Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer + Rooftop.

Doreen is visiting from NYC. The tempuratures have floated around 78-80 and the cloudness blue in the sky goes on for miles and miles and miles. We've been biking. We biked over to the lake so that we could then hop on a paddle board and scoop through the water to and fro. We biked to Pike's market to sit at the Pink Door and enjoy an afternoon cheese board and some crisp drinks. We biked over to Ballard to enjoy a sub sandwich to the tune of "Heaven isn't too far awayyyyyy!" by Warrant playing in our heads because it tasted SO GOOD.

And last night a few of us gathered on the roof to eat pizza, sip some tall boys and watch the sun set over the city and Puget Sound. So much goodness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This is going to be me.

As soon as I find a sweet, old chair and my parents roll into town on their cross-country roadtrip. Mama's gonna help me learn how to reupholster!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


As I sit here, oddly unmotivated at work, I dream of some day owning a house of the likes below, found while perusing Realizing that it IS a chicken before the egg scenario, meaning I do need to have a job AND THEN acquire the nest, I begin to feel a little more motivated. But in a different way, I suppose.

I know that the first few months in any new professional role are taxing both emotionally and mentally. Trying to fit in. Attempting to prove myself. Staying productive. Always learning. So with those things in mind, I'm trying to just stay open and positive. To take what comes in this first six months or a year and to do the best I can. Easier said than done, of course.

But even as I've made baby steps in the overarching "plan for my life" in moving on from the advertising world to working for someone I truly care about and am invested in emotionally, I still find myself searching and asking questions about what it is that I really want to be doing. You see, this is a question that has totally plagued my life and one that I'm not certain there is an answer for. What is my professional plan? What are the milestones and the things I want to try while spending time on this earth. Alas, I will continue to search and ask these questions. It makes life interesting, right?! And in the meantime I'll fill up my free, non-work hours with things I am currently spazzing about:

+ Baritone Ukelele lessons - starting in September!

+ Searching and searching for an Old Lady chair to learn how to reupholster with my mother when she and my Poppy come into town in September.

+ And last but not least, totally obsessing about redecorating my house. THIS is an endeavor. I scour craigslist and design blogs respectively, looking for the perfect piece, the perfect rug, the best deal, and the newest project. As I attempt daily to narrow my focus on a particular style, I find myself coming back to this idea of white walls + pops of color (statement stolen from papernstitch blog...of which I also stole from Erin). This is an avenue I think I'm most comfy in and I find its easier to mold and adapt with changing moods and seasons. Bonus. So yeah, I'm completely devoted to this overhaul and its been consuming my thoughts on a daily basis.

One place I LOVE to go to for design inspiration is Living,etc magazine, who also have an incredible site chock full of galleries for paging through and getting ideas.

Applying the white walls + pops of color guidelines (minus the black walls below), here's a few from all over that I've been coveting:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Room with a view.

Having tried and failed two summers ago, to make it to the famed Enchantments Zone of the North Cascades, a group of us set out this weekend to attempt to hike up from the other, less terrifying direction via the Snow Lakes trail. Our previous attempt to hike from Lake Colchuck and up Aasgard Pass was an unanticipated defeat in that I felt peoples' warnings about the difficulty were probably too dramatic. I actually found a quote though from a mountaineer online where I stole the later posted elevation map saying,

"Myth has it that the Colchuck Lake approach to the Upper Enchantments, pioneered by climbers aiming at the peaks of the Dragontail group, is an easy shortcut and has solitude to boot. Don't believe it. Four things are terribly wrong with the entry via Aasgard Pass: It's not easy; actually it's a climber's route, usually requiring an ice ax, sometimes rope and crampons, and in early summer the ability to recognize avalanche instability. It's dangerous, not only from falling off cliffs or slippery boulders or snowfields or from being fallen upon by snow or rock, but also from summer storms that at these elevations can be distinctly hypothermic and from summer snowfalls the already difficult descent of boulder fields a very long nightmare...Why, then, is the route in this book? As a warning against myths. To save the innocent from being suckered in by "the easy way to the Enchantments." Also to quash the faddy notion that this is a classy and sassy way, the route of the big kids. For anyone it's a tasteless route. For hikers lacking climbing equipment and training, it's a route silly to the point of suicidal.

However, coming at it from another angle - via the Snow Lakes trail shown above - proved to be a success. But not without a huge helping of sore feet and sore shoulders today on account of our 14-mile hike up and out Sunday afternoon.

Totally worth it though as the views were some of the most spectacular I've seen in WA so far. And our group could not have been a more superb mix of goodness. Easy laughter and shared duties. I noted often how lucky I felt to be there.

Highlights include:
+ the views

+ how often I felt really grateful to be there

+ the family of goats including a teeny baby goat that we saw on the hike out

+ the wine

+ the wine AND the game of Presidents & Assholes (college drinking game) we played using a rock as our table

+ alpineLake Viviene

+ spending time with friends

+ crossing the dam over which ice-cold freezing water rushed into the lower lake. Scary.

+ the chocolate milkshake purchased in Leavenworth post-hike

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Its finally summer in Seattle! Yesterday marked the first day tempuratures reached a reasonable place for actually feeling warmth on your skin! Tank top, bare shoulders-worthy! I cannot tell you what this did for my soul. I haven't been feeling sad necessarily, but I've had this sort of 'Hold' placed on my summer just waiting for it to begin.

And so it begins. Starting with a gathering at Golden Gardens beach last night. Seated on blankets in the sand with pals. Riding to-and-from on the back of Tyson's motorcycle with the wind in my hair.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Self control.

I made a promise that I would not buy any new clothes all summer. I have, in fact, lots of clothes. And not even enough days to really WEAR all the clothes, especially considering we never really get summer in Seattle.

So, oopsie.

On my way home through downtown yesterday I decided to just pop into JCrew. I only wanted to SEE what they had. Well, what they had was a giant sale with everything marked WAY down and even a “take 20% off in addition to all sale prices” printed on a little, orange sign taunting me. Also in fine print was the mention that anything bought on-sale was a final purchase. Gee. What to do.

In the end I did buy some really cute things. They were incredibly cheap and I’m tickled pink with happiness and excitement over these new pieces. But, this does not excuse me from breaking my oath! Ugh, I could just punch myself!

So in an effort – much like the previously posted To Do wishlist – to hold myself accountable, I am putting the list of things I REALLY WANT TO BUY so that I know when I come across something I want I can consult the list. Is it there? Is it ON the list? No? Well, then there’s your answer. No, you cannot buy it.

+ A map or maps, framed. Preferably of MN, or a world map.
+ A new rug.
+ Nightstands – however, this may be checked off later this summer as Tyson has acquired two large tree rounds. Perfection.
+ A credenza.
+ A new table top – preferably made out of an old door for which I’m hoping to find at ReStore in Ballard.
+ Possibly some chalk paint to turn a kitchen wall into a chalkboard for notes!
+ Eames fiberglass shell chairs for the dining table.
+ Hanging lamp for over the dining table. Preferably vintage.
+ A burl clock.
+ Need to frame my bike print that was gifted to me from lovely Tyson for my birthday. Gold leaf, gaudy style.

From REI:
+ Items to outfit my bike for touring! Panniers + pedals and shoes
+ A new puffy down jacket,…that actually fits me. Patagonia, perhaps?
+ Car-camping gear = camp chairs, plates, a lantern and a new coffee making set-up.
+ Snowboard bindings.
+ Snowboard boots? We’ll see.
+ Running socks.

See? This is why I should not and cannot buy clothing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The new kid.

Having gone to the same school with nearly all the same people since the start of my existence, it always a little odd being the new person. I mean, there was the occasional newbie just about every two years or so who created an instant stir, like for instance, Brandon E. I can remember the day he set foot into our grade school. Blonde mullet with a spike down the part of his hair. Basketball player. HOT. I also remember that by sixth grade I was somehow able to land him as a "boyfriend" and knowing he was crazy about cats, naturally I gave him one for his birthday. I lugged that cat to school in a cardboard box with holes cut in it by none other than my mother. What mother HELPS give another child a cat!? Can you imagine your child coming home from school with a new cat!? Well of course the cat didn't actually stay in the provided home transfer box and just as these things do play out in movies the cat actually escaped in the school. Janitors were looking all day and finally found him huddled in the vents above my homeroom classroom. This is what happens when you're the new kid.

So I started a new job. Tomorrow is day ten, or rather marks my two week milestone. Its been such a whirlwind both good and bad. A friend reminded me that I made a goal last summer and actually stated that by THIS summer I would have a new job doing something completely different. Having forgotten this - until she reminded me - I made a second attempt at this plight in the fall when I quit my job to live and travel. So I'm back, and the reality is I'm doing what I said I wanted to do. I'm working for a company I believe in, and doing something pretty much completely different. With those things in mind, it makes for a cauldron of mixed emotions. Along with the excitement that comes with starting something new, I've also experienced a lot of mourning and change.

Due to a longer commute and earlier start time, I no longer have my two-hour lazy mornings of bliss. My time. Rising more often than not without an alarm, tip-toeing into the kitchen to start the electric kettle for coffee and then turning on KEXP as the soundtrack for me to make breakfast, read the newspaper and blogs I follow, and then get ready at a pace that allows me to arrive at work fresh and ready to face anything. Now I rise to the alarm and so far each day I'm completely shocked that it is actually morning. I feel as if I have just gone to bed, and my eyes are so heavy its as if someone has set two teeny sacks of sand on my eyelids. I rush around usually overwhelmed and nervous I'm forgetting something. Because I do always forget something.

I also miss all the swearing. That is, swear words. Maybe I'm a total nut, but I've worked in a world where everyone from the president to the head of HR usually drop a daily EFF bomb and with that comes stupid humor and culture dialed up big time. I worked with incredible, creative people and spent nine years laughing and singing my way through days. Stressful days, but never, ever boring. Currently I am already the loudest person in my department. I must wear headphones to drown out the silence and if someone mutters a cuss word, it is whispered so low that they are surely missing out on the joy that is released when one spouts off a swear word.

Overall I'm really happy and grateful for my new job. I am challenged daily to think in ways I've never thought before, and its exhilarating. Minus the swearing, the people I work with are incredibly sweet and helpful. And it feels really good to contribute to a company that promotes adventure, lifelong health and enjoyment of nature, and the conservation of our planet. I know the above text doesn't reflect those sentiments, but as I said, I think I'm simply mourning some of my favorite aspects of my previous career. I look forward to the day I don't feel like the squeamish new kid and instead feel empowered to show all the facets of my personality - both personally and professionally. I'm ready to rise to something new, and if it means trading in a few things, that's part of what makes difficult things so rewarding.

On Tuesday Tyson sent me flowers at work. A gesture so sweet, I almost still can't believe it. Gifts in our relationship deal typically in realms of necessity. We both don't like waste and any time we can either give something that's specifically on the other persons' list, OR gift a consumable such as a bottle of wine, we feel good about it. Having said that, receiving flowers at work felt even more special. Completely frivolous and totally thoughtful. He is the best.

The card read: Congratulations on your new job. I love you.

The new girl was called to the front desk to pick up her flowers. And as the new co-workers looked on and shared in her excitement, she felt pretty special.