Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Postcards are my favorite form of commuication" - Molly

For details on Greta's adventures in the Netherlands this summer, please see a new blog, Speaking in Dutch*.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

okay, for real this time

I tried to do this last December. But like any addict, sometimes it takes an intervention to change behavior. Someone wise observed last week that most of my life is currently centered around processing information for other people and perhaps not for myself.

And I've been thinking about how it's been hard this year to be present with the people I care most about. And also how I often use this blog as a way to update those people without actually having to be present with them. Which is pretty much cheating - it gives the illusion I am communicating with people I love, but this is a delusion. And really, what I want to be doing with people I care about is hanging out with them. Not to go all Wendell Berry on you. But the man is wise.

So about an hour after that observation was shared, I decided to stop this blog for the next three months. It's easier to give up something for three months than for forever, all at once. And on August 20th I am embarking on a cool trip and will most likely upload some fun pictures.

If you are friends with me, you should do the following:

1) Call me up and invite me to dinner. I'll bring the salad. Or dessert. Or whatever. There's not enough potlucks in the world, and I miss you. Lots. So call.

2) See number 1.

3) Write a letter. If not to me, then to someone else you like. There's not enough letter writing going on either.

If you are not friends with me, then you should do the following:

1) Email me and invite me to dinner. Um, except unless I actually know you, we're gonna have to meet in a public place. Like a restaurant.

2) See number 3 above.


Love you, peeps.

XOXO,


Gretzky

sunny spring spinach salad

when it's sunny out i like making salad combinations out of what's in the fridge. also when it's not sunny out. this weather is making me crazy. The combo below is p.d. good. Let's be honest, I don't know if you can call it salad with the eggs and bacon additions, but if you use a ton of spinach, we'll roll with the salad label.

1) Boil 3 eggs. As in hardboil.
2) Cook maybe 7 slices of bacon in a pan over med heat til crispish. Put on paper towels to drain.
3) Drain pan except for about 3 Tbs. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil.
4) Put pan back on stove over med.
4) Add 1/2 chopped fine red onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp. sugar, salt, pepper. Cook til onion's soft, about 3-5 minutes. Take off heat, add 6 Tbs of cider vinegar. Or balsamic vinegar. Or white vinegar. Whatever you've got is fine.
5) Get a whole ton bunch of spinach and dump on plate. Pour some of the dressing over it while still hot. THIS IS THE BEST PART. It cooks the spinach just a little bit.
6) Add a couple slices of the eggs, and a wee bit of bacon, crumbled.
7) YUM. Serves 4-ish, depending on how hungry everyone is.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

the art of losing / isn't hard to master - elizabeth bishop

This school year flew by so fast I didn't realize I was leaving some things and people behind without thinking about it.


One Art

Elizabeth Bishop


The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.


--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Friday, June 4, 2010

"You've come to assume / protective color"

for K8 on the road to Wenatchee: 

How to See Deer

by Philip Booth

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,

lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods

inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,

and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.

Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;

make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,

drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen

trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.

You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to

new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;

as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief

things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"sometimes it is necessary / to reteach a thing its loveliness" -

- Galway Kinnell, from Saint Francis and the Sow

I was so struck by that line that I had to read it twice. And then I cried. And it's in a poem about a pig.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"you know what Wednesday is, don't you? Hump day." - Mr. Schuster****

I am vomiting as we speak. (lies! types Ringo)

Okay, I'm not really vomiting but I did turn away from the tv while schuster was singing that HORRIBLE song to Sue. ugh. This was the creepiest episode of Glee ever - what's her name, the former Mrs. Schuster having a crush on Finn - GROSS! - and I did not watch the end. i did catch the man's world rendition with all the pregnant mothers and am still pondering that one. I might have something to say about that later.

Much better to think about was dinner at Ringo's after class:

1) Pizza: Red onion, mozzerella, goat cheese, basil, and prosciutto. YUM.

2) Salad: Arugula, beets, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, black pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. YUM.


***My other favorite quote was "We're going to go all Braveheart on Vocal Adrenaline." - Finn

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

''If Craig M. gets a rose tonight, I will know for sure there is no God.'' - weatherman

um, because i was homeworking, I did not watch the bachelorette. however, I did read Jennifer Armstrong's article about it, and if I were a ew journalist, I would be her, because she is FUNNY. I do realize it's pretty easy to make fun of the bachelorette, but still.

But after reading her take, of course I went to hulu and watched the second part because the weatherman is perhaps the funniest reality tv persona I think i've ever seen, and also because I am just amazed at the level of ridic that people stoop to.

my thoughts are that jesse's adorable but way too young. craig m is an ass, who actually said on national television that he couldn't talk to people shorter than him. and THEN went on to say that he hoped there were some hotties on the plane ride home because he needed some extra attention. And he added that Allie just made a big mistake. Wow, that's a classy act right there. (I'd also like to point out that his conversation with allie was a PERFECT tutorial for what NOT to do on a date. In fact, dating coaches could use it to showcase where everything goes wrong. You know when a girl asks you if you're uncomfortable, it's not going too hot. )

Where does abc get these people? I think they pick some idiots on purpose.

Including my favorite, the weatherman. he is not my favorite for allie, and I certainly wouldn't date him, but he's pretty fricking funny. And too serious at the same time. I also can't really get down with his world view, but he has some awesome one-liners. I wonder if he's as funny on the weather show?

Also, roberto is a good one, chris l is solid, and justin is just weird. And slightly creepy. I vote no.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"the water is wide / I can't cross o'er"



This week I wasn't sure I was making conversation as much as hoping the words coming out of my mouth would make sense in whatever train of dialogue we were on...I am tired...ready for this quarter to be over. Right now. I want to sleep for a week. BUT I got a letter in the mail from Becs and it was perfect! And then we skyped this weekend, which was even perfect-ter. Whoever invented skype is going to heaven. If I were in charge.

I was also reminded of this poem I can't remember, where the poet says to not write, because it's worse, after getting a letter, because you are reminded of how much you love the letter writer, and miss them, and want to be with them. And it's true. I love getting letters, but they just make me want to be wherever the writer is at.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

oops, wait i forgot about librarians doing gaga.

I know these people. They are pretty fantastic out of the video too, so it's really not surprising how great they are IN it. And I hear they got onto King 5 news.

studying til the eyes bleed

wow, my eyes are tired of computer screens.

gretzky needs take a break for a bit so I can work on what I'm supposed to be working on.

tune in later.

Friday, May 28, 2010

the indexer in love

i've been doing a project about poetry for teens, and I am in love with it again. I mean, I've always been in love with it, but these poems are amazing.

This one is adorably sweet, and I love it:

The Indexer in Love

by Gray Emerson, from the Time You Let Me In collection.

Answer to My Prayers, 8

- See also
You

Board Games (That I Let You Win), 122-124

Dancing, 42-44

- On the Ends of Your Eyelashes, 27

Eyelashes, 18-19

- See also
Dancing

Hair, 83-85

- That You Complimented, 86

- That You Wrote a Poem About, 87

- That You Wrung Your Fingers Through, 88

Index, Index

- See also
You

Kisses

- Never Given, 23-29

- Stolen/Ransomed/Returned, 81-85

Love, 99-100

- Not at First Sight, 10

Peculiarities (of You)

- Biting at Your Cuticles, 50

- Silent Sneezes, 113

- Words Used Out of Context, 103-105

Things, List of

- I Want to Do to You, Appendix A

- I Want to Do with You, Appendix B

Waiting

- In Line With You, 131

- See also
You

You

- Answer to My Prayers, 1

- Index You (Unable to), 1

- Waiting for You, 1

Thursday, May 27, 2010

poetry crush

some of you might know I have a poetry crush on Matt Gano, a local Seattle poet.

In fact, THE top MOST AWKWARD moment of my life was when I told him this. I was at an event he was emceeing last year and the first thing I said when I met him was - "Hi Matt. I have a poetry crush on you." I don't know where that filter went, the one that usually stops us from saying things that make us sound like crazy people. My filter got broke for just a minute that night.

Poor Matt. He didn't realize I was just a harmless poetry admirer and backed away. I'm sure he was thinking, this lady's crazy. I hope someday I can reverse the damage, but you know, in situations like this, it's hard to convince people you're actually normal and were briefly star struck and an alien took over your body for a second.

But regardless of whether or not he thinks I'm crazy, he's got a great poem about the truth, and since we're telling it this year, here it is:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"you and homework, you're tight" - Klein

Let me just state for the record I love school. For real. It's fun, challenging, and I'm learning a tooooooooooooooooooon. And I like it, generally.

But the thing I HATE about school is that I would always rather put people before anything else, and the sad truth is that #$%^#%$&$% presentations wait for no one. So I find myself saying the lamest things in the world, like "I have to go write a paper" or "I can't do that, I have to read."

Which are true statements, but let's be honest, right up there with "I have to wash my hair" excuses. Except mine are more true than that.

Thankfully I have friends like Klein, who keep it real and keep me laughing when I say I can't hang out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Wanna do parallel activities?" - Ringo

To address the melancholy Monday sitch, I went to Ringo's for dinner, which was AMAZING:

1) Sweet Potato Enchiladas: Mash a few sweet potatoes with cumin, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, etc. Add black beans, corn and a little pepperjack. Add a teensy bit of sour cream to green chile enchilada sauce. Pour some sauce in bottom of pan. Put sweet potato mixture into tortillas, roll up, and put rest of sauce on top, sprinkle some cheese on top. Bake for around 1/2 hour. YUM.

2) Whatever's-in-the-fridge-Salad: Cut up red pepper, avocado, 1/2 cucumber and some red cabbage. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and a dash of olive oil. Mix. YUM.

3) Fossil Fuel Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. YUM.


Then we decided to do "parallel activities" - which apparently means to be in the same room with someone but be working on different things - until 9, at which point my reward for finishing my power point presentation and handouts would be to watch the first episode of the Bachelorette. I finished my power point and Ringo e-mailed.

And then, at 9, we started watching the Bachelorette, and I texted with my boss throughout. It's entirely her fault I ever watched the Bachelor.

I did not watch the entire show because I would have cringed about having those 2 hours of my life gone forever, but here is what I noticed:

1) Ali got botox. It inhibited her ability to talk. AND made her lips look weird.
2) Ali couldn't walk in her dress. Not my idea of a good time.
3) 25 guys, 1 girl, alcohol, and Chris Harrison in a room, something's guaranteed to go wrong. WEIRD dynamics, peeps.

Favorite quotes:

1) "I need someone to go ice fishing with." - Kyle. Ah, Kyle, you know just what to say to warm any girl's heart.*

2) "You can't go wrong with a broken leg." - Weatherman Jonathan, commenting on another contestant's broken leg. Hmmm....so a broken leg inspires sympathy and thus ensures a rose? Jonathan needs to lighten up just a bit.


*For the record, I'd go ice fishing once to see what it was like. But gotta be honest, doubt I'd go for days on end, hours at a time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

listen/ with the night falling we are saying thank you

- w.s. merwin, thanks

This might be my melancholy spring moment. ooh, and on monday, too. Maybe i'll do melancholoy mondays. i mean, seriously, who loves mondays?

i was thinking about this merwin poem because over the past few months I've been re-watching the Wire. The first time I watched the show, I raced to get through it, eager to see the rest of the story. This time, I was savoring it, like those books that are so good you can only read 4 or 5 pages at once so that it lasts as long as you can draw it out. And also I was cramming it in between writing papers on ILS systems and reading about information literacy and making presentations about poetry. I know, my life is sooooo hard.

This time, I wanted to catch the expression on Omar's face when he testifies against Bird, and the way Jimmy self destructs, almost totally imploding. And how Bubs can't really believe he's alive, and the sheer beauty of his survival - he is one of the most lovely characters I've ever met, in a tv series or novel. How Greggs comes to terms with herself, easily missed among the loudness of the men around her. And mostly I'm now head-over-absolutely-heels-in-love with Carver. Over the course of five seasons, he becomes a grown up. For real.

So I was re-watching the Wire, and then also reading Marina Budhos' Ask Me No Questions, and also Marc Aronson's Race: a History Beyond Black and White. Ask Me No Questions is a novel of two undocumented sisters worrying about being deported, holding their family together. Race is non-fiction, and mostly what it sounds like.

I got to skype with these two authors in one of my classes this quarter, and Marc said something about tragedy - how our culture doesn't like to acknowledge tragedy, that we want to give teens a sugar-coated version of events in hopes that they won't re-create the mess we continue to make of things. But the irony is that only telling the truth about the mess is what gets it cleaned up.

I've been thinking about that a lot, since truth is the word of the year, and wondering how telling the truth plays out in different situations...And this poem keeps coming back to me - I think what I've loved about it since I first read it 6 years ago is that acknowledgement piece - just that there is much to be sad about here. And in the midst of that great sadness, there is also great beauty, and in saying thank you we are noticing the beauty around us. I think that's one reason I loved the Wire so much - It was Shakespearean tragedy at its best, with characters we can see the brilliance in even as we decry their wretched choices. Last night at church we sang about how all we have to offer are thankful hearts. That's the truest piece of religion that I know.

Here's the full text of that poem:

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Fuck Tris. I would give body parts to have a guy write something like that for me. My kidney? Oh, both of them? Here Nick, they're yours."

- Norah, in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Oh, the drama. This is one of my favorite YA books lately - zippy, snappy dialogue and story that perfectly captures the heady craziness of falling in love unexpectedly. Told in alternating viewpoint chapters from both Nick and Norah's perspective. Sweet little story for a study break.

Favorite Quotes:

"Is this what happens on dates? You kiss before you've met, then talk about why your previous relationship failed? I'm stumped." - Norah, p. 53

Me too, Norah. Dates are weird.

"Look," she says..."I know you probably think I'm a horrid bitch from the planet Schizophrenia, but I'm honestly not trying to mess with your head. I'm just messing with my own head and seem to have dragged you along for the ride. I think you're nice to me and that scares the fuck out of me. Because when a guy's a jerk or an asshole, it's easier because you know exactly where you stand. Since trust isn't an option, you don't have to get all freaked out about maybe having to trust him. Right now I am thinking about ten things at the same time, and at least four of those things have to do with you. If you want to leave right now and drive home...I wouldn't blame you in the least. But what I'm trying to say is that if you did that I'd be sorry." - to Nick, p.63


I'm pretty sure my liking this book confirms I'm a sucker for romance. Who knew?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

best thai place in the pacific northwest is right here in river city

okay, it's not in river city, but it is near that godawful monstrosity known as Southcenter mall. oh, wait, it's now westfield shopping center. Sorry. Well, Bai Tong is conveniently located next to Toys'r'us. (Did I even spell that right?)

I know, I know, the mall, but for real, this is the BEST Thai place I've ever been to. Food Porn Blogger Jason Sheehan agrees. Yum.

Friday, May 21, 2010

grecian hair g-chats

evs:

Man on the bus this morning: "Your hair has a lot of body. Are you from Greece?"

k8:
patient quote of the day: "Did you change your hair? It looks good. You look less like a little old lady and more like a teenager." 74 year old man who can't speak a whole sentence without going into a coughing fit. Also, he invited me to go camping with him. Um, no thanks.

gr:
gr has a tendency to be too informal when she is with her peers and supervisors: this is one of her greatest strengths and greatest areas for improvement. Her ability to say what was on her mind certainly helped us in numerous situations; at the same time, her lack of a filter with peers and supervisors sometimes created uncomfortable situations.


vans:
http://xkcd.com/616/


Thursday, May 20, 2010

"ooh, I can have some orange herbal tea. that's thrilling." - Mom

Mom is on a sugar fast and I am attempting to be supportive by also not eating sugar. But H offered me a red vine at work the other day and I wasn't even paying attention and ate it. Oops.

I don't really mind giving up candy things because I don't really eat candy. And even other carbohydrat-ey things aren't too bad, I don't really miss them.

But chocolate? I want chocolate. Right now. Any kind would do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

" I wanted all my food to come from places I would enjoy visiting." - Nicolette Hahn Niman

If you don't have time or inclination to read Animal Vegetable Miracle, The Omnivore's Dilemma, or Eating Animals, this blog post by Niman is a nicely condensed guide about why you might want to think more about what you eat.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

if you missed mother's day

go to epic change and check out to mama with love. Mama Lucy is amazing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Bring on the revolution peeps, because 2010 is the year of truth.

I guess I forgot to mention this one in January. Becks reminded me and I think I ignored her.

But following courage (2007), imagination (2008), and love (2009) proved a sort of challenging task, until situations arose which made it clear that truth-telling became more important than anything else. Even love, because it seems to me that truth-telling is a form of love. Or maybe love is telling the truth about people. I mean, Shakespeare did say "Love is all truth." (Venus and Adonis.) Probably this is like the chicken and the egg argument and I won't really get anywhere with it. In any event, just so we're all aware, 2010's word of the year is truth.

The reason I picked truth isn't because I've got a lying problem. And it's not about the little things, you know, like telling your grandmother her chicken salad is the best you've ever tasted, I'm not talking about those kinds of things.

I'm talking about the messes. You know, the kind of mess we humans get ourselves into all of the time. Sticky, gummy, gross. Hurt feelings, untrusting-ness, suspicions, accusations, and all that good stuff flying around.

Last year I learned about such a mess. People I love had been lying. To themselves, to each other, to their friends. The specifics of the situation don't really matter, but the outcome of it does. It's not totally finished, of course, because humans take a long time to clean up stuff, and some things take a good looooooooooooong while.

My general feeling about such messes is that they are WAY EASIER to clean up when folks come clean and are honest about them. You know, the truth will set you free and all that jazz. But I am learning not everyone feels that way. And in regards to that particular mess, not everyone feels that way. Some people would like to stay hiding out. Covered up. Pretending things are just fine. And I was so startled at how stark a difference the approach is - tell the truth vs. hiding out - that the word truth came down and settled on my shoulder and that was that: 2010 was going to be the year of truth.

In the midst of trying to be a good friend, I'm learning that speaking truth is important - in this case, telling someone I love them no matter what. And also that I'm not going to go along and pretend everything is fine just because that's what they think they want.

I'm also learning this is difficult stuff. I am making mistakes with it, because I am the most impatient person I know and I want it to be fixed right away. This is unrealistic, I know. I want it anyway. But it's a delicate thing, telling someone you love them, then not agreeing with the choices they make, and then figuring out how to still be their friend when they don't do what you hope for. It's not like every time you see them you can say, hey, by the way, I don't like what you're doing here. They know how you feel already. You don't have to tell them five times.

I guess the biggest thing I am learning is that we see the people we love with a kind of vision they don't always see themselves with. Usually that's good - we can see their full potential, the beauty they bring to the world and their place in it, a place that no one else can quite take.

I think telling the truth involves holding a mirror up to that vision, so that people can see themselves in it, and claim it for themselves.

And I think holding mirrors up is hard. But also revolutionary - truth telling results in radical change, peeps.

So revolutionize this year. Tell the truth.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"What's in that pot?" - Mom

"The first dead basil." - Me

"The first?" - Mom

"The second one's on the windowsill." - Me


I have successfully killed two basil plants so far this spring. The first, by putting it outside and letting it get pounded in rain. Not a good plan. The second, by leaving it inside in a non sunny spot. Also not a good plan. But Mom's attempting to revive it.

I planted some lettuce this week. And beets. And rosemary. And I nailed some wire to a board so the beans can grow up it. And I transferred the little tiny sprouts that will become butternut squash and carrots into bigger containers, where I am crossing my fingers that they will be happy until it is the very end of May and I put them into the real garden.

The dogs helped by keeping an eye out for things.

I got out to the garden and wished for a radio, but then I started listening, and there was a pretty good soundtrack going on. The lilacs and roses are happy to have vegetables growing nearby, and the sage is glad to not be the only herb running amok.

I was considering the spacing of things - you know, how much room does the broccoli actually need to stretch its roots out and grow sort of considering, and also which plants will help each other out, and which plants don't want to be near each other - and thinking also about how considering such things with people can be helpful too. Some people help each other grow, and others don't. And some people give us lots of space to be ourselves, and we love them for it, and others crowd us out and it's kind of cramped being around them.

I feel like I am going to learn things from this whole gardening business.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

one day all children....

in this country will have the opportunity to receive an excellent education...

- Teach for America



Since it was featured in the Waiting for Superman preview I posted yesterday, I figured if you haven't been paying attention to world events like the olympics and somehow missed this song, you should really notice it:

Friday, May 14, 2010

my friend emily teaches at one of the schools featured

in this preview for Waiting for Superman. Via evs, who wrote "teared up in my cubicle while watching." Not gonna lie, it made me cry, too. And it's only the preview.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

my favorite is the last line:

Spring is Like a Perhaps Hand, by e.e. cummings     


III

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and



without breaking anything.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"I see your true colors..."

Also on the playlist this week is the Glee 2 soundtrack.

LOVE it. Let's have a musical.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"this ain't no place for the weary kind." - ryan bingham

Um, I think I like country music.***

Did I just say that out loud?

Yeah, I do.

I've been listening to the soundtrack from Crazy Heart this week and LOVE it.

All of it.

***Not pop country crap that's played on radio stations. I mean like old folksy stuff.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"It's not a mood if he's always in it." - Death at a Funeral

I have found that during grad school my ability to sit through and enjoy artsy, thought-provoking things has gone WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY down. As has my patience with annoying people, and my ability to stop crying at inopportune moments. For real, I think I've cried as much this year about stupid things as I did when teaching in Baltimore my first year, when I cried about things that actually mattered.

So I'm all about the mindless comedy these days. This one was funny. Not mind bogglingly life-changing or awe inspiring, just laugh provoking.
Which right now is pretty fantastic.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"We analyzed records of deer and elk carcasses removed from Washington State highways between 2000-2004.."

- from An Analysis of Deer and Elk-Vehicle Collision Sites along State Highways in Washington State, Washington State, 2008.



Last weekend K8 was driving home to Wenatchee when she swerved to avoid four deer crossing the road.

The car is totaled, but she's totally fine. Which is good.

I went to Wenatchee to visit her, and I was sort of - okay, really -freaking out about deer every 2 seconds. Especially because they post these damn deer crossing signs every two miles that are neon yellow and say, Deer, Next 4 miles.

I don't understand why they keep posting the damn signs every 2 miles if they're telling you it's for the next 4.

It's probably to give panic-prone people like myself panic attacks every 2 miles.

I didn't want to pay for comprehensive/collision, but I am reconsidering my options if I want to drive back to Wenatchee again....

And just in case you're not freaking out about deer, check out that WSDOT report. It's pretty terrifying.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

gardens, gardens, gardens

I am trying to grow a garden. I am seeding, watering, and hoping to see sprouts. I am worrying about too much rain. And not enough.

So here's a poem for gardens from Amy King:


Digging Potatoes, Sebago Maine


Summer squash and snap-beans gushed
all August, tomatoes in a steady splutter

through September. But by October's
last straggling days, almost everything

in the garden was stripped, picked,
decayed. A few dawdlers:

some forgotten carrots, ornate
with worm-trail tracery, parsley parched

a patchy faded beige. The dead leaves
of potato plants, defeated and panting,

their shriveled dingy tongues
crumbling into the mud.
You have to guess where. The leaves migrate to trick you. Pretend you're sure, thrust the trowel straight in, hear the steel strike stone, hear the song of their collision—this land is littered with granite. Your blade emerges with a mob of them, tawny freckled knobs, an earthworm curling over one like a tentacle. I always want to clean them with my tongue, to taste in this dark mud, in its sparkled scatter of mica and stone chips, its soft genealogy of birch bark and fiddleheads, something
that means place, that says here,
with all its crags and sticky pines,

its silent stubborn brambles. This
is my wine tasting. It's there,

in the potatoes: a sharp slice with a different blade
imparts a little milky blood, and I can almost

smell it. Ferns furling. Barns rotting.
Even after baking, I can almost taste the grit.

Friday, April 30, 2010

in case you think i am becoming too cynical about love

and I would argue I am not,* I offer this lovely poem by Linda Rastan, I Married You. April is Poetry Month, after all. And I like this one's sweet little twist.


I married you
for all the wrong reasons,
charmed by your
dangerous family history,
by the innocent muscles, bulging
like hidden weapons
under your shirt,
by your naive ties, the colors
of painted scraps of sunset.

I was charmed too
by your assumptions
about me: my serenity—
that mirror waiting to be cracked,
my flashy acrobatics with knives
in the kitchen.
How wrong we both were
about each other,
and how happy we have been.



*I do think love exists in many forms all over the planet. Absolutely. I just don't think it's in my cards. Unless it's a dog. Dogs seem to love me. Men do not.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"out of fear, we shrink ourselves" - joel wolkowski

The Modern Love column from a college kid substantiating my feeling that I will never fall in love.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"i'm taking the long way around"....dixie chicks

andrew cohen wonders where our leaders with long views have gone, and i've gotta ask the same question.

Life is hard. Problems are complex. But we buy into short, easy solutions promising quick turnarounds that fail. Where's the long view, peeps?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stephen Colbert: "It's like they're saying that harassing Latinos with racial profiling is an inevitable side-effect of this law..."

"..It's not. It's the entire point of the law." (Colbert, Wed, 4/22)



i am pretty disturbed by this new law of arizona's for multiple reasons.

1) It seems pretty straightforwardly racist. We're all okay with that?

2) It would set a legal precedent of gov't employees getting to ask citizens going about their daily business for papers proving they are citizens. Are we living in a police state?

C'mon, people.

Monday, April 26, 2010

family photos

can be awkward, let's be honest. we had a lovely family wedding this weekend on lake union. It was delightful. The day after we were sitting around looking at photos of the cousins and grandparents, looking for pictures of the groom as a teenager with long hair. We only found one, and he wasn't facing the camera. But we found lots and lots of other lovely awkward, funny ones.

Which brings me to this blog: Awkward Family Photos. Please go laugh at it right now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

instead of doing my homework like a good girl

I am re-watching the rest of season 3, the wire, and in awe at the amazing creativity of writers, actors, producers, and the city that inspired it.

Here's why I'm hooked:

Friday, April 2, 2010

"that was the best church service I've been to in a while" - e

Patty Griffin rocks. She rocked out the Moore last night with songs from her latest album, which is mostly gospel. She's been rocking it most of this tour, apparently.

I tried to find a youtube clip that would do her justice and couldn't.

Best two songs of the night:

Cover of Waylon Jennings' I Do Believe, and also a new song Patty wrote for her great-grandpa, Get Ready Marie. Oh, and my favorite off this album - Little Fire.

Also, Buddy Miller is awesome. His wife Julie Miller was my first concert ever, when I was 12.

You could go see her in Portland this weekend, I believe.

Since I couldn't find good Patty, here's Waylon doing his original. I like Patty's version better, but Waylon was pretty awesome, let's be honest.



And here's Buddy and Patty from last years' 3 girls and their buddy tour...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"This is the most romantic place I've ever been in. Too bad Dave's not here." - Sij

Here's the scoop:

I've been moving. Moving, moving, moving. Packing kitchen stuff and books and getting rid of things I will never use, like the orange backpack, because I don't need 5 backpacks, I only need one. And also the beautiful cherry shelves, because they won't fit and someone else can use them.

And then Sij came and we went to the Olympic Peninsula and it was BEAUTIFUL. I would one day like to honeymoon there, stopping at a town on the coast every day. Sequim is marvelous. We stayed in the Treehouse because no one else was in any cabin and they upgraded us, and I highly recommend it. Super romantic. It would probably be more romantic with someone you wanted to kiss, but it was also pretty great with a good friend.

We went to see the kids exhibit at the Glass museum, which is also worth a trek to Tacoma, as are the hot glassblowers, and then to an Indigo Girls show at the Pantages theater, which is also lovely. Go there if you can.

And then back for more moving and now down in Portland for a conference with librarians wearing bags that say, "Radical Militant Librarians." Well, only one librarian had one of those. I want one of those. It's from an internal FBI memo that ended up on NPR. Apparently the FBI thinks librarians are dangerous.

We got to hear Nicholas Kristof speak today. Basically, if you've read his columns, you've heard it, but I just think he's pretty thought-provoking and I appreciate his push for gender equality and empowerment.

And we went to Powell's AND got gelato. Grapefruit gelato. It was also amazing.

Whew. Like Calvin says, the days are just packed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#7 four and twenty blackbirds...

Flavia is both sweetly intrepid and alarmingly intimidating - I imagine my good friend Beckythief was like her as a child.

Also, Alan Bradley is a 70 something Canadian man and this is his first book. Gotta love that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"so basically, you're going to be a priest." - eliacin

I am going to save the world, according to This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.

That's kinda fun. I feel like the Nancy Pearl action figure needs a little makeover, though. If I'm going to save the world, I want a better costume.

A while ago I was hanging out with Eliacin, who is on his way to being a priest. When I told him what I was learning about,

(A Short Summary of Things we Talked About)

- making search engines as hospitable and welcoming as possible
-figuring out how to link the user who speaks English and wants a Korean website on Topic X, with the user who speaks Korean and wants an English website on Topic X.
-creating MEANINGFUL access for peeps all over, particularly those who don't have it
-etc.

he said, "so basically, you're going to be a priest. welcoming and gathering everyone in."

That stumped me for a minute and I've been thinking about it ever since. I mean, taking holy orders isn't really appealling. I'd have to stop saying fuck, for one thing.

I do think of where I'm headed as vocation, not in the priestly sense, but in the personal mission/calling sense. Not in the scary-evangelistic-missionary sense, just in the I-want-to-make-a-difference-sense of the word.

Anyay, that's what I've been thinking about these days.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friends!

Sij is coming! Sij is coming!

(I could have been Paul Revere in another life)

This week, while theoretically exams week, I have no classes. And Sij is coming to visit! And she's never met Wallace or been to the Olympic Peninsula, and we are going to have a GREAT time.

On the docket:

Dog obedience class.
Haircut.
Sequim & the Dungeness Spit
Potentially Rialto Beach.
Pantages theater and birthday celebrations with all the march babies - k8, radebaugh, and me!
And also packing up the books and the kitchen for the April 1st move. Whew. Not as fun, although Sij can make the shittiest, most horrible things fun, so I'm betting she can help on this front.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#6 the help

don't look at the cover. Just read the book.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

#5 a more grown up suggestion

is for Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey series.

I re-read Gaudy Night every spring, around my birthday, to remind myself of who I am.

It's the rare mystery novel that can do that, and this one is simply delightful. It's probably more delightful if you've read the previous books, but it can also stand alone. Brilliant piece on work, love, and what we are meant for wrapped up in a post-WW One Oxford mystery.

Friday, March 12, 2010

#4 "a few extra minutes in bed" - linda sue park

Linda Sue Park is super. You could read everything of hers, but I think my favorite is Tap Dancing on the Roof, a poetry collection for kids between 5 and 9 ish. Or older. Love it. Funny. If it were food it would be something you nibble on.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#3 "goodnight clocks and goodnight socks..."

Because it's just the best.

Also, I have decided that during finals week it might be in my best interest to have someone remind me that I need to eat properly, sleep more, and remember that all will be well. Applicants can e-mail me for an interview.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#2: Charles and Emma

I'm making myself read only a chapter a day, which is DIFFICULT.

I've always been intrigued by how folks with different faiths can make intimate relationships work. After realizing I was not going to be one of those people, I saw Charles and Emma, and put it on hold at the library, and was about #83405640. Not really, but still. It took forever.

And I'm also going to try to continue the food analogies. It's not like a lemon bar, it's more of a hearty breakfast. With a pastry on the side.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a series of book ideas

as a future librarian, i figure i might as well start giving book suggestions.

and since it's eff""%$#)%^%$&%$)&(O%)%O#$%@ing finals week, I'm procrastinating and thinking of happier times, when I was reading books.


XOXO.

Suggestion #1:

Princess Hyacinth. Because it's like a lemon bar at tea time. Except no calories, which is even better. Good for readers 4-8 and everyone older, too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"We must love one another or die." - Auden, quoted by John Green this weekend

John Green is my new literary crush. I got to hear him speak at a children's lit conference this weekend (and also got to eat raspberry ice cream from mallards! YUM!) and fell in love. I would post the whole speech here because it was so brilliant, but essential point is that:

story is what helps us see that other people are people. who have needs like us.

Please watch below to see brilliant summary of Catcher in the Rye, and then go check out the vlog brothers.

Friday, February 26, 2010

touch me, please

grandma could have told you this, but research says touch is good for you. Via Jessie in my 550 class. (info in social context)

Monday, February 22, 2010

pacifist hell g-chats


cowboy:

i hope someday i have a daughter who pretends to be sick just to spend the whole day with me.


evs:
My booth at the career fair is in between the Marines and Lockheed Martin, the largest weapons producer in the world. Welcome to pacifist hell.

meg:

uh oh, only 4 more hrs of Pandora left for the month.

woodbrook:
Weekly mystery movie from UW Special Collections! Dude looks totally uncomfortable at 1:56...I would be too...http://uwnews.org/uweek/article.aspx?visitsource=uwkmail&id=55578

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

a great beginning

by Matthew Rohrer - Credo

I believe there is something else

entirely going on but no single
person can ever know it,
so we fall in love.

It could also be true that what we use
everyday to open cans was something
much nobler, that we'll never recognize.

I believe the woman sleeping beside me
doesn't care about what's going on
outside, and her body is warm
with trust
which is a great beginning.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"she pressed her lips to mind - a typo" - Stephen Dunn

The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn

She pressed her lips to mind.
—a typo

How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,

defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

for wallace

"Affection, I can now see, is not something one has in limited supply like money or drinking water. It’s more like a muscle that grows the more you use it. Or maybe it’s an explosion like nuclear fission."

-from An Affection Multiplier, with 4 Feet and a Wet Nose, by Bob Morris

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

there's a reason the heart is an organ measured in rhythms - David Sarasohn

Lots of good stuff in A Joint Account, especially at the end, but I'll highlight my favorite quote:

"The appeal of the alternative is everywhere. In popular culture, predictability seems like a bear market compared with possibility, and falling into a pattern is the opposite of falling in love. But if you stay married long enough to make people speculate about your religious beliefs, you come to see that patterns are the point; there’s a reason the heart is an organ measured in rhythms."

Monday, February 15, 2010

more modern love columns....

Funny, Tiffany. Did you tell your husband yet? I, too, gave up on online dating. I think it's a helpful tool for many people, but for me, mostly I think it's artificial and forced and I think relationships in my world happen more organically.

Anyway, maybe I'll try to meet someone in a particular profession. Which professions should I consider stalking?

I mean, there's the obvious ones, but we've already got a doctor and lawyer in the family and I don't think we need any more of those....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"if you love her Ted, you should tell her. just stop telling me you love her." - Charlie C

Happy Valentine's, peeps. Tell someone you love them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

sometimes a glory is just that - tess gallagher

Because we love Tess Gallagher so much - Here's a little love poem to make the day better.


Little Match Box.


And if there were two moons,
who would sleep when one
passed before the other
and took it in
on its dark side? Wouldn't
some extra light ray out
around the sustaining one?
Wouldn't you sense
the two in one, even if you'd
never seen them parted?

Sometimes a glory
is just that—a guessing-into
the seen, noticing
the fringe of presence
when it comes, trying to match
its fervency by something
as tangible, something
only you are equal to.


Friday, February 12, 2010

a little Valentine's series

in honor of Valentine's Day and how last year was the year of love and this year's...well, not...but that's okay, I'm highlighting some of my favorite Modern Love NYTimes columns because they are AWESOME.

Check out When I Was Left to Speak Alone. Beautiful. It reminds me of that Tess Gallagher poem - the one that says:

And did you get what

you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself

beloved on the earth.


That line, I love that line: "To call myself beloved, to feel myself / beloved on the earth. " Well, okay, I guess it's two lines, but it's just so damn beautiful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

social qs

please read this column,laugh hysterically, and then thank the nytimes for publishing it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"stop looking for a soulmate. your soulmate is a fabric store, and it's called 'frau tulip,'"

"which means 'mrs. tulip.' EVERYTHING in there looked like it'd been taken from your bedroom - every bolt of fabric, every purse, button, scarf or ribbon."

- letter from beck, 2/08/10

Fuck. Why does my soulmate have to be German? And why in Berlin? Well, whew, at least my soulmate exists. I was getting worried.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"In short, libraries exist to give meaning to the continuing human attempt to transcend space and time

in the advancement of knowledge and the preservation of the future."

(pg 3, Crawford, Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, and Reality.)



"Libraries are not about information - they are about preservation, dissemination, and use of recorded knowledge in whatever form it comes." (pg 5)


Just a couple thoughts from library school. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

random license g-chats

marsh:





evs:

forgot her license when she went to get a legal document notarized. The notary's response? "You have a pretty honest face. Don't worry about it." ???

cowboy:

i know now what i knew then

meg:

mystery still NOT solved

Friday, February 5, 2010

i found it! I found it!

Okay, thanks to argh ink's suggestion, I went to Hulu and started watching Life. I keep trying to write down funny quotes, but I'm laughing too hard to do so.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than the Bachelor.

I am also taking everyone's suggestions into account, but I've got to get through Life first, and that might take me a while.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

more orange julius g-chats

k8: back from the interview. they've already called my references.

meg:


cowboy:
lets all have another orange julius.

evs:

Ok kids, time to follow my blog! I'm trying to be funny as opposed to deep. ofcourseshedid.blogspot.com Bait: If you follow and/or comment, I will send you the awful LOTR rings picture described in entry #1...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"i'm not mad, I just have to study" - veronica

story of my life these days....

Monday, February 1, 2010

some communication tips in the age of facebook, twitter, e-mail, etc...

1) Texting someone 18 times before a first date does not mean you know them. or they know you. they do now know that you are probably a bit overeager and perhaps think you are potentially a stalker.*

2) Asking to be someone's Facebook friend before you've met them is sometimes acceptable, but when added to the 18 texts, could be creepy.

3) If you are going on a first date with someone you've never met in person, it's better to meet in public and take 2 separate cars. Saying "it makes more sense to ride together" prior to face to face conversation might again go in the scary column.

4) After a date, if one party says it was nice to meet you, you ask to see them again and they say perhaps next week, it might be advisable to slow the texting down. They know at this point you are interested, and might get annoyed that every other second they pick up the phone and you are talking. They might begin to think you are desperate, weird, and again, a scary stalker.

5) When in doubt, remember my paraphrase from Abigail Thomas' Three Dog Life (I'm pretty sure it was from her beautiful little memoir): Good things happen slow, real slow. Bad things happen fast.

*Also, one should never text "wear a sexy dress" to a date one has never met. This implies said date does not know how to dress themselves. And why would you want to go on a date with someone who doesn't know how to dress themselves? This sort of text is more appropriate in an established dating relationship.

**Also, if one wants a date to call them back, one might consider one's language. I am not against cursing but derogatory words meant to demean certain groups of people are inappropriate at most times, and seem especially inappropriate at a first meeting.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

okay, I'm so over the bachelor

since reality steve let it be known that vienna wins.

BLEGH. She's horrid. Really Jake? What were you thinking?

So over it.

Okay, I'm taking Meg's suggestions for a new show to be obsessed with. Any others?

Friday, January 29, 2010

parking ticket g-chats

evs: "Just pay the parking ticket. Don't be so outraged. You're not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double parked."

woodbrook:
the internet is where productivity goes to die.


k8:
job interview in wenatchee!

barnes:
can i please move to the Italian alps and do this? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8466333.stm

gretzky: dear reality steve, will you marry me? love, gretzky

taft: just found out the wedding caterer's commercial kitchen burned down last week

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I can't believe that was Colin Farrell" - k8

"Where'd all those songs come from?" - Jeannie

"Life, unfortunately." - Bad



I liked this movie. It's hopeful. And real. And has one of my favorite songs of all time. If you can guess it, you get uber points.

Monday, January 25, 2010

sleeping wallace

wallace was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired from the dog park but he still manages to wag his tail when I say hey.



video

Sunday, January 24, 2010

i smell a rat - patty griffin

You should go to the NPR First Listen until the 26th and hear Patty Griffin's new album, which is AWESOME.

Also, so is this rendition of Mary she does with Natalie Maines:

um, my boss got me addicted, I swear

Because I do not know how to take a break, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to watch 2 hours of television a week.

For real. And I figured a stupid reality show might be good, because I can watch it and think

1) There are some really bizarre people in the world
2) Life is so much less dramatic than fake TV
3) My life is pretty good, let's be honest

My boss talked me into this one because she needed somebody to talk about it with.

So far I think he's pretty dumb (really, a rose for Roslyn? what was he thinking?), there's a couple good women but mostly not so interesting ones, and I really don't know if I can stand any more squealing women throwing themselves at Jake.

So I might not be really addicted and have to switch shows.

Here's a poll: Which dumb reality show should I watch?

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Those are snazzy pants." - Pete

"Thanks." - Gretzky

"No, I mean it. Those are great." - Pete

"Thanks-I've-gotta-go-to-work-now-but-it-was-nice-seeing-you-and-Mollie-hope-the-rest-of-the-day-is-great-Bye!" - Gretzky

"Okay, bye, those are great pants!" - Pete, as he walks back to his house.

Um, I was about to go inside my house, wearing my favorite pair of teacher pants, orangey tweed trousers with a crease down the middle from an Ann Taylor clearance rack 6 years ago for $15.99, and Pete crossed the street from his house with his dog Mollie to say that they were snazzy. It was kind of awkward.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

i don't believe in tracking

thanks to Jeannie Oakes and Aspen Institute. I mean, I didn't really believe in it before I read these things, but now any kids I might have of my own are screwed for sure, because I'm pretty sure the entire education system needs to be revamped.

I'm just saying.

I know people will think, oh, that Gretzky, she's crazy, but I really mean it:

I do not believe in tracking.

In practice, what this means:

I do not believe in AP classes, honors classes, Special Ed specific classrooms, or Bilingual ed specific classrooms.

I think every single kid in every single school in the country can achieve, and I believe they do it better when we don't classify them as "honors" kids, "ESL" kids, or most harmfully, "those" kids. I believe the way we track kids is leftover as a legacy of setting up institutions unfairly, and I believe it's wrong.

In a country where every kid is entitled to a free education, I believe there should be no private schools. I think it's criminal that one kid, because their parents can pay for it, can access an excellent education, while another kid, whose parents cannot afford it, is stuck in a neighborhood school that will not prepare them successfully for work or life.

I used to believe in these things. I used to think they were good for my kids, the kids I taught. I thought that these things might help one or two of my kids succeed, go to college, have a future.

I've changed my mind. I think I was trying to convince myself that there were ways for my kids to work the system, that they too could do anything and be anybody, and now I'm at the point of just saying, fuck the system, it's not working out well for anybody.

Should you disagree with me, and I have no doubt many will, I recommend addional reading before you give me your opinion:

Jonathan Kozol
Karen Chenowith
George Theoharris
Lisa Delpit
Herbert Kohl

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flock, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace...to make music in the heart."

- Howard Thurman, American author, civil rights leader, and theologian, 1899 - 1981, via K8

Monday, January 4, 2010

"match.com pays for itself in a month." - Ringo

"I was thinking about doing match just for free dinners." - Cowboy

"A girl's got to eat." - k8


I know, I know, I said I was done.

I lied. I mean, this kind of stuff doesn't exactly work on the toj blog, which is supposed to be holy and spiritual and all that jazz.

But don't expect something every day, okay? Let's go with the 2009 motto of no expectations here.

Happy New Year peeps!