Thursday, February 26, 2009

where i would rather be right now.

a couple of my favorites in Chiwengo Village, Malawi


Children of the Nations child, Malawi

Fisherman in Lake Malawi


Rainbow Glacier


Cove in Haines
The Cannery in Haines
if only...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a little this, a little that

A little random today, but I only have a some 28 minutes left at my internship and that is not enough time to accomplish anything, really, except a random blog.

I have been running a lot this past week and surprisingly, I like it. I really do. It’s generally been a safe bet that in general, I despise running. But not this week; I really like it. I do not love it yet, but we’ll see what happens. Perhaps it is only a brief infatuation. The weather has been so delightfully warm and this new running route I have goes right along the river and it’s so pretty. It also goes right by the police horse unit, which means it’s a bit smelly, but it’s so sweet to watch the horses practice or just roll around in the dirt. Them not me. Haha.

I also feel that I may be allergic to mangoes AND cantaloupe. If this is true, it will be a huge loss. Those are my favorites. My FAVORITES, gah! I am not willing to give them up just yet. It’s only minor what happens anyway, my lips swell up a little and sometimes get these microscopic bumps that I can feel but no one can really see them. And when you think about it, big lips are IN. Actresses shell out the big bucks for botox. So this could be to my advantage…and the bumps, they are annoying but not visible…I’m going to think about it. Maybe I will just eat them less frequently. I have found though, that if I cut them into small pieces and eat them without touching my lips, all is well in the world, so I might have to take that route and eat with a fork or a toothpick.

My internet isn’t working at my apt. any more. It won’t pick up on the ever-small signal from a distant neighbor. And all other networks are locked. Ugh. I really can’t afford to pay for my own network either. I’m so poor now with my hours cut at the coffee house and a dropping savings account. It’s not feasible really. This guy at Sydney’s dropped this brochure on my table with his contact information yesterday as he was leaving. It was about mobile internet. He gave me a long smile and a wink, so I’m not sure if it was one of those moves where someone might just leisurely leave a business card as a chance to say “hey, how you doin’?” or if it was a purely business transaction. Anyhow, maybe mobile internet would be worth the extra money. Then I could have internet everywhere. But that won’t help my addiction to world wide web now will it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ingrid Michaelson covering Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"

i LOVE this :)

oh, the feathers...



I pulled into the Sydney’s parking lot this morning, ready to bust out some pages for several papers due in the next few weeks. I did the usual last min check in the mirror to make sure I didn’t have crazy hair or spinach in my teeth, not that I’ve eaten spinach today, but you never know…Then I put my hand in my pocket to grab my daily vitamin and with the vitamin out came this fluff of feathers. I just started laughing in my car, at all these feathers that won’t go away.

It must have been a year ago that I was knocked out by this 48 hour flu bug. I had broken my 14 year streak Anyhow, I hadn’t done a thing in this 48 hours but be sick. So I started to feel guilty and decided I should do SOMETHING productive. I thought, I’m going to wash this sickness out of my sheets and clothes by doing laundry. YES, I felt good about this. So I set out to wash my sheets, wash the sickness I slept into my sheets away, throw in some jeans and a throw from the couch…now this should have been just fine and dandy.

(A jump back in time…)

Laundry is done, hooray. I am officially PRODUCTIVE. To my surprise, I open the dryer and a bazillion feathers waft every which direction in the air and into the next room. OH MY GOSH, what is happening? I see all my bedding and jeans and the down throw from the couch COVERED in feathers; they’re EVERYWHERE. I quickly scan my brain, sure it’s down, but I have washed it before…SURELY I would remember if this had happened the first time. Yes, I HAD washed it before and THIS did not happen. What the heck happened? I slowly take some of the items out of the dryer, after pulling a massive handful of feathers out of the lint catcher, and a zillion more feathers blow around the room. I am in complete disbelief at this point, until I spot the problem. There is a three inch tear in the side of the down blanket, I have no clue how it got there, but I think it may have been an evil plot conceived by zipper of my jeans…In this tear is another massive handful of feathers overflowing into the room. I have no idea what to do and my seven saltine crackers and ginger ale did not provide me the energy needed to tackle this fiasco that feels like a dream.

I collapse into my laundry; feathers fly into the air and fall like…feathers, all around me.

Oh dear.

(Back to the present.)

I kept finding those feathers everywhere. I could count on seeing three, five or ten of ‘em every time I did laundry. Maybe I would see a few here and there around the apartment or in the car. Those feather sightings gradually disappeared about six months ago. I hardly noticed, but if I had I would have taken a moment of gratitude for their departure. But today, TODAY, they decided to appear again, just like that, and crawl back into my life.

It got me thinking while I was just sitting in my own laughter out in the parking lot, that no matter how much you thought something or someone was out of your life, parts or pieces of them waltz back in whether it be a phone call, an email, a dream, a photo, a song, a memory, a feather fluff. Sometimes they are welcome reminders, other times not. We may welcome these people back into our lives after their absence and quickly adjust to their presence.

Sometimes these people or thoughts are not welcome. I was talking with my friend, Courtney about how letting go is a constant process. Letting go of thoughts or forgiving someone are difficult things and over and over again, we have to give those thoughts over. And when they come back we just give them back over again.

Memory is an amazing thing. For a friend that has gone away forever; we find ways to keep them with us in our memories, which is why I rest in nostalgia when I hear ‘black bird’ by the Beatles or ‘alive’ by Pearl Jam. I welcome these “feathers” when they come around. But not this old fluff in my pocket, I’m over those feathers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bartender, pour me a double.

It’s a beautiful day in Portland. The newscasters even sent out a warning in the weather report this morning, “these warm temperatures may last through the week, stay tuned for information on the warm front approaching Portland.” Haha. We need to be warned if the weather might just be nice for any extended amount of time. I am LOVING it. I hate to say it, but my mood is very dependent upon the weather, which probably means I should move somewhere warm and sunny for the winter. My parents are making the “snowbird” move and flying south for the winter. They’re onto something…


So I am currently sitting in a sunny window of my favorite coffee shop/study spot, Sydney’s and the Montessori kids are playing and screaming on the playground outside, the trains are whistling as they go by, and I’m looking up at the beautiful arches of the Fremont bridge. AND I have an iced coffee that never tasted so good and I’m catching up on letter writing, which is just refreshing. AND it’s a good hair and wardrobe day. Sigh. Present life is good.


However, future life is giving me mini heart attacks every time I think about it. I’m graduating in four months. And then…I will officially enter the "real world". That’s when real life begins, when you are no longer a student and get a real job, right? OR is it when you leave the single life and get married (cue bells and flowers and bubbles!)? Those both seem to be popular beliefs these days… Can I just boycott the whole real life thing? Or would that mean that I stay single and jobless forever? Because that’s not so appealing, either. Eeesh. Well, single/marriedness aside…I will need to find a job in four months and this current economy is KILLING my hopes. The unemployment rate in Portland is TERRIBLE. It’s one or two percent higher than other places in the country. It doesn’t help that the only Masters of Social Work program in Oregon is in Portland, and come June another couple hundred social workers will be looking for work, probably IN Portland. There’s an over-abundance of social workers in this city, which is awesome because people are being helped and served, but is there room for me? I dunno…


My parents have passed on some info about social work jobs in Seattle. I think this is less of a ploy to have me move back to Seattle near home and family but more of a ploy to get me employed, anywhere. It stresses me out to think about where I may be in four months. I hate NOT knowing. This whole thing, this whole time, liminal space if you will. I’m not a fan. I don’t like preparing for a change that may or may not happen. I’m not sure where to invest myself. Do I continue building community in Portland when I may not even find a job here? Should I work on building community in Seattle? Should I move to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where SURELY they need social workers? Scranton? Malawi? Haines?

Bartender, pour me double.

Here’s to the unknown…

Thursday, February 12, 2009

working hard or hardly working?

I’m just sitting in my little cubicle at Providence. I still can’t get over the fact that I have joined the ranks of those who have cubicles, my very own three-walled office space. It’s in an interesting location, too. It sits at the end of a hallway that leads to the head honcho doctor’s offices. And given that I don’t have the precious fourth wall, this means everyone who walks down the hallway basically just looks into my cubicle for roughly the 10-15 seconds it takes to walk by. This is an awkward time for all involved in said situation. They really have nothing else to look at except me, “working away” in my cubicle. I look up and to the side most of the time to greet whomever, which is nice, but should I look over every time?

It’s like running into someone at the grocery store. You say hello and exchange some cordial conversation in produce. All is good and well, and you both continue your grocery-shopping excursion. Two minutes later, you meet again near the wheat thins. You both give a little chuckle, say hello again and motion the “been there, done that” of the conversation. If you see them again, it’s more of an annoyance, well jeez…I KEEP running into you, at some point you might just stop saying hello. So should I continue to say hello EVERY time? Is it rude not to say hello? I can see them walking toward me out of the corner of my eye…it’s DISTRACTING. What if I put up a curtain, a pretty one? Then I wouldn’t be distracted and feel obligated to say hello and they would have some pretty fabric to look at. Hmm….

There is this awesome comic that is on the wall of my cubicle. I guess you could say it’s on my “fourth wall”; I have about an eighth of a fourth wall, in case you were thinking I was lying earlier. It’s just big enough for said comic to fit. It must be a gift from whoever sat here before me. It’s this man sitting at his desk and his boss comes walking up and asks, “Why aren’t you working?” and he responds with a shocked look and says, “I didn’t see you coming!” Is that glorious or what? I think that’s how many people in office jobs function. Keeping their eyes and ears open for when they should resume working hard.


Speaking of...time to "work hard", must greet the masses, it’s high traffic through here today and it IS hard work, the whole averting my gaze from the computer and looking to the left to greet all these people. If anyone sees any pretty curtains…you know who to call.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

a day well-spent brings happy sleep

I skipped class today. I feel so irresponsible, but so good at the same time. It was necessary; at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ve been overwhelmed this week, with midterms with a head cold straight from the devil himself. I can’t even really tell you what I’ve done this week. My marathon internship/school week is T,W, TH and I’ve only made it to one class. Hah. That’s all I have done, but it warranted a break.

Somewhere in-between sleeping for twelve hour chunks at a time and popping this homeopathic cold remedy things every five minutes, I just got tuckered out.


And the weather today, the WEATHER, was beautiful and WARM. The sun was out and it was WARM. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve been warm. I was walking down the street this morning, in an average warmth outfit and couldn’t stop smiling and then a few seconds later realized it was because I was warm and sunshiney and golden. That’s one of the best things about that golden glowy sun, is the effect of looking tan, hooray! And trust me, no one in the NW has a tan in February (a REAL tan anyway).


It was about 1pm while I was working on my paper that I decided that after a week-long hiatus from running, that I felt energized and healthy enough to run a few miles without gasping for air through my pin hole sized breathing passage of the past few days. Once I decided I was going to run, I decided that I should skip class, too. Can I just mention real quick that skipping a class in grad school isn’t like skipping a class in undergrad school... Our classes meet once a week for three hours, so essentially, I skipped an entire week of class. But I NEEDED it for my soul. I needed running and sunshine and the sunset (did I mention I was running into the most beautiful sunset? Yeah, it was amazing) and I needed a red cardigan. I tried not to go shopping, I did, but I didn’t have any self-control (obviously) and I’ve been dying to wear red, for some reason, maybe all the Valentine’s Day d├ęcor everywhere.


So I bought a red cardigan. It’s cute, not exactly what I had been dreaming about for the last couple weeks, but it will suffice. I’m on a budget. And I just can’t justify the cute one in the Anthropologie window for some ungodly amount of money. Since I saved probably a hundred dollars by not buying from Anthropologie, I decided I should buy a necklace, too. It was only five bucks, how could I not? And it’s pretty and delicate looking and has a little green bird and flower on the chain. Good purchases.


I was productive in there somewhere. I made an agreement with myself that I had to finish my paper that’s due tomorrow before I go to bed. Usually I procrastinate down to the wire…so I was thinking of finishing it during my lunch break tomorrow. I kept my promise and went to Vivace for a couple hours and hammered out a meaty paper full of research and theory. And now I am cozied up in my blanket jacket and listening to Pandora. Did I mention I got a blanket jacket for Christmas? This is pretty much me right now. It’s pretty amazing.




As one of my favorite people quotes often, “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.” –Leonardo DaVinci

Monday, February 2, 2009