Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oh boy.

Luckily I was already unemployed for some time this summer and was able to check off thing on my task list that are definitely not as fun during the summer months, like painting the bathroom. Done. Check.

As most people in my world know, I sort of have trouble functioning without making lists. I’ve written about it here before, but I feel it gives me direction and also an insurance policy, sort of. Like, if it’s on the list I will likely make it happen. Having returned home with my mind in a swirl I hadn’t even considered the possibility of a list. I think a part of me felt like taking a break considering Tyson and I had endless, running intangible lists of everything we wanted to see on our trip and I just wanted to chill. For once. But, in response a friend’s recent blog post, I am now on board with making a list. I will admit though, this list is less lofty than in years past. I am not training for ANYTHING and I’m not summiting anything either. This is not to say either of these activities won’t happen or if someone reaches out with a request for a partner in said activities that I won’t jump on board. I am easily persuaded.

Well, here we go.

The existing List and also things I’ve added to the List as goals:

Make polenta
Finish sewing the bags for cornhole.
Outfit my bike for touring – do a touring trip. Likely on the peninsula and possibly in August or September.
Camp WITH TYSON, in the North Cascades. Maybe in the fall?
Sit on my rooftop deck more. Hopefully with friends. 
Bake a triple layer chocolate cake with homemade whipped cream frosting.
See Jack Johnson at the Gorge – September.
Make more taboulleh.
Get ripped. This may seem superficial but I want to start building more muscle. I AM in my thirties after all.
Buy tons of fruit from a farm or farms and freeze it for winter.
Make a pizza with pumpkin on it – just like in New Zealand and Aus.
Continue writing for my book, and hopefully not get discouraged and scared and quit.
Sign up for a memoir writing class that starts in the fall.
Sign up for the PMP certification class that also takes place in the fall.
Start flossing on a regular basis.
Learn to cook something new at least once a week.
Run a cumulative twenty miles per week.
See Ira Glass speak in August
Backpacking in Utah in October
Bike to work at least once a week – when it’s nice. Sorry, I’m fair-weather.
NYC with my college girlfriends in August!
MN with my family in August!
Spend more time with Willa, my mentee, because she’s a pretty awesome lady and I am continually amazed at what I learn when I see her. No Jennifer, this is not just because you are her mom and I know you read this!
Try to be more generous. Very general I realize, but hey, it’s a real goal of mine.
Play more tennis!

When the weather is shitty:
Organize and archive photos pre 2009
Design and print yearly photo books + a book of our NZ and Australia Trip
Listen to This American Life archives by podcast

When Tyson and I lived in New Zealand we overlapped with a gal who had created her "bucket list", which in my opinion, was both totally intimidating but also, hers specifically was a little non-acheiveable. Good on her though for putting pen to paper!

I have thought about making a bucket list though and I'll admit I'm a little scared. Short-term goals seem somehow less daunting, but we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 25, 2010


So my new job is really quiet. Like, so quiet that loud, little ole me needs some noise, and the noise I've settled on is streaming KEXP on my iPhone and popping in a set of headphones. I love it! I listen to KEXP a lot at home and if I'm ever in a car - not MY car per say as I do not currently own a car - but if I'm in a car I'll listen! In any case, I am falling unapologetically in-love with the daily discoveries of good tunes.

Today's happy discovery:

Ugly Casanova, "Barnacles"

Which I am equally loving for the song itself but also it reminds me of camping on the beach and playing around at low tide looking at barnacles. Sigh.

In other news, I recently read B's post about zipping around town on foot last night. Lovely. And even more lovely considering I too was out "in it" last night on a jog with my ipod and pranced though Cal Anderson park witnessing all she listed! It was superb seeing all the little sub cultures on blankets in the grass and seated on benches in the park. Like a bowl of seamonkeys all coming to life! Its currently a tie which group I enjoy watching in that park more - the intense hoola-hoopers or the goth-dressed warriors with swords who fake fight.

Ok, now KEXP is playing Basement Jaxx, a favorite of mine since I saw them play at First Avenue in Minneapolis! Also the venue Tyson and I will go to see The National play when we're in Minnie this August! I can't wait

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Well despite the fact that I'm pretty sure the tempurature has not yet reached 75 degrees in Seattle, we celebrated solstice by attending the annual NAKED bike ride + parade that takes place in the Fremont neighborhood.

True to the tone of this spring, it was raining in the morning and I was not terribly excited to stand in the street. Buckley had organized a small gathering and directed people to wear wigs which, in my state of disparidging feelings about how the day would play out based on the weather, I wasn't too excited about. But as wigs go, they were a huge hit! Tyson actually had people stopping him to take pictures with him! Hilarious. We sipped cocktails and ate food from street vendors and basically just celebrated all day. Good times.

Also, I've become just slightly obsessed with my new iPhone app camera. It allows me to shoot with all different types of lenses and film and I'm sure its a little sad that the digital era is now recreating images from say an old Hidalgo, but I'm not complaining.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Its the final countdown before I start work next week. In the meantime I've tried to live equal parts productive and relaxing, resulting in the following activities:

Taking Ranger pictures of Tyson while relaxing on the peninsula. There's literally nothing to do in Quilcene, WA BUT relax.

Camping with Tyson and his Mama.

Cruising around town, creating home projects for myself and getting my eyebrows waxed on 15th.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And then there were 40.

Cheers to my parents who have been married forty years today. Congratulations! You two are such a cute pair! I watch you get cuter and cuter each year and I'm so proud of you for your dedication to each other. I hope you have a splendid day, and I hope you think back to some crazy memories. Cherish all you've experienced together!

I love you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Make Merry.

After several interviews and nervous chatter between friends, I was offered an amazing position at an even more amazing company earlier this week. I am so grateful and I feel incredibly lucky. Start date: 6/21.

So often I think back to the fall when I was sick and beside myself with worry after having booked our flights to New Zealand. I quit my job. Sold my car. And up and left with no idea what was to come upon our return. I'm so grateful for THAT experience too - both good and bad. And I know it has given me the window to move on professionally to do something different with my life. It wasn't all easy though and I've had to work really hard to be where I am. I guess the lesson is that taking risks is what makes life exciting. They aren't easy to do and I probably have more grey hair than I did six months ago, but the worry and the doubt has been pure motivation and given me character.

Toast the next phase: Thanks for the champagne, B!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The weekend.

Weekends are good.

Weekends are even better spent bumming around town meeting up with various friends and eating or drinking coffee or delicious brews. That pretty much sums up our weekend last weekend. Friday night I went to see Sex And The City (2) and I must say, this film could've been about an hour shorter and shown on mute so that I could simply watch the outfits go by. Except maybe the part where Miranda and Charlotte are talking about how hard being a mom is, in between sips of cosmopolitans. Great scene!

Saturday I met friends for brunch and then went on a long bike ride over to a vintage furniture store I'd been meaning to pop into for several weeks. Tyson arrived in Seattle around seven, and he and I met up with friends for dinner and some beers at a local brewery. We had decided to bike and rather than take my usual road bike, I hopped on my upright, vintage cruiser and it was so fun! There's nothing better than a bike where you simply need to backpedal to slow it down. No gears. Just cruising.

Sunday we biked over to Queen Anne for yet another brunch with friends. Oh how delicious a good cup of coffee in the form of a non-fat mocha is + a breakfast sandwich containing eggs and spinach and cheese and a veggie sausage. Full and happy we biked around town running errands and loafing about. Later we had the same brunch pals over for dinner and a movie because I guess we all like each other a lot! And speaking of, if you haven't seen Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges yet, its fab. I recommend.

Good weekends of goodness and great people make for heaps of smiles.

Oh and if you need a good mango salsa for topping off fish tacos or really anything:
  • 2 cups chopped pitted peeled mango
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The weather in Seattle has been down right terrible lately. Its June for chrissakes, and its been rainy and cold for the nearly the entire month we've been back. Today is no exception. Rain slides down the glass of the windows in the office I've taken over while freelancing and I can't help but turn my obsessions INSIDE. Dreaming of fun and cozy interiors. Here's a smattering. Enjoy!

According to the house's owners (who renovated the building), the staircase in the living room was salvaged from a 19th-century bistro in France. The floor is original to the building, which was converted to a residence in 2009.

The kitchen opens to the patio and the garden. The wood floors here and on the bedroom level, upstairs, were salvaged from a nearby factory. Um, can I salvage something? Please! I love the white-washed brick too.

Look at this cool idea for a table:

CRAZY: Cave Home, Festus, Mo.
In 2003, Curt and Deborah Sleeper and their two children were living in a cramped Missouri ranch house when they saw an eBay offering for three acres with an empty sandstone cave. The family intended to build on the land until they realized the former quarry offered 15,000 feet of naturally insulated space.

And look at this great idea for a bed - kids or otherwise. I love that the end of it doubles as a bench.

Lastly, I just love how industrial this space is, and yet really cozy and comfy. Yes, please.

Okay, I should probably be productive. Part of my problem is that I interviewed hardcore-style last week and yesterday for a dream opportunity at a dream company and I cannot stand waiting to hear the news. Is it too desperate to check in with the recruiter and see how the process is going? Or do I play it coy? Or do I simply continue planning my dream home and avoid thinking about it altogether. Will keep you posted, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


One of life's little reminders to just get out, live it up, and be grateful for every inhalation recently came in the form of diagnosed breast cancer and a member of my extended family. "Aunt" D, as she has always been referred to even though she's a cousin of my parents, was recently handed down some intense news that has rocked the family pretty significantly lately. Incidentally, I've heard my parents become inspired to grab a hold life and all the adventures they can dream up. This includes some whimsical plans to hit the pavement in their camper, Matilda, and head across country to San Francisco - a destination I know my parents once flew to for dinner because my Mom worked for Northwest Airlines at the time and they could pop on a flight for only $10. Then they could head north up the coast and visit ME, ME, ME in Seattle! Put the pedal to the metal, Pops, and get out here!

Obviously this devastating news in our family totally sucks. I think about D and her adoring hubby of at least forty years and my stomach becomes sick with anxiety for the two of them. I feel so far away and I figured a little note to let her know I'm thinking of her would be the least I could do. Knowing what she's going through, I never expected or anticipated a response. Afterall, Miss D's got a few things going on at the moment. But she did respond, and in case you needed a reason to plan that next vacation or make a phone call to a friend you've been meaning to connect with, here's one I can offer up:

"Hi Honey,
Thank you for the sweet email. I am so lucky to have my family as well as our great extended family, and especially you. It's been hard getting used to and finally realized it's "life" so get on with it.

You're right on your Mom and Dad. Your Mom and I are reaching out for each other more than we have in years. There has always been too many other things to do before enjoying friends and family. Remind me if I get wayward again, that is not a good state of mind.
I love you too, and bless you for your kind heart."

D: I'm so sorry for what you're going through! But know that you are inspiring the Franzen's and so many others with your fight. Thanks for reminding me that when I get annoyed because my house is a mess and I have over-committed YET AGAIN, that's its just fine. Having a clean house is overrated and I won't remember it when I look back on my life to remember the good times. I love you!