Friday, February 27, 2009

Fabulous Frivolities

I have posted a lot of heady blogs recently.

On to the lighter side of things...

Reasons to smile today:

1. The sun is out and it's a beautiful day.
2. It's almost Friday.
3. Everyone I know and love is safe and sound, whether it be in California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Zambia, Guyana, or Thailand
4. A rich Persian man that came into my office complimented me by calling me "beautiful, sheik, and European looking."
5. I bought 4 pairs of new shoes last night...I know, sounds excessive but they were from Payless and I was in desperate need of shoes for work now that I live in heels.
6. I am wearing one of the new pairs today...they are my favorite...

They are patent leather TANGERINE!


Fun, huh?!

Sometimes it's good to escape the depths of my mind and enjoy the parts of life I often take for granted.

Gosh, I love shoes.

OH, I just found a 7th reason to smile awesome band I just discovered is playing a show at the Detroit bar (right down the street from my house) on Monday night...Ra Ra Riot! Um, that rocks my face off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Heh, you like that little jingle for a post name, don't ya!

Let's get down to business...

to defeat the Huns.

Just kidding.

Little Disney joke, anyone? Anyone?

Ahem, well, back to the task at hand...Obama's address to Congress last night.

I didn't actually catch it on TV...I had too much to do after work. For those of you who were in the same boat or perhaps aren't up on the latest political happenings, you can read the speech transcript here. It is long but a good read and extremely telling of many of the issues our government is currently facing.

For starters, I must say that I appreciate the way in which Obama is approaching the economic crisis. Though I am far from an economic expert (shocking, I know) and don't really understand the ins and outs of the whole process, I feel that the transparency of his attitude and the openness of his style are refreshing at a time like this. After closing out the Bush era, I feel many Americans were disheartened at the amount of hush-hush back-office politics that took place. I know I was. Obama approaches the way in which he interacts with the American people much the way I feel I would if I were president. Not that I would ever make a good president...but I feel he mixes a good amount of rational decision making with emotional appeal that allows him to feel honest and real. I know some people think he comes off as rather idealistic, which he may, but I kind of find myself attracted to his get-it-done attitude...though that won't hold up long if he doesn't follow through on things--that remains to be seen.

Of particular interest to me is Obama's social consciousness. I greatly appreciate his awareness of and willingness to talk about the issues that face not only the bulk of American citizens (the middle class) but also the lower class. I am not really looking to debate whether or not certain areas of the lower class lend themselves to milking the government or the tax payers...I just mean to say I appreciate a president in office that reaches a larger spread of the masses.

I don't really consider myself an overly patriotic person and I feel I must admit that I actually have uttered disdainful words regarding America in the recent past. What was erroneous regarding my thoughts really has to do with me being ungrateful about the opportunities we have in our country. Without getting on a soapbox about certain issues, let me just say that we are very blessed as Americans...not perfect, just blessed. It feels good to have a renewed hope in our country now that we have a fresh face in our executive branch. I definitely feel very strongly about being educated in political matters, I might even go so far as to say that in order for one to have a valid and respected opinion, they must be educated on the current state of affairs. Though I myself have fallen prey to emotional bandwagon politics in the past, I have made it a personal mission to at least know why I feel the way I do. Trendy politics need to be a thing of the past. I am especially shocked when young people don't even know the basic building blocks of the government, such as the breakdown of congress, the 3 major branches of the government, or simple oft-used words like bipartisan, legislature...or even Republican and Democrat for that matter. It really irks me when Christians feel like they have to be Republicans and they don't even know why. I for one am a Democrat...ask me and I will tell you why. I will also tell you I don't agree with every front on the left, but I know in which ways I feel drawn there as opposed to the conservative right. I swear, if I ever hear "Jesus" and "Republican" in the same sentence again I might lose it. My main goal is to know where I stand and to work at being respectful of all opinions...though I tend to get very critical if opinions are based off of the aforementioned bandwagon politics. I know, right? Me, critical? Never.

Another hot button issue for me is that of education. Good lord, we are a society of under-educated people. We actually have the access to higher education and we don't utilize it. Do you know how many people around the world would be floored at the opportunity to receive higher education? I don't know either but I would guess a lot. Please, I know not everyone has a calling in life to become an intellectual, but at least be a well-adjusted, well-aware citizen of the human race.

What sucks most about the current state of affairs is that it is really driving home how much we are a credit-based society. Obama really emphasizes credit as the basis for our economy, which may be true but wow, that's a sad reality. Now let me say that I am in no way blaming those of us who utilize/abuse credit (yes, I lump myself in there too), it's a tough economy to live in without jumping into making credit mistakes, either from bad habits or bad situations in which we feel out of options. It just makes me realize how easily we all fall into our capitalistic ways without even meaning to. We basically live in a country that invents money as we go, and in reality we are only numbers on paper with little worth to back ourselves up. I had another point to make on this front but it has escaped me...

Anyway, I just wanted to put some thoughts out about what is currently taking shape in our government. I feel like I don't engage with people enough about important issues. My challenge for everyone is just to use your minds and think critically about all you come in contact with in your life.

Ok, back to work. Boo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just another day in paradise...

I have resigned myself to being the kind of blogger that writes something everyday. I happen to find myself in a time in life where I am digesting a lot and forming so much regarding my thoughts and outlook on life. I guess you could say my worldview is really changing and growing all the time and I need an outlet for my processing. It helps me to know someone, somewhere is reading my meanderings...just don't tell me if you're bored or annoyed by the quality/quantity of my postings, let me happily live in my fantasy blog universe. My gosh, am I that insane? Yes. It appears I am.

And I work a very boring job to boot.

Welcome to yet another day in corporate America.

9:26am: Talking to Jer on gchat. I just finished a cup of coffee...I never drink coffee. I'm not sure what possessed me on that front, I have just been a bit all over the place these last few days.

9:39am: One of our clients just gave me an awesome tomato cucumber salad with olive oil because he made a last minute lunch appointment. Um, sweet. Gotta love free homemade food.

9:56am: I have decided that elevators are officially the most awkward places ever. The ones here are especially weird...they are completely reflective inside, the back of the doors are like mirrors. People try especially hard to avoid eye contact but you almost can't help it. Then say someone decides to chat with you (which happens fairly infrequently), you are then forced to make the awkward decision of either turning to talk to them or talking to their reflection. Quite the conundrum. Why are people so antisocial? At least they are in elevators. Sometimes just to pour salt in an already wounded situation, I will say, "have a nice day!" to the innocent bystanders when I exit the elevator, making it that much more awkward that nobody said anything to one another for the entirety of the ride. Muahaha.

Good thing I only work on the 3rd floor. Short rides up and down. Heh.

10:10am: I am reminding myself to catch the State of the Union address tonight at 9pm while partaking in my daily NPR readings. Ohh that reminds me that upon a successful visit to the public library last night I picked up a biography on Obama. That should be interesting, I will let you know how that pans out.

10:27am: Sometimes people who call on the phone are extremely dense. Since I am the receptionist for corporate suites, I answer calls for tons of companies. I am not supposed to tell callers that the company they are calling for is located in corporate suites and that I am merely an unrelated receptionist...guess they figure it will ruin the magic or something...apparently I now work at Disnelyland...anyway, sometimes people are really upset that whomever they are attempting to reach has not gotten in touch with them and they therefore feel the need to take it out on me. A guy just called pleading for me to find the man he needed to talk to and hand deliver a message. The issue here is the company that said man works for is not physically in the office, it's a virtual office; in other words I have never even met this man let alone seen him in the flesh. No matter what I said to this frantic caller, he did not seem to understand that I could not get a message to this man. He didn't want to leave another voicemail. What the heck can I do? Without trying to spoil the "magic" of the situation I just tried to assure Mr. Frantic that his voicemail would be returned soon. Let's hope I don't spend my day making false promises to weary callers. Ah well.

11:26am: Currently pondering the ethics of in vetro fertilization. I just read an article about how the lady who had octuplets has now been reduced to a punchline. Hmm, she kinda had that coming...and I do think what she did was insanely irresponsible. Eh, enough about that. On to logging packages...ooooh, fun.

11:43am: Hunger pains creeping in...
Feeeed me.
Caffeine buzz.

Son of a gun, someone get me a new life, pronto. How pathetic is it that the highlight of my day is getting home to my sweatpants and a good book? Sniffle.
It's always nice when you make a decent witticism and the person present merely looks at you in confusion rather than laughing. Perhaps my wit is just too far advanced for the average intelligence.

11:51am: Online Scrabble. Always good to keep the vocabulary sharp and up to date. Indubitably.

1:11pm: Make a wish! Returned from was interesting. I ate my delicious tomato and cucumber salad. I sat listening to people talk, I really like eavesdropping...more than I should. I also read more of the book Disposable People, whew, that sure is a downer but it is full of really good information regrading modern slavery. People really need to know how this worldwide epidemic is spreading and what each one of us can do to stop it. More on that later.

1:49pm: Welcome to the afternoon lull. I am about as uninspired as this blog posting.

3:28pm: Just finished a cup of jasmine green tea...apparently I am trying to induce death by caffeine overdose. I also just discovered a new and faster way to get to work from my house. Huh. I feel a bit silly that it's taken me 2 weeks to figure that out. I am regretting my choice of shoes this morning...cute black wedge peep toe heels...but kind of ridiculously uncomfortable. You know your heels are especially uncomfortable when you are sitting in a chair all day and they still hurt your feet. That's what I get for going with the Payless special.

I am such a fan of using italics for emphasis...AND the always wonderful, ever-useful ellipsis...

I'm not a fan of over using emoticons...even that term makes me feel funny. :P just kidding.

3:35pm: With 1 hour and 25 minutes to go until I am free for the day, I am going to do the universe a favor and end this posting now. Those of you who are still (miraculously) with me, thank you for your visit...and I promise this will not happen every day.

As Apu would say, thank you, come again.

The Year of Betterment

2009 is going to be an expansive year for me. Now that I am a college graduate I am determined to do all those things that fell by the wayside to the old, "I just don't have time while I'm in school" excuse.

Things that are currently taking shape in my mind and/or life:

1. Volunteering - I am looking into a couple different organizations in which to begin some semi-intensive volunteer work. Considering my dream would be to get a Masters Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights, I need to be well versed in the way of the NPO/NGO in order to even be considered for admission to a program since my undergrad was in, well, photography...and most decidedly unrelated (at least in academics, though not in my head). I am mainly looking into anti-slavery organizations, specifically Free the Slaves (FTS) and the Not for Sale Campaign. I have a good friend who works for FTS so I'm inclined to get in touch with them first.

2. Books - Insane amounts of books. I have started a list of books to read, it is steadily growing each day as I talk to more and more people about what they are reading and why. At the top of my list comes The Soloist by Steve Lopez, I have heard this is a must read, especially since they are releasing it as a movie this year. Up next I am going to attempt to read Disposable People by Kevin Bales who is the founder of Free the Slaves. I have been advised that it is an incredibly disturbing and intense book but I am feeling the strong desire to try and get through it since my heart lies so deeply in the issue of modern slavery. I figure someone's gotta read it and do something about it. Other books on my list include Dan Brown's Angels and Demons (I loved the Da Vinci Code) and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. I am proud to say I am off to obtain a new library card after work's the first one I will have had since I was literally about 10 years old; I am probably irrationally excited about it.

What's everyone reading? I am looking to add to my list, suggestions welcome!

3. Films - I have always loved films but have definitely fallen behind on what's current. I put my Netflix account on hold the last month while I was tight on finances but I am planning on starting it up again very soon. My list of movies is even longer than my book list...which I guess makes sense considering I can watch a film in a lot shorter amount of time than I can read a book. At the top of my film list is definitely Slum Dog Millionaire...even more so now that it took the Oscar for best picture last night. Otherwise I am especially interested in foreign and indie films, suggestions welcome here too.

4. Other - Ha. I know this is general but I am looking to expand myself in as many ways as possible. I already read a lot of news, NPR and Fox News on a daily basis and I am looking to continually saturate my mind even more with tasty tidbits of information. Thanks to my friend Chris, I will soon be spending lots of time on a really cool website for a project called Story Corps. Also, if anyone knows of any awesome gallery showings, art exhibits, or musical events, drop me a line!

I am excited to become a more brilliant person.

Anyone who wants to join me on my quest for self-betterment, please inquire, I would love buddies in this journey.

Peace, love, and knowledge.

Food for thought: what does everyone think of book clubs? Am I too nerdy for my own good?

Monday, February 23, 2009

no words.

today hurts.

i will miss you. i already do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Current soundtrack: Radiohead

Perhaps there is such a thing as too much blogging. I think I need to get a more interesting life.

But, until then, per the request of some of my ever-wonderful yet kooky friends, I have found the once lost "Little Book of BIG Quotes" and am posting them here for your reading enjoyment.

Preface: Do not judge the sharpness of our wit based on the amount you laugh out loud during the following. For most of these you really did have to be there...

"Bling momma's baby ain't happy." -Sara

"Morgan Freeman locked me in the basement." -Elana

"I wish you were a redhead so I could call you fire crotch." -Elana

"I'm a fancy prostitute." -Tracy

"My life will be complete when I have a monkey lover nibbling on my buttock while I am naked." -Elana

"There's no way I'm tasting poop." -Sara

"Ew! Don't tickle my kitty." -Elana

"I have a torn wenis." -Sara

"Those are very small boob-berries." -Chris Hoffman

"So easy, no wonder Elana is #1." -Online slogan generator

"Something is crawling in my crotch and it tickles." -Sara

Tracy: "It's like a cave..."
Sara: "A cave of wonders."

"I just want to suck on that chin. Yowzer!" -Elana (in reference to Jay Leno)

"They're succulent, juicy breasts. You know, breasts come in all different sizes." -Chris Sayler (in reference to chicken)

"I just want to look at it. Stop! I just want to look at your penis!" -Elana (to the infamous cat, Oscar the Grouch)

"I got a glimpse of your boob and thought, 'Wow, Elana's got a rack on her right now.' " -Tracy

Chris: "Yeah and she was kinda flat before." (In reference to Hillary Duff's vocal abilities)
Sara: "Oh, did she get a boob job?"

Elana: "I was a scary movie virgin when I met you."
Tracy: "I popped your scary cherry!"

"No, you're going to screw my nipples!" -David

"My crotch is vibrating." -Elana

"When you talk in a British accent it makes you sound more smarter." -Chris Sayler (while speaking in a British accent)

"Open foot, insert mouth." -Chris Sayler (in response to the above blunder)

Chris Hoffman: "If we're talking about the Brad Pitt from Troy, then yes, I want to have sex with Brad Pitt."
Todd: "If from Troy, then, yeah."
David: "I think Brad Pitt is the one man who has made me question my sexual orientation."

"I wasn't poking anybody's penis." -Elana

"If I were a woman I would want breasts with big suction cups." -David

David: "You know what I was thinking?"
Elana: "That if you were on top of the Eiffel Tower right now you would sing 'Glory Glory Hallelujah' and eat a Twinkie?"

"I would have gotten fake boobs and everything." -Chris Hoffman (trying to persuade David to take him out on a date)

"Yep, I'm pretty much a walking boner." -Todd

"I was gonna plug your bum hole in." -Elana

"You know what I like? When somebody rubs my genitals." -Todd (No wonder you're a walking boner.)

Jo: "There's something sticky on the Northwest corner of the kitchen floor."
Elana: "Wait, Northwest when you're facing which direction?"

"It's only 7 o'clock when you look at it the wrong way. I'm always a lot more drunker than I think I am." -Elana (when the clock actually read 25 minutes to midnight.)

"Three plus three is nine. Six." -Jo

"I recommend you strike first. Take a crap in Elana's bed." -Todd

David: "You always talk crap about Macs."
Jeremie: "I don't talk crap about Macs!"
Todd: "No, I talk crap about Macs."
Chris Sayler: "Wait. Who's Max?"

Elana: "How would that be, pooping Chipotle all over myself?"
David: "Spicy."

"Cheers to good viscosity." -Elana

"I should be inducted into the strawberry daiquiri hall of fame." -Austin

"Your mom is easy and tastes good." -Austin (replying with a lame 'your mom' comment without actually realizing what he was saying)

"I feel like sucking on something, but not chocolate." -Chris

"Mine! Mine mine mine! My beach, bitch!" -Elana

Austin: "You can't really dance to this as a guy..."
Elana: "Yeah you can, you just gotta be gay!"

"This place is's been here forever!" -Sara

Austin smacks Elana's butt.
Elana: "I think I have a bruise there."
Sara: "From the last time he pounded you?"

"Well, we'll just make up the real world as we go along." -Jo

"Aren't the ants in charge of aphids? They hold them captive and they milk them! I think I'm serious!" -Sara

"Wait, the sky turns green during a tornado? Is that because it sucks up all the grass?" -Sara

And all of a sudden I realize just how many sexual jokes we make on a daily basis. Bah ha ha.

I miss you all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Biddy Biddy Baum.

Current soundtrack: ...silence. My mind is too full to confuse with emotion-birthing tunes.

The FOUND entry from today made me smile, look here.

My head might explode, though I find life is worth that risk. Mostly.

I found out that a dear friend of mine is moving back to the LA area very soon. And that makes me very happy.

And another dear friend is leaving the LA area Sunday. For 2 years.

And that makes me very sad.

So, I suppose if very happy is canceled out by very sad, then I am merely neutral, a sitting duck trying to decide what the hell to do with myself until I recover from neutralism. Is that a word? It is now.

Attempted neutralism remedies and subsequent failures:

1. A very expensive cupcake from a boutique bakery.
Subsequent failure: stomach ache.

2. A bottle of Fat Tire:
Subsequent failure: a worse stomach ache.

3. Watching Moulin Rouge.
Subsequent failure: heartache.

4. Snickerdoodles.
Subsequent failure: see numbers 1 and 2.

5. Sleep.
Subsequent failure: insomnia.

6. A good long cry.
Subsequent failure: pounding headache.

Perhaps tomorrow will be more successful.

Per a google image search of "please make me smile," the following shenanigans ensued:

Apparently you can train a person to smile.

I just got really sleepy.

And considering I'm making very little sense and providing an extremely limited entertainment value, I should quit while I'm still somewhat ahead.


Friday, February 20, 2009


Current soundtrack: the ping ping-ing of 4 elevators

Current wish list soundtrack (or, consequently, the soundtrack in my head): Sarah Vaughn

How radical are good friends? I really love my friends, as they have become an extension of my family. After having flown the proverbial nest nearly 6 years ago, it has become increasingly apparent that friends are my lifeblood, my biggest fans, my biggest support system.

I am thankful for my friends.

This morning one of them said to me (via G-chat) after I asked him if we could all still be friends when we were middle-aged, married, and have children:

"I wouldn't be surprised if your kids were born hippies with tattoos and everything...
a birthmark that says 'one love.' "

This made me laugh. And happy to be grown up. With good friends by my side.

I think what has helped me re-realize that I love my friends so much is in fact another friend of mine, a new friend, who is about to leave for 2 years to join the Peace Corps in South America. Getting to know him recently, I have seen the way in which he truly cherishes his friends and those in his life that have affected him in a positive way. It has been inspiring getting to watch firsthand as he makes a point to recognize those around him and show them appreciation before he leaves for his big adventure. I love to meet people who are good at loving others, it spurs me on to work on loving those in my life to an even greater capacity.

Exactly 3 weeks from tomorrow is my 24th birthday.

This might be the first birthday in my life thus far in which I actually feel...old(ish). Mid-twenties. That means 30 is literally just around the corner. Whew.

I can't wait to see what myself and the people in my life have accomplished in 6 years.

It's exciting to be alive.

Forgive my scattered and piecemeal posting...I am sitting in an uncomfortable office chair at my desk and feeling the need to dwell on how much I appreciate life.


Oh, and...

one love.

PS Brighten your day here. Awesome.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Miss Amy Juliette Nelson

You are not alone.

In fact, we are in such similar places in life that I think you should move back to California...specifically to Newport Beach. With me. In my bed. We can spoon nightly.

Reasons why you should NOT live in Texas:

-It smells like manure.

-There are entirely too many cows there (see above), which I guarantee puts dangerously high levels of methane gas into the air causing undue respiratory problems from essentially inhaling too much poop.

-It is downstream from Colorado...and you DO NOT want to know what those Coloradans put in their water...knowing that they live upstream from Texas. They hate Texas.

-The Dallas Stars are the most hated team (by me) in the NHL, save for the Detroit Redwings. Which, clearly, won't be an issue unless you consider moving to Michigan. Then we might have to rethink our friendship.

-Beef. It's what for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.

-George W. Bush. 'Nough said.

-The KKK took my baby away.

- People like this live there. He admits that his garb of choice on a sunny day is a wife beater.

-Wife beaters.

-Everything's bigger. Bigger is not always better.

-I do not live there. And probably won't. Ever.

See, all good reasons.

Come home!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Somedays our future, it seems to hang on so tight"

Current soundtrack: Ra Ra Riot and The National

It is not often in my life that I am at a loss for words. I am extremely verbal and have been blessed with highly competent communication skills (thanks, Mom).

I have a lot in my head at the moment...but it's very difficult to get it out in a way in which it represents what I am truly feeling.






Yet at peace.

While working yesterday I had two very meaningful encounters with customers...I LOVE that about working at REI, I meet the most wonderful people that don't even realize how much they touch my life in little ways.

The first was a middle aged man that needed a backpack. He was so friendly and wanted to tell me all about his new-found desire to get in shape and to get out into the world and see things.

He is going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few months.

As I was fitting him for a pack, he started to ask me a little bit about myself and I easily indulged information about things happening currently in my life...there is something therapeutic about talking to a stranger who doesn't know all the gritty details.

With a determined look on his face he stopped what he was doing and looked me dead in the eye. He proceeded to tell me in a serious tone to live my life without hesitation and to wholeheartedly attempt to obtain the things I felt were right and good.

"Don't wait until you're my age, " he expressed passionately.

The other encounter I had was with an older couple who were looking to buy a GPS wrist unit for open sea kayaking. They were definitely in their late 60s or early 70s and positively still so in love with one another. They had this amazing connection to each other, finishing each other's sentences and giggling about it. They playfully joked and nagged one another and got on so easily, it was really fun to watch...I'm definitely not used to seeing that.

I talked to them a bit too, mostly about traveling and seeing the world and maybe even living in Europe and attending grad school...they were so enthusiastic about all my ideas, and told me right off to do them and to embrace my passions. They reminded me that if I didn't do it now, that I would most likely have to wait until retirement...which they admitted was a fun time but they didn't have the capabilities they had when they were young.

The wife thoughtfully encouraged me in saying, "You kids have a whole world of opportunities that we didn't have at your age. Take advantage of that."

And today, on my one day off in a string of ten work days, I sit here and wonder,

what the hell am I doing with myself?

And why am I where I am instead of where I want to be?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

secrets, secrets are no fun...or are they?

my day = extremely boring, borderline crappy, exhausting.

this helped.


I read a disturbing article on NPR's website today.

A simple disease is completely out of hand in Zimbabwe because the country lacks even the most basic of medical rubber gloves.

One doctor interviewed for the article revealed that his salary last month was 36 cents USD.


How does this happen?

And what can I do?

I feel a bit disgusted that I have griped about my salary...that is more than 5,000 times as much as that doctor's.

And I'm a lowly receptionist...with no medical degree.

Kinda puts it all into perspective.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Living in tension, with intention.

Current soundtrack: George Winston - The Holly & the Ivy

Is it weird that I need to listen to music while I write?

Here is how I know I am a blogging nerd...multiple posts in one day. Guess I can chock that up to a mentally intensive 24 hours.

Ok, shoot, I just need to take a bunny trail moment and comment on how insanely and intensely beautiful this piece of music is that I am listening to. George Winston. Freaking piano prodigy...wrote this arrangement of the Holly & the Ivy that combines joy, woe, surprise, lament, rebirth, love, and perhaps even loss into one delicious entity that is truly soul-soaring music. Maybe I am the only one that feels that way about it...but nonetheless, it touches me.

And I can't sleep. I have so much in my brain. And I had one of my ever-delicious green tea with soy milk concoctions tonight while having "coffee" with an old and dear friend.

Caffeine = insomnia.

It is this same old and dear friend that brought up the challenge of living in tension. What started it all was a rousing discussion of the life of Chris McCandless and the culmination of that life that led to the book Into the Wild and subsequently into a movie sometime thereafter. We were discussing how we both resonated with Chris's intentions in his apparent need to escape his reality. The way in which he chose to live his life was reckless...but he never looked back...and there is something about that that brings my soul a little bit closer to the surface of my being. However, the conclusion we came to regarding his decisions and ultimately the definite consequence to his actions, was that he lived his life in a great deal of selfishness. This is when my lovely friend brought up the idea of living in tension between the freedom and reckless abandon of Chris McCandless and the responsible awareness of being a good citizen of the human race.

And all of a sudden I realized the goal of my existence: to allow myself to live in as much reckless abandon as possible without neglecting the way in which I was made to impact the world and be impacted by it in return. The perfect marriage of emotional drive and heartfelt commitment to loving those I come in contact with in the most genuine and selfless way I know how.

What is most excellent is that this friend is leaving in 6 days to move to Zambia to work with a non-profit that believes they can truly change the face of Africa. What a wonderful way to live in tension.

Now current soundtrack: Bloc Party - On

Something about this band sweeps me away and drops me in London...perhaps it's that they are British. In all seriousness though, I seem to connect music in my life to many feelings and experiences and this song in particular puts me in the winter...with rain falling...and a peacoat...definitely a peacoat...and it makes me feel alive. And brings awake my intense itch to travel.

But then I am reminded of my job and my responsibilities.

And just how early 7am will come tomorrow morning.

Sigh. My time will come, I know it.

Ants Marching

Current soundtrack: Ryan Adams

Thank you, Dave Matthews for the borrowed title.

Today I was immersed in my first corporate America experience. I started a new job. In a high-rise building.

You know, one of those all glass types...the kind where you wonder how in the engineering universe they are structurally sound.

The kind that make you think of throwing large rocks just to know what sort of immensely deafening sound of shattering glass would come out of it.

And, in walking up to slick glass doors, mirrored and flawless elevators, beside immaculately groomed business men, I wondered what it would feel like to watch that world disassemble into a pile of shards. Then I shuddered.

Nothing about this foreign world is me. The fake smiles, firm handshakes, and glossy makes me wonder if I am in danger of losing the most crucially wonderful parts of myself; the wild abandon that drives me to romp in the wilderness, get dirt under my fingernails, allow my misplaced hairs to blow in the wind. The part of me that is connected to the universe at a mud and grime level. Primal even.

I must acknowledge how fortunate I am and that I refuse to allow my solemness about my new position take away from the fact that I am blessed and was given this job during a time when millions of Americans have been laid off. I know I am one of the lucky ones. And I am deeply humbled and grateful.

Until the day I am set free upon the world to make of it what I always dream of, I will contently park my car between all the BMW's and Mercedes Benz's of the world and know that I have been given an opportunity that 75% of the rest of the human race would kill to obtain.

I may not understand why I was chosen for such a blessed existence but I am doing my best to truly appreciate that.

And for more reasons than one I have nothing left to do but smile and feel deeply satisfied.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life is what you make it...I think.

When I set out to find an easy way to share my move to Newport Beach with over 30 family members and friends...I inadvertently became a blogger. I find myself fascinated at this concept, but it also seems to really fit me and the way in which I choose to communicate with the world around me.

So, without further adieu, welcome to my new blog, I guess.

On to the real meat...

I had a fascinating and extremely substantial conversation with a new friend last night in which my mind was challenged to really decide how I feel regarding this new state of transition in my life...and I realized where I found myself was in a very good place.

For starters, I have no idea how the rent or bills will get paid this coming month...I have found myself waiting much longer to start my new full time job than I anticipated. In the meantime, I am working somewhat scrappy hours at REI in hopes to pull together enough income to make life work for the time being. It's really stressful...yet I find myself strangely at peace with many things. Moving out of Los Angeles was huge for me. After 5 1/2 years of associating that place with an ominous black cloud that had consequently parked itself atop my little head, I was more than ready for a change of scenery. Living near the beach is incredibly life-giving for me. I have even begun to reassociate LA with positive things, considering I go up there fairly often to work at REI (which I love) and see some beloved people in my life. It's strange what a creature of my environment I am...that will probably prove to be very interesting when the time comes for me to travel or live out of the country...but I am excited at the prospect.

Adulthood couldn't be more difficult...or rewarding. It really is wonderful to grow up and enter the ever-dreaded "real world." It is truly when you become who you were meant to be...and with that comes great responsibilities and extremely soul-satisfying successes. Oh, nice aliteration!

Adulthood also requires a keen sense of humor and the ability to laugh at oneself for the sake of staying sane. It's ok to feel like a total dork, I do most of the time, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is so much better when you make light of the things that aren't worth a constant state of worry and depression.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" - Albert Camus

I JUST now received the call that everything has gone through at my new job and I will be starting tomorrow.

And suddenly I see how my rent and bills will be paid next month. Life is sweet.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Welcome to my new place in Newport Beach!

Friends and family,

Being that many of you have asked me to send pictures of my new place in Newport Beach, I decided to reach the masses by creating a quick little blog entry complete with photos and a virtual tour of sorts.

My new town house is amazing. It's located along the Santa Ana river less than 2 miles from the beach. A bike path runs along side the river making beach access a mere ten minute ride (and not having to worry about parking makes it completely worth it!). I am within walking/biking distance to all my favorite amenities including Trader Joe's, Chipotle, Togo's, CVS, a really cool place called Detroit Bar, and even a movie theater. And of course I am very close to the wonders of the tiny and beautiful city that is Newport Beach. I am about a 5 minute drive to the peninsula and less than 10 minutes from the little downtown Newport village area.

At last we begin our tour...

I should note that based on the location of our single car garage and carport, we enter our house through the back patio and sliding glass doors. It is here we begin our adventure:

Walking in the back gate from the rear of our carport ...

To the right of the gate we have some plants as well as the door into our single car garage...

To the left of the gate we have our wonderful little beachy adirondack furniture set...

Then, directly in front of the gate is the sliding glass door into the small hardwood dining area...

Walking into the door you can start to see the living room ahead of you and the kitchen is to the immediate right...

and the lovely kitchen...

Here is what is to the left when you walk in the sliding glass doors...we will eventually have a small dining set here to finish our little dining nook...

This is what you see when you turn back around and view the sliding glass doors from the living room...

And on to the living room! (Ignore the TV sitting on the's our old one and will be moved at some point...)

Quick side note before we continue with the living room: once into the room we have a little shoot off to a downstairs half bath which is right next to our large washer/dryer closet...

Ok, back to the living room, our comfy couch...

Another angle...

My pride and joy flat screen TV :)

And just to the right of the TV we have an awesome little lightswitch-operated fireplace! Don't know how handy that will be in Southern Cali but it's cozy nonetheless...

And for my FAVORITE feature of the house, our lighted built in book shelves (Jo, you'll love these)...

And now we head for the stairs, on the way we will pass our front door (which we never use, not even the UPS guy uses it)...

Here is our narrow little staircase, so narrow, in fact, that I had a heck of a time trying to get my full size box spring around the corner into the stairwell...we had to get creative...and take a little paint off the wall in the process, oops...

Once at the top of the stairs turn around to view our ugly hanging light fixture and our super awesome full length windows...

One more sharp turn and you have arrived in our upstairs hallway! My bedroom is the first door on the left...but we will come back to that tidbit later...

Down at the end of the hall you will find our first full bath that my roommate Autumn and I share...

It's all in the details...

Once inside, a sharp turn to the right takes you into the "shower room" with it's own door (making sharing a bathroom easier in the mornings...)

Ok, back to that tidbit from earlier...and on to the piece de resistance...MY ROOM! Into the doorway you are greeted by some of my paintings to the left...

And to the immediate right is my bookshelf, desk, etc...It's cozy but I made it all fit...

My window...

And keep rotating left to see my bed and another one of my paintings...

A bit more to the left and there is my dresser with the closet to the left a little further...

From the corner of the room near my bed back towards the door...

And at last we have begun where we the entrance to my room!

I hope you have all enjoyed the tour...all you missed was an empty bedroom that looks exactly like mine that awaits the arrival of my roommate Autumn in a week and the master bedroom with it's own full bath that my roommate Ashley lives in.

I look forward to each and every one of you visiting soon...I will keep an extra bike handy for those short rides to the long beach days this summer!