on the font of all goodness-- Liza Howard's doozie of a blog.

The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep.
I know you're not thirsty. That's bullshit. Stop lying.
Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.

Sweet f-ing dreams.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bridesmaids, Fuck Yeah!

Dear Universe,

Driving through the rain last night to see Bridesmaids at the Gem with Annie seriously hit the spot.
That shit was brilliant. I laughed. I cried. It was WAY better than Cats. Thank you.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winter Storm Warning

Nature knows best. But, for the record, this is ridiculous.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainy Day

It's been raining lightly all day, nourishing the new grass seed I put in the ground last weekend. Listening to it drum on the roof and feeling it's sting on my face as I biked home, I am reminded of paddling on Tomales Bay as a warm rain pinged on the surface of the water above thousands of moon jellies. A feast for the senses, it was an experience awash in magic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Tip My Hat

(click on pic for music)

Mr. Ebert, you've done it again!

As frontman for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros you won my heart, but now you've sealed the deal with your new solo album, Alexander.

(click on pic for music)


Or this (mildly embarrassing but true)...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Store Fronts

have spent their professional careers

fascinated by cityscapes,


the changing face of

New York City.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Planting

Meet the newest addition to our backyard!

This tree was a birthday/holiday present from my parentals and bros last year. Best gift EVER. The baby aspen (native to these parts) sits outside the kitchen window-- a beautiful, daily reminder of my family's love and support as I make a home for myself here (far away from the west coast).

Watering it this morning, I gave thanks and told the sapling I had high hopes that it would live long and prosper. It seemed amenable to the plan.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hey, Hermano...

If you don't get the reference, click here for your viewing pleasure. Buster slays me, God love him.

Well, then.

I have two brothers. The one on the right is named Michael. He's three years younger than me.

Although we lead our lives in very different places, I am always (seriously, ALWAYS) running into people who know and love the guy... so I get a lot of opportunities to say, "Yeah, I'm Mike's sister."

And EVERY TIME I feel like a rock star by association. Because Mike generally kicks ass and takes names and I'm lucky enough to share genetic material with him.

Case in point:

He just posted the story of his relationship with money on the Resource Generation blog. I salute the bravery it took to talk candidly about the tough subject of personal wealth. Side note: You'll notice I'm wearing a splatter-painted swimsuit in the accompanying photo. Quite the fashionista.

Did I mention he's the co-director of that cool organization (by cool I mean that it's been featured on the pages of People Magazine --the only tangible source of information about the outside world in my life-- and empowers financially rich, young people to become social change philanthropists)?

Well, he is.

He's also fierce.

Look at that game face! Mike's the anomalous straight guy on a gay rugby team called the Seattle Quake-- a fact that I love. He is Mr. April in their 2011 promotional calendar (I want to give a signed copy to NOLS' Brotherhood of the Wrench to hang in their office). Mike's got tenacity and courage both on and off the pitch.

Yet such a lover.

Mike has always attracted people to him like moths to a flame (except for the self-immolation part) because of his generous, open heart. He's all compassion (until he's not).

And a shitton of fun.

This is one of my favorite pictures-- it was taken at Mahea and Alea's wedding. That's him and Kawika, Mahea's brother, cutting the cake. He was SO stoked. Mike has always been able to make me laugh harder than just about anyone else on earth-- that's probably the greatest gift he's given me over the years.

Bottom line? He makes me proud. All the time.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

(click on pic for video)

Tina Fey's Prayer for her Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Obsessed With Bones

Not these guys...

...THESE guys.

I stayed up until three am last night watching Bones. It's a show about an FBI agent and his socially-awkward partner, a forensic anthropologist who solves murders while wearing necklaces (it boggles the mind how many necklaces this woman wears).

Evan's friend, Nick, stayed with us for awhile this winter, leaving his Netflix account and an unfinished episode behind when he flew home. We've been hooked ever since-- just started Season Three!

That means we've watched about two full days of television to get to this point. Sobering thought.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Paper Moon

These photos are making the rounds in cyberspace.

I helped myself to a serving.

Whimsy with a side of nostalgia?

Yes, please.

Click on the pictures for music.

It helps with the seasoning.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

¡Cinco de Mayo!

I'm totally over the moon about papel picado.

So festive.

So colorful.

And nothing says fun like skeletons at play!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Was Blind, But Now I See

This is a revolution two years in the making...

All of my financial accounts finally upload automatically to one place that I can access for free online-- a place of pie charts and colored graphs, no less!

The idea is that if I can see my money, I can manage my money. I think it's a sound premise-- full of promise! For the first time in my life, I'm excited to look at the state of my bank account and budget.

These are wild times.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wisdom And Humanity

Brené Brown, folks!

Her subject is vulnerability.

x2 because I have scarcity issues.

Thanks to Amy and Jagoe for the introduction!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Vikings Are Pretty Cool

In preparation for a summer working in Scandinavia, I am reading The Long Ships by Frans Bengtsson (a Swede from the last century with a sense of humor). It's all about Norsemen who roam, ravage and rampage.

Here are some of the chapter titles:

IV. How Krok's men came to Ramiro's Kingdom, and how they paid a rewarding visit

V. How Krok's luck changed twice and Orm became left handed

XI. Concerning the wrath of Brother Willibald, and how Orm tried his hand at wooing

I can get behind that sort of stuff.

Harp Song of the Dane Women

What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,

To go with the old grey widow-maker?

She has no house to lay a guest in--
But one chill bed for all to rest in,

That the pale sun and the stray bergs nest in.

She has no strong soft arms to fold you,
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you--
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side and sicken--

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables--
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar blades, falling hollow
Is all we have left through the months that follow.

by Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Musicians Are A Breed Apart

I love music. I love musicians. And I don't understand how their brains work.

Mine just isn't hooked up the same way, so I'm slack-jawed in the presence of musical greatest. It awes and amazes me. My knees buckle every time I hear Evan sing.

I also have a weakness for old southern blues men. Which means I didn't stand a chance when I was introduced to the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Their mission is to support aging Southern roots musicians who make less than $18,000 a year.

Here are some of their artists:

Dad, a donation in your name to this organization is the father's day present I've come up with for you this year...


I've never been long on patience or good at keeping secrets, but I did inherit your love of the blues.