Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Goodbye to the elms, / to the farm, to the dog." - Elizabeth Bishop

"It's not goodbye, it's see you later." - Cab

Once when I'd just moved back to Seattle from Baltimore I went to a party at Tiffany's. I started talking to someone who would later turn into a good friend.* I told Evan that I might want to be a writer. He said, "Don't say that. Just be one. If you are a writer, write." That statement wasn't really profound, but for me, it changed everything. I said to myself, well, okay, if I'm going to write, I might as well write a blog, for practice, and see how it goes. That's short amounts, and no one expects it to be perfect. And I'm going to do it every day.

It didn't happen every day. It happened in fits and starts. I remember the day I got to 50 posts. I was ecstatic. My friend Kirk told me that I should have my own webspace, to get off blogspot. I was freaking out and unsure of what I was doing even with the incredibly easy blogspot, so I told him I'd wait til I got to 200 posts, that if I was still writing at 200 posts, I'd think about it.

So I kept chugging along and realized just last week that I'd written over 600 posts.

It's been a good run, this little blog. I've loved writing, I forget sometimes that people actually read it. It's made me a much better writer, and disciplined me well - I stuck to it.

But there's a season for all good things. For now, with commitments to school, work, people, and one particular canine, this blog's season is ending. There's also a couple writing projects I'd like to move from the back burner to the front one, without burning them. (Where did that saying come from anyway, the on the back burner saying?) I do plan on focusing my need for blog outlet at my other journal blog, Going Awry, with less frequent but more quality (ideally!) posts. Look there for a post about the 2010 word of the year, coming soon!

For now, adios amigos - I had a blast. I hope you enjoyed it.



*This is why you should go to parties. Because very, very rarely, when least expecting it, you will meet someone who speaks the same language, who can speak their truth in a way that makes your lungs inhale a little deeper. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's magic.

Monday, December 14, 2009

atomic g-chats

rempt: atomic unit of consumption

evs: has to raise $1500 by Friday. NBD.
realized while doing the dishes and tearing up at the Glee cast version of "Imagine," that it's time to prioritize finding a boyfriend.

taft: needs a nap

marsh: it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

maxin: loves my job! Woohoo!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

move it, move it, move it

I'm excited Elliott Bay is coming closer. Instead of a bus ride away, I could even walk there. YES!

Friday, December 11, 2009

who wants to go to morocco?

to visit imad and danielle and younis? It will be fun, I promise.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

wow, irs, I'm glad my taxes are supporting your auditing efforts

not really. aren't there some white collar criminals you guys could go after?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"he's so cheesy, I can't watch him without crackers" - lelaina, reality bites

Anthony Robinson wonders if we're losing our grip on reality.

I'm not sure I ever had one, actually.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

" addresses the fact that people aren’t really saying what’s going on inside them" -colin firth,

in the new york times yesterday...on the upcoming movie A Single Man, in which Firth plays a single man mourning the death of his lover in the 60's. He can't publicly mourn because he happens to be gay.

It's so true, so much of what we're thinking often lies beneath the surface and isn't expressed, due to personal choice and/or cultural pressures. It reminds me of Vivi in Divine Secrets, talking about how if people only knew what was going on inside of others, how fragile we are, we'd treat each other differently - better.

I just horribly misquoted that, but that's the essence of it...and then there's ingrid michaelson:

we are so fragile / and our cracking bones make noise /and we are just / breakable breakable breakable girls and boys

Probably I'm reminded of all of these because I'm feeling fragile myself. Death does that, reminds me of our frailty. And how we should be more careful with each other....and of course, it's Advent, the season where we're supposed to be paying attention. Eyes wide, hearts open.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"I enclose the latest product of my fevered brain." - Grandpa

My grandfather died a week and a half ago. It didn't really hit me til yesterday, when I couldn't stop crying, that he was gone.

Even after we'd spent Friday after the funeral sitting around the living room, reading through his files. Grandpa left 2 boxes of files, immaculately organized, in which he kept copies of every letter he'd ever written. He was a letter writing sort of man, so there were a lot:

There was a letter to the church that married him and grandma. He wrote it a year after her death. He said he was thankful they'd married him, and they ought to know he and his wife had stayed happily married for 64 years before she died.

There was a letter to my mother as a freshman in college, on why it was inappropriate to wear short skirts. He gave 10 reasons.

There was a letter to Curley, my cousin, whose room was apparently a mess: Grandpa admonished "a messy room is a sign of a deranged mind."

Grandpa was supposed to die about 4 years ago, when he was diagnosed with kidney failure and refused treatment. Instead, he moved in with my parents, and lived.

He wrote letters to his congressmen. After watching some Senate hearings and getting upset about John McCain badgering witnesses, something he felt a Senator was not supposed to do, he wrote a letter to McCain, asking him not to run on the Republican ticket, as he didn't want to waste his vote.

He went down to the King County Jail on Monday nights and hung out with men in prison.

I took him to see his sister June in Florida after he said he wanted to see her and make sure she was okay before he died. We flew to Pensacola and drove to Mariana. Grandpa told me all about the local history on the way.

He felt bad for stealing some chocolate bars from the Army supply truck when he was stationed at Guadalcanal in World War II. So in August, he sent a letter apologizing and a check for $50.00 to the Army.

He played pinochle with mom and dad, and sometimes the boys.

He told the Covington City Council that in a city in which the median income was $90,000, they ought to be able to afford to keep garbage off the streets.

And he told stories.

He told me once that he'd written Grandma love letters when he was courting her, but he'd signed them "Your Secret Admirer." And then he didn't tell her it was him til after she'd married him, since he was worried she wouldn't marry him.

He told my father about the time he'd argued a case all the way to the Supreme Court and won. It had something to do with roofing, and he'd memorized the roofing code. All of it.

He told me once (while I was wearing a skirt, I might add) that I should wear dresses to attract a man. In the same breath, he said the man I married better be a king.

I'm gonna miss him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

4th of july - no wait, december

I love the ad council. for real. they made these after september 11th in an attempt to stop backlash/hate against certain ethnic groups.

It's not as fuzzy at their home page. And also, you can check out all the other campaigns they've got going on.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

"That's Gretzky's life, right there, choosing between a vegan or a pothead, and she picks a dog instead." - NJ

Last night I took Wallace out the front door to go out one last time for the night. My friend LKT stopped her car in the middle of the road and insisted on playing this song for me, the whole thing:

She had it on her car radio, just to clarify, not on youtube. And all I have to say about Norah Jones is that people who were born on March 30th are pretty amazing.

But it's true. Given the choice of Male A (handsome debonair bigshot in fastfood company) or Male B (Microsoft techie guy obsessed with speeches), I pretty much always roll with Male C.

C in my case happens to be a beautiful chocolate border collie named Wallace, who has made me cry once, when he got lost. Pretty much every other day, he makes me laugh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

warm food

when it's getting chilly and nippy outside, foods that are nice to make and have at a potluck to celebrate finishing a big grad school project include:

mac n cheese (grill 1/2 an onion and some crimini mushrooms for 10 ish minutes and add before baking.)
cheesy olive bread (gotta love the pioneer woman)
stuffed baked pumpkin (wow. this was leeny's contribution, and it was AMAZING.)


We did also have salad in case you were worried about our lack of fiber. It was good too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"but will you come to MY birthday party?" - Lito

Lito is almost 3. I was leaving his older sister's birthday party last weekend, had gone out the front door and down the steps, when he opened the door, laid down above the steps, and asked if I would come back for his birthday, which falls in a couple weeks.

It's one of my most favorite things that's happened to me in a while. When kids ask you to be part of something, you know they really mean it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"they will come home." - bruce ramsey

Last Wednesday, Ramsey wrote a piece about Afghanistan that seemed pertinent. I didn't post it then, but I'm posting it now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

stars and puppets g-chats


yes a heart will always go one step too far.

"But one thing is certain," says Talcott. "If you're not outside on November 17, you'll miss the whole show.


breathe. just breathe. don't freak out. breathe .

people w/out g-chat status updates: 10.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

watch the stars tonight

peeps, there's a show in our backyard tonight. the leonid meteors are roaming around these days, and tonight's supposed to be the 'em.

it'll be a perfect end to the grad school project that has caused a few sleepless nights lately....done today at 3:30!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"i just want to hold you in my gaze for awhile so i can remember every line around your smile..."

Over the Rhine, When I Go lyrics...

Wow. Last night's OtR concert was kind of hard. I mean, I know they're melancholy, but every song? 7 in a row? of sadness? They seemed wistful. Like someone close was missing. I guess if you're really alive, someone close to you is missing.

There's a little sad season somewhere among the golden leaves and jacket wearing weather. I mean, All Saint's day, and day of the dead are here to help us remember those who've passed remind us of love and also to remind us that one day we too will shuffle off.

And then so many songs of sadness last night...Winter's coming, the hard season. Cold and flus running around, mothers telling kids to wash their hands and bundle up, harking back to previous times pre-antibiotics, when a runny nose could mean the beginning of some serious illness and even death.

During this song I started thinking about Thomas. And Matt. And Stephen. And Marian and Pat and all the others we've loved so much who've left us here. And I started thinking about all the people who loved them, and wanted them to stay so badly.

That's all really. That there's a time to laugh. And a time to mourn. And it was a good weekend to remember people I've loved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"No," says Grampy...

sounding disappointed with himself. "Back then I didn't know women liked flowers. But one time, when she got sick, I bought her a box of oranges. You know, Vitamin C. None of the other fellas did that. I guess that made an impression."

from Learning to Float...

Oranges would be nice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"He told you you were transparent? Can we beat him up?" - k8, March 2001

Sometimes it is bizarre to go through old journals. Well, I guess it's always bizarre. To see who you were in another life, before events conspired to shape you into who you are today. But other times it's painfully funny. I was so convinced I was spending the rest of my life with the guy k8's talking about, and simply devastated when I realized that would not be the case. Now I only have a hazy view in my head of what he looks like. Thank God for good friends.

K8 and I have been trading boy stories for about 10 years now. We've also moved on to other subjects, including cooking, music, weird things that people we love do or experience, and what to do with this crazy thing called life. I wonder what we'll be talking about 10 years from now.

I'm holding my breath lately because I think she might be coming back to the Pacific Northwest, and that would be just so cool, to have one of the 3 best amigos close by...It's hard sometimes, when the people who know you best aren't close by, around for just hanging out and shooting the breeze. Although skype-ing and cell phones help a lot, I miss them terribly. Sometimes there's nothing better than a face to face conversation. So here's to 2010 and good friends coming home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When you come home / and all the world's asleep /

I'll close my eyes / and breathe with sweet relief"....

- OtR, from "Snowed in with You"

Over the Rhine is coming to Seattle this weekend, and I've been preparing by listening to their albums over and over and over and over again. Even Snow Angels has made an appearance, and I usually can't stand Christmas music before December. But that album, wow, I love it.

And I felt like this poem Linford's got below, before I went away last weekend. Even though I went to a city, I needed to get out of the one I was in...


I have to leave the city now, she said,
Or dash my soul against my will instead.

I do not wish to have the quiet part of me
That once could rest (the part
That could just be) tossed
Aside and left somewhere
For dead.

Tonight it seems to me
That what some friends call energy
Is nothing more than a phenomenon of nature known as
"Incurable Whirling Disease."

Please, take me far from here, she said,
The buildings sting and echo
With the fumy cries of yellowjacket cars.

I took her hand in mine and said,
I'm thinking of a place now
Where I used to have to tell myself
Those are not clouds,
They're stars.

Copyright 2007, Linford Detweiler

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"I do know the sorrow of being ordinary...

and that much of our life is spend doing the crazy mental arithmetic of how, at any given moment, we might improve, or at least disguise or present our defects and screw-ups in either more charming or more intimidating ways."

Anne Lamott, in Grace (Eventuallly)

Oh, Anne. How true.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, the perception thing. Of how we perceive others and they perceive us. Of how we're all just really faking it, to a certain extent.

And how beautiful those people are who can be nothing less than real, than themselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i left my heart in San Francisco.....

which was gorgeous last weekend.....I went to Piedmont, in Oakland, which I guess is technically not San Fran, but it was still beautiful. We walked to the Farmer's Market by Grand Lake and sat in the sun and ate spinach and bread and cheese and apples. And we walked to Mountain View Cemetery to Millionaire's row, where the Ghirardelli family's got a huge crypt, along with other famous folks....and we made butternut squash soup, and mushroom crepes, and transferred a jade plant in the garden, and it was all lovely. It's nice having cousins who grow up to be people you'd like to spend time with, instead of people you have to spend time with.

Monday, November 9, 2009

if I were an elephant

I might try and escape from the circus, too. This conjured up memories of Dumbo's mom, weeping in that storm scene. And of course, the classic, "Baby Mine"...

If you're looking for a good book in which an elephant figures prominently - well, actually becomes a central character - check out Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. It's beautiful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

phone message from k8

"Hey Gretzky, it's k8. I need to update you on my Saturday evening. I'll leave it on your voice mail so you have a record of it.

I met a man named Joshua. He saw me across the room and walked over to me. He said, "You have the most beautiful smile. I'd like to get to know you." He's from Kenya, he's been here a month. I said, "What brought you to America?" He said, "I came to find my bride, and I just found her."

That's right. Me."

So don't underestimate the power of your smile, peeps.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

but don't write your novel like these guys

Or do.

They're funny.

Joel Stickley: how to write badly well and Joel with his friend Luke: who writes this crap?

(via argh ink, via the dish)

I want to write a funny blog with my friends. About dates. Because really, what's more funny than two people trying to decide if they'd like to, you know, get to know each other better, when they make said decision in approximately 45 minutes over lukewarm, usually bad, coffee?

Who's in? Oh, wait. Can we wait til 2011 when I'm finished with school? Except if I'm still going on crappy dates in 2011, I might resort to drastic measures and hibernate in a cave forever. I recognize that would be counter-productive to the eventual goal, but goals in dating are over-rated.

I mean, at this point, my goals for a date include the following:

1) To have a reasonably non-awkward conversation with a straight, single male under 40. Who is gainfully employed and knows how to wash dishes. For approximately 45 minutes to an hour. If the date's going well, maybe for 2 hours, but that's really pushing it.

2) To not bring up education. It's the kiss of death for them, really. I'm too passionate about it and invariably we start arguing, they don't know what they're talking about, and argue poorly about why charter schools are a bad idea or something along those lines and I get irritated and then when they call, I don't want to answer, because I'm thinking about what a moron they are. (For the record, if they could argue well about why charter schools are a bad idea, I would listen. It's just the crappy arguments that annoy me. And for the record, I also think it's a bad idea to argue on a first date. I don't think that bodes well. )

3) In said conversation, discern if this person would be worth hanging out more with. Evidence collected by the following:

A. If said person can only talk about one topic, it's a no. For example, late 60's British comic books superheroes. I mean, that's interesting for a bit, but it only goes so far...
B. If said person brings up habits of illegal drugs, pornography, theft, various felonies, etc., it's a no.
C. If said person makes racist comments, it's a no.
D. If said person is rude to old people or the waitstaff, it's a no.

And another thing: I recently learned of a family tradition of which I had been blissfully unaware...Apparently there is a tradition (on dad's side) of first dates turning into first nights. For real, this tradition goes back two generations before me, and it's good my parents don't read this blog or I would be in deep crapola right now. So am I doomed to repeat this? Or not to repeat it? Well, I haven't embraced this tradition so far. Does that mean I haven't met the right guy? Or am I just over-analyzing? Probably over-analyzing, let's be honest.

Whew. Mom always tells me how picky I am, and I guess she's right.

Friday, November 6, 2009

you should be writing a novel

this means you.

November is National Novel Writing Month.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

phone message from mom

Gretzky, this is your mom. I saw a lot of flu today, so wash your hands. I'm just delivering good hygiene tips. You're exposed en masse at UW, you know.

And on the plane, when you go to San Francisco this weekend, don't touch anything on the plane.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

crocodile smart phone g-chats

They want the Crocodile song, I DON'T KNOW THE CROCODILE SONG!

didn't realize until after leaving the DMV that they made a mistake on her license. According to the District of Columbia, she is 5'0" and, apparently, morbidly obese.

somebody get this freakin' duck away from me!

johnny v:

Mr. Boy Eggplant Parm -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

you're never on your own

sij's kids are the cutest. go listen here.

funny how kids get community in ways grown-ups don't.

Monday, November 2, 2009

why would my wife buy me a parachuting trip unless she wanted to get rid of me? - Eoin Colfer

Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, and Eoin Colfer are all hilarious.

If you didn't know, Barry (humor writer) and Pearson (psycho killers writer) teamed up to write about what happened before Captain Hook was Captain Hook. What emerged was this. It's pretty spectacular.

Eoin Colfer is the Artemis Fowl guy, also spectacular. All three were in town last week. I took a couple kids with me and went to hear them. The kids had forgotten their books at home, and Eoin Colfer asked the oldest which was her favorite. She said "Airman," and he said, "I'm getting this book for you." She said, "But I have it." And he said, "this'll be a signed copy."

So he signed the book for all the kids and they happily took it home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

more baldwin

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

- James Baldwin, Nothing Personal

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"It might have been easier and more sensible to..

..have met and fallen heavily for some glamorous unattached stranger, but the one thing love never did have was logic." - Dick Francis, Banker

Friday, October 30, 2009

"for the record, I am going outside in my pink penguin pants." - gretzky

Wallace sometimes needs to go out at times that are inconvenient to myself. Being already in pajamas is one of those times.

It was so chilly this week we finally turned the heat on, and I brought out the flannel pink penguin pants, my favorite winter pajamas EVER. They are a tad bit - okay, a LOT - ridiculous looking - and last night I took Wallace outside while wearing them.

Thankfully only Natalie and Finn the Irish wolfhound were walking down the street, and Finn said hi to Wallace while I said hi to Natalie. Natalie likes to walk Finn in her pajamas too, fleecy ugly brown sweat pants, and this makes me feel better, since she's one of those 110 lb, blond haired, blue eyed women who look great without makeup, the kind of woman that makes me feel like I've eaten too much ice cream just by looking at her.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the pink penguins will make another streetside appearance at some point, since I'll wear them all winter long and Wallace has to go outside a lot.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

i like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework - lily tomlin

I think we always need teachers, no matter where we are in life, and Ann Patchett does too. She talks about this in her little commencement speech book, What Now?. She thought she had written a great speech and then asked one of her old teachers to read it..he told her it wouldn't work, and she needed to do it over again.

"This was not a situation that called for a rewrite. It was time to let the whole thing go gentle into that good night. I sat on my couch for a long time and stared out the window. I had no interest in starting over again, but there are some people we grant the role of oracle in our lives and when they speak - rarely, gravely - we are well-advised to listen. When I had written my new speech (a shorter version of this book), I did not send it back to Allan. I didn't need to. After all, I am a good student. I had done everything he told me."

(page 90)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"the secret is...

finding the balance between going out to get what you want and being open to the thing that actually winds up coming your way. What now is not just a panic-stricken question tossed out into a dark unknown. What now can also be our joy. It is a declaration of possibility, of promise, of chance....It takes discipline to remain curious; it takes work to be open to the world - but oh my friends, what noble and glorious work it is....Make up some plans and change them. Identify your heart's truest desire and don't change that for anything. Be proud of yourself for the work you've done. Be grateful to all the people who helped you do it. Write to them and let them know how you are. You are, every one of you, someone's favorite unfolding story. We will all be anxious to see what happens next."

(pages 76-80, Ann Patchett, What Now)

Isn't that last sentence just gloriously sappy and sweet and true all at the same time? Love it, love it, love it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the he's just not that into you debates

are many, and i will not spend much time on them here.

I will say, though, that the red flag exercise is HILARIOUS (page 58), and also that Greg is funny: "I think you should lose 175 pounds - in the form of your loser boyfriend - not the twenty you're talking about" (page 62).

Monday, October 26, 2009

"You know, get out there. You'll have higher standards right now. Get right back in it." - P.J.

The day after I broke up with someone earlier this year, this was P.J.'s advice.

I don't usually follow my little brother's dating suggestions (see previous posts about his Seahawk-jersey-wearing/bar-hopping advice if there's any questions about why that might be), but I did listen to him here - it seemed in a similar vein as the get-right-back-up-on-the-horse theory. Which most of the time I'm not known to endorse, but sometimes it works out alright.

So I listened to P.J...which has led to several nice dates with several nice guys, and then one which included a series of unfortunate events, which I will relay here.

We started at a used bookstore, which you'd think would be great, since I love books, and want to be a librarian. Also, I was giving him points for suggesting a bookstore instead of the ubiquitous coffee first date. One of the first books we spied was Dates from Hell. No joke. This should have been my first clue. But conversation was flowing, he was amusing, all good. Actually, by conversation flowing, I should have said, he was talking. A lot. About himself. I learned that he worked in a marketing department for a fast-food chain. Happily worked in said job. This was enough to end the date right there, let's be honest. But then I thought to myself I was being snobby, and should give him a chance, even if his job involves encouraging kids to eat horribly every day.

We then decided to walk around Green Lake. I got into his car, a new model, with a computer screen in it in the middle of the dash....On said computer screen was a computer generated image of a scantily clad - read: almost naked - woman under the title "Sally Mae."

Gretzky: "What's up with the picture?"

SM: "Oh that? That's my car's name, Sally Mae."

Gretzky: "Did the picture come with it?"

SM: "Oh, I picked that one out."

Gretzky: "Hmm, my cars haven't had pictures attached to them."

SM: "Really? Do you know which street I turn on next?"

At this point I wanted to open the car door and leap out, but I was wearing boots and tights and figured if I had to make an Alias-style roll, my tights wouldn't make it in the event my knees touched the ground.

So I stayed in the car, and learned a few more things about SM. At one point he asked if I was a lesbian. I think he was trying to be funny, but I'm not exactly sure how this train got started.

I think I murmured something along the lines of, "I'm here with you, right?" and then SM went back to talking about himself.

Also, it should be noted that in previous communication with SM, he had mentioned he hated profanity. Now, we all know Gretzky's mouth is not the cleanest - I once again said "fuck" this weekend in church - and I don't really care about profanity either way from someone else as long as they not cursing at me specifically. I can clean it up when I want to. But he was cursing the whole date long. And I just thought it stupid, to have a double-standard, that he gets to curse but others don't. WTF?

So I thought I was speechless after this date, but there it all is. Where does Earth get these people?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

wallace will work for food

Love takes off masks

that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. - James Baldwin

(via Runyan.)

James, how I love thee. Let me count the ways:

1) Go Tell it on The Mountain
2) Jimmy's Blues
3) The Fire Next Time

I'm sure there's more, I just haven't gotten there yet.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"I thought our story was epic.."

Veronica: "Epic?"

Logan: "Spanning years and continents, lives ruined, blood shed, epic. But summer’s almost here, and we won’t see each other at all. You’ll leave town and…it’s over. I’m sorry about last summer. If I could do it over...

Veronica: C’mon. Ruined lives, blood shed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?

Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.

(Season Two, Episode 20, Alterna-prom Scene.)

Oh, Logan. How I hated you at first, but since then, I have come to love you as much as Veronica does.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"I just said made or broke it. I don't think you can use that phrase in the past tense." - nj

Grammar thought of the day:

Make or break.

In past tense, does it work?

Somehow, "made it or broke it" doesn't seem to have the right ring to it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


that's all I have to say about danielle's thoughts here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

all the single ladies

from The Night of the Iguana (1964):

Hannah: There are worse things than chastity, Mr. Shannon.

T. Lawrence Shannon: Yes - lunacy and death.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the quoteless book

When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Otsuka.

I can't pull anything out of it, because it would be taken out of context in a terrible way, and you just need to read the whole thing. For real.

It's starkly beautiful, which I know is cliche, but it's true. This novel was a beautiful, beautiful telling of a very difficult story that we seem reluctant to talk about - the Japanese internments during World War II.

Monday, October 19, 2009

oh, sophie, how sweet are you?

check it out: Missed Connections Interpretations.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"All your dilemnas about which Wilson brother to like are solved." - k8

"Luke. Always Luke." - gretzky

"No, Andrew, the oldest." -k8

"Isn't he married?" - gretzky

"Does that matter in the scheme of things? We're not talking reality here..." - k8

Andrew Wilson is in Whippet, the roller derby movie directed by Drew Barrymore. It's on my list of things to see, but that list is growing as the schoolwork pile grows....

According to k8: "Dialogue lacking. Story good. Also, I was delirious, so..."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

g-chattin' it up - evs takes the cake


[sung in Paula Cole voice] "Where have all the straight guys goooooooooooooooooooone??"


My manager's way of describing our team strategy for the next 2 1/2 weeks: "In the words of my students who once set the copier on fire and rolled it down the hallway and into the girls’ bathroom at beautiful Southwestern High School: 'Let’s burn this bitch down.'”


just received a facebook message from an actor on the West Wing asking how we know each other. It's probably inappropriate to write back and say "We don't. I'm just a stalker."

Friday, October 16, 2009

"people love each other for all sorts of different reasons," Roxanne said....

"Most of the time we're loved for what we can do rather than for who we are. It's not such a bad thing, being loved for what you can do."

"But the other is better," Gen said....

"Better. I hate to say better, but it is. If someone loves you for what you can do then it's flattering, but why do you love them? If someone loves you for who you are then they have to know you, which means you have to know them."

( Bel Canto, Ann Patchett, p.224)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"It's no good trying to fool yourself about love.

You can't fall into it like a soft job, without dirtying up your hands. It takes muscle and guts. And if you can't bear the thought of messing up your nice, clean soul, you' better give up the whole idea of life, and become a saint. Because you'll never make it as a human being."

- Jimmy to Helena, in Look Back in Anger

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"I can't imagine how anyone would get to know you and see how great you are and then decide not to date you."

"...You're great. Who's better than you?" ~ Mom

Shortly after college, when my heart was deeply broken by someone I thought about spending the rest of my life with - the kind of young, head-over-heels lust/love you think you'll never get over, and in fact it takes a long while to do so - after that, when I was so distraught, my mother told me I shouldn't tell her about anyone I even thought about dating. She said unless I was engaged to them, she didn't want to know. She said I could call them "Mr. X," she just didn't want to meet them and know them and start to care about them if they weren't actually going to officially join the family. She's since become less neurotic and rescinded this policy, but I have followed it religiously. I usually never tell her about anyone I am even remotely interested in. She did know about the 28 dates, but that was because I had to tell her about one really atrocious, ridiculous date I knew she would laugh at. And she did.

For the record, I'm not the only one in the family who doesn't tell her about dating. One of my siblings has brought 2 significant others home and both afterwards broke up with him. Their loss, really. He's amazing and so are the rest of us. (We're also crazy, but amazing nonetheless.) It's kind of become a family joke - don't bring them home, don't tell mom about them, or it'll be bad for the relationship.

But I broke the silent policy last month, to tell her about someone who did not, in fact, want to date me, and it made me so glad to have her for a mom, because what she said above did more for my self-esteem than just about anything in the world. And then she gave me a navy blue corduroy dress, saying, "I got you this. You're the only one in the world I can tell just by looking at the dress if it'll look good on you or not. "

Wow, I'm lucky. I heart mom.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"But will he love me like Calvin loves Alice?" - from a young woman's letter to writer Calvin Trillin

After reading About Alice, I know what this woman means.

You could read it in about an hour, it's just a little snippet of a thing. It's a lovely homage to Alice - wife, mother, writer, and teacher who was much beloved.

The first book Trillin published after her death is inscribed: "I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice." Trillin speaks of wanting to impress Alice, of wanting her to laugh if he was trying to make something funny. And there's a lovely vignette about Dick Francis, one of the best English mystery novelists of all time, who spoke about his wife, Mary Francis, helping him write. After her death, he didn't think he could publish another novel.

It's effing damn stories like this that screw me up in the love department. Just when I think I'm ready to settle for any nice young man whom my mother would adore, I have to read a book like this, and start to wonder along with that young woman - Will he love me like Calvin loves Alice? Or like Dick loves Mary?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

return of the Sonics saga

I believe I've discussed growing up with a rabid Sonics fan for a father and watching Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, and Detlef Schrempf play, and I really hope I've mentioned how great Kevin Calabro is, because I have many childhood memories of listening to CAlabro's voice while watching the games - Dad hated the tv announcers and only listened to Calabro. There was a point in my young life when I owned approximately 900 basketball cards, believe it or not. I'm pretty sure I traded them to one of my brothers, but who knows where they all ended up.

Anyway, multiple people have documented the heartbreaking move of my team to a horrible place that will not be mentioned. I thought I was getting over it, although I haven't seen a decent basketball game in forever..I think I'm still in the denial phase of grief.

Well, they've made a movie. Be still my heart: I think I have three new crushes: filmmakers Adam Brown, Jason Reid, and Darren Lund.

You can see it tonight at the SIFF and then on the Internet: Sonicsgate.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

continuing banned books week

You might or might not have known that last week was Banned Books week.

As in, read a banned book, it's good for you.

The following, according to the ALA, are frequently challenged books. There's a lot of good ones on here, go read them if you haven't. I've highlighted my favorites from this list:

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
41. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
57. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
66. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
68. Light in August by William Faulkner
69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
72. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
85. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
87. The Bostonians by Henry James
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
93. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Monday, October 5, 2009

"there is a holiness for the heart's affections..." - John Keats

I love the Romantic poets. Quote me Shelley, Byron, Coleridge, and I swoon.

I've never been a huge Keats fan, although you have to give him credit for things like "a thing of beauty is a joy forever." I mean, really, how many people know that's Keats?

But the real star of Bright Star is Fanny Brawn, played beautifully by Abbie Cornish.

Keats sends her a love letter, the first one, I think, and Fanny grabs Toots, her little sister, and says, "I love you, I love you, I love you."

That's the thing about love, real love, that is: The more you get, the more you give. That's what's so amazing about it.

From one of Keats' letters to Fanny:

"My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it. I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment - upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses."


Be still my heart.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"There's nothing sexier than a competent man." - k8

I was at the dog park this morning, and two dogs decided they really didn't like each other. All of a sudden, they started fighting.

One of the men there (Side Note: There seem to be more men on a Sunday. I should keep this in mind.) broke it up. Jumped right into the middle of it without thinking, and grabbed one of the dogs, which was enough to stop it.

Now, I suppose some might say he was stupid, but from where I was standing it just appeared very competent.

Be still my heart.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

can we all find k8 a dietitian job in Seattle? Please?

I forgot people read this blog who might have connections. So if anyone knows of anything, e-mail me so k8 can move back to washington!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"off!" - woman at the dog park

Here is what I have to say to certain dog owners. Well, just to one who goes to the same dog park I do:

Please train your dog. If he does not listen to you, it is your job to train him. If he jumps up on every single other person there, it's your job to train him not to. If he barks at all the other dogs, growls in their face, and snaps at two of them, he might need some different socialization before coming to the regular dog park.

Please, Ms. Dog Owner, Train your dog!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

just in case you need to be reminded about the achievement gap:

I would like to point out that of the UW's 5,000 incoming freshmen, 131 are black.

This is 2.6% of the class.

"I didn't tell her it was me until after we were married." - grandpa

Grandpa was telling me how he would walk Grandma home from work and try and think of ways to prolong the walk so he could spend more time with her.

They courted for 6 months, and then got married.

He sent his mother a letter saying he'd met the girl he wanted to marry, and she sent him back a telegram saying "Come home. Immediately."

Somewhere in that 6 months of time, he started writing her love letters, using the pseudonym "Jean-Pierre." He said she'd get riled up whenever she got one, wondering who in the heck this Jean-Pierre guy was.

He didn't tell her it was him all along until after they got married.

He said he thought she would be mad, and he wanted to make sure she married him first.

Monday, September 28, 2009

raise your right you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth....

My grandmother gave me her mother's engagement ring on my 16th birthday.

I put it away and told myself I'd take it out and wear it on my right hand when I was 25.

Well, 25 came and went, and the other day when I was visiting Gramps, I decided I'd put it on. I was overwhelmed with school approaching and life happening and feeling a bit off in general. Feeling like there was too much to do and needing to just slow down and breathe and pay attention to what was trying to be told if I'd just open my ears to listen.

I'd just read about Jen Crusie adopting 2 new dogs, and I wanted that, all of a sudden - a house in the middle of nowhere, with 5 dogs and a barn cat, a big garden with squash and eggplant and sunflowers that grow taller than my dad, and lots of kids running all over the place, enough for a baseball team at least.

And I was sad about Gramps - he's getting slower and slower and his mind is still here, but his body's wearing out fast. I hope he at least makes it to Dale and Princess Consuela's wedding.

Anyway, the ring felt right sitting there, and I thought, damn, I'm gonna wear this ring.

Various stories have made the rounds about my great-grandmother. She married young, a fellow Swedish immigrant. While in love with him at first, she rejected him in the end....she moved in with my grandparents and lived with them until she died. My mom once found great-grandma smoking in her closet. For real. She adored my father, his sisters still talk about how he was her favorite. When I was born, she cradled my head and declared my ears were lovely. And she told my mom about some things that happened in her life that aren't really my story to tell here, but suffice to say the woman was honest.

I want to be that kind of honest, the kind that tells the truth regardless of the consequences. But I don't want to wait til the end of my life to tell it, I want to tell it now.

So I haven't fallen prey to the Women of the World, Raise your Right Hand ad campaign, and I don't think diamonds are the way to go, but I'm wearing this ring in my great-grandmother's memory. I do believe she's gonna help me get through school the next two years. And that's the truth I see tonight.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Why does everyone want to date HER?" - Lily

Preface to this story:

Veronica = Cool, funny, sweet, and pretty cute.

Jackie = Anal, angular, obnoxiously high voice, impossible to please.

Now that you've met the characters, here we go.

A while ago, Veronica and Logan were hanging out a lot, and they decided not to date, but Veronica still liked him a little bit. Not a lot, not the kind of liking where your heart beats and you can't breathe and you don't know what to say sort of liking, more along the lines of, you're a good friend and I wish you were the kind of friend who wanted to touch me all the time sort of liking. Which in the long run might be better than the first kind, now that I think about it.

Anyway, a while after that, Veronica and Wallace were hanging out a lot, and then Wallace told Veronica he wanted to date Jackie.

Veronica was sad and disappointed, because she liked Wallace.

Then she moved on. And Wallace and Jackie didn't date forever.

Well, turns out now Logan likes Jackie.

Seriously, what is with her? She is SO not as cool as Veronica.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

" you guys are back! (pause) oh, you're back!" - Waitress at ringo's favorite restaurant

Funny story:

On Monday, Ringo took a man to her favorite restaurant and told him she didn't want to see him anymore.

On Tuesday, she took a new man to the same place, and the waitress got confused, thinking the Monday couple was back again...

Tonight we did not go to the favorite restaurant, nor to the Cuban party, which we knew would be fun, or to the birthday/housewarming, which I'm sure was also going to be fun. Instead we all stayed in and made the best fall dinner ever:

First Course:

Butternut Squash and Apples, Roasted
Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds

Second Course:

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Third Course

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Along with, at various points: wine, water, milk, and tea.

Wow, it was good. We made the cake after eating the squash and green beans. YUM.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

splendid summer g-chats

evs: Um, love this:

hughes: ♫ Baked Orzo -

k8: hold your own / know your name / go your own way

wunsch: Seattle + September = Splendid

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

i heart metro

and the bus drivers.

The#2 drivers are clearly the best, but there's a lot of good ones out there. Westneat's story on Sunday reminded me I shouldn't assume so much about people I don't often do much more than glance at.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"top ten sports movies of all time. now. go." - brendan

Brendan used to spout off top ten list questions whenever there was a lull in conversation...And the thing of it was, he'd always have an answer prepared for every one. Top 10 baseball players. Top 10 teacher movies. Top 10 foods. Top 10 novels. He thought in lists. Or at least talked in them.

I cannot narrow down my top 10 novels, but I can narrow down my top 2 love stories:

They are Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, and Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver. Prodigal Summer is not my favorite Kingsolver book, actually, that one is Animal Dreams, but Prodigal Summer is tied with Bel Canto for favorite love story. Prodigal Summer might actually tip the scales slightly higher. Bel Canto makes me believe in the possibility of great love, love you could drown in. It also leaves me feeling desperately sad. Prodigal Summer seems a little more ordinary, but leaves me wanting nothing more than to be in love, as if it's the natural way of things.

But I'm re-reading Bel Canto right now, and in the best parts - the middle, where you hope this great big love Gen and Carmen find themselves in works and lasts and they figure out some way out of the Vice President's house:

"A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air..." (page 207)

And then there's Simon and Edith Thibault, so fantastically tender and lovely:

"Had she been like this and he had never known?....Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of this life was his wife." (page 36)

That sentence alone is worth reading the book for.

Dammit, I forgot Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. Okay, top 3 love stories: Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night must be mentioned.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"once upon a time there were 4 little rabbits" - Beatrix Potter

I don't know that I would recommend the movie Ms. Potter, but I have to say I recommend Beatrix Potter as an amazing woman. She defied convention, insisted on preserving farmland and donated all her land to the public, was a scientist, and published over 20 amazing books.


But I am struck by the love stories she had. There were two, mostly... First, her publisher. Her parents weren't happy since he was in trade and thought Beatrix would be marrying down. She insisted on it anyway, and sadly didn't get the chance to marry him - he died before they could be married.

And two, a lawyer, whom she marries at 47. At this point, she has all the money she needs, and certainly isn't marrying for social gain....which makes me think it must be love, and that makes me happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

and now for a series of love stories

I was driving to work yesterday morning and heard this 4 minute story about Basheer and Amani, who have been engaged for 3 years, separated when Hamas gained control of the Gaza strip.

I am not ashamed to say that

1) I cried.


2) It made me believe in love again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

we interrupt the love updates

to bring you a man who has not found love. Listen up.

I can't decide which is my favorite: "Maybe you're on medication," or "You should look that up, passive aggressive personality disorder."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"spread love like butter"

My corps members this summer wrote me a funny fake lesson plan before I left Institute that is adorable.

In the guided practice section, it says "Spread love like butter."

On this first day of school here in Seattle, this is what I would like to remind teachers of, to love their kids.

That's all, folks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

the 9th thing: love

I won't make it to the 10 things, but that's okay.

Last Sunday when we went up to look for Wallace, P.J. said, "If this were a Disney movie, he'd run right up to us. Right now."

He didn't. We left.

Holly called yesterday morning to say that Wallace was standing in her driveway, and she called him, but he ran away.

So when we went up yesterday to find him, we went to her address, and knocked on her door, but she didn't answer. Then I turned around, and saw Wallace. Through the trees. Mom couldn't see him, but I walked slowly over, talking softly all the way, and about 20 feet away from him, he ran right to me.

the 8th thing: hope

Hope grows between the cracks in the asphalt... - John Mark McMillan

The 8th thing that happens is that you become amazingly grateful for the people in the world who call about your dog, and you think that there are some pretty great people in the world, after all.

Over the course of this past week, so many people called to tell me they'd seen Wallace, I seriously thought I might have to move to Lake Bosworth, since it's obviously a community where people care about each other...Viola Hudson, who must be about75 years old, called just to let me know that one of our posters was falling down and she'd taped it back up, and she hoped we found him. And Charlie and Peggy called to tell me Wallace was getting into their neighbor's garbage but ran away when they tried to get close to him. And Rod, and Carol, and so many others....I want to send them all thank you notes with hugs inside, just for being great people.

Hope, peeps. That's about hope.

the 7th thing that happens when your dog is lost: peace

is that some of your best friends from college come into town to have sunday breakfast, and as you eat blueberry pancakes together, you are reminded of who you once were and who you will become all at once.

It is a lovely gift, to be able to hang out with people who love you so well.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

6 things that happen when your dog is lost

1) You cry a lot. Every day, actually. For a non-cryer, this is kind of a record.

2) You get pissed off WAY more easily than normal. For example, while driving to work, someone cuts you off and instead of your normal one or two expletive laced response, you let loose a string worthy of a 17th century pirate or of that "fuck" scene in the Wire, Season One, with Bunk and McNulty.

3) You eat two bowls of rocky road ice cream every night. Sadly, it doesn't help.

4) k8 asks why you stopped blogging. you say, "I'm wallowing in my effing misery and I don't have anything to write about because I'm so depressed and angry about my dog being gone. " It sounds like a country song.

5) When your girlfriends make you dinner two nights in a row and you drink a bottle of wine both nights, you decide that drinking a bottle of wine every night might be a great lifelong coping strategy. This could technically mean you become a raving alcoholic....

6) You really, really, really, really appreciate the friends who call and say things like, "I'm sorry about Wallace. Are you okay?" Or the friends who write you a card. An actual card. That was mailed. Wow. Also, the ones who call and offer to go looking for him with you or put up signs with you. It shows 1) how great of a person they are and 2) how much they care about you. It is really amazing to have such great friends. All women, I should note. Women, people. Women should run the world. It would be such a better place. On the flip side, because you have temporarily turned into an irrational crazy person, you wonder if the people who aren't calling you really do care about you, and you decide they don't.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"is it undying love for me or just good old-fashioned lust?" - Weevil

I heart Weevil. On a 1-10 scale, at approx. a 7.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Shall love, in the building, grow so ruinous?" - Luciana

Comedy of Errors, Act III, Scene II.

I went to see Comedy of Errors a bit ago at Volunteer Park, which is a lovely venue for Shakespeare. Luciana's thoughts on love were what I thought was the most substantive part of the play....Here she is talking to the man she thinks is her sister's husband, but is actually that man's twin, and in love with her....


And may it be that you have quite forgot
A husband’s office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love thy love-springs rot?
Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
Then for her wealth’s sake use her with more kindness.
Or if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth—
Muffle your false love with some show of blindness.
Let not my sister read it in your eye;
Be not thy tongue thy own shame’s orator;
Look sweet, be fair, become disloyalty;
Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger.
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted.
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint.
Be secret-false. What need she be acquainted?
What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed
And let her read it in thy looks at board.
Shame hath a bastard fame, well manag├Ęd;
Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women, make us but believe,
Being compact of credit, that you love us.
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;
We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again.
Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife.
'Tis holy sport to be a little vain
When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.

"Muffle your false love with some show of blindness" is a tear-jerker...I wonder how many men have been told such things?

The end, that part where she says essentially that it's okay to lie a little if it's in the hope of harmonious relationship also makes me wonder.....

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Real power is usually unspectacular,

a simple setting aside of fear that allows the free flow of love. But it changes everything."

- Martha Beck

Sunday, August 23, 2009

love for our grandmothers

some say faith is for the weak or small-minded / but i search for your faith everywhere / i need it to reassemble myself whole from these shards of chicago ice...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

did you want condoms with that? - Irish ad campaign

K8: I found the pink contraception tin. I thought I'd lost it in the move, but it turned up.

What does it say on it again?

K8: "No matter where, no matter when, think contraception."

K8 found that tin, full of condoms, in Ireland a couple years ago, where it appears they were on a national contraception campaign...the website is still up and there's a great public service ads on it...but you do need to be over the age of consent to watch...(17 in Ireland.)

Here's a transcript of one of the radio psa ads, the night bus:

Bus Script

Older bus driver, has seen it all
Teenage couple

Sound Effect: Bus revving
Bus Driver: Right folks, seats on top!
Bus Driver: Two, is it?
Teenage Girl: Yeah (giggling)
Teenage Guy: Yeah, thanks.
Sound Effect: Ticket machine
Bus Driver: Good night?
Teenage Guy: It’s not over yet!
Teenage Guy and Girl: Laughing
Bus Driver: I hope you have condoms so!
Teenage Guy: What?
Bus Driver: It’s just, I’ve heard that gonorrhea is an awful curse.
Teenage Guy: Huh?
Bus Driver: Next!

Nobody else is going to do the thinking for you.

I think what I find fascinating about the campaign is that it's funny. If you can get people to practice safe sex by being humorous, more power to you.

"Do you choose love or does love choose you?" - k8

We have no satisfactory answer, although this question did come after a discussion on power, women, and adultery in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus advocated for women and told men not to be idiots. But mostly he talks about not objectifying each other, and seeing each other as whole people...I'm not entirely sure how we got to choosing love from this, but we did.

Friday, August 21, 2009

and now for something completely different: love updates....

So 2009 is the Year of Love. At least, that's my word for this year.... So I thought I'd post a bit on love....starting with Pam Epstein's Advertising for Love blog, which is hilarious and also illuminating...She's writing a dissertation on love and marriage from the end of the 19th century to the 20th...

I think Bertram's ad is my favorite, but I also really like the one about Two for the Price of One...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"We just want to say thank you for making our neighborhood so beautiful." - 2020 cycle guy,

who said this as I was walking up Union and he was smoking a cigarette with a buddy...

The guys at 2020 cycle are awesome - they made the Schwinn I've had since I was 13 usable last spring, and apparently they sometimes tell people they're beautiful.

Sometimes it's nice to be told you're beautiful, especially when you're in jeans and a t-shirt and have taken no particular care with your appearance.

It's been good being home the past couple weeks...I went into Katy's and Wallace is still up on the dog board, and Megan's art, which I absolutely ADORE, is up on the walls again. And Katy's vanilla chai is still hands down the best chai in the city.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

the work of women

"The first time I traveled anywhere, I was not yet a writer, but I can now see I was in the process of becoming one." - jamaica kincaid

"sometimes I feel geometric, so my work goes off on tangents" - mayda del valle

i have been looking for time to write.

you'd think with no official full-time job i'd have hours upon hours to do so, but i'm finding since I got home I am distracted......good friends, dogs, part-time work, summer sunshine, family, etc...all clamoring for a piece of my attention and being present. And not that this clamoring is bad: I'm relishing it, very happy to be distracted...But I'm also wondering how in the heck I'm going to discipline myself to actually sit down and write again...I guess this is something women the world over have struggled with forever, so it's nothing new...jenn crusie writes about protecting the work and getting a life, as have a lot of others...

anne lamott talks about writing as the gift God's given her, and mayda del valle talks about this to0...not only does she rock my absolutely favorite style of jeans with a dress*, she's effing awesome. my all-time favorite poem of del valle's is "seduce me" - it's fantastic - but "the gift" is the poem of hers i've been pondering lately:

* Last March, someone told me I couldn't wear jeans with a dress. I cursed her internally, wore it anyway, and looked fantastic. Confidence is everything.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

what the government decided to do....ira glass

oh, ira. How we love you and this american life.

listen to this one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

by now I could have had a ph d in philosophy...Vanessa Hidary

"How was the first date?" - Gretzky text

"It was fine until he tried to kiss me. WTF?" - Ringo text

"He missed the no-kissing-on-the-first-date memo?" - Gretzky text

"Apparently....Don't worry, I gave him the memo." -Ringo text

There's been a rash of first dates, second dates, frates (friend + date = confusion about what exactly the meeting is) and other assorted events that make my girlfriends nervous, if guys only knew how much time girls spend analyzing and overanalyzing things...

Then someone sent me vanessa hidary's Ph D in Him....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

and for those awful alexander days, ps 22 continues

with just dance. I'm seriously in love with all of them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

don't stop believin'

i do not miss institute, but I do miss all the inspirational songs we used to pump ourselves up, including this one, which is so cute it should be outlawed.

thank you evs for passing it on.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

happy birthday Julia

On those days when you go to get a new bra and the saleswoman says, "It's okay, honey, women change their size all the time, don't worry about it," but you feel like crying anyway, because, really, who needs more cleavage? I thought my days of high school insecurities were over, but apparently I'm still a woman, and apparently I still have some... And then you come home from that miserable expedition to find the dog has somehow managed to lock himself in the closet and in wanting desperately to get out, chewed all the wood around the door, and everything that was in said closet all over the closet floor -

Here's what you do on days like that:

1) Eat dinner, preferably Mexican, preferably with margaritas, with at least one good friend.
2) Go see a movie that is funny. Laugh.
3) Take a bath. With bubbles.

That will all help. a LOT.

Especially the movie part. Meryl Streep is awesome. And I now want to be Julia Child. Because

1) She was funny.
2) She loved life. Every bit of it.
3) There was only one person she didn't like. I admire that.

I read the book Julie and Julia when it came out in 2006, and I loved it. It made me laugh out loud. So I was skeptical about the movie, especially after reading the reviews...but Ringo talked me into it and it was good.

And it's Julia Child's birthday today, so happy birthday Julia!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

wow, i'm glad I don't have to wear a corset

like the lady in this story, which is unreal. women do crazy stuff in the name of beauty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

sometimes I wish I lived in dallas

so that danielle could be my pastor. especially when she writes about reconciliation and hope.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

wow, I feel like I'm in hamsterdam, kind of...

the seattle police tried an experiment yesterday....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"he's on drugs? Wow, that is uptown..."

Grandpa asked me today if I had reconsidered Wallace's name, as Wallace is pretty high-class. I said no, and then pointed out Wallace's left eye, which was swollen almost shut yesterday after an unfortunate paper wasp incident...We've been giving him benadryl, which has almost restored his eye to normal capacity, and Grandpa still thinks I should change his name.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"What is the objective?" - Hitch

I should have played this clip from Hitch for my corps members:

Hitch: What is the objective?
Albert: Shock and awe.
Hitch:That was schockingly awful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I lost 10 pounds this summer eating fritos every day for lunch

this is probably not something I should blog about lest I find myself running an ad campaign for fritos, which are awful and I hope never to eat again.

But for real, during institute one loses all track of time, and i'm pretty sure some days I never ate lunch at all, and when you're awake for 20 hours of every 24 hour period, I suppose everything blurs up regardless of one's food intake...I literally ate crap all summer long, and still lost weight.

Wow, the crap food/sleep deprivation diet really works.

I'm not advocating this. Don't do it. Please.

I am so excited about real food I've been dreaming of sugar snap peas and carrots have been dancing in my head, and NJ's got squash growing in the garden that I'm super excited about...

blessing the boats

Today I am flying home to Wallace, and to people I love and care about, and I am looking forward to sleeping for about 18 years this week.

My corps members flew off to their regions on Friday, and I was sad I will not be there with them this year, or be able to have them over for dinner, since they're all the way across the other side of the country...

Goodbyes are not my favorite thing . Mostly I would like everyone I love to be in the same place for always.

So I wasn't sure what I would end with, except that I've had a few conversations lately about how really what a lot of good teaching comes down to is loving our children...And I think the work of teaching is sacred work, and this is what I ended us with - that leading children in learning means you are standing on holy ground.

So I sent every one of them on their way with lucille clifton's blessing, one of my favorite poems:

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

This is what I hope for each of them - that they may sail through this summer into a classroom where kids feel welcomed and valued, and learn all they can every day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

k8 says we can do this

at her wedding, and i don't dance, but I'd totally do this. And you've got to wait to see the bride, she's awesome!

"What do I look like, a basketball player? I was in marching band." - Mr. O

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"I have a secret to tell you. My pants have no belt loops." -S.D.

This was followed by a demonstration of how the belt S.D. was wearing was not actually attached to his pants, because his pants had no belt loops.

Mr. O: "Are you wearing women's pants? Are they a size 6? Or 8?"

S.D.: "No, they're not women's pants."

Mr. O: "Where'd you get them?"

S.D.: "Ann Taylor Loft."

i've been dreaming of fruits and vegetables

cucumbers, watermelon,peaches, blueberries, carrots....i do not want to eat out until December. and I want a bucketful of greens...and I've been dreaming of the madrona farmer's market. can't wait to go on Friday!

Friday, July 31, 2009

sesame street for adults

some people might be helped along by watching avenue q.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

i don't know if it's this simple, but

Jay Smooth has some advice for talking to someone about racist comments if you need any help in this arena.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

oh, wendy

i don't like arne duncan and you do, but hey, you're still pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"People think the blues is sad....

..They hear people moaning and such. That's not the blues. That's just somebody singing slow...The blues is about truth-telling."

-Alberta Hunter

Monday, July 27, 2009

"You look like a skinny Jesus with glasses." - Frankford summer school student ,

to one of my corps members, who is white, tall, and bearded. I guess he does look like those awful pictures of Jesus I once saw in my 1st grade Sunday school classroom, even with the glasses.

I've had a different picture of Jesus for a of my favorites these days is the one Ben Harper sings about on There Will Be a Light...

Picture Of Jesus

It hangs above my altar
Like they hung him from a cross
I keep one in my wallet
For the times I feel lost
In a wooden frame with splinters
Where my family kneels to pray
And if you listen close
You'll hear the words he used to say

I've got a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers rest
We've got a picture of Jesus
And with him we shall be forever blessed

Now it has been spoken
He would come again
But would we recognize
This king among men
There was a man in our time
His words shine bright like the sun
He tried to lift the masses
And was crucified by gun

He was a picture of Jesus
With him so many prayers rest
He is a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers
So many prayers
So many prayers rest
With him we shall be forever blessed

Some days have no beginning
And some days have no end
Some roads are straight and narrow
And some roads only bend
So let us say a prayer
For every living thing
Walking towards a light
From the cross of a king
We long to be a picture of Jesus
Of Jesus
In his arms
In his arms so many prayers rest
I long to be a picture of Jesus
With him we shall be forever blessed
With him we shall be forever blessed

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"You know those stupid who would you eat with if you could pick anyone in the world questions?"

I would skip Jesus and Hillary and go straight to her."

- Mr. O, if he got to pick, would choose to eat dinner with our Managing Director of Institute, which is a fancy Teach for America label for the person in charge. She is pretty amazing, it is true. And Mr. O is pretty much in love with her.

For some reason this seemed a much funnier line after drinking on Friday night. I mean, I did write it down in my quotebook, so it had to have been from an early point in the evening.

Monday, July 20, 2009

i heart tavis smiley

"My role on television is one of helping people to re-examine the assumptions that they hold..."

from this interview he did with Jim Wallis. Wallis is kind of awkward, but Smiley isn't.

"There is a difference between optimism and hope...hope is the evidence of things not seen.."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"I'd like to take a tide pen shower right now." - Al

The driver who drives to school in the morning has only been driving for a year. Seriously. He grew up in New York City and didn't get a license until a year ago.

He is a big fan of pumping furiously on the brakes at the last second and stopping in the middle of the intersection, then backing up almost into the bumper of the car behind us.

After one such furious stopping incident on the way to school, at 6:50 a.m., Al spilled coffee all over herself. All over her lovely new pencil skirt. Mr. O, who is one of my favorite people in the world, was sitting between her and I and his first response was, "Do you need a Tide pen? I have one in my bag."

He reached into the back of the van, drew out a Tide pen, and offered it to Al, who looked like she might cry.

She looked at it.

Mr. O then proceeded to uncap said Tide pen and start scrubbing furiously all over Al's lap.

This didn't appear to be working out too well, so he offered to switch clothes: "Al, if it's really too awful, you can have my pants and I'll wear your skirt in the office all day."

At which point, the car erupted with furious laughter and even Al smiled.

I heart Mr. O.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

i heart pandora

it is one more beautiful thing getting me through institute...current fav stations are sam cooke, regina spektor, crazy love, pink martini, otis redding, and the weepies.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

i hate action plans OR scheduling is a pain in the ass OR wow, some people do this 24/7

when I am done with this summer, I will go back to using my little notebook calendar and that will be enough for me.

i do not think people were made to live booked solid from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with no time to breathe.


this is my typical day in philly:

5:30-45 ish: wake up and stumble into some kind of professional outfit.
6:15: leave to walk 15 minutes to the dining hall to pick up lunch
6:40: either hop in the school van or trek over to the bus.
Get to school at 7 or 7:30 depending on the mode of transportation
8-12: Observe corps members' teaching. Walk kids to class who are hanging out in the hallway. Finish prepping sessions. Talk to summer mentor teachers. Run around the school, basically.
12-12:30 debrief one of the observation or make a ton of announcements or roll up a crapload of data...
12:30-4:20: Review lesson plans, enter rubric ratings, plan a session, find something a c.m. needs, lead a session, send an e-mail reminder about something, maybe eat the sandwich I was supposed to eat at lunch, participate in a session, help cms write lesson plans
4:20-5...take bus or van back to temple
5-7:debriefs from observations, sometimes at dinner
7-10, or 11, or 12, or 1....planning sessions, office hours for lesson planning, reviewing lesson plans, School Team Meeting, CMA meeting, etc...

I haven't actually been blogging live, I've been spending about an hour on Sat afternoon making weekly posts.

Sigh. 2 more weeks.

It's good work, but wow, I'm glad I'm not doing this forever.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

and we are so fragile / our cracking bones make noise...."

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

You fasten my seatbelt because it is the law.
In your two ton death trap I finally saw.
A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret.
Then you drove me to places I'll never forget.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

- Ingrid Michaelson,
Boys and Girls

Every day this summer I am reminded of how frail we are. And at the same time, how that fragility makes us stronger.

I think it is a good reminder.