Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Miracles Of Life

"It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season —like all the other seasons— is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them." 

—Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal


Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Alias Stole My Life

1. This guy: Flinkman. He's my favorite character, bless his heart. 

2. I understand why Ben Affleck went for Jennifer Garner. Her kicking abilities are outstanding, red wigs suit her, and emotions play across her face in interesting ways.

3. Oh, my. Sexy time. 

4. This fictional family of fucked up, power hungry Russian ladies who secretly rule the world. 

5. I'm a sucker for Jack's martyrdom. So good and indomitable.

In Alias, nearly every marriage harbors a spy, characters die at least twice each, and family bonding looks like solidarity in a fire fight. I can't look away.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grandma's Hands

Gabriele Galimberti traveled over the course of a year as a couch surfer and grandson. 

His photos of grandmothers from around the world cooking their signature dishes warm my heart and make my mouth water. 

If you go and view the entire collection, you'll find each grandmother's recipe alongside her photo. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

May memories of our grandmothers' cooking live long and prosper.


Friday, October 19, 2012

'Tis The Season

 Politics in this country make this much sense...
But, yeah: I'm okay taking sides.

It's about time to exercise the right to vote. And no one puts baby in a binder.

 We're gooder than that.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Surface Of The Moon


As with glass art, I feel like I rarely see unique and elegant designs come out of ceramic studios. To my eye, Vanessa Bullick's work is an exception-- balancing sophistication with a natural simplicity. I only wish they weren't quite so petite. Picky, picky... eh?!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beauty Redefined

An internet user calling himself “european_douchebag” snapped and posted this picture online for laughs:

The subject of the feeding frenzy that ensued responded to the attention her appearance elicited by offering these insights into her embodiment of faith:

"Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told me on Facebook. If the photographer wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled! However, I’m not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention (negative and positive) that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a separateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. So, if anyone sees me at Oregon State University, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together t-shirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone."

Friday, September 28, 2012

This Exists?? Yessss!

All praise to Rathke for this gem...

"Oh, snap. Is that a liger fur you're wearing?"
"Wanna push me on my kick scooter? Thought so."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our Sweet Solar System

 Lollipops that contain planets... yum.

(That's one visionary confectioner.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fun With Fashion


Loving these insects from Uniqlo's Fall lookbook...

(What an unlikely sentence-- I'm not even sure I know what a "lookbook" is!)
I found them on Miss Moss' Compendium of Radness.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're Engaged!

Over the past year, I've put myself in charge of delivering and brainstorming relatively classless marriage proposals-- over the supermarket loudspeaker, whispered in his sleeping ear, on fast food billboards, embedded in emails about life logistics, spelled out in fridge magnets...

Evan's response?

He needed more surprise and romance in order to take me seriously. Where were the elephants, violins and fireworks?! 

Last weekend, Evan showed me how it's done:

My response? "Yes, of course I'll marry you! That's what I've been saying..."

Thank god this guy puts up with me-- I couldn't be more thrilled to share my life with him.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Moves Like Jagger

Off to the alpine zone to get this body in motion-- time to bust a move!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Itching To Go

I am craving international travel BAD these days!! To be more precise, I want to hop on the next plane to Europe and walk, eat and sleep amidst old world beauty...

Hiking hut to hut in the Dolomites? Skiing the Haute Route? Biking along the coast of Ireland? A high traverse along a pilgrimage route in the Pyrenees? The GR20 in Corsica? Yes, please.
A room down a narrow street in Lisbon? A morning spent at the Alhambra? A farm fresh meal in the Hebrides? A candlelit concert in Budapest? Don't mind if I do!
My imagination knows no bounds when it comes to this flight of fancy...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chiquita Banana


Larissa Bates uses gold leaf to rim her paintings and is inspired in part by Persian miniatures.

She explores her family's history in Costa Rica working for United Fruit in the series Chiquita Banana.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mysteries Of Gender


What does it mean to be feminine? And what, if anything, does that tell us about being a woman?

What answers do we glean from the stories we hear, witness, tell, and live?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Do You Act Like When You're Stressed?

That's what Evan asked me on the phone while I feasted alone on asparagus soup at the Middle Fork. I laughed and said he'd know better than anyone. Then I turned the question on him to buy some time...

When stressed on a fundamental level, Evan felt he acts like a snow leopard-- seldom seen, but at times a blur of teeth, fur and muscle going in for the kill. 

When stressed on a superficial level, Evan described himself as a herd dog-- running in a million directions, nipping at heels, working hard to do a good job, feeling responsible for the safety and movement of the flock.

I still hadn't come up with an answer for myself, so Evan prompted me...

A beaver?

Yeah, I could see that.

Initially, I'll be task focused-- gnawing on everything in sight, downing trees, tunnel visioned and industrious. 

If that frenzy of activity doesn't alleviate the stress, I end up having a meltdown and with a slap of my tail I'll dive into the water, retreating for the safety of my lodge.

Evan followed up with...

What do you need when you're stressed?

At its most basic, my answer was, "You."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Magic Realism


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mita's Gift...

The Return
Some day, if you are lucky,
you’ll return from a thunderous journey
trailing snake scales, wing fragments
and the musk of Earth and moon.
Eyes will examine you for signs
of damage, or change
and you, too, will wonder
if your skin shows traces
of fur, or leaves,
if thrushes have built a nest
of your hair, if Andromeda
burns from your eyes.
Do not be surprised by prickly questions
from those who barely inhabit
their own fleeting lives, who barely taste
their own possibility, who barely dream.
If your hands are empty, treasureless,
if your toes have not grown claws,
if your obedient voice has not
become a wild cry, a howl,
you will reassure them. We warned you,
they might declare, there is nothing else,
no point, no meaning, no mystery at all,
just this frantic waiting to die.
And yet, they tremble, mute,
afraid you’ve returned without sweet
elixir for unspeakable thirst, without
a fluent dance or holy language
to teach them, without a compass
bearing to a forgotten border where
no one crosses without weeping
for the terrible beauty of galaxies
and granite and bone. They tremble,
hoping your lips hold a secret,
that the song your body now sings
will redeem them, yet they fear
your secret is dangerous, shattering,
and once it flies from your astonished
mouth, they–like you–must disintegrate
before unfolding tremulous wings.    
by Geneen Marie Haugen


Friday, May 18, 2012

Climate Change

Everyone at HQ has been glued to the windows today as thunder roared overhead, hail pelted down in torrents and lightening ripped across darkened clouds. Evan left for Alaska this morning, so he'll be crossing the border into Canada tonight and sleeping under a different dome of sky.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Winning At Life


Evan and I headed out this past weekend to follow up on vague rumors of a beautiful 40 mile float on the Sweetwater River from South Pass Rest Area on Hwy 28 to Sweetwater Station Rest Area on Hwy 287. 

When Yost dropped us off (along with our dry suits, a river kayak for Evan, a pack raft for me, camping gear and no map), all we knew to expect of the adventure ahead was a host of fences across the river and five miles of Class 2-4 whitewater in a canyon about halfway along the route. 

75 miles and 22 hours of paddling later we reached the take out... 
  • happy to have been exploring together. 
  • exhausted by the effort it had taken to trace our way east along a never-ending series of oxbows.
  • having seen an amazing amount of wildlife (moose, beaver, cranes, geese, coyotes, marmots, antelope, deer, ducks) in scenic country
  • having portaged around a Class 5 waterfall and two dams, crossed close to 30 fences, and boated a fun and sustained stretch of technical (or bumpy, depending on your strategy) boulder gardens.
My best moment was in the rest area's family bathroom at 10pm on Sunday night: no pants on, my face and neck covered in baby powder, whimpering in pain as I crouched under the air dryer trying to rewarm my frozen hands so I could finish changing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happiness Don't Drag Its Feet


This balm of a song is hitting the spot tonight. It's a rocking chair, the give of barn wood, the shuffle of a boot throwing up dust, my face in the divot of Evan's chest and warm, fragrant air at twilight. Paired with a bath, detox tea and a good book, life's about as good as it gets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Facebook Flasher

Lordy. I should be cited for indecent exposure on a social forum or posting under the influence (of pain, drugs, exhilaration, exhaustion). 
In what world did I think it would be okay to say thank you for all the well-wishing and support Evan and I have received on FACEBOOK??!!                                
Ashamed of the misstep, I've abruptly run aground. Inadvertently leading folks to believe I have cancer? Tragicomedy at its finest.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Veni Vidi Vici

People, my work here is done! Peace out,

So says our gift from god. With my hCG levels limping along and nothing showing up on ultrasounds, today brought a butt shot of chemotherapy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Memory Lane Is Black And White

I watched a large amount of old movies as a kid-- I suspect I was the only patron of any age regularly browsing the classics section at our corner video store. I shuttled a parade of VHS tapes in faded covers up and down the half block to my house until I knew that stretch of pavement better than any other.

I once had a nightmare that the horsemen of the apocalypse were riding down Tenth Avenue intent on finding me. I hid in the video store and vividly remember the wraiths walking past me as I repeated my mantra that Vince (his blue Camaro parked out front) and Marianne (with her Vizsla, Red) would somehow protect me. Those two taught me my first lessons about creating community. Together, they transformed 400 square feet of dusty shelves and worn carpet into the hub and heart of our neighborhood.

They gave me space to discover the films that cast a spell over my imagination as a kid-- the films that still inform the topography of my taste:

Top Hat

A Philadelphia Story


Twelve Angry Men

The Thin Man

Arsenic and Old Lace

Pride and Prejudice

It's a Wonderful Life


Witness for the Prosecution