Monday, June 29, 2009

and again, more year of love-ness...

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

MLK, Jr.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"I want to take off all my clothes right now." - Massey

Seriously, helping people move into a college dorm is more work than you might think. Especially when it's hot outside.

year of love reminders

Good Sunday Quote:

Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn't burn up any fossil fuel, doesn't pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance. -Margaret Mead

(Thank you sojourners and lkt and k8.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"wait, what was I going to say to you?" - gretzky

um, working TFA institute is GREAT but also slightly crazy and time-intensive. so i am having a hard time remembering what I want to communicate to my friends at home. I think i asked this about 3 times to k8 last night. thankfully she is patient.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"go to trader joe's and get some nuts." - k8

it is really nice when other people cook for me and I am trying not to complain too much, but wow, cafeterias have a lot of areas for growth.

i need to go to trader joe's. stat. trail mix and blueberries, stat.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Learning transforms not only your mind but your heart." - student in Mr. Tanaka's class

Last week at a staff meeting, we watched a brief documentary some kids had made about their experience learning about refugees in Mr. Tanaka's class at Cooper Elementary School in Spokane. They wanted to learn about what being a refugee meant. The kids went to World Relief and went through a refugee simulation experience. They then decided to prepare homes for 2 incoming Burmese families, getting everything ready for them to come. In the documentary, which the kids produced about their experience, you see kids start out saying they know nothing about what being a refugee means, to statements like the one above, and I couldn't help but wish more kids had the opportunity to truly learn in a transformative way.

I am heading to Philadelphia this summer with that hope in the forefront of my mind. I'll be working with new teachers, trying to get them to see that their kids are beautiful and amazing and lovely and profound, and have much to offer. And that the kind of classroom they create can transform kids' lives, or denigrate them, depending on the methodology they choose.

Here's to 6 weeks of transformation, peeps.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"I have never heard you sound so giddy. That makes my stomach upset." - P.J.

P.J. called to check in this week, and I told him my big job news but really I went on and on about how happy I was, and he told me I had to stop, it was nauseating.

I guess it's probably not the best idea to tell your brother about how much you really like someone, as he will get nervous at the idea of some man hanging out with his sister. But I do find it hilarious that my little brother has become so protective. It's also endearing.

He asked his questions, in this order:

P.J.: Does he have a job?

Gretzky: Yes.

P.J.: Does he like sports?



Is that it?

Does he play in any fantasy sports leagues?

Gretzky: I don't know. Want me to ask him?

P.J. Don't go nuts with this, okay? It's good to take things slow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"I don't know if I would be as gracious." - Arthur

On Monday, I officially resigned from my job with a very gracious resignation letter in which I honestly said I was very thankful to have learned all I have in the past two years, and to work with such amazing people. These are true statements. And I am grateful for the learning, and for the people.

I did leave out a lot in that letter. And I will not record everything that's happened here, except to say that sometimes people forget the heart of the matter and what is really important.

But for the record, on my last day of this job, I've been thinking about a few things.

Some things that are important to remember when doing work that impacts kids include:

1) at the end of the day, it's all about the kids. end of story. finished. done.

2) the work is the work. people are more important. as lester tells mcnulty in season 3 of the wire:

Freamon: The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
McNulty: I dunno, a good case—
Lester: Ends. They all end. The handcuffs go click and it's over. The next morning, it's just you in your room with yourself.
McNulty: Until the next case.
Lester: Boooooy, you need something else outside of this here.
McNulty: Like what, dollhouse miniatures?
Lester: Hey, hey, hey, a life. A life, Jimmy. You know what that is? It's the shit that happens while you're waiting for moments that never come.

3) whatever you do, if you come to a place in time when someone asks you to compromise your integrity, it is not worth it. i suppose some folks will say it's easy to be principled when you've got food in your stomach and another job lined up, but there is no work worth doing that requires compromising your integrity. ever. and i think that when you stand up for what you believe in , things have a surprising way of working out. end of story. finished. done.

4) my grandpa always says that if you don't have any enemies, you're not doing your job right. this is probably not a popular saying in seattle, but I think he's right. asking hard questions is not something everyone likes, because a lot of people want to stay comfortable and happy and complacent. it'd be nice to live in la-la land, but too many kids don't get that chance, to live in a world of good, and pretending they do doesn't make it so.

5) As sij's dad says, AFGOs (another fucking growth opportunity) happen. They are hard but make us better people.

6) there are some amazing, fantastic, quality people in the world who truly value kids, and I just got to spend two years working with some of those people.

And it was good.

end of story.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

23rd and Union

I live very close to an intersection predominantly known for drug trafficking, random shootings, and the Friday morning peace activists. Most people leave out things like Cappy's Boxing Gym, Katy's, T.T. Minor, the post office, the farmer's market, and neighbors I know and care about.

There's a public radio documentary recording what folks think of the transition and gentrification in this intersection and neighborhood. On Sunday, you can participate in this documentary process and hear the stories of people who have memories of this intersection from recent days to the past 20 years.

Come on down to 23rd and Union, peeps.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"i really hate to get wet" - Leonard

if you have been paying attention while walking around downtown seattle, you should have seen the let leonard in ads on buses rolling past...i am so in love with leonard, i friended him on facebook, and I have a strict real-friends only policy on that website. (okay, sometimes that policy doesn't work out, but that's another story.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

we have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love...

and that love comes with community. - Dorothy Day

Wow. Talk about amazing women.

I want to be a "grand old lady of pacifism" one day, but I'm not sure I have as much guts as she did.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"if you want to check out the big neighborhood supplier, check him out." - zdub

outside my window i can see a park that is next to one of our lovely public middle schools. students pass through this park on their way home, and zdub pointed out the big man waiting to hand some of these middle school students stuff to sell for him.

we haven't seen him for a while, but apparently sales are up in the sunshine..

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

and also, you're invited to debate happy hour

Seattle Debate Foundation Debater Happy Hour: Enjoy good company while supporting a great cause.

The first SDF Debater Happy Hour is set for the Solo Bar in Queen Anne.June 9th at 7pm. Here's a review: are bringing together former debaters, coaches and others to the SOLO BAR for anevening of networking and nostalgia. For this first event, we hope to attract formerhighschool and college debaters alumni as well as some pretty cool non-debaters who believe in SDF's mission. If you have friends or acquaintances who want to network,bring them. The more the merrier. Feel free to circulate en masse as you wish.

DATE:TODAY! 7pm-9pm
PLACE: Solo Bar
AT THE DOOR: Tell them you're here for the SDF happy hour. There is no door charge. The Solo Bar has agreed to donate a portion of the bar tab for our guests to SDF at the end of the night. Help out a good cause by showing up and having a goodtime.

"i am an extrovert, except in professional situations." - woman at a conference last week

who was very nervous when giving her presentation. she did great, but I know how she feels.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"wow. sparkles." - NJ

I did not grow up a girly girl, although my mom swears I would only wear dresses until the age of 5. Then something happened and I wore jeans every day until my junior year of college, when I discovered that sometimes skirts were okay. In early adolescence, you could find me in the woods with the neighborhood boys, playing kick the can and touch football. In high school I acted every year and learned how to cake on makeup with the best of them, but refused to wear a drop of it during the regular school day.

While not as advanced as my sister, who could probably stock a sephora with her beauty products, I have since come to embrace the addition of sparkles to my life.

Consider, for example, the nail polish phenomenon. I hate nail polish on my fingers, it chips too easy and looks raggedy about 20 seconds after applying it. But toes? Toes with colors on them are the best thing in the world. In the winter, it's like you've got a secret underneath that boot, and in the summer, it's like saying, "Hey world! Look at me! I sparkle and I like it!"

Real Simple has some good color suggestions. My favorites right now are OPI's Conga Line Coral, described as a "hip-shaking, fiery, orange-rose," and Rimmel's Pulsating, which is a lovely purplish-pink that changes as the light hits it. Love it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

officially seattle storm day...

In one of their better moves so far this year, the Seattle City Council declared today Seattle Storm day.

Tonight is opening night vs. the Sacramento Monarchs.

There's quite a few folks following the Storm these days, including Jayda Evans at the times, rethinking basketball, and stormtracker.

Check 'em out!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a liturgy for the month of june, and perhaps for my entire life

i'm not normally a huge liturgy fan, and my ability to pray is exceedingly limited, but sometimes there are such beautiful truths wrapped up in spoken words my heart cracks.

Liturgy: A Franciscan Blessing*

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths, and
superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your

May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression, and
exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice,
freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those
who suffer from pain, rejection,starvation and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
to turn their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God who creates, redeems, and sanctifies be upon you and all you love and pray for this day and forever more.


*thank you to msa for passing it along, and seriously, check out all these cool books.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcome aboard to the Matchmaking Flight. - Air New Zealand


I don't think the zoo was a great suggestion for meeting people, but some folks really feel an airplane flight might be the best matchmaking option open to them. Check out Air New Zealand's new marketing strategy: Find "the One" on a romantic adventure trip to New Zealand.

I wonder how Air New Zealand will measure their success - do they want 80% of their participants to hook up, for example? Or is it enough to expand your horizons? I can't knock the idea too harshly, since BeCs did meet Jens hiking in Costa Rica. But let's be honest, don't these things happen precisely when people aren't looking for them?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Je est un autre - arthur rimbaud

i had some thoughts about the Other that could probably be a much longer piece, but MSA ran with it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

and also, those teacher layoffs

if you feel like protesting, there's some who are....

"i think I'm gonna go, but i hope my right leg works." - meg

meg is biking from our house to queen anne this week while she's in town working on rivers. I mean, how cool is that, working on rivers? Who gets to do that?

anyway, i occasionally - read about 3 times a year - use my bike, the bike I've had since I was 13 years old, to go to work about 1.5 miles each way. it is flat, no hills, smooth sailing all the way. it takes me 10 minutes. she is using my bike to go about 5 miles, with hills, in downtown traffic. eek!

i am impressed. if you would like a bike map of seattle, you can get them at

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"i can always tell when you're in the kitchen" - Grandpa

Grandpa noted my propensity for clanging about the kitchen after I dropped the kitchen aid mixer and a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam all over my parents' kitchen floor this weekend. It was a lovely mess.

I was moving the jam jars so that I could make cookies, and accidentally inched the mixer off the counter just far enough that it swung over. Those things are heavy. It's good it didn't fall on my foot. A repeat of last year's wine-toe-crushing incident would not be pleasant.

I used this recipe to make said jam, and I think I got too impatient and did not pay attention to the 18 minute rule - I took it off the burner before letting it boil long enough, and the result is a surupy sort of topping that could be good on pancakes but isn't really jam. I wonder if I can reboil it...hmm...

Grandpa also suggested I leave the rhubarb out of it, which I did not take into consideration. Ever since Ringo wondered what she was going to do with her rhubarb, I've wondered what else it could be good for. Apparently, a lot. It's not just for pies and jam. But the leaves are toxic, don't eat them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

coffee boy: "have you thought about the zoo?"

ringo: "You don't go to the zoo to meet someone. What, am I going to say, 'hey, hippo! Want my number?' "

Sometimes people make weird dating suggestions.